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Black Mesa Early Access photo
Black Mesa Early Access

Half-Life remake Black Mesa now on Steam Early Access


Finally, a way to pay for a mod
May 05
// Patrick Hancock
Black Mesa, the loving recreation of the original Half-Life, has just entered Steam's Early Access program with a price point of $19.99. There had been a countdown on the website leading up to today, and many speculated that ...
Portal Pinball photo
Portal Pinball

That Valve/Zen Studios collaboration is Portal Pinball


Now you're plinking with portals
May 05
// Darren Nakamura
The teaser is less than a week old, and now we have some more details on the collaboration between Zen Studios (best known for its pinball games) and Valve (best known for not developing Half-Life 3). It's not the excellent p...
id Software photo
id Software

id Software wanted to pay for your mods in 1995


But it didn't
May 05
// Vikki Blake
You might think that Valve's doomed mod payment program was the first of its kind, but it turns out that id Software co-founder John Romero wanted to reward Quake modders twenty years ago. "I've always believed that mod maker...
Valve photo
Valve

Steam currency issue made Indonesians rich


What do you do with 13,000x in your wallet?
May 04
// Laura Kate Dale
What would you do if you woke up this morning to find your Steam wallet was suddenly worth 13,000 times it's normal value? This may seem like a silly question, but Steam users in Indonesia found themselves in this very situat...
Dota 2 Compendium 2015 photo
Dota 2 Compendium 2015

New Dota 2 Compendium revealed, up to $15M in stretch goals


Hot off a game-changing patch
May 01
// Patrick Hancock
The newest Dota 2 Interactive Compendium has been revealed for this year's upcoming International tournament. Just as in past years, 25% of each Compendium purchase goes towards the prize pool and stretch goals. This yea...
Magnet gun photo
Magnet gun

A cancelled Half-Life episode included a magnet gun


Polarizing
Apr 30
// Brett Makedonski
Everyone who yearns for more Half-Life content might take solace (or find frustration) in the fact that more has been created. However, it's also been scrapped. And, at least some of it had the intent of introducing a ne...
Team Fortress 2 photo
Team Fortress 2

Who wants matchmaking in Team Fortress 2? It's coming!


Pro tip: EVERYONE
Apr 30
// Vikki Blake
Brace yourself: Matchmaking, is -- finally -- coming to Team Fortress 2. After submitting a list of feature requests and bugs to the TF2 development team, a group of fans from TeamFortress.tv were invited to Valve to dis...
Valve/Zen photo
Valve/Zen

Zen Studios is teasing some sort of Valve crossover


It's pinball-related, to be sure
Apr 29
// Brett Makedonski
You might know Zen Studios as "The Pinball Guys." The Hungary-based developer has more games under its belt, but in recent years, it's most well-known ventures have included flippers, steel balls, and franchises from elsewher...
Paid Skyrim mods are over photo
'...it's clear we didn't understand exactly what we were doing'
Earlier today, Bethesda tried to justify its decision to let people charge money for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim mods on Steam, but it was just the latest in a string of failed attempts at damage control. Now there's word fro...

Gabe Newell AMA photo
Gabe Newell AMA

Gabe Newell defends paid mods against the fury of an angry Internet


Brace yourselves, the downvotes are coming
Apr 25
// Alissa McAloon
The PC gaming community has been up in arms ever since Valve announced a few days ago that the Skyrim Steam Workshop would start allowing modders to charge money for previously free user-created mods. To the surprise of absol...
HTC Vive photo
HTC Vive

Devs can put their eyeballs inside the HTC Vive for free


Did no one see Sword Art Online? This won't end well
Apr 23
// Joe Parlock
Life is cruel sometimes. I’m almost blind in one eye and can’t see in 3D, so most 3D and virtual reality headsets don’t actually work for me. I’ve tried the Oculus Rift, and it was just like being sat ...
Dota 2 mod photo
Dota 2 mod

Experimental mod envisions Dota 2 as a third-person shooter


Built in a cave with a box of scraps
Apr 20
// Jordan Devore
Not that I've been counting, but I'm sure I've spent more time with Awesomenauts and SMITE than I have with traditional multiplayer online battle arenas like League of Legends and Dota 2 . Hey, I like what I like! I als...
Mortal Kombat X photo
Mortal Kombat X

Are klassik fatalities koming to Mortal Kombat X?


