That there is the third announcement from Valve this week regarding their intentions for the living room. It’s called the Steam Controller and it sports two track pads with haptic feedback and a touch screen that are supposed to enable people to play games that were previously too complicated for a controller like strategy and other cursor driven games.
The Steam Controller has 16 configurable buttons which can be shared through the configuration tool. In this way you’ll be able to load configurations created for any game. When the game developer doesn’t support the controller directly it will pretend to be a mouse and keyboard.
You can try to get your hands on an early prototype version of the controller by following the same process outlined in the Steam Machines announcement from Wednesday. Valve will get into specifics about all of their announcements this week through their Steam Universe community group.
Following Monday’s announcement of Steam OS, Valve has announced Steam Machines, their hardware prototype for next year’s SteamOS hardware platform.
The announcement page lists all of the details, but starting today you can attempt to win access to one of 300 prototype Steam Machines that Valve is developing to test out SteamOS in the real world. Valve has offered no details on what that hardware will consist of, simply a list of steps for testers to apply for access:
Play a game with a gamepad that you’ve launched from Steam’s big picture mode.
You can track your progress through this on the quest page. You’ve got until October 25th to complete every step if you want to win a Steam Machine from Valve itself. Hardware will ship Steam OS in 2014 from other vendors.
We’ve still got one more announcement coming up on Friday according to the countdown site, so stay tuned and we’ll keep you up to date with Valve’s happenings.
The Dolphin Emulator for GameCube and Wii games has been updated to version 4.0. This emulator project supports upscaling the games to higher resolutions, networked multiplayer, and more. This version features these major changes:
Beta support for the Wii official online multiplayer.
Alpha support for ARM/Android
New AX DSP HLE emulation code. This means better and more accurate sound emulation.
Additionally, the Dolphin emulator now supports the Wii Balance Board peripheral, new optimizations on Linux, a new OpenAL sound backend. a rewritten OpenGL renderer, and more. Read the full list of changes here.
This week Valve is making three announcements regarding their plans for expanding their plans for the living room. The first of which is SteamOS. A freely available Linux-based Operating System that Valve are advertising as having improved graphics and audio performance, as well as decreased input latency.
Valve specifically mentions that more AAA games are being ported natively to SteamOS and presumably will be available for any Linux install of Steam. For games that aren’t available natively on Linux, Steam will soon be able to stream them from Windows and Mac personal computers.
The new OS will also bring three other new features in addition to game streaming: Music, movie and TV services; Family sharing for sharing your library of games; and Family Options to hide games from your kids.
SteamOS will be released “soon” with the intent that we can put it on our own computers and businesses will be able to release their own SteamOS gaming PCs.
Valve still has two more announcements to make, the countdown site currently has two more days to go so we’ll know more on Wednesday.
Saibot Studios has released Doorways on Steam. I hope you’re ready to get scared, because it is another horror adventure game. This time it’s episodic and has the voice of Alexander from Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Chapters 1 and 2 are currently available, it looks like you get access to all of the chapters as they become available.
Doorways is an episodic survival horror game, featuring a complex story and deep atmosphere. Each chapter will challenge you with its fast-paced gameplay and breathtaking visuals and sounds, so prepare to immerse yourself in a terrifying psychological experience.
You’re playing as Thomas Foster, a special agent who must track down four psychopaths. Who are this people? What is this place and how did you get here?
These are just some of the questions that you must answer during your journey…
What? Where am I? Who are you? Why haven’t we posted about Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs’ release yet?
The original Amnesia: The Dark Descent is, despite the title, not a forgettable clone of Descent and is instead a first-person horror adventure. This new story in the style of Amnesia is from the developer of Dear Esther:
The year is 1899
Wealthy industrialist Oswald Mandus awakes in his bed, wracked with fever and haunted by dreams of a dark and hellish engine. Tortured by visions of a disastrous expedition to Mexico, broken on the failing dreams of an industrial utopia, wracked with guilt and tropical disease, he wakes into a nightmare. The house is silent, the ground beneath him shaking at the will of some infernal machine: all he knows is that his children are in grave peril, and it is up to him to save them.
Humble Indie Bundle 9 has been updated with four new games to bring the total to ten:
A Virus Named Tom
Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken
These additional games are only available for folks who pay more than the average price. Bastion and Limbo are two of my favorite games. They’re really fun and different. You’ve got about five days left to buy this bundle. All games in the Indie bundle support Linux.
The new Humble Weekly Bundle comes from long-time Linux supporters, egosoft and includes six games and supporting DLC. Unlike other Humble Bundles these games are only provided as Steam keys. Three of the games in the bundle support Linux.
World War 1 squad-based multiplayer first person shooter, Verdun, has been released via Steam’s Early Access program. According to the developer this beta version comes at a 20% discount from the final price of the game.
