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Games: Slay the Spire, Humble Australia Fire Relief Bundle, Stadia, Open Surge and Boxtron

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Gaming
  • A Long Way Down blends together Slay the Spire card combat with maze building - now in Early Access

    One thing is for sure, Slay the Spire truly has kicked off a deck-building indie game revolution of sorts. More and more are releasing with deck-building and A Long Way Down seems like one of the better ones so far. Note: Key provided by the publisher, Goblinz Studio.

    Quite derivative I would say though, in the nicest way possible. The deck-building card-based combat from Slay the Spire is merged in with maze building in a similar fashion to what's seen in Guild of Dungeoneering.

  • The Humble Australia Fire Relief Bundle is up with 100% going to charity

    Humble are back with a new bundle, although this is a 100% charity bundle to help deal with the sad situation in Australia.

    The Humble Australia Fire Relief Bundle only has one tier at $25, which does include quite a lot of games. Here's what's included, I've highlighted in bold text those with Linux support....

  • Google plan over 120 Stadia games this year, 10 coming to Stadia before other platforms

    In their latest community update, the Stadia Team have given a small insight into what's coming to the Linux-powered game streaming service Stadia across 2020.

    Missed our first impressions of Stadia? Check them out here.

    They said "more than" 120 games will be coming to Stadia this year, more interestingly though they also mentioned that 10 will be arriving in the "first half of this year" that will "only" be on Stadia when they launch. So that's presumably some timed-exclusives they have going. No names were mentioned, so we just have to wait and see.

  • Move over Sonic, Surge has arrived with Open Surge - a game engine and retro platformer

    I grew up playing the early Sonic games so Open Surge really speaks to me. A retro Sonic-inspired platformer (that's actually quite polished already) and a game engine for others to create with it.

    Open Surge is free and open source software (GPL license), so anyone can grab it from GitHub and do whatever they wish. Written from scratch in C, using the cross-platform Allegro programming library.

  • Boxtron, the Steam Play tool to run games through a native DOSBox on Linux has a new release

    Boxtron is another awesome Steam Play tool! Covered here a few times now, like Proton it enables you to play games on Linux that don't have a Linux build setup on Steam only this is for DOSBox games.

    Rather than running DOSBox-powered games on Steam through Proton when they don't have a Linux build of it all up, using Boxtron should give a better experience.

    Today a new release went up with Boxtron 0.5.4 fixing multiple issues including: games that use multiple CD images not starting like The Dame Was Loaded (and probably other FMV titles), they tweaked Retro City Rampage 486 to use "aspect=false", several bugs around parsing user-supplied regex for MIDI synthesiser detection were fixed, they also fixed a bug preventing MIDI port detection if there are no soundfonts installed and there's now several fallback soundfont names for various Linux distributions.

Games: Nimbatus, Core Defense, CreatorCrate and More

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Gaming
  • Action-packed drone building game 'Nimbatus' has a huge update, we have 3 copies to give away

    We've teamed up with Stray Fawn Studio again to give away three copies of their space drone construction game, Nimbatus, plus there's a massive update out now.

    So what's new in the "Mothership Update"? A lot and it sounds awesome!

    Your Nimbatus mothership can be upgraded now, there's some Steam Achievements with drone skins you can unlock and they will be adding even more in the next update. There's a new "Programmer" Captain to pick which unlocks everything but it only allows you to build autonomous drones (no manual piloting), proper save file management giving more freedom, new difficulty settings, multiple new locations including a Jungle Ruin and new rewards when you advance through the campaign. There's also new building parts, bug fixes and balancing changes

  • Core Defense aims to mix up the Tower Defense genre with deck-building and randomness - out now

    Core Defense, available today in First Access on itch.io is a Tower Defense game that's trying to be a little different. Throwing out predefined waves and rewards, in favour of a little random generation. Note: The developer provided an early key for GamingOnLinux.

    Having everything mostly set in place is usually a big part of Tower Defense, since you know what you will be dealing with and often from where. Throwing that out to keep you on your toes is certainly interesting, as is the rewards system of getting you to pick from a randomised set of rewards each time which could be a new tower or an upgrade.

  • Chaotic platformer with a curved gameworld 'CreatorCrate' getting a demo next week

    You've played plenty of platformers before, but have you played a platformer where the entire world is a great big spinning space station with variable gravity? CreatorCrate has a fun idea.

