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Updated: 3 hours 40 min ago

Dota Underlords from Valve is out with the City Crawl campaign mode

10 hours 26 min ago

Valve's latest game, Dota Underlords, has today left Early Access and with it comes a huge patch full of new content and features.

The biggest addition to the Underlords strategy game is the City Crawl campaign. A single-player mode, that explains a bit about what's going on. It seems "Mama Eeb" passed away, leaving a power vacuum in White Spire, with the four Underlords attempting to take control. City Crawl is where you do that, as you go through various different types of challenges and while doing so earn new outfits for the Underlords.

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Also marking the beginning of the first proper ranked Season, along with the Battle Pass which has "over 100 rewards". Underlord's Battle Pass works similarly to other games, with it being an optional purchase since the game remains free to play but it gives you a bunch of extra cosmetics. The Battle Pass is $4.99/£3.75 but there are some free items you can get as you level up while you play it. The Battle Pass also gives you a few extra options in the City Crawl mode.

Full update notes can be seen here. Since it's a fresh season, there's a ton of balance changes on top of some heroes being rotated in while others now becoming unavailable. Also—Hats. Yes, hats have invaded Dota Underlords, a new item class that when equipped give an additional Alliance to the hero.

Overall, sounds like a pretty great update. I'm personally looking forward to the City Crawl and some more of the quick-match Knockout mode.

You can play Dota Underlords free on Steam.

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Open source XR runtime (VR/AR) 'Monado' sees a first release

12 hours 40 min ago

With the Khronos Group launching the OpenXR specification last year, their aim was to unify Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) development while Collabora worked on their open source implementation of Monado.

Collabora have been hard at work on Monado, a currently Linux-focused open source XR runtime that will eventually also support other platforms. Today, they tagged the very first release. With this release they've worked in new drivers, there's now a set of scripts ready for people to try Monado rather than needing to setup a full development environment, udev rules sorted for USB permissions for XR hardware, distribution packaging and more.

You can see the release announcement on the Collabora blog, where they note they also have some internships going. As for the code, it's all up on GitLab if you're interested in checking out in this early form. The future of XR on Linux sounds quite exciting, especially with efforts like this and Collabora do some great open source work.

Want to learn a bit more about it? Collabora did a presentation on it during FOSDEM:

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Hilarious party-platformer 'Ultimate Chicken Horse' free update due next month

13 hours 4 min ago

Ultimate Chicken Horse, a party-platform where you build the platforms as you go is getting a sweet free update with some new toys to play with next month.

A game you absolutely need to play too! After only just getting into it myself thanks to the Humble Sweet Farm Bundle last month, it was pretty hilarious to try. Clever Endeavour Games have now announced the "A·cobra·tic Update" which is due out on March 12, for all platforms and it's free.

It's going to include a new Snake character (who rides a Skateboard), two new levels and four new blocks. Along with "a handful of improvements, minor additions to the game, and plenty of bug fixes". The new blocks flamethrower, one-way gate, cannon and beehive sound like they will be fun to screw with others.

Update trailer:

Watch video on

If you want the full details, they gave the update a dedicated page.

After launching back in 2016 with Linux support, it went onto reach an "Overwhelmingly Positive" rating on Steam from thousands of users. Still doing quite well too, with hundreds of players on it each day which for an indie party game like this to still hit many years after release is quite an achievement really considering how many other big games have released in that time.

You can buy it on Humble Store and Steam.

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The new 'ΔV: Rings of Saturn' hard sci-fi space sim trailer has me itching to play

17 hours 20 min ago

ΔV: Rings of Saturn, a top-down hard sci-fi space simulation game backed up by real physics and science has a rather explosive new trailer out.

Currently in Early Access, and something our contributor Scaine talks about highly, ΔV: Rings of Saturn from Kodera Software definitely seems like something a bit special. It's been through some huge updates in the last few months too from a major Godot Engine upgrade with improved performance to a bunch of new visual effects. Take a look:

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Now that is how you pull in a big sci-fi/space fan to your game, I'm sold. Well, I was already but now I'm extra interested in playing more of it. Few games, especially from smaller developers, are able to really nail that feeling of piloting a ship but ΔV: Rings of Saturn really feels good.

