ZHLT and CST Updates Avaliable
Amckern, the developer of ZHLT and CST, has informed us that he has released ZHLT 3.4 Final as well as CST 1.1. Zoner's Half Life Tools (ZHLT) are custom map compiling tools for Half-Life that increase quality, speed up map compiles, and give you better overall results, Custom Source Tools (CST) do the same but for the Source Engine. If you're a level designer, then you know these tools are a must have. The updated files are available for download here.
Valve at Game Developers Conference 2006
20th Feb: Valve is taking part in four lectures at the upcoming GDC2006 industry event.
- Valve's Design Process for Creating Half-Life 2 
- Brian Jacobson
- David Speyrer
- Physical Gameplay in Half-Life 2 
- Jay Stelly
- What's Next in Digital Distribution & Mainstream Games 
- Gabe Newell
- Greg Zeschuk (Bioware)
- Ray Muzyka (Bioware)
- Greg Canessa (Xbox Live!)
- Lars Brubaker (Reflexive Entertainment)
- Thomas Arundel (Introversion)
- The Art of Munging AI 
- Tom Leonard (Valve)
- Jessica Bayliss (University professor or something)
- John O'Brien (Red Storm)
Twilight War: After the Fall Resurrected!
17 Feb 2006: The MMORPG Twilight War, cancelled in December of last year, has been brought back to life with new investment, following a deal in which the concept was licenced to IT company General Computers along with a sub-licence of the Source engine. The Twilight War forums remain closed, but original developers Smiling Gator promise to keep supporters informed.
Friends 3.0 beta released
31 Jan 2006: The instant messaging feature of Steam is back in action. Check the beta page for more information.
New category headers
Dystopia Update 4 Released
11 Jan 2006: Update 4 for the Dystopia demo has been released. The update includes 2 new levels, dys_Silo and dys_Fortress along with a huge number of changes. You can find a long list of mirrors on the downloads page of the Dystopia website.
- Full Update 4 Changelog
- New Player Guide
- Update 4 Screenshots
- Dystopia Forums
- Dystopia Player Statistics
HL2: Aftermath Dated: April 24th on Steam and at retail
Doug Lombardi via ModHQ:
"We're currently targeting April 24th for the release of both Aftermath and
Platinum will include HL2, HL2 DM, CS: Source, DoD: Source, and Aftermath."
HL2: Substance v1.2 Gold Released
New version of Battle Grounds 2 released
01 Jan 2006: A new version of Battle Grounds 2 called BG2 v0.15 has been released
24 Dec 2005: A demo for Rag Doll Kung Fu has been released
Available Now: 64-Bit Half-Life® 2 and Lost Coast™
Mistake Of Pythagoras Released
Added a page in the Wikipedia for the Valve Developer Community. Why hadn't anybody done this already?
CAD fans rejoice
17th Dec 2005: It isn't every day one of the mist well-known comic artists in the gaming world offer to make textures for a mod. Which is probably why anyone who remembers the classic Rocket Jockey should right now be jumping to attention:
"In fact, now that I think about it, if some independant mod team out there were to tackle this project, were to bring an updated Rocket Jockey to the scene using, say, the HL2 engine, well... I'd have to volunteer to help do the texture work." 
Only one question now: any takers?
Combine Destiny Released!
Scaling the Cabal: Valve's Design Process for Creating Half-Life 2
4 Dec 2005: Last month Valve wrote a piece for Game Developer Magazine, Scaling the Cabal . The article covers their unusual system of several tight-knit 'cabal' groups each concentrating on their chunk of the game, rather than the standard system of each developer working on a wide area over the course of development. It also describes the ways in which they overcome the problems cabals present, and how the system changed from Half-Life 1 to 2. A fascinating read, especially having used the Source mod tools.
Robin Walker's presentation "Making Mods with Source" available for download
4 Dec 2005: Robin Walker spoke about Mod Development at a seminar hosted by IGDA Kansai (IGDA chapter for Kyoto and Osaka, held in LED ZONE Kyoto (Counter-Strike NEO Arcade center). You can download his slides here (igda.jp). It's a must-read along with Making a MOD.
Additional mirror of the presentation at http://oregonstate.edu/~holtt/ModPresentation_Robin_Walker.ppt
Warren Spector is also coming to Steam!