Wubba Lubba Dub Dub! Rick and Morty Warp into Dota 2
I’ve never played one mouse-click of Dota 2 in my life, but obviously that has to change. That’s because everyone’s favorite pair of inter-dimensional travelers, Rick and Morty (of Rick and Morty fame, if you needed a hint) are invading Valve’s MOBA in their very own announcer pack.
You’re $7.99 away from having a drunken genius berate your performance in between bile-burps as his dim-witted grandson attempts to piece together what the hell’s going on. The prolific voice talent behind the duo – and the show’s co-creator – Justin Roiland helped write the pack’s lines with assistance from the game’s community. The results, as heard below, are as brilliant as the show.
Crowdfunding Campaign Hopes to Enlighten Valve on What They Probably Already Know: We Want Half-Life 3
Two self-professed interns from Albuquerque, New Mexico, have launched a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGogo with the most noble mission statement imaginable: pester the shit out of Valve and its 300-some employees until they finish Half-Life 3.
The two superfans have set a $150,000 goal to accomplish the dream of strong-arming a developer into sequelizing a franchise that hasn’t made a peep since 2007. How they intend to do that, to put it lightly, is rather drastic. To put it how I want to; it’s borderline obsessive.
Hitting certain pledge goals on the march to $150K puts into motion several stages of the duo’s plans. The first road mark, at $3000, enacts an AdWord measure where, contingent on how vain they are, Googling a Valve employee’s name will greet said Googler with an ad stating: “WE WANT HALF-LIFE 3.” It’s to the point and terrifically creepy. Excellent.
Moving on to $9000 allows the group to slap their Half-Life propaganda on a mobile billboard (like on the truck above). The trucks will then ride the streets of Bellevue, Washington — home to Valve headquarters — until the developer’s “white flag is raised.” Or, until they can longer afford to demean a truck driver that much in a single day.
Now any good womanizer worth the palm-shaped rash on their face will tell you, “persistence is key,” and by Joe, these boys have persistence in stride. $45,000 of your dollars unleashes the Gabe Brigade — that is, a small horde of Gabe Newell look-a-likes “besieging Valve’s doorstep wearing ‘We Want HL3’ t-shirts.” Hard to imagine, right? Here’s a visual aid:
“Who knows,” reads the campaign page. “Maybe they will sneak into a strategic meeting and release Half-Life 3 themselves.” They’re making it sound like these paid-for, middle-aged actors will be absolutely out of control. They’ll be hanging from the rafters and raiding the company lounge for Twizzlers. It’ll be like Gremlins but with fat guys. Actually, now I’m all about funding this campaign.
But, surprisingly, the most expensive goal the group set is also the tamest — they want to throw a concert. “We’ll pack a venue in Seattle with all of the Half-Life fans that can make it and throw the biggest Half-Life concert possible. With some of the biggest names in video game music.”
That…that sounds completely reasonable. And this is coming from a group that intends on swarming a corporate office with nerd-a-likes until the employees either cave in or start picking the impersonators off in a real life Left 4 Dead scenario. More so, the duo wants to invite everyone from Valve to attend the concert and to have them hear/suffer first-hand just how badly the fans ache for a third round of Mute Physicist Battles Inter-Dimensional Aliens.
But you know what? Put your wallets away, folks. If your intention is to loudly state that you want Half-Life 3, I have news for you: the message has been received loud and clear. For years now. Valve knows you want it. They’ve known since the global aneurysm gamers had when it became clear no Half-Life 2: Episode Three would swoop in and save us from the mental blue balls Episode Two’s cliffhanger gave us.
Half-Life 2, ten years out from its initial release, is still considered a crowning achievement in virtual storytelling. A milestone that sits in a club with very, very few peers. That’s a shit ton of pressure. Imagine if Half-Life 3 came out and it sucked? It’d be another ten fucking years before people stopped bitching.
It’s not about ignoring your vitriolic demands (or your AdWords, should that come to pass). It’s about getting it right. It’s about doing the legacy of this franchise justice. (It’s also somewhat about the fact they really don’t need to make a game ever again thanks to this, but that just takes the oomph out of my point).
Half-Life 2 NPC Portraits by Adam Rosenlund
Valve Dreams Up Steam Machines
I’ve little technical savvy to me, sadly, but far as I can gather, Steam Machines are gaming devices that perform mechanical work using steam as a working fluid. Wait, shit, that’s a steam engine. Wiki screwed me again.
Second attempt: a Steam Machine is living-room hardware that, naturally, runs the newly conceived SteamOS. In 2014, Valve will allow a multitude of different manufacturers to market their own Steam Machines, the logic being that consumers will have a litany of choices at hand to suit their needs – be it size, performance, or price.
Valve is still creating their own line of prototype boxes, however, in order to tune, tighten, and harness user feedback into designing a meaner, leaner Steam Machine. “At Valve we always rely on real-world testing as part of our design process,” said the company. “The specific machine we’re testing is designed for users who want the most control possible over their hardware.”
“Most control possible” is a canyon beneath under-exaggeration. Valve says you’ll be able to hack the box, change the hardware, install your own software to it, or even utilize an altogether different OS. Eventually, you’ll be able to download SteamOS, even its source code (“If you’re into that,” says Valve).
Valve’s own version of the Steam Bo – Er, Steam Machine will be undergoing a very limited beta that could land you, potential participant, with a free machine at your doorstep. How limited of a beta, you ask? Only 300 devices are being made available. Entry rules hereabouts. Go. Run. Now.