Posts Tagged ‘Valve’

You May Not Be Able To Get Valve’s Vive Until Next Year

Good news: Valve Time hasn’t entirely disrupted the planned Holiday 2015 launch of the Vive, their much-anticipated VR collaboration with HTC. It’s still on course to happen before the year is out.

Bad news: But, er, only for a lucky few. The main launch has been pushed back to next year.
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Have You Played… Counter-Strike?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Not Global Offensive. Not Source. I’m talking the original Counter-Strike. The Half-Life mod; the game that was more popular than its online competitors combined; the game that in many ways pioneered both games as services and games as playable alphas; the game that spawned two follow-ups but which even right now, as I’m writing this, has 20,211 concurrent players through Steam.

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Team Fortress 2 Gets New Ball Sport PASS Time Mode

Isn’t it nice when companies become friends? Valve and Bad Robot, J. J. Abrams production company responsible for TV shows like Lost and movies like Super 8, have teamed up to produce a new mode for Team Fortress 2 [official site]. It’s called PASS Time and it blends Team Fortress 2 with the “fast-paced sports of soccer, hockey and basketball.”

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How Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s Economy Works

In Pop Flash, a series of insights into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [official site], Emily Richardson looks past the amazing clutches and crushing defeats to understand the culture and meta of Valve’s everlasting competitive FPS.

Counter-Strike’s weapon skins are as numerous as they are glamorous. The very best in tactical fashion, they’re bright, they’re weird, they’re occasionally very expensive. Some of us don’t care for them, but many more do. They’ve been a phenomenal success, so much so that the rarest knives sell for more than the Steam wallet’s cap of $500, and betting and trading sites are springing up all over the web.

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Dota 2’s The International Starts With $18 Million In Prizes

Happy Dota Day! It’s that day of the year when Pip slips into a malaria dream of excel spreadsheets and weird anecdotes about last hitting, the day that celebrates that holy day whence once the First Minion was born and itself begot the eternal cycle of minions which continue evermore into the infinity. I guess! I don’t know, I play League of Legends.

Today is the beginning of the main event for Valve’s Dota 2’s [official site] tournament The International, which comes with an impressive $18 million prize pool – and it’s not settled yet.

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Counter-Strike Global Offensive Guide: Tips For Beginners

In Pop Flash, a series of insights into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [official site], Emily Richardson looks past the amazing clutches and crushing defeats to understand the culture and meta of Valve’s everlasting competitive FPS.

This week I want to go right back to basics. Counter-Stike has been around since 1999, but every week new players log onto the Global Offensive servers. I hope this post will help those players get into the game quickly and enjoy its competitive nature from the start. Have a browse through, try some things, find what works for you. The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the game whether you’re playing competitively or just for laughs. Obviously, this piece isn’t really aimed at experienced players, but if you’d like to give some extra tips in the comments they’re totally welcome.

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Which Digital Game Store Is Best For Refunds: Steam vs. UPlay vs. Origin vs. GOG

Rumour has it that the decrepit Arkham Knight port beat a retreat on account of Steam refunds. After all, what better way to get a dastardly developer to blush and shuffle its hooves than to reverse its cash flow? Until June, when no-questions-asked refunds came into force, such a feat was impossible. Perhaps, after years of pro-consumer jabs at Microsoft and other corporates, Valve sought to make a material gesture that player interests are truly the heart of the Steam empire. Or perhaps they dislike being sued. Hint: they are currently being sued.

By now, you’ve likely encountered a shop and have a reasonable feeling about how refunds should work: if it doesn’t do what it’s meant to, you take it back. Nothing could be simpler. Refunds for digital products – or, as is often the case, licenses for digital products – are a legal hellscape of false assertions and misinformation, in large part a product of outdated legislation that no one is keen to test in court. To sift through the muck, I got in touch with Ryan Morrison, founder of the New York law firm by the same name (and no relation of mine this side of the 17th century). Whether you’re European, Stateside or in the wrong hemisphere altogether, here’s the plain English version of where and through which service your purchases are best protected and why some retailers still risk refusing refunds.

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Dota 2: The International 2015 Cheat Sheet

You are entering a DON'T LET THAT GOAT THROUGH zone

With over $17.5 million on the line Valve’s fifth annual Dota 2 [official site] competition, The International, is the biggest eSports event yet in terms of prize pool. It’s also the last International before the company makes some big structural changes to the Dota 2 competitive scene. I suspect next year’s event will feel substantially different so I’m hoping this year’s games are an end-of-an-era mic drop as monstrous and impressive as the prize pool itself.

Here’s a cheat sheet with all the basic info about the tournament:

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Holy Holes, Gaben! Steam Account Hijack Exploit Fixed

Welp I guess that's a Steam logo.

Valve are a taciturn company, which is fair enough. Mercy knows if I received ten thousand e-mails and tweets about Half-Life 3 every day, I’d dedicate my life to obliterating the written word. At times, though, they really should break the silence. They should shout and yell and scream and let everyone know what’s going on. Say, if for five days a security hole had let ne’er-do-wells easily take over people’s accounts. Nope.

Valve have closed the hole, but Steam’s website – including the Store – is down now and I have no idea whether that’s connected, because they aren’t announcing anything about this. Speak up, son.
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How Do You Make A Professional Counter-Strike Map?

In Pop Flash, a new series of insights into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [official site], Emily Richardson looks past the amazing clutches, crushing defeats and humiliating knives in the face to understand the culture and meta of Valve’s everlasting competitive FPS. Why is it so popular? What the hell is that Scottish guy saying? And why can’t anyone resist opening those damn crates?

This week, I spoke to veteran level designer Shawn ‘FMPONE’ Snelling about map design in Counter-Strike and what it’s like to construct levels for the most punishing and rewarding of FPS games. Having worked on the recent Cache and Season remakes, and some more famous maps besides, Shawn is known for his immaculate art style and well-balanced, flavourful levels.

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Guns & Medals: Team Fortress 2 Takes Tips From CS:GO

Guns! Guns! Guns!

I am fascinated by how Valve apply lessons from one game to another, building on ideas or outright copying bits from one game to another. Team Fortress 2 [official site] fed Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with ideas of cosmetic customisation bits, CS: GO built on them and tied them into its Operations, and now those expanded ideas are returning to TF2.

Today will see the launch of the Gun Mettle Campaign in TF2. For $6, players will get challenges offering the reward of new weapon skins and mores. The update will also bring new maps and big balance tweaks and more that’ll be free. Also, NEW COMIC!

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Source Engine 2 Live In Dota 2 Reborn Beta

Dota 2 [official site] has jumped to Valve’s shiny new Source 2 engine with the open beta release of the Reborn update. The main version of the game will still run on the old engine until after this year’s International tournament, but everyone can now poke at the new one.

If you dig Dota 2, hey, go have a poke at what’s to come; your match history, matchmaking rating, cosmetic items, and so on are shared across both versions, unlike normal Dota 2 test clients. If you just want to know more about Valve’s new tech, the engine that’ll be free(ish) for everyone to make games on, read on.

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Dota 2 Reborn: Mod Support Bringing New Valve Modes

Valve have made a new Dota 2 [official site] mode for the full launch of Custom Games (mods, basically) in their free-to-play lords management game. Custom Games will let folks create their own levels and gameplay rules, and will have a nifty-looking in-game hub to find and play them. A video showing off Valve’s newest Hammer editor makes them look surprisingly easy to make too.

They’re a big part of the Dota 2 Reborn update that’s due to enter open beta testing this week. Other big changes are a new UI and a switch to a new engine which they don’t name but come on it’s obviously gonna be Source 2 right?

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