In a very interesting interview with PC Gamer, Valve's Gabe Newell, project manager Erik Johnson and director of marketing Doug Lombardi discussed just exactly how their hit zombie apocalypse franchise, Left 4 Dead, came to fruition.
Tread carefully, you may be surprised and left in a state of disbelief - long enough for the zombies to consume what remains of your brain.
When asked about what they considered failures, the discussion turned to something about a "flying fairy" RPG utilizing gesture based controls. Newell wasn't very keen on making that link between the two games; however, Lombardi went on to say the fairy was just one of "a few failed starts to build Left 4 Dead."
"And we said we should focus on what we do really well, so why are we doing this game which was kind of a... it wasn't really an RPG... it was this action fantasy sort of role playing game that had no story. And then we said 'OK, that's so horribly wrong. What we should focus in on is AI and playing in co-op, and that's the interesting opportunity.' That was where Left 4 Dead came from."
"That was a useful failure to us," says Gabe, "because it was so clearly dumb that it made us say, "˜OK, what are we actually good at that we can do instead?'"
So there you have it, the roots of Left 4 Dead, a fairy gesture based RPG that was pretty much, well, left for dead.
Source: PC Gamer