So yep it finally happened I got around to finishing and launching the mini competition site, the page itself is still in beta so feel free to suggest things to add to the Faq ect.
And please do ask if there's something you want me to clarify or expand on.
Hopefully most of you will find it interesting enough though I realise its pretty hard to cater to everyone's tastes.
If this comp is successful there will be more!
Click here or the above image to go to the competition site.
Please note the competition site url will change and soon be hosted with Interlopers.
53% of you Voted for Half-life 2. So it is decided!
Details will follow in the next few days.
Voting for which game will be used in our next mapping contest will end on Monday the 31st of March. Votes will be tallied up and competition guidelines will be posted shortly after.
The contest winners will be getting some great posters, kindly donated and signed by Valve!
So if you haven’t voted in the Poll vote now!
Yesterday Gabe and a couple other Valve employees sat down and braved a Reddit AMA. Interestingly Source 2 was mentioned:
"What improvements will we see out of the Source 2 engine?
The biggest improvements will be in increasing productivity of content creation. That focus is driven by the importance we see UGC having going forward. A professional developer at Valve will put up with a lot of pain that won't work if users themselves have to create content."
Kotaku have also posted a round-up of some of the more interesting questions.
This month’s Community spotlight was an easy choice.
Mendax has created a gorgeous winter time battleground, featuring the unique architecture of a traditional German village. The map is a defuse map and has a superb layout with two well-designed bomb sites.
Steam Dev Days.
Valve has released 19 hours’ worth of video presentations from their Dev Days event that was held earlier this January. You can view the individual presentations on their new YouTube page.
The videos cover a vast quantity of different subjects from vr to virtual economies and much more. I strongly recommend watching as many as you can. They contain tons of useful information, valuable to both veteran and aspiring developers. I found that even the subjects that were not initially of much interest to me proved to be fascinating and insightful talks.
Let’s hope they repeat this event next year.
For more info click here.
CS:GO got sticky and added some new things.
A recent patch saw the introduction of a series of stickers that you can stick on to your weapons as a new form of weapon customization.
You will now get Sticker Capsules drop whilst playing the game, these require a special key to open.
This update also saw the addition of grenade tossing. You can now use the secondary fire button to toss a grenade along the floor.
A separate patch on the 12th of February introduced the third CSGO weapon case and also an entirely new weapon, the CZ75 - Auto.
The CZ75 is Counter Strikes first ever fully automatic pistol.
Click here to read the full blog post.
I’m still not completely sold on the idea of weapon skins, what do you guys think about them?
Steam added another new feature, Tags!
You are now able to Tag games and software in the steam store to help filter the vast catalogue that steam now has to offer.
This feature is still in beta and has been experiencing some growing pains in the form of abusive and misleading tagging.
However it has the potential to change the way we shop for games on steam, making it easier to discover games that fit our individual tastes.
Click here for more details.
A parcel from Phil Co (Valve) arrived a few days ago with some really awesome signed posters for us to give away to the winners of our next Interlopers mapping competition. So any competition ideas?
Valve has announced their plans to add music management and playback support to Steam, and they will soon be inviting users from the Steam music community group to partake in a beta of these features.
"“With Steam Music, you can now listen to your music collection while playing games. Once you’ve pointed Steam to your local music directory, your Steam Library will include Album and Artist views of your collection.”"
This is a pretty awesome and unexpected addition to Steam, and personally as someone that listens to a lot of music (whilst gaming and working) I am really excited to see Steam expand in this direction. Perhaps in the future we will see soundtracks available in the store.
What do you guys think? Is this a feature a lot of you would make use of ? Let me know what you think in the comments.
Check out more info here.
It appears the Year of the Horse Dota 2 event has been renamed to the “New Bloom Festival”.
It seems to be another unique game mode for Dota 2 that offers plenty of new features and goodies to collect.
One of the most notable features is what sounds like a new skin for the map
"“With the arrival of the New Bloom, the field of strife awakens from its long slumber. It is a world transformed. Early blossoms cover the trees as they shiver against the fading cold. In these dim days, paper lanterns light the paths where monuments of noble beasts look on toward the coming year. Bold heroes now charge across this refreshed land to offer up their strength to the battle.”"
Check out more info here.
Seasonal greetings Interlopers! I hope you have all had a great Christmas.
