TPG Cast Episode 6: Linux Gaming and DRM

Ethan Lee from flibitijibibo (The Big Steam List of 3rd Party DRM and Steam on Linux) takes both Phil Cordaro and Adam Ames to school on all things Linux.  Ethan starts by talking about the origins behind his site and motivation in porting games to Linux.  In the end, Ethan tells his harrowing tale of losing 100GB of data thanks to SecuRom.  Finally, the most important aspect to this show was the realization that we call could use more downloadable RAM.  Ethan would also like to thank Josh Bush for his contributions in designing and maintenance of flibitijibibo.

Download via Dropbox or listen on YouTube.

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Running Time: 1 hour, 19 minutes.

Steam Profile Analysis

Have you ever wondered what percentage of Steam games you own have never been launched?  Thanks to lambentstew.com you can now pull back the curtain on this and many other pieces of statical information based on your Steam ID. Feel free to post your information in the comments section below.  Did you think your stats would turn out like they did?  If uploading an image, be sure to block out usernames if you do not want your Steam ID public.

EYE Divine Cybermancy Steam Code Giveaway: Your Greatest PC Gaming Surprise

TPG, in association with Streumon Studio, is offering five (5) Steam keys for the cyberpunk FPS/RPG hybrid, E.Y.E. Divine Cybermancy.  Enter this contest by using the comment section to tell a story about your greatest PC gaming surprise.  Did buy a game on a whim not thinking it would not be much but ended up being awesome?  Have you purchased a PC component from an upstart company which turned out to be a fantastic experience?  You can also use your favorite plot twists or in-game stories as well.

Rules and details are inside.

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Torchlight Steam Code Giveaway: The Game That Got You Into PC Gaming

TPG, in association with Runic Games, is giving giving away five (5) Steam codes for their dungeon crawling RPG, Torchlight.  To enter, tell us a story about the game (or games) that made you become a fan of PC gaming and why it had such an impact on you.  Already own Torchlight?  Enter anyway and give the code to a friend.

Rules and details are inside.

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Free Games On Desura and Steam

If you are looking for some PC gaming freebies and willing to install Steam or Desura, here is are two links to keep you occupied for some time.  Reddit user, cycophuk, compiled an extensive list of free games you can play via Desura.  In addition, a thread posted in the Steam Forums also gives a list of free titles, mods and other goodies you can download keeping your wallet safe.

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Paradox Interactive Steam Code Giveaway: Your Finest Strategy Moment

TPG, in conjunction with Paradox Interactive, are giving away three (3) Steam codes each for Crusader Kings II and King Arthur II. The three chosen winners will receive a Steam code for both titles.  To enter, use the comment section to post a story about your finest moment in a PC strategy game.

The Rules:

  • No Profanity
  • One entry, per person, per e-mail address, per IP
  • 48 Hours Only
  • Post your first name and last initial
  • Post your finest RTS moment

TPG team members will decide on winners based on their favorite stories.  The individuals with winning entries will be contacted via e-mail with their Steam code shortly after the contest has concluded.

This contest is now over.  The winners are: Balazas, Sam and Gavin.  Thanks to all who participated.

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Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition Steam Code Giveaway – Your Biggest PC Gaming Regret

TPG, in conjunction with Bethesda, are giving away three (3) Steam codes for Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition.  To enter, use the comment section to post a story about your biggest PC gaming regret.  Bought a game or piece of hardware at launch against your better judgement?  Purchased a game or piece of hardware only to see it go on sale the very next day?  Tried a new brand of component but ended up disappointed?  Tell us all about it.  Your regret could score you hundreds of hours in quality entertainment.

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Xotic Steam Code Giveaway: Your Greatest Arcade High Score

TPG, in association with WXP Games, is giving giving away five (5) Steam codes for their arcade-style FPS, Xotic.  To enter this contest, use the comment section to tell us a story about a time when you achieved a high score while playing an arcade machine.  The winners will be picked by members of TPG and WXP Games based on their favorite responses and sent Steam keys via e-mail shortly after the contest is over.  You can also read our thoughts on Xotic from Mike A and Luke.

