Valve has revealed Pipeline, their experimental project to get young people involved in the game industry. According to the website, the goal is to guide students into the business with a focus on direct communication.
There are two main reasons that Valve is creating Pipeline. The first is that we are frequently asked questions by teenagers about the videogame industry. “What is it like to work on videogames? What should I study? What colleges are best for preparing me? How do I get a job in videogames?” Pipeline will be a place where those questions can be discussed. The second is that Valve is running an experiment. Traditionally Valve has been a very good place for very experienced videogame developers, and not so good at teaching people straight out of school (the reasons for this and the tradeoffs are covered in the Valve employee handbook). Pipeline is an experiment to see if we can take a group of high school students with minimal work experience and train them in the skills and methods necessary to be successful at a company like Valve.
It’s not the first time that Valve has reached out to kids. In June of last year, they rolled out the Teach With Portals initiative that supplied real-world physics lessons and teaching aids based on specially designed puzzles from Portal 2. Valve expanded the scope of the program by adding interactive space sim Universe Sandbox in November 2012.
According to Valve, Pipeline will begin in the “next month or so.” Hopefully, they will include a lesson about Valve Time.