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Updated: 1 hour 30 min ago

Upcoming 'post-cyberpunk' RTS NeuroSlicers looks great, Steam page up

Monday 10th of August 2020 10:51:59 AM

NeuroSlicers is an upcoming in-development real-time strategy game that aims to 'modernize' the genre with a 'post-cyberpunk' setting and it's looking slick.

"Instead of seeing how fast you can click, NeuroSlicers tasks you with how fast you can think. Using intelligent AI-powered units, you are free to make more significant, more strategic decisions that focus on territory control, resource management, upgrading and careful placement of customizable buildings, units and powerful function abilities called Scripts."

It's been quite a long time since we last covered it, while also keeping an eye on their progress. They've now announced that their Steam page has finally gone live as they continue their very early testing period. While this 'pre-alpha' is currently limited to supporting Windows, they confirmed to GOL on Twitter that a Linux release continues to be planned.

Planned features:

  • An ongoing narrative that will continue to evolve post-launch
  • Real-time strategic gameplay that focuses on macro over micro
  • eSports ready Competitive PVP with all abilities unlocked, for truly balanced gameplay
  • Narrative campaign that combines Solo, Co-Op and PVPVE gameplay
  • A refreshing take on the RTS genre that offers a unique experience while maintaining the fundamentals of fast-paced, highly strategic gameplay.
  • Free-form gameplay allowing for true customization of the units, buildings and powers you take into battle
  • Competitive ranking in PVP and an ‘Escalation’ system in all other game modes that progresses difficulty alongside your play.
  • Fully voiced, diverse cast of NPCs to build relationships with, each with their set of systems, goals and opportunities to offer.

Want a proper look at it? See their recent livestream below:


Watch video on YouTube.com

Now that the Steam page is live, you can go ahead and wishlist / follow it along to release. We will of course let you know of any major developments too.

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Darkest Dungeon - The Butcher's Circus due for Linux 'in the next week or so'

Monday 10th of August 2020 10:28:03 AM

Red Hook Studios are currently working on the free DLC The Butcher's Circus and with Season 2 about to release, the Linux (and macOS) versions are just about ready.

To be clear, Darkest Dungeon is already on Linux but the updates to support this brand new competitive game mode are not. Red Hook Studios have been pretty clear on it for some time that it would come later, and they mentioned in early July about it being close but they wanted to ensure they're ready for release.

In a fresh blog post update, they mentioned this:

MacOS, Linux, Offline Bots, and Direct Challenge improvements are ready for testing internally and while they won’t be with tomorrow’s update, you can expect these features in the next week or so.

So hold onto your hats, The Butcher's Circus is coming to Linux Town really soon.

What does it feature?

  • New Hamlet Location: The Butcher's Circus
  • Engage in no-holds-barred PvP combat with teams of 4 heroes (without risking your Campaign heroes)
  • Climb the ranks to show off your command of heroes and ability to weather misfortune and violence
  • Unlock banner components and use your creativity to assemble your own duelist heraldry
  • Strategize with new gladiatorial trinkets that can mean all the difference in pitched battles against other heroes
  • A gleefully warped musical theme by Stuart Chatwood, Narrator quips by the esteemed Wayne June, and all new gripping sound FX by Power Up Audio

You can buy Darkest Dungeon on Humble Store, Steam and GOG although currently this free DLC is not planned for GOG as they're waiting to see how it turns out.

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PlayStation 3 emulator RPCS3 gains online play with PSN Emulation

Monday 10th of August 2020 10:13:40 AM

It seems a very exciting development will be coming to the next release of the PlayStation 3 emulator RPCS3.

While they haven't done a blog post to go over their progress since 2019, work is as always ongoing. The main reason they don't often talk about progress, is simply a lack of people to go over it all and blog about it for them.

Thankfully though, they do release videos to show off and talk about some of the major progress. One such brand new feature coming is online play via PSN Emulation. That is absolutely huge especially since online features were such a major part of some games.

Check out their new video to showcase the feature:


Watch video on YouTube.com

They said that over the past year, they've been working on a private PSN server replacement which they're now calling RPCN. Just like the main project, it's free and open source and it's written in Rust too.

