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Updated: 2 hours 46 min ago

Atari VCS gets another streaming service, teams up with Game Jolt

Monday 20th of July 2020 03:14:15 PM

With the Atari VCS looking to actually ship properly by the end of this year after many delays, they're finally starting to announce some actual partnerships.

Atari, well the people currently wearing the face of Atari, have been pretty tight lipped on what you will actually be able to do with it. We already know it will support the Antstream retro game streaming service, the Atari Vault selection of retro games, the newly released Missile Command: Recharged and recently they also announced support for the AirConsole game streaming service too. I actually tried out AirConsole myself and while it worked as advertised, the selection of games was hilariously poor. Today though, July 20, they also announced a partnership with indie game store/community Game Jolt which they said will help bring 'a curated list of games' from Game Jolt over to the Atari VCS.

It seems they've started calling it a 'retro console/PC hybrid' now, presumably to try and get a wider set of people to buy into it. Really though, it sounds like their idea of a retro console just hasn't worked out as well as they had hoped with still so few announcements of what will be supported.

"Atari is committed to bringing the creative work of small studios and independent developers to the Atari VCS platform," said Michael Arzt, COO of Atari VCS & Connected Devices. "Our partnership with Game Jolt will ensure the creative efforts of the Game Jolt community can find a home and reach an expanded audience on the Atari VCS."

"We have built Game Jolt to better highlight indie games and bring global opportunities to indie studios. Through our partnership with the Atari VCS platform, we're excited to extend our current reach into the family living room," said Game Jolt CEO Yaprak DeCarmine. "We are excited to be publishing games hand-picked from Game Jolt to the Atari VCS."

Worth noting they've only announced some sort of partnership, not a single title was confirmed as part of it yet.

The Atari VCS will come out of the box with the Linux-based Atari World, which shouldn't give developers much trouble porting to if they already support Linux anyway. You can also run any normal operating system on it like Ubuntu too.

After many delays, a lawsuit that Atari appear to have not even bothered to turn up for, more delays and plenty of scepticism, will it actually turn out to be a reasonably product in the end? I can only hope so for backers of the original IndieGoGo campaign and anyone who does actually pre-order.

It's shipping late towards the end of this year in a few different versions. Around $280 for just the basic Atari VCS, or $400 for the all-in bundle for the VCS plus a Wireless Modern Controller and a Wireless Classic Joystick and there's two special versions available from GameStop and Walmart. See more on the official site.

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Unspottable is an amusing upcoming crowd-blending party game

Monday 20th of July 2020 02:45:00 PM

Coming later this year is Unspottable, an amusing party game about blending in with the crowd across a few different game modes and it's confirmed for Linux with a demo.

It's similar in idea to Hidden in Plain Sight, in fact the basic idea of the game is the same. There's lots of the same character on the screen and you each need to find who is real to beat them. There's a demo that's available now with Linux support that has two different levels available and both are quite funny with gameplay that's already pretty great.

Speaking to the developer on their Reddit post, they confirmed that it's not just going to be a clone of similar crowd-blending games. Instead they're going for an approach that has lots of mini-games with different extra mechanics.


Watch video on YouTube.com

While the demo was quite limited, we've had a lot of fun trying it out here in the GOL office. In one level you're in a field with robots that gradually drop dead with a flat battery so it's a race against time, and another in a sushi house that gives you the chance to either catch the others or grab all the needed pieces of food to escape. The Sushi level also lets you send out a mouse with the camera then focusing on it, letting you and others quickly run around to reposition while the camera is focused on that. If they keep adding lots of little mechanics like that across all the other planned levels, I can see this being a brilliant party game when done.

I must admit my love of the character art here too, those big eyes are amusing. Try out the Unspottable demo on Steam.

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Tomb of the Eaters is the 'biggest update ever' for Caves of Qud

Monday 20th of July 2020 12:00:51 PM

Caves of Qud, the science fantasy roguelike epic had an absolutely colossal update released named Tomb of the Eaters with a huge new area.

