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News For Tuesday, December 14th, 2004

Steam Update Released
An update has been launched for Steam, including bug fixes, shortened Half Life 2 loading times and SDK updates. As usual, restart your Steam client to get them.

[ Click here to read the list of updates (141 more words) ]

    Steam

  • Source MODs will now automatically appear in the games list
  • Improved startup process for Steam
  • Fixed crash when creating a backup that would span multiple DVDs
  • Fixed a bug that would unnecessarily validate Steam caches after a cache corruption
  • Fixed Condition Zero: Deleted Scenes and Codename Gordon failing to backup correctly
  • Fixed a bug where the message "the game files will be deleted and re-acquired" would repeat
  • Fixed offline mode failing after not connecting to Steam for more than a month

    Half-Life 2

  • Optimization to the Steam filesystem to reduce game launch and level transition time

    Source SDK

  • Simplified debug-launch process for MOD developers. MOD developers no longer need to place a config file in their directory
  • Added a registry key for MOD developers to use to locate a user's Steam installation located at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Valve\Steam\SourceModInstallPath
[ Hazard @ 2:10 pm PST | Steam Updates | 6 comments ]

ATI Catalyst 4.12 Drivers Released
ATI users rejoice! The latest version of the Catalyst series, this time being 4.12, was released recently. This update brings increased OpenGL and Direct3D support, increasing performance for many next generation games.

One of the more interesting aspects of this update would definitely be the increased performance and bug fixes for Half-Life 2. You can view the HL 2's changes below, and download the drivers from ATI's driver page meanwhile. Or simply read the full release notes!

[ Click here to view all Half-Life 2 optimizations (97 more words) ]

Performance for Half-Life 2 was greatly improved.

Half-Life 2 performance also improves as much as 20% over Catalyst 4.11 in certain sections of the game.
Several issues with ATI cards were also resolved.
  • Half-Life 2: Playing the game on a system containing an Athlon XP CPU no longer results in missing textures occasionally being noticed
  • Half-Life 2: Intermittent psychedelic patterns are no longer seen when playing the game under Windows XP
  • Counter Strike: Playing the game under Windows XP with an ATI RADEON� X800 series installed no longer results in display corruption being seen in the floor in de_chateau map
[ ShaDoW @ 9:21 am PST | General | 9 comments ]

Ctrl+Alt+Del Half-Life 2 Comic

No treats for Gordon...
Team mates getting in the way? Want to get rid of them? That's what the people behind Ctrl+Alt+Del thought when drawing their latest episode based on Half-Life 2.

And if cartoons are your thing, make sure you didn't miss the hilarious Episode #1 of My So-Called Half-Life from last week.
[ ShaDoW @ 6:16 am PST | Community | 10 comments ]

News For Sunday, December 12th, 2004

Saturday (Sunday?) Night Mods
Last week we had quite the huge Saturday Night Mods for you. This week, it's a little briefer but packs a punch nonetheless.

I'm sad to announce that this week's update is the last in the Saturday Night Mods series. The reason? Mods news is becoming too frequent and too important to note only on a weekly basis. Starting tomorrow (Monday), we will be reporting all mod related news as it happens. Rather than crowd the main news page, most mods news will be shown on the Mods Division news page. You can also catch the mods news headlines right below where the regular headlines are shown. Major mods news items will still appear on the main page.A great way to end the final Saturday (Sunday...) Night Mods. Thanks for sticking with us, and I will see you in the shiny new Mods Division news page.
[ ShaDoW @ 3:11 pm PST | Mods > Main | 5 comments ]

HOC Half-Life 2 Benchmark
If you want to check out exactly how well your system can run Half-Life 2, you can try the HOC Half-Life 2 Benchmark from the guys at Guru3D.
This is a new program that allows you to benchmark your system with today's most popular FPS-game, Half-Life 2. The program does not modify any registry-entries or configuration files, so it is completely safe to use. It contains 5 built in demos; you can set filtering methods, resolutions and much much more.
Sounds good to me!
[ Varwin @ 9:58 am PST | Half-life 2 | 12 comments ]

News For Saturday, December 11th, 2004

HL2: Cookies Edition

Ant's HL2 cookie tin.
Not convinced that he had lived the full HL2 experience, Ant has taken the logical step of turning his Collector's Edition box into a cookie tin. But the adventure doesn't end there — with the creation of a HL2-logo cookie cutter as well. There are a pile of images showing the creation process so you too can attain true happiness.

Thanks to PHL for that one.
[ Mr Bond @ 9:31 pm PST | Community | 28 comments ]

SDK Coding Wiki
The guys over at HL2Coding.com have released a Wiki in order to help beginners or advanced users with any questions or problems they may have coding with the HL2 SDK.

Personally, I was surprised to find out that a Wiki is not some creepy tropical bird that makes weird noises and poops a lot, but apparently it's an online database which everyday users can update and modify, allowing for the simplest and most basic exchange of ideas. Pay the Wiki a visit here, but make sure not to startle it with any sudden moves.
[ noodle @ 5:24 pm PST | External Site Updates | 4 comments ]

News For Friday, December 10th, 2004

CS:S Prodigy Shots
Valve's Jess Cliffe has shared two new shots of the de_prodigy conversion for CS:Source in a post over at the Steampowered forums.

The map has received a huge facelift, but the changes certainly seem to be an improvement. Just when is it coming? If Valve are still on target from their previous estimates, we should see an update sometime this month.

Update: Cliffe sent our friends at CS-Nation and Halflife2.net two more images each from the new Prodigy.

[ Click here to see the four extra screenshots (55 more words) ]

[ Mr Bond @ 11:11 pm PST | CS:Source | 33 comments ]

Steam Update
The word from Steampowered.com is that another bug-fixing Steam update has been released. As always, just restart the Steam client and it'll update automatically.
    Half-Life 2
  • Solved disc in drive incompatibility error by removing Securom disc check routine

[ Click here for the full list of updates (130 more words) ]

    Half-Life 2: Deathmatch
  • Fixed players entering the game with a score of -1
  • Fixed combine ball tracking teammates
  • Fixed not being able to grab level designer placed combine balls with the physics cannon
  • Fixed players randomly spawning without physcannons
  • Fixed multishot pistol exploit
  • Fixed wrong footstep sounds while in team mode
  • Fixed last RPG shot not tracking
  • Added cl_defaultweapon — defaults to weapon_physcannon but can be changed to any other weapon you spawn with
  • Added HUD string to print team name
  • Added model specific death sounds
  • Switching to the physcannon is now instantaneous
  • Toned down 357 damage
  • Updated dm_overwatch

    Source Dedicated Server
  • Fixed "failed to load server.dll" error with 3rd party mods
  • Fixed linux dedicated server crash on some GLIBC versions
  • Fixed dedicated server error in certain localized languages
[ Hardflip @ 3:20 pm PST | Steam Updates | 21 comments ]

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