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Games: Crazy Justice, Asteroid Fight, The Dungeons 3, VK9, Seven Kingdoms Ancient Adversaries

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Games: SDL2 and 'Ebony Spire: Heresy'

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  • SDL2's OpenGL Renderer Now Provides Some State Caching, SDL 2.0.9 Is Looking Great

    A few days back I wrote about the SDL library improving its 2D rendering code with a new batching system to yield greater performance. Since then the improvements have not stopped for this library that is critical to most Linux games and other multi-platform software.

    The latest addition to the SDL2 render code is the OpenGL renderer now caching some state to help improve the performance if operating in the non-batching mode. This OpenGL state caching should help with performance as we've seen from the other GL caching efforts. This state caching was also extended to the OpenGL ES renderer code too. As part of this state cache work, some bugs in the render code were also addressed.

  • Dungeon crawler, Ebony Spire: Heresy, will be getting an anniversary update next month

    Ebony Spire: Heresy [Official Site] is a dungeon crawler that’s inspired by the titles of yesteryear but made to be played in more manageable time chunks. Liam wrote about it when it first came out and he seemed to have a really good time. It had a rocky start at launch and wasn’t really able to sell many copies, something which the developer has been refreshingly open about, but has since then gone to break even and surpass sale expectations selling over 6000 copies.

Games: Blade Symphony: Harmonious Prelude, Depth of Extinction and BATTLETECH

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  • Blade Symphony: Harmonious Prelude Is Now Available For Sword-Fighting Linux Gamers

    Blade Symphony: Harmonious Prelude, a big update to this Source Engine powered "tactical slash-em-up" sword-fighting video game, is now available including with Linux support.

    Blade Symphony: Harmonious Prelude is a unique sword fighting action game with support for 1 vs. 1, 2 vs.2, and sandbox free-for-all fighting, along with other game modes. This is the sword fighting game we talked about earlier this month.

  • Sword-fighter 'Blade Symphony' is now officially on Linux, free to try for a few days with a big sale (updated!)

    Blade Symphony, a sword-fighting game from Puny Human powered by the Source Engine has officially released for Linux today.

    The Linux release comes at the same time as the game receiving a massive update called Harmonious Prelude. There's so many things that have changed, it would be completely silly for me to list them all here. It's quite a different game, but you don't need to take my word for it as it's also free to try for a few days!

  • Roguelike RPG 'Depth of Extinction' is now out with full Linux support

    Mixing in some pretty good XCOM combat mechanics with a dash of FTL-style travelling through nodes, Depth of Extinction is now out.

    Developed by HOF Studios, Depth of Extinction takes you on a bit of an epic journey through an unforgiving underwater world. I'm a big fan of both XCOM and FTL and I can see the inspiration clearly, although the way everything fits together makes it really quite compelling and unique in its own right.

  • BATTLETECH gets an opt-in Linux beta on Steam

    The Linux version of BATTLETECH [Official Site] has seen some delays since the game’s launch earlier in the year. The communication from the developer has been spotty at times so it’s good to see that they’ve finally gotten around to delivering on a Linux version for the game. It’s not quite bug-free yet so it’s available to download by opting into the “public_beta_linux” branch on Steam.

Games: Total War: THREE KINGDOMS Comes to GNU/Linux (and More Gaming News)

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Games: Feral Interactive, MegaSphere, Heroes of Hammerwatch and Steam Play

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  • Feral Interactive are teasing something for Linux next week

    I'm going to assume this is either a game about to be released or they're going to reveal the actual games they've been teasing lately. We know they're porting Total War: WARHAMMER II but there's two other Linux ports they've teased. They seem to be moving a bit quicker with things lately, especially since they only released Life is Strange: Before the Storm for Linux two weeks ago.

  • The gorgeous sci-fi action-platformer 'MegaSphere' has a huge update now available

    The impressive sci-fi action-platformer MegaSphere has neon lighting coming out of all ends and it looks incredible. Last night, the "TURMS Update" went live which included new enemies to face, entirely new areas to explore as well as some new game mechanics.

