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Games: Black Mesa, Chained Echoes, Dawnthorn, Merchant of the Skies

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Gaming
  • Black Mesa 1.0 preview coming soon - still getting big improvements to visuals and the AI

    The finishing line for Crowbar Collective and their re-imaging of Half-Life with Black Mesa is almost in sight, with a preview of the full finished game to come soon. In a new announcement on Steam, they said it will be available to test as soon as it's ready.

    Plenty of upgrades are still going in though, like an overhaul to the HECU AI so the soldiers you encounter around Black Mesa on cleanup duty will be a lot smarter. They now know to "lay down suppressing fire, flank your position, communicate more, throw grenades more effectively, use their MP5 grenade launchers, and more" which has me quite excited to see in action.

  • Chained Echoes an RPG in a world filled with Dragons and Mech suits - Steam page is up

    There's a lot of sweet Linux games to look forward to, one of them being Chained Echoes. Set in a world where a Dragon is as common a sight as a mechanised suit flying around.

    Funded on Kickstarter and listed in our little overview of crowdfunded titles coming to Linux, the creator Matthias Linda announced that it now has a Steam page live where you can follow along. They also confirmed on Twitter, that the Linux (and macOS) releases are still planned. Another reminder of a quality-looking title coming to Linux.

  • Dawnthorn, a pixel-art ARPG standalone prequel to Hazelnut Bastille releases this year

    During the Kickstarter campaign for the upcoming Zelda-like ARPG Hazelnut Bastille, Aloft Studio let out their secret other project in an announcement called Dawnthorn.

    Acting as a standalone prequel to the unreleased Hazelnut Bastille, Dawnthorn is something their team worked on to prepare everything they needed for Hazelnut Bastille. This isn't some small tech demo though, Dawnthorn will be a full-length game at around "12-15 hours to complete".

  • Business and trading sim 'Merchant of the Skies' approaching full release - price to increase

    Merchant of the Skies, the mix of exploration and a base-building/tycoon game has improved a huge amount since the first few Early Access builds and the full release is coming closer.

    According to Coldwild Games, the final release patch will be released in March or April adding "A LOT" of story content and a "fully fledged missions/campaign system". With all the work that's gone into crafting this very sweet game, they're upping the price on February 15 by €5 (and whatever the equivalent turns out to be for everyone else so around £5/$5 extra).

Games: GtkStressTesting, Dying Light and Kingpin: Life of Crime

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Gaming
  • Monitor and stress-test your Linux gaming PC with GtkStressTesting

    Monitoring your Linux gaming PC is pretty easy, there's some good applications out there to keep an eye on CPU use and more but what about some stress testing to see how it holds up? GtkStressTesting seems nice.

    The developer, Roberto Leinardi, who also made GKraken (control the cooling (and soon also the lighting) of a NZXT Kraken X) and GreenWithEnvy (controlling NVIDIA fans and overclocking on Linux) emailed in about GtkStressTesting. Originally called GnomeStressTest, they recently changed the name to GtkStressTesting along with a new release.

  • Dying Light turns five years old, send Zombies flying in the HyperMode event - big sale too

    Techland managed to create probably one of the best Zombie games ever with Dying Light, it's currently heavily discounted again and it's now hit five years since release.

    It was actually released on Linux same-day as Windows, something that was quite a surprise years ago for such a huge release. Sadly, it wasn't in the best state but they eventually got there and it ended up as one of my favourite games on any platform.

    To celebrate the occasion, Techland has turned on the HyperMode in-game event. This is where you're as strong as Superman, sending Zombies flying as you punch and kick. Additionally, for this event Techland has also boosted XP gain and there's person and global goals to hit to earn rewards.

  • Get ready to live a Life of Crime with Kingpin: Reloaded announced by 3D Realms - will be coming to Linux

    Kingpin: Life of Crime is being remastered with 3D Realms recently announced Kingpin: Reloaded bringing new life to the Quake II engine classic.

    Originally created by Xatrix Entertainment and published by Interplay Entertainment back in 1999, it's being given a fresh look by Slipgate Ironworks with 3D Realms publishing who will be enhancing it with a new quest system, Ultrawide and 4k Support, classic and enhanced modes, controller support, a no violence mode (but all the profanity stays), multiplayer and more.

Games: Plague Inc: Evolved, Valve's ACO, Push Me Pull You, 3D Buzz, Zombie Panic, Lazr, ReDoomEd

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Gaming
  • Plague Inc: Evolved hits new all-time high on player count due to the Coronavirus outbreak in China

    Plague Inc: Evolved, a strategy/simulation mix that supports Linux, has seen a sudden surge in popularity recently as China has a real-life Coronavirus outbreak people are testing it out in the game.

    In the last 24 hours, it's hit a new all-time high peak-player count of over fifteen thousand people all trying to cover the world in something terrible. This is thanks to the modding support the game has with the Steam Workshop, there's multiple packs that add in some form of the new Chinese Coronavirus.

  • Valve's ACO Helps The Radeon RX 5600 XT Compete With NVIDIA's RTX 2060

    As shown yesterday the new video BIOS of the Radeon RX 5600 XT paired with the corrected SMC firmware on Linux yields impressive performance improvements that -- similar to Windows -- allows the card to compete better with NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 2060. For Linux users, activating the Valve-funded ACO compiler back-end for the Radeon "RADV" Vulkan driver helps turn up the competition even more.

  • 'Push Me Pull You' is a strange but kid-friendly multiplayer comical wrestling game featuring humanoid conjoined twins

    This somewhat bizarre but at the same time completely original game, sponsored by the Victoria State Government and Film Victoria Australia, has been out since July 2016 with Linux support, but it was overlooked by almost everyone. Also, it didn't help the fact that several months ago I requested the developer to send a copy for the GOL staff to check, but they said they were no longer handing review keys. Although it barely has Steam user reviews, it has received a number of awards and the few people who wrote reviews for it seemed to like it.

  • All courses from online learning site '3D Buzz' went free, due to the website shutting down; torrent available

    Although most of the courses were paid, a couple of weeks ago the site had to shut down, following the ramifications of one of its founders' tragic death by cancer in 2017 (memorial and portfolio page); however, they decided to release absolutely all the content (about 200 GB of videos) for free to download, out of appreciation for all the community's support across the years.

    [...]

    In my personal case, I didn't check any course due to lack of time, so I can't tell you about their general quality, but if you want to get a glimpse, they have a YouTube account with dozens of old videos to see if their style of teaching suits you.

    This unfortunate event shows another facet of such an horrific disease; sometimes it's not only about the extreme torment of the affected person and the psychological devastation that causes on relatives and friends, but also the catastrophic financial consequences that worsen an already grisly situation. However, an excellent gesture like this at least helps to keep the person's legacy alive, and opens the slight possibility that somebody uses this (now free) content to release a masterpiece in a couple of years. One can only hope...

  • Zombie Panic! Source getting the big 3.1 release with Linux support 'as soon as possible' - needs testing

    The Zombie Panic! Team put out another update on the progress towards version 3.1, what's turned into a massive overhaul to many parts of the game as Linux support also comes in.

    Not long to go though, with version 3.1 Beta Update 5 being released yesterday which should be the last major update as they move onto focusing on the smaller things to get a "public release as soon as possible". This still could be months away, depending on how many issues come up.

  • Lazr, an impressive cyberpunk physics-enhanced 2D platformer is on Kickstarter with a big demo

    After an impressive tech demo, then an expanded demo, the physics-enhanced 'clothformer' Lazr is now on Kickstarter to help it cross the development finishing line.

    The developer, Garrick Campsey, didn't originally plan this to be a full game. Being made as a result of a challenge from another game developer adding dynamic motion simulation into a platformer. A video of the prototype then went somewhat viral on Twitter and they decided to continue it into a proper game.

  • 'ReDoomEd', a port of the original Doom level editor, was released on Linux

    DoomEd was a program written by Carmack and Romero on 1993, to directly build the levels from the original Doom. Seventeen years later, the developers behind Twilight Edge Software are releasing a free and independent port based on that program, appropriately called ReDoomEd, which is based on DoomEd's source code, publicly released by John Romero himself on 2015.

Games: Shotgun Farmers, GOG and DXVK Release

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Gaming
  • Linux gaming night: Shotgun Farmers - come join tonight

    Tonight, we've decided to do something a little different. We're organising a Linux gaming night and you're all invited to join us.

