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The latest articles from GamingOnLinux
Updated: 3 hours 33 min ago

Fantasy tavern management sim 'Crossroads Inn' to release on October 23rd

Wednesday 9th of October 2019 02:17:03 PM

Tags: RPG, Simulation, Upcoming, Steam, GOG

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the fantasy tavern management sim with "RPG elements" Crossroads Inn will be releasing this month on Steam and GOG.

What's really interesting about Crossroads Inn is how it will have two entirely different game modes. There's a Sandbox mode that will have you build your own tavern, hire staff, manage the business and so on. While the Campaign mode will have a "rich story" to play through full of "large-scale drama full of political intrigues, vivid characters, treacherous NPC’s and dangerous quests".

You can see some of the Sandbox mode in one of their somewhat recent livestreams below:

Watch video on

Feature Highlight:

  • Real-time management sim and RPG in one!
  • Two distinct game modes: an epic Campaign mode with a non-linear story (12 different endings!) and nearly endless Sandbox mode dedicated to hardcore sim fans
  • A rich and detailed lore with feuding factions and powerful organizations – choose to forge alliances or work against others in an original low fantasy setting
  • Once in a lifetime culinary adventure designed in cooperation with the experts from Nerds’ Kitchen! Discover recipes, create new dishes and serve varied menus to attract different social groups 
  • A complex tavern economy simulation with various groups of customers, special guests, unique and regular employees, dozens of resources and facilities to build and develop
  • Original soundtrack composed by talented team including Marcin Przybyłowicz (The Witcher 3) and recorded with traditional folk instruments from various cultures and eras

Linux support is still happening, as confirmed on Twitter and their official site news post. Both clearly label Linux as a release platform for October 23rd.

It will be available on GOG (no store page yet) and Steam.

Hat tip to NuSuey.

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The roadmap for upcoming updates to UnderMine sound great with lots of new encounters coming

Wednesday 9th of October 2019 02:03:54 PM

Tags: Early Access, Indie Game, Steam, Update, Action, Rogue-lite

UnderMine hasn't been out for long but it's already becoming a regularly game I play, this gameplay loop is sweet and it's about to get a lot more interesting.

The developer, Thorium, recently showed off their roadmap of what's coming up with the next update "Cursed Update" coming out this month. It's going to add in another new NPC, legendary relics, new achievements, changes to Boss Battles, around 30 new items, 20+ new encounters to spice up your runs, a promise of "Halloween Surprises", Russian language support and more to be announced.

After that, the next update due sometime between November and December will be adding in a whole new zone to explore, new traps, new enemies, 100+ new encounters, the option of being a female character and more. After that more character customisation is planned, a new boss and some "Christmas Surprises" to come too.

Have a look at the trailer below if you've not played it or seen it yet:

Watch video on

UnderMine already has a surprising amount of content to explore through, I've put quite a lot of hours into it and I've yet to see everything. Looks like they're doing well too, with a "Very Positive" user rating being given overall on Steam so it's good to see Linux have another highly rated game.

There's obviously similarities to games like The Binding of Isaac, with the combat and exploration being done through small rooms with random encounters. However, UnderMine (for the most part) has a slower pacing to it and feels a little less brutal overall and the setting is quite a bit friendlier.

You can find UnderMine on Steam now in Early Access. It's worth picking up even now, I've been personally enjoying this a huge amount.

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GGPO, a rollback networking SDK for peer-to-peer games has gone open source

Wednesday 9th of October 2019 12:46:42 PM

Tags: Game Dev, Toolkit, Open Source

Oh how I do love to see more projects go open source! GGPO, a rollback networking SDK for peer-to-peer games that's designed to help hide network latency in fast-paced games that requires precise inputs is now on GitHub.

Created originally by Tony Cannon, one of the founders of the Evolution Championship Series (EVO), GPPO is a well-known middleware in the fighting game scene. It's used in a number of games including Skullgirls, Brawlhalla, Fantasy Strike, Dragon Ball: Zenkai Battle, Killer Instinct and the list goes on. Cannon announced the change in licensing on Twitter earlier today.

Traditional techniques account for network transmission time by adding delay to a players input, resulting in a sluggish, laggy game-feel.  Rollback networking uses input prediction and speculative execution to send player inputs to the game immediately, providing the illusion of a zero-latency network.  Using rollback, the same timings, reactions visual and audio queues, and muscle memory your players build up playing offline translate directly online.  The GGPO networking SDK is designed to make incorporating rollback networking into new and existing games as easy as possible.

Since it's now under the MIT license, any game developer can now make use of it for their games with it being free for commercial and non-commercial use. Hopefully now other contributors can also sort out anything needed for the Linux side of it including documentation, examples and whatever else.

See the official site here, GitHub here.

Hat tip to Andrew.