Feature Highlight:

  • Realistic top-down hard sci-fi space flight experience. Every aspect of gameplay is backed up by real science. Ships fly just as starships should.
  • Jump into action in seconds with autopilot assist or save fuel by manual thruster maneuvers.
  • Detailed ship simulation down to every subsystem - upgrade your ship, fix or even jury-rig broken systems on the fly. Every system failure will impact gameplay - adapt to survive in the hostile environment of space.
  • Discover the mystery of the Rings, or just try to get rich leading your excavation company.
  • Plan your strategy back on Enceladus Prime station. Sell your output, upgrade your ship, hire the crew and manage your company.

You can get your own copy on and Steam, plus there's a demo to test some of the basics.

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Half-Life remake 'Black Mesa' will finally hit 1.0 on March 5

17 hours 52 min ago

After a very long 14 year development cycle (yes really) and almost 5 years in Early Access, the Half-Life remake Black Mesa is finally going properly release on March 5.

In an announcement on Steam, they mentioned how hard it has been and how they nearly quit multiple times but they're just about at the finishing line now. They even mentioned how their first game industry job came as a result of their free work on Black Mesa, which did eventually turn into their actual job and they feel Black Mesa is "the best, most polished, and most fun version of the game yet" and that the "anticipation and excitement around our project is beyond flattering.".

Development, as they mentioned before, is not exactly over yet though. They have plans for post-release updates but they wanted to keep expectations in check and that it's not a perfect game with their plan to "fully support this game after 1.0 with bug fixes and more".

You can find Black Mesa on Steam.

For anyone who has been testing the recent beta 1.0 build on Linux, how has it been running for you? Hopefully it will be a good release, it's certainly turned into quite a big overhaul with a great many advancements over Valve's original.

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First gameplay teaser for Spiritfarer, a 'cozy management game about dying' is out

19 hours 38 min ago

Spiritfarer has me so extremely curious, coming from Thunder Lotus Games (Sundered, Jotun) it's a 'cozy management game about dying' and a short gameplay teaser is out.

This is one I actually missed, when it and others had a short demo up for The Game Awards recently (I was too busy enjoying CARRION) so this is the first proper footage I've seen of it. In Spiritfarer, you play as Stella, a ferrymaster to the deceased. It's your job to care for their spirits before they get released into the afterlife. A highly unusual setting for such a sim although it has the usual mechanics like mining, farming and so on but the setting definitely hits a new spot.

Check out their teaser below:

Watch video on

Here's a highlight of some features planned:

  • Enjoy beautiful hand-drawn art and animation.
  • Build, manage, and improve your own ferry.
  • Farm, mine, fish, harvest, cook, weave, craft! An endless variety of activities await you!
  • Meet, take on board, care for, and forge relationships with a cast of memorable characters.
  • Run, jump, and glide your way through elegantly constructed platforming levels.
  • Explore a fantastic and imaginative world. Seek and gather resources to craft upgrades for your ship and gifts for your passengers.
  • Experience moving, emotional stories filled with unforgettable moments.
  • Unwind for hours into cozy and relaxing gameplay. 30 hours to finish, hundreds more to experience everything Spiritfarer has to offer.
  • Make the adventure your own with rich customization options for your boat, character, even the cat!
  • Play as Daffodil the cat in optional local co-op. Supports Remote Play Together.

Spiritfarer will release with Linux support sometimes later this year, you can wishlist it on Steam.

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Hearts of Iron IV's espionage-themed expansion, La Résistance, is a fun addition to a hard-fought war

20 hours 1 min ago

Prepare to use your intelligence to win the war. The latest expansion for Paradox Development Studios’ World War 2 title focuses on all things espionage and has a revamp for several nations. Prospective partisans and all other players will also be getting a large patch with new free features.

