Steam Summer Sale: Day 9, Day Of The Franchises

Oh Lord almighty has Steam pulled out some serious big franchise deals today, there are a total of five awesome franchises to get your hands on in the daily deals. Here are the ninth batch of Steam sale deals for the front page for 19/06/15. Do note that Steam may be experiencing issues at any time due to the high server demand! Also some of the deals on the store page may not have updated correctly, be patient, give them time!

Before we start I’d like to point out a few things. Firstly this will be a daily post and might effect content as they take a long time to produce. Secondly use this site to always make sure you’re getting the best deal, if it has gone lower than the price it is currently at, there is a high chance the game will be reduced further. See the site here

Daily Deals

Flash Sale

Plus all of the daily deals from yesterday which you can find Here

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Steam Summer Sale: Day 8

Finally we are one week into a sale which seems to be lasting forever (I hope it doesn’t, my wallet can’t take much more!). Here are the eight batch of Steam sale deals for the front page for 18/06/15. Do note that Steam may be experiencing issues at any time due to the high server demand! Also some of the deals on the store page may not have updated correctly, be patient, give them time!

Before we start I’d like to point out a few things. Firstly this will be a daily post and might effect content as they take a long time to produce. Secondly use this site to always make sure you’re getting the best deal, if it has gone lower than the price it is currently at, there is a high chance the game will be reduced further. See the site here

Daily Deals

Flash Sale

Plus all of the daily deals from yesterday which you can find Here

Steam Summer Sale: Episode VII The Deals Awaken

The Steam Summer Sale: Episode VII The Deals Awaken! Here are the seventh batch of Steam sale deals for the front page for 17/06/15. Do note that Steam may be experiencing issues at any time due to the high server demand! Also some of the deals on the store page may not have updated correctly, be patient, give them time!

Before we start I’d like to point out a few things. Firstly this will be a daily post and might effect content as they take a long time to produce. Secondly use this site to always make sure you’re getting the best deal, if it has gone lower than the price it is currently at, there is a high chance the game will be reduced further. See the site here

Daily Deals

Flash Sale

Plus all of the daily deals from yesterday which you can find Here

The Paid Mods Scenario, Past, Present And Future

We all know what happened a couple of weeks ago. Valve tried to forcefully evolve the modding community by allowing mod authors to charge for their work on the Steam Workshop. I mentioned that phrase ‘forcefully evolving’ when I covered the events at the time, however, this has been going on longer that some of us may realise.

Let’s take a trip back in time to when Valve first allowed user generated content to be put into Team Fortress 2 and when the Mann. Co store first launched in late 2010. Valve held a contest which would allow five lucky winners to have their items put onto the Mann. Co store. Their items would be up for sale and they would have a cut of the revenue. Within weeks, Valve reported that the five users had all received royalties ranging from $39,000 to $47,000! Now, this is much the same business model as Valve tried to roll out a nearly a month ago. User could create their own mods, put them up for sale, this time on the Steam Workshop and they would receive a cut of the revenue after Valve and the Publisher of the game had taken their share. This is no different to what happened in 2010 when Valve first put user created content onto the Mann.Co store. Valve are not the only culprits of this system however. Sony Online Entertainment rolled out a very similar program for their MMO Planetside 2 in late 2013 which allowed players to create content such as helmets and skins that could be placed into the game’s online store. They would also receive a cut of the profits after SOE had taken their cut.

Therefore my mind is still clouded over the real reason for the backlash against this system. Valve understandably thought that the business model would work as it had been in testing for nearly four years. However the community’s reaction was something that everyone was shocked at. However I feel like I have a suitable answer. I think that Valve failed to realise that they were dealing with an already, fully fledged market. With the user generated content system, it was still very, very small when Valve started their own in Team Fortress 2, and so there was no community to backlash against it, and most people saw it as a good thing for the community as it hadn’t been offered to them for free previously. However with modding, mods had been available for download for free from Nexus Mods for years and then all of a sudden Valve put a new system into place that allows authors to charge for their mods that were previously free. It provoked the same reaction as taking a child’s toy away from the child.

I don’t think this will be the last we see of paid mods however. They will return! But I do think that the only way forward without huge community backlash once again, is to focus more on making donations more readily available to consumers, or by having a minimum or recommended donation amount. You’ll be amazed how changing to wording can change a persons view on a topic or idea. By changing it to donations, Valve will be able to make it seem like more of the revenue is going straight to the mod author, but in fact the system will be the same as before, with the author receiving a cut after Valve and the game’s publisher have taken their won share.

Please don’t forget to like the post if you liked it and leave a comment if you feel differently about the whole scenario. If you like my content then why not follow the site on WordPress to keep up to date with all of the daily post that I do here!