Probably one of the top 10 roguelikes available for Linux, it's a big game full of some really wild stories and character design possibilities. The crazy side of it just expanded with a gigantic tomb complex that's 12 stories tall and
Freehold Games said it includes around 100 maps. That's madness.

There's also a ton of new creatures, NPCs, objects and mechanics scattered throughout the Tomb and surrounding environments along with the Tomb of the Eaters questline. There's also a new village, new side quests, new factions, new music and more to go along with it.

Pictured: Caves of Qud with the pre-release UI enabled.

I always love looking over the changelog of Qud because there's always something delightfully weird. Cyberpunk has nothing on Qud, with 16 new cybernetic implements you can grab like reactive cranial plating and a fire suppression system because with all that tech you might need to put yourself out. A whole new liquid made it in too with 'brain brine'—excuse me what? I can only imagine what that's used for…

On top of all that there's a whole bunch of new combat sounds, various other sound effects additions, there's new combat animations, work is progressing on a whole new UI some of which can be enabled in the options and so much more that my eyes blurred trying to read all the changes. It's massive.

Not many games can let you be a mutated human with thick fur, that involuntarily releases electromagnetic pulses and has the ability to distort time around you but Caves of Qud does. Yes really.

You can grab a copy now from GOG, itch.io and Steam.

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Don't Starve Together gets a 'Troubled Waters' update expanding the seas

Monday 20th of July 2020 10:28:38 AM

Life on the sea is dangerous and now perhaps even more so in Don't Starve Together with the latest free update named Troubled Waters and it sounds great.

Don't Starve Together is the incredibly fun co-op survival game from Klei Entertainment, it's the standalone multiplayer version of the original uncompromising Don't Starve. It's going through an update chain named Return of Them, which comes in multiple parts. Starting with Turn of Tides in August 2019 which added in new boat mechanics to travel across the seas together and this update further expands that.

Klei also put out another of their lovely animated trailers for this update:


Watch video on YouTube.com

What's actually in the Troubled Waters update? Here's your highlights:

  • New craftable mast upgrades.
  • New craftable water pump for open water fire emergencies.
  • Sea Weed living out on the Sea Stacks.
  • Spittlefish
  • Rock Jaw sharks plying the deep waterways.
  • The Terrorclaw, aquatic relation to the Terrorbeak.
  • Barnacles and new Barnacle cooking recipes.
  • New cooking recipes for Leafy Meat.
  • Something to break the lonely nights at sea.

As for what's to come next, they're planning an update in August focusing on 'QOL' (quality of life) so expect numerous bug fixes to improve the flow of the game. Klei has started on the next character refresh too and another animated short along with a 'big' content update - all of that will be announced sometime soon.

You can buy Don't Starve Together on Steam. It remains one of the most popular games on Steam, constantly in the top 50 by players online seeing regularly close to thirty thousand players at a time.

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Strange Adventures in Infinite Space is back, free and under the GPL

Monday 20th of July 2020 09:27:06 AM

Before the likes of FTL: Faster Than Light we had Strange Adventures in Infinite Space, one of the first spaceship roguelikes and it's made a return.

Originally released in 2002, it was later made open source in 2005 and eventually the actual game assets became freeware too. It's now seen something of an updated re-release, using improved source code that remains under the GPL license and they've also now made the game assets freely available under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license. Nice!

"Experience the little game that did. The game that opened the door just a crack, yet wide enough to allow a new roguelike subgenre to emerge. One which would eventually give us classics like FTL."

It's a single-player space exploration roguelike, giving you a full game in short bursts of 5-20 minutes depending on how lucky or unlucky you are.

Features:

  • 21 different ship types
  • 69 different weapons, drives, shields, gadgets and artifacts
  • 18 alien lifeforms
  • 17 different planet and star types
  • 7 unique alien races

You can find it on GitHub and itch.io. The current itch build for Linux didn't run for me on Manjaro but the release build on GitHub does, they noted there was a mix-up and so it seems the itch build hasn't updated yet.

