John Matthews and Doug Dahl have determined how to allow the Unreal Tournament Linux client to run parts of the single-player game from its predecessor, Unreal. Although save games and some maps (Dug, NaliC, Ruins, Dark, and TheSunSpire) are broken at the moment, Matt and Doug have developed a bash script that will configure UnrealTournament.ini and User.ini to run the working portions of Unreal’s single-player game properly. The Unreal-Install shell script is available from
The Freeciv site updated with news that the source code to the popular open-source Civilization II clone is now browsable. Thanks to Reinier Post you can view, search, and compare the source files for Freeciv versions 1.7.2, 1.8.0, 1.8.1, and the CVS tree. If you haven’t tried Freeciv yet, you can get the current stable source tarball from
Developer TheShortAndTheTall have had their third-person action puzzler The Body Changer in Steam’s Early Access program and it’s now available for Linux. I had a chance to play it and it is interesting although I’m not sure how fitting the “metroidvania” description is as it seems the developers aren’t either.
What it does do well is the mechanic of switching between different synthetic persons and using them to complete tasks that allow you to advance through the game’s sectors.
Surprisingly, Activision (under the resurrected Sierra “indie” label) has released Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions for Linux. This is also another surprise port from Aspyr, who has been knocking it out of the park lately with Borderlands 2 and the recent Civ games. Originally an Xbox 360 Arcade (digital download) game, Geometry Wars is an arcadey twin-stick shooter has high score challenges and a ton of fun if it’s anything like the original.
The beautiful Action-RPG, Transistor, from Supergiant Games (the team that built the Bastion), has been brought to Linux by Ethan Lee. He details his travails and technical challenges in this blog post:
Basically, I took all the files in their MonoGame branch that referred to OpenTK, and replaced them with the FNA versions of those files. That’s about it. Most of the files never changed, and the FNA files that replaced the OpenTK files went through minor changes to line up with the internal APIs (primarily, fixing things to work under the XNA 3.1 spec, but not actually changing any functionality). For the actual game it was mostly the obvious set of changes, like save paths, and very little else. I made a couple changes so my very old Mono compiler would be happy, but those changes aren’t relevant in the shipping version since the C# assemblies you’re playing with are built by VS2012, primarily to ensure accuracy in the assembly output.
Do you like murdering zombies on tropical islands? Dead Island is pretty great at it and is somewhat surprisingly now available for Linux years after it was released. By far the most fun you’ll ever have brutally slashing melee weapons at zombies. Plug in a 360 pad for bonus analog control over your attacks.
We don’t post much in the way of editorials, but it seems inappropriate to remain silent on an issue that is making everyone who plays games or is associated with them look bad.
If you’re not familiar with the issue, there’s a hashtag on twitter called #GamerGate (that link will take you to see it, be warned that it is often nsfw when it gets bad.) It’s been covered in traditional media such as the New York Times, The Boston Globe, CNN, and almost everywhere else.
This hashtag recently became a bit more popular after the people posting in that hashtag decided to harass an indie game developer for having sex with other people who work in games.The actual name was recently coined by an actor, Adam Baldwin, but this kind of harassment has been going on for a long time.
I’ve met the developer briefly at Steam Dev Days, and used her games as an example about why voting systems like Steam’s Greenlight might not work out for games that aren’t game-y, but are more serious than fun if they’re about a topic like her Depression Quest, which is also available for Linux. That’s about as much relation to Linux as there would be, if not for people like this posting to the Kernel mailing list after a developer stopped working on Intel’s drivers for Linux due to Intel withdrawing an advertising campaign from Gamasutra after Gamasutra posted an editorial article the GamerGate community didn’t like.
All of this comes after years of harassment to other women who work on games or write and speak about them. Of course this has happened in tech and with Linux as well. In 2000 I saw pornography displayed during the Linux World convention in New York City at a booth run by the Window Maker team, I’m sure there are many other examples that are more recent. At the time I didn’t know what to say about it, and didn’t even begin to think critically of the actions of my peers who did that. Of course that kind of thing could cause someone to not want to be involved in that free software project, or the project I was involved with at the time and wasn’t appropriate.
What is new is that people who come to that hashtag unaware of the backstory might be drawn in by the recent #GamerGate creed of going after unethical games journalists. The thing is, there have been plenty of real ethical concerns in video games. They just haven’t been as motivating to the people who are in this hashtag as the idea of a sex scandal for review coverage. As has been pointed out, it doesn’t even make sense to attack a game developer for increased game journalist ethics.
Supporters of GamerGate’s ethos have created lists of websites to not read because they disagree with the content of those sites or their editorial integrity. They’ve also created lists of people to attack and then later others who support the GamerGate ethos have cried foul and said the list-makers and attackers didn’t represent them, and all that they’re concerned about is ethics in video game journalism.
That hashtag. It’s so obviously for those that want to harass women and other writers who have spoken out about it in tech and games. Things have even escalated to threats of harm against people and parents getting concerned about their kids joining up with gamergate.
I don’t understand how anyone anyone could buy into the notion of this sex-for-review-coverage scheme after it has been thoroughly debunked and the main proponents of it have names that include the term “Fart.” I don’t understand how someone could look at that name, and the things that are in that hashtag on twitter, and go “Yep, sign me up!”
