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Steam to Expand Beyond Games


Valve has announced today that Steam's offerings will be expanded beyond games. Beginning next month, a wide range of software - from creativity to productivity, will begin going on sale via steam. Although an exact list of titles were not available as of this writing, many of them will utilize key SteamWorks features; including Steam Cloud and automatic updates. New software will be added regularly, and additional submissions are encouraged via Steam's Greenlight community voting program.

Support for non-gaming software is slated to launch September 5th. Stay tuned for more information, along with a partial list of available titles in the coming weeks.


Portal 2 Authoring Tools (Beta) Now Available

Portal 2

Yesterday Valve announced via the official Portal 2 website that they have released a version the editor that they used to create Portal 2. Players will be able to create their own single and coop maps, new character skins, 3D models, sound effects, and music. The tool can be accessed through steam under the tools tab. The tool includes:

* Updated version of Hammer, the Source level editor

* Updated Faceposer

* Example maps and instances to help build new maps

* Updated suite of command-line compiling utilities

Via Official Portal 2 Website


Portal 2 Review

Portal 2

Think with portals in the sequel to the award winning puzzler.

Valve's Portal 2 received a massive amount of hype before its release and shortly afterwards was punished by a harsh batch of initial user reviews, specifically on metacritic. Portal was a hit and is well loved by many fans for its puzzles and the outrageous hilarity of GlaDOS. That said, Portal 2 has a lot to live up to to stand on par with its predecessor. How does this much anticipated sequel stack up?

Poral 2 Screenshot

Portal was such a memorable game for two reasons: hard puzzles and the constant humor. Portal 2 does not disappoint in either of those two areas. The puzzles are just as hard as the first game and there are many more of them. The writing for the game is original, and very funny. At the same time, good writing only goes so far in a game. It was a smart choice by Valve to hire three great actors; Stephen Merchant, J.K. Simmons, and Ellen McLain, who reprises her role as GlaDOS. Throughout the course of the game, the voice acting is absolutely superb. There are parts where the game is intensely funny, particularly when J.K. Simmons (better known as Spiderman's J. Jonah Jameson), plays Cave Johnson. Expect hours of laughter in this game. Portal 2 follows the same difficulty progression that its predecessor did.



Free Portal 2 DLC Coming This Summer

Portal 2 Logo

Valve announced the release of Portal 2's first DLC pack. It is currently in development and will include all new test chambers for players, leaderboards, and a brand new challenge mode for both single and multiplayer. Valve's announcement teased that this may not be all the new DLC consists of, but gave no hints as to what the additional included features might be. According to Metacritic Portal 2 is the top ranking multiplatform game so far this year. 

The new DLC is targeted for a summer release, and is being developed for PC, Mac, PS3, and Xbox 360, Best of all, the new content is going to be free of charge. This may be a result of the Potato Sack bundle not releasing the game any earlier than the actual release date, but that's only speculation. Portal 2 has quickly become the fastest selling Valve game since Half-Life 2.


Portal 2 Pre-Release Update

Portal 2

Valve initiated a countdown timer yesterday, which had many people assuming it was for the pre-release of Portal 2, but in fact is was a countdown for the release of this site. It is the Aperture Science website owned by Valve. In a clever way to encourage consumers to purchase indie games Valve announced on the site that they are "Recruiting cpus to force faster boot sequence..." In other words, if enough people buy and play the games in the Potato Sack Portal 2 will be released early. At the bottom of the Aperture Website is a list of all the games in the Potato Sack and the number of CPUs currently playing them.

In anticipation of Portal 2's release, most, if not all of the games in the Potato Sack bundle have been updated to include references to Portal 2. For instance: choose any song in Audiosurf right now, and GlaDOS will comment on the player's musical taste (or lack thereof) and re-select the "correct" song - The Device Has Been Modified by Victims of Science. Listen to the song, in all its techno-glory, after the jump.