Title: Heroes of Might and Magic III
Platform: Red Hat Linux 6.1
Publisher: Loki Entertainment Software
Email: Matt Matthews
Defender of the Crown by Cinemaware was easily one of the most memorable and original games released in the halcyon era of the Commodore 64. As an Anglo-Saxon lord, you travel about Britain on horseback gaining control of land and castles and armies in an attempt to unify the isle under one leader. With some of the best 8-bit graphics and sound of that era, this unique game blended strategy and action was deemed, at the time, one of the most beautiful games ever created.
And now, back to the subject at hand…
Single Player – Scenarios
For a lone player, HOMM3 provides more than enough single player scenarios to take up the a good month for a moderately determined player. To keep the gameplay fresh, each scenario takes place on a different map (of varying sizes) and may provide a single or several computer opponents with which to compete. Since progess can be saved at any point during a turn, a player is free to freeze the gamestate and try different tactics and strategies. For those players enjoying the quest for a “perfect” strategy, these scenarios provide a fertile ground for cultivating ideas and plans.
The computer AI is an able opponent, and I found that watching him closely provided me not only with vital information of his whereabouts and and army strengths, but also with a good example of how to manage several cities and heroes efficiently. While there are times when the AI seems too efficient, riding the fine line between challenging and annoying, in the end I appreciated the level of skill it pushed me to achieve.
Here I’ll lodge my biggest complaint with the game’s structure: The tutorial scenario is a terrible example and, while bolstering a new player’s confidence may seem good in theory, in practice it fails utterly. It serves merely as a tour of the objectives in this game’s world but fails to introduce any of the real relationships between them or explain the work that a real scenario will require to acquire those objectives. The rest of HOMM3 is so polished that playing the tutorial leaves one with the definite feeling that it was tacked on at the last minute.
Despite the great number and variety of these scenarios, this mode is my least favorite. This isn’t to say that single player scenarios aren’t fun and entertaining; they can be great fun. Rather, the campaign and multiplayer modes are, quite simply, even better!
Single Player – Campaign
As an added incentive, not all campaigns included in the game are accessible at the outset. To gain access to these extra campaigns, one must first complete those few campaigns initially offered.
Multiplayer – Internet/LAN/Hotseat
Not to be left out of the multiplayer obsession in today’s game market, HOMM3 provides two modes with which you can challenge your friends to a game of hero-coaching wits. The scenarios are similar to what you’ll encounter in a single player scenario, but you play against human opponents (or a mix of human and computer AI opponents).
The first mode is Hotseat and it allows several users to play a multiplayer scenario from one computer by taking turns. This mode is a bit awkward since a crucial aspect of the multiplayer gameplay stems from not knowing what your opponents are doing. So keeping your friends (i.e. opponents) from looking while you make your moves could be a potential problem. Still, almost all the fun that can be had playing over a LAN or over the Internet is part of the Hotseat mode, and it’s a great option when only one person owns the game.
We encountered some very neat features in HOMM3 while playing multiplayer games on our LAN. First, when a user drops from the game a computer-controlled opponent takes its place. This is handy for times when not everyone in your group can stay for the entire game. Second, the multiplayer game can actually be saved, providing some interesting benefits. Notably for us, we had the opportunity to take a break for lunch and return to our machines without worrying about losing our place. Next, for those who like honing your strategy skills, any user can save the position of the game and go back later to replay
Graphics & Sound
The music in HOMM3 was a pleasant surprise for me. While some game music is the kind that you listen to once and immediately turn down, I find that the music here is quite well-done. The most impressive part, in my mind, is the dynamic way in which the music mirrors the current hero’s surroundings. The varied background sounds are fantastic as well, adding just the right atmosphere without being overly noticeable.
Linux Specific Issues
I’ve tried installing HOMM3 on three separate machines (all running some variant of Red Hat) and it installed easily on all of them. Loki gave the whole Linux gaming community an invaluable gift when they wrote the famous installer that now accompanies all of their games. Even with the minimal install (only 5Mb of HDD space), the game runs well, provided your CD-ROM drive is up to the task.
The K6-2/300 and Celeron 300A (at 450MHz) machines ran HOMM3 beautifully, and are well within the recommended system requirements. I had hoped that, given that the simple demands of the interface, this game would run well off of a laptop and so one of the test systems was a Pentium 166MHz laptop with 32Mb of RAM. As the system requirements implied that a “Pentium class processor” and 32Mb of RAM would be enough to run the game, this seemed a reasonable proposition, esp. since the 800×600 fixed resolution within the game would fit well on a laptop screen. However, even with a full install, the animations and music were choppy and degraded the gameplay and enjoyment significantly. My suspicion is that the limitation was really in the low RAM and laptop video card, but I’m not confident of that.
