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Friday, May 14, 2010

An exciting development.

So there's this company named Valve that makes video games. Specifically, it makes really, really good games, including the classics Half-Life and Half-Life 2 (about which I've blogged before) as well as the truly excellent zombie shooter Left 4 Dead (which I have also mentioned previously).

Now, the thing you have to understand is that Valve also runs a service known as Steam. Specifically, Steam is known as a "content delivery service" because it essentially allows you to purchase and download games online. What makes Steam somewhat unique, however, is that it maintains a library of your games that you can access at any time on any machine. So your ownership of a Steam game allows you to- in the vast majority of cases- download it onto any computer you want and play by entering the necessary login information. So, in effect, it allows you to manage all of your games without needing CDs and not have to worry. It's pretty slick and I actually have a fair number of games via Steam- not least because they often price them really cheap during promotions.

But this is all background information for two exciting developments. First, Steam is now- for the first time- also available for Mac. What's more, any Steam game that is available for both Mac and PC only has to be purchased once, and you can download the correct version for the computing environment you happen to be using. This is neat for obvious reasons.

Second, Valve also makes a game called Portal which is, in a word, amazing. It's basically a first-person geometry game with a wicked sense of humor, and the gameplay mechanic just has to be seen to be believed:



So why am I bringing Portal up now? Because until May 24th, to celebrate the new Steam for Mac, you can download and play Portal for free. It's a short game- you can beat it in an afternoon- but it is well worth the time. So, you know, it's Friday, we're about to start a weekend, and now you can get an awesome game, a game that won over 70 Game of the Year awards, for free.

Don't say I don't love you guys.


As a side note, I should observe that I am not receiving anything from Valve to shill their products, I just genuinely think they make great games, and this is a pretty awesome offer.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Tom Bozzo said...

Squee!

It doesn't hurt that there's a new Core i5 MacBook Pro at the ranch.

Friday, May 14, 2010 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger TDEC said...

And Jonathan Coulton did a song for it! Which, yes, I admit is more interesting to me than actual Portal. Sorry.

Friday, May 14, 2010 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger Marf said...

Not only have I had Portal since it came out in the Orange Box, but I've created my own map for it.

The reason they're offering it free right now is because they want people to be exposed to it. That way when Portal 2 comes out (soon), they'll be more likely to buy it.

Friday, May 21, 2010 1:34:00 PM  

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