I had the chance to play Flight Of Nova (https://flight-of-nova.com/) for the first time today. This was on my wishlist for quite some time now. Dived in blind and had no idea what to expect. 3 tutorial missions later: Oh boy… this is hard. I can see myself sinking many hours in this.

Anyway, as usual, my focus is on interfacing with my home cockpit (or simpit) and while there is no ship telemetry [yet?] I was able to get it running just fine via Proton and with my DIY headtracker using OpenTrack. Hats off, seldom that I see a game that detects my joystick just fine, has great ingame calibration, offers me a windowed mode and a bunch of ultra width resolutions without having to resort to hacking config files or use gamescope to resize it ❤️

Head tracking is, as usual, TrackIR only so far (I guess the native Linux PC version does not have UDP in place here but I couldn’t check due Steam refusing to download another version today). Anyway, you can see me fooling around with the buttons and do an A+ crash landing in the end – sunny side up 😆 Not too shabby considering that this was my 3rd landing at all.

Pick your poison: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2A_uVbUKWU / https://tube.tchncs.de/w/iV21V6EZxNCTsC8bvsCQDt

I held an online presentation and talk for 2h about some weeks ago **in German**. The presentation itself (20m) went live today with **English subtitles** on the channel of @Sciencekeeper@troet.cafe (Stellanebula project lead). I mention as example for native games but the main focus is, due to the audience: a huge German Elite Dangerous wing, focused on (and some for good measure). I’m going to release the talk that happened after this eventually but I have to cut this first, which is _a lot_ of work, so no promises yet. Mebbe this is of interest for someone else too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmaj-MyRkPs.

This presentation was made for absolute beginners as intro into the topic .

CC-SA versions on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7Qj5NvrbWQ / https://tube.tchncs.de/w/tuQs2dBSDSTdUv5DYcA6Mv

The Expanse: A Telltale Series by TelltaleTelltale (The Expanse: A Telltale Series – Telltale Games)
Experience the exciting universe of The Expanse like never before in Telltale’s latest adventure, The Expanse: A Telltale Series. Follow Cara Gee, who reprises her role as Camina Drummer, and explore the dangerous and uncharted edges of The Belt aboard the The Artemis. From scavenging wrecked ships in a zero-g environment, to surviving a mutiny, to combating fearsome pirates, you make the difficult choices and reveal Camina Drummer’s resolve in this latest Telltale adventure.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

There are rumours that I “just checked” if this game works at all and finished it 6.5h later in one sitting. I can neither confirm nor deny that. I’m also very sleepy today.

I got this Telltale-game to my birthday and decided to give it a go yesterday. Didn’t expect much and was already kinda annoyed when the starter suggested it requires a gamepad controller (turns out it doesn’t – it can be played with a mouse too). So I got my good old sturdy Steam Controller from next room, jacked it in and… watched it crash. To be fair: I was starting it on Linux, and this game is not made for this. So I checked briefly with the ProtonDB and switched the version from Experimental back to Proton 8.0.

Smooth sailing from here. Game started without a hitch, the controller was recognized, the provided Steam layout worked perfectly fine and it did not crash once until I finished the game hours later. It would also seamless switch to mouse input when this was touched but I decided to keep playing with the controller.

The graphics are nothing to write home about. Sound and music feel immediately like home though, as my wife put it (we’re both fans of the books and show). There are some puzzles but nothing too complicated and – thankfully – sparse. Same for some quick actions that require to hammer a certain button in time (without penalizing hitting a wrong button too). The Zero-G walks are amazing and gave my brain something to chew on when the ceiling suddenly became the new floor.

I won’t talk about the story itself, but I did like that it shows percentages of how other players decided in key situations after each chapter. Kinda interesting to know that there are other outcomes and that also makes me want to play it again. There are plot twists, backstories that may be uncovered, drama, tension, violence, love and death (yes yes, it is a telltale game :D).

