Okay, so we all know what Steam is, right? It’s a digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications platform (which was developed by the Valve Corporation). Steam also listens to their community and reaches out to certain (lucky) developers to start moving towards the Steam Community, too. Pretty cool, am I right? Anyways today Steam Greenlit 4 new titles…
You heard right, Steam is now letting you buy a game while it’s being created AND play it. Most recently, Arma 3 Alpha was released for sale by Bohemia Interactive at a low introductory price. This enables you to play Arma 3 now and be a part of the testing community, providing feedback to improve the game. Now they’ve joined up with Valve’s Steam online game store to let you buy it there too along with several other games.
Steam explains Early Access Games via their website…
“Get immediate access to games that are being developed with the community’s involvement. These are games that evolve as you play them, as you give feedback, and as the developers update and add content.
We like to think of games and game development as services that grow and evolve with the involvement of customers and the community. There have been a number of prominent titles that have embraced this model of development recently and found a lot of value in the process. We like to support and encourage developers who want to ship early, involve customers, and build lasting relationships that help everyone make better games.
This is the way games should be made.”
So far the games that are part of Steam Early Access Games are…
Arma 3 Alpha Kerbal Space Program Kenshi StarForge Prison Architect Kinetic Void Gnomoria Under the Ocean Patterns Drunken Robot Pornography Gear Up: Premium 1… 2… 3… Kick It! (Drop That Beat Like an Ugly Baby)
More games will be added pending the new services success.
Just incase there weren’t enough source ports of id Software’s genre defining classic Doom, GhorsHammer decided to add Garry’s Mod to the love fest. He’s taken the beloved Doom HUD, weapons and monsters and blended them into the Valve physics based FPS. While the concept isn’t really new, it does look really well done.
Check out the gameplay video below demonstrating gmDoom…
GhorsHammer explains that the addon will be downloadable via Steam Workshop within a few days. It appears to support IWADs, meaning you might be able use your legal copy of Doom or the Doom Shareware episode to play this.
We’ve also got some gmDoom screenshots…
Garry’s Mod is available for purchase on Steam for Windows PC, Mac OS X and Linux.
In a totally expected (and appreciated) move, Valve will be releasing an update for Team Fortress 2 which will officially add support for Oculus’ Rift virtual reality head mounted display. It’s good news after the announcement that the VR headset will not have Doom 3 BFG Edition support out of the box. Furthermore, Valve is also going to be releasing a hat for TF2 that will indicate VR users.
Team Fortress 2 programmer Joe Ludwig explained, ”When we first played an early version of Virtual Reality mode in Team Fortress we were blown away by the immersion we experienced. VR is just getting started, but it is going to have a big impact on gaming. This update will let us share that experience with more of the Team Fortress community.”
Supposedly, Steam codes will be distributed by Oculus which will give Rift owners access to download the special VR TF2 hat.
Valve will also be giving a speech at this year’s GDC regarding adding virtual reality support to Team Fortress 2.
Oculus Rift Development Kit is shipping this month through April to backers.
UPDATE 03/18/2013 Official images of Team Fortress 2 and the exclusive Oculus Rift hat have been released by Oculus VR via their blog and Kickstarter.
In a special on Engadget, Joe Ludwig explains why Team Fortress 2 was chosen, ”Team Fortress was sort of the obvious choice for this. The Team Fortress community is large and healthy. There are millions of people playing TF every week, but they’re also used to us shipping a lot of updates. The real reason for [choosing] TF is the community around TF, and the way that we use it as a place where we run experiments.”
He also explained that TF2′s VR Mode is a big experiment for Valve. The company is not sure how well fans will receive this new feature. The outcome of this experiment will influence the future of VR for Valve including hardware development and possible future game support including titles like Half-Life 2.
Furthermore, Valve’sGDC 2013 VR panels have also been defined along with their presenters…
Why Virtual Reality is Hard (And Where it Might be Going) presented by Michael Abrash.
What We Learned Porting Team Fortress 2 to Virtual Reality presented by Joe Ludwig