Thursday, October 15, 2009

"I solve practical problems..."



Why am I posting this, besides the fact that it's really well done and funny? Well, because I've accepted an offer to be an animator at Valve Software in Bellevue, WA, creators of the above linked Team Fortress 2 and Half Life game properties (among others). I'm quite excited about the opportunity because even though the position is titled 'animator' it's really more of an animator/TD/CG generalist/creator type deal. I'll have opportunity to spread my interests across a broad spectrum of roles and tasks- something that I find really intriguing. As much as I understand the whole "focus only on animation" mantra that's preached among animators these days, I honestly get bored doing just one thing for months and years on end. I like a challenge and I love learning new things. As such the switch to the interactive side of media is a whole new deal for me- which is exciting. I'll have a chance to work with and learn from the best- the roster of artists, animators, designers, technicians and programmers at Valve is beyond impressive. It's gonna be cool to see where it all goes and I'm thankful to have the chance to play along.

57 comments:

Kevin said...

Hey Keith! Congratulations!! Valve does amazing work, and I'm sure you'll have fun.

Jean-Denis Haas said...

Fantastic! Congratulations!

Kai Gulliksen said...

Congratulations!

Steve Talkowski said...

Keith, congratulations! That's great news. Valve does amazing work, and Half-Life 2 has always been an incredible universe to explore.

nubby said...

WOOT!
Congratulations Keith! That sounds like it would be a BLAST (no pun intended).

Of course, if you ever need beta testers....hint...hinthint....

Ben said...

I love the animation coming out from Valve. The "Meet the..." series was hilarious. Are you going to be working on the in-game animation or the cinematics?

Keith Lango said...

Thanks, everybody!

@Ben: probably a little of both, among other things. Valve doesn't define things by departments quite like other studios. Roles are pretty much self defined, loose & project based.

Noel said...

It makes sense as you seem to value quality pretty highly and Valve are definately a quality games developer. My favourite "Meet The" was the sniper, perhaps it has something to do with being Australian. Look forward to hearing about how Valve works.

Bobby Pontillas said...

Congrats on the new gig Keith! Shucks, I currently work here in Bellevue, but I'm makin my way to NY in November, missed ya by a couple weeks!

Good luck Keith, Valve is among the best in the industry and I think you'll love the area (in the summer =) )!

Dennis S. said...

Congrats Keith! Looking forward to seeing some of your works in Valve one of these days. Does this mean no more APT and VTS? I certainly hope not.

Josh Bowman said...

Huge Congratulations Keith!! Very cool and exciting news for you ^_^

Valve is pretty much the only games company on the planet I'd actually want to work for as they seem to care about animation more than just having it as a bullet point on the back of a game box. Top stuff!

SMAlvarado said...

Gratz!

Mark Behm is my mentor at AM right now, and as you probably know, he is an animator at Valve as well. Very cool!

Keith Lango said...

@Bobby P: Sorry I'll miss you! Are you ging to Blue Sky? I hear they've been adding people.

@Dennis S: I'll still be doing the VTS, but after this current class the APT will be going on hiatus for the forseeable future. Who knows what the future holds, though? :)

@Josh: yeah, they do top work. It's a great crew.

@SMAlvarado: Mark's an old friend of mine. He was actually the one who convinced me to come up for an interview there.

john said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
john said...

Congratulations Keith!

It's well deserved!

-John

CARLOS3D said...

Congratulations Keith!! =)

Im a real fan of you .. i have read and see most of your tutorials they have been very helpful for me =P
I hope you share your new experience in VALVE
by the way im from PERU now you know that someone follows you from this side of the world

Bobby Pontillas said...

@ Keith, Yes sir. It's big Blue Sky for me come mid Nov. How soon do you start?

Lucas Martell said...

Congrats Keith!

jevi said...

Congrats Keith!

I love that you're always seeking new stuff and refresh and refine your skill set. Best of luck at Valve, I'm sure you'll have a blast :D

Stray Neutrino said...

Congratulations!

This is awesome news and well-earned.

3dsketchbook said...

Congrats Keith :)

David Beer said...

Awesome, enjoy, Bro!
But remember, YOU can do all that multi talented stuff, because you can make sense of complex rigging and techie issues. my brain hurts after a few minutes. So I stick to animation while i can, haha!

Pete said...

wow, nice one keith.
I have been a fan of valve for a long time, and certainly looked at possibily working there myself.

Hope you have a great time there and bring some fresh ideas to the table.

Valve ceratinly are the pixar of the games world. Quality and real talent in everything they bring out.

Jimmy Compher said...

That's great news Keith! Congrats!

Lars said...

Welcome to the games industry Keith! The place where there still is money ;)

Congrats

Kind regards,

Lars

Jais Bredsted - UNDO said...

Congratulations. I'm sure they will appreciate your skills.

