Posts in "PC Gamer" channel about:
Counter-Strike: Source + Garry's Mod
May 7, 2013
Yesterday, we wrote about a mod-management tool called Gmod. As many PC Gamer readers pointed out, its name creates confusion with GMod, fans' loving nickname for sandbox game Garry's Mod. "Isn't that a trademark infringement?" wondered some fans. The confusion has sparked a bit of an investigation, but now Garry's Mod creator himself, Garry Newman, has come forward with some interesting information on the name mix-up.
In an interview with VG24/7, Newman admitted that Olympus Games actually owns the name—and that the name confusion has been a contentious issue not just among gamers, but also between the two developers.
“It’s actually the other way around," Newman said. "They own the trademark for ‘gmod’ and have threatened to take us to court if we don’t other buy it off them—along with all their domains and Twitter accounts—or post a press release pointing out we’re not affiliated, along with a permanent link on garrysmod.com and our twitter, and force the community not to abbreviate Garry’s Mod to GMod.
"Garry’s Mod pre-dates their trademark, as does the abbreviation of Garry’s Mod to GMod. As a bonus our game is called Garry’s Mod—not GMod. It’s only occasionally abbreviated to GMod out of convenience."
Newman feels that the people behind the mod-management tool should've rebranded long ago to avoid confusion, rather than traverse this rocky legal territory now. However, Skylar Kreisher from the Gmod team says there's another side to the story, which we'll be hearing about soon in their next Kickstarter update. We've also contacted Kreisher directly, and will inform our readers if we hear anything back.
Apr 25, 2013
Opportunities for misdirection maneuvers are less common in multiplayer shooters, so I'm compelled to highlight this absurdly creative flashbang feint I spotted on the ESEA YouTube channel from last weekend's ESEA S13 LAN in Dallas.
The setup: two teams whittle each other down to a one-on-one scenario around bomb site A on de_dust2. Watch how Swag (Team Dynamic) handles KennyS (VERYGAMES) after the bomb plant.
Apr 21, 2013
Omri mentioned a mod called gmDoom last month, which allows you to bring the Doom experience, including weapons, enemies, HUD, and entities, into Garry's Mod. After watching a few weeks pass as bugs were squashed and updates were released, I decided it was finally time to pull-start this particular chainsaw and take it for a spin. I also decided, instead of just playing around, to really play. Specifically, I wanted to play through the entirety of the Half-Life 2 campaign, using only the gmDoom HUD and weapons. Space Marine, welcome to City 17!
Hm? What? Who? Space Marine is skeptical.
After getting off the train in City 17, I realize how happy I am to be an angry, violent Space Marine instead of a befuddled, bespectacled scientist. Gordon Freeman didn't pick up a weapon until a good half-hour into Half-Life 2, but Doomguy is always packing a pistol, a chainsaw, and his fists. Rather than wandering through the beginning of the game, helplessly watching as citizens are abused at the hands of the Metrocops, I can immediately right some wrongs by applying a healthy dose of SPACE VIOLENCE.
So, when I see a Metrocop shove a citizen, I punch him to death (the Metrocop, to be clear). That annoying flying camera robot gets a taste from my pistol. What's this? Other cops, standing around doing nothing violent? Not on my watch! They die. I approach a couple citizens as well, just to see if weapons work on them too. (Weapons work on them too.) Oh, and that cop who tries to make me pick up a soda can and put it in the garbage? I saved the chainsaw for him.
Marines. Always. Recycle.
Before long, I'm in the canals, fighting enemies who can actually fight back. It mostly works well: the weapons are effective and feel natural after a few minutes of play, though you have to be pretty darn precise with your aim for long-distance kills. It's also a genuinely neat experience: the sights and sounds of the throwback Doom weapons mixed with the atmosphere and enemies of Half-Life 2. It's double-nostalgic. It's like combining two tastes I love, bacon and chocolate, into one violent, historic mouthful of video game.
