Valve to make networking tool open source

Valve to make networking tool open source

Game developer and PC digital storefront owner Valve has revealed that its intention to make its networking tool open source for game developers.

The GitHub page for GameNetworkingSockets was spotted by GamaSutra. This is a basic transport layer that allows for information to be shared.

One aspect that is notable with this tech does not require the use of Steam. There are protocols in place to make sure that the Steam version works well, but the code can be use "for whatever purpose you want".

"The main interface class is named SteamNetworkingSockets, and many files have "steam" in their name," Valve developer Fletcher Dunn said.

"But Steam is not needed. The reason for the name is that this provides a subset of the functionality of the API with the same name in the SteamworksSDK. The intention is that on PC you can use the Steamworks version, and on other platforms, you can use this version. In this way, you can avoid having the Steam version be 'weird' or not take full advantage of the features above that it provides."

This is pretty much in line with Valve and Steam's MO of being incredibly open, something that could arguably be seen as a reaction to chief Gabe Newell's experiences working at Microsoft.

That firm has always had a closed ecosystem at its core, something that has come to the forefront with the United Windows Platform. 

Since the launch of DOTA 2 back in 2013, the common concensus was that Valve was stepping away from game development due to the success of its Steam marketplace. But recently, the PC giant revealed that it was focusing on making new games on top of its upcoming DOTA 2 card title, Artifact

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.