While it is easy enough for those running at higher resolutions to Ctrl-Alt-(-) and Ctrl-Alt-(+) to adjust for this, it does get a bit tiresome to do that on a regular basis. Users choosing to run HOMM3 as root on their machine will have access to a more convenient fullscreen mode. Fortunately, Loki has promised that the first patch will introduce a fullscreen mode for all users (not just the superuser) much like the one in the latest patches to Railroad Tycoon II Gold and Civilization: Call to Power.
For those that find multiplayer as compelling as I, be warned that all versions of HOMM3 will network only within a particular platform. That is to say, the game has been released for Win32, MacOS, and Linux but each version can only talk to clients on its respective platform. The Windows version makes use of DirectPlay, a part of Microsoft’s proprietary DirectX. The MacOS version makes use of OpenPlay, an open alternative to DirectPlay. Loki has said that they may incorporate OpenPlay functionality into a future patch to enable interoperability between MacOS and Linux users. I hope that this actually does comes to pass.
Also, those players familiar with the Windows version will tell you that a map editor came as part of the package. While no map editor shipped with HOMM3 for Linux, it is apparently in development and will be released eventually. Incidentally, maps created with the Windows map editor apparently work well with the Linux client.
Finally, there are rumors that the expansion pack that was released for the Windows version will eventually be available for Linux users as well. Nothing official, yet, but there is at least a chance that Loki will release the expansion as well.
Review Update (31 January 2000)
After posting my HOMM3 review, Stephane Peter and Scott Draeker from Loki Entertainment contacted me with some additional information and a correction.
First, I was incorrect in stating that the Apple Macintosh version of HOMM3 used OpenPlay. According to Peter, the programmer that did most of the porting work on HOMM3, the Mac and Linux ports share some common code and thus have “the same network backend.” However, the two can’t talk to each other because of the endian difference between the PC and Mac architectures. There are no plans at this time to implement OpenPlay in any version of HOMM3 on any platform.
On the topic of the map/scenario editor, Scott Draeker notified me that it is “well into development” and should be released when finished. This is good news for current HOMM3 owners and all the more reason for other Linux gamers to give HOMM3 a good long look. Grab the newly released demo and try it out; if it’s your cup of tea, then get out and buy it.
More sales of HOMM3, and other Loki games, will certainly increase the likelihood that more games will get ported. Draeker made it clear that they are talking with 3D0 about bringing the HOMM3 expansion packs to Linux. Also, if their relationship remains strong and the games are in demand, Loki would “like to continue bringing [the Heroes series] to Linux.” If the quality of HOMM3 is any indication, this is great news for Linux gamers.
So there you have it: The editor is definitely on the way and expansion packs are being considered. Given that HOMM3 is a great game already, these just add to its attractiveness. And while I find myself wishing that I could play against my Windows-using, HOMM3-playing friends, that is but a small part of this fine game.
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Interview with the Icculus
13 May 2007 by JVM
It’s helpful for us, as a community, to have an idea where our system stands now, where we can see changes in the near future, and our
prospects for future growth. To that end, we’ve asked Ryan “icculusGordon to rate various companies and technologies and their impact on GNU/Linux gaming. Ryan has been essential to the development of several important games on GNU/Linux, including Unreal Tournament 2003, America’s Army,Descent 3, and Serious Sam. He has also ported some applications, like Google Earth and the Second Life client from Linden Labs.
LinuxGames: On a scale of 0-10, where 0 is no effect at all and 10 is metaphysical transmogrification, how will the following affect the future of GNU/Linux gaming? We’ll start with SDL.
Ryan: 8. It’s already the defacto standard for game development on Linux, and the next version more or less removes all the current limitations. I don’t see it going away.
Very few game titles, commercial or open source, use anything but SDL on Linux, and I don’t see this changing for a long time. More titles will use OpenGL for video instead of the 2D interfaces, but they’re still going to use
SDL to get that done.
LG: Ok, so OpenGL itself is a…?
Ryan: 10. Everything will be using it sooner than later, even things that don’t know they are, much like how Quartz
turned out on the Mac. Even SDL hides OpenGL behind the basic 2D video interfaces in the next major version.
2D framebuffers are a dead end, and having to write pixels manually is going to become a slower and slower path. Everything doing video, games or otherwise, will be using high level graphics APIs, like OpenGL or Cairo, that eventually talk
3D primitives and shader programs to the hardware. Cute things like wobbly windows or Apple’s Expose’ or Microsoft’s Flip3D are just side effects and bonuses of that transition.
LG: And on the audio side, how important is OpenAL ?