  • Heroes of Hammerwatch gets full modding support in the latest update

    Gather your party together as Heroes of Hammerwatch has a rather big update out and there's some fun stuff.

    The first biggest change, is that it now has full modding support along with Steam Workshop support, so it's going to be real interesting to see what people come up with for such a game. I'll be honest, I still haven't gotten around to playing this one. Sounds like I will have to with goodies like this coming to it!

  • Steam Play set to get DXVK 0.72, Wine fixes for .NET and windowing issues

    After some pretty quick updates following the initial release of Steam Play, things have quietened down somewhat. However, work on the next version of Steam Play is in progress.

    It was expected it would slow down after the initial release period, since they were rapidly pushing out fixes to get it into a somewhat stable state. Stable enough for them to put it into the main Steam client that is, since you no longer need to opt into any beta to access Steam Play.

Games: FlightGear, Circle Empires, Surviving Mars, The Gardens Between, Deep Sky Derelicts, Valve Stats

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  • FlightGear 2018.3 Flight Simulator Prepares For Landing

    Long-running open-source, cross-platform flight simulator FlightGear is preparing for its next feature release.

    With FlightGear 2018.3 it will be their first release that should be "especially stable" under their new plans to have one of their quarterly releases be focused more than usual on stability. From now on their fall release is expected to be this extra-stable release.

  • Simple and unique strategy game Circle Empires is now available for Linux

    Strategy game Circle Empires from Estonian developer Luminous and Iceberg Interactive offers a simple and unique take on the strategy genre. In addition to the Linux release, the game is also now on GOG.


    The Linux version does seem to work nicely, it's optimised enough to run on my quite rubbish laptop so I don't imagine anyone having any major issues with it. It offers three different game modes: One that will have you search for a boss to fight on a specific tile and two other modes that have you conquer the tiles (It's not exactly clear what the difference is in the other two modes).

    I have to admit, I really love the idea of it. The gameplay doesn't have a huge amount of depth to it, but it still remains quite a fun back to basics strategy game. You claim tiles, get workers to gather resources, build some defences and an army and move onto the next tile. The mechanics and units are simple enough, that anyone should be able to grasp it pretty quickly.

  • Surviving Mars has released its “Sagan” update, adds a few new interesting features

    If you've been looking for an excuse to colonize the Red Planet again, these latest changes to the strategy title adds challenges and some quality-of-life improvements.

  • A journey through friendship - some thoughts on The Gardens Between

    The visually striking single player adventure with puzzle elements touches on the fleeting nature of time and the bonds between friends. I gave it a go and found a compelling experience.

  • Deep Sky Derelicts leaves Early Access, adds Linux support

    With artwork quite a bit like Darkest Dungeon, the turn-based strategy game that mixes in RPG and rogue-like elements Deep Sky Derelicts is now on Linux and officially released.

  • Valve have released some interesting statistics about controller use

    Valve recently put up a blog post to talk about controller use on PC and some of their statistics are a little surprising.

    While a lot of the time our trusty mouse and keyboard combination remains king, controllers (gamepads—whatever) are still widely used and they can provide a better experience in certain genres.

    Going by Valve's data, since 2015 over 30 million people have registered a controller with over 15 million registering more than one.

Games: Pathfinder: Kingmaker, Pillars of Eternity II, Mark of the Ninja, Timespinner

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  • The RPG 'Pathfinder: Kingmaker' is out with critical bugs in the Linux version

    The RPG Pathfinder: Kingmaker is out today from Owlcat Games and Deepsilver, sadly the Linux version has some critical bugs.

    GOG provided me with a key, so at release today I went to download it only to find no Linux download. When speaking to my GOG contact, they confirmed a critical bug was found where the game will completely crash if you try to load a saved game. This is also confirmed by users on the Steam forum. Due to this, there's no ETA on GOG having any Linux build available and I can't blame them for that, this is down to Owlcat Games to solve.

  • Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire - Seeker, Slayer, Survivor is now out, some thoughts on the brawling

    The latest DLC for the engaging RPG, Pillars of Eternity II, sees you thrust into bloody arena combat. I spent some time overcoming the trials and have some thoughts to share.

  • Mark of the Ninja Remastered from Klei Entertainment due out on October 9th

    Mark of the Ninja was a damn fun game and it's one I'm pretty happy to see remastered, it has a trailer and a release date now too. Due out on October 9th, hopefully with the Linux version ready then.

    When we spoke to Klei a few months ago, they clearly said it will have a Linux version but they weren't sure if it would be ready in time. The Steam page is now up, which does have a SteamOS + Linux system requirements section, along with a SteamOS icon so given how close it is to release it looks like we're good. Even if there ends up being a small wait, Klei games are worth it. Small update: I asked Klei about a Linux build, they replied with "yeeeeup".

  • Timespinner, a polished and fun metroidvania, is now available

    Traveling back and forth in time is seldom easy and often carries risks. I braved the odds and have thoughts to share about this new metroidvania.

Software and Games: Hegemon, Gift of Parthax, Lutris

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  • Hegemon – A Modular System Monitor Application Written In Rust

    When it comes to monitor running processes in Unix-like systems, the most commonly used applications are top and htop, which is an enhanced version of top. My personal favorite is htop. However, the developers are releasing few alternatives to these applications every now and then. One such alternative to top and htop utilities is Hegemon. It is a modular system monitor application written using Rust programming language.

  • Wizard arena-fighter 'Gift of Parthax' is now officially out on Linux

    Announced yesterday after a pretty short beta period, the magical arena fighting game Gift of Parthax is now officially available for Linux. Along with putting the Linux build out in public, their latest release also fixes a few bugs.

    The developer sent over a key and I've been testing it, the Linux version seems to be working really quite nicely. If you liked the idea of Wizard of Legend, but found it a little too fast for your tastes then Gift of Parthax might be a better fit although it's single-player only.

  • Lutris 0.4.20 is now out, to help you manage all your games plus some Overwatch testing

    I have to admit, the game manager Lutris [Official Site] has come along quite a bit since I last used it. Today, version 0.4.20 was made available.

    For those not aware of it, Lutris is an application that aims to give you a single place to manage all your games on Linux. It supports native games, Wine, various emulators and so on. The application itself is available under the GPL and the helper scripts to install games can be viewed before using them so it's quite nice.

Games: Release of PlayOnLinux 5.0 Alpha, Aspyr Media, Geneshift, GOG and DotLine

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  • Release of PlayOnLinux 5.0 alpha 1

    I'm aware that it has been a while since the last time we gave news to you. Be reassured, the project is moving on and here we are to give you some news.

  • Aspyr Media have a big sale going on the Humble Store, some sweet deals to be had

    For those of you in the mood to start you week with some fun new games, Humble Store is doing an Aspyr Media sale.

  • Top-down shooter Geneshift is getting a Battle Royale mode and it sounds like a lot of fun

    Geneshift (also known as Mutant Factions or Subvein) is a top-down shooter with some seriously good action that's currently in Early Access and the developer has decided to add a Battle Royale mode.

    Initially, I thought this was a joke. However, it's very much a real thing.

  • GOG added two more Visual Novels with Linux support, Highway Blossoms and A Kiss For The Petals

    For those who love Visual Novels, you might want to know that GOG have expanded their collection a little again recently.

    The two titles are Highway Blossoms and A Kiss For The Petals - Maidens of Michael. Neither game is particularly new, although it's worth noting that A Kiss For The Petals - Maidens of Michael was removed from Steam so GOG is the easiest option to get it at the moment.