    In CreatorCrate you play as a little robot that eats anything, to then print out shiny new objects that might be a bit more useful. Gravity is different throughout the space station, except in the middle where it vanishes altogether. Currently in development by Jori Ryan, it sadly didn't pass the Kickstarter test with it not getting enough funding. Ryan carried on development and they've let us know that next week on January 22nd it's going to get a public demo.

  • The Frictional Games strange teaser appears to be growing

    Frictional Games, the team that craft some very interesting horror experiences like SOMA and Amnesia are teasing something and it appears to now be growing.

    We posted about it recently, since then checking back each day on their dedicated teaser website to see if anything is different. It appears the video file playing has a date on it when checking the page source, which they update each time a new video is put up.

  • Valve give a little more info on what 'Gamescope' actually does for Linux gaming

    Recently, a Valve developer revived steamcompmgr (the SteamOS compositing and window manager) and renamed it to Gamescope. After writing about it yesterday here on GOL, they've now given some more info on what it actually does.

    Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais is spearheading the effort and a few hours ago they actually gave it a readme, mentioning that "gamescope does the same thing as steamcompmgr, but with less extra copies and latency"

Games: DXVK, Cortex Command, Aeolis Tournament, Imperator: Rome, Vagrus, DOOM Eternal and Valve's 'Gamescope'

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Gaming
  • Linux's Gaming Future | DXVK Enters Maintenance mode

    In this video, I go over recent news about DXVK entering maintenance mode and what their lead developer is doing and how this affects Linux's gaming future.

  • Cortex Command has a Community Project that aims to keep the game alive

    Remember Cortex Command? Data Realms released a Linux build for the Humble Indie Bundle 2 in 2010, sadly the Linux version never really progressed much but since it was opened sourced last year it can live on and it is alive.

    The Cortex Command Community Project (GitHub) is one such attempt to revive it, updating it to keep it working nicely on modern systems. I spoke with the maintainer who said they've worked to deal with any case sensitivity in the engine (because Windows is not case sensitive, but Linux is) and replacing the sound library FMOD, with Gorilla Audio. Their main goal of this, is to give it feature parity with the Windows version which they said it does.

  • 3D party action game 'Aeolis Tournament' is on Kickstarter promising some chaotic fun on Linux

    Beyond Fun Studio are raising a little funding on Kickstarter to complete their crazy party game, Aeolis Tournament, which is planned to release with Linux support this Spring.

    You compete in various different game modes, using a super-easy one-button mechanic. Each character has an air cannon, to affect their surroundings for whatever mode they're in. Inspired by the likes of Fuzion Frenzy, they're going for a "Nintendo-inspired" cartoony look.

  • Paradox to focus on smaller and more frequent updates to Imperator: Rome this year

    Paradox Development Studio have given their first 2020 update on the roadmap for the struggling Imperator: Rome.

    Unlike their other titles including Stellaris, Crusader Kings and Europa Universalis they're switching up their release schedule to push out what they said will be "smaller, more frequent updates" in comparison. This means the 1.4 update which was going to be titled "Cassander" won't be happening as planned.

    It makes sense, this is one of their worst launches and it's still not doing well so rather than building everything into big expansions making people wait long periods they're going to try and turn it around a little quicker.

  • Apocalyptic fantasy RPG strategy 'Vagrus - The Riven Realms' new build out, passed $50K on Fig

    Before talking a little about the new build, let's look at some numbers. Lost Pilgrims Studio put Vagrus up on Fig in May last year, so in around eight months they've managed to pass well over $50K on Fig so it certainly seems like they're doing well. Using Fig's "Open Access" funding model, a hybrid that blends Early Access and Crowdfunding. They have a set milestone in funding for certain features, a ton of which have been hit now.

    [...]

    It's really turning into an exceptional narrative-driven experience, the style and writing are fantastic and really do pull you into the world. What's interesting is that I often struggle with RPG experiences that make me sit still and read (I prefer a good narrator and voice over), but Vagrus is just so captivating I end up absorbed by it. If you enjoy a good read with trading, combat and exploration then Vagrus - The Riven Realms should tick a few boxes for you. The Linux version works great, really enjoying it.

  • DOOM Eternal coming to Stadia on March 20, plus other Stadia news - a round-up

    First up we have a delay, with Marvel's Avengers that was due to release in May being pushed back until September. According to Crystal Dynamics, they said this is to "spend this additional development time focusing on fine tuning and polishing the game to the high standards our fans expect and deserve"—fair enough. It's expected to release on Stadia at the same time as other platforms.

