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Games: vkBasalt, Ikey Doherty, Crusader Kings II, Sunless Skies

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Gaming
  • vkBasalt, an open source Vulkan post processing layer for Contrast Adaptive Sharpening

    This is an interesting open source project! vkBasalt is a new Vulkan post processing layer that currently supports Contrast Adaptive Sharpening.

    Unlike Radeon Image Sharpening, vkBasalt supports Linux and works with both NVIDIA and AMD. This isn't entirely reinventing the wheel though, as it's partly based upon the ReShade port of AMD's CAS. Still, it's fun to see what hackers are able to do with little layers like this, especially when we don't have official support.

  • Ikey Doherty Launches Open-Source Focused Game/Software Development Company

    Well known open-source figure Ikey Doherty who rose to prominence for his work on the Solus Linux distribution and then went on to work on Intel's Clear Linux project is now having his hand at game engine development.

    Ikey shared with us that he left Intel back in May to begin his new adventure: Lispy Snake. Lispy Snake is a UK software development firm that at least initially is working on a game engine and games. Given Ikey's experience, the firm is focused on leveraging open-source technologies.

  • After making Crusader Kings II free, Paradox are now giving away The Old Gods expansion

    It's been a bit of a whirlwind of Paradox news recently and we have even more to share. With a tiny amount of effort, you can get The Old Gods expansion for Crusader Kings II free.

    This is after Crusader Kings II was set free to play and Crusader Kings III was announced just like I suggested it would be.

  • Failbetter Games are upgrading owners of Sunless Skies to the Sovereign Edition next year

    Failbetter Games have announced that Sunless Skies is getting a bit of an upgrade with the Sovereign Edition and it's going to be free to existing purchasers when it's release next year.

    Part of the reason, is that it will be releasing on Consoles so they're polishing the experience up some more. It's not just a special console edition though, it's coming with a bunch of new content and various improvements to the flow of it. To release on PC at the same time as Consoles, free for existing players.

Games: LinuxGSM, Boxtron, Total War: WARHAMMER II

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Gaming
  • Need an easy way to manage a Linux game server? LinuxGSM is great and recently passed 100 supported titles

    A project that perhaps isn't as well known as it should be: LinuxGSM makes managing Linux game servers easy and they recently hit a fun milestone.

    It supports running servers for games like 7 Days to Die, Barotrauma, various Counter-Strike versions, Don't Starve Together, Minecraft and a ton more. Starting way back sometime in 2012, the lead developer Daniel Gibbs emailed in to notify us that they recently hit a huge milestone for the project as it now supports over 100 different games.

    There's a number of other ways to run game servers but the point of LinuxGSM is that each game is tweaked and tested by them, with an easy to run installer and script to manage all parts of it. Running updates, getting notifications sent to various places like Discord, Telegram, Email and more when it's having issues is simple to setup.

  • Boxtron, the Steam Play compatibility tool for DOSBox brings more improvements in another update

    The Speedy Staging 0.5.3 of Boxtron is out, further improving this Steam Play compatibility tool for DOSBox gaming on Linux.

    As a reminder of the what and why: Just like how Proton enables you to play Windows games in the Linux Steam client, Boxtron is a tool that can be manually added to the Linux Steam client to run a native version of DOSBox. It's supposed to give you the best experience possible with DOS games on Steam. Rather than running them through Proton you get lower input lag, working Steam integration, better fullscreen support and so on.

  • You can now grab the Gotrek and Felix DLC for Total War: WARHAMMER II free

    Just a quick tip for Total War: WARHAMMER II fans this Monday morning, as you can now grab the previously White Dwarf Magazine exclusive DLC Gotrek and Felix for free.

    While they're only for Total War: WARHAMMER II, if you own both Total War: WARHAMMER titles they are also available in the expansive Mortal Empires campaign.

Games: Humble and Five-or-More Modernisation in GNOME

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GNOME
Gaming
  • Humble Monthly will be changing to Humble Choice later this year

    If you're interested in getting a bunch of games each month, the Humble Monthly has at times been quite generous with the selection. Things are about to change, with it being renamed to Humble Choice with new options.

    Currently, you pay a set fee of $12 a month (or less for more months) and get at least one game to play early. Then at the end of each month, they give you a bunch more games ranging between 7-11. That's changing sometime later this year with Humble Choice. As the name suggests, it does seem to actually give you a little more control. Games are revealed upfront instead of being a mystery and you pick the ones you want from a larger list.

