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Gaming

Games: Space Mercs, Nimbatus, Screeps Arena, MineRalph, Mind Trap, X4: Split Vendetta

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Gaming
  • The extreme arcade space-shooter Space Mercs is now available on itch.io, plus some sales info

    Space Mercs from Bearded Giant Games who develop their games entirely on Linux, released on Steam recently and now you can also catch it on itch.io.

    Haven't picked it up yet and want to know what to expect? It's a retro 3D arcade space shooter, designed primarily as a quick pick up and play experience. The developer said to think of it like a coffee-break game, only a bit more intense when some of it can be like a bullet-hell.

  • Space drone construction game Nimbatus just had a massive update to the campaign

    Nimbatus is all about piecing together blocks in the hope of creating a drone that's not terrible, with the ability to make them autonomous or have direct control of everything it's a very cool game.

    A few days ago the released the Campaign Update (0.7.3) and it's huge. Before this, the campaign mode was pretty simplistic but it has been expanded quite a bit now with different captains, progression through unlocking drone parts, travel events, asteroid fields, drone skins and more.

  • Screeps Arena, an upcoming strategy game where you program your units with JavaScript

    Screeps Arena is a game for programming enthusiasts, as you get to design your own AI using JavaScript to have 1 on 1 battles.

    If this sounds a bit familiar, it's because this same developer also made the game Screeps, an MMO RTS sandbox (some of it is open source too) which has all the same basic ideas. However, Screeps Arena has a much smaller and refined focus on simpler battles. This will likely make it a more manageable game and probably easier for a bigger audience to get into.

  • Reaction-based physics-platformer MineRalph is now out

    If you don't get frustrated easily and you enjoy a challenge, perhaps also a bit of speedrunning, MineRalph is probably a game you will enjoy.

    The developer, Chop Chop Games, say it pays homage to classic difficult games. With gameplay that's a sort-of mashup of "Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Meat Boy - with the level design of Super Mario... and the control scheme of Angry Birds". Quite a simple game mechanically but it's by no means easy.

  • Need some new games? Come and look at all the deals going on

    I haven't given a little overview of Linux games on sale for a while, so here's a fresh look ahead of another weekend for those of you looking to pick up something new.

  • Mind Trap, a four episode psychological thriller series inspired by the Twilight Zone is coming to Linux

    Gear Worx Productions are currently working on Mind Trap, a four episode psychological thriller series and they've got in touch to mention that it's coming to Linux. Tagging us in a post on Twitter, they made it very clear that Linux will be supported.

  • Egosoft have revealed the first big expansion to X4: Foundations with X4: Split Vendetta

    X4: Split Vendetta is going to expand the size of X4: Foundations quite a lot, along with the upcoming big 3.0 update.

    They're not currently giving out a lot of details on what exactly will be in the expansion or the update. The Steam page as well as the announcement sent out was pretty light. Egosoft did say it will increase the size of the universe, while also introducing "two new Split family clans" including new ships, weapons and station modules.

Games: Proton 4.11-2, Stone Story and Indivisible

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Gaming
  • Steam Play Proton 4.11-2 is out, upgrading DXVK and FAudio

    Valve along with CodeWeavers today issued a small and focused update to Proton, the software behind Steam Play.

  • Proton 4.11-2 Pulls In Newest DXVK While Fixing High Refresh Rates For Older Games

    Following the big Proton 4.11 update for Valve's Steam Play that just arrived over one week ago, a second update to this Wine-derived software is now available for enhancing the Windows games on Linux experience.

    Proton 4.11-2 updates now against the new and improved DXVK 1.3.2. Just pulling in new DXVK updates tend to be worthwhile but this 4.11-2 release also upgrades to FAudio 19.08 and Wine-Mono 4.9.2.

  • Animated entirely in ASCII symbols, Stone Story RPG enters Early Access

    I'm very much used to seeing roguelikes with ASCII art, but an RPG? That's quite different! After around five years in development, Stone Story RPG enters Early Access. Note: Key provided by the developer.

    A very strange experience this, with no direct control of your character it initially feels a bit like a clicker. You pick a location and watch as your ASCII character travels across the screen gathering resources, fighting and more. However, the game gradually expands and opens up, turning it into a very unique adventure. It's also very weirdly relaxing.

