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Team Fortress 2 introduces Maps Workshop beta

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Team Fortress 2 introduces Maps Workshop beta

If you’re a fan of Team Fortress 2, you’ll be a bigger fan of the Maps Workshop beta Valve have just announced. It’s a service that utilises the Steam Workshop to bring user-made maps to all of Team Fortress 2’s player base to enjoy. Map makers can use the new tool to get feedback on their custom maps, as well as a place to gain recognition.

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Steam will now give you a refund for "any reason" after policy update

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Steam will now give you a refund for "any reason" after policy update

Valve has just massively overhauled its Steam refund policy, allowing customers to apply for refunds on “nearly any purchase", and for “any reason". There are some small dependencies of course, and refunds differ between different types of products e.g. bundles, movies etc.

But the good news is, for the most part, Valve will give your dosh back if you’re unhappy.

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Source 2 version of Dota 2 spotted on SteamDB; could debut at The Dota 2 International

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Source 2 version of Dota 2 spotted on SteamDB; could debut at The Dota 2 International

SteamDB has spotted Valve pushing several versions of Dota 2 in the new Source 2 engine. There’s a version for each of the 32-bit and 64-bit Windows, Mac, Linux, and other clients such as the low-violence versions used in China.

These hibernating updates could signal that Valve aim to bring Source 2 to the public very, very soon - so soon as to have them in place for this year’s Dota 2 International.

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive forefronts community maps in Operation Bloodhound

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive forefronts community maps in Operation Bloodhound

History will record the time immediately after the release of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive as its quietest. Dota-style community initiatives have since engendered a surge in the playerbase of Valve’s classical multiplayer FPS, which will be four years old this summer.

eSports occasions like IEM Katowice and ESL One Cologne are part of that player-focused push, but Operations are its backbone. In now-established tradition, Bloodhound makes six community maps available to play on Valve’s servers.

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Valve's Lighthouse VR tracking system could help robots understand their location

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Valve's Lighthouse VR tracking system could help robots understand their location

The magic in Valve’s VR prototypes isn’t just in the headset. It’s in the positional tracking of the controllers. That tracking may have many other uses: including helping robot drones understand where they are in space. People who make robots are pretty excited. 

“Honestly, the rumors didn't do it justice: it's really elegant!" exclaimed Travis Deyle of Hizook. “I think this technology could be a "big deal" for robotics too."

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Dota 2's Compendium expands with new ways to earn points and levels

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Dota 2's Compendium expands with new ways to earn points and levels

Dota 2's latest update is offering players a couple of new ways to level up and earn points for their Compendium, the MOBA's challenge generating, prize pool funding, fantasy betting book thinger that turns your match predictions for The International tournament into points and prizes and unique and highly desirable rewards.

I hope you comprehendium, this thing called a Compendium.

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If you're good enough, you can play at this year's Dota 2 International 2015

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If you're good enough, you can play at this year's Dota 2 International 2015

Valve have raised the curtains on the ten lucky Dota 2 teams that have earned a direct invite to this year’s Dota 2 International 2015. Among the lineup is last year’s champions, Newbee - who took home the lion’s share of over $10.9 million dollars; the biggest eSports prize pool in history.

Even more exciting however, is Valve’s debut of the Open Qualifiers: two public tournaments that will feature up to 1024 teams from each of the region groups, hosted by FaceIt (Americas, Europe, Southeast Asia) and Perfect World (China). Any team can sign up, and the winner of each will earn a place in their respective regional qualifier with the rest of the professional teams.

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Steam screenshot key won't produce duplicate images anymore

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Steam screenshot key won't produce duplicate images anymore

It’s the little things. Time was you’d frame a particularly lovely landscape in Skyrim or Sir, You Are Being Hunted, stab at F12, and find yourself two identical records of the moment. Then you’d have the choice of pruning your screenshot folder of duplicate images, or living with the very mild discomfort of an imperfect picture gallery forever.

No longer. Valve have fixed the minor bug four years after it was first reported.

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The Dota 2 International 2015 prize pool hits $5 million dollars in just over two days

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The Dota 2 International 2015 prize pool hits $5 million dollars in just over two days

Just over 60 hours after it was released, player purchases of the Dota 2 International 2015 Compendium has skyrocketed the competitions prize pool to over $5 million dollars. Only 25% of the actual proceeds from player purchases go towards the pot, yet players have raised $3.4 million dollars at the time of writing, leaving Valve with a cool $10.2 million dollars gross profit from the sales.

