Community Announcements - alfred
We have released an update for both games, fixes include:
  • Fixed fans not rotating after being in a level for more than a few minutes
  • Added "-nofbo" command line option to let you disable using the new method for rendering
  • Added "-nomsaa" to let you disable MSAA effects being applied to the games output, setting "-nofbo" also implies "-nomsaa".
  • Fixed not doing the HTTP fast download path if you canceled a download and then reconnected to the same server
  • Fixed drowning damage being applied after respawn in some cases
  • Fixed malicious clients being able to upload certain new files to servers
  • Fixed some scripts sounds not playing
Kotaku





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Gabe Newell, the beloved chief of Valve, has proven many times that he is really kind to fans. So it did not take a long for him to agree to pose for a very special photo this week after giving a talk at the University of Texas at Austin's LBJ School of Public Affairs. This photo involves one of those notorious horse head masks, and it proves that Gabe Newell, as ever, is a good sport.



For more on what Newell was talking about at the school, see here. Newell will also be delivering two keynotes at next week's DICE conference in Las Vegas. We'll have full coverage on Kotaku.



Gabe Newell having fun with a fan [YouTube]


Community Announcements - alfred
We have released an update for both games, fixes include:
  • Made save games cross platform
  • Fixed crash when changing video modes under windows
  • Removed support for A3D sounds from the engine, this API is not functional on current Windows OS releases
  • Removed legacy D3D renderer, assorted OpenGL improvements in the beta make this older API not supportable
  • Enabled hud_fastswitch on mouse wheel movement for Counter-Strike
Community Announcements - alfred
We have released an update for both games, fixes include:
  • Fixed game icon not showing in window title bar and/or dock
  • Fixed OK button on Half-Life 1 deathmatch MOTD not being selectable if you ran in a non 4:3 resolution
  • Added support for fast HTTP download when getting server assets for Linux and OSX
  • Changed full screen render to fall back to changing the desktop resolution if it fails to create and offscreen FBO (useful on older video cards)
  • Fixed crash if a game asked to play a sound with a volume that was too high
  • Fixed rare crash on startup due to thread race conditions
Community Announcements - alfred
In support of the upcoming Steam for Linux release we have made Half-Life 1 available on Linux and Mac OS X.

This beta involves significant changes for all platforms and your testing is appreciated, please report any bugs to our GitHub page.

Linux and OS X users can simply install the Half-Life application to access the beta. For Windows users right click the game in your Library, choose properties and then go to the Beta tab. Select the SteamPipe beta to start testing. Under windows to opt out of testing simply deselect the beta option on this same page.
Kotaku

The Beautiful, If Misguided Crusade To Keep Half-Life 2 Looking BeautifulThe Half-Life 2 Cinematic Mod has been around forever, and in that time has proven fairly divisive. Sure, it adds some lovely effects to the game, but it also makes so many changes that some feel it loses a little of Valve's original vision for City 17 and its surrounding countryside. The "improved" character models are a particular bone of contention.



I could never get past the latter, with almost everyone in the mod looking like a Baywatch reject, but if all you care about are environmental effects and the crusade to make a game that's nearly ten years old look brand new, you might want to watch the new video below and see how far the mod has progressed since its inception back in 2005.



If you can meet its surprisingly hefty specs (at least for the full range of effects, considering the game's age), you can download the mod below.



Cinematic Mod [Official Site, via PC Gamer]





CM11.35 Trailer - Mod DB


Kotaku

Giant 20-Inch Gordon Freeman Statue Keeps Headcrabs Off Your BookshelfGaming Heads, a company that's been making Valve-related merchandise for a few years now, will later this year be brining out this impressive (and huge) Gordon Freeman statue.



Standing 20" tall and available in Q3, the regular edition will sell for $320, while a collector's edition (that comes with an extra weapons, the SMG) will sell for $340.