You could be excused for thinking that the latest expansion for Hearts of Iron IV is all about the plucky resistance fighters and partisans that fought various occupying forces and oppressive governments during the Second World War. While they certainly feature in new mechanics, there they’re not the main attraction of this sizeable expansion. Instead, La Résistance’s major features can be split into two broad camps: the introduction of espionage and skullduggery and unique focus trees and content for Iberian nations and France.

The new espionage system adds a new layer of strategy to the game. Its fundamentals are simple: spend resources to establish an agency, recruit agents and then send them off in missions to further your aims. It’s a system that’s rather intuitive and offers a degree of flexibility in how you choose to grow your spy agency. In the various games that I played I found that it didn’t require much micromanagement and that I was able to approach warfare in slightly different ways each time around thanks to the help of my agents.

The types of missions available are plentiful and, honestly, slightly overwhelming when it comes to actually deciding what I wanted to go for. This is in part because of the very long time it takes to infiltrate other countries, crack their codes or plan some of the more useful operations like winning over potential quislings so that future occupations are smoother. For typical aggressor nations, like Germany, it’s simply not worth the bother to send your two or so agents to France in the early years to destabilize them. By the time that you’re able to do anything useful in these infiltrated countries, you’re likely already on the verge of overwhelming them militarily anyways. The spy game plays best for long-term calculations, against foes who you have the luxury of time to undermine thoroughly.

It was only when I played as the USSR and another game as the UK that I got a greater appreciation for the espionage system. With the Soviets I was able to dupe the Japanese with fake intelligence about my armies, spawning ghost divisions that I could move around the map. These presumably would fool the enemy as they would think them real resistance and thus have a deterrent effect in the Far Eastern theater. The British were even more fun in that regard with my large espionage net launching commando raids and supporting partisans in Yugoslavia and elsewhere, pulling valuable Axis forces from front lines in order to deal with these burgeoning threats.

I’m not completely sold on the balance of the espionage system, especially as nation with few allies have a much smaller number of available agents to use in the field. As operations take a long time to execute, you might find yourself as, say, Italy or Japan only pulling off any those of major significant once or twice in a game. Agents might take a little too long to gain traits or gain experience as well as I only recall one or two promotions in all of the half a dozen or so quick games I played. Still, the balance feels alright for enough that the time that this is only a minor gripe. Most importantly, if players want to ignore the whole espionage system they can just invest in passive defenses and continue to crush their enemies in more traditional fashion.

The other big chunk of content that’s come along with La Résistance are the new focus trees. Spain’s civil war features prominently and I have to say that the balance of the conflict feels about right now. Foreign powers can intervene, sure, but for the most part both Republicans and Nationalists put up a stiff fight and the winner can be a close call. These focus trees also allow for alternate history to varying degrees of plausibility. Monarchies being restored in Portugal and elsewhere and various Spanish factions can opt to fight their former allies int he middle of the civil war. They’re well thought out I found and seeing civil wars within civil wars are chaotically lovely touch. Yes, some things that France or Portugal can do with their new trees is outright outlandish but there’s plenty to appreciate for both fans of historical detail and those who like alternate history.

Besides the new focus tree and espionage content, La Résistance also adds to the array of equipment that can be produced. Armored cars are a new cheap way for nations to add some toughness to their troops while scout planes can grant players with intelligence by overflying enemy territory. They’re useful but non-essential. Nice to build but won’t alter your fundamental strategy. When compared to the rest of the content of the expansion they're little more than nice miscellanea that you also get with the big changes.

I think that the individual pieces of the expansion are solid and interesting but they’re not necessarily a coherent whole. I know some players prefer flavor in the form of events and focus trees while others might enjoy the espionage system better. As neither one really feeds into the other it’s fair to say that whether or not you’ll enjoy La Résistance will depend heavily if happen to be interested in both disparate halves of the expansion. If you’re only interested in the espionage portion of it, or the Iberian nations, this might not be worth picking up straight away.

