No Valve project these days seems even remotely similar to the last, but they’ve always managed to to twist and reshape old, learned techniques to fit the new thing. There’s not much a Dota 2 documentary can learn from Half-Life’s weapon-feel or Left 4 Dead’s procedural narrative, granted - but it turns out it can benefit from the process Valve learned through Dota itself: the long beta.
255 days after first sending out beta invites for Free to Play, Valve have told users on the Steam Translation Server to expect another two or three day beta for the film - after which it’ll be released.
The Steam Translation Server is Valve’s crowdsourced babelfish service, in which users rewrite text for each of Steam’s 26 languages.
This weekend, according to Reddit, Valve posted a message for translators who worked on the subtitles for Free to Play - thanking them for their help, and informing them that their names would appear in the credits at the very end of the movie when watched in the relevant language.
They added that translators should expect a “short two to three day beta” before the film is released - and promised “more details to follow”.
Valve’s only previous in documentaries is their 20 minute film on the 2012 Dota 2 International - which our Steve called an “obscenely well-produced, high tension drama”. He neglected to give it a star rating.
Screen tests have been a part of Hollywood since forever, but betas? Not so much. Is the distinction in terminology irrelevant, do you think, or can Valve bring an important part of their working process to movie-making?