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Updated: 1 hour 58 min ago

Valve gets another developer to work on Linux graphics drivers, starting with AMD RADV

Tuesday 28th of July 2020 05:24:22 PM

It appears that Valve aren't stopping their push to improve Linux gaming, as they just recently hired another developer to help improve open source graphics drivers.

The new hire is Tony Wasserka, a programmer with a lot of experience. Looking over their resume, Wasserka previously worked for the likes of Imagination Technologies where they worked on the Vulkan driver for PowerVR graphics chips. Additionally they also help to found the Nintendo 3DS emulator Citra, they're a contributor to the GameCube and the Wii emulator Dolphin, they also contributed in the past to the Wine compatibility layer and more. It's pretty safe to say they know their way around some complicated code.

After posting for help on Twitter only a few days ago, today Wasserka posted a surprising new update to mention this:

It's settled: Going forward I'll be working with Valve on improving the state of open-source graphics for Linux, starting with the RADV AMD driver!

Note - RADV is the Vulkan driver for AMD GPUs with the open source Mesa drivers.

Considering all the resources Valve are putting into Linux gaming across a number of developers to work on the actual graphics drivers, the ACO shader compiler, the Steam client on Linux, the Linux Steam Runtime container system, working with CodeWeavers on the Proton compatibility layer for Steam Play and more they must be pretty confident in their plans for Linux gaming as a whole. No matter what, everyone on Linux ends up benefiting from all their work since it's largely open source.

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5 new titles and 1 leaving Stadia Pro in August, Celeste out now + more Stadia news

Tuesday 28th of July 2020 05:05:17 PM

Here's your regular dose of Stadia news, as today Google revealed a bunch more games coming to their Linux-powered game streaming service.

For Stadia Pro on August 1 subscribers will get free access to play Strange Brigade, Kona, Metro 2033 Redux and Just Shapes & Beats. If you don't subscribe to Pro, all games will be available to purchase on Stadia as normal. Zombie Army 4: Dead War will also be leaving Stadia Pro at the end of this month, so claim it now if you haven't already. On top of that Google has confirmed that Rock of Ages III will release on Stadia on August 14, launching right into Stadia Pro.

If you enjoy playing PUBG on Stadia, it's also getting a new season on July 30 with the latest 'Survival Pass' being given free for Stadia Pro subs as well.

Available as of now is Celeste! The brilliant, difficult and very highly-rated platformer. According to game porter Ethan Lee on Twitter, the release of Celeste to Stadia brings with it the 'newly-certified Stadia backend for ANGLE, meaning it's the only OpenGL game on the platform' and it also 'debuts Stadia support from FNA and FNA3D'.

Here's an up to date list of all the Stadia Pro games:

  1. Crayta: Premium Edition
  2. Destiny 2: The Collection
  3. Get Packed
  4. GRID (2019)
  5. Gylt
  6. Just Shapes & Beats - arrives August 1
  7. Kona - arrives August 1
  8. Little Nightmares
  9. Metro 2033 Redux - arrives August 1
  10. Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom
  11. Orcs Must Die! 3
  12. Panzer Dragoon: Remake
  13. PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS
  14. Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid
  15. Rock of Ages III - arrives August 14
  16. SteamWorld Dig
  17. SteamWorld Dig 2
  18. Steamworld Heist
  19. SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech
  20. Strange Brigade - arrives August 1
  21. SUPERHOT
  22. The Turing Test
  23. West of Loathing
  24. Zombie Army 4 - leaving July 31

For any Android mobile/tablet gamers amongst our readers, Stadia will also soon let you play across 4G/5G with a new experiment you can opt into in the Stadia App. This is on top of the current experiment that lets you opt into playing on any Android device that can install the Stadia App.

Play on Stadia.com. You need a Chromium/Chrome browser for Linux.

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4 new titles and 1 leaving Stadia Pro in August, Celeste out now + more Stadia news

Tuesday 28th of July 2020 05:05:17 PM

Here's your regular dose of Stadia news, as today Google revealed a bunch more games coming to their Linux-powered game streaming service.

For Stadia Pro on August 1 subscribers will get free access to play Strange Brigade, Kona, Metro 2033 Redux and Just Shapes & Beats. If you don't subscribe to Pro, all games will be available to purchase on Stadia as normal. Zombie Army 4: Dead War will also be leaving Stadia Pro at the end of this month, so claim it now if you haven't already. On top of that Google has confirmed that Rock of Ages III will release on Stadia on August 14, launching right into Stadia Pro.

If you enjoy playing PUBG on Stadia, it's also getting a new season on July 30 with the latest 'Survival Pass' being given free for Stadia Pro subs as well.

Available as of now is Celeste! The brilliant, difficult and very highly-rated platformer. According to game porter Ethan Lee on Twitter, the release of Celeste to Stadia brings with it the 'newly-certified Stadia backend for ANGLE, meaning it's the only OpenGL game on the platform' and it also 'debuts Stadia support from FNA and FNA3D'.

Here's an up to date list of all the Stadia Pro games:

  1. Crayta: Premium Edition
  2. Destiny 2: The Collection
  3. Get Packed
  4. GRID (2019)
  5. Gylt
  6. Just Shapes & Beats - arrives August 1
  7. Kona - arrives August 1
  8. Little Nightmares
  9. Metro 2033 Redux - arrives August 1
  10. Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom
  11. Orcs Must Die! 3
  12. Panzer Dragoon: Remake
  13. PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS
  14. Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid
  15. Rock of Ages III - arrives August 14
  16. SteamWorld Dig
  17. SteamWorld Dig 2
  18. Steamworld Heist
  19. SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech
  20. Strange Brigade - arrives August 1
  21. SUPERHOT
  22. The Turing Test
  23. West of Loathing
  24. Zombie Army 4 - leaving July 31

For any Android mobile/tablet gamers amongst our readers, Stadia will also soon let you play across 4G/5G with a new experiment you can opt into in the Stadia App. This is on top of the current experiment that lets you opt into playing on any Android device that can install the Stadia App.

Play on Stadia.com. You need a Chromium/Chrome browser for Linux.

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The upcoming game 'qomp' turns you into the Pong ball as you try to escape

Tuesday 28th of July 2020 12:58:47 PM

That poor ball, stuck between Pong paddles that just bounce it around and they've done it since 1972. The ball has had enough of this and it's going to escape.

qomp is the name and it's currently in development by a team of indie developers including Stuffed Wombat, Britt Brady, Miroko and Clovelt. The idea sounds quite hilarious, a seemingly self-aware sprite that's had enough of this arcade game life and wants to escape. Imagine if you were smacked by paddles for multiple decades, you would be pretty annoyed too. Using one button you will defeat bosses, solve puzzles and overcome platforming challenges. Check out the brand new trailer below:


Watch video on YouTube.com

qomp is a game about freedom, or is it? What exactly is at the end? I'm keen to find out. Speaking to one of the team on Twitter, they confirmed Linux support as they 'have enough time to do it well'.

  • An intense tale about the forgotten world behind the paddle
  • Unique one button controls
  • A meditation on freedom in 3 parts
  • A plethora of surprising mechanics and intriguing obstacles
  • Branching paths and hidden doors
  • Bossfights
  • Freedom?

You can follow qomp on Steam.

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The free pixel-art Bronze Age RTS The Fertile Crescent continues evolving

Tuesday 28th of July 2020 12:27:46 PM

If you enjoy a good traditional real-time strategy game and you haven't already tried The Fertile Crescent, you're really missing out on a wonderful title that keeps getting better.

The Fertile Crescent is a little like a streamlined pixel-art Age of Empires, although they do have a different focus and it does play in a unique way, that comparison gives you a reasonably close idea of it mechanically. You build, you gather resources, explore and fight others. With support for AI battles and cross-platform online play, there's a lot there to love.

While work is progressing on adding walls and siege units, which sounds awesome and will open up many more tactical options for defeating opponents and securing your village, they've put out some smaller but important updates to keep players going until those big new features are ready.

One of the big improvements is their new Fog of War system. Previously, if you explored a part of the map while it would hide units it wouldn't hide new buildings or trees getting chopped—bit of a cheat! They've now totally re-done that, with a system that basically takes a snapshot of the map at that point. They gave the below example to show a place being explored, then no one is there to see it and then exploring it again later and you see it has changed. Exactly how it should work so that's great.

