You already own more games on Steam than you'll ever manage to play, and if that wasn't enough to keep up with, games you did play are often updated with significant additional content. For example, did you know that Shadow Warrior received a free and totally great challenge mode? It was easy to miss. Valve is hoping that will happen less often with the addition of the "Recently Updated" section to Steam.
Released yesterday, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's latest update adds Sticker Capsules to the game. Each capsule contains one sticker out of a series of sticker designs. The Sticker Capsules are dropped at the end of matches, and are opened with a Sticker Capsule key. The stickers can be applied to any gun in the game. You can also apply multiple stickers to a single weapon. They're a little like Team Fortress 2 hats, only for your guns. Gun hats!
For those, like me, who only need the merest reason to play Portal again, keep an eye on Portal: Alive and Kicking. It's "a full remake and re-imagining" of Portal 1 in Portal 2's fancier iteration of Source. The free mod that's been passed through the latest batch of Greenlight approvals, and has the confident endorsement of Jeep Barnett, Valve designer and co-creator of the proto-Portal student project, Narbacular Drop. "Every tile on every panel has been revisited with loving detail," he writes. "Not only have the visuals been updated to match Portal 2, but the weaker puzzle cues have been improved."
Steam OS and Big Picture modes will soon include a music interface, as revealed by Valve last week. Gamers will be able to listen to their personal music collection while playing games with the integrated music player, which can organize music by album or artist. For gamers who spend hundreds of hours in a game, this added feature will be an added convenience for anyone who has special playlists for exploring in Skyrim or strategizing in Crusader Kings 2.
There's a lot riding on Turtle Rock Studios' upcoming first-person shooter Evolve. As its first project after Left 4 Dead, Evolve needs to prove not only that the studio can capture lightning in a bottle once again, but that it can do it without the help of Valve. But, as a recent interview reveals, Turtle Rock hasn't ruled out coming back to Valve and Left 4 Dead in the future.
Phoenixes traditionally symbolise rebirth, but that's not always the case. They also have pretty strong links to death: as seen by the quality of the third X-Men movie, or here, by the deadliness of Dota 2's new Hero. The eternally inflammable bird headlines the Day 3 announcement phase of tomorrow's New Bloom update. The update won't be completely without the spirit of renewal, however. A newly announced feature will let players Quantum Leap into replays, taking control of the action in an attempt to rewrite history.
It’s only appropriate that a major leak in the games industry would come from an anonymous source with a pseudonym like “crazy buttocks on a train” (CBOAT), a NeoGAF user who recently posted images of Left 4 Dead 2’s Plantation level (the final chapter of the Swamp fever campaign) allegedly rendered in Valve’s Source 2.0 engine.
This is what I’ve been waiting for. And actually also cements in my mind exactly what a waste of time those $499 and up third-party Steam Machines are for many PC gamers. The beta version of In-Home Streaming (IHS) is up and running on my Steam account and I've had a big grin all over my face since I started playing with it.
Dota 2's holidays are a volatile thing. Diretide was delayed, and Frostivus is constantly cancelled. Will the fledgling celebration of New Bloom fair any better? Probably. After all, it centres around the arrival of a giant, evil beast that must be smashed and bashed to pieces. In this world of lane-pushing wizardry, violence and terror(blade) would seem to be the secret to long-lasting and untampered festivities.
As someone who can spend hours looking at reviews, videos and interpreting smoke signals before taking the plunge on a new game, pre-orders don't seem like the best idea. Mainly because they're usually a terrible idea - as anyone who bought X: Rebirth in advance will probably tell you. Pre-ordering on Steam is an even less tempting proposition, thanks to Valve's great money-rake grabbing your hard-earned cash the very moment you click 'confirm'. According to users on the Steam forums, however, you can now cancel pre-orders without having to open a support ticket - just so long as the game hasn't been released yet.