  • Action RPG platformer "Indivisible" from the creator of Skullgirls is releasing in October

    Lab Zero Games (Skullgirls) and 505 Games have announced that the action RPG platformer Indivisible finally has a release date.

    Blending together the side-scrolling exploration from a platformer, with beautifully hand-painted background art and fast-paced real-time battles it's been high up on my "wanted" list for some time. After getting funded on IndieGoGo way back in 2015, they managed to pull in quite a lot of support with over thirty thousand backers and around two million dollars raised. It's been a long wait but it's finally about to end, as today they've revealed the launch date to be October 8th.

Games: Eagle Island, Interrogation and Monster Sanctuary

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Gaming

Games: OXXO, SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech and More

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Gaming
  • Charming puzzle game OXXO officially released with Linux support

    Yesterday, OXXO from game developer Hamster On Coke Games was released as their latest sweet puzzle game. I've been playing it through and it's wonderful. Note: Copy provided by the developer to our Steam Curator.

    Much like some of their previous games including Scalak, PUSH and Art Of Gravity it has a very simple and inviting style to it. Starting off extremely easy so you learn the controls and the idea, it quickly starts getting a little complicated.

  • SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech has a free update with a New Game Plus mode

    Making it into this update is a New Game Plus mode, unlocked by completing the story. It allows you to play again, while keeping most non-story progress gained from your previous playthrough. Additionally, there's a new higher difficulty setting "Legend Remix", it's not just more challenging but also contains some "gameplay twists of its own" although it's only available for New Game Plus. They also added a sweet art gallery, containing a bunch of unseen concept art, illustrations and a jukebox.

  • Comedy cosmic horror adventure Gibbous - A Cthulhu Adventure is now out

    Gibbous - A Cthulhu Adventure, a comedy cosmic horror adventure from Transylvanian developer Stuck In Attic has released with same-day Linux support and it's a wild ride.

  • How to install Minecraft Server on Ubuntu

Porting Games To Linux Is A Waste Of Time? This Game Developer Says You're Doing It Wrong

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GNU
Linux
Gaming

It may surprise you to learn, then, that Bearded Giant Games' latest release on Steam -- Space Mercs -- has a whopping 35-percent sales share on Linux. Not only is that significantly higher than the norm, but Bacioiu insists his Linux customers make the development process easier.

What's going on here?

I immediately interviewed Bacioiu (who goes by "Zapa" within his community) on my podcast Linux For Everyone after he told me this unusual statistic. I was fascinated with his story.

Basically, Bacioiu believes there are 2 things the majority of game developers are doing wrong.

"People say 'OK I know about Linux so I'll just do an export in Unity and make a Linux build and that's it,'" Bacioiu says. "But they don't do any QA [Quality Assurance testing], and it's a terrible experience. People are going to ask for refunds, and then your average developer is going to say 'well Linux isn't worth my time.'"

Bacioiu also argues that developing on a Linux platform ensures that your game will have better cross-platform compatibility than developing on Windows.

"All the middleware that I'm using on Linux is guaranteed to work on Windows, because it's not relying on DirectX or any Windows-specific things," he says.

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Games: Ostriv, Anodyne 2: Return to Dust, Gunslugs:Rogue Tactics

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Gaming

Platform Exclusives - A Linux Perspective

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Gaming

Every time an Epic Store exclusive is announced, the developer/publisher is flooded with messages ranging from dissatisfied to utterly vile. On the latter, just don't, please. The Ooblets developers have been flooded with racist, misogynistic and otherwise needlessly aggressive comments from the cesspits of the internet. I'm not even sure any of those people had any interest in the game to begin with.

Some of the ire is justified, however. The word "platform" is used in so many contexts that it's becoming meaningless, and extending to areas it should probably not. It once was enough to consider your hardware the platform, or your operating system. And generally people are okay-ish with a game that is exclusive to a different platform, like say Nintendo. But now this has extended to the online store you bought something on. Your "platform" is no longer "PC", or "Windows", it's Microsoft Store, or Steam, or Epic Games Store.

And people more erudite than myself have given many reasons for why this is bad for PC gaming as a whole. But instead of focusing on ideological reasons, allow me to tell you what this means for a Linux gamer. A platform exclusive announcement for a Windows user might mean the difference between buying/playing via the Fortnite Launcher vs. using the Half-Life launcher. For a Linux user this could well mean that any chance of playing the game goes away entirely. And what makes it irksome, is that there's no good reason for that. It's all artificial barriers.