George Costanza need not apply.

The Rules:

  • No Profanity
  • One entry, per person, per e-mail address, per IP
  • 48 Hours Only
  • Post your first name and last initial
  • Post your greatest arcade high score achievement
  • Try to keep entries to a few paragraphs

This contest is now over.  Thanks to everyone who shared their stories.  The winners are Rikki, William C, Orcone, Huan and Louis P.

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A Message To Valve: Call for Communication

A thread on Reddit and in the Steam Forums points to a Steam Group with the purpose of getting as many Steam users to play Half-Life 2 on February 4th between 11:00am-11:30am PDT.  The reasoning behind this movement is to make Half-Life 2 the most played game on Steam during this time so of the brass at Valve will make an attempt better communicate with its fanbase as to the current development process of the long awaited, Half-Life 2: Episode 3.

Here is a quote from the Steam Group member page:

The lack of communication between Valve and the Half-Life community has been a frustrating experience. While continued support for current and future products is greatly appreciated, fans of the Half-Life series have waited years for a word on when the franchise will return.

So, Instead of focusing efforts in a negative and disrespectful way, we have decided to gain Valve’s attention by delivering a basic message:

Your oldest and longest running fanbase would like better communication.

You can also follow the Steam Group via Twitter and Facebook.

GetGames Sale – Human Revolution, Serious Sam 3 and Batman Bundle

GetGames is currently offering great deals on some of the best PC games of 2011.  Deus Ex and Serious Sam both activate on Steam, but it is not clear if Batman does as well.  Keep in mind both Batman titles do require Games For Windows Live.  Noah Baxter seems to be one the lucky ones as he had no issues with GFWL during his time with Arkham City.  Serious Sam ends at 18:00 GMT on the 28th while Deus Ex gets an extra 24 hours.

Human Revolution: $14.99

Human Revolution: Missing Link – $4.49

Buy Batman: Arkham City, get Arkham Asylum free

Serious Sam 3: $16.99

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List of PC Gaming Digital Distribution Stores

The popularity of digital distribution has skyrocketed over the last few years.  In 2011 alone, we saw several new stores throw their virtual hats into the ring.  Although we are saddened by the downfall of PC gaming as a retail buying option, we understand the convenience digital distribution has to offer.  From the obvious to the obscure, the following list is a good starting point to help you discover the vast amount of digital distribution options.

Please note: This list does not include bundle sites such as: Humble Indie Bundle, Indie Royale or Indie Gala.  It also does not cover developer run stores like Her Interactive or Blizzard.  In addition, stores listed as supporting Linux and Mac may not have every title available on those platforms.

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Steampocalypse 2011: The Rise and Fall of a Coal Addict

By: George Weidman

Let this be a cautionary tale. Consumerism is a hell of a drug. Now that the year’s finally over, I won’t have to worry about relapsing soon.

Steam provides a great service but preys on the gullible. I’ve always been a sucker for Steam sales and have bought an embarrassingly huge backlog of cheap games (so big, in fact, that I’ve dedicated a new column to finish them all.)

However, I’ve never been a sucker for achievements. The soap-operatic drama of Valve’s labyrinthine network of achievement-unlocking schemes have always eluded me. This winter, all of that changed. I took a dive into a realm of mercantilism that was inhospitable and brutal, and I became a worse man for it.

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Possible List of the 2011 Steam Holiday Sale

Using the Steam Registry file, Open Steamworks apparently has a listing of titles which will be available during the upcoming 2011 Steam Holiday Sale.  This site is dedicated to displaying every game on Steam, and in some cases, before titles are officially announced or offered for a discount.  We saw an example of something similar a few days before Humble Indie Bundle #4 was released which turned out to be correct.  The listing starts half way down the page and continues on pages 89-92.  No pricing or timeline information is available.