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Valve clarify Dota 2 gifting restrictions; "we didn't have a better solution"

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Valve clarify Dota 2 gifting restrictions; "we didn't have a better solution"

Valve have recently gone on record to clarifying the seemingly bizarre gift restrictions implemented into Dota 2. Any item that’s bought via Dota 2 store is at the mercy of a week long ban on gifting, trading or being put on the game’s community market. With the introduction of the 2015 International Compendium, this has left some generous players, who were planning on gifting the item to friends and family, unable to do so.

The cause as it turns out is the rapid growth of credit card fraud, which are “not really traceable". With the week long period in place, it gives Valve and credit card companies enough time to stem the flow of fraudulent purchases.

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All bets are on: the Dota 2 International 2015 gets its crowdfunding Compendium

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All bets are on: the Dota 2 International 2015 gets its crowdfunding Compendium

Valve’s digital betting book and all-round tournament almanac is back. This time, the studio have seeded the Dota 2 International prize pool with over a million dollars, but are shooting for $15 million in player contributions - and they’ll probably get it, too. Last year’s Compendium garnered $10.9 million by the time of the International Grand Finals, dwarfing the $2.8m total collected in the initiative’s inaugural year.

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What do mod developers actually want from a paid mod system?

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What do mod developers actually want from a paid mod system?

On Thursday April 23rd, Valve introduced paid-for Skyrim mods to the Steam Workshop. But by the following Tuesday, they’d been whisked away again. The interim saw community uproar, creator disagreement and protest mods - leading Valve to conclude that they hadn’t given the matter due thought. They’ve since retired to the mail room to read through six months’ worth of forthright feedback emails.

Though the implementation was flawed, the dream was more difficult to argue with: an opportunity for modders to work on their creations full-time if they fancied it, and a reason for developers to support their communities with better tools.

We asked some of the minds behind mods like DayZ, Garry’s Mod and DSFix about the ways they’d patch Valve’s imperfect system.

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Valve introduces Game Bans on Steam; allows developers to report hackers and cheaters

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Valve introduces Game Bans on Steam; allows developers to report hackers and cheaters

Nobody likes a cheat, and Valve are no different. This week, they’ve widened their ability to ban nefarious individuals by allowing game developers to report any suspicious activity straight to Valve. Gamers that are found guilty can find themselves with a Game Ban for the specific games they cheat in, even ones that aren’t enforced with Valve’s own VAC and Overwatch anti-cheat system.

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Team Fortress 2 is picking up competitive matchmaking

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Team Fortress 2 is picking up competitive matchmaking

Matchmaking is something that can really take the headache out of getting into a multiplayer game. It’s something that Team Fortress 2 lacks, meaning you’ll have to sift through a server browser to find something ideal. 

Not for much longer though. According to the chaps at TeamFortressTV, Valve has informed them that competitive matchmaking is on its way to Team Fortress 2, along with a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive style stream list on the main menu. 

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We’ve got 1,000 keys for Survarium Premium, and we want you to have them. Make the apocalypse easier on yourself.

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Blockstorm hands on: dig a trench as Walter White for the first time in an FPS

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Drive Any Track hands on: splice your music collection with Wipeout

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Nvidia Showcase: Ten tips for making stunning GTA V videos

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Blade & Soul hands on: how NCSoft are bringing Wushu West

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The best Heroes of the Storm heroes for beginners

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Project CARS PC review

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Making it in Unreal: facing teenage demons with rage and fear in Red Goddess

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Hands on with the first pornography for the Oculus Rift (NSFW)

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Fair play to Nick Allen: the SKT-Fnatic bug, and the ambiguities of pro League of Legends

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Star Wars: The Old Republic is actually pretty good now, as long as you subscribe

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Introducing The Bard's Tale IV: the sequel Wasteland 2's creators always wanted to make

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Galactic Civilizations 3 review

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The best Grand Theft Auto V mods

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We’ve got an armoury full of keys for Warface guns, and we’re giving them away to you

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The 17 Best Indie Games on PC

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