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Updated: 10 min 32 sec ago

SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech has a free update with a New Game Plus mode

Thursday 8th of August 2019 11:29:53 AM

Tags: RPG, Card Game, Strategy, GOG, Steam, Update

Image & Form Games have updated their excellent roleplaying card game, SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech, with some free new features to play with.

Note: You can see my thoughts from the release here.

Making it into this update is a New Game Plus mode, unlocked by completing the story. It allows you to play again, while keeping most non-story progress gained from your previous playthrough. Additionally, there's a new higher difficulty setting "Legend Remix", it's not just more challenging but also contains some "gameplay twists of its own" although it's only available for New Game Plus. They also added a sweet art gallery, containing a bunch of unseen concept art, illustrations and a jukebox.

In the below video from the developer, they have a chat about some of the new bits:


Watch video on YouTube.com

Always nice to see an already great game get even better, it will be interesting to see if they plan on expanding it even further. I absolutely loved it! Definitely going to be jumping back in to play some more, I do love a challenge.

You can pick it up on GOG and Steam.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

NVIDIA have released some GPU documentation on GitHub

Wednesday 7th of August 2019 06:56:44 PM

Tags: NVIDIA

Someone check the weather in hell, as NVIDIA seem to be opening themselves up a bit more with the release of some additional GPU documentation.

Phoronix writes that NVIDIA notified them about the documentation now being available on GitHub along with it under an MIT license, which should hopefully help the Nouveau open source Linux driver. It was previously available here on their own website, although they stopped updating that in May. So not only is this more up to date with new and updated files, it's also far easier to look through.

The documentation covers all sorts of things like the BIOS, their custom "Falcon" architecture for security, memory tweaking and so on. This isn't just desktop GPU docs either, having a look over it myself there's information for notebook products as well.

According to what NVIDIA said, it's a work in progress and not everything is up yet. This has apparently been a "multi-year undertaking", which isn't really surprising given how it would all have to be run through different people to sign off on it. The legal spaghetti surrounding things like this is probably quite messy.

Pretty big surprise, nice to see NVIDIA make some more open steps. It's still nothing compared to the levels of AMD and Intel, since they have proper open source drivers but it's a good step in a nice direction for sure. You can find it all here on GitHub.

Hey NVIDIA, if you're reading—get in touch!

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Tactical action-platformer Gunslugs:Rogue Tactics is out

Wednesday 7th of August 2019 05:24:24 PM

Tags: Pixel Graphics, Action, Platformer, Steam, New Release, Indie Game

Jump, dodge, shoot and hide in the latest game from Orangepixel, the tactical action-platformer Gunslugs:Rogue Tactics is out now. Note: Key provided by the developer.

It's an interesting one, since you can play it a number of different ways. There's the guns-blazing approach which is quite amusing but since it has stealth elements, you can sneak your way through it and take out unsuspecting enemies in some hilarious ways.


Watch video on YouTube.com

While there's often a fair amount going on, mechanically the game is quite simple and so this makes it easy to learn. Not exactly an easy game though, there's a healthy challenge to some sections of it and I've lost count of how many times I've died, although a good half of that was due to my own stupidity but I died in style.

The AI is certainly fun to mess with, so many possibilities on how to take them down. Shoot them from cover, distract them with a bouncy ball and sneak up behind (they're not too smart), throw many explosives, drop something right on their head the list goes on. I've tried the weapons-hot approach a few times too, running and gunning and that's equally as fun and it ends up a bit Broforce-like if you do it that way, only with some actual objectives on top.

Features:

  • Objectives – complete missions to progress in the game.
  • Stealth – Avoid security cameras, hide from enemies and distract them with rocks, tennis-balls or other throwable objects.
  • Loot – A variation of items is there to help you on your missions, shields, helmets, different shoe types, EMP's, weapons, and more. Learn how to use each item in the most optimal way to help you survive missions.
  • Procedural generation – Every game will be generated differently, increasing the replay value.