Can recommend. Get it and don’t forget to change the air filters 🤓

I just set https://simpit.dev/ live.

Primary Buffer Panel – The On A PC For More Immersion In Pew Pew

A glorified joystick controller with an LCD (‘MFD’) and plenty of RGB.

Best viewed WITH an ad-blocker (thanks @stefan)

I’m kinda blind by now after hacking away on this page for days so I’d appreciate feedback.

Especially if something is broken.

Yes, does only support one gamepad. Single digit. This gamer doesn’t care. Here have and in . Vanilla. No mods. Thanks , and ❤️

Mebbe I’ll do a proper recording someday:

No Man’s Sky with headtracking and HOTAS (on Linux PC)

Wondering about that button box? Didn’t use it in this demo but you can find plenty more examples on the channel and more details on my blog: https://beko.famkos.net/category/simpit/

How it’s done? NMS does support a gamepad but it also reads/maps all gamepads to a single device. It makes no difference between multiple gamepads!

This leaves me with a very limited amount of possible buttons on the HOTAS after mapping that to one virtual gamepad using MoltenGamepad (I usually split that one up into multiple gamepads for braindead games).

So for additional buttons I used AntiMicroX to map the rest as keyboard presses.

Doing so I noticed that NMS does “look-around” on the right stick and this is where OpenTrack comes into the play. It offers a joystick output (using evdev) and that is also just… a gamepad! Needs some remapping though to get pitch and jaw to the proper axis for NMS. This is done via SDL env (basically what Steam does under the hood but boy their GUI for that sucks): SDL_GAMECONTROLLERCONFIG="000022e86f70656e747261636b206800,opentrack-to-nms,rightx:a3,righty:a4,platform:Linux,crc:e822,"

And there you have it. NMS with my trusty old X52 Pro and a DIY headtracker for 5 bucks 🤓

PS: I’m aware that the recording quality sucks. This was very spontaneous with a webcam sitting on my chair. I basically just finished my happy dance that this started working properly and decided to smash that recording button. PC was not even in “gamemode”.

I hacked a mod for X4: Foundations to get ship telemetry and targeting data to my “Primary Buffer Panel” via a socket. This is a demonstration of my simulated cockpit made from cardboard on a budget usually used to play Elite Dangerous now also used for X4: Foundations. This is work in progress.

My DIY cockpit for X4: Foundations (on Linux PC)

In use:

  • A Linux PC
  • A DIY Headtracker
  • A DIY Joystick (My Primary Buffer Panel)
  • A X52 Pro HOTAS
  • An AMD RX6700XT
  • …a lot of plumbing in Node-Red xD

This is loosely based on the Python Pipe Server mod for X4 that is sadly Windows only using Named Pipes. I fixed that for Linux PC by side-loading the library LuaSocket and starting a socket server directly in X4. That’s right, the Python Server is simply not needed now and companion tools may directly connect to the socket. It’s a nice bonus that LuaSocket also allows a UDP or TCP server depending on how it is started. That was some piece of work though and I’m still wrapping things up to publish my code changes. I’m also still looking for testers so if you’re interested get in touch!

So you _still_ think you can’t space pew pew on Linux PC? Think again. I do it all the time: https://beko.famkos.net/2021/10/16/space-pew-pew-on-linux-pc/

Another night in the X4 sandbox: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=665hXLKSfek / https://tube.tchncs.de/w/pHFP8jZf7PYLyLZSARZQ4T

This is heavily distilled early gameplay of X4: Foundations, where I started another play-through slowly expanding my little empire with trade, side missions, station building, border patrol (loosing the the “Misfit”, my good old starter-ship), a surprise Xenon attack on a station where I was just for shopping and eventually good old fashioned piracy with unexpected guest appearance of some Kha’ak trying to crash the party.

