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Updated: 1 hour 27 min ago

The Linux gaming Sunday round-up paper

1 hour 41 min ago

Tags: Misc, Round-up

Catch up on some recent big news and some things we haven't covered through the week on GamingOnLinux.

Total War Saga: TROY

Let's start with the really big one, Creative Assembly and SEGA officially announced Total War Saga: TROY. Game porting studio Feral Interactive will be bringing this one to Linux "shortly" after the Windows release next year. Total War games must sell reasonably well on Linux for Feral to port so many of them.

Linux For Everyone interviews CodeWeavers

Jason Evangelho, who writes for Forbes and ended up becoming quite a huge Linux fan now has his own podcast called Linux For Everyone. I guest speak on it here and there to highlight a fun game every few episodes, with episode 9 having a really great interview with Codeweavers CEO Jeremy White and Wine developer Andrew Eikum.

Valve lose a court battle, users should be able to re-sell their digital games

Still a lot to think about on this one, something that could cause major issues for the gaming industry. I've yet to see an indie developer happy about the possible issues this comes with. If this actually goes through, the decision may force developers to change how they treat digital sales of games.

Canonical detail what 32bit packages will continue to see support

Now the dust has settled on Canonical nearly dropping 32bit entirely and then deciding against it when Valve were going to drop support for Ubuntu, Canonical have given some info on what packages will continue to be supported through to Ubuntu 20.04.

New Steam Library enters Beta

While a big step in the right direction, with a lot of new and useful features it has come with numerous issues that need solving. There's no mention of Steam Play, all games are bundled regardless of operating system support into a single list, a pretty big memory leak somewhere and more. I've been greatly enjoying the new dynamic collection feature though, very handy!

The full animated opening for the upcoming game Indivisible is up

Releasing with Linux support on October 8th on GOG (no page up yet) and Steam, Indivisible is the latest game from Lab Zero Games the creator of Skullgirls. Take a look at their opening animation in full:


Watch video on YouTube.com

Subsoap updates Faerie Solitaire Harvest, still free on itch for Linux

Faerie Solitaire Harvest continues to be free for Linux gamers on itch.io, with it recently being given an update. Windows and Mac have to pay but we can either donate to support the developer or play free. The developer shared this image, showing very little income for it on itch and almost all downloads on itch were from Linux (source). It's also on Steam and they have announced Faerie Solitaire Dire.

KDE launches the beta release of Plasma 5.17

Another release of KDE Plasma is due soon, with it now in Beta. Lots of improvements to all areas of the desktop, with the promise that Plasma will start "even faster".

GNOME 3.34 Released

GNOME 3.34 released recently with a much improved retro gaming application "Games" that allows multiple saves per game.

AMD possibly up to 25% of the desktop CPU market

According to Wccftech, it's looking like AMD may have captured 25% of the desktop CPU market thanks to strong growth powered by their Ryzen processors although supply shortage is causing issues.

Weekend deals reminder:

Recent reviews:

 

Let's end with a question for readers: What have you been playing this week/weekend and what are your thoughts on it?

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

DXVK 1.4 released boosting this Vulkan layer to support D3D 11.4

Saturday 21st of September 2019 08:44:36 PM

Tags: Wine, Vulkan, New Release

Developer Philip Rebohle has pushed out another major release of DXVK, the Vulkan to D3D layer used together in Wine and Steam Play.

Boasting a new feature set that pumps up the available Direct3D support to 11.4. However, certain optional features are not currently supported like Tiled Resources, Conservative Rasterization and Rasterizer Ordered Views but they may be added if ever needed. This should fix a crashing issue with Plants vs Zombies - Battle for Neighborville, which requires at least D3D 11.3.

Additionally, support for DXGI (Microsoft DirectX Graphics Infrastructure) was boosted up to version 1.5 which allows applications/games to check for HDR support but DXVK itself does not currently support HDR. Some games seem to need the interface for HDR to be there even if not used. You should also find the Rockstar Game Launcher working better with this update to DXVK, with new support for GDI interop with DXGI surfaces. Although the launcher does need some other Wine fixes due to a bug in Wine's Direct2D support.

Some resource mapping improvements were also made with the "d3d11.allowMapFlagNoWait" option enabled by default, possibly resulting in some games performing better. Developer Rebohle asked if you see regressions, to try if setting "d3d11.allowMapFlagNoWait = False" in the DXVK config fixes it when reporting a bug.

There should also be some possible performance improvements. One such change is games that make heavy use of Deferred Contexts with both Dark Souls III and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice being mentioned as hopefully improved. There's also a possible CPU overhead improvement with more accurate resource tracking.

See the full release announcement here.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Police Stories attempts to offer a different take on the top-down shooter genre

Saturday 21st of September 2019 11:04:21 AM

Tags: Top-down shooter, Action, Humble Store, Steam, Indie Game, New Release

Police Stories from Mighty Morgan and HypeTrain Digital is officially out now and after a very short delay the Linux version has also been released too.

A slower, more tactical top-down shooter that isn't all about going in loud? Certainly sounds interesting and it does look good. It released on the 19th with the Linux support appearing a day later. Early reports on it are good, with nearly 200 user reviews on Steam giving at a "Very Positive" rating overall so we might be onto a winner here.


Watch video on YouTube.com

Feature Highlight:

  • The Surrender System allows you to apprehend the suspects without resorting to violence. Fire a warning shot near them or engage them in melee combat - those are just some of the ways you can make them submit.
  • Issue commands to your fellow cop Rick Jones. Make sure to use him wisely - and who knows, he might save your life in return.
  • Randomly placed criminals, hostages and evidence make every level run unique. The placement changes every time you restart, leading to new interesting situations and opportunities.
  • As a law enforcement officer, you will have access to end-of-the-line police equipment, such as under-the-door cameras, door blast charges and many others.
  • Various types of lawbreakers, from small petty criminals to well organised gangs and terrorists. Each type has not only unique weapons, but different behaviour and shooting skill.
  • Complex Tactical Gameplay: Try not to get spotted, don't waste bullets, regularly check your surroundings and make sure to take criminals down quietly.
  • All your actions are scored in real time. Playing aggressively won't get you a high enough result to start the next mission - so keep that in mind!
  • Co-op. Complete mission together for better scores and more fun!

