The Boston Globe published an article yesterday on the state of gaming on the Linux platform. Quotes from Bob Zimbinski of the Linux Game Tome, Transgaming’s Gavriel State, and Epic’s Mark Rein are included:
Epic vice president Mark Rein said the decision to offer Linux servers forced his hand. “Our feeling is we can’t give them a Linux server and not give them a Linux client,” Rein said. “That wouldn’t be fair.” So Epic created a Linux “client,” a full-fledged version of the game, complete with all the complex and expensive 3D graphics.
No good deed goes unpunished. Rein said that while at least half of all Unreal game servers are running Linux, fewer than 1 percent of the players are using the Linux version of the game. Rein doesn’t seem to mind. “Sometimes you’ve just got to do the right thing,” he said, “even if it doesn’t make you money.”
I expect each and every one of you to cheer now that version 0.62 of Final Frontier Trader has been released. If you’re like me, and don’t recall hearing of this game before, a quick look at the the “about” page reveals that it is a 2D single player space strategy, combat, and trading game. You’re a daring pilot of a starship which is upgradable, as all good starships are nowadays, and you can even join a fleet for experience in missions and combat. As of version 0.59 it began to work in Linux, so you guys get out there and start playing it. What else are you going to do while you’re waiting for Doom ]|[ to arrive on 15 April, eh?
Oh, and the news submitter said that FFT (Final Frontier Trader, not Fast Fourier Transform, you dorks) is currently looking for volunteers to help program, make scenarios, or make art for the game. Furthermore the developers intend to have the beginnings of a scenario system which they hope will not only aid in development of game content, but will also allow users to create their own universes in which they can buy, sell, trade, fight, or explore. If you want to help the project out, please contact TomT64 via the main FFT page. Serious inquiries only, please.
Download page: click me!
Crimson Fields, a tactical war game in the style of Battle Isle, has been updated to release 0.4.0. This version is not backward compatible with 0.3.0 saved games or maps. Updates in this version include the following:
- now requires SDL_ttf
- added support for i18n/l10n (see README)
- added German translation
- added new map ‘Heavy Metal’
- the start window now features a small map display
- changed game window key from g to F1
- partly reverted the single-click changes
- added ‘othermsg’ and ‘othertitle’ properties for score events
- rebalanced some units
Download [ Crimson Fields 0.4.0 ]
The Simple DirectMedia Layer project (sporting a redesigned website incidentally) has released version 1.2.7 of their gaming-oriented multimedia library, which is used in the majority of Linux game development efforts. Changes include:
- Added support for remote XVideo
- Use a higher refresh rate by default on Windows
- Fixed compiling with broken Linux 2.6 headers
- Fixed compiling with ALSA 1.0 and reduced ALSA CPU usage
- Updated libtool and automake support
- Added CPU feature detection functions to SDL_cpuinfo.h
- Fixed illegal instruction crash using 3DNow on Intel processors
- Fixed X11 mode line crash with only one video mode
SDL 1.2.7 Download: [ libsdl.org ]
A new version of Blob Wars: Metal Blob Solid is now available for download over at Parallel Realities. Metal Blob Solid is a 2D mission based platform game in which you undertake the role of a blob named Bob who is trying to rescue as many MIAs as possible. New features in this release include:
- 6 New Missions
- Aqua Lung and Jetpack are now available to find
- New graphics
- A new Continue option for when you die during a mission
- Other new gameplay features such as traps
- Misc bug fixes and enchancements
Download: [ Blob Wars: Metal Blob Solid 0.5 ]
The Torque Engine based game, Legends, has been updated to release version 0.4.1. Changes in this release include the following items:
- Better fog rendering
- Toned down turrets
- A bug in namespace linking and server mission cycling which caused some gametypes to stop working correctly (such as War)
- Shockwaves now render on interiors
- Sensor net properly works. Enemies will only have a friend or foe indicator (red/green triangle) or show up on the mission map only when they are within range of one of your team’s sensors. Sensors are on a few objects that don’t show up on the map such as players and deployable turrets, but radii are so small that it’s not worth cluttering the map up with drawing their radii.
- Disc Launcher should no longer feel “unresponsive”.