Virtual Gizmo Exposé

There is currently a lot of hype surrounding Virtual Reality headsets in the Gaming market, and with the market predicted to be worth $1.06 Billion by 2018, I thought it was about time that we take a look at some of these headsets and see the to whom they appeal and what they bring to the Virtual table.

 – The Oculus Rift

rift2

Let’s start our surveying by taking a look at probably the most famous headset of them all. The Rift was launched in August of 2012 via a Kickstarter program that reached its goal within 24 hours. The money continued to pour in, until finally a total of $2,437,429 had been raised. Here, we won’t be focusing on the development kits for the Oculus, instead we’ll be looking towards the final product that’s due to ship Q1 2016. Here are the specifications:

 – Specifications

  • Resolution: 960×1080
  • Screen: 5.7″ OLED (this is the current spec and may change)
  • Refresh rate: 75 Hz, 72 Hz, 60 Hz
  • Field of view: 100 degrees
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer
  • Connection: HDMI, USB 2.0, USB 3.0

Power for the Rift comes from the USB cables that will be dangling from your head when trying to immerse yourself in gameplay. However it isn’t all that bad and I can’t hassle Oculus for not having a wireless headset as a large majority of the ones available and upcoming will not be. Overall the screen resolution is standard enough and the screen is a decent size. However currently no micro mirror array is featured on the spec sheet. These have been observed to reduce both Motion sickness and eye fatigue when using a VR headset. In a recent post Oculus announced that they are suspending both the Mac and Linux development for the Oculus Rift to ensure that their PC launch is as smooth as possible, so, sorry you guys!

 – The HTC Vive

HTC-Vive_White

This joint project between Valve and HTC was unveiled earlier this year ahead of GDC (Game Developers Conference). However unlike the Oculus it will be launching later this year with Developers already being allowed access to the hardware. The specifications for the HTC Vive can be seen below.

 – Specifications

  • Resolution: 1200×1080
  • Screen size: TBC
  • Refresh rate: 90Hz
  • Field of view: TBC
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyrosensor, laser position sensor
  • Connection: HDMI, USB 2.0, USB 3.0

Again unlike the Oculus, the Vive features a laser position sensor to make use of Lightroom. Lightroom is a motion tracking technology that uses lasers to track the VR headset and reproduce the person’s movements within the game with accuracy. The headset will be compatible with the Steam Controller which is also set to launch later this year. Similarly to the Oculus however it has three outputs for display and power.

 – The Avegant Glyph

main-12_00000

One headset that you may not of heard off is the Avegant Glyph. This little number is being produced by Avegant and is currently in the Product Development stage with a launch time slated for 2015. The specifications can be seen below.

 – Specifications

  • Resolution: 1280×720 (for each eyeball)
  • Screen size: TBC
  • Refresh rate: 120Hz
  • Field of view: 45° diagonal FOV
  • Sensors: TBC
  • Connection: HDMI, Micro USB, Bluetooth or 3.5mm jack for audio.

This headset is very different in a lot of positive ways. Firstly it feature a rechargeable battery the Avegant claim will last for 3 hours of video and 48 hours of audio. This may prove to be a key selling point as it allow the user to take it on the go. Secondly is the audio. The headset can be used as a pair of regular headphones and you won’t look super geaky. Then the band at the top can be pulled down to reveal the two eye pieces through which you can experience Virtual Reality. Thirdly, the audio headset can be connected to your phone via Bluetooth. This means that you can be totally wireless with your battery and Bluetooth combination. Even when connected to wires all you require is a HDMI for video and Micro USB for power, and optionally you can have the 3.5mm jack for audio. Fourthly, this headset features a micro monitor to reduce motion sickness and eye fatigue as previously mentioned.

It seems that Avegant are trying to appeal to a wide a market as possible, ranging from phones to computers to those who feel sick when using  a VR headset, and with a launch set for sometime in 2015, it may well be the Oculus killer.

 – Conclusion

I’m not a betting man, but if I was I’d place money on Avegant’s Glyph being being better than the Oculus Rift in a number of ways. Firstly there is the no wireless option with the Oculus, which rules out a huge majority of the mobile market. Secondly is the audio option, the Glyph is the only headset out of the three that features audio which I find fascinating. I do not believe that the Vive will be a contender for Oculus’ crown as I believe that it is being crafted for a separate market. By including a laser sensor the Vive has unlocked Lightroom which will allow a user to immerse their entire body movement into the game, rather than just the movement of their head.

Let me know what you think about each of the three headsets and don’t hesitate to nominate some others that I haven’t featured here.