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  • SiN preloading on Steam; retail drops 5/9

    by 
    Christopher Grant
    Christopher Grant
    04.06.2006

    The first installment of SiN Episodes, Emergence, is now available for pre-loading now on Valve's digital distribution network, Steam. Though the official May 9th release date is still over a month away, you'll be able to save 10% off of the $19.95 purchase price, and get instant access to the original SiN via Steam for a grand total of $17.95. Don't have broadband and/or think Steam is the debil's bidness? Similar to their arrangement to distribute Valve's Half-Life 2, EA will be handling the retail distribution of SiN Episodes: Emergence. Both the retail version and the downloadable version will be available on May 9th.If you're nervous about the episodic playing length and the gameplay-to-hard-earned-money ratio, you'll have to wait to read the reviews ... then again, you'll miss out on the discount and the freebie. Sneaky buggers.[Thanks to everyone that tipped us off]

  • Half-Life 2: Episode 1 set for June release

    by 
    Alan Rose
    Alan Rose
    03.27.2006

    Pro-G is reporting that the release of Half-Life 2: Episode 1 has been pushed back to June 30. Originally titled Aftermath, this first expansion to the award-winning 2004 shooter had been given a May 31 launch date at the GDC last week.In related news, Valve boss Gabe Newell says it should take roughly seven hours to play through Episode 1. Read Game Informer's interview with Gabe.

  • Ritual raps SiN, episodic, and Xbox 360

    by 
    Christopher Grant
    Christopher Grant
    03.07.2006

    GameDaily talked with Ritual Entertainment's Tom Mustaine and Levelord (not his birthname... we think) about SiN Episodes, episodic content, and even their Xbox 360 plans. They have some valuable insights into episodic distribution, equating it to the popular shareware format, explaining, "Finally, let's remember the shareware model used by game developers not so long ago. It was actually an episodic delivery paradigm. With shareware, we would release the first episode, usually before the completed game was finished. Then the full game would be released, which usually was the second and third episodes. These would then, if the game was successful, be followed by a series of add-on packs, each of which to be called another episode."Episodic delivery is gaining a lot of "Steam" in the industry thanks to games like SiN Episodes, Telltale's adventure game offerings like Bone and the upcoming Sam & Max, and the 800lb. gorilla in the gaming room, Half-Life 2. Figuring out how to offer episodic content over Xbox Live is something we're very eager to hear about. Ritual's Mustaine says, "[Microsoft does] have limitations on Marketplace download sizes. Since we are still in discussions with Microsoft about the 360 version, details about that product should appear in the near future." Titles distributed via XBLM are expected to fit onto the Memory Unit, which is obviously out of the question for a game like SiN. Unfortunately, the hard drive, with only 13GB free, is another limiting factor. What's the solution: larger hard drive sizes? Streaming content? Or direct-mail episodes on DVDs? If anyone wants to drop specifics, send us a tip!

  • Mod summit looks at modmaking from all angles

    by 
    Jennie Lees
    Jennie Lees
    02.27.2006

    Computer Gaming World has (by way of 1up) a roundtable chat with various game developers and modders. If you've ever flirted with modding or downloaded a mod or two then it's a great read, looking at mods from both sides of the game engine.A couple of interesting points for would-be modmakers include the fact that modmaking is becoming more complex, linked to the increasing sophistication of game engines, and a tip from modders that FPS seems to be the genre of choice. While modmakers have no salary or loyalties, meaning that their creativity can run free, sometimes modding is a hard and unrewarding business. Fortunately, there are also success stories from modders who have moved into the games industry as a result of their work.[Update: Corrected CGW, thanks Stevo.]

  • Half-Life 2: Episode Two confirmed by Valve

    by 
    Ross Miller
    Ross Miller
    02.21.2006

    You didn't think it would end with Aftermath, did you? As a follow-up to Aftermath (now entitled Episode One), Valve has confirmed that Episode Two has been in development for quite some time ("about as long as Episode One," according to IGN). No other details are available right now, but it's safe to say that Episode One/Aftermath (whatever you wish to call it) will not be answering all of the questions left open by the Half-Life 2 ending. According to CVG, who will soon post an interview with Episode One designer Robin Walker, the initial release will offer around 5 hours of gameplay and will give more details as to the G-Man's involvement and the fates of the Breen and the Citadels. [Thanks, Jon D and the "almighty" Ludwig]

  • The Subway story

    by 
    Jennie Lees
    Jennie Lees
    01.20.2006

    The Counter-Strike-based ad campaign for Subway went awry as soon as Valve appeared on the scene, and it was revealed that the campaign had gone ahead without Valve's permission and was breaking the EULA. Ars Technica has the backstory on the campaign, fleshing out its history and speculating on its future.Despite its illegitimacy, the campaign did achieve results that satisfied Subway, but it's definitely serving as a warning to would-be advertisers as well as providing encouragement. It's not clear what action Valve will take against Engage and IGA Partners, but it might not be pretty.[via Clickable Culture]

  • Valve does a little two-step

    by 
    Ben Zackheim
    Ben Zackheim
    06.16.2004

    Gamers don't like to be dicked around. When thieves stole the source code for Half-Life 2 a number of fans set out to find those responsible. If the guys in custody are actually guilty then it's fair to say hell hath no fury like a gamer scorned. But perhaps Valve should watch their step, as well. The game company keeps a tight hold on their properties which includes keeping their games out of cybercafes. Turns out a cybercafe that offers Counter-Strike has been informed they are to pay Valve for use of the license. No warning from Valve that the cafe should stop offering the game. No courtesy call. Nothing. You could call that hardball or you could call it thin skin, but it definitely reeks of a bad taste. Is that any way to thank the gaming community?