As is tradition with major expansions for PDS games, a very large patch has also been made available for all players. This one is codenamed “Husky” and there’s quite a bit of new content aside from the usual bug fixes. The new compliance and resistance system is part of the patch and adds a degree of granularity to how you treat occupied territory. Garrisons are mostly off-map and become more of a worry to balance properly as you occupy more of your opponent’s land. Quite a few quality-of-life changes also made it in, including UI overhauls for certain menus that I found made the game easier to understand. It’s well worth checking out the full change log.

I also noted possible AI improvements, at least when it came to naval invasions. When fighting the Japanese as the USSR I found that they were more than willing to use their naval superiority to try to defeat me. At times they would land divisions behind my defensive lines and attempt to capture ports to keep their troops supplied. I witnessed the AI build plausible bridgeheads in other theaters so that sort of behavior ought to make for more interesting gameplay.

All in all, it’s been fun to get back into HoI IV with this new patch and expansion. There’s plenty to like if you give it a chance. It’s my hope that Paradox will apply the same level of diligence when it comes to approaching other underwhelming areas of the game in the future, such as the Eastern Front. The base game is already a fairly solid experience that’s been improved a lot since the game’s launch four years ago.

You can get a copy of Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance from Humble Store, Paradox’s Webshop or Steam.

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive adds the first Agent customization with Patches

20 hours 8 min ago

Valve are pushing out more customization options to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, with the ability to add Patches sewn into Agent's outfits.

Customization is big of course, it's part of the reason other games (Fortnite) are so popular. Looks like Valve want to get a bigger piece of the pie too. With the new Battle Pass system introduced with the Shattered Web Operation, it brought with it new Agents so you don't have to just have the standard look. This has been expanded further in the latest update, as you can now buy the first Patch Pack:

Sadly, the way it's done is still using the annoying Loot Box like mechanic, so you buy the pack and you get a random item by gambling until you get what you want. However, it looks like there's already plenty of them on the Steam Market though for less than the Patch Pack so it kind-of balances it all out. It's also quite likely that Patches will get added into future Battle Pass levels too, just like other customization items in it.

You can position them at various locations on your Agent, however once applied you lose them. You can take them off but they cannot be recovered. Something I hope Valve change their stance on eventually, being able to actually re-use cosmetic items might tempt me to pick up more. Here's an example of two places it can be positioned:

To make sure you get the most out of it, Valve have now also added your Agent to the Buy Menu directly in matches so you get to see more of all your customizations. So you can see what Agent you have, any Patches applied to them and the weapon you've picked along with the weapon skin. This change is actually pretty sweet as it makes sense to show it off a bit more.

That's not all the changes either, there's even more! Crosshair customization is now super simple with the ability to edit, preview and share a Crosshair style directly in the game. This is pretty big by itself! Easily change the length of it, thickness, gap between lines, the colour and more. A really handy accessibility option that I'm glad to see in.

See the full changelog here. Play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive free on Steam.

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With clever cloth simulation the cyberpunk platformer 'Lazr' is funded

20 hours 36 min ago

With a campaign that had quite a dicey ending, Lazr, an action platformer with some really fun use of cloth physics/simulation has now been funded on Kickstarter.

Against the goal of $10,000 they ended with $10,432. Sadly, right before it ended they had a sudden drop in funding from over $12,300 which means two stretch-goals didn't make it and the campaign as a whole almost didn't make it. Thankfully it did, as it looks awesome as you can see in the below trailer:

Watch video on

It really does sound like it's going to be a big game. I'm most excited about the cloth-based enemies, the whole way Lazr seems to use physics in a platformer like this seems very unique with both parts of the environment and enemies made from simulated cloth that can burn and be destroyed.

