Steam Passes 14 Million Concurrent Users for First Time Ever [PC Gamer] “Steam has surpassed 14 million concurrent users. The milestone was hit early January 7 and peaked at 14,207,039, according to Steam's stats page. It's now back to the mid-to-high 13 millions. Unsurprisingly, Dota 2 was the game with the highest concurrent player count at the peak today with 951,942 concurrent players. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive followed with 675,195 players, while Grand Theft Auto V rounded out the top three with 116,230. It's worth underlining that concurrent users isn't the same as concurrent players. The 14,207,039 number includes users who have Steam running in the background while they're doing other things or away from the PC altogether. Still, the figure is one measurement of Steam's growth over time.”
Have you ever wondered what your graphics card is doing every time it displays one frame of a game? Turns out quite a lot. [more inside]
The State of PC Piracy in 2016 [PC Gamer] “Piracy seems like it should be so simple, right? Stealing games is wrong. The end. But piracy is one of the most charged, complex, and divisive debates in gaming. Follow a piracy discussion long enough and it will spiral through issues as complicated as international economic policy, the concept of 'ownership' for digital property, game preservation, and the principle of the PC as an unrestricted technology platform. Piracy in 2016, the age of digital distribution, indie gaming, and Steam’s dominance, is a different animal from the PC piracy of 1990 or 2000 or 2010. Unlicensed software distribution is just as illegal as it was when Don’t Copy That Floppy was a meaningful anti-piracy strategy, but our own understanding of the crime and its motivations haven’t kept pace with technology.” [more inside]
Jimmy Maher of The Digital Antiquarian tells the story of Sierra Entertainment's gamble on the MS-DOS/IMB platform shaped PC gaming as we know it: from creating the first game with a cinematic score (and later helping to make the Sound Blaster a standard feature of home PCs); to pioneering the genre of adventure games with rich storytelling; to a female-friendly marketing and design strategy that was decades ahead of its time.
As Valve prepares for the general release of a divisive PC gaming controller (and Microsoft readies their "Elite" version of the popular-on-PC Xbox One Controller), perhaps it's time to revisit the strange history of our attempts to make the ideal dedicated controller for PC games. [more inside]
After a long wait, PC developer/publisher/hivemind Valve have finally begun to roll out their big push for the living room space. [more inside]
What's going on, and how to work around it. If you play some older PC games, you may have noticed that they don't work after a recent Windows update. They don't work because the update broke SafeDisc DRM. Another reason to hate SafeDisc DRM, as if we needed one.
Many PC gamers were disappointed that Ubisoft's latest AAA game Watch_Dogs did not look as nice as when displayed at E3 in 2012. But this week a modder discovered that code to improve the game on PC is still buried within the released game, and can be turned back on without difficulty or performance hits. Ubisoft has yet to answer whether (or why) their PC release was deliberately handicapped. [more inside]
The initial beta release of SteamOS became available for download yesterday. Intended to run on Valve's emerging SteamBox platform [Prev] , you can also install it on a fairly modern desktop PC today, presuming it can match up with the adoption-limiting early hardware support requiring UEFI BIOS and Nvidia GPUs ("AMD and Intel graphics support coming soon!"). [more inside]
From BLENDO Games: Thirty Flights of Loving, the very strange sequel to the equally strange Gravity Bone. [more inside]
On a desktop computer, which is faster: sending an IP packet 3,000 miles across the Atlantic ocean, or sending a pixel a couple of feet to your monitor? According to Johh Carmack, the IP packet arrives first. [more inside]
X-Com: UFO Defense, one of the most beloved strategy games of the 90s, was being remade as a first person shooter. That project has been pushed back to 2013. Instead, a 3D turn-based "reimagining" is in the works from Sid Meier's Firaxis Games - XCOM: Enemy Unknown. [more inside]
To jump straight into it, what made you decide to make a game involving rape? Inspiration was mostly personal, I’ve known a few girls who have been through similar situations, which sparked the concept. As far as the experience, I wanted to inspire emotion in the player, even if its vile and disgusting.Edmund is game designer Paul Greasley's contribution to indie PC gaming web site TIGSource's competition's adult section. Gamers react. [more inside]
First Person Shooters don't always have to cost you money. Free Doom and Starsiege: Tribes are two of the most well known free FPS around, but inside this post is a list of 32 more for you to checkout, download legally for free and enjoy. [more inside]
TweakGuides presents a very long examination of software piracy as it relates to PC gaming: "PC piracy and related topics such as DRM seem to have become so shrouded in illogical excuses, hysteria, scaremongering and uninformed opinions that having a sensible discussion on the topic is virtually impossible." [more inside]
While it's been noted Obama is the first presidential candidate to run political ads in video games and one of his transition team leaders plays World of Warcraft, there's no real evidence as yet that the coming administration encompasses the gaming experience and mindset. Since future ones undoubtedly will, as video and computer games go mainstream, it's worthwhile to ponder what things would be like if gamers ran the world. (via) [more inside]