Featured Items
Games
Software Demos Recommended News
Posts in "PC Gamer" channel about:

Valve Complete Pack

Show posts for all products, not just Valve Complete Pack
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Valve actively seeking Linux devs">TUX_Gordon



Oh happy day. As someone who resents leaving the safety of his Ubuntu desktop every time I want to play a game or do some benchmarking, today's headline from Phoronix.com is frankly the news I've been waiting for for years.



Valve has been recruiting for at least one Linux specialist to help port Windows games with this job ad since January. But it looks like they're getting very serious, and keen to push on with the project. Phoronix' Michael Larabel has received an email from Gabe himself asking for help head hunting.



The email to Larabel, which has been confirmed as genuine, reads:



We are running into a bunch of performance issues in Linux drivers (e.g. 50 millisecond draw calls because thedriver is compiling a shader). 



We'd like to hire someone to work on these performance issues. If you know of anyone we should be talking to, I'd appreciate getting connected with them. 



Gabe Newell 

Valve, Bellevue



This isn't overly surprising, but it is reassuring. With the rapid rise of Android as a gaming platform, and recent changes to the Linux kernel which integrate Android code, there's every reason for developers to start treating open source more seriously. The Humble Indie Bundle has proven that there's a market for Linux gaming too, as grateful Tuxheads spending more than Mac users.



It could well be that they're looking for someone purely for internal testing and research with no firm plans to bring Steam or games to Linux yet. But neither the ad or the email seem particularly speculative.



I'd never be as foolish as to predict the rise of the Linux desktop, but the operating system is pervasive in other ways that might become a more common desktop alternative.
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive gets Arms Race mode and Aztec">Counter-Strike Global Offensive 3



The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive beta keeps getting bigger. The latest patch has added a new Arms Race mode playable on Shoots and Baggage. In Arms Race, every player starts with the same weapon, and gains a new one with every kill. The first player to get a kill with the final weapon, the knife, wins the round. Dead players respawn immediately and the round time is extended to give players time to murder their way through CS:GO's arsenal.



The patch adds a few new weapons, too, including the Scar 20, an auto-sniper for Counter-Terrorists, the G3SG1, an automatic sniper rifle for Terrorists, and the Zeus x27, a one shot insta-kill taser available to both teams in casual mode.



If you're looking for something less wild, the classic Aztec has been added to the map rotations. Here are the patch notes in full from the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive site.



Maps:



Added Arms Race maps – Shoots and Baggage

Added Aztec to Classic maps



 

Gameplay:



Arsenal Arms Race game mode is a single extended round with instant respawn. All players start with the same weapon and get a new one each time they kill an enemy. The progression of unlocked weapons ends with the knife. The first player to get a kill with every weapon wins the match.

Added ‘Find A Game’ to the Play options menu screen. Find A Game allows you to join an online game of a specific type. This update offers Arsenal Arms Race and Classic Competitive game modes. The map cycle groups include:



Classic Maps

Arms Race Maps





 

Added new weapons:



Scar 20 – CT only auto-sniper.

G3SG1 – Terrorist only auto-sniper.

Zeus x27 – Casual Mode only weapon available to both teams.

 

Adjustments have been made to increase the base accuracy of all weapons.

 

Jump and land penalties have been decreased, and the rate of stamina gain has been increased.

 

Bot difficulty has been tuned.

 

HE grenade damage has been adjusted per pro feedback.



 

Models



Added two new player skins:



Phoenix Faction

GIGN





 

UI



Death notice order reversed.

Updated Italy mini map image.



 

Bug Fixes



Fixed a bug in the keyboard + mouse options screen where changes were resetting.

Fixed the consecutive loss bonus persisting through halftime. Solves the problem of teams receiving extra cash early in the second round of the match.

Fixed end match scoreboard saying it was a tie in Arsenal Mode.

Fixed a bug where penetrating shots were doing full damage after the penetration.

Fixed a bug where the desired distance required to defuse the bomb wasn’t being used.

Fix for the HUD alert panel coming up incorrectly.

Fixed for bots not being able to defuse bomb.

Fix for bug in Demolition mode where players would start the first round of the second half stuck in level geometry.