01:11 Setting up trade routes aboard The Law Abiding Windrunner
02:20 Switching over to the Misfit
03:05 Witnessing the death of a trading station (while escorting my own ships to safety)
03:50 Patrolling for money (and looting stuff)
05:48 Repairing satellites (in EVA suit)
07:32 Docking at the impressive Teladi ring station for shopping
08:45 Surprise attack on the ring station by a Xenon K (and it’s demise)
14:32 Extending my own station and buying more mining ships
11:26 Switching over to my frigate for border patrol (lots of pew pew)
14:30 Loosing the Misfit to Kha’ak (and avenging it)
16:07 Going for resupplies and preparing for piracy
16:39 Ambushing the prey, a fat water freighter looking for a new owner
17:59 Starting the boarding operation
18:40 Realizing I need more support to deal with surprises
18:58 Stumbling over mentioned surprises, Kha’ak trying to crash the party
19:51 Sending more boarders as the first group fails
20:22 Finally going home with the price, a “slightly banged up” L water freighter

FIY Should update within 24h https://youtu.be/RIGkmqzJdfQ

It’s a 6dof racing game with a flight model similar to .

It does have a version but the world gen lib is single threaded on Linux so Proton may be a better choice for now.

It also features access to full ship telemetry and head tracking including OpenTrack via UDP thanks to my nagging 🤪

No idea about VR. Apparently it works but I can’t test that.

Okay, I did some recording of SpaceBourne 2 and added a voice over and even subtitles… and I conclude that is way too much work but in case you’re interested into a sneak peak of this early access go ahead: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vz4uK2Irofo / https://tube.tchncs.de/w/5h9VoeHs5vTAu3bgptc7bN

Video: Dipping into SpaceBourne 2 – Rebuilding A Friend

SpaceBourne 2 by DBK GamesDBK Games (SpaceBourne 2)
The official website of indie game studio DBK Games, the developer of SpaceBourne series and Mesel.

So this was recommended to me by Patola and while I usually do not buy into an early access game I made an exception. I’ve only seen one hour of the game so far but this promises a lot of fun. It’s still very rough, that I can tell – and often inputs do not register or register double. Nonetheless I felt right at home and after a lot of fiddling with the inputs I was happy enough to give it a spin with my X52 Pro (that was indeed detected just fine after the initial tutorial).

So after learning the basic ship navigation and shooting up some drones during the first quest I got ordered to investigate some asteroids.

There were of course some pirates hanging around and the shoot-out did take more time than I’d like to admit. For some reasons I could not for my life get any target lock so all the shooting had to be done with the good old Mk 1 eyeball without having an idea about reach (or even arcs?) of the weapons. Probably a bug. Or user error. The jury is still out on that.

Next was a surprise. After parking the ship in stealth I was ordered to exit and do a little space walk to clear a hidden platform of hostiles. Space diving was not on the things I expected 🤯

Anyway, after some more shooting, and some more explosions, I was back with the contractor and the reward was for reasons yet unknown a freakin robot head. That kicks off a quest to reassemble that poor thing. For some reasons this unfolded into an epic space battle where two different fractions slugged it out in the middle of an old battlefield with me, the contractor helping with the parts and the robot head in the middle – also somehow attacked by scavengers as a 4th faction. What a chaos!

After surviving this I got recommended to someone else to get the robot assembled again. The person that would be able to do this resides on a station in another system though, which means travelling through a… stargate. Awesome! After filing a flight plan and requesting passage I had to line up my entry and found myself in another system – surrounded by illuminated advertisement of all things, of course.

An in-system jump later I docked at a station and found the contact that would help me with the robot. For a price, of course.

This was where I decided to stop for today. So much stuff happened during the first 60 minutes of this and judging by the in-game menus there is a lot more to come. There are skill trees, load-outs, factions and many systems to explore. Yes, it’s not as beautiful as StarCitizens but it’s perfectly playable already and I’m getting Wing Commander vibes from that and this feels rather good.