Latest Comments by ObsidianBlk
GOG finally remove the false "in progress" note about GOG Galaxy for Linux
1 July 2022 at 6:54 pm UTC Likes: 6

Quoting: denyasisI'm a little sad GOG is struggling, but their business model failed and they seem to be struggling with what to do next.

Which is a problem when your business model is to be the anti-Steam and in the process, Steam becomes a near Monopoly.

I'm the end, turns out people are really more ok with DRM and a nice, albeit mandatory, client than they bet on.

How do you retake market space without alienating uses that bought in on those founding principles?

Perhaps the bigger problem is that they had principles in the first place.

To begin with, GOG strayed from their initial business model a long time ago. Their name, Good Old Games, referred to them selling classic games that were not readily available and selling them without DRM. Perhaps that business model wasn't enough... hard to say... but a few years later they started releasing more modern, main stream titles. It's at about this time GOG slowly (or not so slowly, depending on who you talk to) started seeing the "Old" in their name taking less and less relevance. At this point, GOG was trying to compete with Steam for those games GOG could get. I feel they only lasted as long as they did due to the initial good will from their original core offerings (being good Old games).

With the release of Galaxy, it was blatantly obvious GOG was intending to compete with Steam. Any principles they may have started with were tarnishing quickly of their own making. I forget the game, but they actually released a game that could not be played without Galaxy... effectively DRMing the game.

Steam, at least, never claimed to be anything is wasn't, nor has it shifted strategies in it's self marketing. As far as Steam DRM... any game with DRM on Steam is totally up to the developers, and not something imposed by Steam themselves. There are actually quite a large number of games on Steam that actually have no DRM and can be played just fine without Steam running... it's just, why would anyone disconnect the installed game from a perfectly good launcher?

Back to GOG... GOGs one and, to this day, really still only true selling point is "Old" games. You looking for a easy to obtain copy of Decent, Pools of Radiance, the Wizardry series, etc, etc? GOG is still the easiest place to get those. All the other stuff? Steam has it, and I'm willing to wager those games on both GOG and Steam, they're DRM free on Steam as they are on GOG.

Steam Deck gets a set of nice bug fixes in a new client update
28 June 2022 at 5:10 pm UTC

Quoting: soulsource
Quoting: ObsidianBlkno matter then directional input I give, the menus always scroll up
I've had this too. I think (but am not certain) that some element above the current screen has the UI focus, and that, even though the focus is moving correctly based on input, the scrollbar moves "towards" the element that's actually in-focus off-screen.

That makes sense, but that needs to be fixed, IMHO.

Steam Deck gets a set of nice bug fixes in a new client update
28 June 2022 at 2:11 pm UTC

I've encountered a bug myself. More of an annoyance, but can ruin the experience. When navigating the Steam Deck menus I've fallen into a state a couple times where no matter then directional input I give, the menus always scroll up. Down on the left stick... scrolls up. Down on the DPad... scrolls up. Down on the right stick... still scrolls up. If I go left or right on any of the controls, I eventually hear the little chime you get when you come to the end of a list, but the screen itself does not change.

I can easily break out of this state by hitting the back button to take me to the previous menu. At this point, the previous menu works as expected. If I go back to the menu I was on, it, also, works as expected.

Like I said, this is more an annoyance (as I can break out of the problem easily enough by switching menus), but it often occurs when I'm scrolling large menus (like during... a sale) and having to leave that menu to break the issue means I loose where I was previously.

One work around I have for this issue is to use the touch screen. The scrolling up issue only happens with the controller buttons, but not the touch screen, so, I *can* use the touch screen instead... it's just the touch screen is not my favorite.

AMD publishes the source code for FidelityFX Super Resolution 2 (FSR 2)
23 June 2022 at 6:58 pm UTC

Quoting: ripper81358
Quoting: ObsidianBlk
Quoting: scaineMy understanding of this is limited, but I think it has to be engineered into the game - FSR2 can't be "hacked" into a game externally the way we had with FSR1. But from the videos I've watched, it's pretty incredible. I couldn't really tell the difference between FSR1 and DLSS, but now you'd need a zoomed in side-by-side comparison to spot the difference.

Fingers crossed this is worked into existing games retroactively too, although that might be too much to hope for.