Olivier Ladeuix said...

that's interesting. With your work and research being more into blurring the boundaries between CG and the more traditional animation I have the feeling that Valve must have a masterplan behind all that which is great!

I am not too fan of their "Left 4 dead" series and "shooters" in general so I am looking forward to seeing what will come out of that relationship. Congrat Keith

jeff said...

fantastic news! my all time favorite game studio. Can't wait to see what you guys will do next.

Mark Behm said...

wohoo!

Raf said...

Congratulations Keith! Valve seems to really care about character animation in a way we don't see a lot in games. Just one of the many ways in which they are awesome.

Chris B said...

Congrats Keith!!! I can't wait to see the new projects valve has on the horizon. Does this mean no more APT?? Good Luck.

amila said...

So awesome Keith!! They have an amazingly talented crew up there and you'll fit right in:) Congrats!

Bruno Andrade said...

congratz keith, have fun!!

Galen Fott said...

Was it something I said?

Keith Lango said...

@Galen: LOL, no, no- nothing you said. I still love Tennessee. Life just sometimes throws us curve balls. :)

@ChrisB: thanks. As noted above, no more APT for now. VTS will still continue, though.

Galen Fott said...

Understood! Have a great time in Washington. Our loss is their gain!

Joe said...

That's so cool! Valve would be awesome to work at.

Robin Teo said...

dang! no more APT from Keith! Must have been Mark Behm who nabbed you over? :D Congrats Keith! Blessings!

andyoko said...

Wow, congrats, Keith! Good to know that you will continue VTS. COngrats!

anim_ziggy said...

Congrats from me too, your blog has been a great inspiration :)
good luck with your new animation adventures.

I.

Wade Ryer said...

Congratulations Keith!!

Remi The Rockstar said...

YOU ROCK!

Matt Kelly said...

congrats man, heard about this the other day through the grapevine.. welcome to the pacific northwest!

Abram said...

congrats keith! valve is by far my favorite game developer...their games are among the few that i make the time to play! just wondering, are you a gamer?

Alex said...

Hey Keith, Just wanted to say congrats on the job! I would love to end up at Valve some day! Best of luck!

Jeremy Jutras said...

Congrats Keith,
The creative talent at Valve has been heightened, now with your addition! Can't wait to see your influence int he company!

Mike L said...

Congrats Keith!
I love Valve and if I had to pick a game company they would be it. (NCSoft is a distant second).

Anyway, you've provided me a ton of insight in the past both from e-mail correspondence or through your tutorials etc. To hear this is great for you but it's really awesome for us who are fans of yours and Valve.

Not knowing how much of a gamer you are I will offer this. From what I've seen, Valve has perhaps the best sense of humor as a company, the most interaction with their customers, and a pretty open philosophy on communication. Their games are pretty consistent in awesomeness as well as they are very similar to you in making sure that each and every work they do is both distinguished and of the highest caliber.

Congrats again Keith and best wishes!

Keith Lango said...

Thanks, again, everybody. You're making me blush. heh. No, I'm not much of gamer at all. I don't own an X-Box or Playstation or Wii. I played games some while I was at Blur a number of years back, but only during the designated "game hour" during the day. (that was a lot of fun-- 50 people playing capture-the-flag all in the same big room. Crazy.). For me playing video games isn't fun if you don't have a lot of people involved at once. It works better as a social thing for me. But I think that lack of hard core gaming background may have actually been a plus for me in this instance. :)

David Beer said...

i got hooked by space invaders, talk about minimal. its awesome! makes the tube journey to work more bearable

Vanhoozerbot said...

This is FANTASTIC! I am really happy for you Keith. I am a gamer, and this makes me happy. So there.

I truly hope you are well.

Jeremy

Jesse said...

way to go Keith! Sounds like a fantastic gig!

Henk said...

Welcome to Bellevue Keith! This is super cool!

Breadwig said...

Say hello to Bellevue for me! I am jealous. Now we've lived in two of the same places. Three if Buffalo and Rochester count as the same place.

Keith Lango said...

@Breadwig: Thanks! Actually I did live in Rochester for a few years right after getting married, so it'll be three places. Here's hoping you can get back to the PNW some day. :)

PeePoo said...

Holy cow, congratulations Keith!! I haven't been checking everyones sites for a while there and I missed this news. Amila told me and I immediately high fived her. Don't ask why, I'm not sure either. It's gonna be epic! You should show up on your first day sporting an Atari 2600. And just walk in and ask, "ok, where do I set up?"
But seriously, hope all is well and I'm stoked your making a move over there, they're lucky to have you!!!
Miss you buddy!!

Phil Willis said...

Congrats Keith on the new position.

I'll be following your work with great interest.

Keep up the posts on what you're allowed to tell us on new Valve games.

Cheers
--Phil

Henk said...

Interesting move Keith, congratulations!