Ryan: As much as I like OpenAL, last year I would have said 3…a novelty that has a small fanbase that like the API and a majority of developers treating it like OpenGL vs. Direct3D…it’s what “everyone else” uses, but it’s not something they care deeply about on Windows.
Windows Vista removing hardware acceleration from DirectSound made OpenAL more like a 7, though. I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes the defacto standard for game audio on Windows, and thus everywhere else, too. Creative’s Alchemy project shows that there was a real demand for this, and crippling DirectSound was a baffling mistake on Microsoft’s part. Mac OS X game developers rejoiced when OpenAL shipped in the default 10.4 install, since CoreAudio was really painful to program. Linux, of course, has had OpenAL easily available for years.
It’s nice to not be swimming upstream for once. :)
I don’t think anyone thinks of audio being as important as video…we probably won’t use OpenAL for the bleeps and bloops a system makes when new email arrives like we’ll use OpenGL to render basic window system controls…so it lands around 7 instead of 10. Important for Linux gaming, not so important for Linux in general.
Ryan: They’re a 2.
I think they’ll always be around, and as long as Windows is dominant, they’ll definitely have a use, but I just never manage to find anything that works with them, game or otherwise. Most things I’ve tried tend to crash on startup, but I don’t really put much effort into it, and to be fair, I’ve never really tried to use them for the things they want you to: Microsoft Office, World of Warcraft, etc, so my results aren’t really surprising. Usually it’s more like data wrapped in a Windows installer .exe that I need to extract and can’t.
But if you can only use it for a handful of apps, I’m not sure it justifies the man-years of development going into them. It seems like implementing the entire win32 API to run iTunes is a long way around just to be able to buy stuff from the iTunes Store. That’s just my opinion, though.
People talk about Wine and company like it’s going to kill Linux, but I just don’t see that happening.
I still say that Transgaming’s SwiftShader is way more impressive than Cedega, but that’s just me…the tech behind that is like Geek Porn to me, I can’t lie.
Ryan: 1? I don’t know much about these guys, except they have some sort of wine-like tech. But if they are just starting now, they are never going to get far, considering how long wine itself took to get where it is. Even focused on just gaming tech, I think they’d have trouble competing with Transgaming, who has a solid pile of really smart people building on top of wine’s foundation.
Ryan: 8. Add
Valve in there, too, since id, Epic and Valve supply the tech that powers most triple-A titles, and that’s not likely to change in the next 5 years.
It almost doesn’t matter if we see Half-Life 3 on Linux, so long as we get the Source Engine ported. Same for Quake 5 (Doom 4? Whatever) and UT3 and such. That id and Epic see value in Linux ports of their games is great, because it adds a ton of legitimacy to the platform, but that their engines are available is what’s important, because then you can lobby to their licensees. And boy, there’s lots of licensees now. You really can’t build a game from scratch in 2007…most things are building on top ofsomething, and usually it’s UnrealEngine3.
This proved to be a win with UnrealEngine1, UnrealEngine2, and I’m sure it will with UnrealEngine3, too. I’m sure TTimo [Timothee Besset] at id would say the same for Doom and Quake tech, and the other Linux titles they spawned.
Ryan: 3. I don’t see Tux Games building an empire. Loki was too aggressive about obtaining titles, LGP is not aggressive enough. I’m sort of the opinion that the Loki/LGP model isn’t the right way to go, though. I think we need more ports on the same disc as the Windows version, or freely downloadable for use with the Windows retail disc…it’s a serious problem not being able to get the product to consumers trivially…I think it would be hard to make a profit within those bounds with a third-party porting house.
Then again, that assumes a brick-and-mortar retail store. If everyone moves to the Steam /iTunes/whatever model of consuming content, it’s possible they could really thrive, but I think physical distribution is always going to be an albatross around Michael Simms’s neck.
LG: And the traditional nemesis, Microsoft.
Ryan: 1. I’m surprised you asked about Microsoft. Really, they’re the status quo. Even with something as controversial as Vista, people don’t really move to or from Windows in any significant quantities.
The real threat to Linux adoption is Apple, not Microsoft. If you didn’t know, now you know.
LG: And how about Google?
Ryan: 6. Maybe 5 or 4. They’ve definitely been enthusiastic about Linux versions of their desktop apps–heck, they paid me to port some of them–but with the exception of companies they acquired, like Keyhole for Google Earth, they just simply don’t DO many desktop apps.
There is some belief that they’ll deliver the world into a new era of AJAX‘d web 2.0 applications, and while I’m down with that, I’m not sure that actually helps Linux…if it doesn’t matter what desktop you run Firefox on, why change desktops?
LG: Finally, on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is the moribundity of Windows NT on PowerPC and 10 is akin to the virus-like spread of World of Warcraft, what is the future of GNU/Linux gaming going to be like in the next couple of years?
