Posts Tagged ‘Valve’

Novel Approach: Laidlaw’s Younger Self Talks Half-Life

Marc Laidlaw posted a fascinating blog entry from a younger version of Laidlaw about the development of Half-Life from the narrative perspective. By “a younger version” I mean that it comes from his own hand but via a file timestamped the day after Half-Life was shipped and is thus far closer to the game’s… ground zero? than the Laidlaw of now.

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Dota 2 Patch Brings Tiny Adjustments, Meta Thoughts

A non-major but still interesting Dota 2 [official site] patch has dropped. 6.88e is all about tweaks, as you’d expect from a patch with a letter on the end of it, rather than one which heralds a whole jump forward in numbering. The reason it’s interesting is more that it gives me a chance to talk about a thought related to patches and living games like Dota 2.

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ASA Investigating No Man’s Sky’s Steam Advertising

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority is investigating No Man’s Sky. An RPS source filed complaints to the ASA regarding the trailers and screenshots used to sell No Man’s Sky on Steam, arguing that they are unrepresentative of the product being sold. That source – and the ASA have confirmed to us – that the regulator agrees and has contacted both Valve and No Man’s Sky developers Hello Games for their response.

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Valve Undo Some Steam User Review Changes, A Bit

Valve have reversed some of their recent changes to Steam user reviews. Most notably, they’ve made store pages once again include all reviews, no matter how players obtained the game. Some developers we’d spoken to were concerned that excluding people who had got games by activating Steam keys – by backing Kickstarters, buying in other stores, and so on – could harm them by making their games seem worse and less popular. But some devs were glad for the change, an attempt by Valve to crack down on fake reviews. Well, now all reviews are once again shown by default, though overall ‘scores’ will ignore reviews from key copies.

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Valve Remove Digital Homicide’s Games From Steam For Suing Users Over Comments

Digital Homicide are known for two things: releasing a great many janky, junky games; and being fiercely, litigiously protective of those games. The small studio were best known for suing games critic Jim Sterling over his videos tearing into their games, but they’ve probably one-upped that. After Digital Homicide launched a lawsuit against 100 Steam users, Valve have pulled all the studio’s games from the Steam store.

Digital Homicide allege these users were involved in stalking, harassing, and even impersonating them. Valve say they have “stopped doing business with Digital Homicide for being hostile to Steam customers.”

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We Spoke To Developers About Steam User Reviews

Recent changes to Steam reviews, which filter out reviews from keys that weren’t purchased directly through Valve’s digital store, have caused all sorts of worry and concern. The intent is to remove false positives in the form of reviews exchanged for keys and the like, but legitimate reviews are also affected. Games that were Kickstarted no longer have their backers’ assessment contributing toward the rating Steam displays at the top of the page, and people buying through Humble Bundles or elsewhere are similarly excluded by default.

We contacted a variety of developers and publishers, including Larian, Stardock and Mode 7, to hear if they thought the move might stamp down on unfair practices, or whether it would end up hurting rather than helping.

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Devs Concerned As Steam Makes Big Adjustment To Player Reviews

Valve have again shaken up how the Steam store presents player reviews, this time adding new filtering options which, by default, don’t include reviews from people who got the game by activating a Steam key rather than buying direct from Steam. Valve say this is to prevent score inflation from devs throwing out free keys in exchange for reviews. That’s a noble goal, but the change also means discounting reviews from players who backed Kickstarters or bought the game direct from devs – groups likely to have genuine strong opinions – not to mention from other stores like Humble and Itch. Some devs are not best pleased.

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