  • Challenging minimalist puzzle game 'DotLine' released with native Linux support

    DotLine from The Selenite Forge who also made Bionic Attack is a minimalist puzzle game that tries to challenge your brain, out now with native Linux support. Note: Key provided by the developer.

    The basic idea of the game is really simple. You have to guide a ball from start to end, the problem is the path it needs to take is all messed up and you've got the wonderful job of rotating everything into the correct position. What makes it challenging, is that as soon as you rotate the first piece, the ball will begin rolling and so it becomes a mad dash to get everything right. Even if you don't do anything, you only get two seconds before it starts.

Games: Steam Play, Valve, PlayOnLinux and Lots of Native Ports

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  • Linus Tech Tips: "Linux Gaming Finally Doesn't Suck"

    Like him or hate him, Linus (not that one) has his audience, many of whom are now being swayed to try out gaming on Linux. Last month, Valve introduced a new version of Steam Play allowing Linux users to run Windows games thanks to Proton, a modified distribution of Wine. While framerates are obviously no match for the intended OS, Linus shows that at least a handful of popular games, which include DOOM and Skyrim, run well enough to play through.

  • Valve Has Been Working On A HUD For The RADV Vulkan Driver

    It hasn't been merged to Mesa 18.3-devel yet nor even published on the Mesa-dev list for review, but it turns out Valve's Samuel Pitoiset has begun working on a heads-up display (HUD) for the driver.

    Many have requested having a RADV HUD similar in nature to the Gallium3D HUD while it seems as one of many projects being worked on by the Valve Linux driver team is indeed this option.

  • PlayOnLinux has a new alpha release out with an overhaul of the interface

    PlayOnLinux 5.0 alpha 1 code-named "Phoencis" includes a completely redesigned user interface, along with moving their scripting system from bash to JavaScript. They're also now storing the scripts POL uses to install and setup games and applications on GitHub, so that if there's problems with their own infrastructure you can still use POL.

  • Space sim 'Helium Rain' to leave Early Access next month, along with a major update now available

    They recently released one of their final updates, which includes a few notable new features including: a new Artifact system, which has you scan planets for some research points and lore, a new economy model, AI improvements, some updated graphics, new sectors and so on.

  • Turn-based rogue-like RPG 'Depth of Extinction' confirmed to release on September 27th

    We knew that the rather good rogue-like RPG Depth of Extinction was releasing soon and now we know how soon, this week on Thursday it will be available across a number of stores.

    Inspired by the greats like XCOM: Enemy Unknown and FTL: Faster Than Light, it follows you trying to save humanity from some sort of vicious AI. You will have to build up a mighty squad of soldiers, level them up and get some decent equipment as you travel through a future set around 500 years after rising water caused humanity to edge on the brink of extinction.

  • The rather good 2D action RPG 'Chronicon' just had a major upgrade

    Being completely honest here, I absolutely love this game! The 2D action RPG Chronicon has a new update with some major improvements. As a reminder, the game is still currently in Early Access.

    The latest update, released a few days ago moves the game from GMS 1.4 to GMS 2.1.5 which is pretty huge by itself considering how old that version of GameMaker Studio was. This should hopefully improve compatibility with other Linux distributions. In addition, the game has been through a lot of performance-focused work to make as much of the game as smooth as possible. For me, it already performed well and now it's excellent.

  • What even more developers think of Valve's Steam Play

    You think we were done writing about Steam Play? Wrong. Here's what Godot Engine's Rémi Verschelde and Marc Di Luzio (previously Feral Interactive, now at Unity) think about it.

    First up, a few reminders on things we've already covered: our interview with the creator of DXVK, one of the projects that makes up Steam Play; our little chat with Linux game porter Ethan Lee; what Subset Games thought about it and my own personal thoughts can be found here.

  • The beautifully weird hidden object adventure game My Brother Rabbit is out, it's really sweet

    My Brother Rabbit from Artifex Mundi is an absolutely beautiful adventure game that has shocked me with how good it is.

