- Half-Life is made by Valve Software.
- Valve is, famously, run from the bottom up. Any employee can work on whatever project they want. (Seriously.)
- So, what if all the fans got together, applied for jobs at Valve, and got to work shipping the next episode? Of course, it’s hard to get a job there… but if even 1% of HL fans applied, it would be a huge flood of resumes. And the effort to just apply is trivial.
The usual problem with plans like this is collective action. Suppose you need twenty people to make a good game. There are twenty people out there with the right skills, but each one can’t do much by themselves. And so none of the twenty work on it, and the game never gets built.
The beauty of this plan is that it avoids collective action problems, by being incremental. If you want to do a hundred-person project, and only three people show up, nothing gets done. But if only three people read this and go work for Valve, it will have a real positive impact on how fast the game gets produced. Each person can have a substantial effect on their own.
Call me crazy, but HL has an awful lot of fans, and many of them are really good programmers, artists, game designers… If you want something done right, damn it, sometimes you have to do it yourself.
(I don’t work for Valve, but I admire all the cool shit they do.)