Steam certainly seems to think so
Apr 20
// Laura Kate Dale
Mortal Kombat X is a game largely about violently ripping people limb from limb. There's so many ways to viciously eviscerate your enemies that the average player will have their blood-lust satiated for weeks. But what if you...
Crawl photo
Crawl

Gabe Newell punches his way into indie game


Newell is an ultra powerful boss
Apr 13
// Laura Kate Dale
News revealed on April Fools is always difficult to know how to treat. Do you waste time verifying it? Do you assume everything's a hoax regardless of proof? Do you just wait it out and see if the news still has updates in th...
Half-Life 2 mod photo
Half-Life 2 mod

Half-Life 2: Update looks like a real good reason to revisit City 17


But not Ravenholm... never Ravenholm
Mar 26
// Jordan Devore
For three years, Filip Victor has been working on Half-Life 2: Update, a community-made standalone version of Half-Life 2 that seeks to "fix up, polish, and visually enhance [the game] without ever changing the 2004 original'...
Three-hour Dota match photo
Three-hour Dota match

Record breaking competitive Dota 2 match lasts over 3 hours


The last Hobbit movie was shorter (and less entertaining)
Mar 22
// Nic Rowen
Dota matches have a reputation for becoming grindy slogs, but I'm pretty sure they aren't supposed to resemble the intractable grind of WWI trench warfare. On Friday a qualifying match between competitive teams Cloud9 and SFZ...
Team Fortress 2 photo
Team Fortress 2

Dance the night away with custom taunts in TF2


Do the hustle
Mar 13
// Jordan Devore
Are you a taunter? I'm not. Okay, well, I try not to be. But then developers go and design achievements around taunting X amount of times, and it'd be rude not to oblige them probably. Or there's some jerk in Awesomenauts who...
Steam Controller photo
Steam Controller

Steam Controller and FPS: PAX East 2015 impressions


'A little rumbly'
Mar 10
// Jed Whitaker
One of what was seemingly the better-kept secrets at PAX East 2015, the Steam Controller, was available for hands on at the Alienware booth connected to the company's Steam Machines. I was able to test the previous iteration...

Skyworld takes unique advantage of Valve's new virtual reality tech

Mar 06 // Alessandro Fillari
For our demo, the developers led me into a closed-off room which housed Valve's virtual reality hardware. Around the room were two cameras that tracked movement and set the boundaries of the VR environment by scanning the dimensions of the room. They then handed me the headset, which still looked as if it was in the prototype phase. Wires to the headset were numerous, which required a belt around my waist to hold all of them down. Honestly, it felt like I was wearing something from '90s cyberpunk like Ghost in the Shell or Johnny Mnemonic. It was weighty, but had a number of devices working at once. I actually almost tripped over one of the wires before our demo even started. But any apprehension I had for the device soon faded once I tried out the interface and witnessed it in action. With the headset on, I was in a home menu showing a number of games and applications. The controllers they gave me, which were also connected with wires, were two wand-like devices that were somewhat like a mix between the Sony Move and Wii Remote. Similar to the headset, they were in early form. Using trackpads on the controllers allowed me to cycle through options. And just for fun, pressing down the trackpad caused a balloon to inflate from the controller in the digital space, which was amusing. It felt intuitive, and surprisingly accurate. I could look around to see the menu system with its grey, almost minimalistic background, but the Valve engineer instructed me to look towards the floor. On the floor was a box, which represented the center of the space. Once I started walking forward outside the box, I made it a few steps before a grid popped up in front of me. This grid represented the physical wall that I was about to walk into, which the camera picked up and visualized within the VR space. It was pretty cool stuff, and I felt that I could've spent plenty of time exploring the home menu, but of course, they had a game to show. [embed]288675:57632:0[/embed] Last year, the developers of World of Diving showed off an impressive demonstration for their underwater-exploration sim. The use of the Oculus Rift was well designed and featured impressive depth and range. With the success and buzz they generated with that title, they attracted the attention of Valve, leading to a partnership. But the new VR technology they were presented meant having to design something a bit different. "When they asked to work together with us to make a demo for the GDC announcement, the first thing that came to mind was that we should do something like World of Diving," said creative director Richard Stitselaar. "But that title was designed around the first Oculus, and then the DK2 came along, we had to ramp it up to seventy-five frames per second, then Valve came along and said 'guys, it needs 90 frames per second.' So we had to do a lot of optimization on the game, and we figured we should use our knowledge with VR and apply it to a new game instead." Skyworld is totally different from World of Diving. Set on a floating island that houses a small civilization, you play as an omnipotent ruler that must wage war on the opposing side. As a quasi tabletop turn-based strategy title, players use both Steam controllers as wands in game to conjure up creatures and interact with the world. Over time, you'll build your defenses and expand your resources, which will allow you to send infantry and even dragons to attack your enemies. With the left controller, I was able to pull up a magic book, which housed unit info and spells to cast. Using the right controller allowed me to interact with the elements on the table. Whether picking up units to reposition them or interacting with blacksmiths or dragons, each controller had its own separate uses that complemented the other. "First we had this interaction model where you would look at something as this dot in the middle and then select it," said Stitselaar. "It feels natural to have something in your hand that could enhance the world itself." When you think of VR, you're probably thinking of something that's a bit action-y or fast-paced, and likely not a turn-based strategy title. But Skyworld definitely makes great use of the technology. I was able to view all aspects of the environment with clarity, as zooming simply meant stepping closer. Of course, I had to let go of some very basic certainties when playing with the demo. For instance, we all know that if there's an object in front of you, then you'll likely have to move if you want to get around it. I spent much of the demo walking around the 'table,' never thinking to actually walk up to whatever object I wanted. Eventually, the engineers from Valve and Vertigo Games instructed me that it was okay to walk through the table -- it wasn't real. After attacking enemy installations and moving my infantry around, my time with the demo ended. It was fairly brief, and I felt I only scratched the surface of what I could do. Valve's technology was easily the most impressive use of virtual reality I've seen in a long time, though. Moreover, Vertigo Games' work impressed. I was pleasantly surprised to experience a title that used VR in an original way. While the technology has a ways to go before it will get in the hands of consumers, I'm excited about what the future of VR holds.
Valve VR photo
Vertigo Games talks the future of VR
We got a big shock at the beginning of the week when Valve announced its partnership with HTC to produce a new virtual reality headset. We all knew the company had ambitions to enter the console market with Steam Machines, bu...