Feature Highlight:

  • 64 different types of loadouts allow you to customize your hero - from fully auto laser fire, to lighter and more acrobatic shells, to being immune to explosions - the choice is yours.
  • Massive single player adventure - explore various districts in a sprawling futuristic city, beautifully presented in a Mode7 style overworld map. From the seedy housing districts deep below the surface, to the printed, polished, and private floating corporate islands soaring through the sky.
  • Player Choices - Contracts that you complete affect relations with other corporations in Alpha City One. You'll have to choose who to keep happy and who to work for to stay alive.
  • Cloth - Lazr has been designed around never before seen realistic cloth simulations with full destruction. A completely new and unique type of game mechanic!
  • Unique Enemies - fantastic cloth based enemies and bosses will absolutely destroy you and leave you questioning deeply held beliefs such as "do I enjoy playing video games?". No, seriously, you're gonna die, alot. So get some bandaids for your thumbs and some tissues for your eyes - it's gonna be a hard journey to the top. Are you ready?
  • There's a Holographic Dog. Yes, you can pet it - you can even play fetch with it! Next level 2d dog AI ensures HoloDog always follows you and stays by your side. Good HoloDoggo!

You can still try the demo on which has been updated a few times, it seems they plan more improvements to the demo soon too. There's also a Steam page you can wishlist it on.

Lazr now joins hundreds of others on our dedicated Crowdfunding Page.

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Reminder: Update your PC info for the next round of statistics updates

20 hours 51 min ago

This is your once a month reminder to make sure your PC information is correct on your user profiles. A fresh batch of statistics is generated on the 1st of each month.

You can see the statistics any time on this page.

PC Info is automatically purged if it hasn't been updated, or if you don't click the link to remain in for 2 years. This way we prevent too much stale data and don't hold onto your data for longer than required. If this is still correct and it has been a long time since you updated, you can simply click here to continue to be included. If this isn't correct, click here to go to your User Control Panel to update it!



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Humble Store has a 'Tabletop Sale' going, some good Linux games on offer

Monday 24th of February 2020 07:23:24 PM

It's the start of another glorious week for Linux gaming and another big sale is going on again. Over on the Humble Store, they have a Tabletop Sale now live.

Here's a few picks of what's going based on Linux support:

They also have some DLC on sale like 30% off Armello - The Bandit Clan, 50% off Gremlins, Inc. – Uninvited Guests, Deep Sky Derelicts - New Prospects also has 30% off and more.

You can see the full sale here.

Humble also have the Humble Digital Tabletop Bundle 2 with 6 Linux games including Slay the Spire, Armello, Gremlins, Inc. and For The King still going which ends in two weeks. Looks like they themed the sale to go with the bundle! So if you already grabbed that bundle, some of the DLC in the sale might help.

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The afterlife is an office job of choosing who lives and dies in Death and Taxes

Monday 24th of February 2020 04:40:34 PM

Placeholder Gameworks (great name!) have just recently released Death and Taxes, a game set in the afterlife where you take on the role of the Grim Reaper only it's not quite what you expect. Note: Key sent by the developer to our Steam Curator.

Rather than go out dressed in a hooded-robe with a great big scythe, it's an office job. You get to give the stamp of approval on who lives and dies to keep chaos in check, based on people in life-threatening situations with your actions having certain consequences based on who sticks around. Inspired by the likes of "Papers, Please", "Reigns" and "Beholder".

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So it's supposed to give you meaningful choices, different endings, there's fully voiced NPCs (one of which is hilarious), a nice chilled soundtrack all wrapped up in a watercolour-style. From my time spent with it, I didn't find any issues in the Linux version it worked great.

Each day, based on your performance you also get money to spend on trinkets and items to style your Grim Reaper how you want. Just because you're dead and nothing but bones (until you get different heads) doesn't mean you can't look fabulous right? Kind of amusing though, a little bit of a fluff feature but I found that bit fun.

These choices you make on who sticks around will give you updates on your phone, so choosing to keep a potato farmer alive makes everyone happy and healthy while killing-off a mason who wanted to build a wall makes it collapse and injure others. Sometimes though, Fate, your creator, will make a note on a particular slip about keeping someone alive—still the final choice is yours.

I'm apparently good at killing people so I got an award.