There's also some destructible terrain. I previously thought some areas were blocked off, with bugged random generation. As it turns out, you can just blow those walls up! Probably my favourite Orangepixel game so far and a very fun action-platformer, but it does have some minor issues.

If you have a Steam Controller, it's little on the twitchy side. It won't pick it up unless it's turned on first and one prompt tells you Z for inventory when it's hold-X on gamepad. Also, the game seems to randomly minimize at times with it, which is a big nuisance! When you come out of the pause menu, it will take a double button press so you close the pause menu and jump, which has killed me twice. That last one only seems to happen on gamepad though, with keyboard it's fine.

There's a few other minor kinks, like sometimes explosions don't quite take down enemies when they should and they act like nothing happened. Other than that though, it's great.

Find Gunslugs:Rogue Tactics on Steam where it's 10% off until August 13th.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Anodyne 2: Return to Dust confirmed for launch on August 12th, Linux support included

Wednesday 7th of August 2019 02:16:56 PM

Tags: Upcoming, Indie Game, Unity, Adventure, RPG, Retro

Anodyne 2: Return to Dust, the standalone followup to Anodyne that doesn't require you play the original is officially launching with Linux support on August 12th. Previously, they did announce it would arrive in August but they didn't have a set date and so now we do.

Anodyne 2: Return to Dust combines the thrilling scale and cinematic storytelling of 3D games with the tight design and easy-to-pick-up satisfaction of 2D Zelda-like adventures. With art that re-imagines the PS1 and N64 era, explore 3D cities, valleys, and wastelands then shrink into the varied 2D mindscapes of characters, from snowy, aurora-lit valleys to perilous volcanic construction sites!

For those unsure about the ties between the first game and this, the developer said it can be seen as a sort-of spiritual successor. It has a completely new world and characters, but there are a few ties to the first that dedicated fans will get but you can play them in any order you like.


Watch video on YouTube.com

Features:

  • In 3D, run, jump and drive across gorgeous and haunting locales, speaking with strange and memorable characters.
  • Choose where you want to go! The sweeping vistas of New Theland quickly open up to exploration. Instantly transform into a car to quickly drive around the world.
  • In 2D, use your Nano Vacuum to collect dust, suck up and fight enemies, all while overcoming mind-bending challenges related to the characters’ inner lives.
  • Seek magical Cards which expand your access into New Theland’s outer reaches.
  • Experience the thrilling and emotional story of Nova. Her destiny is clear: she is the Nano Cleaner who will save New Theland. But strange characters & painful experiences will put her loyalty to the test...

We've already been provided with a review key, so we shall have something up on it around the release. Until then though, I can at least confirm it does seem to work perfectly.

The release will be available on Humble Store, GOG, itch.io and Steam.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

18th century city-builder "Ostriv" still planning to support Linux

Wednesday 7th of August 2019 02:00:05 PM

Tags: Indie Game, Steam, Early Access, Upcoming, City Builder

Ostriv is a game I've not heard anything about for quite some time, after initially covering it here on GamingOnLinux back in 2017. It's heading to Steam Early Access this year!

Ostriv aims to raise the bar of city-building experience by adding a huge amount of possibilities and removing annoying limitations. It allows for truly organic town layouts without the grid and angle restrictions on a three-dimensional landscape. The goal is to make player's creations to become alive and believable communities where real-life problems would arise, thus making the late game a new challenge rather than a repetitive chore.


Watch video on YouTube.com

The game was already stated to be coming to Linux years ago, however it's good to see this continue to be confirmed as development pushes ahead towards a release. As stated on the Steam page (if you expand the Early Access info box), Linux support is set on their roadmap with Mac only being a "Maybe".

Currently, the developer is planning to enter Early Access sometime in Q4 2019, with the Linux version due later when more of the core gameplay is implemented. Will let you know when they have a solid date in place for the Linux version to be available.

