On the one hand, the company has explained its hardware strategy for the coming game devices „Steam Machines“ for the living-room. On the other hand, a new innovative controller to control these “machines” has been presented.
While term “Steam Machines” reveals the fact, that there won’t initially be a SteamBox from Valve in the near future, the new game console-similar devices will come from a number of manufacturers in 2014. In the meantime, Valve invites you to sign up the beta-test of a prototype. To qualify for the beta test, you have to register and to comply with the following conditions until 25 October:
After this announcement, it’s clear that Valve leaves the design and the selection of the hardware to its partners. Nevertheless the company encourages beta testers to help by the selection and test of the hardware.
After announcing an operating system and a hardware strategy, Valve has presented, in own opinion, the most important part of the new device, a new innovative controller. The new controller is a kind of gamepad and should help to close the gap between the PC for the table and the game console for the living-room.
To achieve this goal, the new controller have to become a proper replacement for the mouse and the keyboard, and have to ensure better precision over conventional gamepads. Therefore, the gamepad sticks were replaced with two trackpads with a precision of a mouse in the new controller. In addition, the new controller contains, aside from 16 different buttons, a touch screen in the center of the controller which can be used for the additional functionality such as input surfaces or an information display. With these features, the new controller should be suitable for the entire Steam library.
In this game, the player leads a small squad during the First World War and tries to complete several missions on the side of one of the three warring powers performing specific military tasks, coming up with tactical moves, managing the soldiers and military equipment on a battlefield.
Although the game is currently under development, with a nice graphics and great ideas, it’s already looking very solid. The release of the game is planned for January 2014.
One year after introducing of the Big Picture Mode and a half year after releasing of Steam for Linux, Valve is now going to announce the “expansion of the Steam universe” in 3 steps.
On Monday, the first leg of the grand plan was introduced. In this step, Valve has announced the development of a Linux-based operating system SteamOS. The new operating system was specially designed for the TV to make Steam usable as a game console in the living room. For a smooth game experience, Valve is continuously improving the graphics, audio and controller performance on SteamOS. In addition to supporting games, previously ported to Linux, SteamOS will allow playing all Windows or Mac games by streaming them to the SteamOS devices.
Moreover, SteamOS will provide a variety of multimedia and social applications. So, among others, it will allow using of all the music or movie services on it.
The new version of CrossOver is based on the latest version of Wine and thus includes a lot of improvements for various Windows application, like Starcraft II, World of Tanks or Microsoft Office. But the most conspicuous improvement on Linux is a new graphical user interface, which now includes a menu of launchers for all installed Windows applications, and which can be customized by the user.
Josh Klint, the founder of Leadwerks and graphics expert, has made us aware of his ambitious project Leadwerks 3. Leadwerks is a visual toolkit which allows developing any kind of computer games without great programming skills and in any game genre, such as platformer or first-person shooter.
Leadwerks has been existing for a while now, but only for Windows, Android and Mac. Klint said that with a Linux version of the tool, games will be developed directly on Linux and not, as previously, only be ported to Linux after the product release.
According to Klint, many Linux users are familiar with the computer sciences and just need a good tool for the game development.
Currently, it’s being decided on the inclusion of Leadweks in Steam on Steam Greenlight. Moreover, Josh Klint has launched a Kickstarter aiming to collect $20,000 to develop better graphics and support for Linux.
There are only 43 days remaining, but unlike Heavy Gear Assault, Leadwerks has got a much higher chance to succeed on Kickstarter.
Europa Universalis IV is expected to appear on 13 August 2013 for Linux, Windows and Mac. It was developed by Paradox Development Studio, the company that has published Crusader Kings II apart of Europa Universalis.
In 2012, Crusader Kings II was one of the best rated games on Metacritic and has got 82 out of 100 points, even 2 points more than Assassin’s Creed III which appeared in the same year. Therefore, there are a lot of expectations of Europa Universalis IV that will hopefully have a lot of new features.