Tag Archives: valve

Steam client update adds controller and improvements

steam client update adds controller and Linux improvements for games

So two weeks ago Valve released a beta update for its Steam client including Linux. Since this added #Configurator support for Xbox 360 and Xbox One controllers for #games, along with #SteamController improvements. So now these features are available to everyone. Since these features are now part of the latest mainstream Steam client update.

Since Valve already added support for PlayStation 4 controllers last month. Hence now we see Xbox 360/One controllers and X-Input have all been added similar to the Steam Controller. So now gamers can connect and using almost any gamepad they want with Steam on Linux or PC. Of course, many games natively suported the Xbox controllers already. Yet this update means that games do not have to mess with JoyToKey or other keyboard-to-X-Input mapping programs. Since all recognized controllers can now tap into “the advanced mapping features of the Steam Controller Configurator.”

Steam Controller

  • Added XBox 360, Xbox One, and Generic X-Input controller configurator support. This allows all recognized controller types to use the advanced mapping features of the Steam Controller Configurator. Note that because X-Input currently lacks per-controller means of unique identification, all controllers of that type will share personalization and configuration settings. As they share the same inputs, Xbox 360/One/Generic controllers will all see each-others configurations when browsing. Automatic conversion will be attempted when loading configurations from other controller types.
  • Unrecognized Generic X-Input gamepad style controllers will be recognized by the Steam Controller Configurator once their buttons have been assigned to match a generic gamepad layout.
  • Recommended configurations specified for a game by the developer will now attempt to assign based on Controller Type.
  • Added option to disable Guide Button issuing a Steam focus change. This is available through the Big Picture controller options menu. This allows better interoperability with other applications which use the Guide Button, such as PSNow.
  • Added Single Button simple button mode for trackpads. This allows a trackpad to be treated as a single giant button.

Steam client Linux

  • Improved interactions between the Steam runtime and host distribution libraries, which should let Steam work out of the box with open-source graphics drivers on modern distributions. If using an older distribution or running into problems, use STEAM_RUNTIME_PREFER_HOST_LIBRARIES=0 to revert to previous behavior.
  • Unify close-to-tray behavior with other platforms. If using a distribution that doesn’t have proper compatible tray support, use STEAM_FRAME_FORCE_CLOSE=0
  • Added idle detection, friend status will now automatically switch to Away/Snooze
  • Fixed Steam not obeying SIGTERM, Steam will now gracefully exit when logging out of a session
  • Fixed keyboard input and cursor switching in overlay for Vulkan applications
  • Update Vulkan loader in the Steam runtime to enable Xlib support
  • Updated libxcb in the runtime with a fix for DRI3-related crashes on open-source graphics drivers

Since Valve added a bunch of other controller updates to the latest Steam client. This includes rumble support for Xbox controllers and recognition of more third-party PS4 gamepads. So this includes some HORI, Madcatz, Armor pads and flight sticks. Al

So with native support for all these controllers. Recommended configurations specified for games will now have the client attempt to assign based on controller type.

Beyond controller support, the new client fixes several issues. Valve also added some love for Linux with over half a dozen updates and bug fixes.

So if you right-click on a game in your library now, there are some menu changes. Say goodbye to “Delete local content” and say hello to “Uninstall.” Another nice addition: the ability to move game install folders from the Properties > Local Files menu.

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Gabe Newell Reddit AMA – a singleplayer game and Half-Life 3

gabe newell reddit ama a singleplayer game and half-life 3

So during the Reddit AMA, #Valve president Gabe Newell outlined that the company is #developing new #videogames. Since the most expected question being about Half-Life 3. Hence Newell made a joke about “the number 3 must not be said.”
Following a confirmation that Valve has one singleplayer game in the works. Then saying “yes” when asked if the company is developing “any fully-fledged single player games.”

Since asked in another thread if Valve would consider a new Half-Life or Portal universe. Hence Newell answered that it’s not Half-Life 3. So that is a confirmation, but it is a potential Half-Life type of game.

Of course Newell was a bit vague about Half-Life. So the anonymous source that said Half-Life 3 does not exist. Hence Newell joked: “I personally believe all unidentified anonymous sources on the Internet.”

Gabe Newell on Source 2 and VR games

So, as for what games are in development by Valve. Newell only outlined that they are, yet developed with the Source 2 engine and that VR games are in the works. Hence the Linux VR push at Steam Dev Days.

“We are continuing to use Source 2 as our primary game development environment,” explains Newell. “Aside from moving Dota 2 to the engine recently, we are are using it as the foundation of some unannounced products. We would like to have everyone working on games here at Valve to eventually be using the same engine. We also intend to continue to make the Source 2 engine work available to the broad developer community as we go, and to make it available free of charge.”