Fix for radio message font appearing quite large at higher resolutions.



 
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Team Fortress 2 update adds new hats and stat-tracking “strange parts”">Team Fortress 2 bonus hats



Revenge! Charity! Stamps! These will be the dominant market forces in Team Fortress 2's economy of death over the next week or so. A post written in the guise of TF2's announcer on the TF2 blog announces that three "absolutely unique one-of-a-kind hats" have been added to TF2. They won't go on sale in the Mann Co store, though. One of each will be awarded every day to the player that gives the most gifts, wins the most duels, and buys the most map stamps during that 24 hour period.



Tying rewards to map stamps is quite a nice move. Each stamp corresponds to a community made arena and all proceeds from stamp sales go to that map's creator. The investment needed to take the duelling hat is harder to justify. You need to buy an item to initiate duels in TF2. The cheaper way is to incite others to duel you and then win, sidestepping the item cost and earning an additional tick towards hat victory. The hat earned for giving gifts could prompt some players to clear out old items they've been hoarding in their backpacks, which will hopefully result in lots of apparently random acts of generosity.



"LET ME GIVE YOU FREE STUFF!" "GIVE ME FREE STUFF!" and "DUEL ME YOU COWARDS!" may become standard battle cries in the TF2 in the days to come. As the madness unfolds, you'll be able to track stats like headshots and gib shots using Strange Parts, which can now be found in crates. These can by used with Strange Weapons to keep track of your actions. "Strange Parts are still a work in progress," says the blog. "So if the mood takes you, visit the TF2 forum and let him know what you're interested in tracking."
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Dota 2 China launch is “mandatory if we want DOTA to succeed” say Valve">Dota 2



Enthusiasm for Dota 2 is steadily growing as more and more participants are invited into the beta. Dota 2 regularly features on Steam's most played list, but those numbers are nothing compared to the number of Dota fans worldwide. One of the biggest international markets is China. Tim spoke to Doug Lombardi recently about Valve's plans to bring Dota 2 to Chinese audiences.



"You’ve got to address that market, it’s the biggest DOTA population in the world, right?" he said. The problem is that Valve can't release Steam in China. Publishers need make distribution deals with Chinese companies to gain access to that vast player base. Valve have previously teamed up with Nexon to release Counter-Strike Online in Asia. Now they're looking to forge a similar deal for Dota 2.



"We’re actively looking for a partner to work with over there," Lombardi said. "It’s pretty cut and dry - you need a Chinese partner to be in China, period."



Lombardi describes the prospect of a Chinese release of Steam as "a whole different ball of wax." A more likely scenario would have Steam tech powering a Chinese service to keep the Asian version of Dota 2 updated.



"It’s thorny and it’s something that is new for us," Lombardi admitted. "But it’s mandatory if we want DOTA to succeed so we’re on it and various senior people have been to China many times in the past few months."



Valve haven't announced whether or not Dota 2 will be free to play or not, but a fan has delved into Dota 2 beta files and turned up a number of references to items, announcer packs, loot buffs and other items that would be perfect for a Dota 2 item store.
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Dota 2 masks, hero items, couriers and Dr. Kleiner spotted in latest patch files">Dota 2 poses



Dota 2 player Cyborgmatt has been rummaging through the files of a Dota 2 test build, and has found evidence of dozens and dozens of items that we might be able to buy in the final release. They include new announcers, taunts, new couriers, new hero items, hero skins and more.



There are two types of announcers listed, a general announcer who will commentate on important in-game events like the fall of a tower, and a kill streak announcer whose job it is to shout things like "DOUBLE KILL," or "UNSTOPPABLE" or "GODLIKE" when one player goes on a roll. One of the announcers is listed as Dr. Kleiner (item_description: “Oh Fiddle Sticks!”). That's just the start.



A number of new couriers are listed, including a "mini-Pudge," a sheep, a war yack, a giant badger and the "shitty wizard." New hero items include masks, beards, new weapons, horns, shoulderpads and chest plates.