You can follow/wishlist it on Steam, looks like one to keep an eye on.

Hat tip to Tiedemann.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Screaming Steel: 1914-1918, a WWI total conversion for Day of Infamy has a major update

Wednesday 7th of August 2019 01:47:16 PM

Tags: Steam, FPS, Mod, Update

If you're after your next FPS fix, perhaps the Screaming Steel: 1914-1918 mod for Day of Infamy might be worth a look.

Screaming Steel: 1914-1918, previously known as WWI: Source is a total-conversion project being developed by devoted modders for Day of Infamy, utilizing a fantastic build of the Source engine to give you a convincing and compelling historical shooter experience. The mod uses the gameplay core from vanilla Day of Infamy, but with its own unique twist due to the nature of the equipment and tactics used during World War I.

This total conversion just had a massive update to include co-op-support, a new map, 5 new weapons and body armour. You can see a full post on what's new here, what a fresh trailer below:


Watch video on YouTube.com

Since it uses the Steam Workshop, running it is easy. You need to own Day of Infamy of course, then grab all the required files from here. Once your Steam client has them, you're good to go.

Once in-game, just head to the Multiplayer or Cooperative menus, then hit the Browse Servers button in the top right. From there, you should see Screaming Steel in the list of servers you can choose on the left of your screen:

Apart from a rather long initial load time, the mod seems to work great on Linux. It performs well and the different setting is certainly interesting when compared with vanilla Day of Infamy. While we also have the WWI shooters Verdun and Tannenberg, it's good to see more especially as the gameplay feel is very different between them.

You can find Day of Infamy on Steam, with Screaming Steel: 1914-1918 available from the Steam Workshop.

Hat tip to Jolltz.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Dota 2 is going through some big changes to matchmaking

Wednesday 7th of August 2019 01:17:34 PM

Tags: MOBA, Update, Free Game, Valve, Steam

Valve are attempting to address numerous complaints and issues involving the Dota 2 community and matchmaking system, with some experimental changes. These adjustments have been explained in some detail in their latest update.

Starting off by giving some reasons for the changes, they said over the next year they will be focusing on all sorts including "intra-team balance, player conduct, new player experience, abusive behaviors, account buying, friend and teamplay aspects, high mmr matchmaking dynamics" and more. Why? They want to make Dota 2 more fun for people playing at any level.

The first set of major experimental are already up and will last until the end of the season. When the experiment is over, they will be requesting feedback sometime after The International tournament concludes.

So what's changed? Firstly, they've removed separate Solo and Party MMRs, something they know is "controversial" and they're not "fully confident" in it actually being a good change. One major reason being that (with the normal system) it favours people playing solo. They also believe their matchmaking system is balanced enough, that playing with a friend with a higher rating shouldn't affect the overall balance but more work is to be done on that.

They also moved the Ranked Roles feature from the Battle Pass into the main game, along with having both Core and Support MMR numbers (with leaderboards for both). So now, when picking a game you can select different roles and you will be matched based on either your Core or Support MMR.

The full post with all the details can be viewed here.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

After a mishap losing code, the dev of Exodemon has recovered some making a Linux build possible

Wednesday 7th of August 2019 08:34:34 AM

Tags: Indie Game, Unity, Upcoming, Steam

Exodemon, a fast paced first person shooter that recently released on Steam has an unfortunate history with some code being lost. The good news is some has been recovered and work continues, with a Linux version possible again.

It release on Steam on August 3rd and it came without the previously confirmed Linux version. I was aware of what happened after chatting to the developer previously, but waited until they said something more public on it. Now they have, with an announcement posted:

[…] As we mentioned in the last update, we've lost the project one year ago and had to rely on a decompiled version of Exodemon to finish development.

Today, we're very happy to announce we were able to recover part of the project, which we believed to be impossible! Now, we can once again edit the game in the Unity editor. […]

They've got a lot of work ahead of them, to fix up everything in the project and get it properly working again. The good news though, is that in that announcement they also mentioned that this will allow them to make new builds again, including one for Linux.

Before people start screaming "use version control!", the developer actually was. The problem, is that with the Unity game engine if you're using an external version control system you need to ensure that the .meta files Unity generates are visible. Without them, things can get pretty badly broken. As the Unity docs state "in the case of a texture asset losing its .meta file, any Materials which used that Texture will now have no reference to that texture" and "In the case of a script asset losing its .meta file, any Game Objects or Prefabs which had that script assigned would end up with an “unassigned script” component, and would lose their functionality".

The developer said on Twitter, that at some point they stopped including the .meta files from commits around a year ago and when they went to reverse something, everything went "boom". They managed to release on Steam, partly thanks to tools that allow you to inject code into a Unity build. Such tools, the developer said, "[…] are usually used to hack games or steal projects for reskinning, now I'm grad they exist […]".

Sounds like a rough time, glad to see they didn't give up. They certainly went through some big hoops to actually get their game out there.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

KDE has an unpatched security issue that's been made public

Wednesday 7th of August 2019 08:09:11 AM

Tags: Misc, Security

Here's your morning dose of uh-oh, a security researcher has made an unfortunate vulnerability in KDE public. Not something we usually cover, but since there's no fix available it's worth letting you know.

The issue relates to how KDE handles .desktop and .directory files, since on KDE they allow what they call "Shell Expansion" allowing some nasty code to be run. The other issue, is that KDE will automatically execute them without you even opening the files. Discovered by Dominik "zer0pwn" Penner, you can see their write-up of the issue here:

Using a specially crafted .desktop file a remote user could be compromised by simply downloading and viewing the file in their file manager, or by drag and dropping a link of it into their documents or desktop.

Sadly, this makes the security issue one that's quite easy for someone to exploit, as long as they get you to download something containing the malicious file.

On Twitter, the KDE team posted:

For the moment avoid downloading .desktop or .directory files and extracting archives from untrusted sources.

However, that might not be good enough. Going by what else Penner also said on Twitter, it's not just .desktop or .directory files as any unknown filetype can be detected by KDE as an application/desktop mimetype making it a lot worse than originally thought. As long as a file contains "[Desktop Entry]" at the top, it seems KDE will have a go at parsing it.

On top of that, the KDE team were not made aware of the issue before this was all made public. So if you're running KDE, time to be super careful until a patch is out. Hopefully all distributions shipping KDE will be keeping a close eye on this for when a patch is available.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Non-linear RPG "Dark Envoy" from the developer of Tower of Time announced, planned for Linux

Tuesday 6th of August 2019 09:33:03 PM

Tags: RPG, Steam, Indie Game, Upcoming

Developer Event Horizon has my attention, with the announcement of their brand new non-linear RPG called Dark Envoy.

Dark Envoy is a non-linear RPG inspired by the likes of the Divinity series, XCOM, FTL, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age to offer free world exploration with an emphasis on tactical combat layered with lore and strategy. A continuation of Event Horizon’s attempt, which began with the studio’s debut title Tower of Time, to shatter long-standing RPG tropes and to create something unique in the process.

They have an announcement trailer up, which doesn't show any actual game-play but it gives us an idea about the setting.


Watch video on YouTube.com

Once they actually have a proper gameplay trailer up, we will be sure to let you know. If that's not enough for you, we also have some in-game screenshots to share (click to enlarge):

Now you've had a good look at what to expect, get a look at the features they're planning to unleash on us:

  • Non-linear RPG with turn-based combat accompanied by a real time pre-combat phase where tactics and party power are equally important.
  • Player choices impact the world: it can be destroyed or saved, and the stories that unfold will lead to multiple endings reflecting the characters’ personalities and decisions.
  • Co-written by Michael Chatfield, an Amazon Top 100 Science Fiction / Fantasy writer (specializing in litRPG genre).
  • 15 unique character classes to discover - with the ability to mix skill trees - including some rare classes which can only be found in remote locations or through chained quests.
  • New RPG system, promoting experimentation and requiring frequent adaptation to the new challenges.
  • Can be played solo, two player co-op, as well as a unique mode called Player vs World where Player 2 acts as the final boss seeking to destroy Player 1 before he/she becomes too powerful.
  • High-replayability factor due to large pool of quests, local, and world events. One cannot uncover all of the content in a single playthrough.

