Steam Offers Alien Storm Game, Source for FREE

July 19, 2010 -

Although not necessarily fitting for the pages of Game Politics, everyone enjoys getting something for free, and beginning today Valve is offering a brand new game - along with its course code - with no strings attached. The game is a top down cooperative shooter called Alien Swarm. Valve will also be releasing all the source code for the Steamworks-integrated title as part of a SDK update also to be released today.

The game was originally being developed by Black Cat, but after Valve hired the entire team to work on Portal 2 and Left 4 Dead series, development on the Source Engine based shooter game slowed to a crawl, with Black Cat working on it in its spare time.

You can learn more about the game by visiting www.alienswarm.comSteamPowered.com or by firing up your Steam client.

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Comments

Re: Steam Offers Alien Storm Game, Source for FREE

Couldn't help noticing a few typos as well. It's called Alien Swarm not Storm, and Source code not Course code.

Spell check can only do so much XD

Re: Steam Offers Alien Storm Game, Source for FREE

Fixed in the story now -- but still not in the headline.

Re: Steam Offers Alien Storm Game, Source for FREE

And this news is political how? don't get me wrong I like free games as much as the next guy but there's a reason the site is called GamePolitics

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Steam Offers Alien Storm Game, Source for FREE

Drop it.  Even Dennis posted items that he admitted had nothing to do with politics.

Re: Steam Offers Alien Storm Game, Source for FREE

Which, as I've said before, is not actually a rebuttal so much as a "Hey!  Look over there!"

But I really DO think, the article's first-sentence disclaimer aside, this is a political story, because free software is an inherently political issue.  (Now, the Open-Source movement, from its very inception, seeks to avoid that political bent, but I'd argue it's not entirely successful.)

Re: Steam Offers Alien Storm Game, Source for FREE

"And this news is political how?"

It's not, as admitted in the article's very first sentence.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Steam Offers Alien Storm Game, Source for FREE

I know I'm one of the guys who's complained in the past about off-topic articles on GP, but I'm actually inclined to disagree on this one -- a major publisher releasing a title under free-as-in-beer and free-as-in-speech terms IS political.

Anyone know what license it's published under?

Re: Steam Offers Alien Storm Game, Source for FREE

"a major publisher releasing a title under free-as-in-beer and free-as-in-speech terms IS political."

Eh, I think you're stretching things a bit.  It's being released through Valve, but at the same time, you could just as easily say that that it's just a free port of a previously free UT2k4 mod that was made by a cool indie team.  The only difference now is that the Black Cat folks have more prominent (and well deserved!) day jobs, and their employer's giving some free promotion to an impressive mod.

That being said, even as an off-topic post, I still find it more interesting that some of the other articles that get posted.  For example, the article about people in England needing to lock their doors doesn't really have a political hook (beyond involving crime prevention) and doesn't really have a gaming hook (beyond the fact that gaming consoles represent one of the many things that burglars like to steal).

As for Alien Swarm, I've only played the UT2k4 version, but it was a blast.  Most immediately noticeable is that it's using an FPS engine for a non-FPS view.  Instead, it's top-down view of a 3D world that plays like a 2D game.  W/A/S/D is used for absolute movement (i.e. W always moves to the top of the screen regardless of which way your character's facing), and your character always faces and fires toward your mouse pointer.

There are a number of things in the game that can also be seen in the L4D series: Friendly fire is always on (and really forces team-work; in a top-down setup, it's a lot easier to split up who's responsible for enemies coming from which direction).  Games consist of campaigns that're generally designed to be completed in a single extended play session with the campaigns broken into discrete levels (corresponding to the sections between safe houses in L4D).  Characters have limited carrying capacity and have to rely on being part of a team to get everything done, and bots are used to pad the team out to 4 players.  Supplies are finite but not anemic and are replenished between levels.  Characters all have pre-assigned names and personalities.

Unlike L4D, Alien Swarm has distinct character classes (heavy weapons, medic, tech, etc.).  It also has more complicated maps.  It's harder to get lost in a top-down view, and it didn't have the commercial necessity of trying to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, so they could make things a bit trickier.  In addition, the potential for characters with certain skills or equipment allowed them to vary some of the routes and interaction that could take place with the level.  Finally, it's got some RPG elements with characters leveling up skills between maps based largely on their performance in the level.

