Posts Tagged ‘Valve’

Have You Played… Garry’s Mod?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I know what you’re looking for. You’re looking for a game that let’s you be a janitor in a school riddled with drug dealers and class clowns. But also a game that will let you be a cop fighting robbers. But also a game where you are a soldier in World War 3. But also a game in which you are a prison guard keeping rowdy inmates in check. But also a game where you can be a footballer. But also– Read the rest of this entry »

With ice and fire! Dota 2 launches revamped Jakiro

Jakiro from Dota 2 [official site], once thought to be the world’s most popular flying plastic bag since that one in American Beauty, has been revealed as a two-headed dragon. Valve yesterday pumped out a Dota 2 update which included the long-promised new model for the support character(s), which makes clear that Jakiro are actually a dragon and not a burst bin bag. Who knew! The new Jakiro mostly follows the same concept, though Blue Head’s cute beard o’ barbels has become a jawline so stern even Judge Dredd would envy it. Update v7.03 also brought a fair few balance tweaks, and one of those mega-expensive ‘Arcana’ cosmetic sets for Juggernaut. Read the rest of this entry »

Counter-Strike: GO goes Venetian in new map Canals

Italy is a hotbed of international terrorism in Valve’s Counterverse. The level Italy sees terrorists take market stallholders hostage so they can kill their chickens and destroy their watermelons, the revamped Inferno relocated to Italy, and now Counter-Strike: Global offensive [official site] has added a map set in an off-brand Venice. The new map, Canals, arrived in an update last night. It’s a pleasant slice of city, with plenty of canals, floating rubbish, and ornate architecture — some of which is targeted by terrorists. They really do have it in for Italy. Read the rest of this entry »

Best Half-Life 2 mods

Did you know that in 2004 Valve launched Half-Life 2 [official site]? And did you know that Episode 1 followed two years later and Episode 2 a year after that? Did you know it’s now been ten years and besides a mass of rumours, bad jokes and conversations with unverified sources, Gordon Freeman’s elusive third Half-Life outing – be that Half-Life 3 or HL2: Episode 3 – is still Not A Thing?

I’m sure you did. Let me now ask you this: do you know about Half-Life 2’s modding scene – a community which has been producing consistently brilliant tweaks and tinkerings to Freeman’s Combine-killing shooter for over a decade? Built from Valve’s Source Engine, the following list is comprised of single and multiplayer mods for the Seattle-based dev’s seminal and ever-enduring FPS – some of which are set in Freeman-familiar worlds, others which take on completely new looks entirely.

I know it’s hard to swallow, but Half-Life 3 might never happen. Play these mods instead. Read the rest of this entry »

Portal funnyman Erik Wolpaw leaves Valve

Erik Wolpaw, one of Valve’s famous funnymen, has left the studio. The co-founder of cherished games site Old Man Murray is known at Valve for his writing on games like Portal, Left 4 Dead, and the Half-Lives, though Valve’s mysterious free-floating structure means he may well have also served coffee, written Gabe Newell’s e-mails, and bred a genetically-engineered pet fed with Steam microtransactions. We may never know. What’s next for Wolpaw? He says he’s going to work at his niece’s juice shop, and I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t take that at face value. Juice on, Erik! Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… (with a) Steam Link?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Despite not having previously felt as thought I needed one, I picked a Steam Link dirt-cheap in the sales, more out of curiosity than anything else. It’s pretty good – unless you try to use it over WiFi. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam just made it HARDER to find new releases

In an apparent ongoing battle to hide every unknown new game released on Steam, overnight Valve have updated the Steam store to make it far, far harder to just see a list of new releases on the platform.

As we’ve discussed many times before, as recently as yesterday, unknown games have an incredibly hard time receiving any visibility in Steam’s crazed daily churn of 20 to 30 new releases. Big names, or those that see instant sales, get promoted to the big boxes on the front page, but smaller games are relegated to a hidden list that just became a whole lot more hidden. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam needs to stop asking its customers to fix its problems

There was a time when Valve could do no wrong. Champions of PC gaming, undeniably pivotal in the current huge success of the gaming platform, and releasing stunning game after stunning game. When they spoke, the industry listened, and reported with a well-earned reverence. Those times, it’s safe to say, are long gone. Apart from past glories, Valve is now primarily known for Dota 2 and Steam (but for an industry-ignored VR hat), the latter being a monopoly-controlling online store that’s becoming increasingly nonfunctional and dysfunctional, and which they apparently have no coherent idea how to control. And yet so much that’s so wrong with Steam is so easily fixed: it just requires people actually doing something. Read the rest of this entry »

“We’re building 3 full VR games, not experiments”- Valve

Given they’re at the forefront of virtual reality tech, it’s kind of odd that Valve don’t have a full-fat VR game to boast of themselves. We’ve had a few experiments, most notably minigame collection The Lab and armchair tourism app Destinations, but nothing that really justifies spending hours and hours and hours in your gogglebox of choice. Well, that’s going to change, as Gabe Newell hisself has confirmed that no less than three “full” VR games are in development. He’s also bullish that the technology, though it would seem to be no runaway commercial success as yet, is bound for great things. Read the rest of this entry »

Valve to abolish Steam Greenlight, open up with Steam Direct

Valve have announced plans to hugely widen the number of games they allow onto Steam by approving developers directly. The popularity contest of Steam Greenlight will end as Valve replace it with the new ‘Steam Direct’ scheme. This will let devs register with Valve and, after verification, publish games to Steam as they please. The changes are due to kick off this spring. It’s not an open-door policy like Itch or Game Jolt, mind, as Valve do say they will charge a recoupable fee per game submitted “to decrease the noise in the submission pipeline”. But the end result should be more games on Steam. Read the rest of this entry »

Valve’s Destinations is the best and worst of VR

Valve’s Destinations [official site], a workshop/gallery designed to enable us to experience detailed recreations of real or fictional places in virtual reality, was released into early access last Summer. This is the first time I’ve used it in earnest – partly because I wasn’t able to maintain the floorspace needed for a full Vive setup, partly because the shine so rapidly came off VR once the initial awe had faded. I’ve finally pushed enough furniture into the stairwell to be able to give it a go. It’s both exactly what VR needs and all the technology’s disappointments focused into one place.