On top of that there's also now a visual and sound effect that's shown / played for buildings being destroyed, buildings can now have siege armour to better protect them, villagers will have handcarts when a player has researched the Wheel giving other players a visual indicator of their research progress and there's now a multiplayer stats so you get a better idea of how the game went.

Honestly I can't overstate how impressive The Fertile Crescent is for a game that's currently free, with it being made as a passion-project.

Give The Fertile Crescent a try and find it free on itch.io.

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WWI FPS 'Tannenberg' adds a big new free map with a famous fortress - on a big sale

Tuesday 28th of July 2020 11:45:51 AM

M2H and Blackmill Games recently released Tannenberg, their WWI FPS on consoles but they haven't left the PC version behind with a fresh update out with a new map.

Since Tannenberg, like their previous game Verdun, is one based on historical accuracy the inclusion of Przemyśl as a map is quite interesting. During the First World War, it was the location of what's known as the 'Siege of Przemyśl' which was the longest siege of the whole war. For Tannenberg it's a fun map to blast through, giving you lots of open spaces along with multiple forts to battle to capture.

Giving a little more background on it, here's what M2H and Blackmill Games mentioned:

Surrounding the town of the same name, the Przemyśl fortress was a series of defenses originally planned to include 41 distinct fortifications. However, construction proceeded in stops and starts depending on the diplomatic relationship between Austria-Hungary and the Russian Empire from 1854 until the start of the First World War.

Nonetheless it was still a formidable position, as the Russians found when they tried a direct assault on October 7, 1914. Ten thousand of the attackers became casualties, with around 3,500 killed. The Russian siege held until March 22, 1915, when the remaining defenders chose to surrender. As food ran out and morale plummeted, 119,000 men were taken prisoner after a failed breakout attempt - though not before destroying the remaining artillery. Now you can explore some parts of this famous fortress yourself, as you fight for control of two key forts along with their surrounding trenches and gun pits!

I've had a run through it myself and it's as brutal as the rest of the game. If you love big team battles in a reasonably realistic setting, Tannenberg can be a lot of fun. Requiring a fair amount of patience and skill, the slower pace to Tannenberg is quite refreshing with so many fast-paced shooters around and another free historical map is always a welcome sight.

Update highlights:

  • New map added: Przemyśl!
  • Fixed being able to instantly respawn after dying
  • Increased checks to avoid wall & climing exploits at certain places
  • Optimised performance of lights in some maps, preventing framedrops
  • Fixed some issues with localisation not updating when switching languages
  • Fixed issues with HMG ammo count desyncing, causing consistency issues

Tannenberg is currently on a big discount on Humble Store and Steam until July 30.

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Saint Kotar will bring a psychological horror adventure as a Kickstarter success

Tuesday 28th of July 2020 11:12:27 AM

After the release of a free Prologue with Saint Kotar: The Yellow Mask and a Kickstarter campaign that is now completed, the full Saint Kotar experience is on the way.

Saint Kotar is a psychological horror adventure game placed within a beautifully hand-painted world, brought to life with an amazing chilling atmosphere and soundtrack to recount a dark and frightening tale of change.

Showing that the point and click adventure genre is very much alive, Red Martyr Entertainment didn't just finish their crowdfunding campaign, they actually ended up getting €50,178 in funding which was quite a bit over the initial goal they had set. Thanks to that, they're going to ensure the game has full voice acting and there will be a DLC (free for backers) to explain some backstory.


Watch video on YouTube.com

The demo, Saint Kotar: The Yellow Mask, was actually quite impressive so it's not exactly surprising that they managed to pull in enough people to get the funding. We also had a chat with the developer, you can read our previous interview here for some interesting background info. Since it's now funded, it's listed on our dedicated Crowdfunding Page.

Planned release features include:

  • Dark psychological horror adventure set in the small rural town of Sveti Kotar.
  • More than 70 locations to explore of a vast and foreboding world.
  • Up to 20 hours of gameplay weaved into a mysterious and gripping branching plot.
  • Two fascinating playable characters, two captivating storylines.
  • Decisions are fateful and affect the storylines.
  • Hand-painted distinctive art style that fits the game’s mood.
  • Fully voiced.
  • Eerie original soundtrack.
  • Modern twist on a classically inspired point and click adventure gameplay.

