Half Life is one of those games, along with Doom and Castle Wolfenstein, which helped define an entire genre of games. It gave us a new type of hero as well, the crowbar toting MIT PHD Gordon Freeman. Since the games introduction fans have waited for each new chapter in the life of Dr. Freeman. Sadly we have never really gotten the “third” chapter in Freeman’s life, but there has always been the modding community to help keep u going. Back in 2012 a group called Black Mesa Source revamped the game from beginning to the Lambda Core level to the delight of many fans.
There are many things that people take for granted in the world. Some of them are more than a little naïve while others are quite understandable. One of them is that the things we say or do in conversation are somewhat confidential. We do not expect our mail, phone or personal conversations to be listened to and by extension we feel that our online conversation are equally private. Sadly this is simply not the case and, in reality, it never has been.
In 2004 Valve released the follow on to their wildly popular Half Life series in the form of Half Life2. They followed this up with an attempt at spacing out the next few games as chapters. This was supposed to benefit fans of the game by giving them a new “game” on a much faster schedule. Sadly for fans of Half Life this plan did not go well and the episodes dried up after getting only two out to the masses. This was despite the fact that three full episodes were planned. Since the release of Half Life 2: Episode 2 fans have been waiting for something, anything from Valve that features their favorite PHD hero, Dr. Gordon Freeman.
There is a new update in the never ending rumors surrounding Valve’s Steambox and Controller. After digging into a client update an interesting image popped up for the Steam Controller. It seems that Valve may be considering putting a traditional analog joystick on the controllers. This will be in addition to the existing touch pads that we have seen so much.
Network and application security are big deals and big business these days. It seems that a day does not pass that you hear about a new breach, exploit, hack or something. This sad state has prompted a few companies to actually look outside their organizations for help and offer bug bounties to individual researchers that find holes in applications and hardware. These bounties can be quite the incentive to get people to tear into your application looking for exploits, but even more important than rewards is having a clear method to report problems and a team that actually responds to them when they are found.
Recently a comment from former Valve contractor, Fabian Giesen that VR is “bad news” brought up an interesting point. On the surface the technology has some interesting implications for making gaming, multi-media and even social networking more interactive and engaging. However, there is a much darker side to this technology that might escape the eye because of the flashy parts.
Virtual reality is one of the new “buzz” words in the industry these days and it seems that everyone wants to have a headset of their very own. So far in this round of VR (there have been companies doing VR before) we have seen the rise of Oculus as the leader despite not actually having a product on the market in any real form. Other players that have officially announced their intent are Sony, Google and Samsung.
One of the things that Gabe Newell and his team at Valve keep claiming is that the delays of the SteamBox are all about the controller. This claim was first heard around CES 2014 when many companies were set to unveil their own products. Now we are hearing that we might be seeing the controller again at Gamescon in Germany next month.
Over the last few weeks Oculus VR has been in the news; first for being bought out by Facebook, then for being sued by a few former friends and then for Facebook allowing Samsung to use their tech to get the jump on a few others. This has put the whole world of virtual and augmented reality back into the mind of the consumer. We have noticed that there have been some new companies coming out of the word work with their own VR devices and technologies. The latest of which is Valve.
Valve's streaming service came out of beta, which means that everyone interested can sream content from the main PC to other devices in the home. Steam In-Home Streaming also opens up the possibility to play game titles for Windows PC on Mac OS X, Linux and SteamOS devices, and of course the weaker hardware devices, netbooks, laptops or HTPC devices.