Take it for what it is worth.  At the very least, we can have fun speculating on what might happen.

Edit: It appears the site has now been locked down.

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RAGE Steam Code Giveaway: Which Three PC Games Do You Take Underground?

Another week, another TPG giveaway.  This time, in cooperation with id Software and Bethesda, TPG is offering two (2) Steam codes for their apocalyptic shooter, RAGE.  To enter, tell us which three PC games you would select to bring with you if forced to live in a pod buried underground for the next 20 years.  Also briefly describe the reasons why you chose those particular titles.  You can pick any game from any time period as long as it was released on the PC.

The winners will be picked by members of TPG based on their favorite responses and sent Steam keys via e-mail shortly after the contest is over.

The Rules:

  • No Profanity
  • One entry, per person, per e-mail address, per IP
  • 48 Hours Only
  • Post your first name and last initial
  • Post your three games and a brief reason why
  • Try to keep entries to a few paragraphs

This contest is over.  Once again, thanks to everyone who participated.  With only two codes to giveaway, this was a tough call.  The winners are Simon and AlphaProsptector.

Nuclear Dawn Free Steam Weekend (Dec 15-18)

According to a post on the official Nuclear Dawn site, InterWave and Valve will be offering a free Nuclear Dawn Weekend on Steam starting this Thursday which will run until Sunday night.  In addition, InterWave has also sent out a new update to Steam with loads of fixes and a brand new training mode to help new players become familiar with the game.

For those of you interested in more information on Nuclear Dawn, check out our interview with lead level designer, Jeroen van Werkhoven.

 

Skyrim Steam Code Giveaway: Your Favorite Bethesda Game Moment

In association with Bethesda Softworks, TPG is offering two (2) Steam codes for their RPG hit, Skyrim.  To enter, simply use the comment section to post your favorite Bethesda developed RPG (Daggerfall, Morrowind, Fallout 3, Oblivion, Skryrim) and a corresponding funny/sad/awesome story from that game.  Winners will be selected by a member of TPG based on their favorite entry.

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Hard Reset Steam Code Giveaway: Your Most Memorable FPS Moment

In cooperation with Flying Wild Hog, TPG is offering three (3) Steam codes for Hard Reset. In recent years, the unadulterated joy has been taken out of the FPS genre.  Titles like Hard Reset and Serious Sam 3: BFE are few and far between with most releases either being realistic military or RPG hybrids.  This is not to say the later are not good games, but there is something about feverishly running around a map or level with hoards of enemies following close behind to remind us how much fun it is to play a FPS.

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Gabe Speaks About Hacked Steam Forums; Personal Information Hacked Too

We just received an e-mail from Valve discussing the recent Steam Forum hacking.  It appears personal information was compromised as well.

Here the unedited e-mail in its entirety:

Dear Steam Users and Steam Forum Users,

Our Steam forums were defaced on the evening of Sunday, November 6.  We began investigating and found that the intrusion goes beyond the Steam forums.

We learned that intruders obtained access to a Steam database in addition to the forums.   This database contained information including user names, hashed and salted passwords, game purchases, email addresses, billing addresses and encrypted credit card information. We do not have evidence that encrypted credit card numbers or personally identifying information were taken by the intruders, or that the protection on credit card numbers or passwords was cracked. We are still investigating.

We don’t have evidence of credit card misuse at this time. Nonetheless you should watch your credit card activity and statements closely.

While we only know of a few forum accounts that have been compromised, all forum users will be required to change their passwords the next time they login. If you have used your Steam forum password on other accounts you should change those passwords as well.

We do not know of any compromised Steam accounts, so we are not planning to force a change of Steam account passwords (which are separate from forum passwords).

However, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to change that as well, especially if it is the same as your Steam forum account password.

We will reopen the forums as soon as we can.

I am truly sorry this happened, and I apologize for the inconvenience.

Gabe.

We will keep you updated as we learn more from Valve.

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