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Gaming

DXVK 1.5.3 Released

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Software
Gaming
  • DXVK 1.5.3 Released - Helps Games Like Skyrim + Mafia II, Direct3D 9 Fixes

    Succeeding last week's DXVK 1.5.2 is now a version 1.5.3 release with various fixes.

    Leading to this quick DXVK 1.5.3 release is a fix for a potentially critical Direct3D 9 regression introduced in the previous release. There is also a fix for Vulkan validation errors with D3D9 and on the plus side better GPU-limited D3D9 performance with some Vulkan drivers.

  • Vulkan translation layer DXVK 1.5.3 is out fixing up a 'potentially' critical D3D9 regression

    A small but needed release of the Direct 3D 9/10/11 to Vulkan translation layer has been put out today fixing up some issues.

    DXVK 1.5.3 has a rather important fix in as the headliner here, as 1.5.2 had a potential "critical D3D9 regression". Additionally there's some fixed up Vulkan validation errors, improved GPU-limited D3D9 performance on some drivers, and the HUD will now properly show D3D10 when it's used rather than D3D11.

    For game specific fixes Mafia II, Skyrim and Torchlight were all mentioned so each should have a better experience under Wine with DXVK and so Proton too whenever Valve/CodeWeavers update it.

Games: Raspberry Pi, Dead Cells, ULTRAKILL, System Shock, Battle Axe, Iron Danger

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Gaming
  • Build your own first-person shooter in Unity

    Raspberry Pi Press is back with a new publication: this time, it’s Wireframe’s time to shine, with Build Your Own First-Person Shooter in Unity.

  • The Bad Seed DLC releases for Dead Cells on February 11

    One of my absolute favourite action platformers, the "RogueVania" game Dead Cells is getting a first DLC with The Bad Seed and it now has a release date of February 11.

    The Bad Seed should keep runs feeling fresh, with two new early-game biomes mixed with a bunch of new enemies and weapons plus "some unseen mechanics and a giant boss". Sounds like everything the game needs once you've played multiple tens of hours in it.

  • ULTRAKILL - a fast-paced and rather violent FPS has a Steam page up and new demo coming soon

    Retro first-person shooters as a genre and theme are very much back in action, I am super happy about this and ULTRAKILL is one that needs to be in your sights.

    Fusing together elements from the classic like Quake, with modern touches from newer games and fast-paced character action from the likes of Devil May Cry it's definitely got a unique feel to it.

    It currently has an older demo up on itch.io which we briefly covered before. Now, it has a Steam page up as it moves closer to a wider Early Access release and they've announced that a new demo will be coming soon.

  • Nightdive Studios have released some extended System Shock footage

    Excited for the System Shock remake? I certainly am! Nightdive Studios recently sent a special demo to backers but to keep the hype going for everyone else they've also doing a long new video.

    This is not the same as the demo recently released to the public, this is a bigger version that Nightdive will continue to update and backers keep hold of it until the game releases. You might want a coffee ready and the video is over an hour long but it's a good look into what to expect from this hotly anticipated System Shock reboot.

  • Battle Axe has some awesome pixel-art with gameplay inspired by Gauntlet and Golden Axe

    Currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, Battle Axe looks impressive. A retro-themed pixel-art action adventure taking inspiration from the likes of Golden Axe, Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara, and Knights Of The Round.

    It will be launching with Linux support, as clearly confirmed on the campaign page.

  • Tactical combat with time manipulation arrives with Iron Danger on March 25

    Today, Daedalic Entertainment and Action Squad Studios announced that their tactical combat game Iron Danger will release on March 25.

    An exciting sounding game with time manipulation mechanics and it looks pretty darn good visually too. The setting sounds equally delightful, with a mixture of nordic mythology, steampunk and tech noir. We covered this briefly back in September last year, where the developer confirmed Linux would happen. With the announcement today, Daedalic confirmed very clearly on Twitter that Linux support is in.

Games: The Pedestrian, Dwarf Fortress, and Playing With Godot Engine

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Gaming
  • The Pedestrian is an imaginative and fun puzzle game about travelling through signs - out now

    You are The Pedestrian, the little person you see in various street and wall signs and you're on a mission. It's a clever idea for a game but is the gameplay worth it? I took a look to find out. Note: Key from the dev.

    Truthfully though, unless something major changed, I was fully expecting to enjoy this. The demo released previously I briefly wrote up was already very enjoyable and showcased what they wanted to do well enough. The Pedestrian can be played by pretty much anyone, as the story is without text and dialogue.

  • Huge new Dwarf Fortress release out with villains and interrogations - you can also pet animals

    Dwarf Fortress, a single-player fantasy game that's quite a complex mix of genres has a big new release now available. It's been around a long time and it's so popular it's inspired the creation of other amazing games like RimWorld, Prison Architect, Minecraft and plenty more.

    Yesterday, Bay 12 Games put out v0.47.01 with some pretty huge new features, plenty of which are spread out across the multiple game modes. For the fortress mode, you will now get petitions for guildhalls and temples when you have enough believers digging around. Slightly more concerning though, is that villains might target you and steal some artifacts. If you have a Sheriff, you will get reports on it and you will be able to interrogate people and perhaps get the name of their master eventually.

  • Ordmonster

    The first thing I’d like to point out that my fluency in Godot as a tool is starting to show of. I’m more happy with the code structure of ordmonster, and I start to feel that I don’t continuously bump into the sharp edges of Godot, but use the engine as it was meant to be used.

    I also learned a couple of things. The first one is the Control::mouse_filter property. The GameButton nodes (the ones showing a word or a picture) consists of a Button with a Label for text and a TextureRect for holding the picture. The TextureRect sits inside a MarginContainer. It turns out the MarginContainer stops all mouse events from passing through, effectively disabling the Button. This took a while to figure out.

    The second half has to do with how resource files can be traversed on Android. Resources are embedded into the executable produced by Godot. The words available in the game are stored as the filenames of the images, so that I don’t have to create a table and keep it in sync with the file names. Really smart idea – right? This smart idea cost me quite some time.

    First up, it seems like you cannot have non-ASCII characters in asset filenames when building apk files for Android devices. Really annoying. The fix was using English for the filenames and having to add the words to my translation tables, so now I have a table to keep in sync with the filenames anyway.

    The fun did not end here. Now it worked on desktop (both Linux and Windows), but my Android builds simply crashed on me. It turns out that the Directory::list_dir_begin and friends do not seem to work on Android, or the assets are not included in the apk. I’ll spend some time figuring out what is up, then I’ll probably file a bug report. In the mean time you can follow the current forum discussion.

Sony Now "Officially" Maintaining The Linux PlayStation Input Driver, But Leads To Interesting Problem

Filed under
Linux
Gaming

It turns out Sony is now maintaining the mainline Linux kernel's hid-sony input driver in an "official capacity now across various devices." This hid-sony driver is what traditionally has supported the various PlayStation controllers and other input devices for their hardware. But their newfound "official" support for this open-source input driver could lead to interesting predicaments.

Sent out this week by an independent Linux user was a patch for supporting Gasia controllers with the HID Sony driver. These controllers made by Gasia Co are USB-based controllers aiming for compatibility with the PlayStation 3 controller. These Gasia controllers are similar to "knockoff controllers" we've seen from other vendors for the PlayStation and other game consoles like the Xbox in that often times they even use the same device IDs and aim to mirror the hardware/software behavior all the same.

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Games: Prodeus, Obversion, and Aquamarine

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Gaming
  • Awesome looking FPS 'Prodeus' Early Access release slips to Summer, new trailer is up

    Retro-inspired with plenty of modern tricks, Prodeus looks bloody awesome! Sadly though, we have to wait a bit longer to frag as the Early Access date has slipped.

    In a big update on Kickstarter, the team explained that while it's come far they're just not there yet, so they've pushed Early Access until Summer this year. The extra few months will be used to "deliver an amazing game" and "polish the game to get it to release quality".

  • Obversion is a slow, peaceful and satisfying first-person puzzler out now

    Obversion from former-Google developer Adrian Marple is out now, I played through a bunch of it and found it delightful.

    Visually simple, mechanically very straightforward too but it's also very accessible. You can play the entire game with a gamepad or mouse/keyboard - the choice is yours. The idea of each level is simply to reach the exit, you do this by manipulating the environment by creating and destroying certain blocks. Even if you get something wrong, you can undo entire moves at the tap of a button making it quite peaceful and relaxing even when you're stuck as you're free to experiment at your own pace.

  • Aquamarine, a story-driven quiet survival adventure set in an alien ocean

    Currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, Aquamarine looks like a very sweet survival adventure about exploring an alien ocean.

    In development by Moebial Studios with a plan to release for Linux, macOS and Windows in Q4 this year, Aquamarine is a small-scale story-driven adventure inspired largely by the psychedelic sci-fi of the '70s and '80s. With gameplay combining elements of old-school roguelikes and the survival genre with the exploration and puzzle solving of classic point-and-click adventures.

Release of Godot Engine 3.2

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Development
Gaming
  • HERE COMES GODOT 3.2, WITH QUALITY AS PRIORITY

    Godot contributors are thrilled and delighted to release our newest major update, Godot 3.2! It's the result of over 10 months of work by close to 450 contributors (300 of them contributing to Godot for the first time) who authored more than 6000 commits!

    Godot 3.2 is a major improvement over our previous 3.1 installment, bringing dozens of major features and hundreds of bugfixes and enhancements to bring our game developers an ever-improving feature set with a strong focus on usability.

  • Godot Engine 3.2 is out - advancing this FOSS game engine 'with quality as priority'

    After nearly a year of development, the free and open source game engine Godot Engine has a big new feature-filled release out with 3.2 focusing on quality as their priority.

    Even though it's a massive release, the Godot team is encouraging developers to upgrade from the older version as practically "every area of the engine has seen some degree of enhancement". There are a few breaking changes though so check the changelog.

    Originally planned as a small release, however a lot of features introduced in 3.0 and 3.1 "needed refinement" and they did "a lot of work" to improve the "usability, implement missing components and fix bugs" to ensure Godot 3.2 is a long-lasting release with long-term support due to how vastly different Godot 4.0 will be.

  • Godot 3.2 Open-Source Game Engine Released With Better Documentation, New Features

    While developers are hard at work on Godot 4.0 with Vulkan support, that release won't be ready until mid-2020 so as a result Godot 3.2 is out today as their latest stable release and serving as a "long-term support" release until transitioning to Godot 4.

    Godot 3.2 is bringing with it better documentation, Mono / C# integration working on Android and WebAssembly, Oculus Quest support, overhauling of Godot's visual shaders, various graphics/rendering improvements, glTF 2.0 3D asset support, WebSocket and WebRTC support, new editor features, and a variety of other enhancements.

Games: Coma 2: Vicious Sisters, Kentucky Route Zero, Google Stadia, Warcraft III

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Gaming
  • Korean survival-horror The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters is officially out now

    From publisher Headup and the South-Korean development team at Devespresso Games we have the full release of The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters.

    Continuing the dark and vicious world setup in The Coma: Recut, this standalone sequel doesn't need you to have played the previous game so you can jump right on in thanks to the new protagonist, Mina Park, although it does have certain references to the previous game for those who've played it.

  • Seven years later Kentucky Route Zero is finally complete with the release of Act V

    As a free update to all existing owners, seven years after the initial release Kentucky Route Zero from developer Cardboard Computer is actually done and finished.

    Not only can you now play through the full story, the update also includes the "interludes" - free experimental games which they published to "ill in the story and characters from different perspectives" and the game has new translations too, adjustable text size and Steam Achievements. Quite a big update!

  • Google Stadia adds GYLT and Metro Exodus for Pro and more Stadia news

    It's time for another little roundup of happenings around Google Stadia, the Linux-powered game streaming service.

    Firstly, for anyone who does have the Founder/Premier Edition or were sent a Buddy Pass, the Pro games for February have been announced. At this point, it does seem like Google are running out of Steam as they're giving away their own exclusive GYLT and Metro Exodus. Samurai Shodown and Rise of the Tomb Raider for Pro ends January 31, so you need to claim them before that date to keep them with your subscription. Google did also announce new Pro deals here.

    Google also did an official "Stadia Savepoint" news post on the official Google blog, going over what they've been doing but there's nothing new there since they already announced the big stuff like 120 games coming to Stadia across this year including some timed-exclusives.

  • How Warcraft III accidentally became a great Lord of the Rings game

    Warcraft III shipped in 2002 with a robust set of map-making tools. To younger folks that might sound weird now. “Map-making tools?” But once upon a time it was normal. In the ‘90s and early ‘00s, most multiplayer games shipped with official tools for creating custom maps or scenarios. I imagine a number of today’s developers grew up making maps for Unreal Tournament, Quake, Counter-Strike, Age of Empires II, and yes, Warcraft III.

Godot's Vulkan Progress

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Gaming
  • VULKAN PROGRESS REPORT #6

    It's been a while since the previous progress report, as I went on vacation in November (did not take a vacation in years...), and December I had a lot of other engine related tasks that piled up that I had to solve. Work on the Vulkan branch resumed at the beginning of January and significant progress was made already.

  • Godot's Vulkan Renderer Is Already Picking Up New Features In 2020

    We remain quite excited to see Godot 4.0 this year that most notably is working on Vulkan API support.

    Godot 4.0 will hopefully be out in mid-2020 with the big ticket item being a Vulkan renderer. Godot lead developer Juan Linietsky has been back at work striving to have the Vulkan renderer match feature completeness to the Godot 3.x OpenGL rendering while also introducing new advanced features.

    Some of the latest Godot Vulkan developments include working out a modernized post-processing stack, rewritten auto exposure code with better performance, rewritten glow/bloom, a new depth of field effect, new screen space ambient occlusion, and specular anti-aliasing.

  • Godot Engine continues advancing Vulkan support, plus Nakama Godot first release

    Two bits of news relating to the free and open source game engine, Godot Engine, to share today and it's quite exciting.

