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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

Meet the Plato

This is the most splendid of news. If you don’t know Hero Academy, it’s a turn-based, two-player tactical game from the chaps behind Orcs Must Die and if you are now wondering why> you haven’t heard of it, it’s because it’s an iOS game. Except on August 8th it’ll also be a PC game, as it’s coming to Steam and allowing cross-platform play. Opponents are played asynchronously, so you take your turn, inform your opponent and wait for a response. This means you can play loads of games at the same time and with its chessy appeal, you’ll probably want to. I shall welcome it to my PC with a smile and, oh look, Valve have provided an exclusive team. Trailer below.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Jim Rossignol)

wheeeeeeeeeSTOP: If you haven’t watched Meet The Pyro yet, watch it, for goodness sake.

This morning I found myself grumbling in RPS chat about how news sites were casually spoiling the twist in the Meet The Pyro video, by posting pictures of it. Now I am going to do exactly> the same thing, because you really should take a look at the Pyrovision goggles in action. Anyone who logs into the game between now and next week gets a set of goggles that mods the game world to look a bit like the Pyro’s view of things, including shooting rainbows, balloon-gib deaths, and floating pink plushie unicorn. There are some videos of it in action, below. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

I managed to dig through code and find this image with no prior knowledge of how code actually works because I AM A WIZARD.Everyone, I have some regrettable news: I woke up this morning with the sudden realization that – in my heart of hearts – my truest wish has always been to lead a life of megalomaniacal supervillainy. So, incredibly long and spellbindingly interesting story short, I’ve wired the entire world to explode. Unless!> You can tell me – without glancing about one nanometer below this sentence – what’s come of the Team Fortress team-up between Adult Swim and Valve. Mwahahaha, I can smell your fea– yeah, it’s a hat. Well, damn. I guess I’ll just go back to writing about videogames, then.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Jim Rossignol)

It’s been a long time coming, but finally…

UPDATE: Valve announce they are releasing Source Filmmaker. “The goal of the SFM was to develop a story telling tool that allowed us to create computer animated movies more efficiently, and with greater creative freedom,” said Bay Raitt, designer at Valve. “Over the past five years, we’ve produced more than 50 animated shorts with the SFM. The Source Filmmaker will allow our community to create their own movies in Team Fortress 2 and in their own Source SDK-created mods.” (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

NO GUYS TURN AROUND RUN HE'S GIANT.I remember when games used to be obstinate, unyielding creatures. They’d prance through the room, coated in all manner of dust and bugs and glitches, and they just didn’t care>. Now, though, they heed developers’ every beck and call post-launch. The things can practically grow extra arms on command. Case in point: SWTOR’s latest patch, which brings it up to not-quite-light-speed with modern MMOs and, of course, Team Fortress 2′s recent case of Pyromania. So then, let’s have a gander at what’s on the menu.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

Edit: Errrrr, also a massive update for TF2. Details below.

So, that Valve/Adult Swim collaboration. As many speculated, it will be the Meet the Pyro video and, yes, ‘will be’>. It was foolish of us to think that the video would just appear without any foreplay, so instead there’s the image above, which tells us that something else will happen on June 27th. I’m guessing that actually will be the video, unless they choose to release one frame every couple of days, some hidden at secret locations around the world, the precise position hidden in Morse code messages transmitted on secret websites that can only be found by reading tea leaves through a specific kaleidoscope constructed in 1924.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

This image is probably unrelated, but I just really wanted to use it because it's perfect in all ways.

Ready for something to come out of nowhere and hit you right in the nose? OK, here it comes. Get ready, brace yourself, and… it still hit you. Because that’s how things that defy the law of conservation of energy to suddenly materialize on our plane of existence work. I believe a more succinct term for it is “surprise.” Anyway! Turns out, it’s an announcement – as things we report on often are. Something Valve-related is making its way to famed purveyor of cartoons with curse words>, Adult Swim. But what could it be? WHAT?

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

The first time I ever played Portal was damn near magical. Each room I walked into held promise of some diabolical new assault on both my brain and the laws of physics, but I made them look like child’s play. At the time, I was certain it proved I was a genius with an IQ so huge that even my bulging genius brain couldn’t count that high. Of course, I soon came to find out that everyone> experienced Portal that way. So I wasn’t a genius. But the puzzle designers at Valve were.

To this day, Portal stands as the most masterful example of invisibly intuitive teaching I’ve ever discovered. It slowly builds upon itself – sneaking new techniques into your repertoire until you’re snoozing through puzzles that would’ve short-circuited your synapses maybe 20 minutes earlier. Is it a fit for classrooms, though? My first inclination would be to think not. I mean, it’s not exactly a hyper-accurate physics simulation – even with science jokes making up the bulk of both Portal 1 and 2′s brilliantly witty dialogue. That, however, is precisely the point, according to Valve director of education Leslie Redd and designer Yasser Malaika. It’s how> Valve games teach – not what they’re teaching – that could help save a rusty, way-behind-the-times education system.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

A modern American school child learning modern American school things.

Year after year, many schools struggle to teach kids basic math and reading skills. Portal, on the other hand, taught my childlike, directionally-crippled brain a slew of hyper-complex spatial reasoning abilities. In about 30 minutes. So I guess maybe> it could be a good fit for the classroom. And hey, what do you know (aside from a Portal-imbued slew of hyper-complex spatial reasoning abilities)? Valve seems to think so too. The resulting program’s been dubbed Teach With Portals, and it’s just the beginning of Valve’s new Steam For Schools initiative.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

Maybe we'll all get cameos!Well, this is odd. We’ve known about an upcoming Payday: The Heist-Left 4 Dead crossover for about a month now, and – as is often the case with these things – it materialized earlier today via YouTube’s eyebeaming ethers. “”Have you ever wondered how the Left 4 Dead series began?” the video’s description asked, forcing me to realize that I’ve never actually wondered that. “It started with a heist!” Intrigued, the Internet looked on as Payday’s band of mask-loving hooligans shot its way through a very un-zombified version of Left 4 Dead’s Mercy Hospital. And then the trailer disappeared.

Happily, Eurogamer managed to upload a roll to its own Internet-powered projector machine, so you can still watch the trailer and remember it as it was before its mysterious disappearance. Perhaps Valve and Overkill (now known collectively as Valverkill) stole it. From themselves>. This may just be a heist caper for the ages. I, however, will work tirelessly to get to the bottom of it: Oh look, here’s the answer. It’s just a Left 4 Dead cameo (character and hospital setting) in a Payday map.

Hooray! Sort of, eh?

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