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Updated: 1 hour 4 min ago

Aliens and enemy ships weren't enough for Space Haven so now there's space hazards too

Monday 3rd of August 2020 02:22:48 PM

Space Haven is an Early Access game that blends together elements of FTL, RimWorld and other such building and survival sims to create a promising mix of space exploration and people management.

After entering Early Access in May following a successful Alpha period for backers of their Kickstarter campaign, Bugbyte continue to expand the gameplay systems. It wasn't enough to deal with space pirates, ship to ship combat and aliens that pinch your crew members and put them into cocoons—you now have to deal with Space Hazards like: Solar Flares, Micrometeoroids, Siren Worlds (they mess with crew brains) and Nebulae to add a little more variety to your exploration.


A Solar Flare in action.

These Space Hazards can be tweaked and turned off, as thankfully Bugbyte want to ensure you play the game your way.

A lot more came with Alpha 9 including Crew Fights if they annoy each other enough and a lot more interactions possible with the various factions. Space is a lot more, well, alive. A new character status is in with refugees, who might be stranded when their ship is destroyed. You can pick them up and have them as a member of your crew for a while. Factions will now reach out to you to ask for all sorts of things, with a new signalling system along with faction requests like needing resources, delivering refugees belonging to their faction that you picked up along the way and more. You can also now choose to lie about refugees and keep them for yourself, perhaps they're good workers. Oh and other ships can now scan you, to see if you're lying. Get those turrets ready.

You can buy it from Humble Store, GOG and Steam.

Honestly I think it's a fantastic start, with some seriously cool sci-fi artwork going for it. Screenshots don't do it enough justice, you really need to properly see it in action. Space Haven is probably one of the most promising in-development games available for Linux and Bugbyte are a developer worth supporting.

If you've not seen it yet, check the original trailer below:


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Summer camp building gets a little supernatural in the upcoming Camp Canyonwood

Monday 3rd of August 2020 01:52:34 PM

Coming from the same team as We Need To Go Deeper, Deli Interactive LLC have announced Camp Canyonwood which looks like it puts a quirky spin on building up a summer camp.

What can we expect from it? Well, you're going to be responsible for building the camp and looking after your visitors. Their fun, education and safety lies in your hands and things might go bump in the night. I'm getting a bit of a Don't Starve vibe from this. Have a look at the brand new trailer:


However, the developer has been keen to point out it's not another Don't Starve. In fact, there's no traditional "survival" elements to it. No starving, no freezing or going insane and it's much closer to the likes of Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley but with a little more mystery and danger but you still cannot die. The dangers end up hurting you financially, which is why you need to keep everyone safe.

Feature Highlight:

  • Live the Camp Life - Go hiking, fishing, swimming, bug catching and more in a scenic Utah-inspired wilderness.
  • Guide Your Troop - Lead troops of campers each summer in pursuit of Merit Badges. The more they learn, the more you earn.
  • Camper Personalities - No two campers are the same. Each have their own unique personalities and quirks. Learn their needs to better reach them!
  • Build Your Dream Camp - Gather materials and funds to improve your camp each summer, and design it as you see fit.
  • Beware Dangers - Camping isn't always easy. Protect your campers from dangers both natural and supernatural.

One of the biggest ways they're trying to expand from other similar games are the campers. You play as the head counsellor, who is responsible for training the campers up to gain new skills and the interactions you have with them is a key part of the experience. Speaking to the developer on Steam, they confirmed it will be supporting Linux.

You can follow it on Steam now.

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Half-Life: Absolute Zero mimics Half-Life's original vibe, run on Linux with Xash3D FWGS

Monday 3rd of August 2020 01:08:29 PM

The original Half-Life turned out to look and feel rather different than what originally shown before release. This fan project seeks to give players a different experience more inline with that original design.


Watch video on YouTube.com

Half-Life didn’t always look and feel the same way as the final product. The actively-developed fan modification Absolute Zero seeks to capture the feel of those early days and is working towards having a finished product by year’s end. It’s definitely a cool project and well worth checking out for any curious fans of Half-Life.

Now, because this mod uses an old version of the game engine that predates Valve’s port of Half-Life to Linux, the developers aren’t able to put out their own native builds. I can confirm that the game runs with Proton (albeit a little poorly) but a clever Reddit user has posted a solution that used the open source Xash3D FWGS engine to run the mod instead. These are the steps needed:

Instructions, click me

1) Install Half-Life and Half-Life: Absolute Zero

2) Download and extract xash3d_fwgs_linux_0.19.2.tar.xz (recent Xash3D FWGS 0.20 doesn't run the mod.)

3) Copy ~/.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common/Half-Life Absolute Zero/AbsoluteZero and ~/.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common/Half-Life/valve into Xash3D FWGS's directory.

4) Copy ~/.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common/Half-Life/valve/cl_dlls/client.so into /AbsoluteZero/cl_dlls

5) Launch the game with following command:

LC_ALL=C ./xash3d.sh -game AbsoluteZero -dll dlls/az.dll -clientlib cl_dlls/client.so -console

6) If some NPCs' skins are robot skins, disable German censorship in /AbsoluteZero/config.cfg

sv_germancensorship "0"

 

I've tried the above instructions and can report that things work rather well. I was able to play for a while and progress without any issues. Now, Absolute Zero isn't quite finished yet and the game is still unbeatable as of the time of writing. It's the mod team's hope that things will be done by the end of October. Still, speaking as someone who has played through Half-Life a few times, it's really interesting to see this alternate visiion for the game.

