Post-Gaming: Steam Now Selling Useful Things Too

Not entirely sure whether this is relevant to our readership, but I guess it’s important to keep documenting the eternal war between Valve and Microsoft. While MS does all sorts of strange things to Windows in the divisive upcoming 8, Valve have elected to move Steam beyond games. You can now buy several software packages on there, including 3DMark, 3DCoat, ArtRage and, most interestingly (or at least relevantly), GameMaker Studio. “These are just the first. Many more to come” is the claim.

These aren’t piddling efforts – for instance, if you want the entire GameMaker Studio Master Collection, that’ll set you back £315 (though the basic package is just £27). Additionally, quite a few of these packages plugin to Steam in various ways, using the likes of the Steam Cloud storage system and Steam Workshop for sharing creations.

Whether this stuff being on a service known for its gaming associations can take off remains to be seen, but it does seem like the spearhead of a major move to take Valve’s digital distribution to new territory while it remains somewhat unclaimed (Windows 8 is MS’s first concerted effort at seizing control of the desktop software download market). And if Valve ever did do their own, Linux-based OS, then they’ve got that much more of an infrastructure set up to distribute apps on it. HOW ABOUT THAT FOR A CRAZY THEORY, EH?

More details and the complete launch line-up here. They’re all 10% off for the first week, if any appeal.

Edit – it’s late in the UK and I’m not terribly informed about this side of things as it is so I might be getting this all kinds of wrong, but by the sound of things GameMaker’s use of Steam Workshop means, in a way, anything made in it can be put up for download on Steam. It’s backdoor, kinda. Of course, browsing Steam Workshop isn’t quite the same thing as browsing the Steam store, but the net result would seem to be more indie games on Steam without any need for an approval process. People who know more about this are sharing further details in comments below, so please read those while I go to bed. Bye!


  1. Dominic White says:

    To be fair, if you want the full Pro version of Game Maker, it’s just £54. The extra huge additions to the price are (100% optional) HTML5, iOS and Android export tools. If you just want to make Windows & Mac games, it’s £54 at most.

    Now, here’s the HUGE bit of news that nobody seems to be reporting: Steam is now the Game Maker sandbox. It has full Steam Workshop integration. What this means? Expect dozens of freeware games on Steam by the end of the day. Hundreds by the weekend, and thousands by the end of the year.

    The interesting trojan horse part of it? You need to download Game Maker (Free edition) to get at all these hundreds of free games, as they launch from the Game Maker ‘play’ panel. And don’t write off GM. You know Hotline Miami? Game Maker. Hydorah? GM. Iji? GM. The original version of Spelunky? Game Maker too. It’s a damn good package.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Spelunky is the only one of those I’ve heard of. I’ll check the other ones out.

    • RobF says:

      And Serious Sam:The Random Encounter (already on Steam), Stealth Bastard, Immortal Defence, my own little things are all GM based.

      Loads of corkingly good games out there have their roots in GM.

      • Dominic White says:

        Ha, I’d be here all day if I was just posting a list of good games made in GM. But yeah, it’s a downright ubiquitous little piece of kit, and a very large percentage of the best freeware and indie games over the past couple years have been made using it. So having it all sorted in the Workshop? That’s impressive.

        • RobF says:

          Yeah, I suspect I’ll throw a few things up the Workshop this week if there’s Steam keys forthcoming from YYG. I want this to do well so it’s at least one way i can help is to get some GoodBobShit(TM) up there.

          Or is that hinder. I forget.

    • Premium User Badge

      Hodge says:

      The original Desktop Dungeons and the forthcoming Gunpoint as well – both are brilliant.

    • povu says:

      Iji was fantastic.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      “And don’t write off GM.”

      Ahahahahaha. Indeed, Game Maker has been the PC (and more recently Mac) Indie Gaming Scene’s worst kept secret. So many excellent GM games…

      While I personally prefer the App Game Kit for it’s ability to be used with Visual Studio and any C++ libraries, Game Maker is a close second for being the platform for Indie game development.

      • Derppy says:

        Is Gamemaker anything close to Unity?

        I think Unity is pretty brilliant, especially the way it handles scripts. You can drag a script like “followObject” on top of a camera and then you get all the public variables of the script in a neat options panel, where you can just drag the target object, define the distance, smoothing and so on.

        It promotes writing very dynamic, reusable code with black-box mentality. You can share your script and someone without any programming knowledge can utilize it in their game.

