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To celebrate one year, Half-Life: Alyx is the cheapest it's ever been

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For those who are lucky enough to have a VR kit, Valve's Half-Life: Alyx has today hit one year old and so Valve are doing a small celebration. Despite it still not advertising Linux support on the store page, just a reminder that Valve did add a Linux version with Vulkan support back in May 2020.

The community around the game has built up since Valve updated it post-released with Steam Workshop support, with over 800 mods now available for Alyx. Sifting through it, Valve teamed up with guest writer Craig Pearson to point out some of the top mods going.

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Valve noted in their celebratory post that it gained a number of awards including:

  • GameSpot: Game of the Year 2020
  • Destructoid: PC Platform Game of the Year
  • The Game Awards: Best VR/AR Game
  • VR Focus Awards: Game of the Year
  • 2020 VR Awards: Game of the Year

Since it's a Half-Life game and it was meant to really showcase a true VR experience, it's not exactly surprising that it did well overall with over 45,000 user reviews on Steam giving it an Overwhelmingly Positive score which makes it number 15 currently on the Steam Top 250 chart.

Additionally Half-Life: Alyx is 40% off until March 31 to celebrate, which is the lowest price for it yet.

Hopefully though, for those of us where VR is out of reach for various reasons that some of Valve's upcoming games that Gabe Newell mentioned will be more…flat so we don't miss out.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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45 comments
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Eike 24 Mar
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: Eike
Quoting: BeamboomIt's also worth noting that VR games - for whatever reason - seem to work particularly well on Proton. There's not many (Windows) VR games at all I've not gotten to work straight out of the box.

Interesting observation. Wonder if it's by chance or something systematic. I guess the company's start applications don't play a big role in VR. And maybe something about the 3D they're forced to do right for VR?
I would guess some of this is because it has to use Vulkan on Linux, and it seems to work better than OpenGL in general, and converting from DirectX in particular.

One of us is missunderstood something. Beamboom was talking about Windows/Proton...?


Last edited by Eike on 24 March 2021 at 6:32 pm UTC
Beamboom 25 Mar
Quoting: EikeInteresting observation. Wonder if it's by chance or something systematic.

Well, VR games are typically not the most visually complex games. But I also have a theory; I have a strong feeling almost all VR games are developed on the same engine: Unity.

And that makes it even more annoying that they don't just render out a Linux version too, while they are at it.

I may be wrong though. But I do know that Unity has VR well implemented and I think I have seen Unity mentioned in SOME of the games.
Ehvis 25 Mar
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Quoting: Beamboom
Quoting: EikeInteresting observation. Wonder if it's by chance or something systematic.

Well, VR games are typically not the most visually complex games. But I also have a theory; I have a strong feeling almost all VR games are developed on the same engine: Unity.

And that makes it even more annoying that they don't just render out a Linux version too, while they are at it.

I may be wrong though. But I do know that Unity has VR well implemented and I think I have seen Unity mentioned in SOME of the games.

Quite a few UE4 games as well. But those also tend to work nicely in Proton.

I suppose testing/QA is not worth it for VR games because it is a small number multiplied by a small number. An interesting observation though. Steam says 2.2% of its users own a VR headset. The GOL statistics have 16% registered with a VR headset. Makes me wonder if VR ownership is really that high on Linux on whether it is a very selective data set.
peta77 25 Mar
Quoting: EhvisSteam says 2.2% of its users own a VR headset. The GOL statistics have 16% registered with a VR headset. Makes me wonder if VR ownership is really that high on Linux on whether it is a very selective data set.

The last time the Steam Survey popped up for me (for me it always shows up at the beginning of a year) it didn't recognize my VR equipment. So I suspect the number from Steam might be too low.
slaapliedje 25 Mar
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Quoting: Eike
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: Eike
Quoting: BeamboomIt's also worth noting that VR games - for whatever reason - seem to work particularly well on Proton. There's not many (Windows) VR games at all I've not gotten to work straight out of the box.