Ryan: It’s hard to say, of course. I think we’ve passed the usual also-ran bar at this point, and that’s almost as good as critical mass. Every alternate operating system declares desktop legitimacy as soon as a commercial title arrives, but the real test is what happens afterwards…Civilization: Call to Power had a BeOS version, too, after all.
Ultimately, I don’t think it’s entirely a social issue when one of these OSes fails; it’s actually largely technical. OS/2 added whole driver layers, DIVE and DART, because they found out that Doom 1 couldn’t move pixels to video RAM fast enough, but never really gave the system the rich APIs it needed. Neither OS/2 nor BeOS really provided robust OpenGL support, etc. Driver support in general starts to slip, and sooner than later, the technology of games marched on without them.
Linux has been keeping up better, in that the base system evolves to meet modern needs better, and for now closed-source video drivers give you all the same functionality you’d expect on Windows, so we’re not just flat-out locked out. You’d be surprised, that’s half the battle.
From there, keeping a few engines portable and aggressively lobbying for the right titles can make a big difference.
The problem recently is that we’ve been going through a dry spell, so everything seems a little bleak right now…for me, this is largely due to downtime between UnrealEngine2 and UnrealEngine3. After UT2003 shipped, I couldn’t sleep for all the porting work to be done, but now, there’s not much going on while people are preparing next-gen titles on next-gen tech. I expect 2008 will blow up again like 2003 did.
In the meantime, I’m following the smarter points of Loki’s plans, and continuing to build infrastructure I’ll need instead of wishing it would show up…SDL is moving towards the new 1.3 API, I just announced my next-gen loki_setup replacement today…and other things.
I guess you’re asking what Linux gaming will look like in five years and, in a roundabout way, I’m answering: whatever we make it look like.
LG: Thank you Ryan, for taking the time to answer our questions and giving usyour perspective. More importantly, thanks for all the hard work you’ve doneimproving the infrastructure for games on GNU/Linux.
The Apolyton Civilization Site is reporting on this forum thread which indicates that the source code to Civilization: Call To Power 2 may be released at some point in the relatively near future. The original Civilization: Call to Power was the first game published by the now-defunct Loki Games in May 1999 (see our Loki Timeline for more details). The sequel in question was only published for the Windows platform.
If this source release happens, it could enable the spread of this game to previously unsupported platforms, like Linux, MacOS X, and any of the BSD family.
Regardless, we will always have Freeciv.
Also, Tux Games still has several Loki titlesin stock and should have enough for the forseeable future; however, Civilization: Call to Poweris sold out and is now an unavailable game as Loki cannot replace their stock before operations cease.
Games.Linux.com recently posted a
Some new Loki Software releases:
- Version 1.2a ofCivilization: Call to Power; changes:
- Fixed loading play-by-email games containing spaces.
- Fixed crash on start when playing on an 8-bit X11 display.
- Fixed crash playing some of the movies.
- Fixed game hang when switching desktops with XFree86 4.0.
- Scrolling works now after toggling fullscreen mode.
- Fixed diplomacy crash in German language version.
- Networking is now built in, solving LC_ALL problem.
- civctp -s no longer signals the name of a scenario to load.
- Fixed 1.1 save game compatibility.
- Fixed Play-By-Email games with Windows players (save game compatibility).
- Fixed assertion failure when loading scenario icons.
Civ:CTP is now supported in Loki Update; you can get the patch you need for youversion of CTP from
- Version 0.4.3 of the SDL MPEG Player Library;the full list of changes can be found in the README.
SMPEG 0.4.3 Source: ftp://ftp.lokigames.com/pub/open-source/smpeg/smpeg-0.4.3.tar.gz
- Also, version 1.0.10 of Loki Update, used for patchingLoki games, was released. Changes:
- You can pass an install directory as well as product on the command line
- Added multi-language detection for Heretic II
- Fixed setting the temporary download path
- Always use the effective user id for the home directory
The appropriate version for your architecture can be downloaded from the utility’shomepage.
- Finally, Linux Tribes’Bad_CRC wrote in to point outthat Loki’s Mike Phillips has addedmd5sums for theirTribes 2 dedicated server patches as a download sanitycheck.
QLITech issued a press release today about their new Advanced Multimedia Workstations. One thing to note is that the machine is going to come bundled with Loki Entertainment‘s Civilization: “Call to Power” , Heavy Gear II, and a Loki Games Demo CD that includes the full installation of Eric’s Ultimate Solitare. Here is the full release:
QLITech Linux Computers Unveils Updated Advanced Multimedia Workstations
Midwestern Linux Systems Leader adds AMD Athlon “Thunderbird” 800, 900, and 950 Linux Gaming Systems
September 22, 2000 — Moline, IL —
QLITech Linux Computers is proud to announce their new “Advanced Multimedia Workstation” system configurations featuring AMD Athlon “Thunderbird” 800, 900, and 950 processors.