  • Sunless Skies to leave Early Access on January 31st, 2019 also now out is a free pen and paper RPG system

    Failbetter Games have announced that Sunless Skies is set to leave Early Access on January 31st, 2019. They've also released a free pen and paper RPG system.

    “We’ve used the time in Early Access to fill the world with the most glorious stories, and to refine the play experience: improving combat, tweaking the skyfaring experience, and closing in on a dark and dread-soaked atmosphere.” says CEO Paul Arendt. “The next update, due on 10th October, will include a complete overhaul of the Reach region and extended mechanics for Terror, fuel, hunger and crew.”

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More in Tux Machines

KDE neon upgrade - From 16.04 to 18.04

I am quite happy with the KDE neon upgrade, going from the 16.04 to the 18.04 base. I think it's good on several levels, including improved hardware support and even slightly better performance. Plus there were no crashes or regressions of any kind, always a bonus. This means that neon users now have a fresh span of time to enjoy their non-distro distro, even though it's not really committing to any hard dates, so the LTS is also only sort of LTS in that sense. It's quite metaphysical. On a slightly more serious note, this upgrade was a good, positive experience. I semi-accidentally tried to ruin it, but the system recovered remarkably, the post-upgrade results are all sweet, and you have a beautiful, fast Plasma desktop, replete with applications and dope looks and whatnot. I'm happy, and we shall bottle that emotion for when the need arises, and in the Linux world it does happen often, I shall have an elixir of rejuvenation to sip upon. KDE neon, a surprisingly refined non-distro distro. Read more

Games: Starsector, Squally, Where The Water Tastes Like Wine: Fireside Chats, 103

  • Open-world single-player space-combat RPG 'Starsector' has a major new release out and it's awesome
    Starsector (formerly "Starfarer") is a game that I've followed for quite a few years now, one I personally purchased many years ago and the latest release is a big one. I've tested it at various points over the years, always coming away impressed by the visual design just as much as the gameplay. The spaceship design really is quite incredible. Thankfully, the issues that plagued the Linux version (for me) in the past are gone. Multi-monitor support has vastly improved, with it not messing with my secondary monitor and going fullscreen correctly on my primary monitor. That alone, is a big deal for me and it's so much nicer.
  • Squally now has the Early Access release on Linux with the Hexus card mini-game available
    Squally is what they're calling a 2D puzzle RPG, which is supposed to teach you "video game hacking" without needing prior experience and no "boring lessons".
  • Where The Water Tastes Like Wine: Fireside Chats, a free standalone adventure is out
    Where The Water Tastes Like Wine: Fireside Chats acts as a free standalone companion to Where The Water Tastes Like Wine and it's out with Linux support.
  • First-person mystery adventure '103' will have Linux support at release
    103 is a rather stylish and intriguing first-person mystery adventure that's releasing next month and it will have Linux support at release. A game we covered previously as it was on Kickstarter, they managed to hit over their funding goal in in September by other seven thousand Australian dollars so they did quite well. In reply to a user question on Steam earlier this month, the developer noted that the Linux version will in fact be available at release so that's some rather nice news to see them so positive about it.

today's howtos

Linus Torvalds Comments On STIBP & He's Not Happy - STIBP Default Will End Up Changing

It turns out that Linus Torvalds himself was even taken by surprise with the performance hit we've outlined on Linux 4.20 as a result of STIBP "Single Thread Indirect Branch Predictors" introduction as well as back-porting already to stable series for cross-hyperthread Spectre V2 protection. He doesn't want this enabled in full by default. All of the benchmarking I've been doing the past few days to shine the light on the Linux kernel's STIBP addition appears to be paying off. My tests have found Linux 4.20 to incur significant performance penalties in many workloads -- in fact, more so than some of the earlier Spectre and Meltdown mitigations -- and STIBP is already being back-ported to stable series like Linux 4.19.2. PHP, Pythom, Java, and many other workloads are measurably affected and even the gaming performance to some extent. Read more