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The Orange Box
Valve has announced that they are adding an "experimental virtual reality mode" to their multiplayer first-person shooter Team Fortress 2. It will be playable by anyone with an Oculus Rift developer kit. The mode will be released in the coming days.
The full release from Valve:
Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Counter-Strike, Half-Life, and Left 4 Dead), today announced the addition of an experimental Virtual Reality mode to Team Fortress 2. The new mode will be released in the coming days as part of an update to the popular Free to Play game.
Anyone with an Oculus Rift Developer Kit will be able to use their device to play all of Team Fortress 2 on the PC. All game modes and classes are supported with the new Virtual Reality mode.
"When we first played an early version of Virtual Reality mode in Team Fortress we were blown away by the immersion we experienced.", said Joe Ludwig at Valve. "VR is just getting started, but it is going to have a big impact on gaming. This update will let us share that experience with more of the Team Fortress community."
"Valve's done an incredible job bringing Team Fortress 2 to virtual reality! TF2 is the most-played game in my Steam library, so you can imagine how excited I am to play it in the Rift with all of our backers," said Palmer Luckey, Founder of Oculus VR, Inc.
In addition to gaining access to the new Virtual Reality mode, owners of the Oculus Rift will also be granted a unique Oculus Rift in-game hat. Steam codes to redeem for this item will be sent out by Oculus.
Team Fortress 2 is Valve's Free to Play team-based online game. The game has had more than 350 updates since its release with The Orange Box in 2007.
Okay, step one: Get an Oculus Rift dev kit. Step two: Play this. Step three: Get that Crysis mod that Nathan Andrews made and play that.
Nobody likes movies based on video games, with very few exceptions. That said, we're far from giving up on fan-made web shows based on video games. Case in point: this trailer for Machinima and Wayside Creations' Portal series, Aperture R&D.
Evidently Machinima is calling it Portal meets The Office. As long as they don't run that concept into the ground like the real The Office, we're okay with that, especially with the creators of Fallout: Nuka Break in charge. Here's the description from the Youtube info:
Based in the world of Portal 2, the idiosyncratic scientists of Aperture Research Labs are in an endless battle for the meaningless title of Lab Team of the Month.
Feb 28, 2013
Cartoonist Stephen Lester is "currently on a mission to fill his home with vintage video games and video game memorabilia". Part of that involves his guest bathroom, which is becoming a themed shrine to Valve's Portal series.
Portal may not seem like the most romantic game ever, seeing as how it's populated with a bunch of robots and only a single human character. But even all these years later, people still haven't gotten over protagonist Chell and her doomed relationship with the heart-decorated Companion Cube.
The folks at Random Encounters Entertainment (not to be confused with Jason's weekly JRPG column) have put together this heartwarming duet between Chell and her cube. They seem so happy! Ah, but happiness is fleeting.
The DS still is home to a robust homebrew scene, as we see here in this Portal port that modder Smealum has been working on for about the past six months. "Still nowhere near playable," he writes under the latest video, but it's brought along Portal staples like turrets, cubes, switches and energy balls.
"This is still extremely early footage so please don't be too harsh," smealum writes. "Lots of debug features are present, including the ability to fly, see portals through walls and move cubes from a distance. Also, keep in mind this was shot in an emulator which provides good but still less than perfect rendering. As such, be aware that most (not all, but still) of the graphical glitches you can see in this video don't happen on hardware (mostly the portal transition is a lot nicer on an actual DS)."
Feb 6, 2013
Mad scientists and evil masterminds are classic villain archetypes, and defeating them is always nerve-wracking. Instead of facing you, they'd rather hide in the shadows and rely on their minions. And when it does come to combat, they usually love to show off their deadliest creations.
We gathered some well-known crazies; a mustache or a white coat seems to be a must-have.
Dr. Eggman (Sonic The Hedgehog series)
source: Sonic Generations
Dr. Wallace Breen (Half-Life 2)
source: Half-Life Wiki
Professor Hojo (Final Fantasy VII)
Dr. FunFrock (Little Big Adventure 1-2 / Relentless)
source: The LBA Relentless Movie Project
Dr. Wily (Mega Man series)
Don Paolo (Professor Layton series)
The Elite Of Rapture Society (BioShock)
source: BioShock Wiki
Albert Wesker (Resident Evil series)
source: Resident Evil Wiki
Professor Monkey-For-A-Head (Earthworm Jim)
source: tuwoa's LP
Make sure to submit below the craziest evil scientists you know with visual support.
Appearing with the director J.J. Abrams at D.I.C.E. Summit today, Valve's Gabe Newell said the company would "find out if there's a way we can work with you on a Portal and Half-Life movie."
Polygon reports that things may be a little further along than that. Speaking after the panel, Abrams told Polygon "We are really talking to Valve, we are going to be bringing on a writer, we have a lot of very interesting ideas."
However, "it's as real as as anything in Hollywood ever gets," he added. Which means it could be a sure thing, or could amount to nothing, or could take forever to bring to life. Like, well, Half-Life 3.
Gabe Newell and J.J. Abrams spoke about storytelling in each of their mediums. When the panel ended, this exchange happened:
Abrams: There's an idea we have for a game that we'd like to work with Valve on.
Newell: We're going to find out if there's a way we can work with you on a Portal and Half-Life movie.
And the two men walked off, without any further details. Both creators are renown for keeping secrets, so don't expect any details about these proposed projects anytime soon. But just the very notion of a collaboration between the company behind Half-Life 2 and the man behind Lost is a tantalizing prospect.
Portal is a natural theme for Valentine's Day, as we saw with these cards Valve released in 2011 before Portal 2's arrival. This one is the best of a Valve-themed series done by Tumblr user applenail, which got a lot of attention over the weekend and yesterday.
Print them out and put one in a friend's locker next Thursday.
What you see above is Nathan Andrews' full head- and weapon tracking mod for Half-Life 2, which he created in preparation for the release of the Oculus Rift virtual reality gaming headset. It looks insane.
The Oculus Rift, which raised millions of dollars on Kickstarter in 2012, is hopefully coming out later this year.