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Articles related to Valve

The Problem with Steam Trading Cards

Steam

With Valve having recently released the full version of their new ‘Steam Trading Cards’ feature, after a surprisingly short beta period, there has been much discussion around the Internet about the purpose and usefulness of the system. Some have praised the system as another way for allowing users to get more involved in the Steam Community, and rewarding dedicated Steam users; others, however, have criticized the system as being gimmicky and even exploitative, and nothing more than a money-making scheme on Valve’s part.

A quick run-down for those of you who are unfamiliar with the system: Steam Trading Cards allows users to receive random trading cards for playing various games, which they can then craft into ‘badges’ in order to increase their ‘Steam level,’ a new, RPG-like feature added to Steam. Higher Steam levels grant users additional Steam features, such as the ability to customize their Steam profiles further, or have larger friends lists. Trading cards can obviously be traded with other users, and can also be sold for money. At first glance, the system seems like a fantastic idea: it rewards you for playing games you like, which you can then use to unlock additional features; meanwhile, people not interested can simply ignore the system altogether. Thus, everybody is happy. The truth is not that simple, however.

Valve Loses Business Director And Reportedly Lays Off Over A Dozen Developers In “Great Cleansing”

Valve

UPDATE: Gabe Newell has released a statement responding to these reports (Engadget and Forbes were among those to receive a response):

We don’t usually talk about personnel matters for a number of reasons. There seems to be an unusual amount of speculation about some recent changes here, so I thought I’d take the unusual step of addressing them.

No, we aren’t cancelling any projects. No, we aren’t changing any priorities or projects we’ve been discussing. No, this isn’t about Steam or Linux or hardware or [insert game name here]. We’re not going to discuss why anyone in particular is or isn’t working here.”

And that’s it. It’s a reassuring response, but it all but confirms that the reported layoffs have, in fact, taken place after all.

Valve has one of the highest employee retention rates in the entire video game industry – and just a few years ago, their Jobs page touted a 98% retention rate. But though we haven’t really heard of any significant layoffs from the company, ever since its inception, that doesn’t mean they don’t fire people at all. In fact, according to Gabe Newell (in his first talk at the LBJ School of Public Affairs in Austin), due to Valve’s inherently flat structure and hierarchy, they have to be really aggressive about firing people, and he adds that they haven’t done a very good job with interims or new employees.

But again, we’ve never really seen that process in action. Well, until now.

Valve And Xi3 Corporation Reveal Steam-Centric Modular Mini-PC, Designed For The Living Room

Valve

UPDATE: Remarkably, it appears Polygon has some exclusive details on this Steam-centric mini-PC that Xi3 is working, on alongside Valve.

Dubbed “Piston” (see what they did there?), it will be based on Xi3’s high-end, performance-level X7A model. In addition, TIME and Eurogamer have more information on the Piston, straight from CES 2013.

Generally, a computer is pretty big. Which is why Valve’s great big master plan to get us to move our computers all the way into the living room, and somehow connect them to our TVs might not have made much sense, at first glance. But as we all know, Valve has an active hardware lab, with the immediate design goal of making Steam games more fun to play in the living room.

And as Gabe Newell himself has confirmed, Valve are in fact developing their own unique “living room PC“, alongside other hardware companies. And according to Gabe, we can expect to start seeing these little PCs in stores, some time later this year. In fact, just a few days ago, it was reported that Valve hardware engineer Ben Krasnow had confirmed, at the EHSM 2012 conference in Berlin, that Valve’s hardware lab would be releasing a few of its currently secret projects, in the course of 2013.

Could that include this mythical “living room PC” that some call the Steam Box? More importantly, will anyone please come up with a better name than that? How about… Steam Engine? Well, in any case, one great big announcement has finally emerged from this sea of uncertainty! And it’s a very big announcement, for a surprisingly tiny piece of hardware. Read on!

Gabe Newell On Valve’s “SOB”: “‘Stars of Blood’ Was An Internal Project That Never Saw The Light of Day”

Valve

Let it forever be known that the best way to get interesting information out of Gabe Newell is to buy him a hat on his birthday, surround him with fans, and ask daring questions like never before! After all, you saw how it helped us find out about Valve’s upcoming next-gen game engine!

But what if it can also help us find out more about Valve’s fabled space-centric game, known only as “SOB”? As you can tell from the title above… yes, it can! Read on.

Happy 50th Birthday, Gabe Newell!

Valve

50 years ago, on the 3rd of November, 1962; Gabe Logan Newell was born in the United States. At the age of 18, in 1980, he began studying at the highly prestigious Harvard University. Three years later, he dropped out of Harvard (just like the man who would soon be his boss, Bill Gates), and was hired by Steve Ballmer himself to work at Microsoft in November of 1983. As Microsoft’s 271st employee, he worked there for almost 13 years, and, among other things, served as lead developer and producer on the first three versions of Microsoft Windows (he was even involved with the infamous Microsoft Bob). Working at Microsoft was not only very lucrative, but also extremely productive for Gabe, who was at one point doing work on up to 30 Microsoft projects per year.

Oh My God, Source 2 Is Actually Real – And A Sneak Peek At The New Hammer Editor?

Source

UPDATE 3: Facepunch member J*Rod has created an insightful and very informative explanation of how Source 2 might work, based on what we’ve seen in the leaked code. If you can’t read code (or as I like to call it, hieroglyphs), then this is your lucky day.

UPDATE 2: LambdaGen fan 3rrorVirus has made this hilarious little video about this whole Source 2 debacle – check it out!

UPDATE: Facepunch member DevinWatson has compiled a full list of just about every single Source 2 reference in the SFM files. Take a look!

Yeah, it gets better. Waaay better.

Trailer Released For “PAYDAY: No Mercy”, The Left 4 Dead-PAYDAY Crossover

Left 4 Dead

Last month, it was announced that Overkill’s PAYDAY: The Heist and Valve’s Left 4 Dead would come together, through a sort of crossover. Not in the form of a full game, but rather, in the form of some sort of DLC release – much like how the Potato Fools’ Day cross-game events played out (but with none of the glyph hunting and potato farming).

Well, it turns out that Valve and Overkill are not kidding around, as a teaser trailer has just been released for PAYDAY: No Mercy.

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