        • MadTinkerer says:

          Game Maker is more focused on 2D games, while Unity is more focused on 3D games. It’s been a few versions since I actually used Game Maker, but in 7.0 the 3D commands relied on DirectX. Because of the current multi-platform focus, I have no idea if there are 3D commands or not in GM Studio, but just glancing at the tutorial section indicates that pretty much all of the 2D stuff is intact.

          Game Maker is designed to be friendlier to people with zero understanding of how dem computars work. It’s also great for quick prototyping. Unity is designed for amateurs or professionals who already have some idea of what they want to make with it.

          Game Maker is intended primarily for single-person use (and before 8.0, trying to have more than one user working on a project invariably caused major problems because of a few severe design flaws), but small teams can also, as of 8.0, use it well. Unity was intended from the beginning for use from one user to a large professional group.

          EDIT: And to answer you more directly, Game Maker is basically about as flexible and easy to use as Unity in terms of scripting and telling entities what to do, and some equivalent advanced features as well. It’s a completely different interface, however, and last time I checked you had to use GMScript for the advanced stuff and couldn’t use C# or other languages.

          Some of what I describe above may be different for GM Studio. It’s been about three years since I last used GM for a major project.

          EDIT: According to the GM Studio documentation, most of the old 3D commands are supported by GM Studio, but they won’t work in HTML5. This means that GMS is still not as good as Unity for proper 3D unless you’re going for a deliberate “retro” look, but there’s still some proper functionality there. I haven’t tried any of the user created advanced 3D tutorials for old GM on GMS, but presumably at least some of them still work.

  2. faillord_adam says:

    So, why’s everyone complaining about Windows 8?

    • TormDK says:


    • Spider Jerusalem says:

      because it’s evil, of course. evil, evil touchscreen demon spawn.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Because those on steam all already have distribution channels anywhere. Steam = a store shelf.
      Windows 8 locks you into the OS and distribution through Microsoft (AKA you can only program in Metro).
      Windows 8 Metro = something else… I don’t know right now. :P

      Besides, I don’t think people are happy with Steam either, but see Steam is an options install on the PC. Metro Store is not (if you get the OS). So it’s having it forced down their throat (both consumers and developers) that’s the most bad.

      • nearly says:

        “Windows 8 locks you into the OS and distribution through Microsoft (AKA you can only program in Metro).
        Windows 8 Metro = something else… I don’t know right now. :P

        Besides, I don’t think people are happy with Steam either, but see Steam is an options install on the PC. Metro Store is not (if you get the OS). So it’s having it forced down their throat (both consumers and developers) that’s the most bad.”

        Not exactly. Windows 8 will run most any program that Windows 7 runs, or Vista even. Probably XP even, as long as it supported Vista/7. You can make new programs in Windows 8 that Windows 8 will run. If you CHOOSE to make a Metro app, on the other hand, it can ONLY be distributed via the Microsoft Store and with their approval (meaning you have to meet certain requirements/guidelines, agree to certain things).

        You literally do not have to ever open Microsoft Store to get programs/games/etc on Windows 8, and you don’t need to run any Metro apps to use Windows 8. It’s not being crammed down anyone’s throat, just being put in front of them. Whether you choose to use it or just use the new OS the way you would have used 7 or Vista is entirely up to you (typically with various boosts to performance), just like it’s up to you whether you download Steam and buy games from it (except in the case where a developer requires that their game use Steamworks Authentication) or use GamersGate/Green Man Gaming/etc to meet your distribution needs. The same from a developer standpoint: you just can’t write a program in Metro and try to sell it on Steam.

        • Smashbox says:

          I don’t think it would be too much of a stretch to assume that the Metro rules and the store are a step toward and a test case for a closed Microsoft platform.

          • nearly says:

            I don’t think that it’s a stretch to assume that Windows 8 and Windows 9 are different generations or that computers/technology will look extremely different within a generation or two. I also don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that we can’t really know what things will look like then or that there’s any reason to assume that we can or do know.

            To paraphrase what I see as your point: “We should hate Windows 8 because of what Windows 9 could look like if they choose to go a certain way.”

          • ScubaMonster says:

            @nearly: I think it’s more of a slippery slope issue. Not that I necessarily think it will happen, but I could see why someone would be leery of the app store. It’s perfectly valid to not want to support a system that’s headed in an undesirable direction.

