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We may have skipped releasing an episode last week due to the annual mid-April news drought, but the same cannot be said for this week - with interesting new headlines for both Valve's biggest games and Steam! Is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's classic map Inferno about to be remade, what effect will the changes of 6.87 have on Dota 2, and is Steam about to enter the digital film market in a big way? Come find out in this week's News Round-Up!
We should be able to return to a normal video schedule from now on, so don't forget to...
After several weeks of speculation about the community, this evening finally saw Valve announce "6.87", the latest balance patch for Dota 2. Like most balance patches, the update focuses on finely tweaking the gameplay experience of Dota 2 with both small and large brush strokes, changing values by decimal places or introducing totally new items and abilities. We won't be going over most of the contents of the changelog here as there's way too much to cover, but here are a few of the highlights!
A total of 7 new items have been added to the game with this patch, a number of which feature as end-game combinations or early game components for existing items. They include Bloodthorn, the game's most expensive item which features as a combination between...
While the release of traditional films onto Steam has been a slow and inconsistent trickle since the functionality was introduced with Valve's own Free To Play Dota 2 documentary back in 2014, things should start speeding up considerably thanks to a new partnership announced today via a press release. The partnership is between Valve and Lionsgate, the Canadian-American entertainment giant, which will see "over 100" feature films made available on Steam over an undisclosed period of time.
The press release references The Hunger Games, Twilight, Saw, and the Divergent franchises as a few examples of the blockbuster series which should soon hit the platform. As you would expect, more titles will also be added in the future as their long term partnership continues, with...
The first update to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in a month has introduced a small number of minor changes, the largest of which hints at a continuing trend. Following the release of an overhauled Nuke back in February, the map has been added to the Active Duty map group, allowing it to be played both in competitive matchmaking and professional tournaments, starting at ESL One Cologne 2016 in July. It replaces classic map Inferno, which has instead been moved to the Reserves map group.
While this may not seem particularly important at face value, the last two classic maps to be relegated to the Reserve pool were later re-released by Valve with all new visuals, overhauled layouts, and a subsequent resurgence in the competitive scene. This...
In an overdue Round-Up episode, we're taking a look at the recent announcement of "The Mayann Project" community update for Team Fortress 2, the launch of the HTC Vive and The Lab, and the first details for The International 2016 Dota 2 tournament! We're also recapping some of own content, some of which may or may not be real...
To stay up to date with all the latest news regarding Valve, don't forget to...
While not an official update just yet, Facepunch user JPRAS (creator of a massive number of cosmetic items and content) has today announced "The Mayann Project", the latest in a Mann-related series of puns and the most recent community update for Team Fortress 2. Unlike previous community updates, which have remained relatively secret to a private group of individuals prior to being presented to Valve, the Mayann Project is unique in that it is currently a work-in-progress looking for community support. As you probably figured from the project's name, this update is looking to be themed around "the...
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...
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