Tag Archives: open source

Descent Underground developers releases custom plugins open source

descent underground developer release unreal engine 4 plugins as open source

#DescendentStudios, makers of Descent Underground, #announced the open-source release of several #UnrealEngine4 plugins they developed for the game. The studio rolled out their GitHub repository on the heels of last week’s announcement that Descent Underground won an Open-Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) Fund grant from Razer. Descent Underground was the first high-end action title to natively support all of the major desktop VR headsets: OSVR, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift.

“We use open-source tools and libraries in the development of Descent Underground,“ said Descendent Studios’ CTO, Jason “Stormwind” Spangler. “We wanted to give something back to the development community by making some of the code we’ve created available.”

Among the new open-source offerings for Unreal Engine 4 is “Blinken,” which adds support for color-changing peripherals like Razer’s Chroma line, AlienFX, Logitech G in both Blueprint and C++. Other plugins facilitate XMPP chat support, more robust configuration menus, and ping time displays. The repository also features contributions, additions, and fixes to a number of other open-source projects, such as the OSVR-Unreal plugin, nodervisor, discord-xmpp, and more. Descendent’s GitHub repository is available for all.

The Early Access version of Descent: Underground is available at DescentUnderground.com, Steam, and other online resellers. The game already features a number of multiplayer competitive and cooperative game modes, among them a horde-style “Survival” mode, and a tongue-in-cheek capture-the-flag mode called “Miner Mayhem”. Single-player “Survival” and “Vs. Bots” modes allow offline play in advance of the upcoming storyline campaign.

Descent Underground is also bundled with the OSVR HDK2 VR headset now through Sept. 19, while stocks last.

About Descent Underground

The officially-licensed prequel to the enormously successful Descent series of games, Descent: Underground combines first-person shooter action with six-degrees-of-freedom vehicular movement. Players take on the role of celebrity pilots commanding combat spacecraft in high-stakes battles for control of warren-like asteroid mines. Descent: Underground was one of 2015’s most successful Kickstarter projects and is scheduled for release later this year on PC, Mac, and Linux. More information is available on the company’s website at DescentUnderground.com.

GPUOpen site launches with a very mixed response from the community


AMD has gone out of their way to embrace #opensource in a new way. The GPUOpen site launched this week, geared toward helping #developers provide the best #experiences for users on Linux, Mac, Windows PC and consoles. GPUOpen has been setup to assist developers in getting the most out of the GPU using open source resources and tools.

Nicolas Thibieroz reports for the GPUOpen site:

GPUOpen is composed of two areas: Games & CGI for game graphics and content creation (which is the area I am involved with), and Professional Compute for high-performance GPU computing in professional applications.

GPUOpen is based on three principles:

The first is to provide code and documentation allowing PC developers to exert more control on the GPU. Current and upcoming GCN architectures (such as Polaris) include many features not exposed today in PC graphics APIs, and GPUOpen aims to empower developers with ways to leverage some of those features. In addition to generating quality or performance advantages such access will also enable easier porting from current-generation consoles (XBox One™ and PlayStation 4) to the PC platform.

The second is a commitment to open source software. The game and graphics development community is an active hub of enthusiastic individuals who believe in the value of sharing knowledge. Full and flexible access to the source of tools, libraries and effects is a key pillar of the GPUOpen philosophy. Only through open source access are developers able to modify, optimize, fix, port and learn from software. The goal? Encouraging innovation and the development of amazing graphics techniques and optimizations in PC games.

The third is a collaborative engagement with the developer community. GPUOpen software is hosted on public source code repositories such as GitHub as a way to enable sharing and collaboration. Engineers from different functions will also regularly write blog posts about various GPU-related topics, game technologies or industry news.

More at GPUOpen

The AMD’s GPUOpen initiative has caught the attention of quite a few people, but Linux gamers have taken to Reddit to express their views. Some redditors remain very sceptical and have questioned AMD’s efforts, wondering if it will actually amount to anything significant….


Unvanquished FPS releases Alpha 47 build

unvanquished alpha47 released for linux mac windows pc

The #free open-source FPS Unvanquished Alpha 47 now comes with Breakpad support, so the game engine provides users with a simpler and friendlier crash reporting system, but only available for #Linux, Windows and NaCl. This new #release ships with a medistation model that also includes a new effect.

“Happy new year! It’s our first release for 2016, and we have some nice new content for you.
On the engine side of things we’ve added in Breakpad support, which is a built-in crash reporting system. It is currently available for Windows, Linux, and NaCl, with Mac support to come in the near future. This will simplify bug reporting for users while providing us with more useful information to debug things, something that will be good to have as we approach beta and polish out the user experience. Speaking of bugs, we’ve squashed a couple of them, including logging/console spam, a clustering code crash, cheat cvars not being reset to their default values, an empty map crash, the repeater being on its side, and some more things you can read through in the commit log,” reads the announcement.

