Posts Tagged ‘Valve’

Operation Hydra hits Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

A rotating selection of special modes have arrived in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [official site] with the launch of Operation Hydra. You’ll get to collect dog tags from enemies, play 2v2, fight in low gravity with snipers, only be able to buy each weapon once per match, romp around in a bomb suit, or other such fun. These modes are free for all players to try, as are the Operation’s new maps, though folks can buy the new £5 Operation pass to get new cooperative missions, new weapon skins, and all that jazz. Read the rest of this entry »

Valve hire some Kerbal Space Program developers

The big boys at Valve have hired an unknown number of folks behind the space sim Kerbal Space Program [official site], RPS fanzine PC Gamer is reporting. A former Valve developer said as much in an interview on the podcast Game Dev Unchained and a current Valve spokesperson confirmed it to the mag, saying “We’ll be announcing more soon”. Good work, everyone, I’ve had to do absolutely no digging of my own.
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Do Valve own Dota? A jury may decide

Valve may make Dota 2 but who actually owns Dota? A jury trial may be called to decide who — if anyone — owns the copyright, Ars Technica report. Two mobile developers who are making Dota-y games and facing a legal attack from the combined forces of Valve and Blizzard have argued that the Dota copyright was abandoned so they’re free to use it, their logic rooted in Dota’s complicated origins in the Warcraft 3 mod scene. Given that Valve’s lawyers have previously fought the mighty Blizzard’s lawyers to a standstill in a trademark fight, I’d be surprised if this doesn’t go their way, but we’ll see! Read the rest of this entry »

How Steam selects the games it shows you (according to Steam)

Outlast 2 recommendations

The people working on Steam (and more generally, the team at Valve) seem to be on a transparency kick at the moment. There are multiple blog entries which try to open up particularly opaque bits of the company so users can understand what’s going on. Presumably there’s an element of using that understanding to defuse criticism when it comes to subjects like the terrible reputation of Steam’s support system and whether it’s warranted if you add in some more data. The most recent entry zeroes in on how the store itself works and aims to share the “thinking” the system has used to come up with game recommendations: Read the rest of this entry »

Dota 2 goes under the seeeeeeeeeeea with The International 2017 Battle Pass

Battle Pass

Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to concentrate long enough to write a “Dota 2’s Battle Pass for The International 2017 is now available” news story given the theme this year is UNDER THE SEA? I mean !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have never felt more like a target market in my entire life.

You might be here for chat about the new co-op campaign thing or the ranked MMR wagering system or w/e though so let’s try and get through this together. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam changes cross-country gifting and gift trading

Steam has implemented several changes to how giving games as gifts works, some which are helpful and others less so. Helpful: if you send someone a gift and they decline it, you’ll receive a refund rather than a copy of the game. Less helpful: gift now must be bought for someone specific, and not as nebulous ‘gift copies’ you can sit on. There’s more too. Some changes seem intended to combat people who hoard, trade, and sell games in that weird grey market, though Valve’s explanation is simply that “we want to make it easier for you to share the games you love with friends.”

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19 years later, Half-Life is uncensored in Germany

That’s a long time to wait to find out what really happens when you shoot a Barnacle creature. Germany has long been notorious for the strict limitations it placed on videogame content, and the noble Half-Life was a particularly infamous victim of the censor’s stamp. Until now. That means no more robots instead of soldiers, no more barnacles spewing nuts and bolts instead of blood and gore, and no more sad looks from invulnerable scientists if you shoot at them.

Sudden realisation: censored versions of HL are going to become collector’s items now, aren’t they?
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Why Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s Negev update is a whole new way to play

We’re all used to Valve tinkering with the guns in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [official site], but its most recent update was more than just a tweak, it was an attempt to create a whole new play style. The developer beefed up the underused R8 revolver, but the more drastic changes were made to the Negev, the expensive, hefty, wild machine gun that players only previously used as a joke.

The first time you use the new-look Negev, or the ‘Newgev’, as the kids are calling it, it feels broken. You’ll move at a snail’s pace when carrying it, and the first 16 bullets of your magazine come out at random angles, making it impossible to control. Even the first bullet is wayward, so tap firing is completely out – your only hope is to squeeze the trigger and pray.

The gamechanger is what happens after that first burst. Your aim levels out and the gun becomes laser accurate at short or medium range, the spray grouping tightly just above your crossbar with no horizontal movement. As long as you’re standing still you can snap from target to target with pinpoint accuracy. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »