Welcome to the Steam thread!
This is a pretty neat community of people who like to talk about video games, sales, digital distribution, hat economies, classiness and classholery. We enjoy long walks on the beach, digital hoarding, gifting, the suffering of longtime members, and raising money for charity.
This is a big, busy thread. There are some guidelines to keep things nice and orderly:
- Be civil.
- This thread is for Steam-related discussion. Try to look for other, more appropriate threads before discussing games or other topics in here. Let's not drain other threads of precious content!
- If you feel someone's acting inappropriately, then quietly report the responsible parties to forum mods.
- Linking your Steam profile in your sig will help community members find you, see what kinds of games you like, invite you to MP games, etc.
We have two core Steam groups:
is a general Steam group for folks from the PA forums.
PA G&T Adventure Team
is a group that was created in response to a profusion of game-specific Steam groups to get MP games going for smaller or older titles. Membership is locked during major sales.
Both these groups have chat, and both are used sometimes to try to limit giveaways to community members. If you've just arrived, hang out here in the thread for a while and talk games with us before you ask for membership.
Sometimes people gift games.
Rare footage of a gift fight in action...
- Don't feel that you have to gift games to be a part of this community. It's just one of many things that go on. Some people can give lots of games. Some people can give a game or two a year. Some people make amazing images. Some people find hidden indie gems and report about them. Some people relay amazing gaming moments. Some people report sales. Some people are hysterical. Etc. There are many ways to participate in this community. Gifting is just one of them and is not required.
- If you run a contest, have entries PMed to you. The thread gets too cluttered otherwise. You can, however, post the winning entries.
- If you receive a gift, then take a moment to thank gifter. Use the notification system so they can see your thank you post! ( @NAME. Use quotes around names with spaces. )
- In addition to contests, wishlist gifting, ninja gifting, revenge gifting, pile-on gifting and Steamgifts.com giveaways, we have the new [ codes ][ /codes ] tags which can fire off one or more Steam codes (or activation links). More info about [ codes ] here.
Steam sales are legendary. From small to honking massive:
One game a day goes on sale at 10am PT for 24 hours.
Starts 10am PT Tuesday and ends Thursday afternoon.
Starts midday Thursday and ends with the sale rollover Monday. Sometimes accompanies free play weekends for MP titles.
Many of the publishers games will get a modest discount with a single title or franchise getting a featured day with a deeper discount. Follow the big sale guidelines.
Mardi Gras time here in the thread. Huge swaths of games go on discount, with daily specials, flash sales, community vote sales, and whatever else the evil geniuses at Valve cook up to separate us from our money. There are often metagames such as sale achievements or collectibles or other madness that rewards buying, playing and gifting games and participating in Steam's community. The summer sale usually starts in the last week of June and runs for two weeks, and the Winter sale usually runs for two weeks across Christmas and New Year's.
Other retailers like Amazon and Green Man Gaming get into the act now too, so there are often great values to be had during sales for Steam-activatable games from other sites.
Seasonal Sales are basically a big deal around this thread.
How do I join the Steam groups?
Membership to the two Steam groups is for reasonably active community members. If you have been on the PA forums for a while and have participated, post a link to your Steam profile here in the thread and a Steam group mod will take care of you.
If you've been on the forums for three days during a major sale and your only posts have been to casually express your strong desire for certain games, your request is unlikely to find a positive reception. Ditto if your very first post on the forum is to ask for group membership. Sadly this does happen sometimes.
The best parts of this community are available to you now just by showing up. Read some posts, make some posts, ask to be invited as a guest to chat, buy some games, play some games, etc. Group membership is modest icing on delicious cake.
Where are you guys getting those nifty Steam Signatures?
Check out Alabaster Slim
for his lovely signature generator. Also, don't click the Calculator link in the top bar unless you want to discover how much money you've put into your Steam account. Because there'd be absolutely no reason you'd want to know that.
How do the new [codes ][ /codes] tags even work?
Put a series of Steam activation codes (or activation links, or movie quotes, or winning lottery numbers...) inside the tags, each on its own line like this (without the spaces inside the brackets, of course):
[codes ]code 1
That will create a little box with a clickable link and a number. Each forumer who clicks the link will get a popup and a PM with the next line. Each line can only be sent out once and each forumer can only click once. It was originally designed to allow developers to hand out lots of codes for a game without some goose grabbing the lot.
Note: [ code ][ /code ] is a different tag. Be sure to get that "s" up in there!
Trading cards? Badges? Steam profile levels? Boosters? FOILS?! What the hell?
Some games (more every week) now have trading cards. You can earn some of these cards by playing/idling the game. Some of them you'll need to get by trading or buying them from the Steam community market. Completing a set lets you craft a badge, which gives you an emoticon, a profile wallpaper, a coupon (usually) and profile experience. Leveling up your profile increase your friend cap, earns you customization options for your Steam profile and, allegedly, increases your chances of getting a booster. Boosters are packs of three cards that show up in your inventory sometimes. You can open them or sell them on the market. Sometimes cards are foil. Each game has a regular badge with five levels and a single-level foil badge.
But that's pure, diabolical evil!
Yes, that's right.
Can we trade cards in the thread?
You can but it's inefficient. Use the Steam feature that shows you which of your friends has the cards you are looking for. Oh, and join the Steam group we created for trading cards: PA Card Sharks
Is Steam down?!
Is it Tuesday? It's probably scheduled maintenance.
What are you people talking about? Why hats and what is an "Isy?"
Check out the handy Steam Thread Primer, written by @Smokestacks
Steam Thread Primer:
Why are you people obsessed with Bad Rats and Amnesia?
