Gabe Newell, the beloved chief of Valve, has proven many times that he is really kind to fans. So it did not take a long for him to agree to pose for a very special photo this week after giving a talk at the University of Texas at Austin's LBJ School of Public Affairs. This photo involves one of those notorious horse head masks, and it proves that Gabe Newell, as ever, is a good sport.
For more on what Newell was talking about at the school, see here. Newell will also be delivering two keynotes at next week's DICE conference in Las Vegas. We'll have full coverage on Kotaku.
Gabe Newell having fun with a fan [YouTube]
Can't it be both? Coming soon to iOS and Android, Blitz Brigade is a team-based online multiplayer shooter. It's set during World War II (can't you tell?) and features vehicular combat, five character classes, single-player challenges and trailer music that sounds like it's being performed by a Team Fortress 2 cover band.
It's Team Fortress 2! It's Battlefield Heroes! Since this trailer was released last Friday (it was late Friday, past caring time) the YouTube comments have been dominated by discussion of which game Blitz Brigade is trying to be. Why not give Gameloft the benefit of the doubt? Perhaps this is a completely original creation that just bears a striking resemblance to...*falls over laughing*
Those wanting to work for WibiData better have impeccable Portal problem solving skills. Part of the application process for the San Francisco tech startup involves completing a custom level, based on the company's offices, says the New York Times.
A teaser of the custom level can be seen above. WibiData, a computer engineering firm, created the mod as a test for new applicants. The company's CEO said that playing Portal (and Portal 2, upon which this mod is based) he felt the game challenged his reasoning in the same way as a complex programming problem.
WibiData commissioned modder Doug Hoogland to create the level, which features WibiData's offices and a secret (nonexistent) test laboratory beneath them. Hoogland, notes PC Gamer, came to WibiData's attention after he built a wedding proposal mod in Portal for a customer of WibiData.
The level is available for download at WibiData's website.
Unable to get any satisfaction from Glee, 20th Century Fox Television, or its lawyers, Jonathan Coulton has put his version of of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back" on iTunes, called it "my cover of Glee's cover of my cover," and will give proceeds from its sale through February to charity.
Coulton put the song on iTunes today under the title "Baby Got Back (In the Style of Glee)." For good measure, he changed his iTunes icon to a picture of him making the L-for-Loser hand gesture, which is used in Glee's logo.
Coulton is the artist who wrote and composed Still Alive, the iconic closing-credits song of Portal.
Reader Brandon passed this video along yesterday, which he helped make, wondering if we'd ever seen it. I had to say "no", which tore me up inside, because it is absolutely perfect.
Sadly ineligible from winning a Saxxy award due to its use of copyright material, that won't stop it winning hearts here today, because if there's one thing Team Fortress 2 needs more than less hats, it's more Queen.
QUEEN FORTRESS [YouTube]
The Half-Life 2 Cinematic Mod has been around forever, and in that time has proven fairly divisive. Sure, it adds some lovely effects to the game, but it also makes so many changes that some feel it loses a little of Valve's original vision for City 17 and its surrounding countryside. The "improved" character models are a particular bone of contention.
I could never get past the latter, with almost everyone in the mod looking like a Baywatch reject, but if all you care about are environmental effects and the crusade to make a game that's nearly ten years old look brand new, you might want to watch the new video below and see how far the mod has progressed since its inception back in 2005.
If you can meet its surprisingly hefty specs (at least for the full range of effects, considering the game's age), you can download the mod below.
The video above is a Turret Anthem, internally known as Megadub, and it's a fantastic song. The video is great too, of course, as you watch the tiny turrets slowly overtake GLaDOS in her confusion.
Definitely something I will listen to on repeat.
We've had access to mods before, that's nothing new. But Valve's Steam Workshop completely streamlines the process of adding them in, making the ability to have smarter AI, new weapons and newly skinned enemies an easier process than ever before. And databased, too!
So what's out there now, roughly four days after its official release? Here are a few that caught my eye.
Gaming Heads, a company that's been making Valve-related merchandise for a few years now, will later this year be brining out this impressive (and huge) Gordon Freeman statue.
Standing 20" tall and available in Q3, the regular edition will sell for $320, while a collector's edition (that comes with an extra weapons, the SMG) will sell for $340.
Gordon Freeman [Gaming Heads]
The latest update for DOTA 2's beta now delivers a "Least Played" mode, which will match players who are forced to use characters other the 20 that have given them the most wins. It's meant to get players in the game's closed beta to explore the game's full roster, which now runs 96 character deep.
"Least Played" enforces the top-20 restriction on all sides, so everyone is playing outside of his or her comfort zone, too. "Having an even playing field for everyone in the match will hopefully encourage players to break out of their comfort zone and try new heroes," Valve said on the Dota blog.
More than 3 million are currently participating in the beta; the post said that DOTA 2 has seen more than 100,000 games played so far.
Hello? Is this on? [Dota 2 Official Blog]