LINUXGAMES

Majesty, Tribsoft, and LGP

January 3rd, 2002 by Alkini

After our announcement yesterday regarding LGP publishing Majesty, I contacted both Mathieu Pinard (Tribsoft) and LGP for comments on the relationship between the two of them. These are the responses that I got:

Mathieu Pinard:

Majesty for Linux was first being canceled due to lack of publisher. Titan Computer got out of Linux publishing. It was clear that Tribsoft couldn’t handle publishing. I’ve got LGP in contact with Cyberlore to save the Linux port, and I was supposed to finish the port. I did look it different way to put back Tribsoft in shape in the last year, but in the end I really could not continue for personal reasons. I had to take a break.

Somebody else will complete the port, and I already committed to provide some help.

LGP:

LGP obtained the rights to Majesty when Titan computer withdrew fromtheir agreement with Cyberlore. At the same time we entered into anagreement with Tribsoft who were to continue development.

Tribsoft continued development until recently when, due to unforseencircumstances, they withdraw from the contract. The withdrawal was onvery good terms and LGP and Tribsoft enjoy a continued goodrelationship. Since that point, LGP has decided to complete the portourselves, taking the opportunity to begin to build up a porting anddevelopment team. The team is still under construction, and socurrently the development is paused, but we expect to be back up andrunning in the near future.

The end of the agreement between Tribsoft and LGP was completelyamicable, and as people have voiced concern, I can confirm that theywill of course be compensated for the full amount of work that hasbeen completed on Majesty. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Tribsoft Status

August 18th, 2001 by Crusader

Missed this earlier, but Tribsoft’sMathieu Pinard made a final post on their forums before shutting them down:

I’ve got back the source code for the games and I can now resume the work. However, please be patient since the work that brings food on the table has the #1 priority.At the moment, Tribsoft official projects are a patch for Jagged Alliance 2 for Linux and Majesty for Linux. I can’t talk about anything else beside those two projects.

Also, this forum will be shutdown very soon. Don’t worry because the company, the web site and the email won’t go off. If you have any questions, ask them before the forum close or wait until I re-configure info@tribsoft.com.

As noted above, Tribsoft ported Jagged Alliance 2 to Linux,which can be ordered from Tux Games.

Tribsoft Interview @ GSI

October 24th, 2000 by Crusader

On the heels of his company’s publishing announcement today, Tribsoft’s Mathieu Pinard was interviewed by Gamespy’s James Hills. Items discussed include the recently completed Jagged Alliance 2 port and a previously unannounced partnership with Hyperion Software (who’s ports are also published by Titan),

Sirtech/Tribsoft/Titan Computer announcement for Linux

October 24th, 2000 by keerf

Tribsoft has issued a new press release today with news of a partnership with Titan Computer. The press release speaks for itself, so here it is:

Montreal, Quebec, October 24, 2000 – Tribsoft announced that it entered in apartnership with Titan Computer to join forces to increase the popularity ofLinux as a gaming operating system.

Titan Computer will publish worldwide games that Tribsoft are porting to theLinux operating system. Among the responsibilities, Titan Computer will handlethe publishing, distribution, marketing and the support for the games ported by Tribsoft for Linux.

“We believe that we found the perfect partner. We are happy that TitanComputer are now publishing for Linux. We are confident that Titan Computer will take good care of our work” said Tribsoft’s president Mathieu Pinard.

“We are pleased to find a competent and reliable partner with Tribsoft.We are looking forward into a good and long business relationship” saidMichael Garlich, manager of Titan Computer.

Among the first profiled titles, Titan Computers will publish the Englishversion of Jagged Alliance 2 for Linux. The release of the Linux version ofJagged Alliance 2: Unfinished Business will be announced later. It will bereleased at the same time as the Windows version is published by Interplay.

Sirtech Canada is the creator and developer of the original series, includingJagged Alliance 2. “We specialize in the creation of original computer basedgames,” said Ian Currie, the creator of the series and now part of SirtechCanada. “Tribsoft has demonstrated their competency working with the Linuxoperating system, so under license from Sirtech Canada, Tribsoft ported JaggedAlliance 2 to Linux from the Windows platform.” By working with Tribsoft, wewill be able to remain focused on developing more great original products,including the sequel Jagged Alliance 3.

Under terms of the agreement with Titan Computer, Sirtech will be workingdirectly with Titan Computer coordinating the release, marketing materials, and the future direction of the Jagged Alliance franchise. “We’re equallydelighted to be working with Titan Computer to bring Jagged Alliance 2 to anexciting new market” said Ian Currie. Publishing products is no easy matter and critical to the continued success of the Jagged Alliance franchise, so we takeTitan Computer’s role very seriously.”

Jagged Alliance 2 puts you in command of a team of highly-skilled mercenariesas you struggle to free the small country of Arulco from the rule of a ruthless dictator. A mix of strategy, role-playing, and gun-blazing tactics, JaggedAlliance 2 features non-linear game play, over 200 sectors to conquer, scoresof characters, and thousands of lines of digitized speech. The Windows versionhas already won dozens of International awards including “Best Game of theYear.”

The Linux version of Jagged Alliance 2 will be available in November 2000.Other games will be announced shortly.

###
About Tribsoft
A privately held company, Tribsoft has headquarters in Montreal, Canada and wasestablished in June 1999. Tribsoft mission is to port innovative game to Linux. The company ported Sirtech Canada awards winning Jagged Alliance 2 and iscurrently working on the Linux port of Europa Universalis and Majesty.

More information about Tribsoft can be found at http://www.tribsoft.com.

About Titan Computer
Titan Computer a german Company with its headquarters in Bremen, Germany. Wasfounded in 1995 to support alternative Operation Systems like Linux, Amiga andMacOS with quality games and productivity software.

More information about Titan Computer can be found at http://www.titan-computer.com.

About Sirtech Canada
Sirtech Canada is the creator and developer of Jagged Alliance 2, JaggedAlliance 2: Unfinished Business, Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games, and Nemesis:The Wizardry Adventure. Sirtech Canada is currently working on Jagged Alliance3 and the widely anticipated Wizardry 8.

More information about Sirtech Canada and its products can be found at http://www.sir-tech.com.

Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.
Jagged Alliance 2 copyright (c) 1999, 2000 by Sirtech Canada Ltd.
Jagged Alliance: Unfinished Business copyright (c) 2000 by Sirtech Canada Ltd.All rights reserved.
Jagged Alliance is a registered trademark of 1259191 Ontario Inc.

New Tribsoft Ports

October 18th, 2000 by Crusader

Tribsoft’s Mathieu Pinard fired in notice that they’ve completed the redesignof their site, which now has information on two new ports:

New infomation about the Jagged Alliance 2 port has also been posted:

Status: We just sent our final release candidate to Sirtech this week. Since September we fixed a few bugs and we added some optional support for XFree86 4.0.

Finally, Tribsoft has also made a forum available for discussion of their ports.

New Tribsoft Announcements Soon

October 17th, 2000 by Crusader

Tribsoft’s Mathieu Pinard wrote in with an ETAregarding their future plans after the completionof their Jagged Alliance 2 port:

We will upload our new web page on October 18. We will issue some pressrelease with information about JA2 and new game ports.

Gamespy Tribsoft Interview

September 15th, 2000 by Crusader

Gamespy’s James Hills conductedanother Linux-related interview this week with Tribsoft’sMathieu Pinard concerning their just-completed port of Jagged Alliance 2. The article gives an overview of the steps involved in their porting project; furthermore, Pinard states that theyare now working on JA2: Unfinished Business and one title yet to be announced. Althoughshipping details have not yet been mentioned, Pinard expects JA2 to hit retailin October. Screenshots from the Linux version of JA2 are also included.

Zocks Interview with Mathieu Pinard of Tribsoft

May 9th, 2000 by Alkini

Zocks has published an interview with Mathieu Pinard of Tribsoft talking about their efforts in porting Jagged Alliance 2 to Linux. The interview is in German, but an English translation follows.

Tribsoft Seeking Programmers

February 19th, 2000 by Crusader

Mathieu Pinard of Tribsoft (who are currently porting Jagged Alliance 2 to Linux) sent in the following:

We are looking for some part-time programmers to work on Linux gameports. The ideal person would be a college or university computerscience student located in the Montreal area (Canada).

The requirement is knowledge of Linux/Unix programming, plus knowledgefor at least one of the following things:

  • 2-d programming (like X-Window, LibGGI, MGL or libsvga)
  • 3-d programming (Glide or OpenGL)
  • Network programming

People interested can contact us at job@tribsoft.com.

LinuxPower Interview with Tribsoft

February 7th, 2000 by Crusader

LinuxPower interviewed Mathieu Pinard of Tribsoft recently on the company’s Linux game porting plans. Tribsoft announced last month they would be porting the action strategy game Jagged Alliance 2 to Linux; the interview covers the size of the Linux gaming market, plans for distribution, a description of JA2′s gameplay, non-x86 Linux support, and a blurb about job openings.

Jagged Alliance 2

January 22nd, 2008 by TimeDoctor

Fight for Freedom. Kill for Cash
Jagged Alliance is a series of overhead turn based strategy games with unique mercenaries in the lead role. If you’ve ever played any of the games in the X-Com series, this will seem familiar. However, JA2 is in a more realistic enviroment in that all the weapons are projectile-based. I’ve played some of the original Jagged Alliance; I found it to be much easier than JA2. There aren’t many other original games to compare with. JA2 is close to defining it’s own genre, with it’s curious blend of the strategy, action, and RPG categories.


Gore on or off...I just can't decide.
This is Tribsoft‘s first and (so far) only released port. Jagged Alliance 2 was originally conceived of and developed by Sir-Tech Canada Limited, and they won’t let you forget it with their rather overdone intro movie. Titan-Computer is JA2′s (Linux) publisher; Titan is also handling support. After recieving your copy you may notice it is in the DVD styled packaging (which is gaining popularity for game-packaging, as most ports released recently have this style). The Jagged Alliance 2 dead-tree manual is all of 49 pages long, and pretty descriptive. If you have never played another game in this series you’ll probably want to read through the manual before and during play. The manual is also home to a number of amusing errors similar to this example desribing the location of the link for the online gun dealership: “You’ll find a link to Bobby Ray’s Gubs ‘n Things…” A fellow writer convinced me that this error could possibly be an in-joke related to a film. However, there are far too many errors similar to this one.

Options for a new game
The CD-ROM contains some unsupported extra software: XFree86 version 4.0.1; and 4Front’s Open Sound System version 3.9.3s-001117. X 4.0.1 might be good if you’re on a modem and want to start from somewhere, as oppossed to jumping right into downloading version 4.1.0. OSS is up to version 3.9.5c at the moment. This copy of the OSS drivers is better off left alone as the install complains about improper permissions, and the download of the latest version is only about 2 megabytes anyway. I can perfectly understand why the unsupported software is out of date as a book I worked on to have a CD-ROM with up-to-date software was largely out of date before it was even on bookshelves. Such is the path with software released early and often.


sir OS, for those who liked Tribes2-OS
Jagged Alliance 2′s Linux installer is of the simple text-based variety and prompts you for things like installation size. Some minor annoyances in the installer show up, as it doesn’t allow for a mixed-case path. Documentation besides the manual is lacking. Unfortunately, Tribsoft neglected a bash shell script with the game, so you’ll have to create something to launch JA2 yourself. This could have been automatically done if they used Loki Setup. Another annoyance remains in that you must have the game disc mounted to play, which has never been required of any Loki ports unless you choose to install less than the full game data. This might not be Tribsoft’s fault as it could be part of their contract with Sir-Tech. I can easily imagine a naive Windows developer thinking he’d be able to resort to the same tactics in Linux, as in Windows. Cutting down on the protection would also eliminate the need for one of the CD’s, as it appears only one file isn’t installed with the full install option. The second CD (labeled ‘Game Disc’) doesn’t really fit in with the DVD packaging: it is loose inside a paper sleeve.

