Vendetta Online Kickstarter

January 24th, 2013 by Crusader

Guild Software, a long-time Linux supporter, let us know they’ve launched a Kickstarter project for their space combat MMO Vendetta Online to further extend the game’s scope:

Help fund the creation of “Vendetta Online 1.9″ by late 2013, with drastically expanded and polished gameplay. This will include improved graphics, sound and rendering technology, advancements to our universe, economy and conquerable territory, plus improvements to player-owned capships and other areas (detailed further below). Your support will make this timeline possible!

Valve Promoting Linux

January 23rd, 2013 by Crusader

Quick note that Valve hasn’t just introduced Steam for Linux; they’re actually promoting it very prominently, even to the point of linking Ubuntu itself on the Steam about page.

steam penguin

Wine 1.5.22

January 20th, 2013 by Marv

A new development release of Wine has been announced bringing us to version 1.5.22. The new items in this release include:

  • New version of the Gecko engine.
  • Beginnings of the Mac graphics driver.
  • Support for ARM64 platforms.
  • Fixes for RTL text in Uniscribe.
  • Various bug fixes.

Download: [ Wine 1.5.22 ]

It’s Monday, Jack In

January 14th, 2013 by Crusader

Good morning! Let’s to it:

  • If you had told me 15, nay, 10 years ago that in 2013 the stars of CES would be a viable Linux game console and a VR headset… well, that’s the position we’re in. The Verge has posted their best of show awards, and Valve walked away with “Biggest Story” honors for their “Steam Box” efforts:

    With nary an announcement (and more of a fortuitous run-in with Gabe Newell), Valve laid out its vision to us for gaming hardware — its own Linux-powered box, a range of branded partner devices, and some rumination on multiple new methods of interaction (e.g. biometrics). It’s a new way of thinking about gaming platforms, and it’s one that Valve really has the leverage to pull off.

    But the strongest praise was reserved for the Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headset, which won their “Best Gaming” and “Best in Show” honors:

    My childhood (at least the formative years) was spent reading novels like Neuromancer and Snow Crash, and poring over stories about a future promised by Mondo 2000 and Wired. Virtual reality has long been the ultimate promise of technology — the magic mandala, a doorway to the infinite. But the thing is: it never happened. We got touchscreens, motion sensors, the tablet revolution, body-hacking… but we never got our cyberdecks. Until now. The Oculus Rift actually delivers on the promise, and then some. It’s really, really amazing. Truly and honestly a revelation, a trip, a rabbit hole. And I’m going in. Forever. Goodbye universe. Hello universe.

    One note: while the initial Kickstarter effort mentioned Linux support (complete with Tux logo), it appears at least the initial SDK will be Windows-only. In any case, I’m sure it won’t be long before we can go FULL GARGOYLE:


    Also, for an in-depth discussion of the challenges of presenting “realistic” VR, Valve’s Michael Abrash (who has had a long, illustrious career) has a great blog entry here.

  • It still feels weird writing this, but Team Fortress 2 received an update last week to add promo items and bugfixes.
  • A new version of FTL was made available prior to the start of the new year with a colorblind mode, new hotkeys, and various fixes. The patch is available from the Humble Store (via or Steam. The game’s complete soundtrack is also available for listening online or purchase now.
  • Phoronix pointed out that there’s a few Linux gaming sessions planned for the Free and Open source Software Developers’ European Meeting, or FOSDEM, which takes place February 2nd and 3rd in Brussels, Belgium.
  • Marlon Drescher mentioned that his indie MMORPG, Forgotten Elements, can now be played, which he created as a single developer (!).
  • Special Unit, a Stargate-themed total conversion (I haven’t typed those words in a while) for Unreal Tournament 2004 (those either) was released.
  • Ensign-1 is a space combat sim (is it just me or are those kinda rare these days?) being updated iteratively on Desura (the price rises as they grow closer to completing the game ).

Saturday Miscellany

January 12th, 2013 by Crusader

The Journey Down

  • The adventure game The Journey Down: Chapter One is now available on Steam!
  • Lone Survivor is a top-down psychological horror game (I wonder if this makes it less terrifying than its first-person brethren like Amnesia).
  • LGC Playas has a new episode where they run through a session of Killing Floor.
  • The zombie survival game with Apple II aesthetics, Organ Trail, has been released for Linux.
  • Seeing The Hobbit has prompted me to consider playing Dwarf Fortress again – anyone been playing that recently? What’s changed?

Valve’s Gabe Newell on the “Steam Box”

January 9th, 2013 by Crusader

Steam Big Picture

Valve Software has a presence at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show, during which founder Gabe Newell gave an extensive interview to The Verge about Steam, Steam Box (the term being given to Valve’s living room PC project), and more. Money quote:

So are most of these going to be Linux-based Steam Boxes?

We’ll come out with our own and we’ll sell it to consumers by ourselves. That’ll be a Linux box, [and] if you want to install Windows you can. We’re not going to make it hard. This is not some locked box by any stretch of the imagination. We also think that a controller that has higher precision and lower latency is another interesting thing to have.

Newell also states:

  • Beside’s Valve’s own Linux-based box, there will be other “Steam Boxes” from various hardware manufacture partners which may or may not run Linux as sold (but nothing would be stopping you from installing it yourself).
  • Valve is interested in new/alternate methods of game input, like biometrics.
  • Steam may eventually become an umbrella platform for myriad user-created “stores”.
  • Windows 8 doesn’t impress him.
  • A single Steam Box could potentially power several games across many rooms and televisions in one abode.

