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The GNOME project launches Circle dev programme
by Paul Hill
The GNOME project has announced the launch of GNOME Circle, a new initiative that it hopes will widen its developer outreach. Developers that build on the GNOME platform and make their software open-source will be able to join GNOME Circle and have access to several benefits.
By becoming a part of the GNOME Circle, developers will receive promotion and advertising for their programs so that they can reach a wider audience. Developers also qualify for GNOME Foundation membership which gives access to travel, marketing funds, and services including an @gnome.org email address, blog hosting, video conferencing, and a gnome.org Nextcloud account.
To be a part of the GNOME project in the past projects needed to be hosted on GNOME infrastructure and follow GNOME’s development rules. These rules were a barrier for entry for developers that were focused on their own personal projects and by launching Circle, it should be easier for developers to become more involved with the GNOME platform.
Under the new rules, the software must be open-source and use the GNOME platform. Developers of both programs and libraries can apply to join and don’t need to host their software on GNOME infrastructure nor do they have to follow the GNOME release cycle.
Commenting on GNOME Circle, GNOME Foundation Executive Director Neil McGovern said:
To learn more about GNOME Circle be sure to head over the project’s webpage. If you are a developer that’s interested in joining Circle, you’ll have to fill in a simple application form.
By Usama Jawad96
How to refund games on Steam
by Usama Jawad
Holiday sales across gaming platforms on PC and consoles are in full swing and many gamers are using their savings to capitalize on this by buying their favorite titles at discounted prices. While you would hope that once you purchase a game, you can quickly download it, fire it up, and play it without any issues, but sometimes things can go a bit awry.
The game might not be in a playable state, have too many bugs, or simply might not be as fun as you expected it to be. There's also the chance that when buying dozens of games during the sale, you skimmed over the technical requirements section and didn't notice that your rig isn't powerful enough to run the game optimally. In cases like these, the easiest way out is to quickly get a refund. In this piece, I will walk you through the refund process on Steam.
Step 1: Navigate the Steam client
Valve's own FAQ for the refund process requires you to login to their support webpage but quite frankly, I find that method cumbersome. Why not use the Steam client itself when you have it installed on your PC? Of course, if you don't have it installed, then it's understandable to visit the website. However, for the purpose of this article, I will assume that you do have it installed to make the process more streamlined.
Now that you have fired up the Steam client, find the game you want to refund in the left panel and click on it. This will open a dedicated section for the problematic game on your screen. Click the "Support" button on the main options bar for the title. This will take you to a new support page and the second step of this process.
Step 2: Filling in the details
On the Support page, the Steam client will show you a list of options that you can choose from to indicate what kind of problem you are having with the game in question, as shown above. With respect to requesting refunds, only the following options are valid:
It's now available cheaper Gameplay or technical issue It's not what I expected For other options, Steam informs you that it can't help out and requests you to get in touch with relevant parties such as key sellers and developers.
Clicking on any of the three valid options mentioned earlier takes you to a submenu asking you further questions. For the purpose of this guide, I clicked on "Gameplay or technical issue", which took me to the submenu shown above. Here I clicked on "The game runs poorly".
This took to me to another page providing me a couple of options as can be seen above. Depending upon the prior options you selected, you might see different alternatives on this page. Here, Valve typically recommends you some options to resolve problems with your game such as getting in touch with the game's developer. However, you can choose to forego all the other options and directly click on "I'd like to request a refund".
Step 3: Requesting a refund
Selecting "I'd like to request a refund" will take you to the final page which will require input from your side. Knowing the details of this step is important. Valve typically issues refunds only for games that have less than two hours of playtime and have been purchased less than 14 days ago. If you do not fulfill these qualifications, Valve may still offer you a refund, but the chances of that happening are very slim. Personally, I have tried this a couple of times with detailed reasoning, but Valve has never issued a refund to me on games that have more than two hours of play time or were purchased more than 14 days ago.
Speaking of "detailed reasoning", the "Notes" section is where you can fill that in. However, I've found that a one-line explainer like "it's not that good" works as well. Furthermore, you can choose where the refund amount will go: it can either go to the original payment method or your Steam Wallet. If you plan to spend it on Steam again, I highly recommend going for the second option since it doesn't involve other parties and is much quicker.
Furthermore, another thing to remember is that games you got via promotional keys - such as those offered by the developer - cannot be refunded. The refund amount depends upon the price you purchased a title at, not it's current value. Lastly, you can refund games that you received as a gift but the monetary value will be returned to the person who gifted you those titles, not to your account. If you're fine with all of these things, click on "Submit request".
