"We stabbed it," Valve project manager Erik Johnson tells PC Gamer of the studio's apparent "flying fairy game," as Gabe Newell puts it. The conversation with Valve, which includes marketing director Doug Lombardi, provides revealing insight into the creative process of one of the most respected developers in the industry.

Described as an "action fantasy sort of role playing game" featuring fairies, the project went as far as a working prototype (with spells cast by mouse gesturing) and "it was so bad," says Newell. Still, it was "a useful failure," adds the Valve co-founder, "because It was so clearly dumb that it made us say, 'Okay, what are we actually good at that we can do instead?'" Cue the Zombie Apocalypse!

[Image credit: PC Gamer]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.