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Games: VR, RetroPie and Godot

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Gaming
  • Who Knew Mac Could Even Do VR?

    Today’s news struck me as surprising. Apparently Valve is dropping SteamVR support for Mac. I had no idea this was even a thing! I mean, to be completely honest, even VR support on Linux is far from optimal – I usually say that if you are really into VR, the only OS you can consider is Windows and pretty much nothing else – at least for now.

    [...]

    It’s kind of amazing that Mac still has 2-3 times the size of Linux gaming despite being so obviously bad for development and support. I could be wrong, but it’s probably a developer fetish: a lot of artists and programmers work on Macs, and want to see their games working on the same machines too, regardless if it’s even a good use of their time or not.

    Anyway, let’s hope Valve put some real, sweating effort into SteamVR for Linux, because if VR ever takes off one day past a few inches of market share, we’d probably want to have it on our sweet OS as well.

  • Play video game ROMs on Raspberry Pi 4 with Debian Linux-based RetroPie 4.6

    Video games may be more popular than ever these days, but the truth is, they simply aren’t as fun as they used to be. Sadly, game developers focus too heavily on graphics and in-game purchases than actual gameplay. And so, in 2020, a true gamer is better served by playing video game ROMs from yesteryear, from systems like NES, SNES, Genesis, and N64.

    Thankfully, there’s no shortage of ways to play classic video game ROMs nowadays. You can even use inexpensive hardware like the Raspberry Pi line of computers to easily get them onto your TV screen. If you have the latest such device, the Raspberry Pi 4, I have some great news — you can finally use the Linux-based RetroPie for your classic gaming fun.

  • The Godot Game Engine's Vulkan Support Is Getting In Increasingly Great Shape

    Over the past three months many improvements were made to the Godot 4.0 engine code-base where this Vulkan renderer support will debut. With the latest code there is new screen-space reflection code, new subsurface scattering capabilities, reworked shadow bias settings, support for soft shadows in all light types, accurate frame render time reporting, MSAA anti-aliasing support has been restored, FXAA is also supported, and other renderer improvements.

  • Vulkan Progress Report #7

    It's been three months since a Vulkan progress report! I know you guys missed them, so I made sure to work extra hard to have something nice to make up. It feels great to be back to doing graphics programming after two months refactoring the core engine.

    So, here are the things that were worked on during April!

Godot Engine has more impressive progress towards Vulkan API...

  • Godot Engine has more impressive progress towards Vulkan API support

    Godot Engine is free, open source, cross-platform in both editor and exports and the next major update will bring in Vulkan API support and progress sounds great.

    It's been a couple months since the last full report from Godot lead developer, Juan Linietsky, who was previously working on a code refactoring process. Now that's done, they've been back to work on the graphics stack. Not just that though, other parts are being tweaked like node naming to be more consistent and clear between 2D and 3D.

    On the rendering side this includes improvements to screen-space reflectionso that's not as limited as the one in Godot 3.x. Linietsky mentioned that the new version will use a special screen-space filter to properly simulate roughness.

More on SteamVR

Valve Drops SteamVR for macOS, as Linux and Windows Now the Key

  • Valve Drops SteamVR for macOS, as Linux and Windows Now the Key Focus

    Valve has surprisingly decided to abandon SteamVR for macOS, with the company to only focus on Linux and Windows going forward.

    While it’s not known why the company has decided to drop the support for the macOS version of SteamVR, Valve says that developers continue building apps for Apple’s operating system, only that no new feature or bug fixes will be released in the future.

    Needless to say, this isn’t necessarily good news for macOS developers who invested in SteamVR, but Valve says from this point, it’ll only focus on the development of the platform on Windows and Linux.

StreamVR drops Mac support “so our team can focus

  • StreamVR drops Mac support “so our team can focus on Windows and Linux”

    Valve’s VR platform is dropping support for MacOS. The developers behind SteamVR announced at the end of April that they’re ending Mac support for SteamVR, and players on the platform will have to make do with legacy builds if they want to make use of the virtual reality hub – not that it’s going to matter much with the small volume of VR games on the platform, anyway.

