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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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  • So that those who are already downloading 2Gb at 30kb/s get it even later.

    Nah I'm just trolling, there must be a lot of interest as nobody's getting a decent speed - well, a few have it completed, but its just a case of changing your settings and finding a location that's not suspended.

    Anyway, good job Valve on a free open source game that might actually be half decent :O)

    • The Ukraine and Siberia usually work well for me.

      That is, if I can even start the download.. as with most new releases and all TF2 updates, the content servers are overwhelmed.

    • 10 kb/s here, "yey". Kudos to Valve though, I thought this project was completely dead.
    • So that those who are already downloading 2Gb at 30kb/s get it even later.

      This is one game that is just begging to be a torrent...

      • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

        Indeed. I wonder if it's actually illegal to get this game off piratebay, it being freeware and all?

        • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

          Freeware != public domain.

          It's still copyrighted and as such the copyright owner is the only one with the right to distribute copies.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Hadlock ( 143607 )

        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 gre

        • 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!

          And this is why I gave up on Steam, and why everyone else should, too. I'd want back the time I spent making a workaround to play a game I couldn't play because of some bullshit DRM. And in fact I do want the time back I've spent making Steam work properly on Wine back before it was a shoo-in (had only DRM problems) but I can't have that either. Why pay to be abused?

    • by Briareos ( 21163 ) *

      Well, it just took me a whopping 8 minutes at 3.5MB/sec max to download those 2GB here in Austria - sure, it's 2 in the morning, but then again installing a bunch of games (15-20GB) some weeks ago during the day was chugging along at 2-3MB/sec also...

  • Nightblade (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @05:58PM (#32957050) Homepage

    Does this mean Nightblade is officially canceled?

  • Mac version? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thetagger ( 1057066 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:10PM (#32957210)

    Hmmm, am I the only one who is disappointed that there is no Mac version?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by VGPowerlord ( 621254 )

      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...

    • by Snaller ( 147050 )

      That's nothing compared to how disappointed you'd be if you actually got to play it.

    • Kinda sad that the game the mod came from (UT2K4) had a Mac version.

      I'm hoping Valve has it in the works.

  • Hire from community and give a game away for free. Thanks Valve! Can't understand why it's taken so long for someone to release a solid alien co-op blast fest. I suspect the next version will not be free but that's okay with me. Thanks again!
    • Well L4D was a co-op blast fest. Except in that game it was zombies and not aliens.

      • You do also have to pay for that one... but then again, that really is to be expected.

  • They get a lot of crap for the 'evil' DRM that is Steam, but seriously: they're giving away free stuff here. Incidentally, they gave Portal away for a time when they launched Steam for Mac. Their mod tools are free as well. AND they didn't require anyone to re-buy Valve apps for Mac when they ported them if you already bought 'em for Windows. I don't know of any of the other major software publishing houses that would do that. I'll be giving this mod a try as soon as I get home tonight.
    • by Shados ( 741919 )

      Valve is a pretty cool company. The DRM they implemented is really a compromise, and aside for the offline restrictions, its pretty much the best middleground you can have today for a game digital delivery platform (compromise as in publishers agree to it and players can still have fun). And while not open source across the board, they ARE very open as far as game industry goes.

      If there's only one thing that you could blame on them, is allowing publishers to use custom DRM on top of the Steam DRM. It should

    • To be honest, I pretty much have nothing to do with them, except when they're giving away free stuff. I don't personally mind DRM when the content is free, provided I'm able to use it. If they want to give it away with strings attached, that's fine by me.
    • No matter how much you complain about EA, they're going to suck and you better like it. Valve listens to the community pretty well, so not only does that motivate people to speak up more, but it makes it more frustrating when they still don't listen, as you actually expected results for once.

      Overall, I think you are creating a false dichotomy by saying Valve is good for some things, therefore people shouldn't complain about other stuff (it's what you're implying, not sure if you mean that). If you want a
  • We're /.ing steam!

    "The Steam servers are currently to busy to handle your request. Please try again in a few minutes"

  • 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.

    • by PylonHead ( 61401 )

      So.. it's basically gauntlet?

      • Well, kind of - I love Gauntlet. It's really a lot different because the aliens can come from any direction also above or below you, so they quite often have the element of surprise. There also aren't really monster generators, except there are some biomass you have to burn with a flamethrower or a mining laser.

        But yeah, it's kinda like Gauntlet in space...

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