Valve are so good at hiding revelatory new features in patch notes, that I worry they might have released Half-Life 3 years ago, and we just never realised. In this latest instance, they've updated the Steam client beta's in-home streaming functionality to support "streaming non-Steam games in the Steam library". That means, whether they're part of Steam or not, you'll be able to beam your most powerful games between local area network PCs. Even Minesweeper.
When we last reported on Operation Bravo, it was a brand new baby event, unaware of the chaos and mayhem that awaited its short life. Now a grizzled veteran, it was all set for retirement. Unfortunately, the horror of war will stop for no
man community event, and it's been called back for one last tour of duty. By which I mean it's been extended to February 5th.
As is it wasn't already obvious, hats are hugely profitable. Back in July 2013, we learned that workshop creators have collectively earned $10 million from their items. On day two of the Valve-hosted Steam Dev Days event, the company announced that content creators made $400,000 in just the first week of 2014.
Okay, this makes more sense. Last November, eyebrows were cocked when Valve announced the session names and descriptions for this week's Steam Developer Days conference. At the time, when describing their VR session, Valve revealed that they'd "assembled a prototype," which would show what VR hardware could be capable of within two years. The question then became what they planned to do with this prototype, and whether their VR expertise would lead to an Oculus rival.
Quite the opposite, as it turns out. During the session, presented by Valve's VR virtuoso Michael Abrash, it was confirmed that the company have no current plans to release VR - at least, not yet. As a result, it's Oculus VR that are their most obvious choice as to who will ship a quality consumer headset. What's more, Valve say they're "continuing to work with Oculus to drive PC VR forward".
We've been inundated with a lot of Steam Machines hardware specifications ever since CES, but don't forget that their Linux-based Steam OS can’t run that many games natively. Luckily, Valve recently announced that the in-home streaming beta, which will allow you to stream games from you computer to your Steam Machine and other devices, is now live.
I'm willing to bet that you have some questions for Gabe Newell. Questions like 'How did you cultivate such a magnificent beard?', 'Who's your favourite Thundercat?', and 'Why was Tom Hanks snubbed in this year's Oscar nominations?' Also something about Half-Life 3. Soon, all your questions will be answered. Maybe. Depending on a few things. The biggest being the little matter of the $500,000. Valve's resident overlord took to Reddit earlier to promote the Heart of Racing charity event, and after answering a few questions and proving that he's the real deal, Newell said he'll participate in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) if the event raises $500K in donations.
Steam Dev Days is well underway, and although the press wasn't invited to the party, they can't stop us from pressing our ears up against the window trying to catch snippets of what's being said. Hey, it's a living. The latest snippet came in the form of a sneaky tweet from Coffee Stain Studios' Armin Ibrisagic, whose captured slideshow image reveals that Valve is planning to add support for a bunch of new currencies to Steam sometime this year. The Australian, Canadian and New Zealand dollars appear to be included, as do the Japanese yen, the Mexican peso and the Singaporean dollar. Metro 2033's bullet-based currency is notable by its absence.
Valve is dropping the touchscreen from the center of its new experimental controller, according to attendees at the Steam Dev Days developer conference in Seattle. The move ditches the conceivably infinite number of buttons presentable on a touchscreen for a rather more finite, and traditional, D-pad and ABXY configuration. The haptic thumbpads will remain where they are—for now.
We’ve all been eagerly anticipating the info coming out of Steam Dev Days, the developers-only conference held by Valve in Seattle. There have been rumors of the demise of Greenlight and pictures of free Steam controllers and Steam Machines given out to attendees—rumors that we’ve been unable to substantiate because press is not allowed at the conference. To make up for barring us, though, Valve has sent us the most precious gift of all: a graph.
Steam Dev Days, the developer-only conference kicked off by Valve in Seattle this morning, is off to a roaring start. In the first two hours of the show, every attending developer has been given a new Steam controller and a promise of a free Gigabyte Steam Machine. Now, Valve founder Gabe Newell has stated his goal of getting rid of the often-troublesome, frequently controversial Steam Greenlight system.