My understanding is that it works without the need for a game to support it. Additionally, it would work regardless of whether one is using an AMD or Nvidia GPU. This is kinda FSR's big selling point over DLSS. DLSS needs to be built into the games and is limited to Nvidia GPUs, where FSR is neither.

FSR2 needs to be implemented per game just like DLSS. RSR which is based on FSR1 can be used regardless of an implementation. However the downside of this is that the whole game is affected and this includes the Ui and the gamemenus as well. So things can become quiet tiny and text is hard to read in some games.

Fair enough. However, is FSR2 still GPU agnostic?

AMD publishes the source code for FidelityFX Super Resolution 2 (FSR 2)
23 June 2022 at 3:30 pm UTC

Quoting: scaineMy understanding of this is limited, but I think it has to be engineered into the game - FSR2 can't be "hacked" into a game externally the way we had with FSR1. But from the videos I've watched, it's pretty incredible. I couldn't really tell the difference between FSR1 and DLSS, but now you'd need a zoomed in side-by-side comparison to spot the difference.

Fingers crossed this is worked into existing games retroactively too, although that might be too much to hope for.

My understanding is that it works without the need for a game to support it. Additionally, it would work regardless of whether one is using an AMD or Nvidia GPU. This is kinda FSR's big selling point over DLSS. DLSS needs to be built into the games and is limited to Nvidia GPUs, where FSR is neither.

Wilderness survival sandbox Vintage Story has a massive upgrade out now
16 June 2022 at 11:59 am UTC

Quoting: Theodis
Quoting: Purple Library GuyAt this point I'm not sure what you're complaining about--are you saying that it's DRM if you can't download the game again from a company that's gone under?

The problem is that you might have a downloaded copy saved, but it might not be installable after the company goes under. It's not like a GoG situation where even if GoG goes under, the installers still work and the game is still playable.

Honestly, for this game, this fear is highly exaggerated, in my opinion. The games DRM is ridiculously minimal as DRM goes and would more than likely hinder your game play experience in none but the most nominal way. As far as the fear of the company going under... while I can't speak to what the developers may actually do, but I get the feeling that if such a case were to occur, their last update would most likely remove the DRM that's there. Even if that doesn't happen, the game fans would have the DRM cracked within a couple weeks if not a couple days and the game will live on until the last fan forgets about the game.

As far as whether the game will be installable... I bought the game directly through the game's website. From there, it's distributed as a .zip file. For me, "installable" is a matter of unzipping a file. Pound for pound, this is even simpler an install process than a DRM free GOG installable game (is the game available on Steam? If so, I'll have to nab it there to and see how it plays on my Steam Deck)

VITURE One XR glasses look fun paired up with a Steam Deck
10 May 2022 at 12:06 pm UTC Likes: 4

I'm... dubious.
Just power-wise, out of the gate, the glasses do not come with a battery. For the Steam Deck, it looks as if can plug the glasses into the deck for power, but I suspect that would significantly eat into the Decks limited battery (I am not a battery usage expert, but screens are not usually energy sippers), reducing the Deck's mobility. Beyond that, they're already up-selling on not one but two battery packs. One in the neckband and the other is a strait up power bank. This really makes me feel like these glasses truly need far more power then they want you to think they do.

There's other things that make me nervous. Regarding the neckbar, it says...
QuoteRemoving the built-in battery and processors from the glasses and moving them to the neckband (where there's more space) is the best way to solve the over-weight and over-heating problem some other VR/XR devices have.
... so, what's this "processor" being talked about? The neckband is an add-on, not a standard component (check the pledge tiers. You can get the glasses only $399, but you need to spend at least $499 to include the neckband). If the neckband was purely a battery, then, sure, but I get the feeling you loose significant functionality without this neckband if the processes is in this otherwise add-on accessory.

Lastly, this is more a gut feeling, but, it's showing that, supposedly, these glasses can go fully transparent (like normal sunglasses) or be opaque, showing the actual "screen". This alone would be impressive, but it supports moving the display to at least one corner of your view. I don't know. I'm sure we have technology to do this to a degree, but I strongly doubt the tech to do this and keep the display system as thin (or nearly so) as a pair of standard glasses actually exists. Microsoft has been working on Hololens for years and that device is still quite bulky (from last I'd seen of it). If the display tech has become so good we can cram it all into a standard pair of sunglasses (or even glasses with neckband... but, remember, the neckband is only an add-on), I'd think Microsoft would be trumpeting this tech advancement to all who would listen.

