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Half-Life is back. Back in Black Mesa, the fan-made, Source-powered remake that’s been years in the making. It was never going to happen, and then suddenly it did. After all that, is it a polished recreation of Valve’s beloved shooter, or an awkward perversion? I’ll be waiting for you, in the word chamber.> (more…)
“A People’s History” is a three part essay series that argues for a long-standing but suppressed tradition of amateur involvement in the first person genre. This is part two. Here’s part one.
“Amateur” may mean unprofessional or of lower quality, but it’s also French for “lover.” Even if it’s difficult and time-consuming, even if you’re 15 years old and you have to figure out this complex physics engine to try out a cool idea you have — it’s because you love it.
I was 15 when I joined Nightwatch, an epic Half-Life 1 mod made by a dream team of veteran modders, replete with new weapons, voice acting, monsters, scripted sequences, and a 10 hour single player campaign with 99% custom art. We were the Black Mesa Source of the Half-Life 1 community, except we never released anything.
Maybe that’s because we didn’t really love modding. In fact, we hated modding. (more…)
We now bring you this transmission, directly from alternate universe evil (or are they the good ones?>) Bizarro RPS:
John: Goodness, what a boring day it’s been. Probably the least exciting in recorded history.
Jim: Here’s an idle musing for you: joy is dead. And so is God.
Adam: Wouldn’t it be amazing if a spiritual successor to Total Annihilation just made $2 million, a thinly veiled follow-up to Planescape: Torment was just announced, and an agonizingly long-awaited Half-Life remake finally launched – all in the same day?
John: Well, I mean, Ubisoft just announced its new always online double-DRM. If you disconnect from the Internet, it kills you. That’s something, right? Something that kills you, I mean.
Alec: [Says nothing. Still on vacation. Evil vacation.]
Me, under the iron grip of the Neo-British Colonial Extermination Empire: Can I… ? Can I eat now? It’s been days.
Valve are looking for community prop makers to furnish the shooter’s October update. From the Team Fortress 2 blog:
Scariness doesn’t just happen, people. It’s serious business. That’s why we’re giving you until October 1st to fill the Steam Workshop with horrifying Halloween-themed cosmetic items. If you’re not an item-making sort of person, you can still keep busy. Why not visit the workshop and rate other people’s Halloween-themed items? Rating terrifying items will also help you build up your resistance to being scared before we unleash this year’s Scream Fortress update.
Thanks to everyone who sent this link in. Now make us some hats.>
Black Mesa is coming this Friday. THIS FRIDAY. Can you believe it? I still can’t believe it. And yet, so it has been written. To whet your appetite for all things Lambda, the Black Mesa Modification Team (really guys? That’s your name? You’ll be writing yourself into a corner after you finish Xen) have released seven new fancy pants-sized screenshots of iconic moments and locales from throughout the fan-made reboot of Gordon Freeman’s original adventure, including a glimpse of both a Gargantua and a distinctively creepy looking Bullsquid. Those tentacles…
Yesterday, you probably read the first part of my chat with Valve’s Erik Wolpaw and Double Fine’s Anna Kipnis. If not, it’s right here- but FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY. By which I mean until the Internet ceases to exist, which, you know, could happen someday. Anyway, in today’s installment, we branch out a bit from yesterday’s story-centric beat. Valve’s newfound love of wearable computing, virtual reality, heaps behind-the-scenes info on Portal, crowd-sourcing, and more are all on the docket. OK, there wasn’t actually any sort of docket involved. I’m not entirely sure why I said that.>
It all began one sunny, seemingly inauspicious afternoon in a Starbucks. It also ended there – but, you know, later. Ragged and bone-weary from three days of wading through PAX’s diseased hordes, Valve’s Erik Wolpaw, Double Fine’s Anna Kipnis, and I huddled around one last vestige of civilized humanity: a table. Then we spent nearly an hour talking about this year’s sudden upsurge in crazy-interesting videogame stories, because it seemed like the thing to do at the time. It isn’t anymore, but – if you’ll believe it – it was considered cool back then. Those were the days. Anyway, here’s part one. If you behave yourself, you might get part two tomorrow. And maybe a cookie. But probably not.>
“I AM DRUNK,” [I am Jack's complete lack of surprise - Ed]> I announce on our Mumble voicechat server at ten thirty on a Friday night. “Let’s play Heroes of Newerth.”
“Ugh, I haven’t played it in years,” Airhorse grumbles, though he once paid for an account back when it wasn’t free to play. He has been trying to avoid playing it because it will be the world’s longest patch.
“Well I created a new account specially so I could give my character a joke name,” I say. (They make you pay $10 to change your name, erk.) “And FRAPS is running. So let’s go.” (more…)
I have the most terrible guilt about gazumping Jim’s sterling Sunday Papers, but I do so with signficant news. SIGNIFICANT. So significant that I’m attempting to post this from my phone while on the train. Will it work? Will you ever see these words? Such a vague, mysterious situation draws certain parallels with the subject of this post – the fabled, long-delayed, oft-accused of non-corporeal status Half-Life 1 fan remake Black Mesa Source. Which, would you Adam & Eve it, now has a release date.