    [...]

    Something also interesting is that Anna Kipnis, a Senior Prototyper & Game Designer at Google (who is also on the Stadia Star Labs research team), will be doing a talk at GDC 2020 in March titled "Machine Learning Summit: Creating Game AI by Using Mostly English, with Semantic ML". This is a feature Google are hoping to pull into Stadia, to have more interesting/smarter AI.

  • Valve continue working behind the scenes for Linux gaming with 'Gamescope'

    Valve are definitely up to something. For a little while, Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais has been tweaking steamcompmgr, the SteamOS session compositing window manager.

    After being quiet on SteamOS development for a long time with no update since July last year, it certainly seems now like some parts of it are being revived either for the next major SteamOS release or Valve's other Linux gaming projects. Work on steamcompmgr seemed to stall back in 2018, with it suddenly seeing activity on GitHub in October last year.

Games: Humble Sweet Farm Bundle, Steam Play Proton 4.11-12 and Slay the Spire

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Gaming
  • The Humble Sweet Farm Bundle is live with some lovely Linux games

    Humble Bundle have just put up The Humble Sweet Farm Bundle and there's multiple lovely Linux games included.

  • Steam Play Proton 4.11-12 is out

    The first Steam Play Proton release of 2020 is now available with 4.11-12 which is mainly a cleanup.

    Looking to get started with Steam Play on Linux? 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.

    DXVK, the translation layer the converts Direct 3D 9/10/11 to Vulkan which forms part of Proton was upgraded to the 1.5.1 release from last week. So all the changes there like performance improvements for D3D9 and bug fixes for some big titles like GTA V are available now.

  • Valve's Proton 4.11-12 Released With DXVK 1.5.1, Updated SDKs

    The Wine-downstream Proton that powers Valve's Steam Play is up to version 4.11-12 following a release today by a CodeWeavers developer.

    Most notable with Proton 4.11-12 is pulling in DXVK 1.5.1, the release that brings better D3D9 performance and many game fixes as well as better thread defaults for today's CPUs.

  • Slay the Spire patch 2.0 is out, bringing in The Watcher as the fourth character

    As if I needed more reasons to dive into the Spire once again, Slay the Spire 2.0 is out which brings quite a lot of changes in addition to the fourth character.

    You need to unlock this character, by having the third character unlocked and then beating an Act III boss with any character. That can take some time to do, I had a two hour game earlier where I was destroyed by the Act III boss—maybe next time. Just like the other three characters, The Watcher has their own deck of cards and a handful of unique relics.

    There's also 14 new potions, so they also added a Potion Lab where you can go to find out more information on them just like the Card Library. To make runs even more interesting there's an additional 9 Relics that all characters can use and an additional 9 Relics just for The Watcher.

Games: Danger Gazers, Super Mega Space Blaster Special Turbo and MediaTek Processors for Gamers

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Gaming
  • ShotX Studio got a big boost to sales by releasing a free torrent of Danger Gazers

    This is certainly an unusual way to get a little extra support for your game. ShotX Studio, an indie outfit of just developer Shota Bobokhidze who recently released the rather good Danger Gazers put it up in a torrent.

    After posting about what they did on Reddit, it ended up as an extremely popular post. In doing so, they had a spike of about "400%" increase in their sales (they didn't want to share the number of copies) with many appreciating the gesture for those who cannot afford to purchase a copy directly. They had emails thanking them, people asking where they can donate and they seem generally very happy with how it turned out.

  • Super Mega Space Blaster Special Turbo arcade shooter released

    Super Mega Space Blaster Special Turbo is a long name and this is supposed to be the expanded edition of the 2019 release, giving additional arcade-style shoot 'em up action.

  • MediaTek Helio G70 & Helio G70T Processors Targets Mainstream Gaming Smartphones

    Announced last summer, MediaTek Helio G90 & Helio G90T processors are specifically designed for gaming on smartphones and ideals for titles such as Fornite, PUBG, or KOG.

Games: AI War 2, Vicious Sisters, Garry's Mod and Born Punk

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  • Grand space strategy game AI War 2 had a massive update so big it's 'almost a sequel'

    Arcen Games sound quite proud of how big the latest update to AI War 2 is, saying it's "Almost a sequel in how much it adds to the core game mechanics and AI.".