You can get Half-Life: Absolute Zero on Steam though you'll need a copy of the original Half-Life as well.

Thanks for the tip, RTheren

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X4: Foundations update 3.30 arrives with a crew transfer system overhaul

Monday 3rd of August 2020 12:49:05 PM

Egosoft are continuing to improve and expand their detailed space trading, exploration and combat sim X4: Foundations.

Along with a bunch of gameplay improvements, one of the highlights of this release is the overhaul of the crew transfer feature. Instead of needing to make an order and having the ships meet up, it's been streamlined to be less of an annoyance. Now you can do it anywhere, along with it being possible to move any amount of people as they will use crew capsules to move around independently. Once you start getting far into the game and build up a little empire, this sounds like it will be much nicer.

The user interface for the new crew transfer system can be found under the Empire Overview in X4: Foundations.

Other patch highlights include:

  • Improvements to alerts and notifications
  • More information on the Logical Station Overview
  • New map filters and key bindings
  • Enhancements and fixes to trade behaviour
  • Lots of smaller fixes and quality of life improvements

X4: Foundations is such an impressive game when it comes to the scope of it. Being able to fly across a huge universe, with so much simulated as you move around it's crazy. The economy, all the different factions, NPC ships and stations and so much more. Some of the visuals in 52.50 X4: Foundations are absolutely wonderful too.

Want to pick up a copy of X4: Foundations and find your space legs? It's available from Humble Store, GOG or Steam.

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Arcane Fortune is a grand strategy empire building game you can play in your terminal

Monday 3rd of August 2020 12:17:30 PM

Newly released is Arcane Fortune, a free game inspired by Civilization and SimCity with their ultimate goal to have the same 'detail and realism as Dwarf Fortress'.

In the developers own words, "Arcane Fortune is a game of empire building, diplomacy, conquest, construction, and deconstruction. Whether or not you build some form of paradise, or a hell on earth is entirely up to you". It has an absolutely huge scope to include the handling, managing and instigating social and political turmoil in your and other empires. Even further out they want to make a formidable AI, with the help of 'deep-learning techniques'.

You can play it entirely in a terminal of your choice too, simply download it and then run it in terminal to begin. So you can probably make it look pretty wild with some of the retro terminal apps out there.

Pictured: the start of my civilization.

So far, it seems like it has a lot of good ideas and the interface is actually quite good for a terminal-based experience. I didn't have any trouble getting around it, although the beginner's guide helps with that. Sounds like things get pretty wild as you progress through it, especially with the technology tree—eventually you can get uranium and ICMB-loving civilizations might end up wiping each other out…or you. You definitely get the classic Civilization vibes from it but with the zoning elements of SimCity to end up making something like neither of them. I can feel the next time-sink coming on.

While it's not open source, it does have a reasonably permissive license allowing you to distribute it and modify it under the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.

Find out more and download on the official site.

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Aloof looks like a wonderful feature-filled upcoming puzzle-battler

Monday 3rd of August 2020 11:35:40 AM

Something of a recent discovery is Aloof, an in-development puzzle-battler somewhat inspired by the likes of Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo and Puyo Puyo Tetris with its own unique take on it.

According to the full description of the game, you summon and defend small islands all the while you build combos against your opponent. What makes it different is that the puzzle pieces don't descend by themselves and you can even move up, you can also flush them all away. They said the game ' isn't about zoning out. It's about responding to your opponent, taking your time to think and move fast when you can'.

It actually looks and sounds quite charming, take a look at their new trailer:


Watch video on YouTube.com

Sounds like it's going to be ridiculously feature-filled too. They're planning a full campaign that can be played solo or in co-op, there's going to be local and online competitive multiplayer, the ability to play it offline while also searching for an online opponent, multiple win conditions and of course full support of Linux.

It appears that an actual release is still quite some time away but I'm already looking forward to it as it looks quite wonderful.

You can read more about it here and follow it on Steam.

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System76 are teasing their own brand Keyboard again

Monday 3rd of August 2020 11:12:11 AM

System76, the company that provides various Linux hardware along with their own Pop!_OS Linux distribution have started teasing their upcoming Keyboard again.

Originally talked about in a blog post back in March last year, we haven't really heard much since then. Things sounded pretty experimental back then but in a fresh blog post from July 30, it seems it's moving forward. However, it also sounds like it's not close to being finished yet either, as they stated:

We’re approaching our keyboard in 3 different ways: Redesigning the keyboard itself, maximizing your efficiency when using it, and empowering you to fully customize your keyboard to your whims.

We’ll announce the release of our keyboard through our newsletter and social channels once the prototyping phase is complete. This will take some time.

System76 say they want to build a keyboard you will 'fall in love with' and it seems they're going to be moving some keys around to make more use of all your fingers and thumbs. They're going with three key sizes:

  • 1U (letter/number keys)
  • 1.5U (tab keys)
  • 2U (shift keys)

They're also chopping up the spacebar into two '2U' sized keys, they said that apart from just making it smaller it will also 'bring useful functions closer to the center of the keyboard, but this also allows you to remap another commonly-used key to where it’s easy for you to smash with your other thumb'.