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The Best Command-Line-Only Video Games

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Linux
Gaming

A rundown of the biggest, most expansive and impressive games that you can run entirely in your Linux shell.

The original UNIX operating system was created, in large part, to facilitate porting a video game to a different computer. And, without UNIX, we wouldn't have Linux, which means we owe the very existence of Linux to...video games.

It's crazy, but it's true.

With that in mind, and in celebration of all things shell/terminal/command line, I want to introduce some of the best video games that run entirely in a shell—no graphics, just ASCII jumping around the screen.

And, when I say "best", I mean the very best—the terminal games that really stand out above the rest.

Although these games may not be considered to have "modern fancy-pants graphics" (also known as MFPG—it's a technical term), they are fantastically fun. Some are big, sprawling adventures, and others are smaller time-wasters. Either way, none of them are terribly large (in terms of drive storage space), and they deserve a place on any Linux rig.

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Games: Screaming Steel: 1914-1918, Dota 2 and Exodemon

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Gaming
  • Screaming Steel: 1914-1918, a WWI total conversion for Day of Infamy has a major update

    If you're after your next FPS fix, perhaps the Screaming Steel: 1914-1918 mod for Day of Infamy might be worth a look.

  • Dota 2 is going through some big changes to matchmaking

    Valve are attempting to address numerous complaints and issues with the Dota 2 community and matchmaking system, with some experimental changes. These changes have been explained in some detail in their latest update.

    Starting off by giving some reasons for the changes, they said over the next year they will be focusing on all sorts including "intra-team balance, player conduct, new player experience, abusive behaviors, account buying, friend and teamplay aspects, high mmr matchmaking dynamics" and more. Why? They want to make Dota 2 more fun for people playing at any level.

    The first set of major experimental are already up and will last until the end of the season. When the experiment is over, they will be requesting feedback sometime after The International tournament concludes.

  • After a mishap losing code, the dev of Exodemon has recovered some making a Linux build possible

    Exodemon, a fast paced first person shooter that recently released on Steam has an unfortunate history with some code being lost. The good news is some has been recovered and work continues, with a Linux version possible again.

    It release on Steam on August 3rd and it came without the previously confirmed Linux version. I was aware of what happened after chatting to the developer previously, but waited until they said something more public on it.

Games: Deadly Days, Lost Flame, Dark Envoy and Rocket League

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Gaming
  • Deadly Days continues to be a really fun strategic zombie survival rogue-lite

    After leaving the strategic zombie survival rogue-lite Deadly Days to cook for a while, it's had a few major updates while in Early Access and it's really coming along nicely.

    In Deadly Days, your task is to manage a group of survivors as they go through looting various locations while you progress towards finding a cure. Every game is different with a new set of survivors with their own abilities, a different set of missions to go through and so on. As you explore various locations, you guide your crew around the map to find loot, while they automatically use their weapons (or with you manually aiming) to deal with all the Zombies around.

    Looking over recent updates they've added in quite a lot to the game since I last checked it out. There's an entirely new intro, a new main menu, an interactive tutorial to help you understand what to do, a Daily Challenge mode, the start of some Twitch integration, animated trees that can be destroyed, more visual feedback, a new sparkle effect to show you what your survivors can interact with when looting (really helpful), new powers available to you, new items to find, optional objectives you can do during looting missions and loads more.

  • Lost Flame is a new roguelike in Early Access with a focus on the combat and different weapons

    Need a new roguelike to sink some time into? Lost Flame recently arrived on Steam in Early Access and it now has Linux support included too.

  • Non-linear RPG "Dark Envoy" from the developer of Tower of Time announced, planned for Linux

    Developer Event Horizon has my attention, with the announcement of their brand new non-linear RPG called Dark Envoy.

  • Psyonix are removing randomized loot boxes from Rocket League

    Rocket League, the awesome sports game about smacking balls into goals using rocket powered cars is going through some changes.

    Psyonix announced today, that "all paid, randomized Crates" will be removed from Rocket League sometime later this year. Instead, they're going with "a system that shows the exact items you’re buying in advance" noting similar changes by the Fortnite Save the World team and since Psyonix is now owned by Epic Games it's no surprise they're doing this.

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