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Games: Steam, Holy Potatoes, OFF GRID, RPCS3 and More

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Games: GOG, Steam and Beyond

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Unreal Engine 4.21 Released

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  • Unreal Engine 4.21 Released

    Unreal Engine 4.21 continues our relentless pursuit of greater efficiency, performance, and stability for every project on any platform. We made it easier to work smarter and create faster because we want your imagination to be the only limit when using our tools. And we battle-tested the engine on every platform until it met our developers' high standards so your project will shine once it is ready for the masses.

    We are always looking for ways to streamline everyday tasks so developers can focus on creating meaningful, exciting, and engaging experiences. Our industry-leading Niagara effects toolset is now even more powerful and easier to use, enabling you to dream up the next generation of real-time visual effects. You can build multiplayer experiences on a scale not previously possible using the now production-ready Replication Graph functionality. Iterate faster thanks to optimizations with up to a 60% speed increase when cooking content, run automated tests to find issues using the new Gauntlet automation framework, and speed up your day-to-day workflows with usability improvements to the Animation system, Blueprint Visual Scripting, Sequencer, and more.

    We strive to make it possible for your creations to be enjoyed as you intended by everyone, everywhere regardless of the form factor they choose. Building on the previous release, we have added even more optimizations developed for Fortnite on Android and iOS to further improve the process for developing for mobile devices. Available in Early Access, Pixel Streaming opens a whole new avenue to deploy apps in a web browser with no barrier to entry and no compromise on rendering quality. We have also improved support for Linux as well as augmented, virtual, and mixed reality devices.

  • Unreal Engine 4.21 Released, Linux Now Defaults To Vulkan

    Unreal Engine 4.21 is out today as the last feature release for Epic Games' engine of 2018. This is an exciting game engine update for Linux and Vulkan fans.

    Unreal Engine 4.21 features various tooling and creation improvements for game developers, optimizations that come to the engine following Epic's development of Fortnite for iOS and Android, performance enhancements, early access pixel streaming support, animation system optimizations, and more.

  • Unreal Engine 4.21 is out, now defaults to the Vulkan API on Linux

    Epic Games have released Unreal Engine 4.21 and it includes some interesting stuff on the Linux side of things.

    From now, Unreal Engine will default to using the Vulkan API on Linux and fallback to OpenGL when that can't be used. This is going to be good for the future of Linux games, since it should help developers get better performance.

    On top of that, it features a new media player for Linux with the bundled WebMMedia plugin which includes support for WebM VPX8/9 videos. To further improve Linux support, they now have a proper crash reporter interface so that they can "continue to improve support for Linux platforms".

Games: Vilmonic, Galaxy of Pen & Paper, Lutris, Surviving Mars: Space Race, Tropico

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Games: Lamplight City, Epicinium, Egypt: Old Kingdom and DXVK News

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  • Game Review: Lamplight City

    The universe of Lamplight City is rich, complex and oddly familiar. The game draws on that ever-popular theme of a steampunk alternative universe, adding dashes of Victorian squalor and just a pinch of 1950's detective tropes. Is it just a mishmash of clichés then? Yes, but it all works well together to form a likable and somewhat unique universe—like a cheesy movie, you can't help but fall in love with Lamplight City.

  • Epicinium, a turn-based strategy game where nature is a finite resource is now on Kickstarter

    Epicinium from developer A Bunch of Hacks has hit Kickstarter. It's an interesting strategy game, one where nature is a finite resource you must try to not destroy during your war. Your score will depend on how much is actually left when the dust settles, so it's an interesting take on the genre.

  • Strategy game Egypt: Old Kingdom is now available DRM free on GOG
  • Vulkan Getting Another Extension To Help With DXVK/Direct3D Performance

    Last month Vulkan picked up an unofficial Vulkan transform feedback extension solely to help out efforts like DXVK that map Direct3D or other graphics APIs on top of Vulkan. Separately, another Vulkan extension is in the works to also help out DXVK and D3D-over-Vulkan-like use-cases and can assist in better performance.

16-Way Graphics Card Comparison With Valve's Steam Play For Windows Games On Linux

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While Steam Play is still of beta quality on Linux for running Windows games on Linux using their Wine-based Proton compatibility layer, Steam Play has been fast maturing since it was rolled out to the public in late August. The game list continues growing and with regular updates to Steam Play / Proton / DXVK (Direct3D 10/11 over Vulkan), more games are going online for running on Linux and doing so with decent performance and correct rendering. Given the most recent Steam Play beta update vastly improving the experience in our tests, here are the first of our Steam Play Proton benchmarks with Ubuntu Linux and using sixteen different NVIDIA GeForce / AMD Radeon graphics cards.

