Tag Archives: half-life

Black Mesa releases on Steam for Linux with big discount

Black Mesa releases on Steam for Linux with big discount on PC

Relive #HalfLife in this highly acclaimed, #fanmade #recreation Black Mesa, now available on Linux. A big deal if you are a fan of the original Half-Life and Half-Life 2. One way or another the reviews on Steam continue to be a solid 90% Very Positive.

This news came in the Halloween Update for the game where a Beta Client has been release with native support:

  • Linux client beta!
  • Added the ZECU – Zombie Marines
  • Translations – Added Russian closed captions!
  • Added new security Joop model
  • Workshop publish tool is working again
  • General workshop improvements (all workshop items must now be VPKed to work)
  • VOIP works in multiplayer


The award winning fan-made re-imagining of Gordon Freeman’s landmark journey through the Black Mesa Research Facility. Relive Half-Life, Valve Software’s revolutionary debut, and experience the game that raised the bar for the entire game industry all over again!

Black Mesa Features

  • Nostalgia has never felt so fresh – Expect tremendously detailed environments, old-school tough-as-nails combat, and a gripping story with memorable characters. The all-new soundtrack, voice acting, choreography and dialogue create a more expansive and immersive experience than ever before!
  • Heavily updated single player experience – The over 10 hour single player experience has greatly improved from the mod release; new visuals, new voice over, updated gameplay encounters, stability changes and more. Xen is not part of the Early Access release, but will included as a free update when it is ready.
  • Black Mesa Multiplayer – Fight with or against your friends, in two game modes across 10iconic maps from the Half-Life universe including Bounce, Gasworks, Stalkyard, Undertow and Crossfire!
  • Custom Modding Tools & Workshop – Use the same tools as the developers! Create your own mods, modes and maps for Black Mesa and Black Mesa Multiplayer and then share your work, and subscribe to others, on the Steam Workshop!
  • Complete Steam Integration – Collect the full set of trading cards, backgrounds, emoticons, and achievements! Steam Cloud, Steam Workshop and partial controller support!

So the choice is yours, Black Mesa is available on Steam for Linux and Windows PC with 60% discount, but only until November 1st. If you want it, you better get it now while it’s cheaper.


Transmissions : Element 120 free-to-play action releases for Linux and Windows PC


Transmissions : Element 120 is a short #singleplayer experience set in the #HalfLife #Universe for Linux and Windows PC. The game features a unique gravity defying weapon that allows players to jump buildings and sustain large falls. The story takes place at a mysterious date & location. Where are you? Why have you been sent?

Black Mesa native port coming and Early Access

Black Mesa now on Early Access and will be coming to Linux and Mac

Black Mesa, the fan-made Half Life 1 remake from a few years ago, made a Steam debut. Taking place just days after its Black Mesa Research Facility website #launched a mysterious countdown.

CS:GO coming to Linux and Gabe Newell's AMA: Steam a self-publishing system

Valve’s Gabe #Newell did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on #Reddit today, answering scores of community questions and no, not revealing that he has a build of Half-Life 3 hidden in a volcano lair. If you’re hearing otherwise, one user edited his (now deleted) question to include #HalfLife3 and create the appearance that Newell confirmed it. Nope. He did, however, talk about Source 2, Steam, CS: GO, and Dota 2, as well as answer a question vaguely related to HL3 in the form of a question about Ricochet 2.

The biggest news is that Valve is working on making Steam “a self-publishing system,” something Newell hinted at during Steam Dev Days when he announced that Steam Greenlight is going away. Before Greenlight, Valve “got bottle-necked pretty fast on tools and decision making,” says Newell. That led to Greenlight, and is now leading the company toward self-publishing.

When asked about Linux, Newell agreed that it’s “probably” the future of gaming and desktops. He reiterated that Valve will not release any Steam OS exclusives, but he does think that all Steam games will eventually run on Linux/Steam OS, and says there has been surprisingly little problem getting developers to add Linux compatibility. He also notes that Valve is “making progress” on lower cost Steam Boxes for streaming.

Meanwhile, Newell confirmed a Linux version of Valve’s multiplayer shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is in the works: “It’s being worked on but we don’t have an ETA,” he said.

In the category of personal tastes, Newell’s favorite non-Valve game is Mario 64. Dota 2 is currently his favorite game and he plays about 20 hours a week—his favorite hero is Sand King and yes, he has been yelled at by a teammate before.