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Using the Elgato Stream Deck on Linux just got a whole lot easier with streamdeck_ui

Wednesday 9th of October 2019 11:17:29 AM

Tags: Open Source, Apps

If you're a livestreamer, video creator or anything like that then the Elgato Stream Deck seems like an incredible useful bit of kit. However, it doesn't have official Linux support. Not so much a problem now.

The Stream Deck is a handy little pad with a bunch of LCD buttons, that allows you to configure each button to some sort of action and image. You could use it to one-touch launch an animation, show your contact details on screen, switch to a difference scene in OBS Studio and so on. There's a huge amount you can do with it and not having Linux support was a shame.

Announcing the release of streamdeck_ui on their blog, developer Timothy Crosley hooked into the also open source Python Elgato Stream Deck Library project to create a fully featured interface for working with the Stream Deck hardware on Linux.

Try not to drool over the feature list:

  • Linux Compatible: Enables usage of all Stream Deck devices on Linux without needing to code.
  • Multi-device: Enables connecting and configuring multiple Stream Deck devices on one computer.
  • Brightness Control: Supports controlling the brightness from both the configuration UI and buttons on the device itself.
  • Configurable Button Display: Icons + Text, Icon Only, and Text Only configurable per button on the Stream Deck.
  • Multi-Action Support: Run commands, write text and press hotkey combinations at the press of a single button on your Stream Deck.
  • Button Pages: streamdeck_ui supports multiple pages of buttons and dynamically setting up buttons to switch between those pages.
  • Auto Reconnect: Automatically and gracefully reconnects, in the case the device is unplugged and replugged in.
  • Import/Export: Supports saving and restoring Stream Deck configuration.

Fantastic to see things like this.

You can see the official site here, with the GitHub here.

Hat tip to RTheren.

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Developed on Linux, the train transportation sim 'Hexa Trains' is out now

Wednesday 9th of October 2019 10:09:51 AM

Tags: Indie Game, New Release, Steam, Simulation

After an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign, solo developer Bram Stolk has released Hexa Trains on Steam. Developed on Linux, this unusually styled transportation sim certainly looks interesting. Note: Key provided to our Steam Curator.

Stolk is the same developer who previously made The Little Crane That Could, which released back in 2015 on Steam and it ended up rather popular on mobile. Nice to see a familiar name return with something completely different. Hexa Trains is all about railroads, building up a successful and smooth transport service across a planet as you link stations across it to various resource buildings.

Watch video on

Overall it's quite a simple game once you get into it. Easy to use and understand controls with a clean style that works well for what it's doing. The end goal seems to be to get the best score possible and beat everyone else on the leaderboards. How you do that is entirely up to you, as you're given the freedom to build at your own leisure.

While it's simple in terms of features and design, that doesn't mean it's necessarily an easy game. Getting all these production lines going and keeping track of them all can get a little complicated once you've got a number of trains going and lots of tracks crossing over each other.

There's not a great deal more to it than that but the developer did say on Steam that they intend to continue improving it. Quite relaxing for what's there though.

You can find it on Steam with 40% off until October 14th.

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8-bit inspired, flip-screen, twin-stick-shooter 'Cecconoid' is out with Linux support

Wednesday 9th of October 2019 09:18:37 AM

Tags: Indie Game, Action, Twin-stick shooter, New Release,, Steam, Unity

Triple Eh? Ltd yesterday released Cecconoid, an 8-bit inspired twin-stick shooter with a flip-screen mechanic where you go through a series of rooms and blow everything up. Note: Key provided by the developer.

The good ship Equinox is under attack from Stormlord and his robotic minions, the Exolons! You're the crew's only hope. Take your Samurai-1 fighter, find Captain Solomon's Key, clear the decks of evil robots, and save the Equinox from certain destruction!

Cecconoid is an 8-bit inspired, flick-screen, twin-stick-shooter, set in an alternate dimension where the pixels are still chunky, and the bad guys are black and white.

Except for their red dangly bits...

Just as a warning for those sensitive to flashing lights, there's a lot of them. With that said, have a look at the trailer below so you can see if it's your type of thing:

Watch video on

Thanks to the developer sending over a key, I've spent a good few hours blasting through it and it's very slick. The design and audio is absolutely fantastic, a true retro-inspired game that actually feels good to play. If you find yourself longing for the classics but find a lot of them haven't aged well on modern systems, perhaps Cecconoid is what you need.

It kept me thoroughly entertained and destroyed me numerous times. Due the the flip-screen mechanic, you don't know anything about the next room you're flying into. There might by a flying mine that explodes when you go near, shooting out spikes at you. There could by turrets on all sides, rockets that fly at you giving you a second or two to do a quick manoeuvre and all sorts. Some rooms will lock the door behind you when you enter, throwing lots of little enemies at you. A nice variety in the types of enemies you will encounter.

As a little bonus, the game also includes an additional Robotron-style, twin-stick, arena-based shooting arcade game named Eugatron. 50 levels of hardcore action for those who want it.

Find it on and Steam. You can pick it up with 15% off until October 15th.

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Looking to make 2D games? Perhaps the Orx game engine might be suitable for you

Wednesday 9th of October 2019 08:48:15 AM

Tags: Game Engine, Open Source

One we've never covered before at all is the free and open source Orx. A lightweight, plugin-based, data-driven and extremely easy to use 2D-oriented game engine.

There's tons of game engines out there, quite a lot of them open source too. Recently we covered GDevelop, Godot Engine and ct.js so here's another one that might take your interest. Designed to be fully cross-platform across Linux, MacOS, Windows and mobile devices the feature list it offers is rather impressive.

Some of the feature highlights, more of which you can see here:

  • extremely easy to use: all objects have simple accessors that allow you to change all properties in one line of code (graphic, animation, sound, physics, visual FX, and much more)
  • powerful config system that makes orx data-driven and provides an easy to use load/save system
  • 3D accelerated rendering using OpenGL on computers and OpenGL ES 1.1 / OpenGL ES 2.0 on mobile platforms
  • automatic sprite rendering allowing: translations, anisotropic scale, rotation, transparency (alpha blending), coloring, tiling and mirroring
  • camera/viewport system allowing multiple views on one screen with camera translation, zoom and rotation
  • support of realtime rendering to texture and texture manipulation
  • sound and music handling where you can tweak volume and pitch
  • collision handling and rigid body physics with joint support
  • generic input system that abstracts keyboard, joystick and mouse inputs
  • powerful localization module
  • easy to use animation system 

Like a lot of smaller game engines, it's not seen a lot of exposure and so there's not a great deal of games currently using it. One such small free game is Outpost Bandit, which you can try out on Hopefully by us covering it here, some more of you might take a look and see something you want to make something with.

Want to take a look? Head on over to the official site or GitHub.

Hat tip to WJ.

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Indivisible, the action RPG platformer from the creator of Skullgirls is out now

Tuesday 8th of October 2019 03:55:26 PM

Tags: Action, Platformer, RPG, New Release, Review, Humble Store, GOG, Steam

Lab Zero Games and publisher 505 Games today officially release Indivisible, a very curious blend of action platforming with RPG elements. Note: A developer provided a key for us.

It's been a long road, after being announced back in 2015 with a successful crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo it very much delivers. Honestly, I don't know where to really start with Indivisible. It's blown me away. This might be one of the most colourful and gorgeously designed games I've played in a very long time. It reminds me of the first time I played Bastion, it looks incredible.

To explain the genre mix a little first so you know what to expect from it. You're running around in a side-scrolling action and exploration platformer and when you initiate combat, you're thrown into a four-button mashing contest as you launch your characters forwards with each character assigned to a specific button. It's not entirely original (I've seen it being done in Valkyrie Profile) but it's the first I've personally experienced of it and to me, they absolutely nailed it. Especially nice that combat just happens exactly where you are, instead of warping into a special combat zone.

Although the ability to have combat in your immediate position does sometimes cause an issue, if you're right next to a wall. This causes space to be incredibly tight and cramped, making it even more chaotic than normal and it doesn't give you much time to react to defend as the distances between sides are so short. It's pretty rare though and can be avoided.

Combat can be quite a trial for your fingers and brain too, as you're not just responsible for their attacks but their defence at the same time pressing their action button when they're close to being hit. With four characters, it can feel a little crazy and overwhelming at the start. The action is just so damn good though, it's a joy to play. There are elements of a proper fighting game in the combat system too, like your special Iddhi meter that you see in the top left of the above picture, which when full allows you to unleash a special attack from whatever character you pick.

Watch video on

When I was first given access (and only a day before release too), I didn't want to put it down. I've now managed to sink in around 5 hours and I'm still enjoying every moment of it. I will admit the start is a bit confusing, I honestly thought they accidentally gave me a save game near the end due to the intro but the starting scene just sets up everything that's to come. Masterfully done too, the cut-scenes are excellent.

I think they could have done a bit better at explaining how some bits of the combat work though. The whole game feels a bit like it's just pushed you through the door with a pat on the back. It's not overly complicated but feels like it needed more of a helping hand in the initial first hour to teach you the ins and outs of the different kind of attacks you can do. I'm still confused at times. Like Ajna switching between Axe and Bow during combat, I don't remember it being explained and it seems to happen at random with barely any in-game info to look over to check.

"Hop into my brain!"