          • soldant says:

            Applying it to x86 apps as opposed to only WinRT apps would be suicide. You’d effectively wipe out the most significant strength of the Windows platform overnight: software support. Microsoft wouldn’t dare do it. There are literally zero benefits for it. MS already own the desktop market, they have for years, they won’t destroy x86 apps by locking the platform down. It’d be madness. It only “works” for Apple (barely, and even then it’s entirely optional) because they have tighter control by nature and have a smaller pool of software.

            The locking down of Metro/Modern (WinRT as a platform technically) has more to do with the cross-platform nature of Windows since WinRT applies across all the Windows 8 devices (desktop, tablet, and phone) and isn’t purely to take a cut of the software sector. It also acts as a screening system for malware or software that doesn’t function properly, just like Google Play or the iOS App Store. If it was only on Windows tabs or phones, absolutely nobody would say a word about it. But because it’s on the desktop, even though it’s only a tiny part most people will ignore, everyone’s bitching about it.

            And then along comes Valve, opens up Steam (which is effectively a closed system), sells some software, and people call it the second coming. Then they ask for an OS effectively ruled by Valve and the Steam store, which is what Gabe and supporters got upset about in the first place.

          • mondomau says:

            @ soldant:
            One of the most reasoned and well-informed posts I have seen on this subject, well done. Shame you will be more of less entirely ignored.

        • subedii says:

          I don’t mind W8 too much, assuming it doesn’t get to the point where, whilst it’s not technically mandatory, the cost of doing business on the PC platform and the ubiquity of Metro effectively forces devs to make sure they get on there if they’re going to have a chance at sales. That’s one concern of mine.

          Another is simply GFWL. Or whatever they call it today. After all my experiences of GFWL ever since it released, and an OS that integrates it to its core, the concept of MS using its leverage to get it into more games is one that I don’t even want to contemplate. And MS have never really been shy about using its position to try and hammer square pegs into round holes (Halo 2 effectively being proscribed for a PC release for years, until they made it a Vista exclusive comes to mind. To a lesser extent, the stuff that’s going on with Skulls of the Shogun).

          A final one is related to the above, and is just MS’s clear conflict of interest when it comes to XBox and PC Gaming, and which one it chooses to promote, often at the expense of the other. Again, Halo comes to mind, as does Alan Wake. And quite a few time limited exclusivity deals they’ve had over the years. And just generally the whole mess of GFWL.

          Basically I worry because W8 seems like a good way to have a confluence of all these factors. And that would only make things a tonne more annoying all over again at a time when PC gaming has actually (and finally) been getting easier over the past few years.

        • razgon says:

          The problem is of course, Xbox 720 will most certainly require WinRt, making games that wants to release on Windows as well, required to use Win8. At least, thats how I understand it.

          • JakeDust says:

            Sorry, but I don’t think so, as WinRT is terrible for heavy games (and C++ at all, actually), but maybe they’ll push it forward for indie games as they already do with XNA games in the Marketplace.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        Steam isn’t always an option. If you really want to play that latest game, but it’s got that Steamworks integration you’d like to avoid, tough luck Chuck.

    • Odog4ever says:

      I wouldn’t say everybody. Definitely a vocal minority at least.

      Gabe Newell/Valve is salty because he doesn’t want to lose the revenue cut if somebody sells their software through the Windows 8 store instead of Steam. So giving money to Valve = good, Giving money to MS = bad.

      Notch/Mojang doesn’t want to give a cut of revenue to anybody which is why he is talking down about Windows 8, and won’t release his games on Steam even. But he will hypcritcally take that dirty, locked-down Apple money with Minecraft-Pocket Edition…

      • subedii says:

        Actually, Newell specifically said he hopes he’s wrong about W8. The reason being that if W8 flops, it’s going to drive people away from general PC Gaming. In those circumstances, it’s not just MS that loses, Valve loses big time since they’re specifically dedicated to games on the PC. They don’t have another platform to sell on, not unless they build it themselves, and despite the constant rumours, that’s pretty unlikely.

