LINUXGAMES

Doomsday Engine 1.8.3

October 31st, 2004 by Crusader

Version 1.8.3 of the DOOM-engine source portDoomsday has been released (thanksDoomworld). Changes include therequisite bugfixes and additions made for the jDoom Resource Pack;the feature list can be found here.

Doomsday Engine 1.8.3 Download: [ doomsdayhq.com ]

NWN Store Interviews

October 31st, 2004 by Crusader

Both HomeLAN Fed and Neverwinter Vault have posted interviewswith BioWare’s Jay Watamaniuk,Rob Bartel, and Diarmid Clarke about theirBioWare Store, which will offer Neverwinter Nights modules for onlinepurchase starting November 10th:

Moreover, in this forumthread, Derek French confirms the modules will be available for Linuxusers:

Yes, since there is an .exe version for Windows and a .zip version that workson Windows, Mac, and Linux.

True Combat: Elite Test Release

October 31st, 2004 by Crusader

The True Combat: Elite team has made a test release available of their Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory tactical shooter-themed mod. As ET was a free game, TC:E is also completely free of charge for anyone to download and play (i.e., the retail version of Return to Castle Wolfenstein is not required). You will need ET installed to play however; you can grab the current version here. This test contains two maps; Beta 1 will be released in the near future with additional content.

True Combat: Elite Test Download: [ truecombat.com ]

If you’re looking for TC:E servers, the developers posted this advice in their forums:

XQF — http://www.linuxgames.com/xqf/ is the recommended browser for Linux peeps.

To setup the browser for filtering tcetest go to “Server Filters” -> “Configure”. Add a new filter, set the field “the game contains the string” to be tcetest and then select OK to save the filter. Select the tilter from the menu, then click the toolbar button to filter servers.

Linux X-Plane Incoming

October 31st, 2004 by Crusader

A lot of people have been waiting years for this news: a beta version 8.0 of X-Plane for Linux will be available “soon”; X-Plane is widely regarded as one of the most advanced and versatile flight simulators available (a sister project, Space Combat, has been available for Linux for some time).

You can read more about X-Plane’s features here; moreover, a set of X-Plane utilities (Airfoil-Maker, Plane-Maker, and Weather-Briefer) are ready for downloading now.

X-Plane 8.0 Utils Download: [ BitTorrent ]

Mupen64 Interview

October 31st, 2004 by Crusader

HC Andersson let us know that our fellow Telefragged-hosted site LinuxEmu has interviewed Hacktarux, the developer of the Nintendo64 emulator Mupen64:

LinuxEmu: What features of Mupen64 are you most proud of besides the fact that it is a great N64-emulator?

Hacktarux: Its portability of course. It’s quite hard to achieve this, especially when you only have one computer to do your tests. For example, the N64 is a big endian machine and a x86 is as you know little endian. In order to optimize emulation on my little endian machine, I had to do many optimizations that don’t work on a big endian machine, and it was quite hard to help porting to MacOS X without being able to test.

Linux DOOM 3 and ATI Cards

October 28th, 2004 by Crusader

Although id Software’s Linux DOOM 3 page mentions that the game will not run correctly with ATI’s Linux driver, a reader sent in word that he was able to get the game running using the latest versions of the Direct Rendering Interface, Mesa, and X.org. He mentions that there are still some glitches (such as the flashlight), and it’s slower than a NVIDIA card on the same machine, but it is playable.

As mentioned in the Linux DOOM 3 FAQ, please don’t send in bug reports about issues with ATI cards to id, as they’re already aware of the problems and are awaiting an updated driver release from ATI.

Edit – Thursday Oct 28 14:21:07 2004 – As a reader pointed out in the comments below, this method will only work for ATI Radeon 9200′s and below; R300-class cards and above are unsupported by DRI at this time.

Edit – Thursday Oct 28 17:03:15 2004 – Despite the DRI ATI Wiki page stating that cards above 9200 are unsupported, a reader has reported getting DOOM 3 running on a 9700 card, so YMMV. Feel free to report successes/failures in the comments (with caveats/issues if possible).

Vendetta Online Backstory; Screenshots

October 28th, 2004 by Crusader

The Vendetta Online site has been updated with the game’s illustrated backstory, which tells of the events leading up to the year 4432, in which the game is set.

Moreover, Guild Software’s John Bergman sent in screenshots from their latest development build, which showcase the game’s environments and combat:

Bergman also noted that they’re on track for a launch next Monday; you can still pre-order the massive multiplayer space combat title from Gamestop.

Bridge Construction Set Review

October 28th, 2004 by Crusader

GamesInfo.net has posted a review of Chronic Logic’s Bridge Construction Set, a (surprise!) bridge construction simulator (screenshots). The review discusses the game’s learning curve, physics, and player community.