That brings me to my final worry... The presentation. It's all quite slick looking, but what gets me is that the very first thing that's been focused on with this bit of kit is how they went to "one of the most prestigious design firms" to come up with the style for these glasses. Sure, few people what to have duct-tape and cardboard (<- Ha! Google) strapped to their face, but it feels telling that the very first thing the creators of this revolutionary new tech gadget wants to impress upon you is how good it looks. How well it functions comes later. Let's talk about how good it looks.

Look, I don't want to shiz on this product. Maybe it'll be the next big thing. In my opinion, though, what's being presented is such a leap from where I understand head-mounted display tech to be at present with some of the details of this being glossed over... and not to harp on it, but why is the processor in an add-on accessory?!

If this is legit, awesome! I don't think it is, though. We'll see.

HYPERCHARGE: Unboxed gets a fix for Linux to play on Windows Servers
8 April 2022 at 1:00 pm UTC Likes: 2

I bought this maybe about a week ago and was disappointed when my nephew (running Windows) and I (running Linux native) couldn't connect. Thankfully the game ran and connected fine via Proton, but it's good to know they have the cross platform play working now.

GOG attempt to bring customers back with a revival of Good Old Games
6 April 2022 at 5:59 pm UTC Likes: 15

I'm going to throw my hat into the ring here (for no good reason)...
I gravitated towards GOG due to both the DRM-Free attitude at the onset, as well as the initial focus on older games... games that were very difficult to obtain legally through other means. I have hundreds of titles from them, and, over all, I've feel generally content with my purchases (yes, I have purchased some new-ish indies along with the older games).

I am whole heartedly disappointed with GOG's outward, at best, indifference towards Linux. I'm very well aware that Linux is still a pretty damn niche OS for gamming and "isn't financially worth the effort to support", so, I'm usually not surprised when there exists no Linux support and am fine with having to tinker my purchases to life on my own (I'm a strange duck in that I kinda like the tinkering). GOG, however, does feel like they do have a sort of resentment towards Linux, especially given their original market was retro games that, I dare say, often work better and are easier to setup in Linux than in Windows.

I'm not against purchasing GOG titles, even now, but I do tend to stick with the really old games when I do purchase from them.

Honestly... if GOG is in financial straits, then right now might be the best time for them to start embracing Linux. If they were to get Galaxy to actually RUN on Linux, released it as a Flatpak, then they'd be on Steam Deck and they might even see an uptick in game sales! Hell, Steam's footing the bill for the hardware, all they need to do is a comparatively tiny bit of elbow grease on their software, and they'd be available for a bunch (hundreds of thousands, I'd wager) of users that'd be happy to buy games from them to use on the Deck. Hell... even if it cost them a million to get Galaxy running and installable on Steam, I'd be totally flabbergasted if they didn't make that up in sales.

Valve reduces size of Steam Deck Client in the latest update
17 March 2022 at 11:46 am UTC Likes: 6

Quoting: emphy
Quoting: andy155Valve reduces the size of the Steam Deck client in the latest update? Honestly but who cares? You really exaggerate with the deck news.

On top of that; it's a fairly useless optimisation as long as the primary mode of installing non-steam software is using those bloated packages.

Actually, I'd think it's a fairly welcome optimization if you're installing so many non-steam applications that you're worried about the "bloated" sized of the flatpaks in which that software is delivered. After all, that little extra space could mean you can fit in one more "bloated" package onto your system.

Hell, that could mean one extra smaller game on the deck for those that won't even bother with non-steam applications.

Furthermore, if you're so upset at using flatpak for non-steam applications in the first place, then, just set your deck to developer mode and get full write access to your system and install those applications the standard way... in which case, the reduced client size is still a welcome optimization as you'll have just that little more space.

---

On a small tangent here... I really don't get the whole "bloated" flatpak thing. Is there anything other than anecdotal evidence that flatpaks generate that much more "bloat" vs traditional software installations? I mean, most package managers I've worked with, by default, tend to store the compressed images of all the installed packages on your system anyway, so, for each package you install via pacman (in Arch), there's at least 50% (on average) as much space being taken up by a file that sits on your system just in case you need to reinstall it.