    They certainly don't mess around when it comes to post-release support, with the actual changelog taking up around 30 pages when pasted into a word processor. Blimey, that's a lot to go over and it would be a bit mad to attempt to. Safe to say, everything has been touched.

  • Korean survival horror-adventure 'The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters' leaving Early Access this month

    Atmospheric, story-driven Korean survival horror-adventure from Devespresso Games and Headup 'The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters' is just about ready, with a full release announced for January 28.

  • Silly physics sandbox Garry's Mod is getting some big upgrades

    Garry's Mod is a game about screwing around, playing with physics and possibly creating your own fun game and it's about to get some big upgrades.

    Actually getting games and extra content to play in Garry's Mod is about to get quite a bit easier, with an update releasing on January 21 which moves it onto a more modern Steam API. For the Steam Workshop this means addons won't have a size limit (so you can download everything in a single pack) and they can show their real uncompressed size. Facepunch also said that new or updated addons will take less space on your drives thanks to all this too.

  • Upcoming point and clicker 'Born Punk' has a Steam page up, coming to GOG and newer trailer

    I do love a good bit of Cyberpunk, I also love the point and click genre getting a resurgence in recent years and Born Punk really does look and sound great.

    Funded on Kickstarter last year, Insert Disk 22 have been hacking away to get the game ready to release. Ahead of that, they now have a Steam page live you can properly follow it on. Additionally, they've now confirmed it will release on GOG but no store page up just yet.

Games: VVVVVV, Chronicon, Tooth and Tail

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  • VVVVVV Goes Open Source For Its 10th Anniversary

    Indie title VVVVVV, the minimalistic platformer created by Terry Cavanagh, reached its tenth anniversary earlier this week. To mark the occasion, Cavanagh announced on his blog that he was releasing the source code for the game for others to do as they pleased.

  • VVVVVV’s Source Code Is Now Public, 10 Year Anniversary Jam Happening Now!

    Or possibly tomorrow is, depending on who you ask – technically, the game first went live at 3am GMT on the 11th January 2010, after a very, very long day of fixing every last bug I could, making last minute builds, and trying to slowly upload everything on an extremely unreliable internet connection that kept cutting out. But I’ve always gone by “it’s not tomorrow until you wake up” rules, so I still think of January the 10th as the real launch day

  • Chronicon, the excellent action-RPG now has much better gamepad support

    Chronicon is an Early Access action-RPG with a feel and atmosphere like the classic Diablo, I absolutely love it and it's now much better with gamepads. Don't let the retro pixel style to it fool you, this is a deep ARPG with tons of enemies, quests and loot that will have you sorting for days.

    Last time I tried it, the gamepad situation was a bit poor. Since trying it again now, it's close to flawless. Hot-plugging works, Steam Controller works as does the Logitech F310 and it makes for a massively improved experience. Weirdly, the Back button on either is still not detected, so you will need to rebind inventory. Chronicon is damn fun with keyboard and mouse but when you want to kick back and relax a little more, gamepads are where it's at and now you can easily do that too with no fussing. This is going to be terrible for my free time.

  • Fantastic RTS 'Tooth and Tail' now lets you adjust campaign difficulty plus big sale

    Tooth and Tail, a brilliant real-time strategy game released back in 2017 from Pocketwatch Games continues seeing upgrades to make it appeal to even more people.

    An RTS where you are a character in the field, you're the flag-bearer directing your troops around as you run through all the destruction. It's pretty damn clever actually, with a full story-based single-player campaign and cross-platform online play there's a lot to enjoy about it. Especially with gamepad support, really easy to get into. Not seen it before?

Linux gaming made easy: The fastest way to get up and running

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Linux
Gaming

Did you know that there are many top-tier commercial games available for Linux? Here's the quickest way we know to get up and running.

Read more

Games: Pokémon Go, Playscii, Trains & Things and More

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Gaming
  • Pokémon Go never went away — 2019 was its most lucrative year ever

    According to mobile analytics firm Sensor Tower, Pokémon Go had a record year in 2019, taking in an estimated $900 million through in-app purchases. That means Pokémon Go has surpassed its launch year in revenue after seeing a drop off in both players and spending back in 2017. It’s a rare comeback feat for a free-to-play game, many of which are flash-in-the-pan successes and fade into obscurity.