The Association of International Mercenaries website
While playing the CD-release version of Jagged Alliance 2 you might notice a memory leak; I have experienced a crash here and there possibly related to this. If you want to take preventive measures, it is suggested that you save often. If your processor doesn’t have the MMX flags, JA2 will refuse to run. The game is designed for a bit depth of 16; if your X server runs at a different bit depth, each frame will need to be converted and can slow the game down considerably on older processors. For this review I ran my X server at a bit depth of 24, and did not notice any slowdowns whatsoever. This lack of slowdown may be due to my accelerated XFree86 server for my graphics card – an Nvidia/Hercules GeForce 2 MX with 64 MB of RAM,- or my CPU – Pentium 3 1 gigahertz – being much faster than the required Pentium 2 233 megahertz.


More Gooey
As the leader of a group of mercenaries, you are tasked with hiring, firing, and utilizing your team to the best of your abilities in your goal of liberating the small nation known as Arulco. Your in-game character was hired by the former ruler of Arulco (Enrico Chivaldori) for this task, which is appropriate as it is his wife (Deirdranna Reitman) who forced him into exile. You’ll always have an in-game avatar of yourself on the team. This special character is named and custom generated in the beginning. The rest of your mercs are on a pay-per-day/week basis. You hire them through a fake laptop interface similar to the GUI Tribes 2 uses for it’s IRC/mail/et cetera. Tribes2, of course had a science fiction setting, where Jagged Alliance is closer to reality, so the GUI isn’t _that_ similar. If one of your mercs dies, and you’ve paid for more time than he or she was alive, that money is essentially lost. However, a kind of contract insurance is available from a “web site”. Since you shouldn’t lose too many troops, can frequently quick-save, and almost all health points can be replenished, most meathook realities in this game are dashed. Of course, that would be ignoring the plot, which does seem more adult that most games. Early on you may feel compelled to kill a heartless woman running a child labor factory. The town of San Mona even has a bordello (the “Shady Lady”) down the street from the local saloon and pornography store. Violence is well represented: pools of blood form around corpses for each kill. Head shots can result in sprays of gore flying from where the skull used to be. It’s not anywhere as graphic as, say, Soldier of Fortune, but it gets the job done.


What an ugly character

Your troops are divisible into squads of six, and your maximum limit of squads is three. This feature is rather useful for coordinated attacks from multiple cardinal directions. It is obvious after playing for some time that these mercenaries are merely tools. They will attack each other if given orders to do so. Not all of your mercs are as skilled in the art of firearms as McBain, some are medics, and others are better with hand-to-hand combat or demolitions. It seems the most useful mercs are the real killers armed with automatics, who can perform other tasks on the side. Strategy is the easiest way to win, as I’ve lost more rounds to my inferior tactics than by having inferior mercs. Your mileage may vary, of course. The combat system is very similar to an RPG combat system. All actions are governed by a system of Action Points. Shooting, reloading, moving, lowering to a crouch or prone position, rising to stand or kneel, all these things take action points. Similarly, you have Health Points on each merc. Each time a merc is shot, near an explosion, or hurt in hand-to-hand, they lose HP. It’s all reasonably realistic. In fact you can choose just how realistic the game is when you start a new campaign, with settings such as realism or sci-fi. The manual doesn’t elaborate much on what the sci-fi setting provides, so I’ll do the same and leave that discovery to the player. Another setting is available for gun options: Normal or Tons of Guns. Normal provides with a naturally smaller range of choices for those who do not understand nor care about differences between similar guns.


zakk demonstrates crouching
A few of the voice-overs in Jagged Alliance 2 are missing talent. One of the female mercenaries has a rather annoying accent which may remind the player of a whining child. Not all the voice acting is that bad, it’s just that you may be letting that particular character die before his/her time. Audio is generally decent; you might notice clicks and pops every so often which seem to get worse the more CPU-load you have. This problem probably stems from the fact that Tribsoft ported the Miles sound system, rather than working on their own. Otherwise, Jagged Alliance 2 has some interesting audio effects. If you kill some foes in a sector and return later, buzzards will make chewing noises as they feed upon the dead. Character movement is a bit stiff; this is probably to be expected in an animated game. Art in JA2 suffers from the fact that the game was developed in 1999, although I don’t believe you can totally put the year at fault here: games like 1997′s Fallout (which runs rather well in Wine) had superiour graphics. Certainly, they shouldn’t be boasting about the “high-resolution graphics”, which are really just 640×480. The artificial intelligence is very artificial. Once, I had a random encounter while traveling from sector-to-sector and promptly cleared out the enemy except for a stray that managed to run away. He didn’t get very far before he became lodged between a tree and a rock. This trapped him until my troops caught up, who viciously exterminated their foe. It seems as if the enemy AI may have somewhat unique ideas of what to do in certain situations. I’ve noticed some members of Deirdranna’s army run away when their ammo is spent. One even charged my team, pulled out a machete, and started slicing.


