Developer Submissions To Add Steam Controller Support Now Open

Scam

Valve has opened submissions for developers to ask them for a Steam controller so they can make their game playable through one.

If you are interested to make your game playable via the Steam controller, there is an application that you need to fill first. This is for developers only so if you just want a normal Steam controller to play your games with then you will need to pre-order it from retailers or just wait till it’s officially released on November 10  for $49.99.

Tell us what you think of the Steam hardware in general and if they will offer a competition to consoles’ in terms of sales.

One App To Unite All PC Game Clients Coming This Fall

Project Ascension

Project Ascension

The app is called Project Ascension that aims to unify all other PC game clients including the business’ title holder, Steam and others like EA’s Origin and Ubisoft’s uPlay. Project Ascension is developed by 18 volunteer members and they are doing their best to launch a Beta phase of the app this Fall.

“Project Ascension is an open-source launcher made by the community, for the community. We are not attempting to replace any other pre-existing launchers or programs, such as Steam, Origin, uPlay, etc. We are promoting competition through the unification of multiple storefronts, ultimately making it better for you, the consumer.”

“Project Ascension is an open-source launcher and all of the in-development code is available for viewing and compiling at any time on our GitHub. An open-beta is scheduled to be held in Fall 2015, meaning everybody will be able to download a beta version of the launcher, test it, and report bugs.”

They also published a short video featuring how the UI looks and works so far.

I am excited to see this app published since it will make the lives of many PC gamers so much easier. Uniting all the game clients under one roof, as they put it, will save a lot of time and help gamers find the best deals on their desired game.

Tell us what you think of this app and if you will try it out when it launches.

Steam Machine, Steam Link and Steam Controller Pre-Orders Sold Out

Steam Machine

Steam Machine

Valve announced earlier this month their “get it early” preorders which promised you will get the Steam Machine , Steam Link, and Steam Controller earlier than the normal release date of November 10 by almost a month, on October 16. It was open for almost one week through certain retailers including GameStop, EB Games, Micromania and through Steam normally.

Steam Machines are PCs with console-like specs that have been produced by several well-known hardware developer such as Alienware, Asus, iBuyPower and Syber. All of them will run on SteamOS, a Linux variant which will limit the console’s games to only Linux supported games through Steam and it comes with a Steam Controller. The Steam Link is a streaming device used to stream games from your PC  onto the TV.

Now if you want to preorder your Steam Machine, you will have to do it normally through through Steam and wait till November 10 till you get it. The Steam Controller and the Steam Link, each costs $49 while the Steam Machine ranges from $449.99 to $749 as there is many variants with different specs for each.

So, are you ready to preorder this video game? Let you comment in the comments box below.

Valve Won’t Be Helping Scam Victims

Scam

Scam

Steam, Valve’s digital gaming platform, affirms that they won’t be helping people that have been victims of trade scam with recovering their stolen items, the reason being:

“Our community assigns an item a value that is at least partially determined by that item’s scarcity. If more copies of the item are added to the economy through inventory rollbacks, the value of every other instance of that item would be reduced,” explains Steam’s policy.

We sympathize with people who fall victim to scams, but we provide enough information on our website and within our trading system to help users make good trading decisions.”

So, you don’t really need to hurry that much about it – unless you’ve already been scammed -, as Steam provides to people a huge variety of options and advices that promise to help them in making future deals with other people that are interested in exchanging some valuable – or not that valuable – items.

In the end, is all up to us, Steam users, to avoid getting scammed.

Did you faced any scam issue? Do you mind sharing your experience in the comments box below?

Source: Steam Support

Interstellaria Gets a Release Date: July 17th, 2015

Interstellaria

Interstellaria

As if there weren’t already enough retro styled space simulators out there, out pops another. Coldrice Games just announced that the studio will be releasing Interstellaria for Steam on July 17th. The price? An attractive $9.99.

If you’ve never heard of this game before, don’t be surprised. Interstellaria is 2D space sim game that is deeply inspired by games like Starflight. Make no mistake about it, though. Even if your gut reaction might be to call this another FTL or Starbound clone, this game promises to carve its own name in the world.

Regardless of these claims, Interstellaria will feel familiar to players of the games mentioned above. Gameplay revolves around real-time space exploration and, as captain, you’ll find yourself deeply ingrained in the tasks of each crew member as you manage their day-to-day activities.

