Operation Payback has paid out for Counter-Strike: GO's top mapmakers, who have earned a fantastic $150,000 between them. Payback, you'll remember, is Valve's attempt to 'pay back' the game's dedicated community by offering unlimited access to seven of its best user maps, and dedicated servers on which to play them, for a flat $5.99 fee. Considering the creators of those seven maps now have around $150,000 to share between them, I'd say it's proved rather successful.
The operation ends July 31st, but I hope it's an initiative Valve will return to in the future, especially considering how successful it's been. They did something similar with TF2 with the Robotic Boogaloo pack, which raised nearly $250,000 for 66 item creators. It's an increasingly lucrative business, this modding lark - and richly deserved, considering how much talent and effort the top creators put in.
As predicted earlier, The Steam Summer Sale is now. From today until July 22nd, daily deals and flash sales will flood the Steam store with prices that are lower than the usual prices. To get the best deals, you may want to be patient and gamble on there being heavier discounts as the sale goes on—a good way to pass the time is to chart prices across a giant blackboard, mixing in the Fibonacci sequence now and then and muttering about "Gabentropy."
Currently, you can get BioShock Infinite for $30/£17.50, Counter-Strike: GO for $5.09/£4.07, Hotline Miami for $2.49/£1.74, and tons of other crazy dumb deals. You can also vote on the Community's Choice sale every eight hours—the currently leading game is something called "Heavy Load."
[ MISC ] - Added support for more Unicode characters in player names. - Fixed a rare incorrect name truncation in the death notice feed, scoreboard and main menu. - Fixed truncation of the competitive maps selection when all maps were selected. - Smoke volume is now cheaper to render. - Players that spawn and don't move for longer than sv_spawn_afk_bomb_drop_time (default 15 seconds) will automatically drop the bomb. Thanks GreenTea!
[ MISC ] - Playing a demo recorded on a workshop map will attempt to automatically download and display that workshop map. - Added a convar cl_download_demoplayer to control whether demo player is allowed to download external resources, defaults to 1 allowing downloads from workshop, allows 2 for downloading all other external resources that could be referenced by community server. - Added engine support for versioning official maps, so demo playback will seamlessly download and load matching version of the map when playing back older demos. ( Currently supports Nuke, Inferno, Dust2 ) - Fixed rare crashes in HUD when game events were received before HUD elements were fully loaded.
[ GAMEPLAY ] - Additional minor buffs to the Aug and Sig. - Smoke grenades have been adjusted to make their view-obscuring overlay match the smoke volume shape more precisely as well as some other minor fixes.
[ SPECTATING ] - Spectating a flashed player via GOTV now shows an additional effect and icon to indicate blindness without obscuring the spectators view. - Fixed a case where GOTV spectator would get the round radar template instead of the square one. - Grenade trajectories are now on by default in spectator x-ray view. Convar sv_grenade_trajectory_time_spectator will adjust visible trail duration.
[ MAPS ] - Made a pass at incorporating some lessons learned from Mirage to original maps. Also, bug fixes. De_Inferno: - Widened apartment hallway near A - Replaced red car in middle with solid cover - Fixed radar naming on haycart - Improved visibility De_Nuke: - Added radar names Bug fixes - Improved visibility De_Dust2: - Improved visibility - Bug fixes De_Aztec: - Improved visibility De_Train: - Improved visibility
Just as promised, Steam Trading Cards is now live. The virtual cards can be earned by playing participating games on Steam, trading with other users, or buying on the Steam Marketplace. Complete a set to create a badge, earn rewards and XP, and level up. The user with the highest Steam level at the end of the year gets to high five Gabe Newell while announcing Half-Life 3. In space.
In other true facts, I'm already hearing from users playing the Steam marketplace to profit off the cards' initial popularity. One user I spoke to has been buying low and selling high to pad his Steam wallet, even creating scarcity by buying up low-value cards in quantity. I'll keep an eye on marketplace prices as more users start trading the collectibles.
I was hoping to find a good deal on a 1952 Mickey Mantle card, but unfortunately, baseball isn't a participating game. You can see which of the games you own are participating here.
[ WEAPONS ] - Further adjustments to the AUG/SG553.
[ MAPS ] - de_mirage: Minor bugfixes. - de_vertigo: Fixed bombsite naming, other minor bugfixes.
[ OVERWATCH ] - Improved Overwatch test case distribution system.
