Steam Finds Win 10 Losing Players, Win 7 and Linux Gaming Rising

Win 10 Struggling Against Win 7, Linux Gaming Slowly Rising, Steam Survey Finds

Every month, Valve releases their Steam Hardware & Software Survey, showcasing changes in hardware, operating systems, display resolutions and virtual reality units across their playerbase. While strictly volunteer, the survey provides a variety of useful statistics about the ways in which today’s PC players access Steam. Now that the September 2016 survey information is out, there’s a particularly interesting tidbit about Steam’s Windows users that’s included within the post: Win 7 is receiving a much higher acquirement rate than Win 10.

According to the survey, which is archived for September over here, 48.69 percent of all Steam users are on Windows 10. In comparison, 34.72 per cent are using Windows 7. So clearly, Windows 10 is the more popular operating system between the two. But when one looks at the change between August and September, Steam reports that there’s a 0.16 per cent drop among Windows 10 64 bit users, whereas Windows 7 64 bit saw a 0.25 per cent increase. Meaning Steam users are actually moving away from using Windows 10, whereas Windows 7 is seeing a sharp increase.

Why is this the case? For one, many PC users are comfortable with Windows 7. It’s a stable operating system that has stood the test of time and works quite well with videogames. Meanwhile, Windows 10 is still new, it needs time to settle into its own. There’s also ill feelings floating around about Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform within Windows 10, which Epic Games co-founder Tim Sweeney claims is attempting to phase out Win 32 platforms in order to kill off Steam.

Outside of Windows news, there’s also a rise in Linux gaming users. The hardware survey notes .93 per cent of all Steam users are using a Linux operating system, with Ubuntu taking the lead. That’s with a .10 per cent increase over August, which is quite impressive. OSX comes in second place, with Apple’s Mac OS holding 3.54 per cent of the Steam userbase. Which is somewhat surprising, seeing how Mac received support first over Linux.

Does Linux hold a chance to compete with Windows as a gaming operating system? Well, not exactly. Despite Steam’s work on SteamOS, it doesn’t seem like Linux is about to become a major gaming operating system any time soon. But it’s definitely growing, and Steam users understand its benefits. Perhaps by this time next year, Mac will be going head-to-head with Linux players in the Steam Hardware Survey.

Stardew Valley Getting Multiplayer, Mac and Console Release

Stardew Valley Getting Multiplayer, Mac and Console Release 1

Stardew Valley, the open-ended farming/RPG hybrid that captured our hearts, is being expanded immensely- and one hard-working ape is seeking more help to do it.

Eric Barone, better known by his developer alias ConcernedApe, announced a slew of planned features for Stardew Valley. In a post on the game’s official site, Concerned Ape announced that co-op multiplayer, language localization and a massive content update are on their way- as well as ports for Mac, Linux and consoles.

Stardew Valley Getting Multiplayer, Mac and Console Release

“First, I’d like to thank you all so much for playing Stardew Valley. The game has been more successful than I ever imagined, and I’m very grateful to everyone for granting me this amazing opportunity,” Barone wrote. “The last couple of months have been pretty wild for me… Toward the end of April the launch buzz had cooled off enough that I could afford to take a short break.”

The Stardew developer said he enjoyed his break, but is ready to return to the Valley.

The full list of what’s planned for the future of Stardew Valley is as follows:

  • – Version 1.1 — A substantial content update
  • – Co-op Multiplayer
  • – Localizing for non-english regions
  • – Mac/Linux Ports
  • – Console Ports
  • – Merchandise

Barone said he will continue to develop Stardew Valley’s content entirely on his own, but is seeking help for the more technical work such as porting and localization.

“Now, there’s obviously a huge amount of work involved to achieve all this… and I am just one person,” Barone said. “I know in the past I’ve been very adamant about doing everything myself… and I still am, when it comes to game design and content.”

“However, I’ve decided to seek outside help for some of the more technical things listed above. More specifically, I’ve accepted an offer from Chucklefish in which they will handle the porting, localization, and the technical side of multiplayer. This will allow me to focus on creating new game content for version 1.1, which I will continue to do entirely on my own.”

Stardew Valley Getting Multiplayer, Mac and Console Release 2

Stardew Valley publisher Chucklefish Games will assist Barone in the technical side of things, while Barone will continue to develop content and design the game entirely on his own.

“This should result in faster overall development and reduced workload for me, while preserving my artistic control over Stardew Valley,” he said. “I think it will be beneficial for everyone.”

Barone noted that while there is no official timetable for the planned updates, “multiplayer, porting and localization are actively being worked on.”

Lastly, Barone gave fans a rundown of what to expect in the first major content update, version 1.1.

  • More late-game content
  • New farm buildings
  • New crops
  • New artisan goods
  • New advanced farming/producing mechanics
  • Shane and Emily will be marriage candidates. They will also have more events and dialogue as a result.
  • More marriage content for all spouses
  • More events for the non-marriage NPC’s
  • Improvements/Additions to mining and combat
  • Ability to move buildings and other convenience features
  • More bug fixes
  • More secrets
  • More small, fun touches to the world

While these features are mostly solid, Barone notes that anything in the list is subject to change.