The main character, Ajna, has a power that not even she understands at the start. Somehow, she's able to suck people into her mind in some sort of alternate dimension she carries along with her. What's amusing, is that characters are still able to talk to you when you've absorbed them. It gets weirder though, Ajna can go into this special zone herself to go and have a chat with her companions.

The assortment of characters you meet and who join you are excellent in their variation too. Not just in terms of their abilities but their personalities too. Someone you meet early on, Razmi, is possibly my favourite. A really glum looking person, with some hilarious and creepy dialogue. Just look at them, they have a tiger on their head.

Quite on point with the humour that one of their abilities is "Glare".

What absolutely surprised me was the writing. It's a lot better than I was expecting. Ajna is obviously still quite young and the way she's written reflects it quite well in various encounters. Her lack of experience and childishness shines through in a way that's actually quite charming.

Some characters can have rather witty remarks and there's a lot of genuinely funny moments, with plenty of serious parts sprinkled in too that feel like they all hit the right marks.

Indivisible is also quite an accessible game, mainly thanks to just how awesome the controls feel. Playing with the Steam Controller has been a perfect experience, it felt completely natural. Everything about it feels so streamlined, so doable.

Most of the game is not supposed to be a tricky platformer though, although there are some sections I did have to repeat a few times (looking at you, mountain!). There's a few jumping sections where you need to activate blocks, then hop between them before they vanish and it is a challenge. Leading into the accessibility part though, when jumping between platforms and blocks you only need to tap the jump button at the right time, no worrying about which way you're pointing and at times that makes it quite effortless and smooth.

While it can be tricky, I've never felt like it was punishing me. Times where I failed I could easily see why, once I finally got the hang of it.

There's a huge amount of little touches to appreciate too. One that really got me, that I didn't actually notice until an hour or two in was that when you save and come back to that game, the menu screen is exactly where you left off. Tap your button to continue, Ajna ties up the bottom of her outfit and off you go it's ridiculously seamless and gorgeous all the way through with those kind of features. Just look at this:


As for the Linux version, this might be one of the best prerelease experiences I've had on Linux. Not a single crash, performance has been smooth and everything I saw worked perfectly.

Could this now be my favourite game of the year? There's been a lot of tough competition. I've thoroughly enjoyed Little Misfortune, Devader, Dicey Dungeons, Streets of Rogue, SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech, Surviving Mars: Green Planet, Pathway, Baba Is You and so many more but Indivisible feels like a cut above the rest. I'm giving this a top recommendation.

You can pick up Indivisible from Humble Store, GOG and Steam.

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Things are going downhill for the Atari VCS as Rob Wyatt quits

Tuesday 8th of October 2019 11:54:08 AM

Tags: Hardware, Misc

It's now confirmed that Rob Wyatt, someone who Atari made a big thing over joining them has quit citing non payment of invoices for at least six months.

As confirmed by The Register who spoke to Wyatt, things have not been going well. Not only has Wyatt completely left the project, it sounds like Atari don't exactly know what they're doing. Originally, Atari said it would have their own Linux-based OS with an easy to use UI and their own store. According to sources The Register spoke to who've had direct contact with the VCS project, that might no longer happen. Sounds like it's turning into a regular Linux box now.

No game developers have signed up to make original games, which is something I expected after their first announcement about actual games years after the IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign was a retro streaming service. On top of that, they've not been able to pull in the big game engines like Unreal or Unity too.

Remember Atari also said they would fully support streaming services? Apparently that's not even happening either. Instead, you will be running services like Netflix or  Amazon through a special build of a Chromium-powered browser. The whole Register article is worth a read, as it's really something.

Meanwhile, Atari have also put out their own update post on the same day likely trying to bury this bad news. It doesn't actually give us anything new, in fact it basically confirms have Atari don't really have anything to show. They explained that the pre-production Atari VCS units can run both Windows and Linux and that's about it right now.

The VCS team do claim they will be able to show their own UI, store frameworks and apps and more actually on a VCS unit to "a select group of press and partners" later this "fall". They also said they're still looking at a retail launch in "spring 2020".

I will be seriously amazed if they actually hit that goal. I still want them to, for everyone that backed them and to have a nice tidy Linux-powered box available like this would be pretty sweet. Let's see what happens but it's really not sounding good.

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OpenTESArena, an open source re-implementation of The Elder Scrolls: Arena

Tuesday 8th of October 2019 09:43:08 AM

Tags: Open Source, Game Engine, Action, RPG, Update

A fun open source game engine project we've not covered here before is OpenTESArena, an open source re-implementation of The Elder Scrolls: Arena and it just had a new release.

Inspired by other similar projects like OpenXcom and OpenMW, their aim is to have a clean and cross-platform version using the original assets which you can get free from Bethesda. A few days ago a new release was put out to include Wilderness generation, Wilderness automap, City <-> wilderness transitions via city gate, City placeholder in wilderness, Player position in wilderness displayed with F2, CD version support and initial work on inventory slots.