When asking about their plans for Linux support on the Steam forum, I will admit their reply was a surprise. A very nice surprise in fact, here's what they said:

We spent a considerable effort to make Tower of Time run well on Linux - so now, being more experienced with it, we also plan to release on Linux at the same time as PC launch.

Excellent news! Their choices of inspiration for the game are some very popular titles, so hopefully they will live up to it in their own way. I like the sound of it, the graphics look good too. Given how interesting Tower of Time was, I'm very curious to see what more Event Horizon really has in store for us when it releases sometime next year.

You can wishlist/follow it on Steam. Just make sure you've set your platform preferences correctly, to show as a Linux wishlist.

Hat tip to Cláudio in our Telegram for the initial note.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Psyonix are removing randomized loot boxes from Rocket League

Tuesday 6th of August 2019 06:27:28 PM

Tags: Sports, Steam, Misc

Rocket League, the awesome sports game about smacking balls into goals using rocket powered cars is going through some changes.

Psyonix announced today, that "all paid, randomized Crates" will be removed from Rocket League sometime later this year. Instead, they're going with "a system that shows the exact items you’re buying in advance" noting similar changes by the Fortnite Save the World team and since Psyonix is now owned by Epic Games it's no surprise they're doing this.

However, it's not clear yet exactly what system they're going to be doing. Going by the title of the post starting with "Crates Leaving", you would think they won't be in it at all. However, the wording in the post was interesting as it leaves it open for them to keep loot crates but have you see the contents. The other option would be a shop system, where you buy exactly what you want. A shop system is definitely better than loot box gambling, however it can introduce its own problems if things are on a timer with FOMO (Fear of missing out) a very real issue for some.

They said more info will be available "in the coming months".

I'm 100% convinced at this point that Rocket League will be going free to play eventually. Until then, find it on Humble Store and Steam.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Lost Flame is a new roguelike in Early Access with a focus on the combat and different weapons

Tuesday 6th of August 2019 05:53:16 PM

Tags: Indie Game, Early Access, Steam, Roguelike, Pixel Graphics

Need a new roguelike to sink some time into? Lost Flame recently arrived on Steam in Early Access and it now has Linux support included too. Note: Copy personally purchased.

Lost Flame is a modern roguelike game featuring unique and challenging turn-based combat. Explore the ruined kingdom of Hiraeth, fight against legendary warriors of the past and discover the reasons of the cataclysm.

Arriving on Steam on August 2nd, the Linux version had a slight delay but as of yesterday it's properly live. It's a pretty streamlined roguelike, with retro pixel-art styling but the difference is how you play it.


Watch video on YouTube.com

It has some of the usual elements of the roguelike genre such as turn-based combat, permanent death and procedural content (random generation). The real difference here is the focus on the combat and there's no classes or messing about with adjusting skill levels. Instead, in Lost Flame the skills you have depend on what you have equipped. Combat also largely depends on your positioning, you can get around enemies while they perform an attack or use abilities from an equipped weapon to avoid it.

So far, it does seem really quite fun, I've been enjoying testing out the different abilities the weapons have. Well, I was, until Ivar showed up:

About the items, you also have no idea what they actually do until you level up, which certainly makes it interesting. You might be holding onto something awesome and have no idea.

While it had some initial problems, the developer very quickly solved them and now it's working perfectly. The developer said they're "not that experienced with Linux" but they're already doing well.