Check out the finished Kickstarter here, and try the free Saint Kotar: The Yellow Mask on Steam now. You can also wishlist the full Saint Kotar game on Steam. The full game is due to release in August 2021, although that date may change.

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The latest art of rally demo update adds in crowds, improved handling

Tuesday 28th of July 2020 10:56:12 AM

art of rally, an upcoming stylized rally experience from the creator of Absolute Drift still has a demo available and it was recently updated.

Unlike other sims like Dirt Rally, art of rally is aimed to be more fun and accessible. This includes the different viewpoint, with it giving you an overhead camera so you can completely focus on the stages by seeing upcoming road features without needing pace-notes. While work goes on to produce the full game, they still want to show off how it's going and gather feedback and wishlists with the demo.

Pictured: art of rally on Linux, using the wonderful Photo Mode.

The latest updates continue impressing with it bringing in improved handling, grip and 'more features in line with current development' including a new dynamic crowd system. This new crowd system places a bunch of NPCs across the roads who quickly move out of your way. It's a small change but makes art of rally feel a bit more alive.

What it will feature at release:

  • Progress through the golden years of rally in Career Mode
  • 50+ iconic rally cars from the 60s, 70s, 80s, Group B, Group S, Group A
  • Completely overhauled handling from the car physics system of Absolute Drift
  • 60 rally stages in Finland, Sardinia, Norway, Japan and Germany
  • Repair performance damage between stages
  • Daily and weekly challenges with leaderboards
  • Original soundtrack by Tatreal

You can try the updated demo on itch.io and Steam. It's due to release with Linux support later this year.

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Thrive, the free and open source evolution sim has a fresh release with save support

Tuesday 28th of July 2020 10:24:14 AM

After moving over to Godot Engine as the base for Thrive, the team behind this free and open source game of evolution have a new and important update available.

Thrive is a survival sim based on evolution, starting off a tiny microbe the plan is to eventually allow you to progress through many different stages of evolution including: Microbe, Multicellular, Aware, Awakening, Society, Industrial and Space. It's still early and in development but it's showing a huge amount of promise. Since it's free and open source, anyone can help too.

With the latest release, it's become far more playable as well thanks to proper saving and loading support, including quick load / save. You can finally progress through it a bit more and actually come back to it, this makes exploring the world a lot nicer. There's also new Chromatic Aberration and Distortion effects, improved performance in places, some improved visuals, code clean ups and more. Check out the release trailer:


Watch video on YouTube.com

Originally inspired by the core concept behind the game Spore, I'm very keen to see Thrive become something bigger.

See more on the official site and GitHub.

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A System76 engineer is porting coreboot to newer AMD Zen systems

Tuesday 28th of July 2020 10:05:42 AM

System76 have begun providing more AMD based hardware for Linux enthusiasts, and the next step in their plan to be as open as possible appears to have begun.

They're certainly busy! After announcing the AMD powered Serval WS back in early June, they also then revealed the Oryx Pro later in June which was their first laptop with Coreboot, Open Controller Firmware and NVIDIA all together. This is all on top of working on their own Linux distribution too with Pop!_OS which launched the 20.04 LTS at the end of April.

Keeping things interesting and exciting, while no official product announcement has been made, writing on Twitter the System76 Principal Engineer, Jeremy Soller, mentioned this:

I have seen the light of the great @LisaSu. Today begins my journey to port coreboot to Matisse and Renoir. See you on the other side!

This would replace the proprietary BIOS found in their newer AMD laptops, making the systems that little bit more open which is a wonderful thing. It could also result in faster boot times, it's more flexible and of course control for the end user since coreboot is open source.

One thing to be aware of, is that only coreboot directly is being mentioned so far and it seems the AMD Platform Security Processor (also known as AMD Secure Technology) will still be there with its proprietary bits. The result though and the point is just having more of the system open as much as possible. It's also entirely possible in future the work may progress onto dealing with that too somehow.

While System76 have yet to announce anything formally for coreboot and newer AMD Zen products in their lineup, it's worth mentioning that when Soller previously teased the NVIDIA work that same month System76 went onto announce the Oryx Pro. If / when they do announce something, we will let you know.

You can check out their Linux hardware on System76.com. They're easily one of the top Linux vendors around.