The team from Digital Eel also released two further games with Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space and Infinite Space III: Sea of Stars.

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What have you been playing recently? We've been tinkering with a Raspberry Pi 4

Monday 20th of July 2020 08:49:28 AM

Apparently we missed the weekend and didn't ask you for your latest recommendations? Let's fix that. What have you been playing recently and what do you think about it?

For me personally, I've actually been doing something a little different. Since my 32nd birthday is coming up soon on July 30, I picked up a Raspberry Pi 4 (4GB model) and what a wonderful little device it is. I can finally join the world of tiny computers! Using the full Raspberry Pi 4 Desktop Kit, it couldn't have been any easier and what a joy it was to get going.

Snap it together into the little case, plug it in with the SD card that came with the 'NOOBS' installer so there's absolutely no fuss. Okay, that's a small lie, there was a tiny bit of fuss with KODI having a really slow mouse which was solvable by adding "usbhid.mousepoll=0" to the end of "/boot/config.txt".

Without much fuss then it was up and running—yes that's Halo: Reach with Steam Play Proton being streamed from a Manjaro desktop to the Raspberry Pi. Glorious. I also need to one day invest in a better camera but priorities…

So as you might expect, I've been testing out a lot of games with the Steam Link from my Linux desktop to my new Linux-powered Raspberry Pi 4 and so far it's handled it like an absolute champ. It's surprising how much better Steam Link works now than the last proper time I tested it, where it was quite rough, now it seems fantastic.

If you're also interested in the Raspberry Pi, Humble have a dedicated Raspberry Pi Book Bundle on until August 10.

Over to you: what have you been gaming on Linux lately? Serve up your recommendations in the comments.

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Linux game manager Lutris gets a small update for Direct3D 12 using VKD3D-Proton

Monday 20th of July 2020 08:21:57 AM

The free and open source game manager Lutris had a small update focusing on having better Direct3D 12 support on Linux thanks to it now using VKD3D-Proton.

What is Lutris? An application you can use to manage Linux games across GOG, Steam and more along with support for scripts to manage Wine / Proton installs for Windows games and applications too. It's super useful.

It had quite a big update earlier this month so this recent update is on the smaller side, although still interesting. With Lutris 0.5.7.1, they now provide D3D12.DLL based on the VKD3D-Proton project as part of their provided DXVK runtime for Wine which they said will "help push updates faster and provide better compatibility for Direct3D 12 titles such as World of Warcraft".

VKD3D-Proton is the Valve-backed fork of the original VKD3D, which now serves as the official implement the full Direct3D 12 API on top of Vulkan for Proton.

See more on the official Lutris website and GitHub. You can also support Lutris on Patreon.

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Gyroscope tool JoyShockMapper comes to Linux, Valve adds 'Flick stick' to Steam Input

Saturday 18th of July 2020 02:40:53 PM

Own a gamepad / controller that has a built in gyroscope? Using it for first-person shooters might be about to get better for you with JoyShockMapper and Steam Input for Steam users.

What's all this then? Well, JoyShockMapper is an open source project (MIT license) from developer Jibb Smart available on GitHub that gives you new ways to use controllers like the PlayStation DualShock 4, Nintendo Switch JoyCons, and Nintendo Switch Pro Controller because of the gyro inside. It can give you much finer aiming than just using the right stick by itself and it sounds awesome.

Have a look at Smart giving it all a demo in the below video:


Watch video on YouTube.com

JoyShockMapper itself was previously only supported on Windows but as of a few days ago, a developer mentioned that it should now work on Linux too! They're planning to provide Linux builds soon, once they get the flow right on the dev side to enable that but you can manually compile it all together yourself to test if you wish.

On that subject, Valve recently put out a fresh Steam Beta on July 17 which upgraded Steam Input with an added implementation of Jibb Smart’s Flick Stick too. Valve also said they managed to lower the CPU hit on some Steam Input API calls. On the Linux side, the Steam Beta should also now actually do something when you hit the "STOP" button on 'non-Steamworks titles'.