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Valve crack down on Team Fortress 2 skin gambling

Valve have started cracking down more on sites using Team Fortress 2 [official site] items as chips in virtual gaming. Last year they focused on skin gambling with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive items, amidst scandals, more scandals, and lawsuits. Even the Washington State Gambling Commission got involved, ordering Valve to shut it all down. While Valve don’t run any of these gambling sites, see, the sites do rely on Steam. Now, Valve are shutting down accounts associated with TF2 sites. Read the rest of this entry »

Dota 2 celebrates Lunar New Year with Dark Moon event

A new temporary game mode has arrived in Dota 2 [official site] with the ‘Dark Moon’ event to mark Lunar/Chinese New Year. Prizes are up for grabs! Dark Moon is a PvE wave survival mode, with five heroes beating back hordes of nasties in a way that feels a lot like many Warcraft 3 mods. Well, in WC3 modland it’d likely also have shoddy Spider-Men and hilariously overpowered items but hey, we can’t have it all.

Valve have also launched the Winter 2017 Battle Pass, the combination sticker album and gift bag leading into April’s big tournament, the Kiev Major. Read the rest of this entry »

Curious snippets from Gabe Newell’s Reddit AMA

VOLVO PLS.

Having waded through the Gabe Newell AMA from that Reddit place I’ve heard so much about I thought I’d pick out some of the more interesting bits for me.

As a whole the AMA (which is a type of Q&A – AMA stands for Ask Me Anything – if you’re not fluent in Reddit) wasn’t a revelation or anything – Valve are working on some single player games (but who knows if any of them will come to fruition), there’s the fact they definitely see hardware as something to invest in and are designing the knuckles controller alongside VR games, they’re also keeping an eye on current AI developments and other research, oh and they want to eventually have all their games being worked on use the same engine (Source 2 is their baby). So yes. Not headliney, but there were still some nuggets I thought I’d dig out. Read the rest of this entry »

You know why there’s no Half-Life 3, but here it is again

Everyone knows the story of Half-Life 2: Episode 3. Lacking a diktat from on high, folks and teams within Valve have never quite found the inspiration, momentum, or cohesion for another Half-Life, so attempts have faltered and they, y’know, haven’t made it. Everyone knows that. It’s knowledge as common as cleaning windows with white vinegar and newspaper. And yet! You — you there — are still harping on about it and cracking those same awful “Half-Life 3 confirmed???” jokes. Go play something else. There are loads of great games! Go for a walk. Go for a swim. Go swallow needles for all I care! Or, fine, read this Game Informer bit which explains, using an unverified source, what everyone knows. Then please shut up about it. Read the rest of this entry »

Weather warning: Steam’s winter sale comes storming in

Batten down the wallet hatches, stow the pounds below deck, eat the fivers – barely a month after the closing of the Autumn sale and its awards, the Winter sale has descended on Steam like a terrible maelstrom, demanding tithes and sacrifices, disappearing all who stand in its way and eating their hearts. I don’t know where this metaphor is going. The sale is either a storm or an Aztec god. Make up your own mind.
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Good will to all teams in TF2’s new autobalancing

Team Fortress 2 [official site] recognises that yes, Smissmas is a time for gibbing your fellow man then leaving their labelled hunks under the tree, but also somethings for coming-together. Valve’s free-to-play FPS has kicked off its Christmas event with an update bringing the traditional assortment of new icy items but also handy features for casual play. A new team autobalancing systems gives players gifts if they even up teams, while Casual matchmaking now keeps players together after matches to pick a new map and go again. This should mean more fun, less yelling, and an end to the Red and Blu sides of the family glaring at each other across the lounge on Boxing Day. Read the rest of this entry »

Dota 2’s 7.00 update changes everything, brings Monkey King and backpacks

Viper remodel

As the confetti fell on the end of the Dota 2 [official site] Boston Major tournament its developers, Valve, announced a significant update to their MOBA: update 7.00. I scanned the notes yesterday (once the website was able to cope with the strain of the traffic) and had a couple of games on the test client and GOOD LORD, it’s a doozy! There are Heroes of the Storm-ish talent trees, the jungle has changed so much I actually got lost, Roshan has upped sticks and moved to the northern bit of the river, Monkey King is a total (cool) jerk, the HUD has slimmed right down, illusions offer bounties and all kinds of other nonsense.

We’ll have a proper thorough patch analysis a bit later as the update is going live today but here are a few impressions after playing on the test client: Read the rest of this entry »

The Dota 2 Boston Major: Everything you need to know

A new professional Dota 2 [official site] season means new, ultra-high-stakes Major tournaments, and the first is upon us: the Boston Major is underway, with a $3,000,000 prize pool and a neat bird-shaped trophy on the line. The event is live right now, and below you’ll find all the information you need on the teams and the tournament, as well as the links you need to watch.

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