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Games: Glass Bottom Games, Mark of the Ninja: Remastered, Planetary Annihilation: TITANS, GOG, Urban Terror: Resurgence, Alchemic Cutie

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Games: Meltys Quest, Monstrum, Book of Demons

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  • Meltys Quest, a completely uncensored 2D RPG full of sex is now available on Linux

    The Linux version actually arrived back in September, although we missed it since it's not really the type of game I tend to follow. Only three days before this, the developer put up a patch that removed censoring with no external mods needed so you can see cartoon sex in all it's, uh, glory? It features, you guessed it—sex. A lot of sex too, so much sex I can't believe how many times the word sex will be in this article.

  • GOG now has the horror game Monstrum with a Linux build, it's pretty good

    Monstrum is an interesting one, a horror game with some random generation, one of three monsters each time you play and it's quite freaky.

    What makes the game different to a lot of survival horror titles, is that the environment changes each time you play. Naturally that also means items will be in different locations and you don't know which monster you will be facing when going in. It's a survival escape adventure, with your task being to find a way to get off the ship to safety and there's multiple ways to do so.

  • Book of Demons no longer getting a native Linux port, developer plans on 'supporting' Steam Play

    Book of Demons [Steam], a dungeon crawling hack and slash with deck-building will no longer get a native Linux port. Steam Play is part of the reason.

    It won't be the last game to do this I'm sure. At least in this case, they aren't pulling support for an already released game like Human: Fall Flat as Book of Demons didn't have a public Linux version. Anyway, writing on the Steam forum the developer noted a few vague issues they were having.

    Things like "We had as many different issues with the build as testers. With each flavor of Linux came different issues." along with "Right now everything indicates that Linux port would be very high maintenance.". I always find these types of statements highly unhelpful, unless they actually say why that is. Let's be clear on this again too, you do not need to support all Linux distributions, support the most popular.

Games: Lutris, Valve, Warhammer, Steam, Re-Legion, Equilinox, Total Chaos, Dungeon League, Streets of Rogue

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  • Lutris game manager release 0.4.22 is out to further refine the experience

    For those who need a hand managing Linux games across Steam, Wine, DXVK and so on. Lutris [Official Site] is here to help and a new release is now available. Like a fine Wine, Lutris gets better with age and each new release is that little bit sweeter. Just don't go getting drunk on us will you.

  • Valve to run an Artifact Preview Tournament showing off the built-in tournament feature

    Valve emailed us to let us know they're going to be running an Artifact Preview Tournament this month to show off their built-in tournament feature using their new streaming service.


    If you missed it, Valve confirmed to me recently that Artifact itself will see launch-day support for Linux so no one will be missing out which is awesome. Very keen to play it.

  • You don't need to worry about Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus, the Linux version is happening

    Back in August the developer of Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus mentioned how they were worried about other developers having issues. The good news, is that they're committed to doing it.

  • The Steam for Linux limited beta was six years ago tomorrow, where's the cake?

    Six years ago tomorrow (yes really!) Valve announced the Steam for Linux beta for a limited amount of interested gamers. After getting more responses than they expected (over 60,000) they kept the testing pool quite small.

    Later that month, on November 21st Valve added an additional 5,000 testers to help find more issues. Rather quickly, Valve pushed the beta out for a much larger audience on December 19th in that same year with anyone being able to try it. I remember it extremely well, having a rather ordinary week and suddenly being thrown into the thick of it making sure I could test everything possible.

    We didn't start off with many games, with very few developers joining Valve for the initial testing period. That pretty quickly changed and now the number is in the thousands. The number by itself obviously doesn't mean a lot, since there's a lot of rubbish available but we do have access to some pretty fantastic titles. Who would have honestly thought we would have access to everything we do now? From FTL to Mad Max, Bastion to Rocket League we have around 5,100 native Linux games now (and still growing daily) available on the Steam store.

  • Re-Legion, the cyberpunk-inspired strategy game delayed until next year with a new trailer

    Re-Legion should be an interesting RTS, with a cyberpunk influence you will start your own cult and begin amassing followers. It has a release delay along with a new trailer.

  • Equilinox, a relaxing nature simulation game launches with Linux support later this month

    For those of you after some more casual and relaxing games, Equilinox will have you nurture your own ecosystem.

    From developer ThinMatrix, Equilinox is a sandbox experience giving you control over what happens. You will nurture each plant and animal, all with their own life cycle. Make sure everything is happy and healthy, will give you more points as everything evolves and moves on.

  • Total Chaos is an impressive and scary total conversion for Doom 2 making it a survival horror experience

    Love your Doom mods? Total Chaos is a total conversion for Doom 2 which puts you on a remote island known as Fort Oasis in a survival horror setting.

  • Dungeon League, a chaotic action-RPG has released with Linux support
  • You can now play as a Firefighter in the excellent Streets of Rogue, also has world Seed support

    Closing in on the final release, Streets of Rogue the hilarious rogue-lite has added in the ability to play as a Firefighter class.

    The Firefighter comes with new abilities, traits, an achievement and so on. You do need to unlock it though and it's not exactly easy. You need to extinguish 10 fires in a single run! It's easy enough to make everything explode, not so easy to put it all out as you will need to find the right equipment. For those who like their custom characters, the amount of slots available for that has been increased from 8 to 16 giving you a lot more freedom to mess about with them.