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Albion Online turns 3 with a big celebration and major update in August

Saturday 18th of July 2020 02:14:44 PM

Sandbox Interactive are celebrating their MMO, Albion Online, turning three years old and it seems they're going from strength to strength with a lot more planned.

Launching on July 17 back in 2017, Sandbox Interactive put Albion Online up as a pay to play MMO with a focus on PvP battling and it came with same-day Linux support. Later in 2018 it launched on Steam and then eventually went free to play in April 2019.

Since releasing, it's had quite number of large free expansions that has seen the player numbers continue to increase. Their most popular update named Queen, which launched in January 2020 saw player numbers quite rapdily increase from around 50,000 daily up to well over 100,000. During the COVID19 outbreak, they also raised €40,000 for charity which was a nice touch.

For the celebration they've enabled a 25% increase in Fame gain until July 24. Fame is their version of experience points, which you get from all sorts of activities like fighting mobs and gathering resources. A classic dungeon 'Defenders of the Past' has also appeared from the Albion Beta, which will stick around until July 31 and those who complete it will have a chance to get a brand-new Red Anniversary Banner.

With the next update titled Rise of Avalon update coming in August, it's going to bring in even more free content for the game including the exciting sounding Corrupted Dungeons which we covered here. I'm excited!

See their three-year overview here and a note on the celebrations here.

If you're a regular player, let us know if you've been enjoying it in the comments. What's been your favourite memory from playing Albion Online?

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Techland delays Dying Light - Hellraid until August 13

Saturday 18th of July 2020 12:00:56 PM

Dying Light - Hellraid, the upcoming DLC that sends you into dark dungeons to face off against skeletons and all sorts has been delayed.

Techland were originally developing Hellraid as a standalone game, a first-person co-op slasher where you're in a world being invaded by the forces of Hell. In 2015, they officially put the game on hold and continued working through Dying Light and then announcing Dying Light 2 in 2018. Not to get rid of all of it, a DLC inspired by it with Dying Light - Hellraid was announced back in June 2020.

It was due to release on July 23, and had a Beta available for people who pre-ordered. So why the sudden delay? Techland said the reason was all the feedback from the recent Beta:

We received tons of great feedback during our beta of Dying Light – Hellraid. Big thanks to everyone who participated! We’re hell-bent on applying your suggestions, so we will be launching the new game mode on August 13 for PC, and August 14 for consoles.

Not a long delay but hopefully enough for them to polish any rough edges. See our previous Beta footage below:


As a huge fan of Dying Light, with it remaining in my top 10 gaming experiences from the last few years, adding a whole new way to play it sounds great.

You can buy Dying Light from Humble Store and Steam, with the Hellraid DLC on Humble Store and Steam for pre-order which costs £7.99 / $9.99 / €9.99.

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Worms Armageddon gets a 21 year update, should work better with Wine and Proton

Saturday 18th of July 2020 11:26:56 AM

The classic Team17 game Worms Armageddon, originally released in 1999 and to this day remains very popular recently turned 21 and a big anniversary update is out - it's even nice news for Linux gamers.

While it's an older title that never got official Linux support, it seems someone has still been paying attention. Thanks to members of the community who continue working on the game, with approval from Team17, the massive 3.8 update released recently. This huge update even includes some adjustments to make it work better with the Wine and Proton compatibility layers. This was even mentioned in the announcement:

Much effort has been expended in allowing everyone, no matter their hardware, to have a good Worms Armageddon experience. […] Worms Armageddon now runs well under Wine or Proton on Linux. A new OpenGL renderer has been added which, depending on your hardware, might outperform the other renderers. Windowed mode means there’s no more need for your hardware to support specific screen resolutions. 


