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Gaming

Games: Rocket League, Space Mercs, Humble Monthly and Eliza

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Gaming
  • A three-way look at Rocket League on Linux, with D9VK versus Linux Native

    After chatting on Twitter with a fellow Rocket League enthusiast about the performance of the game, I decided to take a look.

    Rocket League originally released for Linux back in 2016, using an older build of Unreal Engine 3 with OpenGL as the renderer. With that in mind, it's one of the older major Linux ports available to us. Age is just a number though, it's a fantastic game. It's not perfect though and there's plenty of room for improvements.

  • Extreme arcade space combat game "Space Mercs" has officially released

    Designed and developed by Bearded Giant Games, Space Mercs is an extreme arcade space combat game like some of the classics and it's out now with Linux support.

    As a reminder, Bearded Giant Games have been developing Space Mercs entirely on Linux with the Unity game engine. Working from a low-powered Notebook, they've put a special amount of attention into the optimizations so it should work great across a huge variety of systems. It certainly does look good, with an impressive atmosphere to it!

  • The next Humble Monthly is out, with a nice deal for Linux gamers

    Once the bundle is over next month, you will also get an additional bunch of games. On top of that, as always, you also gain access to the Humble Trove. The Humble Trove is their curated selection of DRM-free games, while subscribed you can download them any time and keep them. Last I looked, the Trove had around 47 Linux games in it.

  • Zachtronics latest game "Eliza", is a Visual Novel that involves an AI counselling program

    This was quite unexpected, Zachtronics who are known for their challenging and high quality puzzle games have announced a Visual Novel called Eliza and it sounds unusual.

Games: Logic World, Abandon Ship, Dota Underlords, Sunless Skies, Decoy, Secret Government

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Gaming
  • Logic World (prev. The Ultimate Nerd Game) release delayed until October

    Logic World from Mouse Hat Games (previously called The Ultimate Nerd Game) is delayed, originally due this Summer they've decided to push it back until October.

    Speaking about the delay in this post, they said "we just aren't ready" and they "don't want to make sacrifices to the quality of the game" along with not having to deal with any crunch. All fair enough, I would rather have a healthy developer put out a good game after a delay.

  • Super stylish naval combat and adventure game "Abandon Ship" now has a Linux beta

    Abandon Ship caught my eye some time ago, thanks to the incredible style inspired by classic Naval Oil Paintings. The developer said it would eventually come to Linux and that time is fast approaching with a Beta now up.

  • Dota Underlords just had a massive update, changing the way you play

    Valve are reacting quickly to feedback along with implementing some needed features for their auto-battler strategy game Dota Underlords. The latest major update is out now, with some big changes to the gameplay.

    Previously, all the battles in Underlords took place differently. So while you might have been facing player X, they at the same time would be fighting player Y. Not any more! Players now get paired up to fight directly against each other, both taking part in the same shared combat. If there's an odd number of players, one of them might fight a clone of a player.

  • Sunless Skies has added the important feature of tooting your horn in the latest update

    The Horn update for Sunless Skies went live on July 30th adding in a highly requested feature, the ability to toot. There's, uh, other things as well of course.

    Sometimes we just want simple things and tooting your horn in Sunless Skies was apparently the "second most requested feature since launch". So, they added it in with a note that "The horn has no gameplay effects whatsoever, but we think it sounds quite nice. You're, umm, welcome."—hah.

  • In the top-down action game Decoy, you are the distraction and it looks amusing

    Most action games give you some sort of weapon, dump you in front of lots of enemies and have you go at it. Decoy is a different, your only tool is your vehicle and you are to distract the enemy.

    An infiltration team is searching for information, so to keep them out of harms way you will need to drive around like an insane person to distract, evade and survive. You have nothing to defend yourself, other than your awesome driving skills.

  • Secret Government, a grand strategy game about leading a secret society will be on Linux

    A recent announcement from Russian developer GameTrek and publisher 1C Entertainment is the game Secret Government. It's planned to enter Early Access in October this year with Linux support.

