Steam Stuff - What Has the Digital Distribution Giant Done Lately?

In news we already knew about:

Not new, as there are a few services that already do this (Parsec is mentioned in the article) but having it integrated should lead to a better user experience. To sort of tie in to the discussion about game streaming in the PS5 thread, Valve is recommending a 10Mbit/s connection for the best experience at 1080p60.

This is great, but what I really want them to do is to open source really great and easy-to-use networking tech, so that those local multiplayer devs can easily integrate it into their codebase. In almost all cases, sending over a little bit of state data is preferable to sending over a video stream.

Does this fit the bill (genuine question, since that isn’t my area)?

It’s nice but not enough. It’s the ‘higher level stuff’ that’s missing that makes it hard to use. What devs need is a serialization scheme that automatically sends and synchronizes the game state Probably requires code generation to be easy to use.

That’s impossible to do in a generic way for all engines and all types of games. Multi-process anything, especially over a network (because every thing can fail harder) can’t be bolted on to existing software perfectly, and gamers are demanding.

Valve’s FPS netcode (or at least a version of it) is published in the source engine I think.

Binary serialization and compression are widely used open source tools - there’s no need for Valve to publish anything for that. (And the serialization tools do do code generation)

But “synchronization” - which is inevitably somewhat faked in realtime games is just so super complex. You can’t actually “synchronise” the game state because synchronisation is slow. So it has to be custom to your use case.

Steam has a PAX AUS page up, wishlist some games from the land down under.

Not one game about kangaroos or poisonous things? This is fake.

Definitely a hard problem. Factorio decided to take the deterministic route for their networking sync, and it was fun reading their blogs over the years about all the edge cases they ran into because of that choice.

Well, I finally opted back out of the new library interface. It locks up on me constantly. I had to reboot steam pretty much every time I wanted to use it.

The most recent thing they did was rip me off. I bought Planet Alpha at a discounted price of $15.99. Then I asked for a refund. They refunded me the present discount of $4.99. I’ve put in a ticket but I am not expecting anything.

Well, they made a point to say they don’t consider it “refund abuse” when a person buys a game right before a discount, refunds it, and buys it again at the lower price. One would think they’d honor the request in the same spirit.

So, did you get your money back?

Nope. They asked me for a pic of the transaction. According to my account I purchased it for $4.99. I asked the wife to bring up the bank records so that I can at least show them that I spent $15.99 and not $4.99. Waiting for that now.

So you’re pretty sure it hit your card at 15.99 but it shows on Steam’s account it’s 4.99. That would be… kind of scary if it does that.

Yeah, that’s gross incompetence on their end.

Edit: maybe it’s not after all, if it has never been on sale for that price, they would want proof.

I find this mind boggling.

FWIW, the Steam price history graphs don’t show it being for sale at $15.99 ever:

Did you get an email receipt?

Waiting for the bank statement. Wife’s brand new iPhone no longer recognizes her face. Maybe it’s a… conspiracy!