Posts Tagged ‘Valve’

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

Steam banner

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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Vive ‘Knuckle’ controllers promise five-finger gestures

As much as I still have brief giggles with the occasional VR toy, it’d take something close to a miracle to make me spend more large sums of money on anything goggle-related any time soon. Where once I might have gazed at details about Valve’s upcoming second generation motion controller for the Vive with covetous awe, now I stop short at “huh, that’s kinda cool, I guess.” The ‘Knuckles’ controllers are Valve/HTC’s riposte to the Touch handheld gizmos for the Oculus Rift, and read like a meaty upgrade from the responsive but limited wands that ship with the Vive. Most importantly: these suckers can purportedly track which each finger on each of your hands is up to.
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Team Fortress 2 adds organ harvesting, many nerfs & more open development

Traditionally, Valve have maintained impossibly motionless poker faces about what they have planned in the longer term for Team Fortress 2 [official site] updates – something which helped to build insane degrees of anticipation back in the day, as we prayed and begged for videos and comics and guns and hats. These days, Overwatch seems to absorb most of the air in the room, and in addition TF2 is so fatted with stuff that it’s hard to get too excited about this or that being tweaked. That’s why the latest round of patch notes are semi-notable: they’re telling us what they’ve got in the pipeline before it gets sprayed into the game, as opposed to the usual after.
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Steam Direct launches with $100 submission fee

After saying bye bye to the voter-led Steam Greenlight last week, Valve have today launched Steam Direct. It’s their new way for developers to submit games to the store by filling in some forms and throwing $100 onto Valve’s gold hoard as an publishing fee. There’s a lot more info about all this in a blog post but let’s go over the basics.
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CS: GO’s Operation Hydra rotates to Weapons Expert

Operation Hydra in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [official site] has again rotated its special event mode, bringing in Weapons Expert. This mode, which is available free to all Counter-Strikers, lets players buy each weapon only once per match. It’s an interesting-sounding twist on modes like Gun Game, rewarding players for being skilled with all weapons rather than just a few favourites. Read the rest of this entry »

Valve loses its fourth writer in two years, as Jay Pinkerton leaves the company

We tease Valve for not making games any more, what with their not making games any more, but it’s really starting to look most peculiar as the company loses its fourth big-name writer in less than two years. According to a Facebook update on Jay Pinkerton’s timeline, he left the company last night. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam Greenlight closed, Steam Direct comes next week

Steam Greenlight, the process by which developers can get their game on Steam’s digi-store by collecting enough votes, has been shut down and all voting is now suspended. This is to pave the way for Valve’s new method of adding games to their store – Steam Direct – which is coming on June 13. It’s all part of a plan that has been in the works for a while, and although it mostly affects developers looking to sell their various murder simulators this will also likely change both the quantity and variety of games you’ll be wading through.
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Valve confirm Steam Direct publishing fee: $100

$100 (£80-ish) is how much it’ll cost to publish a game on Steam after Greenlight shuts down, Valve have confirmed. They’re ditching the Greenlight system of having would-be players vote on which games reach the Steam store, and replacing it with a system that’ll let developers sign up and, after being verified, submit games directly to Steam for a fee. What we’ll probably see is many more games hitting Steam, and quicker. Valve had previously tossed around $100 and $5,000 as mooted figures. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »