Posts Tagged ‘Steam’

Valve Slowly But Surely Making Steam User Reviews Useful

By Nathan Grayson on May 15th, 2014.

Art imitates life

With Steam becoming more of an “open” platform by the day, Valve needs to oil the joints of its creaking machine in every conceivable way, lest it scream and screech to a halt under the weight of progress. Its latest baby step? Improving Steam user reviews, which can be surprisingly non-horrible occasionally (the “most helpful” tab definitely, er, helps), but they’re still a very imperfect science.

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Scorched Earth – Earth: Year 2066 Booted From Steam

By Nathan Grayson on May 7th, 2014.

Apparently Earth: Year 2066 is not very good. The open-world survival game recently made a splash on Steam Early Access, but less like, say, an Olympic diver and more like a ball of thoroughly be-snotted tissues. By most accounts it was barely functional, with just a small location and some robots and little else. That, however, isn’t enough to get a game yanked from Early Access. It is for early games, after all. No, Valve finally saw fit to enact a scorched earth policy on Earth: Year 2066 when it caught a whiff of some seriously fishy false advertising.

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Brazen Aviation: Air Control

By Adam Smith on May 6th, 2014.

Jazzpunk may have hit a few bum notes but that was probably inevitable given just how freely and energetically it riffed and jammed. Walking down a beach, you might find yourself unexpectedly lobbing pizza at unsuspecting turtles, and if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, a host of other pop culture references and geeky puns are scattered around the surf and the sand. Like the Zucker, Abrahams, Zucker films that it brought to mind, Jazzpunk threw everything at the wall, and smirked at the things that failed to stick as well as those that did. Air Control’s new Steam trailer (it’s already available on Desura) suggests that it might be the Airplane! of gaming meta comedy. It’s a flight simulator with zombies, knights and a jaunty soundtrack.

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Mobile Gaming: Steam In-Home Streaming Enters Open Beta

By Alice O'Connor on May 1st, 2014.

It'd be criminal not to re-use this image after all the work that was put into it.

A desk bristling with more flight sticks, throttles, wheels, panels, pedals, and gamepads than a space shuttle command deck may be a wondrous sight and shrine to gaming, but there’s a lot to be said for slumping on a sofa in front of a TV or curling up in bed. “But Alice,” I hear you ask, “I don’t want to schlep my PC around and only have a netbook so what ever am I to do?” Dear reader, through the science of computers, you can now easily stream games from your gaming PC to anything in your home that’ll run Steam.

After a while of invitation-only testing, Valve has opened up the Steam In-Home Streaming beta to everyone who opts in.

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Steam Spirit: Microsoft ‘Appreciates’ Valve’s Work

By Adam Smith on March 24th, 2014.

Rumours that Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft all sat around a campfire during GDC, toasting marshmallows and singing Kumbayah are entirely false. From a distance, the merry folk troubadours might have looked like the creators and purveyors of generational gaming devices, but closer inspection revealed an entirely different picture. Microsoft were there, yes, represented by Microsoft supremo Phil Spencer (not Kirstie Allsopp’s chum). But the other figures were animatronic effigies, constructs of cloth and straw vaguely resembling PC gaming’s past and future. One of them distinctly resembled Gabe Newell and Spencer applauded his every move.

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Endearing Wargeneering: Running With Rifles

By Craig Pearson on March 17th, 2014.

Like totes.

Hit ESC on the main menu of Running With Rifles and the words will melt away, leaving your character free to run around the screen. I like that. There is whimsy in this war. Running With Rifles is a top-down soldiererer thing inspired by Cannon Fodder, set in large maps with dynamically throbbing battles. You are a tiny man in a big war, and it’s oh-so cute. There’s a cartoonish edge to the look that pops up speech bubbles as the NPCs shout ‘OMG Grenade!’, and despite the hundreds of bloody deaths that smears the screen, it never fails to raise a smile. I am smiling now because it’s on Steam Early Access, it’s relatively cheap, and there’s a trailer below.
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D-manding A D-Pad: Steam Controller Unveiled (Again)

By Adam Smith on March 17th, 2014.