Watch video on YouTube.com

Interested in the finer details? The full patch notes can be seen here on the TUS community website. Adding a few Wine-specific fixes and a dedicated OpenGL renderer should make it a much smoother experience for any Linux gaming fans who want to play the classic Worms Armageddon.

You can buy Worms Armageddon on Humble Store, GOG and Steam.

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Wine 5.13 development release is up, here's the highlights

Saturday 18th of July 2020 11:00:22 AM

The Wine team have produced another development release of the Windows compatibility layer with Wine 5.13 going up on July 17.

What is Wine, apart from a tasty liquid that you should drink responsibly? A quick reminder for the newer Linux user: it's a 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

Here's the highlights of what's new:

  • Re-mapping of INI files to the registry.
  • System call thunks in NTDLL.
  • Reimplementation of floating point numbers printing.
  • Beginnings of a restructuration of the console support. 

On the subject of bug fixes, in total they mentioned 22 solved for this release. Some old that were re-tested and some new. These include issues fixed for: Dungeon Siege 1 & 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered, Battle.net, Mass Effect: Andromeda and more.

See the full notes on the release announcement.

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Dead Age 2 brings party-based tactical zombie survival to a more open world

Friday 17th of July 2020 08:24:17 PM

Now available in Early Access, Dead Age 2 is the sequel to the 2016 hit and brings with it a much expanded game.

Developed by Silent Dreams with Headup helping out as publisher, Dead Age 2 follows a group of determined survivors who have fled to Freedom City in search of a cure for the plague that triggered the zombie apocalypse ten years ago. You will be completing quests, scavenging for resources and building up a base to survive.

In between all that, you also have the tight and fast-paced tactical turn-based combat against Zombies, gangs of looters and more. While death for characters is permenaent, it offers some outside progression in the form of persistent upgrades to go with in another run.


Watch video on YouTube.com

While it's not finished with it being in Early Access, it's designed to be a much bigger game and one they plan to continue boosting with new content for a few months. There's already a lot there and Dead Age 2 introduces a new, open world where you can explore unique indoor and outdoor environments along with different forms of fast travel thanks to boats, trains, and other vehicles. With a branching story-line and six unique endings, every decision made counts.

Dead Age 2 also introduces the 'Advanced Base Management System'. You will be able to assign tasks to survivors, to get them to do various helpful things like crafting essentials and upgrading, everything you need to help ensure your survival. As your base grows, you can then unlock advanced crafting recipes to improve items you craft and resource yield. There's certainly plenty to keep you busy during the second apocalypse.

The first game ended up getting quite a good rating from users, so hopefully this will continue doing well.

Dead Age 2 is now available for Linux on GOG and Steam and in Early Access for £14.99 / $17.99 / €17,99. There's also a 10% discount until July 23, with owners of the first game given an additional 10% discount.

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Have a chat and work on your relationship in We should talk. out now

Friday 17th of July 2020 07:58:07 PM

Spin the conversation wheel of fortune in the short-form narrative game We should talk. that's out now with Linux support. Released after a successful Kickstarter campaign, it's nice to see more experimental games that try to push the boundaries in different ways like this.

We should talk. is certainly a game that's quite intriguing, with a pretty unique speech feature that has you construct your answers in conversations with multiple parts you can switch around. Quite clever actually, I've not really seen such a feature used often at all. You're only usually given specific whole things to say but this is designed to get you to slow down, think things through and practice some social skills all while listening to some rather chilling tunes in a bar with friends. This is the Nintendo Switch trailer but ah—it's all the same and it's the latest one:


Watch video on YouTube.com

It's very much like a visual novel and a dating sim together. If you usually enjoy those sorts of experiences, then We should talk. is likely something you will also find interesting. The idea here really, is that it wants to make it a bit more natural. Games often want you to bring a gift to someone or do the exact thing they need, here it's more about digging a little into the conversation and the person in front of you or behind the text message.

Depending on who you chat with, and how you decide to treat your current girlfriend over text message, you will get to different endings. Your relationship might not last the night…

Need to talk? Pick it up on Steam and itch.io for £5.19 / €5.69 / $6.99.

