Posts Tagged ‘Valve’

Dota 2 Reborn: New Engine, New UI

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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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