Posts Tagged ‘Valve’

A Team Won Dota 2′s International, Plus Misc. Thoughts

By Alice O'Connor on July 22nd, 2014.

Newbee lift the Aegis, a shield inscribed with the names of winners.

So, The International 2014 is over. Newbee gave fellow Chinese team ViCi Gaming quite the drubbing on Monday to win $5,028,174. Competitive Dota 2 was broadcast on the ESPN cable sports network. Are digital sports now mainstream? Is this It, is this The Moment? No, of course not.

This year’s International has widespread attention because of that honking great prize pool of $10,930,814, the spectacle, and the novelty. Minor details like who won only matter on the day to most. So today, any old Tuesday, why post about it? The International 2014 will still matter in days, weeks, or months because of where loads of that moolah came from: fans. Valve are crowdfunding arena-filling tournaments and gamifying fandom. And somehow making that not awful?

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Editorial: Why Steam Needs To Give New Releases A Chance

By John Walker on July 21st, 2014.

Valve can’t win. And Valve always wins. That’s a fair starting point for any discussion about Steam.

From their vastly dominant position, with a concerning grip over the online PC marketplace, they’re both the bane and the boon of PC developers. If Valve makes a decision, you can guarantee that there will be more voices screaming dissent than those declaring joy (alongside those trying to work out how it’s a covert announcement of Half-Life 3). So you can see why they might start to form a habit of making changes, then stuffing wadding in their own mouths, refusing to talk about it. However, I think it’s time for the company to start taking notice of a mistake I think they’re consistently making with their Store page: hiding new games.

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What Was Prospero, The Fantasy Game Valve Never Made?

By Graham Smith on July 21st, 2014.

The road not traveled is uninteresting to me when the road we are travelling is winding, densely populated and has no speed limit. (The road I’m talking about is videogames.) That didn’t stop me being intrigued to find out more about Prospero via the latest episode of Valve Time Database. Prospero was one of two game’s Valve were working on when the company was founded in 1996, and Valve Time Database is a series of short YouTube videos detailing elements of Valve’s universe of games.

Episode 3 contains previously unreleased screenshots of the never released game, along with quotes from Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw. I think the information is new, but either way it’s entertaining and embedded below.

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Why You – Even You – Should Watch The International Finals

By Alice O'Connor on July 18th, 2014.

Spectacle!

By my watch, the main event of Valve’s $10 million Dota 2 tournament The International kicks off oooooh right about now in front of a sold-out crowd in Seattle. Gabe Newell will take to the stage and someone will yell out something trite about Half-Life 3. You should watch it. Not just because I think Dota 2′s one of the finest video games, but to see Valve’s pageantry. Big-money digital sport competitions in arenas will be A Thing for quite some time, it seems, and The International so far has put on the best show. With decent presenters, a solid between-game show, different ways to watch, and a general hum of excitement, it’s the event other games should be cribbing from.

Look, if you play Dota 2 you probably already know this stuff, but I’ll explain for everyone else.

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Aperture Tag Is A Whole New Portal Game… Without Portals

By Nathan Grayson on July 16th, 2014.

A Portal game without portals? “Why, that’s like removing puppies from the Puppy Bowl,” you might say. “What is even the point?” The point, fellow small dog enthusiast, is paint. Physics-affecting paints (think bouncy gel, etc) were part of Portal 2, but they weren’t the main focus. Paid standalone mod/game Aperture Tag: The Paint Gun Testing Initiative puts them front and center, and it looks like sticky, slippery, hundreds-of-feet-in-the-air-hurtling fun. It’s out now, and a trailer’s below.

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We Aren’t The Champions: Dota 2 International Playoffs Over

By Alice O'Connor on July 15th, 2014.

Not pictured: professionals.

The full pageantry of Valve’s whopping great Dota 2 tournament The International won’t kick off in Seattle until Friday, but already it’s seen a few upsets. Seven days of playoffs ended last night, whittling nineteen teams down to eight–with last year’s champions, Alliance, notably knocked out.

We haven’t seen all the fun and dressing Valve plan to fill the 17,000-capacity KeyArena with as teams fight over a $10 million prize pool, but we have got a fair look at how they’re trying to welcome newcomers, not to mention the state of the game. It’s a bit mixed, really.