  • Imperator: Rome is getting a free Punic Wars content pack in addition to the big Livy update

    One piece of PDXCON news missed from yesterday: Imperator: Rome is getting a free Punic Wars Content Pack along with the upcoming Livy Update.

    Paradox Development Studio sure are busy. Not only are they working on multiple Stellaris expansions, Crusader Kings III and Hearts of Iron IV: La Résistance they're also trying to turn around the rough launch of Imperator: Rome. Another big free patch is coming out named Livy which will include: a new character experience system, a rework of the family system, a procedurally generated mission system, a map with greater details including showing war on the map with burning cities and more not yet announced. It's going to be big!

  • Five-or-More Modernisation: It's a Wrap

    As probably most of you already know, or recently found out, at the beginning of this week the GSoC coding period officially ended, and it is time for us, GSoC students, to submit our final evaluations and the results we achieved thus far. This blog post, as you can probably tell from the title, will be a summary of all of the work I put into modernising Five or More throughout the summer months.

    My main task was rewriting Five or More in Vala since this simple and fun game did not find its way to the list of those included in the Games Modernisation Initiative. This fun, strategy game consists of aligning, as often as possible, five or more objects of the same shape and color, to make them disappear and score points.

    Besides the Vala rewrite, there were also some other tasks included, such as migrating to Meson and dropping autotools, as well as keeping the view and logic separated and updating the UI to make this game more relatable for the public and more fresh-looking. However, after thoroughly discussing the details with my mentor, Robert Roth (IRC: evfool), more emphasis was placed upon rewriting the code to Vala, since the GSoC program is specifically designed for software development. However, slight UI modifications were integrated as to match the visual layout guidelines.

  • Five-or-More Modernisation: Now You Can Properly Play It

    As Google Summer of Code is officially drawing to an end, all of my attention was focused towards making the Five or More Vala version feature-complete. As you probably already know from my previous blog post, the game was somehow playable at that time, but it was missing some of the key features included in the old version.

    So what’s new this time? First and foremost, you can surely notice the game board now sports a grid, which wasn’t there until now. On the same note, there are also animations used for clicking a piece on the board, for an improved gaming experience. For further accessibility, some header bar hints are available at different stages in the game: at the start of any new game, at the end of each game, as well as whenever there is no clear path between the initial position and the cell indicated by the user for the current move.

Games: Stellaris, Crusader Kings III and More

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Gaming
  • Stellaris: Federations and Stellaris: Lithoids Species Pack announced at PDXCON

    PDXCON is now in full swing and the announcement are being handed out like candy. First up, Paradox Interactive and Paradox Development Studio have announced Stellaris: Federations and Stellaris: Lithoids Species Pack.

  • Crusader Kings III announced for release next year, to be more welcoming to new players

    As I suggested they would when setting Crusader Kings II permanently free (but not the DLC), Paradox Interactive have announced Crusader Kings III.

    "Crusader Kings III is a grand medieval simulator where you are free to live out any plausible ruler fantasy that we could think of - but not without challenge." says Henrik Fåhraeus, the Game Director. "Seeing its predecessor explode in popularity was very satisfying, especially considering that user friendliness was never our primary goal. Now we have a chance to address an even larger audience."

  • Prison Architect - Psych Ward: Warden's Edition expansion announced (plus another coming)

    I think we all saw this coming when Paradox Interactive picked up the rights to Prison Architect, with Double Eleven taking on further development. The first proper DLC has been announced at PDXCON named Prison Architect - Psych Ward: Warden's Edition.

    Psych Ward was previously a console exclusive DLC, so it's good to see it make it onto PC. However, it does include new added features not in the original DLC and it will launch along side a free content update for everyone. It's not exactly a small pack either, it actually sounds like it's going to be adding quite a bit to the game. Paradox also gave it a release date of November 21, so you won't exactly have long to wait to really find out.

  • BATTLETECH: Heavy Metal brings more classic 'Mechs and new weapon systems, releasing in November

    Even more news from PDXCON! Harebrained Schemes and Paradox Interactive have now properly announced the BATTLETECH: Heavy Metal expansion to bring more destruction.

  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Résistance expansion and a significant free update announced

    Paradox Development Studio and Paradox Interactive are expanding another of their grand-scale strategy games, with Hearts of Iron IV: La Résistance announced during PDXCON.

    Not just that, as they usually do they also confirmed a "significant" free content update will be released to all players. The free update will include a reworking of the resistance system, interface improvements to battleplans and air operations plus many other "quality of life improvements".

  • Bioshock 1 & 2 | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 19.04 | Steam Play

    Bioshock 1 & 2 running through Steam play.