      • alundra says:

        Lovely, more than 80% percent of the industry, including developers, publishers and consumers, are concerned about Windows 8, yet, you call that a ” a vocal minority”

        What a lovely bullshit, to demean majorities that think different than what you’d like them to by calling them “vocal minorities”

        • Crafty_Banana says:

          I’ve got to ask, where has that 80% come from? Regardless of your views on Windows 8, I find it hard to believe that if you’re counting consumers as part of ‘the industry’, 80% of a representative group of potential Windows 8 consumers, or even just potential consumers interested in gaming, are concerned about it.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      Because Win 7 x64 is perfect, has nothing missing and I want a longer lifecycle for it and not get Win 8 exclusives that exist for exactly zero reason, as Win 8 has exactly zero advantages or unique features to it in terms of drivers, hardware support or anything else in my eyes (and if someone mentions boot times in the age of SSDs and suspend to ram, I am going to hit them with a shovel).

      • Lemming says:

        What puzzles me is the Win8 defenders mantra of “‘it works perfectly, you can run everything you could in Win7 and you can ignore Metro'” is easily dismissed with “well why are they making Win8 at all then?”

        • soldant says:

          Because it’s a big change to the kernel. Granted the bulk of that is incorporating WinRT but the entire “Why bother with a new version?” would lead to us being stuck in Windows XP forever, constantly trying to bolt more and more stuff onto an ancient platform. This release cycle is how things used to be with Windows in the 90s to keep pace with advancing tech. I can’t think of a desktop OS that people actually use that survives on incremental patches for half a decade at a time. The other side of the argument is “If you don’t want it, don’t use it.” But don’t complain if support for new hardware or next-gen software doesn’t get backported, even though Windows traditionally is exceptionally good at legacy support. And before you say “DirectX 10” it was tied in with the new WDDM which was never going to be ported back to XP, and all the failures to bring Dx10 to XP should be proof enough that it wasn’t a simple, arbitrary decision.

          • Tei says:

            Are you sure the kernel.dll file is going to get drastic changes? It looks to me like another New UI windows version. Somebody gets me a binary diff and a dissasembler.

          • PopeJamal says:

            “…trying to bolt more and more stuff onto an ancient platform.”

            You know what, their new platform sucks. Hard.

            I had pretty much made up my mind that MS could take a long walk off of a short pier with Win8 strapped to their back. But you know what some people on RPS and other places said:

            -Win8 is awesome!
            -Kernel improvements!
            -You don’t have to use Metro!
            -Don’t be a luddite!

            OK, fine. So I decided to install Win8 on my BRAND NEW laptop. It’s like three months old, so it should be a perfect fit. Plus, the RTM (Release to Manufacturing) build is available as a 90 day trial what can be better?! So here’s my setup:

            i7-3610QM (Ivy Bridge)
            24GB RAM
            Nvidia GTX-680M
            120GB SSD

            So I installed it and you know what? It fucking sucked!

            It literally crashed on the first reboot after the install completed. Installing software went fine, but uninstalling didn’t always work. It crashed while I was browsing the web, it crashed while I was copying files onto a USB drive. It crashed, it crashed, it crashed.

            Screw that! There’s not a single piece of exotic hardware in this thing. Explain to me why I should put up with that whenever I’ve had Windows 7, literally, never crash with this machine yet? And plus, Win8 NEVER completely shuts down. It does that hybrid sleep thing where it kills all the apps and then hibernates the kernel. That means it interferes with me dual booting into Linux, for work. Annoying as hell.

            Again, screw that. YOU and others might like Win8, but when I met him he acted like an anti-social asshole, so I won’t be going to any of his social gatherings until he shows me otherwise. At this point, I’ll stick with WIn7 and Linux until I find something better.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            @PopeJamal – For every person who I read about who has had absolutely no problems with windows 8, I read another story like yours. It reminds me of the Windows ME launch with similar vastly differing user experiences. It’s enough to convince me not to adopt until at the very earliest the first service pack and even then only if I have to due to software I need not working on 7.

    • Naum says:

      Having used Win8 for quite a while now (because new PC and the Beta was out there for free, so why not give it a try):

      1. I find Metro to be more practical than the old start menu. It basically gives quick access to the 10 programmes I need most often, and for everything else I use [Winkey]-X, the search function or the oldschool Explorer. Having to use Ctrl-Alt-Del for shutdown is impractical though, and I have not yet figured out if there’s a logic behind the various hot corners and such. Since I don’t need those anyway, it doesn’t really matter to me and I haven’t made any effort to get behind the new UI.

      2. A builtin store combined with Microsoft’s quasi-monopoly worries me greatly. Right now it doesn’t affect me since I don’t want to use Metro apps (just as Apple’s abominations don’t affect me), but if this thing turns out to be successful, MS could at some point de-facto control the distribution just as it currently de-facto controls software development for the mass market. A situation which they would undoubtedly exploit as much as humanly possible. Of course this is as speculative as it gets, so for now I hope that Metro and the store just die silently and the AAA devs finally endorse Linux.

