Tip of the Hats, the annual charity stream run by the community of popular first-person shooter Team Fortress 2, is already off to a great start with well over $125,000 raised for the One Step Camp charity. Since its founding in 2013 by Sean “seanbud” Stradley, Tip of the Hats gathers several notable TF2 players every year for a full weekend of streaming various events and raffles all to raise money for One Step Camp, a non-profit charity organization that raises money to send children with cancer to camp. Events for the stream include 6v6 competitive matches, 1-on-1 duels, surf and jump maps, and chances to play the game on-stream alongside popular Youtubers like Star_, Jerma985, and tagg.
Even before broadcasting had started this year, donators had already sent the campaign a cumulative $30,000. In the first eight hours of the broadcast, Tip of the Hats had broken its personal record of $108,000 set last year. At the time of writing, this year’s campaign has raised exactly $129,664 and there are still 24 hours left to go. If you want to help contribute to the Tip of the Hats campaign, you can check out their stream at tipofthehats.org or on their Twitch channel where they’ll be streaming all throughout Sunday, September 20th. They accept either cash donations or in-game items for Team Fortress 2 or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive that they can then raffle off. Donating at least $20 over the course of the campaign will get you an exclusive TF2 cosmetic item, the Jaunty Pin.
Valve, the company behind the much acclaimed Steam Online Store, have very recently announced a portable console that is due to run the Steam OS and have the capability to play a big variety of Steam games. The console is named Smach Zero, but you might also call it Steamboy.
The specs currently stand as :
4 GB of RAM and from 32 GB of internal storage, the screen will be touch and will run the games at 720p and have HDMI output.
Earlier this year it was announced that the Smach Zero’s CPU will be an AMD embedded G-Series SoC ‘Steppe Eagle’ with Jaguar-based CPU and GCN-based Radeon graphics.
It’s very clear that a great number of games won’t be available for the Steamboy, but it has been confirmed on a promotional vídeo that the console will support over 1000 games.
Until now, not much information has been released but the fact that it will cost299€ in Europe, and $299 in North America.
Gun Mettle is the most recent update in the 2007’s wacky First Person Shooter Team Fortress 2.
This update is bringing a whole new package of skins – 4 in total – 4 maps, 3 new taunts, and most importantly, the Gun mettle Campaign.
This campaign will only be available for three months, during an event that will allow players to complete a set of skill-based challenges that will unlock a selection of rare weapons and/or weapons cases. But to be able to participate in this event, you’ll need to buy the Gun Mettle Campaign Pass.
This DLC will bring Borne, a jungle themed map; Powerhouse, a “three-point CP map.”; Snowplow which is a control point map; and Suijin, that is another King of the Hill map with Japanese theme .
Missing textures, stuttering lag, and even command errors seem to be causing some bad briefing from Team Fortress’ players, which lead them to consider the game unplayable at the moment, even though Valve warn that mistakes and errors were to be expected in such an early stage.
So, do you consider the fact that Valve is publishing what they consider to be “material that was to be expected to be wrong” a bad thing? Or do you rather believe that having new content is always the most important? Please be sure to tell us in the comments!
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.
Nothing makes a game more enthralling than a blessing of a character stealing the spotlight. A game could have mesmerizing visuals, flawless gameplay but without a the appearance of a captivating character a game will never truly get the attention it aspires to have. Over the years, developers have presented us with countless fictitious wonders which leaves us wondering, which are the greatest. Well, here I will try to narrow down that mass of heroes, heroines and villains into a top 10.
10. Spyro The Dragon – Spyro Series (Insomniac Games, Vicarious Visions, Traveller’s Tales etc.)
”Yeah, whatever. You’re not so much of a challenge, I’m sure I can do it again.” – A Hero’s Tail (2004)
Spyro has been a long-loved video game character. Over a number of series there has been significant changes to his personality, none of which causing him to be any less of a lovable character. Spyro initially adopted a more cocky and hard-headed personality, winning players over with his witty and sarcastic sense of humour. However, in the reboot that took to the screens in 2006 , Spyro being portrayed as an orphan revealed a more sensitive side to his character, all the while still possessing his fine sense of humour. All of this made this purple dragon that much more of a great character.
