Saturday, April 13

Valve Made A Load Of Fake Games For Steam Summer Sale

Two dead seagulls lay on the ground in a cartoon desert.

This year’s Steam Summer Sale is over, so say goodbye to all the deals. But say hello to some rad-looking art! With the sale over, an artist at Valve is now free to share all the fake video game key art and covers that she helped create that were hidden inside Steam’s large digital catalog as part of the sale’s scavenger hunt. Sure, the games are fake, but I really want to play most of them.

The art for these non-existent video games was created by Valve developer Claire Hummel. She’s previously worked on games like Half-Life: Alyx and Westworld Awakening VR. And now, with the Steam sale over and its related time-traveling event ended, Hummel shared on Twitter all the cool covers she made for a variety of fake games spanning various genres.

For example, here’s what appears to be a fishing game about failing to catch fish. I’d play that.

A man standing in a small boat fishes with a lure in a large lake.

And here’s some key art for a game about helping a very important king get to the bathroom. Yeah, I’d play that, too.

A cartoon jester leads a well-dressed king down a dark hallway.

According to Hummel, the idea behind the art was to make it look “relatively convincing” so it would blend in with the thousands of other games on Steam. However, the art and game titles are just odd enough that you might notice something “a little weird on second glance.”

The various game names and ideas were created by Erik Wolpaw and Jay Pinkerton, longtime Valve writers. Once Hummel had a fake game name, she went to work making art for it.

“I just tried to match their energy in the final art,” explained Hummel on Twitter. “Super fun trying to make plausibly polished logos in a whole bunch of different styles/genres.”

This process led to some wonderfully strange but also very intriguing fake video games. For example, who wouldn’t want to at least see a trailer for Custard Castle Small Claims Court?

A brightly colored cartoon judge with pink hair holds a candy-cane-themed gavel.

On Twitter, Hummel shared that creating all these fictional video games from the future “ended up being a whole lot of work” but it was still fun to do.

“I hope everyone got a kick out of finding each of these as much as we did making ‘em.”

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