This server code, along with the hefty amount of improvements made to RPCS3 enables users to play in multiplayer and co-op modes in games that don't require a custom server in addition to PSN, or already have one. One such example for the latter would be Demon's Souls, which now fully works in multiplayer with RPCN as the private PSN server and DeSSE (by ymgve) as the private DeS custom server, with every feature intact.

It should be noted however that RPCN is far from being finished yet, so only a very small number of games work at the moment. In our current testing, Bomberman Ultra and Demon's Souls are the only ones that work reliably, but hopefully the community will discover others that work well too!

Preview downloads for Linux and Windows can be found in the YouTube video description, we won't link to them directly as they may update the links. So amazing to see how far RPCS3 has come. The PlayStation 3 was such a hugely popular console and emulation like this is vital so we don't lose so many amazing experiences.

You can see the ongoing work on GitHub for this feature here. More info on the whole RPCS3 project on the website.

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RetroArch 1.9.0 is out with video player improvements, UI upgrades and more

Monday 10th of August 2020 09:47:42 AM

RetroArch is practically the go-to for all your emulation needs under one roof and the project just release the latest major upgrade with RetroArch 1.9.0.

It seems they've continued going over the user interface, with an aim to make everything clearer and more useful. Part of this work went into adding a new "Explore View" for playlists, which lets you search and find content based on criteria like the amount of players, developer or publisher, the system it was released for and much more. This only looks through what you've directly added though and the metadata it uses will be improved as time goes on.

The search function that was previously "woefully inadequate" to the point that they called it "mostly a non-feature". Well, it's again a UI area they've gone back to and overhauled. You can now press 'X' on a pad or '/' on keyboard to get a search box, if you're on a playlist it becomes a filter for it and you can stack the filters to refine your search if you have a big library to search through. They showed off a little video of it in action, looks good:

 

Video Source: RetroArch Team.

There's also new animations for loading content, input remapping is easier and requires less clicking around, the video player on Linux and Windows gained a new progress bar overlay, big memory leaks were solved in the video player and an issue with lockups occurring due to it being able to seek passed the end of a file has a workaround in place.

You should also expect the memory footprint and disk I/O overhead to be reduced, resulting in a snappier RetroArch that won't bring your hardware to a crawl. On top of that, there's various other UI cleanups like not being able to set drivers to 'null' and the ability to selectively hide/enable many different widget notifications like screenshot and cheat code UI.

The team mentioned a progress report on the various Cores will be coming soon. You can read the release announcement here.

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The weekend round-up: tell us what play button you've been clicking recently

Saturday 8th of August 2020 11:41:11 AM

What's that? It's the weekend? It can't be already can it? Yes. It's time for the weekend chat about what we've been playing and what you've been playing.

There's been so many good Linux supported releases lately I've been a bit spoilt for choice including these just in the last week: DemonCrawl, UnderMine, The Battle of Polytopia, LittlewoodMonster Crown, Core Defense and Hellpoint (plus plenty more I've missed).

Recently though, I've been having masses of fun in Orcs Must Die! 3 on Stadia with a co-op partner. Getting to test out all the different trap combinations, it's genuinely good fun. It was fun enough by myself but now with a partner, it's far more amusing especially trying the later difficulties. Good manic entertainment.

As for actual Linux-desktop games, Jupiter Hell sucked me right in once more. Jupiter Hell is the spritual successor to DRL (D**m, the Roguelike) and it's one of the most furious roguelikes I've ever played. While turn-based, it's so streamlined and fluid it feels almost realtime. It's also quite gorgeous in places. Jupiter Hell has evolved quite nicely during Early Access and it's easily worth a look.

I also spoke to the developer of Haque, a rather fantastic glitch fantasy roguelike from 2017. As great as it is, the Steam build had a bug where a file was named "Haque_Text.zip" but the game was looking for "haque_text.zip". Linux case-sensitivity strikes again. They mentioned they will fix it as soon as possible.

Additionally: it appears that there's another big CPU security issue, this time not just affecting Intel. According to the paper it should affect Intel, ARM, IBM, and AMD CPUs.

Lastly, NVIDIA put up a new Vulkan Beta Driver 450.56.06 with the sole change listed as new support for the VK_EXT_4444_formats extension that landed with Vulkan API spec 1.2.149 that we reported on here.

Deals Reminder:

Unless something big / important comes up, we shall see you Monday for another week of Linux news.

Over to you in the comments: what have you been gaming on Linux lately and what are you looking forward to the most across this year?

