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:
Taking off after the events of the Seven Hour War, A Place in the West follows new characters into new territories within the Half-Life universe. Created by Ross Joseph Gardner, Michael Pelletier, Heath Heil, and Rachel Deering, this fan-made comic has now found itself in a new position as a contender on Steam Greenlight.
The first issue of A Place in the West will feature 5 brand new pages, and if Greenlit, will come contained within a comic book app. Additional perks include full English and Russian translations of the text, as well as a "Behind the Scenes" video featuring a commentary track of the writers explaining many aspects of the comic's development.
Steam has few comics available to its users. There isn't even a "Comics" category on Steam Greenlight, so the creators of A Place in the West have had to file their project as a game. The creators of A Place in the West posit that it's time Steam open up the pipes for other content mediums, such as comics, music, and more, so that consumers are exposed to a wider range of entertainment.
Question is, they're ready for Steam to open up to more entertainment mediums - are you?
Follow A Place in the West on:
With the massive SteamVR leak last Monday and the recent influx of news, we've only just managed to get a new Round-Up out the door! In this fortnight's episode, we're recapping all the latest regarding the state of Aperture Robot Repair and the HTC Vive, the return of CS:GO's Nuke map, the upcoming start of the Team Fortress 2 Competitive Matchmaking Closed Beta, and the totally underwhelming release of "Half-Life: Prospekt".
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As first discussed several weeks ago, this evening's update to Team Fortress 2 has added the necessary content to allow users to begin beta testing the long-awaited Competitive Matchmaking mode. Added content includes the Competitive Beta Pass item, new menu options, and minor updates to several unnamed maps, allowing them to be used in the mode. We haven't yet heard any reports of beta invites being sent out, but it's now possible for Valve to begin distributing beta passes whenever they wish now all the necessary assets are included in the most recent public build.
The rather sizable patch also includes various other bug fixes and improvements, such as significant balance changes to Snowycoast, a number of cosmetic item changes, the return of Gift Wraps, and the addition of a "Last Hit" sound to highlight when an attack caused the death of another player. The somewhat-forgotten Mannpower gamemode has also received numerous balance changes, including nerfs to a number of power-ups.
If you're interested in joining the closed beta for the competitive matchmaking mode, be sure to check out our news story from a few weeks ago, which lists a number of criteria which could significantly increase your chance of being selected!
It would appear that another veteran employee from Valve has left the company. According to two sources, Valve's employee page and LinkedIn, John Cook may have left Valve about a month ago after working there for 17 years.
You can see which strings were removed from Valve's employee page by going to SteamDB's SteamTracker.
John Cook is the co-founder of the original Team Fortress (along with Robin Walker) and was one of the head developers of Steam since the early days of Half-Life 2.
If this means that he has left the company, John Cook would be known to be the fourth veteran employee of Valve to leave within the last twelve months, following Ted Backman, Marc Laidlaw, and Doug Wood.
Kudos to the Facepunch and NeoGAF communities for spotting this.
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