Certainly an interesting premise, there's not really much difficulty to it so you can relax and just go with the flow and see what happens. That really does depend on your own thoughts about life, death and morality though. There's a few times you need to pay attention, as some of the tasks will need you to read up properly on the people you're making decisions for. A little tedious at times but stick with it, things get…interesting and at times quite weird.

You can pick it up on Steam, and on where the developer is attempting to raise one thousand dollars.

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Space Grunts 2 shows how versatile a deck-builder can be and it's good

Monday 24th of February 2020 04:16:19 PM

With how popular deck-builders have become, it's no surprise to see many developers have a go at it. Orangepixel have with Space Grunts 2 and after playing it, I'm really enjoying it. Note: Key provided by the developer.

Currently in Early Access, released there back in September 2019 the developer seems to just keep adding more to it nearly every week. Given how many updates it's had, I took it for a spin to get some early thoughts on it. Space Grunts 2 has been, at least so far, one of the most unique feeling roguelikes thanks to their deck-building mechanic. Like other great roguelikes it's turn-based so nothing happens until you move, you take turns on the combat, and if you die and you need to start again. However, as you travel you collect cards which are you abilities.

The cards replace everything you would expect: abilities, utilities, weapons and so on. Some can be used over and over again, while others only have limited charges before they're gone. It's a little odd but it definitely works and it really sinks it's teeth into you so you want just one more run. Thankfully, death is not entirely permanent. As you progress, you will be able to unlock extras. New bits like special "Trinkets" to help you along, Buff cards, Passive cards and more.

Since the trailers are quite fast-paced and don't give you the best look, here's a gameplay video to give you a brief idea of what to expect from this card-battling roguelike:

Watch video on

It's good and there's a lot of replay value here to keep you coming back for more with a satisfying gameplay loop. With the mix of styles and mechanics here it's very much like the original Space Grunts, and a lot of other similar roguelikes with cards forming a deck of abilities to create a fun little twist on it. Everything is fluid, the battles are quick and to the point letting you continue exploring and collecting more cards.

Coming up next, going by the roadmap, Orangepixel are planning to add in some form of NPCs that might let you trade with them and expanding what you actually do other than explore, loot, destroy, grab a key card and continue on.

I'll be taking another look when it's had a few more updates or when it leaves Early Access, it depends how much time it has left until it's done. Even so, I'll still give it a thumbs up for now. You can pick up Space Grunts 2 now on Steam.

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Oxygen Not Included still 'fully in development' with first DLC hopefully this Autumn

Monday 24th of February 2020 11:43:21 AM

Klei Entertainment have given an update on their plans for continued support of the colony survival/building game Oxygen Not Included and they confirmed it's still 'fully in development'.

Although it left Early Access back in July last year, since then they've been somewhat quiet on their wider plans. Not entirely silent though as they did release the "Meep's Manadatory Recreation Content Pack" free update, along with a big update to the Unity version used. Thanks to a recent roadmap post, we now know what their further plans are.

For the first major DLC, they said it's going to be "quite sizable" with new game systems included. However, they're not giving a definite timeline on it as they're still testing and iterating on their ideas. They did at least give something of a release window, with something to show in the Summer to possibly release in the Autumn.

The good news is ongoing free updates will happen, with some of their team dedicated to that too. Klei also mentioned that want to "periodically put out new content into the game in the form of free packs", like the aforementioned Meep's Manadatory Recreation Content Pack and one of these free packs is coming soon.

Also on their mind is performance, as ONI is "a beast of a game" but luckily they think they can "still get some significant performance improvements out of it".

Once they have more definite news on the upcoming free content pack and the DLC, we will let you know. You can find Oxygen Not Included on Steam.

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Deck-building card battler 'Dreamgate' is out in Early Access

Monday 24th of February 2020 10:40:15 AM

Dreamgate, a turn-based deck-building battler is now out in Early Access with Linux support giving you another game that wants you to have just one more turn. Note: Key provided by the developer.

As it turns out, it's the same developer who made Fate Hunters but they went their own way to create a new game "because the rights to it did not belong to our team". With that in mind, it does currently play very similarly including having a no-mana system so you play as many cards as you can in a turn.

