Posts Tagged ‘Valve’

Discord’s new Game Tab seems handy, and also metal?

Discord

Steam and Discord seem to be butting heads a lot lately – Valve aren’t happy with just the lion’s share of the PC digital games market; they want Steam to be where players do their socialising and chatting, too. Discord’s latest shot across their rival’s bow is the Games Tab, currently rolling out to the games-focused chat software right now. Essentially, it turns Discord into a general gaming info and social hub which you can launch games from, join other people via, and even keep up on news feeds. It also has a very silly informational video within.

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Valve demo new VR controls with Portal mini-games

Moondust

It strikes me as very silly that anyone is trying to declare VR a failure or a success, given that we’re still working out the most basic of control systems for it. Valve’s latest VR project is a new alternate controller for the HTC Vive called Knuckles, and by all accounts it’s a big step in the right direction, allowing complex finger motions to be tracked, on top of offering analogue sticks and buttons. To demo the new hardware, Valve put together Moondust, a Portal-themed minigame collection designed to put the new hardware through its paces.

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Steam’s summer sale opens with a mini-game gimmick

Saliens

It’s time to lash your wallet to the mast again, because these are choppy waters for anyone with a poor grip on their money. Steam’s summer sale has started, bringing its usual boatload of discounts across the majority of games on the mega-storefront. For the first time in a while the event is accompanied by a mini-game gimmick. By playing the browser-based Summer Saliens (yes, they really did name it that) you can earn a chance to win games from a handful of Valve-picked themes up until the sale ends on July 5th.

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Put CS:GO’s new Panorama UI through its paces

panorama

The beta for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s shiny new UI, Panorama, is now available to players who fancy a preview. Valve is touting it as “the most substantial change to the look and feel of CS:GO since the game was released in 2012.” Every part of the UI has been updated, so it might take a bit of time to get used to.

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Dota 2’s Underhollow mode is underwhelmingly hollow

Underhollow_header

It was a matter of time before battle royale got spun up from a top-down perspective. True, the surprisingly fun surviv.io was the first to get there – but that’s essentially a 2D port of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and nearly as shallow as that description implies. Dota 2 is the first game to tackle the genre with a little more depth: I’ve been playing its Underhollow mode, with strangers.

I do not advise playing Dota 2’s Underhollow mode with strangers. Read the rest of this entry »

Fancy creator homepages come to Steam

creator pages

I’m not sure how many new features Valve will need to bolt onto Steam to aid in the discovery of games before it actually works, but today we see another one arrive. It’s actually a good one this time, though! Creator Homepages are custom hubs attached to developers and publishers, essentially working in the same way as Curator pages. You can follow them and get notifications about new games, while they can create lists and collections, or shine a spotlight on specific games.

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The Beginnings 5 TF2 jumping competition has begun

TF2_trickjumping_header

I love discovering subcultures that occasionally spawn from videogames, and trickjumping is a wonderful example. Give Quake players the ability to propel themselves through the air by firing rockets at their feet and a momentum-building jumping bug, and what do they do? They make custom maps and challenge each other to perform feats of aerial ballet, of course. Delightfully, that scene is still going strong nearly 20 years on in Team Fortress 2.

The Beginnings 5 TF2 jumping competition began last week, and features three different events. There’s a speedrun competition on set maps, a trickjumping competition that involves doing something impressive on any map, and – perhaps most excitingly – a live race. Read the rest of this entry »

Dota 2’s Underhollow battle royale mode sounds cheesy

Dota 2

What do you call a Dota 2 last-man standing mode? A battle royale with cheese. No, really – today the gates opened on the MOBA giant’s new Battle Pass-exclusive playmode, Underhollow. Eight teams enter a rapidly collapsing dungeon, and victory goes to either the last one left standing, or the first to sneak back out holding a legendary wheel of extra-mature cheese. It’s the kind of daft cartoon antics I’ve come to expect from Heroes of The Storm’s special Brawl modes, but don’t take that as a complaint – more of this kind of thing, please.

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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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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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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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How Artifact connects to Dota 2’s story

artifact

I’ve had Artifact on the brain these past few weeks, so I’ve mulled over the phrase “Dota-inspired card game” more times than I count. But what does Dota-inspired really mean? Artifact has lanes and creeps and heroes and also some nifty rectangles if you haven’t heard, but that just makes it a MOBA-inspired card game. What makes it a Dota game? I spoke to Artifact programmers Bruno Carlucci and Jeep Barnett to find out. Read the rest of this entry »