Current events

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The Orange Box now available for preorder

September 11th, 2007: The Orange Box is now available for preorder from Steam, including the ability to play in the Team Fortress 2 beta starting September 17th.

VTF Shell Extensions 1.05, with Vista support

August 20th, 2007: The VTF Shell Extensions tool, which enables Windows to display the contents of VTF files as thumbnail images, has been updated to support Vista. Download version 1.05 here.

New version of XSI Mod Tool available for modelers!


August 14th, 2007: A new version of the SoftImage|XSI Mod Tool is available! This brings the tool from version 4.2 to 6.0. A series of tutorials from Noesis Interactive's DVD range are available for free to help you get started.

Illustrative Rendering in Team Fortress 2

August 13th, 2007: Watch this TF2 tech demo for an overview of Valve's technological and artistic direction. Prepare for big words!

Steam community

August 5th, 2007: The Steam community beta has now been released. You can take a look at it here to find out more about it: The Steam Community

Nigredo Studios Site Relaunch

24 June, 2007: The Nigredo Studios website has been relaunched with information on their upcoming 'FPRPS' (First Person Role Play Strategy) title.

Natural Selection 2 Texturing

23 May, 2007: The Natural Selection 2 team have posted a video of team member Jason Lange creating a base texture for a cannister prop from scratch. If you've ever wondered what goes into making a material, watch it now!

Facial animation version 3: hardware acceleration!

15 May, 2007: Spot something unusual in TF2's latest video?

We are pleased to announce that the next generation of facial animation technology for Source will be released in Team Fortress 2. By leveraging the rapid pace of advancement in PC graphics, videogames can now match and actually surpass the facial animation used in feature film and broadcast television production. We've released a video of this real-time, in-game, in-engine facial animation in action in support of ATI's launch of the Radeon HD 2000 series. By running entirely on the GPU of the videocard, the facial animation not only looks dramatically better, but frees up the CPU to perform other tasks like physics or AI.

Whether or not the new system requires DirectX 10 remains to be seen.

Source Particle Benchmark

May 10, 2007: Video available: [1]

4 New modding DVD movies are available

Valve have updated their store with 4 new DVD movies about modding:

Sign up now for the Deep 6 alpha

3 Apr, 2007: Deep 6 is a multiplayer-only 6DOF game built with the Source engine. Developers Leaping Lizard Software are currently looking for closed-alpha testers!

Taking a cue from the pulp comics of the 1940s and 50s, Deep 6 takes players into a world submerged under the sea, where the battle of World War II rages on. Players take command of a fighter-sub, caught up in the ongoing battle between the Axis and Allies for control of the lost city of Atlantis.

Focusing solely on multiplayer combat, Deep 6 contains four different game modes that will keep players coming back for more, including Deathmatch/Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and two more never-before-seen gamemodes- "Rip Off" and "Blitzkrieg." Combat is fast-paced and frenetic... with full 360 degrees of movement, combat can come from any direction - at any time. A large arsenal of new, unique weapons makes sure combat is diverse and rewarding.

Sign up here. You'll need a Source SDK game to play, as the installation is currently in mod form.

Source and the Wiimote

31 Jan, 2007: The Half Life 2 Wiimote Mod has successfully integrated the Nintendo Wii's motion controller to the Source engine. There are plenty of demo videos to watch, with the nunchuck's use particularly interesting: flick it to precisely throw a grenade, rotate it to twist an object held by the gravity gun, and plenty more. The mod has full, 360 degree motion support, including Red Steel-style viewmodel movement and ironsights for extra accuracy!

Steam Winter Update

5 Jan, 2007: The Steam Winter Update is due for release next week. Valve send word of some highlights:

New User Interface
Steam's got a new coat of paint. We've stripped away all the non-essentials and created a new streamlined appearance, available in five different colors.
Steam's catalog of games has grown quite a bit over the past year or so. The new Favorites feature in the My Games tab of Steam allows for quick access to your favorite Steam games and additional functionality for personalizing your Steam library of content.
Background Client Updates
Since the Steam client was first released, it has always kept itself up to date -- but now it'll do so without making you wait during startup. Instead, it will acquire new updates in the background and then (once they're downloaded) ask if you'd like to restart and apply them. Steam will also let you know what's new whenever a new update is ready to apply.
Guest Passes
Guest Passes allow owners of certain Steam games (purchased either via Steam or at retail) to let their friends play games for free, for a limited time trial. The first game to take advantage of this new feature will be Day of Defeat: Source.

Pirates, Vikings, and Knights II - Beta release

1 Jan, 2007: PVKII has hit the web, picking up the shards from it's HL1 predecessor, twisting and turning them to create leaner, meaner and prettier non-historically accurate action than ever before. Pitting nimble Pirates, powerful Knights and mighty Vikings against each other on the HL2 engine, PVKII features an innovative melee combat system, nearly 100% custom content and a complete lack of ninjas, designed to be all that its predecessor was, and more!

Poke646: Vendetta released

21 Dec: Five years on, the sequel to the acclaimed Poke646 single-player mod has been released - combining cryptic puzzles, fierce combat and stunning audio and visuals, all running on the ancient yet versatile engine from the original Half-Life game. If the original Poke646 could have been described as Half-Life's swan song, then Vendetta is a startlingly clear voice from beyond the grave - showing that good design and artistry can more than overcome any technological hurdles placed in their path!

Multithreading the Source engine

2 Nov: Bit-Tech are hosting a preview of the Source engine's new multithreading technology. Valve's solution automatically scales to any number of cores and is backwards-compatible - but mods will need to recompile to take advantage of it, and of course restructure code to see the full benefit.

Multi-threading support is due out before the end of the year.

Source for Xbox 360 available now

16 Oct: Source is now officially available for licensing on the Xbox 360. Currently only Threewave Software and Valve themselves are known to be developing for Microsoft's new console with it.

Source360 is an 'official middleware solution', so it looks like MS thought it was pretty good too. :-)

Valve is pleased to announce the availability of the Source engine technology as an official middleware solution for developers on the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft.

Source, the technology that powered Valve's Half-Life 2, is already the benchmark game technology on Microsoft's Windows platform, offering state of the art performance in graphics, networking, artificial intelligence, physics simulation and more. The version of Source, available for Xbox 360, is optimized to utilize the platform's advance graphics hardware and offer full support for Xbox Live.

"The combination of Source and the Xbox 360 provides game designers throughout the industry the chance to create powerful entertainment experiences," said Gabe Newell, president and co-founder of Valve. "Whether they're pursuing a traditional FPS, RTS, RPG or delving into new genres, Source and the Xbox 360 are designed to offer the flexibility and tools to allow designers to pursue any design imaginable."

For more information about licensing Source or leveraging any of Valve's technologies, please email Jason Holtman.

The Ship SDK

03 Oct: A third-party version of The Ship SDK has been built and released for those inclined to make maps for The Ship.


06 Sep: Mike Durand has opened a Bugzilla, a bug-tracking tool, where everyone can report bugs related to the SDK.