Because it makes no sense to employ level designers, artists, etc. to sit on their hands all day.
For all Valve is diversifying, they still have a large number of people on board who are really good at making games. Having them not make games would be crazy.
It's called Courgette, and it is indeed pretty awesome.
Doesn't need source code, though; it works by doing a disassembly of the compiled executable. It'd be a smart idea if Valve incorporated this algorithm, as it...
Worst case scenario, I imagine, is Valve give Australia the neutered version they normally give Germany.
I don't know what changes they make to L4D, but I know in TF2 they have things like the blood is turned black, gibs become random objects like springs, rubber ducks, etc.
I'd use the incredible benefits of time-travel computation (see http://www.frc.ri.cmu.edu/~hpm/project.archive/general.articles/1991/TempComp.html) to build myself the world's best gaming computer, and use it to play L4D, L4D2, TF2 and Episode 3 at absurdly high framerates.
Have to say I'm glad they've made that change. If the melee weapon replaces your standard weapon, it just places them into the penalty box rather than the fun box.
I imagine they'll let you swing at zombies' legs with the melee weapon. Maybe. The incapped pistol was always hilariously...
TrueSkill is really interesting, as it turns out. It came out of Microsoft Research, and it's actually better than something like ELO. It keeps track of both how good it thinks you are, and the level of uncertainty it has about your skill.
When you start, it's very uncertain about your skill...
It's interesting how they're trying to turn game design into an exact science, and apparently succeeding.
The scary thing is that no doubt L4D is generating huge amounts of statistical data that Valve is using to monitor how the game is actually playing out there in the real world.
Depending on what retail product you buy, there will be different sized updates required.
Buying the Orange Box, you'd need no updates for HL2 at all, and probably not for Episode One either.
Episode Two and Portal would need some fairly small engine updates, and TF2 would need pretty huge...
You know, to get Steam HL, you just need to enter your original HL CD-Key into Steam.
Unless your game packaging has gone totally AWOL, you should be able to get it. Heck, I think the CD-Key gets stored somewhere in the registry anyway.
Compared to the Medic acheivements, none of them make you do anything really, really stupid (like ubering a Heavy, and having him go forth and punch things) while most of them encourage good team-play (like, stand on the point and set every single everyone capturing it on fire!).