You can see a video about the latest update below:

Watch video on

As you can see it appears to be coming along nicely. Still a large number of features to implement before it's playable enough to be really enjoyable but it's another impressive open source project to keep an eye on. One I will also be following a little more closely now to keep you updated on progress.

See more about it on GitHub.

Hat tip to testman.

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Hold onto your humanity as the incredibly stylish Neo Cab is coming to Linux

Tuesday 8th of October 2019 09:27:44 AM

Tags: Steam, Upcoming, Indie Game, Adventure, Cyberpunk

After some confusion, it turns out Neo Cab from developer Chance Agency and publisher Fellow Traveller will be coming to Linux.

What is it? In Neo Cab, you play as Lina, someone making a last stand as a human driver-for-hire in a world increasingly overcome by automation. It's seriously stylish and has a story that will make you think about the way the world is going.

Your friend and only lifeline has gone missing; with no money and nowhere to stay, the only thing you can do is keep driving. Choose what passengers to pick up and how you engage with them to learn their stories. Balance your own emotional wellbeing with the needs of your pax as you strive to keep your perfect rating, and your job. Maybe someone in this city can help you with your own story?

The story behind Neo Cab and Linux got a bit confusing. It's one I saw years ago, before they really had any gameplay to show and only a few screenshots but it looked and sounded like a very interesting game. Their presskit at the time listed Linux as a platform but until we could see some gameplay, I decided to hold off on covering it. A good thing too, since as it turns out Linux wasn't supposed to be on the presskit at the time.

It's now launched on Steam and other stores for Windows and Mac. However, it will be coming to Linux. In a thoughtful post on Steam, one of the developers explained the situation clearly. What it comes down to is Linux being planned but it wasn't supposed to be announced fully until it was actually ready as they didn't want to over promise and not deliver. On the positive side, they said "it was never a question of whether we'd ship on Linux, only a matter of when" which is awesome. Additionally, they're now committed to getting the Linux version out due to the response (so yes, posting on Steam really can help give some developers a little push).

Watch video on

As it turns out, some of the team worked on Firewatch as they said "we were able to first focus on getting the build solid and bug-free "only" on Mac, PC and PS4, and then a few iterations after it was solid, we released to Linux" and that's what they're doing here.

Feature Highlight:

  • An emotional survival game: hold on to your humanity in a world overcome by automation.
  • Meet people. Learn their stories. Stay human!
  • From the Neo Cab app, you’ll choose your passengers and navigate the city grid. Connect and converse with them as you drive to their destination. You’ll need to maintain your perfect rating to stay on the road. Balance your monetary needs and the needs of your passengers with your own emotional wellbeing. What’s more important: your mental health or your star rating?
  • Connect with your pax: Find ways to connect with passengers. Each has their own story to tell.
  • Uncover the secrets of Los Ojos: Lina’s best course for survival is to to keep driving. Piece together what has happened to Savy as you help Lina navigate the city grid.
  • Find your own route: Neo Cab features a branching narrative with pax stories written by Leigh Alexander, Kim Belair, Bruno Dias, Duncan Fyfe, Paula Rogers & Robin Sloan.
  • Original soundtrack by Obfusc (Monument Valley, House of Cards)

Until the release you can follow and wishist on Humble Store and Steam.

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Don't Starve Together launches another big free update with 'Return of them - Salty Dog'

Tuesday 8th of October 2019 09:14:40 AM

Tags: Update, Steam, Survival, Indie Game

Easily one of the best and most stylish multiplayer survival games available on Linux, Don't Starve Together has another big free update out with Return of them - Salty Dog.

Don't Starve Together is becoming a rather large game now, there's so much to explore it's easy to get lost in the world. This is the full release of a recent Beta they did last month. New feature highlight:

  • Salt Formations
  • Cookie Cutters
  • New Warly Spice: Salt
  • The Malbatross
  • Resources: Salt Rocks, Feathery Canvas, Malbatross Bill. Cookie Cutter Shell.
  • Craftables: Salt Box, Winged Sail. Cookie Cutter Cap.

You can also see their fancy new update trailer below:

Watch video on

Additionally, Klei entertainment teased that the Hallowed Nights seasonal event is returning soon, with a "new friend" so perhaps another new character is coming? It will appear with a new animated short too which is always fantastic, as Klei have some really great animators.

They actually gave a teaser from the short you can see below:

Want to pick up a copy? It's on Steam.

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First-person block-based urban sandbox city-builder 'Voxel Turf' adds new biomes

Tuesday 8th of October 2019 09:02:15 AM

Tags: City Builder, Sandbox, Simulation, Action, Indie Game, Update, Steam

Voxel Turf is such a unique gem that blends multiple types of games together. It allows you to run around in first-person, build a city and fight off gangs. A big surprise update just dropped too.

