Marc Laidlaw

{{RWP Infobox
|image=Marc Laidlaw.jpg
|birth=1960http// Marc Laidlaw's personal website
*Video game designer
*Occasional mapperWC mappack
|timeperiod=July 1997http// Press Release on Blue's News (July 14, 1997) – 2016Marc Laidlaw on ReferencesMarc_Laidlaw_emails retirement (January 8, 2016)
{{Quote|I expect lots of HL influence on future games, but I also expect that only Valve will really deliver the particular kind of thrills you'll get in Half-Life. I'd be happy if this game merely encouraged other developers to be more ambitious about figuring out some new thing they ought to do, instead of doing imitations.|Marc Laidlawhttp// Interview with Marc Laidlaw on Gaming Nexus (October 27, 2003)}}

'''Marc Laidlaw''' is an American writer of cyberpunk-oriented science fiction and horror as well as a video game designer who worked at Valve Software. He is perhaps most famous for writing ''WikipediaDad's Nuke|Dad's Nuke'' and ''WikipediaThe 37th Mandala|The 37th Mandala'', and for working on the popular Half-Life and Portal universe|''Half-Life'' series.

Laidlaw was born in 1960 and raised in Laguna Beach, California and attended the University of Oregon where he tried, and was discouraged by, punch card computer programming. He wrote short stories and his first novel, ''Dad's Nuke'', was published in 1985. This was followed by several more novels over the next decade, but he worked as a legal secretary in San Francisco for a living.http// Laidlaw, Marc by Franco Ricciardiello (biography in Italian)

Laidlaw had played computer and arcade games, but was not intrigued. It was not until ''WikipediaMyst|Myst'' was released that his perception of these games changed. He was obsessed over ''Myst'' and bought a new computer so that he could play it at his San Francisco home. With his new-found interest, he wrote ''The Third Force'' (1996), a tie-in novel based on the world created for the video game ''Gadget''. His favorite PC game of all time is ''wcthiefThief The Dark Project|Thief The Dark Project''.

Working with game designers led him to feel that he wanted to help design an actual game. He joined Valve in July 1997 while they were developing ''Half-Life'' and worked on the game's story and level design. At Valve, he later worked on the ''Half-Life'''s expansions (even though his precise input is not clearly known) and ''Half-Life 2'' and its episodes. The latter episodes were co-written with the creators of ''Old Man Murray'', Erik Wolpaw and Chet Faliszek, whom he shares an office with at Valve. All three also co-wrote the story for ''Portal''. He states about Wolpaw and Faliszek on his personal blog that "for years, Chet and Erik were legendary figures of mythic status to me. They still are, except now I can throw things over my shoulder and hit them."http// Not So Few Monstrosities  Links

On Valve's official website, his function is described as follows ''"Marc Laidlaw joined Valve in summer''Half-Life 2 Raising the Bar'' 1997, bringing his experience as an author of weird fiction to bear on creating the ''Half-Life'' storyline. He was sole writer on ''Half-Life'' and ''Half-Life 2'', and persists as lead writer for the ''Half-Life 2 Episodes'', although he is now accompanied by an actual literary posse in the form of Chet and Erik. His novels include ''Dad's Nuke'', ''Neon Lotus'', ''Kalifornia'', ''The Orchid Eater'', and the award-winning ''The 37th Mandala'', as well as ''The Third Force'' (a novel set in the world of the surreal Japanese videogame, ''Gadget'')."''http// The Valve team

On January 8, 2016, it was announced that Laidlaw had resigned from Valve after 18 years at the company, citing a need "for a break from the collaborative chaos of game production," in place of individual writing projects. The consequences of his resignation on the Future of the Half-Life series|future of the ''Half-Life'' series remain to be seen, Laidlaw himself stating that "where Valve may choose to take ''Half-Life'' in the future is not in my hands."

*His Laidlaw|name appears in ''Half-Life'' as an Easter egg on a Sector C locker. Also, in Gordon Freeman's locker, two actual books by Laidlaw, ''The Orchid Eater'' and ''The 37th Mandala'', can be found. ''The Third Force'' can also be seen seen in the game files, but is not seen in-game.

*Mirroring ''Half-Life'', another book by Laidlaw, ''The Extreme Aggrotato'', can be found in Eli's lab at Black Mesa East, although it is fictional.

*Laidlaw created several experimental maps during the development of ''Half-Life 2'', including Ickypop the scenes|ickypop{{YouTube|OMA4ZZNVkc4|"ickypop" playtrough}} and nether_01.{{YouTube|e5Kfr9cSumI|"nether_01" playtrough}}

*Marc is aware of the existence of OverWikiAbout|Combine OverWiki and visits it periodically. Qualifying the wiki as "clearly creative", he admires the energy brought to the creative efforts of the ''Half-Life'' community, also citing ''Concerned The Half-Life and Death of Gordon Frohman|Concerned'' and ''Garry's Mod''. He adds that it is "great to be even peripherally a part of so much energy".http// Marc's comments under the note "Why So Little Zothique?" on his personal blog

*Marc has a Twitter account called http// BreenGrub. It's used by him to publish his non-canon fan fiction story set in the ''Half-Life'' universe.

==See also==
*ReferencesMarc Laidlaw emails|Marc Laidlaw emails


==External links==
*http// Personal website
*http// Reading the text Marc Laidlaw - interview on Grinding to Valhalla
*http// Valve's Writers And The Creative Process - interview of Laidlaw and Erik Wolpaw|Wolpaw
*{{YouTube|url=qwKmogDzOCY|text=Marc Laidlaw interview}} (from ''Half-Life Preliminary Findings'')
*{{YouTube|url=y61SMhDBZw0|text=2005 interview about ''Half-Life 2''}}
*http// Interview with Marc Laidlaw - April 5th, 2006
*http// 1998 interview on Gameslice

CategoryFormer Valve employees