Although it has released, like practically all games now it's not exactly finished. They've put up a roadmap which includes some fun new features coming like online co-op, custom missions, a level editor and more. Sounds like there's some good stuff coming for it this year.

We're currently waiting to hear back from the publisher about review keys, so hopefully we can have some thoughts to share on it next week. Does look really good though, great to see Linux support arrive as promised.

You can grab it from Humble Store and Steam.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

The Humble Monthly has expanded to add BATTLETECH expansions plus Sonic Mania

Friday 20th of September 2019 08:17:34 PM

Tags: Humble Store, Game Bundle

Was BATTLETECH as the only early unlock for the current Humble Monthly not enough for you? Good news, you can now play more right away as they've expanded it.

Just added today alongside the full game of BATTLETECH are two expansions: Flashpoint and the Shadow Hawk Pack. That should keep you going until you decide if you want to pick up Urban Warfare (not included) and the upcoming Heavy Metal expansion. BATTLETECH supports Linux and the expansions do work fine in my own testing.

The other brand new early reveal (and one you can play right now) is Sonic Mania. While it doesn't have Linux support, it does work in Steam Play and it's a good bit of fun. I have some seriously fond memories of playing Sonic when I was much younger on the Sega Mega Drive while I was in hospital but that's a story for another time…

You can pick up the Humble Monthly here if interested.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

AMD have delayed the Ryzen 9 3950X and 3rd generation Threadripper until November

Friday 20th of September 2019 08:05:48 PM

Tags: AMD, Hardware

Today, AMD sent out a brief statement about a delay in their 16 core Ryzen 9 3950X and the 3rd generation Threadripper.

Here's what AMD said in full:

We are focusing on meeting the strong demand for our 3rd generation AMD Ryzen processors in the market and now plan to launch both the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X and initial members of the 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen Threadripper processor family in volume this November.

We are confident that when enthusiasts get their hands on the world's first 16-core mainstream desktop processor and our next-generation of high-end desktop processors, the wait will be well worth it.

Quite a bit of a delay, considering they gave the Ryzen 9 3950X an expected release date of this month when the 3rd Gen Ryzen desktop processors originally released. Still, it's obviously good business sense to ensure you can actually keep up with the current consumer demand before pushing out even more products.

The Ryzen 9 3950X is looking to be an absolute beast with 16 cores and 32 threads but that's going to be completely trumped by the 3rd generation Threadripper with a massive 24 cores, which AMD teased in a fresh PR image:

So if you were looking to grab either, keep an eye out in November. Will share any more news when they send it about the expected date and pricing.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Top-down racer Bloody Rally Show looks great in the new trailer

Friday 20th of September 2019 01:43:41 PM

Tags: Racing, Upcoming, Indie Game, Steam, Unity

One racing game I am genuinely excited about is Bloody Rally Show, a top-down racer that looks genuinely good and it has a fresh trailer up to show off recent development progress.

It will fully supported Linux too, as I tested out previously. One of the reasons I'm excited about this, is that it firmly reminds me of some classic early racers from the Amiga only with everything turned up a notch or two. Not only that, something of a rarity in racing games is that it will have a fully featured campaign story mode with cut-scenes and all. This campaign mode can even be played in local co-op.

Have a peek at the latest trailer, it looks rad:


Watch video on YouTube.com

It's had some pretty big updates to the Beta version recently too like Asynchronous Multiplayer. This allows you to compete in the Time Attack mode for the fastest lap times against a ghost car of someone above you in the leader-board. If you're number one, you will race against your own ghost. When introducing Asynchronous Multiplayer, the developer said "online multiplayer is not available (yet)" so that might even be a little tease that it's coming later too.

Some small and helpful tweaks have been included recently too, like the mini-map being customizable in both size and position. Game Hero Interactive have also been keeping up with Unity game engine updates, so it should run very nicely at release.

Feature Highlight:

  • Satisfying arcade-style car physics (handling, drifting, speed)
  • Infinite amount of randomly generated Race Tracks
  • Possibility to share your custom built cars and tracks on Steam Workshop for others to enjoy
  • Racer XP and level-up
  • Car tuning and upgrades
  • Custom paint jobs and racer avatars
  • Split Screen Local multiplayer for up to 4 players
  • Configuration setting to turn off blood (for family friendly split screen racing sessions)
  • Races with 100 opponents!

After personally playing it for quite a few hours now, I've begun to get a little attached to it when needing to burn off a little steam myself. I seem to spend far too much time customizing my paint job too, there's so many variations possible. Just look at this sweet little ride:

The new ghost car feature is also awesome, really makes the game a whole lot more fun. I also seem to find it impossible to beat my own times once I set them.

If you like racing games, this is one you need to keep an eye on.

You can wishlist and follow on Steam ready for release next year.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Drawn Down Abyss takes an action platformer and adds in card deck-building for abilities

Friday 20th of September 2019 12:06:09 PM

Tags: Deck-builder, Action, Platformer, Indie Game, Steam, Upcoming, Pixel Graphics

Platformers are probably the most common type of game available on any platform and yet, some developers are still able to make them seem a little unique.