More work on performance went into this update, with the developer adding in "more intelligent entity culling". They say on average you should see an increase of 10% FPS in built-up busy areas which sounds good. They also did some map adjustments for bandits and dungeons not drawing unless you're in one and sun/moonlight shadows are not drawn while you are underground resulting in a big speedup in certain areas too.

The biggest changes though come in the form of new types of maps. Voxel Turf was previously a bit too green. Now though, they've added in Desert maps, Snow maps and Mesa biome maps which you can see below:

Watch video on

Some other cleaning up was done too. NPC animations should no longer lock up when you're running at a high frame rate, the map scrolling should also no longer lock up like that. New blocks also made it in like the Cactus plant for deserts, Yellow Tall grass for Mesa, Snow Blocks and Red Sand blocks and "the typical shapes you get with a block ensemble".

Lovely to see this one still continue.

Find it on Steam.

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The Blender team have secured even more funding, this time from NVIDIA

Monday 7th of October 2019 08:23:51 PM

Tags: NVIDIA, Open Source, Apps, Misc

Following on from Ubisoft and Epic Games becoming Blender sponsors, NVIDIA have also thrown a bucketful of money into the ring.

Announcing it on Twitter, the Blender team said:

NVIDIA joined the Blender Foundation Development Fund at Patron level. This will enable two more developers to work on core Blender development and to keep NVIDIA's GPU technology well supported for our users. Thanks NVIDIA for the trust in our work!

As a little followup the Chairman of the Blender Foundation, Ton Roosendaal, mentioned on Twitter how they've worked with NVIDIA for many years already and that they're "very happy to see this being consolidated in Development Fund membership".

This is pretty incredible for the free and open source 3D creation suite used by tons of individuals and massive companies. From huge movies to video games and more, Blender is very popular and it's cross-platform across Linux, MacOS and Windows as well. Seeing more companies throw their weight behind open source like this is excellent.

With NVIDIA being at a "Patron" level, this means they're pledging at least €120k per year which means they're the joint highest next to Epic Games for supporting Blender through their Corporate Memberships system. According to their funding page, they now get around €82,471 per month. Somewhat amusing that their original goal was only 25K per month, with a 50K per month "stretch goal" they thought was quite ambitious and now they've cruised ahead of it. You can see Blender's funding information on this page.

If you want to try it out you can download it from the official site or Steam.

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The survival game 7 Days to Die has a huge new experimental release out

Monday 7th of October 2019 07:07:43 PM

Tags: Zombies, Alpha, Update, Survival, Humble Store, Steam

A day some of our readers have been eagerly awaiting, 7 Days to Die has a big Alpha 18 experimental build available to try. It's an absolutely massive release as usual, as they leave it a long time before updates.

Performance has been a bit of a focus for this release. Thankfully. A new Occlusion System made it in, so that a lot of things that are on-screen but not visible to you don't actually render to improve FPS. However, they said it adds "some minor popping artifacts, where occluded objects may take a moment to appear" and so it's a setting you can turn off. The Unity game engine was updated to Unity 2019.1 as well, which should prevent a lot of the hitching seen before with better "Garbage Collection". There's plenty more performance work that went in, which all sounds pretty great. While the gameplay in 7 Days to Die has been fun for a long time, performance has been a serious weak point for it.

The item schematic system is back in the game. Meaning on your travels you can now find them and permanently unlock how to craft certain items and entire groups of items. The early game should be a bit more forgiving on encumbrance, as they've removed a whole row and there's pocket mods to craft for clothing to reduce encumbrance early on. HD icons were added for all blocks and items, a new terrain shader, improved reflections, a coyote and mountain lion were added, Zombies can ragdoll when they fall and the list just keeps going on.

Melee also got some improvements. Something I'm very happy to see as it was probably one of the weakest parts of the combat, it was often too easy to miss a Zombie. They've now added a "swing arc to detect hits along the path of the weapon", so if you miss you will still hit enemies across the arc of the weapon swing for less damage. They also adjusted the melee sounds to give more of an impact.

There's also a new dynamic audio system, one that sounds quite fun. It procedurally generates a full set of music from interchangeable loops. The developer said right now there's over 750 unique combinations. Their aim with this system is to make 7 Days to Die more "immersive" while you're exploring the world but it will be expanded to generate audio for other situations in future too for combat, traders and so on.

Great to see the developer, The Fun Pimps, continue supporting Linux even in the earliest builds like this.

Be sure to check out the full release notes, they're…long. There are some known issues of course, since this is not a stable build. For Linux especially, you're going to want lots of RAM as it will eat it especially on RWG (randomly generated) worlds. It actually took me three attempts to get in, as it sucked away all my 16GB ram the first two times but now it's running nicely.