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KDE Plasma 5.20 will properly support screen recording on Wayland and more

Tuesday 28th of July 2020 09:42:06 AM

The KDE team working on the Plasma desktop environment are busy pushing ahead for the 5.20 release due later this year and it's sounding great.

Developer Nate Graham blogs about work done quite often, with a recent post catching my attention. While Wayland support has come along nicely now, there's still areas that are lacking compared to the ancient X11 and they keep on plugging those holes.

With Plasma 5.20, screen recording and screencasting are one area that should be a lot better, as they've now wired up what's needed for it to be properly supported with Plasma on Wayland. Their code is based upon using Pipewire, a project that itself aims to greatly improve handling of audio and video under Linux. Graham mentioned that this will work with OBS Studio and that there's "more to come".

Klipper, the KDE clipboard manager was also ported over to Wayland, so it should work as you would expect. Additional Wayland work includes the last-used keyboard layout actually being remembered now too.

Another nice feature enhancement is the ability to adjust what you're shown when clicking on grouped apps in the window list / icons only task manager. Say you have a bunch of Dolphin file manager windows opened, when you click on the icon you can configure what happens now like having a text list pop up instead of a big overlay of windows.

There's also a bunch of bug fixes and performance improvements coming, read more here.

KDE Plasma 5.20 is due to release in October 2020.

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Synergia is a vibrant cyberpunk visual novel that stands out and it's available now

Monday 27th of July 2020 04:17:32 PM

Admittedly, the Visual Novel genre is not one I go to often but I couldn't resist with Synergia because of the incredible atmosphere and wonderful design work that went into it. Note: key provided by the publisher.

"Synergia is a yuri thriller visual novel that takes place in a cyberpunk future, wrapped up in a beautifully unique, vibrant neon aesthetic. At the end of the world, sometimes love is the ultimate crime."

Radi Art and Top Hat Studios have crafted something that gives off a definite Ghost in the Shell vibe, the Anime versions I mean, not the questionable 2017 movie. Synergia is genuinely quite a surprise! You're greeted first by a pumping intro with music that sounds like it's something out of Blade Runner and it certainly commands your attention. That demanding atmosphere carries through the game too, it's quite something.


Watch video on YouTube.com

What's quite impressive apart from the audio and atmosphere is the overall style to it. You really get a feel that it's a true dystopian cyberpunk future. The art style too is great, using a mix of clearly drawn lines along with vibrant colours and futuristic overlays that all blend together in unique ways.

Your enjoyment of Synergia will depend on how much you like the adult themes involved. There's plenty of talk involving sexuality (including suggested acts with machines) and depression, a few scenes with suggestive imagery and that sort of thing. Very much a novel designed for adults. That said, there's no actual sexual / explicit content in the game as it focuses on the storytelling and the characters themselves.

Synergia was another game funded from a Kickstarter too, back in 2019 they managed to pull in around $15,491. You can see it and plenty more on our dedicated Crowdfunding Page.

Feature Highlight:

  • Nearly 100 combined, unique backgrounds and CGs
  • 20+ characters, all with interesting backgrounds and personalities deeply woven into the narrative
  • An estimated 6-9 hours of gameplay
  • A unique, vibrant art aesthetic that pervades the neon dystopian setting of the game
  • A beautiful, vivid soundtrack that complements the game's aesthetic, composed by Andy Andi Han, one of the composers of Katawa Shoujo and Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story
  • Choices that deeply affect the protagonist's journey and world around them, with multiple endings

If someone like me who very rarely enjoys Visual Novels can appreciate it, they did good. You can buy Synergia on GOG, Steam and itch.io.

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ReplaySorcery is an open source instant-replay solution for Linux

Monday 27th of July 2020 03:51:56 PM

Need a project to easily capture the last 30 seconds of action? ReplaySorcery might just be the open source project that you're looking for.

Unfortunately, on Linux the GPU vendors like AMD and NVIDIA do not provide their special tools like ShadowPlay or ReLive. On Windows, those can give you simple to use and high quality instant-replay recording. On Linux, you could use OBS Studio but it's a bit overkill, needs it to always be open and always recording. This is where ReplaySorcery comes in, giving you a new way to capture the action.

Here's an example video, after some testing by me:

 

That's a completely unedited recording done by ReplaySorcery. Game featured: ScourgeBringer.

