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PC Games (Games) Games

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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:01PM (#32957088)

    No matter how good the games are, it'll never make up for how insidious STEAM is. No sale.

    Further, just like all DRM, STEAM continues to fail at its stated purpose (see epcgaming.com as just one example).

  • by Peach Rings ( 1782482 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:09PM (#32957196) Homepage

    If by crapware you mean the most excellent social gaming platform in existence?

    The stated purpose of steam is to distribute game content; it's a digital distribution network. If you have a game in your library, it will serve you the entire download at high speed any number of times you please, to any computer in the world that you please, at any time. No, it won't serve you the content if you don't have it on your account. Call that DRM if you want.

  • by pelrun ( 25021 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:42PM (#32957644)

    Strictly speaking it is DRM, but it's in a form that isn't about punishing the end user to make some high-rent manager with delusions of IP feel better.

  • by Monkeedude1212 ( 1560403 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:55PM (#32957778) Journal

    It also won't serve you content if you don't have internet access - something a CD would - but thats all apples and oranges anyways. It's still DRM, just some people like different kinds of DRM.

  • Absolutely. I understand why certain people rag on Steam, it is DRM in the most literal sense. But it's DRM done right. It isn't engineered to be as obtrusive as possible. It does exactly what it's built to and compensates for it's shortcomings by providing a lot of free services as an incentive to use it. Couple that with it's excellent prices, and I don't see any reason to complain.

    Furthermore, if there's any company that's going to make damn sure to unlock it's games if it goes under, it's Valve.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, 2010 @07:47PM (#32958264)

    My web browser can already provide any service that Steam does, thanks. I don't see the point in installing a specialised piece of software that is only used to push and sell products made by or approved of by a single game company. I also don't see the point in requiring Steam to run in the background while I play games nor the point in requiring an internet connection to play single player games.

    Yeah sorry, I'm going to have to agree with the original AC on this one.

  • Code base (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, 2010 @07:48PM (#32958290)

    They're not releasing the "code base". They're releasing an SDK containing the game logic. The engine (you know, the juicy bits) is still closed-source.

  • I'm not actually sure I'd call Steam's prices "excellent" aside from their frequent sales. Sales are nice, of course, but overall I've found Steam to typically be a little bit above what I can find from online retailers, and occasionally above what I can find on a physical shelf. I very rarely buy Steam games at more than half their list price; it's just not worth it. They also charge just as much for new titles as anywhere else, which is to say they charge a hell of a lot for new releases (over $60 for a single game with under 50 hours of unique playthrough seems really, really lame to me).

  • by pelrun ( 25021 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @08:01PM (#32958434)

    Sorry, but "All DRM is evil, period" is just plain wrong, and speaks to your prejudices more than anything else. Of course, it's perfectly understandable why you have those prejudices in the first place, considering how abusively the technology has been used by the entertainment industry, but still.

    The issues with the first sale doctrine are valid - but honestly, the real reason people want to sell these items second-hand is to recover some of the punishing prices that the games are being sold for new. Valve goes some way to address this with the deep discounts they offer on a lot of their products. I don't buy a game unless a) I want it badly enough to justify swallowing the initial high price, or b) it gets discounted to where it's undeniably good value. Considering the ridiculously low prices Valve sells games for on a regular basis, I think this is perfectly acceptable.

    The games that charge an obscene amount for little other reason than they can (*cough*MW2*cough*) don't find their way onto my account.

    And "Steam is the most onerous DRM out there today" - hyperbole much? Not to mention it's just outright wrong. *cough*Ubisoft*cough*

  • by gencha ( 1020671 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @08:01PM (#32958436)
    Even though I agree with you on the most parts, I think it's worth noting that it is extremely difficult to return items on Steam (if at all possible). Also, keep in mind the price differences Valve places upon customers. A game can cost $35 in the US and costs 35EUR in the EU. I have also personally purchased a game online which required activation on Steam. When trying that, Steam told me I was not allowed to own/use that game where I live and that I should return it. Steam in general refuses to sell me any games that aren't watered down to the lowest "violence" levels. Even though I can buy the original versions right at the store.

    Also, "high speed" is kind of a debatable term in this context. I guess 2MB/s is a high speed (I hardly ever get beyond that). But downloading a game from my library still takes longer than installing it from a disc. And the connection issues are even worse for the dedicated servers I run. Installing/updating server installations have always suffered from low speeds for me. This can be very frustrating at times.

    I still agree that Steam is most likely the best platform of it's kind around and I appreciate a lot of the benefits compared to retail games. Yet the above mentioned experiences leave at least a bitter aftertaste.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, 2010 @08:57PM (#32958986)

    Couple that with it's excellent prices

    I seriously hope you are kidding me. The prices are outrageous if they're not currently doing a sale. Compare Steam prices to Amazon and you'll often see a price difference of 10€ or more, especially on new games.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @11:01PM (#32959862) Journal
    If only someone would invent some sort of "secure hash algorithm"...
  • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @10:59AM (#32964568)

    Sorry, but "All DRM is evil, period" is just plain wrong, and speaks to your prejudices more than anything else....

    The issues with the first sale doctrine are valid...

    All DRM is evil, period, because DRM inherently violates the doctrine of first sale. QED.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser