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Gaming

Games: Anodyne, Streets of Rogue, Vendetta Online and More

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Gaming
  • Analgesic Productions have opened up the source for their Zelda-lite 'Anodyne'

    Anodyne, a Zelda-lite action adventure from Analgesic Productions from back in 2013 has today had the code opened up.

    Looking over the project, it's not open source as they have their own custom licensing with a number of restrictions on it. So by the definition of open source, it is not, it's more like "source open" but it's still a very nice gesture. It's similar in spirit to what Terry Cavanagh did with VVVVVV, in fact the licensing is actually an adaption of theirs. Hopefully with this move, someone can port it over to something more modern rather than Flash/Air—that certainly would be nice to see. Especially if the developer then pulled that back in to update it for everyone.

  • Looks like there's going to be a 'Streets of Rogue 2' and I'm definitely happy with that

    Streets of Rogue released in 2019 and it's one of my absolute favourites from last year (still is this year to be honest with you, it's just that good). The developer, Matt Dabrowski, recently outlined their future plans which will include a sequel.

    The 2019 release was after over six years of development, and at least half of that it was available in some form to the public. First as a free taster and later a full game. In an announcement on Steam about the latest update, Dabrowski mentioned how they would like to "take Streets of Rogue in some big new directions" and so they've "decided to begin work on a sequel".

  • Vendetta Online goes free to play until June 1 giving anyone full access

    Vendetta Online, something of a classic MMO space game is now free to play for everyone until June 1. Everyone will be treated as if they're a paying player during this time.

    Why are they doing this for so long? They said they wanted to offer a bit of sanctuary to players, somewhere "they can virtually go and be (politely) social, interact with others, and perhaps get a little respite from the chaos". They are of course referring to the Coronavirus situation. Read more on that here.

  • “Crunch”: Video Game Development’s Dirty Secret

    James Wood reported for Game Revolution that game director Masahiro Sakurai, who created Super Smash Bros Ultimate,  went “to work with an IV drip instead of taking a day off.” As Wood noted, Sakurai’s admission “have raised eyebrows, even in an industry where he is known as “notoriously hard-working.”

Games: Regions Of Ruin, Sparklite and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

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Gaming
  • Side-scrolling open world RPG 'Regions Of Ruin' is FREE this weekend

    In the mood to play something new? How about a game that blends the side-scrolling of Kingdom and adds in some open-world RPG elements too? Regions Of Ruin is FREE until April 7.

    When I say free, I mean it too. This is not a free weekend, if you add it to your Steam account you've got it forever. The developer said they've done this to just help people who are bored and at home due to COVID-19 lockdown. What a wonderful gesture.

  • Sparklite has some gorgeous art, intense action and it's coming to Linux

    Sparklite from Red Blue Games, an action-adventure set in a whimsical and ever-changing land, released on Steam last year and it's on the way to Linux. When speaking to the team over email, they confirmed that it's coming to Linux. Not only that, they're "actually working on it now".

    Inspired by the likes of Rogue Legacy and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past it's a top-down action-adventure with tons of gadgets, guns and gear to collect. Set in a procedurally generated world for a fresh experience each team, you need to take down titans of the mining industry, and harness the power Sparklite. Check

  • Steam and CS:GO just keep knocking down records as Steam hits over 24 million concurrent users

    There seems to be no stopping Steam right now, Valve are on a roll with repeatedly breaking their own user records.

    Sound familiar? Yeah, at this point it's not even a surprise. With masses more people staying home, it's going to happen and likely again a few more times still. Yesterday, for the first time, Steam hit over 24 million concurrent users online at the same time with just over 7 million of those actually in a game.

    We missed something else too, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has repeatedly smashed through milestones too since last writing about it only a week or so ago. At each peak time of around 6-7PM UTC, CS:GO regularly smashed records over the last week to a new high of 1,226,724 set on April 1st.

Steam Survey Points To Tiny Uptick In Linux Percentage For March

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Gaming

With the Steam Survey numbers out this week, the March 2020 statistics point to the Linux gaming marketshare ticking up by 0.04% to 0.87%. But in reality that is almost a rounding error and sticks to what we have largely been seeing in recent months of 0.8~0.9% for Linux gaming on Steam. Though even with the record number of users on Steam in March, it's good to see the Linux percentage didn't actually diminish -- at least according to the survey numbers.

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Games: Atari VCS, Proton and More

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Gaming
  • The Atari VCS is in trouble again as Rob Wyatt sues Atari for lack of payment

    Rob Wyatt, the architect behind the original Xbox and someone Atari hired to work on the Atari VCS system is now suing Atari over their failure to actually pay up.

    This is something we mentioned last year, when it was announced that Wyatt left Atari on poor terms, mentiong how they hadn't actually payed for over six months and they were left with no choice but to leave the project. Since then, we've not heard much. Atari continued putting out their development blog posts, showing off pictures of units in production in China and delaying the release. Spotted by VentureBeat and confirmed here, Tin Giant (Rob Wyatt's company), are now suing Atari over a "Breach of Contract". According to the suit, Atari owes something around $261,720 which is no small sum.

  • Hypnotic puzzle-adventure 'Path to Mnemosyne' looks wild and it's now on Linux

    Path to Mnemosyne from DevilishGames originally released back in 2018, going on to receive some quite positive reviews about the setting and visuals and now it's on Linux. It does look incredibly trippy, and they say the "infinite zoom" feature makes it quite unique.

  • Humble Choice has a new bundle up for April with a bonus game if you subscribe

    Humble Choice, the monthly game bundle subscription has a fresh selection ready for April and they're giving out a bonus game to people who subscribe. This is the tiered subscription that gives you the ability to pick a certain amount of games based on whatever level you sub at.

  • FROGSONG is a sweet looking frog adventure where it's okay to be small

    Ready for an adventure of a different sort? FROGSONG looks really quite sweet, an action adventure where you're an actual frog hopping around in a world 'where it's okay to be small'.

  • Valve and CodeWeavers now offering test builds of Proton before release with Proton 5.0-6 RC1 up

    Looks like Valve and CodeWeavers are switching up how Proton is released, with a series of test builds now being provided before a new stable release in the hopes of seeing less issues.

    Looking to get started with Steam Play on Linux? Have no idea what it is? Be sure to check our previous beginners guide for some tips and explanations. We'll be keeping that up to date with any major changes.

    Today, Wine hacker and CodeWeavers developer Andrew Eikum announced the release of Proton 5.0-6 RC1 on the Proton GitHub page. Keep in mind these new builds haven't had the usual quality assurance as the main Proton releases, however it's a good chance for more people to test before they go live for everyone on Steam.

  • Proton 5.0-6 To Allow Out-Of-The-Box DOOM Eternal On Linux

    Valve is finishing up work on Proton 5.0-6 as the next version of their Wine downstream that powers Steam Play. With Proton 5.0-6 are some promising improvements.

    Most notably, Proton 5.0-6 will allow DOOM Eternal to run out-of-the-box under Steam Play on Linux. This Windows game was recently released and has been seeing improvements for its Wine-based Linux support. There have also been driver optimizations already by NVIDIA's Vulkan driver as well as RADV improvements too for some hardware with this latest game in the DOOM franchise. Now with Proton 5.0-6 should be a pleasant out-of-the-box experience after fixing some DRM failures. The latest Vulkan drivers are still a must.

  • More Switch games

    Sonic Mania is a really lovely homage to the classic 90s Sonic the Hedgehog platform games. Featuring more or less the classic gameplay, and expanded versions of the original levels, with lots of secrets, surprises and easter eggs for fans of the original. On my recommendation a friend of mine bought it for her daughter's birthday recently but her daughter will now have to prise her mum off it! Currently on sale at 30% off (£11.19). The one complaint I have about it is the lack of females in the roster of 5 playable characters.

  • Why Nullpomino is the only acceptable open-source Tetris

    Note: acceptable from the perspective of a Tetris fanatic who regularly uses jargon like SRS, lock delay, DAS, ARR, etc. For the casual player, these games are perfectly fine. Albeit, I would recommend Quadrapassel over KBlocks to casuals because of the better rotation.