What I do know is that games are changing. There are now “walking simulators” like Gone Home and Dear Esther, to name a few games from one genre, that don’t fit in with what everyone wants. You don’t have to like them, or play them, or even read the reviews and coverage to understand that it’s OK for new games to exist.
You can still be critical of something while you enjoy it. It is okay to play Hotline Miami and also be a little bit concerned with the amount of violence and how enjoyable it is, or the way that women are displayed in it. I love that game, it won’t stop being fun even if I take a minute to think about what I’ve played.
This is ridiculous. If you’re actually concerned about video game ethics your concerns will not be heard amongst those who promote violence and harassment of all kinds. Jeff Gerstmann of Giant Bomb said it best:
I’m a man in the media business. I’ve been doing this since I was 16. I could sit here and defend my line of work, which I think is largely just and on the level, but if you’re deep into the ‘Gate, your only reaction will be to probably say “of course he would say that.” That’s fine. Some of you have been politicized so completely that this is just another “left vs. right” issue to you, and many of you are using the same language used in arguments over other hardened political issues. So keep on “rolling coal” on video games journalism if you think it’s actually that corrupt. I’m not here to tell you what to do. But you might want to really look in the mirror and ask yourself if you’re spending your time crusading for the right fight. That’s all. Make sure this is the position you want to take and, more importantly, how you want that position to be represented. If you genuinely care about ethics in games journalism, GamerGate is not the spot for you. To some of them, “unethical” is being used as a synonym for “a viewpoint I don’t agree with.” That’s not an ethics discussion. That’s an attempt to silence criticism. Again, if you do care about ethics in games journalism, GamerGate is destroying your message.
I have personally done some questionable things on LG in the past that I look back on and realize weren’t ethically appropriate. I’ve written reviews of games for LG where I knew the person who brought them to Linux maybe too well to be critical of the game itself. When Loki Games was still around I sometimes had to justify my request for a review copy of a game to Loki, and in so doing I might have corrupted the review. I wanted more games for Linux and for that to succeed I was sometimes very picky to only review games that would review well and I would like.
You could read that and ask “Why should I trust your opinion on GamerGate?” You don’t have to. Please read what others have written and what I’ve linked above, you’ll probably know if you want to get involved with it or not very quickly. Hopefully we won’t have to post about this again and we can resume our regular crawl of Linux releases and the occasional review. There is plenty of good news for gaming on Linux. #GamerGate isn’t good news for gaming or anyone.
Would you like to drive a limousine that is constantly spinning while you try to deliver passengers to their destinations? In Roundabout you can do that and watch some great 70’s B-Movie cut scenes in-between levels
High-speed action-arcade game Trace Vector has been released on Steam:
Trace Vector is a high speed action arcade game with puzzle elements. Featuring a modern take on vector style graphics, Trace Vector plays like an easy to learn, hard to master, game of the golden age of the 80′s video arcades. Race your space ship through each geometric level grabbing extra fuel cells along the way. Reach a viable goal to shatter the networks’ hold on your ship and increase your speed. Simple controls keep you focused on navigating the increasingly complex webs at ever increasing speeds. Collect fuel cells and warp time to assist in the precision maneuvering needed to ace a level! Warping time quickly exhausts precious fuel. If you deplete your fuel and crash it’s game over.
Hyperspace networks have hazards at every turn. Dead end paths, barriers, and worm holes that can send you back in time and space increase the danger; forcing you to think ahead and be prepared to deal with your previous route through the network. Hyperspace is a strange place. Go forth brave pilot. Keep your wits in order, escape the neon labyrinths, and scavenge enough fuel to return home safely.
GOG.com announced this week that they now offer Linux game titles!
A while ago, we’ve announced our plans to add Linux support as one of the features of our digital platform, with 100 games on the launch day sometime this fall. We’ve put much time and effort into this project and now we’ve found ourselves with over 50 titles, classic and new, prepared for distribution, site infrastructure ready, support team trained and standing by, and absolutely no reason to wait until October or November. We’re still aiming to have at least 100 Linux games in the coming months, but we’ve decided not to delay the launch just for the sake of having a nice-looking number to show off to the press. It’s not about them, after all, it’s about you. So, one of the most popular site feature requests on our community wishlist is granted today: Linux support has officially arrived on GOG.com!
The first 50+ titles we’ve have in store for you come from all the corners of our DRM-Free catalog. Note that we’ve got many classic titles coming officially to Linux for the very first time, thanks to the custom builds prepared by our dedicated team of penguin tamers. That’s over twenty fan-favorite GOG.com classics, like FlatOut&Flatout 2, , Darklands, or Realms of the Haunting we’ve personally ushered one by one into the welcoming embrace of Linux gamers. That’s already quite a nice chunk of our back-catalog, and you can expect more from our dedicated Linux team soon!