The eyes still have it. Or it still has the eyes, at any rate. The latest iteration of Valve’s Steam Controller has wings its way to GDC, so hopefully one of the RPS attendees will be able to lay hands on it over the next few days. In the meantime, I can bring you a picture, released by Valve, that is in no way exclusive to this site and doesn’t even contain hilariously photoshopped owl ears. Instead, it shows a controller that has lost a couple of its odder features as expected, including the fondlescreen and awkwardly positioned buttons. There are now eight buttons, positioned in patterns and placements that will be familiar to anyone who has ever seen a joypad.

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OBJECTION(able) – Steam To Let You Report Games

By Nathan Grayson on March 14th, 2014.

If I didn’t know any better (and honestly, I don’t), I’d say Valve is really gearing up to finally open the floodgates to Steam, resulting in less direct regulation of every single solitary game that makes it onto the 800 lb gorilla of PC storefronts. That’s just speculation on my part, but it would certainly seem to justify an entire system that allows users to report offensive or otherwise objectionable games. Details below.

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OnLive Lives Again: New Feature Syncs With Steam Games

By Graham Smith on March 5th, 2014.

CloudLift. Very light.

Remember OnLive? The service aimed to provide streaming videogames to the world, but fell foul of confusing pricing, slow internet connections and the apparent mismanagement. The company never really shut down, avoiding bankruptcy by being bought and re-created under a new company with new management and the same name. That means it’s continued to quietly work away, providing the same service to its remaining subscribers while working on something new.

I went and saw that something new last Friday, and I’ve been messing around with its beta this week. I’ll have proper impressions later in the week, but the news: OnLive is still a subscription based streaming service for games, but it’s now pitching itself in part as a partner service to Steam. You can link your OnLive and Steam accounts, and if you own a game on Steam and that game is available through OnLive, you’ll have instant access to it within OnLive. That means you can play your Steam games while travelling without an install process or a powerful computer in your travel bag.
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Gabe Newell Dishes On Source 2, HL3 VR, More In AMA

By Nathan Grayson on March 5th, 2014.

Oh man Gabe, don't drink those bottled Starbucks lattes. They're super gross. You're better than that, man.

It’s finally happened. Gabe Newell broke his nigh-mythical cone of silence to take part in a long-promised Reddit AMA, and the results were… illuminating. Ish. Newell is not the most talkative man, but he is a fairly straight shooter. The whole thing’s a fascinating read, though truly “newsworthy” (whatever that even means any more) bits were scarce. But hey, if you’d like to know laughably bad company names that Valve nearly went with (like Rhino Scar, as we revealed in 2007) and also the main purpose of Source Engine 2, you’ve come to the right place. Newell even fielded a question about Half-Life 3, shockingly enough. Well, sorta.

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All In The: Steam Family Sharing Available To Everyone

By Nathan Grayson on March 3rd, 2014.

Sharing is caring / it can be videogames

When I first heard about Steam Family Sharing, I – like any rational, functional adult human – assumed it involved temporarily swapping families with another Steam user. Imagine my surprise (and, let’s face it, horror) when it turned out that I’d be able to share my game library with other human beings. Disgusting! Unnatural! An abomination! Steam libraries are sacred property, and also I really don’t want people trying to comprehend why I own Petz Dogz 2, Secret of the Magic Crystal, and the entire Postal series. Down that path lies only madness. But here we are. Steam Family Sharing is a thing, and it’s now available to all Steam users.

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Developer Discounts: Steam Sales Are Changing

By Adam Smith on February 27th, 2014.

How many types of Steam sale are there? The huge seasonal ones, midweek discounts, daily reductions and bundled packs all vie for the attention of your eyes whenever they crop up on the front page. It’s almost impossible to buy a game that isn’t subject to price cuts so low that I’m beginning to suspect that Crazy Eddie has taken over Valve HQ.

Apparently, the current sales cannot sate the clawing hands of the hungry public. Developers will now be able to set discounts on their own releases, in what Valve describe as “another effort to shorten the distance between developers and customers”. There are rules to prevent an apocalyptic salesplosion and I have listed them below.

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WW2 2: Men of War Assault Squad 2 Early Access

By Alec Meer on February 21st, 2014.

Jim! Jim! Oh, where is that boy? Oh dear, with our resident Men of War expert on sabbatical we’ve been left ill-placed to cover developments on 1C’s latest instalment in their usually clever’n'careful WW2 squad-strategy series. Well, Men of War: Assault Squad 2 is out now on Early Access, so I guess the brave and the bold can find out whether it’s any cop themselves, if they’re prepared to chance a twenty spot on it.
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