[ MISC ] - Whitelisted convars sv_vote_issue_kick_allowed and sv_vote_kick_ban_duration. - Added a server concommand "removeallids" to unban all user IDs. - Keybindings are no longer processed in front end when not connected to a server, fixes unexpected keybindings processing in main menu and when chatting in play with friends lobby. - Fixed players in invalid Steam purchase regions getting error dialogs during play. - Fixed votes incorrectly displaying player names with formatting symbols. - Fixed a rare bug where friendly fire damage could count raw damage inflicted instead of actual health points subtracted towards warning or kicking for too much team damage. - Official classic competitive matches will always allow players to connect even in rare cases when they were kicked and banned from the same game server instance during a previous classic casual game. - When a player receives a cooldown for being kicked from too many matches it will show up on their main menu immediately and will not be delayed until the competitive match end. - Adjusted the competitive cooldown for being kicked from too many matches to correspond to the violator's offense level starting at 30 minutes if it was the first competitive violation and following same cooldown computation rules as other types of cooldowns. - A player who was matchmaking solo and was kicked by a party of 4 teammates will not receive a competitive cooldown for being kicked from too many matches. - Exposed cl_interpolate convar, allows to disable entity interpolation during demo playback or on listen servers, interpolation is enabled regardless of client setting when connected to dedicated servers. - Added grenade trajectories when in spectator mode with glows on. Set sv_grenade_trajectory_time_spectator 1 to turn them on. - Fixed a crash on OSX 10.6.8 when downloading custom maps resources from community servers.
[ WEAPONS ] - Tuned the AUG and SG553 to function more effectively as a rifle/sniper hybrid.
[ MAPS ] - de_mirage: Fixed see-through crates at bombsites, various other bugfixes. - Fixed kv files packaged in workshop maps not loading correctly, which could display incorrect player models and arms.
[ OVERWATCH ] - Improved interpolation during Overwatch evidence playback.
[ MISC ] - Added classic competitive map to in-game friends list information text. - Fixed rare uninitialized text "Target Area" appearing on-screen when watching GOTV. - Fixed sv_grenade_trajectory linux crash - Added new sv_grenade_trajectory convars to display a dashed line and to adjust line thickness and duration.
There will be Negevs. We recently set up a ridiculous number of servers for the latest and greatest games—plus a few classics. To celebrate, we want you to play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with us tonight! The festivities will kick off on our new Arms Race server that features some of the coolest Arms Race-compatible maps on the Steam Workshop. We’ve also got plans for Community Fridays that’ll take place every single Friday here at PC Gamer. The game will change each week, but the time will always stay the same—5 PM PDT / 8 PM EDT.
How to join
Join the PC Gamer Steam Group to be notified of events Subscribe to our CS:GO Steam Workshop Classic map collection and Arms Race map collection (this will auto-download and auto-update the maps we run on our server through Steam—MAXIMUM CONVENIENCE!) Join the server (“PCGamer.com | Custom Map Arms Race IP: 220.127.116.11:27015) around 5 PM PDT / 8 PM EDT Have fun; be the kind of person you’d like to play games with
Thanks to GameServers for hosting all of our amazing servers. Think we’re missing an amazing map, mod, or config? Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. If you’re not a fan of CS:GO, jump into some of our other game servers or join us this Friday for the first ever Community Friday.
Here at PC Gamer we like to play PC games. Sometimes, we even like to play them with other people. That’s why we’ve got a huge lineup of game servers hosted by GameServers.com. Feel free to hop on whenever, or join us on Community Friday or during our other random events.
All servers hosted in the US. We'll update this list with PC Gamer UK's servers as soon as possible. CS:GO Arms Race
The in-game matchmaking system only lets 10 players duke it out in Arms Race. Our server has room for 24 players with the latest and greatest custom Arms Race-compatible maps from the Steam Workshop. CS:GO Classic Casual
Our very first community events took place on the server we like to call: The Psychedelic Den of Map Experimentation. Try out some of the best maps available on the Steam workshop in our 24-player, 128 tick server. Rising Storm
Join the Axis or Allies as we battle it out on PCG’s Rising Storm server. Territories mode is the name of the game with our soon-to-be ranked server. Battlefield 3
Vehicle enthusiasts can drive around in our 64-player Battlefield 3 server. Watch out for mortars! DayZ
Part of the public hive, our DayZ server is a great place for you to scavenge for loot, meet new friends, or hunt down some bandit scum. Minecraft
A 32-player Minecraft server with the Tekkit Classic mod installed. Download the Tekkit client before jumping on to play! Team Fortress 2
Show off your hats and other accessories on the PCG TF2 server. We’re running the official maplist with support for 24 players. Left 4 Dead 2
If you’re looking for a reliable dedicated server for your co-op zombie escapades, look no further than the PCG 8-man Left 4 Dead 2 server. Pick your favorite flavor of L4D2 and murder some zombies. Unreal Tournament 2004
A staple of the PCG offices, now you too can join in on the fun with our 32-player UT2K4 server. GoldenEye: Source
If it wasn’t already clear, PCG loves mods. In fact, we love them so much that we’ve set up a 16 player GoldenEye: Source server for you guys to play on. Natural Selection 2
For whatever reason there’s a 10-slot maximum on our Natural Selection 2 server. We like to think that this encourages teamwork. Killing Floor
Another co-op zombie classic, jump into our 6-player Killing Floor server to play with other PCG community members.
If you’ve got server requests, plugins, mods, or other suggestions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.