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More in Tux Machines

Audiocasts/Screecasts, Linux App Summit, LIMBAS and More

  • BunsenLabs Linux Lithium overview | Crunchbang Reborn

    In this video, I am going to show an overview of BunsenLabs Linux Lithium and some of the applications pre-installed.

  • Why Do You Guys Want Linux Creators To Record Outside

    For some reason people seem to like the outside Linux rants so I thought I'd explain why they went away and how I'm planning to bring them back, they're very easy to make so I feel like I'm generally just being lazy when I put one of these out but if you guys want them I guess I can't say no.

  • There's going to be an online Linux App Summit this November

    Are you interested in helping to make Linux a great end-user platform? Or perhaps you just want to listen to speeches and find out more info from those working on it? Mark November 12-14 on your calendar. This is the date of the upcoming 2020 Linux App Summit, an event co-hosted by GNOME and KDE as they work to bring everyone together to push Linux further. LAS will have a range of different talks, panels, and Q&As on a wide range of topics covering everything: creating, packaging, and distributing apps, to monetization within the Linux ecosystem and much more.

  • LIMBAS: Build a Database-Powered Enterprise Apps with ease

    LIMBAS is a framework for building enterprise applications for medium and large-scale companies. With LIMBAS you don't need to re-invent the wheel or start from scratch as it offers you the tools for building highly performed applications. LIMBAS is a good option for prototyping because it's fast, offers powerful tools that ease the production. It can be used to create all sort of databased powered applications. The project is already used by several companies in Europe (Germany and Switzerland).

  • Slovak procurement office recommends making licence requirements specific

    Public services in the Slovak Republic that wish to avoid IT vendor lock-in have been advised to make their licence requirements clear – for example by requesting open source – when procuring software and related services. This is one of the recommendations in a case study published last April by the country’s public procurement office and Slovensko.Digital, a non-profit organisation promoting open government and government modernisation.

  • Adding a fiber link to my home network

    Replacing this particular connection with a fiber connection was a smooth process overall, and I would recommend it in other situations as well.

    I would claim that it is totally feasible for anyone with an hour of patience to learn how to put a field assembly connector onto a fiber cable.

    If labor cost is expensive in your country or you just like doing things yourself, I can definitely recommend this approach. In case you mess the connector up and don’t want to fix it yourself, you can always call an electrician!

  • New Training Course Explores Open Source CI/CD Tool Jenkins X

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the availability of a new training course, LFS268 - CI/CD with Jenkins X. LFS268, developed in conjunction with the Continuous Delivery Foundation, is designed for site reliability engineers, software developers and architects, DevOps engineers and others who need to not only master continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD), but also gain a deeper understanding of the cloud-native ecosystem.

  • Participate in the 2020 Open Source Jobs Report!

    The Linux Foundation has partnered with edX to update the Open Source Jobs Report, which was last produced in 2018. The report examines the latest trends in open source careers, which skills are in demand, what motivates open source job seekers, and how employers can attract and retain top talent. In the age of COVID-19, this data will be especially insightful both for companies looking to hire more open source talent, as well as individuals looking to advance or change careers.

Debian and Ubuntu Leftovers

  • Jonathan Carter: GameMode in Debian

    About two years ago, I ran into some bugs running a game on Debian, so installed Windows 10 on a spare computer and ran it on there. I learned that when you launch a game in Windows 10, it automatically disables notifications, screensaver, reduces power saving measures and gives the game maximum priority. I thought “Oh, that’s actually quite nice, but we probably won’t see that kind of integration on Linux any time soon”. The very next week, I read the initial announcement of GameMode, a tool from Feral Interactive that does a bunch of tricks to maximise performance for games running on Linux.

  • Mike Gabriel: No Debian LTS Work in July 2020

    In July 2020, I was originally assigned 8h of work on Debian LTS as a paid contributor, but holiday season overwhelmed me and I did not do any LTS work, at all.

  • Opinion: Robots are proving themselves now more than ever

    By Rhys Davies, product manager for robotics, Snapcraft and Ubuntu Appliances at Canonical, the publisher of Ubuntu

  • Kubernetes 1.19 release candidate available for testing

    The Kubernetes 1.19 release candidate is now available for download and experimentation ahead of general availability later this month. You can try it now with MicroK8s.