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Techland confirm Dying Light Hellraid will see plenty of updates post-release

Friday 7th of August 2020 04:05:32 PM

Dying Light - Hellraid is the upcoming DLC that swaps Zombies for Skeletons and turns Dying Light into something of a dungeon crawler. It's exciting and it's going to continually get updates after release.

Reminder: the DLC is inspired by and using some ideas from Hellraid, which was originally going to be a standalone first-person co-op slasher. Techland appear to have shelved it completely so they're making sure it didn't all go to waste this way. I'm pretty happy about it because if there's one thing I want, it's more Dying Light content.

It's due for release on August 13 after a small delay and it seems Techland have been taking on plenty of feedback from the recent Beta, which we showed off some footage of recently which you can see below:


Watch video on YouTube.com

Techland have confirmed these improvements are already in:

  • New sounds for the Torturer. Now he’s much more terrifying.
  • Skeleton warriors now have their own unique set of animations.
  • Numerous graphical fixes, including making loot pouches look much more “medieval.”
  • Camouflage is now banned in Hellraid Tower - sorry, Chameleons!
  • Better experience in coop.
  • No more immortal skeletons from portals.
  • Balancing, balancing and balancing!

On top of that little list, Techland are also planning to continue updating it with new Dying Light in-game events, new content and new dedicated Hellraid updates. As they said "in typical Techland fashion, we plan to release several free Hellraid DLC updates". The first of these free updates is planned for late September, which they've codenamed "Lord Hector's Demise" that will add: two additional ranks that unlock new weapons and new collectibles, bounties made specifically for Hellraid and more.

You can pre-order the Hellraid DLC from Humble Store and Steam. Dying Light itself can be picked up on Humble Store and Steam.

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Quirky vehicle building game 'Making it Home' is now in Early Access

Friday 7th of August 2020 01:10:07 PM

Making it Home looks so bizarre that I feel like I just need to give it a go. You're a ladybug building a vehicle to travel from one side of America to the other.

Yes, a ladybug. I did say it looks bizarre. Even the developer thinks their idea is weird. They said it's "kinda Oregon Trail meets Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts with a bit of Far Lone Sails - and a smoking crab and bear - with carrots and peas - and honey... and dehumidifiers". Are we any clearer? No but it looks a bit amusing. The point is to build a big Rube Goldberg styled contraption, then platformer all over it to interact with it and collect stuff along the way.


Watch video on YouTube.com

It also features a narrative written by David Towsey (The Walkin' Trilogy, Widow's Welcome) and a sound track by Jordan Rees whose works are regularly used in big film trailers and TV broadcasters. I'm just here for the flying carrots and the giant rabbit. Or is it a normal sized rabbit and everything just looks big because you're a ladybug? I have many questions.

You can find it now in Early Access on itch.io and Steam.

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Len's Island plans to blend together peaceful building with intense dungeon exploration

Friday 7th of August 2020 12:50:18 PM

Len's Island sounds like quite a peculiar mix. Blending together peaceful building, farming and crafting, mixed with intense combat, dungeon battles and deep questing and exploration. We've got plenty of games that do either side of the coin with building or dungeon crawling but both together? I'm eager to see how that will all work. Even more so because of the setting and the lovely colourful style it provides.

"Len's Island brings excitement and progression for many playstyles, all within a vibrant and engaging world. Catering to the hardcore dungeon-crawler fans, home-builders and decorators, explorers and completionists, farming fanatics, collectable hoarders, and people who just want to live the simple life chopping trees as the sun goes down."


Watch video on YouTube.com

Flow Studio are currently crowdfunding the game on Kickstarter, against their $33,400 (Australian Dollars) goal they've managed to just reach over the top with around 16 days to go. Curiously, they said in their Kickstarter comments that a Linux build should be done, if not at release then shortly after. At least they're being honest about it:

We are looking into a Linux build for the game. We can currently only promise Windows and Mac for the launch in March. However, we hope to add Linux to that list. If we cannot achieve a Linux version for the launch date, we will be looking into launching the Linux version soon after.

Looks absolutely wonderful, so hopefully they will do it. We've popped it into our follow list to let you know if they end up delivering on that.

You can follow it on Kickstarter and Steam.

