Last week I had the extreme pleasure of going to downtown Bellevue and visiting the headquarters of Valve Software. While it is relatively easy to take a tour of Valve (you can contact them and arrange for a tour Tuesday or Thursday every week), this was something a little bit different. I am part of an online gaming community and, as luck would have it, one of our members is employed there and was able to arrange a ‘special’ visit. Our community came out in massive numbers (40+ of us total) and jumped at the chance to explore a company we adore at a level deeper than just playing the various games they produce or complaining on the Steam forums.
It’s a MOBA! It’s 3 vs. 3! It’s…basically Team Fortress 2 arcade?
If you’re into action platforms that involve base defense and lots of fast-paced hacking, slashing, shooting, biting and/or blowing up enemies in an attempt to gain money (solar in this case) then you should definitely check out Awesomenauts. This game was recently released by Ronimo, and despite the developer having a very small track record (only one other game which I have never heard of), Awesomenauts may be their ticket onto the casual gaming map.
The original Borderlands was without a question a smash hit. A blockbuster. The new game in town. The Next Big Thing. But at the same time it confused the hell out of the industry. How did this FPS RPG game with cel-shaded aesthetics, thick borders, weird little tin can robots and nothing at all to do with “modern warfare” become so successful and popular? What did developer Gearbox Software do so well that it was able to rally a huge fanbase in a short amount of time around a completely new intellectual property? Did they just get lucky or is there something to be learned here?
Yes, ever-patient Valve fans, the time has come. When that mysterious Pyro from Team Fortress 2 will take off his (or her) mask and finally reveal themselves. Well, I mean, I’m just speculating. Its kinda hard for the Pyro to say anything with that heavy mask on.
Year after year Valve has been treating us to some quality entertainment that no doubt has greatly improved the FPS genre and generally impressed us all that Valve can actually handle yearly releases. It doesn’t seem too long ago that we were all waiting with nearly monk-like patience for Half-Life 2 to release only to be crushed by more and more delays or hacking controversies. But the greater question that keeps resurfacing at each and every Valve announcement has been unanimous – where the heck is that Episode 3 you guys promised us?
Halloween is tonight and you don’t want to be called out when you stand on your tip-toes and go as “my slightly taller brother”. These are not only some great gaming-themed costumes, but are also mostly do-able, as in they won’t take weeks and weeks of work to pull together. You might not be able to pull it together before its time to steal candy from the neighbors, but at least you can admire the effort others put in. Hit the jump for more!