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Updated: 2 hours 48 min ago

Jumpai, the Mario Maker inspired creative platformer with online play is coming along nicely

Tuesday 7th of May 2019 12:18:53 PM

Tags: Platformer, Indie Game, Free Game, Alpha

Jumpai is another creative platformer that has you build and play levels created by the community, a little like DASH. However, Jumpai is going to remain free and it has online play. That's not the only difference, Jumpai's visuals are also a huge amount cleaner and easier to look so some may prefer it for those reasons.

The developer of Jumpai emailed in recently, as I last covered it back in January. Since then, it's had multiple large updates to expand it in a number of interesting ways. The developer said they added "2 new biomes, new objects, the race gamemode and a 100% custom made physics engine" and more improvements to it. They also have a slightly more up to date trailer:


Watch video on YouTube.com

What's there already is quite impressive, it's starting to feel quite polished although it doesn't seem to currently have a lot of players. It's still in development and not finished, so I will keep following it along although a little more closely now. It will be interesting to see what else gets added in, as they have the basis for a really fun platformer here especially since you can play with others.

You can find out more on the official site or head right on over to itch.io to download it.

Himno, a free relaxing platformer with no enemies, no death and no real goal is now on Linux

Tuesday 7th of May 2019 11:05:44 AM

Tags: Platformer, Indie Game, Free Game

Everything getting a bit much? Take some time to relax, as Himno is now available on Linux and it's free.

It's a bit of an odd one really, a platformer where you run around in procedurally generated environments with a big sword on your back you never get to use. There's no enemies, so there's no actual need to use it.

Created originally as a "private project" which the developed played to "de-stress", they decided to share it for free as they loved what they ended up with.


Watch video on YouTube.com

I've played a little while of it and the main thing that sticks out is just how dark it is. It's a little difficult to see at times but it still has quite an impressive feel and atmosphere. The developer also said your actions "trigger emotional soundtracks and vibrant visuals" and I certainly appreciated the lovely audio work. For those who do want some kind of direction, it does have 11 achievements to try and complete.

The Linux version does work, however you need to do two very quick fixes. In the installed files, you need to rename the "himno_data" folder to "Himno_Data" and inside this folder rename the folder "mono" to "Mono". Another case of file sensitivity striking again, something that comes up surprisingly often. I've made the developer aware they need to solve this, hopefully it will be done soon.

It's developed by David Moralejo Sánchez, who also made the Early Access game Medieval Shopkeeper Simulator so perhaps if they get good feedback from Linux gamers that might come to Linux too. They've also announced they're working on a second Himno game which actually will have combat in it.

You can find it free on Steam.

The Long Dark 'Steadfast Ranger' update out, working great on Linux now

Tuesday 7th of May 2019 10:03:44 AM

Tags: Humble Store, Steam, Sandbox, Survival, Indie Game, Update, Unity

The Long Dark, a survival game from Hinterland Studio that offers up both a story mode and a sandbox survival mode just got another big update and it's looking good now.


Watch video on YouTube.com

New content included in this release:

  • New! Revolver — A close-quarters defensive tool against hostile wildlife.
  • New! Birch Bark Tea — A slow-gain condition restoration item brewed from a renewable natural resource.
  • New! Energy Drink — Quick-shot Stamina and Fatigue boost, useful for getting yourself out of a variety of bad situations.
  • New! Improvised Cloth Wraps — Stave off Frostbite on your Head and Hands with these basic wraps.
  • Overhaul! Rifle & Shooting Gameplay — Completely overhauled shooting and aiming mechanics for the Rifle and other ranged tools.
  • Overhaul! Sprain System — Improved Sprain gameplay dynamics and first aid solutions.

That above is only a small part of it though, as they also upgraded the Unity game engine resulting in a vastly improved experience for Linux gamers. The previous graphical issued have gone, making it properly playable without workarounds again for those with an NVIDIA GPU. An issue where some users where locked to 120FPS should also be solved, they've also done a number of optimizations as well as fixing up numerous UI issues.

I went ahead and played a few hours without issues, even with my settings on Ultra the performance does seem to be better and it feels noticeably smoother.

You can pick it up from Humble Store and Steam.

Cultist Simulator is getting more DLC, plus an Anthology Edition with all DLC included later this month

Tuesday 7th of May 2019 09:30:27 AM

Tags: Steam, GOG, Humble Store, Card Game, RPG

Cultist Simulator, the complicated yet engrossing game from Weather Factory and Humble Bundle is going to get even bigger on May 30th.

Weather Factory just recently announced a new "esssssoteric DLC" with the Priest and Ghoul. By the sounds of it, these will be two different packs with their own story-focused content. The Priest will introduce a new obscure religion, one whose followers "are as gruesome as they are zealous" and the Ghoul follows "the life of a nocturnal bodysnatcher who just really needs those corpses for definitely acceptable things" both of which sound quite exciting.

This special Anthology Edition will be available on Humble, GOG and Steam at 10AM PDT / 6PM BST on May 30th. They will also be putting it on sale at the same time with 15% off. If you missed it, our contributor Scaine did a review of the original game and his video can be seen below:


Watch video on YouTube.com

They also announced they're working on a new game, with details on that to follow as it seems development on Cultist Simulator is coming to a halt now. They seem to have done well though, as they managed to pass over 100K units sold as they details in this write-up. Will post information about their new game when I have it.

The accessible strategic tycoon game Rise of Industry has shipped the goods out of Early Access

Tuesday 7th of May 2019 09:09:46 AM

Tags: GOG, Steam, Indie Game, Strategy

Rise of Industry is another success story for indie game developers, after nearly four years in development it has officially left Early Access. I've been very impressed with this one, as it's both highly accessible to make it easy to get into while also having a decent enough level of complexity that it remains fun to play after several hours.

Disclosure: Key originally provided by GOG.


Watch video on YouTube.com

Like any good tycoon styled game, it's all about managing a good production line. Getting goods speedily from one place to another, while making sure your cash keeps flowing in. The way it's done is quite interesting, with your end-goal to work towards making a prototype. However, outside of the campaign there's also a Scenario mode where you can adjust settings and set your own objectives expanding your possibilities with it.

The release is not the end of the game though, as most people tend to expect games to keep being updated and this time will be no different as they have plenty of updates planned. They also teased in comments on Steam that an expansion may come later with different eras, that could be very interesting with how the game is set up. That's likely much further out though of course but still sounds exciting.

A very good looking game, with a beautiful and quite clear UI but it might not offer enough complexity and goals for some. To see if it's for you, Rise of Industry does even have a demo.

Find it on Humble Store, GOG and Steam.

Easy Anti-Cheat is actually still supported for Linux, a statement from Epic Games

Tuesday 7th of May 2019 08:43:40 AM

Tags: Misc

As an update to my previous article talking about Easy Anti-Cheat, as it turns out they're not stopping Linux support for it at all. Previously we got word from Garry Newman of Facepunch Studios, who said "EAC are pausing their Linux support" but as it turns out that's not right.

Here's what Epic Games told me over email this morning:

Thanks for reaching out! Sorry to see all the confusion on this topic.   Garry's comments reflect day-to-day prioritization decisions between anti-cheat issues across all of the platforms we support. These ongoing trade-offs in priorities don't mean there is any change in the long-term development of our Linux anti-cheat, and we remain committed to providing the support necessary for Linux as a gaming platform.

They also notified me they put a Twitter post out in public to also confirm this. Additionally, they also mentioned in a reply to someone on Twitter that work seems to be in progress to support EAC in Wine, which means Steam Play support should hopefully come eventually.

For those who don't quite understand, it's likely that Linux-related issues are just a much lower priority (for obvious reasons) compared to issues being found on other bigger platforms.

So…as you were, carry on, nothing to see here. A bit of good news is how I like to start my day. However, it also means I personally jumped the gun on this which seems to have caused a bit of a storm with it being shared wildly across Reddit, Twitter and YouTubers using it to claim Epic Games is killing off Steam Play and so on.

I honestly thought such a well-known game developer could be taken at their word but I was wrong on that. So for that, I apologise. I am only human, I do make mistakes and I will reflect on it.

You can get into the beta for the creative hardcore platformer DASH: Danger Action Speed Heroes right now

Monday 6th of May 2019 05:20:16 PM

Tags: Action, Platformer, Indie Game, Steam, Beta, Coming Soon, Early Access, Pixel Graphics

The creative platformer DASH: Danger Action Speed Heroes is releasing soon but for those interested in help to test, you can quite easily grab a beta key.

DASH is a game I've written about a couple of times now, as I simply love the idea of it. A hardcore platformer, with hundreds of levels built by other players. The built-in level editor is ridiculously easy to use, so easy even I can do it and that's a pretty low bar. Take a look at their previous teaser:


Watch video on YouTube.com

Keeping in mind it's not even in Early Access yet, the amount of content already made for it is nuts. I had a quick check and by my count there's at least 200 levels to blast through. They're a massively varied mix of crazy designs too, some of which are incredibly clever.

Want to get a beta key? If you hop on into their Discord Channel, all you need to do is follow the instructions that pop up in the welcome-to-dash category. It's pretty easy to do, just sending over a quick "!getkey" command to their "@botlife" bot. There's even a dedicated category in their Discord for Linux gamers too, so you can help with feedback.

Hopefully it more Linux gamers jump in to test, we can have an excellent experience when it's released. If you prefer to wait for the actual Early Access release, check it out over on Steam.

Widelands, the free and open source Settlers-like strategy game has a new major release up

Monday 6th of May 2019 03:24:57 PM

Tags: Strategy, Free Game, Open Source, RTS

Widelands now has Build 20 available, the first major release in years with the last being way back in 2016.

Of course since it was such a long time, there's masses new including a new tribe, a new "Village" starting condition, a new "Barracks" for recruiting soldiers, two new missions for the Empire campaign, two new missions for the Frisians tribe, six new music tracks, lots of networking improvements for multiplayer, a new Zoom feature, new animations, new background graphics and the list goes on for quite a while. Check out their fancy trailer for update 20:


Watch video on YouTube.com

Really great to see that this is still alive, as a huge strategy game fan and someone who grew up playing the original Settlers on Amiga I love things like this. Going to have to check this out soon! Honestly it's amazing to see Widelands being developed for so long now (well over ten years!), what a little gem.

See more on the official site.

The Swords of Ditto has been overhauled with the huge free Mormo's Curse expansion

Monday 6th of May 2019 01:07:49 PM

Tags: Adventure, RPG, Action, Steam, GOG, Humble Store, Update

Truthfully, I didn't get very far with The Swords of Ditto as it had game-breaking bugs on Linux when released. They were later fixed and now a massive overhaul to the game is out.

Mormo's Curse was released earlier this month, with an aim to make The Swords of Ditto much easier to enjoy. Not necessarily easier (as in difficult) overall but the entire structure of the game has been changed. What they've done with it honestly sounds fantastic! Permadeath for starters, has been kicked out of the game. The end-game has also seen a content boost with more to do and more variation in the rules of the game.


Watch video on YouTube.com

Tons more is different with a vastly changed Overworld, the developer said it's "denser, more engaging, and more focused" and there's now four unique areas with their own features.

This update has also ported the game over from the deprecated GameMaker Studio 1.4 to GameMaker Studio 2. For Linux, they said Ubuntu support is now at 18.04 and it should bring in better audio and gamepad support along with improved performance. Perhaps most importantly, the developer is now able to actually get game engine support now they're up to date.

Sadly, each time I go to try it out GOG are behind on updating the Linux version. Like when the game-breaking bugs were fixed and again now with Mormo's Curse. Since it's such a huge change though, I will be checking it out as soon as GOG get the Linux build up to date to give it some thoughts.

On top of all that, the price has also been dropped. You can find The Swords of Ditto: Mormo's Curse on Humble Store, GOG and Steam.

The World of Goo 10 year update is now out for Linux gamers, working well

Monday 6th of May 2019 11:41:20 AM

Tags: Steam, Indie Game, GOG, Puzzle, Update

For those that missed it, I recently posted how World of Goo was seeing an update for the first time in around 10 years and it's now out.

As a reminder, there's no new content so don't go in expecting a bunch of new levels. This is mainly a small revamp of the game, to make it look better on modern resolutions and it includes a lot of other smaller quality of life improvements just to make it play a little better. This update is free of course!

I've given it a few hours and I can confirm the Linux version continues to run nicely on Ubuntu 19.04. It's been a long time since I last took a look and it's as charming as ever, looks good and performs well. If you don't own it, you're mad but you're also in for a treat. World of Goo was one of the earlier indie games to throw in Linux support, with it being on our small platform since 2009.

You can see their full post on what's changed here. It's a brilliant game and now it should feel a little more fresh. Want a copy? You can find it on Steam. It's also on GOG but no update there yet.

Wolfire Games seem to be another recent arrival to the itch.io store

Monday 6th of May 2019 11:08:32 AM

Tags: Indie Game, Itch.io

Wolfire Games, developer of titles like Overgrowth and Lugaru as well as being behind the original creation of the Humble Indie Bundle are now putting their games up on itch.io.

Interestingly, they did send a Twitter post out to announce it which they then removed. It said "Our official Wolfire store page on itch.io is open for business! You can buy Overgrowth, Receiver, and Lugaru HD there. You can also find a few of our free projects as well. Let us know if you have any feedback on the new store pages. Wolfiregames.itch.io". Not entirely sure why it was removed, as I personally think they should be proud of expanding their reach to another store like itch.

