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Ted Backman

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For other uses, see Backman (disambiguation).
Ted Backman
Biographical information


  • Art director
  • Conceptual artist
  • Illustrator
  • Animator

Ted Backman is art director, conceptual artist, illustrator, and animator for Valve.



Ted Backman and Vanessa Slough around 1998, in an unused texture file found in the Half-Life files.

Backman has been a freelance artist and animator in the Seattle area since the mid-2000s.[1] Prior to joining Valve in the summer of 1996, he studied painting at the University of Washington.[2] He designed most of the Synth met in Half-Life 2.[3] As most of the Valve employees, he also worked on Left 4 Dead.[1] He is married to Vanessa Slough.[4]

On Valve's official website, his function is described as follows: "Prior to joining Valve in the summer of 1996, Ted studied painting at the University of Washington. During his time at Valve, Ted has been responsible for designing and building many of the people, places and things that inhabit Black Mesa, City 17, and the outlying environments. A Seattle native, Ted finds drizzle comforting and insists Paynes grey is his favorite color."[2]

Backman said that one of his inspirations for the Half-Life creatures was H.R. Giger's Necronomicon paintings and its sexual innuendos. It is possible he was also influenced by Wayne Douglas Barlowe's paintings.

He is also a black belt karate instructor.[5]


Signs hospital01

The Hospital Easter egg.

  • His name appears in Half-Life as an Easter egg on a Sector C locker and can be heard in announcements. He also gave his likeness to the Citizen Male 02, "Ted". His name also appears as an Easter egg on a sign in the Hospital featured in Episode One.

Work for the Half-Life seriesEdit

Half-Life seriesEdit

Half-Life (1998)Edit


Half-Life 2 (2004)Edit


Half-Life 2: Episode One (2006)Edit

Half-Life 2: Episode Two (2007)Edit


Half-Life 2: Episode Three (TBA)Edit


Complete gameographyEdit


See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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