Posts Tagged ‘Steam’

Valve still trying to stop Steam user review manipulation

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Valve are making more changes to Steam reviews in response to a different kind of review manipulation. This time the changes are to how Steam decides which user reviews are most helpful, and to make the user reviews that are displayed on Steam’s homepage representative of its overall review score. This is on top of changes made back in September designed to reduce the impact of organised “review bombing” campaigns.

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Unknown Pleasures: five of the best new Steam games this week

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Welcome back to Unknown Pleasures, a weekly column wherein I recommended five new Steam games released during the past seven days, and which you probably haven’t heard of already.

This week: what-if GTA, mental health Metroidvanias and Neverending Story dragonflight simulators.
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Unknown Pleasures: this week’s best new Steam releases

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Welcome back to Unknown Pleasures, our weekly round-up of five ace new Steam games you almost certainly missed.

This week: space-noir fisticuffs with a dog, wingsuit wonderama, deadly dungeons and one-stab-and-dead fighting games.
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Steam’s Halloween Sale is great for grand strategy

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With Halloween fast approaching, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about typical spooky things: ghouls and ghosts, vampires and werewolves, marrying off my daughter to an appropriate suitor and the best trade strategy to dominate the Aegean. The Steam Halloween Sale is in full swing until November 1, and thanks to Paradox Interactive, it’s full of grand strategy games.

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Unknown Pleasures: the best new indie games on Steam

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Welcome back to Unknown Pleasures, our weekly digest of hidden gems embedded into the vast mountain of new Steam releases over the past seven days.

This week: praying mantises gettin’ it on, 80s neon puzzling, obscure Russian Doom clones and the shmup where every enemy is your own past.

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Steam curators will soon be able to embed videos

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Valve has been quietly working on the Steam Curators system – the swarm of publications and people that recommend games to users – and they are poised to roll out a significant update. It includes video reviews, customisation options, analytics and a new feature that will make it easier for developers to connect with curators. It’s entering closed beta today.

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Steam introduces digital gift cards and a lot of hassle

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Can’t think of a decent birthday present for that sort-of-but-not-really friend or distant family member? Don’t worry: Steam has your back. Instead of just giving them some cash that they’ll probably spend on a game anyway, why not show that you care — but not too much — by picking up a digital gift card from Steam? They’re available now, if you’re willing to jump through some hoops.

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Winter’s Steam sales approacheth on these dates

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Octemberweenmas is the most magical time of the year, filled with skeletons, imported turkeys and jolly fat men in chimneys. For us videogame-appreciating sorts, it’s also the season for dark forces to align and savagely maul our wallets until there is nothing left but tattered receipts, regrets and a swelling backlog of games to play.

At least this year we’ve been forewarned. Through a combination of dates leaked on reddit and journalists poking developers, we now have dates for Steam’s upcoming Halloween, Black Friday/Thanksgiving and Winter Holiday sales.

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Secrets of the developer who sold half a million videogames you’ve never heard of on Steam

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In the space of a half-hour conversation, Adam Nickerson, aka Nickervision Studios, uses a variant of the phrase ‘I don’t know really how to make videogames’ at least half a dozen times. Yet he’s managed to singlehandedly sell half a million copies of his games on PC.

You’ve probably never heard of Bit Blaster XL, for example, but it’s shifted 260,000 copies on Steam. He developed it solo, in just two weeks. Its follow-up, on course to be equally successful, was developed in 75 hours.

How did he do it? He figured out exactly how to get noticed on Steam during this time of seemingly ceaseless new releases – a time that has destroyed the hopes and dreams of many other small developers. Read the rest of this entry »

The Witcher turns 10 years old and celebrates with a big sale

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Somehow, our lad Geralt’s video game adventures have turned ten years old this week. That’s ten years of slaying monsters as the silver fox with cat-eyes. Ten years of werewolves, dragons, unicorns, romances and politics, usually all at the same time. Ten years of articles debating how much sex in a video game constitutes too much.