There is a lot to catch up on as I have been unbelievably super busy the last few weeks and unfortunately fallen behind with posting news.
So here is a recap of everything that’s been happening just in case you have missed any of it.
Dota 2’s Frostivus event was indeed cancelled but it was not replaced with the Greeviling. This year it was instead replaced with a new gamemode “Wraith-night”.
" A great and prosperous time is guaranteed for the entire family with festivities like the Harvesting of Souls. The little ones will especially enjoy playing in the snow while our Great Leader watches over from his Altar."
Wraith-night is a survival holdout type mode where players must work together to fight off varying waves of creatures. This event has also seen Skeleton King replaced permanently with the Wraith King and the introduction of a new hero “Legion Commander”.
Click here for more details on Wraith-night.
Year of the Horse
Valve are inviting the community to submit art for their next Dota 2 event called “Year of the Horse”
"“A new event is coming to Dota 2 at the end of January, and we are looking for submissions that draw on visual themes from the Chinese New Year, Chinese history, and springtime.”"
It sounds like it will be an interesting event to design items for, I wonder what the event itself will entail?
Find out the full details including submission guidelines here.
The Winter Offensive
Counter Strike Global Offensive has received its Winter Offensive Update which brings a slew of additions.
A Gift package which comes in three different types:
"“The Gift Package, which will give a random item to one random player in your match; the Pallet of Presents, which will give random items to up to nine people in your match; and the Audience Participation Parcel, which will give random items to up to 25 viewers watching your match.”"
A Winter Offensive case that contains community made weapon finishes from the CS:GO workshop.
Two maps , the long awaited remake of Cobblestone and the new map Overpass.
Read the full details here.
The Counter Strike Global Offensive blog posted a rather interesting article revealing some insight into the design process behind two of its new maps, the remake of de_cbble and its entirely new map called Overpass.
"Players in the original de_cbble felt out of scale, as if they were in a “land of giants”. While the updated version is built on the same footprint, its scale has been carefully brought back to a more human level by the addition of realistic details, and breaking up large bare surfaces."
The new Overpass map looks fantastic and is another example that source is still producing some great looking maps despite its age.
The comparison shots of cobble show just how much the visual fidelity has increased from CS:S to CS:GO.
Click here to read the full blog post.
Steam machines shipped received and reviewed.
Valve’s Prototype devices have been with their lucky owners for a few weeks now. Unfortunately I didn’t receive one but there are plenty of pictures and videos online from people that did.
Reddit user Colbehr posted these pictures which show us in great detail exactly what the successful beta participants received and just how awesomely packaged and presented the steam machines came.
Check out this article on Kotaku for more information including a pretty neat video.
Valve has also released a beta of their Steam OS for everyone to download and test.
"We've been hard at work to deliver on our promise of a new kind of living room entertainment environment - one that is accessible, powerful and open.
In making the SteamOS Beta available to you, we're excited to take the next major step towards that goal."
For more information including download links click here.
Oskmos has been working on this great hostage map for CS:GO called Insertion.
It is a stunning map that is oozing atmosphere, with a great well thought out layout that has come a long way since it was first revealed on the forums in early September.
Check out the thread here, and be sure to subscribe to the map on the CS:GO workshop.
There’s a lot of great maps in the works at the moment for CS:GO and I will try to more frequently feature some of the best on the front page.
Thanks for reading, and sorry for the massive delay in posting, I will try to resume my regular news posting schedule again and keep you more frequently up to date. Happy Holidays!
Wall Worm tools creator and fellow Interloper Shawn Olson has released two fantastic new plugins, one to aid in custom detail sprite creation and the other lets you quickly block out environments in 3ds max.
"Detailer is set of primitives and tools for creating billboards and detail objects. The plugin allows you to quickly create complex foliage and model scattering with rules that match those in the Source Game Engine. This plugin is for 3ds Max and is intended to be used with Wall Worm."
"CorVex is a geometry plugin for 3ds Max aimed at quickly building game level layout. It offers convenient planar mapping controls for geometry that is controlled by spline bases. "
Check it out Detailer here and Corvex here.
Dota 2’s Frostivus update is soon to arrive !