Yet in another answer, Newell pointed out that Valve is designing VR games with a “knuckles controller.” Since this is this likely a prototype from last October. Hence it seems like other Valve’s games, Team Fortress 2 and CS:GO, could be moving to Source 2. Since Newell said Valve wants everyone using it. Well those working on games.

Left 4 Dead 3

When asked about a Left 4 Dead game, Newell explained that new products at Valve usually come from the combination of new technology. So people interested in that technology and a game that feels like “a natural playground for that set of technology and design challenges.” Hence calling Left 4 Dead “a good place for creating shared narratives.” He confirmed nothing, but various leaks have pointed to Left 4 Dead 3 being in development in the past.

Also included in the AMA, Newell what’s been done to improve Steam’s customer service with a desire to improve it further. For all of those interested, check over the whole Reddit AMA.

What catches your interest in the AMA? What do you expect from this new singleplayer game?

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Half-Life 3 prototype outlined in recent video podcast

half-life 3 and prototype outlined in a video podcast linux mac pc

So 2017 is a  new year of trying to find out what’s going with Half-Life 3. While there is nothing incredibly new to #report on the Linux side. Hence a new and interesting bit of #information has come available regarding prototype ideas.

So according to Game Informer’s executive editor Andrew Reiner. The most recent Game Informer podcast highlights various prototypes for Half-Life 3. While these range from an adventure to a real-time strategy game.

While Reiner explains, investigating a story on the game. One developer issued some detals, “legitimate information” regarding the prototypes. Hence noting there was nothing in the process, just a “hot mess.”

“There were so many different prototypes being worked on by small teams of four or five people. It just never got off the ground,” according to Reiner. “They said two of the directions they were going in: one was going to be an RTS game for Half Life 3 or Episode Three. Whatever they were going to call it that changed the script.

“The other involved live actors. It was going to be a new kind of adventure action game with actual actors. Kind of like Night Trap, but far advanced. Apparently they were working on these things.”

While other people Reiner reached out to “didn’t want to talk about it al.” Hence a “dead end after dead end.”

Check out the video for yourself, somewhere around the 4:10 minute mark. This should cover what we discuss here.

So we released news about Half-Life 3 release scheduled for late 2017. Since we could go on forever about the game and the details we scrape up. Sure there are plenty of reasons to keep hope alive, but it’s getting pointless.

If the game is indeed still in the works, hopefully, Valve will release it sometime before the rapture. Well, at least we have Dream Fall Chapters Final Cut to look forward too.

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Steam client gets Vulkan runtime, Controller and Linux changes

steam client gets vulkan runtime controller and linux changes

So it is not surprising to point out that the Steam client has more notable improvements. While things like closing to tray, adding idle auto Away/Snooze and Vulkan runtime support are most notable. There are significant added #features and support for the #Steam #Controller as well.

Things like close-to-tray is a big issue. For whatever reason, it’s somewhat annoying to use the MATE desktop and only be able minimize the client. Hence a quirky thing that annoys me, but now we have a fix it. And it works really well.
While that Vulkan runtime support brings an added bonus. Making the client that much more flexible on Linux.

So you might want to check out these new features for yourself. Believe me, it’s worth it.
Open Steam, select Settings, Account, change Beta Participation and opt into the Steam Beta Update. Hence most everyone knows this, we feel the need to over explain.

Steam client update and Linux changes:

  • Improved interactions between the Steam runtime and host distribution libraries, which should let Steam work out of the box with open-source graphics drivers on modern distributions. If using an older distribution or running into problems, use STEAM_RUNTIME_PREFER_HOST_LIBRARIES=0 to revert to previous behavior.
  • Unify close-to-tray behavior with other platforms. If using a distribution that doesn’t have proper compatible tray support, use STEAM_FRAME_FORCE_CLOSE=0
  • Added idle detection, friend status will now automatically switch to Away/Snooze
  • Fixed Steam for Linux not obeying SIGTERM, Steam will now gracefully exit when logging out of a session
  • Fixed keyboard input and cursor switching in overlay for Vulkan applications
  • Update Vulkan loader in the Steam runtime to enable Xlib support
  • Updated libxcb in the runtime with a fix for DRI3-related crashes on open-source graphics drivers

