Saturday, 29 May 2010

Community, the final frontier

With Valves steam service reaching out to new platforms and with all the indie success stories of late its great to see how gaming is becoming easier across all platforms.

One of the things that Valve has done that I have been in favour of if allowing cross platform ownership of games. With the steam service as it now stands if i buy a game i am not buying it windows or Mac I am buying it, I own the game regardless of the platform its on. this would be like me buying an X-Box game and getting the PS3 version for free because I own the game and my choice of platform is secondary.

This is a great step forwards for gamers. imagine buying an X-Box live arcade game and it automatically unlocks for you on your GFWL account on PC.

I think with all this in mind its safe to say that things are happening with gaming, things that are good for all gamers. publishers and developers are starting to blur the lines between platforms making our gaming more organic, even MMO’s are evolving into multiplatform adventures with the advent of the console MMO just a little way off now, and with many already being played on Mac and windows.

so with all this good news and the slow but positive mutation of attitudes towards gaming what’s left? well, there is one final frontier that we have to cross…

as it stands I have the following as an online identity

Xfire HexDSL 
Steam HexDSL SteamCard
Live HexDSL

…And those are just the gaming related ones, not to mention Twitter and Last.FM (that are both serious parts of gaming culture) and yes i understand that GamerDNA is trying to consolidate all these things but its too complicated and a bit irritating at times.

As you probably guessed by now the final frontier is Community, with multiplatform services and games and gamers and most importantly multi-platform friends i think its about time a service like Xfire or Steam too the lead and created a way of consolidate all your friends and games and gaming history into one simple service that is available of every platform and across every game.

in the same manner that Xfire just slaps its self onto of your games so should the new service but across every platform. and an achievement unlock from ubi, steam or Live should be counting towards a single score (for those who care) and for the older games that have no achievements then every hour played should count for a point towards you score. but at the end of the day what all of is really want is ONE friends list!

Diversity is great, as long as we can do it together.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Steam and the 4th platform

Okay, i know this is based on something that could be totally coincidental but i don’t think that valve EVER do anything without thinking it out. so with that said…

We have steam on Windows, Mac and soon Linux but i think there is another platform yet to be announced!

steam maybe more.

why? well look at the size of the Featured windows and Featured Mac tabs, then think about adding a Featured Linux tab, that leaves room for another tab, does that mean that maybe we will see Steam on a 4th platform?

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Budget Gaming – Altitude


Altitude is a 2d side scrolling aeroplane game, its a multiplayer game for the most part as the single is little more than training for the online battles.

3700407509_4150f7fb5fThe game is very light hearted and does a great job of playing to its strengths. The controls are a little ‘loose’, the plane follows your mouse and the further away from your plane your pointer is the faster the plane goes (using more power, that's limited) but i think tighter controls would take the casual feeling away from the game.

altitude_for_mac-244033-1244015985As you play the game you get XP for kills and skills, giving you an almost Modern Warfare like unlock system. then as you level you unlock Plane ability's.


The multiplayer is very diverse the game modes range from Team death match to Plane based foot ball. with a few great additions in between (nuclear war being one of them)

the game was a great purchase for under £4 and is available on the Steam service on Windows or Mac (and remember if you buy it once you get it on both platforms)

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Progress Quest -The best game ever made?

Recently thanks to the aid of my good friend Gh0sty i have discovered and MMO so fantastic that it simply makes all other MMO’s a work of pointlessness.


Progress Quest has every feature that a game should have, including the ability to play Offline if needed. the graphics are minimalist by design, the game shows you only what you need to see and does not bother with graphics when not needed.


My character: 

The story is both deep and shallow, the Quests are never Grindy except the ones that are always Grindy (over 9000% of them are!) 

Progress quest is only available on Amazon for over £9000 but is also available from pizza hut with a coupon obtained from the Easter bunny, you can ONLY obtain PQ from EBay or For free from the website, this is the ONLY way to get it!

The Party/group options are perfectly balanced nothing with a slight twist of nothing-else.

I have been playing for 63 hours straight and i didn’t even have to attend the keyboard. this is the perfect MMO for those WoW raiders who want to play something else AND not leave WoW.

It is also a perfect game for those who do not like:

  • MMO’s
  • Games
  • Computers
  • doing… anything at all
  • pork
  • cheese
  • goats
  • spiders
  • nuns

but if you like all those things you will love PQ!

in short if you are NOT playing PQ then you are a fool! but if you do the same applies!

also join the OFFICIAL 404 RADIO GUILD! (404R) or don’t, it does not really matter.

SCORE OUT of 10 OVER 9000% and 0 depending on sense of humour!


Thursday, 13 May 2010

Steam on Mac - thoughts

As any regular ‘Steam’ User knows by now the ‘Steam’ Platform is now available on Mac OS, as an added bonus any game you buy on Windows you also own on Mac for free (assuming its a Mac compatible game that is)


This is the equivalent of buying a game on the X-Box 360 and getting the PS3 version for free. i think it is safe to say that Valve made this decision party lout of loyalty to customers and partly because its a great marketing idea. would you buy two copies of Team Fortress 2? no of course your wouldn't so they are not loosing out on Mac sales but making it attractive for you to install and use Steam on your Mac, then if you happen to see a game you really want to own you can buy it while your on a platform you usually reserve for work or music. good move valve.


Another interesting thing that becomes obvious when you load the client is how many games are Mac compatible already, mostly indie games yes but still there is a market already in existence.

Its an interesting move and one that will probably not attract new users but will certainly generate fresh revenue for the company, i think it was great idea and firmly puts Valve in driving seat with the future of Mac gaming.

I do have to wonder though as the games will be using OpenGL to render not DirectX will the Mac versions of your games run better that the windows clients?

Will company's that have never been interested in Mac start development all of a sudden?

oh and don't forget Portal is free for the next few days to get your collection started