Posts Tagged ‘Valve’

How Do You Make A Professional Counter-Strike Map?

By Emily Richardson on July 3rd, 2015.

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

By Alice O'Connor on July 2nd, 2015.

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

By Alice O'Connor on June 18th, 2015.

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

By Alice O'Connor on June 17th, 2015.

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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Dota 2 Reborn: New Engine, New UI

By Alice O'Connor on June 13th, 2015.

Valve formally announced Source 2 in March, long after we first saw scraps of it in Dota 2 [official site], but when will get to properly play games in it? Soon, is the answer, and it looks like the first will indeed be Dota 2.

The company last night announced Dota 2 Reborn, a revamp of the free-to-play lords management game switching it to a new engine (they don’t name Source 2, but c’mon) with a new UI, revamped spectating, what I imagine is support for custom game modes, new ways to ease new players in, and more. This version will launch into open beta next week, then properly launch after August’s big tournament The International.

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Jury Duty – Counter-Strike: GO Overwatch Leaves Beta

By Alice O'Connor on June 11th, 2015.

I found jury duty sickening, but I might have been less furious had I received a medal from Her Majesty (Kylie Minogue, Queen of Pop obvs). Probably the closest you could get to that in PC gaming would be, I don’t know, Valve giving you a knife for convicting jerks? Well blow me down, that’s what you can now (indirectly) get in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [official site]!

Valve have wrapped up beta testing of CS:GO’s blaggard-judging ‘Overwatch’ program and officially launched it, now with the added perk of giving people XP for reviewing cases. And you know what XP means: crates! And you know what crates mean: knives!

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Dota 2’s TI5 Will Have Biggest Prize Pool In Esports History

By Philippa Warr on June 5th, 2015.

It is gold because of all the money.

The International 5 – Valve’s upcoming Dota 2 [official site] tournament – will have the biggest prize pool in eSports history. The sales of the tournament’s accompanying digital Compendium have now shoved the total money available for the contest past the $10.9 million record set by last year’s International.

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Steam Controllers Due November 10th At £40/$49.99

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

I’ve heard good things about Valve’s Steam Controller gamepad from folks who’ve had a play on one, including our John, but I’ve still been sceptical. Can even fancy touchpads with haptic feedback come close to being okay as a mouse substitute? Watching a new demonstration video from Valve, I must say it looks better than I’d expected.

Oh, also: Valve have announced that it’ll cost £39.99/54,99€/$49.99, as will the in-home game streaming Steam Link box doodad. They’ll launch on November 10th, alongside a round of ‘Steam Machine’ pre-built PCs .

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New Steam Refunds Policy Makes Getting Your Money Back Far Simpler, But Some Devs Are Concerned

By John Walker on June 2nd, 2015.

A new update to Steam’s refund policy looks like it’s what gamers have been crying for – a way to far more easily get their money back when buying Steam games which don’t work on their machines. Within 14 days of purchase, and so long as you’ve played for under two hours, they’ll give you a refund. Hurrah! However, we’ve spoken to developers who are concerned the new system makes it extremely simple for Steam users to keep non-DRM games and then get their money back. Let alone the issues it raises for games that last under two hours.

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CS:GO Goes To The Zoo, Zoo, Zoo, And You Can Come Too

By Alice O'Connor on May 27th, 2015.

Sure seems like there should be some... dogs in here, ey?

Who let the dogs out? The answer is Valve Corporation, an American video game development and digital distribution company headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, United States. I feel I’m burning two jokes here (a pop music reference dated to the point of being cringeworthy, and a clearly-lifted-from-Wikipedia description) in a way that wastes them both, but let’s roll with it. Operation Bloodhound has launched in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [official site].

Operations Bloodhound brings new maps to CS:GO, with a lineup now on official matchmaking including one set in a zoo. A zoo! Plus more stats to track and more shiny weapons, obvs. But zoo!

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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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