Watch video on

While it does have the basics of Fate Hunters, they're keen to note it's more than just a re-skin. They added entirely new features like a talent tree and an events system. Their roadmap sounds interesting including modding support, new heroes, new cards, card upgrades, a map and quite a lot more.

A lot of the standard mechanics you would expect are there including enemy cards that can have a Shield to negate the first damage dealt to them, while others can Taunt you so you're forced to attack them first. I've tripped up on the Taunt a few times, while powering up my first attack with one of my own cards only to realize I've waste it. The cards you get are a decently varied mix once you get going too.

It's currently a very easy pick up and play game, with simple battles that just flow together one after the other and it feels quite easy-going especially as you can save and quit any time you like to pick it back up for another few turns another day. I'm a huge fan of deck-builders like this and Slay the Spire, so I found it reasonably fun to blast through a bunch of turns and build up a decent deck and character. Once they do have more game mechanics in, I will take another look.

You can find Dreamgate on Steam in Early Access.

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Robotality give Pathway a big update with a challenging Hardcore Mode

Monday 24th of February 2020 09:33:59 AM

Pathway, the strategy adventure set in the 1930s from Robotality recently had a huge update if you need something to challenge you this is it.

Now when making a new game in Pathway, it gives you the option to make your profile a Hardcore Profile which can't be changed after. In this mode, the entire games plays as one long adventure with everything carrying over between sections. So if a character dies, they're gone. It also gives you all jeep upgrades and characters and higher difficulty.

This Hardcore Mode update came with a bunch of other smaller additions too. Including an extended difficulty option (not Hardcore but still harder than normal), more tooltips, 12 new weapons and new variations and some bug fixes.

Not seen it? Check the release trailer below:

Watch video on

I've enjoyed plenty of time in Pathway, even on the lower difficulty levels I personally find it quite challenging to deal with the combat and the events. The developer was quite positive about Linux support last we spoke too.

You can grab Pathway on Humble Store, GOG and Steam.

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RimWorld 1.1 is out with a first expansion with RimWorld - Royalty

Monday 24th of February 2020 09:20:54 AM

Ludeon Studios dropped a sneaky one, not only did they release the big RimWorld 1.1 update they also released the first big expansion named RimWorld - Royalty.

First, a reminder on what the big 1.1 update brings for everyone: UI improvements for high resolutions, a new Quests tab, modding improvements, the Vanilla Animals mod is now part of the game adding in more animal variety, new armour, new weapons, an asexual trait was added and so on.

As for the expansion, RimWorld - Royalty, Ludeon mentioned that their team has expanded to seven people which has allowed them to work on multiple things. This includes new free content, plus the brand new expansion and it sounds like more to come. See the trailer for Royalty below:

Watch video on

The expansion "includes a new system for nobles and titles, psychic powers, mechanoid combat structures, quests and rituals, luxurious palaces, Imperial technology, and new music from Alistair Lindsay" and sounds like it's worth picking up.

RimWorld was already an incredibly varied game and Royalty sounds delightfully crazy in some ways, making a big use of the Quest system. I'm much more excited by the mechanoid clusters, which are groups of mechanoid buildings to give you a challenge to assault which changes the pace compared to the relatively defensive nature of the main game.

Don't own it? You can pick up RimWorld from Humble Store and Steam.

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What have you been playing recently and what do you think about it?

Sunday 23rd of February 2020 01:05:19 PM

It's been quite some time since we last had an open discussion about what you've all been playing recently. Let's get things going again.

We've almost finished the second month of 2020, we've had tons of Linux games that have released this year already and a huge amount more on the way. Now with the rise of game streaming, Steam Play Proton and more options appearing constantly there's never a shortage of gaming to be had.

Personally, I've been getting back into the deck-builder Faeria (Humble/Steam).

With the big recent patch, it gave me a new reason to pick it up and I had honestly forgotten just how good the gameplay is. Building the board as you go really does spice up the usual turn-based tactics, as does the single-player content that's quite plentiful. Gamepad support that was recently added has also made it more accessible than ever. Crafting a good deck of cards is always the hard part but Faeria is fun to learn.

