SteamVR received a somewhat unusual update yesterday. Not that it received an update, or that the update came with the usual assortment of bug fixes and even a few new OpenXR extensions. No, this update was weird because it deliberately added bugs. Deaths. Really rude dead bugs.
“Today’s update features continued progress on OpenXR and a variety of dead bugs,” Valve wrote in yesterday’s update. “In addition to killing several long-standing bugs on our web server, we have a new SteamVR Home destination that features CT scans of actual dead bugs we found lying on the ground outside our office.”
Your first question is probably “why does Valve have a CT scanner?” That’s a great question that I can’t answer. Your second question is probably “why did Valve want to analyze dead bugs?” The answer is obvious to anyone who has played Portal 2; for Science.
“A scanner involves passing x-rays through a subject from different angles – the captured data is then processed with a computer to generate a 3D voxel grid representing the density at each point,” Valve explained. “These scans were produced using an industrial CT scanner capable of very high resolution scans – gigabytes of voxel data being converted into simpler 3D models capable of being rendered in real time on your GPU.”
With a little help from VGSTUDIO MAX and MeshLab, valve was able to create these 3D models of two dead bugs and make them available for free download on Steam Workshop. The first dead insect appears to be a beetle of some sort (either a June beetle or a dung beetle), while the second insect is definitely a yellow jacket wasp.
As to why parts of these bugs are missing, either the scans weren’t perfect or that’s why they died. Either way, Valve should really consider cleaning things up around the office.
In case you haven’t heard, there’s a Half-Life 2 mod on the way that will bring Valve’s classic title to virtual reality. Hopefully there will be no bugs.
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