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Railway Empire gets a Complete Collection out now

Friday 7th of August 2020 12:11:18 PM

All aboard the DLC train! Kalypso Media and in-house developer Gaming Minds Studios today put the brakes on Railway Empire, with a proper Complete Collection now available.

This is because the team has moved onto another game, so Railway Empire should be considered actually finished now, apart from perhaps a few standard patches that may come in future. Since release in early 2018 it's been through 13 free updates, 8 extensive DLCs spanning iconic locations such as the Rocky Mountains, Sweden and Mexico, and brought to life 83 historically authentic locomotives. Kalypso claim this collection which bundles all DLC with the main game offer up "the most comprehensive railway tycoon experience currently available on PC and consoles".


Watch video on YouTube.com

Feature Highlight:

  • Build and expand a wide-ranging rail network to connect stations and transform remote locations into booming urban metropolises
  • Immerse yourself as the ambitious leader of a railway company and set tracks across 100 years of history and multiple countries - ultimately establishing a Railway Empire
  • Contains all content updates and available DLC: Mexico, The Great Lakes, Crossing the Andes, Great Britain & Ireland, France, Germany, Northern Europe, and Down Under
  • Enhanced weather system and Night Mode
  • Includes all regional soundtracks, unique city buildings and characters
  • Test your skills in 15 unique scenarios and 4 challenge maps, or experience the true pioneering spirit and seamless possibilities of the Free and Sandbox modes
  • Take advantage of the strengths and weaknesses of more than 80 historically accurate locomotives and assign them to your rail routes
  • Compete with up to three rival companies, sabotaging their efforts with bandits and spies

This new Complete Collection can be found on GOG and Steam. The base game and separate individual DLC are also available on the Humble Store.

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Perspective illusion puzzler THE IMPOSSIBLE is out now

Friday 7th of August 2020 11:43:21 AM

Inspired by designs from MC Escher, THE IMPOSSIBLE is a game about moving a box around crazy shapes. Note: key provided by the developer.

Taking the visuals and gameplay, you could compare it directly with hocus due to the style (and mechanics also like the earlier Monument Valley) but Airem have put their own slightly quirky take on it, complete with a Portal GLaDOS-inspired narrator to prod you along. Using simple controls, all you need to do is get the the box across the shape you're given onto the red square. Doing so is not always easy, due to the perspective. It's not impossible of course but it is challenging.

This is not your typical shape puzzle game though, this cheeky GLaDOS sounding AI that comments on your progress also messes with you. There's some intentional glitches and errors that flash around on certain levels to interrupt you. Quite funny actually the way it's done and it's not over the top either, you're even told if you "obey the rules, you'll get Steam Achievements" in a glitched-out voice with the audio going from all relaxing to properly mysterious.

I don't think it did enough with that though, as there's no big reveal that I was expecting from all the comments it made. Still, it was interesting to play through and left me stumped a few times when I couldn't wrap my head around the perspective and which direction I needed to get into.

If you're after a puzzle game with a mind-bending premise, clean and simple visuals and a lovely relaxing soundtrack that then decides to go a bit mad then THE IMPOSSIBLE is a good fit for you. The only problem is how short it is, you end up finishing it too soon. Going by what the developer said, they do plan to add in more levels and an editor later for people to make their own. I'm quite keen to see an editor, as for a game like this it could be a lot of fun to make some brain-melting shapes.

You can find THE IMPOSSIBLE on Steam and itch.io.

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive gets fancy new skins, networking improvements

Friday 7th of August 2020 10:42:36 AM

Valve continue to tweak their classic free to play shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The latest update improves various parts of the game and there's some fancy new weapon skins.

Trusted Mode, the newer feature that's just one small part of their fight against cheating now has the "-untrusted" launch argument removed. Trusted Mode on Linux also now appears to be on by default, so you no longer need the quick fix we wrote about recently, so if you missed that you should find your CS:GO games on Linux to be a lot nicer. Valve also fixed several exploits related to VPK tampering.

For collectors, a new Fracture Collection weapons case went up so you can gamble away some of your monies on their loot box system. This new case features designs from over 17 different community artists and there's even Shattered Web Knives as rare special items. Looking over the Steam Market, there's already tons on there from it so if you're after something really specific you might just be able to grab it right away there.

