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List of minor Valve employees

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This article lists minor Valve employees.

T.K. Backman[edit]

T.K. Backman is a programmer who worked at Valve on two occasions. He is the older brother of Ted Backman, and he worked with Gabe Newell and Ken Birdwell at Microsoft. Between February 1997 and December 1999, Backman was a consultant at Valve; during that period he was working full-time at Microsoft. He contributed to Half-Life, and was responsible for the game engine, user interface, radiosity lighting, and developer tools. He joined the company as a full-time employee, and worked there between November 2005 and May 2007. He contributed to Half-Life 2 and its episodes, Portal, the Orange Box for Xbox 360, the Source engine (including procedural terrain generation and vegetation blending), developer tools, and Steam.[1][2]

Stephen Baker[edit]

Stephen Baker is an animator who worked at Valve between January 2000 and March 2001 as a senior animator. He created character designs and animation for Half-Life 2. He also evaluated Maya as the company's new animation software and supervised its integration into existing pipeline, and managed the contract development team.[3]

Mike Belzer[edit]

Mike Belzer is an animator who has been working at Valve since October 2009. He contributed to animating P-body for Portal 2 and Bendy, Fetchbot (whose animations are based on that of Belzer's dog) and the Shopkeeper for The Lab. Before joining Valve, he worked at Warner Bros., Disney, and Pixar.[4][5]

Company biography[edit]

Mike Belzer
Before Valve, Mike animated for TV, Commercials and Film. Now he's animating at the coolest company on the planet making awesome content for fun games and VR.

Les Betterley[edit]

Les Betterley is an artist and animator who worked at Valve as a freelancer. He did character animations and a few models, including the large version of the Automatic Turret for Half-Life before he was moved to Prospero.[6][7]

Chris Bokitch[edit]

Chris Bokitch, also known as "Autolycus" in the community, is a developer who worked at Valve between September 1997 and March 2008.[8] He used to run a website called "The Forge", which was devoted to Quake level creation, and also focused on Worldcraft – a level editor created by Bokitch's friend, Ben Morris. Valve hired Morris, and acquired the program in September 1997.[9] During that time, Bokitch started doing contract work for Valve, which involved writing support documentation for their own version of Worldcraft.[10] He founded the "Half-Life Editing Resource Center" website; it served as a hub for mod developers. He wrote tutorials, created tutorial maps and game data files, and provided support for the mod community.[11]

Travis Brady[edit]

Travis Brady is an artist who worked at Valve from November 1999 to November 2002, when he left to work at Bungie one block away from Valve.[12] During that period he worked on Dog and the Antlion for Half-Life 2.[13]

Heather Campbell[edit]

Heather "Makani" Campbell is an artist who has been doing contract work (comics and textures) with Valve since July 2010.[14] She was initially known for her Harry Potter, Half-Life / Portal and Guild Wars fanart. She was hired by Valve after they showed interest in her fanart of the Administrator from Team Fortress 2, which was then adopted as the character's official appearance. Since then she has made numerous Team Fortress comics. For the Half-Life and Portal universe, she created studies for Cave Johnson's appearance and the cut Walking Turret.

Wes Cumberland[edit]

Wes Cumberland is a programmer who worked at Valve as an intern software developer between September 1997 and December 1999.[15] He was attending the University of Washington at the time. As the intern, he took care of the computers, source control, and email. For Half-Life, he wrote code in the installer and a few file-handling routines in the game itself. Before joining Valve, he worked at Sierra On-Line for two years.[16]

Karl Deckard[edit]

Karl Deckard is a developer who worked at Valve as a game designer[17] between August 1996 and October 1998. He was involved in every level of the design process for Prospero, much of which was later repurposed for the Half-Life series and the Portal 2 level editor, Perpetual Testing Initiative. For Half-Life, he designed and built the training facility, as well as developed the flocking behavior for the Boids, and the game's behavior, physics, and weapon effects.[18]

Company biography[edit]

Karl Deckard - Game Designer/Animator
Karl comes to Valve by way of Nintendo, where he was responsible for graphic design and production on Nintendo Power Magazine and several player's guides, including Killer Instinct, Yoshi's Island, and Super Mario RPG. His thorough familiarity with paper-based role-playing games, wargames, and CCGs, combined with his knowledge of PC and console video games, mark him as Valve's quintessential game fanatic.