Steam hardware photo
Steam hardware

Steam now lists Steam Machines and other hardware


These things sure are pricey
Mar 05
// Jordan Devore
In its push to expand the "Steam universe," Valve has added store listings for Steam Machines as well as the finalized Steam Controller and also Steam Link, a PC-to-TV streaming device. All of this stuff will become available...
Steam Controller photo
Steam Controller

Oh hey, this looks like the final Steam Controller


Available this November for $49.99
Mar 04
// Jordan Devore
Weird as it might still look, you have to admit that Valve's Steam Controller has come far. Remember this photo? Or this more recent one? It's like leafing through your worst yearbooks. Given that I play PC-centric games with...
Valve in 2015 photo
Valve in 2015

Valve: Steam Link game-streaming device, controller, free Source 2, and VR in 2015


Announce ALL the things, just not Half-Life 3
Mar 03
// Jed Whitaker
Valve just announced a number of new products for 2015 along with some pricing details. (Leave it to Valve to reveal hardware with dates and pricing at the same time.) This year, the company will release: Steam Link, Steam Ma...
GDC 2015 photo
GDC 2015

Valve to give a talk about physics at GDC on March 3 at 3 PM


Should be a good talk
Mar 02
// Jed Whitaker
Sergiy Migdalskiy, a programmer at Valve, will be giving a talk at GDC this week at the start of the THIRD month on the THIRD day at 3 PM. According to Sergiy's LinkedIn he has worked on games such as Counter-Strike: Glo...
HTC Vive photo
HTC Vive

HTC Vive VR headset announced in partnership with Valve


Consumer version this year
Mar 01
// Jed Whitaker
HTC is partnering with Valve on a VR headset, revealed today as the Vive. The Vive will be "powered by Steam VR," which seems to be a software solution created by Valve for VR headsets. It is unclear at this time if Stea...
Valve VR hardware photo
Valve VR hardware

Valve is showing its 'SteamVR hardware system' next week


New Steam Machines and the final Steam Controller, too
Feb 23
// Jordan Devore
Here I was expecting to find out about Steam Machines and the finished Steam Controller at next week's Game Developers Conference -- sure, that's fine -- but the company also has a surprise in store for the San Francisco show...
Steam machines photo
Steam machines

We might find out more about Steam machines in the very near future


Scheduled to be at GDC
Feb 12
// Brett Makedonski
Valve isn't communicating its plans for its fabled Steam machines all that well. Who could forget CES 2014's anticipated event that basically resulted in Gabe Newell pointing to a list of names and then leaving? We've known a...
Steam Greenlight photo
Steam Greenlight

Sorry, Greenlight developers, no more offering Steam keys for votes


Valve puts a stop to this practice
Feb 10
// Jason Faulkner
It seems as though developers pushing games through release via Steam Greenlight have been promising keys as a means of amassing votes from prospective buyers. Not that this notion is surprising in any way, but it's certainly...
Portal: Outside Influence photo
Portal: Outside Influence

After five long years, Portal: Outside Influence nears completion


Morris' labor of love also features some of my favorite industry personalities!
Feb 08
// Rob Morrow
It seems like we were just posting about Portal mods the other day, doesn't it? Well, we've got another one for you to look at today, but there's a quite a bit more going on under the surface of this stel...
ESL retracts CS:GO ban photo
ESL retracts CS:GO ban

Valve and ESL retract ban on ex-ESC Gaming CS:GO team


With so much drama with the iBP, it's kinda hard bein' ex-ESC
Feb 08
// Jason Faulkner
Last Friday, Valve and eSports League Europe, issued tentative bans on three Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competitive teams. Epsilon eSports, the former ESC Gaming team, and WinneR had players who were accused of match fi...
Dota 2 tournament photo
Dota 2 tournament

The Dota 2 Asian Championships now has the second highest prize pool in eSports history


Main event is underway now
Feb 06
// Patrick Hancock
The Dota 2 Asian Championships' (DAC) main event is underway now, and currently boasts a prize pool of just under $3,000,000. This brings it to the second highest prize pool ever, behind the 2014 Dota 2 Internationa...

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