Suitable for gaming, 3D Development, or multimedia projects, QLITech’s Advanced Multimedia Workstations also feature a Matrox G400 32Mb AGP Graphics Card, 128Mb of PC-133 SDRAM, the now famous “Linux Cool Keyboard”, as well as a 12X DVD-ROM, and a Creative Labs SBLive! sound card with 5 speaker surround sound system.
All QLITech Advanced Multimedia Workstations are also bundled with: Loki Entertainment’s Civilization: “Call to Power” , Heavy Gear II, and a Loki Games Demo CD that includes the full installation of Eric’s Ultimate Solitare.
QLITech’s Advanced Multimedia Workstations have been featured in Linux Magazine,as well as on 32bitsonline.com, and geeknews.com.
Located at http://www.qlitech.net, QLITech is one of the Midwest’s leaders in Linux Systems. Along with its top-selling line of “Advanced Multimedia Workstations”, QLITech offers basic workstations, standard multimedia systems, entry-level servers and accessories.
In addition to being an Authorized Caldera Business Partner, QLITech is an Authorized TurboLinux Solution Provider, and a Stormix Advanced Solutions Provider.
Pretty self-explanatory… programmable robots + strategic conflict:
For Immediate Release
Loki and CogniToy Partner to bring MindRover to Linux
Tustin, CA. — June 20, 2000 — Loki Software, Inc. today announces anagreement with CogniToy to bring the highly-acclaimed MindRover: TheEuropa Project to Linux gamers by early fall 2000.
MindRover is an ingenious 3D strategy/programming game that enablesplayers to create autonomous robotic vehicles and compete them in races,battles and sports. Starting with an empty vehicle, gamers add componentssuch as sensors, weapons and engines. Players wire the componentstogether and set their properties using an innovative visual programmingsystem before entering the vehicles in the 3D competitions. Gamers mayalso share their custom robots over email or through website competitions.
Our customers have proven their mettle in other games with fast reflexesand great aim,” said Scott Draeker, president of Loki. “We are nowextremely pleased to present a new challenge. Their creativity andproblem-solving skills will be called to task in this unique andaddictive game.”
CogniToy was formed in 1997. They are a privately financed independentdeveloper/publisher of “intelligent toys for intelligent minds”.’MindRover: The Europa Project” is their first product, currentlyavailable on Win95/98/NT. For more information visithttp://www.cognitoy.com.
About Loki Software, Inc.
Founded in 1998, CA, Loki works with leading game publishers anddevelopers to port their best-selling PC and Macintosh titles to Linux.Loki meets a pent-up need in the Linux community by providingfully-supported, shrink-wrapped games for sale through traditional retailchannels. Other titles from Loki include Quake III Arena, Civilization:Call to Power and Railroad Tycoon II. For more information visithttp://www.lokigames.com.
Tux Games has released its new Demo CD, made for people who have slow modems or who have to pay by the minute for theirdownloads. We now have 10 demos included on the disc:
Civilization: Call to Power
Erics Ultimate Solitaire
Heroes of Might and Magic III
Myth II: Soulblighter
Quake III Arena
Railroad Tycoon II
Reel Deal Slots
It is available from Tux Games for $3.50, which is a break-evenprice.
May 21, 2000
Loki’s new Linux game “Heavy Gear II”
Now Available from SuSE
With “Heavy Gear II” Loki Entertainment Software is opening the door tonew dimensions in the Linux world: with 3D audio effects and joysticksupport, a further step has been taken towards the acceptance of Linux bythe home user.
Linux, once just an insider tip for computer professionals, is well onits way to becoming the operating system of choice for home users aswell. After its overwhelming success on the server market and itsincreasing use in companies of all kinds, the ground has been preparedfor the all-round use of Linux, with beginner-friendly installationroutines, intuitive desktops and application software such as officepackets and games.
With the release of the first “big” Linux game, “Civilization: Call ToPower” (awarded the “Best End User Product of 1999″ by Linux Journal),Loki Entertainment has already made a name for itself. Just like itssuccessors, “Heavy Gear II” makes optimal use of the qualities of Linuxin the network, whereby multi-player games based on rounds, or real-time,are possible. Due to its success, it is no surprise that around a dozenmore titles are planned on being ported to Linux for the year 2000.
Loki is currently placing its main emphasis on 3D sound support by meansof OpenAL. “OpenAL represents a milestone for Linux,” realizes ScottDraeker, president of Loki Entertainment Software. “Until now, 3D audiofeatures in games were reserved for users of other platforms. This hasall changed now.”
