The latest and great development version of Wine has been released. This version has the following new items available in this release:
- Support for freedesktop file associations.
- Support for exception handling on 64-bit.
- Improved ARB shaders.
- Fixes for the FBO mode.
- Many listview improvements.
- Various bug fixes.
Download: [ Wine 1.1.24 ]
One of Linux gaming’s oldest and most stalwart commercial supporters, id Software, was just purchased by ZeniMax Media, who already own Bethesda Softworks. I guess it’s not too surprising to see consolidation in this market, but it is a little sad to see id lose a bit of its independence. Anyhow, here’s the PR blurb:
June 24, 2009 (Rockville, MD) – ZeniMax Media Inc., parent company of noted game publisher Bethesda Softworks, today announced it has completed the acquisition of legendary game studio, id Software, creators of world-renowned games such as DOOM, QUAKE, Wolfenstein, and its upcoming title, RAGE. The acquisition by ZeniMax Media joins together two of the finest, most respected videogame developers in the world, combining the first person shooter (FPS) expertise of id Software with acclaimed role playing game (RPG) developer Bethesda Game Studios – creators of the 2008 Game of the Year, Fallout 3, and the 2006 Game of the Year, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Bethesda Softworks will publish the titles of id Software other than upcoming releases previously committed to other publishers.
Founded in 1991, id Software established itself as an industry leader with some of the best-selling and most critically acclaimed video games of all time. id Software created the original first-person shooter, Wolfenstein 3D, and subsequently set new standards in the genre with the blockbuster releases of its DOOM and QUAKE titles. In addition, id Software developed cutting edge, proprietary technology with the id Tech engine which powers many notable FPS titles, and continues to make great advances in game technology under the direction of John Carmack, one of the country’s technology leaders and a member of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS) Hall of Fame.
Todd Hollenshead, CEO of id Software, commented on the transaction: “This was a unique opportunity to team with a smart, sophisticated publisher like Bethesda Softworks where the interests of the studio and the publisher will be fully aligned in the development and marketing of our titles. In addition, we will now have financial and business resources to support the future growth of id Software, a huge advantage which will result in more and even better games for our fans.”
id Software will continue to operate as a studio under the direction of its founder, John Carmack. No changes will be made in the operations of id Software in the development of its games. All the principals at id Software have signed long-term employment contracts, assuring they will continue in their roles developing games at the studio.
“This puts id Software in a wonderful position going forward,” said John Carmack, who will continue to serve in his current role as Technical Director. “We will now be able to grow and extend all of our franchises under one roof, leveraging our capabilities across multiple teams while enabling forward looking research to be done in the service of all of them. We will be bigger and stronger, as we recruit the best talent to help us build the landmark games of the future. As trite as it may be for me to say that I am extremely pleased and excited about this deal, I am.”
Robert Altman, the founder, Chairman & CEO of ZeniMax Media stated, “We, along with many others, consider id Software to be among the finest game studios in the world, with extraordinary design, artistic and technical capabilities. They have demonstrated, repeatedly, that rare ability to create franchise properties that are critical and commercial successes. Our intention is to make sure id Software will continue to do what they do best – make AAA games. Our role will be to provide publisher support through Bethesda Softworks and give id Software the resources it needs to grow and expand.”
Edit – There’s more explanation at Kotaku:
“We’re really getting kind of tired competing with our own publishers in terms of how our titles will be featured,” Carmack said. “And we’ve really gotten more IPs than we’ve been able to take advantage of. And working with other companies hasn’t been working out as spectacularly as it could. So the idea of actually becoming a publisher and merging Bethesda and ZeniMax on there [is ideal.] It would be hard to imagine a more complementary relationship. They are triple A, top-of-the-line in what they do in the RPGs. And they have no overlap with all the things we do in the FPSes.”
Hollenshead said ZeniMax’s acquisition will allow id to grow its internal teams, staffing up the groups working on the next Doom — which will now be a ZeniMax game — and the Quake Live team, for starters.
The goal, explained Carmack, is for id to handle all of its own IPs. “We can build the pipeline and have a regular pipeline of releases.”
