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Posts Tagged ‘workshop’

News You Can Use, Round 2: 6/4/2015

Posted on: June 4th, 2015 by Obey

Don’t forget: The Steam Summer Sale is coming soon! See the previous blogpost for more info.

  1. The first Steam Machines are now available for preorder.
  2. TF2 patched, launching the “Maps Workshop Beta”.

1. Steam Machines (and Steam Controllers!)

Steam Machines are PCs designed and built to run using Steam OS, a free operating system made by Valve that would function in place of another OS like Windows or Linux.  These PCs are intended at attach to your digital TV and/or a standard computer monitor; it is essentially a console to run all things Steam (games, music, streaming services, and other software).  Here are previews from C-Net and GameSpot. Pre-order direct from Valve here.

Of course, you can build your own and install the Linux-based Steam OS yourself; Valve assumes that some users will do exactly that. PC Gamer put out two builds over a year ago here.  (Convenient timing on that new GeForce GTX 980, and the relatively low $649 price tag, eh?)

Steam Controller

What is fascinating the tech bloggers though, is the Steam Controller (MSRP US$50). The main buttons (pads?) are essentially a trackpad-like touch surface, but designed for use with your thumbs; the left one being oriented more for cardinal directions, but the right one essentially replacing a mouse, but with your thumb tip.  From there, the controller grows into an Xbox-like set of corner buttons and smaller, colored buttons around the pads. There are more features, so watch the official trailer and let it show them off: Polygon blogged about it, as did NBC News.

Keep in mind that Steam OS is a Linux-based OS, so it can only play Steam games that can be played on Linux systems–and the Steam Library should continue to grow in that regard, assuming the OS is popular. Which I think is a pretty safe bet, given how many people hate Microsoft and/or Apple and their OSes. Also because Steam and the Steam OS is free.


2. TF2 Patch… and “Maps Workshop”

If you like designing maps for TF2, or are looking for some new places to gib fools, TF2 now offers a Beta Workshop where anyone can upload, download, and critique maps. While some of us crusty veterans have no need of new places to fight, the game stays alive by attracting new blood and bringing players back with new features. Click on the official blogpost to learn more.

There also was a minor patch, mostly to apply the Workshop functionality to the game.


June 2, 2015: TF2 patch notes

  • Announcing the Maps Workshop Beta!
    • Check out the blog post for more information
    • Added bsp_repack command to repack a BSP file with optimal compression
    • Maps uploaded to the workshop are automatically compressed
    • Added tf_workshop_refresh command to recheck tracked workshop maps and refresh subscriptions
    • Added tf_workshop_map_sync command to immediately install a map from the workshop by ID
    • Added sv_allow_point_servercommand to disable point_servercommand entities. Defaults to “official” Valve maps only. Can also be set to “disallow” and “always”

Undocumented changes

June 4, 2015: TF2 patch notes

[N] Obey

What Are Limited User Accounts?

Posted on: April 18th, 2015 by Obey

Steam has made some changes to the client software in an attempt to reduce the number of phisher/hacker accounts. Rest assured that the following doesn’t apply to you if you have ever spent at least US$5 lifetime at the Steam Store.

UPDATE 5/31/15:  Valve explains their reasons for having limited users to PC Gamer.

A limited user is any Steam account that has not yet spent at least US$5.00 at the Steam Store; such a user is similar to a universal free-to-play account. Limited User accounts have had many of the functions of the Steam client removed–mostly to prevent phishers and hackers from creating throwaway Steam accounts. Among the features that are now disabled for Limited User accounts include:

  • Sending friend invites
  • Voting or posting on anything in Steam Workshop, Greenlight, or Reviews for a game/software
  • Opening text chat windows with another user or groups
  • Gaining Steam Profile Levels and Steam Trading Cards
  • Participating in the Steam Market

The above restrictions are lifted if the user buys a game(s) of at least $5 value in the Steam Store for yourself or as a gift, buys at least $5 worth of Steam Wallet funds, or adds a prepurchased Steam card to the account.

Limited User accounts can still play free-to-play games on Steam, promotional trial games like Free Weekends, receive and play gift games from another person, trade games and/or in-game items, and activate promotional CD keys (like from hardware companies or a Humble Bundle). However, none of these actions will earn full user access; at least $5 of funds and/or content must be purchased from Steam (or a Steam card from a third-party, and then applied) to remove the Limited User restrictions. Again, receiving a game(s) or in-game items as gifts will not remove the restrictions.


[N] Obey