Drawn Down Abyss is one such game, a pixel art action-focused platformer. The difference here, is they're pulling in the card-based deck-building for your abilities. Deck-building is massively popular right now, it's one of those things that one or two games did really well and now more want to try it. I'm happy about this, I'm a fan of collecting cards and using them to battle with so trying it out with an action platformer has piqued my interest.


Watch video on YouTube.com

About the Linux support, it has Linux system requirements ready on Steam for release on October 2nd. Speaking to the developer on Steam, they confirmed Linux support.

Feature Highlight:

  • Action packed combat based on the effects of cards.
  • Tons of cards and strategies.
  • Lots of unique of enemies that you must defend yourself from.
  • 3 different zones to encounter on your journey.

If interested you can wishlist and follow it on Steam. It should also be on itch.io but no store page live I could find.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Dota 2 is going through multiple big ban waves and some matchmaking changes

Friday 20th of September 2019 11:51:09 AM

Tags: MOBA, Valve, Steam, Free Game, Update

Valve are trying to clean up the Dota 2 community and make matchmaking better, with some big changes being done.

First up, let's talk a little about the recent major ban waves. Valve said they have removed players from Dota 2 with "exceptionally low behavior scores" and they will continue to do so regularly, which is good and very much needed to keep the online community healthy. They have also done a second ban wave for anyone who has been "detected of violating the Steam Service Agreement that prevents the purchase or sale of Steam accounts"—ouch. A third wave happened, to remove players who've been using "exploits to gain an advantage over other players" and they will be adjusting how they detect such things over the coming weeks.

Not only that, bans will also now block the phone number associated with the account permanently, so people will have to setup a new phone making it more difficult for nuisance players to come right back. Linking directly with that, Valve said they closed a hole that allowed "a large number of users to play ranked without a unique phone number attached" to help against smurf accounts. On top of all that again, to gain access to Ranked play you need to have 100 hours logged in the game.

Amusingly the bans are listed as being until January, 2038. They are permanent though, it's likely just the way Valve are storing the dates has the "Year 2038 problem". They probably need to adjust their database to support a different time storage method.

As for matchmaking, they continue to tweak the new Role systems in place. Part of that is ensuring that the games are actually balanced. They're going to be putting a larger emphasis on making sure that the roles are more symmetric based on player ranking rather than just spreading the rank across each time and making it match up.

There's a new reporting option included too, as some players were not playing properly as the Role they queued up for so Valve said they're going to be a little more "aggressive in punishing players who abuse the system".

There's more to it, see the full blog post here.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Post-apocalyptic road-trip strategy game Overland has officially released, some thoughts

Friday 20th of September 2019 11:23:57 AM

Tags: Review, New Release, Strategy, Survival, Indie Game, GOG, Steam, Itch.io, DRM-Free

After a few years in Early Access on itch.io, Finji have officially released their post-apocalyptic road-trip strategy game Overland. Note: Personal copy.

Take care of a group of travelers on a post-apocalyptic road-trip across the United States in this turn-based survival game. Fight scary creatures, rescue stranded survivors, and scavenge for supplies like fuel, first aid kits, and weapons. Decide where to go next, whether it's upgrading this wrecked car, or rescuing that dog. Just remember, there are consequences for every action. Get ready for close calls, dramatic escapes, hard choices, arguing about whether or not that dog gets rescued, and the end of the world.

The first thing you really notice when playing Overland is the incredibly moody atmosphere. It's not a happy game, it doesn't pretend to be or try to cover it up either. This is the end of the world, you're trying to survive and it is a true struggle. That and the small contained levels where you're looking at just a slice of a location. Even though the levels aren't big, there's a huge amount going on under the surface.


While Overland has the familiar turn-based feel and style that games like XCOM made popular, it still plays nothing like them. You don't run for cover and there's no special abilities or gaining experience. The only one who changes is—you, by learning how to do deal with these creatures and how to best use the seriously limited resources you have.

Since the maps are small, you don't get a chance to actually do much. Each character has a very limited set of action points, so you really have to use them wisely. Everything is a toss-up between checking that dumpster out and finding some fuel or perhaps a shiny new weapon or escaping with all your limbs intact. Combat as well, is something that you're only going to be doing as an absolute last resort. In a way, you never truly feel like you're getting anywhere. I feel that's part of the point though, to keep you on your toes always on the look out for something useful.


How am I supposed to find anything in that fog?

Note: If you use the in-game screenshot tool, it saves the shots to this location: ".config/unity3d/Finji/Overland/Screenshots".

The real problem is, the little (and some big) beasts are attracted by sound. Give one a good wack on the head? Prepare for the sound to draw more of them to the surface. Thankfully, it's not just you that has a limited amount of points to move with. Enemies coming up to the surface doesn't happen instantly, they have to first poke their head up and then crawl up before they can get a turn at making you into dinner.

Since this is the post-apocalypse, the strange creatures aren't all you're dealing with. During one run, everything was going incredibly smoothly. I had rescued someone, found a bigger car and managed to attach some top-notch floodlights onto the top and after pimping my ride I felt like nothing could stop me. However, my companion got stuck between two nasties and she died shortly after that. I escaped and went looking for fuel, only to encounter another survivor who decided to pour out a bunch of fuel to attract a creature and when I went to grab a can he left, he stole my fucking car!

I wasn't exactly left with much after the carjacking…nothing actually.

Once a run starts going bad, it can get pretty damn tense. You will either be the luckiest person around and find what you need or you're totally screwed. Naturally, the latter is what I usually end up as. After my car was stolen this was what I had to deal with after a short walk to find another car:

I died pretty soon after entering that area. Thankfully, not all is lost at times. If you do manage to complete an area, when starting a new game you do have the option of beginning your journey there.

Another part of the difficulty in Overland is a design choice of explaining a grand total of nothing. It's a survival strategy game that forces you to think and learn on the go, for better or worse. Some of you may enjoy that, at times I did but there's other times where I feel like I wished I knew more about the world, about the characters, about what items I might be able to find.