  • If you want to make some ASCII art, animations and games check out Playscii

    Playscii from developer JP LeBreton seems like a sweet open source application, giving you some handy tools for making ASCII art and it also acts as a game engine too.

    Cross-platform so it supports Linux, macOS and Windows along with the code available under the MIT license there's not really any restrictions on what you do with it. Being able to convert existing images is probably my favourite feature though, it's a lot of fun to play with. Not just for game developers who need some ASCII art, but it's simple enough for anyone to use. Converting game screenshots to make awesome backgrounds, logos and whatever else.

  • Multiplayer economic strategy game 'Trains & Things' releasing this month

    Currently in development by bitshift in Godot Engine, Trains & Things is a multiplayer economic real-time strategy game. The developer has now announced it's going to enter Early Access on January 24.

    Trains & Things has you run a logistics company by your self or with friends. A game of supply, demand and risk as you try to keep the money coming in as you expand across the map. The focus is on the online (or LAN) play, with cross-platform multiplayer between Linux and Windows.

  • Upcoming eco tycoon sim 'Among Ripples: Shallow Waters' has a demo out

    Help maintain a delicate ecosystem in Among Ripples: Shallow Waters, an in-development eco tycoon sim with a focus on lakes and rivers. Originally announced as Among Ripples 2, they changed the title back in November.

    Recently, Eat Create Sleep put up a demo (with a Linux build) as they're preparing to launch a Kickstarter campaign at some point early this year. The prototype demo gives a small but interesting slice into what to expect and it's actually pretty relaxing, quite impressive considering they say it's just a "proof of concept". Reminds me of the atmosphere in Megaquarium with it being very peaceful.

  • Upcoming supernatural horror adventure 'ASYLUM' development sounds good

    While it doesn't yet have a release date, it does sound like development on the upcoming supernatural horror adventure 'ASYLUM' is going well.

    After announcing last month that the team at Senscape were awarded an Epic MegaGrant, the founder Agustín Cordes said on Twitter that ASYLUM now has "[…] an internal demo with releasable quality and solid performance on Windows 32/64, Mac and Linux. All the platforms that we promised!". That's good news for Linux gamers, as it sounds like it's going to be in a good state when it's released.

Games: Liberation of Code and Steam (DRM) Figures

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  • VVVVVV goes open source for its 10 year anniversary

    VVVVVV, Terry Cavanagh's gravity-flipping platformer, is a decade old, and to mark the occasion Cavanagh has decided to make it open source. The news was revealed at AGDQ today, and you can get your hands on the source code now via GitHub.

    In case you've somehow avoided it for a decade, VVVVVV's a smart, minimalist platformer with one simple but brilliant twist: instead of jumping, you need to reverse gravity. It's tricky but never cruel—you can turn off death entirely if you want, and there are plenty of checkpoints.

    Both the desktop and mobile source codes are available, and Cavanagh has provided some notes to accompany them.

    "I think even a peek of the source code will quickly reveal that VVVVVV is not a technically sophisticated game! Even by the standards of self taught indie devs, it’s kind of a mess," he warns. Little does he know, it's all equally indecipherable to me.

  • UnCiv is an open source remake of Civilization V for PC and Android

    Back in 2010, when Civilization V was launched, it was considered one of the best 4X strategy games ever released. Of the whole Civilization series, it still holds the top spot as the best selling game with 8M copies sold worldwide. Despite being ten years old now, it still maintains over 20000 Steam users playing it daily.

    Based on the success among its respective community, the developer Yair Morgenstern has decided to remake the game with a new spin.

    UnCiv uses an art style similar to an early 90s retro game, with its characteristic pixelated looks. Although it’s using an old-school style for the graphics, the mechanic and gameplay side of the project will be the same as Civilization V.

  • Steam's December Numbers Point To A Lower Linux Marketshare But With More Oddities

    I refrained from writing about Valve's Steam Survey numbers at the start of January when they were posted for December as the numbers didn't seem up to scratch. But half-way through the month now, the same numbers are up with no edits by Valve, as we've seen in some months when they refine their measurements.

    For December 2019, the Steam Survey shows the Linux gaming marketshare slipping by 0.14% down to 0.67%. That's quite a large slip, but keep in mind this is in percentage terms and not the absolute number of gamers. This slip is quite a surprise since the Steam Linux gaming marketshare has been quite steady for the past many months thanks in large part to Steam Play in allowing many Windows games to run gracefully on Linux.

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