Half-Life 2's City 17 recreated in the Unreal Engine, looks stunning

Phil Savage at

For some reason, the Source engine is lodged in my mind as the default baseline for what a game looks like. It's almost ten years old now, but—because its characters aren't the angular blockmen of older engines—everything since feels like an improvement on that default unit of Graphics. Until, that is, somebody decides to post screenshots of their Unreal Engine recreation of the opening map from Half-Life 2, at which point I'm reminded that we live in 2014 and have access to exponentially more Graphics.

That somebody is environment artist Jeannot "Logithx" van Berlo, whose UDK remake of City 17's train station is a beautiful thing. And as good as these shots look, van Berlo is now considering converting his recreation to the newer, sexier Unreal Engine 4. Ultro-Graphics!

Polycount's VG Remix contest is full of beautiful low-poly game dioramas

Phil Savage at

You'll probably know Polycount from their occasional Valve-partnered contests. Some of the site's users have made items now found in Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2. Those items have gone on to secure their creators big money hats, to be worn in a big money houses, built atop big money islands. (They made a lot of money, is what I'm saying.) The site also runs less lucrative, but equally creative contests - like this one in partnership with Sketchfab. The brief was to create low-poly gaming dioramas in the tool, and the results is a series of excellent, interactive tributes full of charm and detail.

Dota 2 Polycount Contest overall winner revealed; Frostivus announced

Phil Savage at

Valve have revealed the final five winners of the Dota 2 Polycount Contest, including the recipient of the Best Overall award. The modelling competition tasked entrants with creating a unique item set for one of the heroes, and the Dota 2 team have been listing their favourites over the past week.

Dota 2 item design contest announced by Valve and Polycount

Marsh Davies at

Budding 3D modellers will get to sell their custom Hero item sets in the Dota 2 store should they win the newly announced Dota 2 Polycount contest. Given that the last contest for the TF2 Polycount Pack reportedly provided its winners with six figure salaries this is not a prize to be sniffed at.

Next TF2 update adds trading, new game mode

Tom Francis at

Last week I got to talk to the king of war-themed hat simulator Team Fortress 2, Robin Walker, about the team's future plans for the game. They've now released an update for each of the game's nine player classes, but that doesn't mean they're done. In fact, the next update will likely be out next month (Valve time), and it's going to add item trading, a brand new game mode, and around twenty new weapons and hats. Here's the intel.