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FOSS OpenXR runtime 'Monado' gets Lighthouse positional tracking with libsurvive

Friday 17th of July 2020 05:16:07 PM

Are you as excited as we are about the future of VR and AR (collectively known as XR)? It's hard not to be with the excellent progress going on with Monado, the open source OpenXR runtime.

Collabora, the team of seriously clever open source developers that work with various companies (including the likes of Valve Software) have written up a new blog post about the work going into Monado and as usual it's impressive. Monado can now work with the HTC Vive (Pro) or Valve Index hardware to provide positional tracking, thanks to the libsurvive project. Confused? Lighthouse positional tracking is the tech used by Valve for their VR kits. It uses what they call a Base Station to beam signals around to your fancy VR headset and controllers.

With how far along Monado has come, they've shown off a new video with Monado running libsurvive with the Godot Engine and all of this on a 'fully open source stack':


Watch video on YouTube.com

Nice to see the open source Godot Engine being used even more for stuff like this too, being free and open source means anyone can jump in with it. This is using the godot_openxr GDNative driver for OpenXR and a fork of the Godot OpenXR FPS.

Want the full details? Head over to the Collabora blog post.

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The pretty looking Idaho DLC and 1.38 update for American Truck Simulator are out

Friday 17th of July 2020 04:58:31 PM

A big free patch and an expansive new DLC are now available for American Truck Simulator. Prepare to travel through Idaho and take in the sights.

Firstly, the free 1.38 update for ATS is out that brings with it Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO), a redesigned route advisor, navigation ETA to the next waypoint in route advisor and in world map, a major revamp to the city of Las Vegas with new road networks and more detailed scenery, improved Truckstops and quite a bit more. The patch is so big that they gave it a dedicated video.


Watch video on YouTube.com

It's not been out for long (July 16) but it's already hit a Very Positive user rating on Steam, showing that all the attention SCS Software put into it as being worthwhile.

You can buy American Truck Simulator on Humble Store and Steam.

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Simply Puzzles: Junctions is a fresh logic puzzle game to test your brain

Friday 17th of July 2020 04:17:05 PM

Out now with Linux support, Simply Puzzles: Junctions is another streamlined and easy to learn logic puzzle game. This is the second Simply Puzzles release on Steam following on from Codewords in June.

The aim their games they said are to be 'easy to understand, uncluttered and relaxing', as they think there's not enough high-quality simple puzzle titles like it. Simply Puzzles: Junctions features 100 hand-tested puzzles, each presented with the same relaxing, uncluttered presentation as Simply Puzzles: Codewords.

Junctions is all about filling a grid with lines, while making sure each number has the correct number of lines connected, and that there are no loops formed. It is quite simple but it can also be easy to muddle it all up. Thankfully the clean design makes it easy to relax with and test your brain. It clearly succeeds with the aim as Simply Puzzles: Junctions is a very nice idea that gets tricky.

As with the previous game in the series, Codewords, Junctions is available for Linux day 1. It's core to the Simply Puzzles series - our games must be affordable, accessible and easy to understand. Linux is our Operating System of choice, and we see no reason all games shouldn't be playable on it. Simple!

Simply Puzzles

If you do get stuck you can quit and save your current progress in place, plus there's a demo to try it out and see if you like it.

You can buy Simply Puzzles: Junctions on Steam with a price that's not going to hurt your wallet either at £1.99.

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Developer of Robo Instructus gives out sales info after a year

Friday 17th of July 2020 03:23:26 PM

Now that the programming-puzzle game Robo Instructus has been out for just a year, the developer has written up a blog post talking about sales and how it went.

What is it? Robo Instructus is a puzzle game in which players manoeuvre a robot by issuing instructions via a simple programming language. As players progress through the game they unlock new functions to overcome new puzzles, each of which can be solved in multiple ways. The more you master the robot, the more elegant and powerful your solutions will be. This is not a game of moving logic blocks around, it needs actual programming.

