Posts Tagged ‘Valve’

Dota 2’s Community Casting International Qualifiers

By Jem Alexander on May 24th, 2015.

Valve’s Dota 2 [official site] championship The International isn’t until August (though it already has a community-funded prize pool of almost $9 million), but is about to settle the four positions earned through regional qualifiers. Eight days of non-stop professional Dota 2 matches are kicking off on Monday, meaning very little sleep. A large number of prominent Dota 2 players, casters, fans and analysts are taking this opportunity to have join together in Bucharest to cast the whole event.

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Portal Pinball. Need I Say More?

By Jem Alexander on May 23rd, 2015.

It takes a very special something to make me excited about a pinball game. I played Pokemon Pinball to death, way back when, but very few pinball games since have really captured my attention. Until now. Until the Aperture Science Heuristic Portal Pinball Device. It’s a Portal themed table for Zen Pinball [official site] and it looks fantastic. See for yourself in the trailer below the cut.

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How Half-Life Killed The First-Person Shooter

By John Walker on May 11th, 2015.

There is a peculiar irony to the impression people have of gaming. When “videogames” are lazily portrayed in the wider world, they inevitably show a soldier being shot through a gun scope. Hell, even within the highest enclave walls, people are wont to dismiss the poor taste of others by snarking, “They’d probably like it if it had a gun floating at the bottom of the screen.” The first-person shooter is the most emblematic genre of gaming, and yet it’s now the most under-served, under-developed, and rarest of mainstream releases. There are barely any new non-indie FPS games. And it’s all Half-Life’s fault.

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Warren Spector’s Scrapped Half-Life 2 Episode

By Alice O'Connor on May 5th, 2015.

Zap me.

Today in News You Should Probably Be Glad You Never Heard About At The Time Because You’re Already Disappointed Enough And This Would’ve Been Frustrating And Yeah I Guess You Would’ve Written A Lot Of Annoyed Comments On The Internet And TBH Neither You Nor I Want That But Boy, What If This Had Happened: Deus Ex director Warren Spector and his (now-closed) studio Junction Point were at one point working on a Half-Life game.

The mystery game would’ve been a Half-Life 2 episode separate from Valve’s own core episodes, introducing a new physics-y magnet gun. But it was not to be, and Junction Point went on to focus on Epic Mickey instead.

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Dota 2 Compendium: Deserts And Wizard Hats

By Philippa Warr on May 1st, 2015.

Well, this is essentially where my pay packet is going this month I guess

Settle ye down, for ’tis time for some Dota 2 Compendium talk.

In case you’ve missed the now-yearly “You people spent *how much* on a digital sticker book?” articles, the Compendium is Valve’s way of sourcing a community contribution towards its annual International Dota tournament prize pool, increasing #engagement and, obv, making money. In return for contributing, players get treasure chests, loading screens, item effects, in-game pets and so on. More money in the pot unlocks stretch goals like a new type of terrain, emoticons etc etc. You can see the reawards and unlockables in full after the jump.

25% of the profits from the Compendium go towards the prize pool. Last year that same setup pushed an initial $1.6m to a ridiculous $10.9m – three times the size of the next largest prize pool in eSports.

Here are this year’s level rewards (you need 100 points per level):

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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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Team Fortress 2 Competitive Matchmaking Coming

By Alice O'Connor on April 30th, 2015.

I just thought the Spy looked like a bookie here okay.

I lost interest in Team Fortress 2 [official site] around the time that I became good enough to regularly top public servers but had neither the skill nor the interest to jump to organised competition. A little matchmaking, pitting me against other pubstar-tier fraggers, would’ve been wonderful. So huzzah! After many, many years, Valve are finally planning proper matchmaking.

Details are a little thin for now, based on memories of conversations that TF2 community folk had during a recent visit to Valve, but one thing’s clear: competitive matchmaking is coming.

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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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$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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Everything I’d Forgotten About Half-Life 2

By John Walker on April 2nd, 2015.

It’s over ten years since Half-Life 2 was released. The other day I found myself arguing that there still hadn’t been a first-person shooter released that was better. Then wondered if I was talking out of my hat. In an effort to learn whether Half-Life 2 is as great – nay, as perfect – as the version in my head, I’ve replayed it, and realised there’s so much I’d forgotten.

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Team Fortress 2 Film Live And Let Spy Is 20 Minutes Of Fun

By Graham Smith on March 30th, 2015.

It seemed initially like the Source Filmmaker community might be content to make only short and silly videos, but there’s now a growing selection of long and silly videos starring Team Fortress 2 [official site] characters. The one that’s making the rounds today is The Winglet’s Live and Let Spy, a 20-minute epic that starts out with sneaking but escalates until chaos erupts. Watch it below.

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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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