Posts Tagged ‘Valve’

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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The International 2015: Ticket Sale Dates Announced

By Shaun Green on March 21st, 2015.

The International 5 Aegis of Champions logo

Valve have announced more information on The International 2015 which, assuming you’ve already clicked on that headline, surely needs no introduction.

We already knew Valve’s Dota 2 tournament was being held between August 3rd and 8th in Seattle; now we know it’s returning to KeyArena, last year’s venue, and we also know when tickets are going on sale and how much they’ll cost. Read the rest of this entry »

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SteamVR: A Chat About What Worked And What Didn’t

By Alec Meer on March 20th, 2015.

Alec and Graham have both had a go on SteamVR, aka the HTC Vive (as described here and here). Yes, aren’t they glorious, beautiful, shining examples of humanity? You can touch them if you like. No, not there. And not for that long. What are you.. ew, no, no, get off.

Actually, just stand over there and avert your eyes while they have a big old natter about what worked best, what might go wrong in practice, where this might all lead to, whether this is basically MAGIC, Valve vs Oculus and whether the hell we should let children use this thing.
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What I’d Like To See Happen With Virtual Reality

By Graham Smith on March 19th, 2015.

Using Valve and HTC’s Vive headset was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had with entertainment in any form, but that’s not to say that it’s perfect. There are obvious limitations in the hardware, obvious ways in which it will inevitably be improved in the years to come, and plenty of potential not yet realised in any of the prototypes I’ve played.

So I’ve been thinking. Here’s five (wholly serious) things I’d like to see Valve, HTC, Oculus or really anyone do with virtual reality.

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12 Observations About SteamVR

By Alec Meer on March 18th, 2015.

Through a series of fortunate events, I found myself in a backroom at EGX Rezzed last week, wearing a plastic box on my face, clutching a wand-shaped controller in each hand and walking around digital worlds. I was trying out SteamVR, aka the HTC Vive, and it was… well, in the longer term I need to go and have a hard think about how to meaningfully convey experiences* with essentially involve perceiving new realities. For now, I’ll be merely practical.
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Valve: ‘We Have To Do Better’ With Customer Service

By Alice O'Connor on March 16th, 2015.

I can’t even remember when I last bought a game in a box from a shop, but I do miss sometimes the customer service offered by real people with real faces. I do wish Valve, the digital daddy, had customer support half as useful as underpaid teenagers in Electronics Boutique.

The Better Business Bureau, a US-focused nonprofit (not a government body) which rates businesses, has drawn a long list of complaints against Valve and Steam from broken games to refused refunds, and currently awards them the rubbish grade of ‘F’. All of which prompted Valve last week to say that improving customer service support will be “a big focus” for them this year.

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