How does it work? You set it up as a systemd service, so it's running in the background. You can then just hit Ctrl+Super+R (info: the Super key is otherwise known as the 'Windows key'), and then it will output it into a video file for you into your Home / Videos folder. Curiously, it encodes it using JPEG and then when you come to save it switches over to x264 to make a video file.

The result as you can see is wonderfully smooth too and after testing it in a few games, I didn't see a drop in performance for them either—nice! While it currently doesn't support audio capture, that's eventually part of their plan. It's also not currently supported on Wayland. While there's other ways to do it, If all you need is a quick and simple capture tool, ReplaySorcery definitely does the job.

Check out ReplaySorcery on GitHub if you're interested.

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The 'Old World' update for ScourgeBringer adds a whole new realm

Monday 27th of July 2020 02:54:41 PM

From the developers of NeuroVoider which also supports Linux, ScourgeBringer is a fast-paced free-moving roguelite platformer that's seriously fun and it's had a huge upgrade.

Currently in Early Access, this is part of a series of planned big upgrades that they've successfully delivered from their roadmap. The focus of the 'Old World' update appears to be boosting the overall content with it adding in a whole new realm to battle through with its own unique enemies, a mini-boss and a main boss. There's also now challenge rooms and an alternate mini-boss for the first world too. They've also gone and tweaked the difficulty, as some rooms will alternate between easier or harder enemy waves to make the difficulity of the game a little more progressive.

Have a look at the new trailer:


Watch video on YouTube.com

More came with the update including new settings you can tweak like enemy bullet speed and HP regeneration. They also added in a new NPC that will show up rarely to 'cheer up learning players'.

Gameplay in ScourgeBringer definitely hits an interesting mark between difficulty and entertainment. With small rooms like you would see in Monolith with fast-paced action like Dead Cells and tricky platforming like Celeste. It's a thoroughly unique blend of action though, thanks to the movement style of being able to zip around in the air and off the walls.

What to expect from it as a whole?

  • Slash and shoot your way smoothly with super fluid platforming controls
  • Sharpen your skills with a frantic combat system focused on attacks only
  • Dash forward to the otherworldly adaptive sounds of Joonas Turner (Nuclear Throne, Downwell, Broforce...)
  • Defy hordes of unspeakable enemies and giant bosses holding the secrets of the Scourge
  • Explore the infinite depths of an ever-changing dungeon
  • Uncover mysteries and find mementos of previous explorers to unlock reality defining secrets

You can find ScourgeBringer on Steam.

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GOG have a 'Grand RPG Sale' going on with tons of good games going cheap

Monday 27th of July 2020 01:24:23 PM

DRM-free store GOG have today launched a Grand RPG Sale and they've filled their store full of sales on some top RPGs, from smaller indie titles to big hitters.

That's a pretty good way to start off a week, giving you a chance to pick up a game that might keep you going for quite some time. A lot of really good stuff is included too. Here's some quick highlights:

Plenty more of course, that's just a few quick-picks. You can see the full Grand RPG Sale here which GOG placed into a nice handy list of all the good deals going.

The retro indie RPG Exiled Kingdoms has also now been released on GOG for Linux too. There's a few other Windows-only RPGs that also landed on GOG recently. See them all on GOG.com.

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Ron Gilbert, developer of Thimbleweed Park is switching to Linux

Monday 27th of July 2020 11:46:28 AM

Ron Gilbert is a name most in the game industry will know from the likes of Thimbleweed Park, and earlier works like The Cave while at Double Fine and they were even the producer on my all-time favourite RTS Total Annihilation. More than that, Gilbert was also the creator of the classic Monkey Island and it appears they're now attempting to switch to Linux.

Terrible Toybox, the actual team behind Thimbleweed Park are working on a new game and game engine too. They released Delores: A Thimbleweed Park Mini-Adventure in May 2020, as a small standalone title that acts as a prototype for their newer game engine. They even put up the source code for the Delores game on GitHub, although it's not under an open source license. It doesn't support Linux yet but that appears to be planned.

So what's the fuss about? They're switching their development flow to Linux and they've started blogging about the adventure too with a first post about their new hardware a few days ago. Seems they've settled on a Dell XPS 13 with Ubuntu Budgie. The question is: why are they doing it? As they said in the post:

My goal is to see how far I can get developing my new game on directly on Linux and not the Mac (I haven't developed on Windows in years). Can I ditch the Mac and go 100% Linux?