    Firstly, the Vulkan support coming with the big Godot Engine 4.0 release later in the year (not the upcoming 3.2 release) continues improving the graphics overhaul. In a new progress update, lead developer Juan Linietsky writes about recent changes after taking a small holiday last November.

Best Open Source Games in 2020

Filed under
OSS
Gaming

There’s no reason to spend $60 on a new AAA release just to bring some variety into your gaming diet when there are many fantastic open source games that are completely free and just as engaging as their big-budget counterparts.
It’s true that open source games seldom give you the graphical fidelity you may be used to from the most technically advanced games of this console generation, they give you something many best-selling titles today desperately miss: captivating gameplay.

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Games: Isleward, Unity, Nethercard Kingdom, FoodBall, Dezatopia, PULSAR: Lost Colony and More

Filed under
Gaming
  • Isleward - a free and open source cross-platform roguelike MMO

    I adventured far and wide, clicking across page after page of unique and often very weird games on itch.io until a little sparkle caught my eye. That spark was Isleward, a free and open source roguelike MMO.

    The developer claims it's "the world's only open source, moddable, roguelike MMO"—a bold claim. There's been a few classic-styled roguelike MMOs before, however being free and open source like this with cross-platform play in your browser (and downloads for Linux, macOS and Windows) is certainly refreshing.

  • Unity deprecating built-in XR (VR/AR etc) support for a new plugin system - Valve doing their own for SteamVR

    While the state of Virtual/Mixed/Augmented Reality (XR) is constantly in flux and improving all the time, Unity have announced with Unity 2019.3 that their built-in XR support is being deprecated.

    Unity 2019.3 is the next upcoming (Edit: now out after we published this) major build of the Unity game engine, currently in Beta and when released they're going to be pushing their newer unified XR plugin framework. It makes sense, giving developers of XR hardware the chance to get updates out a lot quicker, rather than waiting for engine upgrades.

  • Unity 2019.3 is now out - adds Google Stadia support and IL2CPP on Linux

    Another big new release of the Unity game engine has today been released with 2019.3, full to the brim with massive tech enhancements.

    On the Linux side, which we're most interested in, is finally the inclusion of IL2CPP support (a Unity-developed scripting backend) on Linux builds of games and applications. Linux missing this caused issues for a few developers, so hopefully now publishing Linux builds with Unity might be better. Unity say that x can increase the "performance, security, and platform compatibility" of Unity projects. OpenGL and Vulkan especially saw plenty of bug fixes too.

  • Nethercard Kingdom - a free deck-builder with real-time battles

    I'm always on the hunt for new and exciting games, a big fan currently of deck-building strategy games of all kinds. This never-ending search recently led me to the free Nethercard Kingdom and I want more.

    Unlike most deck-builders, the combat in Nethercard Kingdom happens in real-time. You have to build a deck of assorted cards, each with their own mana cost. As you battle, your mana constantly refills allowing you to play these cards which form your troops who battle out in real-time, plus you can also use spells.

  • FoodBall, a mix of car combat and Football comes to Linux later this year

    Cat-astrophe Games are currently developing FoodBall, a game that mixes together car combat and Football with a theme involving all sorts of edible items.

    When speaking to their team about it recently, they confirmed that not only is FoodBall coming to Linux but their team "actually work on Linux a lot" and their CTO "loves Linux".

  • Dezatopia, a unique feeling multi-directional shoot 'em up is out now - it's awesome

    Developer HEY and Japanese publisher Hanaji Games have released Dezatopia, an imaginative and unique feeling multi-directional shoot 'em up with Linux support.

    [...]

    Managing your weapons is key to victory. You're able to set them to auto fire, however, that doesn't allow their charge to build up. Additionally, you collect Crystals from destroyed objects but you can only collect them automatically when all weapons are off. The more weapons you having firing at once, the slower you move too.

  • Co-op first-person spaceship command game PULSAR: Lost Colony now has a proper tutorial

    PULSAR: Lost Colony is a fantastic idea for a game, always has been but it lacked a good experience for new players and it was easy to bounce off it. Giving each player a dedicated role on a spaceship, this co-op game can be a lot of fun.

    Shouting orders at each other with one playing as the Captain and others as the Pilot, Scientist, Weapons Specialist and Engineer it can be quite a riot. If you've always wanted to be part of a crew and travel the galaxy together, this is a fun choice.

  • Catch the True Sight: The International 2019 Grand Finals - the Dota 2 documentary tonight

    Tonight, Valve will be releasing a documentary of the recent The International 2019 tournament, focused on the Grand Finals.

    During the Grand Finals we had a showdown between OG and Team Liquid, with OG making history during the tournament by not only being the first team to win The International two times in a row but also the first team to carve their names into the Aegis (the physical trophy) for a second time. Since then, multiple members of the Team Liquid squad left to form Nigma.

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