Posts Tagged ‘Steam’

You can see when and why you got reported in Dota 2

dota2

You thought all the European General Data Protection Regulation related news was over, didn’t you? Think again. Don’t worry, this bit takes the form of fun trivia rather than an endless onslaught of delivery companies begging to throw pizza promotions at you. Among other things, you can now see every report and commendation you got in Dota 2 since 2015, along with the reason given by whoever snitched on you. This’ll be old news to anyone who’s already part of our fancy supporter program, but I’ve hardly ever been reported and thus claim my title as the nicest person in the world.

Valve have also given everyone access to their Counter-Strike: Global Offensive stats and reports, as well as all sorts of Steam bits and bobs like your chat history (going back two weeks) and community bans. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam to stop supporting Windows XP and Vista in 2019

The Steam client will stop supporting Windows XP and Vista next year, Valve have announced, meaning it “will no longer run” on those ancient operating systems. Some of Steam’s newer features won’t work on them, Valve explain, so they’re cutting ’em loose. If you want to keep on Steaming past January 1st, 2019, you’ll need to upgrade to a newer version of Windows (or switch to Linux?). Public numbers show only a fraction of one percent of Steam users still using either, though this will suck for them. Valve’s move is not surprising; Microsoft have long since stopped supporting either, and Blizzard already cut them off from their newer games too. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam Chat overhaul drags it into the modern day

Group chats, embedded multimedia, and an invisible mode are among the new features coming to Steam’s Chat in a long-overdue overhaul, Valve announced today. The new style will drag the barebones chat client out of the 90s and into the Discord era, and you can try it in the public beta test right now. Just imagine: creating new group chats and voice channels as you please; the Friends list showing in-game parties; GIFs and videos and such appearing embedded in chats; and inviting people to group chats with a link. Ooh it’s like modern software or something! Read the rest of this entry »

Valve’s abdication of responsibility over Steam is the worst possible solution

Valve’s announcement last night that their forthcoming policy for Steam releases is that anything goes, unless it’s illegal or “straight up trolling”, has obviously caused all manner of ruckus. Takes are hot, and coming from all angles. But the main issue, roaring over all other discussion following this peculiar statement and its possible consequences, is that Valve’s rationale for their latest position is incredibly cowardly and stupid. Read the rest of this entry »

Valve take a stand against taking a stand on Steam rules

Steam just got a whole lot wilder.

Good news: Creators of raunchy visual novels and other such things on the fringes of Steam’s content rules can now probably breathe easy, despite Valve’s worrying and unpredictable behaviour recently.

Less good news: In a lengthy and jaw-dropping Steam blog post, Valve’s Erik Johnson has effectively abdicated all responsibility for what is sold on Steam, stating that:

“-we’ve decided that the right approach is to allow everything onto the Steam Store, except for things that we decide are illegal, or straight up trolling”.

Alright, deep breath… Let’s take a look at this and try to pick apart some of the implications.

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Massive Steam security hole closed a decade late

Put your hacks on the ground and step away from the keyboard!

For most of the past decade, it has theoretically been possible to hijack someone’s PC via Steam, according to IT security consultant firm Context Information Security. Don’t panic or go setting your PC on fire, though – as far as anyone is aware, no machines were hacked through this method. While no known harm from using the exploit exists, it’s a solid reminder as to why internet security is something that everyone needs to keep on top of, no matter how big or small your outfit.

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Unknown Pleasures: Ten new games you could play

Rap won't save you.

Hello and welcome to the source of all digital joy. It is, of course, Unknown Pleasures, where you can find some good games you may not have heard about.

Screeching a colourful stream of profanity this week: memory divers, demonic invasions, and solving a murder by killing hundreds of other people. Oh, games.

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Apple reject iOS Steam Link app

Apple have rejected the iOS version of Valve’s Steam Link app, the doodad which lets people play their Steam games on pocket telephones and digislates, after initially approving it. Valve have appealed the rejection and been shot down, so this is probably the end unless Apple have a change of heart. If you’ve been hoping to park in bed playing Slay The Spire on your iPad, hard luck. The app is still available on Android doodads, mind. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam’s Spring Cleaning Event wants you to clear your backlog… Or just try a bunch of new games instead

Steam Spring Cleaning

I’m not sure if Valve’s latest promotional wotsit on Steam knows whether it’s coming or going. On one hand, it’s nice that the Spring Cleaning Event (running until Monday, 28th May) is nudging players into trying out games they may have bought in sales and never touched, but pairing that with nine simultaneous free weekend events does somewhat undermine the message.

Ah well, it’s an excuse to play videogames all weekend. Can’t grumble about that. Plus, there’s an actual free game giveaway running – take a peek within. Oh, and yesterday’s big Steam giveaway is still live until tomorrow, so try that too. Oh dear, there’s just too many games.

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What the hell is Steam doing with VNs right now?

ks1-600x309

Okay. Here’s… here’s the thing. I’ve learned more about visual novels in the last 24 hours than I’ve known in the last 33 years of my life. Most of what I’ve learned is that VNs are doing a lot of cool things, and some other VNs? Those VNs are doing dangerous things. And the one universal rule of video game distribution is still in effect: Valve has no gosh danged idea what they’re doing. Yesterday, there was a series of emails from Valve issuing warnings to several developers and publishers, threatening to remove their games from Steam unless they are edited to remove ‘pornographic content’. Today, those same devs and pubs are getting emails saying “Just kidding. But also… MAYBE NOT.”

