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Imagecat For other uses, see Backman (disambiguation).

Ted Backman (also known as Ted Bachman) is art director, conceptual artist, illustrator, and animator who worked for Valve.



Ted Backman and Vanessa Slough around 1998, in an unused texture file found in the Half-Life files.

Backman has been a freelance artist and animator in the Seattle area since the mid-2000s.[1] Prior to joining Valve in the summer of 1996, he studied painting at the University of Washington.[2] He designed most of the Synth met in Half-Life 2.[3] As most of the Valve employees, he also worked on Left 4 Dead.[1] He is married to Vanessa Slough.[4]

On Valve's official website, his function was described as follows: "Prior to joining Valve in the summer of 1996, Ted studied painting at the University of Washington. During his time at Valve, Ted has been responsible for designing and building many of the people, places and things that inhabit Black Mesa, City 17, and the outlying environments. A Seattle native, Ted finds drizzle comforting and insists Paynes grey is his favorite color."[2]

Backman said that one of his inspirations for the Half-Life creatures was H.R. Giger's Necronomicon paintings and its sexual innuendos. It is possible he was also influenced by Wayne Douglas Barlowe's paintings.

He is also a black belt karate instructor.[5]

There are reports stating he left Valve this past May, and Marc Laidlaw confirmed his departure in a Reddit post [6]: "[...] Re Ted's departure, of course all individuals bring unique abilities to a project, but most companies develop in accordance with the reality and expectation of changing personnel. There are lots of talented artists and designers at Valve, many of them in the position where Ted was when he started (i.e., nobody knew what he could do)."

As of October 2015, he is no longer mentioned in the Valve's people section on its website,


Signs hospital01

The Hospital Easter egg.

  • His name appears in Half-Life as an Easter egg on a Sector C locker and can be heard in announcements. He also gave his likeness to the Citizen Male 02, "Ted". His name also appears as an Easter egg on a sign in the Hospital featured in Episode One.

Work for the Half-Life series[]

Half-Life series[]

Half-Life (1998)[]


Half-Life 2 (2004)[]


Half-Life 2: Episode One (2006)[]

Half-Life 2: Episode Two (2007)[]


Half-Life 2: Episode Three (TBA)[]


Complete gameography[]


See also[]

External links[]