Store pages:

I had hoped more would follow along after Supergiant Games also recently put their games up on itch, as this slowly growing trend of more high-profile indies arriving on the friendly store-front is a good sign.

As a little teaser, on their main store page Wolfire Games mentioned they've been working on a "new unannounced commercial game" since around the end of 2017. No other details but interesting to know as a fan of their work.

Usual reminder here that itch do have an open source client, allowing you to download and keep your itch games up to date. It's handy, it works quite well and it looks good.

Bearded Giant Games have announced the 3D dogfighting game Space Mercs

Monday 6th of May 2019 10:59:08 AM

Tags: Coming Soon, Action, Indie Game

Space Mercs, a brand new 3D dogfighting game from Bearded Giant Games was just recently announced as part of their "Linux 1st Initiative".

The current plan for Space Mercs is to release for Linux in June and it's coming with a feature that sounds somewhat amusing. It's going to have a command line interface, which you will use in the game to explore various parts outside the combat. They said they plan to talk a little more about this special CLI in a few days with a design post.

It will feature multiple game modes like:

  • Quick Battle: You are given a random ship, a random amount of wingmen, a random objective and must face off a random amount of enemies. It’s literal chaos bound to keep you by the edge of your seat.
  • Campaign: 30 action-packed missions that can be unlocked and explored via the Bulletin Board. You get one or more targets, an objective, reward and are sent out into space. Completing the objective rewards you with credits which allows you to purchase more ships. Destroying anything else outside of the objective will reward your with Prestige which allows you to upgrade your new ships. The backstory of the game, lore and conversation can be explored via the use of the Command Line Interface in the game. Read emails, access restricted folders and explore your Station’s computer via a bash-like interface.
  • Duels (1 v 1 / 3 v 3) is a mode unlocked via campaign progression that allows you to gamble some of your heard earned prestige in battle. Win and multiply your Prestige, loose and it’s back to grinding enemies on missions you can defeat.
  • Survival is your reward for finishing the campaign. Jump between procedurally generated sectors and defeat a ever growing list of enemies and go for the highest score possible.

While there's no current trailer for the game, I did speak to the developer and they supplied some rather interesting gifs. Since they're rather large though, I've turned them into a quick video:


Watch video on YouTube.com

Of course once I get a decent look at it and a proper trailer, I will post that up too. It does look like it could be a lot of fun and as a huge space nerd I do love a good 3D space combat game. It's a genre that we don't get to see much of now, sadly!

As for a price, it's looking like it will be somewhere around $10 and supporters on their Patreon will get early access.

You can find the official announcement here.

Linux Gaming News Punch - Episode 11

Monday 6th of May 2019 10:55:45 AM

Tags: GOL Podcast

A little later than expected due to both hardware and software troubles, Linux Gaming News Punch - Episode 11 has arrived.


Watch video on YouTube.com

MP3: Download | RSS Feed

 

OGG: Download | RSS Feed

 

Also available on Spotify.

Topcs covered, click me

Rocket League

Easy Anti-Cheat

Rust

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Danger Zone

mod.io

Vivox

Sector's Edge

About the software trouble: If you find Window Capture in OBS Studio to be weirdly dark and not usable, open the Window Capture options and tick both "swap red and blue" and "use alpha-less texture format (Mesa workaround)". I'm not even on Mesa (NVIDIA, hello) but it still fixes it. Thanks @loltimo. That annoyance lost me a good hour and likely more of my hair, goodie!

As for hardware trouble, I've had to switch back the the Blue Yeti and the audio quality was a bit messed up this time, apologies, I am hoping to have it back in top shape next week.

Vintage Story, the impressive crafting and survival game has a huge update

Sunday 5th of May 2019 04:59:42 PM

Tags: Indie Game, Open World, Sandbox, Survival

Called the Worldgen and Geology Update, version 1.9 of Vintage Story has hit stable and brings with it a number of new additions to the already in-depth game.

You can see some of the new stuff in a gameplay video from the developer below:


Watch video on YouTube.com

Among the most noteworthy additions are:

  • A new panning mechanic, where players can use an ore pan to discover nuggets and other rare resources by sifting sand and gravel
  • Traders and villages
  • Realistic climate bands 
  • Public server listings for the multiplayer-inclined, so you can play with or against people
  • Revamped world-gen features, including biome bands and much more interesting caves
  • An updated UI for easier interaction with the world
  • 16 new rock types and 16 new ores
  • And much, much more!

