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Mr. Valve

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Valve head2

The "Open your eyes"[1] logo used from 1998 (Half-Life) to 2006 (Episode One).

Valve head home

The "Open your mind"[1] logo used since 2007 (The Orange Box).

 
"Open your mind. Open your eyes."
Valve

Mr. Valve, also known as The Valve Guy, is the nickname used for the two mascots used by Valve for the introductory logos seen at the start of their games, and previously on their official website.

OverviewEdit

OriginsEdit

Valve's Ray Ueno stated he worked with Gabe Newell and their colleagues to develop the "guy in the logo" when they decided to call the company "Valve" around 1995-1996, and needed to develop the visual brand vocabulary to go along with it.

Back then, the casting agencies Valve was using to find models for the Valve Guy only proposed attractive models, while they were searching for "heavy-set", "normal" ones. They then asked their agencies to walk the streets of Seattle and find more interesting people. In Seattle's Broadway district, they took many Polaroids of the types of people Valve was looking for, and brought the shots back to them. The team then selected a bald, heavy-built man and a thin man with a goatee from the batches of "off-the-street" Polaroids.[1]

The two comprised the "Open your mind. Open your eyes." concept for Valve's initial brand, respectively for the heavily-built and goatee men. As of today, the identities of both the Valve guys appear to be lost, as Valve apparently did not keep any trace of their identities, the fact they are not professional models making it very difficult - if not impossible - to identify them.[1]

A GoldSrc demoEdit

Valve0015

Mr. Valve having the valve put in.

The first Mr. Valve to be used was the thin man with a goatee. He originally appeared as a model in a demonstration map created by Valve to showcase the GoldSrc engine abilities, which was also an early idea for an introductory logo for their games. The map was designed by Greg Coomer, Steve Theodore designed the models, Doug Wood provided the animations.

During that demonstration set in some sort of forge/workshop, the man appears bald and bare chested and wearing trousers, and is implanting a valve into the right side of his forehead with a machine, showcasing the "Open your mind" slogan eventually used for the heavily-built Valve guy.

The map used in the demonstration, dated September 9, 1998, is simply named "valve.bsp", and the model "mrvalve.mdl". Only one other model is used in the map: "spiggot.mdl", the valve itself. The model "mrvalve.mdl" can be found in the Half-Life: Day One model files; the map "valve.bsp" was given by Chris Bokitch to the users of the now defunct website Valve ERC.[2]

Edit

Valve comparison

Comparison between the picture of: "Open Your Eyes" logo with a picture of Kelly Bailey (Valve's former audio producer)

The real time introduction was eventually replaced with an .avi video showing a static sepia photograph of Kelly Bailey with a valve in his left eye, showcasing the "Open your eyes" concept. this was launched for Half-Life, but is not used in the PS2 version. For Half-Life 2 in 2004, its color was toned down a bit, and new "trembling" effects were added to the edges of the picture. It was last used for Episode One in 2006.

Edit

Head anim

Animated gif of the two Valve guys featured on Valve's website in 1999. (Click on the image to see the animation)

In 2007, for The Orange Box, the goatee Mr. Valve was replaced by the heavy-built man, photographed with his back turned, with the valve this time in the back of the head, showcasing the "Open your mind" concept, and with even more "trembling" effects.

The two "Open your eyes" and "Open your mind" montages were both made at the same time in the late nineties, but the "Open your mind" one was never used in the games until 2007, when it replaced the "Open your eyes" version. Before that, it was used only on Valve's official website from as far as early 1998,[3] first alone, then changing to the "Open your eyes" version then back to itself as an animated gif (two jpgs at first) from early 1999,[4] as itself again when the website was revamped late 2005,[5] then removed when the website was revamped again in 2010. The valve detail of the picture is also present in the Half-Life texture files, and used as the favicon for Valve's current website.

Valveturn

Mr. Valve turning his head in the intro to Portal 2.

In the May 26, 2010 update applied to Half-Life 2 and Episode One, the "Open your mind" version replaced the "Open your eyes" one, the latter now only used for the GoldSrc games.

In Dota 2 and Portal 2, the same logo is used but the heavy built man will slowly turn his head towards the screen.


GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit


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