DOOM 3: Last Man Standing Interview

October 27th, 2004 by Crusader

The Last Man Standing team sent in notice that FPS Central conducted an interview with one of their developers about the cooperative multiplayer mod for DOOM 3. The gameplay concept, maps, and music are among the topics discussed.

BioWare Store

October 26th, 2004 by Crusader

BioWare has announced the launch of their online store, which will offer new Neverwinter Nights modules (this has been hinted at previously); thanks to Neverwinter Vault for the heads up:

EDMONTON, Alberta, Canada, October 26, 2004 – BioWare Corp. today announced the launch of the BioWare Online Store, an internet-based marketplace located at http://store.bioware.com. The store will offer premium Neverwinter Nights™ game content. Neverwinter Nights has sold more than 2 million units worldwide and received numerous RPG of the Year and Game of the Year awards. The modules will be developed by BioWare staff, as well as by prominent members of the Neverwinter Nights fan community, and will be produced by BioWare and Atari, utilizing the Dungeons & Dragons® property under license from Hasbro and its subsidiary, Wizards of the Coast.

The premium modules will host a wide variety of features, including engrossing storylines, professional voice-over and musical scores, brand new in-game content, and much more. Many features have been chosen according to fan feedback, further signifying BioWare and Atari’s commitment to the Neverwinter Nights franchise and its loyal and dedicated fanbase.

Three Neverwinter Nights modules will initially be available through the BioWare Online Store when it opens for business on November 10, 2004, with a plan in place to regularly produce and release additional content in the future. The three modules available at launch are:

Neverwinter Nights: Kingmaker (Developed by BioWare designers Cori May and Dan Whiteside):Embark on a journey that transcends the bounds of life and death with a loyal band of companions at your side. Evil lurks in a war-torn keep, and the souls of trusted companions must be sacrificed to unearth it. To uncover the truth, you must win the throne.

Neverwinter Nights: ShadowGuard (Developed by Ben “Altaris” McJunkin, developer of “Lone Wolf” series of Neverwinter Nights fan modules):Your astonishing work at the Imperial Academy has drawn the attention of the Shadowguard, an elite group of secretive Imperial agents that know no failure. Your veil of comfort will soon be torn away and you will be left to solve the mystery of what lies ahead.

Neverwinter Nights: Witch’s Wake 1 (Developed by BioWare designer Rob Bartel):Recently remastered to bring it up-to-date with the latest new content, this new edition of the classic Hall of Fame module lays the official groundwork for the series. In the module’s opening scene, you awake on a raging battlefield to bear witness to your prince’s dying words: “Tell the king that she is dead.” Those seven fateful words mark the start of a journey that will propel you from the edge of a dying world into its very heart.

“BioWare is already hard at work creating the next wave of premium Neverwinter Nights modules, including the continuation of the hit Witch’s Wake series with Witch’s Wake 2: The Witch Hunters,” said Dr. Greg Zeschuk, Joint CEO of BioWare Corp. “We continue to work closely with contributors from the flourishing Neverwinter Nights fan community to create innovative products for release through the BioWare Store.”

“We really want to let our tremendous fan community know that we are committed to supporting them and listening to their needs!” added Dr. Ray Muzyka, Joint CEO of BioWare Corp. “Fans want to see more official content for Neverwinter Nights, and we are delivering just that. We’ll offer great new modules from BioWare designers, as well as prominent fan community figures, with all of the content produced and approved by BioWare.”

Gamespot interviewed BioWare’s Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk about the launch:

GS: Price point is a tricky subject. What are the price points of the mods and how were the prices decided upon?

RM: We’ve done a lot of research on this topic with our great marketing department, and we tried to choose a price point that seemed to be reasonable for the kinds of content we were selling online.

Our aim is to keep the cost of these modules reasonable–we’re going to strive to ensure that the content is always priced so our fans will feel they’re getting good value for their money. The initial batch of modules we’ve developed range from $4.99 to $7.99, and will be available for purchase through the BioWare Store at store.bioware.com.

Clemson Open Game Hack; UT2004 SDK on Linux

October 26th, 2004 by Crusader

This announcement came in today:

The Clemson Linux User Group is sponsoring a project to create an open source mod for Unreal Tournament 2004. The gameplay for this mod will focus on racing and combat with the flying vehicles in the game, especially the hovering Manta. The game and the code are not available yet, we plan to kickstart development with a collaborative programming event in Clemson University’s Hardin Hall auditorium on November 6 called the Clemson Open Game Hack. Also, one of our members has set up a UT2K4 Linux SDK, a collection of scripts to make development on Linux easier. You can read about it on the Beyond Unreal Wiki Entry.

