Reinstall Half-life 2 & The Episodes Isn’t a Band in Cleveland

It’s a requirement for playing Jazztronauts, a mod for Garry’s Mod. Yes, you’ve read that correctly. You have to reinstall a bunch of old Source-engine games and get this weird ass $10 sandbox thing called Garry’s Mod to play Jazztronauts. You’re also going to need to read these instructions to get the game going. It’s worth it.

There are cats, they talk to you, they want you to steal for them. What are you stealing? Stuff, from random Source-engine game levels, like lamps, or tables, or chairs, or headcrabs in levels made for Team Fortress 2. The cats are funny in their conversations, the gameplay systems are normal but the manner in which you’re to carry them out are just so odd.

You’ll fulfill the fetch quests the bar-dwelling cats give you with a a “prop snatcher.” That’s the device the cats, and you, use to summon a Half-Life 2 scientist model in a t-pose with a gravity gun to grab the objects in the world and pull them back to the bar. A very strange machine in the bar converts those objects into money that you can use on upgrades and new tools to better traverse and collect objects in Source-engine levels that absolutely aren’t meant for you to explore outside of the original context of whatever game or mod they came from.

There’s a lot more to Jazztronauts that I wish I hadn’t known about before I tried it out. It’s very strange to play, and fun to explore the worlds that map makers create, with charmingly funny writing, and you can play it cooperatively with friends. Try it out.

Valve’s Erik Johnson Promises To Take Money From Anyone, For Almost Anything

As long as it isn’t “…illegal, or straight up trolling.”

Erik Johnson:

So we ended up going back to one of the principles in the forefront of our minds when we started Steam, and more recently as we worked on Steam Direct to open up the Store to many more developers: Valve shouldn’t be the ones deciding this. If you’re a player, we shouldn’t be choosing for you what content you can or can’t buy. If you’re a developer, we shouldn’t be choosing what content you’re allowed to create. Those choices should be yours to make. Our role should be to provide systems and tools to support your efforts to make these choices for yourself, and to help you do it in a way that makes you feel comfortable.

With that principle in mind, we’ve decided that the right approach is to allow everything onto the Steam Store, except for things that we decide are illegal, or straight up trolling. Taking this approach allows us to focus less on trying to police what should be on Steam, and more on building those tools to give people control over what kinds of content they see. We already have some tools, but they’re too hidden and not nearly comprehensive enough. We are going to enable you to override our recommendation algorithms and hide games containing the topics you’re not interested in. So if you don’t want to see anime games on your Store, you’ll be able to make that choice. If you want more options to control exactly what kinds of games your kids see when they browse the Store, you’ll be able to do that. And it’s not just players that need better tools either – developers who build controversial content shouldn’t have to deal with harassment because their game exists, and we’ll be building tools and options to support them too.

The end result of this is that Valve is fine with making money from software that encourage sexual assault and other awful trash as long as it isn’t “trolling.” Whatever that means. This is bad.

Valve needs to grow up and take responsibility for the software that they sell. This policy is the opposite of that.

The Steam Link is Getting Usurped by Apps

Valve is releasing Steam Link apps for iOS and Android sometime during the week of the 21st of May. They’ll stream games to your device or TV from a host computer just like the Steam Link box does. Valve says that these apps will support a few different types of controllers including Apple’s MFI standard, but I’m not sure how they have Steam Controller support working without attaching the full-size USB type A dongle, unless they intend for people to use a series of adapters.

The physical Steam Link box could still end up being useful by working with even more types of controllers, as well as running general purpose software using the Steam Link SDK.

Valve is also putting out an app to watch any videos purchased on Steam, because that’s a thing people do?

It’s a shame that game streaming is exclusively the domain of stores like Valve’s Steam and Nvidia’s streaming built-into their Geforce graphics cards. Although the latter has some open source support via the unofficial community-developed Moonlight project, neither option is perfect. Steam streaming is often broken for many games outside of Steam, and Nvidia only officially streams to their Shield tablet and set-top-box devices. If you’re using an AMD or intel video chipset they aren’t supported by Nvidia, either.

I’m not sure if there’s any room for a commercial third-party solution when Nvidia and Valve’s solutions work almost well enough, so it might have to be a community-developed open source project.

Steam Can Finally Move Games From One Drive to Another

Time was you had to move games from one drive to another by using hacky programs that abused features of Windows’ filesystem to make virtual links from a folder on one drive to another. For Steam games that isn’t a problem anymore. Now that Steam can use multiple game library folders, maybe one for each drive, Valve have added a feature to move games between library folders.

Here’s how it works if you don’t already have a separate library folder on another drive:

  1. Click the Steam menu, and then click on Settings:1 settings
  2. Click on the Downloads tab on the left, then click on the Steam Library Folders button:2a downloads
  3. Click on the Add Library Folder button and add a new folder if you don’t have one on the drive you’d like to move the games to.2b library folders
  4. Click Close and then OK. Right-click on the game you’d like to move to another library folder, click on Properties:3 properties
  5. Click on the Local Files tab, then click on the Move Install Folder button.4 local files
  6. Finally, select the new location for the game you’d like to move, click Move Folder, and then wait:5 move install folder

You Can Ignore Curators on Steam Now

Ignore curator

One thing I find particularly frustrating in Steam is being inundated with curator recommendations from Gamer Gate supporters like Total Biscuit, well the good news is that you can ignore them now. Of course, Valve has made this incredibly frustratingly only accessible from one page, and only when some algorithm decides to recommend that you follow that curator. That’s also the only place to undo ignoring that curator, despite each one having individual curation pages.

Andy Chalk:

Ignoring a curator will ensure that Steam will no longer recommend that curator on your home page. You can take that one step further by ignoring all the top curators recommended by Steam, which will cause Steam to stop recommending any curators at all. It’s a fairly small change, but potentially handy for dedicated Steam users who don’t especially care what other people think. A Valve rep described it as “part of our ongoing efforts to refine the services and features of Steam.”