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

More owls in games!Valve are looking for community prop makers to furnish the shooter’s October update. From the Team Fortress 2 blog:

Scariness doesn’t just happen, people. It’s serious business. That’s why we’re giving you until October 1st to fill the Steam Workshop with horrifying Halloween-themed cosmetic items. If you’re not an item-making sort of person, you can still keep busy. Why not visit the workshop and rate other people’s Halloween-themed items? Rating terrifying items will also help you build up your resistance to being scared before we unleash this year’s Scream Fortress update.

Thanks to everyone who sent this link in. Now make us some hats.>

Kotaku





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What the hell did I just watch, you ask? Why, the most adorable squees of delight you've ever heard, I respond!



Look at that twinkle in the engineer's eyes. He's like a proud, excited parent, ready to embrace the possibilities of a new future and...



Oh. Oh, my.



The Calcium (Source Filmmaker) [YouTube via Reddit]


Community Announcements - SZ


It's a well-established fact that every Halloween, all the ghosts, goblins, Draculas, bigfoots, Frankensteins and Area 51 aliens leave their house at the cemetery to scare humans. But what would happen if you snuck down to the cemetery before Halloween? You would die. Of scaredness? No! Of boredom. That's because between now and October 31st, all the monsters are busy having meetings (about terror) and conducting focus groups (to test all the latest scaring techniques). Oh no! What's that chupacabra doing lurking in the shadows? (Answer: Reading a spreadsheet about blood.)

Scariness doesn't just happen, people. It's serious business. That's why we're giving you until October 1st to fill the Steam Workshop with horrifying Halloween-themed cosmetic items.

If you're not an item-making sort of person, you can still keep busy. Why not visit the workshop and rate other people's Halloween-themed items? Rating terrifying items will also help you build up your resistance to being scared before we unleash this year's Scream Fortress update. Other tips: Pay people to jump out and yell "Boo" at you. Have somebody paint ghosts on their car and then try to hit you with it. If you know an ugly person, why not ask them to try scaring you? Every little bit helps.
TF2 Blog




It's a well-established fact that every Halloween, all the ghosts, goblins, Draculas, bigfoots, Frankensteins and Area 51 aliens leave their house at the cemetery to scare humans. But what would happen if you snuck down to the cemetery before Halloween? You would die. Of scaredness? No! Of boredom. That's because between now and October 31st, all the monsters are busy having meetings (about terror) and conducting focus groups (to test all the latest scaring techniques). Oh no! What's that chupacabra doing lurking in the shadows? (Answer: Reading a spreadsheet about blood.)

TF2 Blog
The United Gaming Clans (UGC) Highlander and 6v6 leagues are gearing up for their fall season openers on September 17 and September 19 respectively. UGC has expanded and now features operations in Asia and Australia and teams from these regions are ecouraged to sign up. In addition they will be raffling off an unusual hat and there will be an in-game medal design contest sponsored by Ruskeydoo (Hibernating Bear Heavy set creator). For more details visit the UGC forums.

TF2 Blog
The European Team Fortress 2 League has announced their 13th 6v6 Season. The prize pool is even bigger this year totaling 2,500€ in addition to featuring prizes from Tt eSPORTS.



Here's the upcoming schedule for the season featuring seven match weeks followed up by three weeks of title playoffs in the Premiership or two weeks of potential tiebreakers for other divisions. More details can be found on the hub page for the season.



  • Division Seeding: September 8 - 10
  • Schedule Week: September 10 - 15
  • Main Season: September 16 - November 3 (7 weeks)
  • Playoffs: November 11 - 30


Product Update - Valve
Updates to Team Fortress 2, Day of Defeat: Source and Half-Life 2: Deathmatch have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when your Steam client is restarted. The major changes include:


Source Engine Changes (TF2, DoD:S, HL2:DM)
  • Fixed a bug that allowed malicious servers to execute restricted console commands on players
  • Fixed a bug that allowed malicious servers to prevent players from executing console commands
TF2 Blog
Updates to Team Fortress 2, Day of Defeat: Source and Half-Life 2: Deathmatch have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when your Steam client is restarted. The major changes include:


Source Engine Changes (TF2, DoD:S, HL2:DM)

  • Fixed a bug that allowed malicious servers to execute restricted console commands on players
  • Fixed a bug that allowed malicious servers to prevent players from executing console commands

PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to XCOM: Enemy Unknown system specs, Steam pre-purchase rewards detailed">XCOM: Enemy Unknown



Today, 2K Games revealed XCOM: Enemy Unknown's system specs and a peculiarly designed pre-order deal on Steam. All of the pre-order rewards, which include a free copy of Civilization V, are not guaranteed: in a post yesterday, 2K said three tiers of incentives unlock as more pre-orders roll in, with purchasers receiving the accrued spoils on XCOM's October 9 release.

The first tier, the Elite Soldier pack, gussies up your squad with "several aesthetic upgrades to armor suits" using "a variety of colors and tints." You'll also nab a soldier sporting the classic flattop hairdo from the original XCOM.

Tier 2 inflates your overflowing Team Fortress 2 item backpack with a flattop hair-helmet (sans appropriate theme music, sadly), an "Area 451" Sectoid head-over, and a giant Vigilant pin.

The last tier keeps it simple: a free copy of Civilization V, which is giftable for those who already own it. As I write, the progress bar is at around 80 percent into the first tier.

2K has also revealed XCOM's system specs. In addition to packing in more tasty tactical treats for the PC version, XCOM's development team gratified the PC's "superior hardware" with increased detail depth and graphics power, but the below system requirements show support for a wide range of setups:

Minimum Requirements
OS: Windows Vista
Software: Steam Client
Processor: 2 GHz Dual Core
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Hard Drive: 20 GB free
Video Memory: 256 MB
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT/ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT or greater
Sound Card: DirectX Compatible

Recommended Requirements
OS: Windows 7
Processor: 2 GHz Dual Core (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz or Athlon X2 2.7 GHz)
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Hard Drive: 20 GB free
Video Memory: 512+ MB
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 9000 series/ATI Radeon HD 3000 series or greater
Sound Card: DirectX Compatible
Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

Ever keen to experiment with digital distribution, Steam is trying something unusual on XCOM: Enemy Unknown pre-orders with publisher 2K. Rather than offering fixed bonuses, Steam will unlock increasingly fancy goodies as more people pre-order, including extra character customisation options, Team Fortress 2 hats, and a free copy of Civilization V.

Everyone who pre-orders through Steam will help the "reward" drive, which seems to hope it'll inspire a little of that Kickstarter feeling. Customers are fast approaching the first unlock, a pack of cosmetic XCOM pretties including shiny new armour, paints for armour, and a recruit with the classic X-COM: UFO Defense flattop haircut.

The flattop also features, in the second tier, a pack of TF2 goods. This offers that good old flattop for the Soldier, a creepy sort of alien head for the Pyro, and a very swanky medal. Lastly, if loads and loads of people pre-order, everyone will also get a free copy of Civ V, or a gift copy if they already own it.

Of course, Steam's charging the full $50 for XCOM, so you might instead fancy buying it from somewhere that simply knocks a few dollars off the price instead. XCOM: Enemy Unknown is coming to PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on October 9.

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