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Mann Oh Mann: Valve Creates Early Access TF2 Servers

By Nathan Grayson on July 10th, 2014.

Early Access? For a game that’s been out since 2007? Yes, that is, in fact, a thing that can exist. Valve has decided to leave Mann Corp’s doors ever-so-slightly ajar so that fans might run around on Team Fortress 2‘s magical murder playgrounds before they officially hit live servers. So it’s a series of test servers for maps, essentially. Details below.

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Dote Night: Fairness, Tactics And The Poirot Of Esports

By Philippa Warr on July 9th, 2014.

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.

“Dota 2 is not about kills, it’s not about how many towers you can take, it’s about killing the throne. That’s the game”

I’m talking to Alliance’s manager Kelly Ong Xiao Wei about the “rat Dota” tag you’ll often hear applied to her team. I’ve been thinking about the phrase since I overheard her asking one of the Dota 2 commentators at ESL One to stop using it. Her point is that it’s not a neutral term. Rat Dota is also a judgement on the team and it implies they’re using an inferior or unworthy playstyle. That’s why she’s asking the casters to refrain from using it. But the more I think about the problem the more I wonder if there’s another solution.

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Finally: Someone Mixed Dota 2 And Mario Kart

By Nathan Grayson on July 8th, 2014.

It’s like they say, Internet gonna Internet. Thanks to a new and very good Mario Kart, kart racing is once again all the rage these days, and Dota 2 is more popular than all the cool kids in high school put together. What happens when you combine the two? It’s called Dota Dash, and it looks like it works maybe a little. Apparently, however, there’s still a whoooooole lot of work to be done. Video below.

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CBKBeebies: Dota 2 International’s ‘Newcomer’ Commentary

By Alice O'Connor on July 7th, 2014.

Top dad jokes in Dota.

“Furion’s playing rat doto” – four words full of meaning to the well-informed Dota 2 player but to most people, half of those aren’t even words.

Valve’s Dota 2 tournament The International later this month will be by far the highest-paying digital sports competition yet, with a prize pool currently sitting at $10,466,388. It’ll also be the most confusing digital sports competition. What a weird game Dota is. But the pageantry and big numbers will surely lure in the curious and confused, so Valve are planning a special commentary stream aimed at newcomers.

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Counter-Strike Update Adds Six Maps, Calms Dogs, More

By Graham Smith on July 2nd, 2014.

How long is it before everyone copies Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive update structure? The latest addition to the venerable multiplayer shooter is called Operation Breakout, and it adds six new maps for everyone to play for free. For those willing and able to pay $6, you then get a now-familiar bundle of upgrades including access to mission drops with the chance to unlock “45 exclusive weapon finishes”, a Challenge Coin which tracks your achievement-y ‘mission’ progress, and a new weapon case containing new community designs.

Given how most other games split their multiplayer communities by selling the maps directly, and given how that split is bad even for the developers, surely it’s only a matter of time before we’re covering our Battlefield and Call of Duty weaponry with paid-for and unlockable stickers and baubles. More details on the update and its maps below.

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Steam Summer Sale Is Go, With Summer Adventure Madness

By Graham Smith on June 19th, 2014.

GAMES.

Hide your wallets, shield your baby’s eyes: the Steam Summer Sale has launched. If you’re not familiar with it, this is the time of the year when Valve provide huge discounts to huge numbers of games, prompting everyone everywhere to buy games they might have missed at full price.

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Bread Or Alive: TF2 ‘Love And War’ Adds Bread Weapons

By Nathan Grayson on June 19th, 2014.

It’s day two of Team Fortress 2′s latest hyper-elaborate update, Love and War. Yesterday we got love in the form of dances and other taunts/expressions, but today, well, I’ll just let Futurama handle this one. This isn’t just any old regular war – the sort you might find at the bottom of the bargain bin at your local War Mart – though. No, no, this war has, um, bread. Oozing green teleporter-mutated bread, because Team Fortress 2′s sense of humor is nothing if not incredibly specific. You will find deet meats for this information sandwich below.

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