This week Valve is making three announcements regarding their plans for expanding their plans for the living room. The first of which is SteamOS. A freely available Linux-based Operating System that Valve are advertising as having improved graphics and audio performance, as well as decreased input latency.
Valve specifically mentions that more AAA games are being ported natively to SteamOS and presumably will be available for any Linux install of Steam. For games that aren’t available natively on Linux, Steam will soon be able to stream them from Windows and Mac personal computers.
The new OS will also bring three other new features in addition to game streaming: Music, movie and TV services; Family sharing for sharing your library of games; and Family Options to hide games from your kids.
SteamOS will be released “soon” with the intent that we can put it on our own computers and businesses will be able to release their own SteamOS gaming PCs.
Valve still has two more announcements to make, the countdown site currently has two more days to go so we’ll know more on Wednesday.
Like sand through the hourglass, for two weeks we’ve got another Humble Indie Bundle. It’s the pay-what-you-want, but more than $1 to get Steam keys, with some percentage or all of it going to charity for a bundle of:
Trine 2: Complete Story
Mark of the Ninja
Eets Munchies Beta
If you pay more than the average price you’ll also get:
FTL: Faster Than Light
This time the Humble Bundle folks are already advertising that more games will be added to the bundle, because they always do that one week into it. You’ll have to pay more than the average price to get access to those as well.
Fez, FTL, and Mark of the Ninja are great games. Don’t look up any hints if play Fez. That game is too awesome to spoil.
Mysterious adventure and mystery game, MirrorMoon EP has just been released on Steam. Here’s what the developer has to say about it:
These space travels begin on a red planet and its unique moon and extend across galaxies.
The single player part of MirrorMoon EP blends adventure and exploration with navigation-based puzzle solving. The multiplayer of MirrorMoon EP lets players share Galaxy Maps with other players: the first explorers to land on a planet will be able to name its Star System and that name will be forever bound to the star for any other fellow traveler who encounters it.
Each Galaxy consists of a thousand Systems: it will be possible to fully discover the mysteries of MirrorMoon EP only while collaborating with other players.
Through the apparently indecipherable cockpit of an unknown spacecraft, players will be able to locate and travel to mysterious planets. Each planet has artifacts, buildings, and puzzles on its surface, hidden in astonishing low-poly sceneries.
id software lost company president Todd Hollenshead earlier this year, and just after the most recent QuakeCon legendary developer John Carmack has announced his departure. The blog for Oculus, the company behind the popular Oculus Rift VR headset, has this quote from Carmack:
I have fond memories of the development work that led to a lot of great things in modern gaming – the intensity of the first person experience, LAN and internet play, game mods, and so on. Duct taping a strap and hot gluing sensors onto Palmer’s early prototype Rift and writing the code to drive it ranks right up there. Now is a special time. I believe that VR will have a huge impact in the coming years, but everyone working today is a pioneer. The paradigms that everyone will take for granted in the future are being figured out today; probably by people reading this message. It’s certainly not there yet. There is a lot more work to do, and there are problems we don’t even know about that will need to be solved, but I am eager to work on them. It’s going to be awesome!
id’s twitter says that Carmack isn’t leaving, but it seems unlikely that a full-time job as Oculus’ CTO will provide Carmack with much time to work on id games.
Happy to say @id_aa_carmack is not leaving id & will continue to provide leadership for our games in development.
Carmack is largely responsible for the free software releases of id software’s source code and their push for Linux support. Though the latter has been waning since Linux code slave Timothée Besset’s departure from the company in 2012.
After a seemingly infinite beta test, Valve’s MOBA, DOTA 2 was released for Windows recently and now we’ve got our Linux version. DOTA 2, and MOBAs in general, are a spin-off of the real time strategy genre, in which two teams of five heroes compete to destroy the opposing team’s base.
