Community Announcements - SZ
As of 12:00AM GMT today and for the next two weeks, we are now accepting submissions for the Second Annual Saxxy Awards! Click here to find out how to submit!

Read the blog post here
Product Update - Valve
DIRETIDE FIXES

- Fixed Death Prophet Announcer.
- Sugar Rushed Roshan now casts his abilities using pure glucose rather than mana.
- Diretide Roshan is now invulnerable prior to Sugar Rush.
- Fixed the incorrect hero picker being shown when spectating Diretide games.
- Added support for multiple rounds of Sugar Rush record tracking.
- Glyph now works on the bucket.
- Illusions now die if they attack the bucket.
- Meepo dying will no longer remove candy from everyone.
- Illusions no longer get bonus gold/xp from depositing candy in your bucket.
- Fixed bug with re-picking granting too much gold.
TF2 Blog





Good news! Submissions are now being taken for the Second Annual Saxxy Awards! The event where we celebrate the world's best short films exclusively about ME, SAXTON HALE! No other subject will be considered for hold on, Bidwell's trying to tell me something. What is it, Bidwell. Of course I can listen to you and type at the same time. Look. Still typing. What? What do you mean they can make the films about anything? Why would they want to do that? No, it's not arrogance, Bidwell, it's just common damn sense. If you can make a film about anything, make it about me. What? Because I'm Saxton Hale, that's why. Why are we still having this conversation? You're lucky my hands are busy typing.



New paragraph! I'm going to go pull some strings with the mayor, see if I can't get the rules changed about what the films have to be about. In the meantime, feel free to upload your submissions.



This just got signed by Saxton Hale








As of 12:00AM GMT today and for the next two weeks, we are now accepting submissions for the Second Annual Saxxy Awards! Click here to find out how to submit!




(Note: Replay category submissions will be accepted starting tomorrow, via the in-game Replay Browser.)




PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Discouraging mod development “doesn’t make sense” says Black Mesa dev">Black Mesa Source







Nailing down the range of possibilities afforded by modding's creativity yawns past the comprehension of us mere mortals. Yet, for a platform housing exploding horses, rug-cutting Combine, and the nesting-doll appeal of Minecraft's game-in-a-game sandbox, the PC keeps its lot of closed environments precipitated by developers and publishers as a means for balanced gameplay or brand protection. In an interview with True PC Gaming, Black Mesa Project Lead Carlos Montero flatly stated such a hindrance for mod growth "doesn't make sense."



"When you think about it, modders are like the ultimate fans," Montero explained. "They love this game so much, they're doing real, difficult, skilled work that you usually pay people for. Not only that, but they can add so much value to your game for the rest of your audience. Yet you still see companies look at this as competition. They sue and shut down these projects and ignore or drop support for people to mod their games. It doesn't make any sense. In my opinion, it’s the product of businesses (or lawyers) looking at this too analytically and short-term without understanding the long-term value it can create for their games."



Although Black Mesa earned the silent blessing of Valve during its lengthy session in the testing chamber, other ambitious projects met a not-so-friendly response from license holders legally stifling efforts. Montero's thoughts—the rest of which you can read in the interview—reflect a sentiment by modder-turned-developer Tripwire Interactive expressing confusion over why companies would stop mods on their games.
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Left 4 Dead 2 fan made Back to School campaign out now">Left 4 Dead 2







After three years of work the user-created Back to School campaign for Left 4 Dead 2 has reached version 1.0. You can download it now from the ModDB page, where they've also uploaded a trailer that gave me a terrible hunger to play Left 4 Dead again. A terrible, terrible hunger that not even this egg mayonnaise sandwich can help with. If only those eggs were more, I don't know ... brainy. Weird.



Oh well, not to worry. I'm sure everything's fine. Let's just sit back and enjoy this trailuuuuurrrrrrgh:



Product Update - Valve
Release Notes for 10/30/2012

[ MINOR FIXES ]

- GOTV relays now support up to 255 spectators per relay.
- Fixed a crash when connecting to a GOTV relay.
- Fixed tv_relaypassword.
- Added GOTV viewer count to the scoreboard.
- Improved highlighting of selected player for spectator.
- Fixed call vote panel showing an uninitialized button in some cases.
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Valve firing process echoes studio’s peer-driven structure">Valve offices







For Valve's employees, working at one of the most secretive development studios around constitutes a once-in-a-respawn experience. The leakage of Valve's employee handbook earlier this year colorfully outlined a flat management structure culturing a counterintuitive emphasis on peer-driven independence. Speaking to Seattle Interactive Conference attendees yesterday (as reported by GeekWire), Valve Product Designer Greg Coomer said the same free-form philosophy governing the company's work ethic also factors into firing someone.



"I wish that we had covered firing in the employee handbook," Coomer said. "It was one of the things that we left out. We tried writing it, but we didn't feel like we were capturing how Valve thinks about (firing) in a well enough way. It was almost a wording problem. We couldn't get it done in the time that we wouldn't to finish the handbook. The short answer of how we handle terminations, really, is the same as we approach all other decisions at the company: It's a peer-driven process.



"If it turns out that we made a bad hiring decision, or that somebody is just not working out, there’s a method we use to get the people who are involved in the same room and to walk through the decision about what should really happen as a result of this person not functioning very well. Some of the details are kind of boring, but the main answer is that it's peer-driven, just like we evaluate each other as peers.”



I wonder what a caricaturized "Termination and You" chapter in the handbook would look like—probably the Pyro immolating an office chair or something. Still, Coomer attributed Valve's higher rate of self-fulfillment to the significant flexibility it bestows upon its workers, saying, “There are attributes that other companies have quoted about themselves that they allow their (employees) to spend some fraction of their time actually deciding on their own what to work on, but at Valve that percentage of your time is 100 percent. Every single person is responsible for deciding what they do every day."
Announcement - Valve
Freaks of the night, rejoice! Steam has unleashed monster savings on ghoulish (and not so creepy) titles. From now until about the time all the pumpkins are smashed*, over 80 titles (including The Walking Dead, Bioshock, Left 4 Dead, and many more) are available at prices so low, it’s scary.

For more info, click here!

*Discount offers end November 1st at 10am Pacific time

Product Update - Valve
BUGS
- Fixed Stampede sound not being global for enemies
- Fixed Stampede buff being applied as an aura rather than a one time buff
- Fixed Return vs Siege
- Fixed Treant Protector's strength growth
- Fixed Last Word Legacy Key
- Fixed Last Word interaction with BKB and Cyclone


GAMEPLAY
- Stampede cooldown increased from 65 to 120/90/60
- Stampede duration rescaled from 3/4/5 to 3.75
- Stampede damage slightly reworked from 100/150/200 + 2x str to 0 + 1/2/3x str (no base damage)
- Stampede mancost increased from 50 to 80
- Stampede AoE reduced from 120 to 105
- Drow's base armor decreased by 2
- Marksmanship focus AoE increased from 375 to 400
- Last Word manacost from 100 to 115
- Living Armor cooldown and duration decreased from from 20 to 15
- Living Armor manacost decreased 30/35/40/45 to 25
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

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.

(more…)

...

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