Altman described the deal as a “win for fans of id.” He said the deal came about when Hollenshead approached him. ZeniMax had been looking to acquire developers and wanted id, but didn’t know it was available until approached. The merger had been in the works for months, according to the men on the call today.
We received the following announcement today:
It’s been over six long months of dedicated, at times daunting, and ultimately triumphant work…and COR Entertainment at last announces the release of Alien Arena 2009!
You’ve seen the screenshots, the videos, now it is time to face the alien invasion head on, armed to the hilt with disruptors, beamguns, and vaporizors. The amount of improvements to the game engine are staggering. The game comes alive with the full implementation of GLSL per-pixel lighting on all surfaces, OpenAL audio system, and new gameplay features. Optimization was as always, another aspect that we’ve addressed. No longer does one have to be leary of cranking the settings up, the game plays remarkably faster with the switch to GLSL for per-pixel operations. Alien Arena has transformed into a lean, clean, fragging machine, with stunning visual effects that are usually reserved for commercial titles. This isn’t your daddy’s Alien Arena – it’s not even last year’s model, with a host of new and improved maps, sounds and music.
Some of the new features in this release:
- GLSL per-pixel lighting on all surfaces
- OpenAL 1.1
- Ogg-Vorbis support
- GLSL post process framebuffer effects
- New scoreboards
- New HUD
- Stereo music files
- Seven new maps and two new player characters
- Light volumes
- Voice taunt system
- Doppler sound effects
For a complete changelog http://icculus.org/alienarena/changelogs/7.30.txt
Alien Arena 2009 is open source, free to play, and sets a new standard in freeware FPS gaming.
While I get back up to speed here, what have y’all been up to game-wise?
Oddlabs sent in the following news:
After months of tweaking and expanding, Tribal Trouble 2 is ready to throw away its beta tag, but it will keep growing. Since the last release, two new connected quests have been added. Your urge to loot your rich neighbors ends up in an unexpected alliance that will bring you far away from home in search for great riches. The Hall has been updated further so it is now possible to see who is playing, and a new quick stat islands has been added, which pits you against an equal opponent on a random 1 vs. 1 island.
- New quest: Gone Looting.
- New quest: Mines of Niflheim.
- Quick start island in Hall.
- Players playing a game are grayed out.
- Timeout on waiting for players.
- Pathfinder improved to allow movement over far distances.
- Crash bug fixed on The Chant – part 2.
- Prices reduced.
- City of Heroes – Resolved a number of issues with the mouse.
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 – Resolved the launcher issue. This game will once again work using Steam.
- Registry Handling – Resolved issues that were causing registry corruption
- I/O & Graphics Speedups – A number of improvements to I/O have now available in Cedega 7.3
The latest development release of Wine, version 1.1.23, has been released. This release has the following changes:
- Support for registering MIME types with the Linux desktop.
- FBO mode is now the default for Direct3D.
- Support for COM proxy delegation.
- Improved support for the Mingw cross-compile.
- Proper fullscreen mode for the virtual desktop.
- Various bug fixes.
Download: [ Wine 1.1.23 ]
- Fixed stability problems with some GeForce 6200/7200/7300 GPUs on multi-core/SMP systems.
- Fixed VGA console restoration on some laptop GPUs.
- Fixed a bug that caused kernel crashes when attempting to initialize NvAGP on Linux/x86-64 kernels built with the CONFIG_GART_IOMMU kernel option.
- Fixed a bug that caused some performance levels to be disabled on certain GeForce 9 series notebooks.
- Fixed an OpenGL driver crash while running Bibble 5.
Download: [ nvidia.com ]
A lot of you asked for the ability to download games.
We have listened and created the reseller download system.
From today all resellers will be able to sell downloadable copies of LGP games, and these will be cheaper than boxed copies. LGP is not selling downloadable versions directly, as to do so would seriously damage the ability of the reseller chain to compete meaningfully.
We have also listened to those who wanted ridiculously low prices on their games. We have created the LGP Rental system. Any downloadable game is now available for rental. This means you can pay just a fraction of the price, and have the game for a week, or for a month. The rental games DO require internet access to start up, but apart from that are exactly the same as the full game. I know some of you will dislike this, but really, it is rental, we have to have stronger security on it. The downloadable purchased game does NOT require internet access to start the game.