Wine 20041019; Unofficial Transgaming Wiki

October 26th, 2004 by Crusader

Version 20041019 of Wine was released last week (thanks linuX-gamers.net). Changes include:

  • Beginnings of an architecture for Direct3D 9 support.
  • Many debugger regressions fixed.
  • Improvements to the IDL compiler and the COM headers.
  • New MSCMS dll (color management support).
  • Lots of bug fixes.

Wine 20041019 Download: [ winehq.org ]

Also, a reader pointed out an unofficial TransGaming Wiki at http://digital-conquest.ath.cx/wiki/index.php/Main_Page.

Linux 3D Wiki

October 26th, 2004 by Crusader

Michael Ramke sent in word that he’s launched a Linux 3D Wiki, where users can publish benchmarks and docmentation regarding the utilization and optimization of 3D graphics cards on Linux. The site began as an ATI HOWTO, but is expanding its scope to the entire gamut of card vendors; English and German sections are offered.

DOOM 3 Expansion Pack Announced

October 25th, 2004 by Crusader

id Software and Activision issued a press release today to announce an expansion pack for DOOM 3 (thanks Shacknews):

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Oct. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — id Software(TM) and Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI – News) will unleash an all-new assault on humanity with DOOM 3: Resurrection of Evil(TM), the official expansion pack to the fastest selling PC first- person action game ever in the U.S., according to NPD Techworld. Co-developed by Nerve Software and id Software, DOOM 3: Resurrection of Evil continues the terrifying and intense action of the already classic DOOM 3, which Maxim and Computer Gaming World awarded “five out of five stars” and the Associated Press called “one of the scariest games ever made.” Through the discovery of a timeless and evil artifact you now hold the powers of Hell in your hands, and the demons have come to hunt you down and take it back. Following the events of DOOM 3 and featuring new locations, characters and weapons, including the return of the double-barreled shotgun, DOOM 3: Resurrection of Evil expands the terrifying action that fans and critics have been raving about. The title will require the full retail version of DOOM 3, and has not yet been rated by the ESRB.

“DOOM 3 defines first-person cinematic action, and the expansion pack continues right where we left off — with a terrifying atmosphere, a new story and one of the most classic weapons ever, the double-barreled shotgun,” states Todd Hollenshead, CEO, id Software. “Now that fans have survived the horrors and edge of your seat action of the original, DOOM 3: Resurrection of Evil delivers players deeper into the heart of the UAC to uncover new secrets and technology used to destroy the demon force that’s Hell-bent on destroying you.”

Building on the most advanced game engine ever created, DOOM 3: Resurrection of Evil continues the frightening and gripping single player experience of the blockbuster original. The title also features even more multiplayer action with support for up to eight players in all new maps.

Nerve Software developed the multiplayer component of Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Odds are the expansion will be released sometime late next year.

Attal 0.9.1

October 25th, 2004 by Crusader

Version 0.9.1 of Attal (screenshots), a fantasy-themed turn-based strategy game, is now available. Changes:

  • New calendar management
  • Fast connection (client start server and connect to it)
  • (Auto) fill scenarii with ai
  • New display of inside base
  • Update documentation
  • Add pixmaps for Mercenary base (medieval theme)
  • Flag management for bases
  • Bug fixing

Attal 0.9.1 Download: [ sourceforge.net ]

Unofficial DOOM 3 SDK Linux Patch; LMS Request for Help

October 25th, 2004 by Crusader

ashridah let us know that he’s posted a patch to be applied against the DOOM 3 game source codecontained in the Win32 SDK, whichmod teams can utilize to ensure their code compiles and runs on Linux untilthe official Linux SDK is released. A makefile is included; the patch alsofixes case issues with file references in the source.

Unofficial DOOM 3 SDK Linux Patch Download: [ icculus.org]

Also, the Last Man Standing mod teamsent in word that they’re looking for more coders and mappers; if interested,e-mail calimer or make a post in theirforum.

A Tale in the Desert Interview; Controversy

October 25th, 2004 by Crusader

GamersInfo.net has posted an interview with Andrew Tepper, lead designer for the MMORPG A Tale in the Desert, about the first month of the game’s Second Telling. New tests and technologies available for players are discussed; new interviews will be conducted each month to determine how the game is progressing.

Slashdot mentioned an incident from earlier this month in the game where a trader harassed female players at a GM-run event. Grimwell Online posted an essay by a player frustrated with the incident; more detail can also be found at the ATITD.net Wiki entry.

Tepper posted a comment on Slashdot to explain the character’s behavior:

To a new player, ATITD can seem like a game about building “stuff.” You build your camp, your compound, your character. If you play a long time, or play smart, you can excel in all of that. But the real challenge is that it’s a game about building a perfect society, and that is *hard*. It’s hard in RL, and if I’m doing my job correctly it should be hard in the game.