Roguelike action-RPG Legend of Dungeon has been released on Steam:
As you journey deep into the dungeon, you will find weapons, items, and long forgotten magic.. ..if you’re lucky, it might help you to fight off the droves of mysterious creatures you will encounter. There will be complete darkness to contend with, potions to quaff, secrets to discover, traps to avoid, hats to wear, and treasure that (if you make it out alive) will make you a legend.
Do you like frogs? We’re not talking about turtles, no sir. Just your common-or-garden frogs. What if we made them… better? Super, even. Superfrog is a 20 year old Amiga platformer from the people who made Worms, Team 17. This is the “HD” version of that. It’s available now. Enjoy.
Like sand through the hourglass, for two weeks we’ve got another Humble Indie Bundle. It’s the pay-what-you-want, but more than $1 to get Steam keys, with some percentage or all of it going to charity for a bundle of:
Trine 2: Complete Story
Mark of the Ninja
Eets Munchies Beta
If you pay more than the average price you’ll also get:
FTL: Faster Than Light
This time the Humble Bundle folks are already advertising that more games will be added to the bundle, because they always do that one week into it. You’ll have to pay more than the average price to get access to those as well.
Fez, FTL, and Mark of the Ninja are great games. Don’t look up any hints if play Fez. That game is too awesome to spoil.
Did you enjoy the 3D space corridor combat game Descent? Do you want to fight in cyberspace? NeonXSZ is looking to take on the throne of 6-axis combat:
In NeonXSZ (pronounced Neon Excesses) you are injected into cyberspace to stake your place in a war of virus verses machine. During your journey you will fly dozens of spaceships with hundreds of upgrades allowing you to create totally unique spacecraft with which to wage war. Will you protect the operating system or join the infection to bring it down?
It sounds like Intravenous Software has added a lot to this style of game, mainly the ability to loot enemy spacecraft for bits to improve your own. NeonXSZ is available now on Desura, you can vote for it to be greenlit on Steam.
In Planet Explorers, it is the year 2287, one of the first colony ships sent out by Earth arrives at the planet Maria, in the Epsilon Indi Star System. During its landing sequence, something appears in front of the massive ship that causes it to lose control and crash into the planet. Some of the colonists survive in lifeboats, but what they find is an unforgiving land filled with creatures ready to outlast the visitors from Earth. Now the survivors must explore, gather, build, create, fight, and ultimately, conquer the land.
It’s currently at version 0.62 – you can preorder today and get early alpha/beta access.
Duke Nukem 3D and Shadow Warrior have both been available before as ports from the source code. They’ve been updated by Devolver Digital to support higher resolutions and other enhancements and more importantly now officially support Linux for the first time!
They’re classic first person shooters that are completely ridiculous and fun. As somebody who grew up playing both games, I am not sure how people who didn’t would take their sense of humor.
Both games also include their expansion packs. Shadow Warrior has Wanton Destruction and Twin Dragon. Duke Nukem is the Atomic Edition including a new chapter with Duke Caribbean: Life’s a Beach, Duke it Out in D.C, and Duke: Nuclear Winter.
Mysterious adventure and mystery game, MirrorMoon EP has just been released on Steam. Here’s what the developer has to say about it:
These space travels begin on a red planet and its unique moon and extend across galaxies.
The single player part of MirrorMoon EP blends adventure and exploration with navigation-based puzzle solving. The multiplayer of MirrorMoon EP lets players share Galaxy Maps with other players: the first explorers to land on a planet will be able to name its Star System and that name will be forever bound to the star for any other fellow traveler who encounters it.
Each Galaxy consists of a thousand Systems: it will be possible to fully discover the mysteries of MirrorMoon EP only while collaborating with other players.
Through the apparently indecipherable cockpit of an unknown spacecraft, players will be able to locate and travel to mysterious planets. Each planet has artifacts, buildings, and puzzles on its surface, hidden in astonishing low-poly sceneries.
One of the best games ever by Irrational was SWAT 4. The only game I’m aware of to have a key solely for the purpose of yelling random cop-isms like “GET DOWN NOW!” or “HANDS IN THE AIR!” Well, we’ll probably never see SWAT 4 on Linux or SWAT 5 because Bioshock, but Door Kickers just got released on Steam Early Access from developer Killhouse Games. It’s in Alpha, so you’ll want to protect yo neck when playing, but you also get a sweet discount on the game if you purchase before it’s finished. Here’s their description:
Door Kickers is an innovative realtime strategy game that puts you in charge of a SWAT team and lets you command them during a tactical intervention.
Analyze the situation, plan team routes, choose equipment and breach points and coordinate multiple troopers to reach the hostage room before the bad guys get to press that trigger.
It may sound daunting, and like real world CQB combat, it sure is. But most levels can be completed in minutes and on the fly improvisation works. Achieving the perfect planning, getting the mission done with no false steps, that’s a skill harder to master.