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Valve's Tom Giardino was at DevGAMM Seattle Summit 2017 to deliver a talk about Steam, as well as provide helpful insights and advice for developers who are distributing their games through the platform, or planning to do so in the future. The talk covered the replacement of Steam Greenlight, Steam Direct, a new system to publish games on Steam, trading card and gifting changes, Steam Curators update, and new upcoming features.
Here is a compilation of tweets from the conference.
DevGAMM - July 31, 2017 - 10:19 AM
Tom Giardino from Valve is opening a DevGAMM Summit with a keynote on Steam's Business Update.
italicpig - July 31, 2017 - 11:04 AM
Insight into localisation...
In Half-Life, everything is seen through the player's eyes, in first person view. But this wasn't always the case. The game was originally designed with third person cutscenes in mind.
During the development of the game, Valve was torn between using or removing cutscenes. In some cases, they couldn't figure out how to advance the story without them. They didn't have time and resources to do a good job with third person cinematics. These constraints forced them to make everything in first person. This gave the game its own unique identity.
For today's article, we remade one of the cutscenes using the leftover animations from the game. According to Marc Laidlaw, this sequence was to show Gordon Freeman being captured by the military from the view of a security camera. In the next scene, Gordon was to be seen being dragged to a trash compactor by soldiers.
Gordon Freeman gets captured by...
In today's article, we're going to talk about Half-Life's lost feature, glowing textures. In Half-Life version 0.52, a pre-release build dated September 8, 1997, there are special types of textures that glow in the dark. These textures do not require another form of light to be lit up.
This is actually a more complex version of a technology that was present in id Software's Quake, the engine that Half-Life is based on. Unfortunately, this feature is only available in the software mode, which works if you set your computer's color depth to 16 bit from its display settings.
Half-Life uses 256 color images as textures. The last 32 colors, minus the last one, can be used as the glowing parts of the textures. In addition to this, the filenames must have the prefix used for either animated (+0~filename) or switchable textures (+a~filename). While this feature is not available in the final release of the game, the textures still carry the color data used for the glowing parts....
For today's article, we created a list of locations revisited in the Half-Life series.
• Half-Life, Hazard Course (t0a0)
• Half-Life: Opposing Force, We Are Not Alone (of3a2)
• Half-Life: Blue Shift, Hazard Course (ba_hazard1)
• Half-Life: Decay, Hazardous Course (ht02hazard)
The Black Mesa Training Facility.
• Half-Life, Black Mesa Inbound (c0a0)
• Half-Life: Blue Shift, Insecurity (ba_security1)
The Black Mesa Transit System.
• Half-Life, Black Mesa Inbound (c0a0c)
• Half-Life: Opposing Force, Welcome to Black Mesa (of1a4)
The Black Mesa Transit System.
• Half-Life, Black Mesa Inbound (c0a0d)
• Half-Life: Opposing Force, Welcome to Black Mesa (of1a4b)
Valve's Alden Kroll was at Indigo 2017 to talk about Steam and the changes they're working on. The talk covered the business side of Steam as well as some specific features available for game makers. The company wanted to meet developers face to face, answer questions, and hear feedback and suggestions as well.
Here are the slides from the conference.
In today's article, we're going to talk about Half-Life's lost feature, Timeline. In November of 1998, Valve released Half-Life along with Worldcraft, a level editor which was included on the game's disc to allow mod developers make their own custom levels. The same tool was used by the company to build the game. This release also included a guide by Chris Bokitch to help people learn how to use the editor.
In a pre-release version of this guide, dated March of 1998, there is an unusual screenshot of the Object Properties, a menu used for editing entities. In this image, the window has a fourth tab named Timeline, which is not available in any release of the editor.
According to the guide, this feature was created for Half-Life. It was to allow the user to specify an exact period in hours and minutes when the selected entity will be in the level. Like in the Fallout games, you could have a character only appear between selected hours in your map. It is unknown how the game was to...
According to a series of reports on the internet, Technical Illusions, a company formed by former Valve developers Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson, has been shut down. The reports claim that the company's primary source of funding was cut. Left with no other option, the company was forced to shut down and lay off their staff.
Ellsworth was let go from the company in February of 2013 during a "great cleansing" as described by her. She was given permission to take the research that she had done for the company with her. Johnson left the company to join Ellsworth. The duo formed Technical Illusions to continue their research and work on castAR, an Augmented Reality device.
In 2011, a photo of a mysterious Combine Soldier artwork appeared on the internet. The photo was taken by an unknown person when he or she visited Valve's office. Some fans claimed that the image was created for a possible new Half-Life title in development even though it contradicted with style rules set for Half-Life 2 by former company artist Ted Backman.
In reality, it was part of a series of fan images created by artist Manny Llamas, who also worked at the company many years ago. It was placed on walls with other fan creations in the company's office. Llamas published two of these images on his personal website for a short time. The other images were also available on unlisted pages of his website.
