About the Valve Developer Union
The Valve Developer Union was founded in September 2017 as an archive of mod tools and an outlet to write about working with Quake-based engines, including Valve's GoldSrc and Source engines. I (mariteaux) had the idea of keeping the inner workings of these games, some of which was close to going extinct and the rest was never written down in the first place, safe and archived for many years to come. I recruited a team of a then-green webmaster in Jaxswat and a few shitposters and got to work raising a community from nothing.
Despite all the intentional toxicity, histrionics, and hubris in the world, it worked: at our peak, people in the community as highly-regarded as RunThinkShootLive and The303 were advocating for what we were up to.
A site like VDU could only tear itself apart from the inside, and despite all the efforts in the world to keep Jax on my side, the site folded in August 2018, not even a year out. These days, none of us are especially active with modding these games anymore; Jax now does contract admin work and I'm focusing more on my writing and music. I always wanted to have our domain in my hands so I could keep what we accomplished safe through my own hosting, though, and in November 2019, Jax finalized the transfer. I offer this static mirror of the site content, hand-built by me like I'd always envisioned it, for how the VDU site will rest eternally.
If you were around for it, hope you enjoyed the laughs. If you weren't, you missed one of the wildest years of my and my team's lives. In any case, I hope you find what you find here useful and informative.
An Abridged, Mostly Accurate, Rather Personal Timeline of Events
- mariteaux graduates high school. A week or two later, he's invited to a Steam group called the Garry's Mod Development Hub for work he did on porting a few Quake levels (badly) to Source. Someone suggests making a Discord server for the Hub, and mari agrees. Kalix, the creator, makes the server and makes mari a mod for some reason.
- mari spends much of his time greeting newcomers and being active. Kalix, thanks to being like 13 at the time, is mostly absent. Frequent aggravation ensues. A variety of later VDU regulars, including webmaster Jaxswat and VDU mod and confidante Griffbo, soon appear. For funsies, the trio make a new server called the Valve Developer Union, move all the Hub regulars to it, and kick them from the old server, essentially destroying it. Everyone laughs at Kalix and life continues.
- The first version of the server dies towards the end of the month. Saying he'd only bring the Discord back in the event that it had an outside purpose, mari is convinced by Jax to start up a website. Information and tutorials would feature, like countless other websites that'd existed since the Quake era, though a tool mirror would also come into play.
- mari and Jax build the first version of the Valve Developer Union site. They don't especially work well together, arguing about everything from content licenses to tab sizes, but it gets done. Some Russian dude hands them an improved version of their logo and then gets assmad when they actually use it. (It's still our logo to this day.)
- September 13
- The first guide, "A Primer on Tool Textures", is posted.
- September 16
- The first tool, BSPTwoMap, is posted.
- mari appears on TWHL to pop off about how the Valve Developer Union will singlehandedly prevent all that useful modding information from disappearing forever and ever. He spoke too soon, as growing pressure with a growing audience and an inability to find help writing the site exhausts him and halves his output. Jax, despite having experience writing Lua, stays hands-off with guide content.
- October 11
- The first of only three community guides, "Source Multi-Tool: A Field Guide", is written by QuickNinjaCat.
- December 24
- The first (and only) State of the Union is published. Despite being a regular hotbed of furries practically having cybersex out in plain view and random members of the Discord being nuisances (and mods frequently picking on them), morale is high. HLDM games are played often, and community legends lend their approval of the site. Even still, Jax grows distant, and promised features fail to get added.
- February 24
- In an apparently now-deleted tweet, RunThinkShootLive recommends people to VDU if they like "friendly modding".
- Jax inexplicably switches out the live site's stable, if cumbersome, backend code for his prototype CMS code, breaking a great many things and causing even more frustration.
- April 5
- For the meme, Jax obnoxiously tilts the site after an argument. Relationships are sufficiently strained to where he then pretends to nuke everything to hell afterwards. The two reconcile, if temporarily.
- June 18
- The last guide, "Deathmatch Deconstructed: Bounce", is posted.
- June 29
- The last tool, a collection of id's original Quake WADs and map sources, is posted. The site falls dormant.
- August 19
- Jax leaves the Discord permanently, posting a banner at the top about a "lack of time" causing the site freeze. mari is forced to decide whether VDU can continue past this point.
- August 25
- VDU officially ceases operations. The Discord is handed to Griffbo, who nightlights it in mari's absence.
- September 21
- VDU@IceQuake, a now-defunct mirror of VDU content, launches. It isn't long before the place where the downloads were hosted is shut down because the owner didn't read a EULA, making it partially useless.
- October 16
- Jax, Griffbo, and mari, now having mostly reconciled thanks to not having to actually work with one another, decide to take the VDU Discord out of the world like how they brought it in: by shitposting.
- October 17
- Former VDU regulars get assmad about the sudden death of the community and form "The BSP Club", wherein everyone talks about how much they hate VDU. mari, now in college, and Jax, now working, can't give a shit and life continues.
- November 21
- Jax transfers valvedev.info over to mari at long last. A placeholder site goes up the following day. Come February the following year, this static site launches in its place as a full archive of all work done on VDU, even material never published on the site proper.