Swapping around keys will be part of the design focus to allow you to customize it, and to help with that they're planning to release an application to configure your layout properly. This application will also work with their laptops that have the System76 Embedded Controller Firmware which they say will 'enable you to use the same custom keyboard layout on both your laptop and desktop'.

Certainly will be interesting to see what design they ultimately settle on, with it also being design to work well with the new Auto Tiling feature found in their Pop!_OS Linux distribution. Speaking about testing their new keyboard layout, the System76 CEO, Carl Richell, said "I’ve found using the new keyboard layouts with Auto-Tiling is so addictive that when I go to another computer, it feels like I’m in a foreign land.".

If you were to change one major thing about the standard keyboard design, what would it be? Let us know in the comments.

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Looks like the recent upwards trend of the Linux market share has calmed down

Monday 3rd of August 2020 10:43:05 AM

Recently, the NetMarketShare website and the Steam Hardware Survey showed the Linux share was rising but it appears both have now calmed down.

For NetMarketShare, something pretty big happened over the last few months. Back in March the Linux share they recorded was only 1.36%, and then it quickly rocketed upwards to 3.61% in June after multiple months of rising. The kind of rise you can't easily just write-off since it continued happening. No one really knows what caused it, possibly a ton more people working from home and not attached to their corporate Windows workstation. Now though, it seems to be levelling out as July's figure now shows it as 3.57%. Considering more people are being told to go back to work, perhaps it was as a result of COVID19. Across this whole time though, it's worth noting StatCounter which also tracks it has hardly moved much during it. So you may want to press X to doubt on it.

It's a tough thing to truly measure though, considering they all tend to rely on visitors browsing a specific set of included websites. They capture things like your browser string which can often be faked, but they're still about the best we have for an overall picture of any possible trends. One thing is for certain though: not a lot has changed overall.

As for the Steam Hardware Survey, it rose from 0.83% back in February up to 0.91% in May but it also has been slowly trickling down with it now sitting at 0.86% as of July's numbers. At least when looking over the past ~2 years, it's still trending upwards slightly overall. We're tracking it on our dedicated Steam Tracker page here, in case you haven't seen that before. We also recently added the ability to filter to specific year/months on our Steam Tracker, to allow for fine-tuning and adding more historic data.

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FNA and FAudio get a 20.08 release, with FNA3D and Vulkan getting closer

Monday 3rd of August 2020 10:15:01 AM

Game porter and software developer Ethan Lee announced the 20.08 releases of both of FNA and FAudio, as work continues on the newer FNA3D.

What are they? FNA is an accuracy-focused XNA4 reimplementation for open platforms with it being used by a ton of games including the likes of: Celeste, Dust: An Elysian Tail, Full Metal Furies, Owlboy and a plenty more. While FAudio is accuracy-focused XAudio reimplementation for open platforms, which is used for a number of games and also by the Wine / Proton compatibility layers.

For FNA, it was quite a quiet release as the majority of their work is going into bringing up FNA3D which will soon be merged in with FNA directly. They simply upgraded to the new FAudio, removed some dllmaps for iOS/tvOS due to macOS ARM and removed some dead code elsewhere in 'ModelReader' which 'should mildly improve load performance'.

Slightly more exciting is the FAudio release, as it now has support for XAudio2.9-compatible reverb further expanding it's audio capabilities. On top of that, they're also now using GStreamer instead of the FFmpeg backend for WMA decoding, which should help more games with Wine and Proton.

On the subject of the upcoming FNA3D, the new 3D Graphics Library for FNA, Ethan Lee mentioned that while work is going well, Vulkan support is 'still really really tough'. They're looking for developers to help bring up their Vulkan support especially with 'threaded Vulkan and render graphs, command reordering, stuff like that' which you can help out with by joining their Discord. Sounds like Vulkan support is close though!

See FNA on GitHub and FAudio on GitHub.

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You can now support Wine Staging directly on Patreon

Monday 3rd of August 2020 10:03:07 AM

Wine Staging, the highly experimental area where all the latest (and often not "greatest") code comes in for Wine testing now has a Patreon so you can support it directly.

It's perhaps not as well known as the normal Wine project or Valve's fork with Proton but it is an important project itself. Containing a set of patches that are applied on top of the main development branch of Wine, the idea is to provide experimental features and fixes faster in a way that users can grab and test that eventually get upstreamed into the main Wine project once they're ready.

Wine Staging is still very much a volunteer project and it's been going for a few years now, as they keep updating patches and attempt to get more upstreamed. They said having this new funding campaign allows them to buy games, software and hardware required for all the testing they do.

You can find Wine Staging on GitHub and their Patreon here.

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Quench that weekend thirst with the release of Wine 5.14

Saturday 1st of August 2020 11:20:44 AM

The Wine team today announced the released of Wine 5.14, the next development release on the long road to Wine 6.0.

If you're curious on what Wine is: it's the constantly improving compatibility layer that allows the running of Windows-only applications and games on Linux and other operating systems. It's one of the driving forces behind Steam Play Proton. Helping you to get whatever you need done on Linux, or perhaps so you don't have to give up that favourite game.

The short highlights of Wine 5.14 include:

  • More restructuration of the console support.
  • Initial version of the Webdings font.
  • Beginnings of PE conversion of the MSVCRT libraries.

On the subject of bug fixes, they only checked off 26 this time. Some freshly fixed, some sorted a while ago. These bug fixes include issues solved for Battle.net, Oblivion, Godot Engine, Diablo III, StarCraft: Brood War and more. It's quite amusing to see Webdings make it in, considering it's been around since the 90s.