Games: VICCP, Brigador, Wind Runners, Total War: THREE KINGDOMS, Blessed Surface, Pegasus Frontend, Boxtron, Don't Starve Together

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Gaming
  • VICCP, a mysterious puzzle game about pushing buttons on a control panel

    VICCP looks quite unusual, a puzzle game about a strange control panel that you need to tinker with to figure out how it all works and what exactly it does.

  • Brigador: Up-Armored Edition adds new levels and mod tools, a quick Linux how-to

    The neon-soaked destruction-heavy game Brigador: Up-Armored Edition just recently got updated, bringing in some new content and allowing everyone to jump in to make mods and maps with the Community Reinforcements Update.

    Working with modders the game now has some extra F-series campaign maps to blast through, Quatro Santos and Long Roads Freelance runs which feature all new Freelance levels by community designers and also new combinations of 2-3 map Freelance runs suggested by the community.

    While new levels officially added in are sweet, the chance to now add in more is even sweeter. They've released a set of modding tools, available on Steam as a free DLC. However, it's only currently built for Windows. From what they said in their Discord Channel, it is planned for Linux (and Mac) as well they just haven't had time.

  • Wind Runners, a side-scrolling dogfighting action game is announced for Linux

    Developed by Ludic Studios (Akane), they just recently announced their new game Wind Runners. It's a side-scrolling dogfighting roguelike and it does look pretty sweet.

  • Total War: THREE KINGDOMS is getting a horde-style arcade mode as a free update

    Creative Assembly just announced a brand new game mode coming to Total War: THREE KINGDOMS, it's called Dynasty Mode developed in partnership with Intel.

    Dynasty Mode is a horde-style arcade mode, that will be free for all owners of Total War: THREE KINGDOMS and will release as an update at the same time as the Eight Princes DLC. For Windows, that's on August 8th but Linux gamers will have a little wait. Feral Interactive said on Twitter "The hordes of Dynasty Mode surge onto macOS and Linux shortly after Windows.".

  • Blessed Surface, an open-world 2D platformer that's about exploration as much as chaotic combat

    An action-platformer with an open-world approach, diverse combat system and character building? Sign me up. Blessed Surface sounds like it could be a lot of fun.

    It released on Steam in February, with Linux support arriving back in May which somehow I completely missed. It has continued to receive some pretty large updates since the original release, adding in all sorts of fun sounding features from new weapons to new creatures to encounter.

  • Pegasus Frontend, another open source game launcher has Linux support

    Not one I've covered before: Pegasus Frontend, a free and open source (GPL) game launcher that seems pretty sweet has Linux support.

  • Boxtron, a Steam compatibility tool to run games through a native Linux DOSBox

    Here's something that's awesome! Thanks to the new features in the Linux Steam client that came with Steam Play, you can add in other compatibility tools to run games through and Boxtron is one such tool.

    Boxtron enables you to use a native Linux build of DOSBox, to run games with just like you would with Steam Play's Proton.

  • Don't Starve Together adds another new free character with Warly

    Klei Entertainment continue to support and update their incredibly stylish multiplayer survival game Don't Starve Together.

    It's still a popular game too, regularly pulling in nearly fifteen thousand players each day which is impressive for an indie game that's a few years old. Especially impressive when you think about all the games that have released since April 2016! Just goes to show how fun Don't Starve Together actually is.

Games: Towertale, Steam, Gunslugs:Rogue Tactics, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

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Gaming
  • Towertale, a story-driven 2D action game with a focus on big boss battles is coming to Linux

    With some absolutely insane looking action sequences, Towertale just recently released and they're planning to support Linux.

  • Valve add additional titles to the Steam Play Whitelist

    After recently pushing out a pretty big update to Steam Play with Proton 4.11, Valve have now added some additional titles to their Whitelist.

    What is the Whitelist? Currently, this is the list Valve have accepted to be shown as a game you can install in the Linux Steam client, without enabling Steam Play on your entire library. They are also set to a specific version of Proton by Valve, to hopefully give the best experience.

  • Gunslugs:Rogue Tactics, the tactical action-platformer confirmed for release on August 6th

    Possible one of the most interesting action-platformer games I've seen in a while, Gunslugs:Rogue Tactics is launching on August 6th.