Lost Flame is quite simple in the presentation, although the actual game-play is surprisingly fun already. What I did appreciate in Lost Flame as well as the combat was the brief tutorial, which helps you quickly understand it. I shall be watching this one while it's further developer for sure. The developer said their plan is to hopefully have a final release sometime in "Q3 2020".

You can find Lost Flame on Steam now in Early Access.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Deadly Days continues to be a really fun strategic zombie survival rogue-lite

Tuesday 6th of August 2019 05:47:56 PM

Tags: Early Access, Indie Game, Zombies, Rogue-lite, Survival, Steam, Update

After leaving the strategic zombie survival rogue-lite Deadly Days to cook for a while, it's had a few major updates while in Early Access and it's really coming along nicely.

In Deadly Days, your task is to manage a group of survivors as they go through looting various locations while you progress towards finding a cure. Every game is different with a new set of survivors with their own abilities, a different set of missions to go through and so on. As you explore various locations, you guide your crew around the map to find loot, while they automatically use their weapons (or with you manually aiming) to deal with all the Zombies around.

Looking over recent updates they've added in quite a lot to the game since I last checked it out. There's an entirely new intro, a new main menu, an interactive tutorial to help you understand what to do, a Daily Challenge mode, the start of some Twitch integration, animated trees that can be destroyed, more visual feedback, a new sparkle effect to show you what your survivors can interact with when looting (really helpful), new powers available to you, new items to find, optional objectives you can do during looting missions and loads more.

Here's a fresh look at a few minutes of it:


Watch video on YouTube.com

A pretty good squad management survival game, one I'm enjoying more and more. While slightly relaxing clicking around in the first few levels, once the threat level starts to increase it really does become intense. Thankfully, as you loot you will gain access to much better weapons and abilities, but once you stay a bit too long the hordes can get pretty difficult to deal with.

The progress on Deadly Days has been impressive. Deadly Days started off confusing and extremely limited, but now it's turning into a fun game overall.

You can find it on Steam in Early Access.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Want a copy of Slay the Spire? Enter our competition

Tuesday 6th of August 2019 02:45:25 PM

Tags: Competition

Slay the Spire, the absolutely brilliant fusion of a roguelike and a deck-building card game released with Linux support in January, now is your chance to win a copy.

As a reminder, here's what Slay the Spire features:

  • Dynamic Deck Building: Choose your cards wisely! Discover hundreds of cards to add to your deck with each attempt at climbing the Spire. Select cards that work together to efficiently dispatch foes and reach the top.
  • An Ever-changing Spire: Whenever you embark on a journey up the Spire, the layout differs each time. Choose a risky or safe path, face different enemies, choose different cards, discover different relics, and even fight different bosses!
  • Powerful Relics to Discover: Powerful items known as relics can be found throughout the Spire. The effects of these relics can greatly enhance your deck through powerful interactions. But beware, obtaining a relic may cost you more than just gold...

You can also some some previous thoughts of mine about it here.

What do you have to do to win?

Since it's a deck-building card game, how about you draw your own card and include it in our comments.

Who can enter?

Anyone.

When does it end?

I will pick a winner Friday evening UTC time. The winner will be sent a Personal Message on here with a Humble Store gift link.

Why are you doing this?

Humble Bundle sent over a copy of the latest Humble Monthly which includes it. I already own Slay the Spire so I would love for someone else to get the chance to enjoy it, while also appreciating your wonderful attempts at art.

Slay the Spire is available on Humble Store and Steam.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Looks like we might see the end of developers constantly changing their Steam release date

Tuesday 6th of August 2019 02:23:21 PM

Tags: Steam, Misc

Steam isn't perfect, that's for sure and one particular issue that constantly comes up is how some developers have been abusing the release date display.