You can find the full announcement here.

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CS:GO on Linux is actually not launching Trusted Mode by default - quick fix

Saturday 1st of August 2020 08:55:22 AM

Looks like Valve did a bit of a woopsie. With the recent updates to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive they implemented a new anti-cheat tool with Trusted Mode but it appears at some point they forgot to enable it.

What is Trusted Mode? It's supposed to be the new default for all CS:GO players, which prevents a bunch of outside applications from interfering with it and hopefully prevent more cheating. It's only a small barrier by itself, just another in the list of ways Valve are trying to clean up CS:GO online play.

At least in the Linux version, it's actually not on by default (bug report - verified here at GOL too). If it's off, Valve noted in CS:GO updates that it may cause your Trust Score to be "negatively affected" so you might see more cheaters and terrible people. If you have the developer console enabled, you can run "trusted_launch_info" and it will tell you if it's on or off.

Thankfully, it's a super simple fix. Add this as a launch option until Valve sort it:

-trusted

So if you plan on settling into some CS:GO this weekend, this quick fix should help and you can carry on gaming on Linux.

Play CS:GO free on Steam.

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Monster Crown has a new adult take on Pokemon and it's now in Early Access

Friday 31st of July 2020 07:52:14 PM

With a darker tone, a setting aimed at adults and creatures that might give a few pixelated nightmares, Monster Crown has entered Early Access as a new breed in the genre of monster catching.

Monster Crown definitely captures some of the spirit of early Pokemon games, with a new and unique take on it. Instead of throwing a magical ball to capture creatures and force them to your will, Monster Crown gets you to offer them a contract and see if they want to join you. It's a little odd but an interesting spin.


Watch video on YouTube.com

Feature Highlight:

  • Make pacts with monsters to receive their protection in return for shelter
  • Breed and fuse over 200 base monsters to create your own new species
  • Travel across Crown Island with your monster allies to uncover a dark world.
  • Make a pivotal decision that will drastically change the ending and post-game
  • Play online to battle and trade, and have your new species reach across the globe

The inspiration is obvious and could be compared with to no end, Monster Crown makes me feel like my youth staying up late playing on the Game Boy. Not just because of the style, mechanically it feels like it too with the movement and interactions along with the UI.

What makes Monster Crown thoroughly interesting is the breeding system. If you want to rank up with the best, you need to breed the perfect beast. Mixing the DNA from parents into different species, you can end up with quite the unique party of monsters.

I actually supported this on the original Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in 2018, since then it's be fun to watch it evolve. The developer, Studio Aurum, are clearly thoroughly dedicated to it and they've been a pleasure to talk to when I found a few issues that they promptly solved. Right now it has the basics there to be enjoyable but it's very much a gem in the rough. It needs a fine cloth going over it, to polish up all those rough edges.

You can find Monster Crown on Steam.

If you want a little backstory on the developer and how it came to be, they did their own little interview with their publisher here.

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Core Defense offers up a different kind of Tower Defense with deck-building

Friday 31st of July 2020 07:14:42 PM

Core Defense is a Tower Defense game at it's core but it's quite unusual in how it sprinkles in the content and it's out now with full Linux support. After being in Early Access on itch.io for a few months, it's looking good.

It takes the usual wave-based approach from your typical TD game but instead of giving you set tower types and specific placements, it's a little more open-ended. As you progress through the waves, you build up your defences based on what cards you pick as rewards, a little like a deck-builder and you use these unlocks to gradually build through the blank canvas of a map you're given.


Watch video on YouTube.com

It's a thoroughly streamlined and easy to get into Tower Defense game that does make you think differently, it's good fun and it has scratched more than a few itches of my own. It gives you that feeling of needing to push through one more wave, and sometimes you get the need to run through it entirely fresh again. It's satisfying when you really build up a good hand of towers and upgrades.

Think you're good at TD games usually? Core Defense will firmly test that, across 20 different difficulty levels with each being picked when you start a fresh game. It ranges from 'Hard', which amusingly is the base difficult level (at least it's honest) up to 'Overload 20' which ends up giving enemies much higher health, higher speed, higher damage and so on. It's thoroughly kicked my buttocks more than a I would care to admit.

Mechanically speaking, Core Defense is relatively simple but that's part of the hook. It's straightforward on the surface but deep enough with how you progress through it that coming back again and again remains fun. When you start throwing in upgrade after upgrade, some of your towers can become absolute monsters. You often just get to sit back and watch the fireworks as your towers give 'em hell. It's needed though because some enemies are also ridiculous.

Also love the infographic it can save for you, a really nice touch.

Overall it's this fun back and forth between picking upgrades and building your deck, moving your little maze around and then taking on another wave that just makes me want to click Play again.

You can buy Core Defense on itch.io and Steam.

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Stoneshard has a small equipment patch while they rework the AI and Dungeons

Friday 31st of July 2020 11:58:39 AM

Ink Stains Games have announced that their Early Access and thoroughly challenging roguelike, Stoneshard, is set to get a huge overhaul to the AI and Dungeon Generation systems.

This was actually announced back in June, with the team going over their plans for it. For the AI they want to make it a lot more complex to allow different behaviours between factions, add in new enemy types with unique abilities, better pathfinding, add random NPC encounters and a whole lot more. As for the Dungeon rework, they're looking to add lots of unique rooms to it, removing a bunch of plain mandatory hallways you might see and add new types of dungeons.