A little personal gripe with Overland is that they should have made the interface between driving and walking easier, it can be a little confusing sometimes if you've selected a character or the car to drive. An easier way to quickly switch would have been nice. Small issue though. My bigger gripe is how it feels like it hasn't really progress far from the early builds I played over the last few years. I don't know if that's because it doesn't explain anything and so everything feels hidden or if it just really hasn't actually expanded all that much.

Features/Gameplay Highlights:

  • Always keep fuel in the tank. Stay away from the creatures. Be careful. Be quiet.
  • Loud sounds attract trouble, and there's no way you can fight them all. Grab as much gas as you can, rescue that trapped stranger, and get back in the car before it's too late.
  • Travel West, through grasslands, over mountains, across deserts, and to even stranger places. Every level, roadmap, and character is randomly generated, so each trip is new.
  • Equip dozens of items, including medkits, shields, axes, potted plants, scavenged armor, and luggage racks.
  • A completely new end of the world from Finji (Canabalt, Night in the Woods).

It can be thought of like a slower turn-based, more focused and intimate Death Road to Canada. The basic ideas are the same but the gameplay is very different. Overland can be quite punishing, so on that note it's certainly not going to be for everyone. I personally purchased this one all the way back in 2016, so I've been waiting for the full release for what feels like forever.

Overall it's incredibly stylish, very challenging and worth a purchase if you do enjoy such games usually. I'm happily going to jump in and play some more soon.

You can pick up Overland from GOG, itch.io and Steam.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Hot Lava from Klei Entertainment is in the works for Linux

Friday 20th of September 2019 11:13:09 AM

Tags: Indie Game, Steam, Upcoming, Action, Platformer

Just recently Klei Entertainment (Don't Starve, Oxygen Not Included) released their amusing parkour game Hot Lava and it's not only planned for Linux they're actually working on it.

It looks and sounds like a ridiculous amount of fun too, a 3D platformer inspired by the classic kids game. I'm sure everyone has played it at some point in their lives. Get a bunch of pillows and cushions, throw them around and don't touch the floor! Klei managed to turn that into a pretty good looking game PC game.

Take a look at the trailer:


Watch video on YouTube.com

When asked on Twitter about Linux support, they said "Yes! It will come in a future update. Don't have an exact ETA but Linux is in the works." so that's great news!

Klei's Linux versions are usually great, so I'm excited.

You can wishlist and follow it on Steam.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

A French court has ruled that Valve should allow people to re-sell their digital games

Thursday 19th of September 2019 08:21:42 PM

Tags: Steam, Misc

Valve and game developers have a bit of a fight on their hands here, with a French court ruling that Valve should allow users to re-sell their digital games.

Reported by the French website Next Inpact, the French consumers group UFC Que Choisir had a victory against Valve as French courts have ruled against them on the topic of reselling digital content. From what I've read and tried to understand, the courts have basically said that when you buy something on Steam it is indeed a proper purchase and not a subscription.

Valve has been ordered to pay damages at €20K plus €10K to cover some costs. On top of that, they will also have to publish the judgement on Steam's home page (presumably only for users in France) and for it to remain visible for three months. If they don't, they will get a fine for each day of €3K. To Valve though, that's likely pocket change. The bigger issue though, is how other countries inside and outside the EU could follow it.

Speaking to PC Gamer who got a statement from Valve, they are going to fight it. Of course they will though, they could stand to lose quite a lot here and it would set a pretty huge precedent for other stores like GOG, Epic, Humble, itch and all the rest.

There's a lot to think about with this situation. Valve could end up changing the way they deal with this, just like they did with the nicer refunds option which came about after legal issues too. Imagine being able to sell and transfer a game over to another Steam user. Valve could take a cut of that most likely too.

Something to think on there is how this could affect game developers too, I'm all for consumer rights but I do try to think about all angles. We could end up looking at higher prices overall, no release day discounts, more micro transactions, more games updated as a constant service, games that require an online account as a service so you're not paying for an actual product and so on as developers try to keep more income when many smaller developers are already struggling.

Interesting times.

Hat tip to Nibelheim.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Valve have released two more experiments into Steam Labs

Thursday 19th of September 2019 06:06:30 PM

Tags: Valve, Steam

Ready to be a test subject once again and possibly find some new games to play? Valve have released another two tools enabling you to find something to keep you busy and have boredom run for the hills.

The first up is the Deep Dive, developed by Lars Doucet (Defender's Quest), it's an extension of the work they did on their own Diving Bell Prototype. It allows you to click through games and be presented by more based on what you've clicked, however it comes with a number of improvements over the prototype. It has a breadcrumb navigation with a Start Over button, it won't loop over as it strips out what you've already seen, Microtrailers from another Steam Labs experiment on them all and a proper Search bar.

Deep Dive, thankfully, is one that should actually respect your store preferences after we had a chat about it on Twitter (#1, #2). So if you've only ticked Linux in your Steam Preferences (see the bottom), it shouldn't constantly throw Windows titles at you.

The other addition to Steam Labs today is the Community Recommendations tool. This is taking data from recent user reviews, to present games that might be quite good. Making user reviews again even more important to smaller developers. Each item also uses Microtrailers when you hover over just like the Deep Dive experiment above, with a quick excerpt from a review on the side.

In the shot below, I selected to view by reviews written in the last month with 100+ hours logged:

The Community Recommendations tool is not one that respects your Steam platform preferences though, so for Linux users it might not be especially useful unless you don't mind searching ProtonDB for a lot of the games that appear to see if they work or not with Steam Play.

