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Posts tagged “Valve”

Steam expands its broadcasting features, starting with The International 2018 live on Steam.TV

While Twitch still seems a popular venue to watch Dota 2 mega-tourney The International, Valve have rolled out a few upgrades to Steam Broadcasting. If it tickles your fancy, you can now watch the massive esport event on Steam.TV, complete with Steam friends integration and the option to invite your regular Dota posse to watch the match with you in a private chat (text or…

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pulls the old but reliable MP5 out of retirement

While other esports games continually rework and re-imagine themselves, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive moves slow and steady. New weapons and systems are tentatively introduced once in a blue moon, so it's not surprising that its latest addition feels conservative. Absent since Counter-Strike: Source passed the torch to CS:GO, the now-silenced MP5 submachine gun is now available for use in offline, official casual and deathmatch modes, though Valve…

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Half-Life mod Echoes pushes both its engine and players to their absolute limits

While Black Mesa may be rebuilding Half-Life's world on a slightly more modern foundation, modder James "MrGnang" Cockburn reckons there's some life in Valve's old GoldSrc engine yet. Half-Life: Echoes is an impressive mod released last Friday, putting the player in the shoes of a scientist elsewhere in the Black Mesa facility when everything goes to hell. Cue the usual running, gunning, fighting soldiers and weird…

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Valve chap says last night’s Steam sexy search filtering was a mistake

Those with their ear to the pipes might've heard rumblings last night about Steam's search feature hiding all games with a whiff of wallopers and/or jubblies, seemingly a huge break from Valve's supposed stance of not restricting content on Steam. A variety of games, from jiggly-bedicked party platformer Mount Your Friends 3D to steamy comedy Ladykiller In A Bind, were briefly filtered out from everyone's…

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The best jumps that jumpers jumped in The Beginnings 5 TF2 jumping competition

Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of Team Fortress 2 jumping. It's a lot like normal TF2, only rather the shooting people the goal is to propel yourself skywards using explosively powered movement techniques on custom designed maps. Yeah, it's nothing like normal TF2. Jumpers have tournaments too though. They've spent the past month hopping through three separate events in the Beginnings 5 competition.…

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OpenAI’s bots just thrashed some of the world’s best Dota players

"We estimate the probability of winning to be above 95%", said OpenAI's Dota 2 bots at the start of their second game against extremely skilled humans. I knew they'd been trained up using a sophisticated reinforcement learning technique that had instilled them with millenia worth of experience. I didn't know they'd been versed in trash talk. It seems they had training time to spare, because…

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s new ‘Panorama’ UI is now go go go

Valve have rolled Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's shiny new user interface, named 'Panorama', out as the default after weeks of public testing. It's light, it's colourful, and it stops the game feeling weirdly business-like. I like it! CS:GO's style felt like productivity software pretending to be fun, and this feels like a video game. It's not all sunshine, mind, as it may run worse on older…

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Valve start dealing Artifact on November 28th

Valve have announced plans to launch Artifact, their digital card-battling adaptation of wizard management simulator Dota 2, on November 28th. That's the plan. That's what they say now. Valve's first big game since Dota 2 in 2013, Artifact turns the MOBA into a card game where players build decks to make wizards fight across three 'lanes' of the table and murder the other wizards' base.…

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Valve pull Abstractism from Steam after allegations of cryptocurrency mining

Valve might want to reconsider their planned 'anything goes' approach to content on Steam, after Abstractism - a game that had been apparently lurking around on the store since March 15th - had to be pulled from sale after a flurry of bad press. As reported by YouTuber SidAlpha in the video below, the game was being identified by many virus scanners as dangerous, and…

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Dota 2 loot boxes start telling Dutch players what they’ll get

Valve have reportedly stripped the uncertainty and razzle-dazzle from opening loot boxes in Dota 2, but only for players in the Netherlands. When Dutchlanders now look at Dota 2's loot boxes, which contain cosmetic items, the wizard 'em up simply tells them which item they would receive if they bought it. No hoping, no dreaming, no fancy animations or pounding drums as it shows you…

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Steam launches new Friends and Discordian chat

Valve have dragged the Steam client's chatting out of the noughties and into the early tensies with the launch of its new chat update, which looks to borrow more than a few ideas from smash-hit chat client Discord. Steamers can now create group chats on the fly, see GIFs and YouTube videos and Soundcloud tunes and so on embedded in chats, add extra voice and…

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Feature: "The International 2022 will be won by bots"

AI wizard Mike Cook wants OpenAI’s Dota bots to teach him, not beat him

In a little over four weeks, five AI bots will play a team of pro players at The International. OpenAI's bots have learnt to play Dota 2 almost from scratch, building up an understanding of the game using one of the most advanced reinforcement learning techniques AI researchers have yet devised. It's an impressive achievement, regardless of whether the bots manage to crush their flesh…

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Counter-Strike crates blocked in Belgium & Netherlands

Presumably in order to adhere to new gambling rules pertaining to loot boxes, players in the Netherlands and Belgium are now blocked from opening key-locked boxes in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. This is following their announcement last month, where CS:GO and Dota 2 market trading was blocked for Dutch players (as covered here by Eurogamer), with promises that a "less inconvenient" solution would be coming.

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Steam blocks another weird trick for estimating sales

Valve have stifled another statistical technique people used to estimate Steam sales figures, one which temporarily revived the popular estimatron SteamSpy. This latest weird trick, based on Steam achievement numbers, has been cut off less than a week after game dev Tyler Glaiel--of Closure and The End Is Night fame--brought it to public attention. While such numbers are mostly useful to Jo Public for funsies…

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Ready Steady Pan is a TF2 tournament where you can only attack with frying pans

There's a 'this is the pinnacle of esports' joke right there on the table, but I'm gonna say straight up that Ready Steady Pan is an absolute mess to spectate. But what a spectacularly daft mess it is. This is 6v6 Team Fortress 2, where everyone is only allowed to attack with frying pans and food. And urine, for some reason. The community-run "semi-competitive tournament"…

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OpenAI’s Dota 2 bots sets their sights on the big leagues

It's easy enough to make a bot that can trounce a human player in a first-person shooter - just react faster and shoot straighter - but anything strategic presents a fresh set of exceptionally complex problems. To this day, few Starcraft or Dota bots could rival a decently skilled player or group, at least until now. AI research group OpenAI reckon that their Dota 2…

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Black Mesa’s vision of Xen is bigger, bolder & nearly done

Sometimes, things just take time. When an amateur team remake an FPS classic up to AAA standards in a modern engine in their spare time? Yeah, that'll take a while, but the patience seems to be paying off for fans of Black Mesa. While so so far the ambitious (and Valve-endorsed) Half-Life remake has mostly adhered to the structure of the original, developers Crowbar Collective reckon…

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

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…

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Valve demo new VR controls with Portal mini-games

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…

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