Spyro’s relationship with Sparx, his dragonfly companion has always been a significant factor to the series, even more so in The Legend of Spyro in which the two become brothers upon Spyro’s adoption. The witty relationship between the pair evolved into a more brotherly one in The Legend of Spyro series, making the previous banter between the pair become more like bickering between siblings. This reflects exceptionally well on Spyro, making him appear more down to earth and allowing the players with annoying siblings to at least empathise in some respect – as far as relating to purple dragons go. The Legend of Spyro series really placed considerable focus on Spyro’s relationship with other characters aside from his dragonfly buddy and in doing so, Spyro has won over audiences further by taunting their heart strings.
Spyro has been a diverse character over generations. Whether you’re enjoying his endearing sense of humour in his more retro installments or brimming with sympathy as you play The Legend of Spyro series, the simple fact remains that this 4-legged bundle of joy will never cease to put at least a smirk on the players face and that is why he slots so easily into this top 10.
9. Sly Cooper – Sly Cooper Series (Suckerpunch Productions, Sanzaru Games)
”The name’s Sly. Sly Cooper. And I’m a thief, from a whole line of thieves. In fact, thieving is the family business, and business was good.” – Thieves In Time (2013)
Sly Cooper is what can only be described as the better of two evils throughout this series of games. Technically speaking, Sly is a bad guy, a thief, stealing an array of expensive goodies to profit himself and his gang. However, within the series, his initially selfish intentions always turn to defeating competing thieves with more sinister intentions and in becoming an unlikely – and unintentional hero, Sly manages to attain the love of players and also sneak his way into this top 10.
Straight off the mark players are enlightened as to Sly’s sad past of having his also thieving parents murdered and becoming orphaned as a result. This imposes a fundamental line of sympathy which proceeds to make every crime Sly commits acceptable to the player. Further love for this character is then derived from his loyalty to his two orphaned buddies, Bentley (a brainy tortoise) and Murray (a brawny, pink hippo). The trio began their thieving fellowship at the orphanage in which they all met. From then they had considered themselves family and Sly protects them like they are so. Sly has a killer sense of humour. This usually becomes more prominent to his personality when he is trying his luck with opposing cop Carmelita fox. Despite the obivous attraction between the two, Sly gets a kick out of tormenting her and well just generally making her work-driven lifestyle difficult to say the least. It really shines light on Sly’s winsome and charming personality.
Sly Cooper is a fine example of great development. He is sly as his name states, funny, loyal and truly captivating as a lead character, so much so that we forget in some respects he is actually the bad guy.
8. Vass – Far Cry Series (Ubisoft Montreal)
”Did I ever tell you what the definition of insanity is?” – Far Cry 3 (2012)
This savage nutter of a villain would be out of place if not in this top 10. Vaas Montenegro dominates the tropical setting (Rook Islands) of Far Cry 3 with his pirate troops. He is a mindless lunatic who doesn’t show the slightest bit of remorse for getting blood on his hands.
Within the first few minutes of gameplay, Vaas brutally murders the brother of protagonist, Jason Brody and in doing so sets the tone for the game, quite gruesomely displaying how barbaric this pirate lord truly is. This lack of guilt or regret for such evil acts makes Vaas a genuinely frightening villain as the reality is he will stop at nothing to get what he wants and as Far Cry 3’s proceedings play out, this becomes increasingly evident. Far Cry’s 3’s setting also contributes in a way which is not immediately noticeable. The Rook Islands are unpredictable and overwhelmed with danger and it really acts as a representation of Vaas’s personality. All in all the player will learn that despite the initial beauty of the vibrant tropical island, that they shouldn’t underestimate it, nor Vaas’s villainy.