In the latest Equipment Update, they noted all of the above and more is currently well under way but to keep players going a little for now they also pushed out a patch with these extras:

  • 2 new daggers: Commoner’s Dagger and Elven Stiletto
  • 5 new axes: Exquisite Tabar, Heavy Aldorian Axe, Aldwynnian Axe, Gilded Axe, and Lordly Axe
  • 1 new mace: Elven Flail
  • 4 new chest pieces: Dwarven Armor, Light Brigandine, Elven Brigandine, and Skadian Yushman
  • 8 new helmets: Barbute (4 variants) and Cervelliere (4 variants)
  • 3 new pieces of footwear: Town Shoes, Duelist Boots, and Splint Boots
  • 3 new mage sets (mantle + cowl): Cryomancer, Electromancer, and Chronomancer
  • 4 new amulets: Gold Medallion, Jibean Pendant, Amber Amulet, Lazurite Amulet
  • 1 new cape: Jousting Cloak

Plus they've fixed various bugs like an incorrect block power calculation, critical shots now get a proper log message and the list of bug fixes continues.

Stoneshard proved to be quite popular at release, gaining over twelve thousand user reviews and an all-time online player count of over ten thousand which was impressive. The player count quickly dropped though where it now regularly sits at around 400 people. Looks like the difficulty has been the biggest source of player woes, along with saving only done at specific points (like the location pictured above) rather than whenever you want.

I'm extremely keen to see how they plan to expand it further once the aforementioned upcoming updates are out, as it does hold a huge amount of promise. If you can take the challenge, Stoneshard is already a lot of fun.

You can buy it DRM-free on GOG and also Steam.

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First-person roguelike RPG 'Barony' has a Steam sale, Free Weekend and an upgrade

Friday 31st of July 2020 11:04:16 AM

Turning Wheel are continuing to upgrade their first-person roguelike RPG 'Barony', with a fresh update available and you can try it free on Steam.

While they just released it temporarily free onto the Epic Store, which doesn't support Linux, they have put it on a big discount on Steam along with a Free Weekend so you can see if you like it. Not only that, they also recently pushed out an update with the Hall of Trials update. This free expansion adds 10 challenges to teach players more of the game and perhaps test the knowledge of regulars too. Looks like a nice proper intro to the game mechanics.


For Steam / Epic online cross-play, it's supposed to be live but I didn't see any mention of it in the Linux build.

They mentioned that all levels in the Trials were made with the built-in editor and scripting tools, so anyone can make mods and maps just like it which sounds great. One of their team mentioned how they're "not a programmer" and they found it fun to make using their own tools just like the community does.

Additionally, they're now crowdfunding for a Nintendo Switch version. While the main point there is the Switch release, they said a lot of the improvements will benefit the game as a whole like an overhauled UI and much improved gamepad support too.

You can grab Barony on Steam, GOG and Humble Store. Barony's code is open source too on GitHub but you still need a copy to play with it for the data.

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Impressive 2D action-RPG 'Chronicon' leaves Early Access on August 21

Friday 31st of July 2020 10:29:32 AM

To say I enjoy Chronicon would be quite the understatement, this 2D indie action-RPG has a huge amount of content and it's finally set to leave Early Access.

Subworld has announced on August 21, after 5 years in Early Access it's going to be considered a complete game. However they will be continuing to update it with free smaller content updates to keep it fresh, as well as paid DLC that include major additions.

This proper release will come with Act 5 content expanding the game even further, some of which you can see teased in the below video:


Watch video on YouTube.com

Keep in mind the above is far far into the game, it's a huge amount slower in the early levels as you build up your character across tons of skills and loot. Chronicon actually does a great job of easing you into it so that you can enjoy it as it piles on the pressure later on.

It's made with Gamer Maker Studio which had a few issues with Linux builds, thankfully after a while with a little help from me the launch script and included dependencies were sorted so it should work great across any Linux modern distribution.

Chronicon is one game I truly hope does well, as Subworld have shown some amazing dedication to crafting an action-RPG experience that feels and looks good. Nice pixel-art combined with a great classic Diablo atmosphere, along with wonderful audio and lighting make it worthy of adding to your library of games.

You can find Chronicon on Humble Store and Steam.

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Care for spirits of the deceased in Spiritfarer, new teaser released plus Stadia confirmed

Friday 31st of July 2020 10:04:30 AM

Spiritfarer, the upcoming game from Thunder Lotus Games that looks like it deals with death in quite a sweet way as you care for the spirits of the deceased has a new teaser trailer and more release info.

Wait, what is it? Spiritfarer is a 'cozy management game about dying', where you play as the ferrymaster to the deceased. You get to farm, mine, fish, harvest, cook, and craft your way across mystical seas as you befriend and care for spirits before eventually releasing them carefully into the afterlife as you learn how to say goodbye to your cherished friends.

In addition to Linux desktop support across GOG and Steam, they've also announced it will be available on Stadia following their recent releases there with Jotun and Sundered giving you more choice on where to play it. They also just released a new teaser which shows multiple previously unseen characters and environments:


Watch video on YouTube.com

Spiritfarer's Creative Director, Nicolas Guérin, mentioned that the game 'has only grown grander and more varied over the past few months' which the teaser above tries to briefly show off. Adding Stadia (and the Epic Store too) on top of existing stores was done as they 'had many requests for this from our fans' for them.

