Posts Tagged ‘Valve’

Team Fortress 2 Jungle Inferno update brings new short

The Team Fortress 2 [official site] gang are off to a lush tropical island to fight around the remains of Saxton Hale’s failed theme park Yeti Park in the next big themed update. The Jungle Inferno update will re-open Yeti Park as Mercenary Park, where mercenaries fight mercenaries (for control of capture points). Psst, that’s us. Five tropical community-made maps are coming too. As is TF2 tradition, Valve are counting down to launch day-by-day with collected teases, so more is to come. Dare I dream for the promised Pyro overhaul?

And yes, of course this means we have a fine new TF2 animated short to watch: 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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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive revamping Dust2

Update: The new Dust2 is now live in the beta branch and Valve have detailed all the changes. It looks great! The Leet Krew get a makeover too.

Counter-Strike’s De_dust2 is surely one of the most-reproduced levels in video games, remade and reinterpreted and parodied by fans across dozens of different games. Yet another one is coming our way soon, though this one is official. An “updated” and “refined” version of Dust2 is headed to the next test version of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [official site], Valve announced last night, “coming soon.” Dust 2 was removed from the regular rotation back in February, though not from the game entirely. Valve aren’t quite ready to reveal the extent of changes but do share a teensy peek. Read the rest of this entry »

Former Valve artist’s portfolio includes mystery co-op fantasy game, rad female TF2 characters

Valve Software might possibly be making a cooperative fantasy game, or have at one time worked on, or thought about making, or doodled some ideas for one. This revelation comes from concept art in the portfolio of former Valve artist Drew Wolf. “The project was a fantasy adventure game centered around cooperative combat and driven by story,” he says, though he doesn’t explicitly say the character sketches were for Valve, simply referring it as an “internal R&D project”. So maybe it maybe it never got beyond the R&D stage, maybe it wasn’t even for Valve, or maybe it’ll be Valve’s next game.

The point is: oh hot damn, Wolf also drew some ace concepts for female Team Fortress 2 characters, come look at these. Read the rest of this entry »

Has Team Fortress 2 been improved by its updates?

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Update Night is a fortnightly column in which Rich McCormick revisits games to find out whether they’ve been changed for better or worse.

This is RPS, so let’s get literary. Team Fortress 2 is the game version of the Picture of Dorian Gray — but in reverse. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

Dota 2 bringing Festivus back through contest

After an initial wild burst of Dota 2 [official site] enthusiasm celebrating every holiday on the calendar with special events (who could forget 2013’s Urology Awareness Month minigame?), Valve have become quite bad at festivities. They’ve not celebrated Halloween (aka Diretide) or Crimble (Frostivus) properly since 2014, and their absence has been felt. Good news: Frostivus will return this year. Weird news: it’s returning through a contest asking players to create and submit modes. Unrelated news: the next big Dota 2 update, which will add two new heroes is still over a month away. Read the rest of this entry »

Dota 2’s Siltbreaker co-op campaign concluded

The Dota 2 [official site] cooperative campaign Siltbreaker concluded with the launch of Act II on Friday. The campaign, which is only available to folks who buy Dota’s latest Battle Pass tournament sticker album, is a bit bum but it does at least now have an easier mode. Those who want treasures and cheevies can still grind their faces against Siltbreaker’s boring difficulty but girls who just wanna have fun can play in the easier ‘Adventure Mode’. It still won’t be good but it will be less of a chore. Read the rest of this entry »

The International 2017: Three teams standing, two new heroes, and one TERRIFYING AI

Dueling Fates update

The final day of The International 2017 looms, with only Newbee, LGD.Forever Young (LFY) and Team Liquid still in the running to win pro Dota 2’s highest accolade – yesterday saw both Invictus Gaming and LGD Gaming eliminated in surprisingly one-sided lower bracket matches.

But first… new heroes! Read the rest of this entry »

The International 2017: Five Dota 2 teams remain – who are they and how are they doing?

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Four days into the main event and The International 2017 – Dota 2’s $24 million world championship – is down to its final five teams. Only Newbee, LGD.Forever Young, Team Liquid, Invictus Gaming and LGD Gaming remain, the other eleven squads to grace the main stage of Seattle’s KeyArena having fallen from the lower bracket and out of contention for the trophy. Read the rest of this entry »

Valve announce Artifact, a Dota 2 spin-off card game

Valve last night announced Artifact, a new card game based on Dota 2. I can tell you that Artifact is coming in 2018 and sounds like it broadly simulates a game of Dota, with lanes to push and Dota heroes to command, but Valve haven’t shown anything concrete yet. For a company that often sets trends, this does seem curiously late – the world is hardly short of digital card games these days, and this isn’t even the first card game spun off from a MOBA (Smite Tactics springs to mind, for starters). But hey, I’m always interested in what Valve are up to and Artifact does sound quite different to the usual Magic: The Gathering ’em ups. Read the rest of this entry »

Dota 2’s $23.3m tournament kicks off!