Also made it into this release are improvements to the 'SDR networking protocol', the Valve-run networking system that handles authentication, encryption, routing and so on. They've improved the routing selection logic, fixed SDR networking sessions to not be reused after expiration and improved stability. What does that mean for players? Matchmaking should work better overall.

The Anubis, Swamp and Mutiny maps all had a fine-tooth comb go over them, to fix up lots of little issues and do some optimizations to improve FPS.

Play CS:GO free on Steam.

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The Bridge Constructor series is now up on GOG with a nice big sale

Friday 7th of August 2020 10:19:36 AM

A little building for the weekend perhaps? The Bridge Constructor series has appeared on GOG and there's a sweet discount deal going where you could get the first game free.

The newly DRM-free released titles on GOG are: Bridge Constructor, Bridge Constructor Medieval and Bridge Constructor Portal. I don't think any of these games really need an introduction do they? The name along pretty much speaks for itself. Each of them has a slightly different take on what you do but the end result is the same. You get to build bridges, and watch as your glorious creations fail repeatedly.


Watch video on YouTube.com

Each of them are discounted at 50% off but even better, if you decide to pick them all up GOG will give you the original free—nice! The sale will last until August 13. As always, it's nice to have more and not less options on where you get your games from, and a good reminder of some classic puzzle-building action if you missed these previously on Linux.

I had a huge amount of fun with Bridge Constructor Portal, as the portal system definitely makes it feel different to the previous entries and to other similar such games.

Find each here:

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Braid is getting a much upgraded Anniversary Edition releasing in 2021

Friday 7th of August 2020 09:47:11 AM

Braid, the indie puzzle-platformer from Jonathan Blow is getting a huge overhaul with a new Anniversary Edition that's due out sometime in 2021. It's something of a classic and became quite a big hit, it was also one of the early bigger indie titles to come to Linux.

Sounds like it's going to be a massive improvement, which includes David Hellman returning to do the repainting. Extra animations are in, upgraded sound effects and music and so on. They explained the point was to upgrade it and not do a "Star Wars Special Edition" to change how some things were done to the story. There's even going to be a toggle to switch between old and new which is always fun to play with in a game. Developer commentary is also going to be in, with their plan to have it as the "craziest, most-in-depth commentary ever put in a video game".

Check out the announcement trailer:


Watch video on YouTube.com

The great news is that it's confirmed to be coming to Linux too. As the official website notes, which was written by Blow, their plan is to simultaneously ship across "PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, Windows, Mac, and Linux".

No exact release date given, other than sometime in Q1 2021.

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Core Defense developer 'completely blown away' by first week Steam sales

Friday 7th of August 2020 09:23:15 AM

After launching on July 31, Core Defense from developer ehmprah appears to have done quite well to the point that they've been 'blown away' by the sales numbers.

What is Core Defense? It's a tower defense game, that mixes in a little more randomness than you might expect. You pick towers and upgrades from a set a cards after each wave, and gradually build up a maze to force enemies to travel through. See our previous thoughts here—it's good!

This cross-platform release (Linux, macOS, Windows) managed to cut through the noise, with the first week hitting 2,546 units and grossed $20,186 on Steam. Compared with 106 units and grossed $1,144 on itch.io during the Early Access phase it did there. Interestingly, despite Steam Wishlists often being said to be what makes or breaks games, they said only 26% of sales came from wishlist conversions. They also had around 8% refunded, which sounds pretty good so overall the managed to net $17,029 before Steam's own cut.


Watch video on YouTube.com

Most of the traffic to their Steam page was from either the Steam home page, or the Discovery Queue feature so Steam's algorithm here at least helped put it in front of the right people. For a breakdown of platforms, the developer said Linux accounted for 2.7% and macOS was 4.2%.

While this is something of a nice success story for them, keep in mind that this is after their first game Coregrounds was something of a big failure for them. Although, thankfully they did open source it. So Core Defense is built on top of what they learned by failing with it.

You can buy Core Defense on itch.io and Steam.

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Google adds Free Weekends to Stadia starting with Borderlands 3

Friday 7th of August 2020 09:10:44 AM

Google's game streaming service Stadia continues to gradually roll out new features, one of which went up yesterday with Free Weekends now being a thing. Plus, another round-up on recent Stadia info.