After cleaning out another sector, zakk and his posse strike a pose.
What else does Jagged Alliance 2 have going for it? It’s got some excellent tactical gameplay you can’t get anywhere else natively. Each mercenary really is unique. You’ll find them advancing in skill as the game progresses. Skills like experience, marksmanship, leadership, and more, increase for each character. Naturally this improves how they will handle tasks that utilize these skills later on. This lends more credibility to the claim of “Over 150 unique characters with unparalleled personality”. The port is a little flawed. Certain issues I mentioned may be fixed in a future patch. There isn’t any multiplayer, so there isn’t any multiplayer compatibility to worry about. Those who desire more information should pay a visit to the Official Jagged Alliance 2 website. Some things like the lack of a shell script to launch the game seem so obvious you have to wonder if Tribsoft rushed this game out. At this time, the “Unfinished Business” expanision is not available for Linux. Also, unlike it’s Windows-counterpart, there is no demo for the Linux product. The lack of demo is simply explained: Sir-Tech couldn’t give Tribsoft the demo code. The retail code is incompatible with the demo data.


She shoots, she scores!
I hope after reading this review you will have a good understanding of what Jagged Alliance 2 brings to the Linux gaming table. When it comes to choosing to pick up Jagged Alliance 2, you can ask yourself if you enjoyed any similar games such as X-Com, the original Jagged Alliance, or if you just want to support gaming in Linux. Truth is, the currently small Linux gaming market may not be able to afford more than one porting house. To support this small market we really ought to buy titles (such as JA2) which are already available, and not purchase copies of games already available elsewhere which may become available in commercial, boxed, form on the Linux enviroment (such as Deus Ex, Fakk 2, et cetera). On the topic of support, if you’ve had problems with previous Linux games then you may not want to purchase JA2 thinking you can rely on the publisher for much support. From what I understand after reading the Tribsoft forums, Titan may not be very good in the support business. That being said, as I described earlier it really isn’t hard to install Jagged Alliance 2 and get into the game. It should be noted that JA2 isn’t a twitch game at all. The action provided is purely graphical. You won’t be required to have quick reflexes in this battle. A sharp wit, and some tactical skills learned in-game should be all anyone needs for an enjoyable time playing.

ja2-stracciatella 0.5

August 3rd, 2007 by Crusader

ja2-stracciatella is a port of Jagged Alliance 2 toSDL. As the FAQ states, there was acommercial Linux port of JA2 developed by Tribsoft:

Tribsoft’s porthas several serious drawbacks. It is linked against an old version of glibc,which is incompatible to newer versions. It has some serious bugs (crashingthe moment your sectors are attacked among others) which can’t be fixed byusers (it is closed source) and won’t be patched by Tribsoft (they are gone).And in the end, it is not only about playing Jagged Alliance 2 in Linux. It isabout playing Jagged Alliance 2 everywhere where SDL and gcc cango…

Changes in version 0.5:

  • Fixed Russian translation,ja2-stracciatella is playable with Russian data-files now.
  • Fixed Polish translation,ja2-stracciatella is playable with Polish data-files now.
  • Fixed incorrectly encoded cyrillic textsin non-Russian versions (Ivan!).
  • Repair and add some more blitters.
  • Fixed a vanilla bug which put some largeitems in small slots when doctoring.
  • As usual code cleanups and minorfixes.

Screenshots: [ View ]Download: [ dragonriders.de ]

Jagged Alliance 2 Source via Wildfire

March 16th, 2004 by jvm

According to this press release about the publishing of Jagged Alliance 2: Wildfire, the full source to Jagged Alliance 2 will be included with the game itself. For those of you joining us late, Jagged Alliance 2 is a turn-based tactical stragey game ported to Linux by the ill-fated TribSoft back in March 2001. It has been a top seller at TuxGames since that time. This new game, Wildfire, builds on the JA2 experience.