Steam Controller

  • Added XBox 360, Xbox One, and Generic X-Input controller configurator support. This allows all recognized types to use the advanced mapping features of the Configurator. Note that because X-Input currently lacks per-controller means of unique identification, all controllers of that type will share personalization and configuration settings. As they share the same inputs, Xbox 360/One/Generic controllers will all see each-others configurations when browsing. Automatic conversion will be take place when loading configurations from other types.
  • Non-recognizable Generic X-Input gamepad style controllers will be available via the Steam Controller Configurator. Once their buttons are assigned to match a generic gamepad layout.
  • Recommended configurations specified for a game by the developer will now attempt to assign based on Controller Type.
  • Added option to disable Guide Button issuing a Steam focus change. This is available through the Big Picture controller options menu. This allows better interoperability with other applications which use the Guide Button, such as PSNow.
  • Added Single Button simple button mode for trackpads. This allows a trackpad to be treated as a single giant button.
  • Fix for free-floating On Screen Keyboard running very slowly if a game was open but did not have focus or was running windowed.
  • Added independent horizontal/vertical scaling to joystick move and joystick mouse.
  • Joystick Move mode no longer shows mouse sensitivity option unless mouse output is selected.
  • Added additional support for third party PS4 controllers, including some HORI, MadCatz, and Armor pads and fight sticks.
  • Fixed a bug with PS4 triggers where they were being scaled incorrectly, leading to maxing out of the value too soon.
  • Added ability to change x-input controller order from the Controller Options menu – so in multi-controller setups of x-input games, the mapping of phyiscal controller to x-input index can be swapped around. Note that this currently only applies to controllers that have opted into Steam Controller Configurator support.
  • Fixed Configurator Switch Controller interface not showing controller icons.
  • Re-enabled Gamepad outputs for desktop configurations for users of third party programs which hook into applications via the desktop configuration.

So for the full details on Steam Client Beta Update, check out it out here.

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Steam for Linux and OpenGL advantage over Windows 10 – Rich Geldreich

steam for linux and opengl advantage over windows rich geldreich

So recently we posted news about the Windows 10 market share according to #Steam. Since then, #exValveemployee #RichGeldreich is back in the news regarding Steam and Linux. Geldreich worked on games such as Portal 2 and Linux versions of other Valve titles. While these titles are based on the original Source Engine, the developer issued a blog post. The post shows Valve’s efforts with Linux and OpenGL on the industry. Particularly in getting Microsoft to support PC gaming better.

So on Valve’s Linux blog, entitled ‘Faster Zombies’ details show off what performance Valve was able to achieve running games on Linux and OpenGL. Hence faster than using Windows with Direct3D on the same systems. Gabe Newell himself ended up paying Microsoft the company a visit.

“Gabe Newell himself wrote a lot of this post in front of me. From what I could tell, he seemed flabbergasted and annoyed that the team didn’t immediately blog this info once we were solidly running faster in OpenGL vs. D3D. (Of course we should have blogged it ourselves! One of our missions as a team inside of Valve was to build a supportive community around our efforts.)” Geldreich’s post outlines.

Aside from raw performance numbers, there is obvious a more pressing reason for Geldreich to post information as soon as possible.

“I stood behind Gabe and gave him all the data concerning GL vs. D3D performance while he typed the blog post in. I was (and still remain) extremely confident that our results were real. We conducted these tests as scientifically as we could, using two machines with the same hardware, configured in precisely the same way in the BIOS’s, etc. NVidia and AMD were able to reproduce our results independently. Also, I could have easily made L4D2 on Linux GL run even faster vs. Windows, but we had other priorities like getting more Source1 games working, and helping Intel with their open source GL driver. From what I understand, Linux has some inherent advantages at the kernel level vs. Windows that impact driver performance.

“I personally suspect his social network didn’t believe it was possible, and/or there was some deeper strategic business reason for blogging this info ASAP.

“A few weeks after this post went out, some very senior developers from Microsoft came by for a discrete visit. They loved our post, because it lit a fire underneath Microsoft’s executives to get their act together and keep supporting Direct3D development. (Remember, at this point it was years since the last DirectX SDK release. The DirectX team was on life support.) Linux is obviously extremely influential.

It’s perhaps hard to believe, but the Steam Linux effort made a significant impact inside of multiple corporations. It was a surprisingly influential project. Valve being deeply involved with Linux also gives the company a “worse case scenario” hedge vs. Microsoft. It’s like a club held over MS’s heads. They just need to keep spending the resources to keep their in-house Linux expertise in a healthy state.”

Now, while this makes us wonder. Things like why most of Valve’s initiatives, both the Steam Machines and the Steam Controller have not received their due potential. Valve has not quite been able to share it’s feats with Linux and OpenGL across the gaming industry. Then again we’ve also seen quite a bit of issues around Steam Greenlight and the CSGO gambling fiasco. So this could be a matter of simply time and effort.

Since Microsoft’s attempts at supporting PC games have come under attack lately. Linux is certainly in a better place than what it was in the past. While rumours of Windows 10 getting a Game Mode, 2017 might just be the stable advantage with Linux and even Vulkan. And PC gamers may have Valve to thank.

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