To play first downloadLegends 0.4.0 and then update from your Legends install directory. The command to update is:
‘rsync -CarvvSP –block-size=1024 –progress –stats rsync://legends.tribes2.za.net/linlegends .’
Our favorite multiple arcade machine emulator, Xmame, has been updated to version 0.79.1. Changes in this release include:
- Everything from MAME 0.79 (changes) and MESS 0.79 (changes).
- Added a missing osd_die() definition. Without this, OpenVMS was reporting a compile error.
- More changes to support OpenVMS. (Robert Alan Byer)
- Updated the ALSA DSP module to use the ALSA 1.0 API. (Shyouzou Sugitani)
- Paths now allow a literal “$” if it’s preceded by “”. (André Majorel)
- The JOY_SDL option should now actually work with non-SDL targets. (Gorka Olaizola)
- Fixed a segfault that occurred when “-debug” was used with a rotated game.
- The debugger window should no longer be blank for 32bpp games.
- Fixed a bug in fix-comments.c that was causing it to mangle src/drivers/vendetta.c.
- When XINPUT is defined in the makefile but no XInput devices are configured, the mouse is treated as a trackball. (Gerd Sussner)
- Added SYSCONFDIR to the makefile to specify a path for systemwide configuration files. (Nicos Panayides)
- Hacked support for CHD files into the mame-cd script in the contrib tools directory. Also fixed a few small bugs.
- The Xv YUV code should now work on big-endian platforms. (Maciej J. Woloszyk)
- Removed “neomame” and “cpsmame” as targets from the makefile since the core no longer supports them.
- The trigger for the ACT LABS TV light gun now works; reloading now requires only one offscreen shot instead of two. (Joe)
Download [ Xmame 0.79.1 ]
A Technical Demo of UFO: Alien Invasion has been release for the general public. This game is a heavily modified Quake2 engine based game that has been changed into a turn-based strategy game where you combat against alien forces attempting to take over the Earth. I highly recommend that you check out some of the screenshots.
Download [ UFO: Alien Invasion Technical Demo ]
High praise this week from Cybrid this week as he reviews GLTron, a game with roots from the classic movie: Tron. As usual, we are looking for suggestions from you for our next review.
Transgaming is proud to announce the release of WineX version 3.3. Changes in this release contains the following:
- Steam, including the latest versions of Half-Life, CounterStrike, Day of Defeat and other mods, is now supported.
- Dark Age of Camelot is now supported.
- Drastically improved font support.
- Fog coordinates have been implemented to provide fog in games such as EverQuest.
- Improved copyprotection for a number of non functioning SafeDisc titles in win2k mode.
- XRandR back end is available for fullscreen games.
- Initial DirectMusic implementation.
- DirectInput improvements for a number of games which use custom data formats.
- New joystick configuration options to make them usable with games such as GTA3.
- A number of bug fixes, compatibility fixes and small speed improvements.
You can view the full release notes, which contain new configuation file options, for more details.
That tirelessly coding fairy godmother of the Linux gaming community, Ryan “icculus” Gordon, has posted news that a 64-bit native version of the UT2004 demo (see our previous post) for AMD‘s AMD64 line of processors is now available. This package includes both the client and the dedciated server.
Ryan cautions people to consider several factors when evaluating the AMD64 build. The compilers/drivers on this architecture aren’t nearly as mature as you might be used to on a 32-bit system, so don’t be too critical about performance just yet. If you don’t have an Opteron, Athlon64, or Athlon FX processor then this build is useless to you. If you don’t have a 64-bit operating system, then this build is useless to you. And, finally, there are reports of system lockups and reboots when running this binary: you have been warned. In short, you probably shouldn’t be running this on your company’s mission-critical webserver.
Gentoo users should be able to sync up and then “emerge ut2004-demo” to get the appropriate version of the demo. The spread via Gentoo mirrors will benefit non-Gentoovians as they can just hit a mirror site and look for “/distfiles/ut2004-lnx64-demo-3120.run.bz2″.
A new version of Battle for Wesnoth has been released for fans of fantasy turn-based strategy games. Changes include:
- AI has been trained new skills
- random map generator works better
- “orcs” are faster on hills and mountain
- dwarves are less slow on forest
- elves are less slow on mountains
- undeads can now enter mountains and move a bit faster on swam