Stephen Dennis[edit]

Stephen Dennis is a programmer who worked at Valve as a contractor between June 1998 and September 1998. He greatly optimized the navigation for all the characters that use non-local navigation, improved their random numbers, and implemented some Ichthyosaur behaviors, and a BMP image loader for the sky, which the company ended up not using for unknown reasons.[19][20]


Duncan, or Duncan X (no stated first name), is a developer who worked at Valve as a game and level designer[17] between 1996 and 1998.[21] He was originally hired to work on Prospero in December 1996, but also helped with Half-Life before leaving in early 1998. Duncan and Dave Riller were part of a total conversion for Quake before they were picked up by Valve. He dropped out of of college where he was studying psychology and music to join the company.[22]

Company biography[edit]

Duncan - Game/Level Designer
Duncan refuses to tell us his first name. We have suggested "Monty." Duncan is a genuine sociopath who has collected more ears in Diablo than anyone else in the company.

Joe Kennebec[edit]

Joe Kennebec is a developer who worked at Valve as a project consultant between July 1998 and January 2002.[23] As a friend of Mike Harrington, he joined the company as a favor to him during the final months of the development for Half-Life to assist Erik Johnson with on-site quality assurance. He also helped Johnson with the international releases of the game by building and testing installers for different languages. Later, the company sent him to Gearbox in the final development stages of Opposing Force to ensure that the game met Valve quality standards and to oversee the storyline so that it wouldn't contradict anything from the original game. It was his idea for the player to revisit a destroyed version of the training facility. He also contributed to Blue Shift.[24]

Ted Kosmatka[edit]

Ted Kosmatka is a writer who worked at Valve. He was responsible for co-writing the Portal 2: Lab Rat comic with Michael Avon Oeming.[25]

Chia Chin Lee[edit]

Chia Chin Lee is a sound designer and composer who worked at Valve[26] between 2000 and 2003.[27] He was responsible for conceiving and providing audio direction and content for gameplay.[28] His name can be found in some of the sound effects created for Half-Life 2, although it is not known if he is the creator of these files, or if it's the result of an audio processing software. Lee provided sounds for some of the things Marc Laidlaw was working on and recorded Laidlaw's voice to be used for the burning Zombies.[29]

Company biographies[edit]

Chia Chin Lee - Sound Engineer
Chia Chin has lived in Taipei, Paris, Johannesburg, Chicago, Madison (the one in Wisconsin), and now Seattle. Before joining Valve, he worked at Raven Software where he created audio content, designed dynamic sound systems, and performed various production roles as a team lead. As a film student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Chia Chin spent most of his time splicing together Musique Concrète tape loops, making black and white short films a la David Lynch's "Eraserhead", and playing computer games. Being obsessed with games and audio meant Chia Chin had no choice but to enter the software entertainment industry upon graduation. He is incessantly fantasizing about using audio, narrative devices, postmodern philosophy, and other pretentious techniques to enhance gameplay.
Chia Chin Lee - Sound Designer/Composer
No changes.

Naru Omori[edit]

Naru Omori is an artist who has been working at Valve since August 2015. Before joining Valve, he worked at Capcom on the Resident Evil, Dead Rising, and Devil May Cry series.[30]

He provided designs for Half-Life: Alyx such as Jeff,[31] the Reviver,[32] and the Combine Battery.[33]

Kristen Perry[edit]

Kristen Perry is an artist who worked at Valve between May 2002 and August 2005. She worked on Half-Life 2 as a texture artist, created illustrations for the marketing of the game, and also contributed to Half-Life: Source. Her Civil Protection officer illustration was published in the June 2004 issue of PC Games magazine, inside a featured article for the game.[34]

David Sawyer[edit]

David Sawyer is a gameplay designer, programmer, and mapper who worked at Valve from May 1999 to January 2018, when he left to work on an independent project.[35] His work at Valve include Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, the Left 4 Dead series, Portal 2 (and the Perpetual Testing Initiative), The Lab, the Steam Workshop, and laying groundwork for Valve's foray into VR, notably by developing original prototype versions of core VR concepts such as Chaperone and blink locomotion.[35]

