bit-tech.net

Archive for the ‘valve’ tag

Should we be concerned about the state of Steam?

Posted on 9th May 2014 at 08:58 by Rick Lane with 27 comments

Rick Lane
Earlier this week the post-apocalypse FPS Earth: Year 2066 was withdrawn from sale on Steam. The game had come under fire from fans and journalists alike on account of being severely underdeveloped even for an Early Access title, and misleading players about its rudimentary and broken state on the product page. This came to a head on the sixth of May when Valve dubbed the game a scam and removed all mention of it from the service.

Earth: Year 2066 isn't the only steaming plate of rubbish served to players through Steam lately. This has been highlighted by Escapist Reviews Editor Jim Sterling, who has spent the past few months slowly shovelling his way through the mounting pile of excrement which alongside 2066 include the likes of Overcast: Walden and the Werewolf, the multiplayer FPS Rekoil, and Day One: Garry's Incident. All as part of an effort to demonstrate that Steam needs better quality control.

Read more

DOTA 2: Back in the saddle

Posted on 16th Oct 2012 at 08:10 by Harry Butler with 38 comments

Harry Butler
Valve’s endlessly-in-beta-might be-released-soon-pro-gamer-trap DOTA 2 is game that’s intrigued me, along with its whole genre, since its announcement. I played the game a lot back when it was a Warcraft 3 mod, but hadn't picked up a creep wave in anger for years. Today I finally had a bash at DOTA 2 and amazingly found a game that was just as engaging as it ever was. Even if I didn't really know what I was doing.

Read more

Thoughts on Expansion Packs

Posted on 9th Oct 2010 at 08:36 by Joe Martin with 36 comments

Joe Martin
I completed Half-Life: Blue Shift for the first time last night and, I have to say, I was enormously disappointed with it. I’d heard it was supposed to be the worst Half-Life game by far – something which had put me off playing it until recently, when I picked it up on a whim, but even I wasn’t expecting it to be so totally…bland. It was too short, too easy and enormously lacking in character. It took me three or four hours to complete, during which I died once and didn’t get to see anything in the way of new monsters or weapons.

Compare that to Half-Life: Opposing Force, which I still maintain is the perfect expansion pack even in spite of the silly end-boss. Opposing Force has plenty of new content, including an entirely new race of aliens that have never been officially explained within the Half-Life canon. Plus, it has the barnacle gun. It’s a fantastic expansion pack.

What really makes Opposing Force better than Blue Shift though isn’t just the new guns and baddies, but the fact that it has a personality of it’s own which, while it draws on Half-Life, feels entirely distinct. Like the original Half-Life, both expansions open with the player sat in a moving vehicle, but where Blue Shift merely apes HL’s train ride Opposing Force differs in every possible way. HL opens with the start of the story, deep underground, with a sedate and lonely pace; Opposing Force’s Adrian Shepherd is in a helicopter with the rest of his squad, entering the plot at the half-way point in a rather dramatic fashion.

Read more

Valve claims Steam is five times more stable on Mac

Posted on 26th May 2010 at 13:45 by Alex Watson with 74 comments

Alex Watson
Now I have to be careful handling this claim, because it's dangerous stuff - we're talking weapons grade flamebait here. We're way past UN inspectors; if Dubya was still president, I'd be looking for a cave to hide in and thinking every shadow in the sky was a fleet of Apaches coming to blow me to kingdom come.

Valve, PC gaming's last, best hope, recently made the claim that for its software, "the Mac is five times more stable than Windows," in terms of minutes played versus number of crashes.

It's not just some Valve underling saying this, either - it's Gabe Newell himself, in a US podcast called The Conversation.

Read more

Valve looking to OpenGL means Microsoft should be worried

Posted on 15th Mar 2010 at 10:09 by Alex Watson with 23 comments

Alex Watson
Valve has been on a bit of a roll recently, with its beautifully executed Portal mystery and smart re-working of Apple adverts to announce Steam coming to Mac OS X.

The approachable, inclusive nature of Valve’s marketing – and the thoughtfulness of features such as SteamCloud, where you won’t need to repurchase games – means gamers love the company, but we shouldn’t be blind to the interesting political movements that Valve’s recent actions hint at.