DOTA 2 is actually super competitive and I’ve found it to be hugely unfriendly to new players so you might want to play some bot matches before going online. There are some really good guides out there as well, one which was recommended to me after getting my ass kicked recently was Purge Gamers’ “Welcome to Dota, you Suck.“
Indie game download store, Desura, just got taken off the circuit by Linden Lab. They’re the developer behind fursona simulator Second Life. Linden’s press release makes it clear that they’ve acquired the team behind Desura, but what isn’t clear yet is what this means for the future of the digital distribution platform. Thanks to GoL for the heads-up.
Here’s the details:
SAN FRANCISCO – July 10, 2013 – Linden Lab, the makers of shared creative spaces including Second Life, Patterns, Creatorverse, Versu, and dio, today announced that it has acquired Desura, a digital distribution service for PC gamers. The service will continue uninterrupted for current customers and the team and technology become a part of Linden Lab.
Desura puts the best games, mods, and downloadable content from developers at gamers’ fingertips, ready to buy and play. The free Desura application can serve and patch games, mods, and add-ons directly for customers around the world. Developers and publishers can share news, images, videos, and other content through their profiles, while every member of the Desura community can post comments, submit reviews, and upload screenshots from their own playing experiences. Desura also demystifies user-made mods and add-ons for games by making them as easy to find and install or update as professional titles.
“Desura’s talented team, thriving business, and impressive technology are a great fit for Linden Lab,” said Rod Humble, CEO of Linden Lab. “This acquisition gives us a global platform for serving creative developers of all kinds, and we’re looking forward to growing both Desura’s global community of gamers and its fantastic portfolio of thousands of games, mods, and other content. Our aim is to invest and support the Desura team in making it the most open and developer-friendly platform in the world.”
Our long national nightmare has ended as Valve updated their Left 4 Dead blog with news of co-op Zombie shooter Left 4 Dead 2′s general availability for Linux:
The Extended Mutation System, Linux support, and other features and fixes are moving to Left 4 Dead 2 proper. Thanks to everyone who helped test all the changes in the Beta Build. You can find a complete list of the change notes here.
Linux The Linux conversion is ready for primetime so we are opening it up to more people and releasing it officially on Steam. This will let us get feedback on more builds and distros.
The game itself is available at 75% off this weekend ($4.99 ‘merican) , and you can play it for free until Sunday at 1PM Pacific time.
Source, the game engine developed by Valve, just got an update to its software development kit to support Linux:
We have released an update to the Source SDK, bringing support for Mac OS X and Linux to mod developers and exposing the ability for virtual reality support in your mod. The biggest change with this update is that we are using github to host the source code. You will find the code here. This Source SDK 2013 release also includes a new license that can be found here. This new license allows mod authors to share their changes to the SDK more easily.
The other change with the Source SDK is that now Hammer and the other mod tools ship with their respective games instead of as part of the SDK Launcher. The launcher itself is being phased out, so it will disappear from your Tools list. You can find information about how to run the tools from the games here.
The source for this new SDK release includes the latest code for all the included games, and has many new features: • The games now build and run clients on Windows, OSX, and Linux. Dedicated servers are supported on Windows and Linux. • Steam Pipe (the new Steam content delivery system) is supported by the sample mods. Existing mods can change their gameinfo.txt to match the new format and gain Steam Pipe support. • Support for Virtual Reality via the Oculus Rift has been added to the SDK. Running a compatible mod with -vr on the command line will run the mod in stereo and enable head tracking on the Rift.
As one of the first games being developed with Linux support in mind, utilizing Unreal Engine 4, we plan to back port our work back to Epic for future Linux support. Our team plans to provide recent versions of our source code updates to Epic so the Linux Gaming community can benefit through our efforts. This way our revisions can be used by future developers of UE4 to also support Linux. We hope our Linux backers on Kickstarter will appreciate all the consideration we’ve put into our Linux build.
The post also mentions that they’re looking for Linux testers (resume required), so shoot them a note if you have the background and interest!