DXVK 0.91

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  • DXVK 0.91 is out to reduce CPU overhead slightly and improve some games

    DXVK [GitHub] continues to progress helping Linux fans play some of their favourite Windows only games with the 0.91 release now available.

  • DXVK 0.91 Lowers The CPU Overhead A Bit More

    DXVK 0.91 continues the ongoing theme of further lowering the CPU overhead for this effort remapping Direct3D commands atop Vulkan. The latest batch of CPU overhead reductions should help in some instances like the Assassin's Creed Origins game. DXVK 0.91 also has updates for its Stream Output / Geometry Shaders handling that was added in DXVK 0.90, and few fixes for specific games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider and World of Warcraft.

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today's leftovers

OSS Leftovers

  • #RecruitmentFocus: Open source skills in high demand
    The unemployment rate in South Africa rose to 27.5% in the third quarter of 2018, while the demand for skills remains high - leaving an industry conundrum that is yet to be solved. According to SUSE, partnerships that focus on upskilling graduates and providing real-work skills, as well as placement opportunities - could be exactly what the industry in looking for.
  • Stable: not moving vs. not breaking
    There are two terms that brings a heavy controversy in the Open Source world: support and stable. Both of them have their roots in the “old days” of Open Source, where its commercial impact was low and very few companies made business with it. You probably have read a lot about maintenance vs support. This controversy is older. I first heard of it in the context of Linux based distributions. Commercial distribution had to put effort in differentiating among the two because in Open SOurce they were used indistictly but not in business. But this post is about the adjectivet stable…
  • Cameron Kaiser: A thank you to Ginn Chen, whom Larry Ellison screwed
    Periodically I refresh my machines by dusting them off and plugging them in and running them for a while to keep the disks spinnin' and the caps chargin'. Today was the day to refurbish my Sun Ultra-3, the only laptop Sun ever "made" (they actually rebadged the SPARCle and later the crotchburner 1.2GHz Tadpole Viper, which is the one I have). Since its last refresh the IDPROM had died, as they do when they run out of battery, resetting the MAC address to zeroes and erasing the license for the 802.11b which I never used anyway. But, after fixing the clock to prevent GNOME from puking on the abnormal date, it booted and I figured I'd update Firefox since it still had 38.4 on it. Ginn Chen, first at Sun and later at Oracle, regularly issued builds of Firefox which ran very nicely on SPARC Solaris 10. Near as I can determine, Oracle has never offered a build of any Firefox post-Rust even to the paying customers they're bleeding dry, but I figured I should be able to find the last ESR of 52 and install that. (Amusingly this relic can run a Firefox in some respects more current than TenFourFox, which is an evolved and patched Firefox 45.)
  • Protecting the world’s oceans with open data science
    For environmental scientists, researching a single ecosystem or organism can be a daunting task. The amount of data and literature to comb through (or create) is often overwhelming. So how, then, can environmental scientists approach studying the health of the world’s oceans? What ocean health means is a big question in itself—oceans span millions of square miles, are home to countless species, and border hundreds of countries and territories, each of which has its own unique marine policies and practices. But no matter how daunting this task may seem, it’s a necessary and vital one. So in 2012, the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) and Conservation International publicly launched the Ocean Health Index (OHI), an ambitious initiative to measure the benefits that oceans provide to people, including clean water, coastal protections, and biodiversity. The idea was to create an annual assessment to document major oceanic changes and trends, and in turn, use those findings to craft better marine policy around the world.

Openwashing Leftovers

The Last Independent Mobile OS

The year was 2010 and the future of mobile computing was looking bright. The iPhone was barely three years old, Google’s Android had yet to swallow the smartphone market whole, and half a dozen alternative mobile operating systems—many of which were devoutly open source—were preparing for launch. Eight years on, you probably haven’t even heard of most of these alternative mobile operating systems, much less use them. Today, Android and iOS dominate the global smartphone market and account for 99.9 percent of mobile operating systems. Even Microsoft and Blackberry, longtime players in the mobile space with massive revenue streams, have all but left the space. Then there’s Jolla, the small Finnish tech company behind Sailfish OS, which it bills as the “last independent alternative mobile operating system.” Jolla has had to walk itself back from the edge of destruction several times over the course of its seven year existence, and each time it has emerged battered, but more determined than ever to carve out a spot in the world for a truly independent, open source mobile operating system. After years of failed product launches, lackluster user growth, and supply chain fiascoes, it’s only been in the last few months that things finally seem to be turning to Jolla’s favor. Over the past two years the company has rode the wave of anti-Google sentiment outside the US and inked deals with large foreign companies that want to turn Sailfish into a household name. Despite the recent success, Jolla is far from being a major player in the mobile market. And yet it also still exists, which is more than can be said of every other would-be alternative mobile OS company. Read more