On top of that the second experiment which is The Interactive Recommender, now has an actual place on the main Steam store if you scroll down a bit to where it says "Recommended for you by Steam Labs " below the first set of big special offers. This was one of the first three tools that came with the initial release of Steam Labs. Just like the new Community Recommendations tool, it does not respect your platform settings sadly so looking at my own I ended up with these:

Not particularly helpful at all when you're on Linux and the first two are completely broken in Steam Play. I really hope Valve make all of Steam Labs eventually respect your platform preferences like the Deep Dive does.

I will likely make great use of the Deep Dive experiment, really fun idea from Doucet and great to see Valve pick up such an interesting tool. What do you think to these latest experiments? I can definitely imagine Deep Dive sitting along side the Discovery Queue on the Steam store.

See all of it on Steam and the Steam Labs.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Squad-based zombie apocalypse strategic rogue-lite Deadly Days has officially released

Thursday 19th of September 2019 03:27:18 PM

Tags: New Release, Rogue-lite, Steam, Strategy, Action, Pixel Graphics, Review

Deadly Days is a game I've played repeatedly over the course of it being in Early Access, it's good fun and it's officially out now with a big update.

What to expect from it? You control a small squad, which you equip with various weapons to go through a series of randomly generated locations to loot for scrap and more equipment. You need to direct your survivors around each map and while they can act by themselves, you can also take a bit more direct control to aim their weapons. Additionally, you also have special abilities like dropping bombs, healing, speeding them up and so on.


Watch video on YouTube.com

It's not exactly a serious game, it has quite a lighthearted take on it all. Especially so with the new intro showing how it all began with the burger factory. The new music while you're exploring a location is foot-tapping stuff, quite comical really considering all the upbeat music just seems like the opposite you would expect from such a game. Not a point against it though, it makes it have a different and more relaxing feel.

While it has a pretty laid-back atmosphere, it's not easy. Day doesn't last long while exploring and once the hordes start coming your crew can be taken down quite easily. My people die quite often, mainly while underestimating how long it will take to loot a particular building. I honestly can't count of the amount of times I lost someone when they were so close to escaping onto the bus to leave the area. Sometimes it's worth it though, if you managed to loot a really good weapon to hopefully rescue another survivor later.

You need to keep a constant watchful eye, zooming in and out and scrolling across the map on the lookout for loot and dangers. The encounters you have are fairly varied too. Some maps might have an airdrop full of loot to find, a broken down bus with a stranded survivor, a special type of zombie to take down and more.

The zombie varieties are quite good too. You have your standard brain munchers but as you progress, more get added in. Big fat zombies that unleash a mini-horde of squishy things, zombie dogs, zombies with big long tongues and so on there's 15 different types to deal with in total.

I don't really have anything bad to say about it. The art is perhaps not amazing but the gameplay is good enough to keep my interest for a few hours each time I load it up. A few more map interactions would have been nice, they did add a couple over time like exploding trees, fire hydrants which can explode and shoot out water and a few others but there's not a whole lot.

The release update adds in quite a lot like: an intro; translations for Japanese, Chinese, Russian and Portuguese; new Zombie graphics; 25 new survivors to join your squad; performance improvements; custom characyer name generators for special survivors; new weapons with the sledgehammer and the light machinegun; new powers to help your survivors like a Drone Swarm and lots more.

Feature Highlight

  • 60 crazy objects that make every game unique, including tooth paste
  • 30 powerful special abilities that can dramatically alter the outcome of fights
  • Three different specialties in which you can activate new abilities, survivors, objects, and types of weapons
  • 25 types of weapons with randomly generated modifications
  • Procedurally generated cities and missions
  • 50 different survivors with 50 different abilities
  • More than 10 different types of zombies who want only one thing: brains
  • And three bosses who must be vanquished at the end
  • Over 45 achievements that need to be unlocked
  • Lovingly crafted pixel art
  • Integrated twitch features – viewers become survivors and decide which mission should be taken on next

If you fancy a real-time squad-based survival game where you go through a series of missions with random generation so it's different each time then you're in good hands with Deadly Days.

You can find Deadly Days on Steam.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Total War Saga: TROY officially announced and it will be coming to Linux next year

Thursday 19th of September 2019 02:21:57 PM

Tags: Strategy, Steam, Upcoming, Feral Interactive

Good news for fans of strategy games today as Total War Saga: TROY has been officially announced by Creative Assembly and SEGA. It's also getting a Linux port once again from Feral Interactive.

Inspired by Homer’s Iliad, it focuses on the historical flashpoint of the Trojan War, evolving the series with new period-inspired features. Creative Assembly said you will be able to explore it from both the Greek and Trojan perspectives allowing you to peel back "the layers of myth and legend to reveal the realities that may have inspired them". Taking place in the late Bronze Age, this will be the the furthest back in time the Total War franchise has gone with its setting.

Right on the Steam store page, it very clearly states "A Total War Saga: TROY will be released for macOS and Linux shortly after Windows.". Feral Interactive will be doing the port just like they did with previous Total War titles as confirmed on their official site. Exciting to see another top title officially coming to Linux—brilliant!


Watch video on YouTube.com

Combat should be quite interesting given the setting and the time period, as it will be focusing mostly on infantry warfare with bigger variation in light, medium and heavy classes that will be available. They say this will also include many new active and passive battle abilities, allowing for plenty of different tactics. You will also have various special units and champions including Achilles and the Trojan prince Hector.

Hero versus Hero combat is also going to play a major role in battles, with you being able to taunt another into a duel. This will then create an area around them and other units will not intervene. It won't be quite as locked down as the system in THREE KINGDOMS though, so you can move a hero unit away from the challenge once the effect has worn off.

Want some extra info and have questions? See the official FAQ post on the Total War blog.

