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Gaming

Rocket League Still Thriving on Steam While Delisted

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Gaming

As you can see from the above chart, the Rocket League community on Steam has never been as active as now, even though the game is officially delisted. The game is alive and well and continues to be receive frequent updates on Steam – and the increase of the player base through EGS has potentially made the game more enticing than ever to play online, regardless of the platform.

Wile you cannot purchase Rocket League directly on Steam anymore, it can still be obtained through third party resellers. Such third party key are selling at crazy prices, sometimes above 100 USD.

[...]

Also, this is a reminder that Rocket League still works fine on Linux even after the termination of the native port and the big Epic client update in September 2020…

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Games: Skullgirls, Griftlands, CaveExpress, mGBA

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Gaming
  • Skullgirls: Annie goes up in Beta along with the Season Pass and a Linux support update | GamingOnLinux

    Ready to beat 'em up? Get ready for a fight as Skullgirls 2nd Encore now has the Annie DLC available in Beta along with the Season Pass and Linux users can get in on the fun.

    Before getting into the thick of it, there's some really good news to share on two fronts. Not only is Linux support continuing, with the Linux client up to date - they've also pulled in a new developer. Well, actually, it's an old developer - sort of. They announced that Future Club, a co-op formed from the ashes of Lab Zero, has joined them on the development of Annie and the rest of the Season Pass. Perfect news if you're a Skullgirls fan.

  • Griftlands from Klei Entertainment to arrive on Linux in May, full launch this Summer | GamingOnLinux

    Klei Entertainment creator of the popular Don't Starve and Oxygen Not Included will be bringing their roguelite deck-builder Griftlands over to Linux in May ahead of the full release.

    "Griftlands is a deck-building rogue-like where you fight and negotiate your way through a broken-down sci-fi world. Every decision is important, be it the jobs you take, the friends you make, or the cards you collect. Death comes quickly, but each play offers new situations and strategies to explore."

    Originally an Epic Store exclusive, it eventually made its way onto Steam a year or so later in June 2020. It's still in Early Access and it seems they've managed to do well with it hitting an Overwhelmingly Positive user rating overall. They've now revealed their updated roadmap, which shows a full launch in the Summer along with a Linux supported build going up in May!

  • CaveExpress – classic 2D platformer with physics-based gameplay

    We’ve received tons of feedback asking for more exposure to Linux’s open source gaming scene. We’re always wanting to make Linux more glamorous, sexy, and attractive. Or it could be that work is sometimes not as exciting as playing an addictive game.

    CaveExpress is a classic 2D platform game set in prehistoric times. You play the hero masquerading as a caveman. Survival is paramount but there are beasties that want to change that. Dinosaurs, mammoths and giant fish to be precise.

    CaveExpress is published under an open source license and it’s cross-platform software.

  • mGBA | Game Boy Emulation on Linux

    I have received quite the number of comments about emulating the Game Boy on modern hardware and all the work that is going into it. I learned so much about the extensive community around emulating Game Boy games and the technology, research and absolute passion that goes into it. Though I was given many suggestions, the one that I settled on trying was mGBA. It appears that the latest version in the openSUSE repositories and on Flathub is 0.8.3, although, there seems to be a bit of discrepancy on what the change log says vs what the application itself says… not big deal. The latest release as of today is 0.8.4 which is available from the Snap Store. Since I am not emulating any of the more difficult games, the changes between the versions won’t likely affect my usage.

    I do recommend checking out this Gameboy Emulator Shootout Matrix from here. I will get to some more of these at some point but considering what is widely available, and I see that it is in the middle of the pack on the tests, this was a good place to start. I would also be interested in more feedback here, what should I try next and what should I specifically check out between the emulators.

Games: Proton, Crusader Kings III, Rogue State Revolution, and plus-x

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Gaming
  • Proton Has Enabled 7000 Windows Games to Run on Linux

    We are reaching another milestone with ProtonDB: we are very close to 7000 Windows games confirmed to be working out of the box with Proton on Linux.