Stardew Valley is an indie simulation game currently available on PC. It has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics, and CGM writer Jake Yanik called it “the most rich and heartwarming experience I’ve had in a game in years.”

Indigo Prophecy Remastered For PC & iOS

Indigo Prophecy Remastered For PC & iOS

In a move that’s a little bit baffling. David Cage’s second big game, known as Fahrenheit in Europe and Indigo Prophecy in North America, is getting an HD remaster called Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered. The catch is that this updated version of the game is only coming to PC, Linux, Mac and iOS platforms, so if you’ve got a desktop computer or Apple phone/tablet, you’re good to go on this. Someone decided that console peasants really are peasants so they can all go eat cake instead.

Among the updates to the game like the expected rise in resolution are controller and touch-interface support, as well as the “uncensored” version of the game for North American players. The original version, sporting those PS2-era graphics, had an at-the-time controversial sex scene, of which certain segments were removed for the more delicate sensibilities of North Americans. Now, however, those same players can also enjoy the sensuous ministrations of blocky, polygonal figures to get the same not-hot-and-bothered experience their European peers “enjoyed” all those years ago, so that’s a big win for freedom of speech advocates. Maybe.

The game sells for about $10 in this part of the world, so if you’re one of those people that was always curious about this game, now’s your chance to play it on your computing device of choice, with an Android version in the works. At this time there are no plans for PS4/Xbox One version.

Octodad Will Feature Multiplayer

Octodad Will Feature Multiplayer 2

The upcoming PlayStation 4 title, Octodad: Dadliest Catch, is now confirmed to have 4-player local co-op.

The news came way of Young Horses producer Kevin Geisler, who confirmed the news on Twitter. In an interview with Polygon, president Phil Tibitoski said ” the game features a four-player Roulette mode. In this mode, every time an objective is completed, the limbs each player controls will be randomly switched without indicating who is controlling what. For example, a player using the right leg could suddenly be controlling the left arm, and players will need to figure out for themselves who is controlling what. This mode can be toggled on and off.”

Tibitoski also mentioned another mode in which characters each control one set of limbs.

Confirmed for both PC and PS4, Dadliest Catch follows the story of an octopus disguised as a human, who has evaded the secret service for quite awhile now. He also has a wife and kid to boot (don’t know exactly how that worked).

As Octodad, players must complete mundane tasks (like mowing the lawn), all the while avoiding any suspicion. While this may sound easy, the game comes fit with “octopus physics”, causing Octodad to move around in a crazy manner.

Octodad: Dadliest Catch will be out tomorrow on PC, Mac, Linux. While no set date has been made for the PS4 release, Young Horses are hoping for a March release. As for Xbox One, you can check out our interview with Geisler.

 

Interview with Octodad Dadliest Catch’s Kevin Geisler

Interview with Octodad Dadliest Catch's Kevin Geisler 2

Developer Young Horses may have had modest beginnings, but their first title, Octodad, has become a huge cult hit in the indie community. The game is known for its awkward yet charming controls in which players take possession of an Octopus everyone thinks is a human-being. The company recently announced they would be developing a sequel entitled, Octodad: Dadliest Catch. The title is being released for PC, Mac, Linux and Sony’s next-gen console, the PlayStation 4. CGMagazine recently caught up with the programmer and producer of Dadliest Catch, Kevin Geisler, to ask him a few questions about the much-anticipated release.

How has developing on the PS4 differed from the PC?

K: So far, it’s been very similar to Linux as far as development. In a lot of ways it seems easier to develop some things on PS4 because when I’m running specific code it will hard crash easier than the PC. Sometimes Windows will hide a lot of memory access issues, so it ends up being easier for me to catch bugs when developing on a console.

What does Dadliest Catch hope to accomplish that the original couldn’t?

K: When we originally made Octodad, it was a student project. We had to come up with the pitch version and prototype in about five months, so it was rushed out. A lot of the changes in Dadliest Catch are things like expanding the world Octodad lives in. He goes outside of the house this time. We managed to fix a lot of the bugs in the first Octodad without losing the charm the awkward controls brought to the gameplay.

OctodadOrgan

Dadliest Catch has a price-tag. Why should I buy it when I can just get the original for free?

K: The original Octodad had a lot of glitches. We like to think we improved the art and the style of the game. We also made sure the length of the game is much longer. We’ve put in a lot of additional features as well. Things like controller support which the first game didn’t have. I also think the story this time around will be much better.

Would you say the game is more story-centric now?

K: Well the original had a story.  But with Dadliest Catch we want to delve more into the background of Octodad himself. There is also a wider variety of situations (for gameplay) in the title. We also think there’s a lot more character development this time around. In the first Octodad the character’s goals were shallow and we want that to be different this time around.