Vaas is such a well developed character on Ubisoft’s part. Players will find themselves completely hooked on his sheer nastiness and no matter how many innocent people he slaughters, or shockingly horrid offences he commands, the player will remain just as disturbed each time.
7. Dr Nefarious – Ratchet And Clank Series (Insomniac Games)
”When I’m finished killing you, I think I’ll rewind time so I can do it again, and again, and again!” – Ratchet And Clank: A Crack In Time (2009)
Dr. Nefarious is the most renowned antagonist of the Ratchet And Clank series, he is power-hungry, dastardly and well, pretty comical. Nefarious’s intentions to rid the galaxy of organic life, leaving it to all robots always fall light-years short and leave him looking like a right royal nincompoop.
Dr. Nefarious isn’t a great character because of his evil acts, he is so because he’s absolutely hilarious. On top of all the drastic failure to his poorly planned atrocities, he has nasty habit of freezing and playing particular parts from his favourite films (Holovids). On many occasions he will lock up mid-scream, laugh or sentence and recite ”Oh, Janice”. Furthermore, Nefarious’s right hand man Lawrence is a complete moron and Nefarious rarely tolerates it. The witty master-slave insults are so well written and it truly makes Dr. Nefarious a great character to watch. He is just a lovable moron and the player will almost feel sorry for him despite his evilness.
Dr. Nefarious is a terrible villain. He can’t pull off anything remotely evil but it doesn’t deprive him of of place in this top 10.
6. GLaDOS- Portal Series (Valve Corporation)
”Here we are. The Incinerator Room. Be careful not to trip over any parts of me that didn’t get completely burned when you threw them down here.” – Portal 2 (2011)
GLaDOS is a great robotic video game character with a wickedly sinister sense of humour. She is one of the reasons the Portal series is so thoroughly indulgent.
Portal is driven by what can only be described as a very dark yet humorous story line, this is relfected on GLaDOS’s personality considering she spends the series more or less torturing Chell, the protagonist. As GLaDOS tests, Chell throughout the game within the puzzling chambers it is evident that her sick sense of humour has no boundaries. Within the second installment to the series she pretends to reunite Chell with her family, finding her own misleading lie hilarious. Although funny, her menacing behavior can be disconcerting and uncomfortable. Her ability to generate such feelings with ease is what makes her such a great character. Throughout GLaDOS’s endeavors, it is apparent she is a bit of a nut job and can at times be very scary. Her evil is seemingly unconfined to any boundaries and she has no trace of humanity. Her bad ways have no limits and it is very effective in making her a character to be feared.
Artificial intelligence can be frightening in respect to it possesses most human capabilities, lacking only the key element of emotion and empathy. GLaDOS is an ample example of this and you’ll be grateful it is you being tested as opposed to testing her and her patience.
5. Ratchet – Ratchet And Clank Series (Insomniac Games)
“So, you need me to go on a dangerous mission in another galaxy?” – Ratchet And Clank 2 (2003)
This furry cutie pie without a doubt earns his way into this top 10. Since 2002, this loyal Lombax has been stealing our hearts with his courage, sass and his truly touching friendship with his metal companion, Clank. Initially Ratchet didn’t have much of a back-story, he was simply a galactic citizen eager for a little action and adventure. However, as gaming generations progressed, Insomniac Games began to provide more insight into Ratchet’s origins, mainly in The Future Ratchet And Clank installments. This made Ratchet all the more lovable as it brought his headstrong persona back down to earth and pretty much gave him feelings. He was no longer just reckless, resilient and determined to get the bad guys, he had a purpose, something to fight for.
Ratchet’s relationship with Clank is incredibly significant to what makes him such a lovable protagonist. Not only is the back and forth banter between the pair thoroughly amusing, but the two were truly developed to bounce off of one another, compliment one another and ultimately it puts Ratchet in such a heart-warming light. He is portrayed as such a loyal and protective friend and it makes him such an endearing character that is impossible not to adore. Ratchet simply grows on you.
