Currently flying around the intertubes are rumours that something interesting was shown by Valve at GDC. Obviously everyone is assuming (or praying) for Half Life 3:
"Picked up by PixelEnemy, the first hints come from DICE’s David Goldfarb, lead designer on Battlefield 3. He said he’d seen “something nice” from the developer behind closed doors, to which Marcus Persson, inventor of Minecraft, replied back asking if it was Half Life 3.
“My silence must be interpreted as silence” replied Goldfarb; “Reply to this tweet if hl3 is confirmed,” added Persson. “I will show my answer with some interpretive dance,” said Goldfarb, as if to confirm without confirming. “Look closely.”
More? How about Interceptor Entertainment’s Dave Oshry. “Just got out of a meeting with Valve that was single-handedly worth the trip out here,” he said on Twitter. “You guys are gonna love me for this” – before hinting that a reveal might be “soon”."
Either that or we might finally see Ricochet 2.
Steam is now offering a way to get your hands on games as they hit Alpha/Beta stages and contribute towards the final product.
"Steam Early Access titles allow the community to get involved early and play select titles during their development. The goal of Early Access is to provide gamers with the chance to "go behind the scenes" and experience the development cycle firsthand and, more importantly, have a chance to interact with the developers by providing them feedback while the title is still being created."
The list of Early Access games can be found on the Steam site, along with a handy FAQ.
Gamasutra have posted a great article that takes a look behind the highs and lows of Natural Selection 2 during its development:
"Another way we leveraged open development was way before our playable alpha. We didn't have any maps yet, but we did have assets for making maps. So we released these props and textures, along with a document describing how to build a map and our barely-functional editor. Some of our pre-ordering folks started making maps right away. We asked the most promising community members to work on official maps for the game, for a share of the eventual revenue instead of our sparse cash. Without releasing our assets to our community, I'm not sure how we ever would've built our first map."
Head over and give it a read.
Today Steam Guides are now available.
"Steam Guides lets players create and share guides, walkthroughs, and tips for their favorite games or software to help others who might be stuck or who simply want to learn more about the game. Players may easily create guides through Steam, where they may upload images, add screenshots, and embed YouTube videos. Guides are then quickly accessible through Steam, via the Steam Community and in-game via the Steam Overlay."
At CES Xi3 unvelied a prototype of the Steam box (one of many apparently), or what we now refer to as "Piston".
"The demo unit of Piston featured an IO board boasting one ethernet port, 1/8" audio in/out, SPDIF optical audio, four USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports (with one dedicated to keyboard input), four eSATAp ports, two Mini Display Port ports and one DisplayPort/HDMI port."
So amid the fuss of the Half-Life Alpha CD photo that was on Twitter the other day, it seems another person also has a version and has made it available for download:
The instructions for installation floating around are:
"To play the alpha delete or renamed the "...\Half-Life 0.52\Half-Life\Opengl32.dll" file and then run "...\Half-Life 0.52\Half-Life\enginegl.exe"."
Strictly speaking I'm not sure if this is allowed but pretty much every other HL news site is posting it as well. In the reddit thread the guy writes:
"a valve employee messaged me a week ago about it, I told him to check, he never replied so if they don't care then I don't care"
You can read more about it in this Reddit thread and even bid on the disc if you wish.
If anyone does get it working then it would be great to see some screenshots!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Interlopers!
Hope you all have a good one! ;)
So a bit late, but if you hadn't checked the Steam site in a while you might wish to, as the holiday sale has kicked off again!
If Far Cry 3 comes up, I can highly recommend it!
Kotaku are reporting that Valve will indeed be working on the previously rumoured Steam Box:
"Speaking to me during a brief interview on the red carpet at the VGAs last night, Newell said Valve's current goal was to figure out how to make PCs work better in the living room. He said the reaction to Steam's TV-friendly Big Picture interface has been "stronger than expected," and that their next step is to get Steam Linux out of beta and to get Big Picture on that operating system, which would give Valve more flexibility when developing their own hardware.
He also expects companies to start selling PC packages for living rooms next year—setups that could consist of computers designed to be hooked up to your TV and run Steam right out of the gate. And yes, Newell said, they'd compete with next-gen consoles from companies like Microsoft and Sony"
Check the full article for more.
This might be a bit out of our usual remit, but it's a Source game so what the heck. Consortium is a new Source engine game from developers Interdimensional Games Inc (who count resident lopers 1/4 Life and MrTwoVideoCards among their numbers).
"WHAT IF you could take complete control of another human being? And what if that human being was a man destined to decide the fate of an alternate dimension? Speak for him, move for him, and be known as merciful and/or a killer, hero, liar, wild card...or perhaps the strong/silent type?
CONSORTIUM gives you that chance..."
They've got a trailer showing off a unique art style, and a bit of what they're hoping will be a unique story-driven take on the FPS.
The team has also launched a Kickstarter campaign looking to further fund the development of the game, with the hefty goal of $200,000. You can find more information and gameplay footage in the pitch video there.
*Disclaimer* I am working on projects with MrTwoVideoCards, who in turn is working on Consortium. Once again, my corruption outs itself.
