Posts Tagged ‘Steam’

Why Grand Theft Auto V’s Steam Summer Sale Shenanigans Look So Scummy

By Philippa Warr on June 12th, 2015.

This is still showing up on my logged-in front page at the time of writing

Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto 5 [official site] has made an appearance in the Steam Summer Sale. But the ensuing discussion is less “let’s all go a-heisting” and more “what is this shady nonsense you’re trying to pull?” I thought I’d take a peek and see what was going on.

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New Steam Refunds Policy Makes Getting Your Money Back Far Simpler, But Some Devs Are Concerned

By John Walker on June 2nd, 2015.

A new update to Steam’s refund policy looks like it’s what gamers have been crying for – a way to far more easily get their money back when buying Steam games which don’t work on their machines. Within 14 days of purchase, and so long as you’ve played for under two hours, they’ll give you a refund. Hurrah! However, we’ve spoken to developers who are concerned the new system makes it extremely simple for Steam users to keep non-DRM games and then get their money back. Let alone the issues it raises for games that last under two hours.

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The Best Steam Skins

By Philippa Warr on May 19th, 2015.

This is how I've customised my Air skin

Steam skins let you change up how your Steam client looks. Some are pretty much just recolouring options while others want to have their wicked way with your menus, refining or rejigging them. Skins have been around for years now so you might have encountered some of these already – certainly, the community has clustered round a few good skins with a smattering of irregularly updated fan service when it comes to particular games, anime or My Little Pony (well hi there, Fluttershy). But there’s a chance you’ve missed out – or you’re hankering for a change of digital scenery – so here are five of the bestest best Steam skins.

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Steam Adds New Way For Devs To Ban Naughty People

By Alice O'Connor on May 1st, 2015.

Nice use of the logo when you can't think of another picture, Alice.

You’re good aren’t you, dear reader? You wouldn’t speedhack in the corridors, wallhack in a test, or aimbot a dog’s ball, would you? No, no, of choose not. Then you have nothing to worry about. But those scruffy herberts you dutifully report to the prefects, those lot are in trouble.

Valve have expanded Steam’s banning to allow developers to easily ban ne’er-do-wells from the online sides of their games, without using Valve Anti-Cheat. Rather than being automated, the new ‘Game Bans’ (catchy name) rely on devs reporting players to Valve.

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Nexus Mods On Paid Mods: “This would have caused a rift in Skyrim modding no matter how it was done.”

By Graham Smith on April 28th, 2015.

Robin Scott started building websites to support the modding community in 2001 when he was 14-years-old. In 2007, he started a company to support his site, TES Nexus, as it became the main source for distributing Oblivion mods, and today Nexus Mods hosts “115,674 files for 173 games” and has almost 9 million registered users. If anyone knows what the modding community cares about, and exactly what mods can do for the good of games and gamers, it’s him.

In the wake of Steam’s inclusion of paid-for mods, and just a few hours before their eventual removal, I spoke to Scott about whether creators should be able to charge for mods, how he would have done things differently, and what any of this means for the future of the Nexus. Even in the wake of Valve pulling the system down (for presumed later return), his thoughts are an interesting look at the issues at hand

RPS: Firstly, what do you feel about paid mods in theory? Ignoring their current implementation, do you think there’s a way to do it that good for both developers, mod creators and mod players? Are mods something which should be free on principle?

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Valve Drop Steam Paid Mods For Now

By Alice O'Connor on April 28th, 2015.

Valve are known for their odd experiments, from Team Fortress 2 hats to – heck! – Steam itself, but they tend to roll with them no matter what the reception, polishing these oddities up with force of will and years of refinement. Their plan to support selling mods through Steam, however, has gone back to the drawing board.

They launched a pilot scheme last week with Skyrim, and had planned to start letting other devs enable paid mods for their own games if they wished. Instead, they’ve removed paid mods from Skyrim, refunded everyone who bought mods, and confessed that “it’s clear we didn’t understand exactly what we were doing.”

