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Games: Half-Life: Alyx, Serial Cleaner, BATTLETECH Heavy Metal

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Gaming
  • Set between Half-Life and Half-Life 2, Valve have now properly announced Half-Life: Alyx (updated)

    Half-Life: Alyx, the first Half-Life title in far too long has now been officially revealed with the Steam store page for it now available and you can also pre-purchase. However, their email clearly stated that Half-Life: Alyx will be "Free for owners of the Valve Index VR headset".

    This is a title built from the ground up for Virtual Reality, so only those with a VR kit will be able to play. Valve said it has "all of the hallmarks of a classic Half-Life game" including exploration, puzzle solving, visceral combat and a story that connects it all together with the Half-Life universe. Valve also said it will be compatible with "all PC-based VR headsets", it's powered by their own Source 2 game engine and it will release in March 2020.

  • Humble are giving away Serial Cleaner free for their Fall Sale now live

    You have around 72 hours to grab Serial Cleaner completely free, along with the start of the Humble Store Fall Sale.

    As always, there's tons of titles on sale. Plenty of indie games, plus multiple publishers have all put their games up with big discounts on them too.

  • BATTLETECH Heavy Metal has firmly stomped its way to release

    BATTLETECH Heavy Metal, the latest expansion to the turn-based strategy game that has you fight with massive lumbering 'mechs is out now.

    We've been told this is the definitive expansion, so it's likely to be the last as Harebrained Schemes move onto their next game. Quite an exciting expansion though and the naming of the expansion is very on point, since it comes with a bunch of classic 'mech designs from the original ​BATTLETECH​ board game plus a new 'mech designed just for Heavy Metal.

Half-Life: Alyx Releasing In March 2020

  • Half-Life: Alyx Releasing In March 2020 With Linux Support

    Half-Life: Alyx is powered by SteamVR on Valve's Source Engine 2. On Linux that means Vulkan rendering. Half-Life: Alyx will work with all PC-based VR headsets.

    More details on Half-Life: Alyx at Half-Life.com and the Steam page. It's been close to a year since last pulling out the HTC Vive, so at least this will make for a fun and fresh Linux VR look next year.

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More in Tux Machines

Setting the Record Straight: PinePhone Misconceptions

The misconception concerns the openness of the PinePhone. On numerous occasions I’ve seen the PinePhone being refereed to as closed-source on one level or another. I don’t know the origin of this misconception nor do I understand the reason why it has become propagated throughout the internet. What I do know, however, is that it has been repeatedly quoted in online articles covering the PinePhone or other Linux devices for over a year now.

So let’s set the record straight: the PinePhone is not ‘full of closed-source firmware’ and, moreover, is one of the most open devices out there.

Read more Also: announcing arduino-copilot

Android Leftovers

Programming Leftovers

  • Python 3.9.0a3
  • Python 3.9.0a3 now available for testing

    Python 3.9 is still in development. This releasee, 3.9.0a3 is the third of six planned alpha releases. Alpha releases are intended to make it easier to test the current state of new features and bug fixes and to test the release process. During the alpha phase, features may be added up until the start of the beta phase (2020-05-18) and, if necessary, may be modified or deleted up until the release candidate phase (2020-08-10). Please keep in mind that this is a preview release and its use is not recommended for production environments.

  • Weekly Python StackOverflow Report: (ccxii) stackoverflow python report
  • Perl Weekly Challenge 044: One Hundred, Two Hundred

    We can populate each place “between digits” with one of three possible values: a plus sign, minus sign, or nothing. To check all the possible permutations, we’ll use an indicator function similarly to The Knapsack Problem. In this case, though, there are three possible values, so we need to loop over numbers in the ternary numeral system. The only operation we’ll need will be the increment, so we don’t need the full support for arithmetic in base 3. We can implement the increment ourselves: we start from the right of the number, change any 2 into 0 and move left. Once we find 0 or 1, we increment it and we’re done. To create the expression, we just need to intersperse the digits with the operators. See the apply subroutine below. To evaluate the expression, we won’t use eval, as we don’t want to introduce security problems into our code. As the operations are just addition and subtraction, we can transform the expression into a large sum of positive and negative numbers (the latter correspond to the numbers being subtracted). We’ll use a regexp match to split the expression.

  • Confessions of a Recovering Proprietary Programmer, Part XVII

    One of the gatherings I attended last year featured a young man asking if anyone felt comfortable doing git rebase “without adult supervision”, as he put it. He seemed as surprised to see anyone answer in the affirmative as I was to see only a very few people so answer. This seems to me to be a suboptimal state of affairs, and thus this post describes how you, too, can learn to become comfortable doing git rebase “without adult supervision”. [...] Fortunately, one of my colleagues pointed me at tig, which provides a dynamic ASCII-art display of the selected commits. This is again not as good as gitk, but it is probably as good as it gets in a text-only environment. These tools do have their limits, and other techniques are required if you are actively rearranging more than a few hundred commits. If you are in that situation, you should look into the workflows used by high-level maintainers or by the -stable maintainer, who commonly wrangle many hundreds or even thousands of commits. Extreme numbers of commits will of course require significant automation, and many large-scale maintainers do in fact support their workflows with elaborate scripting. Doing advanced git work without being able to see what you are doing is about as much a recipe for success as chopping wood in the dark. So do yourself a favor and use tools that allow you to see what you are doing!

Software: MuseScore 3.4, arduino-copilot and LibreOffice 6.4 RC3

  • MuseScore 3.4 Release

    Today we are pleased to announce another significant update, MuseScore 3.4. In addition to dozens of bug fixes, it introduces UX improvements when working with score elements and telemetry.

  • Music Notation Software MuseScore 3.4 Released!

    Right-click on the Appimage, then go to Properties -> Permissions, check the box ‘Allow executing file as program’. Finally run the Appimage to launch MuseScore 3.4 and enjoy! MuseScore also available as Snap (runs in sandbox), which can be installed directly from Ubuntu Software, though it’s still v3.3.4 at the moment. Also the flathub repository contains MuseScore flatpak package....

  • announcing arduino-copilot

    arduino-copilot, released today, makes it easy to use Haskell to program an Arduino. It's a FRP style system, and uses the Copilot DSL to generate embedded C code. [...] Copilot is quite an impressive embedding of C in Haskell. It was developed for NASA by Galois and is intended for safety-critical applications. So it's neat to be able to repurpose it into hobbyist microcontrollers. (I do hope to get more type safety added to Copilot though, currently it seems rather easy to confuse eg miles with kilometers when using it.) I'm not the first person to use Copilot to program an Arduino. Anthony Cowley showed how to do it in Abstractions for the Functional Roboticist back in 2013. But he had to write a skeleton of C code around the C generated by Copilot. Amoung other features, arduino-copilot automates generating that C skeleton. So you don't need to remember to enable GPIO pin 13 for output in the setup function; arduino-copilot sees you're using the LED and does that for you. frp-arduino was a big inspiration too, especially how easy it makes it to generate an Arduino sketch withough writing any C. The "=:" operator in copilot-arduino is copied from it. But ftp-arduino contains its own DSL, which seems less capable than Copilot. And when I looked at using frp-arduino for some real world sensing and control, it didn't seem to be possible to integrate it with existing Arduino libraries written in C. While I've not done that with arduino-copilot yet, I did design it so it should be reasonably easy to integrate it with any Arduino library.

  • LibreOffice 6.4 RC3 is available

    LibreOffice 6.4 RC3 is available for downloading now. There are builds for all main OS for 64 bit. There is a 32 bit build for Windows also. These builds are only for testing.