Unigine Engine Advances, But No Linux Heaven Yet
Written by Michael Larabel in Gaming on 7 March 2010 at 11:36 AM EST. 31 Comments
We reported a month ago that Unigine Heaven on Linux is still trash with the ATI driver so Unigine Corp is continuing to hold off on releasing the Unigine Heaven tech demo with the OpenGL renderer that supports hardware tessellation until there is a good Catalyst release. Unigine Heaven was released for Windows 7 back in October on this operating system's launch day using a DirectX 11.0 renderer, but buggy Linux drivers have held back the public Linux-OpenGL build. We have been fortunate to run Unigine Heaven on Linux internally and it's a beautiful tech demo / benchmark to say the least even without a bug-free tessellation experience.

In that message last month we also mentioned that Unigine Corp may release an updated version of Heaven during the Game Developers' Conference that is taking place this month in San Francisco. We don't yet know whether the Linux build will make its public debut at that time or whether ATI Catalyst 10.3 for Linux will finally be the golden egg for Unigine Corp, but the Unigine Engine does continue picking up new features.

In a post to their development log yesterday, Unigine Corp shares that some of the recent work includes heavy refactoring of base materials, introduced support for a more efficient mesh optimizer, simplification of the HDR cross shader, ImageDDS tool now supports OpenCL for faster image compression, increased speed of grass and foliage rendering, and OpenGL support for uniform_buffer_object and GL_ARB_sample_shading for supersample alpha-testing.

The Game Developers' Conference is taking place next week so hopefully we have more Unigine announcements to share at that time and word on the Linux build of their impressive Heaven demo. There is also the in-house Unigine project they have been working on for well over a year now that is becoming a game and they intend to release a Linux build of as well.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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