OpenAL, entirely in the tradition of the Open Source community, is issuedunder the LPGL license (GNU Library Public License).
Dirk Hohndel, CTO of SuSE Linux AG, is also aware of the chances offeredby this: “Linux games play a significant role in the success of thedesktop market. Through the common efforts of the Linux community, mostrecently with OpenAL and the XFree86 version 4.0, ensuring enhanced 3Dgraphics card support, decisive steps forward have been taken.”
For more information about this product please visithttp://www.suse.de/en/produkte/software/index.html
About Loki Entertainment Software
A privately held company, Loki Entertainment Software has headquarters inOrange County, California and was established in 1998. Loki meets apent-up need in the Linux community by providing fully-supported,shrink-wrapped games for sale through traditional retail channelsworldwide. Loki released 7 front-line Linux game titles in 1999, andplans 16 titles for 2000. For more information, visit www.lokigames.com.
With more than 340 employees, SuSE Linux AG is one of the world’s largestLinux specialists. Thanks to its stability and quality, SuSE Linux iscurrently being employed by over one million private users and more than50,000 business customers around the world. The development and salescenter in Nuremberg is backed up by branches in Oakland/USA, London,Prague and Marano sul Panaro/Italy, dedicated to the further developmentand dissemination of SuSE Linux. For the efficient deployment of Linuxwithin the corporate sphere, SuSEbacks up its commercial Linux software and complete Linux systems with acomprehensive range of qualified consulting and support services. TheSuSE Labs are making a major contribution to the development of Linux,especially in the areas of Linux-Kernel, glibc, XFree86, KDE, ISDN4Linux, ALSA (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture) and USB (Universal Serial Bus),as well as high availability and Multiplatform Support. SuSE received theaward for “Best Linux Distribution” at LinuxWorld Expo 2000 in New York.More information is available at http://www.suse.de/en/
Zocks’ Gerhard Schroeder sent in news that the German Linux gaming site has posted an article examining the install process for various Loki titles: Civilization: Call To Power, Myth 2: Soulblighter, and Railroad Tycoon 2: Gold Edition. The article was written in German, so you may need to utilize a babelfish to grok it.
Loki Entertainment Software has announced the existence of the open-source OpenAL 3D audio library in conjunction with Creative Labs and Corel today; OpenAL will first be utilized in the Linux port of Heavy Gear II:
For Immediate Release
Loki Press Contact:
Loki Entertainment Software
Telephone: 714.505.8915 x12
Loki Spearheads OpenAL
Open-Source, Cross-Platform 3D-Audio Library
Debuts at the Game Developers Conference
San Jose, CA. — March 8, 2000 — Loki Entertainment Software, the leading publisher of commercial games for the Linux operating system, today announces a multi-company project to create and distribute OpenAL, an open-source, cross-platform 3D-Audio library.
3D-Audio greatly improves the immersive quality of a game. It allows games and other applications to take advantage of powerful spacialized sound effects, including distance and direction attenuation, panning and reverb. With these features, gamers can, for example, determine by sound the distance and direction of an explosion in a 3D-gaming environment.
“OpenAL represents a milestone for Linux and for the game industry in general,” said Scott Draeker, president, Loki Entertainment Software. “Until now, games running on Linux have not had access to the advanced 3D-Audio features available on other platforms. OpenAL provides those advanced features with an open-source, nonproprietary implementation which is available not just for Linux, but for Windows and MacOS games as well. What SGI’s OpenGL has done for 3D-Video, OpenAL will do for 3D-Audio.”
Prior to OpenAL, there was no standard way to implement 3D-Audio for Linux. Because the proprietary audio libraries for Mac and Windows are not compatible with Linux, Loki decided to create an audio API that would be both cross-platform and open-source. Loki drew upon the previous efforts of members of the open-source community and teamed with hardware vendors such as Creative Technology Ltd. (NASDAQ: CREAF) to make the project a reality.
Creative Technology, the leader in providing advanced PC audio hardware, plans to release Linux drivers that will work with OpenAL, and which natively support the advanced 3D-Audio effects which OpenAL enables. In addition, Creative is evaluating MacOS and Windows implementations of the OpenAL standard.
“Creative is excited to be a part of the OpenAL creation and authoring committee”, said Jacob Hawley, Director of the Custom Engineering division at Creative. “This API will help content developers provide robust applications on Linux and other leading platforms, opening new markets for hardware vendors such as Creative in the process. This API is a win / win for everyone.”
“OpenAL is another major step forward for Linux and shows how complete a gaming platform Linux has become,” said Dr. Michael Cowpland, President and CEO of Corel Corporation. “Corel has long been a supporter of open standards and cross-platform compatibility. We are thrilled with the progress by Loki and Creative Labs and we look forward to including more of their technology in our future releases.”