In this forum thread at Bear’s Pit Forums (a JA fan site), the license on the source is available for your perusal. A quick skim over the provisions makes it clear that you can create and distribute derivative works, provided that you do so for non-commercial purposes and provide Strategy First with unfettered rights to the modifications to include in their own products. However, my reading of this document should not be considered sound legal advice, and I recommend you read it and understand it for yourself.

That’s yet another good source release that can benefit the Linux community. Hooray for enlightened game companies!

Source: Slashdot Games

LGP Announces Majesty

January 2nd, 2002 by Alkini

Linux Game Publishing has announced that their second title is Majesty and its expansion:

Linux Game Publishing is pleased to announce our second title. We have signed acontract with Cyberlore Studios and haveobtained the rights to complete the Linux version of Majesty, and itsexpansion pack `The Northern Expansion`. Please see our PressRelease for details.

Majesty is a fantasy kingdom sim that was being ported by Tribsoft. We haven’t heard from Tribsoft for a while, so I’m not sure if they are currently involved with this LGP product in any way.

Jagged Alliance 2 Review

August 7th, 2001 by Crusader

Staff member Zachary Slater has posted hisreview ofJagged Alliance 2,which was ported to Linux byTribsoft. JA2 is a turn-based tactical combat game; you can order a copy from Tux Games.

Jagged Alliance 2 Review

July 24th, 2001 by Crusader

evil3D.net has posted areview ofJagged Alliance 2, theturn-based tactical game ported to Linux by Tribsoft:

The review touches on installation, getting started, and some of thestrategies involved with JA2. As usual, a few screenshots are thrown in as well.

Jagged Alliance 2 Review

June 5th, 2001 by Crusader

Emanuele let us know thatNextgame.it hasreviewed (Italian)Tribsoft’s Linux port ofSir-tech’s mercenary combat gameJagged Alliance 2 (resellers are listedhere). The requisite screenshots areincluded.

Linux Gaming w/ Wine vs. Full Ports

May 8th, 2001 by Crusader

Gamespy’s James Hills sent in a link to his latest editorial: “Ports vs. Wine“, in which he asks representatives from Transgaming, Tux Games,Loki Software, Tribsoft, and Hyperion Entertainment if advocating better game support for Wine will hurt Linux gaming’s long term market chances.

Personally, I feel that using Wine as a preferred gaming solution, instead of a final alternative, will be counterproductive at best and devastating to porting operations at worst. Also, I take issue with this statement:

Additionally, Loki proved that there is a demand for Linux games with their recent decision to discount several of their titles to $9.99. As of last week, Quake3: Arena for Linux was one of the top five selling games on EBGames and the Website now shows the title as being “backordered.” While this move by Loki and Electronics Boutique proved that people would buy games for Linux, it certainly isn’t economical to sell all their titles that cheaply.

As far as I know, the move to slash prices for Linux titles was entirely EB’s decision, and not Loki’s (as all other reseller prices have remained fairly constant).

Shogo and JA2 @ Everything Linux

March 27th, 2001 by Crusader

Anthony Rumble sent in an e-mailtoday stating thatEverythingLinux.com.au, anonline Australian Linux retailer, is now shipping bothShogo:Mobile Armor Division and JaggedAlliance 2. Both are available for $59.00 (Australian dollars) each.

Jagged Alliance 2 Shipping to Customers

March 1st, 2001 by Crusader

Tribsoft’s Mathieu Pinard pointed out that they’vereceived their first report ofJagged Alliance 2 being received by a customer. Furthermore, Tux Games Michael Simms also wrote in about JA2 and the Shogo: MAD situation:

Tux Games has just received the nextbatch of Shogo, and wehave found the elusive serial number! It is stuck on the back of thebox, but instead of being stuck onto the box itself it is stuck onto theshrink-wrap!

Also in the shipment we received was our first batch of Jagged AllianceII, so we will be shipping these out now as fast as we can!