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Dear Esther developer Robert Briscoe joins Valve

Robert Briscoe, developer on experimental art game Dear Esther, is taking a break from what he calls "the solitary life" of an indie developer to join Valve Software, he announced in a post on his personal blog.

Briscoe wrote that over the past 11 months he has been in the application process for a U.S. work visa, which was recently approved. Briscoe will move to Seattle to work at Valve's headquarters beginning March 20.

The developer wrote that during his time in indie development, he has been "battling an increasing feeling of isolation, both personally and professionally," which drove his decision to move to Valve. According to Briscoe, "90 percent" of his days over the past five years have been spent alone. With the thought of spending another five years working alone, Briscoe decided that simply starting another indie project was not the answer.

"So I've decided I need a break from the solitary life I've been living these past years," he wrote. "I think I need to be around people for a while; A lot of my energy and enthusiasm comes from being in the presence of people, sharing different ideas, methods and techniques, different views, outlooks and inspirations, and mostly by just being out of my comfort zone (which I have very much slipped into)."

Briscoe spent some time at DICE before going indie with Brighton-based studio The Chinese Room, where he worked on Dear Esther for Windows PC, Mac and Linux. A Unity version of Dear Esther, which Briscoe has been working on, has some "backend and scripting stuff remaining" and is close to being finished, according to his post. Briscoe will "finish things off" in his spare time with help from The Chinese Room developers.

"As for my indie endeavors? I still have things I want to do in the future, both independently and with [The Chinese Room], so I know I'll come back to it again someday, and have no doubt I will be still tinkering with stuff on the side for some time," he wrote. "But for now I think I just need a change... to make hats...cuz that's what Valve do these days right?"