Here’s a selection of some of Newell’s other interesting answers:

On Ricochet 2 (a supposed sequel to Ricochet that’s often jokingly used to refer to Half-Life 3) not being announced: “When we announced our products years in advance in the past and then were really late delivering them, it was pretty painful for both us and the community. We’d rather not repeat that.”

On what improvements we’ll see in in Source 2 engine: “The biggest improvements will be in increasing productivity of content creation. That focus is driven by the importance we see UGC [User Generated Content] having going forward. A professional developer at Valve will put up with a lot of pain that won’t work if users themselves have to create content.”

His vision for Steam in the next ten years: “I’m not trying to dodge the question, but we find it more useful to think in terms of feedback loops than in terms of visions/goals. Iterating with the community means that your near-term objectives change all the time. The key benefit to Steam is to shorten the length of the loop. Longer term, we see that working at the level of individual gamers, where we think of everyone as creating and publishing experience. “How can we make gamers more productive” sounds weird, but is an accurate way to characterize where we’re going. It may make more sense if you think of it as “How can we make Dendi more entertaining to more people.”

On SteamOS and Valve’s core audience: “We see Steam Machines (along with Steam OS and the Steam Controller) as a service update to Steam, porting the experience to a new room in the house. As we’ve been working on it, we’ve focused first on the customers who already love Steam and its games. They’ve told us they’re tired of giving up all the stuff they love when they sit in the living room, so it seemed valuable to fix that.”

On Valve’s VR being “light years ahead” of the original Oculus Rift dev kit: “I’m not sure I’d agree with that. We are collaborating with them, and want their hardware to be great.”

On the future of eSports: “We still think we have a long way to go to get to the point where all of the different people that are contributing value to competitive play get everything out of it that they should. Feels like we are making pretty good progress though.

“Giving the consumers of content a direct relationship with the creators of content is something we think about a lot. That is what drove our thinking about how the community could be more involved in the tournaments that mattered to them.”

About his collaboration with JJ Abrams: “The main thing is that when we talk with him it’s like talking with someone who works at Valve. That’s not usually the case with people from the film industry.”

About Valve accepting cryptocurrency (Bitcoin): “There are two related issues: one is treating a crypto-currency as another currency type that we support and the broader issue is monetary behaviors of game economies. The first issue is more about crypto-currencies stabilizing as mediums of account.”

On why the company is named Valve: “Because it was better than ‘Rhino Scar.’”

Counter Strike: Global Offensive or CS:GO for short is still very much alive with constant updates by the development team and availability on PC, Mac, Xbox 360 and PS3. A Linux version feels over-due at this point, but it’s never too late for Valve, right? Let us know what you think of CS:GO on Linux in the comments.

Reblogged from: pcgamer.com

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Lessons of The Video Game Industry and Valve's Half-Life 3

There are very few games that are as eagerly anticipated as Half-Life 3, the next chapter in Valve‘s critically acclaimed #sci-fi #shooter series. Yet there are also very few games that are as elusive.
It’s been nine years since Half-Life 2 was #released, and six years since we last saw Gordon Freeman in Half-Life 2: Episode 2.
Since the cliffhanger conclusion of Episode 2, Valve has moved on to focus on other franchises, like Portal, Team Fortress, and Left 4 Dead, as well as the development of a new console, the #SteamBox.

half-life 2 episode two screenshots

Half-Life 2: Episode Two. Source: Rockpapershotgun.com

In a recent issue of Game Informer, Valve jokingly admitted that it had “no idea” what it was going to do with Half-Life 3.
Since Valve is a privately held company, it has the luxury of taking its time with its top projects. At some point, however, franchises lose their popularity and tumble down the path toward vaporware.
Valve’s decision to not focus at all on developing Half-Life 3 is the equivalent of Activision Blizzard taking a few years off from Call of Duty, or for Nintendo to decide to give Mario a few years of rest and relaxation.

What Half-Life means for Valve

Half-Life is Valve’s flagship title that put the company on the map back in 1998. Simply take a look at how popular the franchise has been over the past 15 years.

TitleYearUnits SoldMetascore (PC)
Half-Life19989.3 million96
Half-Life 2200412.0 million96
Half Life 2: Episode One20061.4 million87
The Orange Box (Half Life 2, Episode One, Episode Two, Team Fortress, Portal)20073.0 million90 (Episode Two)

Sources: Gamastura, Forbes, Metacritic.

