Valve's Moondust Demo Puts Knuckles Controller To Full Use

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Gaming giant Valve has put out a new VR demo, dubbed Moondust, that uses every single input on its new Knuckles EV2 controller. The game is more of a tech demo, but it does actually have a storyline and multiple gameplay modes that make up a cohesive experience. The game is available for free via a Steam install link found in Valve's post, but you won't be able to find it by searching in your Steam client or the browser. The demo is obviously meant as an example for Knuckles controller developers, though it can be a fun tech toy for gamers, and a bit of a tease for Half-Life and Portal fans.

The game takes place in the same universe as Portal, and serves as a quasi-sequel of sorts, a look at day to day operations in-universe more than anything else. You won't find any evil AI programs or invading aliens in this game, just a robot and some equipment sent to the moon to gather up "moon-based conversion gel", a special gel that's processed from moon dust. The robot's hands become yours, and you'll use them to smash rocks to dust for processing, run assembly lines, pilot a moon buggy, assemble a space station, and throw things. Since the controller is strapped to your hand and has pressure sensors and motion sensors, you can safely and effectively use all four fingers and your thumb in any sort of motion you like.

This is Valve's first big shot at showing what the Knuckles EV2 controllers can do, and it seems to be a pretty good first attempt. This demo will give developers a jumping off point to create a wider suite of content for the controller. It is worth noting that room-scale tracking and a good headset, paired with this controller, can create a perfectly realistic VR experience, under the right conditions. Likewise, the controllers' thumb controls can be used to play games not meant for the Knuckles controller set, but that doesn't mean developers couldn't go back to older VR games and add in finger-level controls, more complex hand motions and other perks.

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Senior Staff Writer

Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, Voice assistants, AI technology development news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]

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