    Proton has been receiving many updates in the past few months as well, with the introduction of the Soldier Linux runtime container and Proton Experimental on top of the regular Proton releases. We are still getting about 100 new titles working flawlessly (according to user reports) on a monthly basis, which is a very healthy and steady growth. Another point is the percentage of Windows games working out of the box in Proton over time. The number has been close to 50% since for a long time and seems to be fairly stable.

  • Brace yourself, Winter is coming to Crusader Kings III | GamingOnLinux

    As if you didn't have enough problems with backstabbers, finding someone to marry and keeping your kingdom together - winter is coming to Crusader Kings III in the 1.3 update.

    This will be a free update for everyone that drops along side the first DLC. While there's no date, we should find out a little bit more when the Paradox Insider event happens on March 13. Fear not though, we'll keep an eye out for any interesting announcements and let you know after the event.

    When it comes to winter, snow will be heading to Crusader Kings III making the already difficult world much harsher overall. The map will gradually get covered in snow and Paradox said their system is pretty flexible so they can control where it flows. It's not just a cosmetic change though and does a few interesting things. For starters, there's going to be variants of it like mild and harsh winters, including visual effects to show the differences.

  • Political strategy game Rogue State Revolution gets a demo and a release date

    Rogue State Revolution from LRDGames, Inc. (Deep Sixed, Precipice) and publisher Modern Wolf is an upcoming challenging roguelike geopolitical thriller strategy game. In the game you take control of the presidency and rebuild, reform and prepare for new challenges as the Glorious People's Republic of Basenji becomes a new political, economic and cultural hotspot.

    The developer just announced it's going to release on March 18 with full Linux support.

  • plus-x is a simple tool to help developers on Windows set Linux permissions for games | GamingOnLinux

    Here's a small and very useful sounding application from game developer Cheeseness. It's called plus-x and the aim is to allow developers on Windows to set the correct permissions on Linux executables.

    The problem: when game developers put out a Linux build and then zip it up for download, Linux users download it and then often need to manually set permissions on the executable for it to be launched. plus-x gets around that by allowing developers to inspect the package and then set the correct permissions.

Wine's Project Leader Has Given A Blessing To The Wayland Effort

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Gaming

Published last month was an updated but still experimental version of the native Wayland support for Wine after that code was originally published last year. One of the lingering questions has been around the prospects of mainlining this Wayland driver in Wine while last week the longtime Wine project leader, Alexandre Julliard, provided some clarity on the matter.

The engineers at Collabora have been making good progress on the Wayland driver for Wine to allow Windows games/applications to run on Wayland without having to go through XWayland while in the ensuing discussion on the latest version of the patches were the prospects or requirements around getting it accepted upstream.

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Games: Godot, Artifact, Loop Hero, and Urtuk: The Desolation

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Gaming
  • Godot Showcase - Primal Light developer interview

    Welcome to the fourth developer interview following the introduction of the Godot Showcase page! This week, we are interviewing the studio Fat Gem about their first game Primal Light.

  • Valve gives up on Artifact setting it free with Artifact Classic and Artifact Foundry | GamingOnLinux

    Valve's Dota themed card game Artifact has now well and truly failed, as they've now stopped the 2.0 redevelopment which is now named Artifact Foundry with the original as Artifact Classic and both now free to play.

    In a post titled "The Future of Artifact", Valve mentioned how the player count fell off dramatically and it was pretty much dead shortly after being released. Even though the big 2.0 revamp was far along in development, they've now formally and totally shelved it as they "haven't managed to get the active player numbers to a level that justifies further development at this time".

  • Loop Hero is out now and I'm going to need help to tear myself away from it | GamingOnLinux

    Loop Hero, probably the only titles I've pre-ordered in the last few years is officially out now and I really will need some help to pull myself away from running just one more loop.