Microsoft has changed their publishing rights (self-publish). Would this mean an Xbox One version is now on the horizon?

K: We’ve been looking in the Xbox One development program. It’s really up to Microsoft as far as helping developers get onto the platform. Sony has been upfront and supporting us and getting us things we need. So its one thing to announce a program but we’ll have to see in the future where they’ll take it.

So you haven’t been approached by Microsoft whatsoever?

K: Yeah we have. But, we haven’t gotten to a stage where we’ve actively developed or announced that we would be working on it. I know they’ve been actively approaching developers at places like PAX Prime. I know they’ve been more active lately but I’m sure its gonna take a bit of time to actually pull through and get through all the developers they’ve been trying to reach out to.

As an indie developer, what do you think the biggest challenge has been in this competitive community?

K: I think in a lot of cases, its still about getting the word out there. And especially once the game is out, stuff like score placement and finding an audience to play the game can be hard. We were very fortunate to get through Steam Greenlight and be able to get Sony’s attention but a lot of games don’t. And even if they have an audience, they may not be able to get through something like Steam Greenlight, even though its perfectly fine game for a lot of people.

Is Octodad your only franchise, or do you plan on expanding to other IP’s in the future?

K: We wanna support Dadliest Catch for a little while such as expansions and new features. But I do think most of us wanna move on to new things. We don’t want to be known as the studio who just did Octodad.

Double Fine Announces Space Simulator Game

Double Fine Announces Space Simulator Game 1

Double Fine Studios, makers of Brutal Legend and Psychonauts, announced a new space simulator game for Steam.

The game, titled Spacebase DF-9, has an alpha version that releases on Steam today.You can access the version for $25.

Spacebase’s gameplay involves mining asteroids and resources, eventually using them to create living spaces as well as weapons for your actual base.

The game also has a trailer which you can check out here. The game is available for Windows, Mac and Linux systems respectively. To find out where Spacebase is headed in the future, you can check out Double Fine’s development plans here.

 

The Long Dark Reaches Its Kickstarter Goal

The Long Dark Reaches Its Kickstarter Goal 1

Yesterday evening, The Long Dark reached its Kickstarter goal of $200,000.

A survival game,the title revolves around exploration and staying alive in the wilderness. Enemies such as wolves and bears will test your capabilities, not to mention the freezing cold winter.

The Long Dark is developed by Hinterland Games, a Vancouver-based studio, and has also reached its first stretch goal of $225,000 today, adding a graphic novel to the mix.

The game still has a little under a day left till its Kickstarter ends. The next stretch goal is an extended game soundtrack. The Escapist also announced that David Hayter, the former voice of Metal Gear Solid’s Solid Snake, is cast in the game.

The Long Dark will be released on PC sometime around October 2014. You can donate to the Kickstarter here. CGMagazine also interviewed Raphael van Lierop a few weeks ago about the project.

Source: Escapist

Half Life 3 Won’t Live Up To Expectations

Half Life 3 Won't Live Up To Expectations 2

This week Valve is making 3 big announcements about its future as a company. The first big announcement was Steam OS, an operating system allowing Steam to be played on the TV. And though gamers everywhere are talking about the possibility of Half Life 3 being announced, there are more concerns than anything.

Make no mistake, Valve make great games. Portal, Left 4 Dead and Dota 2 are just a few of the many amazing titles they have released. But none of these have had as long a development cycle as Half Life 3.

Half Life 3 has become almost a myth. The first two are considered to be in leagues with some of the best games of all time, and every PC fan has been looking for more ever since.

But that’s the issue right there.

Half Life is a product of an era in games long gone. The longer a company waits to bring back a franchise, the harder it will be for the company to make that franchise relevant again.

One recent example is Duke Nukem Forever. The title comes from a series in the 90’s that has been loved and adored by fans for years. It took 15 years for the game to finally be released, with much of the dialogue brought back from the 90’s. Unfortunately, the game didn’t hold up as well as it should have. It was from an era gone by, where toilet humor and sexist remarks were much more prevalent with the gaming community.

duke

Another example is Too Human, which was supposed to be released for the Sony PlayStation in 1999. It ended up eventually being brought to Xbox 360, where it came out to mediocre reviews.

The same situation goes for Half Life. Many of the people anticipating Half Life 3 are from an era gone by. If you were to play Half Life 2 nowadays, you would notice all the problems it had. It was the product of an era. Great at its time, but outdated by today’s high standards.

If Half Life 3 wants to bring back relevance, it needs to follow the same formula as another game released recently: Diablo 3. The game was a title destined to be more of the same. Yet it added new things like an auction house, and updated mechanics that created a much more streamlined experience. Even it had some problems, including always-online for the PC version.

The modern day gaming generation is too far away from Half Life. It is a generation that is used to being hand-held. A generation that is focused more on a cinematic experience. Much of what made Half Life 1 and 2 great would be lost if Valve were to adopt this model.

So please, stop crying for Half Life 3. Enjoy the first two games for their time, because that time is long gone and should not be tampered with.