LINUXGAMES

Neverwinter Nights 1.69 Patch Released

July 10th, 2008 by micks

The latest (and, after six years of support, probably also the final) patch for Neverwinter Nights has been released yesterday by Bioware. The 1.69 patch brings an impressive amount of changes, bug fixes and new content, the full list of which can be viewed here. It is probably worth noting that in order to be able to play online, you and your favourite server need to have the same patch version installed.
The official 1.69 patch faq also mention the fact that this continued support was only made possible due to the success of the NWN premium modules available from Bioware’s online store:

Without the revenue generated by the premium modules, we would have stopped patch support for NWN a while ago. Due to the success of the premium modules, we were able to still release patches for a four year old game like NWN. All the new content released in the 1.69 update was content that was made for one or more of the Premium Modules and is now available to our entire NWN community.

In slightly unrelated news, Bioware’s next fantasy RPG, Dragon Age, is now subtitled “Origins” and the first trailer is about to air on Friday. Bioware has neither confirmed nor ruled out the possibility of a Linux (and/or MacOS) port yet.

Download: [ Neverwinter Nights 1.69 Patch ]

Upcoming Indie Games: Chronometer and Lux Tenebras

July 9th, 2008 by micks

Two of Linux gamers’ favourite indie developers, Introversion Software and Frictional Games, have recently published first snippets of information on their future game projects.

Chris Delay, the creative force behind past Introversion titles Uplink, Darwinia and Defcon, as well as Darwinia’s upcoming multiplayer sequel, Multiwinia: Survival of the Flattest, shared some details about Chronometer over at Introversion’s blog. The game has been in early phases of development for three months now and is co-funded by the UK broadcaster, Channel 4:

It’s one of our more recent ideas, and was first written down during Defcon’s beta phase. I specifically remember the moment I explained it to Mark – in a KFC in London of all places, and he just stopped and stared at me while I was speaking. He genuinely couldn’t continue eating. By the time I’d finished I went back to my food and Mark just sat there silent for a few minutes before uttering “fuck me”, slowly shaking his head in disbelief. [...] Ultimately we don’t know for certain if Chronometer will be going into full production – the conditions would have to be right for Introversion and for Channel 4, although they’ve been fantastic to work with during pre-production.

Introversion hired a new writer, Chris Hastings, to work on the game. With Multiwinia (coming mid 2008) and Subversion (coming 2009) still in the works, the UK-based company is now apparently working on three titles simultaneously.

In the meantime, Frictional Games, an independent game company based in Sweden, while still at work on Penumbra: Requiem (an expansion pack to their horror adventure game Penumbra: Black Plague, coming August 2008), had this to say about their next project, given the working title of Lux Tenebras:

It is for sure a typical Frictional Game – creative, moody and filled with new and bright ideas. It runs on a new inhouse developed game engine, it has been granted a 300,000 DKK from the Nordic Game Program and it is slated for maybe a 2009 release.

Those with fondness for substitution ciphers are recommended to head over to the Lux Tenebras website.

Also released was Unbirth, an early project by one of Frictional Games’ co-founders, Thomas Grip. The project never got past alpha stage, as it was deemed too unstable to run even on its native Windows platform, and was abandoned back in 2003. Daring young men and women with Windows compatibility layers might nevertheless want to give it a shot.

Word War vi 0.18

July 9th, 2008 by Crusader

Word War vi, a Defender-style retro shooter inspired by the vi text editor, is at version 0.18 with new difficulty levels.

Video: [ View ] Download: [ sourceforge.net ]

Planeshift 0.4.01

July 9th, 2008 by Crusader

The Crystal Space-based MMORPG Planeshift has had an update (thanks linux-Gamers.net). The full changelog can be found here, which includes new fire-related features.