To celebrate the series’ tenth anniversary, you can pick up all the games in the franchise (as well as the various bits of DLC) with some hefty discounts this week. These offers are available at GOG if you like your games DRM-free, Humble if you’d like to kick a few pennies towards charity while you buy or Steam, if you like to keep things as simple as possible.

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Unknown Pleasures: 5 of the best new Steam releases

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Welcome back to Unknown Pleasures. Each week, we wade through the chin-deep river of new Steam releases to find five hidden gems that otherwise would have passed most of us by.

This week: Hadoukens & cherry blossoms, a The Flash game without The Flash, sinister bureaucracy and extremely charming elephants. Read the rest of this entry »

Making The Orange Box: how 3 Valve games became 1

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The Orange Box is one of the strangest quirks of gaming history. Never before had a developer released three brand new, entirely separate games at the same time in one package, and thanks to digital distribution, it probably won’t happen again. What makes The Orange Box truly remarkable though is that it contained two of the most-anticipated games of 2007, and what proved to be the biggest surprise hit of the year (some might argue ever).

The company was Valve and the games were Half Life 2: Episode 2, Team Fortress 2 and Portal.

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Unknown Pleasures: our favourite new Steam releases

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Welcome back to Unknown Pleasures, our weekly round-up of the most excellent hidden gems we dug up from the past week of new releases on Steam.

This week: botany simulation, electro-tanks, skeletal Wolverine and automatic Starship Troopers.
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Unknown Pleasures: the best new little-known Steam games this week

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Welcome back to Unknown Pleasures, our weekly round-up of the most excellent hidden gems we dug up from the past week of new releases on Steam.

This week: endless runners remixed, spaceship life simulation and Dark Souls vs Ico.
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Unknown Pleasures: our favourite new Steam games

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Welcome back to Unknown Pleasures, our weekly round-up of the best overlooked new releases on Steam.

This week: choose your own trousers, Devil Daggers on a motorbike, forgotten rally classics and No Meow’s Sky.
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Steam now fighting review bombs with diagrams

All social problems can be solved by data, any naive tech company can tell you, which is why Valve are attempting to solve Steam ‘review bombing’ by adding graphs to its player reviews. Review bombing is the practice of players organising to leave negative reviews that drive down a game’s rating in an attempt to punish or manipulate developers by damaging their future sales prospects. Games bombed over the past month range from Firewatch to Grand Theft Auto V. This is a known and old problem with Steam’s reviews, and one Valve aren’t happy with. So, to counterattack disproportionate bursts of negative reviews, Valve have added unusual activity warnings to Steam store pages with histograms tracking reviews over time. Read the rest of this entry »

Malaysia blocks Steam to ban religious fighting game

The Malaysian government has blocked access to the whole Steam store in an attempt to ban Fight of Gods [Steam page], a new fighting game where deities from Jesus to Odin punch each other in the face. The game is a threat to the “solidarity, harmony and wellbeing of the multi-racial and multi-religious people in the country”, an official said.

The Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission yesterday issued a 24-hour ultimatum demanding that Steam’s operator, Valve, block users in Malaysia from downloading the game. After that passed and the game was still available, they ordered ISPs to block the site. Steamers in Malaysia are unable to access the store, though playing Steam games still seems to work – and the block can be bypassed. Read the rest of this entry »

Unknown Pleasures: the best Steam games you might have missed

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Welcome back to Unknown Pleasures, our weekly digest of our favourite new games released on Steam over the past few days that we’ve not already covered in detail.

This week: roguelite flight sims, The Thing as survival-strategy game, tank racing and cowboy commandos. Read the rest of this entry »

Unknown Pleasures: this week’s Steam new release highlights

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Welcome back to Unknown Pleasures, our weekly round-up of the best new but under-reported games released on Steam over the past seven days.

This week: SF startup simulation, nihilistic Tetris, toilet humour and fantasy RPG Tinder.
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