For working on the "game", this shouldn't be a problem once the engine runs on Linux. The few custom tools I use (Wimpy, for example) and all built from the same code the engine is, so once it's working under Linux, they should compile as well.

It's quite interesting to see more developers try out Linux, although not too surprising with how Apple is now again moving CPU architecture. Not just that though, as Apple have been getting more hostile for indie developers, with all sorts of extras being needed now and that's on top of the "Apple tax" that forces you onto their hardware. Gilbert mentioned this as well, with Apple being 'more paranoid and authoritarian' as time goes on.

Since their initial blog post it seems it went mostly okay, and they're continuing to learn and find the software they want. Will be fun to see how it all goes. Good luck, we're here if you need us Mr Gilbert and our Forum is always open. We're always happy to help game developers on Linux.

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Mixing together Minesweeper with a roguelite, DemonCrawl is coming to Linux

Monday 27th of July 2020 11:22:22 AM

Therefore Games have announced that their popular roguelite puzzler DemonCrawl is coming to Linux, and it's currently in Beta with a release due in a few weeks. I've not played this one myself yet but it does look quite fun. The basic idea of Minesweeper, with roguelite and RPG mechanics thrown in with hundreds of unique items, stages, and abilities.


Watch video on YouTube.com

There's an absolutely huge amount of content included with 600+ unique items, multiple difficulty modes, 50+ different stages to battle through, special 'stage mods' to dramatically change how you play it, multiple game modes and open-ended progression allowing you to find and spend tokens on character Talents. On top of that there's even online leaderboards, Steam Achivements and more.

While playable in the Proton compatibility layer, it does have a number of issues. In the announcement, they said that the problems don't exist in their new upcoming Linux version. They will only officially support the latest stable Ubuntu build, but it should work across most distributions and they shared a shot of them working on it:

You can follow DemonCrawl on Steam. Once we get an idea of a release date, we will let you know. They said you can support their Patreon to get Beta access, details in the announcement.

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Looks like Steam is getting a 'Playtest' feature for some developers

Monday 27th of July 2020 11:07:31 AM

Valve are always upgrading the Steam store and it appears another new feature has begun rolling out, at least in a limited form with official playtests.

Currently, if developers want to let people try the game before release they hand out special Beta keys. It's a messy system, and has in the past caused all sorts of issues with Beta keys being handed out incorrectly with keys being revoked that shouldn't have been and more. It's taken a long time, around five years or so since hints of it appeared but they've now apparently shipped a new 'Playtest' feature on Steam.

Noticed by xPaw on Twitter, the creator of the super useful SteamDB website, it seems the first title to use it is Total War: ELYSIUM. It has a dedication button on the store page allowing you to register your Steam account for a Playtest.

This could certainly streamline how developers let people access games early, if it becomes widely available. Steam has been a lot more than just a games store for quite some time now and features like this seem pretty obvious to add in. What do you think?

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3D rail shooter 'Ex-Zodiac' is a Kickstarter success and coming to Linux PC

Monday 27th of July 2020 10:53:20 AM

With inspiration coming from classics like Star Fox, the in-development 3D rail shooter 'Ex-Zodiac' managed to get quite a bit of funding with the Kickstarter now complete.

2,181 backers pledged around £50,036 to help make this Godot Engine powered shooter a reality, which is quite a bit over the initial £20,000 goal set. Unlike a lot of other Kickstarters, the developer Ben Hickling did not set a bunch of wild extra stretch-goals, as all money will go towards just finishing it and making it a good game. Going by the demo they released which is still up on Steam, it was mighty impressive.


Watch video on YouTube.com

Features:

  • A retro, colourful, low-poly visual style
  • 12 main levels (plus secret areas and side-paths)
  • Multiple routes to complete the game
  • Major bosses at the end of each level, each piloted by a member of the Zodiac
  • A 16-bit style soundtrack by +TEK combining FM and wavetable synthesis

You can follow it on Steam and see the finished Kickstarter here. They're being helped by Pixeljam a developer / publisher who has worked on a lot of games including Dino Run and Nova Drift, they will be helping with some marketing as it's very much an indie game with one developer. As for when it will release? They're planning an initial Early Access launch with about half the content of the full game, with it sticking in EA for a year until full release.