Along comes a foreign trader, with shiny new goods, and an attitude that’s totaly offensive, totally out of line with the culture that has developed in our Ancient Egypt. Would you trade with him? Would you put aside your morals, if it meant you’d get an advantage that many people don’t have? In real-life, would you patronize a store that had a “no jews allowed” policy? What if they had *really* good prices? Would you do it and hope nobody saw? Maybe feel guilty?

The best books, movies, television – can provoke a range of emotions. I like books that make me feel happy, enraged, triumphant, guilty, enlightened, sad. I want to have all of those emotions available in an MMO, and emotions occur in players, not characters.

So, to create emotions you have to do things to characters that the people behind them will react to. The only question is how hard is it ok to push? So hard that the person kills themself? Of course not. Did this event push too hard? Certainly for some people it did.

I’ll continue to make it hard to build this perfect society. If that means we trade subscriber counts for a more memorable, challenging experience, I’m confortable with that. After all, if I were optimizing for subscriber counts, I’d have done a combat based game. Hell, if I were optimizing for money, I’d have been a lawyer!

I can see the point that it’s difficult to challenge players in a community-oriented game without disrupting said community, but I can also sympathize with those players who were offended by this specific event. Feel free to discuss your feelings on the matter in the comments below.

A Tale in the Desert is free for 20 hours of culmulative play; after which there’s a subscription fee.

Finally, the British newspaper The Guardian posted a brief review of ATITD last month.

Vavoom 1.15.3

October 24th, 2004 by Crusader

Version 1.15.3 of the DOOM engine source port Vavoom has been released. Bugfixes and improved support for Strife are included; you can read about Vavoom’s specific features here.

Vavoom 1.15.3 Source Download: vavoom-engine.com

Linux 2.6.9 and NVIDIA

October 24th, 2004 by Crusader

Speaking of kernels and video cards: version 2.6.9 of the Linux kernel has been released; the gargantuan changelog can be found here.

A caveat noteworthy for gamers: a memory management patch to the kernel introduced in 2.6.9 breaks the NVIDIA kernel driver for their graphics cards. NVIDIA hasn’t released a patch yet, but ngc891 has released one of his own on his weblog. Gentoo’s nvidia-kernel packages already have this patch applied.

ngc891′s unofficial NVIDIA 1.0-6111-jp1 Driver Patch: [ blogdns.net ]

Linux 2.6.9 Download: [ kernel.org ]

Edit – Monday Oct 25 00:30:50 2004 – floam pointed out that Con Kolivas has released a patch to fix the kswapd issues users have been seeing with 2.6.9:

+vm-pages_scanned-active_list.patchA nasty bug that caused kswapd to get stuck consuming heaps of cpu whichwas in mainline 2.6.9 was tracked down by some of my users (thanks!) andfixed by Nick Piggin (thanks!).

ck2 2.6.9 kswapd Patch Download: [ kolivas.org ]

Free Software Friendly Graphics Card

October 23rd, 2004 by Crusader

Tech Source’s Timothy Miller wrote into the Linux Kernel Mailing Listearlier this week topitch his idea for a graphicscard specifically for open source systems:

This means full disclosure on all register interfaces so that no one has todeal with anything closed source (BIOS included). The goal here is to producea graphics card which is a Free Software geek’s dream in terms of openness. IfTech Source (me being its avatar) can develop a relationship with the Linux(and BSD) community, users and developers can get a product that they wantwithout being locked out by hardware vendors that feel they have to protectevery last little bit of IP relating to their products. The EXPRESS PURPOSE ofthis product is to be free-software-friendly.


The reason this idea came up is because I, as a user of Linux, am oftenfrustrated by the lack of open-source support for graphics cards which are not”pre-owned”. Sure, SOME companies release specs so that we can develop opensource drivers, but those cards tend to be prohibitively expensive, slowerthan their cheaper counterparts from ATI or nVidia, and they STILL don’tdocument the internals of the BIOS so that the card can be ported to a non-x86system. Furthermore, since all these vendors focus exclusively on Windows,they don’t give much help to open source developers who may produce driverswhich work but which are sub-optimal in performance or stability. (Here, Ihave to make the obligatory CYA statement that there is nothing wrong withtheir business models — it’s just unfortunate for Linux users.)


So, here are some questions to answer:

(1) Would the sales volumes of this product be enough to make it worthproducing (ie. profitable)?
(2) How much would you be willing to pay for it?
(3) How do you feel about the choice of neglecting 3D performance as apriority? How important is 3D performance? In what cases is it not?
(4) How much extra would you be willing to pay for excellent 3Dperformance?
(5) What’s most important to you, performance, price, orstability?

Thanks to Slashdotfor the heads up.

So, the topic for discussion is: if such a card were developed, would you beinterested in using it for gaming (even if the performance was below par) overthe closed-source cards from the larger vendors?

There’s been additional discussion on the LKML regarding this proposal; the thread can be found here.

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