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PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Black Mesa: Hazard Course mod sends Half-Life’s tutorial deeper into Source">Black Mesa Hazard Course







After using a Xen relay to slingshot itself across an interdimensional portal known as "the Internet," Black Mesa and its updates to Half-Life 1 continue to influence satellite mods that restore extended chunks of Gordon Freeman's tale. Next in line for Black-Mesa-fying: the Hazard Course, Gordon's optional and educational pit-stop for teaching movement and shooting basics.



Along with the standard face(granite?)-lift to the Hazard Course's bunker-like training areas and twisting pipes, the mod hopes to add a few new characters and areas for that extra bit of distraction as you eternally run late for that silly test chamber appointment. A notable planned addition is the tram station and the brief meeting with a few scientist overseers from the PlayStation 2 version of the game (here's a video), which is a rare opportunity to see one of the lab's normally stuffy pencil-pushers shirk procedure over a liability contract.



The mod just moved into its alpha stage after its team announced the first connection of all playable areas just yesterday. You can track the mod's progress over at Mod DB, and here's a few more screenshots showing off the completed work so far.











Kotaku





width="500" height="333" allowscriptaccess="always"
allowfullscreen="true">

Sit back and watch two decades of video game graphics flash before your eyes. YouTube user drloser333 has uploaded a video from French site NoFrag that unfurls the graphics of more than a dozen first-person shooters, from 1992's Wolfenstein 3 to 2011's Battlefield 3.



Did the FPS get better-looking? They have at least become way more realistic, But maybe you're more of a fan of older, more abstract styles?



Graphic evolution of First Person Shooters: 1992-2012 [YouTube, uploaded by drloser333; more details (in French) at NoFrag.com]


Kotaku

How Valve Hires, And Fires, Its EmployeesThere's no company quite like Valve. Super successful and with an organisation some would call crazy, there's also no company quite as interesting. So hearing about how Valve hires, and fires people, is far more educational than it would be for just about any other video game company.



Writing on Gamasutra, the company's economist Yanis Varoufakis has lifted the lid on some of the company's employment policies, which should be useful for anyone hoping to one day work there (and find out what the hell is going on with Half-Life 3).



When it comes to hiring, they don't usually have interviews. They identify needs/vacancies, form teams, come to a consensus on the best available people out there then go head-hunting.



As for firing—which took place recently, and had people wondering—seems it mostly takes place not with under-performing employees, but those who may not fit with the company's famous "boss free" structure.



How Valve hires, how it fires, and how much it pays [Gamasutra]


Feb 20, 2013
Community Announcements - alfred
We have updated the public release of Half-Life. This update contains all the changes from the recent beta, thanks to the whole community for their help with testing and suggesting new features.

Features in this update include:
  • Returned mouse input to using windows messages rather than raw input, this should correct the sensitivity change people have seen
  • Added a "Raw Input" checkbox in the Mouse tab of the Options dialog. This button toggles the "m_rawinput" cvar. If selected raw input API's will be used to get mouse input, usually with lower latency but missing the post processing from your OS's Window manager
  • Added a "Low video quality" option in the Video tab of the Options dialog. Use this check box if you have an older GPU and want to trade off visual quality for FPS
  • Re-enabled a fps cap of 100. You can override this behavior if you want to run faster by setting fps_override to "1" but some mods may not behave properly
  • Added support for binding the multiply key on the numeric keypad, the engine bind name for this new key is "kp_mul"
  • Added support for binding Windows key, key name "win". Be careful binding this key, your OS may also act on presses from it
  • Made keypad enter key activate an item when pressed in the server browser
  • Made the "timerefresh" command require sv_cheats be set for its use. This command is for developer profiling and shouldn't be generally used
  • Added listing of games from the valve_downloads folder in the New Game dialog
  • Added "speak_enabled" cvar, if set to 0 then the "spk" and "speak" commands are disabled
  • Added "edicts" option to liblist.gam file, for use in mods that want more than 900 entities in their maps
  • Improved HTTP download performance
  • Improved movement when running at more than 100fps
  • Removed now unused sv_voicecodec and sv_voicequality cvars
  • Renamed gl_ztrick cvar to gl_ztrick_old, usage of this cvar is deprecated and caused rendering issues