Gordon Freeman [Gaming Heads]





Giant 20-Inch Gordon Freeman Statue Keeps Headcrabs Off Your Bookshelf Giant 20-Inch Gordon Freeman Statue Keeps Headcrabs Off Your Bookshelf Giant 20-Inch Gordon Freeman Statue Keeps Headcrabs Off Your Bookshelf Giant 20-Inch Gordon Freeman Statue Keeps Headcrabs Off Your Bookshelf Giant 20-Inch Gordon Freeman Statue Keeps Headcrabs Off Your Bookshelf Giant 20-Inch Gordon Freeman Statue Keeps Headcrabs Off Your Bookshelf Giant 20-Inch Gordon Freeman Statue Keeps Headcrabs Off Your Bookshelf Giant 20-Inch Gordon Freeman Statue Keeps Headcrabs Off Your Bookshelf Giant 20-Inch Gordon Freeman Statue Keeps Headcrabs Off Your Bookshelf
Kotaku





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Earth's Special Forces is a mod for the original Half-Life's engine (not Half-Life 2's Source) that transforms Valve's shooter into a massive arena for Dragonball Z battles.



It's a third-person fighting game with a few different modes (you can team up for deathmatches, etc). Being a mod it's a constant work-in-progress, and comes with a warning that "there is a learning curve so newbies beware", but if that doesn't deter you, the mod can be downloaded below.



Earth's Special Forces mod for Half-Life [ModDB]


PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Half-Life Earth’s Special Forces mod: unbelievable visuals, unbelievable muscles">Earth's Special Forces mod



Frankly, I'm not sure the Dragonball Z anime series appeals to everyone. It takes a special kind of patience to sit through half a season of two muscle-ridden warriors just taunting each other before commencing the clubbing. Thankfully, the upcoming Earth's Special Forces mod skips the drawl and cuts to the brawls between Goku, Vegeta, Frieza, and other characters from the show. The twist? Its stunning visuals are all built on Goldsource, the same engine used for Half-Life.

Earth's Special Forces isn't new. Its development team has worked on and released various alpha versions of the frenetic fighter for nearly a decade, but its not-so-New-Year's trailer shows off the most recent efforts of pushing the aged Goldsource engine to its absolute limit. Floored reactions are proof enough: "I absolutely cannot believe this is the Goldsource engine. Unbelievable," reads one comment on Reddit. "On what engine is this running? CryEngine 3?" asks another.

As for what you actually do in Earth's Special Forces, the mod's website explains it thus: "Select your favorite character and fly, power up, transform, melee, and beam your enemies into pulp. Each character is given signature moves and abilities to compliment different style of play. Some are stronger in hand-to-hand combat, others are better with energy attacks. Play in three different game modes: deathmatch, team deathmatch, and capture the Dragonballs."

Not many games offer a mode where you blow up half the planet while chasing after euphemistically named spheres, but Earth's Special Forces pulls it off in gorgeous style. You can grab an older and less-glossy alpha version here to check it out, though it carries significant bugs and non-working bots.
Kotaku





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For years now, there have been rumors and reports of a now-cancelled Half-Life 2 episode called Half-Life 2: Return to Ravenholm. The project, an overview of which can be found at the Combine Overwiki, was to be a collaboration between Valve and Dishonored-makers Arkane, and would, presumably, take players back to the creepy, zombie-infested village of Ravenholm. The existence and cancellation of Return to Ravenholm was confirmed by Valve's Marc Laidlaw in January of last year.



The folks at ValveTime have posted what they claim to be some new unearthed prototype screenshots from the long-cancelled project. They've compiled them into the video above, as well. For clarity's sake: These screens are old, and no one has any reason to think the project has been un-cancelled or anything like that.



Alleged Screenshots Surface Of A Long-Cancelled Half Life 2 Episode Alleged Screenshots Surface Of A Long-Cancelled Half Life 2 Episode Alleged Screenshots Surface Of A Long-Cancelled Half Life 2 Episode Alleged Screenshots Surface Of A Long-Cancelled Half Life 2 Episode



Seeing as how the images come from an unconfirmed (by us) source and the game apparently never got very far into development, I'd suggest taking them with a grain of salt. I've reached out to both Arkane and Valve to ask about their authenticity, and will update if I hear back. Still... absorption? Interesting.



It wouldn't be an article about Half-Life unless I closed with some sort of Half-Life 3 joke, so… no, you know what? This one time I'm not gonna do it.



New Images of Half-life 2: Episode 4 / Return to Ravenholm [ValveTime, thanks Glenn]


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