Loki is already incorporating OpenAL into it’s growing product line of AAA Linux games. In March, Loki will release the Linux version of Activision’s Heavy Gear II, the first Linux game to support 3D-Audio using OpenAL.
The source code for OpenAL for Mac, Windows and Linux is freely available for download and is offered under the GNU Library Public License (LGPL). Visit www.openal.org for more information.
About Loki Entertainment Software
Loki Entertainment Software A privately held company, Loki Entertainment Software has headquarters in Orange County, California and was established in 1998. Loki meets a pent-up need in the Linux community by providing fully-supported, shrink-wrapped games for sale through traditional retail channels worldwide. Loki’s first Linux title, Civilization: Call to Power was awarded Linux Journal’s award for Best End User Product of 1999. Loki released 7 front-line Linux game titles in 1999, and plans 16 titles for 2000. For more information, visit www.lokigames.com.
About Creative Technology Ltd.
Creative Technology Ltd. develops, manufactures and markets a wide array of advanced multimedia solutions for the PC, entertainment, education, music and productivity tools markets. Creative’s products are marketed through the OEM, systems integrator and retail channels under a variety of trademarks, including the “Blaster” family name. With the new Sound Blaster® PCI standard, Creative has produced a solution that utilizes a combination of hardware and software for near-perfect compatibility with existing DOS and Windows titles. Creative’s corporate headquarters and primary manufacturing are based in Singapore, with sales, distribution and research and development being carried out through an extensive, global network of subsidiaries located in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.”
About Corel Corporation
Corel Corporation Corel Corporation is an internationally recognized developer of award-winning business productivity, graphics and operating system solutions on the Windows(r), Linux(r), UNIX(r), Macintosh(r) and Java(tm) platforms. Corel also develops market-leading, Web-based solutions including applications, contents, e-commerce and online services. For access to these services and more information go to www.corel.com or www.corelcity.com. Corel is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada. Corel’s common stock trades on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol CORL and on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol COR.
This press release contains statements that are forward looking as that term is defined by the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on current expectations that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results will differ due to factors such as shifts in customer demand, product shipment schedules, product mix, competitive products and pricing, technological shifts and other variables. Readers are referred to Corel’s most recent reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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All company and product names are the trademarks, registrations, or copyrights of their respective owners.
OpenAL March 8 CVS Snapshot:
- Civilization: Call To Power
- Heroes of Might and Magic III
- Myth 2: Soulblighter
- Railroad Tycoon II
- Eric’s Ultimate Solitaire
You can order your copy from here for $1.95 US plus shipping.
- Corrected file – Alpha – Upgrade English CivCTP from 1.1 to 1.2 (unsupported)
- New – PPC – Upgrade German CivCTP from 1.1 to 1.2 (unsupported)
- New – PPC – Upgrade European CivCTP from 1.1 to 1.2 (unsupported)
- New – Alpha – Upgrade German CivCTP from 1.1 to 1.2 (unsupported)
- New – Alpha – Upgrade European CivCTP from 1.1 to 1.2 (unsupported)
- New – Convert CivCTP 1.2 to the Italian language
Loki Civ: CTP Patch Mirror List:
Loki Entertainment Software has released version 1.2 of the turn-based global strategy game Civilization: Call to Power. The mirror list for the patches is located here; a description of the patch files follows:
|Patches for the x86 architecture
Upgrade English CivCTP from 1.0 to 1.1:
Upgrade English CivCTP from 1.1 to 1.2:
Upgrade German CivCTP from 1.1 to 1.2:
Upgrade Corel Limited Edition from 1.1 to 1.2:
Convert CivCTP 1.2 to a dynamically linked binary (unsupported):
|Patches for the PPC architecture
Note: The PPC patches are unsupported, and do not contain networking support.
Upgrade English CivCTP from 1.0 to 1.1 (unsupported):
Upgrade English CivCTP from 1.1 to 1.2 (unsupported):
|Patches for the Alpha architecture
Note: The Alpha patches are unsupported, and do not contain networking support.
Upgrade English CivCTP from 1.0 to 1.1 (unsupported):
Upgrade English CivCTP from 1.1 to 1.2 (unsupported):
|Patches for all architectures
Convert CivCTP 1.2 to the English language:
Convert CivCTP 1.2 to the French language:
Convert CivCTP 1.2 to the German language:
Convert CivCTP 1.2 to the Spanish language:
Local Civ: CTP 1.2 Patch Mirror:
Dennis Payne has written another article for his monthly Open Game Source column; this installment examines the Civilization-inspired strategy game Freeciv. Dennis reviews the Freeciv hacking guide, the source code structure (Dennis notes that “having viewed the source to Civilization: Call to Power, the Freeciv source is much nicer”), the flexibility of Freeciv’s design (giving an example partial Master of Magic source hack), and aspects of Freeciv’s localization support.
