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TF2′s Christmas update is a Big Rock one. The new Big Rock map will contain the Mecha-Engineer, expanding the roster for the Mann Vs Machine mode. Valve explain: “These Grinch-like Smissmas cakewalk destroyers can skip huge areas of the path with their teleporting ability, and also teleport other robots forward instantly with their “telling other robots about the teleporter” ability.”
There will also be new weapons. But you knew that. Right? There’s also a new comic. Hooray for holidays!
Do you fancy yourself a go-getter? Someone with big, earth-shaking ideas and the wide-eyed capacity to realize them? Well then, go save/destroy the world, you mad genius, you. But for everyone else, Valve’s now offering the opportunity to salvage your savaged entrepreneurial dreams. By selling hats, naturally. Yes, the real-money-based Steam Community Market‘s now open for business, and Team Fortress 2′s its all-too-willing test bed.
I probably need to leap back into Garry’s Mod. For about a year, it was one of my go-to games/game-like things. If I was feeling bored, I’d find the most elaborate ways possible to pit a single, pistol-armed human NPC against hundreds of languidly slithering legless zombies and cackle until my mental health was severely in question. Eventually, though, I squeezed all the grim carnage I could from even the juiciest of scenarios, so it stopped being my time-waster of choice. But now, it sounds like Garry’s wonderful toybox – in much the same fashion as an infinitely multiplying army of single-frightened-human-hungry Ant Lions – has expanded quite a lot. And more’s on the way. Kinect support, for instance, is right around the corner, and Garry’s released a video of how exactly it’ll work. Flail your arms wildly at the break until something happens. Or just click on it.
Sometimes, modding is a delicate, subtle art – its inspirations many and nuanced, and its results unexpectedly evocative. It’s akin to the flap of a butterfly’s wings – barely even a whisper on the wind, yet capable of breathing pollen-dappled life into countless fields and genres. Other times, modding’s about taking one crazy and thing and cramming it into another crazy thing to make a third, orders of magnitude crazier thing. Which brings us to a completely insane Binding of Isaac mod for Team Fortress 2. The objective, so far as I can tell, is to do normal TF2 stuff (teamwork, friendship, murder) while also dealing with an onslaught of decidedly un-bound bosses. It looks completely wild. Traverse the break’s treacherous dungeons to check it out.
Haha. Yeah, Garry knows what to do. I’ve posted videos of his Kinect experiments below, and you can see exactly why the infamously aberrant Half-Life 2 mod actually needs Kinect support by watching those. Readers with memories will recall that we talked to Garry about his plans for the mod earlier in the year.
The Kinect support will apparently arrive “this week or next”. (more…)
What happens when you put Notch, Gearbox, Yogscast, Day, Bethesda, Valve and more in a room together? You’ll find out soon in a new release from Vivid Video. (DON’T Google that if you don’t already know what it is and/or are being observed by anyone). What about when you just put them in a virtual room? Well, then they play a Team Fortress 2 match for charity. (more…)
I don’t think it’s possible to have any misgivings over an update officially titled “Mechsgiving.” As for Portalmas, well, that one’s a bit more up for debate, seeing as it’s just a word I made up. But generosity’s officially in the air, and both Piranha and Valve are doling out fairly significant updates to their breadwinners, MechWarrior Online and Portal 2. Unfortunately, neither involves gigantic mechanized turkeys, but I suppose beggars in the midst of celebrating a decadent holiday of feasting and lethargy can’t be choosers. Still though, that’s far from a reason to mope. So let’s look under the ol’ turkey tree and see what we got.
By way of careful study and hundreds of hours of naturalistic observation, I’ve ascertained that some PC gamers actually don’t> like Windows 8 all that much. Which – in retrospect – seems like a pretty tremendous waste of my time, because it was punch-me-in-the-eyeball obvious all along. But while everyone else becomes vocally enraged, outraged, and other directions of rage, Valve’s actually trying to do something about it. The king of swing (and also PC gaming) is pushing to build Linux into a viable gaming platform with Steam for Linux, and now, it’s taken the oh-so-crucial step of, you know, letting said masses use it.
Interrupted while coiling his precious cables, the sound guy glowers at me. “Scarface? What?” Now, the way you can tell games journalists aren’t like other journalists is our shame. We’re shy, we lack the killer instinct, mostly, that enables tabloid hacks to doorstep grieving families and hack murdered children’s phones. I’m a case in point – 6′ 1″, 13 stone – and I’m being intimidated by a diminutive roadie. “His assistant is called Scarface,” I repeat. The roadie shrugs. As he shuffles away, he’s obviously assigned me to the same aberrant category as everyone else still hanging around at the Jonathan Coulton gig – No 1 Fans, all of them.
After the gig, from the gallery of Union Chapel, I look down on the accretion disc of fandom. They’re loitering but not mingling, in the hope of catching another sight of their hero. With its non-conformist heritage, this old Gothic church is a strangely perfect venue for Jonathan Coulton, whose music is packed full of liberality, anti-authoritarianism, irony and inclusiveness – and for his reverential fans. While he’s best known in gaming circles for endlessly singable Portal ditty Still Alive, Coulton is the high priest of geek music. This former programmer’s songs about geek culture are so well known he was made ‘Contributing Troubador’ at Popular Science magazine. (more…)
Until this weekend, I hadn’t revisited Portal 2 since the release of the Perpetual Testing Initiative. I vaguely assumed that user-built test chambers would fall, broadly speaking, into two types: so easy that they made me appreciate the complex genius of the originals, or so difficult that they made me appreciate the simple genius of the originals. Replaying Portal 2 at the end of 2011 also made me realise that the puzzles were the bits in between the prattling robots and the archaeological ascent through Aperture. I spent more time smiling than thinking with furrowed brow. Naturally, then, a set of user-made levels that form a story appeal more than standalone levels. Designed for Danger is such a thing and, from the little I’ve played of the eight levels, it’s high quality stuff.