It's releasing sometime this year, although it's not entirely clear as to when. Once we do get a date, we will let you know as it looks like a very wholesome experience.

You can wishlist / follow on GOG and Steam (the Stadia store appears to have no upcoming section yet).

Article from GamingOnLinux.com - do not reproduce this article without permission. This RSS feed is intended for readers, not scrapers.

Underwater suffering simulator Barotrauma gets a much improved campaign mode

Friday 31st of July 2020 09:45:26 AM

In the latest update to Barotrauma, the alien-world underwater co-op submarine sim (and very much a suffering simulator), the teams at FakeFish and Undertow Games have given it a bit of an overhaul.

This is the biggest update to the game so far, so likely worth a re-look if you bounced off it previously. It certainly sounds like they've been acting on a lot of the feedback I saw across reviews and forum posts. They said that you should now actually get a real sense or progression, especially in the campaign mode, which has been enhanced greatly with all sorts like: randomised outposts that you can actually explore, multi-step scripted events, NPCs to interact with instead of just menu after menu, bots can be hired in multiplayer and bots are persistent now, there's a brand new campaign map and loads more improvements. That is but the tip of the iceberg as lots more got overhauled including a bunch of the graphics, new decorative items and various bug fixes.


Watch video on YouTube.com

Keen to see if you can survive? Or will you suffer a fiery death like I usually do? It's a pretty good laugh if you play with friends. As you run from fire to leak, deal with horrifying alien creatures invading your sub from the depths of Europa it's got plenty to do.

If you wish to try out Barotrauma it is available on Humble Store or Steam.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com - do not reproduce this article without permission. This RSS feed is intended for readers, not scrapers.

The 'living comic book' rogue-lite platformer Fury Unleashed arrives on GOG

Friday 31st of July 2020 09:34:08 AM

After your next crazy action-platformer fix? Fury Unleashed looks fantastic and it's recently been made available on GOG giving you another choice on your store.

"Fury Unleashed was created by combining inspiration from modern roguelite platformers, like Dead Cells and Rogue Legacy, with nostalgic memories of old-school platformer shooters, like Contra and Metal Slug."


Watch video on YouTube.com

Feature Highlight:

  • Gameplay-impacting combo system – Kill enemies quickly enough to unleash your fury and rip through everything in your way without getting injured. Learn to play flawlessly and beat the entire game in one, epic combo!
  • Game customization options – Choose either challenging Hard mode, which will put your skills to the test - or Easy mode, where you can adjust the difficulty parameters to your liking. Go solo or bring in a friend for a local co-op session. Choose your hero's skills to match your playstyle, customize their appearance or even replace their face graphic with your own!
  • Roguelite with soft permadeath – Discover worlds created by a mix of hand-designed levels and procedural generation algorithms. Choose the best items to assist you in your playthrough and unlock permanent upgrades when you'll die for your subsequent runs.
  • Unique settings – Play through the pages of visually distinctive comic books, each with its own enemies, and overcome a total of 40 bosses. All that accompanied by epic soundtrack composed by Adam Skorupa and Krzysztof Wierzynkiewicz, the creators of music for The Witcher, Bulletstorm and Shadow Warrior 2.

Since I quite enjoyed what I played of the demo, I'm going to be soon taking a look at the full game to see if it's truly worth of some positive thoughts here on GOL. From user reviews on Steam at least, it appears to have been given a good overall rating but from only a few hundred people so it seems to have been a bit overlooked. Shame because it looks far better than some other recent releases.

Find Fury Unleashed now on GOG, and also Humble Store and Steam as before.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com - do not reproduce this article without permission. This RSS feed is intended for readers, not scrapers.

More in Tux Machines

Programming Leftovers

  • Engineer Your Own Electronics With PCB Design Software

    A lot of self-styled geeks out there tend to like to customize their own programs, devices, and electronics. And for the true purists, that can mean building from the ground up (you know, like Superman actor Henry Cavill building a gaming PC to the delight of the entire internet). Building electronics from the ground up can mean a lot of different things: acquiring parts, sometimes from strange sources; a bit of elbow grease on the mechanical side of things; and today, even taking advantage of the 3D printing revolution that’s finally enabling people to manufacture customized objects in their home. Beyond all of these things though, engineering your own devices can also mean designing the underlying electronics — beginning with printed circuit boards, also known as PCBs. [...] On the other hand, there are also plenty of just-for-fun options to consider. For example, consider our past buyer’s guide to the best Linux laptop, in which we noted that you can always further customize your hardware. With knowledge of PCB design, that ability to customize even a great computer or computer setup is further enhanced. You might, for instance, learn how to craft PCBs and devices amounting to your own mouse, gaming keyboard, or homemade speakers — all of which can make your hardware more uniquely your own. All in all, PCB design is a very handy skill to have in 2020. It’s not typically necessary, in that there’s usually a device or some light customization that can give you whatever you want or need out of your electronics. But for “geeks” and tech enthusiasts, knowledge of PCB design adds another layer to the potential to customize hardware.

