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With the release of the Vive virtual reality headset in a matter of days, a pair of surprise press releases this morning have revealed the shocking news that Valve has been sold to HTC for $4.2B following three years of negotiations. With Doug Lombardi and Joe Ludwig replacing a now-retired Gabe Newell, join us as we investigate the uncertain future of Valve, their employees, and their games in an all-new episode of ValveTime Spotlight!
With the future still to be written, stay tuned by...
Dota fans can start booking their days off work for later in the year, as Valve has announced The International 2016, which will run from August 8th through the 13th. Like recent years, the main event will take place at Seattle's KeyArena basketball stadium, with the qualifiers being held several months earlier starting on June 21st 2016.
The sale and use of tickets is changing once again this year, with two different ticket types now being made available: $75 "Midweek" and $100 "Finals", which give viewers access to KeyArena on the first four and last two days of the event, respectively. Those looking to purchase Midweek tickets will also be able to watch the final two days from a large outdoor viewing area, with only those owning Finals tickets allowed inside on Friday and Saturday.
Tickets for the event...
With the HTC Vive launching in one week, things have gone a little VR-crazy as Valve and HTC put the finishing touches on their latest major release. Major topics from this past week include the release of the Steam Desktop Overlay, confirmation of the Vive's "arrival" dates, a new look at the final SteamVR tutorial, and even a few game updates as Valve cleaned up bugs for both Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2!
To stay up to date with all the latest regarding Valve, don't forget to...
During the build-up to the Steam Controller's launch throughout 2014 and 2015, Valve repeatedly referenced potentially allowing the device to be modded and changed by the community similar to open-source software. Although nothing initially evolved from this concept within the first 4-5 months of the Steam Controller's life, Valve's Greg Matelich has today released the original 3D geometry used to design and create the controller. Files within the bundle can be used to view, edit, or even 3D print components, potentially modifying the controller is ways unseen by Valve.
The license for the use of these files, and the potential sale of Steam Controller mods, is outlined below.
Following a brief initial announcement on the Dota 2 Dev forums a while back, the Spring Cleaning 2016 update for Dota 2 has finally been revealed in full. As with 2014's equivalent update, the patch focuses on repairing a number of bug fixes and introducing "quality-of-life" improvements that are typically missed during tournaments or balance updates.
Alongside an extensive list of miscellaneous bug fixes, the update is also adding several more substantial and meaningful improvements. These include showing tower attack range and neutral camp spawn boundaries, new hotkey options to bind specific map locations or change a hero's ability key, expansions to the...
With the release of the HTC Vive just two weeks away, the past few days have been filled with details from GDC 2016 regarding "The Lab", Valve's new virtual reality exclusive title set to release for free on Steam on April 5th. Other news topics from the past week we're discussing in today's Round-Up episode include the release of the SteamVR Desktop Theatre Mode, the return of paid mods with Dota 2's "Custom Game Passes", and a small Easter-themed update for CS:GO!
To catch all the latest for Valve's games and products, don't forget to...
If you're reading this, you likely remember how 2015's sudden introduction of paid mods to the Steam Workshop turned out to be one of Valve's biggest ever blunders, with both Valve and feature-partners Bethesda quickly retreating from the idea only days after it was introduced. At the time, Valve made it clear they weren't done with the idea of paid mods just yet, and that they would take a step back to reconsider the feedback they received before seeing how it could be applied to a better system in the future.
Jumping forward to the present: it would appear that time has come, as Valve have today...
In a rather quiet week, we've somehow managed to create a Round-Up episode focused exclusively on the Portal and Half-Life series of games. Topics discussed include J.J Abram's recent acknowledgement of the Half-Life and Portal films, the return of the Half-Life: A Place in the West fan comic, and the upcoming reveal of Valve's new game / experiment / experience / video thing, "The Lab"!
For all the latest on all of Valve's games and products, don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on...