The International 2017

1. The International 2017 – the seventh annual Dota 2 [official site] megatournament has just started and there’s a noteworthy $23.3m prize pool at stake.

2. I forgot to tell you that before it got underway because I was having a capslock conversation with Alice about how DEREK ACORAH AND PAUL DANAN ARE IN THE CELEBRITY BIG BROTHER HOUSE TOGETHER RIGHT NOW.

3. There is a whole amazing guide to all the teams in the running for slices of that prize money pie by our James which will help fairweather fans get a handle on proceedings. Read the rest of this entry »

The International 2017: Your guide to the biggest tournament in professional Dota 2!

The International, Dota 2

The International, Dota 2’s biggest competitive event (as well as esports’ most moneyed), returns to Seattle this week. This is the culmination of Dota’s year-long season schedule – all of it, all the Majors, third-party tournaments and rosters shuffles, have led to this 18-way showdown where over $23 million is up for grabs. Here’s our James to explain what you’re watching and give you crucial backstory for all of the teams! Read the rest of this entry »

Dota 2 rolls out friendly welcome wagon for noobs

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You know how sometimes you go to the swimming pool and in the grown-up full size bit there are boring lanes and people who tell you off for having fun but in the baby section there are inflatables and everyone is friendly and sometimes there’s a blow-up tropical island with a slide and you wish you could go in that pool instead of the boring adult pool even though there is also a lot of wee in there which you try not to think about?

That is how I feel about the newcomer-friendly changes to Dota 2 [official site]. Valve are making it NICER and more MANAGEABLE. No-one has mentioned a tropical island with a slide, but maybe it’s being kept secret. If it is I will KICK OFF. Read the rest of this entry »

What I learned playing Dota 2 with a professional player

Beat the Legends

Our James ventured out of unranked solo queue and ended up on a Dota 2 [official site] team captained by a professional player and being streamed to thousands as some of the most famous casters in the scene commentated his efforts. No pressure, then! Here’s a little account of what happened and some advice for if you ever find yourself in this not-at-all-highly-specific situation…

Last Thursday, Dota 2 production studio and general community hub joinDOTA hosted Beat The Legends, a rather unusual showmatch: while both teams would be led by a bonafide professional player, the remaining eight positions would be filled by members of the Dota-playing public, or at least those who entered and won the random draw. The pros would be Crescendo captain and on-again, off-again analyst Troels “SyndereN” Nielsen, and Henrik “Admiral Bulldog” Ahnberg, champion of The International 2013, former Alliance offlaner and Europe’s most popular streamer.

One of the randomers would be, unfortunately for everyone else, me. Read the rest of this entry »

Dota 2 newcomer stream returns to megabucks tourney

The International 2017

With mega Dota 2 [official site] competition The International 2017 on the esports horizon, Valve have gone into more detail about what fans can expect from the tournament. There’s a new host in the form of Sean “Day9” Plott (you might know him from his work in the pro StarCraft scene, the Hearthstone scene, or the pro Dota 2 scene, or for hosting cheery fanzine PC Gamer’s E3 event) some scheduling details and HOLLER TO ALL OF YOU WHO WANTED IT BACK because the newcomer stream is happening again. Read the rest of this entry »

Half-Life gets new patch, almost 19 years after launch

Though Half-Life [official site] is almost nineteen years old and its sanctioned fan remake Black Mesa is nearing completion, Valve have launched a wee patch for their pretty okay or whatever vintage FPS. The patch fixes a few crashes and exploits, and hit other Half-Life engine games too, such as classic Counter-Strike. Given how much of modern PC games history connects to Half-Life and its mod scene, I’m glad Valve are still tinkering a little. Earlier this year, they finally got Half-Life an uncensored release in Germany too. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam UI overhaul incoming, Valve presentation confirms

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An overhaul of Steam’s UI is in the works and will focus on changes to the library and game launch pages, according to a Valve presentation at the recent conference Indigo 2017.

The slides from Valve’s product designer Alden Kroll, posted on the ValveTime forum, say that there’s an “overall UI refresh and update coming”, but give no date for the changes. Specifically, Valve plans to add the option to quickly launch recently played games from the library home page. That’d be welcome – if you’ve got a large collection and you’re juggling 3 or 4 games, it’s a (very minor) pain to have to keep scrolling between them.

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Steam summer sale: our giant recommendations list

The Steam summer sale is in full blaze. For a while it even blazed so hot that the servers went on fire and all the price stickers peeled off the games. Either that or the store just got swamped with cheapskates looking for the best bargains. Cheapskates like you! Well, don’t worry. We’ve rounded up some recommendations – both general tips and some newly added staff choices.

Here are the things you should consider owning in your endless consumeristic lust for a happiness which always seems beyond reach. You’re welcome.

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