  • Programming pioneer Fran Allen dies aged 88 after a career of immense contributions to compilers

    Frances Allen, one of the leading computer scientists of her generation and a pioneer of women in tech, died last Tuesday, her 88th birthday. Allen is best known for her work on compiler organisation and optimisation algorithms. Together with renowned computer scientist John Cocke, she published a series of landmark papers in the late '60s and '70s that helped to lay the groundwork for modern programming. In recognition of her efforts, in 2006 Allen became the first woman to be awarded the AM Turing Award, often called the Nobel Prize of computing.

  • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn ECMAScript

    ECMAScript is an object‑oriented programming language for performing computations and manipulating computational objects within a host environment. The language was originally designed as a scripting language, but is now often used as a general purpose programming language. ECMAScript is best known as the language embedded in web browsers but has also been widely adopted for server and embedded applications.

  • Alexander Larsson: Compatibility in a sandboxed world

    Compatibility has always been a complex problems in the Linux world. With the advent of containers/sandboxing it has become even more complicated. Containers help solve compatibility problems, but there are still remaining issues. Especially on the Linux desktop where things are highly interconnected. In fact, containers even create some problems that we didn’t use to have. Today I’ll take a look at the issues in more details and give some ideas on how to best think of compatibility in this post-container world, focusing on desktop use with technologies like flatpak and snap. [...] Another type of compatibility is that of communication protocols. Two programs that talk to each other using a networking API (which could be on two different machines, or locally on the same machine) need to use a protocol to understand each other. Changes to this protocol need to be carefully considered to ensure they are compatible. In the remote case this is pretty obvious, as it is very hard to control what software two different machines use. However, even for local communication between processes care has to be taken. For example, a local service could be using a protocol that has several implementations and they all need to stay compatible. Sometimes local services are split into a service and a library and the compatibility guarantees are defined by the library rather than the service. Then we can achieve some level of compatibility by ensuring the library and the service are updated in lock-step. For example a distribution could ship them in the same package.

  • GXml-0.20 Released

    GXml is an Object Oriented implementation of DOM version 4, using GObject classes and written in Vala. Has a fast and robust serialization implementation from GObject to XML and back, with a high degree of control. After serialization, provides a set of collections where you can get access to child nodes, using lists or hash tables. New 0.20 release is the first step toward 1.0. It provides cleaner API and removes old unmaintained implementations. GXml is the base of other projects depending on DOM4, like GSVG an engine to read SVG documents based on its specificacion 1.0. GXml uses a method to set properties and fill declared containers for child nodes, accessing GObject internals directly, making it fast. A libxml-2.0 engine is used to read sequentially each node, but is prepared to implement new ones in the future.

  • Let Mom Help You With Object-Oriented Programming

    Mom is a shortcut for creating Moo classes (and roles). It allows you to define a Moo class with the brevity of Class::Tiny. (In fact, Mom is even briefer.) A simple example: Mom allows you to use Moo features beyond simply declaring Class::Tiny-like attributes though. You can choose whether attributes are read-only, read-write, or read-write-private, whether they're required or optional, specify type constraints, defaults, etc.

  • Perl Weekly Challenge 73: Min Sliding Window and Smallest Neighbor

    These are some answers to the Week 73 of the Perl Weekly Challenge organized by Mohammad S. Anwar. Spoiler Alert: This weekly challenge deadline is due in a few days from now (on Aug. 16, 2020). This blog post offers some solutions to this challenge, please don’t read on if you intend to complete the challenge on your own.

  • [rakulang] 2020.32 Survey, Please

    The TPF Marketing Committee wants to learn more about how you perceive “The Perl Foundation” itself, and asks you to fill in this survey (/r/rakulang, /r/perl comments). Thank you!

Hardware With Linux Support: NUVIA and AMD Wraith Prism

  • Performance Delivered a New Way

    The server CPU has evolved at an incredible pace over the last two decades. Gone are the days of discrete CPUs, northbridges, southbridges, memory controllers, other external I/O and security chips. In today’s modern data center, the SoC (System On A Chip) does it all. It is the central point of coordination for virtually all workloads and the main hub where all the fixed-function accelerators connect, such as AI accelerators, GPUs, network interface controllers, storage devices, etc.

  • NUVIA Published New Details On Their Phoenix CPU, Talks Up Big Performance/Perf-Per-Watt

    Since leaving stealth last year and hiring some prominent Linux/open-source veterans to complement their ARM processor design experts, we have been quite eager to hear more about this latest start-up aiming to deliver compelling ARM server products. Today they shared some early details on their initial "Phoenix" processor that is coming within their "Orion" SoC. The first-generation Phoenix CPU is said to have a "complete overhaul" of the CPU pipeline and is a custom core based on the ARM architecture. They believe that Phoenix+Orion will be able to take on Intel/AMD x86_64 CPUs not only in raw performance but also in performance-per-Watt.

  • Take control of your AMD Wraith Prism RGB on Linux with Wraith Master

    Where the official vendor doesn't bother with supporting Linux properly, once again the community steps in to provide. If you want to tweak your AMD Wraith Prism lighting on Linux, check out Wraith Master. It's a similar project to CM-RGB that we previously highlighted. With the Wraith Master project, they provide a "feature-complete" UI and command-line app for controlling the fancy LED system on AMD's Wraith Prism cooler with eventual plans to support more.

