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Steam Dev Days: Day One

Highlights from Steam Dev Days: Day One

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Session highlights

You can find a list of sessions here, and a schedule over here.

Videos of the sessions will be available to the public in "the coming weeks".

Welcome address by Gabe

  • Gabe wants developers to take control of the Store and how they promote their games
  • Gabe: "Our goal is to make Greenlight go away. Not because it's not useful, but because we're evolving."

Steam Machines in 2014

  • Alienware's Steam Machine will be launching in September. Intel Haswell and NVIDIA hardware
  • As of today, there are about 75 million active users on Steam
  • "They said there will certainly be experiences on Steam Machines that won't be available anywhere else." (Source)
  • Steam Controllers will be sold through Steam and retail
  • Valve wants to focus not only on gaming, but all things people want to do on a Steam Machine in the living room (Music, TV etc)
  • Every Steam Dev Days attendee gets a free Gigabyte Steam Machine (and a Steam Controller is in the goodie bag)

The Steam Controller

  • The retail controller will no longer have a touchscreen. It'll have a DPAD and ABXY buttons for backwards compatiblity
    Pictures of the new work in progress controller design: 3D render (source), 3D printed prototype (source).
  • The retail controller will use AA batteries, this means the user can also use rechargable batteries
  • Biometrics are important, but the hands are not the best place to capture them
  • The controllers have gyroscopes, but these are not implemented in the firmware yet
  • Core implementation of Steam Controller API is already available in the current Steamworks SDK
  • The Steam Controller API supports up to 16 controllers at once
  • Valve is keeping VR in mind while developing the controller
  • More changes to the controller are coming, they have just started processing beta feedback

Steam Business session

Other highlights

  • Ryan Gordon (Icculus) has posted the slides of his "Getting Started with Linux Game Development" session
  • Mike Morasky (Composer at Valve) confirmed Kelly Bailey is back to doing work for Valve.
  • Valve is showing off their take on what VR could be like in 2 years (Vortex?), there's a panel about it tomorrow but initial impressions are already coming in.
    @TheDavidHensley's tweets on Valve's VR prototype:
    • (Source) "Valve’s VR demo felt like being in a lucid dream state and very much like a holodeck"
    • (Source) The Valve's VR prototype felt like playing an XBOX compared to the Oculus's "8bit Nintendo".
    • (Source) Resolution is higher compared to the Oculus Rift. Accurate positional/rotation tracking. Able to walk around.
  • Steam millionaire Garry Newman wrote a blog post about Day 1 including a very interesting paragraph on the VR prototype.
  • Source 2 was mentioned during the OpenGL talk. It's no surprise that Source 2 will support OpenGL at a low level.
  • Steam In-Home Streaming currently does not utilize hardware encoding/decoding, but will in the future. (Source)
  • Not so much SteamDevDays related, but Gabe decided to join Reddit today to raise funds for a charity Valve is involved in.

A lot of thanks to the many developers at the event that are live-tweeting what's going on, without you this post would not have existed.

Read about day 2 in our next post here.

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