For Half-Life 2, he contributed the map designs of the Manhack Arcade, the Wasteland, the Coast, Shorepoint Base, Dock 137, Bridge Point, and Nova Prospekt / the Depot.[36] For The Lab, he was the primary developer on Longbow,[35][37] and also designed the Aperture Science Face-Mounted Portal Sphere[35][38] and Pocket Universe 08's hub, and also worked on the Aperture Science Personality Construct.[35]

Company biography[edit]

David Sawyer - Level Designer
A world traveller as a result of his father’s job in the Foreign Service, David comes to Valve from a recent stay in the Washington D.C. area. David became a full-time employee after proving himself through contract mapmaking work on Team Fortress Classic, and is now pouring himself into Team Fortress 2. Despite a calm exterior, David has become one of Valve’s most fearsome and ruthless snipers in Team Fortress Classic, and delights in the cries of "Damn you, Ramirez!" that can be heard from nearby offices. He enjoys tormenting Chuck, in particular.

Aaron Stackpole[edit]

Aaron Stackpole is an engineer who worked at Valve between September 1998 and April 1999 as a network administrator.[39] He joined Valve from the Gunman total conversion for Quake where he was a level designer. He created an internal translation of all of the original Quake deathmatch maps to Half-Life that were never released initially due to rights issues. He worked for Mike Harrington, and was responsible for building the gold master of the game.[40]

Company biography[edit]

Aaron Stackpole - Network / Systems Administrator
Aaron magically appears whenever there are computer problems. With a background in game and level design, Aaron's status as a Microsoft Certified Professional with over eight years of computer software and network support experience makes him a valued ghost around the offices. His work for the Gunman TC has brought him acclaim in what he laughingly calls his spare time ... we're still trying to figure out why. Aaron also became the proud father of twin baby girls on September 14, 1998.


  1. Li icon.png T.K. Backman on LinkedIn
  2. T.K. Backman on his video game work (August 15, 2016)
  3. Stephen Baker's personal website
  4. Li icon.png Mike Belzer on LinkedIn
  5. Mike Belzer on his video game work (August 17, 2020)
  6. Les Betterley's personal website
  7. Les Betterley on his video game work (August 18, 2016)
  8. Li icon.png Chris Bokitch on LinkedIn
  9. Press release on Blue's News (July 14, 1997)
  10. Interview with Chris Bokitch on The Speakeasy Offensive (September 29, 2001) (archived)
  11. Interview with Chris Bokitch on info_design (September 10, 1999) (archived)
  12. Li icon.png Travis Brady on LinkedIn
  13. Interviews with Travis Brady - Ex-Valve Developer! on Mod DB (June 20, 2020)
  14. Li icon.png Heather Campbell on LinkedIn
  15. Document on Coray Seifert's personal website
  16. Wes Cumberland on his video game work (September 22, 2016)
  17. 17.0 17.1 People on Valve's official website (January 11, 1998) (archived)
  18. Li icon.png Karl Deckard on LinkedIn
  19. Li icon.png Stephen Dennis on LinkedIn
  20. Stephen Dennis on his video game work (August 15, 2016)
  21. Li icon.png Duncan X on LinkedIn
  22. Interview with Duncan on Big One (June 24, 1997) (archived)
  23. Li icon.png Joe Kennebec on LinkedIn
  24. Joe Kennebec on his video game work (August 16, 2016)
  25. People on Valve's official website (September 5, 2011) (archived)
  26. People on Valve's official website (December 3, 2000) (archived)
  27. Li icon.png Chia Chin Lee on LinkedIn
  28. Interview with Chia Chin Lee on International Game Developers Association (archived)
  29. Marc Laidlaw on his level design work
  30. Li icon.png Naru Omori on LinkedIn
  31. The Final Hours of Half-Life: Alyx
  32. Twitter favicon.png Naru Omori on Twitter
  33. Twitter favicon.png Naru Omori on Twitter
  34. Kristen Perry's personal website
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 35.4 Li icon.png David Sawyer on LinkedIn
  36. WC map pack
  37. YouTube favicon.png Developing The Lab on YouTube
  38. Jeep Barnett on the Aperture Science Face-Mounted Portal Sphere (August 2, 2020)
  39. Li icon.png Aaron Stackpole on LinkedIn
  40. Aaron Stackpole on his video game work (September 1, 2016)