Screenshots: [ View ] Download: [ planeshift.it ]

Sandbox Beta 2.2.0

July 9th, 2008 by Crusader

Platinum Arts released a new beta of Sandbox, their educational game design tool:

  • New Maps – Save The Princess (3D Platformer with speed boost power ups!), Forest
  • New Quests – Apple Picking on Village, and rescuing the princess on Save The Princess
  • New Cloud Options – Now clouds can be added that scroll above the landscape! Height can even be adjusted. Also the Skybox can rotate making the clouds appear to move.
  • New easy to use Sandbox launcher thanks to James “ZKAT8IT” Burns, check his site!
  • New Characters can be added – Now characters and animals such as bears can be added!
  • Numerous menu changes and enhancements – Menus have been tweaked to improve ease of use and they can also be customized for color, font, etc.
  • Basic Multilingual Support – WE NEED TRANSLATORS!! Please see here for more information!
  • Available now in English, Dutch (thanks Ben ‘gamshobny’ Tilma!), and Swedish (thanks Lucas Orsvärn!).
  • Editing made even easier!! Can change flying speed by using + and – keys!
  • Many Graphical Enhancements – Many map updates, nicer looking waterfalls, rain, scrolling clouds, some redone textures, etc.
  • Numerous bug fixes and features added “under the hood”.
  • Improved Jukebox and Musicpack implementation
  • New Music and a lilypad model!

Sandbox Beta 2.2

Download: [ platinumarts.net ]

Savage 2 v1.5.1

July 8th, 2008 by Nemoder

Thanks to Nemoder for this heads up:

S2Games has released a new update for Savage 2: A Tortured Soul. This update includes many fixes for bugs and crashes as well as balance tweaks for the new Hunter and Maliken units. The full changelog is here.

They have also announced the game will be completely free for anyone to play for a full week starting July 21st.

Eschalon: Book II Interview at RPGWatch

July 7th, 2008 by micks

RPGWatch posted a new interview with Thomas Riegsecker, Basilisk Games‘ lead developer and designer responsible for the indie RPG hit Eschalon: Book I. The interview focuses mainly on the recently announced sequel, Eschalon: Book II, currently in development for Linux, Windows and Mac computers.
Compared to its predecessor, Eschalon: Book II should contain 60 new or enhanced features and is slated for release in 2009.

RPGWatch: One of the bullet-points in the announcement that caught my eye was the “cause and effect outcomes” you mention for many quests. What exactly does this mean and does it differ from how you approached Book I? I’m hoping this means more opportunities to make choices in how to resolve quests or how the result changes the direction of events – am I reading this right?

Thomas Riegsecker: You are correct. In Book II we’ll have more quests that branch based on player choices, and the effects of these choices will be more apparent. For example, helping one person may affect your standing with someone else, or completing certain quests may impact the game world in unforeseen ways. Overall, we just want to give the player a greater sense that their actions have real consequences.

Eschalon: Book II pre-alpha build running on Ubuntu

Screenshots: [ View ]

Vendetta Online adds VoIP

July 7th, 2008 by Crusader

Guild Software let us know that they’ve added new functionality to their space combat MMORPG Vendetta Online:

Although the feature has been in testing for a few weeks, today we’re announcing “production-ready” voice chat support, integrated directly into all four of our game clients: Windows, MacOS X, Linux/32 and Linux/64. We believe this may make us the first MMO to offer integrated voice chat across such a broad base of platforms.

The news page elaborates further:

The feedback from you guys, our userbase, has been tremendous, and the new feature seems to be a popular one. There’s also been quite a lot of attention given to suggestions for new ways in which we can utilize voice chat within the game, such as voice-based “hailing” of other ships, and different ways to augment and improve large-scale battle interaction and command hierarchies. Guild-specific features will probably be next, although we’re kicking around a few possibilities as we continue to learn about this new system.

Vendetta Online has a free trial period, after which there is a monthly subscription fee.

Vendetta Online

Screenshots: [ View ] Download: [ Trial client ]

XreaL

July 7th, 2008 by Crusader

Planet Quake pointed out the XreaL project, which aims to develop a modern first-person shooter suite (including a Radiant editor) based on the GPL’ed Quake III: Arena codebase, with features such as hardware occlusion culling of light volumes, skeletal character animation, and variance shadow mapping. You can read more about the effort at their wiki (they’re also looking for artists); pre-alpha binaries are also available.