  • Continuing the Counter-Strike 20th anniversary Valve put out skins, plus a possible Operation and update coming

    After starting off the celebration for Counter-Strike turning 20 back in June with the retro version of Dust II, Valve have now added a refreshed version of the map Cache and a themed Weapon Case and Sticker Capsule.

    We're expecting some bigger updates to come but let's go over what they've already done.

    [...]

    VNN's Tyler McVicker also released another of his highly speculative videos talking about lots of other things that could be pointing to a new operation. With a possible update coming that may include: custom Danger Zone modes, a new Danger Zone map, new Danger Zone weapons, co-op missions, hats and other wearable items, player taunts and more being speculated on.

    I personally hope Valve do put out a big update, since their celebration so far has been a bit lacklustre. An old map, a refreshed map and some skins you have to pay for. Not exactly big or exciting really so far. Speaking personally again, I'm still very much enjoying Danger Zone so if they do expand it again I will be quite pleased.

Games: Crusader Kings II, Woven, Team Fortress 2, X4: Foundations and Wildermyth

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Gaming
  • Crusader Kings II goes free to play, Paradox games on sale and possibly Crusader Kings III coming

    It's Friday morning, I've got my coffee ready so let's go over what's going on what Paradox Interactive. They've got a lot going on right now!

    Firstly, it seems Crusader Kings II has gone fully free to play. This doesn't appear to be time limited either, the Steam store page properly states it's "Free To Play" and on Twitter, the Crusader Kings official account said "This is not a joke - Crusader Kings 2 is free to play!".

    Considering it has a rather large amount of DLC, it's seven years old and it's been given out temporarily free for keeps before, it seems like a good idea to set the base game free for everyone now. Looks like all the DLC is also 50% off.

  • With a fabric world, Woven looks like a unique adventure coming to Linux next month

    Alterego Games and StickyLock Studios have announced that their adventure game Woven is releasing on November 15. Woven certainly looks pleasant, with a world that looks like someone stitched it together and your character is a stuffed animal.

    Woven is a laid-back adventure and exploration game, where you roam a world made of fabric. They said all the stuffed animals once lived in peace and all appears well at first glance, but not everything is as it seems. As you progress through Woven as the clumsy character Stuffy you customize them with different animal shapes to gain new abilities, solve puzzles and attempt to find out why the world is being invaded by metal machines.

  • The Scream Fortress XI event has launched for Team Fortress 2

    While perhaps not as big as previous events, it's still a good time to boot up Team Fortress 2 again and have a blast. Dust off your crazy mask, pick a silly weapon skin and dive in.

  • X4: Foundations update 2.60 is out, X4: Split Vendetta and the big 3.0 update both delayed

    A couple of bits of news from Egosoft to share for their massive space sci-fi sandbox X4: Foundations.

  • Fantasty tactical RPG Wildermyth blends a mix of hand-painted 2D and 3D art & arrives on Steam soon

    With character art during the turn-based battles that look like paper cutouts in a 3D environment, Wildermyth certainly has a strange and lovely charm to it.

    Currently available on itch.io were users have been testing it for some time, Worldwalker Games have now announced that their character-driven tactical RPG will enter Early Access on Steam on November 13. In Wildermyth, your party will be tasked with defending the lands from various threads, switching between the turn-based combat and making decisions on the over-world map. It has choice-based comic-styled events, which can end up changing your heroes appearance, personalities, relationships, and abilities.

Games: Tannenberg, Project Zomboid and Jackbox Party Pack 6

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Gaming
  • Tannenberg the WWI FPS adds the new Ukraine map, still on sale in a bundle

    M2H and Blackmill Games have just release another pretty big update to Tannenberg, their impressive WWI first-person shooter.

    Today's update adds in the Ukraine map which the developers say has plenty of open ground for HMGs to get you in their sights, with extensive trench networks to give some cover.

  • Project Zomboid just had the biggest Beta release ever overhauling loads of features

    Move over 7 Days to Die, you're not the only Zombie survival game in town with a recent overhaul. Project Zomboid is another that just released an absolutely massive Beta update to try out.

    Included in their "IWBUMS" (I Will Back Up My Save) Beta branch on Steam (not on GOG until stable) is the first step towards Project Zomboid version 41. The amount of changes included is quite ridiculous. The Indie Stone even said it's the "most fundamental and wide-ranging update that Project Zomboid has ever had" and they're not wrong.