Linux Journal has awarded Loki’s port of Civilization: Call to Power the 1999 Editor’s Choice Award for Best New Application, End User. You can read the announcement (as well as the award-winners in other categories) at
Linux Journal states that Civ: CTP’s status as one of the first high-quality commercial Linux gaming titles justifies this honor; congratulations to Loki for this achievement.
Loki Entertainment Software has announced that they will be the distributors for id Software’s imminent first-person shooter Quake 3: Arena. You can read the shipping notes at Loki’s new Q3A site (http://quake3.lokigames.com/) here, and pre-order your copy from
Furthermore, Quake 3 orders will be shipped in two parts: an immediate shipmentof the Q3A CD-ROM, to be followed later by the cd jewel case, manual, and tin box. This will allow customers to get the actual game (isn’t that what you reallywant? :)) in a more timely manner.
Here’s the full press release:
NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release Linux Quake III Arena(TM)
Loki and id Software(TM) Sign Exclusive Agreement
Tustin, CA. — December 2, 1999 — Loki Entertainment Software, the leader in bringing best-selling PC games to Linux, today announces an exclusive agreement with id Software to publish, package and distribute worldwide Quake III Arena for Linux.
Through this agreement, Loki will publish the highly-anticipated Quake III Area for Linux on December 27, near-simultaneously with the Windows and Macintosh versions.
“Quake III Arena, soon available for the PC, Linux and Macintosh, delivers the most intense, heart-pounding gameplay and stunning technical wizardry of any game on any platform, bar none,” said Todd Hollenshead, CEO, id Software. “id Software went to great lengths to assure a near simultaneous multi-platform launch for Quake III Arena, assuring that no will gamer miss out on the action.”
Quake III Arena, developed by the gaming wizards at id Software, is the third installment of one of the most popular computer game franchises of all time. Organic caverns, gothic cathedrals and futuristic spacescapes play host to Quake III Arena’s unrivaled blend of action, strategy and jaw-dropping technology as Linux gamers are invited to square off against 32 of history’s greatest warriors. Built around a revolutionary new graphics engine capable of delivering mind blowing 3D special effects including curved surfaces and volumetric fog, Quake III Arena is the final word in deathmatching mayhem.
The Linux version of Quake III Arena will be packaged in a limited edition collector’s tin box. Loki will also include the Linux operating system, SuSE Linux 6.3, so that new users can try Linux and the game. Quake III Arena for Linux has a suggested retail price of $49.95 (U.S. Dollars).
About id Software
id — Freud’s primal part of the human psyche and one of the hottest game shops on Earth – has been rocking the gaming world from Mesquite, Texas since 1991. As a renowned leader in the industry, id Software has forged frenetic titles such as Wolfenstein 3-D, DOOM, DOOM II, QUAKE and QUAKE II. With intense graphics and mind-blowing adventure, id’s games continually break retail and shareware sales records. id¹s advanced QUAKE II engine is leading the next revolution in 3-D interactive games with both single and multiplayer technology. And, in keeping with tradition, id Software amplifies the world of adrenaline pumping 3-D gaming with the development of their latest action title, QUAKE III Arena. Check out more about id Software at www.idsoftware.com.
About Loki Entertainment Software
A privately held company, Loki Entertainment Software has headquarters in Orange County, California and was established in 1998. Loki meets a pent-up need in the Linux community by providing fully-supported, shrink-wrapped games for sale through traditional retail channels worldwide. Loki’s first Linux title, Civilization: Call to Power was recently awarded Linux Journal’s award for Best End User Product of 1999. Loki has released 6 front-line Linux game titles this year. For more information, visit www.lokigames.com.
First created in 1991 by Linus Torvalds, Linux is now the fastest growing operating system in the world according to a recent International Data Corporation (IDC) study. Currently, it is estimated that Linux is used by some 8 million people worldwide. With advanced features such as true multi-user and multi-tasking capabilities, Linux has inspired a steadily growing number of individuals and businesses to adopt Linux for a wide range of functions: as servers, for networking, for software development, and more recently as a desktop and gaming platform. (Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds)
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The upcoming retail Deluxe Corel Linux distribution (based on the venerable Debian GNU/Linux distro) will include a Limited Edition of Loki’s first commercial Linux port, Civilization: Call to Power. The Limited Edition is the full single-player version of Civ: CTP with network play and game editing disabled. Corel released a downloadable version of their new distro yesterday at COMDEX; you can grab an ISO of it (which excludes Civ: CTP) from here. Thanks to Daniell Freed for sending this one in.