"Souls" are also listed. It looks as though we'll be able to equip these to improve drop rate bonuses. There's also a "Repentant Soul" which will promote the player that equips it out of the "low priority punishment queue". This is interesting, because it suggests that players that have been reported for misbehaviour will be able to pay to avoid penalties.







This tallies with Gabe Newell's comments to Develop last year, when he talked about "charging customers based on how much fun they are to play with."



"Some people, when they join a server, a ton of people will run with them. Other people, when they join a server, will cause others to leave. We should have a way of capturing that. We should have a way of rewarding the people who are good for our community," he said.



"So, in practice, a really likable person in our community should get Dota 2 for free, because of past behaviour in Team Fortress 2. Now, a real jerk that annoys everyone, they can still play, but a game is full price and they have to pay an extra hundred dollars if they want voice."



The Dota 2 files also contain references to item bundles, a free trial upgrade and "treasure caches," which look as though they'll work in a similar way to Team Fortress 2's crates. The full list is available on Cyborgmatt's blog.



Masks are the new hats! Hats are so last season, why on earth were we spending money on putting things on our heads when we could have a regal beard instead? What do you think of these items? Here's a badger while you think.



PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Dota 2 patch files tease microtransactions: masks, taunts and Dr. Kleiner included">Dr Kleiner



Dota 2 player Cyborgmatt has been rummaging through the files of a Dota 2 test build, and has found evidence of dozens and dozens of items that we might be able to buy in the final release. They include new announcers, taunts, new couriers, new hero items, hero skins and more.



There are two types of announcers listed, a general announcer who will commentate on important in-game events like the fall of a tower, and a kill streak announcer whose job it is to shout things like "DOUBLE KILL," or "UNSTOPPABLE" or "GODLIKE" when one player goes on a roll. One of the announcers is listed as Dr. Kleiner (item_description: “Oh Fiddle Sticks!”). That's just the start.



A number of new couriers are listed, including a "mini-Pudge," a sheep, a war yack, a giant badger and the "shitty wizard." New hero items include masks, beards, new weapons, horns, shoulderpads and chest plates.



"Souls" are also listed. It looks as though we'll be able to equip these to improve drop rate bonuses. There's also a "Repentant Soul" which will promote the player that equips it out of the "low priority punishment queue". This is interesting, because it suggests that players that have been reported for misbehaviour will be able to pay to avoid penalties.







This tallies with Gabe Newell's comments to Develop last year, when he talked about "charging customers based on how much fun they are to play with."



"Some people, when they join a server, a ton of people will run with them. Other people, when they join a server, will cause others to leave. We should have a way of capturing that. We should have a way of rewarding the people who are good for our community," he said.



"So, in practice, a really likable person in our community should get Dota 2 for free, because of past behaviour in Team Fortress 2. Now, a real jerk that annoys everyone, they can still play, but a game is full price and they have to pay an extra hundred dollars if they want voice."



The Dota 2 files also contain references to item bundles, a free trial upgrade and "treasure caches," which look as though they'll work in a similar way to Team Fortress 2's crates. The full list is available on Cyborgmatt's blog.



Masks are the new hats! Hats are so last season, why on earth were we spending money on putting things on our heads when we could have a regal beard instead? What do you think of these items? Here's a badger while you think.







POST-BADGER UPDATE: In the comments, SpiderNinja points out that the Dota 2 wiki has gathered together all of Dr. Kleiner's lines. He seems bemused by the whole concept of Dota. "Oh, I see. Are those little…little people down there? Wonderful what they can do these days."
PC Gamer






As we head into the last weekend before the MLG Winter Championship in Columbus next weekend (and hot on the heels of the IEM tournament) a small group of players are gathered at Full Sail University in Orlando for the Red Bull LAN. It's one part mini-camp, with high-level StarCraft players working on ways to improve their game and get ready for upcoming competitions, and one part exhibition tournament. Quantic's Kim "SaSe" Hammar and Johan "NaNiwa" Lucchesi will be there, along with Evil Geniuses' Lee "Puma" Ho Joon and Park "JYP" Jin Young and a number of other strong competitors. Sean "Day" Plott and Marcus "DjWHEAT" Graham will be there as well. You can read more about the Red Bull Lan over at Team Liquid, where Day gets into a little more detail.



