Brad, I like you. You're the kind of developer that warms my heart in a way that I thought only Gabe Newell could, a nerd for nerds kinda guy, geek for geeks. People should not be allowed to participate in the making or selling of games if they don't play them themselves. I understand perfectly the argument for competition, it is something that must exist. Mona Lisa was a nice painting, but it would bring tears to my eyes if the only thing anyone ever painted after that was the Mona Lisa II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, and so on and so forth.. I'm looking at you Final Fantasy (Insert double digit number here). For the love of art, and by that I mean games, don't ever stop what you're doing.
That blatant smothering of affection aside, I'm still going to use steam. Elemental will be my experiment with Impulse however. I'm not looking for a steam replacement, and as far as I can tell it seems Impulse isn't trying to be one. I don't want to have to juggle two social networks, and that's steams biggest value to me. It's intrusive, and sluggish and many times unreliable. If the servers are down, you can't play. But it provides a convenient social network which is integrated with my games, so for multiplayer games it's a boon, as well as automatically patching and filled with related news. The market place is only interesting in so far as the days where they do 75% off cuts on old games, otherwise it's just 20 dollars more for deluxe edition garbage and DLC's digging your pockets.
If Impulse lets me buy Elemental, updates it for me, keeps track of it if God forbid I ever uninstall it or my computer dies so I can download it again assuredly and then gets out of the way so I can use it. Then.. well.. yay!
The less intrusive impulse turns out to be for me the better, because then it's all the more likely that it wont step on Steams big fat toes. I may end up adding Elemental (if at all possible) to steam as a non-steam game if that makes it possible to use the overlay, if not, oh well. Elemental doesn't sound like one of those monster games that falls apart if you ever try to minimize it. Source engine doth not like to be minimized, and I'm on an i7.