      • mispelledyouth says:

        Always thought myself pretty up to speed with windows shortcuts but you sir/madam just made my day.

      • nearly says:

        bottom right hot corner, then settings. shut down option appears.

        the only monopoly that the Microsoft Store will have is on Metro apps, as it’s the only location they can be distributed. any other programs can still be distributed via other sources, and purchased/acquired from them as on XP/Vista/7.

        meaning the only people that have a monopoly to worry about are tablet users. which, is monopoly territory anyway. if a future generation of (pc) Windows goes Metro only, I’m sure the hardware will look very different, and that Metro will have to function very differently too.

        consider that there’s never been a method of distributing software built into windows, and that other methods of distribution are not being locked out: this is not a monopoly, just as providing Internet Explorer on all PCs isn’t. the first thing any competent PC user is going to do after booting up Windows 8 the first time is download Firefox/Chrome, and the Microsoft Store does nothing to stop this.

  3. TechnicalBen says:

    I loved Paint Shop Pro (until Corel got their hands on it :( ). :D

    What have I got to say about Steam Software?
    Not the software I’m looking for, nor what I’d think many at all are. :/

    • D3xter says:

      Same here, PSP7 was great and I used that instead of Photoshop, but Corel made it (like so many other things) utterly unuseable.

    • zeroskill says:

      Corel Painter is still great. That’s about it though.

      • DogKiller says:

        Corel Painter could be even better if they pulled their fingers out of their backsides. Sometimes I think they’re actively trying to sabotage their own products. I really like the whole concept of the program, but it always feels like I have to actively fight it and all its little quirks and bugs to get it to do what I want it to.

        • soldant says:

          Last time I used a Corel product I sort of liked what they wanted to achieve, but their UI was so laughably outdated and absurdly slow that it was impossible to use. My god, there’s no slower UI than those in a Corel product!

          • Alevice says:

            Actually, for me, Corel Draw and Photopaint have always been like way fucking faster and mess of a memory hog in contrast with both Illustrator and Photoshop. While their products are far from perfect (Photopain X5 loves to crash on me), I still find them competitive feature wise with PS.

    • Mithent says:

      I still use PSP X.

  4. TormDK says:

    In essence Steam is positioning themselves as a software vendor, so naturally they would “diss” Microsofts efforts to do the same.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Yes, because Steam is so locking down the content and delivery of software on the majority OS used at home? Right?… No, exactly.

      • nearly says:

        The only thing locked down is Metro apps, i.e. ones that are written in Microsoft’s proprietary format. You can still use all of the old programs you used to use, and, for the most part, they’ll function exactly the same unless there’s a (more or less rare) compatibility issue and the developer doesn’t care about the customer (as in Notch saying “no thanks” to Microsoft when they encouraged him to make sure MineCraft will work with 8). I’m sure new Windows programs will continue to be made that are not in the Metro framework.

        It’s like running a “Vista” program in 7, it’s that big of a change for program use. I mean, you can’t complain that they’re more locked down than Steam when you can USE Steam in Windows 8. Clearly it’s not that locked down.

        • wu wei says:

          You can still use all of the old programs you used to use, and, for the most part, they’ll function exactly the same

          They just won’t appear as the same class of program as Metro apps, which have their own presence in the new OS, while all pre-Win 8 apps get stuck in the ghetto of “Desktop”.

          Why couldn’t each app have been rendered in its own Metro app window? Putting a wrapper around an object to give it new behaviour is a common technique, so why have Microsoft deliberately chosen to give perfectly working apps lesser visibility on their “it’s pretty much the same as Windows 7” OS?

          It’s like running a “Vista” program in 7

          I don’t recall Vista shoving everything that predates it into the execution equivalent of a bucket, with a single entry in the task switcher entitled “Crap From Failed Metaphor”.

          • DrGonzo says:

            I don’t understand really. If it’s an old program it won’t have touch screen controls, if you just did it automagically somehow, it would be horrendous to use. You can still add shortcuts to ordinary programs in the metro interface. I really don’t understand what anyone is complaining about.

          • nearly says:

            “Why couldn’t each app have been rendered in its own Metro app window? Putting a wrapper around an object to give it new behaviour is a common technique, so why have Microsoft deliberately chosen to give perfectly working apps lesser visibility on their “it’s pretty much the same as Windows 7″ OS?”

