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Secret Shop

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< The Lab(Redirected from Secret Shop)
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Preceded by
Xortex 26XX
Secret Shop Succeeded by
Robot Repair

The Lab Secret Shop.png

Experiment name Description Comments

After Dota 2's Razzil Darkbrew, the Alchemist.

Leads to a storehouse filled with magical artifacts we believe are most commonly used to defend ancients. Shh!
Item: A Roshan figure that will growl when picked up.
"...Mmm mmm mmm. Ah! There you are! And look at you standing alone in the dark. Why? I am a terrible host. Here, take my light. I know my way around well enough without it."
The Shopkeeper[src]

Secret Shop (in-universe name Experiment Razzil-Boron) is the fifth minigame / experiment of The Lab.


The relic in the hub consists of a crooked tree stump on top of slabs of rock, with the shop's sign attached with chains to the only remaining branch. The description from the clipboard refers to what Dota is the acronym for, i.e. Defense of the Ancients.


Set in the Secret Shop from Dota 2, the player is greeted by the Shopkeeper and can explore and interact with the objects in the shop. The playthrough ends when Roshan breaks into the shop from the roof.

Behind the scenes[edit]

Secret Shop was the very first minigame to be designed, despite Robot Repair being first released as a standalone demo before The Lab. It came from the idea of the team wanting to implement an experiment having the player being in a room with another CG character. As the team was starting mostly from scratch, they started by reusing some of their existing assets and were drawn to a high-res model of the Dota 2 Shopkeeper with full animations and facial system, and built upon it. Implementing things like the Shoopkeeper's eyes tracking the player was one of the many things that encouraged the team to go on experimenting. The minigame was also a testbed for the use of high-fidely assets needed for a VR game where the perception of the world is different than in a standard game, how long it would take to create them, and choosing the maximum amount of asset resolution that would not be detrimental to the frame rate.

Secret Shop was initially chosen for their hardware showcase at the 2015 Game Developers Conference, but Robot Repair was eventually worked on instead after they realized Secret Shop was more of an exploration space and didn't work well for a tight time demo more fitting for a conference.[1]

Robot Repair features a sideboard with leaflets and real-world books related to Valve's other IPs, placed there as Easter eggs, including the Dota 2 comic book Tales from the Secret Shop.