In exciting moments, you’ll direct crew to put out fires, fix hull leaks, and repair damaged systems. Stationing crew in various systems will also increase that station’s efficiency and output. During downtime, you’ll discover a very Sims-like experience since your crew will need to sleep, eat, and find entertainment. Over the course of the game you’ll also notice your crew start to develop traits based on the way you lead them, which can play significant roles in various outcomes of the video game.

There hasn’t been much said about combat and exploration. The prospect of controlling multiple ships, each with their unique crew, is certainly exciting. And the game touts that there are no limits ot the areas you can explore and the types of things you’ll be able to find, but all of this remains to be seen.

Interstellaria was originally kickstarted back in November 2013. It was then quickly greenlit on Steam the following February. Chucklefish got involved with the game as a publisher in March 2015. The development process has flown by despite the fact that there’s only one man behind it.

Feel free to check out the Steam page and the launch trailer for more info and media about the game.

Loose Impressions: The Masterplan

Masterplan

Picture this: You and your crew are driving through the wet and dreary streets of an unknown city in some rust bucket of a van. So are you thinking, what is the masterplan? On your last heist you picked up an advertisement for a minimart bragging that their prices were so low, you’d end up leaving with more money than you came with. And that’s exactly what you plan to do.

A bead of sweat rolls down your face as you pull up to the minimart because you heard the owner’s got an extensive security system and is packing heat. The quelling sound of the rain hitting the pavement does little to calm your nerves.

As you enter the convenience store your partner notices a secluded door in the back of the building that leads to the camera system. You see that the clerk monitors the cameras from the register, so you wait until the clerk leaves for the bathroom to run through the door, past the camera, and to the switch to turn off the cameras. So guys, we are going to reveal the masterplan.

At the same time your partner follows the clerk into the bathroom and holds him up. The clerk is too scared to notice that your partner is only packing a toy gun. On your way to the bathroom you run by the register, grab some cash, the clerk’s shotgun, and then you knock the clerk out. When he lands on the bathroom tile a key falls out of his pocket, which leads to another back room and a safe. Your partner breaks the safe with a safebuster, and the two of you make a mad dash back to the van to make a clean getaway.

This, my friends, is The Masterplan.

So, What’s the Masterplan?

the masterplan review 02

The organic excitement bred in the heist I described above is from one of the earlier missions in the game, but you actually start off breaking out of jail in one of the wonkiest tutorials I’ve experienced to date (mobile games aside).

You’re lead up to the tutorial with a little backstory about your character, Joey Green, who was an honest working man until the Nixon era did him in. Left unemployed, Joey is left to selling drugs because it’s the only way to make a living. After finding some initial success, Nixon fabricated a war on drugs and Joey ends up gunned down in cold blood by some crooked cops. Fortunately, Joey survives and wakes up in said jail cell where the game begins to teach the mechanics in the clumsiest way possible.

In the cell you learn the basics on how to control your character, but even more interesting, you’ll learn how your character can control others with intimidation. In the tutorial you’ll find a plastic gun with no ammo in a cake (a possible Portal reference) and you use this gun to force the only cop on duty into getting the key, unlocking your cell, and letting you escape.

The power of intimidation is one of the game’s most inspired mechanics and plays an integral role in every heist you’ll pull. Whether it’s using it just to lead your victim to their secluded death or forcing them to commit atrocities for you, there is no denying its effectiveness.

Oddly enough, it’s a mechanic that is incredibly flexible. Players can choose to just knock out bystanders, kill them, or simply manipulate them. Taking any of these paths will dramatically change the way a heist is pulled off, and can make seemingly easy heists become much more difficult.

Pulling off a perfect heist requires a lot of careful planning, however. You’ll usually have multiple objectives you need to hit and there are plenty of things to go wrong. Civilians are perhaps the most annoying variable in the game. They just come and go as they please and if they see anything suspicious then they run off to go call the cops.

Security guards and security cameras are other obstacles in your way, though they can be easy to deal with for the most part. Both have field of view cones, but you can be spotted by a security camera and be totally fine if no one is there watching it. And even if there is someone then you’ll have a few seconds to get out of the cone before they become suspicious and check things out. Security guards on their own will ignore you until they find you somewhere you aren’t supposed to be or they catch you doing something illegal.

 

Difficult by Design

the masterplan review 03

To be frank, most of the game’s difficulty lies in its level design. Dealing with guards and security cameras are simple until the level is arranged in a way that you’re forced to deal with them in uncomfortable or high pressure scenarios.

