With the HTC Vive launching in one week, things have gone a little VR-crazy as Valve and HTC put the finishing touches on their latest major release. Major topics from this past week include the release of the Steam Desktop Overlay, confirmation of the Vive's "arrival" dates, a new look at the final SteamVR tutorial, and even a few game updates as Valve cleaned up bugs for both Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2!
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During the build-up to the Steam Controller's launch throughout 2014 and 2015, Valve repeatedly referenced potentially allowing the device to be modded and changed by the community similar to open-source software. Although nothing initially evolved from this concept within the first 4-5 months of the Steam Controller's life, Valve's Greg Matelich has today released the original 3D geometry used to design and create the controller. Files within the bundle can be used to view, edit, or even 3D print components, potentially modifying the controller is ways unseen by Valve.
The license for the use of these files, and the potential sale of Steam Controller mods, is outlined below.
Source: PC Gamer
Following a brief initial announcement on the Dota 2 Dev forums a while back, the Spring Cleaning 2016 update for Dota 2 has finally been revealed in full. As with 2014's equivalent update, the patch focuses on repairing a number of bug fixes and introducing "quality-of-life" improvements that are typically missed during tournaments or balance updates.
Alongside an extensive list of miscellaneous bug fixes, the update is also adding several more substantial and meaningful improvements. These include showing tower attack range and neutral camp spawn boundaries, new hotkey options to bind specific map locations or change a hero's ability key, expansions to the armory's size and customisation options, and updated mini-map icons to better show the movement direction of enemy heroes. A streamlined settings menu with a more organised layout has also been implemented, making it easier to tweak the game to your liking.
Ahead of the update's full release sometime later this week, be sure to check out the extended list of changes over on the official announcement page. If you want to take a closer look at the changes in the meantime, the Dota 2 Test Client has since been updated with the Spring Cleaning improvements, so go take a look!
With the release of the HTC Vive just two weeks away, the past few days have been filled with details from GDC 2016 regarding "The Lab", Valve's new virtual reality exclusive title set to release for free on Steam on April 5th. Other news topics from the past week we're discussing in today's Round-Up episode include the release of the SteamVR Desktop Theatre Mode, the return of paid mods with Dota 2's "Custom Game Passes", and a small Easter-themed update for CS:GO!
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If you're reading this, you likely remember how 2015's sudden introduction of paid mods to the Steam Workshop turned out to be one of Valve's biggest ever blunders, with both Valve and feature-partners Bethesda quickly retreating from the idea only days after it was introduced. At the time, Valve made it clear they weren't done with the idea of paid mods just yet, and that they would take a step back to reconsider the feedback they received before seeing how it could be applied to a better system in the future.
Jumping forward to the present: it would appear that time has come, as Valve have today announced "Custom Game Passes" for Dota 2, new items directly associated with what Valve deems "high-quality games that have established themselves in the community". Once passes are purchased, they will grant bonus access to specific elements of a custom game mode for a limited period of time (currently 30 days), with example bonuses for the currently supported "Roshpit Champions" mode including "additional stash and character save slots". These passes are entirely optional, and all supported game modes will remain free to download and play. Despite the low price point of $1, the revenue from each sale will be distributed between the creator(s) and Valve, rewarding both parties for their participation in the creation, support, and sharing of the game mode.
A lengthy exclusive interview with PC Gamer has revealed how past blunders have informed Valve's current methods of thinking, as Valve will now be hand-picking those modes worthy enough to receive passes while also offering the same universal revenue split as normal Steam games of 30/70 [Valve / Creator]. These passes are also supported by the Steam-wide refund system to ensure everyone is happy.
While this is undoubtedly Valve's attempt to ensure the range of monetisation is consistent across the length and breadth of Dota 2, it could definitely prove helpful for community creators putting a significant amount of effort into creating custom assets and game modes. Let's see how things pan out this time around.
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