    I'm a big fan (understatement) of games like Broforce, which focus heavily on over-the-top action and a lot of platformers simply go along and follow that design. This is why Gunslugs:Rogue Tactics has my attention, it doesn't seem like yet another platformer. Not only does it have some random generation, to keep things from feeling stale, it has a focus on tactical decision making and stealth on top of some ridiculous looking action of course.

  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive adds new maps and a "Scrimmage" game mode

    Valve have updated Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to introduce some new maps as well as mix up competitive play with a new "Scrimmage" game mode.

    The Workout map has been removed, with Breach and Seaside making an appearance in Defusal Group Sigma. Breach, Seaside and Ruby have also been added as new "Scrimmage Maps" to official competitive matchmaking.

Gaming: xrdesktop, Steam Play Proton, The Humble Crusader Kings II Bundle and More

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Gaming
  • xrdesktop, a new Valve-funded open source project to bring Linux desktops into VR

    Valve seem to be pushing Linux support even harder now, with the announcement of the open source xrdesktop project from Collabora.

    This new project, funded thanks to Valve, enables interactions with traditional desktop environments, such as GNOME and KDE in Virtual Reality. With xrdesktop, Linux window managers will be aware of VR and be able to use VR runtimes to render your desktop windows in a 3D space. It also gives you the ability to manipulate them with VR controllers, which sounds pretty fun.

  • Steam Play Proton 4.11 released, a pretty huge release pulling in D9VK and a replacement for esync

    Valve have announced the release of Steam Play Proton 4.11, this is a pretty exciting one and it's pretty huge overall.

    Firstly, it was re-based on top of Wine 4.11. So it brings thousands of improvements over, considering that's quite a version bump. Additionally, 154 patches from Proton were upstreamed directly to Wine!

    The next exciting bit is that Valve are now funding D9VK (and have been since June according to developer Joshua Ashton), along with shipping it in Proton as part of this update. This Vulkan-based Direct3D 9 renderer is still experimental, so it's not enabled by default as you need to use the "PROTON_USE_D9VK" setting.

  • The Humble Crusader Kings II Bundle seems like an amazing deal for strategy game fans

    Humble Bundle are back and they've provided a pretty good one this time, with the Humble Crusader Kings II Bundle. If you enjoy strategy games, this is a seriously good deal not to miss out on!

  • Valve's new "ACO" Mesa shader compiler for AMD GPUs now has vertex shader support

    For our third bit of Valve news today, they also recently announced that their Mesa shader compiler "ACO" had a bit of an upgrade recently as well.

  • Unity 2019.2 released with lots of new features, improvements and fixes

    Further pushing what game developers are able to make, Unity 2019.2 is now officially available with plenty of new features, improvements and bug fixes.

    [...]

    There's also various improvements to their OpenGL and Vulkan API implementations. For OpenGL, it can now use the SRP batcher. For Vulkan, it now supports all GPU formats for RenderTexture, multiple Vulkan crashes were solved, fixes to dynamic resolution when using Vulkan, multiple Vulkan XR fixes and so on. Curiously, Unity will now force NVIDIA drivers on Linux to turn off VSync.

  • Space colony sim "Oxygen Not Included" from Klei Entertainment has left Early Access

    Probably some of the finest work yet from Klei Entertainment, the space colony sim Oxygen Not Included has now left Early Access.

    [...]

    This isn't just Klei pushing out what was there as released, it comes along with a big update to the game too. There's a bunch of new buildings including an Ethanol Distiller, Airborne Critter Bait, Wood Burner, Duplicant Motion Sensor and more. Two new critters are included with the Pokeshell and Pip, five new plants, new animations, new types of asteroids to colonize, new foods, new biomes and…the list goes on. They've clearly put a huge amount of work into this release.

  • Waves 2: Notorious, an absolutely mad twin-stick shooter arrives on Linux

    As a follow-up to 2011's Waves, Waves 2: Notorious has arrived on Linux as part of the 0.73 Early Access update on Steam. Originally entering Early Access in late 2015 it has continued to see big updates and the developer, Rob Hale (aka Squid In A Box Ltd), is planning a full release in Q2 next year. Note: Key provided by the developer.