    This latest Beta is work towards making Project Zomboid feel a little more alive and have a wider variety for everything. It's a foundation to bring even more big changes to PZ, with the new animation work in this build helping to bring wild animals in the next major build. This Beta is expected to last a while, as they have more to add back into it.

  • The Jackbox Party Pack 6 has officially released with Linux support

    In the mood to have a party? Well you're in luck as The Jackbox Party Pack 6 is now available with Linux support. Continuing their great support of Linux gaming, all six packs have Linux versions which is excellent!

    What makes the Jackbox Party Pack (any of them) great is how you connect to play them. No need to hook up 4 or 5 gamepads, stretch wires across the floor or anything annoying like that. You load the game, tell everyone to pull out their phone or tablet and connect up to their website with a room code and—pop, you're in the game.

Games: KeeperRL, 3 Minutes to Midnight, Shadow of Mordor

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Gaming
  • Roguelike dungeon simulator 'KeeperRL' expands modding and adds Steam Workshop support

    Sometimes you just want to be an evil wizard, build a dungeon and look after some imps. KeeperRL lets you do just that and it just had a big new update with much better modding support.

    With the introduction of Steam Workshop support, mods and retired dungeons can now be shared to it to allow others to easily download and try them out. As for the rest of the modding support lots more can now be tweaked. Items, building info, Z-level width, creature names and so on can be changed with mods now and creatures can also drop custom items.

  • The comedy adventure game 3 Minutes to Midnight is on Kickstarter with Linux support

    Scarecrow Studio are now crowdfunding to finish up their very colourful comedy adventure game 3 Minutes to Midnight.

    The Kickstarter campaign is now live, with a funding goal of €50,000 they need to reach by November 8. They've already amassed support with over €38,000 so it's likely it will be fully funded.

    Taking inspiration from the classics like The Secret of Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, and Sam & Max Hit the Road (where have I heard this before?), Scarecrow Studio said 3 Minutes to Midnight will take the point and click gameplay, blend in some humour and high-definition art with an intuitive interface and a "compelling mystery" to solve. They also say it has the "largest script in point-and-click history" and "over 1000 interactable objects" so they're setting the bar for themselves pretty damn high.

  • The Linux port of Shadow of Mordor from Feral Interactive has gained a Vulkan Beta, a massive difference

    This is quite a surprise! Early yesterday we were notified that Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, which Feral Interactive ported to Linux in 2015 has gained a Vulkan Beta.

    Since companies rarely make much money from older ports like this, it's quite fantastic to see it being given some love. Especially like this, giving it a big boost with a much newer graphics API. This is not long after Feral Interactive confirmed the Linux release date for Shadow of the Tomb Raider Definitive Edition and also announced Total War Saga: TROY for Linux too.

The Linux Mint 19.2 Gaming Report: Promising But Room For Improvement

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GNU
Linux
Gaming

When I started outlining the original Linux Gaming Report, I was still a fresh-faced Linux noob. I didn’t understand how fast the ecosystem advanced (particularly graphics drivers and Steam Proton development), and I set some lofty goals that I couldn’t accomplish given my schedule. Before I even got around to testing Ubuntu 18.10, for example, Ubuntu 19.04 was just around the corner! And since all the evaluation and benchmarking takes a considerable amount of time, I ended up well behind the curve. So I’ve streamlined the process a bit, while adding additional checkpoints such as out-of-the-box software availability and ease-of-installation for important gaming apps like Lutris and GameHub.

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Games: AI War 2, Dominus Galaxia, Sipho, Lonely Mountains: Downhill and More

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Gaming
  • AI War 2, the massive RTS game confirmed for launch on October 22

    Arcen Games have now fully confirmed that October 22 is the final launch date for AI War 2 to leave Early Access.

    This is the sequel to the critically acclaimed AI War: Fleet Command released back in 2009, which eventually came to Linux too later in 2014. The release of AI War 2 is going to mark 10 years since the original! Funded on Kickstarter back in 2016 with the help of around 2,545 backers.

    AI War 2 is a grand strategy RTS hybrid against an overwhelming, inhuman enemy who has conquered the galaxy. The enemy has made only a single error: underestimating you. You must steal as much technology as you can, take enough territory to fortify your bases and launch your last stand.

  • Dominus Galaxia, a 4x strategy game heavily inspired by Master of Orion 1 has a Linux demo up

    Their aim with Dominus Galaxia is to be an upgraded spiritual successor to the original Master of Orion, they said to think of it like if Master of Orion 2 was a proper sequel and not a "a radical re-imagining".

    It's currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter which has 10 days to go with nearly 50% of the funding needed, with a bit of a stretch it may be able to make it. Just recently, they put up a full demo of the game with Linux support on itch.io.