            Can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not, but… The Metro framework’s big advantage is live tiles. They let the app essentially run in the background without eating resources, and can be used to convey useful information. Calender’s live tile will show you the date and your next appointment, People will flash through who has commented on your Facebook status recently, Mail will show you the subject line of recent emails. Any other program will function the same way it would in Windows 7’s Start menu and the taskbar: you can pin it to the Start menu alongside all of your other Metro apps, but the application won’t run until you run it, and then only in the desktop — the way applications work on Windows currently. It’ll just show you an icon, as with the old start menu or a desktop/taskbar icon.

            The only functionality a traditional program is missing out on compared to a Metro app is the live tile in the Start menu and the new docking feature (which is basically the metro equivalent of what you can already do with compatible applications in Windows). They’re essentially giving you a Windows that functions exactly the same and adding features that are convenient and useful on top of it, for those that choose to utilize them.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I haven’t been able to tell if this was planned before or after the Windows 8 announcements. They could mean entirely different things about Valve/Gabe’s motivations.

      • woodsey says:

        I remember learning about this quite a while ago. It certainly hasn’t sprung out of nowhere.

  5. RobF says:

    This is fucking amazing. Having a copy of Studio sit in everyone’s Steam account for nothing is one thing, having export to Steam Workshop built in is more than I could have hoped for.

    So there you go, tonight there’s a tool that lets people throw Freeware up onto Steam in a fashion (providing it’s creating in GM:S, obv). That’s brilliant. Really, really happy about this.

    Given I’ve probably swore at YYG more than anyone else over the past 5 years, it’s amazing how much they’ve not just got their shit together these past twelve months but keep on pulling really good stuff out the bag.

    Great stuff, really.

    • joshg says:

      It looks like Steam Workshop uploading is only possible with the paid ‘Standard’ version, though, not the Free version. (Still not bad, but not the freeware revolution it may have appeared to be.)

      • HothMonster says:

        Good. It creates some tiny bar to keep the flood of crap off steam but really isn’t a hurdle if I have something I really want to put on there, or the skill to possibly make money off it.

        But everyone has a free version to play around with, learn and potentially make some amazing stuff.

      • cwoac says:

        Really? because the feature comparison image on steam and the announcement put up by yoyogames says otherwise…

  6. chaosdrone says:

    GameMaker Studio has achievements.
    link to

  7. Turin Turambar says:

    I still prefer Paint Shop Pro to Photoshop…

  8. Smion says:

    Alba looks like a good doggie.

  9. Suits says:

    They should be able to be filtered from the New Releases, just like DLC.

  10. Kestrel says:

    RPS commenters on this story: Could be good, could be bad, but shows promise. How exciting!
    Ars Technica commenters on this story: OMG STEAM IS SO EVIL CORPORATIONS ARE EVIL GOOGLE IS EVIL

  11. Mr. Mister says:

    Sweet. Now, can you run Steam on Steam while having offline mode in the first one?

    • Wang Tang says:

      I don’t normally do this but…

      Yo dawg, I heard you like Offline Mode, so we put Steam in your Steam so you can be offline while you’re online.

  12. DickSocrates says:

    Still use Paint Shop Pro 7. The best simple 2D tool ever. The chances are neither you or your friends are professional 2D artists. You do not need Photoshop. You will never need Photoshop. Photoshop is a mess of bizarre control decisions and needlessly fiddly interface.

    PSP7 should be in the Smithsonian.

    • Dark Nexus says:

      Partially correct. I have several friends who are professional 2D/3D artists.

    • DogKiller says:

      I don’t know, man. I hate Adobe and their whole business practises, but Photoshop pretty much wins out over PSP in every single way. It’s just ridiculously expensive. On the plus side, if you own a relatively recent version of it, you’ll never need to upgrade again.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      The original classic to me was PSP 3, then 6 was a pretty big instance, and 7 a small step over that, but not hugely so.

      I agree that it is one of the best interfaces for quick, simple, yet highly effective and at times impressive image manipulation. If only someone told/taught the people from The Gimp.

    • Lemming says:

      The thing that has me curious, is will we see Blender and GIMP on Steam? They are free and open source, and probably much better options for 3D/2D bedroom game devleopers. I wonder if they’d be allowed on if they aren’t making Valve/devs any money?