    It's such a strange and beautifully intoxicating mix of genres. For each loop through you're placed into a world full of nothing but a path and it's up to you to build up the world each time. You do this through your deck of cards, while the hero automatically loops around the path and fights enemies along the way without your input. Even though you don't have direct control, there's quite a lot of strategy involved in it.

  • Dark low-fantasy tactical survival RPG 'Urtuk: The Desolation' is out now | GamingOnLinux

    Urtuk: The Desolation from David Kaleta presents you with a dark world in a low-fantasy settings where you guide a team of survivors through a ruined world. Note: key provided by the developer.

    Hitting nearly one thousand user reviews and a Very Positive rating on Steam overall, Urtuk: The Desolation seems to have managed to hit a sweet spot. Giving you tough turn-based combat, with a character progression system that sees you extracting skills and traits from fallen enemies. It's a bit of a gross world and the main character, Urtuk, is an escaped subject of experimentation with a severe mutation and worsening health. The idea is to eventually find a cure but getting there will be tough.

Games: Torrent of Impurities, Shelter 3, GoD Unit, and Mail Mole

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Gaming
  • Torrent of Impurities is a brand new single-player and co-op Quake Episode

    Need more of the classic FPS Quake in your life? Check out the newly released Torrent of Impurities by a bunch of Finnish mappers which serves up another dose to blast through.

    In development for over 9 months it brings over 7 new maps with thousands of monsters spread throughout. Plenty of secrets to find for this will too with over 120 to scout out and find. Using Copper as the base of the pack, which is a "drop-in improvement to stock /id1/ gameplay and an equally suitable basis for new mods" but it tweaks plenty on top of all their unique additions.

  • Might and Delight confirm Shelter 3 to launch on March 30 | GamingOnLinux

    Get ready to become one with nature again, as Shelter 3 from Might and Delight now has an official release date and it's going up on March 30.

    The Shelter serious is all about exploring nature as an actual animal, Shelter 3 puts you in the shoes of an Elephant and so it's a bit different to the previous games since you're part of a bigger community. Might and Delight say it's their "most emotional journey yet". You'll be helping to protect the entire herd, while also trying to protect your own calf as a new mother. It's shaping up to be a thoroughly unique experience.

  • The GoD Unit is a brain-tickling first-person physics puzzle game out now

    With the recent updates to Portal 2 I got a needy feeling for more first-person puzzle goodness and thankfully The GoD Unit seems to deliver on that. Note: key provided by the developer.

    The idea here is that you're going to be playing with mass. Using the tried and tested weighted cubes from Portal and other puzzle games, you run around rooms moving cubes around to press down buttons. However, there's quite a bit more than meets the eye here. You're constantly messing around with the mass of these cubes, making them weigh more or less using the special tech in the facility.

    [...]

    Cat Floor Studio, the developer, is a solo studio too which is surprising given how much thought went into this i would have expected at least 3-4 people on it. Always surprises me what tiny teams and solo developers can do.

  • Super charming 3D burrowing platformer Mail Mole is out now

    Love 3D platformers? Mail Mole from Talpa Games and Undercoders is out now with its sweet family friendly setting that sees you fire a mole around various different lands. Note: key provided by the developer.

    In Mail Mole, someone has sabotaged and hacked into all the power stations and so it's your job to burrow through all these magical lands to deliver a special password to each of them and bring them all back online. Not a particularly challenging game but still a wonderful addition to the 3D platformer genre, one that a younger audience will definitely enjoy a lot.

Games: Drova - Forsaken Kin, Core Defense, and Proton Stuff

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Gaming
  • Drova - Forsaken Kin is an upcoming pixel-art RPG with 'high player agency'

    Ready to try another demo of a promising upcoming game? The developer of Drova - Forsaken Kin emailed in about their pixel-art RPG and it sounds pretty promising.

