Posts Tagged ‘Steam’

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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Valve: ‘We Have To Do Better’ With Customer Service

By Alice O'Connor on March 16th, 2015.

I can’t even remember when I last bought a game in a box from a shop, but I do miss sometimes the customer service offered by real people with real faces. I do wish Valve, the digital daddy, had customer support half as useful as underpaid teenagers in Electronics Boutique.

The Better Business Bureau, a US-focused nonprofit (not a government body) which rates businesses, has drawn a long list of complaints against Valve and Steam from broken games to refused refunds, and currently awards them the rubbish grade of ‘F’. All of which prompted Valve last week to say that improving customer service support will be “a big focus” for them this year.

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Video: Take A Short Peek At Valve’s Portal 2 VR Prototype

By Graham Smith on March 12th, 2015.

Industrious internet users at Reddit have dug up brief footage of Valve’s Portal 2 VR demo, the one which was playable at GDC last week and which made me so giddy.

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Hands On With Valve’s Hardware Bonanza

By John Walker on March 5th, 2015.

Sitting down with Valve’s Eric Johnson this morning, one thing seemed to become increasingly clear. Valve, a studio that has arguably been pretty quiet of late (not least with the failure to ship Steam Machines in 2014), is coming to life again. With a slew of announcements at this year’s GDC, the HTC-tech-incorporating VR Vive, a proper announcement of Source 2, in-home streaming tech in Link, available builds of Steam OS, and a final build for their much anticipated controller, you could almost forget that none of them is a game. While Graham was being pulled into a virtual world, I had a play with the controller on games running on a couple of Steam Machines, on some rather enormous televisions.

So the first thing you want to know: is the controller any good?

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Valve’s Vive VR Prototype Is Better Than The Oculus Rift’s

By Graham Smith on March 5th, 2015.

I’ve used the Oculus Rift DK1, HD and DK2 for hours and hours and enjoyed my time with each of them immensely, but on each occasion, I’d feel some sense of relief upon taking the headset off. Relief that my head could cool down, relief my eyes could relax, relief that I hadn’t thrown up.

When my twenty minutes with Valve and HTC’s Vive came to an end, I felt no relief. Instead, I only felt disappointed that I couldn’t continue exploring the 3D painting demo or playing with the specially-designed Portal 2 vignette.

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Source 2 Is Actually Free, Like, For Free

By John Walker on March 4th, 2015.

Admittedly this is not a picture of Source 2.

Valve’s sudden entry into the engine race, with an official announcement of Source 2, seems to have put them right up front alongside frenzied rivals Unity and Unreal. (Poor old Crytek, eh?) Meeting with studio bigwig Erik Johnson today, I learned that when they say Source 2 is “free”, they mean it. Unlike Unity’s (much lowered) subscription rates (for larger teams), and Epic’s revenue cut of successful projects, Valve won’t be asking for any money at all. Well, sort of… They just require that the game be launched on Steam, along with anywhere else you might want to sell it.

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Valve Announce Source 2, Because Why Not

By John Walker on March 4th, 2015.

Because they can’t do anything normally, after a day of daft conspiratorial rumours about an announcement at 3pm on the 3rd of the 3rd, Valve have finally and properly announced the existence of Source 2 via email at 15.54. The Source 2 they definitely weren’t making for all those years, and then sort of appeared in DOTA 2 code. And they’re aiming to make it amateur friendly. And free! Oh, and Steam Link too. Read the rest of this entry »

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