Considering that total units sold jumped 29% between Half-Life and Half-Life 2, you would think that Valve would be eagerly developing a sequel.
To put Half-Life 2’s 12 million unit sales figure into perspective, consider this — the top selling Call of Duty title of all time, Modern Warfare 3, has sold 29 million units. The more recent chapter, Ghosts, has sold 13.6 million units. Valve’s own Portal 2 and Left 4 Dead 2, by comparison, have respectively sold 3.85 million and 4.04 million units.
Therefore, it’s clear that the release of Half-Life 3 could be massive, effortlessly eclipsing its other franchises. So why hasn’t it been announced yet?

Development cycle vs. hardware

Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto, the man who created Mario, once famously stated, “A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.”
Again, by virtue of being privately held, Valve doesn’t face any shareholder pressure to push a new hit game to the market in time for the holidays. However, this can be both a blessing and a curse.
It took Valve two years to develop the original Half-Life, but it took five years to develop Half-Life 2. The production cost of the original game is unclear, but Half-Life 2 reportedly cost $40 million to make. Production costs rise as technology improves and gamers demand better graphics and special effects.
The problem with long development cycles is that it can render a project obsolete by the time it hits the market. A key part of a 3D game is its graphics engine, ideally a newer one that can take advantage of the latest hardware.

Therefore, if a game’s development cycle was five years long, it could come out looking like a badly aged five-year-old game in comparison to newer games developed through shorter development cycles. In addition, console cycles only last roughly six to eight years, after which graphical expectations rise considerably.

duke nukem forever screenshots

Duke Nukem Forever. Source: Gearbox.

Apogee/3D Realms’ Duke Nukem, a popular shooter franchise in the 1990s, was trapped in this vicious cycle of changing graphics engines and ideas for 15 years. By the time Gearbox Software finally released Duke Nukem Forever in 2011, the game was hopelessly dated, in both graphics and gameplay, and bombed with gamers and critics alike. To date, the game has only sold 1.8 million copies and holds a mediocre Metascore of 54.

The growing complexity of video game storylines

The second conundrum facing Valve is the Half-Life story itself. The plot is the same story that started in the original 1998 game, and has now become as twisted and convoluted as the plot of Lost.

The problem is that times have changed. The plot of the original Half-Life, which featured a mute protagonist with big guns sealing an inter-dimensional rift, wasn’t all that different from id Software’s (now part of Activision Blizzard’s) seminal hit Doom.

The plot of the second game, which brought back the protagonist, Gordon Freeman, after 20 years in stasis, was much more refined, but the idea has now been copied to death by similar games such as Electronic Arts’ Crysis franchise.

crysis 2 and electronic arts screenshots

Crysis 2. Source: EA.

If Valve waits a few more years before it releases Half-Life 3, it could lose the fans of the first two games, and possibly alienate newer gamers who haven’t played the older titles. In the modern era of instant gratification and short attention spans, that could be a major problem.

Earlier this year, Ubisoft practically rebooted the Assassin’s Creed franchise with Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, which introduced brand new main characters for both its modern and historical storylines. Ubisoft believed that its previous story, which continued through five games over five years, had become too confusing and convoluted for newer gamers to understand.

Therefore, Half-Life 2 could face a steep challenge of winning over new gamers if it continues to follow the adventures of Gordon Freeman in its current, incomplete form.

Valve’s shifting priorities

Back in 2001, Sega, once Nintendo’s greatest rival, gave up on producing hardware after the failure of its Dreamcast console. Instead, it became a third-party publisher of games.
Today, Valve is doing the opposite — it is transitioning from a software company into a hardware one with the Steam Box game console, which is scheduled to arrive in 2014.

However, Steam Box, which runs on Valve’s own Linux-based operating system, Steam OS, is not a single console like Sony‘s PS4 or Microsoft‘s Xbox One. Instead, it will be sold in a wide variety of hardware configurations through multiple hardware partners, just as PCs are produced by numerous different companies.

Although PS4 and Xbox One sales are strong, neither console has been very successful at converting PC gamers. Valve is counting on tapping into that market via its online store Steam, which hit 65 million users at the end of October.

While Half-Life 3 would make a perfect launch title for the Steam Box and leave a huge impression with PC gamers, it’s highly unlikely that the game will be confirmed before the console’s release.

A final thought

Hopefully Half-Life 3 doesn’t suffer the same fate as Duke Nukem Forever. Unfortunately, Valve is all over the place these days, and it’s unlikely that we will get to revisit Gordon Freeman in the near future.

What do you think? Are you looking forward to Valve’s elusive Half-Life 3 as well? Let me know in the comments section below!

Reblogged from: dailyfinance.com

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