The Massive Privacy Loopholes in School Laptops

It’s back to school time and with so many school districts participating in distance learning, many if not most are relying on computers and technology more than ever before. Wealthier school districts are providing their students with laptops or tablets, but not all schools can afford to provide each student with a computer which means that this summer parents are scrambling to find a device for their child to use for school. Geoffery Fowler wrote a guide in the Washington Post recently to aid parents in sourcing a computer or tablet for school. Given how rough kids can be with their things, many people are unlikely to give their child an expensive, premium laptop. The guide mostly focuses on incredibly low-cost, almost-disposable computers, so you won’t find a computer in the list that has what I consider a critical feature for privacy in the age of video conferencing: hardware kill switches. Often a guide like this would center on Chromebooks as Google has invested a lot of resources to get low-cost Chromebooks into schools yet I found Mr. Fowler’s guide particularly interesting because of his opinion on Chromebooks in education... Read more Also: Enabling Dark Mode on a Chromebook (Do not try this at home)

Christopher Arnold: The Momentum of Openness - My Journey From Netscape User to Mozillian Contributor

Working at Mozilla has been a very educational experience over the past eight years. I have had the chance to work side-by-side with many engineers at a large non-profit whose business and ethics are guided by a broad vision to protect the health of the web ecosystem. How did I go from being on the front of a computer screen in 1995 to being behind the workings of the web now? Below is my story of how my path wended from being a Netscape user to working at Mozilla, the heir to the Netscape legacy. It's amazing to think that a product I used 25 years ago ended up altering the course of my life so dramatically thereafter. But the world and the web was much different back then. And it was the course of thousands of people with similar stories, coming together for a cause they believed in. The Winding Way West Like many people my age, I followed the emergence of the World Wide Web in the 1990’s with great fascination. My father was an engineer at International Business Machines when the Personal Computer movement was just getting started. His advice to me during college was to focus on the things you don't know or understand rather than the wagon-wheel ruts of the well trodden path. He suggested I study many things, not just the things I felt most comfortable pursuing. He said, "You go to college so that you have interesting things to think about when you're waiting at the bus stop." He never made an effort to steer me in the direction of engineering. In 1989 he bought me a Macintosh personal computer and said, "Pay attention to this hypertext trend. Networked documents is becoming an important new innovation." This was long before the World Wide Web became popular in the societal zeitgeist. His advice was prophetic for me. [...] The Mozilla Project grew inside AOL for a long while beside the AOL browser and Netscape browsers. But at some point the executive team believed that this needed to be streamlined. Mitchell Baker, an AOL attorney, Brendan Eich, the inventor of JavaScript, and an influential venture capitalist named Mitch Kapoor came up with a suggestion that the Mozilla Project should be spun out of AOL. Doing this would allow all of the enterprises who had interest in working in open source versions of the project to foster the effort while Netscape/AOL product team could continue to rely on any code innovations for their own software within the corporation. A Mozilla in the wild would need resources if it were to survive. First, it would need to have all the patents that were in the Netscape portfolio to avoid hostile legal challenges from outside. Second, there would need to be a cash injection to keep the lights on as Mozilla tried to come up with the basis for its business operations. Third, it would need protection from take-over bids that might come from AOL competitors. To achieve this, they decided Mozilla should be a non-profit foundation with the patent grants and trademark grants from AOL. Engineers who wanted to continue to foster AOL/Netscape vision of an open web browser specifically for the developer ecosystem could transfer to working for Mozilla. Mozilla left Netscape's crowdsourced web index (called DMOZ or open directory) with AOL. DMOZ went on to be the seed for the PageRank index of Google when Google decided to split out from powering the Yahoo search engine and seek its own independent course. It's interesting to note that AOL played a major role in helping Google become an independent success as well, which is well documented in the book The Search by John Battelle. Once the Mozilla Foundation was established (along with a $2 Million grant from AOL) they sought donations from other corporations who were to become dependent on the project. The team split out Netscape Communicator's email component as the Thunderbird email application as a stand-alone open source product and the Phoenix browser was released to the public as "Firefox" because of a trademark issue with another US company on usage of the term "Phoenix" in association with software. Google had by this time broken off from its dependence on Yahoo as a source of web traffic for its nascent advertising business. They offered to pay Mozilla Foundation for search traffic that they could route to their search engine traffic to Google preferentially over Yahoo or the other search engines of the day. Taking "revenue share" from advertising was not something that the non-profit Mozilla Foundation was particularly well set up to do. So they needed to structure a corporation that could ingest these revenues and re-invest them into a conventional software business that could operate under the contractual structures of partnerships with other public companies. The Mozilla Corporation could function much like any typical California company with business partnerships without requiring its partners to structure their payments as grants to a non-profit. [...] Working in the open was part of the original strategy AOL had when they open sourced Netscape. If they could get other companies to build together with them, the collaborative work of contributors outside the AOL payroll could contribute to the direct benefit of the browser team inside AOL. Bugzilla was structured as a hierarchy of nodes, where a node owner could prioritize external contributions to the code base and commit them to be included in the derivative build which would be scheduled to be released as a new update package ever few months. Module Owners, as they were called, would evaluate candidate fixes or new features against their own list of items to triage in terms of product feature requests or complaints from their own team. The main team that shipped each version was called Release Engineering. They cared less about the individual features being worked on than the overall function of the broader software package. So they would bundle up a version of the then-current software that they would call a Nightly build, as there were builds being assembled each day as new bugs were upleveled and committed to the software tree. Release engineering would watch for conflicts between software patches and annotate them in Bugzilla so that the various module owners could look for conflicts that their code commits were causing in other portions of the code base. Read more