I've never seen one of these, and I'm really interested in the "training camp" aspect of the Red Bull LAN. As I've watched more competitive gaming, what I find most impressive is the mental endurance and resilience on display at the highest levels of play. Playing brilliantly in a match is one thing, but having to sustain that over the course of a weekend and dozens of matches is another. I'm hoping the coverage coming out of the Red Bull LAN gets into that a bit.



Oh, and if you have some time to kill, why not watch the SC2 final from IEM last week, between MC and Puma, posted at the top.



NaNiwa Leaves the Penalty Box







Speaking of NaNiwa, the GSL gave him a Code S seed for the start of Season 2. Code S is the highest level of GSL competition, and it represents a second chance for the Protoss player.



NaNiwa was effectively dropped from Code S after throwing a match against one of his rivals, NesTea, at the 2011 Blizzard Cup. With both players eliminated from championship contention, NaNiwa ended the match by rushing his probes into NesTea's base, basically refusing to play. The GSL saw his conduct as disrespectful and contrary to the spirit of the sport, and dropped him from consideration for a Code 2 spot for Season 1. Now NaNiwa appears once again to be back in the GSL's good graces for Season 2.



Tough Love for CS:GO



Earlier this week, Tomi “lurppis” Kovanen, the former captain of the Evil Geniuses Counter-Strike team, had some harsh words about the current state of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Evan interviewed him to find out more about what bothers him about CS:GO.



It's a good write-up, and the whole incident neatly captures the challenge Valve faces as it attempt to reinvent a competitive shooter with a long history.



Kovanen made one remark that explains the stakes for CS:GO and the pro community. “I believe in eSports. And if there are a lot of people who enjoy the game like I have enjoyed CS 1.6 over the years, good for them. I’m sure there were people who disliked 1.6, yet it has played a big part in how the last seven years of my life, so I’d hope other people get to experience something similar in their lives. I hope it will be successful, but with the way the game currently is and how I believe it will end up without listening to us, I don’t think it can be successful. I wouldn’t be surprised if it got picked up for one or two years at most, and then FPS games got dropped out as a whole because of lack of CS:GO popularity. The ironic thing is all the pros would wanna help to try to make it a decent game because they all know there would be more money, more tournaments, and so on if it was a good game and everyone switched.”



Speaking of Counter-Strike, this would be a good time to watch the Final between ESC and Na`Vi from the IEM tournament last week.







As always, this is by no means comprehensive, and be sure to call out highlights from the week in the comments below. Any other events happening in the next week that you're excited about?
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Modding is amazing again">Quake Fortress 610



Spore showed the way. The thinking behind its sharing and viral propogation of user created content was near spot on.



Now we look to Valve, and the Steam Workshop, and realise that mods and user-created content is again at the heart of PC gaming.



Back up. Mods have always been important to PC gaming, but the scale of those mods has changed. The theory is that gamers’ expectations have risen along with technology: as our PCs become able to handle prettier and prettier landscapes, the amount of work required from an individual modder to create something comparable to a commercial product increases. So total conversions are near impossible to create. It’s much harder to make a Counterstrike, Dota or Quake Fortress today.



But modding isn’t just about the banner projects. It’s about the smaller items. Tweaks to balance. Cool new dungeons. A reskin. A new level.







In the eyes of deep communities games that arrive ‘finished’, are anything but. Given the right tools, players love to build upon what game developers have already created. The problem is proliferation and discovery.



I remember when I first started playing Quake Fortress. The download over a 56k modem from a fileserver at Barry’s World. The horrendous download. The weird arcane installation. Things aren't much better today: to mod WoW’s interface we have to drag and drop files into strange folders, or trust Curse’s client to do the job. For Oblivion mods, we’re fiddling with data files and the Nexus client.



I believe PC gaming should be for everyone. I think modding contains some of the best of PC gaming; it’s a strand of what we play that is so very, very special. But it’s obtuse, hard to understand, and kind of a bitch to use.







