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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Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.giantbomb.com/articles/jeff-gerstmann-heads-to-new-york-takes-questions/1100-4900/ He talks about the future games press and the games industry. It is worth your time even though it is a bit long, and stay for the QA. There are some good QA04/17/2014 - 5:28pm
IanCErm so they shouldn't sell edutainment at all? Why?04/17/2014 - 4:42pm
MaskedPixelanteNot that linkable, go onto Steam and there's stuff like Pajama Sam on the front-page, courtesy of Night Dive.04/17/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, again, please, please, PLEASE get in a habit of linking to whatever you're talking about.04/17/2014 - 4:05pm
MaskedPixelanteAnother round of Night Dive teasing and promising turns out to be stupid edutainment games. Thanks for wasting all our time, guys. See you never.04/17/2014 - 3:44pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the consequences were not only foreseeable, but very likely. anyone who understood supply demand curvs knew that was going to happen. SF has been a econ/trade hub for the last hundred years.04/17/2014 - 2:45pm
Andrew EisenMixedPixelante - Would you like to expand on that?04/17/2014 - 2:43pm
MaskedPixelanteWell, I am officially done with Night Dive Studios. Unless they can bring something worthwhile back, I'm never buying another game from them.04/17/2014 - 2:29pm
PHX Corphttp://www.msnbc.com/ronan-farrow/watch/video-games-continue-to-break-the-mold-229561923638 Ronan Farrow Daily on Video games breaking the mold04/17/2014 - 2:13pm
NeenekoAh yes, because by building something nice they were just asking for people to come push them out. Consequences are protested all the time when other people are implementing them.04/17/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew Wilsonok than they should not protest when the consequences of that choice occur.04/17/2014 - 1:06pm
NeenekoIf people want tall buildings, plenty of other cities with them. Part of freedom and markets is communities deciding what they do and do not want built in their collective space.04/17/2014 - 12:55pm
Sora-ChanI realize that they have ways getting around it, but one reason might be due to earthquakes.04/17/2014 - 4:42am
Matthew WilsonSF is a tech/ economic/ trade center it should be mostly tail building. this whole problem is because of the lack of tail buildings. How would having tail apartment buildings destroy SF? having tail buildings has not runed other cities around the US/world04/16/2014 - 10:51pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the issue is you can not build upwards anywhere in SF at the moment, and no you would not. You would bring prices to where they should have been before the market distortion. those prices are not economic or socially healthy.04/16/2014 - 10:46pm
ZippyDSMleeYou still wind up pushing people out of the non high rise aeras but tis least damage you can do all things considered.04/16/2014 - 10:26pm
ZippyDSMleeANd by mindlessly building upward you make it like every place else hurting property prices,ect,ect. You'll have to slowly segment the region into aeras where you will never build upward then alow some aeras to build upward.04/16/2014 - 10:25pm
Matthew WilsonSF have to build upwards they have natural growth limits. they can not grow outwards. ps growing outwards is terable just look at Orlando or Austin for that.04/16/2014 - 4:15pm
ZippyDSMleeIf they built upward then it would becoem like every other place making it worthless, if they don't build upward they will price people out making it worthless, what they need to do is a mix of things not just one exstreme or another.04/16/2014 - 4:00pm
Matthew Wilsonyou know the problem in SF was not the free market going wrong right? it was government distortion. by not allowing tall buildings to be build they limited supply. that is not free market.04/16/2014 - 3:48pm
 

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