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Steam Dev Days Highlights

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Well Steam Dev Days has kicked off in style and we have a little bit of the lowdown here for you, keep an eye on this post as I will keep updating it to keep everyone in the loop as much as I can!

This information is gathered from many different developers at the event as they leak it out. Well, I say leak it's more like a flowing river!

DAY 1

Highlights

  • Every developer there got a Steam Controller and a Steam Machine for free! That's right, every single developer team now has a Linux SteamOS box, that's one way to win developers over.


image
Source

  • Valve are hiring.

  • Valve want things like Music, TV and more on SteamOS.

  • Alienware's Steam Machine will launch in September.

  • Valve want to move away from Greenlight.

  • Source Engine 2 mentioned during OpenGL talk

  • Working on their own OpenGL debugger called VOGL developed natively on Linux, more info on it here. Looks like Valve will be making the most complete OpenGL debugger around for free, wouldn't make sense for them to charge for it.



Controller

  • No longer has a touchscreen (see this image), it will have a DPAD and ABXY buttons for backwards compatibility.

  • It will use AA batteries - that's a bit dissapointing, I hate fiddling with batteries. It does mean that you won't have to buy a whole new controller if the battery pack inside died though.

  • Has an API for developers to hook into.

  • The Steam Controller API supports up to 16 players. - So who will be first to come out with a controller-based 16 player game then on one screen for Steam?

  • Key-bindings will be crowd-sourced to find the best ones.

  • May still change more yet!



Business Highlights

  • Steam has grown rapidly in 2013 - Source

  • They will add more currency options - Source

  • There are plans to allow e-gifting of Steam wallet currency, finally. - Source

  • During 2013 holidays sale 1.7million in-game items given out, 2 million snow globe trading cards traded, 2 million daily community marketplace transactions - Source



VR

  • Valve have their own Virtual Reality devices, David Hensley of Tripwire stated "the valve demo really blew me away. VR is going to be amazing" and "It felt like an oculus but a generational leap forward", so Valve are ahead of the game in VR! - Source



Users

  • They had 1.2m reviews in under 60 days for games - Source

  • Steam now has 75 million active users.

  • Assault Android Cactus may add a 16 player mode for the controllers! - Source



This could be the latest version of the Steam Controller, they could go through more revisions of course:
image
Source

I sure do hope more developers bring their games to Linux after attending this event, no reason not to at least test now with a free Linux machine!

The developer of Democracy and Gratuitous Space battles said
QuoteLinux looks more important to gaming than ever

Source

It certainly does look important to Valve, important enough for them to team up with Intel & Gigabyte to give away free machines and controllers!

You can see the information flow in from twitter here:


Be sure to follow us @gamingonlinux to keep up even quicker with our retweets and to generally follow us!


This information comes from many different developers tweeting the info in public, thanks to them!
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L4Linux 15 January 2014 at 8:16 pm UTC
The best would be 22 player support, in order to play 11 vs 11 football games!! (On a 50+ inch screen apparently, and on a very big living room...)
abelthorne 15 January 2014 at 8:26 pm UTC
I don't get this about the controller: "No longer has a touchscreen, will have a DPAD and ABXY buttons for backwards compatibility."

Where are they putting them? In place of the touchscreen?
adolson 15 January 2014 at 8:30 pm UTC
AA batteries are the right choice, at least as long as the hardware is good. My Logitech F710 has been running the same two AA batteries for months... Never did my PS3 controllers ever last that long.

I am disappointed to hear about this d-pad/ABXY crap, though I need to see it to understand it.

Edit: that live feed embedded in the post is super annoying to try and scroll through. Can you filter out the retweets?
Mohandevir 15 January 2014 at 8:34 pm UTC
16 controller support... Must have something to do with the 8 screen support announced when they started the SteamOS project... What kind of gpu will support that now?
philip550c 15 January 2014 at 9:28 pm UTC
I hope that the battery pack is like the xbox where it comes with a spot for 2 AA batteries but you can replace it with a rechargeable battery pack. I hate buying new batteries.
Xodetaetl 15 January 2014 at 9:44 pm UTC
  • Supporter
Quote from philip550cI hope that the battery pack is like the xbox where it comes with a spot for 2 AA batteries but you can replace it with a rechargeable battery pack. I hate buying new batteries.
Use rechargeable AA's ?
philip550c 15 January 2014 at 9:46 pm UTC
Quote from Xodetaetl
Quote from philip550cI hope that the battery pack is like the xbox where it comes with a spot for 2 AA batteries but you can replace it with a rechargeable battery pack. I hate buying new batteries.
Use rechargeable AA's ?
Not the same. Atm I can just dock my controller and it charges. That's a lot easier than pulling batteries out and plugging them into a charger.
Xseba360 15 January 2014 at 11:31 pm UTC
Noooo!  I want my touchscreen back!
laforge 15 January 2014 at 11:49 pm UTC
Good to hear that the controller is taking AA batteries. Releasing some sort of proprietary or hard-to-get battery pack would have run contrary to the whole 'open' philosophy valve is spruiking. Besides, AA's work file on my xbox controller.

I think that the removal of the touch screen on the controller is partially due to negative feedback over the touch surfaces not doing the job well for w,a,s,d emulation (although I read good things about emulating mouse movement), partly because valve is thinking the occulus rift and other VR devices are going to be big and the touch screen display is useless there and maybe even a little bit of an issue with extra power draw for a backlit touchscreen reducing battery life. Just my guesses. This is still what I'm looking forward to most out of the entire Steam OS/Steam Machine development...
Xodetaetl 16 January 2014 at 12:38 am UTC
  • Supporter
Quote from philip550c
Quote from XodetaetlUse rechargeable AA's ?
Not the same. Atm I can just dock my controller and it charges. That's a lot easier than pulling batteries out and plugging them into a charger.
A dock could charge AA batteries as well, it doesn't have to be a non-standard battery.
Instead of a dock, it could also be recharged by pluging in a USB cable (which would let you use the pad while it charges the batteries). Yesss, I hope they'll go for this, batteries + USB cable.
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