"The longest night of the year is a time for weaving by the hearth! Collect bright winter berries and sprigs of fir, and twist them together into mementos for family and friends. Doze off to the smell of simmering rumbutter, assured that the spirits of Frostivus Eve are conspiring to grant your wildest dreams of peace and friendship!"
Check out the Frostivus Page for more info.
Today Valve have launched the beta of Steam reviews
"Users considering a purchase on Steam may now browse reviews from friends and the community, leave comments on reviews, and indicate which reviews they found helpful.
Once a user has played a game or used a software title on Steam, they are able to write a review of that product and share their experience with everyone on Steam.
Steam Reviews is an evolution of the Recommendation system that has been a part of Steam since 2010. Over the past few years, Steam users have written over 7 million Recommendations of games and software to their friends. Those Recommendations have been upgraded to Steam Reviews. As such, users may now choose to make their past Recommendations visible as Reviews to everyone on Steam, if they wish, by visiting their list of Reviews and changing the settings accordingly."
Check out the Steam Reviews page for more.
The guys over at Black Mesa Source have released some exciting news today, announcing that Black Mesa will now become a retail game on Steam. They also noted that a free version on Source 2013 will be released shortly after, hoping to open source their maps and game assets to the modding community.
"Last year, Black Mesa was one of the first Steam games to be Greenlit by you, our amazing fans. We've had quite a year since then, with a lot happening internally that we haven't been able to talk about... until now. Black Mesa has been given the opportunity to be sold as a retail product on Steam! This is an incredible honor - one we never expected - but also one we found hard to accept."
You can read the full thread here.
Also, I'd like to shed light on an interesting post written by their Lead Developer your-name-here:
"The free version of the game has been ported to Source 2013. Right now, that version is functionally equivalent to the released version of Black Mesa we released a year ago. When we got on greenlight, we were forced to move to another engine. Right now, we can't tell you what that engine is due to our licensing agreement. Being on this new engine allows us to change how the engine works, modify tools, etc; things we plain and simply cannot do for the free version. I plan to open source the black mesa code for the free version. "
What could it mean? Dare I say, Source 2? That's enough fueling the hype machine for me today, I'll let you all interpret that however you like.
A huge Dota 2 update has arrived bringing a plethora of new features and fixes.
Just some of the more notable new features:
"Remake of Storm Spirit.
Addition of Earth Spirit and Ember Spirit.
Ingame Coaching Features.
Item Crafting and Socketing.
The Diretide Gamemode. "
And of course it wouldn’t be a proper update without new chests to collect, and this time there are three.
Still no Dota Sdk or Support for Custom maps, are people interested in mapping for Dota?
I certainly am, let me know in the comments.
Read the full details Here
Phil Co, a level designer at Valve has been kind enough to answer a ton of questions especially for us at Interlopers.
The interview covers a huge variety of topics including what it’s like working for Valve, designing Portal 2’s boss fight and Phil’s general workflow as a level designer.
A huge thanks to Phil for taking time out from his busy schedule to do this and for giving us such detailed and awesome answers, and a big thanks to Valve for letting this happen!
Read the full interview.
The annual Team Fortress Halloween update is now live !
"Claw your way through piles of musty books and skeletons while old people yell at each other about nonsense and get carried off to Hell! That's right, Team Feartress fans— we combined the terror of Halloween with the more muted and depressing terror of a retirement home, and accidentally invented an entirely new brand of horror! Then we realized listening to two old men bicker from beyond the grave isn't that horrifying, so we threw in a bunch of crazy spells you can cast at each other!"
The update includes a new Payload variant, over 100 new items and eight new Halloween bereavements.
There is also a new comic!
Read more about it Here
Over on the Valve YouTube channel, there is a newly uploaded video demonstrating the new Steam Controller with some different games, including Portal and Counter-Strike:
Valve are planning on hosting a Steam developer conference.
"Steam Dev Days is a two-day game developer’s conference where professionals can meet in a relaxed, off the record environment. Developers will share their design and industry expertise, participate in roundtable discussions and attend lectures by industry veterans on topics ranging from game economies to VR, Linux/OpenGL, user-generated content and more. "
Read more about it Here
Interlopers is nine years old. How the...?
Much love to everyone still contributing and keeping the place from going dusty. Let's hope that we have Source 2 and HL3 in our hands before the tenth year comes.
That would be nice.