  13. D3xter says:

    What I’d like to know is what they intend to do in regards to people actually OWNING said Software Licenses and making that VERY CLEAR. Are they going to ban people from using productive software they might need to use for work, or that has cost ~500€+ in the future because they misbehaved on Steam or they suspect them of fraud or similar and are they going to treat their complaints just the same as with for instance a game not working?

    And what happens if Steam goes out of business or the service is down? These aren’t paltry sums of games for 5-10€ they are dealing with anymore and can be used professionally for work.

    • aliksy says:

      Do they even use Steamworks? If not you can launch them without Steam.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        Not everything that Steam sells can be launched separately from the client. In fact, the majority of the games on Steam can’t run without it. I can’t imagine it would be any different with software.

        • DogKiller says:

          Which begs the question as to why you’d buy it on Steam when you could just get it straight from the company itself. They all seem to have their own crappy DRM schemes these days, but you don’t need to launch a client to run them.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            I guess some (a lot of) people just like having access to the community options, or the achievements, or the fact that all of their games can be accessed from one client. Personally, I’ve disavowed the Steam community completely, I don’t have a vested interest in achievements, and the “one-stop” option for having all of my games in the same place no longer appeals to me.

            Not to mention that when Steam finally crumbles — which it inevitably will — what’s going to happen to all those games that can only be launched from the client? I doubt that Steam are going to be able to guarantee access to all of them.

            Putting all your eggs in one basket is a bad idea, especially in the world of software-as-a-service.

          • Lemming says:

            Because it’ll version update by itself without you having to go looking for it. For things like autodesk or adobe software, thats going to be a godsend, really.

          • soldant says:

            @Lemming – Many software packages from Autodesk or Adobe come with auto updaters… athough Adobe’s auto updater is the most chatty and annoying I’ve ever come across. The products they’re offering right now though probably don’t. And really, I don’t see either Autodesk or Adobe coming to play ball here. They make their money from big studios who aren’t going to use Steam for their software, they’ll license the software from Autodesk or whoever on their own.

            Steam apps will only really be for casual or bedroom devs, but even with updaters why you’d want another client to run software that shouldn’t need it is a mystery to me.

  14. Greggh says:

    Applications on Steam are still called “games”: i.e. ‘Launching Art Rage 3 Demo game’


    • Acorino says:

      Indie Game: The Movie is listed as a game, too. Sooner or later Valve will have to do something about that.

  15. volcano_fl says:

    Do you know what I like about this?
    I’m 16 years old.
    No credit card.
    Can’t buy software online.

    Steam accepts PaysafeCard.

    Hell yeah.

  16. LionsPhil says:

    >Steam-with-apps as an OS (again)
    Oh, great. The you-can-only-play-one-game-at-a-time model will translate across brilliantly. Perhaps we can call it “Valve DOS”.

    I think I’d rather it dispensed deadly neurotoxin.

    • uh20 says:

      with steam on linux just a week away, its increasingly could actually become an o.s.
      for all that they do though, ill stick with them UNTIL they are the top competition, got to get the companies to screw each other over you see, for the sake of your computer

  17. trjp says:

    HUGE coup for GameMaker IMO – not sure I look forward to the fecal waterslide that will be people’s output from it BUT once you’ve made a game (however good or bad) you’ll have a much MUCH better idea of why other games are the way they are…

    You’ll still hate the same things but you’ll have REASONS ;)

    • doggod101 says:

      At least because you get the games from steam workshop you can sort them by popularity or rating.

  18. trjp says:

    I was expecting a vidcap tool in this list tbh – I’ve always felt the reason Steam doesn’t have one already is that they didn’t want to shut-off a massive potential source of revenue.

    Only question is which one – ah hell list of them but make em CHEAP (Fraps’ standard price is a pisstake – it must be the 2nd most pirated thing on the Net after Photoshop :) )

    • doggod101 says:

      Oh god I wish steam had a recording program like fraps where you could start it at any time within a game maybe even the possibility of live streaming straight to steam community or to sites like that would be so convenient.

      • trjp says:

        It’s such an obvious missing feature that I’ve assumed for eons they were looking for a way to sell it to us…

        Thing is, Steam already integrates with YouTube for video hosting so all you need is FRAPS (or PlayClaw or DXTory or [insert your favourite here[) with proper YouTube uploading and you’ve got a massive winner.

