life

PC Powerplay: Now with 60% more Baines!

PC Powerbaines
PC Powerbaines

Thanks to White Falcon for pointing this out to me.
An article running in the January 2010 issue of PC Powerplay features a screenshot from the best person in the world, me.

To the right is a scan of the article by White Falcon. Here is the blog post in which the screenshot was taken from.

 
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games

Steam Community

FOff So Steam Community has been out for a few days now and so far I think it's great. We've set up a group for our clan and everything is going nicely.

For those that don't know what Steam Community is, it's essentially Valve's take on a social networking website. Every person with a Steam account has an account there and users can join groups and find new friends and what not.
It's currently in beta, and to take part you need to select it from the Beta Participation option box in your account settings (via Steam). Your Steam will restart and have a refreshed look and a shiny new Community tab.

The best part in my opinion is that Steam Community fits right in to all Steam games. When playing any Steam game simply hit Shift+TAB and the game will fade out (similar to the effect you get when going to the menu) and the Steam Community interface will pop up. You get your refreshed new Friends list, any chat boxes you have open and the community window. The community window gives you access (in the form of, surprise surprise, Microsoft's Interweb Explorer) to the community website. You can browse users, groups, join chats, find friends and so on.
I haven't tried it but I imagine the chatrooms will soon be used for "He's behind the box in mid!" messages during games.
Unfortunately you can't select and modify the URL in the address bar of the community window. So you can't type in URLs beyond the community site. I'm sure leet script kiddies will figure out how to access porn WHILE playing Counter-Strike (probably the ultimate wet dream of every script kiddie) but with Valve's ridiculously impressive patch release cycle I doubt it would stick.

in game steam comm
In-Game

While the Community is a great step forward there are a few things I think it lacks, and I hope these features show up before, or shortly after the product comes out of beta. Like I said above, Valve are very well known for their patching. There's a new Half-Life or Counter-Strike update every other day almost, so the likelihood of seeing a lot new features are pretty good.

For clan groups like ours, we need to send out invites to each of our clan members. These clan members need to be participating in the beta to receive invites. Our clan is massive, in no way a pro clan, a fun-times clan comprised of probably every player on GameArena (just kidding, it's more like 50%). And I doubt any one of us has every member on their Friends list. I rarely use the Friends list, up until a few weeks ago I only had a players on there.
Having a "Request Invite" or "Apply to be in this group" button on the groups page would make it so much easier on us administrating the clan group. We could just log in and see 3 people have requested to be in this group. If one or two aren't clan members we can deny their request and accept the one that is a clan member.
This request might not make it to the light of day, since most clans are small, it's more likely they'd want to invite other players in to their clan.

The other feature I want is to make RSS or XML feeds for things like group members, member profiles and friends lists.
This would be ideal for clan website integration. Have say a memberlist page that lists each member from the feed from Steam Community and then link each member to a profile page, which reads it's information from the user's profile feed.
This idea is too good not to do. It also makes my job managing the mcsA website something like 154.81% easier.

Another thing is probably to change "Custom CSS" (a feature labelled as coming soon) to "Custom Cascading Stylesheet", if only to stop the confusion of everyone that calls Counter-Strike: Source "CSS". When I first saw it I was like WTF Mayte. Unfortunately it did take me few seconds to realise what they were talking about, considering I had just moments ago selected "Counter-Strike: Source" as my favourite game.

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