This is my very first interactive e-book. I'm a bit suspect to say anything regarding this e-book (since I'm a crazy lover of the Portal series - and of Valve, their brilliant creators), but I loved this SO MUCH! I was honestly expecting more of a screenshots/pictures showcase and a few gadgets here and there with a little bit of text, but reading about each team and each developer of this game and the problems they've faced in this journey was an amazing experience. I always admired Valve products, even before falling in deep love with Portal, and I knew making games as part of such a huge (and world-class famous) company was a tough task, but I REALLY underestimated how complex the process of game creation could be.
I, as a starting game developer, always thought "I want to make my own company, recruit my own team, develop my own games and become a successful game developer". I always knew it would be hard, success isn't something you achieve in every dream. Then, after a couple years of small games and mods, a (now friend of mine) small developer invited me to participate in a small game development crew. It was so fun, and it still is (we're more active than ever!). I then thought "Maybe not only MY gaming company, but something shared between me and this small new team". Then I stopped focusing only on the games from Valve and started looking closer into it's developers and employees. I always heard a lot about Valve, about how their employees had a lot of freedom over their projects and such, and, although the idea was amusing at the time, I didn't "grow it". Working at Valve seemed not only like a far dream for a small gamer like me, but also not so much inviting, since, although Valve was a great company (it still is, but I had different opinions about it at the time), I never gave too much importance to any "future" involving directly me and Valve.
Then this book came up. I saw a bit of it, then wanted to buy it. It stood on my Steam wishlist for quite a long time, until another friend of mine (who was gifting me a lot of Steam games - dunno why) asked me if I wanted him to buy me "The Final Hours of Portal 2". I immedatelly said "No.", but not because I didn't want this e-book, but mostly because I didn't want to give him more reasons to spend money on me and because I wanted to buy it myself to have the "accomplishment" feeling. The same feeling I had when I had the chance of buying Portal 2 and playing it for the first time. It was amazing, the excitement and joy of trying something new. Then I bought it, just a couple days ago (pretty late compared to Portal 2's release, right?). I started reading it, it was amusing and fun. Then it started getting more interesting, pretty interesting, way more interesting, amazingly interesting. I finished reading today, but I also made sure of not doing ANYTHING ELSE in this computer. Today, all I did was read this e-book. And I don't regret even a bit. If I had known it was going to be this good, I'd have definitely spent more money on it. Totally worth every cent. I'd even say it was a bit unfairly cheap!
Now you might be asking: what does it have to do with what I said about starting my own company? Well, at the time, I dreamed of being the leader, the big boss behind great games, and I used to think that being an employee wouldn't cast too much light on myself. I know it sounds egotistical, but I just didn't want to be unnoticed. Today I am proud to say that I don't need that anymore. I may not be a great game developer today, Gabe Newell may not see this text I'm writing right now, I may not even get close to Valve's HQ anytime in my life time, but you can be sure of two things: first today Valve is my dream-company, and the only place I feel like I'd be 100% happy working on; second, if I ever have the wonderful chance of working there, I'll never let go of Gabe's legs. They'll have to prepare me a room, cause I wouldn't be leaving that building anytime soon!