In 1998, due to the content restrictions in Germany, Half-Life was added to a list of media that is prohibited from being sold. Valve had to create a special censored version of the game in order to release it in the country. You can read and learn more about the censorship on our wiki. According to German news website, Schnittberichte, 19 years after the game's release, Germany removed Half-Life from their list. This means Valve is now allowed to release the uncensored version of the game on their platform, Steam.
We recently discovered screenshots of unpublished Counter-Strike: Global Offensive map, Balkan. These images were published by former Hidden Path Entertainment artist Aubrey Pullman on his personal website.
Balkan was a remake of Marc Schröder's Vostok, which was originally created for Gearbox Software's incarnation of Counter-Strike: Condition Zero. It was included in the final release of the game by Turtle Rock Studios. It also appears in the Xbox release of Counter-Strike, and in Ritual Entertainment’s Deleted Scenes as Building Recon, a single player mission.
At approximately 2:30PM GMT on Monday 6th March our Admin Control Panel was accessed by a user who had gained unauthorised access to an Admin account belonging to one of our members of staff. The unauthorised person logged in with the full username and password of this staff member which we currently believe has been obtained through another breach or security issue which is not related to ValveTime.net.
Once the unauthorised person gained access to the Admin CP, they attempted to lock out existing staff members, and delete content from the forum. After this, they started an automated process to send out emails to a number of our users.
Despite claims by the unauthorised person to the contrary, the user WAS NOT able to gain access to any passwords or create copies of our database. It is not possible to access the database directly from the Admin Control Panel or view user's passwords. All actions taken in the Admin Control Panel are logged and it is clear from reviewing these logs that the unauthorised person has not accessed any personal details, including email addresses and dates of birth.
Due to the low severity of this breach, we have decided that it is not necessary to reset any user passwords. However, if you would like to change your own password as a precaution, you may do so here: http://valvetime.net/account/security.
The following steps are being put in place to ensure the issue does not happen again in the future:
1) All staff passwords are being reset
2) All staff access is being reviewed and limited
3) The forum software is being updated and we are implementing 2FA (2 Factor Authentication) and making that mandatory for all staff members
4) The database is being rolled back to this morning's backup to reverse any content that may have been deleted
Due to the steps being taken above, the site will be down for a short period of time. Thank you for your understanding.
Former ValveTime staff members Ross Gardner and Michael Pelletier finally released the second chapter of their Half-Life fan comic, A Place in the West, as a paid downloadable content for the first chapter on Steam. The second chapter, titled "A Very Modern Major-General", features 50 new pages, and picks up where the first chapter left off. The team is currently working with volunteers to translate the comic to other languages.
Here is a summary of Gabe Newell's AMA, which took place on Reddit's r/The_Gaben on January 17, 2017.
On their new offices
Yes. We move into the new offices on July 22nd.
On Source 2
We are continuing to use Source 2 as our primary game development environment. Aside from moving Dota 2 to the engine recently, we are are using it as the foundation of some unannounced products. We would like to have everyone working on games here at Valve to eventually be using the same engine. We also intend to continue to make the Source 2 engine work available to the broad developer community as we go, and to make it available free of charge.
On Steam Support
Yes! We are continuing to work on improving support.
Since the last AMA, we've introduced refunds on Steam, we've grown our Support staff by roughly 5x, and we've shipped a new help site and ticketing system that makes it easier to get help. We've also greatly reduced response times on most types of support tickets and we think we've improved the quality of responses.
We definitely don't think we're done though. We still need to further improve response times and we are continually working to improve the quality of our responses. We're also working on adding more support staff in regions around the world to offer better native language support and improve response times in various regions.
The issue with Half-Life for me is that I was involved in a much higher percentage of the decisions about the games, so it's hard for me to look at them as anything other than a series of things I regret. There's no information in my response about what we'll do in the future. It's simply easier for me to be a fan of things that in which I was less directive.
On Left 4 Dead
Products are usually the result of an intersection of technology that we think has traction, a group of people who want to work on that, and one of the game properties that feels like a natural playground for that set of technology and design challenges.
When we decided we needed to work on markets, free to play, and user generated content, Team Fortress seemed like the right place to do that. That work ended up informing everything we did in the multiplayer space. Left 4 Dead is a good place for creating shared narratives.
On Half-Life and Portal movies
Yep. They're coming.
On Half-Life 3/Half-Life 2: Episode Three
The number 3 must not be said.
On what he regrets about Half-Life
If you are involved in a game, everything ends up being a set of trade-offs. Anything in a game is a sacrifice of things not in the game. I just feel those more personally about Half-Life for a bunch of reasons. And Xen.
On possibility of a new IP in the Half-Life/Portal universe
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