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Gabe Newell, Garry Newman Defend Steam’s Paid Mods

By Graham Smith on April 27th, 2015.

Last week, Valve launched support for paid mods within Steam, beginning with a select number of Skyrim creations. Alec deftly summarised the details, pros and cons over here. Since then, the discussion has continued via blog posts, forum threads, protest mods and with game creators, mod creators and Gabe Newell getting involved. On the off-chance you didn’t spend the weekend reading this stuff while hunched over your computer like I did, I’ve gathered the most pertinent Internet Opinions below.

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Steam Charging For Mods: For And Against

By Alec Meer on April 24th, 2015.

Would you pay 33p for this?

It used to be that the only way to make money from a mod was a) make a standalone sequel or remake b) use it as a portfolio to get hired by a studio or c) back in the pre-broadband days, shovel it onto a dodgy CD-ROM (and even then, it almost certainly wasn’t the devs who profited). As of last night, that changed. Mod-makers can now charge for their work, via Steam.

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$5 Minimum To Graduate From Steam Limited Account Now

By Alice O'Connor on April 20th, 2015.

In their ongoing attempts to crack down on scammers and spammers using throwaway accounts on Steam, Valve have further tightened the restrictions on who can and can’t message folks. For years, new Steam accounts have been unable to add friends, open group chat, vote on Greenlight or the Steam Workshop, write reviews, leave comments, and whatnot until they owned a game. Seems that wasn’t enough, as now Steam accounts are limited until the owner spends $5 US.

“And why should I care?” you may ask, rolling your eyes as if you think I won’t hit you. Well, on one hand: huzzah! Hopefully we’ll have fewer spammers around Steam. On the other, it’s a bit of a bummer for folks who live cheaply on Steam with free-to-play games, gifts, and activated bundles.

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Sales, Statistics & Secrecy: Wadjet Respond To SteamSpy

By Alice O'Connor on April 8th, 2015.

Numbers.

People do seem to like numbers, don’t they? Scores, sales, profits, records, comparisons, biscuits eaten, angels on the head of a pin, and other statistics I find a curious part of gaming fandom. The holy grail for numberfans is, as far as I can see, Steam sales figures.

The latest site trying to guess at Steam numbers by extrapolating from what little data we can see is SteamSpy, and not everyone’s happy with it. In response to folks poking at SteamSpy statistics and asking personal questions, adventure game house Wadjet Eye Games have talked a bit about the reliability and uses of data and their unease about sharing numbers.

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Steam Discovery Has Increased Sales For Smaller Games

By Graham Smith on March 30th, 2015.

Steam added curators and personalised recommendations to Steam in last September’s Discovery update, in an attempt to make it easier for people to find lesser known games amid the flood of daily new releases. In a post over on Reddit, taken from the private SteamworksDev group, there’s an update from Valve on how the Discovery update is performing – including interesting information about its impact on sales.

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What I’d Like To See Happen With Virtual Reality

By Graham Smith on March 19th, 2015.

Using Valve and HTC’s Vive headset was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had with entertainment in any form, but that’s not to say that it’s perfect. There are obvious limitations in the hardware, obvious ways in which it will inevitably be improved in the years to come, and plenty of potential not yet realised in any of the prototypes I’ve played.

So I’ve been thinking. Here’s five (wholly serious) things I’d like to see Valve, HTC, Oculus or really anyone do with virtual reality.

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Hack The Planet: Steam Cyberpunk Sale

By Alice O'Connor on March 18th, 2015.

On it.

Allow me to establish my cyberpunk credentials: I live in a dystopian megacity block, have blue hair, own two pairs of mirror shades, romanticise being a wreck, and work on the ‘net. Trust me when I say Steam’s cyberpunk sale is pretty great (though not wholly cyberpunk).

30-odd games brimming with hacking, cybernetic implants, megacities, conspiracies, dystopias, neon lighting, and The Man are going cheap. You’ll find, for example, classics like System Shock 2 and Deus Ex for pocket change, and good prices on newer cyber ‘em ups like Gemini Rue, Jazzpunk, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, and Transistor.

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