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.
Anodyne, a retro-themed top-down adventure game which received praise from various quarters, including the IGF, has been released:
Anodyne is an adventure game that focuses on immersing the player through a combination of 16-bit era visual and audio aesthetics, Zelda-esque action/adventure gameplay mechanics, and exploration of the human Young’s dream world, which contains urban, natural, and abstract themed areas.
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 http://www.ftlgame.com/) 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 (!).
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 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.
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).
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 icculus.org 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.
ioquake3.org itself is not going anywhere
Thank you to everyone who has contributed and played ioquake3 since the project started on August 20th, 2005!