It’s going to be a wild year for sure.

Minecraft Mechanisms

January 9th, 2013 by Crusader

The esteemed Rock, Paper, Shotgun (also, Kieron Gillen’s recent run on “Journey into Mystery” was a.m.a.z.i.n.g) has a fun article about coding in Minecraft using the ComputerCraft mod:

It’s the creation of a very smart chap called Dan200, and it adds in-game computers with a full OS, filesystem, and a selection of built-in programs. Over the course of a short series of articles, I’m going to teach you how to write software that can password doors, automatically mine, make a big digital clock for your base, and even send chat messages to other players’ in-game computers.


IGF 2013 Finalists

January 9th, 2013 by Crusader

The Independent Games Festival has posted the 2013 Main Competition Finalists:

The Independent Games Festival (IGF) juries are announcing the Main Competition finalists for its historic 15th annual awards – nominating nearly 30 outstanding independent game titles to come out of the worldwide community in the past year.

This year’s finalists for the most prestigious independent video game awards and showcase were each picked by a discipline-specific set of expert juries, following playthroughs and recommendations of the 580+ IGF entries from over 200 top independent game experts.

I haven’t had a chance to exhaustively pore over the list for which ones support Linux, but I was pleased to see my fav title from last year, FTL, nominated in a few categories. The winners will be named during the festival proper on March 27th.

Xi3’s Piston, courtesy of Valve

January 8th, 2013 by Crusader

Xi3 Eurogamer has word that PC manufacturer Xi3 is showcasing a mini-modular computer (and I mean mini; you can grip it in one hand) codenamed (unknown if it’ll eventually be marketed as such) “Piston” at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. While based on an existing PC, the Kickstarter-funded X7a, specs for Piston haven’t been released yet, just that it’ll have Steam integration and is intended to support the distribution platform’s “Big Picture” mode on televisions, as Valve is a backer of the project. However, while Xi3 offers Linux as an install option for their other systems, it’s not explicitly stated that Piston is intended only as a Linux PC (at least at this time).

Doom 3 BFG

January 7th, 2013 by Crusader

The venerable Phoronix pointed out that Robert Beckebans has adopted the open source code to Doom 3 to support the recent revamped retail release, Doom 3: BFG, on Linux. Robert’s fork can be found here.

Ur-Quan Master HD Alpha

January 7th, 2013 by Crusader

An alpha build of Ur-Quan Masters HD, a free community remake of Star Control 2, was released. The alpha is distributed for Linux as .deb files, so be sure to comment if you run into any problems/etc.

By the way…

January 7th, 2013 by Crusader

…we’re on Facebook now!

Tales of Maj’Eyal 1.0.0

January 7th, 2013 by Crusader

Tales of Maj’Eyal, an acclaimed roguelike, reached version 1.0.0 just before the new year:

You can also use the game’s engin, T-Engine4, to create your own roguelike.

Steam Stuff

January 7th, 2013 by Crusader
  • Valve has released the results of their monthly Steam survey, and after a few weeks of Linux availability and 55 titles to purchase, here’s the OS breakdown:

    Steam OS Share - December

    Ubtuntu Linux flavors are almost 1% of the pie, although some of the “Other” category might also include some Linux users.

  • Speaking of titles, Unity of Command was among the games being distributed through Steam that caught my eye. It’s a WWII-themed wargame; there’s also an experimental Linux demo available from the game’s site:

  • Finally, it’s been apparent that a major rationale for Valve’s Linux support has been the development of a Linux-based Steam console, which Ben Krasnow spoke briefly about recently [German].

Ubuntu on Phones

January 3rd, 2013 by Crusader

Not to be outdone by Google’s now-mature Android OS, Canonical has announced that the Ubuntu Linux distribution will soon have a version specifically designed for smartphones. While there are no specific devices planned yet, Canonical’s marketed advantage is that the phone would be able to serve as a full-fledged thin client Linux desktop while docked. Additionally, this iteration of Ubuntu will have touchscreen gesture support to invoke various OS and application level functions. Unlike Android OS, there will be no Java layer, so native apps (and HTML5-based apps) are planned. No specific mention of games that I’ve seen so far, but on the whole this is a new mobile player we’ll be keeping an eye on.

Humble Indie Bundle 7

January 1st, 2013 by Crusader

Less than 24 hours to go! You know the drill:

ioquake3 move!

January 1st, 2013 by Crusader

My good friend Zakk/TimeDoctor let me know that ioquake3 has some changes in store for the new year:

This August will be the 7th Anniversary of ioquake3!
Time flies when you’re fragging fools and breaking builds.
We still haven’t had a release since 2009. Don’t worry, we still have another 365 days to go until it has been 5 years since a release!
The real reason for this post is that I wanted to tell you all that we’re moving the project to github.
There is a new organization there, called ioquake.
But most importantly there is a project there that you can clone, fork, and send pull requests.
Bugzilla and other things hosted on will keep going, but the SVN repository is now deprecated and I don’t know if it will remain online or not. If possible, we may set up a thing to automatically slurp in changes from the github project. itself is not going anywhere
Thank you to everyone who has contributed and played ioquake3 since the project started on August 20th, 2005!

Oh. Hello!

January 1st, 2013 by Crusader

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

First up – LinuxGameCast has a new episode! Ur-Quan Masters HD

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