The images were done when Llamas was employed at LucasArts Entertainment, so it is possible that he created them to apply for a job at the company the second time. We...
In today's news post, we're going to talk about Left 4 Dead 3 characters. In July of 2015, Steam Database received an early version of Aperture Robot Repair, a virtual reality demo that was created by Valve. Our former site contributor Nick worked with them to document all the findings, which were published after the demo's release in February of 2016.
The demo features numerous references to Left 4 Dead 3 and other projects. In the files, there are textures for a character called "adult_01". This character is referenced in the map "vr_l4d_characters" but the model for it is missing. It should be noted that some of these files are not included in the final release of the demo.
• npc/adult_01/materials/boots (missing)
Some of our followers on our social media profiles requested a list of developers who either left or joined Valve in recent history. The following list covers staff changes between 2016 and 2017. For more detailed descriptions, you can click on associated links under names (if they're available).
You can see the next list for more detailed descriptions of their roles.
October 1996 - 2016
• Was hired as employee #5
• Worked on the Half-Life series and other titles, including Stars of Blood
• Worked on animation and engine systems, artificial intelligence functions for characters
• Worked on Virtual Reality research and development
• Created Half-Life 2's facial animation system
• Retired from the company on his 20th anniversary...
Sometimes our research and investigation for proposed articles can lead nowhere. We consider these "Cold Cases" that have reached a dead end and are subsequently canned as articles. Sometimes, these investigations can hinge on us contacting individuals who may be associated with the subject matter of the article. Some can refuse to speak to us, while others may have signed a legally binding contract that prevents them from disclosing information.
Cold Case #1 surrounds October Moore, an actress and voice actress who is perhaps best known as the voice of the female Wii Fit Trainer in the US localization of Nintendo's titles. In 2013, our researchers came across posts from May of 2010 made by Moore's brother on a public forum where he claims that his sister may be the face and voice of an in-development Valve title.
He went on to say that she was legally not allowed to say what game it was, but speculated...
The latest issue of Retro Gamer magazine features "The Making of Half-Life 2" - an article by Paul Walker-Emig, including interviews from Valve veterans, David Speyrer and Viktor Antonov. The piece includes exclusive screenshots from the game's development and it is a fantastic insight for any Half-Life fan. You can buy the magazine from My Favourite Magazine.
We've been in touch with Paul who has provided us with the original screenshots from the magazine, along with two other unpublished screenshots. We'd like to thank Paul and Retro Gamer for their help.
Screenshot #1 (borealis_full_010000)
The engine room of the famous icebreaker Borealis when it was present in the game. The player is equipped with an ice axe, a cut melee weapon.
Screenshot #2 (Danger Ted)
During the game's development, there...
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive began when Hidden Path Entertainment attempted to port Counter-Strike: Source to consoles until Valve decided to turn it into a full game. The game was internally known as Counter-Strike 1.5 (not to be confused with the beta release of the original mod for Half-Life with the same title) until it was renamed. These images, published by Hidden Path Entertainment artist Mark Forrer, show us the early user interface prototypes and Valve's original ideas for the game.
The game was to have a full character customization system which included selectable character gender, head type, skin tone, eye color, and camo face paint. In addition to that, there were cosmetic items that could be equipped including selectable helmet or hats, clothes for the upper and lower body, and an insignia. The final game features only weapon and glove skin customization. The images also show a split screen mode, the original names for the weapons, early versions of the maps, and...
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 that we have screenshots of unpublished Counter-Strike: Global Offensive map, Balkan, in our archives. We previously posted images of a car model from the map on our social media profiles. These images were published by former Hidden Path Entertainment artist Aubrey Pullman in 2014. He recently updated his portfolio with two new screenshots of the map.
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 based on the map.
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...
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 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....
In today's article, we're going to talk about the cut missions from Half-Life: Decay. We have brand new information to reveal thanks to the assistance of several former Gearbox developers. For those of you who may not be familiar with the game, let's begin with a brief overview.
Decay is an add-on included in the PlayStation 2 port of Half-Life which was developed by Gearbox Software and published in November of 2001. Unlike other Half-Life titles, this add-on was designed as a two-player co-operative game. The players take control of Doctors Gina Cross and Colette Green as they assist the science team in halting the alien invasion. They are required to work together to solve puzzles and progress. The game is not a continuous experience, but rather is broken up into a series of separate missions with their own objectives.
In early previews, Decay was announced to feature twelve missions. However, the final game shipped with only nine, not...
While no one from ValveTime.net was able to attend the event this year, that doesn't mean we still can't provide some summaries from Steam Dev Days.
There are no official live streams from the event's speeches and panels, so getting detailed information is difficult. Indeed, a lot of small information has leaked, and we leave you to read about most of those at SteamDB, but we wanted to just briefly cover the meatier bits for now.
The social media platforms have been abuzz with content on #SteamDevDays, and below is a summary of just a sliver of what we've learned from the event.
If we didn't cover something else you are excited about, let us know at @ValveTime or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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