Kelly Bailey

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Kelly Bailey
Kelly Bailey.jpg
Biographical information
  • Composer
  • Musician
  • Senior game designer of sound and music
  • Game designer
  • Conceptual artist
  • Programmer
Time period

1997[1] – September 2010[2]
2014 – Present[3]

"Final editing of Half-Life maps was something we had to do ridiculously quickly; the time from when we'd finish a design idea and playtest, to the next iteration was often a matter of a few hours. We were under a strict delivery deadline, and I don't think any of us had finalized software and gameplay features at such a pace before. Several of us spent most of our waking hours, for over six months, packed into a single office we not-so-affectionately referred to as 'the submarine'. For most of us in the room, it was our first time shipping a game. We pulled an indecent number of 16 hour days, and it was one of the most fun and rewarding experiences I've had at Valve."
―Kelly Bailey[src]

Kelly Bailey is a composer, musician, game designer, conceptual artist and programmer. He was the senior game designer of sound and music at Valve from 1997 to 2010,[1] before leaving with colleague Mike Dussault to concentrate on their project Sunspark Labs LLC.[4] Bailey is notable for being behind the Half-Life series' music and sound effects.

His surname appears in Half-Life as an Easter egg on a Sector C locker and can be heard in announcements. His surname also appears as an Easter egg on a sign in the Hospital featured in Episode One.


[edit] Biography

"Kelly, formerly a product unit manager at Microsoft, has a programming background that includes consumer multimedia, database engines, and networking. He created all of the music and sound effects for 'Half-Life. He is also lead singer for a Seattle band, Lucy's Fishing Trip, and, therefore, shaves less than the rest of the staff."
Source (December 2, 1998)

Around September 2010, Kelly Bailey left Valve with colleague Mike Dussault to work on their project Sunspark Labs LLC, launched in December 2010, developing iOS applications, their first being "Morfo", released in June 2011.[4][5] However he may probably work again for Valve in the future.[6] The news caused some concern and displeasure from the Steam community due to the lack of any public farewell or notification regarding Bailey's depature.[7][8]

His name appeared in Valve's JIRA database, when it was publicly viewable for a short time on October 1, 2013, in numerous groups, including Half-Life 3, L4D3 and Source 2.[9] Mike Morasky officially confirmed Bailey's return to Valve during his talk at Steam Dev Days on January 15, 2014.[3]

[edit] Work for the Half-Life series

Bailey worked on the game design of Half-Life, did all of the music and sound effects for the game, and wrote sound code to create character speech and DSP reverb effects.[10] Along with Ken Birdwell, he created the bones in the faces of the Half-Life characters, which in turn are used to manipulate the movement of their jaws.[11]

Bailey also built the test chamber disaster sequence featured at the beginning of Half-Life with John Guthrie.[12] He also sketched out the journey through Silo D for the Half-Life chapter Blast Pit.[12]

He composed the soundtrack of Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, and a part of the Portal soundtrack (with Mike Morasky, and Jonathan Coulton for Still Alive). Half-Life 2's Gordon Freeman's face was based on him, among other Valve employees, such as David Speyrer, Eric Kirchmer and Greg Coomer.[12]

It appears that Bailey used samples from other existing soundtracks in his works, or at least used stock sounds also used by other artists. For instance, the track "Radio" from the Half-Life 2 soundtrack can be heard during the 2002 film 28 Days Later, in the background at 00:26. Another example is the track "A Red Letter Day" from the Half-Life 2 soundtrack, that makes up the start of the track "London Deserted", this time from the soundtrack of the 2007 film 28 Weeks Later, the sequel to 28 Days Later.

[edit] Selected gameography

[edit] Gallery

[edit] References

[edit] External links

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