You can pick up a copy from Humble Store and Steam. Our streamer, Sin, is also currently live on Twitch so you can see it in action.

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AMD have announced the Radeon RX 5500 available later this year

Monday 7th of October 2019 02:02:20 PM

Tags: Hardware, AMD

AMD have now formally lifted the lid on their next GPU with the announcement of the Radeon RX 5500 coming later this year. This new GPU is using their RDNA architecture, based on their 7nm process technology. From what AMD say, they expect it to give you around "1.6X" higher performance-per-watt when compared with the previous Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture.

The Radeon RX 5500 will have both a mobile and desktop model, each of them sharing 22 Compute Units, 1,408 Stream Processors and a 128-bit Memory Interface. I've listed where they're actually different in the specifications AMD shared below:

Radeon™ RX 5500M GPU (mobile)

  • TFLOPS: Up to 4.6
  • GDDR6: 4GB
  • Game Clock11 (MHz): Up to 1,448
  • Boost Clock12 (MHz): Up to 1,645

Radeon™ RX 5500 series (desktop)

  • TFLOPS: Up to 5.2
  • GDDR6: Up to 8GB
  • Game Clock11 (MHz): Up to 1,717
  • Boost Clock12 (MHz): Up to 1,845

For some clarifications:

  • Game clock is the expected GPU clock when running typical gaming applications, set to typical TGP (Total Graphics Power). Actual individual game clock results may vary.
  • Boost Clock Frequency is the maximum frequency achievable on the GPU running a bursty workload. Boost clock achievability, frequency, and sustainability will vary based on several factors, including but not limited to: thermal conditions and variation in applications and workloads.

As for the availability, you've got to wait but not actually very long. AMD said the MSI Alpha 15 laptop with the Radeon RX 5500M GPU will be out later this month and some pre-built systems from HP, Lenovo and more will be out in November.

For standalone GPUs from AMD board partners, they're only giving an ambiguous "Q4 2019" and they're not currently mentioning prices either so it remains to be seen just how competitive they will be against NVIDIA.

You can see the full details in their press release here.

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Amanita Design return to Linux with the surprise new release of Pilgrims

Monday 7th of October 2019 01:16:22 PM

Tags: Adventure, Puzzle, Indie Game, New Release, DRM-Free,, Steam, GOG

Amanita Design are the developers of games including Machinarium, Botanicula, Samorost and more. Today, they released Pilgrims, a playful adventure game and it supports Linux. Note: Key from the developer.

Seems they've now moved over to using the Unity game engine, which has likely helped them support Linux again as previous titles used a mix of Flash and Adobe Air. As for Pilgrims, I had honestly not heard of it at all so it was quite a surprise to see it in the GamingOnLinux inbox this morning. Seems they were a bit sneaky and just stealth released it!

Pilgrims is a rather unique adventure game and as expected from Amanita Design, the style is absolutely wonderful.

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In Pilgrims you travel across a map solving little puzzles by interacting with the scene you're given. Each scene is animated with a unique encounter you can do something with. As you progress you will collect items in the form of cards, go back to other areas and combine them and perhaps give them to someone you come across later.

You don't exactly have a set path as it's a bit of a playground. You go wherever you want (or where you're currently able to), with some really strange encounters found along the way. I don't want to spoil it too much but I've managed to gain a companion, pretty sure I just drugged a holy man and then tied them up, cheered up some shop keeper with a wiggly worm and then went fishing. I honestly can't think of another experience like it. Pilgrims is so thoroughly unusual it's lovely.

The Linux version seems to work impeccably well too, I've not encountered a single issue in my few hours this morning.

You can pick up a copy direct from their website, GOG, and also Steam. According to their site, it's coming to the Humble Store soon too.

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Alen Ladavac, co-founder of Croteam has left to join the Google Stadia team, plus other Stadia news

Monday 7th of October 2019 12:31:48 PM

Tags: Game Streaming, Misc, Google

Here's a bit of interesting industry news for you on this fine Monday afternoon. Alen Ladavac, who helped to co-found the Serious Sam and Talos Principle developer Croteam has moved onto game streaming.

Announcing their change on Twitter, which links to a post on LinkedIn, Ladavac wrote about how they were making games since the age of the Floppy disk but they're moving on:

[…] With a heavy heart, I've parted ways with my dear friends and colleagues at Croteam. I love you all, guys and girls, and I will never forget all the beautiful years I spent with you and fantastic things we've created. I'm super excited to announce that I'm starting at Google München, joining the awesome Stadia team to work on finally bringing gaming into the cloud. What was once deemed impossible, now is the reality - and I'm grateful for a chance to contribute to this landmark undertaking.