    So what is it? Waves 2: Notorious puts you in the shoes of a Hacker or "Runner", tasked with infiltrating computer networks in a cyberpunk-styled version of cyberspace. Here you must protect yourself against the attacks of the AI "Administrator", while uploading viruses and downloading corporate secrets in an attempt to build your notoriety.

  • Lovecraftian horror RPG "Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones" announced for release in September

    Cultic Games and 1C Entertainment have today announced the Lovecraftian horror RPG, Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones, will be releasing with Linux support on September 26th.

    [...]

  • Previously a Humble Original, A Short Hike: The Extra Mile has released with Linux support

    This newly updated and released game adds in Linux support as part of an expanded game overall. The developer said a bunch of ideas couldn't quite fit into the original release, so here we are. It includes new characters to meet, fishing, a better water shader, a new accessibility feature to change the pixel scaling and so on.

    [...]

    You can find A Short Hike: The Extra Mile on Steam and itch.io. Seems like a really sweet experience if you're after something a little more chilled-out.

Games: Valve, Mono Trap and Bash Shell Games

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Gaming
  • Valve's ACO AMD Shader Compiler Now Can Handle Vertex Shaders

    Valve's interesting ACO shader compiler alternative to AMDGPU LLVM currently for the RADV Vulkan driver as well as for RadeonSI OpenGL in the future now can handle vertex shaders.

    Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais shared last night that their ACO shader compiler now has vertex shader compiler support and thus cuts down shader compile times even more with not having to do any fall-backs. Their testing packages for Ubuntu and Arch have been updated with this latest code while the source is available for those wanting to test on other distributions.

  • Unity 2019.2 Released With Latest Features For This Cross-Platform Game Engine

    Unity 2019.2 rolled out today as the latest quarterly feature update for this very popular cross-platform game engine.

    Some of the big changes for Unity 2019.2 include DSPGraph as a new audio rendering/mixing system, their promising Burst Compiler has faster JIT compilation and different C# improvements, better HD Render Pipeline support, new 2D features in their Lightweight Render Pipeline, OpenGL support improvements focused on mobile platforms, and other changes.

  • Bash Shell Games: Let's Play Go Fish!

    Between the previous 163 columns I've written here in Linux Journal and the dozens of games I programmed and explored during the creation of my Wicked Cool Shell Scripts book, I've written a lot of Bash shell games. The challenge is to find one that's simple enough where a shell script will work, but isn't so simple that it ends up being only a half-dozen lines.

    Magic 8-Ball is a perfect example. It turns out that the entire "predict the future" gizmo was really just a 20-sided die floating in dark purple fluid.

  • Valve Funded Development Of Xrdesktop - Lets GNOME & KDE Work In VR

    Following the release of OpenXR 1.0, Collabora has announced the release of Xrdesktop, which was funded by Valve.

    Xrdesktop is an open-source project that allows for traditional X11 window managers to interact better within a virtual reality space for presenting on VR head-sets. Xrdesktop allows traditional Linux desktops like GNOME and KDE to work on a VR head-set.

    We've seen past open-source efforts like Arcan experimenting with a VR desktop while this Xrdesktop is about allowing existing traditional desktops to work more gracefully on VR head-mounted displays.

Train Valley and Train Valley 2 released DRM-free on GOG with Linux support

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Gaming

Here's a nice surprise to start your week with, both Train Valley and Train Valley 2 are now available DRM-free on GOG. Both games have supported Linux for some time and thankfully today's GOG release comes with the Linux build ready for both games. Despite being a series, both games actually play quite differently. I'm quite a fan of Train Valley 2 myself, it's quite challenging.

The basic idea of both games is very similar, with you building up a rail network and ensuring your trains don't smash into each other. While the basics and interactions are the same, the goals are completely different.

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Also: Beamdog have announced that Axis & Allies 1942 Online will release on July 31st

Radeon RX 5700 / RX 5700 XT Linux Gaming Performance With AMDGPU 5.3 + Mesa 19.2-devel

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Gaming

Now that the flow of initial Navi fixes and optimizations has settled down for both the AMDGPU DRM kernel driver and the Mesa RADV/RadeonSI user-space driver components, here is a look at AMD Radeon RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT graphics card performance on Ubuntu Linux at the end of July, now three weeks after these 7nm graphics cards first shipped.