I'm surprised it actually took this long. Free Weekends are a great way to trial games, and something Steam has been doing for quite a long time now. Partly thanks to demos at some point becoming more of a rarity. The thing is, for a game streaming service like this it makes a whole lot more sense, since there's no lengthy initial downloads. You can jump in practically instantly and see if you like it and play a good few hours. Then perhaps buy it.

Pictured: how it looks now on the Stadia store.

The only thing that's dumb about the Stadia version of a Free Weekend, is that at least in this case it's locked to Stadia Pro, so only people subscribing with the monthly payment can use it. I feel that if Stadia opened up such an important trial feature to everyone, that might see more people actually use it. Especially since it's all in the cloud, it saves all your progress and so you could come back to it any time across computers and other devices. The convenience of it continues to be a big pro for it (despite plenty of other drawbacks - bandwidth, latency, country availability and so on).

On top of Borderlands 3 being free to play on Stadia until Aug 10, 2020 around 7AM UTC it's also on sale.

In other Stadia news, here's a little round-up of other happenings:

  • Physics-based puzzle game Relicta is out now on Stadia
  • Orcs Must Die! 3, currently a Stadia exclusive is getting a free update on August 10 with Weekly Challenges, improved performance, a few graphics improvements and more.
  • Marvel Avengers launches for Stadia on September 4
  • Serious Sam 4 launches for Stadia on September 24 (all platforms delayed to that date)
  • Apple have decided to ban both Stadia and Microsoft's xCloud from their mobile devices

Something else that's interesting: after the release of Celeste to Stadia, game porter and software developer Ethan Lee did a little write-up of the process. The details are certainly interesting, especially how "Stadia is truly remarkable in that it is literally just a Linux system without a desktop or display server" and how so little was changed between the desktop Linux build to get it live on Stadia. It goes to show that many Stadia games could likely work just fine on a standard Linux desktop although then we do have the issue of supporting many different hardware/software configurations, which Stadia does take away. Still, Lee mentions how developing for Stadia is quite nice and they "would much rather develop for Stadia than any console". Worth a quick read for sure.

You can play Stadia on Linux with Chromium/Chrome on Stadia.com.

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Racing game 'DRAG' with impressive visuals enters Early Access on August 11

Thursday 6th of August 2020 07:13:28 PM

With impressive visuals and a 4-way contact point traction physics system, DRAG looks awesome and it's going to enter Early Access with Linux PC support on August 11.

Orontes Games have been working on their custom tech for the past few years, to bring us something exciting in the world of racing. It's quite an usual racing game too, merging together an arcade-style with lots of simulation going on resulting in highly dynamic situations. Going by the demo we played during the Summer Festival on Steam, it had a lot of promise and was pretty good fun.


Watch video on YouTube.com

Announced on Twitter today (along with a competition to win a key), Orontes Games confirmed the August 11 date. For Early Access, they estimate at least 18 months work ahead to the full release. They already have the main mechanics down, along with online and local multiplayer hooked, 24 singleplayer challenges and two different vehicles with their own unique setup and driving style.

They're aiming to at least double the content during development with new tracks, challenges and vehicles. Also planned is an events mode, to compete in ranked tournaments. At some point Steering Wheel support is also confirmed to be coming, as is a cockpit camera and other view options.

Feature Highlight:

  • DRAG combines arcade style racing with vibrant driving mechanics.
  • Even though DRAG is not a simple arcade racer, it's designed to be played with a gamepad or keyboard. Support for racing wheels will be added in Early Access.
  • 24 Singleplayer challenges
  • Multiplayer wheel-to-wheel racing in online or split screen matches

A price has not been announced yet but we do know it will be priced lower during Early Access so expect it to rise at the full release. You can follow DRAG on Steam.

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UnderMine is a challenging dungeon-crawler that's worth digging deep for - out now

Thursday 6th of August 2020 03:23:57 PM

After a successful run in Early Access, Thorium Entertainment have today released their dungeon crawling action-adventure UnderMine. With one of the most annoyingly good gameplay loops I've seen in the past year, UnderMine is an absolute delight to die in over and over.

They've done well in a crowded market too, announcing they've managed to sell well over 120,000 copies now.

UnderMine is at its heart a fast-paced dungeon crawler with persistent progression and a simple loop. You jump down into the mine, grab as much gold as you can while battling various enemy types and a few difficult boss encounters and try to get as far as you can. When you die, that character is well and truly gone and another random character replaces them. However, you do get to keep a percentage of your gold for you to go and unlock more for the next run.

