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Half-Life 2 Preloading from Steam: Part 2 83

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the teasing-us dept.
BrainsVolpe writes "For those of us on Steam, we can continue our 'preloading'of Half-Life 2. This time around we'll be downloading 'the majority of the audio of Half-Life 2 in encrypted form.' Does this mean we'll be getting HL2 before September 30th? Only Valve knows for sure... sorta."
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Half-Life 2 Preloading from Steam: Part 2

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  • by richie2000 (159732) <rickard.olsson@gmail.com> on Friday September 03, 2004 @06:24AM (#10147513) Homepage Journal
    I got the prompt to pre-load before, denied it to let the server load subside a bit and now I can't get it to ask me again. Now what?
    • by aweraw (557447) * <aweraw@gmail.com> on Friday September 03, 2004 @06:39AM (#10147571) Homepage Journal
      You should be able to right click on the Half Life 2 item in your games menu, and select 'pre-loading status'. Then you should be able to resume from there.

      You really should have done it first oportunity you got. Me? I got the story before it went live on slashdot and therefore beat the rush. yay for subscription... but, now you'll have to contend with the hoards of people who rush to open steam after seeing this
      • You should be able to right click on the Half Life 2 item in your games menu

        There it was hiding, I was looking in the Browse Games menu. Thanks. It says "just released" too. But they're just teasing. :-/

        You really should have done it first oportunity you got.

        That was like half an hour after the previous Slashdot article. I couldn't even connect to Steam then, much less begin pre-loading.

      • You really should have done it first oportunity you got.

        Not trying to troll or anything, but what's the point in downloading it now if you won't be able to access it until maybe Sept 30? Or is the preload a limited time offer?

        • Simple, if you get it now then when 30th Sep (or whatever) comes, you'll just be able to pay for the unlock code and you'll be good to go. No waiting.

          It's just a way for them to spread their downloads so that half a million people don't all try and download it at the same time when the game is released.

          And they're not putting their full bandwidth behind the preload either, opting to give a smaller number of people a faster connection rather than a large number of people a slower connection.
      • You really should have done it first oportunity you got. Me? I got the story before it went live on slashdot and therefore beat the rush. yay for subscription... but, now you'll have to contend with the hoards of people who rush to open steam after seeing this

        This is a Slashdot Games article, not a frontpage Slashdot article. The only people that will see it are the ones that specifically go to games.slashdot.org or the people that have Slashdot Games in their newsbox on the side of Slashdot. Therefore, n
      • ...But you have until at least Sept. 30, so, really, no one has to rush at all. That's the whole point of the 'preload,' right?
    • I found out the URI of the magic page that contained the pre-load button (or was it what the button pointed to?)... too bad I didn't write it down, it looked something like this:

      steam://preload/...

      I'm sure about the steam prefix, less sure about the preload, and sure that there was a number in the end.
  • It is newsworthy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tod_miller (792541) on Friday September 03, 2004 @06:38AM (#10147562) Journal
    It is cool that you can preload unreleased media in encrypted form, I like how they are doing this.

    A bad joke would be that you preloaded thier source code a few months ago, but lets not go there.

    I can't wait for a doom3 demo, let alone a half life 2 demo.

    I am holding my breath for a Duke Nukem Forever (that is so true it isn't even funny)
    • by imr (106517)
      It would be newsworthy if it was the news that describe the new business model of valve with steam, but it has been done a long time ago.
      Or it would be newsworthy if it was the news that talks about the protocol behind steam, or the news that talk about some problem/success related to steam, or the people behind steam, or the community accepting/rejecting steam, or something new about half life2/cs/modding. But none of that.

      It would be almost void of any interrest it it was the news that announce that the
      • by atomicdragon (619181) on Friday September 03, 2004 @08:16AM (#10147882)

        I think the current Slashdot quote has some relevance: "Dibble's First Law of Sociology: Some do, some don't."

        Some people have an interest in this stuff, others don't. It is much easier to skip over an article that doesn't interest you than to find ones that do interest you, but are not posted.

        I tend to think that if a topic is really that uninteresting, why bother with spending the time to read or to reply to the posts.

        • I believe that if an article is higly uninterresting, most of the posts will resolv around the fact that highly uninterresting articles shouldnt appear.
          Surprise, this is happening.
      • It would be newsworthy if it was the news that describe the new business model of valve with steam, but it has been done a long time ago.
        Or it would be newsworthy if it was the news that talks about the protocol behind steam, or the news that talk about some problem/success related to steam, or the people behind steam, or the community accepting/rejecting steam, or something new about half life2/cs/modding.


        What you mean is, it would be newsworthy TO YOU, in those cases.

