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It's certainly been a while since we last reported on evidence regarding the on-going development of Half-Life 3, the long-awaited sequel to Half-Life 2: Episode Two released back in 2007. Well, it's that time again. Earlier today, a user by the name of ekim posted this thread to NeoGAF, highlighting an extremely minor, solitary reference to "hl3" within one of the many Dota 2's Workshop Tools files, which are known to run on a basic version of the Source 2 engine. The code string appears to be related to some kind of "physics_testbed" executable, as shown below.
As mentioned on the thread, the code can be found within the "model_editor.dll" file inside the following directory.
Even though the code means next to nothing by itself, we decided its very existence is worth noting here on the front page given it's been almost a year since any piece of publicly available code directly referenced Half-Life 3. If the code is as new as January 21st, it is safe to assume development on the latest Half-Life title is still very much underway within Valve's halls and cabals. Other users on the NeoGAF thread are reporting references to Half-Life 3 periodically pop up before being quickly removed, but we currently have no evidence to confirm or deny these claims. Regardless, there's definitely still hope for the world's Half-Life fans!
Chinese New Year is right around the corner, and that means the New Bloom Festival is nearly upon us! The now-annual update for Dota 2 was first introduced in 2014, where the players and their heroes were pitted against the mysterious and powerful Year Beast in a special gamemode. A brand new Source Filmmaker trailer for the event was shown off earlier today during the finals of the Dota Asia Championships and appears to shine some new light on what we can expect to see once New Bloom arrives in a week or so.
The trailer has since been uploaded to Valve's own YouTube channel alongside the first unveiling of the New Bloom 2015 update page. Concrete details are scarce at the current time, but the video does provide some additional back story regarding Nian the Year Beast while also drawing particular focus to Crystal Maiden (who appears to transform) and Winter Wyvern (shown flying and landing near the end), one of the three remaining heroes yet to be ported from the original DotA All-Stars.
Much of the community currently believes Crystal Maiden will receive an Arcana item set as part of the update, which would certainly explain her strange apparent transformation. The majority of Winter Wyvern's assets were previously added into the game files as part of the Shifting Snows update, making it pretty likely the hero, voiced by Merle Dandridge, will be added alongside this year's New Bloom event.
It isn't currently known how the heroes intend to "tame" the Year Beast, as explained in the trailer, but I personally like to believe it's not too unlikely we'll see Nian take on the role as Dota 2's first totally-brand-new hero. Hmm, maybe not then. We'll be sure to bring you more details regarding this year's New Bloom Festival event for Dota 2 when Part 2 is revealed.
Our YouTube channel has been unusually quiet for about a month now, but fear not - our News Round-Up is finally back and we're ready to recap all the recent news from the last four weeks. While Steam continues to look as unstoppable as ever, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Team Fortress 2, and Dota 2 also received their own respective game-changing updates over the past few weeks.
If you enjoy what you see, don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and TwitchTV. Thanks for watching!
Yesterday, in a new update to the Steamworks SDK, Valve released a new beta feature for Steamworks developers that allows Steam Marketplace-compatible item drops and crafting. The new set of Steamworks APIs and tools, collectively called the Steam Inventory Service, enables third-party developers to give persistent, account-tied items to individual users for free without the devs having to run specialized servers of their own to keep track of individual users’ inventories.
Valve have already integrated features like these in their own games, such as Dota 2, Team Fortress 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. As has been demonstrated in those games, developers can choose from a variety of triggers for item drops, such as playtime or specific in-game situations or actions. Furthermore, developers may mark specific items as tradable or sellable and configure crafting recipes that yield rarer or more valuable items.
Pre-existing Steamworks APIs include achievements, cloud saves, leaderboards, matchmaking, Steam Workshop, DLC, and many more. As always, we’ll be sure to keep you up-to-date with all of Valve’s Steamworks APIs, old and new.
While you would be correct in thinking Steam already supported "video streaming" via the recently introduced Steam Broadcasting, a new update to the Steam Client Beta released earlier today has added the ability to stream structured video content for the first time. The first (and currently only) video to receive this functionality is "Free to Play", Valve's own Dota 2 eSports documentary released back in March 2014.
The new option provides users the ability to directly stream films and video content from Steam servers without having to download the whole thing onto a local hard drive, much in the same way Netflix and other streaming services function.
By clicking the "Watch" option on the store page after downloading the latest Steam Client Beta update, a new HTML5 video player will open and begin to stream. The player looks somewhat similar to the video player which has occupied Steam Store pages for a long time now while also featuring several significant improvements, such as being able to change between various resolutions (1080p, 720p, 540p, 360p), displaying how much bandwidth is required for each setting, a playback speed option (50%, 90%, 100%, 110%, 120%, 150%, 200%), and optional multi-language captions used to display subtitles.
Once Valve has managed to get most of the kinks worked out, it's likely the new video streaming functionality will be made available across the Steam Store for other suitable titles, such as Indie Game: The Movie. For now, there's a full FAQ available over on the Steam Support website. Here's hoping the system will also be used for more widespread streaming in the future should the likes of Netflix or Hulu Plus ever arrive on the Steam platform.
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