Interesting observation. Wonder if it's by chance or something systematic. I guess the company's start applications don't play a big role in VR. And maybe something about the 3D they're forced to do right for VR?
I would guess some of this is because it has to use Vulkan on Linux, and it seems to work better than OpenGL in general, and converting from DirectX in particular.

One of us is missunderstood something. Beamboom was talking about Windows/Proton...?
SteamVR in Linux uses Vulkan. Regardless of what Proton is converting it to, you are still using Vulkan through SteamVR which is native.

Well, I guess the question is... if you launch a Windows VR game in Linux, does it use the native SteamVR to launch / play it? Or does SteamVR itself get launched through Proton?


Last edited by slaapliedje on 25 March 2021 at 5:53 pm UTC
jarhead_h 25 Mar
Cheapest it's ever been? Great. So just as soon as I can buy a 5900X & 6800XT to replace the 2600 & GTX1060 currently plugged into my X570, and then the Valve Index, I'll buy it. Oh, and that's AFTER I can afford to replace my Android phone with a Librem 5.

And all of than is after I have an income again. 2021 sucks.
slaapliedje 26 Mar
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Quoting: jarhead_hCheapest it's ever been? Great. So just as soon as I can buy a 5900X & 6800XT to replace the 2600 & GTX1060 currently plugged into my X570, and then the Valve Index, I'll buy it. Oh, and that's AFTER I can afford to replace my Android phone with a Librem 5.

And all of than is after I have an income again. 2021 sucks.
This is actually incorrect, the cheapest it's ever been is 'Free!' as I got it for free with the purchase of my Index :) Basically if you bought an Index through Steam, they gave it to you :)

Also, if you're still running a 2600 from 1977 as your main gaming rig, kudos to you!


Last edited by slaapliedje on 26 March 2021 at 3:55 pm UTC
Hubro 27 Mar
I would have bought this game when it first came out, but Valve still doesn't sell the Index in Norway...
jarhead_h 14 May
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: jarhead_hCheapest it's ever been? Great. So just as soon as I can buy a 5900X & 6800XT to replace the 2600 & GTX1060 currently plugged into my X570, and then the Valve Index, I'll buy it. Oh, and that's AFTER I can afford to replace my Android phone with a Librem 5.

And all of than is after I have an income again. 2021 sucks.
This is actually incorrect, the cheapest it's ever been is 'Free!' as I got it for free with the purchase of my Index :) Basically if you bought an Index through Steam, they gave it to you :)

Also, if you're still running a 2600 from 1977 as your main gaming rig, kudos to you!

Nah, it's a Ryzen 2600. And the Asrock X570 mobo it was plugged into died. Luckily I had a B450 laying around waiting for the 2600 when the 5900X arrived. Now I don't have to build my old windows games box because it already is. Oh, wait the B450 is also an Asrock. Crap.
slaapliedje 14 May
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: jarhead_h
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: jarhead_hCheapest it's ever been? Great. So just as soon as I can buy a 5900X & 6800XT to replace the 2600 & GTX1060 currently plugged into my X570, and then the Valve Index, I'll buy it. Oh, and that's AFTER I can afford to replace my Android phone with a Librem 5.

And all of than is after I have an income again. 2021 sucks.
This is actually incorrect, the cheapest it's ever been is 'Free!' as I got it for free with the purchase of my Index :) Basically if you bought an Index through Steam, they gave it to you :)

Also, if you're still running a 2600 from 1977 as your main gaming rig, kudos to you!

Nah, it's a Ryzen 2600. And the Asrock X570 mobo it was plugged into died. Luckily I had a B450 laying around waiting for the 2600 when the 5900X arrived. Now I don't have to build my old windows games box because it already is. Oh, wait the B450 is also an Asrock. Crap.
Just because I'm an Atari Nut, I think it'd be hilarious to take a Ryzen 2600 and put it into an Atari 2600 box-like box...
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