        To hundreds of thousands of other p
    • It's actually _not_ encrypted, just fire up gcfscape, and you can extract the files just fine.
    • I think it is pretty cool. It is the first of its kind and could pave way for future releases. In the future they could send you a full game with a demo built-in. The demo is unlocked by default but the full game is not. The user could then purchase the game via credit-card or paypal or something. I see a lot of other developers paying close attention to this.
    • <p><i>A bad joke would be that you preloaded thier source code a few months ago, but lets not go there.</i></p>

      <p>Why is that a bad joke? I thought it was hilarious. Any company with shoddy system security, and therefore contributing yet more boxes to the lack of security epidemic deserves everything they've got coming to them.</p>
    • >>I can't wait for a doom3 demo

      No disrespect, but why can't you wait? Just go out and buy the game. I can understand if: A. The full game isn't out yet. B. They are releasing a new level or 2 with the demo.

      But since neither is the case, what's the point?

      Personally, I'm kinda' annoyed that Id no longer releases shareware or Qtest like-stuff. Not a big deal, but I guess I don't understand the lack of motivation to do this stuff anymore.

      wbs.
      • Would you a new single without listening to it first?

        Yeah, I heard all the press on Doom3, if I am to buy it, I want to try it.

        Movie trailers, movie reviews, book reviews, radio playlists, game demos.

        Right up there. Plus, if I get bored of it after playing the demo (play halo demo, mmm, a good bedtime game to play *yawn*) I won't buy it.

        I say demos are the answer to piracy.
  • I really like this (legal) digital form of selling games. The pre-loading makes it as instant as a game box, but Valve can't really go out of stock. Makes it easier for lazy people like me who aren't pre-ordering HL2 from their local game shop.
  • Why all you all bashing valve for this?! This has got to be the coolest way to get a game yet, you download it before its released, then pay and tada you got the game, no need to move out into the sunlight only to find the store hadn't gotten a copy yet, no need to install from crappy slow CD's which you have to change 4 times.. How can a geek NOT like this?!
    • Why all you all bashing valve for this?! This has got to be the coolest way to get a game yet, you download it before its released, then pay and tada you got the game, no need to move out into the sunlight only to find the store hadn't gotten a copy yet, no need to install from crappy slow CD's which you have to change 4 times.. How can a geek NOT like this?!

      Oh yeah it must be nice to have a net connection that is faster then a 52x CD-ROM drive. Or maybe you just have a 2x CD-ROM? As I have 256Kb ADS

      • Well duh, of course i dont have a faster internet connection, hence why they allow me to preload...
      • Oh yeah it must be nice to have a net connection that is faster then a 52x CD-ROM drive. Or maybe you just have a 2x CD-ROM? As I have 256Kb ADSL I think I will just wait for the boxed version ;)

        But with all of the preloading, when the game is finally "released," you'll only need to download a small portion of the game. So, on release day, instead of driving to the store, waiting in line, waiting for your credit card to go through, driving home. You just drive home, download maybe 100 MB (or less if th

    • by ctr2sprt (574731) on Friday September 03, 2004 @11:17AM (#10149337)
      Easy enough. I do not trust Steam's "security" well enough to give it any sensitive information. Furthermore, I want a copy on a CD so that, if Steam breaks for whatever reason (which it likes to do), I can still install and play the game I bought.

      I have no objection to preloading per se. Well, it does use up my bandwidth, hard drive space, and CPU power for something which is going to remain useless for at least another month. But my main objections are security concerns and the lack of a CD image.

      Considering that I don't really gain anything from doing this, I'm not going to. I'll just go buy the game when it comes out, or a week later, or whatever. Any excitement I had for HL2 has been wiped out by Steam, the constant delays, and Valve's treatment of its paying customers. I think that's why you see all the bashing: people are pissed because they feel Valve are treating them like shit since they know we'll buy HL2 no matter what they do. It doesn't have anything to do with preloading, but anger will find expression where it will, not necessarily where it makes sense.

      • Sorry... (Score:2, Informative)

        by Spuffin (466692)

        Furthermore, I want a copy on a CD so that, if Steam breaks for whatever reason (which it likes to do), I can still install and play the game I bought.

        You can't play any of the games without logging into Steam, even if you have the CD. It should be noted, however, that if you login to steam and THEN go into offline mode, you can play the games you bought while remaining offline. If Steam was just a product distribution channel I wouldn't have a problem with it, but it tries to be everything at once. They to

        • Re:Sorry... (Score:2, Informative)

          by Vengeance_au (318990)
          You can't play any of the games without logging into Steam, even if you have the CD.

