PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Dota 2 trading cards and figures spotted at Valve HQ">Dota 2 trading cards



The picture above was snapped by master patch eviscerator Matt "Cyborgmatt" Bailey at Valve HQ. As PCGamesN report, Valve flew him out to Seattle for The International, but failed to confiscate his camera and erase his memories. The images on his Twitpic account show a few Dota 2 trading cards and a sign inviting readers to "spend $40 to get a pack of cards guaranteed to contain 1 courier." A trading card game that can unlock in-game Dota 2 rewards? This could be the end of Owen.

A prototype Axe figure was also spotted with a plaque suggesting that we'll be able to buy it "summer 2013." Dota heroes would work perfectly as a collectible series of figures/cards, but which one would you want to own? I'd be interested in a six foot tall remote controlled Roshan myself. Pictures follow.



Product Update - Valve
- Fixed bug that was causing some users to have connection issues when attempting to use the quickplay feature in co-op.

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Black Mesa: Source has new screenshots, is “pretty close to completion”">Yeah, that's... not good



The fan-made remake of the original Half-Life in the Source engine, Black Mesa: Source, has now been in development for about 8 years. And, it seems, the end may finally be in sight. The team of volunteer Xenophiles has released a batch of new screenshots, and project lead Carlos Montero told Polygon he would "characterize our first release as being pretty close to completion."

For those of you just now joining us, Black Mesa: Source was a fan-created initiative that arose in direct response to the poor reception of Half-Life: Source. While Valve ported the same game we know and love into its now-legendary engine, it still had the same 1998 low-polygon, low-res visuals of the original game, when many gamers had expected a Half-Life remake with Half-Life 2's improved graphics. That is, essentially, what the Black Mesa team has been plugging away at for the better part of a decade.

According to Montero, the project will be released to the public in stages. The first of those stages, he told Polygon, is nearing completion. We've included the whole, fresh batch of screenshots below. Bonus points if you can identify where in Half-Life's interdimensional debacle each of them was taken.









Kotaku

A Fresh Look At The Long-Awaited Half-Life RemakeWe've been waiting for Black Mesa for a long, loooong while now—the hugely ambitious fan-made mod has an uncertain fate, but eight years after beginning work, the team is still working on the game.



The folks behind Black Mesa have released these images to Facebook to coincide with a new interview over at Polygon, where project leader Carlos Montero once again talks about the long, agonizing process of making the mod/game/thing.



Check out these screens—it's still not entirely clear how well the game actually works (particularly based on the gameplay footage that surfaced a little while back), but it sure is fun to see scenes from Half-Life looking so purdy:



A Fresh Look At The Long-Awaited Half-Life Remake A Fresh Look At The Long-Awaited Half-Life Remake A Fresh Look At The Long-Awaited Half-Life Remake A Fresh Look At The Long-Awaited Half-Life Remake A Fresh Look At The Long-Awaited Half-Life Remake A Fresh Look At The Long-Awaited Half-Life Remake


Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Craig Pearson)

“It was never meant to be a big deal. I was just fucking about!” says Garry’s Mod creator Garry Newman. His innovative physics-based mod for Half-Life 2 turned out to be a remarkably big deal, not least by being a forerunner in iterative and community focused design, and a game that’s perennially in Steam’s top twenty game stats. It’s an exercise in giving gamers tools and no direction, one of the few games that makes just messing about a core goal. Its strength is a flexibility that makes it a platform for people to make things like comics, maps, weapons, even gamemodes. It might have grown by enabling sexually suggestive poses of Valve’s stoic game characters, but six years on there’s so more to GMod than just fucking about. Here’s how it got there. > (more…)

Kotaku

Giving Portal's Wheatley a Giant Robot BodyPortal 2's Wheatley doesn't really have a body. He's the robotic equivalent of a floating head in a jar. Which makes it easy for him to whizz about the game's levels, but makes it hard to craft a decent action figure out of the guy.



So custom toy builder KodyKoala went and built him one. Using a Wheatley key chain as a base, he took parts from other figures and constructed a glowing, Portal-gun-equipped torso and limbs, rounding out the figure with his own Companion Cube.



Kodykoala's Wheatley Body [Kodykoala, via GameFreaks]





Giving Portal's Wheatley a Giant Robot Body Giving Portal's Wheatley a Giant Robot Body Giving Portal's Wheatley a Giant Robot Body
Kotaku





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There's the odd pirate reference here and there in Valve's DOTA 2, but that wasn't enough for this mod. No, the creators of the STS Pirate Language Pack wanted to essentially re-localise the game, so it could be understood by toothless nautical bandits of the 17th century.



Serving as a "complete rewrite of the entire language in Dota 2", the pack has, after two years of development and a test run last year, been released to the public and made available on the Steam Workshop. Why two years? Because it's a Steam-wide project for the services baked-in localisation, meaning that while a DOTA 2 patch is the first to hit the internet, there are more planned, with Team Fortress 2 next.



If you're in the DOTA 2 beta, you can try it out below.



STS Pirate Language Pack [Steam Workshop]


Kotaku

Pandemic is a Half-Life 2 movie made by anklove. While it's got its fair share of effects, this isn't some attempt at a blockbuster action flick. Instead, it does what Eastern European movies do best: turn the screws on a desolate, bleak landscape.



So, yeah, this isn't a feel-good project. At the end of four minutes you'll probably want to go play Half-Life 2 again, sure, but you'll also probably want to go find someone special and give them a hug. Maybe in a green, sunny park.



[thanks Tim!]


Kotaku





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Off-Kilter's Unlikely Crossover Fan Fiction Battles feature has traditionally involved written fan fiction, but today we have something completely different, and slightly wonderful. It's episodes one and two of My Little Portal, where friendship is science.



It's the battle of the all-powerful sentient AI robot things, as CELesTIA does battle against DISCoRD, a twisted sequel to the two-part episode that kicked off the second season of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. The music is lovely (really dig the electronic MLP theme remix by psychgoth), the voice acting is — well, as good as voice acting is going to get without professional voice actors, and the animation is better than most of us could do.



Christian David Cerda wrote, directed and animated this wondrous clash of two compatible cultures, peppering the scenes with video game references to keep things nice and spicy. It could probably be tightened up a bit (some of the scenes linger far too long in silence), but it's not bad for a bunch of friends praising Portal and ponies through creative means.







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And because I know you all hate suspense, here's episode two. Enjoy! Or don't be so angry.




Thanks Discord for passing these along!



Kotaku

I Think We All Know the Punchline to This Portal PictureReddit user Pheadlessg is to be married on Saturday. His fiancée allowed him one video game-themed gesture at the wedding reception, so he chose to dress these Portal turret figures from ThinkGeek in a bridal veil, hat and bow-tie and use them as cake toppers. Assuming they actually intend to serve one ...



I'm getting married in six days. Finally got round to making our cake toppers. [Reddit]


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