Considering their experience shipping games, along with helping to get games updated with Vulkan it's not a hugely surprising move. Probably a bit of a blow to Croteam though, as they're working on Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass which has no current release date set.

In other related Stadia news, Red Dead Redemption 2 has been confirmed at launch now as well. This is a huge bit of news, as it was previously only speculated that it was coming to PC but it's now confirmed for Stadia (as well as Steam for Windows).

Stadia is set to launch in November 2019, for those who put some cash up front to get the Stadia Founder's Edition. However, this edition is sold out in certain regions, with it being replaced with a Premier Edition which includes a plain White gamepad instead of the special Night Blue version.

It will be interesting to see how Stadia can capture the market. Especially since the software stack is using Debian Linux, the Vulkan API and it will work on any computer that can access a Chrome browser. Compared to other solutions which require another dedicated application, the barrier for entry at least when talking software is low. This will open up a lot more AAA gaming to be played on Linux, which is why we're keeping a close eye on it.

A hot topic though, considering how it's basically the ultimate form of gaming DRM. You don't technically own anything, the game never really touches your PC and you need to be online to play anything. Input latency and bandwidth use are big issues for some too. We've secured a copy of the Stadia Founder's Edition to cover sometime around the release for GamingOnLinux, let's wait and see if it can win us over.

Will you be trying it out? We've also opened a new dedicated forum for all game streaming topics including Stadia, Steam Remote Play and anything else.

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Intel giving hints at a possible Intel Xe dedicated GPU release in June 2020

Monday 7th of October 2019 11:55:04 AM

Tags: Hardware, Speculation, Teaser

Raja Koduri from Intel put out a bit of a teaser on Twitter recently for for their upcoming dedicated GPU.

In the Twitter post, which was retweeted by the official Intel Graphics Twitter account was the below image which has the date of June 2020 on the license plate. Not exactly cryptic, it's a pretty clear teaser towards a release date for the Intel Xe or whatever they actually end up calling it once it's out. That's pure speculation of course on my part but it would line up given who sent the tweet and Intel previously saying the Xe series will be out in 2020.

We've yet to really see any solid information on exactly how powerful they will be. What we do know though, is that they should get first-class Linux support as Intel has been working through their drivers on Linux. They talked openly before about their commitment to open source and their focus on Linux gaming too so it's quite exciting.

NVIDIA and AMD could use more GPU competition, as the more we have the more it should hopefully push them to improve both their hardware and prices for future generations.

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Oxygen Not Included should perform a lot better with the latest update

Monday 7th of October 2019 11:42:55 AM

Tags: Update, Steam, Indie Game, Sandbox, Simulation

While Oxygen Not Included is one of my favourite games to come out in the last year, it did have a few performance issues here and there which the latest update should hopefully solve.

Klei Entertainment don't just make interesting games, they support them for a long time too. Oxygen Not Included left Early Access back in July and the first big post-release update landed last week to improve the experience for everyone. Klei said they did a "big performance pass and removed a lot of spikes, leading to a smoother experience in every colony we tested". They also worked on some new profiling tools to help them track down performance issues, which is what helped with this update.

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Some of the highlights from this update include:

  • Improve performance updating the Build menu
  • Improve performance updating which categories and buildings have been unlocked by research
  • Improved performance updating world navigation data.
  • Improved performance for updating animation render groups.
  • Optimized the way achievements track stats on buildings, e.g. temperature, building type, and so on. Removes significant performance spikes across frames.
  • Improved performance when many items are marked for sweep and drawing their sweep icon.
  • Improved performance when animations are rendered with offset positions. This has an especially big impact on rocket launches, which are now much smoother.
  • Large optimization to the way textures are loaded and freed, improves many colonies.
  • Cost of calculating whether materials are available for delivery is spread out over multiple frames, to prevent a spike every second.

The list goes on for a while, those are just some of what jumped out to me when looking over for times where I know my own worlds have had a bit of a blip. Going back to one of my rather large colonies today, it was ridiculously smooth compared to what it was before. I mean, it wasn't terrible before but now it's great.

While I do highly recommend it, there's currently one little issue in the Linux version. The tutorial helper videos are black, which is likely due to Klei using the wrong codecs for the videos in the Linux version. Same issue I've come across in multiple other games, as they need to use something like webm which works across Windows, MacOS and Linux. I've let Klei know about this, something the Unity game engine should probably handle better.

Klei also teased that work on something much bigger is in progress, as they said they're "busy crafting the next phase of Oxygen Not Included".

You can find it on Steam.

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today's howtos

Audiocasts/Shows/Screencasts: FLOSS Weekly, Containers, Linux Headlines, Arch Linux Openbox Build and GhostBSD 19.09

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We are pleased to offer MX-19 RC 1 for testing purposes. As usual, this iso includes the latest updates from debian 10.1 (buster), antiX and MX repos. Read more