          That used to be the case, however Steam has been updated and you can now launch into offline mode, and chose if you want to go online or not. Great for lans, playing a home networked game, etc.
          • That used to be the case, however Steam has been updated and you can now launch into offline mode, and chose if you want to go online or not. Great for lans, playing a home networked game, etc.
            It's nice how you left out the very next sentence:

            It should be noted, however, that if you login to steam and THEN go into offline mode, you can play the games you bought while remaining offline.
            • You don't need to log on to steam every time you want to play an offline game. You only have to log in once in your entire life to authenticate your HL key. From then on, you can run offline any time you want..... I mean come on, whats the problem? If you don't want to use the technology, you and your offline mates can play the old style using the released mods, and live with it.

              Steampowered website - Exhibit A [custhelp.com]
              • Sorry about this delayed response but you are incorrect. If you read the same site you linked it states:

                Then "exit" (do not log out!) from Steam

                If you don't believe me you can try it yourself. Exit and logout from Steam and then disable your internet connection. When you open steam again, it will state the following:

                Unable to connect to the Steam network. Offline mode is unavailable because the 'Exit and logout' option was used when you last exited Steam.

                You will not be able to use Steam until you can co

      • This is an excellent demonstration of why copy protection is bad. I will get Half-Life 2 the day it is released (or a few days after), on CDs or on DVD, in my favourite game store. Of course, it will play without any Internet connection at all, much less Steam account. That user-friendly experience will be provided by pirate groups that will break the copy protection. Meanwhile the legitimate customers will have to put up with Steam and all its glitches. What was the copy-protection supposed to be encouragi
    • I, for one, welcome the preload idea (with a catch), and am tired of waiting for game orders from .COMs to be filled. I've had to wait for four titles from three different sites, between three and 14 days for my PRE-order just to ship. The most egregious was the the 14-day title which needed an EMail from me to prompt it's shipment from a big site starting with A.

      Walmart doesn't always get shipments on a timely basis so I don't rely upon them. The closest EBGames store is 45 miles away.

      The choice is m
      • Just do what I do - copy the /STEAM directory with all the games you play to a CD/DVD and voila! its all backed up. Bonus is, you copy the files from the CD/DVD to a new machine and its good to go, no downloads required on the target machine, unless there has been updates since your last backup. I find it to be tonnes quicker and easier than the old model of install original CD, patch the base game, install the mods you want, patch them......
  • Next Round (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 03, 2004 @10:04AM (#10148676)
    Valve starts to pre-load the Half-Life 2 Read Me file.
  • Encryption? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Sp00nMan (199816)
    While this may be the future of games delivery, I don't quite understand the "protection" involved with this Steam system. I mean, once the entire game is on your system, how long would it take for a pirate group to crack the thing and let you play it without paying? How is this going to be any different that other methods of copy protection?
    • Re:Encryption? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by karmatic (776420) on Friday September 03, 2004 @11:04AM (#10149226)
      It's not encrypted (despite what they say), if you fire up GCFScape, you can open and extract all the files.

      The true protection lies in that they aren't preloading Half-Life 2.gcf (the filename is in the ClientRegistry.blob file), which contains the client dlls, nor are they releasing the maps yet.
      • Is this a different "GCFScape" to the one commonly available?

        Just gave it a shot after closing Steam, and got "Failed to make GCF file to memory" errors..., and no change if I copy the file elsewhere and retry it. :(
        • The first preload downloaded two files. One of them, the smaller one by far, I can extract - it actually contains the HL2.exe - the other I can't, getting the same error you got.
        • Keep fiddling with it; It worked the first time I tried it, then gave me errors. I went back into steam, screwed around, quit, and it started working again.
    • Re:Encryption? (Score:3, Informative)

      This was covered fairly well in the discussion of part one of the article - they are not releasing the full product, they are releasing most of it. They are holding back a small chunk (or maybe even a large chunk) of crucial files and presumably a key for after payment has been received.

      If you do successfully hack it... you have a big pile of audio files and textures. Wheeee. Though I imagine some folks will try anyway.
      • Well what about when it does go final? Or are you saying you can't download the final pieces till you pay for it? Even then, what stops someone from putting it up on bittorrent or other sites?
  • This distribution method is quite cool (if it works as expected, we'll see), but does Steam has any way of providing the user some way to burn a hard copy of the game?
    • Why would you need one?
      • Well, downloading it's nice, but if Half Life 2 comes out being a couple of gigs it would be good to be able to burn it just in case you have to reinstall or something, instead of downloading it over and over again. Having a hard copy is nice.

        I was just wondering if this is possible with Steam; AC proposed to copy the game folder from Steam but i dunno if that would work that easily.
        • It'd probably be a start. But as the files can be updated anyway, unless you backed it up regularly you'd probably just be better off redownloading it.
    • In the past whenever I've had to re-initialze my hardrive I have just backed up the "SteamApps" Folder in the Steam Directory. Once I've re-installed Windows and downloaded Steam again I have simply replaced the default SteamApps Folder with my backup. Works like a charm

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