Now, for the recent titles. We’ve got some indie games with native Linux versions that finally find their well-deserved spot in our store. Among them, debuting on Linux, CLARC – a well received original comedic Sci-Fi puzzler. On top of that, be on the lookout for two new additions to the GOG.com catalog: Gods Will Be Watching (coming in a couple of hours) and Unrest:Special Edition (Linux build coming right up!), both of them very fresh and intriguing. This is the very first time we can provide you with all the PC versions of a premiere game, and we will continue to do so in the future. If there’s a Linux version of a title we’re releasing, our aim is to deliver it to you Day-1. But enough about us, let’s talk about the games.
The full list of currently available titles can be found in the announcement post.
The Verge posted a look at The Nightmare Cooperative as an intro to the usually uncompromisingly sadistic roguelike genre:
At the outset, you control a single explorer, moving one square at a time through a series of rooms. The turn-based structure means that speed isn’t important, but every time you make a move your enemies will do the same, forcing you to plan ahead accordingly. Where things get especially tricky is that your party will grow as you meet other explorers along the way — and you’ll control the entire group at the same time.
This is the first I’ve heard of it, and it looks neat:
Since its inception, the XCOM Project has scoured the globe in search of the best and brightest military and scientific personnel to defend Earth from the alien invasion.
Today marks the availability of a new technology that will enable even more world-class recruits to join the fight, as XCOM: Enemy Unknown is released for Linux.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a SteamPlay title that runs on Ubuntu 14.04 and Valve’s SteamOS. The base game and all the add-on content, including the explosive expansion pack XCOM: Enemy Within, are available now from Steam.
All of the DLC expansions are also available through Steam, and XCOM is on sale for the next 48 hours.
Citing developmental delays with the Steam Controller, which has now gone wireless, Valve has moved their estimates of when the first Steam Machines will launch to 2015:
We’re now using wireless prototype controllers to conduct live playtests, with everyone from industry professionals to die-hard gamers to casual gamers. It’s generating a ton of useful feedback, and it means we’ll be able to make the controller a lot better. Of course, it’s also keeping us pretty busy making all those improvements. Realistically, we’re now looking at a release window of 2015, not 2014.
The Super Hot Team are turning their puzzling Unity prototype FPS into a full game and are seeking community funding for doing so. You may recall their prototype for the 7 day FPS competition where time (and bullets) only moved when the player moved. Maybe not, though, since this is the first time the game will be available for Linux. Currently, the Super Hot funding project has surpassed the original ($100,000) goal.
You can pledge your support here to receive the game upon release in early 2015, or a little earlier depending on the size of your pledge.
The two-man, twelve-year, donation-funded indie project weaves together procedurally generated geography, civilizations and histories to create a rich fantasy world. It simulates its characters – standard fare like dwarves, elves, goblins, etc. – down to the most minute detail, and when all its systems combine, the results are often hilarious, occasionally tragic, and always surprising.
It’s also blissfully easy to play. The game is free to download and easy to install, the UI comes with a detailed and handy help system, and there’s a community wiki full of guides – not that you’ll need them. I started from scratch last night and was having fun immediately. Let me tell you about my experience.
I’ve been meaning to take another pass at it, so this might end up being the impetus I needed.
it’s been a long time since we saw any good Linux news from Epic Megagegegames, which is why this is especially good to hear. Epic’s Mike Fricker updated the world with news of Unreal Engine 4’s support for Linux:
Folks have been asking about our early Linux efforts and support for Valve’s SteamOS and Steam Machines. We have good news for you! The 4.1 source code has initial support for running and packaging games for Linux and SteamOS. We love Linux!
This is the same Unreal Engine that recently became u-u-ultra cheap, you can get the whole thing to develop your own megagame for the low price of $19/month at this link.
At GDC 2014 we got a chance to try Influent, a language learning game, which was recently released on Steam. Here’s the developer’s description:
Inspired by Dreamcast titles of old (namely Shenmue and Toy Commander) Influent immerses players in a fully interactive 3D environment where the names for absolutely every object in the game can be gleaned with a single click! In fact, even more information can be learned with a double-click! Every door, drawer, and cabinet can be opened with a right-click here and a right-click there, revealing more and more things to be learned! Packed to the brim with hundreds of native audio pronunciations (painstakingly recorded specifically for this game), Influent offers players a unique opportunity to enjoy learning both vocabulary and pronunciation in the language of their choice.
With 10 languages currently available for download, Influent combines the joys of playing a video game with the language learning process, resulting in real-life rewards and achievements that will remain with players for the rest of their lives.
Influent supports Spanish, German, Korean, Latin, French, English, Swedish, Bulgarian, Mandarin Chinese, and Japanese.
Influent is available now on Steam for $10 per language.
Vlambeer’s sweet brand of trausers, Luftrausers, has been released. The game is a 2D arcade dogfighter and started life as a flash game that you can still play at this link. Since the flash game, Vlambeer has gone and added 125 combinations of guns, bodies, and engines for your plane to utilize on 100 different missions. How many of your digital dollars is it? Just 9 while the launch sale is in effect. After which the price jumps a dollar.
The official site also offers an incredible value in the form of the “Air Raid Pack” which nets you a DRM-free copy of the game and 100 Steam keys at the substantially discounted price of $749.99. A 25.03% discount. Wow.