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Steam's Beyond Games initiative provides photo editing, PC benchmarking, game making and painting software

Steam, the portal to a myriad of games on your PC is now heading into uncharted territory; creative software. That's right, starting today, you'll be able to download some new software that can really get those creative juices flowing, assuming you don't mind paying the high asking price of some of these.

To celebrate this software, Steam is currently discounting each of them by 10%. If you have any creative juices flowing, this is a great place to start, whether you want to create painting masterpieces, or design the next Angry Birds clone.

I've already went into detail about GameMaker Studio, but let's check out what else Steam is offering for you creative types.

ArtRage Studio Pro - $53.99

ArtRage is a stylish, intuitive painting and drawing package that makes it easy to produce natural looking artwork on your computer. Its wide range of artistic tools lets you get right down to the creative process without forcing you to learn complex or technical controls. It's like real paint without the mess!

ArtRage simulates real world painting tools including oils, watercolor, and more. Because it tracks the physical properties of your paint such as how much is on the canvas and how wet it is, your paint strokes create natural color blends and leave bristle textures as you go, giving you the appearance of a physical canvas without you needing to apply special effects.

ArtRage includes 20 painting tools and a wide range of features useful to basic and professional artists alike. If you're new to painting and drawing, you can take advantage of the Tracing Image system to import a photo as a guide while painting. Let ArtRage pick colors from the image for you and you can focus on your brushwork and developing your skills. If you're a traditional artist who has avoided digital art tools, you'll find ArtRage pleasantly familiar as you can take many of your familiar techniques and work with them inside the software. If you're a digital artist who wants to add some natural paint to your images, you can still work with layers, blend modes and other digital tools. ArtRage Studio Pro offers selection tools, flood fills, and text to make the workflow easier. Support for PSD images imported and exported with their layers, groups, blend modes, and text layers intact makes it easy to use ArtRage alongside your other applications.

CameraBag 2 - $13.49

CameraBag 2 is a desktop photo app with a whole new approach to photos. Redesigned from the ground up, CameraBag 2's Analog Engine pairs a full suite of photographic tools with the high quality filters and vintage simulations the series is already known for. Its key innovation is a stunningly straightforward approach to layering, rearranging, and endlessly tweaking all of these effects in realtime. The 100+ fully-adjustable filters and 25+ professional controls CameraBag 2 ships with are only the beginning, forming the palette from which users create their own styles. Watch the trailer at nevercenter.com/cb2trailer.

With CameraBag 2, you don’t have to know what look you want to get started. CameraBag 2 lets you see all the possibilities at once: old-school instant film or modern high-contrast portrait, subtle color adjustment or complete artistic overhaul. Choose from side-by-side comparisons with the fullscreen Quicklooks, or get large, instant previews on mouseover; the emphasis is on creative exploration. Once you’ve chosen a filter, its components are all in the tray to tweak and adjust non-destructively with large, interactive sliders. The Remix slider in particular brings back the “happy accidents” of analog film, smoothly transitioning between infinite natural variations for each style.

3D-Coat - $89.10

3D-Coat is the one application that has all the tools you need to take your 3D idea from a block of digital clay all the way to a production ready, fully textured organic or hard surface model.

Key Features

  • Voxel Sculpting. Start sculpting without restriction using voxel technology - no worries about topology.
  • Painting With Layers. Create photo-realistic textures for your models with as many layers and blending effects as you need.
  • UV-Mapping. UV-mapping has never been so easy! You can create or edit existing UV sets with an intuitive and flexible set of tools.
  • Retopology. Create new topology from scratch or adjust existing topology with the most powerful set of tools in the industry!
  • Auto-Retopology. New, time saving technology that automatically creates highly organized and practical mesh topology, with accurate edgeloops and uniform distribution of quads!
  • Rendering. Render your masterpieces right within 3D-Coat with multiple light sources, soft shadows, ambient occlusion, depth of field, and many more options.
  • Intuitive Interface. You will be pleased with a professional and fully customizable interface. Group dockable windows as you like to make your work more effective.
  • Good Linking With Photoshop. 3D-Coat and Photoshop can pass all layers information back and forth with just a few mouse clicks, which is very handy for texturing process.
  • 3DConnexion Support. 3D-Coat supports the Space-Navigator from 3DConnexion. It allows you to navigate your model in 3D space easily and conveniently.
  • CUDA Acceleration. 3D-Coat uses CUDA acceleration that fundamentally speeds up Voxel Sculpting operations.

GameMaker Studio - Free-$180

The GameMaker: Studio family of products caters to entry-level novices and seasoned game development professionals equally allowing them to create casual and social games for Steam Workshop, iOS, Android, desktop and the Web (HTML5) in record time and at a fraction of the cost!

As well as making games development 80 percent faster than coding for native languages, developers can create fully functional prototypes in just a few hours, and a full game in just a matter of weeks.

And when you're done, GameMaker: Studio™ will produce an “app store”-ready iOS, Android or OS X app, Windows executable or HTML5 code, all at the push of a button and all from the same source code. On top of this, you also gain instant access to more than 40 million registered Steam users through Steam Workshop, with direct upload straight from GameMaker: Studio™!

Discover how easy it is for yourself and get access to GameMaker: Studio™’s key features including its easy to use integrated development environment (IDE) powerful scripting language and Box 2D Physics by simply downloading GameMaker: Studio™ for free.

3DMark 11/Vantage $17.99

Test your PC's performance with 3DMark, the world's most popular gaming benchmark and graphics test. Featuring six stunning real-time graphics and physics tests, 3DMark 11 is the industry standard performance test for DirectX 11 graphics cards and gaming PCs.

Hundreds of press publications use 3DMark to test graphics cards, processors, gaming PCs, notebooks and laptops. Now you can too!

Charmander
Mike Splechta GameZone's Editor-in-Chief, retro game enthusiast, savior of kittens. Follow me @Michael_GZ
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