Unvanquished Alpha 47 also adds multiple improvements as stated in the announcedment:

There’s another new model in this release, the medistation, which replaces the placeholder we were using. It fits in better with our other human buildings, and has a new effect associated with it. Let us know what you think! While on the topic of humans, we’ve added in a number of movement changes for human players:

  • Slide. While moving quickly, jump and crouch as you hit the ground. This will slide you forward a good distance at a high speed. Use it to throw off an attacking alien, quickly slide into a vent, or cover a stretch of ground while strafe-jumping.

  • Wall-run. To trigger this, move along a wall and jump against it while running. It’s similar to how you would wall-jump as a marauder, but does not provide you with nearly as much extra distance. Use it to scale gaps, or get up on top of crates you can’t jump onto.

  • Side-dodge. Making a return from GPP, dodging to the sides can now be performed. Obviously, you can’t dodge backwards, which was one of the most annoying parts of the GPP implementation. Double-tap left or right to leap to that side. Use it to evade alien attacks.

Download Unvanquished Alpha 47 for Linux, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows PC directly from the official website. The game is still in the Alpha stages of development, which means this is not a finished product.


AMD Embraces Open Source with GPUOpen initiative


AMD has #announced their GPUOpen initiative #today. Moving further towards open-source in both #gaming and with computing. An expansion of their industry focus with all the tools necessary to successfully support individual needs, excluding the need for a static black-box solution that could end up inefficient.

GPUOpen, explicitly involves gaming and is a complete, easily accessible repository for all the effects, their SDK’s, associated libraries and other tools. The entire source code is accessible and able to be modified, called the GPUOpen Portal.

AMD is using MIT’s open source license where everything can be used without restriction. Meaning that assets can be improved upon and sold for profit, should you so choose to do so. A rather open and bold move on AMD’s part.

Linux support from AMD has certainly not been the most successful, with drivers in rather poor shape. Even Steam Machines show that their drivers are not on par with their Windows counterparts, with lower performance. As Linux increases the adoption rate among the curious and those that need such a platform for their business ventures.
GPUOpen introduces a change in attitude and direction with Linux driver development. Currently there is an open-source Radeon Driver and a closed-source Catalyst driver, with the Catalyst based driver having the best overall performance for any application to make use of the architecture, over and above than displaying the desktop. Both options were actually quite bad for gaming performance and even trying to get some HPC applications to run requires an exercise in patience. Quite honestly, this should not be.

Read the full GPUOpen coverage at wccftech.


CodeWeavers will support DirectX 11 in the coming months for Windows PC games


#JamesRamey the President of CodeWeavers released a #statement this week that DirectX 11 will be supported by the end of this year. This new level of compatibility will make gaming easier for those dedicated to running Linux on their machine. So having this further compatibility and #officialsupport on Linux will bring a new level of gaming to the platform.

WINE as we already know, supports DirectX 9 quite nicely, but there are still many the new games that do not have native support. And being that WINE is the open-source compatibility layer (API), allowing Windows applications to run on Linux and Mac OS X, which is still a necessity. So we are pleased to see that CodeWeavers offer CrossOver, expanding their support for the paid product built on top of the open-source WINE code .


DirectX 11 support is expected to make it into CrossOver before it even hits the open-source WINE project. But this code is open-source and will be submitted to the WINE project, so CodeWeavers do support the development of WINE itself.

During E3 2015, James Ramey the President of CodeWeavers posted an update on the CodeWeavers blog:

“E3. Team based games? Check. Games where you can be Darth Vader, a mythical god, an elite sniper, world class soccer player, or even vicious dwarf? Check again. From what I’ve seen so far, the ‘must have’ games for 2015 are going to Star Wars Battlefront, a 40 vs. 40 mass assault where you’re battling as either the Rebels or the Empireon the ground and in the air on worlds like Hoth and Endor; Smite, a seven vs. seven arena based combat where you can be an actual mythical god battling other mythical gods; Rainbow Six Siege, a five on five strategic assault where you are either a member of an elite military unit or part of a faction that is a threat to freedom; and the impressive list of games from both established and indie game studios goes on. The games all appear incredible and the action is non-stop. You attack. You die. You restart.”


To top things off, Ramey goes on to explain Codeweavers further support:

“Most of these games are PC only. However, you might still be able to play these titles on your Mac or Linux computer when they are released later this year using CrossOver. In the coming months, CodeWeavers will have support for DirectX 11; better controller support; and further improvements to overall GPU performance. While these incremental improvements for game support may seem small (at first), the cumulative improvements for game support will allow for many of these games to ‘just run’ when released.”

Despite Linux gamers being largely against any sort of Windows compatibility layer, Codeweavers are still working to advance with the changing landscape of gaming. And hopefully this will change yet again with the coming release of Vulkan, the successor to OpenGL.