Games: OpenTESArena, OpenTTD, Merchant of the Skies

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Gaming
  • OpenTESArena - a modern game engine for The Elder Scrolls: Arena has a new release

    Now available free, The Elder Scrolls: Arena is something of a classic and it continues to live on with thanks to the free and open source game engine OpenTESArena. Bethesda Softworks actually made The Elder Scrolls: Arena free to download some years ago as part of the 10th anniversary which has certainly helped.

    Still in early development, with gameplay not really there yet, it's very promising and a big new release went up a few days ago further expanding what it's able to do with the original game data. OpenTESArena 0.11.0 adds in quite a lot including: original entity loading (static NPCs, creatures, trees, furniture, palace rulers, etc.), lights, water and lava rendering, fading voxels, translucent entity rendering, Ray Cast selection with pixel-perfect option and more.

  • Transport Tycoon Deluxe inspired 'OpenTTD' has a massive new release out

    Transport Tycoon Deluxe is a classic and OpenTTD is an excellent open source game engine directly inspired by it, with a huge new stable release out now.

    Saying it's inspired by it is perhaps not entirely accurate, it's a full replacement for it! With many new and advanced features, to make building a sprawling transportation network feel good on modern systems. It can use Transport Tycoon Deluxe data files or you can stick with the open graphics which still look good.

  • Relaxing strategic sky trading sim 'Merchant of the Skies' leaving Early Access on April 17

    Originally entering Early Access back in July last year for Linux, macOS and Windows it's had a lot of updates since release and it has become a much bigger game. In Merchant of the Skies you start off with a small ship and not much else, then progress through trade and quest completion. As you accumulate more wealth, purchase islands and establish your company you gradually go through more advanced resource chains and continue expanding. There's also something involving you needing to feed a massive fish-god. See the new release date trailer below:

It's surprisingly easy to switch a gaming PC to Linux today

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GNU
Linux
Gaming

Talking to PC gamers about Linux is always entertaining, because everyone who knows even a little bit about Linux has a different impression. For some it's that other operating system they've vaguely heard of, and they have about as much interest in it as I have in cars (read: not much). For others it's a critical part of their work or infrastructure, or it's the thing their techy friend somehow always manages to bring up in unrelated conversations (ugh, you know how to do everything on the command line, we get it).

Last year I decided to become one of the latter and go all-in on desktop Linux. It opened my eyes to how much Linux has changed over the years, and how outdated the idea of Linux as an OS exclusively for tech nerds really is. Not only was the switch relatively painless, but I'm not missing out on much, either—not even gaming.

Here's what it's like switching from Windows to Linux today, from hardware to software to gaming.

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Games: Jumpala, NVIDIA and More

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Gaming
  • Unique competitive platformer 'Jumpala' adds new stages and it's a huge amount of fun

    Jumpala is a very unique competitive platform covered here on GOL recently and I've fallen a little in love with the idea. It's challenging and a lot of fun to play with others.

    With a surprising twist on the whole idea of platforming, you're not running and jumping or doing much fighting. Instead, you're hopping around tiny platforms to turn them your colour and score points when they fall off the screen. It really does get surprisingly intense, especially if you've been frozen or you take a wrong turn and the platforms don't come down in your favour and you get knocked off losing valuable hopping time.

  • NVIDIA have a new Vulkan Beta Driver out for Linux - helping DOOM Eternal on Steam Play

    NVIDIA continue to fix up and improve their Linux drivers, with a brand new Vulkan Beta Driver available today.

    This is the testing area where NVIDIA put in new features, add in new Vulkan API support like the provisional vendor-neutral Ray Tracing that went in recently and more that eventually make their way into their normal drivers.

  • If you want more gore in the GZDoom and Zandronum engines try the 'Bolognese Gore Mod'

    The Bolognese Gore Mod is another creation by Brutal Doom’s developer, and it’s advertised as a gore enhancement mod for the GZDoom and Zandronum engines. However, apart from making the combat more violent, it also states that "makes enemies smarter and harder, makes gun louder and beefier, and adds epic new boss battles."

  • Prepare your space legs for X4: Split Vendetta and the massive 3.0 free update

    Egosoft continue to polish up their ridiculously massive, incredibly ambitious and rather good looking space sim with the release of X4: Split Vendetta and the massive 3.0 free update.