  • Creature building action and survival game 'Sipho' adds some fun new zooids for your monstrosity

    Swim, kill, adapt and hopefully survive. That's the aim of the game in Sipho and the recent update adds in some new pieces for you to unlock to build your horrific sea creature with.

    It's such a strange game, blending together furious action with a creature builder where you unlock different parts and species. Based on real science, inspired by the Siphonophorae with your creature being built with zooids, an animal that forms part of a colony that all move together.

  • No Linux version of Lonely Mountains: Downhill yet due to IL2CPP in Unity

    Megagon Industries have now confirmed the status of Lonely Mountains: Downhill for Linux and currently it's not good news.

    This is a game that was funded on Kickstarter, that had Linux as a platform for release. If this sounds familiar, it's because we wrote about this game recently where the developer seemed a bit confused on the Linux version and they weren't clear on what they were doing.

  • Project RIP, a new FPS released recently with Linux support and it looks action-packed

    Fight off waves of demons in Project RIP from developer Storming Tech, a new Unreal Engine first-person shooter that has Linux support. This is the same developer who also made Escape Legacy: Ancient Scrolls, an escape room puzzle game which also seemed quite good.

  • The Northgard free Conquest expansion is launching October 22

    The huge free Conquest expansion for the strategy game Northgard is now confirmed to be releasing on October 22.

    As announced before this free update is going to include a new standalone game mode, which can be played solo or in co-op. Offering up a series of missions, offering a what they claim is "100+" hours of extra possible play time. The missions don't seem to be linked, offering up something new each time with specific victory conditions and rule sets.

  • The impressively smooth roguelike Jupiter Hell has a big AI upgrade and a first sale

    ChaosForge continue advancing their turn-based shooter roguelike shooter Jupiter Hell, with another big update now available.

    A big focus has been on the AI to actually make it a bit smarter. Humanoid enemies will now attempt to take cover and not always run in a straight line at you, which can make it a little more difficult for sure. Most enemies will also react to noise you and other NPCs make. The demon-like enemies will now track you by smell, so you can't hide from them. You might find the need to retreat more often, to find a better position.

2D using Godot

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Development
OSS
Gaming

This brings me to the GUI parts. I’m still not convinced that I understand how to properly layout stuff using Godot, but at least it looks ok now – at the cost of some fixed element sizes and such. I need to spend some more time to really understand how the anchoring and stretching really works. I guess I have a hard time wrapping my head around it as the approach is different from what I’m used to from Qt.

Looking at the rest of the code, I’ve tried to make all the other scenes (in Godot, everything is a scene) like independent elements. For instance, the card scene has a face, and an is_flipped state. It can also signal when it is being flipped and clicked. Notice that the click results in a signal that goes to the table scene, which decides if the card needs to be flipped or not.

The same goes for the GUI parts. They simple signal what was clicked and the table scene reacts. There are some variables too, e.g. the number of pairs setting in the main menu, and the points in the views where that is visible.

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Ubuntu: AMD Support, NVIDIA GPU Operator and More

  • Ubuntu 19.10 Doesn't Ship With AMD Navi / Radeon RX 5700 Support Working, But Easy To Enable

    While last week's release of Ubuntu 19.10 "Eoan Ermine" is new enough for Radeon RX 5700 series support with the Linux 5.3 kernel and Mesa 19.2, it doesn't actually work out-of-the-box for these Navi graphics cards. While the principal driver components of the Linux kernel and Mesa3D (for RadeonSI OpenGL and RADV Vulkan) are new enough with Navi support, Ubuntu 19.10's support isn't rounded out because its linux-firmware package isn't new enough for containing the necessary Navi firmware binaries required for the open-source driver usage. So if booting a clean Ubuntu 19.10 install with Radeon RX 5700, you are likely to just see a blank screen.

  • NVIDIA GPU Operator – Simplifying AI/ML Deployments on the Canonical Platform

    Leveraging Kubernetes for AI deployments is becoming increasingly popular. Chances are if your business is involved in AI/ML with Kubernetes you are using tools like Kubeflow to reduce complexity, costs and deployment time. Or, you may be missing out! With AI/ML being the tech topics of the world, GPUs play a critical role in the space. NVIDIA, a prominent player in the GPU space is one of the top choices for most stakeholders in the field. Nvidia takes their commitment to the space a step ahead with the launch of the GPU Operator open-source project at Mobile World Congress LA.

  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 601

    Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 601 for the week of October 13th – 19th, 2019.

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