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.
In a rather quiet week, we've somehow managed to create a Round-Up episode focused exclusively on the Portal and Half-Life series of games. Topics discussed include J.J Abram's recent acknowledgement of the Half-Life and Portal films, the return of the Half-Life: A Place in the West fan comic, and the upcoming reveal of Valve's new game / experiment / experience / video thing, "The Lab"!
For all the latest on all of Valve's games and products, don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for watching!
This past week, although initially quiet, ended with some rather big news and a few first-timers! It saw Valve announce their first truly new game in over 4 years, with "The Lab" set to feature the return of Aperture Science as the player travels through a series of smaller experiments exclusive to virtual reality. Steam's Mobile Authenticator security is also being stepped up once more, and this is our first ever Round-Up episode to feature TWO different presenters!
For all the latest on The Lab and all of Valve's other products and games, don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on Facebookand Twitter. Thanks for watching!
Valve has announced today a new set of VR experiments called The Lab. Featured in the Aperture Science universe, these experiments offer "multiple ways to enjoy room-scale VR." The Lab will be free of charge on Steam and is slated to release this spring. More information about The Lab will be given during next week's GDC.
Here's Valve's official announcement of The Lab:
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