Something else I notice: while it feels a little odd in this day and age to play a game where you're constantly staring at your own face, it does make your health quite a priority. Instead of a percentage or a colored bar, you get to look at your sad mug streaked with blood, a pretty visceral reminder that it's not your health meter taking damage: it's your own face. Finding medkits feels a lot more urgent when you're hurt so bad your hair is bleeding.
Space Marine needs food, badly.
Ammo for my Doom weapons, naturally, is not stocked in City 17, so I just spawn some for myself from the Garry's Mod menu when I run out. I try to also give myself new weapons when it feels appropriate. When Metrocops start using machine guns, for example, I give myself Doom's chaingun. When I remember that you don't get a shotgun until you get to Ravenholm, I give myself one anyway, because screw that.
After escaping City 17, I wind up deciding to skip the second half of the canal levels. Making a Space Marine drive a crummy boat powered by a fan just seems insulting. It's like making Willy Wonka eat a celery stick. He knows not of, and cares not for, such primitive tools. Fast-forward, then, to Ravenholm!
Plus a quick stop in Black Mesa East to kill a disgusting alien. You're welcome, Vance family!
In the zombie-patrolled streets of Ravenholm, our Space Marine seems quite comfy. Hideous shambling monsters, blood, gore, horror: these are what Doomguy was made for. I admit, I do pine for the Gravity Gun, because flinging giant circular blades into zombies is still awesome. The super shotgun works just fine, though.
These zombies don't shoot back? You got off easy this time, Earth.
After blasting my way through Ravenholm with kindred spirit Father Gregori, I decide to skip the driving sections of HL2 as well, mostly because the driving feels like 100% Half-Life 2 and 0% Doom, and the mix is what's really making this fun. I skip to the lighthouse at the end of the coastal maps, and dig in with the resistance as they fight off the Combine attack.
After defeating a few waves of drop-ship soldiers, I run into a little problem when the Synth Gunship arrives. I've given myself Doom 2's rocket launcher, but it only fires in a straight line, as opposed to HL2's laser-guided launcher. The Gunship doesn't shoot my rockets down, but there's no need: I keep missing because the Gunship keeps moving. Try as I might, I just can't hit the sucker. He, however, has no problem hitting me. It's time to call in reinforcements.
No shame in a Marine calling for backup. SPACE backup.
I use G-Mod to spawn a Doom Cyberdemon-- shut up, that is TOTALLY FAIR-- and the gunship and the Cyberdemon immediately decide they hate each other. (Isn't introducing one enemy to another enemy always awkward, like when your work friends meet your personal friends?) Unfortunately, the Cyberdemon is also unable to hit the gunship. Finally, exasperated, I just take out my G-Mod physics tool and hold the stupid gunship in place, letting the demon blast it to pieces. ALSO FAIR.
Hold still. This will only hurt a lot.
And, having used a physics tool from 2006 to help a cyborg demon from 1993 kill a biosynthetic airship from 2004... that's where my play-through of Half-Life2 abruptly comes to an end. It was a fun experiment, sure, but holding a three-dimensional gunship in the sky with my finger so a two-dimensional demon can whomp on it serves as a massive reminder: I don't just have two great games to play with here, I've got three, and I've all but forgotten about the Garry's Mod part of the experience. I've been eating bacon and chocolate, YES, but I've been completely neglecting the GLORIOUS BOTTLE OF BOURBON sitting right there to wash it all down with.
Time to switch from playing Half-Doom 2 and start playing a game I call Make Everything Fight Everything Else By The Lighthouse For Six Straight Hours!
Combine vs. Heavy Weapon Dudes!
The Combine win!
Pinky vs. Combine!
Arch-vile vs. Antlion Guard!
Antlion Guard wins -- but Arch-vile really does raise the dead Doom monsters! Awesome.
Antlion Guard vs. Spiderdemon!
Spiderdemon wins (eventually)!
Helicopter vs. Pain Elementals and Lost Souls!
Draw. Spawned helicopter doesn't seem to ever die, and Pain Elementals never seem run out of Lost Souls.