  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 643

    Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 643 for the week of August 2 – 8, 2020. The full version of this issue is available here.

Linux Devices and Open Hardware

  • Mini-PC and SBC build on Whiskey Lake

    Supermicro’s 3.5-inch “X11SWN-H-WOHS” SBC and “SYS-E100-9W-H” mini-PC based it feature an 8th Gen UE-series CPU, HDMI and DP, 4x USB 3.1 Gen2, 2x GbE, and 3x M.2. Supermicro has launched a fanless, 8th Gen Whiskey Lake SBC and mini-PC. The SYS-E100-9W-H mini-PC (or SuperServer E100-9W-H), which was reported on by Fanless Tech, is certified only to run Windows 10, but the 3.5-inch X11SWN-H-WOHS SBC supports Ubuntu. Applications include industrial automation, retail, smart medical expert systems, kiosks, interactive info systems, and digital signage.

  • Exor nanoSOM nS02 System-on-Module Features the 800MHz version of STM32MP1 Processor

    Exor provides a Linux RT board support package (BSP) or Android BSP for the module which also fully supports the company’s X Platform including Exor Embedded Open HMI software, Corvina Cloud IIoT platform, and IEC61131 CODESYS or Exor xPLC runtime.

  • Onyx Boox Poke2 Color eReader Launched for $299

    Manga and comics fans, rejoice! After years of getting black & white eReaders, the first commercial color eReaders are coming to market starting with Onyx Boox Poke2 Color eReader sold for $299 (but sadly sold out at the time of writing). The eReader comes with a 6-inch, 1448 x 1072 E-Ink display that supports up to 4096 colors, and runs Android 9.0 on an octa-core processor coupled with 2GB RAM and 32GB storage.

  • xDrill Smart Power Drill Supports Intelligent Speed/Torque, Laser Measuring, Digital Leveling (Crowdfunding)

    Many home appliances now have smart functions, and in my cases, I fail to see the added value, and I’m not sure why I’d want/need a connected refrigerator with a touchscreen display. So when I first saw somebody make a “smart” power drill with a small touchscreen display I laughed. But after having a closer look, Robbox xDrill smart power drill could actually be a very useful device saving you time and helping work better.

  • Raspberry Pi calls out your custom workout routine
  • Odyssey Blue: A powerful x86 and Arduino machine that supports Windows 10 and Linux

    It has been a few months since we reported on the Odyssey, a single-board computer (SBC) designed by Seeedstudio. Unlike many SBCs, the Odyssey, or ODYSSEY-X86J4105800 to give it its full name, supported the x86 instruction set. While the Odyssey can run Windows 10, it is also compatible with the Arduino ecosystem. Now, Seeedstudio has expanded on the design of the Odyssey with the Odyssey Blue.

  • Bring two analog meters out of retirement to display temperature and humidity

    Tom of Build Comics created a unique analog weather station that shows temperature and humidity on a pair of recycled gauges. An Arduino Nano reads the levels using a DHT22 sensor and outputs them in the proper format for each display. Both units have a new printed paper backing to indicate conditions, along with a trimmer pot for calibration. To set the build off nicely, the Nano and other electronics are housed inside a beautiful custom wooden box, to which the antique meters are also affixed.

Programming Leftovers

  • Engineer Your Own Electronics With PCB Design Software

    A lot of self-styled geeks out there tend to like to customize their own programs, devices, and electronics. And for the true purists, that can mean building from the ground up (you know, like Superman actor Henry Cavill building a gaming PC to the delight of the entire internet). Building electronics from the ground up can mean a lot of different things: acquiring parts, sometimes from strange sources; a bit of elbow grease on the mechanical side of things; and today, even taking advantage of the 3D printing revolution that’s finally enabling people to manufacture customized objects in their home. Beyond all of these things though, engineering your own devices can also mean designing the underlying electronics — beginning with printed circuit boards, also known as PCBs. [...] On the other hand, there are also plenty of just-for-fun options to consider. For example, consider our past buyer’s guide to the best Linux laptop, in which we noted that you can always further customize your hardware. With knowledge of PCB design, that ability to customize even a great computer or computer setup is further enhanced. You might, for instance, learn how to craft PCBs and devices amounting to your own mouse, gaming keyboard, or homemade speakers — all of which can make your hardware more uniquely your own. All in all, PCB design is a very handy skill to have in 2020. It’s not typically necessary, in that there’s usually a device or some light customization that can give you whatever you want or need out of your electronics. But for “geeks” and tech enthusiasts, knowledge of PCB design adds another layer to the potential to customize hardware.

