Scaling Issues on Linux Workaround

less than 1 minute read

Steam Scaling

If you’re on Linux and received the latest Steam patch that makes your UI scaling look overly large, here’s a quick workaround until Valve fixes the application (and given that you have a Steam desktop shortcut).

Open up the Steam desktop launcher shortcut (~/Desktop/steam.desktop) in your favorite text editor and find the line that starts with Exec=. You’ll want to change it to the following:

Exec=/usr/bin/steam -forcedesktopscaling 1.0%U

You can change the scaling factor to something other than 1.0, but that’s the value that worked for me without breaking the entire UI. The only downside is that you’ll have to launch Steam from this desktop shortcut until Valve fixes this.

Intel Arc A770: One Month In

3 minute read

The Intel Arc A700 Box

In building a PC mostly as a workstation, my choice of a GPU came as more of a secondary choice. My thought process was: sure, I’ll play some games every once in a while, but really, this is my work machine. It needs to do workstation stuff and not much more.

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Epic Games’ New Unreal Engine at GDC 2011

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More news from this year’s Game Developers Conference shows some amazing next-gen graphics from Epic Games through their Unreal Engine. It’s certainly worth checking out the article at Tom’s Hardware right here.

Atom: a gem in the making

1 minute read

Timothy Farrar over at is creating a unique game called Atom. The reason why I call it unique is that unlike many games out there the content for Atom is 100% dynamic which means that (for example) everything can be set in motion. Here’s a quote from Timothy’s post on

Atom started with the idea to go back to PC gaming’s roots (low risk investment, experimenting with technology, fun timeless gameplay, taking a wild idea from concept to market), while taking advantage of the power of modern hardware.


The graphics engine is completely unconventional, 100% dynamic (no static geometry, everything moves), and based on an animated solid hierarchical cellular representation with an “animation bone” for each cell which is linked into a physics/CFD engine which gives life to the world. Rendering is done via a special purpose painters order micro-impostor compositing engine (old-school, not based on polygons!) which also provides realistic motion blur. Content creation is done with a mix of hand controlled procedural generation.

Due to Atom’s unique world representation, you can literally zoom into the molecular structure of anything, even on the inside. This also works in reverse, Atom is able to simplify any structure, and thus has infinite level of detail control. A custom visible surface determination algorithm eliminates overdraw allowing for both wide and telephoto views inside and side any structure no matter how sparse or dense the geometry.


The concept seems very promising, I suggest watching this project grow. Another thing worth mentioning is that the API used to generate the images is OpenGL, not DirectX. Timothy has posted on his blog that SM 4.0 will might be added to the engine. This is good news for XP users since there will be no need to upgrade to Vista if you want to try out this game.

Check out the Atom project here and watch the videos.

id Software: bye OpenGL, bye Linux

1 minute read

John Carmack and the id Software company have always been great supporters of the OpenGL Graphics API. Alas, major development with the API stops here for the game developer.

id Software has been working on a new game engine that would “revolutionize” the gaming industry and provide many advanced features. One of its main features is that it can support a constant 60fps on console systems. It was also announced that their new engine will run on: PC, Mac, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Eh, are we missing something important here?

Linux. Linux has always been a supported system when it came down to games from id Software. Yet according to Todd Hollenshead (id Software), id’s upcoming game “Rage” (which will be using idTech5) will be primarily a DirectX 9 game, not DirectX 10, nor OpenGL. Yet OpenGL will be used for the Mac release of both the engine and the game.

This could mean that OpenGL might become very unattractive in the game development community since there will be one less patron to support its Open cause.

One benefit from all this is that the game will be able to run on the Windows XP platform and not solely on Vista as all DirectX 10 games require. This, of course, is no consolidation for the Linux people who will now have to run the game on Windows.

Five that Fell

less than 1 minute read

King's Quest

The good people at released an article yesterday about five great companies that fell into the clutches of nothingness. If you’ve always wondered what happened with the companies that made classics such as the Wing Commander Saga, King’s Quest and Ultima Online, check this highly reccommended article out. :)

Next Generation - Culture: Five That Fell

PS, their server seems to be under a big load so there might be a little time-out before you reach the actual page.