Every Friday, the PC Gamer team reactivate their opinion circuits to bring you their best and worst moments from the week of digital entertainment. We’ll start with the good news…
Steam cares not for your E3, mortals. Steam cares only for financial supplication. Like a vengeful, twisted god, it can only be sated by the monetary sacrifice of PC gamers. This fervent display is none more evident than during their sale events—in which we cheer, shriek, and commit terrible acts of economic undoing, all in the name of placating an indifferent grey distribution network. It's a pretty good time.
So when's the next one happening? All signs point to 'soon'. The latest hint comes in the form of set of Mysterious Cards that have appeared on the Steam Marketplace. No, really. In addition to being mysterious cards, they're also called Mysterious Cards. Given Steam's predilection for running strange events during their biggest sales, it's a strong sign that the discounts will soon be flowing.
Indie Lovecraft-alike Eldritch landed big last fall, earning itself a positive review and some kudos after only a few months of development. Now its designer, David Pittman, formerly of 2K Marin and Bioshock 2 fame, has written up an extensive post-mortem on the dark, unknowable secrets inside the black heart of indie game creation. In addition to talking frankly about the game’s budget and income, Pittman also revealed the absolute power of a Steam Sale to spike a game’s numbers.
It's happening! It's alive! It's Steeeeeeeeeeeeeam Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaale! Valve have launched their annual assault on financial sense, ensuring we'll be showered in cheap games between now and the euphoric come-down on January 3rd. Are you ready? THEN GO!
This year's weird gimmick: snow globes. We'll be collecting and crafting them, apparently. They can be grabbed by buying games, voting on community choices, crafting badges, trading, and can also be purchased through the marketplace. Rather than the usual profile page gubbins, they'll give you in-game items for free-to-play games, including Dota 2. Grab all the details here.
Planning to roll around those store pages, adding games to your cart all hither and thither? Stop, and heed my quick guide on how to Steam sale.
Zombie-based zombie-'em-up (featuring zombies) State of Decay has released its first expansion, Breakdown, which unshackles the survival aspects from the story, letting you endlessly plunder the game's world as you see fit. Bleed one instance dry and you'll find yourself in the next, and then the next, with the difficulty upped to make it harder each time. As it was only released yesterday, Breakdown is not taking part in the Steam Autumn Sale, although its main game is - State of Decay is currently half-price for the next day or so.
We've come to expect weird overarching metagames attached to Steam Sales, making use of achievements or trading cards to turn a campaign of cheap games into a obsession creating event. For this, the Steam Autumn Sale, things would appear to back to basics. You know, except for the fact that the bottom of each page is upside down. And that if you click on an upside down button, it will load you into a page that's entirely upside down, because, as we all know, that's how Australians read. Okay, so it's not entirely normal, but it is still cheap.
Publisher birthday parties are the best. Rather than forcing you to debate whether a $25 gift card is a crappy gift, publishers simply discount a bunch of games and tell players to have at it. It’s like buying discounted party favors, but with fewer tote bags. Capcom just hit the big 3-0, and has shaved the price off many of its larger Steam titles in celebration.
The Steam Summer Sale is a powerful entity. It’s converted many of us into shady, virtual card-dealing swindlers looking to make a quarter or two. Previously held convictions have been thrown out the door as well, as Fez creator Phil Fish, a man who has a tumultuous past with online community, has sold over 105,000 copies of his infuriatingly clever puzzle-platformer in a mere 48 hours.
I can't decide if it's good luck or bad for the Steam summer sale to emerge from the undergrowth just as you're about to launch your new game - though it's almost certainly bad luck if you decide not to join in. Developers Two Tribes - Rush, Edge - did join in with the festivities, slashing 34% off their new game Toki Tori 2+ from its first day of appearing on Steam. If you missed the birdy metroidvania's daily deal, however, the good news is that Two Tribes have extended the savings for the entirety of the Steam sale, which runs until the 22nd of July.
The excellent indie medieval melee game Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is calling up its bannermen and raising new armies with a combination Steam deal and free play weekend. From right now until May 27, Chivalry is 66% off, and you can download the full game for free and play all weekend before you decide to buy it.
To coincide with IGF, PAX, GDC, OMG and WTF, Steam have slung up one of their impromptu sales, discounting tons of indie games to ensure that our libraries continue to heave under the sheer weight of unplayed games. How nice of them. I hope you've hidden your wallet after last time, because there are some cracking deals to be had, including Super Hexagon, Binding of Isaac and Terraria for silly money.
Graham, Tom Francis, Rich and Chris discuss Steam sales, the state of Kickstarter, Valve's Greenlight project, Dota 2 and more, including your questions from Twitter. Also featuring Graham's Steam press account hubris, Rich's need to be brilliant at everything, Tom's on again, off again relationship with Defence Grid and the story of how Dota 2 made Chris realise that he's a bad person.
Valve have announced that the Portal 2 Perpetual Testing Initiative puzzle maker has seen more than 35,000 levels published to the Steam Workshop since its release on Tuesday - and they've been downloaded over 1.3 million times.
In order to celebrate these really very large numbers, Valve have decided to make some other numbers much smaller: namely, the prices of Portal 2, Skyrim and TF2 Workshop Items on Steam. The 'Weekend Workshop Sale' will run until Monday and you can pick up Portal 2 for £5.09 and Skyrim for £23.44.