After making Everything fight Everything Else for six hours, I do, eventually, return to Half-Life 2 proper, mainly to see if I can take down a Strider with a Doom 2 rocket launcher (I can, and quite handily) and to try out the plasma cannon on the Combine (it works amazingly well). And, of course, to unleash the BFG on a store-front full of Combine soldiers.
Looks like the store... *sunglasses* ...is CLOSED.
Putting this mod into that other mod and putting both mods into Half-Life 2 is amazing. Do it! Do it now!
Installation: Mostly simple! However, you'll need a WAD file from one of the Doom games to import all the assets. If you don't own a Doom game, you can use a WAD file from the free shareware version of Doom and still get most of the weapons (I used Doom2.wad; full list of what the various WAD files give you access to here). Drop the WAD in the garrysmod/garrysmod folder in your Steam directory. Then, just subscribe to the mod on Steam Workshop and when you boot up Garry's Mod, it will be enabled. You can spawn all your weapons and monsters from the menu by pressing Q, and enable the HUD using the console code doom_cl_hud 1.
Also, and perhaps this is obvious, but you'll need Half-Life 2 installed for all the Half-Life 2 stuff.
Valve has sent out a patch for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive that focuses on tweaking Hostage Rescue rules for stronger balance and to entice players away from the long-favored Bomb Defusal. Most notably, CTs have now adopted the tactical doctrine of draping hostages across their shoulders like a squishy scarf, and only a single rescue is needed to secure a win for the good guys.
You'll need to interact with a hostage for a lengthy four seconds to get him to hop on for a ride, and a new "rescue kit" shortens pickup time to a single second by presumably wowing hostages with attractively padded and comfortable-looking shoulder guards to rest on. Taking a note of influence from community-made maps such as cs_motel, hostage spawns are now randomized per match.
Valve is also continuing to stock GO's maps with updated versions of classic Counter-Strike levels, with cs_militia being the latest addition. It's structured similarly to cs_assault, where Ts benefit from an entrenched interior location to bunker in while CTs attempt rescue through multiple points of entry.
Defusing bombs got a small but significant change as well: turning too far away from a bomb while defusing it will cancel the process, a jump in risk and exposure for CTs trying for the win while Ts yet linger to guard the bomb. They could sure use one of those hostage-capes for extra protection.
Oh, and the rumored Support Pass for a community map rotation on official servers isn't happening. Valve even pokes fun at earlier reports of the pass with a new data string, "CSGO_Ticket_CommunitySeasonOneSpring2013_Leak," and its single-word description: "lol." Oh, Valve. Don't ever change.
See the rest of the patch notes over on Steam.
The CS community took out their knives and eagerly sprinted forward to the hundreds of user-made maps filling Global Offensive's Workshop since last month. We've got a nice stack of them running on our own server, and Valve is evidently looking to copy that setup on its own servers. Data-divers of reddit have found mention of a "Support Pass" in the next patch for players to purchase and access a pool of community maps soon to join the official server rotation.
A list of new data strings found in the patch mentions a "Community Support Pass Season One" to "grant access to Season One's featured community maps on official servers." The proceeds are distributed evenly to map contributors in what's likely an incentive to encourage an increasingly large selection of maps to feature.
The data doesn't mention a price, but Valve has a similar system in place with Team Fortress 2's co-op Mann vs. Machine mode, where players access multi-map sessions by purchasing $0.99 tickets. Assuming GO's passes carry a similar cost, it should result in a relatively simple way to jump into high-quality custom battles for little effort. The patch is expected to hit this week, so we'll have a clearer understanding of Valve's plans soon enough.
Mar 19, 2013
As far as giving an older game the Source treatment, GhorsHammer's gmDoom port project is probably the quickest to elicit a "Holy %)#@" out of me since Black Mesa. It chainsaws out the UI, enemy, and weapon sprites from the proto-FPS and stitches them into Garry's Mod with astonishing smoothness. I can't imagine how downing a Strider with a blast from the BFG would work, but after seeing it in action in GhorsHammer's video, I can't imagine how it wouldn't work.