Heroes don’t have to be overwhelmingly muscular or almost superhuman, they can win us over in any shape, size or form and Ratchet is a fine display of just that.
4. Lightning Farron – Final Fantasy Series (Square Enix)
”You became a l’Cie, so now you’re gonna marry this idiot? And you think I’m gonna buy that. Full points for originality. But, don’t forget. If you really are a l’Cie, it’s my job to deal with you.” – Final Fantasy XIII (2009)
Lightning is a very complex character and she makes the top 10 on account of it. Initially, Lightning appears to be the hardy type and due to a rough childhood and having to raise her sister by herself, she has every reason to be so. However, the beauty in Lightning isn’t just her striking appearance but the fact she is so much more than just a hard-nut and when Final Fantasy’s proceedings pick apart that tough exterior, inside hides a young girl mourning the loss of her parents, just wanting to be loved.
A key element to Lightning’s character is her relationship with her sister, Serah. Due to the death of their parents, Lightning took it upon herself to raise Serah from a young age, a burden no one would wish upon a child so young. This being the case, Lightning often forgets she is her sister and more or less mothers her. This does subsequently affect their relationship a lot of the time, for instance when Snow (another playable character within Final Fantasy) proposes to Serah who agrees, Lightning treats the situation as mother would by forbidding it and deeming it preposterous whereas a sister would be more excited and encourage the relationship between the pair. Lightning is incredibly over protective and it makes her such a lovable character not only because she’d do anything for her little sister but also because the player will grow to pity her on account of the childhood she has missed.
Lightning’s sturdy and emotionless facade deteriorates as the game progresses and the player will grow to love Lightning increasingly as her more sentimental side is revealed.
3. Elizabeth Comstock – Bioshock series (2K Games)
”Time… time rots everything; even hope.” – Bioshock Infinite (2013)
Elizabeth Comstock, one of the leading roles in Bioshock Infinite is a character that will win over players within moments of meeting her. She possesses innocence, power and the player will no doubt be incredibly sympathetic for this very confused young girl.
Elizabeth has spent the entirety of her days confined to a tower, learning only of humanity and civilisation through a means of books. When Booker (protagonist also known as the False Shepard) finally rescues Elizabeth from her solitude in order to wipe away his debt, Elizabeth is introduced to the world for real. Her shock as she’s people dancing to music she hasn’t heard before, citizens of Columbia conversing with one another and the apparent beauty of the world in which she lives, it all contributes into putting into perspective her innocence and how she truly knows so little of the world. Elizabeth is vulnerable and depends on Booker, the player will no doubt grow protective over her and love her character accordingly. In the downloadable content for Bioshock Infinite (Burial At Sea) in which the protagonists revisit the setting of the previous installments to the series, Rapture, we see a different side to Elizabeth altogether. Over the duration of the proceedings of Bioshock Infinite, Elizabeth became stronger, more aware, however, in Burial at see she has developed even further becoming driven, confident and not nearly comparable to the fragile young lady that was rescued at the near beginning of Bioshock Infinite. She is still an amazing character nonetheless and the player will still strive to love her as they did before.
Elizabeth is a wonderful addition to Bioshock Infinite. She is so strong and confident yet oblivious and vulnerable all the same. She is a thoroughly lovely character not only throughout the game itself but also throughout it’s outstanding downloadable content.
2. Joel – The Last Of Us (Naughty Dog)
”I struggled for a long time with survivin’. And you- No matter what, you keep finding something to fight for. Now, I know that’s not what you want to hear right now, but it’s…” – The Last Of Us (2013)
Joel is one of the best male protagonists to date and the player will adore his every action and hand on his every word from the start right to the end of The Last Of Us.