Read more

Why Software Companies Should Slash Their Prices

Posted on 4th Feb 2010 at 11:09 by Antony Leather with 26 comments

Antony Leather
Value. It’s a funny word, and never more so when applied to the IT industry. In fact it’s so tricky to place in this fast-moving online world that it’s usually only spoken of as “perceived” value and that’s about as accurate as we can get. Saying a piece of software - be it a game or operating system - is good value is even more of a convoluted statement.

How do you compare one piece of software to another? Features? Price? The space it takes up on your hard drive? How would you predict how well a product might sell and factor that into the pricing?

For most of us it comes down to cold hard cash and whether we can find something that’s as good or better, for less, or even for free. However, only a handful of companies have grasped the fact that if you lower the price of software enough, sales will skyrocket so high, they’ll make many times more profit than if they priced it twice as much, however popular the software may be.

Read more

Gaming Podcast 9 - AvP, Heavy Rain and Hellgate

Posted on 19th Jan 2010 at 16:05 by Podcast with 13 comments

Podcast
The colossus which is the bit-tech gaming podcast may be slow to wake after the excitement of new year, but when it gets going then there's little that will stop it!

Which is our lame way of saying that we're sorry the first podcast of 2010 is a bit late, but that we hope it's exciting enough to make up for it. It should be anyway, with discussion covering all the games we're looking forward to next year, the merits and flaws of Steam and a whole batch of reader mail.

There's also a story that Harry tells about Joe which is totally made up and which nobody should listen to or believe. Says Joe.

On top of that we've got the usual Guess The Screenshot competition - though it's not the only competition we have on bit-tech at the moment by a long way. Check out the Competitions Hub for more chances to win prizes.

Use the links below to listen to the podcast and be sure to subscribe in iTunes to make sure you don't miss any future casts! Oh, and let us know your thoughts in the forums.

Read more

Left 4 Dead Survival Mode and new stats system

Posted on 11th May 2009 at 11:15 by Antony Leather with 8 comments

Antony Leather
Part of the reason some individuals get slightly hot-headed online is teamwork, or lack of it. In Left 4 Dead, this primarily involves staying together and helping team mates that have been pounced by hunters or tongued by smokers. If you stray too far ahead or don’t keep up, you’ll usually end up dead and will be pretty unpopular with your team mates.

It could be argued that if you want to take the game this seriously, you should join a clan instead of endlessly calling people noobs and hurling other insults at strangers who are just on for a bit of zombie bashing fun. However, there has been quite a shift in gameplay following the release of the new survival mode update on 21st April which has, if anything, made working as a team even more rewarding and might just change things for the better.

Read more

The Downside to Digital Distribution

Posted on 30th Apr 2009 at 10:27 by Antony Leather with 22 comments

Antony Leather
Joe and Clive both wrote about digital distribution recently. In fact, this was actually going to be a post solely dedicated to the new survival mode in Left 4 Dead, however seeing as the game has developed some gremlins and I can now barely run the game at all, my enthusiasm has waned somewhat.

Read more

Is iTunes the best for digital distribution?

Posted on 22nd Apr 2009 at 09:07 by Clive Webster with 17 comments

Clive Webster
Yesterday Joe wrote a story about iTunes being the best digital distribution system. How laughable - as if iTunes can rival Steam!

True, Steam has its flaws. I re-installed Windows over the weekend and tried to move my save games - why I had to do this manually despite asking Steam to backup all game data I don't really know. It saw me trawling through forums and FAQs to find out where the hell Empire: Total War kept its save games. They were in the always useful, hidden folder C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\The Creative Assembly\Save_games (or the weird Roaming folder if you're using Vista). Useful.

Read more

Meet the new Caseking Selective Fire systems by der8auer

Meet the new Caseking Selective Fire systems by der8auer

Germany's no. 1 overclocker, der8auer, has designed three awesome systems...
Mod of the Month October 2014 in association with Corsair

Mod of the Month October 2014 in association with Corsair

Six up and coming modding projects straight from our forum

Browse articles by company