Spore, and the Steam Workshop show what can be achieved. Modders now have the ability to have their creations downloaded directly into the game after just a single click. That’s just the start. Creations are rated, tagged and filtered via the community; ensuring that the best rises to the top. Comments threads help creators respond to their subscribers. Community creators get to help players by picking collections and themes. Games get better. Everyone wins.



In the next year or so, I have high hopes that modding will become more important to us than it ever was. I sincerely hope that Valve introduce the Workshop, not just to Portal, but to Left 4 Dead, HL2DM, and Counter-Strike (in all its forms). I hope, too, that the Total War team, the GTA team, the ArmA team, and many others are watching what happens to Skyrim and Portal, and how modding extends the lifespan of the game, and creates unbelievable loyalty in the audience. I shiver in excitement at the possibilities of how Maxis could apply the Spore model of sharing creatures to SimCity: with a vast database of new buildings that can be seamlessly imported into the Glassbox engine.







But there’s an issue that as a community, PC gamers need to consider. With the Steam Workshop and Team Fortress 2, Valve have the billing mechanics that now allow modders to charge for their work. In TF2’s case, Valve told us that the best TF2 modelers are making hundreds of thousands of dollars from their work. Personally, I think that’s a great thing for us. I love the idea of modders supporting themselves making games better. But at some point, you may well be asked to pay to download a mod.



How will you feel when that happens?
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Valve launches Steam Collections: hand-picked mod packs for Skyrim and Team Fortress 2">Steam Collection thumbnail



Valve have just announced Steam Collections: a new feature which will let anyone create lists of Steam Workshop mods that let players subscribe to the lot in one click. You can make Collections of anything in the Steam Workshop, but right now only Team Fortress 2 and Skyrim have Workshop content live. Skyrim is where it works best: all the mods in the Workshop are available to play, and Collections make it even easier to get them into the game.



Case in point, we've created two to get you started and show how they work: The PC Gamer Skyrim Mod Collection: Improvements, for the community's best tweaks and touches, and another for our favourite New Content - much more substantial additions that change the game, but still for the better. You can subscribe to either in one click, add both, or even pick and choose from within our selections.



The idea is to let the community help filter the vast amounts of awesome player-made content coming out. You can rate Collections, so the community favourites will be easy to find and subscribe to. Future Workshop games can let players bundle mods, maps and campaign tools into a Collection, making it super simple for us to expand our games. They're already pretty diverse: our Skyrim packs are loadouts of mods that you can install and play all at once. The TF2 community, meanwhile, are making themed sets of content, sometimes by multiple authors, assembled into packs like Valve's class updates.



Expect more games to get support soon. Earlier in the month, Paradox announced that Gettysburg: Armored Warfare will ship with an editor and integrated sharing via the Workshop. And Valve have already mentioned they'll be using the Workshop for Portal 2 maps and Left 4 Dead 2 content.



Just like the Steamworks toolset and Steam Cloud features, it’s up to developers whether they’d like to use Steam Workshop and Steam Collection features in their games. As far as we can tell, it's a massive win-win for modders, gamers, and modding gamers alike. We'll be updating our Collections as we find more cool stuff, and starting a few new ones. In the meantime, here's Valve's blog post about them.
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Notch, Bethesda, Freddie Wong, Robin Walker (oh, and us) to fight in Team Fortress 2 for charity">photoshop masterpiece



Sometime soon, I'm going to be called to defend the honor of PC Gamer against Notch, Robin Walker, Yogscast, Freddie Wong, friends of PCG Brian Brushwood and Veronica Belmont, and other people that are more important than me. The men behind TF2 Mix-up have organized another showmatch, a 9-on-9 battle royale between web celebs that benefits Child's Play.



Want to play with us? Donators are eligible to fill a vacant player slot. On April 1, the event's organizers will randomly pick three donors who will each be offered a place in the match along with some signed merchandise. Donate more, and you'll increase your chances. Donate here. The match's date is secret, but it should be held sometime in April. We'll post the match video once it's available, assuming I don't dishonor you all.
...

Search
Archive
2014
Jul   Jun   May   Apr   Mar   Feb  
Jan  
Archives By Year
2014   2013   2012   2011   2010  
2009   2008   2007   2006   2005  
2004   2003   2002