    For everyone in the free update there's new storyline, new mission types, French voice-over, new standalone tutorials, new shops, a configurable alert system, new weapons, improved graphics and a huge amount more. Meanwhile X4: Split Vendetta, the paid DLC, adds in a massive expansion to the universe amongst other things like the two new Split family clans.

  • Save money, buy awesome games and support charity in a big Paradox Interactive sale

    Here's another excuse for you to support charity and get some new games, if the Humble Conquer COVID-19 Bundle wasn't enough for you. Paradox Interactive are now running their own big charity sale.

    Lasting until 5PM UTC on April 3, with all the funds going to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. During this time some of their popular titles are heavily discounted, helping you to stay home and keep everyone around you safe. Nice to see even more developers get in on this and come together.

Games: Kaleidogen, Suits: A Business RPG and More

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Gaming
  • Joachim Breitner: Animations in Kaleidogen

    A while ago I wrote a little game (or toy) called Kaleidogen. It is a relatively contemplative game where, starting from just unicolored disks, you combine abstract circular patterns to breed more interesting patterns. See my FARM 2019 talk for more details, or check out the source repository.

  • 'Suits: A Business RPG', a small indie comedy RPG has been updated with better Linux support

    Suits: A Business RPG is a mysterious comedy game that was released more than four years ago; from time to time it's being featured as part of Steam’s Weeklong Deals, as it is the case right now (50% discounted), so I’ve been looking into it for some time.

  • Struggling with regular expressions? Then visit 'Regex Crossword', a site to learn them through a Sudoku-like game

    The website features several sections to make the levels as varied as possible. There is also another area which includes levels made by other users, along with a stats page. Also, if you check the Help and FAQ section, you will be recommended other tools and online resources in case you want to learn a bit more about regexs. Don’t forget to use an account so that your progress on the levels can be saved.

    Finally, although this project is "something we do for fun", you can donate via PayPal or several cryptocurrencies (check the Help and FAQ section to see which ones are available) to help with hosting expenses and to keep ensuring further improvements and levels.

  • 'Tilesetter' is a program for developers that aims to optimize the tileset generation process; demo available

    Judging by the number of followers on their Twitter account and the user reviews on Steam, Tilesetter seems to embody the definition of “obscure”, but at the same time it must be remarked that except one, all of those reviews are positive and endorsed by a lot of other people, so while I’m not the indicated person to recommend you to use it or not (I’m not a developer), there are enough signs that would suggest this may be a particularly useful program to help you save a lot of time when creating your tilesets.

Games: Humble Conquer COVID-19 Bundle and Much More

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Gaming
  • The Humble Conquer COVID-19 Bundle is live with lots of Linux games and all going to charity

    The Humble Conquer COVID-19 Bundle has arrived to help in the fight, with tons of games (and lots for Linux) and 100% of the proceeds of this will go to charity.

  • You can build you own bundle of Codemasters racing games over on Humble Bundle

    Got the need for speed? Codemasters might possibly be able to help with that, as they have a new bundle over on Humble Bundle where you pick what games you want.

    A good time to complete your racing game collection perhaps, there's quite a few of them here. The way it works is that if you pick at least three, your discount gets bigger. The same happens if you pick 4 and 5 titles with each again giving you a bigger discount in total. There's various DiRT games, lots of F1 titles and others.

  • Legend of Keepers from Goblinz Studio manages to sell over 33K copies in less than a month

    Always nice to see an indie developer doing reasonably well! Goblinz Studio, creator of Legend of Keepers: Career of a Dungeon Master, have announced a pretty great start for it.

    Releasing only on March 19, they said on Twitter how they were going to do a special message about it hitting a 30K milestone but they hit over 33K before being able to to do so. It's important to note that this is across Humble, GOG and Steam together. They also mentioned in another Twitter post about 4 days after release, that it had sold 1.3K copies on GOG alone in that time.

  • Paradox to give players a lot more guidance in Crusader Kings 3 - new overview video

    Crusader Kings is a complicated grand strategy series and not particularly accessible to new people. Crusader Kings 3 aims to change that as they've said before and over this month they gave more detail on what they're doing.