So, over to you: what have you been playing recently and what do you think about it?

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Check out 'Aseprite' a popular cross-platform pixel-art tool to create 2D animations and sprites

Sunday 23rd of February 2020 12:07:08 PM

Although I'm not into game development, after finding about this popular 2D pixel animation program while researching something else, I decided to cover it here on GOL in the hopes that someone finds it useful or time saving. Aseprite is a tool developed by small Argentine developer Igara Studio, that has been around in some form for almost two decades, having its version 1.0 released on Jun 6, 2014. Right now on Steam it has 2897 positive reviews by Steam users, out of 2923 total reviews, reaching as a consequence an 'Overwhelmingly Positive' status.

This is the official trailer, which features a particularly catchy music:

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These are its main features, which were extracted from the official site:

Animation & Layers: Create, copy, move, drag & drop layers; create, copy, move, link, drag & drop frames or cels; include several animations in the same file tagging sections; loop a section in forward, reverse, ping-pong modes, change preview speed; see other frames as reference to animate; choose different onion skin modes.

Color & Painting: Copy & paste, drag & drop, resize palette; palette entries with alpha value; select color harmonies; create light and shadows with the shading ink; create perfect strokes for pixel-art; avoid extreme pixel distortions when rotating tiny sprites; create patterns repeating the image in a 3x3 grid; create custom brushes for dithering; composite layers to create color effects.

Import & Export Files: Open or save a sequence of images; create animations and save them as .gif files; export your work to sprite sheets in .png and .json files; recovery [sic] your sprites in case of crash; integrate Aseprite in your assets pipeline with the command-line interface (CLI); store several animations in one texture atlas.

Besides, you will find on the official site well detailed documentation, video tutorials and an always handy Cheat Sheet. There is also a community forum and a Discord channel. The source code is also open on GitHub, although it's not open source as it's under their own EULA but it does allow you to compile it yourself free.

You can also check the trial to see if it's a program that may suit your professional needs. If that were the case, you have several options to buy it: (DRM-free + Steam key), Humble Store (DRM-free + Steam key) and Steam (DRM-free). Just as a curiosity, it seems it was possible to get an key if you bought the program from Steam, but apparently the developers later stepped back after some people took advantage of that option.

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NVIDIA talk up bringing DirectX Ray Tracing to Vulkan

Saturday 22nd of February 2020 09:37:47 PM

With Ray Tracing becoming ever more popular, NVIDIA have written up a technical post on bringing DirectX Ray Tracing to Vulkan to encourage more developers to do it.

The blog post, titled "Bringing HLSL Ray Tracing to Vulkan" mentions that porting content requires both the API calls (so DirectX to Vulkan) and the Shaders (HLSL to SPIR-V). Something that's not so difficult now, with the SPIR-V backend to Microsoft's open source DirectXCompiler (DXC).

Since last year, NVIDIA added ray tracing support to DXC's SPIR-V back-end too using their SPV_NV_ray_tracing extension and there's already titles shipping with it like Quake II RTX and Wolfenstein: Youngblood. While this is all NVIDIA-only for now, The Khronos Group is having discussions to get a cross-vendor version of the Vulkan ray tracing extension implemented and NVIDIA expect the work already done can be used with it which does sound good.

NVIDIA go on to give an example and sum it all up with this:

The NVIDIA VKRay extension, with the DXC compiler and SPIR-V backend, provides the same level of ray tracing functionality in Vulkan through HLSL as is currently available in DXR. You can now develop ray-tracing applications using DXR or NVIDIA VKRay with minimized shader re-writing to deploy to either the DirectX or Vulkan APIs.

See the full post here.

Eventually, with efforts like this and when Vulkan has proper cross-vendor ray tracing bits all wired up, it would give developers an easier job to get Vulkan ports looking as good as they can with DirectX. This makes the future of the Vulkan API sound ever-more exciting.

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