A Counter-Strike: GO community mapmaker is being threatened by the Société de transport de Montreal after creating map based on the Berri-UQAM Metro station. Diego Liastis recreated the Canadian underground station with some friends, but came to the attention of the transit authority when he requested permission to use the location. The STM have reportedly issued a cease-and-desist, threatening a $50,000 fine plus legal fees if the map is released to the public.
More people—maybe twice as many—seem to be playing the original version of Counter-Strike than Global Offensive. Look here. Why hasn't CS:GO inherited its elders' popularity? I'd blame the map drought GO has experienced. New official maps have been hard to come by since the game launched in August, and the fresh ones introduced by GO were restricted to Demolition and Arms Race modes.
Almost Human, developers of Legend of Grimrock, have shared details on the performance of their Dungeon Master inspired RPG. According to their 2012 recap post, the game racked up over 600,000 sales through the year. To celebrate, they've also released teaser images of some brand new dark, dank dungeons, suggesting that new content is incoming.
Valve have posted a patch for Left 4 Dead 2 this morning. Along with the regular old incomprehensible patch notes, ("Cleaned up DLC add-on file dependencies and simplified talker file structure." Huh?) they've finally enabled Steam Workshop support, creating an easy system for browsing and installing new weapons, campaigns, items and - er - clothing. I guess the Venn diagram of fashion enthusiasts and mod creators does have some crossover.
Following my look at the Steam Workshop’s biggest sellers earlier this week, I got a chance to put some questions to Valve's Robin Walker. He was one of the original developers of Team Fortress, back in 1996, and joined Valve soon after. His work as a modder informed his work at Valve, leading, in a roundabout way, to Team Fortress 2's current use as a platform to pay modders for their in-game work. In this pretty wide-ranging interview, I talk to him about the big numbers the modding scene generates, what makes a good item, virtual ownership, the future of free-to-play and Valve’s evolving relationship with its community.
Valve's Steam Workshop is life-changing. The community curated creative space has finally realised the dream of modders everywhere, rewarding them for the work they put into making games better. Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2 enable contributors to earn money from their creations, leading to some modders earning a six-figure income, according to comments made by Gabe Newell at CES. A living wage from making intangible hats, fish, and imaginary weaponry? I had to find out who these people were, and what modding - specifically modding Team Fortress 2 - has added to their lives.
Red Orchestra 2, our 2011 multiplayer shooter of the year, is now on Steam Workshop. As I write, only one map and a selection of SDK tutorials have been posted, but phase two of Tripwire's $15,000 RO2 mapping contest should incite a blitzkrieg of community-made content for the WWII shooter.
The problem with Serious Sam 3's rocket launcher is that it looks too much like a rocket launcher, rather than, say, a disconcertingly headless enemy that fits in the palm of your hand like a particularly grisly Polly Pocket. Thank heavens then for the Pet Scrapjack mod, and for Steam Workshop in general, which has welcomed Serious Sam 3 into its moddable embrace.
"Millions of dollars" have been collectively earned by Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2 item-makers over the course of the past year according to a post on the Steam Workshop blog celebrating a productive first year for the service. Valve say that there are currently almost 300,000 items floating around the Workshop at the moment, including "models, animations, maps & levels, scenarios, and even full games made in GameMaker Studio." Over 55 million downloads have been recorded since the Workshop went live.
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.
Starting game projects is easy – finishing them is hard. That's why GameMaker: Studio's Steam integration is so rife with potential. In addition to providing a guaranteed, albeit squirreled away, gallery for creations in the form of a Steam Workshop section, Game Maker's latest iteration features, incredibly, achievements, effectively bribing developers into creating, testing and releasing their projects onto a number of different platforms. At the time of writing, 21.5% of people have created an empty room, while only 0.1% have encountered 100 or more compile errors. Developers: make buggier games!
The really exciting part is Studio's Workshop page, which is already chock-full of titles. Stupidly, however, in order to actually play any of these games, you first have to download the free version of GM: Studio – Steam treats them all as mods, for some reason. Like much of Steamworks, there's also quite a lot of dreck on the GameMaker channel, so sorting through the Mario clones and reskinned tutorials is going to be a problem. Or rather, it would be without us here – look below for a list of the best GM games to be Workshopped thus far.