Interlopers luminary and Source engine chum Tay, or "Kremator", has released his new polar horror story BLACK SNOW.
"You play John Matsuda, an IT Technician that is part of the Prometheus assessment team sent to investigate communication silence at a research station in Greenland. Naturally, nothing is what it seems."
The mod requires HL2:Ep2 to play, but really, who doesn't have that nowadays? You can read more about it in the thread he's created on these very forums, or go straight for the ModDb.
*Disclaimer* I helped Tay out with some minor script editing and playtesting for BLACK SNOW. The existence of this news story is surely evidence of my absolute corruption.
In what may be the most exciting development in our lifetimes, Gabe Newell has confirmed that Valve are developing a new version of the Source engine. The story from Beefjack states:
"When asked whether a new version of the Source engine was in development, Newell replied with an empathic “Yeah.” "
Exciting stuff. Newell also reportedly confirmed that 'Ricochet 2' is in development, but unfortunately it appears he may have been talking about Half-Life 3.
For those not in the know, Natural Selection 2 has finally hit the big 1.0:
You can bag it on steam, so head over to the NS2 site for more details
Somehow October the 8th has crept up on us and Interlopers has survived another year bringing the total to eight!
I know, I know, I should really get on with sorting out the new site. Derp!
Cheers to everyone that still supports this place :)
Steam has now taken its first steps into expanding beyond a purely gaming platform:
"Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Portal, and Team Fortress) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced the first Software titles have launched via Steam, marking a major expansion to the platform known as a leading destination for PC and Mac games.
The Software titles now available via Steam are:
o ArtRage Studio Pro
o CameraBag 2
o GameMaker: Studio
o 3DMark Vantage
o 3DMark 11
Many of the launch titles will take advantage of popular Steamworks features, such as easy installation, automatic updating, and the ability to save your work to your personal Steam Cloud space so your files may travel with you.
GameMaker Studio, for example, features integration with Steam Workshop that allows GameMaker users to share their work via Steam."
Check out the list for yourself.
I'm not sure there're many people that will read this that need informing, but possibly the most eagerly awaited mod ever has been released today. Black Mesa Source - a remake of Half-Life 1 sans the Xen levels - is now available for anyone to download.
So, go and download!
Back in 2003 the network at Valve got compromised by a German hacker called Axel "Ago" Gembe. As a longtime fan of the series, he kept track of their development on Half-Life 2 and eventually stole the entire source code. It did not take long for the code to get leaked onto the internet, available for everyone to modify, compile and play. With the help of the online community the hacker was identified and caught by luring him into the hands of the FBI with possible job offers.
4 years later Valve found themselves negotiating terms with another hacker yet again. A forum post by "MaddoxX" on the "anti-STEAM website" revealed that he had bypassed Valve's security systems and accessed a significant chunk of data, including:
- Screenshots of internal Valve web pages
- A portion of Valve's Cafe directory
- Error logs
- Credit card information of customers
- Financial information on Valve
And again with the help of the community, the nickname was found on various other websites which lead to the arrest and prosecution of a 20 year old Dutch IT student.
Now, 5 years later, we can conclude that in the time period that "MaddoxX" was actively abusing Valve's infrastructure not only creditcards and financial information were stolen.
It appears that as of August 31 2012 a Russian underground forum is discussing and linking to the source code for the Source engine (rev: 2007). After getting my hands on a sample myself I can confirm this is the actual source code with a 'Last Modified Date' from Jan 2008 (ofcourse this can be altered easily).
The above screenshot show client builds for the 2007 engine:
- 2x TF2 and something called "TFC"
- Counter-strike Source
- Day of Defeat: Source
- Half-Life: Source
- Portal - Multiplayer test
- Half-Life 2: Deathmatch
Also included are builds for servers.
The thread on the Russian underground forum in question is located here.
Which after translation brings up several suprising details. It seems that the codebase was stolen from yet another hacker called "Adamix" in another data breach. From what I hear in some chatrooms on steam he tried to sell it, got hacked, and the person(s) responsible made it public.
This can mean 2 things:
- Before MaddoxX got arrested he quickly uploaded/gave the code to someone else.
- The leak which gave MaddoxX the possibility to even get in was discovered by another party and due to their expertise came further into Valve's network.
In my opinion, the latter seems more plausible but who am I to form an opinion about this. Fact is, the source code is real and available on the internet for download. Although heavily outdated, I can see a lot of mods coming out using this as a base.
More information to come I guess.
Update #1: Valve has been made aware of the situation.
Update #2: LINK
"This engine was meant for a game development company who licensed the engine source code. That means they probably had no need to get an extra liscense for havana/ivp/vphysics so there is no code for it, just libraries. also you can get the vaudio source from the beta hl2 source code, and it should work." - ben5015se
Kotaku have posted a great rundown on the latest offering from Valve - Big Picture:
"Here are the basics: this afternoon, when Big Picture goes live, you'll be able to push a button and turn Steam into an entirely new interface. It sort of looks like the dashboard on an Xbox 360, minus the advertisements and other clutter that can make that system so irritating to navigate. And it allows you to do almost everything you can do on vanilla Steam: you can buy games, browse the web, and even chat with your friends using the platform's standard in-game overlay."