Most of the people in each level have their own patterns of behavior which creates opportunities to pull off fun things. Knocking people out while they’re on the can is always a favorite of mine. But the game can be a bit frustrating when there is a maze of masterplan corridors and each door seems to be locked by a different color key. So, while I mostly enjoy each heist’s layout, I also find myself wanting to turn the game off when it seems like I’m going to have to painstakingly crawl my way through a dungeon of locked doors and security cameras.

 

Wrapping Up

 

To be honest, I thought this game was going to be a lot like Monaco, but I’m pleasantly surprised to report that it plays more like SWAT 4 or Door Kickers. So you know about our masterplan? The art design will undoubtedly be hit or miss for a lot of players. I personally thought the characters looked like blown up sprites from GTA II, and the art style really kind of fits the game’s overall presentation. Everything is a little bit cheeky and fun — even when the game’s not. The not fun parts are far and few between, though.

Everything about the game feels really organic. New heists are unlocked by finding memos of interesting places littered about the world, guns are unlocked by finding suppliers, and you can hire fresh blood by choosing from a pool of potential candidates. Even the heists feel like the NPCs have their own routines and you’re just there to mess it all up.

I did find some of the controls to be clunky. For instance, picking up items on the ground requires a right click which is the same button to open your character’s inventory screen. So when your character is standing on top of items you’re trying to pick up then it always prioritizes the inventory action over the pick up action. Fortunately, these are minor issues at best.

The Masterplan retails for $19.99 on Steam, and while I haven’t played through the game fully yet, I absolutely love what’s here. Players that like methodical games where you have to manage multiple team members to solve what is essentially a glorified puzzle will really like the game. For those of you still on the fence, wait for a sale.

Paid Mods Come To Steam

Steam

Valve has just announced that modders will be able to charge for their work on the Steam Workshop. They’re starting with Skyrim for now, with more games set to follow.

Steam has been keen on creating new ways for creators to earn revenue for their content, and while this may seem to be just another step along the way, it’s got a lot of people concerned. And while it’s fairly common for modders to ask for donations, having paid content will no doubt dramatically change the modding community.

Some are hopeful that the change will help grow the modding world, while others worry it will kill it off entirely. There’s a laundry list of problems Steam will need to work around. For one thing, there are already reports of mods, formerly available for free on Nexus Mods, now appearing on the Steam Workshop with a price tag. There are also reports of mods being uploaded to the Workshop by pirates looking to make money off other people’s work.

Valve has already responded to some of these problems. One of the rules for the paid mods will be that new additions to the store must first be available for free before they will be allowed to be sold. The purpose of this rule is to give the community the chance to find any content that’s been stolen and report it.

There is now a paid section on the Skyrim page of the Steam Workshop. On the Steam site, Valve wrote, “Bethesda Game Studios has a history of providing strong support for user modifications in their games. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has continued that tradition, adding a comprehensive editor and integration with the Steam Workshop back in 2012.”

Modders will be able to choose what price they will set for their mods, with a portion of their revenue going to the developer of the game. That portion will be different for each game as it will be set by the individual developers or publishers. But as far as Skyrim goes, there is already a mountain of free content on Nexus Mods. I recommend you go there now to get your hands on whatever you can find while it’s still free.

Valve To Partner With HTC On Virtual Reality Project

HTC

HTC has announced they will partner with Valve to create a new Virtual Reality headset, which they’re calling Vive. The announcement came after Valve dropped hints that it would reveal a new VR project at the Game Developers’ Conference (GDC) last week.

The Vive will compete with other VR devices like the Oculus Rift, which is owned by Facebook. Although the Oculus Rift has the lead in the VR market right now, the Vive promises to be far more ambitious. It will have a mind-boggling refresh rate of 90 hertz, a 1200×1080 screen in front of each eye, and will feature “photorealistic imagery that fills your field of vision in all directions.” But the most interesting thing about the Vive is that you’ll be able to move around in it. The headset will be able to track its wearer’s position as they move around in a space of up to 15 by 15 feet, which means players will be able to actually walk around inside their virtual world.

The Vive also boasts a gyrosensor, accelerometer, and laser position sensor, which apparently will be able to track the rotation of its wearer’s head with an accuracy of 1/10th of a degree. Players will also be able to use specialised hand controllers, also with motion tracking sensors, so that the position of their hands will also be simulated in the virtual world.

Valve has been looking to delve into the hardware market for some time, with the company demonstrating prototype VR headsets last year. Early users reported impressive results for the prototype. In 2013 they announced Steam controllers as well as touchpad controllers, but they have both been delayed. Perhaps Valve’s difficulty with bringing its big hardware ideas to reality is why it chose to partner with an established company like HTC on this project.