    They mention that it's a pixel art RPG that "focuses on investigative exploration and combat with high player agency", with you choosing a side in a changing world "devoured by Ether, the essence of creation itself getting out of control when an ancient threat returns". So what they're saying is the world is dynamic, it changes and you have an effect on things - something like that.

    [...]

    The developer, Just2D, mentioned how they've put "a lot of effort into Linux compatibility" so hopefully that works out well for them.

  • Top 6 New Games You Can Play With Proton Since Feb. 2021

    Valheim is a bit of a different beast in that list. It has a Linux client in the first place, but there’s apparently enough people who had trouble with it not working properly that they ended up falling back on Proton (and it looks like it works perfectly under Proton). So, do not take this as a recommendation to play the game on Proton, but simply as an alternative in case you have issues.

  • Tower Defense with deck-building 'Core Defense' set to get an expansion

    Core Defense, a positively rated tower defense game by users (and one we enjoyed) from developer ehmprah that sprinkles in a little deck-building is getting an expansion with a Beta you can try.

    Quite different to most tower defense games, as the placement of almost everything is down to you. You're building up a maze for enemy units to travel through, and then each round you pick from a set of cards that can give you new towers, abilities and more. It was a success too, earning the developer over $20K in the first week on Steam, clearly hit a mark.

  • Another Proton Experimental update is out improving VR and controllers

    Proton Experimental is the extra special testing area where new fixes and features enter the Steam Play Proton compatibility layer before going out to everyone and there's a new update out. If you're not clear on what Proton and Steam Play are, be sure to check out our constantly updated dedicated page. It's a special compatibility layer for running Windows games and apps from Steam on Linux.

Games: Koi Farm, Vintage Story, and Valheim

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Gaming
  • Koi Farm is a simple relaxing chill-out experience about raising fish

    Koi Farm released recently and it's quite a little gem. It's a small game though, all about raising Koi with an "infinite number" of patterns you can create by cross-breeding all the different colours and you end up with lots of different mutations as you go along. You can pick them up, drop them between a big display pool and a smaller breeding pool and eventually let them go to swim on with their lives. On top of that, you can also turn them into special cards to stick in your book and progress through it.

  • Survival game Vintage Story gets an official mod database, improved Wayland support

    Out for your next survival game that isn't Valheim? Do give Vintage Story a go, which on the surface looks like Minecraft but it's so much more interesting and far deeper mechanically.

    While this is mainly a stability update for the previous release, which was pretty huge, some fun bits have been put in. One of the big additions is an official Mod Database, for players to upload and download from. Eventually, they said, it will integrate with the game client to "blur the line on what is vanilla content and what is modded content" (if you want to use it, that is).

    The rest of the update is mostly small tweaks and fixes but their support of Linux continues shining. For Linux players, you should hopefully see improved support for running the game on Wayland. They upgraded the version of OpenTK used along with some extra Wayland fixes that should improve mouse support there. See the full changelog here.

    [...]

    A community member is also hosting a server for Linux fans...

  • The tenth Norse world sure is busy as Valheim hits 5 million sold | GamingOnLinux

    Fully expected of course, Valheim continues pulling in masses of new users with the announcement that it's now sold 5 million copies over the first month. What is it? For those living under a rock: a brutal exploration and survival game for 1-10 players, set in a procedurally-generated purgatory inspired by Viking culture.

    Across this time more than 15 thousand years have been spent playing Valheim based on a combined player time count, over 35 million hours of Valheim was watched on Twitch, it continues rising up as one of the best reviewed games on Steam (#39) and this is all still from a five-person team. The actual player-count seems to have now settled though from the 502,387 peak 10 days ago to it seeing a more regular player count of around 350,000.

Steam Link Is Now Available on Linux to Stream Your Steam Games on Any PC

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Gaming

Launched by Valve a few years ago, the Steam Link app is available free of charge for Android, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Raspberry Pi devices to let you stream your Steam games to phones, tablets, and TVs.

