Posts Tagged ‘Steam’

Dote Night: Twitch Reflexes

By Philippa Warr on December 3rd, 2014.

My Dota always looks exactly this swooshy and cool.

Part of a miscellany of serious thoughts, animal gifs, and anecdotage from the realm of MOBAs/hero brawlers/lane-pushers/ARTS/tactical wizard-em-ups. One day Pip might even tell you the story of how she bumped into Na’Vi’s Dendi at a dessert buffet cart.

Yesterday Valve announced the beta for its Steam broadcasting service. It predictably prompted a slew of headlines which instantly put the service in competition with Twitch, another game-focused streaming service.

It might well become a competitor to Twitch at some point but at the moment they’re very different prospects. I thought I’d spend this week’s Dote Night digging into the current situation a little more, not because it’s Dota specific but because Twitch is how I consume the majority of my Dota 2 pro matches so the potential impact is worth keeping an eye on. Should be back to game-focused shenanigans next week!

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Why Aren’t Ubi Games On UK Steam? We Still Don’t Know

By John Walker on December 3rd, 2014.

An odd phenomenon of the last month or so is the disappearance of Ubisoft’s end-of-year gaming bonanza from the UK version of Steam. While Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Far Cry 4, and The Crew are all available on the US and other international versions of Valve’s blue-grey shop, in Her Majesty’s The United Kingdom, they are conspicuously absent. The games can be bought, at surprisingly huge prices, through the convoluted bizarreness of Uplay, and through other portals like GamersGate or Greenman Gaming, but the most popular and widely used digital distro has an empty shelf. So what’s up?

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Livesteaming: Steam Broadcasting Launches In Beta

By Alice O'Connor on December 2nd, 2014.

Don't tell your password to everyone watching the first stream you saw on Steam, gang.

Oh me oh my, Valve are wading into the livestreaming waters. You know, that livestreaming thing, where you can watch other people play video games or have other folks watch you play video games? Valve today launched a public beta of Steam Broadcasting, building livestreaming into the Steam client. It’s trying to make livestreaming more casual and coincidental rather than a big fuss we consciously go through. But look, click this link and you can watch games through the Steam Community right now.

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Falling Leaves, Tumbling Prices: Steam Autumn Sale On

By Alice O'Connor on November 26th, 2014.

Yes, but what does any of this have to do with exploring?

An ache in my left hip awoke me this wet morning. This dicky joint has been reliably crying “Hey! Get up! You’re missing a lovely noise!” for weeks now, but this morning’s throb felt different. It’s been going on long enough that I could sense something special in the air. It was as if we’d moved from rainy mornings into autumn – proper autumn – and do you know that means? My hip did.

The Steam autumn sale has begun with a flurry of bargains on games old and surprisingly new.

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Valve Change Early Access Rules: ‘Do Not Make Promises’

By Graham Smith on November 21st, 2014.

Valve have sent game creators updated rules for releasing games through Steam Early Access. The service, which allows devs and publishers to sell games before they’re finished, is both or alternately a useful method of funding risky game ideas and a maligned method of delaying criticism and profiting from promises. Valve obviously want to cut down on that, as the new rules state that creators should “not make specific promises about future events.”

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QbQbQb: Cheerful Planetary Columns-alike On Steam

By Graham Smith on November 6th, 2014.

It looks more exciting in motion.

It’s an old game design trick that things will feel good to the player if there are enormous consequences to very small actions. That’s why Peggle feels so wonderful when popping that last peg prompts slow motion, zoom, a drum roll, a rainbow, fireworks and Ode to Joy.

QbQbQb seems to have some sense of this: it’s a game about rotating a circle in order to collect coloured blocks that are falling from all sides of the screen. Stack three of the same kind and they’ll vanish, like in so many other games. But also there are light-trailing butterflies, and shooting stars maybe, and a screen that pulses in and out, and ooh it’s all lovely.

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Tomb Fortress: Ethics When Lara Croft Meets TF2

By Philippa Warr on November 4th, 2014.