Overall, it was a fun game.  Unless they completely botched the Source port (which I find highly unlikely), I'd say it's worth the download.

Re: Steam Offers Alien Storm Game, Source for FREE

"Eh, I think you're stretching things a bit.  It's being released through Valve, but at the same time, you could just as easily say that that it's just a free port of a previously free UT2k4 mod that was made by a cool indie team."

Fair, but releasing the source and dev tools to encourage community development is a good bit of PR and also a positive outreach to the public.

There are other questions here which have a political bent: what's the license, and does it cover the resources or just the code?  Those might seem like technicalities but they have pretty broad implications to how the source can be reused.

As for the UK "lock your doors" story, yeah, pretty pointless, but GP's wheat-to-chaff ratio has been sky-high lately.  A lot of it's because of Schwarzenegger v. EMA, but whatever the reason, they've really been hitting it out of the park these last few weeks, and it's a lot easier to ignore the fluff stories when there are comparatively few of them.

 
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PHX CorpI'm going to do a test stream later today, if anyone is intrested07/31/2014 - 2:40pm
Andrew EisenYes, I'm such a big Nintendo dork that I read Nintendo's quarterly financial reports.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenCool tidbit - Mario Kart 8 sales account for more than half of total Wii U software sales for the last quarter even though it was only available for the last third.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenStill a pretty cool promotion. Unfortunately for me, I'm not interested in purchasing Mario Kart 8 and I already owned or didn't want any of the free games on offer.07/31/2014 - 1:43pm
Andrew EisenInteresting that EU had 10 games to choose from while North America only had four.07/31/2014 - 1:41pm
MaskedPixelanteIt certainly worked, I probably would never have bought Mario Kart 8 if it didn't come with a free copy of Wind Waker HD.07/31/2014 - 1:14pm
Andrew EisenI imagine will see similar promotions like "Buy Mario Kart 8 get a download code for one of these specific games" but almost certainly not for all of its (however you would define) biggest releases.07/31/2014 - 11:24am
MaskedPixelanteI wonder if Nintendo is going to be doing "buy one get one free" promos for all their biggest releases going forward.07/31/2014 - 10:48am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/special-report-retail-revolt-over-pc-code-strippers/013614007/31/2014 - 8:27am
ZippyDSMleeWouldn't they be able to afford and get done in a timely manner a general gba emluator for the 3DS? It seems to me if they want to make money off sales they need to do it.07/31/2014 - 7:25am
Sora-ChanAmbassador program, that's what I was looking for. Anyway the other games that have been made no longer exclusive to the early adopters got updates in their software. It'll only be a matter of time more than likely for the GBA to get the same treatment.07/31/2014 - 5:35am
Sora-ChanI might be naming it incorrectly when I say "founder" i mean the program for earlier adopters.07/31/2014 - 5:34am
Sora-Chanthe 3DS's GBA emulator was a rush job due to the founder program. No other GBA titles have been released on the 3DS yet. If/When they do get around to it, they'll more than likely update the emulation software.07/31/2014 - 5:32am
Zenemulator...it's not just a slap job that makes "some" work..they do it for each which is why they work so well. I would rather have the quality over just a slap job.07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
ZenMatthew there is a difference between "worked" and "accurate". You play the Nintendo VC titles they play as damn close to the original as possible. The PSP would just run them as best they could, issues and all. And Masked...EACH VC title has their own07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
MaskedPixelanteOnce again, the 3DS already HAS a GBA emulator, it just can't run at the same time as the 3DS OS.07/30/2014 - 4:54pm
Matthew Wilsonyou cant street pass in ds mode ether, and if moders can make a gba emulator that runs very well on the psp as I understand it. you are telling me that Nintendo devs are not as good as moders?07/30/2014 - 4:49pm
Zenperformance. Halo 1 and 2 worked great because they actually did custom work on each of them...just like Nintendo does now lol07/30/2014 - 4:08pm
Zenexisting hardware while the GBA has to be emulated completely. Same reason the 360 couldn't run most Original Xbox games correctly, or had issues because they just did "blanket approach" for their emulation which led to game killing bugs or horrible07/30/2014 - 4:07pm
ZenSora/Matthew: It's not just Miiverse, but the whole idea of streetpass and things like that would be affected if the OS is not running. And just because a 3DS game can be downloaded and run does not mean that GBA can as easily. Those 3DS games use the07/30/2014 - 4:06pm
 

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