Check out the release trailer below:


With the big 1.0 release it's not just removing a sticker, they've also released a big update too. UnderMine 1.0 introduces new items and encounters throughout the dangerous underground world. After mastering the core loop of hunting for gold, freeing allies to unlock upgrades, and defeating all five bosses, a door in the overworld unlocks, granting access to a final room with a mysterious boss and cinematic ending. Plenty more came with it including an expanded journal with detailed character attributes, stats for the current run and all playthroughs, an expanded map, and "under-the-hood tweaks".

"After I quit left Relic Entertainment in 2015 and started Thorium, I didn’t know how long and winding the road would be to get UnderMine to this point where it’s finally ready for the world," said Derek Johnson, Founder, Thorium Entertainment. "I still can’t believe this is finally happening. It’s all thanks to our fans who supported in Early Access and shaped the game into something I’m proud for everyone to check out today."

UnderMine has so much crammed into it that you can keep going for a ridiculous amount of hours, and so in that way (and the way you go from room to room) it certainly reminds me of The Binding of Isaac. The thing is, you don't really complete it either as "winning" is not the end of the road. There's also the Othermine, the special dungeon that serves as UnderMine's true roguelike mode.

The ridiculous character builds you can have are great too. As you progress through it you grab Relics and in combination, they can end up giving you some pretty wild abilities. It's part of what makes the loop so satisfying, as you're drip-fed just the right amount in each run that the next will feel different again. It's an easy system for them to continue expanding upon too. With the 1.0 out now, they've already confirmed they're not "finished" with it and plenty more will come in future.

Easily one of my favourites this year. It has just the right amount of a painful challenge when you miss-time that one jump and have to do a fresh run, mixed with a charming visual style and atmosphere with plenty to unlock as you progress through it to keep you wanting more.

If you missed it, we've been putting up some recent long-play videos of Sin playing UnderMine taken from recent livestreams. Check them out on our YouTube. Sin will also be doing a livestream of UnderMine 1.0 tonight to see just how deep the mines go, follow us on Twitch for that!

You can buy UnderMine on Steam.

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Decide who lives and dies in the open source 'Death and Taxes' now on GOG

Thursday 6th of August 2020 01:57:17 PM

Death and Taxes, a release from early 2020 that later had the code open sourced is now available to pick up on the DRM-free store GOG.

You play the role of the Grim Reaper, although not in the way you might expect. It's a bit of a weird underworld office job. Using your stamp of doom, you get to pick who lives and who dies and you have a quota to fill. Is your boss a bad guy or is this just how the afterlife really is? That's up to you to find out. Made in the spirit of "Papers, Please", "Reigns", "Beholder" and "Animal Inspector" to name a few.


Watch video on YouTube.com

Some of the features include:

  • Meaningful choices
  • Branching storyline with multiple [SECRET] endings
  • Make-Your-Own-Grim-Reaper!
  • Fully voiced NPCs
  • Original Soundtrack
  • Original artwork featuring watercolour graphics
  • Dialogue options
  • Upgrade shop

You can pick the game up now on GOG.com (there's also a demo) in addition to Steam and itch.io as before. Always nice to see more options for players interested and yet another good reminder in case you missed the original release. Find the source on GitHub under the MIT license.

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Aethernaut looks like a great upcoming mind-bending puzzle room game

Thursday 6th of August 2020 01:18:27 PM

Inspired by the likes of Portal and The Talos Principle, developer Dragon Slumber are working on and recently announced Aethernaut and it looks slick.

Set in a claustrophobic steampunk world, you must solve puzzle rooms using light, sensors, portals and time travel to gather the aether vials and access the core of the "Construct". With the help of your guide, Doctor Louis Cornell, they explain how this Construct came to be abandoned and why you were chosen to help save it. Is everything as it seems though, is Cornell actually trying to help? The voices creeping in say otherwise and they want your help too.

Here's a quick teaser trailer:


Watch video on YouTube.com

Not a whole lot of footage to go on but even so, that small slice definitely managed to capture my interest. First-person puzzlers with this puzzle-room style can be excellent as we've seen before. With the Steampunk setting and the mixture of puzzle elements, it could be great.

