Posts Tagged ‘Valve’

CS:GO Mod mod adds lightning, fog and more to Dust2

Counter-Strike has changed very little over the past decade, and aside from new maps and a couple of new modes, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [official site] has mostly stuck to old routines. Thank goodness for modders, then, who add things such as maps which randomly select weather patterns at the start of each round. Read the rest of this entry »

Project Genom returns to Steam as spat is resolved

Project Genom [official site] the early access sci-fi MMO that was removed from the Steam store last week following a resentful argument between the development studio and one of its programmers, has been restored as those involved have come to an agreement over payment. Sorted.
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Project Genom vanishes from Steam as developers fight

Project Genom [official site], an early access sci-fi MMO, has been removed from the Steam store by Valve following a bitter disagreement between the Russian development studio and an out-of-country programmer. It’s a bit of a mess but basically the argument involves copyright, payments, workloads and all the expected grievances between employer and employee that can lead to disastrous things like this. As usual, it looks like money is to blame.
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Steam Store Overhaul Highlights Still-Rubbish Recommendations

Valve have launched an overhaul of the Steam Store front page, highlighting handy features and slapping recommendations all over the place. In short, it would really like to recommend games to you, but it still not very good at them. I’ve seen the new store for a few days now but other folks in the RPS treehouse say this is new to them so hey, here the Steam Discovery Update 2.0 is, officially launched last night. Read the rest of this entry »

Left 4 Dead Creators Release ‘Lost’ Campaign

Turtle Rock are moving on from Evolve, their hunters vs monsters multiplayer game on which development recently ceased. Before starting something new, though, here’s a brief return to something old – their Valve-published masterpiece, Left 4 Dead [official site]. Via the Turtle Rock forums, studio co-founder Chris Ashton has uploaded Dam It, a campaign that, in a loose narrative sense, falls in between Dead Air and Blood Harvest. It’s not entirely finished, with some features not working correctly, but if you have a copy of the original game, you can download and play it right now. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam Store Pages Now Only Able To Use In-Game Screenshots

A part of the big Steam update that’s been rumoured for a good long while appears to be a new rule that games will no longer be allowed to use misleading screenshots in their store page carousel. The news, reported by Kotaku’s Nathan Grayson (Who he? – Ed), says that Valve have confirmed an update to their guidelines for sellers, and from now on only in-game shots will be acceptable.

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Valve Respond To State’s Skin Gambling Complaint

The Man recently told Valve to stamp out online gambling which uses virtual Steam items – Counter-Strike gun skins and the like – as chips. The Washington State Gambling Commission gave Valve until October 14th, under threat of legal action, to stop these gambling sites and report back explaining their compliance with Washington State’s gambling laws and Valve have replied, er, several days late. Valve say that they’re doing all they reasonably can, short of cutting off important Steam services for everyone. Read the rest of this entry »

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s Inferno Revamped

Dear old Counter-Strike level Inferno has returned to CS: Global Offensive [official site] reworked and prettied-up. Gone is the grunge of early noughties FPSs, the cloudy skies, the illogical architecture, and the lingering sense that maybe CS is set inside the world of Half-Life 2, with Inferno’s village now a scenic spot you might potter around, cooing, on your summer hols. Oh, sure, and they’ve fiddled with a lot of areas to tweak how it plays. After a stretch in beta, the new Inferno is now public in the Reserves Map Group. Even if you’re not into CS: GO, do enjoy the comparison screenshots between 2012’s Inferno and 2016’s – the progress is pleasing. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam Dev Days Goss: New Vive Controllers, Steam Link In TVs

Valve invited our mate Ian Video Games to their Steam Dev Days conference this week because “they recognise his genius potential”, or so he’d have you believe. Suspicious sorts have observed that the never-before-mentioned ‘twin brother’ housesitting to water Ian’s plants looks just like him, down to the same red wine stain on his jeans, with a stick-on moustache. Other say that the tweets and photos he’s ‘sending back’ from Seattle look suspiciously like tweets from actual developers who are actually there. No matter. Either way, Valve have been gabbing about prototype new Vive motion controllers, Steam Links included with Samsung televisions, and other Steamstuff. Read the rest of this entry »

G-Man Tells Valve To ‘Stop Facilitating Gambling’

The Washington State Gambling Commission, a state agency governing gambling in that fair corner of Cascadia, has told Valve that they must “stop facilitating gambling” with Steam skins. If you’ve missed this whole fuss, basically: sites have been using Counter-Strike and Dota cosmetic item skins as chips for unregulated – and potentially underage – gambling, all running through Steam channels. Steam’s rules do forbid this and Valve recently stepped up and started sending legal letters ordering sites to knock it off. Now The Man is involved in Valve’s home state, and he’s none too pleased.

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Dota 2: The Boston Major, Plus Fall Battle Pass Arrives

Boston Major

Dota 2‘s [official site] schedule for the latter part of 2016 will see pro players focusing in on the next Major tournament, which will take place in Boston in early December. Meanwhile, everyone else (and maybe the pros too) can take a peek at the latest battle pass if they fancy seasonal loot/cosmetics/competitive mini-tournaments.

I’m grouping these announcements together because there’s an autumnal map reskin as one of the rewards of this season’s battle pass and I associate Boston with that gorgeous, over-the-top changing of the leaves you get in the New England fall season.

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Digital Homicide Drop Lawsuit Against Steam Users

Digital Homicide have dropped their lawsuit against 100 pseudonymous Steam users, explaining that they can’t fund it because their business is now trashed. The two-man studio are known for bad games like Galactic Hitman and The Slaughtering Grounds – or, perhaps more accurately, for the stink raised around them. This came to a head last month, when Valve pulled all Digital Homicide games from the Steam store after Digital Homicide subpoenaed them to reveal the identity of 100 Steam users – users whom the devs claimed had harassed them and harmed their business. Well, now Digital Homicide are getting out of games and taking this lawsuit with them.

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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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