    Getting into the whole community spirit thing here, channelling some positive vibes for the Linux gaming community and for a fun indie game that's quite unique and cheap—let's play Shotgun Farmers. A good time too, as on Steam right now it's 30% off making it £4.89 / $6.99 / €5.73.

  • GOG have now launched their own big Lunar Sale with tons of DRM-free of deals

    If Humble Store and Steam didn't sway you yet, perhaps some DRM-free games from GOG might as they've now launched their own big Lunar Sale.

    As this is a very Chinese themed event, GOG have prepared a little "gaming horoscope" page. Since I entered this world in the year of The Dragon, according to GOG I am "confident, intelligent, and enthusiastic" and well suited for RPGs. Can't really argue with that.

  • Direct 3D to Vulkan translation layer DXVK version 1.5.2 is up, lots of fixes for games

    The DXVK team have released another new version of their Direct 3D 9/10/11 to Vulkan translation layer with 1.5.2 now available.

    Firstly an important note: It requires more up to date drivers again, as they've upped the requirements to Vulkan 1.1 support. A good time to go and check, Vulkan 1.1 has been supported in both NVIDIA and Mesa driver for quite some time now so it really shouldn't be an issue. Why did they up the Vulkan version used? They said the "Vulkan 1.0 fallback path was largely untested and did not always work correctly" and it allowed some code cleaning.

    As for what's new, on the Direct 3D 9 support side, they added in some "missing D3D9 swap chain functionality" so more games should run including ATi ToyShop demo, Atelier Sophie and Dynasty Warriors 7. There's also some Direct 3D 9 bug fixes and "minor performance and memory optimizations" so it should run Windows games a bit smoother now.

3 Reasons Why This OS Is The Perfect Choice For PC Gamers

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OS
Gaming

I recently produced a video guide showing how to get set up for gaming on elementary OS, an excellent, polished Linux distribution which I’ve praised on these pages repeatedly. I received a perplexing comment explaining that I should just create one universal guide for all Ubuntu-based distributions, since “generally, the software installation steps are the same.” That couldn’t be further from the truth, and it inspired me to paint a detailed picture why.

Pop!_OS, elementary OS, Zorin OS. These are but a few Linux distributions based on Canonical’s popular Ubuntu. But that doesn’t mean these are merely reskinned OSes with different wallpapers and a slightly tweaked user interface.

Read more

Games: GOG, La Résistance, Stardew Valley, Frictional Games, Trains & Things, Xbox One controller on Linux

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Gaming
  • GOG have now launched their own big Lunar Sale with tons DRM-free of deals

    If Humble Store and Steam didn't sway you yet, perhaps some DRM-free games from GOG might as they've now launched their own big Lunar Sale.

    As this is a very Chinese themed event, GOG have prepared a little "gaming horoscope" page. Since I entered this world in the year of The Dragon, according to GOG I am "confident, intelligent, and enthusiastic" and well suited for RPGs. Can't really argue with that.

  • La Résistance expansion for Hearts of Iron IV releasing February 25

    Paradox Development Studio have now announced that the La Résistance expansion for their "best-selling strategy wargame" Hearts of Iron IV releasing February 25.

    This huge expansion has been in the works for a while now, focusing on the "highlights the challenge of governing unruly conquests and the power of well-placed spies". You can see their original announcement trailer from PDXCON last year below:

  • Stardew Valley has managed to sell over 10 million copies - plus it's cheap right now

    Releasing almost four years ago, they said a Linux version would depend on sales of the Windows version. Then later that same month, Linux (and macOS) became a top priority which is likely due to it going onto selling over a million copies before the end of April. The Linux build was then fully released in July and since then they've pushed out plenty of big content updates and continue to do so.

  • The Frictional Games teaser has grown again - oh no it's going to be a monster isn't it

    Okay, Frictional Games, what exactly are you teasing us with? I need to know, it doesn't look like what I originally thought.

    Not up to speed? Late last year, Frictional Games (SOMA, Amnesia) started teasing a new game on a dedicated website and every so often the video that's on repeat changes. Initially starting as a tiny little cell, it then started to look like a beating heart…only yesterday it grew again and now it looks like it has a tail.

  • Trains & Things, a multiplayer-focused economic strategy game enters Early Access

    Developer bitshift have announced their multiplayer focused economic strategy game, Trains & Things, is now available in Early Access.