Previously, it seems developers were able to change their upcoming release date whenever they wanted to. Some took advantage of this, to constantly ensure their game showed up on the first two pages of the Coming Soon section on Steam. The issue is that it constantly pushed games with legitimate release dates back, sometimes multiple pages of searching. I saw it all the time and it was a massive nuisance, when clearly a lot of these games had no intention to release then.

Going by this Reddit post, which included the image below, it seems like Valve are finally starting to do something about this:

Going by that, it seems Valve will now be requiring at least some developers to contact them if they want to delay their release date. While a lot of people do value a more open store, there has to be limits somewhere.

Hat tip to Mr. Doomguy in Discord.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

This War of Mine has a third narrative-driven episode now available with Fading Embers

Tuesday 6th of August 2019 01:23:45 PM

Tags: DLC, New Release, Steam, Indie Game, Survival

11 bit studios have today released This War of Mine: Stories - Fading Embers, the third episode in their narrative-driven expansion set to the popular survival game.

Offering a very different experience to other survival games, This War of Mine takes place in a besieged city with you trying to keep a group alive against all odds. I enjoyed it a lot, although that feels a bit weird to say considering how bleak the game is.

Lead Artist on Fading Embers, Tomasz Kisilewicz, said this about the new story: "The new This War of Mine: Stories episode touches on the subject of cultural heritage and what it means during the war. Is it worth preserving even at the darkest times? Or maybe when we're pushed to our limits, when death and starvation are omnipresent - we change our perception of art and culture? And despite the artistic value - paintings, sculptures and rare books - become mere tools of survival. Just because by destroying them we can postpone our own demise. Is this cost justifiable? Players will have to face those dilemmas for themselves."


Watch video on YouTube.com

Sounds like quite a different play-style compared to what we've seen before with This War of Mine. They say the way it's been structured is different as it's non-linear, with multiple endings based on the decisions you take and a bunch of new gameplay mechanics, new locations and of course new characters for the story.

You can find This War of Mine: Stories - Fading Embers as part of the Season Pass on Humble Store, Steam and GOG. Currently though, it seems GOG don't have this newest expansion just yet.

You can also pick up the expansion by itself if you don't have the Season Pass.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Sweet indie RTS "The Fertile Crescent" adds female villagers, better AI and improved performance

Tuesday 6th of August 2019 11:29:52 AM

Tags: Strategy, RTS, Indie Game, Free Game, Itch.io, Alpha

Currently free during Alpha, The Fertile Crescent looks a bit like a retro Age of Empires and the development team continue advancing it.

A recent update to the game a little over a week ago, added in some rather impressive improvements to it. This includes female villagers with voicing, much improved performance, a considerably improved AI, the ability to use the mini-map to move units, buildings and units that are damaged will show a health bar, Swordsman attacks should work properly and lots of other bug fixes.

What's exciting, is now they've really improved the performance, they're going to be looking at adding support for team games in addition to the current 1v1 against AI or online with others. That will be a huge boost for the game.

If you're interested in giving it a go, you can find it free on itch.io.

The Fertile Crescent really is a sweet little RTS, well worth a shot if you usually like this sort of game. I've managed to enjoy a number of hours in it! The constant need for food feels a little punishing at times though, before doing anything you need to ensure you have tons of food coming in. If you wish to try it online with others, feel free to join one of our communities like Discord, Telegram or IRC.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

The upcoming forgotten video game world "Village Monsters" has a new trailer

Tuesday 6th of August 2019 10:40:24 AM

Tags: Indie Game, Pixel Graphics, Steam, Upcoming, RPG, Simulation

Village Monsters lets you step into a video game world, one long-forgotten and it finally has a new trailer to show off all the progress that has been made.