Step 4: The wait
Now all you have to do is wait for Valve to approve your refund request. Provided that you fulfill all of their requirements related to playtime and ownership, refunds are usually granted by the company. In my case, I've noticed that these requests are generally approved within a couple of hours.
Valve says that it may take up to seven days for funds to appear on your account, but for Steam Wallet funds, it only takes a couple of days at maximum in my personal experience. For international payment methods which involve your bank, this process may take more than seven days. In case it does, Valve recommends that you reach out to your bank and inquire details from them.
Provided that everything goes smoothly, your refund request will be approved and completed within a couple of days. However, if for someone reason, your request gets declined and you want to contest that decision, Valve suggests that you issue a new request so another agent can have a look at it.
Last but not the least, Valve does not limit the number of refund requests you make but if it thinks that you're abusing the option, it may place restrictions on your account. In my case, I once bought nearly 15 games and then had a few of them refunded as I played them one by one and realized that I didn't enjoy all of them. At that time, Valve did caution me via email to use the refund option carefully based on the high number of requests coming from my account.
With that said, use this option wisely and happy gaming!
Steam Autumn Sale is now live alongside the 2020 Steam Awards nominations
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
The yearly Steam Autumn Sale has opened its doors once again, offering discounts on more games than anyone could possibly browse through. Once again, the sale is accompanied by The Steam Awards event, letting PC gamers vote for games they deem worthy of receiving nominations for a number of awards.
Considering the sale just kicked off, and as expected of every major event, the store is having a hard time opening and displaying correct pricing right now, but it should be solved shortly. Some of the highlights Valve is promoting on the first day include sales for hits such as Fall Guys, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Doom Eternal, and Death Stranding, among many others.
Keep in mind that sale prices remain static during the entire event and the front page only showcases different items every day.
As for The Steam Awards nominations, users will find standard categories they may vote for such as Game of the Year, Visual Style, Soundtrack, and Innovative Gameplay, as well as more entertaining ones like 'Best Game You Stuck At', and 'Better With Friends'. Those who participate in the nomination procedures get some bonuses too, with Valve offering Steam profile badges for completing tasks.
The Steam Autumn Sale will keep its discounts running through December 1. Meanwhile, the elected Steam Awards nominees will see the light of day during Valve's next major sale event in December, the Steam Winter Sale, with a final popular vote happening to decide the winners.
By Namerah S
Metro Exodus announced for the PS5 and Xbox series X|S
by Namerah Saud Fatmi
Amidst celebrations of the tenth anniversary of its first-person shooter franchise, 4A Games has announced that Metro Exodus will be landing on the next-generation of consoles. In addition to the newly revealed console variants, the video game developer also stated that Linux and macOS versions of the game are also in the works.
While no exact details were provided, the game's makers did confirm free next-gen upgrades as have become the industry norm. Faster frame rates, better resolution, quicker loading times, and other enhanced features such as ray tracing were also detailed for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S variants of Metro Exodus.
4A Games further revealed that the next game in the Metro series is already under development. The Ukrainian-Maltese video game developer commented:
While the game dev did confirm its commitment to creating a 'story driven single player experience' for the next instalment in the franchise, it also mentioned the existence of a multiplayer mode. As the upcoming Metro title is still in the early phase of production, no concrete decisions about the two game modes have been made yet.
For now, we'll have to sit tight and wait for further details to be shared by the creators of Metro Exodus on all fronts. No release date for the next-gen version of the third Metro game or its Linux and macOS variants has been disclosed yet.
Rockstar will offer Red Dead Online as a standalone game priced at $4.99
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Rockstar Games' open-world western epic Red Dead Redemption 2 is gaining a new version soon, as the studio today announced that its online mode is being spun off to be offered as a standalone game. The release date is set for December 1, and it will be available for $4.99 as an introductory price.
The Red Dead Online standalone version will be the complete online experience, with story-based cooperative missions, player vs player Showdown modes, Specialist Roles, Free Roam Missions, and much more available across the massive open world.
The $4.99 introductory price will go away after February 15, 2021, bumping up the cost of the standalone multiplayer game to $19.99. Rockstar will also offer an option to unlock the Red Dead Redemption 2 story mode from within this variant, but the exact cost of this upgrade was not announced today.
Although it is a standalone experience, it doesn't appear as though the installation size requirements are changing, as the studio revealed the game will require up to 123GB of free space.
Red Dead Online will be available for PC (Steam, Epic Games Store, and Rockstar Games Launcher), Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 users will be able to play the game using backward compatibility also. Moreover, since this is a fully multiplayer experience, PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold memberships are required for console players.