Valve has announced, and released, the first alpha version of its Dota 2 Workshop Tools, which will make it easier for modders to make and share custom maps and game modes for their gargantuan wizard-'em-up. This initial release is focused around developers, so the system requirements might be a tad high: you'll need a 64-bit version of Windows, a Direct3D 11 compatible GPU, and you'll need to opt into the Steam Client Beta. If you have all those things, you can now use the tools to alter Dota 2 to your liking, uploading the results to the Steam Workshop for other players to try.
When something called Colin McRae Rally popped up on Steam last week, it was natural to assume that it might be an HD remaster or remake of the PC version of Colin McRae Rally 1 or 2. It's not. It's an updated port of a Colin McRae mobile game, lacking car customisation, a lot of stages and cars, and sporting an interface that hasn't been adjusted for PC. Before yesterday, the game's Steam page contained a misleading description that didn't mention the word 'mobile' once, but that's now been updated, at least a little bit. It still has a few misleading sentences like "The classic rally experience races onto PC and Mac". More generously, Codcemasters are offering refunds to anyone who feels like they were duped into buying something they didn't want.
Following on from this story last week, Stained developer RealAxis Software is now sending out Steam keys to people who bought the game via the Indie Royale Bundle. RealAxis have clarified the situation in their original Steam forum post, and it appears to be a case of poor management of Steam keys: they were sending them out individually via email, which does sound like a particularly maddening way to go about it. Whatever the case, the developers appear to have come to a solution with Indie Royale, and now bundle buyers should be receiving their Steam keys after all.
Stained developer halts Steam key distribution to Indie Royale buyers, wants them to re-buy it instead
Stained developer RealAxis Software has decided not to distribute Steam keys to people who purchased last year's Indie Royale Debut 3 bundle, despite earlier promises to do so. In a message posted on the Steam forums, RealAxis said the game isn't selling and the studio is probably doomed, and encouraged fans to buy it again instead of expecting a Steam key from a cheap bundle.
I've spent the last few minutes prodding the Steam Music beta. You can, too: it's now open to all who want to try it. It's, er, well basically, it's an mp3 player. But one that you can access in-game, through the Steam overlay. Yes, I know, not revolutionary, but there are a some reasons why it might be useful.
The latest Steam client beta carries with an interesting surprise: An update image of the Steam Controller buried deep within its files.
In response to an open letter written by a group of developers and "concerned citizens" criticizing the company for its inconsistent handling of security issues on Steam, Valve has created a new security web page explaining its processes for handling reports but says there are no plans to introduce a "bug bounty program."
ZeniMax Online Studios took to Twitter today to announce that The Elder Scrolls Online is now available on Steam, and if you're not already in on the action, you can pick it up until the end of the weekend for half price.
Mods, eh? The fun, free way to extend and/or fix your games. But what's this? Aperture Tag: The Paint Gun Testing Initiative looks like a mod, behaves like a mod, and even has the word "MOD" in the corner of its Steam icon. The difference: it's not priced like a mod. This premium package offers a new campaign for Portal 2—one that does away with portals entirely, in favour of puzzles centred around the base game's gels.
Sokobond is coming to Steam. I know this because I've just watched a video called "Did you know? Sokobond is coming to Steam on July 21st", (the answer to that question being, "I do now"). If you like the sound of chemistry-based, molecule-pushing puzzling, you don't have to sit at the Steam page, waiting for that date to arrive. Sokobond can be bought directly from its creators, and all who purchase will receive a Steam key after it's launched on Valve's service next week.
Dota 2's The International has been immensely popular, with more than $10 million worth of crowdfunded prizes up for grabs. It's no surprise, given Dota 2's Steam domination. So it only makes sense that Valve should consider the same treatment for some of its other properties. Obviously, a Counter-Strike international tournament would not go astray.
There was a time when Microsoft Flight Simulator ruled the world. That time was the 1980s, admittedly, an era when a primitive but reasonably accurate flight simulator could provide untold hours of entertainment. Those glory days are long behind us, but good news has come out this week for fans of that particular kind of fun: The studio behind Train Simulator has signed a deal to bring Flight Simulator X to Steam, and the more recent (and apparently popular) X-Plane 10 is on its way too.
The Nightmare Cooperative has come a long way since its clever browser-based prototype back in March. It's still clever, but now it's gorgeous too, boasting a lovely angular art style that fits the turn-based puzzling like a glove. This new version of the single-player co-op roguelike (I'll get to that in a moment) now has a trailer, along with a release date: Wednesday July 16th. Thoughts and moving images after the break.
Competitive first-person shooters love to depict the gritty 'realism' of soldiers locked in an endless war of explosions and swearing. NeoTokyo isn't entirely different, but supplements its urgent shooting with cyberpunk and a nice soundtrack. After being successfully Greenlit in 2012, the Half-Life 2 mod is finally available to download directly from Steam—now entirely free from its SDK dependencies.
Here's a heartwarming tale: as of now, 100,000 people have enjoyed the unique pleasures of driving Soviet trucks through inhospitable terrain. That's because Spintires, the Kickstarter-funded truck driving simulator, has managed to sell an impressive 100,000 copies. Never before has getting bogged in Siberia been more popular, with the Kickstarter-funded title managing to retain a Steam Top 10 position since its release last month.
Warface, Crytek's free-to-play near-future military shooter, is by all reports a decent game, if not a particularly noteworthy one. It's done well in Russia, but has struggled to game traction in other parts of the world. Developer Crytek, which is rumored to be struggling with serious financial troubles, no doubt hopes that today's launch on Steam will turn the game's fortunes around.
Rebellion has revoked more than 7000 Steam keys for Sniper Elite 3, many of which were already in the hands of gamers. The studio said the keys were stolen and then redistributed to multiple companies who sold them to customers without making any payments to either Valve or Rebellion, but at least one reseller, whose keys actually weren't revoked, has accused the studio of trying to force people to pay the full retail price for the game.
Steam's sales traditionally end with the most popular offers from previous days being resurrected for a sort of victory lap, and this year is no different. They've put most of the daily deals on offer again, so if you missed out on Dragon Age or Skyrim or XCOM and you've been ruing your indecision ever since, now's your chance to make up for it. It's also your last chance to pick up any other games on offer in the sale, now that there's no chance of them being reduced further in a daily or flash sale.
Don’t forget to check out GOG’s summer deals, too, which coincidentally will be ending at around the same time. GOG have resurrected all of their previous daily deals, along with a ton of flash sales refreshing every couple of hours.
It's always a bit weird seeing how quickly game prices depreciate, particularly when a Steam sale is involved. The pick of today's deals - Wolfenstein: The New Order - is only a few weeks old, but it can now be had for a delicious 50% off. The question is, with only a few days left of the summer sale, what other surprises lie in store? The other question is: can your wallet take any more of this? If the answer is 'yes', join us after the break.
The Steam Summer Sale is in full swing and so too are efforts to bypass the security of Steam Guard and compromise the security of your account. The latest phishing scam actually appears to be an update of one that came to light back in April that automates the process, making it easier than ever to give up all your hard-earned stuff to the bad guys.