Planned features:

  • Solve over 100 puzzle rooms
  • Explore a vast open world by jumping, ledge grabbing and portaling
  • Master the three aether cubes through light driven puzzle design
  • Uncover the secrets of the Construct through voice recordings left by its citizens
  • Discover multiple endings depending on how you complete puzzles
  • Accessible gameplay with simple controls

You can wishlist and follow Aethernaut on Steam.

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Party game 'Gang Beasts' gets a big new opt-in Beta that needs testing

Thursday 6th of August 2020 01:05:16 PM

Ready to party? Now that Boneloaf / Coatsink are self-publishing Gang Beasts after splitting off from Double Fine they're starting to get back into major updates.

Originally released back in 2017, Gang Beasts is a local and online multiplayer party game with gelatinous characters, brutal slapstick fight sequences, and absurd hazardous environments, set in the mean streets of Beef City. It can be a serious amount of fun and it's set to get better. Now available in the "public_testing" Beta branch on Steam is a big new build, anyone can try it by going into your Steam Library, Right Click on Gang Beasts and go into Properties and then the Betas tab.

What's in it? A lot! For Linux specifically, they're no longer supporting 32bit as it's 64bit only due to them upgrading the Unity game engine to a much more modern version. However, until they either update the executable name or adjust their Steam config you will need to rename the executable to "Gang Beasts.x86" otherwise it won't launch from Steam—it is after all an opt-in Beta and issues like that will get sorted and they're already aware of it.

As for what else there's plenty of updates to stages, like the Wheel which works online and has better escalations and the lights are even now in sync with the music. Multiple bugs were also fixed across the stages. Character dragging was reduced, punch velocity for close targets was increased, grabbing and punching should feel better, throwing strength was slightly increased, there's new audio included for the Train and Trucks, there's an audio cue to indicate an oncoming train on the Subway level and the list of fixes and improvements goes on for some time.

They also mentioned how their own internal tools have seen improvements, as part of an ongoing process, to speed up their own development time.

You can pick up Gang Beasts cheap right now in the Humble Double Fine 20th Anniversary Bundle or Steam.


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More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Tuesday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (firmware-nonfree, golang-github-seccomp-libseccomp-golang, and ruby-kramdown), Fedora (kernel, libmetalink, and nodejs), openSUSE (go1.13, perl-XML-Twig, and thunderbird), Oracle (kernel, libvncserver, and thunderbird), Red Hat (kernel-rt and python-paunch and openstack-tripleo-heat-templates), SUSE (dpdk, google-compute-engine, libX11, webkit2gtk3, xen, and xorg-x11-libX11), and Ubuntu (nss and samba).

  • Security updates for Wednesday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (dovecot and roundcube), Fedora (python36), Gentoo (chromium), openSUSE (ark, firefox, go1.13, java-11-openjdk, libX11, wireshark, and xen), Red Hat (bind and kernel), SUSE (libreoffice and python36), and Ubuntu (dovecot and software-properties).

  • Microsoft August 2020 Patch Tuesday fixes 120 vulnerabilities, two zero-days
  • Nearly Every Android Phone Has Over 400 Vulnerabilities

    Many smartphones rely on third-party Digital Signal Processor (DSP) chips, which is basically a system on a chip. The system abilities include charging capabilities, such as “quick charge,” multimedia, audio features, image processing, and voice data.

  • Intel Publishes 18 New Security Advisories For 52 Vulnerabilities

    It is Intel's August 2020 disclosure day with 18 new advisories being issued for covering 52 vulnerabilities. Intel engineers uncovered around half of those 52 vulnerabilities internally while the rest were found by external security researchers.

Ulauncher - Ground control to Major Tux

Application launchers are an interesting phenomenon. They are both an amazing piece of software and also something that most people won't ever really need - or understand. They sit in the twilight zone between the Internet and your system menu. Which is what makes them so difficult to design and implement correctly. The best example of a successful tool of this nature is Krunner. It's integrated into the Plasma desktop, and it works well. Practical, versatile, extensible, full of goodies. But then, when I try to think of other candidates, my brain doesn't really throw any easy answers. Various Linux desktop did and do attempt to offer smart menus, but none of them really have that almost-AI super-tool. This led me on a pilgrimage, and what I found is a program called Ulauncher. Stop, testing time. Read more

today's howtos