  • Programming pioneer Fran Allen dies aged 88 after a career of immense contributions to compilers

    Frances Allen, one of the leading computer scientists of her generation and a pioneer of women in tech, died last Tuesday, her 88th birthday. Allen is best known for her work on compiler organisation and optimisation algorithms. Together with renowned computer scientist John Cocke, she published a series of landmark papers in the late '60s and '70s that helped to lay the groundwork for modern programming. In recognition of her efforts, in 2006 Allen became the first woman to be awarded the AM Turing Award, often called the Nobel Prize of computing.

  • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn ECMAScript

    ECMAScript is an object‑oriented programming language for performing computations and manipulating computational objects within a host environment. The language was originally designed as a scripting language, but is now often used as a general purpose programming language. ECMAScript is best known as the language embedded in web browsers but has also been widely adopted for server and embedded applications.

  • Alexander Larsson: Compatibility in a sandboxed world

    Compatibility has always been a complex problems in the Linux world. With the advent of containers/sandboxing it has become even more complicated. Containers help solve compatibility problems, but there are still remaining issues. Especially on the Linux desktop where things are highly interconnected. In fact, containers even create some problems that we didn’t use to have. Today I’ll take a look at the issues in more details and give some ideas on how to best think of compatibility in this post-container world, focusing on desktop use with technologies like flatpak and snap. [...] Another type of compatibility is that of communication protocols. Two programs that talk to each other using a networking API (which could be on two different machines, or locally on the same machine) need to use a protocol to understand each other. Changes to this protocol need to be carefully considered to ensure they are compatible. In the remote case this is pretty obvious, as it is very hard to control what software two different machines use. However, even for local communication between processes care has to be taken. For example, a local service could be using a protocol that has several implementations and they all need to stay compatible. Sometimes local services are split into a service and a library and the compatibility guarantees are defined by the library rather than the service. Then we can achieve some level of compatibility by ensuring the library and the service are updated in lock-step. For example a distribution could ship them in the same package.

  • GXml-0.20 Released

    GXml is an Object Oriented implementation of DOM version 4, using GObject classes and written in Vala. Has a fast and robust serialization implementation from GObject to XML and back, with a high degree of control. After serialization, provides a set of collections where you can get access to child nodes, using lists or hash tables. New 0.20 release is the first step toward 1.0. It provides cleaner API and removes old unmaintained implementations. GXml is the base of other projects depending on DOM4, like GSVG an engine to read SVG documents based on its specificacion 1.0. GXml uses a method to set properties and fill declared containers for child nodes, accessing GObject internals directly, making it fast. A libxml-2.0 engine is used to read sequentially each node, but is prepared to implement new ones in the future.

  • Let Mom Help You With Object-Oriented Programming

    Mom is a shortcut for creating Moo classes (and roles). It allows you to define a Moo class with the brevity of Class::Tiny. (In fact, Mom is even briefer.) A simple example: Mom allows you to use Moo features beyond simply declaring Class::Tiny-like attributes though. You can choose whether attributes are read-only, read-write, or read-write-private, whether they're required or optional, specify type constraints, defaults, etc.

  • Perl Weekly Challenge 73: Min Sliding Window and Smallest Neighbor

    These are some answers to the Week 73 of the Perl Weekly Challenge organized by Mohammad S. Anwar. Spoiler Alert: This weekly challenge deadline is due in a few days from now (on Aug. 16, 2020). This blog post offers some solutions to this challenge, please don’t read on if you intend to complete the challenge on your own.

  • [rakulang] 2020.32 Survey, Please

    The TPF Marketing Committee wants to learn more about how you perceive “The Perl Foundation” itself, and asks you to fill in this survey (/r/rakulang, /r/perl comments). Thank you!