Nice shooting, Tex!

Valve’s Team Fortress 2 team are running a competition whereby the entire Tomb Raider franchise is fair game for TF2 Workshop content creation. Their official blog post on the matter goes straight for “the heavy in short shorts” at their first example of the contest’s potential*. But why on earth would you want to help Valve and Square promote a game for free? Let’s take a look at the rules.

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Paranautical Activity Pulled From Steam For Death Threats

By Graham Smith on October 21st, 2014.

An artist's representation of the threat.

Update: Mike Maulbeck has now left Code Avarice, the developer of Paranautical Activity. I’ve updated the story below at the end with his statement.

First-person shooter Paranautical Activity has been pulled from Steam after its creator tweeted a death threat about Valve founder Gabe Newell. Mike Maulbeck’s tweet – since deleted – followed an all-caps rant in response to the game being incorrectly labelled as being in Early Access. Because I guess this is the world we live in now.

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From XCOM To Payday 2: Steam’s Free Weekend Weekend

By Alice O'Connor on October 17th, 2014.

We'll start with XCOM, then move onto Killing Floor, then...

I do miss demos. These Steam free weekends, where the full version of a game is opened up for a few days, do let us really get a feel for a game, but we have to wait for one to come along and then we need time to download and get stuck in. You won’t have time to download or play much of this weekend’s free trials, as Steam is holding a Free Weekend Weekend with a grand eleven games. Payday 2, XCOM, Don’t Starve, Company of Heroes 2, and the other seven are all on sale as well, with discounts from 50-75% off. The first Payday is properly free too.

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Steam Curators: Paid Endorsements Must Be Disclosed

By Alec Meer on October 3rd, 2014.

I wrote half an editorial about my concerns with the new Steam Curator system (which RPS is on. We recommend a new game almost every day, so give it a follow if that sounds useful to you) last week, but trashed it because it was full of speculative hand-wringing about worst-case scenarios. Paid endorsements, games being left off the biggest curation lists because critics hadn’t played them or disliked their creators, devs getting even less front page Steam attention because they hadn’t bent the right ears, fascinating specialist lists being drowned out by the front page, that sort of thing.

A lot of scope to go wrong, basically, but who knows? Like so much of what Valve make, it’s going to be in flux for a fair while yet, and I couldn’t begin to predict its final form. The first big change has happened already, and it’s that anyone who’s been paid to endorse a game must now disclose it.
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Steam Music Player Out Of Beta, Valve’s Soundtracks Free

By Graham Smith on September 25th, 2014.

In almost every strategy, management or sim game I play, I will immediately turn off the music which comes with the game in favour of my own. That means that Steam Music Player sounds like a good idea to me even if I long ago abandoned mp3s in favour of streaming. The built-in functionality, which lets you browse your music library and control playback from in-game using the Steam overlay, has just left beta after its initial announcement back in February.

To celebrate, Valve have made the soundtracks for some of their games freely available to those who own the associated games, including Half-Life, Half-Life 2 and its Episodes, Portal, Portal 2, and the Dota 2 documentary Free to Play.

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Games Wot We Recommend: RPS Is Now A Steam Curator

By Alec Meer on September 23rd, 2014.

Yesterday, Steam Curators launched. What does it mean? Nobody knows. What does it smell like? That I can tell you: raspberries, with a hint of smoked paprika.

Given there’s plenty of off and on worry about Steam’s own game discovery tools, which controversially have just changed again, maybe now’s a pretty darn good time for carefully-chosen recommendations about what to play from third parties. So here we are, with our 141 years’ worth of PC gaming experience, suggesting games old and new, mainstream and indie, big and small, noisy and sleepy, that our staff have felt fondly towards. Please do give us a follow.
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Steam’s Had A Major Front Page Update

By John Walker on September 23rd, 2014.

Go take a look at your Steam front page. Huuhhhhhhh?! It’s changed! Valve have launched a major update to how Steam will appear to you. No, you. They’ve personalised the front page, in an effort to adapt to the far more rapid flow of new releases.

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