Chet Faliszek, writer, VR ambassador and for many developers the public face of Valve, has confirmed exclusively to GamesIndustry.biz that he has left the company after 12 years.
A regular attendee at several conferences and industry events worldwide, Faliszek's approachability and passion for progressing the medium has made him many friends amongst the development community, particularly in his most recent role as the de facto developer relations liaison for VR developers looking to publish on Valve's Vive VR platform. Always happy to offer the benefit of his experience at one of the industry's most prestigious organisations, Faliszek has been a strong advocate of VR technology and the possibilities it offers for his first love: storytelling.
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Faliszek is undoubtedly one of the industry's most talented writers, with a CV which includes two Half Life episodes, two Portal games and both Left 4 Deads. Working with his long time friend Eric Wolpaw, with whom he ran hugely influential gaming site Old Man Murray, and author Mark Laidlaw, (and later Jay Pinkerton and Ted Kosmatka) Faliszek and his contemporaries defined Valve's incredible story writing for its formative years. Between them, they have answered more questions about Half Life 3 than there are grains of sand on a beach.
Faliszek's departure was preceeded by both Wolpaw and Laidlaw, with Wolpaw leaving in February and Laidlaw departing last year. Like them, Faliszek has given no indication of what may come next, but made clear in a message to GamesIndustry.biz that there were no hard feelings between himself and those who remain at Valve.
"[It was]Nothing exciting or drama filled," he wrote of his departure. "I worked there 12 years, shipped a bunch of great games and some amazing hardware and wanted to change things up. There's no news on what's next etc, I will let you know when that happens."
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Testament to Faliszek's impact on the young field of VR have been the reactions from those involved in the medium, even those with whom he shared a friendly 'rivalry'. Callum Underwood, Senior Developer Strategy at Oculus, was full of praise for Faliszek's passion and hard work. Less so his pets.
"Being mentioned alongside Chet in an article about 'giving weird artists a chance' was one of the highlights of my career so far. Chet has been instrumental at Valve in pushing VR forward, and has been a driving force with Developers from indie to AAA. He will be greatly missed in the VR community, but at least this may mean I don't have to hear about his bloody cats quite so much anymore."
Vr developer Julie Heyde, of VR Unicorns, says Faliszek's open-mindedness has won him many fans.
"The first time we met he gave me five minutes of his time to talk about my VR game. Next time we met he played it and even kept his eyes open. The third time we met I tried to get him to join my fight club. He said I was crazy, but later he sent me a Vive Pre dev kit and said that crazy was good in VR. Now he's part of my fight club. Chet is the reason that we are making good roomscale VR games."