While I'm thankful I've never had to make a post like this before, I am extremely frustrated (at myself) that I now have to make one at all.
Earlier this evening, we aired a Round-Up episode claiming Erik Wolpaw, one of the senior writers on Portal and Portal 2, had left the company to continue working more closely with Double Fine Productions on Psychonauts 2. In this particular instance - we were wrong, and follow-up emails to Erik himself have confirmed he is still indeed at the company.
In this scenario, we failed to take the necessary and ridiculously basic steps to proving or disproving the news story before running it as big, high profile reveal. This mess-up is amateurish and unacceptable, and I sincerely apologise for spreading false stories of this nature.
Here is Erik's reply to us.
Fittingly, it would seem Erik is actually taking a sick day off from the company, meaning he has technically left Valve, but only for a day or so! We can also confirm Erik owns an iPhone!
I have since removed any public reference to the news story in order to avoid it spreading further across social media. I have also personally apologised to Erik for causing any disruption to him (possible email spam from the community, etc), and thankfully he seemed to take it very well. As you can imagine, I am extremely embarrassed about this whole situation, and I hope this mess does not reflect badly on ValveTime as a whole or our reputation. In the future, we will strive to return to conducting the appropriate research and background checks where ever necessary before running any news story.
Editor's Note: At least I wasted my whole evening editing, preparing, and releasing a worthless video! I'll be reworking the opening news story of the video tomorrow to try and resolve these issues before it is re-released.
With "The Lab" having been out for a little over a month and a half at this point, it's definitely the perfect time for Valve to re-inject some life into their freely available virtual reality title. Today's "Appliance of Science" update, available free of charge, adds a bunch of extra functionality into The Lab's three most replayable mini-games, Longbow, Xortex, and Slingshot.
Global leaderboards, endless modes, and minor gameplay tweaks are among the changes that Valve hopes will keep players coming back to The Lab time and time again much in the same way simple yet replayable games such as Audioshield and Space Pirate Trainer can retain players despite being so seemingly basic on the surface. In Longbow, the game will now continue past the standard 8 rounds, spawning more enemies with tougher armour as waves continue and build in difficulty. For Xortex, a new "Xortex Infinite" mode allows players to enjoy Xortex indefinitely without having to worry about the on-going boss battle as a new "Spinner" enemy looks to disrupt the battlefield. For Slingshot, you can expect to see a somewhat overhauled point system alongside even more powerful explosive barrels!
Other miscellaneous changes added to The Lab in the Appliance of Science update include voice subtitles and translations, additional haptic feedback support while petting Fetchbot, and extra commands to help skip certain unnecessary scenes. More details are available at Valve's official announcement post, so check them out!
Although slightly later than planned, this week's Round-Up episode covers an interesting and wide spread of news and discussions. Headlines from the past week include a huge sexual discrimination legal case against Valve, the release of early Vulkan support for Dota 2, and claims by Valve engineer Alan Yates that the Oculus Rift is just a big copycat!
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Alan Yates, who likes to refer to himself as Chief Pharologist at Valve, is one of the senior engineers working on the Lighthouse tracking system and other VR technologies for the HTC Vive. According to him, both the Vive and the Rift use the same core features from Valve's research program.
Yates took to Reddit yesterday and declared, "the CV1 is otherwise a direct copy of the architecture of the 1080p Steam Sight prototype Valve lent Oculus when we installed a copy of the 'Valve Room' at their headquarters." He went on to say, "I would call Oculus the first SteamVR licensee."
With Valve's technology in their possession, it would have helped Oculus to acquire the engineers behind it, too. Michael Abrash was a key piece in that acquisition strategy, but they failed to grab much more. "Unfortunately for them they did not succeed and the great majority of the team that actually made it work remains at Valve," Yates said in September 2015.
In this very Dota-centric Round-Up episode, we're talking about the introduction of The International 2016 Battle Pass and the amazing success it has garnered thus far, before briefly discussing the welcome return of the Dota 2 Short Film Contest!
To stay up to date with all things Dota and Valve, don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on Facebook and Twitter! Thanks for watching!
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