It shouldn't be too big a surprise, since it was leaked in a trademark filing earlier this year. You can wishlist and follow it on Steam ready for release next year.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

The dev of Rings of Saturn thinks going cross-platform 'paid off'

Thursday 19th of September 2019 12:26:53 PM

Tags: Indie Game, Steam, Itch.io, Early Access, Simulation, Godot Engine

Currently in Early Access on itch.io and Steam, the developer of the top-down hard sci-fi space sim ΔV: Rings of Saturn seems to think doing a Linux and Mac build was worth it.

Before getting into the details of it, let's have a reminder of what the game actually is. Developed by Kodera Software, a one-person studio from Poland, Rings of Saturn follows the unexpected discovery of valuable minerals within the rings of Saturn. This has sparked a thriving space excavation industry and you're going out there to hopefully strike it rich. The developer said it's "backed up with real physics and science" and the attention to detail is pretty amazing. You can also see the trailer below:


Watch video on YouTube.com

From what the developer said on Twitter, their sales on Steam have so far been as follows:

  • Windows: 85.62%
  • Linux: 9.91%
  • Mac: 4.47%

This means going cross-platform gave them almost 15% more in sales, leading them to note "I'd say it paid off". That's quite a bit higher than what we usually see for Linux too.  Something to keep in mind though, is that this is an indie Early Access title that has sold less than a thousand copies (from what they told me personally).

Not a huge amount but something to keep in mind is just how much competition there is, especially on Steam where we see thousands of games released per month that 15% can make all the difference. Take September for example, it's only the 19th and there's already been around 500 games released! You might release one day, to end up on page 5 of Steam releases only a day or so later, standing out can be very difficult.

Find ΔV: Rings of Saturn on Steam and itch.io.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Physics-based space shoot 'em up Hyper Ultra Astronautics allows up to 16 players for total madness

Thursday 19th of September 2019 11:22:18 AM

Tags: Shoot 'em up, Action, Arcade, Indie Game, Itch.io, DRM-Free, New Release, Free Game

FRACTiLE Games just released Hyper Ultra Astronautics, a physics-based local multiplayer space shoot 'em with Linux support.

Hone your pilot skills in solo or co-op survival matches and challenge your friends to a competitive match. Outmaneuver your opponents, take cover behind asteroids, collect bigger guns and take down your enemies!

This isn't your usual shoot 'em up though, as it supports up to 16 players all on one screen. That's absolute madness! This is thanks to the many ways you can connect to the game which includes: keyboard, mouse, gamepads and even your Android device.


Watch video on YouTube.com

Feature Highlight:

  • Competitive and co-op game modes for intense party/couch gameplay.
  • Semi-realistic ship movement based on simulated thrusters.
  • Wide selection of weapons including various teleportation and beam based weapons.
  • Players can drop in and out of the action as they please.
  • Online high scores for solo and co-op survival game mode.

Want to know what else is great about it? The application they use for mobile devices to act as a gamepad is open source (MIT license) and available on GitHub. The gamepad application is also made with Godot Engine. It works great too! Hold down and slide around a finger to power/move your ship and tap the button to shoot while also getting a clear readout on your health so you don't need to all squint at the screen.


Pictured: The Android gamepad app linked above.

Probably an absolute fantastic party game. Something I will absolutely be trying out at my next gathering.

You can find it now on itch.io, where you can download it free or give over a donation to support FRACTiLE Games.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

The Valve-funded shader compiler 'ACO' is being queued up for inclusion in Mesa directly (updated: merged)

Thursday 19th of September 2019 10:38:55 AM

Tags: AMD, Open Source, Mesa, Drivers

Updated: It has been merged into Mesa, just before I clicked publish on this—what timing! From what they said, it should be available in Mesa 19.3 and it can be enabled with the "RADV_PERFTEST=aco" environment variable (source).

Original article:

Back in early July, Valve announced their work on a new AMD GPU shader compiler for Mesa named ACO and now they're trying to get it pulled into Mesa directly.

Their main aims with ACO were to get the "best-possible code generation for game shaders, and fastest-possible compilation speed" and to replace the currently used shader compiler from the massive LLVM project. It has certainly seemed promising, improving both shader compile time resulting in less stuttering and so helping to improve overall FPS and smoothness in Linux games when played on supported AMD GPUs.


Image: Valve

Just this week, a merge request was opened to get ACO into Mesa officially and so far the reception does seem quite positive. It's not in yet though and it may need more work doing and adjustments before it's actually accepted. It's likely far too late for Mesa 19.2 which is due to release very soon, so hopefully Mesa 19.3 currently due towards the end of the year will see it.

You can see Valve's original announcement with more details about ACO here, although with the new Steam display view for news and events it doesn't load for me so use the Wayback Machine if you have the same issue.

To see a little more discussion about it, there's people testing it in our forum.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Video recording and livestreaming app OBS Studio has a big new release out

Thursday 19th of September 2019 10:13:10 AM

Tags: Apps, Open Source

The team building the free and open source video capture and livestreaming software, OBS Studio, have announced the 24.0 release.

Some really great new features made it into this release like the ability to actually pause a recording. That will come in very handy, when you want to keep a single file but you know there's times you don't want in it. This can certainly help cut down on editing time for a lot of situations. You can also use a script to pause recordings when a specific scene is up, like when you've run to the toilet or something—handy! To get pausing to work though, you cannot share the encoder between recording and streaming.

They also added options to automatically adjust bitrate when congestion occurs to advanced settings, instead of dropping frames. Another tidy little addition, is a setting to allow you to get a confirmation box when you hit Stop Recording. I can't tell you how many times I've lost a video due to accidentally stopping the recording somehow. Such important functions really do need this, so I'm pleased with that again.

Plenty of other tweaks also made it in including performance improvements, mkv as the default recording format instead of flv, recording should stop automatically if you're low on space, Linux window capture has seen some improvements (like this), along with multiple bugs being fixed like a random freeze when shutting down.