Thanks to the awesome developers from Collabora, the Steam Link app is now available for 64-bit Linux systems as a Flatpak app that you can install on any GNU/Linux distribution from Flathub.

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Games: Hack Grid, Godot Engine, StereoKit, Mirrored Pawns

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Gaming
  • Hack Grid is a clever brain-twisting DOS inspired puzzle game out now

    Created as a love letter to the retro charm provided by the days of DOS, Hack Grid has you throw around coloured pieces on a board until only one is left and it might melt your brain.

    Another wonderful addition to the puzzle genre with easy to understand mechanics. However, it's totally deceptive. Simple to look at and understand, sure but not easy to actually get through. You move pieces around a board across set lines until only one is left, but pieces need to hit a different colour to remove them. There's other rules it gradually sprinkles in and it does get complicated.

    [...]

    Also another title made with Godot Engine, lovely to see more being built with it!

  • Godot Engine team grows with another developer now working on rendering | GamingOnLinux

    Godot Engine is definitely going places and the more we hear about this free and open source game engine the more we love it. The team now has another member hired to work on rendering.

    Being free and open source means that developments aren't suddenly going to see a monthly bill increase to use it, or royalties suddenly increasing or anything of the sorts - as Godot has none of that. Entirely free to use, plus with the source open developers can help improve it.

    Joan Fons is the latest hire, who is now a full-time Godot Engine developer! Fons started contributing three years ago at university, then consulting with a company called Prehensile Tales and now they're contributing big time to Godot with features like the new CPU lightmapper, which will be landing with the 3.2.4 release. Fons showed off an example of the difference it can make and said it "should make lightmaps a viable option for 3.2"

  • Open source mixed reality library StereoKit adds Linux support

    The XR (VR/AR) space continues to evolve and one of the promising projects there is called StereoKit, an open source mixed reality library and a new release is out now adding in Linux support.

  • Puzzle game Mirrored Pawns challenges your spatial reasoning with opposite movements

    In the new game Mirrored Pawns from Firebelley (Sword Slinger, Cryptographer) it challenges your spatial reasoning as you simultaneously control two characters that move in opposite directions.

    Supposed to be relaxing but that will depend on how you approach such puzzle games. All you have to do across each level is move your two paws to specific tiles by hopping around. One pawn needs to be on each, and with every movement being opposites for them it actually does get quite difficult.

    "When either vertical or horizontal symmetry is active, the non-player pawn will move in the opposite vertical or horizontal direction, respectively. You will need to be careful in your movements and use the puzzle board's characteristics to your advantage."

