Back in March, the Mac gaming world got excited when Valve announced their Steam gaming software was coming to the Mac — along with Left 4 Dead 2, Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, Portal, and the Half Life series. I was shocked at just how quickly the Valve catalog was being ported to OSX, but then, the announcements stopped as suddenly as they started; alegedly sue to a number of graphics and OpenGL bugs issues that Valve helped Apple sort out. Today, I found this little gem:
We’d previously heard tell that now that those graphic issues are fixed, Valve as hard at work to bring Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 to OS X by October… and now, if a casual mention over at Macworld is anything to go by, it looks like that date might have been further locked down to October 5th, along with the latest Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 add-on pack, “The Sacrifice.”
So only a few more sleeps until all Mac users can help keep the hordes of zombies at bay with their Windows buddies.
I have had iiNet ADSL for a very long time, and as a result of one of their acquisitions, the 3FL game servers now count as “freezone” for all iiNet customers. Whats really great about this, is that 3FL has official steam content servers; so steam downloads from 3FL are “freezone” too! This is great, if like me you are a die-hard valve/steam fan boi.
The problem is that Steam uses a “BitTorrentesque” download technique and despite any settings you make inside Steam, it will not guarantee that it will limit its downloading from that server. Windows users for a while now have had an app called SteamWatch which monitors Steam, and when it trys to download from another server, forcibly closes the connection on Steam. Sadly, mac users dont have anything so easy, yet. However, here is a shell script which adds a number of rules to the OSX firewall to stop steam from downloading from non-free servers:
/sbin/IPFW -f flush /sbin/IPFW -f add 3000 allow tcp from any to 188.8.131.52 27030 out /sbin/IPFW -f add 3001 allow tcp from any to 184.108.40.206 27030 out /sbin/IPFW -f add 3020 deny tcp from any to any 27030 out
Just save these lines into a text file (mine is called ‘rules.sh’) and then in the terminal (and from the directory you saved the file) execute:
sudo bash rules.sh
In this case, I have setup the rules for 2 servers, 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168 which are the 2 servers which correspond to free content servers for iiNet. If you are not iiNet, and can find out the IPs of your free Steam servers, just remove those lines and add/edit accordingly.
Now, this is not a silver bullet. When these rules are on, it may restrict or otherwise affect online gaming and some Steam games may not download at all (because not every Steam content server has 100% of the steam catalogue on it!). However, when you reboot, its reset, or you can run this command at a terminal prompt:
sudo /sbin/IPFW -f flush
…and the rules will be reset. Happy free downloading!
Words cannot describe how much this excites me. Only in my wildest dreams did I think Steam (my absolute favorite gaming platform) would ever come to Mac OSX. Then I saw this news, which made me giddier than a school-girl.
I watched April come and go, and still no Steam for Mac.
But then my patience was rewarded when Valve gave a hard date of May 12, 2010 as the official release date. Now obviously we Mac peeps wont get the entire Steam catalog, but Valve has more-or-less promised their library and any future games to be simultaneously released on PC, Mac and XBox360.
Valve also has a nasty habit of pushing back release dates again, and again – but I am hopeful that this time, they’ll do us proud.
Someone over at the Steam forums, made some wicked high-resolution (high-definition) versions of the new Steam for Mac teaser image Valve released a few weeks ago. I thought I would post them here in case the root link goes missing for whatever reason. “…and I’m a PC” and “iSandwich”.