The full release notes of OBS Studio 24.0 are here.

For Linux, something interesting is that they have a pull request open about supplying an AppImage which could be handy. They added a tag a week or so ago noting that it needs more testing, so give it a try.

Want to support the development of such an important FOSS tool? You can find them on Patreon or OpenCollective!

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Valve have already begun tweaking the new Steam Library Beta

Thursday 19th of September 2019 09:55:50 AM

Tags: Steam, Beta, Update

With the new Steam Library Beta now available for everyone to test, Valve have started tweaking it based on feedback.

For the new Library view, one small little addition is the ability to zoom in on cover art when you expand the "Show more details" button on game pages like this:

Additionally, if you view events from the Home page of the new Library, there's an icon to take you to the details page for that particular game event:


It's the little icon on the right, below the scroll buttons.

If you have a lot of Collections, the new feature to bundle games together in special categories, you should also now get a scrollbar if you have a lot of Collections made to make picking them easier when adding a shelf to the Library Home.

On top of that multiple bugs were fixed for the new Library including: alignment and layout issues around the play bar in various conditions, some game demos not displaying in the library, uninstall not being displayed in context menus for installed games when the user didn’t have a current license and an issue where fullscreen Youtube videos failed to properly snap back to the library.

Other more general issues were also fixed including: a beta client display regression in the activate cd key wizard,

find in page dialog on the store or community tabs displaying after navigating away from those tabs, an occasional crash at launch when the user has a pending gift and they've enable the F5 key in store and community web views.

SteamVR also got a little fix for a Steam crash on the second SteamVR startup in a session and Big Picture had a case where some games not launching being solved.

So far I've been quite happy with it. It's made a lot of things far easier than before but the client is also now extremely noisy. There's a huge amount going on everywhere, it can be a little overwhelming. Hopefully they will add in some new options to enable us to hide things we don't want to see.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

The delightfully weird adventure Little Misfortune has released

Wednesday 18th of September 2019 10:59:54 PM

Tags: Humble Store, GOG, Steam, Indie Game, Adventure, Review

From the creator of Fran Bow and sharing the same world comes another strange creepy adventure with Little Misfortune, out today with Linux support. Note: Key provided by the developer.

You play as the imaginative 8 year old Misfortune Ramirez Hernandez, a very sweet young lady with a very unfortunate family life and a bit of a thing for a Fox. With the help of her seriously creepy new friend "Mr. Voice", she sets off on an adventure to find Eternal Happiness for her mother. The thing about Mr. Voice is that he's seemingly the narrator, yet she can hear him and he can also speak to you.


Watch video on YouTube.com

I actually played the demo of this when it came out back in April, which left a feeling of needing to play more. Thankfully, the full game really delivers.

The trailer and the description given by Killmonday Games don't really tell you much of what to expect from Little Misfortune. The gameplay involved is actually pretty simple and quite basic. They call it an "interactive story, focused on exploration and characters" where you make a bunch of choices that have "consequences". What you're doing is travelling from one end of the screen to the other, interacting with a few things and then moving on. So I get what they were going for calling it an interactive story, since this is not a traditional point and click adventure even though it might seem like it initially. It's really not the "gameplay" you come to Little Misfortune for, it's the wonderfully disconcerting experience of it all.

If you groan when you read about choices having consequences, well, here it's actually quite apparent and sometimes shockingly so. I'll admit, my first proper choice that showed me an actual consequence really did catch me off guard. I laughed, mostly from the shock of it. There's a number of moments like that, where things just happen that aren't expected. Others make you wish you had picked a different choice, just to see what would happen. Such is the way of life though, you often only get to make a decision once.

Depending on some of the choices you make, you might want to have another play-through. Although given how the game plays, probably something to come back to and do again after a while. As it's quite linear, apart from the choices. One particular choice I made early on didn't reappear until well over an hour in. It's one decision that will stick with me for a while too. Sometimes it zooms in and shows you a close up of Misfortune to show her facial expression, this time involving the devouring of some candy but let's just say when I took a closer look it was…ergh—I let out an audible groan.

It's just such a thoroughly well-done bizarre tale that I couldn't tear myself away from.

The humour in it is pretty great too, childish-like though in the simplicity of it. There's a certain bit with…cows that I don't want to spoil but I nearly spat a biscuit out of my mouth at it. Ah, the joys of being easily amused. Just so we're clear, this is not a game to play around a younger audience. It has a number of mature adult themes inside and does a pretty good balancing act between the childishness of the protagonist with the adult themes surrounding the setting.

Being completely honest, I fully expected to get irritated by the way Misfortune talks but she really grows on you due to the story and character design. Instantly loved the actor for Mr. Voice though, perfect choice for the role.

It has a fabulous art style, a ludicrously immersive atmosphere, good voice acting and a story that really pulls your attention because of how completely insane it seems as you go through it. It also has some very nicely done short animated cut-scenes at times too. If you're a fan of Fran Bow, this is an easy recommendation. For everyone else, as strange as it is, Little Misfortune is a game worth playing.

The Linux version has run beautifully, no issues encountered at all. I couldn't put it down, played it through in a single sitting. Total time came to nearly three hours so it was quite short but very memorable. Easily one of my favourites this year.