Joel seizes admirers from the very start of the game in which his touching relationship with his daughter Sarah will tug ever so gently at the players heart strings. As events unfold, although at the expense of a few potential tears, Joel gets further admiration in his clutches which only continues to grow as the game plays out. Joel is a great character as it is exceptionally evident throughout that Joel is a gentle giant concealing a mass of emotion with a hard exterior he has had to develop. Joel will earn sympathy as the harshness of the post-apocalyptic setting takes it’s toll on him and even more so as he has to make some tough decisions. The Last Of Us is renowned for it’s focus on the relationship between the two main protagonists, the other being teenager, Ellie. Joel initially looks after Ellie for his own benefit, however as the game continues you watch him grow to care about Ellie and is this transition of feelings is no less than wonderful to witness.
Joel is a fantastically developed character. With Ellie complimenting his every part in the game he will no doubt become every players desired companion given the occurrence of an apocalypse.
1. Lara Croft – Tomb Raider Series (Square Enix)
”A famous explorer once said, that the extraordinary is in what we do, not who we are.” – Tomb Raider (2013)
This top spot is stolen by archaeological wonder, Miss Croft. Over a series consisting of over 10 games our world renowned Tomb Raider has secured a crazy fan base.
Lara Croft has transformed over the series from a sassy, invulnerable treasure hunter in the earlier installments to a young archaeologist attempting to put her name out there in the series reboot of 2013. Lara Croft is such an appealing character in her first installments due to her pure badassitude. Every guy wants to be with her and every girl would love to be her. She is simply incredibly awesome. In the reboot to the series we saw an exceedingly different side to Lara. Set before her prior encounters we saw how she came to be the tomb raiding legend she is to date. From start to near finish she is vulnerable and fragile, the absolute opposite from how we’ve learned to see her. Players then have the pleasure of watching her endure what few could, sculpting her slowly but surely into the hard-headed, driven archaeologist we know her as to date. Having to endure her suffering with her allows players to become emotionally intertwined with Lara. Tomb Raider defies every prejudice against female capabilities and in being so she is almost iconic for women. The reboot has made her character that much more believable and in being so players are captivated by her that bit more.
Tomb Raider possesses everything that is great about a character, she is strong, sassy and thanks to the new reboot she is realistic. Her journeys for ancient artifacts will be ones fans will engross in for time to come.
Valve has decided it’s time to crack down on spammers and phishers by implementing a new policy that will limit the abilities of new and existing users. The limits will be implemented based on how much a user has spent in the Steam store. If a user has spent less than $5 US, or has less than $5 US in their Steam Wallet, they will be affected.
“Malicious users often operate in the community on accounts which have not spent any money, reducing the individual risk of performing the actions they do,” Valve wrote in a statement on the Steam Support site. “One of the best pieces of information we can compare between regular users and malicious users are their spending habits as typically the accounts being used have no investment in their longevity. Due to this being a common scenario we have decided to restrict certain community features until an account has met or exceeded $5.00 USD in Steam.”
The new limits mean affected users will no longer be able to do the following:
Send friend invites
Open group chat
Vote on Greenlight, it Reviews and Workshop items
Participate in the Market
Post frequently in the Steam Discussions
Gain Steam Profile Levels (Locked to level 0) and Trading Cards
Submit content on the Steam Workshop
Post in an item’s Steam Workshop Discussions
Access the Steam Web API
Use browser and mobile chat
Valve also mentioned that doing things like activating retail games through adding non-Steam game shortcuts to libraries will not bring accounts any closer to unlocking the above features. Refunded games will also be subtracted from an account’s total purchases.
To users who don’t know what games they want to purchase yet, an easy solution is to simply add $5.00 to your Steam Wallet to use later.
“We’ve chosen to limit access to these features as a means of protecting our customers from those who abuse it for purposes such as spamming and phishing,” Valve said.
Accounts using other currencies will be limited if they have not spent the equivalent of $5.00 USD.
Valve has recently been stepping up its efforts to tighten security. It recently started a Mobile Authenticator beta group for users to test a new type of two-factor authentication. Under this system, accounts are automatically given a new password every time somebody tries to log in. The new passwords are sent to users via text to ensure it’s the account owner that’s trying to gain access. It’s a little extra effort to log in, but it’s a huge boost to account security.
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.