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Review: Artix Linux in 2021

Artix Linux is a fork (or continuation as an autonomous project) of the Arch-OpenRC and Manjaro-OpenRC projects. Artix Linux offers a lightweight, rolling-release operating system featuring alternative init software options, including OpenRC, runit, and s6. The distribution is available in many editions, including Base, Cinnamon, LXDE, LXQt, MATE, KDE Plasma and Xfce. With all of the desktop options, combined with the available init choices, there are 21 editions, not including community spins from which to choose. All editions appear to be built for 64-bit (x86_64) machines. Picking randomly, I selected Artix's Plasma edition featuring the runit init software. The download for this edition is is 1.3GB. Browsing the other editions it looks like most flavours are about 1.1GB to 1.3GB in size, though the minimal Base edition is a compact 618MB. The project's live media boots to the KDE Plasma desktop. On the desktop we find multiple documentation and README icons. There is also an icon for launching the system installer. The default layout places a panel at bottom of the screen where we can find the application menu and system tray. The default wallpaper is a soft blue while the theme for windows and menus is dark with high contrast fonts. [...] Artix Linux is one of those distributions I really enjoy using and yet struggle to review in a meaningful way because it doesn't really go out of its way to introduce new or exciting features and everything works smoothly. The distribution is wonderfully easy to install, offers top-notch performance, and is unusually light on resources. Artix is somewhat minimal, but still ships enough software to be immediately useful right out of the gate. We can browse the web, install packages, view files, and play videos. Meanwhile the application menu isn't cluttered with a lot of extras. The developers clearly expect us to install the functionality we need, while doing a really good job of providing enough for the desktop environment to feel base-line useful right from the start. Artix does a nice job of balancing performance and functionality while also juggling ease of use against not getting in the way. There is a little documentation, but no initial welcome screen or configuration wizards that might distract the user. The one piece I felt was missing was a graphical package manager which would have made it easier to build the extra functionality I wanted on top of the base distribution. However, that one piece aside, I felt as though Artix was really well designed and put together, at lease for someone like me. It's not a distribution geared toward beginners, it's not a "first distro". It is a bit minimal and requires command line knowledge. However, for someone with a little experience with Linux, for someone who doesn't mind the occasional trip to the command line or installing new applications as needed, then Artix provides an excellent experience. It's fast, light, looks (in my opinion) great with the default theme, and elegantly walks the line between minimalism and having enough applications ready to go out of the box to be immediately useful. I'm unusually impressed with how smooth and trouble-free my experience was with this distribution and the fact it offers such a range of desktop and init diversity is all the more appealing. Read more

Alpine Linux Review: Ultimate Distro for Power Users

Alpine Linux is gathering a lot of attention because of its super-small size and focus on security. However, Alpine is different from some of the other lightweight distros we covered on FOSSLinux. It isn’t your typical desktop distribution as it is terminal-based like Arch and is marketed as a “general purpose distro.” It is currently widely adopted as a Docker container thanks to its ultra-small footprint. However, it can be used for all sorts of Linux deployments that benefit from small, resource-efficient Linux distros. Now, that statement might feel too generic. But don’t worry, as we have put together an in-depth and comprehensive review of Alpine Linux, giving you a detailed look at what it has under the hood and how to use it. As such, by the end, you should have a clear understanding of whether you should consider Alpine Linux as your next Linux distro. So without further ado, let’s dive in. Read more

Programming Leftovers

  • How to manipulate strings in bash

    Without explicit support for variable types, all bash variables are by default treated as character strings. Therefore more often than not, you need to manipulate string variables in various fashions while working on your bash script. Unless you are well-versed in this department, you may end up constantly coming back to Google and searching for tips and examples to handle your specific use case. In the spirit of saving your time and thus boosting your productivity in shell scripting, I compile in this tutorial a comprehensive list of useful string manipulation tips for bash scripting. Where possible I will try to use bash's built-in mechanisms (e.g., parameter expansion) to manipulate strings instead of invoking external tools such as awk, sed or grep. If you find any missing tips, feel free to suggest it in the comment. I will be happy to incorporate it in the article.

  • Python Generators

    Python generators are very powerful for handling operations which require large amount of memory.

  • We got lucky

    If you’re having enough production incidents to be able to evaluate your preparation, you’re probably either unlucky or unprepared ;) If you have infrequent incidents you may be well prepared but it’s hard to tell. Chaos engineering experiments are a great way to test your preparation, and practice incident response in a less stressful context. It may seem like a huge leap from your current level of preparation to running automated chaos monkeys in production, but you don’t need to go straight there. Why not start with practice drills? You could have a game host who comes up with a failure scenario. You can work up to chaos in production.

  • React Testing Library – Tutorial with JavaScript Code Examples

    This post will help you to learn what React Testing Library is, and how you can use it to test your React application. This tutorial will assume you already know some basic JavaScript and understand the basics of how React works. React Testing Library is a testing utility tool that's built to test the actual DOM tree rendered by React on the browser. The goal of the library is to help you write tests that resembles how a user would use your application, so that you'll have more confidence that your application work as intended when a real user do use it.

  • Why I Moved From Ops to DevOps (and why you might want to)