Yes, Big Robot is going to make a game featuring robots. It’s called Sir, You Are Being Hunted, and it taps into a rich seam of tweed-loving British science fiction to conjure a sinister reality where artificial gentlemen hunt humans for sport.
Hunted is set in a recognisably British landscape. Its inhabitants are a mockery of the aristocratic country gent and his ecosystem. Robots that ape tea-drinking, poachers that lurk in reed-beds, and red-eyed hounds that patrol the moor: these are the things you will be dealing with as you fight for survival. The game gathers up elements of my favourite things: exploration, AI interaction, survival, robots, hot drinks, and blends them into a rich pixelly pulp. (A “British indie S.T.A.L.K.E.R.” might have been something we said in the design meetings…)
The developers recently posted a gameplay preview set in a mountain biome:
Anomaly Warzone Earth‘s reverse-tower defense gameplay tasked players with moving their units safely through a barrage of defense towers. Anomaly 2, just released on Steam expands the gameplay with online tower defense vs tower offense multiplayer and other new features.
Anomaly 2 is a sequel to the critically acclaimed Anomaly Warzone Earth. Maintaining the core elements of the original, Anomaly 2 adds new features to the single-player campaign and finally puts your skills to a test in a completely unique experience: the dynamic tower defense vs. tower offense multiplayer mode!
In the years following the invasion of Earth in 2018, the planet is overrun by alien machines. Humankind is on the verge of extinction. Banded together in huge convoys, they search the frozen tundra for food and supplies. Since the war, the roles have been reversed: now our species seems to be the Anomaly on a machine-controlled planet. Your convoy, Commander, is called Yukon.
Anomaly 2 takes the RTS tower-offense concept from Anomaly Warzone Earth to a new level. The core elements of the original – tactical planning and the on-field Commander to support troops in combat – are spiced up by a number of important new features.
Torque 2D is an extremely powerful, flexible, and fast open source engine dedicated to 2D game development. The MIT licensed version of Torque 2D is now available on GitHub.
Since the MIT licensing in february 2013, he community has been tirelessly adding new stuff and bugfixes. With Windows, MacOS and iOS versions available, this engine clearly needed some penguin and robot support :-)
If you want to see this extremely capable and polished game engine on Linux, please consider joining the kickstarter campaign and make it happen.
Hi folks, The Linux Game Tome will shut down on April 13. Those of us who have maintained happypenguin.org over the years now lack both the time and the ambition to do what is necessary to keep the site afloat. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve noticed the spam clogging the forums, the lack of updates and the increasing brokenness of the site. The code driving this site, written by a novice web developer in 1999, is sorely out of date. It’s time to put it out of its misery.
If the community misses this resource, I urge it to build The Linux Game Tome v3.0. If such an effort ever came to fruition and publicly pledged to remain free and not for profit, I would be delighted to transfer ownership of the happypenguin.org domain. Sometime soon, I’ll make available a dump of the Game Tome games database (minus user information) that anyone may use for any purpose they’d like, including building a successor site. Before you ask: no, you may not have a copy of the site code. It is not fit for human consumption. Even as a reference, it can only corrupt.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the site over the years, either as moderators, contributors or benefactors.
Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, the expansion to the original Counter-Strike, was recently made available for Linux on Steam:
Counter-Strike: Condition Zero (CS:CZ) is now available for Linux players via Steam. CS:CZ is the fifth Valve title to be released for Linux and, with its release, pushes the total number of Linux games available on Steam to 80.
Launched just three weeks ago, the Steam for Linux client is available for free from the Ubuntu Software Center. More Valve titles are heading to Linux in the coming weeks and months.
Condition Zero is significant due it being the first time you were able to play Counter-Strike in Single Player versus AI competition. I enjoy it because the AI is a little bit easier to kill than the teenagers who can kick my ass and then tea-bag my corpse.
A game made in 3 days for FuckThisJam, a game development jam where you had to create a game in a genre you hate. Since I hate puzzle games, here is mine, where you have to destroy hateable stuff (from Hitler to Silvio B) to get points and combos.