"This began as an attempt to convert skyrim's dog head to a working headmesh," writes modder, FancyPants, on the Crimes Against Nature Steam Workshop page, spotted by Kotaku. "It evolved into something arguably worse."
In FancyPant's defence, the dog heads work surprisingly well. Tamriel has a cat race, why not a canine version? It's not canon, but it's sort of close, which is more than can be said for the kitten piloting a mechanical man model, the my little pony head and the horrifying spectre of what seems to be the Randy Savage Dragon skin wrapped around Skyrim's horse model. I'm trying to think of words to describe it but all I get is "nnneeaaurrrgh." Just see for yourself.
Excellent co-op kill-o-geddon Killing Floor now has Steam Workshop support, letting fans share maps, mods and weapons. The most popular mods include a version of Killing Floor that uses Doom 2 assets, a map set in hell, a version of classic Counter-Strike mod, Gun Game and a scythe. That's a pretty good cross-section of the sort of bonus extras we can expect from Killing Floor's active modding community.
Halloween is one of the few events I forgive for being teased obnoxiously early by halfhearted grocery store decorations and late-night Elvira beer commercials. Similarly, you've probably noticed Team Fortress 2's Steam Workshop page populating with Halloween-themed items already. Valve extended an official call-out yesterday for entries and ratings to the shambling Scream Fortress 2 update.
The ancient stonework of High Hrothgar prophesized that the 10,000th Skyrim mod would include a righteous sword of bananas and a flying Buick. Thank goodness for the uncertainty of prophecy, as while Skyrim has indeed received its 10,000th mod, its contents are more pragmatic.
Modder Joe Powell's Shannara Weapon Set marked the milestone for Skyrim's sizable mod library, and it provides an armory of sharp pieces of metal based on author Terry Brooks' epic fantasy Shannara series...
Puzzly invent-'em-up Scribblenauts started life on the Nintendo DS, and has delighted enough fans to warrant a bigger, better HD follow-up, due out on Wii U and PC later this year.
Scribblenauts was a great game about overcomplicating basic tasks. Cheery protagonist, Maxwell, can summon a huge range of items on a whim and combine them to form creative and often useless solutions. Need to grab a star on a tall ledge? Summon a giraffe on stilts and attach rockets. Will that help? Probably not, but who cares, you've just created a flailing, flying giraffe monster, and that in itself is its own reward.
The Steam Workshop has proved to be an effective tool for highlighting the best player made items for games like Dota 2, Portal 2, Team Fortress 2 and Skyrim, but there's little to stop someone from submitting a design nicked from another game. A post on the Steam Community asks that the community take care to flag these stolen items after a mace distributed to 24,603 Dota 2 players turned out to be identical to Marchutan's Blessed Mace from Aion. D'oh.
The mace was given away in chests during a summer giveaway. Players who bought keys to unlock the chest got the mace as a reward. It's since been removed from the game, and Valve say that alternative weapons have been sent out to those affected. "the contributor has been banned and will lose out on any proceeds from the sale of the item," they add.
Mr. Minecraft aka Steve is a too good an adventurer to stay in one game. The Minecraft man has tunnelled his way out of Minecraft into Skyrim. Look, there he is, eating some bread. It's like meeting a celebrity. He can become a follower and aid you with a Minecraft bow and a diamond pickaxe, all with the help of a series of Skyrim Minecraft mods on the Steam workshop. Read on for a video of the mod in action.
Valve have just announced Steam Greenlight. The new service will work like the Steam Workshop, but for indie games. Creators can submit their work, whether it's an unfinished playable build or screenshots and videos, and gamers can then vote on the games they like. The best rated games will enter Valve's approval process for inclusion in the Steam store.
Steam Greenlight is currently due to launch at the end of August, and it should be a boon to any developer trying to make a living from indie games.
On Friday, we showed you my favorite items, equipment, and tool mods built by players that are currently available in Dota 2's store through Steam Workshop.
Today, we take a look under the hood and browse the unrefined, experimental, and sometimes creepy suggestions waiting for judgement in the Steam Workshop. Let's skip the creepy and go straight through 12 of our favorites.