Introducing the Dota Database

I’ve spent some recent weeks building a cool new web site which exposes a lot of Dota 2 game data which may not be easily accessible to most players. You might be thinking, but I already use DotaBuff for all my Dota 2 needs! DotaBuff is great, but it doesn’t cover everything.

For starters, the new Dota Database that I’ve created is useful to see some of the finer details regarding heroes, hero abilities, items, item abilities, cosmetic items for purchase in the store, and more. This includes details like spell and ability behaviors, which shops you can purchase an in game item, hero level progressions, cosmetic item sets, and even pro player autographs. The information for these specifics comes directly from the game files and the Valve provided Dota 2 web APIs.

Live League Game Listing

This page will give you a paged listing of all currently live league games. Some games will display blank data when still in the hero picks/bans phase. Each listing shows the league, the team names, elapsed times, spectator counts, series scores, team scores, player scores, player picks, team worth, and team XP. Click in to the listing to see all the live updated details for the match.

See it in action

LiveLeagueGame

Live League Game Details

When you click in to a live league game, you’ll see a page full of information about that game. Every 20 seconds, the page will refresh and show you the latest updates about the match. All data is provided by Valve through its Dota 2 league web API.

LiveLeagueGameDetailsTopAt the top, you’ll first see the league and its details, team picks/bans, and some details about the match itself such as match id, series scores, spectator counts, and the duration of the game. Click any hero to go to the details page for that hero.

LiveLeagueGameDetailsMiddleLiveLeagueGameDetailsTopIn the middle, you’ll see the “meat” of the game such as individual player details, map positions, tower statuses, team worth, Roshan status, items purchased, and more. This is basically the section that you’ll want to pay attention to as the game progresses.

LiveLeagueGameDetailsBottomAnd finally, near the bottom of the page, you’ll see a table which contains the overall status of every player in the game. This allows you to quickly sort and compare every player against each other with things like XP, kills, deaths, gold, and more. It’s a good way of determining which team is probably in the lead. Just keep in mind that player stats don’t necessarily indicate which team is winning.

Heroes and Details

Interested in the heroes you can choose from in game? Want to know everything about them? Ever wonder what specific behaviors were attached to their abilities? Then this page is perfect for you.

HeroGridBy default, you can view all heroes by a grid of their icon. This provides a highly compressed and easily visualized selection of which hero you want to read more about. However, comparing heroes against each other is impossible in this view. To remedy that, check out the next way of viewing the data.… Read more

Beta Testing Steam In-Home Streaming

Invite via Email

Valve has launched the initial phase of beta testing for their new Steam In-Home Streaming service. I have no clue how many people go into this first phase, but I was lucky enough to get invited. I was at work today and casually checked email from my phone. To my excitement, this popped up in my inbox.

InviteIf you got invited, then you will likely receive a similar email. It comes from the address “noreply@steampowered.com” if you’re curious. It doesn’t ask for any usernames, passwords, or any other Steam information, so don’t fall for any scams that people try to send you.

The email will have links to a Steam Support article with answers to some common questions, how to get setup, and how to get additional help. I highly suggest reading the support article and visiting the main streaming page.

The Gear

All my tests are going to be with mouse, keyboard, and touchpad (on the laptop). I don’t have a proper controller to test controller input.

Router: Linksys WRT54GL (10/100M ethernet / 54Mbps wireless)
Cables: CAT5e

Desktop (Host)Laptop (Client)
Model NumberCustomToshiba P755-S5215M
CPUIntel i5-2500K @ 3.3GHzIntel i3-2310M @ 2.1 GHz
GPUNVIDIA GTX 560 TiIntegrated Intel HD
MotherboardASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3Unknown
RAM8GB6GB
OSWindows 8.1 64-bitXubuntu 13.04 64-bit
Resolution1920×10801366×768

Getting Setup

Honestly, reading the support article linked above would probably suffice, but that’s so boring. Don’t you want to follow along with someone who is in the beta? Sure you do! Here’s what I did to get setup.

  1. Get two computers capable of launching the Steam client. In my case, I have a desktop which will host all of the games and a laptop which will connect to the host as a streaming client. The host and client operating system doesn’t seem to matter. My desktop is running Windows 8.1, but my laptop is running Xubuntu 13.04. The connections worked perfectly fine.
  2. Make sure both computers are on the same local network so they can see each other. I’m using a relatively dated router (see The Gear section above), so my latency results are going to be on the low end if I’m going up against people with gigabit networks. Both computers are connected to the router via CAT5e cable.
  3. Login to Steam on each computer, go to Steam –> Settings and opt-in to the Steam Beta Client. Restart Steam, and you should see the following pop-up in the lower right (once both of your computers are connected to Steam). ConnectedThe pop-up actually shows up on both computers indicating who it is connected to. In fact, there is a separate pop-up for disconnection as well.
  4. Confirm the connection by going to Steam –> Settings –> In-Home Streaming. You’ll see the devices that you can connect to along with a bunch of streaming settings (see below). Settings

Limit bandwidth: Auto/5/10/15/20/Unlimited Mbit/s

Limit framerate: Auto/30/60 FPS

Limit resolution: Desktop/1080p/720p

Disable hardware encoding: I’ve heard that the beta only uses software encoding, so I’m not sure if this option does anything.… Read more

Introducing the Steam Community Viewer

In my free time, I’ve been developing a Windows 8 app to view Steam-related information (news, deals, community profiles). I just got notification that my new app was approved and listed on the Windows 8 store.

You can search for it directly in the Windows Store or see it online.

A brief description of the app is below:

The Steam Community Viewer allows users to search for Steam Community profiles to view profile details, game lists, game statistics, achievements, friend lists, group lists, and more. All data is obtained through public and Valve supplied methods. This application is not associated with Valve Software.

This is just a first release, but I’m hoping to add a lot more functionality as I continue to develop it.

Make sure to use the support email address listed in the store if you need any assistance. Additionally, you can tweet me @babelshift.… Read more