The mod is undergoing a final round of bug testing and tweaks, and it'll show up in Steam Workshop sometime this week for download. It looks like the Frankensteinian bridge between Doom and Source flows both ways, as you're seemingly able to set up fights against classic hellspawn such as the Cacodemon and Revenant while touting Half-Life 2's arsenal. That includes vehicles, and running over crowds of Imps in Episode Two's muscle car while blasting E1M1 sounds all kinds of awesome.
Mar 15, 2013
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has a lot of custom maps. Seriously, browse its Steam Workshop page and see for yourself. We've talked about some of our favorites (all of which appear in our CS:GO sessions on our server), but a classic map layout we've yet to see a worthy update for is de_rats' bomb-defusal play in an oversized kitchen. DJ PC820 and TastySlopsicle's de_dolls_csgo is perhaps the best spiritual iteration we've spotted yet.
Instead of a kitchen, de_dolls_csgo takes us into a heavily pink bedroom which I assume is the property of a little girl, but the power of pink is genderless. Just like in rats, the jumbo furniture provides multiple nooks and alcoves for plinking across the map, including a doll house with furniture and a duct passage for moving around without exposing yourself to the AWPer's paradise of the main bedroom floor.
The map supports both classic and deathmatch play as well as bots for offline practice. You can easily download it by hitting the green "subscribe" button on its Workshop page.
Valve boss Gabe Newell stepped up to the stage during last week's BAFTA awards to receive the prestigious Academy Fellowship for his contributions to gaming. Presumably momentarily distracted by accepting a trophy modeled after a smirking face, a bewhiskered Newell fielded some interview questions over the normally airtight subject of Valve's business performance that hinted at the monumental scale of the studio's prosperity.
Newell chalked up Valve's successes largely to user-generated content on open platforms such as Steam Workshop before sharing some jaw-dropping numbers. "There's sort of an insatiable demand for gaming right now," Newell said. "I think our business has grown by about 50 percent on the back of opportunities created by having these open platforms.
"And just so people understand how big this sort of scale is getting, we were generating 3.5 terabits per second during the last Dota 2 update," he added. "That's about 2 percent of all the mobile- and land-based Internet activity."
Wait, what? We're not exactly sure what Newell meant when he dropped that bombshell of data info, apart from maybe claiming responsibility for all those times my connection speeds chugged while browsing these past few months. Still, it seems entirely plausible—Dota 2 has a lot of players, and the MOBA recently took the crown for the highest concurrent user amount of any Steam game ever. If any Steam game can feasibly take a bite out of the entire Internet, Dota 2 holds the best chance.
Mar 12, 2013
There will be Nevgevs.
Beginning tonight, we're hosting daily Counter-Strike: GO events on our server. Because why the hell not?
Our weeks-old, St. Louis-based CS:GO server has hosted lively Steam events about twice a week. We run custom maps exclusively because the community has somehow produced 1,000 of them for CS:GO since adding Steam Workshop support last month. I earmarked my early favorites in February, but new favorites have already emerged, like the cs_sauna remake.
How to join, in four extremely simple steps
Join the PC Gamer Steam Group to be notified of events
Subscribe to our CS:GO Steam Workshop map collection (this will auto-download and auto-update the maps we run on our server through Steam—MAXIMUM CONVENIENCE!)
Join the server ("PC Gamer | The Psychedelic Den of Map Experimentation," IP: 188.8.131.52:27015) around 7 PM PST / 10 PM EST
Have fun; be the kind of person you'd like to play games with
Thanks to GameServers for being a darn good server provider. If there's a config setting you'd like changed or a map you'd like to see in the rotation, just let me know or leave a comment on the Steam Workshop collection. Messages sent to email@example.com stir my spinal community antennae implant.
And yes, we know CS:GO isn't the only game in the universe. But we've got a good thing going there, and I'd rather do a slow roll-out of community funtimes than expand things too quickly. Look for more games and events to pop up throughout the year.