If you own their previous game, Fran Bow, on either GOG or Steam you should also get a 10% discount as they announced on Twitter. You can pick it up the full game on Humble Store, GOG and Steam. Not convinced? There's a demo on itch.io and Steam too.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

More in Tux Machines

OSS and Openwashing Leftovers

  • Why retail marketers must get CX right the first time and how open source plays a key role

    One of the great things about technology is that it has raised all of our expectations. Once upon a time, people worried that controlling their television with a remote would make them lazy. Now, we don't even have to find the remote. We just talk to the TV — literally. We access hundreds of goods and services easily, without leaving the comfort of our chairs: we download games, order the supermarket shop, watch films and read books online. It really is a brave new world. But with new worlds come new challenges, and the challenge of the new, tech-driven, marketplace is to make your business stand out in a global crowd. Of all the businesses in all the world, why should your customers choose (and stick with) you? Lots of people will tell you that the key to gaining market share lies in improving the customer experience. And they'll be right. A combination of the need to impress and increased customer expectations have combined to make CX fundamental to gaining and retaining custom.

  • The Future of Great Customer Experience Relies on Open Source

    A majority of U.S. consumers feel that brands don't meet their expectations. The bar for customer experience has been set high -- and its on marketers to reach it. [...] In the early 2000s, enterprise IT was dominated by proprietary software companies. Now, with the rise of public cloud computing, more and more developers are adopting open source tools within their organizations due to lower overall costs and access to the latest innovations. The adoption is spreading from IT into other sectors of the business as well, notably marketing. In total, marketing and experience cloud vendors invested over $8 billion to acquire open source companies in 2018, according to PitchBook.

  • ReactOS 0.4.12 Pulls In Wine-Staging 4.0 DLLs, Many Kernel Improvements

    ReactOS, the open-source operating system still striving for binary compatibility with Microsoft Windows as a drop-in replacement, has version 0.4.12 now available as its first big alpha update in six months. ReactOS 0.4.12 features a lot of work on its open-source kernel including some driver compatibility enhancements, rewritten write-protecting system images, Blue Screen of Death fixes, and a lot of other low-level work.

  • Tencent Offers Open-Source System for IoT Innovation

    Chinese internet giants are quickly cottoning onto the benefits of offering open-source technologies to global developers. Tencent is the latest to throw its hat into the ring. The company announced Wednesday that it is allowing developers to use an open-source operating system to create an internet-of-things (IoT) projects that will allow Tencent to improve the performance of its IoT solutions and strengthen its foothold in the sector. Called “TencentOS tiny,” the operating system is lighter, requires fewer resources, and uses less energy compared with other major systems, according to a Tencent release. The company also said it hopes TencentOS tiny will encourage developers to create IoT projects for smart cities, intelligent connected vehicles, and digital wearables — sectors that Tencent is aggressively targeting.

  • WordPress Parent Automattic Raises $300M from Salesforce Ventures

    Automattic, the company behind the open source WordPress content management (CMS) announced on Sept. 19 that it has raised $300 million in a new Series D round of funding. Of note, the entire round was contributed by Salesforce Ventures, bringing total funding to data for Automattic up to $617 million. The Series D marks the first new raise for Automattic since 2014 "This puts us at a post-round valuation of $3 billion, three times what it was after our last fundraising round in 2014," Matt Mullenweg, founder of Automattic wrote. "It’s a tremendous vote of confidence for Automattic and for the open web."

  • Open-source companies gather to gripe: Cloud giants sell our code as a service – and we get the square root of nothing [Ed: So openwashing gets its own summit to sell proprietary software under the false guise of "open"]
  • Software Freedom Day

    As part of its social purpose charter, all software released by Purism is free software. That means our software includes a lot of free software created by others–thank you! We make this commitment with a “free software license” that formally grants these freedoms. This means you don’t need to ask us permission to use our software–you already have it. If you are a programmer, you are free to tweak or even overhaul an application. If you are a consultant, you are free to provide supporting services. If you are an everyday user, you are free to choose whoever you like to provide programming and other services, or even learn how to do it yourself.

  • How spicy should a jalapeno be?

    Everyone has opinions and preferences, especially when it comes to food. To establish a criterion when answering "How spicy should a jalapeño be?." the Scoville Heat Scale was developed as a standard to measure spiciness. This scale allows people to communicate and share information about how spicy we like our peppers. Similarly, open source technology standards, such as USB, I2C, MQTT, and others, were developed to enable global compatibility. Furthermore, open source hardware platforms have enabled communities to “speak the same language” without reinventing the wheel. For example, Raspberry Pi makes it easy for people to use their hardware as a baseline and then add onto it. This has created a revolution in many industries by enabling individuals, startups, and large corporations to apply hardware and software to complex problems without having to design them from the ground up.

Linux 5.4 Adds Support For The FlySky FS-iA6B - A Receiver Popular With DIY Drones

The input driver updates for the Linux 5.4 kernel include the addition of an interesting, budget-friendly RC receiver that can be used for home-built drones and other use-cases while now the driver allows the receiver when paired with a supported RC controller to serve as a traditional Linux joystick input. The input updates were sent in earlier this week and among the changes are allowing drivers to support more precise timestamps for better velocity tracking, improvements to the BU21013 touchpad driver, and other changes as outlined in the pull request. Read more

Android Leftovers

GNOME: Wayland With MATE, NetworkManager and Sébastien Wilmet

  • Ubuntu/Mir Developer Issues Porting Guide To Help Port MATE To Wayland

    Canonical's Mir developers since re-shifting focus to serving as a Wayland compositor have been working with the likes of the GNOME2-forked MATE desktop environment to implement Wayland support using Mir. For helping those interested in porting MATE applications from X11 to Wayland, one of the Mir developers has now issued a porting guide.

  • NetworkManager Will Now Roam For WiFi Signals More Aggressively

    NetworkManager has shifted its threshold for a weak WiFi signal for when to begin searching for other WLAN networks. Up to now NetworkManager used a -80dBm threshold for when to roam for other network signals while now that has changed to find hopefully stronger network signals sooner. 

  • Sébastien Wilmet: Back to University

    And to avoid stress/burnout, I try to no longer work the evenings and weekends, so it drastically limits my time that I’ll devote to GNOME.