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Whenever you download and install a game on Steam, the files rest neatly on your hard drive like a well-pressed stack of laundry for quick access and organization of custom mod files. Some older Source games creak along on an older format from an earlier age in Steam's saga, but in a new FAQ, Valve says it's converting the guts of these games to use the SteamPipe content delivery system for faster load times and an updated file layout.
In a BBC interview ahead of last night's BAFTA Game Awards, Gabe Newell revealed that prototypes of Valve's "Steam Box," their planned living-room friendly PC, could be ready to ship to customers within the next three to four months. "We're working with partners trying to nail down how fast we can make it," Newell said. "We'll be giving out some prototypes to customers to gauge their reactions, I guess, in the next three to four months."
In the Cambrian explosion of the Quake and Half-Life mod scene, many great game genres were born, survived and thrived - Team Fortress, Counter Strike, Day of Defeat. One of the few that failed to generate offspring, without quite dying, was Action: Quake II, a rapid, silly, pulp movie of a game, with ludicrous moves and all the tricks of a Hong Kong action movie. The Showdown Effect is a crossbreed between Action: Half Life and Shadow Complex. Up to eight players enter a 2D side-scrolling action area, and battle it out. Their weapons are the standard tropes of 1980s action movies - uzis, Mac-10s, berettas, M16s, rocket launchers and their quips. (The team do plan to introduce stranger weapons, like laser guns and guided rockets later).
Thing I love about PC gaming #143: buying old games and buying a new games feels the same. Games get cheaper, but they don't tumble into bargain bins. They get re-promoted. Communities of fans stick around for years. When Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II was added to Steam this week, we celebrated. Today, it's in the top sellers list. The PC is where games go to thrive, on and on. Oh, and we also spend less on them, new or old. This week in game deals: Civilization V, Grand Theft Auto IV, Torchlight, The Walking Dead, and more!
This week, it was finally revealed that Blizzard and Riot are both disputing Valve’s attempts to trademark DOTA in the US ahead of the eventual launch of DOTA 2. The case is fascinating/horrifying for a bunch of reasons: 1) It demonstrates how grey the area of ownership of copyright and materials can be when it comes to mods and total conversions. 2) the documentation we’ve got access to gives a good detail on how Blizzard view themselves and their ownership of community content 3) It may have an interesting knock-on effect on the validity of EULAs. 4) The result of the dispute may have a knock on effect on the DOTA mod itself 5) it’s like watching your mom and dad go through the early stages of a trial separation. In order to make sense of what’s going on I’ve been digging through Blizzard’s filed trademark objection, and what it might mean for DOTA and community content in the long run. To make it clear: the case is just about the trademark for the name DOTA. The first point to make: at no point do Blizzard explicitly state that they wish to own the DOTA trademark. In objecting they’re not at present, trying to trademark DOTA for themselves. However, they believe that the terms DotA, Dota: DOTA and Defense of the Ancients are all part of their Warcraft 3 business. Much of their objection hinges on one word: Ancients.