    Through March they put out new developer diaries focusing on tutorials, governments, war, civil war and more. Paradox is paying particular attention to making the interface of Crusader Kings III much easier to understand, with a full guided tutorial that runs through various parts of the interface and the gameplay mechanics. One of the major differences will be Tooltips, a great many of them and once you get through the guided tutorial you then get special mini-tutorials to follow along so you don't get overwhelmed.

  • Fates of Ort is an RPG where time stops until you move - it's absolutely great and it's out now

    We've got a lot of turn-based RPGs, a few real-time with pausing and a few entirely real-time but Fates of Ort still manages to make it all feel so new and interesting again. Think SUPERHOT as a retro pixel-art RPG and you get the idea. Not some gimmick either, as it works brilliantly. Also making it quite unique is the Magic system, which consumes your own life—as they say "Magic is powerful, but it is not free.". So you not only need to plan your moves, watching enemies move when you move but also plan how and when to use your magic and not overly so to cause your own death.

  • Valve's revamp of Artifact with a 2.0 Beta will start going out to players sometime soon

    Valve recently announced to expect news for their card game Artifact sometime soon, and now they're saying an Artifact 2.0 Beta will start trickling out to players.

    In the announcement on Steam, they made it clear that they've been working on revamping the core mechanics of Artifact. You will now be able to zoom out any time, to see and interact with all three lanes at once. However, the "majority" of effect still only work across one lane so they're all still important but a player is less likely to get shut out of a lane like they used to.

    Something better is that Valve will no longer sell cards, so there's no chance of facing an opponent with more money who has a completely stacked deck to steamroll over you. There's even a new "Hero Draft" mode, "that gives you a taste of constructing decks without all the pressure".

  • Imperator: Rome free to play until April 5, plus Archimedes update and Magna Graecia content pack out now

    Imperator: Rome from Paradox Interactive and Paradox Development Studio today had a huge update release along with a new DLC content pack and you can play free until April 5.

  • Manage the flow of passengers in 'STATIONflow' - leaving Early Access on April 15

    STATIONflow is a game about managing a very busy underground train station that's currently in Early Access with Linux support, which is to officially release on April 15.

    Quite a complex-looking game that has you build 3D layouts, guiding passengers around to their destinations. You drag and drop corridors and platforms around, with a free-form layout system so that the flow of passengers is only as good as your imagination for planning. This also means you can constantly optimise and re-build, when you discover a better layout.

  • Get ready to play with renaissance paintings as 'The Procession to Calvary' releases in April

    The Procession to Calvary has such a brilliant idea with it bringing Renaissance Paintings to life in a point and click style adventure. I am genuinely excited to play this. Just recently announced for released on April 9, it brings together classic pieces from Rembrandt, Botticelli, Michelangelo and many more in a unique way to provide a special new world to explore.

  • Valve makes auto-update adjustments to help with managing Steam's bandwidth use

    After multiple streaming services announced they were dropping their quality for a while, to help internet providers cope with so many more at home, Valve have started speaking about their own ways to manage bandwidth too.

    In the blog post on Steam, Valve mentioned how they've now adjusted download priorities so that games you've not played recently will move from using off-peak timings for auto-updates to spreading them over multiple days. Only games you've played in the last three days will update immediately. This doesn't change you clicking on a game that needs an update, as it will begin to update as normal when you request it. They also said they're looking into "additional solutions to help on our side" so we might see more download options in the Steam client eventually.

5 Reasons Why This Linux Gaming OS Is Great For Your Living Room

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Linux
Gaming

Valve’s Steam Machines initiative has been retired and SteamOS is on hiatus, but Steam Big Picture mode is still an awesome way to transform your PC into a living room console experience. For those of us who like the idea of having a computer dedicated to couch gaming (read: not your daily driver OS), a boutique Linux distribution called GamerOS is worth checking out. Especially since it picks up the baton where Valve left off and adds substantial tweaks and improvements.

In a nutshell, GamerOS is an Arch Linux-based operating system that’s streamlined to do one thing very well: run Steam Big Picture. In fact, that’s all it does. There is no desktop environment. Your first boot places you directly into Steam Big Picture and that’s where you’ll live on GamerOS.

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