So now you know what it is, how did it do after a whole year? Not well in terms of sales or even player progression. Going by achievements, only 5% managed to complete 2 of the 4 acts. As for sales: in total it sold 2,571 copies which is just over 200 a month. Split across stores that was 2,544 sold on Steam and a mere 27 came from itch.io. Across different operating systems on Steam, keeping in mind this was developed on Linux and launched with Windows/Linux support and macOS came ~2 months later:

  • Windows - 89.7%
  • Linux - 7.6%
  • Mac - 2.7%

Their takeaway is that you obviously need Windows support on Steam and it's not something a game developer can keep going with. This led to Alex Butler, who wrote the post, mentioned that they went back into a regular software engineering job in October 2019. Like I've said many times in the past—if you're a small developer publishing on Steam, it's very difficult to get much now unless you have some good marketing and it sounds like the wider press largely ignored Robo Instructus.

You can see the full post here and pick up the game on itch.io or Steam.


If you wish to see sales numbers from other developers check out our dedicated tag.

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NoiseTorch is another tool to remove background noise while recording on Linux

Friday 17th of July 2020 02:55:10 PM

NoiseTorch is another recent discovery that can help you remove background noise in real-time while recording with a microphone on Linux.

Much like Cadmus which we covered recently and were very impressed with, it makes use of the Real-time Noise Suppression Plugin for PulseAudio based on Xiph's RNNoise (a noise suppression library based on a recurrent neural network).

The application gives you pretty much a one-click solution, as it sets it all up for you and then you can just select NoiseTorch as the microphone source and away you go. Just like we did with Cadmus in the above link, here's a test of its ability to cut out some harsh noise.

 

While it seems Cadmus does a slightly better job at reducing background noise while chatting, overall it still pretty much does the job you need it to. Unlike the test, you're not usually going to have someone taking a hammer to the desk the microphone is attached to but it's interesting to see how these tools do in extremes. It should nicely get rid of all that crisp eating, furious typing and vaping noises for you.

Do you want to try it out yourself? You can find NoiseTorch on GitHub.

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Ultra Hat Dimension is a puzzle game about getting constantly punched

Thursday 16th of July 2020 08:09:56 PM

Kitsune Games, developer of the rather fantastic roguelike MidBoss (see Scaine's review) just released one of their older titles Ultra Hat Dimension on Steam with a bunch of upgrades and added Linux support.

It's a very sweet puzzle game about fancy hats and people getting punched for wearing them. Although, reading that back, saying it's sweet and then talking about throwing punches probably sounds quite strange. You, the player, are actually unable to do any punching yourself. Instead you get bounced around various levels while constantly hearing these little Spluff creatures go "POW" as they send you flying in each direction. It's like they're just mocking me.


Watch video on YouTube.com

It's a really strange mechanic that's also honestly quite brilliant because every level is basically a maze you have to figure your way through. Starting off with just simple paths to walk through, the levels do soon get complicated. Take a wrong turn and you end up getting punched around for some time, and it's actually a bit hilarious.

The gameplay doesn't get much more complicated than that but it does throw in a fancy hat mechanic. Spread across levels are hats you can pick up and when wearing a hat, it will allow you to walk on by some Spluffs with a matching hat without getting punched or even get them to move out the way. Ultra Hat Dimension is a great example of how to take a simple idea and work it into a solid game. Originally created for the Ludum Dare 32 Game Jam under a theme of "An Unconventional Weapon", with close to three thousand entries it managed to come in the top 30 overall.

Along with adding Linux (and macOS) support, the latest update/re-release brings in niceties like gamepad support and an animated intro along with a few translations. Looks like the Linux build was another done by game porter / FNA developer Ethan Lee. Much like their newer game MidBoss, Kitsune Games managed to create something wonderfully different.

Ultra Hat Dimension is a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle game. You can buy it on itch.io and Steam.

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