Along with the reveal of the Vive, HTC also listed some of its content partners, including HBO, Lionsgate, Google, Cloudhead Games, and Dovetail Games.

One of the major problems that has long plagued other VR headsets, such as the Oculus Rift, is the motion-sickness people often experience while using the hardware. It’s such a big problem that it’s been given its own name – “simulator sickness”. On their site, HTC said the Vive will “eliminate the jitter common to previous VR technologies.”

In another sign of the ambitiousness of the project, HTC plans to have the Vive in stores in time for Christmas this year. That’s less than nine months. And they’re promising developer editions for Spring 2015, with an order form for developers already set up on the Steam site, with Steam offering up to two demo Vives per developer.

Steam will release more information about the Vive at the GDC in San Francisco later this month.

Hatred Should Not Have Been Rated Based On Its Trailer

Hatred

If you spend much time on Youtube, you’re probably familiar with Honest Trailers – a series that creates trailers that actually tell the truth about the movie or game they’re advertising, often with hilarious results. The movie series is on the Screen Junkies channel and the game series is on Smosh Games. The trailers have called 5 Nights At Freddy’s 2 “the pre-sequel that thinks being more complicated equals being more scary,” Skyrim “the game that makes you forget to eat, sleep, and make friends because you’re too busy eating, sleeping, and making friends,” and The Last Of Us a game “so bleak, it makes Killzone look like Kingdom Hearts.”

Not to mention calling Thor a movie “that’s just kinda… ehh…I guess they did the best they could adapting a comic book about a bratty space god.” It’s doubtful that’s the sentiment Marvel’s real trailer for Thor conveyed. The point of all this is that if there’s anything we can learn from the Honest Trailers series, it’s that real trailers aren’t always truthful about the game or movie they’re advertising. That’s where Hatred comes in. The game itself looks horrible, but then that’s a separate discussion. Hatred was recently slapped with an Adults-Only (AO) rating by the ESRB, the ratings authority for the US and Canada. The rating will mean the game will struggle to sell, with major retailers such as Walmart and Target refusing to stock such games. It also rules out a console version of the game with Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony all refusing to release AO titles on their consoles. The AO rating is so harsh that Hatred is only the second game in history to carry it (it would have been the third, with Thrill Kill set to be rated AO before its release was cancelled after EA bought the developer).

The strange thing about all of this is that Hatred isn’t even finished yet. The game itself does not yet exist, and yet it somehow already has a rating. That’s because the ESRB based its rating for Hatred on the game’s trailer, which seems frankly bizarre. Trailers are advertisements, and if you’ve ever looked at the picture of a McDonalds cheeseburger on the billboard and compared it to the messy slop served to you by the bored teenager behind the counter, you’ll know advertisements don’t exist for the purpose of honestly portraying a product. They exist to make people buy it.

Hatred has already courted plenty of public attention after its bumpy experience in Steam Greenlight. Valve removed the game from Greenlight based on its description. If you don’t already know, in the game the player assumes the role of a homicidal maniac bent on wiping out “human worms.” A few days later Gabe Newell himself allowed it back onto Greenlight, but by then the game’s removal had already caused quite a stir. The game was quickly Greenlit after that and now has its own page on the Steam store, though it cannot be preordered yet. So when it was time to make a trailer, with the game already basking in some notoriety due to its violent nature, what would the developers see as the logical way to sell the game? Of course, they would capitalize on that notoriety and create a trailer that focused on the game’s most violent aspects. But does that necessarily reflect the entire game? I would argue not.

Even if Hatred does turn out to be every bit as gruesome as the trailer suggests (and it likely will), the ESRB can’t possibly know that until they have an actual copy of the game in their hands. PEGI, the European ratings authority, has taken a more sensible approach by staying quiet about Hatred until they are able to look at the game itself. In an interview with PCGamesN, Dirk Bosmans from PEGI said about the trailer, “Destructive Creations were aiming for shock and indignation and it was a marketing ploy that worked well.” He’s not wrong – the trailer has caused a new stir that’s working well at keeping Hatred in the press.

All indications about Hatred point to the game being just as violent as the trailer suggests – violence is, after all, the core goal of the game. Even so, the ESRB has been hasty. It’s a terrible idea to assign a rating to anything based on what is essentially an ad. The board should always wait to have a copy of the game in their hands before they judge it, even a game like Hatred.