Right now you can play Half-Life in VR for free on the Oculus Quest.

Valve’s debut game, Half-Life, was released in 1998. Now, 22 years later, the company is getting geared up for the release of their new VR exclusive, Half-Life: Alyx.  As the release date draws nearer, Valve is building the hype by letting players replay the classic Half-Life games for free.

On January 21st Steam announced that the previous games in the Half-Life series are free-to-play until the release of Alyx in March

If you take advantage of this offer you’ll also be able to play the classic Half-Life in VR on your Oculus Quest by using the Lambda1VR app available in SideQuest.

Installing Half-Life on the Quest

This guide will assume you are familiar with or have used SideQuest  before. If you haven’t, well then I’ve written a guide about that too: Oculus Quest: Enabling Developer Mode and using SideQuest. You’re also going to need a USB C cable to copy files from PC to Quest. 

First, go ahead and get a copy of the original Half-Life from the Steam store. (Free for a limited time.) Install the game on your PC from Steam—you’ll need to copy some files from the PC to the Quest in a moment.

Connect your Quest to your PC with a USB cable. Open SideQuest and Install Lambda1VR on the Oculus Quest.

Keep that cable connected and SideQuest open for a moment, you need to open an Explorer window and browse to the root folder of your Oculus Quest. This PC\Quest\Internal shared storage

Make a new folder named xash

Create a folder called xash in Quest\Internal Storage

Copy the valve folder from the Half-Life directory. (The default directory location is: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Half-Life) Paste it into the xash folder you just made on the Quest. This can take quite a while to copy so be patient.

copy the valve folder into the xash folder

Once the copy is complete, you can restart the Quest (hold the power button for a few seconds and choose restart from the menu), then launch Lambda1VR from the Unknown sources library tab, and enjoy Half-Life in VR.

 

Make it Look Better

The default models for scientist and guard NPC’s are a little, um, cheesy looking. Fortunately valve also installs HD assets that you can use in a handy valve_hd folder.

You should copy the Barney and Scientist models from C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Half-Life\valve_hd\models to the models folder on your Quest: This PC\Quest\Internal shared storage\xash\valve\models

Also, you might want to check out this HD texture pack on reddit. It really makes the walls and environment much better and has some improved sounds.

Finally, edit the commandline.txt folder that is in the xash folder. (If you haven’t launched  Lambda1VR yet this file won’t be there.) 

If you try to just open the file and edit it directly on the Quest’s internal storage, it wont work. You’ll need to copy the file to your PC to edit it, just copy it to your desktop or documents folder.

If you choose to skip the HD texture pack just make it so the content says: 

xash3d -log --supersampling 1.25 --msaa 2 --cpu 4 --gpu 4

if you choose to install the HD texture pack then make it say:  

xash3d -log --supersampling 1.25 --msaa 2 --cpu 4 --gpu 4 -dev 3 -game hl_gold_hd

then save the file and copy it back to the xash folder on the Quest. If prompted, make sure to overwrite the original file by clicking Copy & Replace

To make sure the HD files are used, when you launch Lambda1 on your headset, open the Video options: Configuration>Video>Video Options and check that the box for Allow Materials  is filled. 

Have Fun!

 

 

The top VR rhythm and dance games

One of the best things about VR gaming is its ability to make you get up and move. Whether you are interested in improving your fitness or just looking for a fun challenge, rhythm games are an excellent way to get stimulated. I’ve only played a few of these, but they all have appeal to their own audiences.

Continue reading “VR Rhythm Games”

Facebook acquired Beat Games

On Tuesday November 26th, Facebook announced that they have purchased Beat Games—the indie game company behind VR mega-hit Beat Saber—for an undisclosed sum. Beat Games will become a part of Oculus Studios, but still work on development independently from their location in Prague. 

Today we’re announcing that Beat Games is joining us in our quest to bring VR to more people around the world. They will join Oculus Studios as an independently operated studio in Prague, continuing to create new ways for people to experience music and VR gaming. Most importantly, what the community has come to love about Beat Saber will remain intact. Beat Games will continue to ship content and updates for Beat Saber across all currently supported platforms, now with even more support from Facebook.

Oculus Blog

Continue reading “What does Facebook acquisition of Beat Games mean for Beat Saber?”

No man’s sky Beginning to beyond

A rocky release

I remember when I first heard about the game No Man’s Sky. In the summer of 2014 I was reading news of an indie gaming company called Hello Games creating a space exploration game with an endless universe that was full of procedurally-generated star systems, planets, and moons—each with unique life and materials to harvest. You’d be able to explore indefinitely, and even if you visited a planet per second, it would take multiple lifetimes to see everything. It promised to be the biggest sandbox game ever.

Continue reading “No Man’s Sky, VR, and Beyond”