Gaben/The Newell - Gabe Newell, Director of Valve Software. Called "Gaben" because in the commentary for older Source Engine games he would tell players to email him at "Gabe N. at valvesoftware.com" with user feedback. Used to be the subject of a lot of weight-related jokes, but those have sort of fallen out of fashion.
Serve the Newell - To buy games on Steam, to give Gaben your money. From this comic edit.
Bad Rats - An incredibly awful 'physics' based puzzle game, available on Steam, notorious for being as awkward as it is broken. Will haunt your dreams. Popular gift to give to people.
Gifting - Buying a game on Steam and giving it to another person.
Class - An attribute demonstrated by people who will generously purchase games and then give them to internet strangers.
Class War - When two or more forumers buy each other games back and forth until one of them gives up. I know this sounds really crazy, but it happens.
Bundle - Originally the Humble Indie Bundle, which was a "pay what you want" system for a group of games, now usually means any website selling a group of games (usually able to be registered on Steam) for a low price.
The Group/The Steam Group - The Penny Arcade Steam Group. Although this usually refers to the main PA Steam groups, there are many PA groups on Steam for various games (for example, PA Crime Time for Payday: The Heist).
Giveaway/A Giveaway - Usually refers to a giveaway on Steamgifts.com, a website where you list a game you want to give away, people enter, and then a winner is randomly decided among all entrants after a set time period.
Tuftoo - A corruption of "TF2" (Team Fortress 2)
Hats/The Hatconomy - The purchase and sale of in-game hats or sometimes other items in TF2. Some hats are very valuable, which is funny because they are just hats for videogame characters. People who have valuable hats or other items in their inventories sometimes get messages from random people on Steam begging for those items.
Boner Toots - Bientôt l'été, a game on Steam. Super artsy-fartsy pretentious "art" game. Also sometimes gifted as a joke.
Backlog - The list of games you have purchased, but have not gotten around to playing yet. Tends to grow over time, often to immense proportions. If you do not have a backlog yet, between the thread and the sales you will get one.
Spies/Russian Spies - People who lurk the thread or try to get into the various PA Steam groups not to participate in the community, but instead in order to try and get free games from the classy people here.
Steamsigs - Custom forum signatures that display a link to your Steam profile, as well as an image of a game you are currently playing, have played the most in the last two weeks, or have played the most over all time (if you haven't played any games on Steam in the last two weeks). Available here courtesy of forumer Suds. Having a Steam sig (or some sort of clickable link to your Steam profile in your signature) makes it considerably easier for people to add you to their friends list.
Child's Play - A charity started by the writer and artist behind PA that raises money for videogames/toys that go to children's hospitals, originally started in '03, has grown every year. Helps sick kids feel better about their time in the hospital while simultaneously refuting the idea that gamers are antisocial jerks.
Isy - Big Classy, a forumer. Formerly known as "Big Isy", he was granted the new name after donating a hefty amount of money to Child's Play during a fundraiser. Sometimes referred to as Isy, which might cause confusion to people who haven't been around very long.
The Sale/Summer Sale/Winter Sale/etc - Seasonal Steam sales. Home to absolutely ridiculously good deals. We are edging closer to the Summer Sale right now. I recommend saving up a few bucks because there will be deals galore. Seasonal sales have their own general guidelines to follow to maximize your purchasing power, they are posted in the thread often before and during the sales.
Summer Dale - A phone's auto-correction of "Summer Sale", which through some sort of internet voodoo produced an actual entity, a smooth voiced funk loving man who lives in a world where the 80s reign eternal and supreme. Also sometimes used to describe the upcoming Summer Sale itself.
Rainbow and/or Slash - Two forumers by the name of Rainbowdespair and slash000 who are notable for developing the third and fourth installments of the Penny Arcade: On the Railslick Precipice of Darkness series. Also developed Breath of Death VII and Cthulu Saves the World, two RPGs that, alone with the Rainslick games, are available on Steam.
A moment of ill-advised swagger from anoffday turned into a horrifying LP of Bad Rats which, because reasons
, turned into over $6000 raised for Child's Play.
CorriganX raised over $1100 for Child's Play via Amnesia
What is this Steamgifts site? I wish to create a giveaway! I cannot enter a giveaway!
Steamgifts is a neat site that lets people create giveaways for games on Steam. Points for entering giveaways are accumulated over time, so just wait a bit if you need points. Entry to giveaways can be limited by Steam group membership to prevent mooches from getting games.
How do I make one of those cool Steam Gifts signature giveaway banners?
I have too many games! Which do I play?
randomly picks a game for you to play.
I have too many games! How do I move them to my new hard drive?
makes transporting your massive library much easier.
But wait! I have ALL OF THE GAMES installed! I need more space on my hard drive! wat i do?
You download Tikione Steam Cleaner and clean up that shit
The sale prices aren't right! What's going on?! Oh God, the darkness is closing in...
During the seasonal sales, you are one of a million monkeys hammering F5 at 10am PT to see the new sales. The system is always borked for 5-20 minutes. Take a deep breath. The Newell will deliver, and the new dailies will be available for 48 hours.
Why are some games not available in my region?
Publishers determine what countries get what games. Someone in a suit decided that it wasn't worth the money to make the game available to your region, so it isn't available on Steam. This also applies to cases of games having edited/censored versions showing up on Steam in certain countries. The good news is that you can generally get around this by having someone from another region gift or trade you the game.
Steam is downloading slowly. What gives?
You can head to Steam -> Settings -> Downloads + Cloud and change your download region until things improve. Since other regions are typically less populated, you will probably get somewhat better results even if the new server is in another country.
The Steam thread has a proud tradition of marrying our love of Steam and Penny Arcade in comic edits:
GALLERY OF EDITS:
Go forth, and SERVE THE NEWELL.