To say this is a huge update might actually be underselling it a bit, the amount that's changed is utterly ridiculous. Keeping a very close eye on this one, each update sounds fantastic. While it might resemble Minecraft, the way you interact with the world seems very different.

You can find Vintage Story on the official website and read the patch notes in the Vintage Story forums.

With thanks to the original submission from Draconicrose!

Easy Anti-Cheat are apparently "pausing" their Linux support, which could be a big problem (updated)

Sunday 5th of May 2019 04:24:11 PM

Tags: Misc

Update: Epic Games gave a response, it is not paused.

Original article:

I've just today been alerted to something that's quite worrying, according to Garry Newman from Facepunch Studios, Easy Anti-Cheat are "pausing" their Linux support.

As it turns out, Newman made this comment on Reddit on a submission that actually links back to my recent article about Rust. Newman said pretty clearly "The biggest issue as far as I can see is that EAC are pausing their Linux support, which is resulting in an increase in cheaters using the Linux version. This is a huge problem because it affects every other platform.".

This is the first I've heard of it and so it's quite alarming considering the amount of Linux games that actually use it like Rust, 7 Days to Die, Albion Online (which only recently started using it), Robocraft, Insurgency Sandstorm (which planned Linux support) and so on. Not just existing games but this will obviously cause major problems for any upcoming multiplayer game that was planning to support Linux if they were going to use EAC, as it might just cause them to drop Linux support.

Additionally, this could also cause even more problems for Valve's Steam Play although we don't know the full situation, they were supposed to be in talks to get Easy Anti-Cheat supported for it. This new information doesn't exactly give me confidence but perhaps Steam Play will be treated differently? Who knows.

Interestingly, Epic Games actually acquired the maker of Easy Anti-Cheat last year, so perhaps Linux is becoming a casualty of that? I'm not saying it is but it wouldn't surprise me.

I've reached out to Easy Anti-Cheat and Epic Games to find out what they have to say about it, if anything. Took EAC a while to reply last time and I don't expect an answer on a Sunday, so hold onto your hats. At least if it does turn out to be true, there's still VAC and BattlEye which do support Linux games as well as Steam Trust to come.

Frustratingly, this news also comes only recently after we found Vivox suggesting a developer drop Linux support. This makes me even more thankful that Valve are continuing to put resources into Linux, with things like Steam Play and funding developers across a multitude of other Linux-related projects and other open source software.

Hat tip to airspeedmph.

Easy Anti-Cheat are apparently "pausing" their Linux support, which could be a big problem

Sunday 5th of May 2019 04:24:11 PM

Tags: Misc

I've just today been alerted to something that's quite worrying, according to Garry Newman from Facepunch Studios, Easy Anti-Cheat are "pausing" their Linux support.

As it turns out, Newman made this comment on Reddit on a submission that actually links back to my recent article about Rust. Newman said pretty clearly "The biggest issue as far as I can see is that EAC are pausing their Linux support, which is resulting in an increase in cheaters using the Linux version. This is a huge problem because it affects every other platform.".

This is the first I've heard of it and so it's quite alarming considering the amount of Linux games that actually use it like Rust, 7 Days to Die, Albion Online (which only recently started using it), Robocraft, Insurgency Sandstorm (which planned Linux support) and so on. Not just existing games but this will obviously cause major problems for any upcoming multiplayer game that was planning to support Linux if they were going to use EAC, as it might just cause them to drop Linux support.

Additionally, this could also cause even more problems for Valve's Steam Play although we don't know the full situation, they were supposed to be in talks to get Easy Anti-Cheat supported for it. This new information doesn't exactly give me confidence but perhaps Steam Play will be treated differently? Who knows.

Interestingly, Epic Games actually acquired the maker of Easy Anti-Cheat last year, so perhaps Linux is becoming a casualty of that? I'm not saying it is but it wouldn't surprise me.

I've reached out to Easy Anti-Cheat and Epic Games to find out what they have to say about it, if anything. Took EAC a while to reply last time and I don't expect an answer on a Sunday, so hold onto your hats. At least if it does turn out to be true, there's still VAC and BattlEye which do support Linux games as well as Steam Trust to come.

Frustratingly, this news also comes only recently after we found Vivox suggesting a developer drop Linux support. This makes me even more thankful that Valve are continuing to put resources into Linux, with things like Steam Play and funding developers across a multitude of other Linux-related projects and other open source software.

Hat tip to airspeedmph.

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