Linux-Gamers Live Review

July 3rd, 2008 by Crusader

Linux.com has posted a review of the Linux-Gamers Live DVD distribution:

There are no productivity tools, Web browsers, or package managers here; this disc is all play and no work. Because it’s a live DVD, no hard drive is required to run the games. Once you burn the downloaded image to a DVD, you have a portable arcade that will run on any x86 system with 512MB or more of RAM. A 3-D accelerated video card is also required for most of the games.

Virgin America Open Game Contest?

July 3rd, 2008 by Crusader

In an interview with Boing Boing, Virgin America’s Charles Ogilvie mentions that the airline is organizing an open source game competition for their Linux-based in-flight entertainment system. I’ve tried to find more details on the contest without much luck so far; if anyone knows any additional info, please let us know!

Enemy Territory Map Sources; QW Stuff

July 1st, 2008 by Crusader

glc Video Capture

July 1st, 2008 by Crusader

Free Gamer pointed out glc, a utility that can capture video and sound from OpenGL games. Features include:

  • The complete source code is available and licenced under zlib-style licence.
  • Thread-based architechture takes full advantage of multicore-CPUs.
  • Support for multiple simultaneous audio and video streams.
  • Reads frames asynchronously from GPU using GL_ARB_pixel_buffer_object extension.
  • Does enforce fps cap only in the captured stream.
  • If the application can play audio using ALSA, glc can record it regardless of sound card’s capabilities.
  • Support for recording voice to a separate audio stream.
  • Stores color correction information and applies it at playback.
  • Minimal application overhead (eg. slow HDD does not slow program down).
  • Fast arbitrary ratio video scaling with bilinear filtering.
  • Does colorspace conversion to Y’CbCr 420jpeg which cuts stream size in half.
  • Compresses stream with lightweight LZO or QuickLZ compression which saves additional 40%-60%.

It’s great to see a robust capture utility available for Linux!

Download: [ ath.cx ]

Jack Keane Arriving for Linux Soon

July 1st, 2008 by thomassteiding

RuneSoft announced the following concerning their port of the adventure game Jack Keane:

Jack Keane cover

After the completion of the Apple Macintosh version of “Jack Keane”, the young British man is now ready to start his adventures on the Linux platform as well. The Linux version is currently in Beta testing and should start shipping this summer.

About Jack Keane

Colonial England. Under a certain amount of… duress… Jack takes on a job which will not only cause him a great deal of trouble, but also bring to light the answer to a mystery out of his distant past. A lack of money leads Jack to accept a charter to take a British secret agent to mysterious “Tooth Island”. When Jack’s ship shatters on the mysterious island’s cliffs on arrival and the secret agent quickly becomes a meal for a monster in the jungle, Jack is soon left to cope with the situation on his own.

“Tooth Island” is ruled by the strange Doctor T, who is cultivating man-eating plants and has his own dastardly plans for the British Empire. And why does he seem to know Jack, who can’t remember ever having been on Tooth Island? What are Doctor T’s plans? And what does he know about Jack’s past?

And then there’s the young and naive Amanda, who is filled by an almost fanatical drive to prove her worth. In the beginning the young lady is employed by Doctor T, and part of her task is to track Jack down and take him prisoner. It doesn’t take long before she begins to wonder if she is really on the right side, or if she shouldn’t join her opponent, the charming Captain Jack, instead.

A hair-raising hunt across the length and breadth of the dangerous island finally airs the mystery surrounding Jack’s past and leads to a spectacular showdown with a dark and deadly enemy and his nefarious henchmen.

Key Features

  • The Funniest adventure game in the footsteps of Monkey Island
  • Enthralling story including many allusions to famous movies, videos and computer games
  • More than 40 funny characters
  • An abundance of cinematic movies and cut-scenes
  • Countless locations stuffed with interactions
  • Suited for both beginners and, due to increasing difficulty levels, advance players
  • Two playable characters: The very ironic, slightly clumsy daredevil Jack Keane, plus the attractive and adventuresome lady, Amanda
  • 3-D levels presented in a classic adventure atmosphere
  • Plenty of diverse locations such as London, the high seas, Cape Town and the Indian jungle
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