Fixes in this update include:
  • Fixed left shift key presses not detecting properly
  • Fixed viewdemo command causing a crash
  • Fixed load dialog in viewdemo command not actually loading the demo
  • Fixed Player List dialog not allowing you to mute a player
  • Fixed crash on restart if you had the serverbrowser active
  • Fixed double entries in the sprays list pulldown under options
  • Fixed crash if Windows OS level DEP setting was turned on for all programs and you ran in software mode
  • Fixed downloading of content from servers via HTTP, both if you got a 404 error on one of the links or the file was in the base download folder
  • Fixed some commands writing config files to a bad path
  • Fixed corruption of text input when hitting backspace while composing a message
  • Fixed mouse clicks sometimes being lost
Community Announcements - alfred
Changes in this update are:
  • Returned mouse input to using windows messages rather than raw input, this should correct the sensitivity change people have seen
  • Added m_rawinput cvar, if set to 1 this enables using the raw input API's on your OS to get mouse input, usually with lower latency but missing the post processing from your OS
  • Fixed corrupt HTTP downloads if the url sent by the game server resulted in a 404 error
  • Fixed corruption of text input when hitting backspace while composing a message
  • Renamed gl_ztrick cvar to gl_ztrick_old, usage of this cvar is deprecated and caused rendering issues
  • Fixed mouse clicks sometimes being lost
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Black Mesa: Insecurity bringing Blue Shift to Source">Black Mesa Insecurity thumb







Now Black Mesa has fallen through a Source engine resonance cascade and out into the world, modders are piggy-backing off its upgraded assets to fill in the extended family of Gordon Freeman's original adventure. Black Mesa: Insecurity hopes to remake Gearbox's second expansion, Half-Life: Blue Shift, starring everybody's favourite beer-owing security guard Barney Rubble Calhoun.







"Overall what I hope to achieve is an experience similar to Black Mesa's in that the essence of what Blue Shift was remains intact while adding a major facelift and re-imagining to the rest," writes the mod's creator. He admits that this is a small project, being worked on during study breaks, but the team have already created a number of new models to go along with the repurposed Black Mesa files.



More screenshots below. The project's release is still "TBD," but yo can keep up to date with the latest work over at Insecurity's ModDB page.











Community Announcements - alfred
We have released a Beta update for Half-Life 1 and Counter-Strike 1.6. You can access the beta by right clicking the game in your Library list, choosing "Properties" and going to the beta tab. Linux and OS X users will need to opt into this update also. Once you opt into the beta you will automatically receive future beta updates.

Changes in this update are:
  • Re-enabled a fps cap of 100. You can override this behavior if you want to run faster by setting fps_override to "1" but some mods may not behave properly
  • Fixed movement when running at more than 100fps
  • Added "speak_enabled" cvar, if set to 0 then the "spk" and "speak" commands are disabled
  • Added "edicts" option to liblist.gam file, for use in mods that want more than 900 entities in their maps
  • Increased supported entity count in Counter-Strike 1.6 to 1800
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Penguin party: Steam Linux launches with week-long celebration sale">Steam Linux celebration sale







It's been tested, it's been debated, and it's now available to all: Valve announces the official launch of the Steam Linux client after nearly four months in beta. Expectedly, a sale is going on for all Linux-supported games in Steam's catalog, including Crusader Kings II and Counter-Strike: Source.



The sale lasts until February 21 and takes 50 to 75 percent off the 54 games Linux users can slot into their brand new platform. Team Fortress 2 joins the revelry by automatically awarding a free and tradeable in-game Tux accessory for all Linux mercs jumping into the free-to-play shooter before May 1. Prepare for an avalanche of crates, Ubuntuans.



Grab the Steam Linux client and browse the full list of discounted titles on the sale page. Welcome to Steam, Linux gamers.
Community Announcements - alfred
We have updated the public release of Half-Life 1. This update contains all the changes from the recent beta, thanks to the whole community for their help with testing and suggesting new features.

Changes in this update are:
  • Converted Half-Life to the new SteamPipe content system, for optimized delivery of the game
  • Added support for Mac OS X and Linux operating systems
  • Enabled Cloud support for save games
  • Improved OpenGL rendering pipeline and output to leverage the capabilities in todays GPU
  • Improved support for in-game chat in non-latin languages

A full list of changes can be found in the announcement thread.
Community Announcements - alfred
We have released an update to the beta for both games, fixes include:
  • Don't create the SAVE/ folder on disk unless needed by a game
  • Fixed extra temporary files from the save process not being cleared up
  • Fixed empty chat messages being allowed
  • Fixed using backspace when using say or say_team command with non latin characters
  • Fixed mouse offset when running in fullscreen software mode
  • Fixed copying text from the game console not getting the last couple of character when doing multiple lines
...

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