Since it's fully funded, we've added it to our dedicated Crowdfunding Page.

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Strange Brigade, Sniper Elite 4 and SUPERHOT: MCD coming to Stadia

Monday 27th of July 2020 10:40:40 AM

Google have confirmed even more games coming to Stadia, their Linux-powered game streaming service that works on Linux in a Chromium / Chrome browser.

Firstly they announced SUPERHOT: Mind Control Delete, a recent release which is actually available on the Linux desktop and a thoroughly enjoyable action game. Time barely moves until you move, it's great and I can imagine such a game actually working quite well on Stadia.

Additionally Sniper Elite 4, the 'largest and most advanced World War 2 shooter ever built' is also confirmed to be coming from Rebellion. Sniper Elite 4 gives you a lot of freedom in how you play, which is part of the appeal along with the big levels and 'genre-defining rifle ballistics' making you take into account wind, gravity and more. It will have single-player, co-op and competitive multiplayer.


Watch video on YouTube.com

From the Stadia blog post, they didn't make it too clear but it appears that all three will be available to play on Stadia on August 1.

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More in Tux Machines

Linux Devices and Open Hardware

  • Mini-PC and SBC build on Whiskey Lake

    Supermicro’s 3.5-inch “X11SWN-H-WOHS” SBC and “SYS-E100-9W-H” mini-PC based it feature an 8th Gen UE-series CPU, HDMI and DP, 4x USB 3.1 Gen2, 2x GbE, and 3x M.2. Supermicro has launched a fanless, 8th Gen Whiskey Lake SBC and mini-PC. The SYS-E100-9W-H mini-PC (or SuperServer E100-9W-H), which was reported on by Fanless Tech, is certified only to run Windows 10, but the 3.5-inch X11SWN-H-WOHS SBC supports Ubuntu. Applications include industrial automation, retail, smart medical expert systems, kiosks, interactive info systems, and digital signage.

  • Exor nanoSOM nS02 System-on-Module Features the 800MHz version of STM32MP1 Processor

    Exor provides a Linux RT board support package (BSP) or Android BSP for the module which also fully supports the company’s X Platform including Exor Embedded Open HMI software, Corvina Cloud IIoT platform, and IEC61131 CODESYS or Exor xPLC runtime.

  • Onyx Boox Poke2 Color eReader Launched for $299

    Manga and comics fans, rejoice! After years of getting black & white eReaders, the first commercial color eReaders are coming to market starting with Onyx Boox Poke2 Color eReader sold for $299 (but sadly sold out at the time of writing). The eReader comes with a 6-inch, 1448 x 1072 E-Ink display that supports up to 4096 colors, and runs Android 9.0 on an octa-core processor coupled with 2GB RAM and 32GB storage.

  • xDrill Smart Power Drill Supports Intelligent Speed/Torque, Laser Measuring, Digital Leveling (Crowdfunding)

    Many home appliances now have smart functions, and in my cases, I fail to see the added value, and I’m not sure why I’d want/need a connected refrigerator with a touchscreen display. So when I first saw somebody make a “smart” power drill with a small touchscreen display I laughed. But after having a closer look, Robbox xDrill smart power drill could actually be a very useful device saving you time and helping work better.

  • Raspberry Pi calls out your custom workout routine
  • Odyssey Blue: A powerful x86 and Arduino machine that supports Windows 10 and Linux

    It has been a few months since we reported on the Odyssey, a single-board computer (SBC) designed by Seeedstudio. Unlike many SBCs, the Odyssey, or ODYSSEY-X86J4105800 to give it its full name, supported the x86 instruction set. While the Odyssey can run Windows 10, it is also compatible with the Arduino ecosystem. Now, Seeedstudio has expanded on the design of the Odyssey with the Odyssey Blue.

  • Bring two analog meters out of retirement to display temperature and humidity

    Tom of Build Comics created a unique analog weather station that shows temperature and humidity on a pair of recycled gauges. An Arduino Nano reads the levels using a DHT22 sensor and outputs them in the proper format for each display. Both units have a new printed paper backing to indicate conditions, along with a trimmer pot for calibration. To set the build off nicely, the Nano and other electronics are housed inside a beautiful custom wooden box, to which the antique meters are also affixed.

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)