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This Video Shows How The First Non-Valve Game On Steam Came To Be
From a ragdog kung-fu game with questionable stereotype portrayals.. to Little Big Planet
Valve launched the digital distribution platform Steam alongside Half-Life 2 back in 2004. But before it was a pool of games of various qualities can be made available there, it was a curated storefront with only games made by Valve. But the first game not made in-house on Steam, Rag Doll Kung-Fu, has a very particular story.
As explained by People Make Games, a new venture from ex-Eurogamer staff Chris Bratt, the story of Rag Doll Kung-Fu began as Mark Healey’s side project. He was then an artist at Lionhead in the early 2000s. The video explains how he managed to get his side project the blessings of Lionhead, then managed to demo the game on stage at a Game Developers Conference which then lead to a deal striked with Valve. The video also goes about explaining the odd story cutscenes that were spliced in between the story mode- it was just a group of Lionhead developers on a weekend filming something for fun.
Mark Healey eventually co-found Media Molecule and their first game under that studio was Little Big Planet, which do feature some of those rag doll physics traced back to Rag Doll Kung Fu.
Inspiration for games can come from the oddest of places and the story certainly is an interesting one to see being told again today.