Valve. The hell? Is Gabe spinning some gigantic wheel in the office right now? We just randomizing policy? OH LOOK, it landed on Surprise Steam Sale!

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Valve threatening removal of visual novels with ‘adult content’, some authorised years ago say MangaGamer

Kindred Spirits on the Roof - Declared shameless pornography

Nerves are a little frayed across the visual novel development scene, as Valve have apparently issued warnings to several developers and publishers, threatening to remove their games from Steam unless they are edited to remove ‘pornographic content’.

The largest confirmation of this comes from prolific VN publisher MangaGamer, who have received several of these notices, including one for Kindred Spirits on the Roof, a game which they explicitly ran past Valve representatives to confirm that it was not pornographic in nature. Valve agreed – at the time – and allowed it to go on sale back in February of 2016. The deal, as Darth Vader would say, has been altered.

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Valve’s local streaming Steam Link app hits Android & iOS

Steam Link

Valve’s Steam Link app – a beta version, at least – has rolled out onto Android, with an iOS version soon to follow. Now folks with any kind of modern tablet, phone or other free-roaming screen will be able to play their PC games library anywhere in the house through the power of low-latency video streaming, assuming your home Wi-fi is up to par.

You’ll need a relatively recent phone or tablet to get the most out of this, and ideally a Steam Controller or two (which recently was updated to play nicer with iOS), but at the price of free, it’s hard to complain.

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SteamVR Input aims to unify the fractured new frontier

SteamVR Input

With every mega-corporation and their mega-dog throwing fat sacks of cash at Virtual Reality right now, and a multitude of headsets available, it’s easy to forget that nobody really has any idea what they’re doing right now. While consensus on how to advance headset technology seems to be fairly universal, every company seems to have their own idea of how to control things in virtual space. Valve’s stopgap solution until folks can agree on stuff is SteamVR Input, a unified control-binding system for (quelle surprise) SteamVR.

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Unknown Pleasures: Another Five Great Indie Games

Black fire girl magic

Healthy eating is for suckers. Here we are, at the height of a long overdue spring, and everyone here has a persistent cold. In May, no less. I’ve even been going outside, and just last night I ate a vegetable. Well, there’ll be no more of that. Instead, a steady diet of Unknown Pleasures will surely cure all ills.

Triumphantly returning to gorging on discounted pasties and cakes this week: nested heartbreak, non-awful high school comedy, and Argentinian dance-fights.

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Steam Charts: surviving eternity

Hallo! John’s away so I’m taking over for our latest weekly rundown of the biggest-selling games on Steam over the previous seven days. Familiar faces are here, of course, but the charts also include more survival games than I’ve seen in yonks. The slightest peek of sun outside and you lot start acting as if it’s the end of the world, eh?

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Free Steam Link app for Android & iOS makes your Steam library mobile

Steam

When Valve practically started giving away Steam Link boxes for little more than price-of-postage, I assumed that the company was stepping away from the concept of in-home streamed gaming. Today’s announcement suggests the idea is very much alive and well at Valve: soon you’ll be able to play games from your Steam library through most iOS and Android devices via an official and free Steam Link app.

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Study suggests Steam reviewers are bothered more by bad game design than bugs

steam-review-bombs

A study of over 10 million Steam user reviews has found that when reviews include negative feedback, they call out poor game design more often than they complain about bugs. Which is entirely unsurprising, really: I know that infuriating design decisions tend to stick in my head far more perniciously than occasional bugs. That’s not the only insight that the researchers from Queen’s University in Canada have to offer though, and I’m finding the fine-grained details of their study much more interesting than that headline conclusion.

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Steam Input adds native Switch Pro Controller support

Steam: Switch Pro controller

While one of the best things about having a gaming-spec PC is the sheer freedom you have in input devices, it really does help to have a reliable, widely supported gamepad. My current go-to is the XBox One controller, but there might be another competitor on the horizon. You’ll have to opt in to the latest Steam beta to use it, but you can now use a Nintendo Switch Pro controller on Steam, remarkably useful gyro-aiming and all.

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Unknown Pleasures: A five-course menu of great new games

Does anyone try to make a story out of these mini-screenshots? It could be like the Game Idea Machine, but worse

You’re lucky, readers. It’s an optimistic time of year, even for sour-faced mopes like myself, and I damn nearly opened with some lyrics. What can I say? The sun is singing, the birds are shining, and the latest selection of Unknown Pleasures is a zingy blend of drama, carefree fun, and creativity. I for one am feeling inspired.

Fooling us into thinking Summer won’t be repulsively hot, itchy and sticky this week: cowboy revenge, underground art, and bisexual pride.

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Unknown Pleasures: About four to six great new Steam games

Going to big social things alone would have been unthinkable a year ago and is still pretty scary. Thanks for being so lovely, everyone.

It’s been a strange week here at the Pleasuredome. Once again, a bud of the Hivemind prepares to detach and spread in-jokes and sinister, fungaloid thoughts about user interfaces to a new, unsuspecting host. And I’d only just confirmed he’s real, too. Bye bye, Adam. Subvert from within, yeah?

Still, on the plus side, I high fived Aby Wolf the other night. And now it’s time for Unknown Pleasures! Heavens.

Shamelessly namedropping far more talented people we’ve briefly orbited this week: chasing rabbits, redirecting lasers, and justifying patricide.

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