This past week, although initially quiet, ended with some rather big news and a few first-timers! It saw Valve announce their first truly new game in over 4 years, with "The Lab" set to feature the return of Aperture Science as the player travels through a series of smaller experiments exclusive to virtual reality. Steam's Mobile Authenticator security is also being stepped up once more, and this is our first ever Round-Up episode to feature TWO different presenters!
For all the latest on The Lab and all of Valve's other products and games, don't forget to...
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....
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".
If you've enjoyed all of our...
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...
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...
GDC 2016 is just around the corner, with doors opening March 14th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA. Like last year, it looks like Valve will have a presence both on the Steam business side, as well as with holding info sessions. Below are the three currently known info sessions that Valve will be holding/presenting.
You'll notice that this years info sessions sound very similar to last year's, and I had written a summary of what those are about.
Practical Development for Vulkan (presented by Valve Software) with Dan Ginsburg
"In this session, Valve and other developers will share their...
As if Operation Wildfire and the new de_nuke update weren't enough, this week has brought two more big pieces of news on the Global Offensive front.
$1,000,000 PRIZE POOL FOR MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP
In a recent blog post, Valve announced that, starting with the MLG Columbus 2016 championship, each CS:GO Major Championship prize pool will be increased from $250,000 to $1,000,000.
As HLTV.org has pointed out, "the initially crowd-funded events have featured a $250,000 prize pool since their inception at the end of 2013, with 7 such tournaments having taken place so...
Speaking at the Vision Summit 2016, Joe Ludwig gave an overview of the SteamVR, OpenVR, and Unity VR APIs, and what power they bring to VR applications developers. I've gone ahead and basically done a transcription of his presentation in order to provide a document for future reference. I think this is important because Joe does outline some long-term goals of SteamVR and OpenVR, both very important sets of standards for the VR ecosystem.
In the spoiler tag below, you can find a video of Joe Ludwig's presentation, as well as my transcript. Some of the information is new, some is a refresher, but most of it is technical jargon, so you have been warned. Enjoy!
In the beginning of his presentation, Joe Ludwig first took some time to explain the differences between SteamVR and OpenVR.
SteamVR is considered to be the work that Valve is...
Following the reveal of the initial price point for the HTC Vive yesterday afternoon, this morning briefly saw Valve jump the gun by releasing the “SteamVR Performance Test” a little too early. The application is used to analyse a system’s CPU, GPU, and OS performance over the course of two minutes before providing the user with a report regarding how each component fared when compared to the recommended Vive technical specifications released yesterday.
The program was only publicly available for a short time on the Steam Store before being removed. As shown below, the test, running on Source 2, takes place in a cutdown and shortened version of the Aperture Robot Repair demo with lower visual fidelity, fixed camera angles, no interactivity, no sound effects, and very few of the “core” animated sequences, including the opening of the drawers and GLaDOS’ arrival.
While it certainly...
In an official press release from HTC earlier today, it was revealed the Vive virtual reality headset, created in partnership by Valve and HTC, will ship for $799 when it first arrives in early April 2016. When it is made available for pre-purchase in just a few days on February 29th 2016, the Vive will ship to consumers with two free VR-only games, including Job Simulator by Owlchemy Labs and Fantastic Contraption by Northway / Radial Games. As two of the highest quality and fully-fledged experiences available, these two games are definitely great additions to the pre-order bundle.
Although steep, this price point is actually not too unusual or unexpected when compared to the price of the...
While the TF2 Competitive Matchmaking Beta Steam group has been pretty quiet since its creation several weeks ago, that all changed this evening with a new post by Valve's John Schoenick (Steam name: Jill). The post outlines the team's enthusiasm for the upcoming beta before discussing how the slow, gradual expansion of the closed beta will progress. Users invited to the beta will receive an in-game item called the "Competitive Matchmaking Beta Pass", which will grant them access to the on-going and evolving beta program.
Users that meet the following conditions will be more eligible for a beta invite:
- Have either purchased a copy of Team Fortress 2 prior to June 23, 2011, or have made a purchase from the Mann Co. Store. (AKA premium accounts)
- Have Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator enabled.
- Have a phone number...
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