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Valve Releases Updated Alien Swarm For Free With Code Base 164

baronvoncarson tips news that today Valve released an updated version of Alien Swarm, a popular Unreal Tournament 2004 total conversion mod. The creators of the mod were hired by Valve, and they've helped turn it into a stand-alone game running on the Source engine. Valve is also releasing the code base for Alien Swarm and an SDK. The game is available for free on Steam.
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Valve Releases Updated Alien Swarm For Free With Code Base

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  • Re:Nightblade (Score:3, Informative)

    by j.a.mcguire ( 551738 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:11PM (#32957226)
    Yes Nightblade has been cancelled.
  • Re:Free (Score:3, Informative)

    by Sir_Lewk ( 967686 ) <> on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:14PM (#32957268)

    Tremulous uses 2k4 code too, and doesn't require UT2004, and it's free.

    No. Tremulous uses the Quake 3 engine from iD, which is now open source.

  • Re:Free (Score:3, Informative)

    by daemonc ( 145175 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:24PM (#32957408)

    I just realized there is no way to moderate you as "-1 wrong", so I'll comment.

    In addition to be wrong about Alien Swarm (if you can't RTFA, at least read the summary), you're wrong about Tremulous too. It's based the GPL Quake 3 source code. []

  • Re:Mac version? (Score:3, Informative)

    by VGPowerlord ( 621254 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:36PM (#32957568)

    I don't have a Mac so I can't be disappointed.

    However, I'm also not surprised.

    Valve made a big deal about how Portal 2 was going to be their first simultaneous Windows/Mac release. Since Portal 2 hasn't come out yet, they clearly didn't plan a simultaneous release.

    Add to that that the two most recent Source games before this (L4D & L4D2) still haven't been ported to the Mac...

  • Re:Nightblade (Score:2, Informative)

    by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @07:37PM (#32958168) Homepage

    Topic is about folks at Black Cat Games getting hired by Valve, so is my post.

    So that isn't it. Any other ideas?

  • Re:Free (Score:2, Informative)

    by Dremth ( 1440207 ) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @02:15AM (#32960710)
    I was about to tell him to RTFA when I realized that it was actually in the summary. What is the world coming to when slashdotters don't even read the summary, much less RTFA?
  • by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @03:20AM (#32960982) Homepage Journal

    Actually, the .torrent popped up on a couple of private forums. Not a haxxored cracked copy, but the basic game file, simply because the Steam servers couldn't keep up. I know a couple of people ended up sharing it via sneakernet on 4GB flash drives, too :) Once the download starts, you can close steam, copy the full game into the specific folder, restart steam, and resume the download, and the game will install normally on your steam account, assuming your account is authorized to play that game. Works great. We did something similar last year at Quakecon (2000+ person lan party) when Valve released a major TF2 update the afternoon the event started. Had to update about 100 people via sneakernet, and then tether them to an iphone to get steam to verify the data and go into offline mode. What a farking PITA, but it worked!

  • Incredible (Score:4, Informative)

    by illumin8 ( 148082 ) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @11:48AM (#32965410) Journal

    Wow, 149 comments and not a single one modded up about actual gameplay?

    I'll go first - it's a pretty fun game. It's a squad based top-down shooter based on the Source engine. Multiplayer using either shared or dedicated servers. You choose one of 4 roles - Commander, Special Weapons, Tech, or Medic. There can be more than one Medic for example, but most missions require at least one Tech to hack open doors.

    You choose your weapon load-outs and characters/roles and enter the mission. You can carry two main weapons and one off-hand weapon. Some of the main weapons are unique to the character type - for example only Special Weapons can carry an auto-gun, and only a Medic can carry a medic gun, and some are available to all players. As you complete missions you gain XP and levels, which unlocks additional weapons. The levels are account specific, not character specific - for example I can get to level 9 playing as Special Weapons, which unlocks the Medic gun, and then I can switch to Medic so I can actually use it.

    The controls are fairly simple - W,A,S,D for up/down/left/right, and the mouse controls aim/firing, but since it's top-down you do have to aim in 3d space - you can aim close or far away. Friendly fire does happen with all but a couple weapons so you need to be careful not to hurt your teammates.

    Aliens swarm from almost everywhere - I guess that's how it got the name. They do come from creative places - climbing up from hatches in the floor, jumping down from the ceiling up above, climbing walls and tunnels. You can never be sure where they will come from. The missions seem to be mostly linear objectives, like gain access to this area, go here, destroy the alien biomass, escape, etc. and are filled with choreographed sequences of alien battles to keep you on your toes. If you stay too long in one area you will start to get random alien attacks as well, so it's not 100% choreographed/scripted.

    There are only about 7 or 8 missions in the game, and a group of friends and I were able to complete all of them on Normal mode in a few hours last night. We got to level 10 or so and unlocked a lot of weapons in doing so. I guess now the only thing to do is play it on Hard modes or wait until they release more maps/content.

    Some standouts: Your off-hand weapons are very unique and can be used for tactical advantage. For example, you can get combat flares that increase auto-aim effectiveness when dropped, hornet swarm missiles that are heat seeking, even adrenaline that makes the game go into slow motion - which has to be the coolest effect. In slow motion everything goes into The Matrix-like mode where you have tons of time to aim and line up your shots. The game also does it at certain times on it's own just for dramatic effect.

    Conclusion: A fun but short game - it will be interesting to see what type of content the mod-community creates for it. The squad-based tactics can be surprisingly deep if you have a good group of players on voice communication. Definitely worth a download for at least an afternoon or evening of fun with 3 friends.

Only God can make random selections.