This round of testing features the Navi Radeon RX 5700 series tested with the very latest Linux 5.3 development kernel as of this past weekend, which is the first kernel featuring this Navi support. Since the initial merge earlier this month, there have already been some Navi 10 fixes that followed. On the OpenGL/Vulkan driver side, Mesa 19.2-devel is branching in early August and now has decent support for the Radeon RX 5700 series in place. Since the earlier RadeonSI support and the RADV Vulkan driver support that landed on launch day, there has continued to be a number of fixes to land, various new features, and different driver performance optimizations.

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Games: Pushy and Pully in Blockland, Collabora, Colony Survival, Flippin Kaktus, Super Indie Karts, Sky Racket, Misadventures of Laura Silver, Donensbourgh

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Gaming
  • Pushy and Pully in Blockland looks like a fun co-op arcade game coming to Linux

    Pushy and Pully in Blockland from Resistance Studio is a solo and co-op arcade game with a retro visual style, confirmed to be coming to Linux.

  • Linux Kernel 5.2 gets major gaming performance enhancements, courtesy of Collabora

    Attention, gamers! The new Linux Kernel 5.2 will come with several upgrades that are sure to make your gaming experiences even better — all thanks to the Collabora team.

    Although FOSSLinux has previously covered the release of Linux Kernel 5.2, what was not into public knowledge at that time were the contributions made by Collabora. However, that changed soon afterward as the Collabora team released an official blog post highlighting their part in the development of the new Linux Kernel release, which led us to write this news post.

  • First-person strategy game "Colony Survival" finally has a major update after a year of waiting

    It sounds like this latest version might actually be worth a go. Featuring an overhaul to lots of systems in the game like world generation, to include "proper biomes" with more varied landscape features. An entirely new save system, multiple colony support, LAN play support, co-op support, much improved performance, a major update to the version of Unity used, improved modding support, gliders to move around quickly, tons of new items and much more.

  • Flippin Kaktus is an absolutely mad looking action-platformer coming to Linux

    As a huge fan of games like Broforce, I'm always on the look out for another good action-platformer with over-the-top craziness and Flippin Kaktus looks pretty sharp.

  • Retro-inspired kart racer "Super Indie Karts" updated with a bunch of new tracks

    In need of a stylish retro-inspired kart racer? Super Indie Karts might be exactly what you're looking for. A recent update to the game added in a bunch of new tracks in the Knight Cup.

  • Sky Racket mixes together a shoot 'em up with a block-breaker and it's really fun

    Releasing sometime later this year, Double Dash Studios have merged together a block-breaker with a shoot 'em up to create something a little odd but it's very fun.

    Armed with nothing more than a fancy "laser tennis racket", you're not able to directly attack most enemies. Instead, you will bounce back their bullets to destroy blocks in your way. There's a few smaller enemies you can smack around with your racket though, but most of it is about bouncing bullets around.

  • Studio Attic Salt are bringing a very stylish looking Visual Novel "Misadventures of Laura Silver" to Linux

    Releasing next month, Turkish developer Studio Attic Salt are trying their hand at a Visual Novel with Misadventures of Laura Silver and it looks good.

    What they say is the first Turkish visual novel, the Misadventures of Laura Silver is planned as three-chapter novel with this being the first part. It follows "detective and gun enthusiast extraordinaire" Laura Silver and her companion, former police officer Orewell Cooper. They're sent over to Czechoslovakia to investigate reports of a mysterious creature lurking in the murky waters of Pilsen.

  • The in-development medieval RPG "Donensbourgh" had a huge upgrade recently

    Donensbourgh is one I highlighted only recently, a medieval RPG with no combat or violence that seemed promising. It just had a pretty massive upgrade to improve all of it.

    Definitely like the idea they're going for here. A single-player story-based experience, with some surprisingly beautiful looking graphics in certain areas with a focus on the late 13th century. With an aim to be on the realistic side, there's no spells or dragons or anything like that.

Games: Knightin'+, Escape from Chernobyl, Supraland 2

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Gaming
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