        Sell it for half it’s retail price for the ‘Steam version’ and you’d be minted in moments…

  19. trjp says:

    Was anyone else disappointed that the top screenshot of Paintshop Pro doesn’t say

    “You are on Day 2,212 of your 14 day trial”?

    Like every copy tended to? (*)

    (*) See also WinZip and – indeed – anything else people never buy :)

  20. Navagon says:

    I’d never spend more than £20 on anything tied to Steam. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got hundreds of things on Steam. But why the hell would I want the Steam client slowing up my application’s start up time, further compounded by annoyingly pointless ‘do you want to start in offline mode?’ messages?

    If it’s not multiplayer-centric gaming then Steam is nothing more than a ball and chain.

    If they were offering software really incredibly cheap compared to elsewhere then it might be tempting. But… meh.

  21. Mctittles says:

    So, eventually finding things I want on steam will be just as difficulty as finding things in a web search (i.e. having to have a search at everything).

    • doggod101 says:

      Well actually it’s not going to be anything like a web search because a web search doesn’t search specific products it searches sites therefore you won’t be searching by commonly used words or tags your going to be either A browsing or B searching for a specific product.

  22. doggod101 says:

    Oh the passive aggressive steam hate it’s almost palpable, you know guys who keep constantly saying “When steam inevitably goes down your going to lose all your stuff!” yeah such is the risk of any digital distribution service but really you think steam is just going to go up and up and up and then disappear of the face of the earth and all the data will just be gone… yeah I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen no doubt valve has a backup plan in case such a thing ever happened for f*cks sake give them a little credit your not just going to lose everything. Oh and this is how the future of distribution is going to be you better get used to it because it makes more sense than any other method it probably won’t look the same as it does now but it’s going to be the same core concept but anyway that’s my rant.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      Periods dude. Jeezus.

      • Velko says:

        I don’t think dudes have them?

        • Grey Ganado says:

          They actually do have periods, they just don’t bleed.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          I suffer from anal bleeding, but I don’t think it has anything to do with male menopause. I wouldn’t know for sure because the emergency room stopped taking my calls.

      • jezcentral says:

        Full stops, chap. By Jove.

    • jrodman says:

      Oh surely, a failed DRM system could not possibly lock you out of your data!

      Your argument is only from incomprehension. You don’t personally believe that could happen. You present no reason *why* it could not happen, and in fact it is the typical outcome of dismantled centralized drm systems.

      Various forms of DRM obsolescence have left consumers without access to their purchased items in various ways. Some examples include: MSN Music, Microsoft Plays For Sure, Amazon DRM PDFs and LIT books, Yahoo Music, Walmart Music, Mobipocket books, etc.

      It’s proven to be the TYPICAL result that people lose access to their items, so you have to present some actual argument that this isn’t going to happen in the specific case. The only thing I’ve seen is “Valve says so”, which is not an actual argument. And it’s hopelessly naive, because Valve claimed that they would release things more or less at the end of steam days, but this is likely to coincide with bankruptcy proceedings where they don’t have the power to make such decisions anymore, so even that doesnt’ seem plausible.

  23. seamoss says:

    So does anyone know if these applications use Steam DRM or Steamworks at all? Can you run them outside of Steam (meaning, without Steam running)? If Steam has to be running, can I be using one app on one computer and my wife another app on another computer if both apps are on the same Steam account?

    I guess the main question is: is Steam just the store front and content delivery system, or does it have all the restrictions we have with games on Steam?

  24. MrUnimport says:

    I can’t really think of any reason I would want to use Steam as a launcher for ordinary software. It’s a useful service for multiplayer games, and I have several friends with whom it’s my primary messaging service, but I can’t imagine booting it up every time I want to look at something on my computer or do actual work.

  25. Radiant says:

    Are Valve not worried that by priming companies for online store digital distribution they are just making it easier for these
    companies to move across to the windows 8 app store?

    Bit of a damned if you do damned if you don’t situation.

  26. medwards says:

    From a Linux perspective, I’ve gotta say they’ve had app distribution pretty well-handled. Much better than Windows or Mac. Commercial titles have traditionally forgone package management though (perhaps for good reason), but what is there is a lot better. Aren’t you guys the ones always complaining about Steam reinstalling DirectX all the time?

  27. ShatteredAwe says:

    No please no.

  28. fish99 says:

    Looking forward to the Ableton Live 8 75% off sale. Then I might be able to afford the damn thing. Photoshop too.