A Tale In the Desert Launches with Native Linux Client

February 13th, 2003 by jvm

James Hills has sent a press release announcing that A Tale in the Desert, a new massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) from eGenesis, will launch on 15 February 2003 with a native Linux client alongside the Windows client. It is reported to be the first MMORPG to launch with a native client for Linux, and is most certainly the first Linux game to feature hot polygonal chicks in what appears to be ancient Egyptian garb. Like other MMORPGs, ATitD allows you to control a character with stats and an inventory. Unlike the rest, however, there is no combat. Instead you complete tasks (called “tests”), manage a network of businesses, and become reknowned for creating great works. They compare this style to the gamplay of Illuminati and Diplomacy. The game involves a story, which is revealed as you play, and when the story ends, so does the game. The client will be downloadable before the launch of the service on the 15th, and provides a free trial period of 24 hours of online activity or a month of service (whichever comes first). After that time, you’ll have to pony up $13.95 per month to keep playing.

It is worth noting that the game will require a 3D accelerator. I’ve not seen anything yet on how well it works under Linux with the various cards available.

But wait, there’s more! The online service is provided by a cluster of nine commodity PCs running Red Hat 8 and the LGPLed library Cal3D was extended by eGenesis during the creation of ATitD to include tangent space calculations (for environment-mapped bump-mapping). Their new version is called eCal3D. Other Linux tools used for the port were The GIMP, zlib, libpng, and (unsurprisingly) gcc.

For our German readers, we’d also like to point out that there will be a German-language server provided by MDO Games. For more information, head on over to Kemet.

You’re still here? Well, perhaps you’d like some screenshots? How about the FAQ? Or this hot page of downloads?

14 Responses to “A Tale In the Desert Launches with Native Linux Client”

  1. vardamir Says:

    This should be interesting; I’ve been wanting to play an MMORPG for a while, and an MMORPG doesn’t make me sit through hours of mindless battling seems especially good. The one thing that I wonder about it, how long does the game last? Will they start up multiple servers that will eventually be reset once the game “ends”? This could also be good, since I won’t feel obligated to keep playing it forever ;). I just hope the game lasts for a significant amount of time.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Straight to the point: I’ve run this Linux client, and I’ve run the Beta 3 Windows client under WINE

    * For maximum graphics & minimal slowdown in built-up areas, you want a GeForce 4 and nVidia drivers. This looks rather nice, I must say.

    * For a playable game a Radeon 7500 with the out-of-box Linux drivers is OK. It’s not a first person shooter, so slowdowns won’t kill you.

    * Under WINE the game was definitely /running/ on a Matrox with 32MB, but I spent a lot of time cursing it for being so slow. I don’t think the native client will help much.

    So, in summary those with fast modern cards & good drivers will have no problems with this game, those sticking to free drivers can definitely play, but if you have an older card (32MB or less) you should upgrade.

  3. 3kirt Says:

    I’ve never actually played an MMORPG before, and now it looks like i won’t have to taint my hard drive to do it. :)


  4. Anonymous Says:

    That’s hot!

    Is it hotter than an Itanium CPU?

    Well, if those polygonal chicks are rumored to be “heated”, then I suppose someone will volunteer their time and make the free world some new “player skins” to match their “hotness” if you know what I mean…

    Nothing would be as hot as a Linux/Alpha or Linux/PPC client though… I now own a Power4 (pricy, yet hotter than a whore’s heart)

  5. tyreth Says:

    Ermm…redhat 8 for a server? I thought it was desktop Linux?

  6. mrluisp Says:

    Are they available yet? I’ve been looking around, and I’ve only seen the windows ones so far…If you’ve found them, please post a link

  7. mrluisp Says:

    Are they available yet? I’ve been looking around, and I’ve only seen the windows ones so far…If you’ve found them, please post a link

  8. Anonymous Says:

    I don’t want to be a troll, and certainely like linux ports, but is this a little pricey. Maybe I am the only one that can’t justify 168 dollars for one game.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Segfaulted after I choosed video mode.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Sadly the game ain’t in my taste, and I’m against games that requier you to pay for playing (in that case the binaries should be completly free IMHO), but any how, it’s nice to see that there are some who really know to put efford in getting a linux client for the release of a game.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    anyone else having trouble connecting?
    its trying ( udp port 2100 but im getting icmp destination unreachable packets from hosts various hosts in the range
    perl -e ‘for (121..128) {system “host 205.201.58.$_”}’ domain name pointer domain name pointer domain name pointer domain name pointer domain name pointer domain name pointer domain name pointer domain name pointer domain name pointer

    all traceroutes go through ( going to any of these hosts – note standard unix traceroutes (udp based)to the final host are filtered traceroute -I (icmp type 8 based) do.

    looks like these hosts are the cluster of rh boxes they were talking about, but they dont appear to be responding, anyone else getting this issue?

  12. zborgerd Says:

    Works great on my Kyro 2 with all of the details maxed.

    The game is interesting, but I’m not sure that I am really too partial to it. It seems to consist of a lot of slow and boring tasks (at least, initially).

  13. Anonymous Says:

    What’s FAKK 2, chopped liver?

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