    With cross-platform online multiplayer to play in co-op or against others, simple track building, mod and custom map support it could be a good one to keep an eye on.

  • xow, a Linux driver for the Xbox One Controller wireless dongle has a new release up

    If you're using an Xbox One controller on Linux, you should keep an eye on the xow driver which aims to support multiple versions of it and multiple controllers.

    xow 0.3 was released last night adding in full rumble functionality "including triggers", udev rules so you no longer require root/super user privileges, there's a Makefile uninstall target and they added support for the Xbox One Elite Controller too. Additionally, it fixes an incompatibility with the mt76 kernel driver and a crash when unplugging the dongle while pairing.

Games: Terminal Phase, TaniNani, Rocket League, Vampire: The Masquerade - Coteries of New York

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Gaming
  • Time travel debugging in Spritely Goblins, previewed through Terminal Phase

    Okay, by now pretty much everyone is probably sick of hearing about Terminal Phase. Terminal Phase this, and Terminal Phase that! Weren't you getting back to other hacking on Spritely Goblins, Chris? And in fact I am, I just decided it was a good idea to demo one of the things that makes Goblins interesting.

    What you're seeing above is from the experimental tt-debugger branch of Terminal Phase (not committed yet because it's a proof-of-concept, and not as clean as I'd like it to be, and also you need the "dev" branch of Goblins currently). When the user presses the "t" key, they are presented with a menu by which they can travel backwards and forwards in time. The player can select a previous state of the game from every two seconds and switch to that.

  • In the puzzler TaniNani, you move level tiles instead of a character and it's very sweet

    Spread the tiles, swap them around and get your little friends to find each other in the sweet puzzle game TaniNani out now with Linux support. Note: Key provided by the developer.

    I won't leave you hanging for my thoughts on this one, I absolutely love it. The characters are adorable when they meet, the game is super easy to get into and there's no stress with it. Go at your own pace, figure it out and try as many times as you like without repercussions. TaniNani is a perfectly example of a good casual puzzle game that's enjoyable to play through.

  • Need a new game? There's big sales on Steam and Humble (plus a free Crusader Kings II DLC)

    I can't think why you might need a new Linux game right now but there's plenty of huge sales going on if you're interested in a new and fun experience.

    Valve have today launched their Lunar New Year Sale, as expected. Absolutely masses of great games going for ridiculous prices.

    On Steam, Paradox are also giving away the Sons of Abraham expansion for Crusader Kings II until January 27. Since Crusader Kings II itself is now free, stocking up on some other freebies is great to keep you going until Crusader Kings III releases.

  • Psyonix are ending support for Rocket League on both Linux and macOS

    Sad news today Linux gamers, Psyonix emailed us directly to make sure we saw the news that they're officially ending support of Rocket League on Linux and macOS.

  • Rocket League is Dropping Support for Linux

    Rocket League is dropping official support for Linux and macOS. Psyonix shared the news in a short statement posted on their website.

  • Vampire: The Masquerade - Coteries of New York released for Linux

    Draw Distance today released Vampire: The Masquerade - Coteries of New York, a very stylish Visual Novel set in the universe of Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition. Good to see it happen, after the confusion we were left with at the Windows version release.

Games: Europa Universalis IV, Overcooked, ScourgeBringer and CreatorCrate

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  • Paradox to trial a subscription system to help with DLC overload for Europa Universalis IV

    Recently Paradox Interactive and Paradox Development Studio put out a small update for Europa Universalis IV, initially saying it didn't really do much. However, after users did some digging, they had to release a statement about upcoming subscription plans.

    Initially, the update notes said they were "running a few experiments aimed at reducing the threshold for new players to access the full EU4 experience" and that they didn't want to disclose what as it would "interfere with the test". Not long after the post, a user replied to show subscriptions mentioning a "monthly payment" for DLC access.

  • Overcooked! 2 has a free content update out with the Spring Festival

    Team17 and Ghost Town Games have released a nice free content update for the crazy co-op cooking game Overcooked! 2. See Also: Some previous thoughts on Overcooked! 2.

    Out now, the Spring Festival update celebrates the upcoming Year of the Rat for the Chinese New Year celebrations later this month. It adds in five new specially themed kitchens to play through, plus two new chefs with the Rat Chef and Turtle Chef you can select as playable characters.

  • ScourgeBringer - an incredibly stylish mix something between 'Dead Cells and Celeste' arrives soon

    Flying Oak Games and Dear Villagers have announced that ScourgeBringer, their wonderfully stylish rogue-lite platformer is releasing on February 6 in Early Access.

    The same team that worked on NeuroVoider have returned, with what they say blends elements of Dead Cells and Celeste into a post-apocalyptic world where a mysterious entity wreaked havoc on all humanity. Sounds bleak but the graphics certainly look vibrant.

  • Try the demo for CreatorCrate, a wild roguelike platformer with a curved world and physics fun

    CreatorCrate is currently in development, a little rough around the edges but it's showing a lot of promise to be a very fun roguelike platformer with plenty of uniqueness.

    With a curved game world set inside a rotating space station, changing gravity, physics interactions with you being able to pick up objects and launch them across the screen—it certainly has a good amount of charm.

GameMode 1.5

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Software
Gaming
  • Feral's GameMode 1.5 Now Supports Changing The CPU Governor Differently For iGPUs

    With Feral's GameMode 1.5 the big change facing users is for those running integrated graphics. In a change led by an Intel open-source graphics driver developer, GameMode now supports setting an alternative CPU frequency scaling governor for integrated graphics use-cases. Up to now GameMode has defaulted to always using the "performance" CPU frequency scaling governor for normally delivering the best performance, but for integrated graphics that in some situations can lead to lower performance. Due to the integrated graphics and CPU cores sharing the same power envelope, ramping up the CPU performance can throw the graphics performance out of balance and at least for some games lead to lower performance. So with GameMode 1.5, the user can now opt for "powersave" or an alternative governor instead when using an iGPU.

  • Feral Interactive's open source 'GameMode' system performance booster has a new release

    Feral Interactive don't just port a lot of games to Linux, they also work on some open source bits here and there. One of their projects is GameMode, which just got a new release.

    GameMode is a "daemon/lib combo for Linux that allows games to request a set of optimisations be temporarily applied to the host OS and/or a game process". In simple terms, it can help ensure your Linux PC is giving the game all it can to run smoothly. Looks like someone new is handling the project too, with Alex Smith having left Feral Interactive.

Games: Starcom: Nexus, Wild Woods, Shrine

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  • Wx3 Labs continue polishing the Linux Beta of Starcom: Nexus - it's looking good

    After getting a Linux Beta build back in December, the open-world space action and adventure game Starcom: Nexus continues getting polished up for Linux support.

    The developer provided a key, so I took a look to see how the Linux version was running and it's fantastic. I've yet to come across any issues with it. As a massive fan of space, the possibility of aliens and sci-fi tech Starcom: Nexus definitely ticks a lot of the right boxes and the story reminds me of Star Trek: Voyager.

  • You can now nominate games for the GamingOnLinux GOTY Award

    It's finally here! We're bringing back the GamingOnLinux GOTY Awards we did a few years ago, so it's time to get nominating.

    How it usually works is we have this dedicated GOTY Page, you pick a category and then search for a game in the box at the top to nominate it in that category. You can nominate as many as you wish, as long as they fit within the category.

    Once enough time has passed we will then lock down nominations, clear up any in the wrong place and open it for voting in around a week or two.

  • Wild Woods, a free couch co-op action game about defending a moving wagon

    Currently free on itch.io while it's not finished, Wild Woods resembles Unrailed! a little in that you're protecting a moving vehicle but it does it in a rather different way.

    Playable by yourself or with up to three others (1-4 players), you will be running alongside your wagon as it travels through a dangerous forest. During the daytime you can collect resources, which will be vital for surviving the night. When the sun goes down, bandits come out and attack. As you progress, you get to do a few upgrades on your wagon and overall it's a real sweet game to try out.

  • Shrine, a total conversion of Doom II has you slaying Eldritch abominations

    Regular readers will know by now that I love a good first-person shooter, I also keep an eye on fun mods and entire conversions of Doom. Shrine is another recent discovery, sending you into the Eldritch depths of hell.

    Shrine is inspired by Lovecraftian horror, so it's very much styled as you would expect with seriously freaky looking enemy types. It has 8 brand new weapons, 13 enemies to blast into the next dimension, 16 levels that are surprisingly challenging and a ton of custom textures/sounds and more.

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