Something we highlighted here on GOL back in May, the last trailer was actually from 2017 so it was long overdue a better look at it. If you found Stardew Valley a bit too sweet, perhaps the strange run-down world of Village Monsters might be more you thing? Take a look:


Watch video on YouTube.com

Feature Highlight:

  • Befriend dozens of whimsical monsters, each with their own quirky personalities, interests, and problems to solve.
  • Pursue many interesting hobbies that let you hunt for treasure, collect and train creatures, cultivate mushroom gardens, and catch legendary fish.
  • Buy a fixer-upper and sink your entire life savings into it to make it your very own comfy-cozy homestead.
  • Engage in a variety of daily tasks and activities like earning money with a part time job, joining in village events and holidays, going on adventures - or just hanging out with your monster pals and watching some TV.
  • Unravel unique personal stories as you build friendships and learn the history (and secrets) of the village and its inhabitants.
  • Explore vast and strange areas outside the village ranging from vibrant forests, arctic deserts, fog-choked valleys, and the ruins of a best-forgotten empire.
  • Immerse yourself in a truly simulated world that boasts shifting weather patterns, sweeping seasonal changes, and interesting system interactions.
  • Harness the glitches of a run-down game and use them to empower your skills and fix this neglected world.

Interested? You can follow it on itch.io and Steam due for release sometime later this year after a few delays.

Since it's another game that was funded on Kickstarter, it has been added to our dedicated Crowdfunding Page to help you and us keep track.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Triangulum is a minimalist logic puzzle game now out with Linux support

Tuesday 6th of August 2019 10:23:00 AM

Tags: Puzzle, Indie Game, Steam, New Release

Perhaps you need something new to relax with while you're having a coffee break or you want to test your mind a little, without much stressing. Triangulum could fit there.

This new minimalist logic puzzle game from N5 Games has a nice simple style to it, with gameplay that looks really interesting and not very demanding of you. All you're doing is clicking triangles, to move points around the board to increase your score. It sounds simple, but it looks like it can get a bit complicated later on.


Watch video on YouTube.com

Feature Highlight:

  • 5 types of triangles, each with a different mechanic
  • 52 challenging and satisfying levels
  • Relaxing ambient soundtrack
  • Dark mode
  • Colorblind mode

Great to see more of these puzzle games on Linux, a genre we have a healthy amount of supported titles.

Find Triangulum on Steam now with Linux support.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

PlayStation 3 emulator RPCS3 continues to show off amazing progress, June's report is up

Tuesday 6th of August 2019 10:04:33 AM

Tags: Emulation, Open Source

The RPCS3 team continue hacking away at their code for this impressive PlayStation 3 emulator and they've reached another milestone.

With all the work going into it, they've finally managed to get to the stage where the amount of titles classed as "Playable" has become the largest. With Playable hitting 1,339 titles although it's likely bigger now, as they said their testers took a bit of a break. The amount of titles classed as "Nothing" (completely broken) is now only at 2!

An absolutely huge change this time, is the inclusion of support for native MSAA. According to what they said, previously people would upscale the resolution to deal with the lack of it. However, some games used MSAA on specific objects and it caused graphical problems. Now it's implemented, games should look and work better overall. Just look at the difference:

They also said the current implementation is quite restricted to match the PS3, but they do plan to make it more flexible to allow further graphical improvements.

More refinements have been made during this cycle too like multi-threading support for RSX workloads, with a bunch of bottlenecks found and fixed to help improve performance in different areas.

They also have another fresh video to show off some of the recent work:


Watch video on YouTube.com

For the games they noted this month: Haze became playable, Backbreaker Vengeance is another that's now playable, issues with Kidou Senshi Gundam UC crashing were fixed, 2010 FIFA World Cup: South Africa is another playable title, Fight Night Champion can go in-game but has performance issues, SEGA Rally Online Arcade can also go in-game now but performance isn't good, DJ Hero can also go in-game but RPCS3 does not yet support the DJ turntables.

I continue to be amazed by what they're able to do, so many games that will be kept alive thanks to the RPCS3 team. Emulation is essential to gaming history!

See the full post here.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

More in Tux Machines

LWN: Spectre, Linux and Debian Development

  • Grand Schemozzle: Spectre continues to haunt

    The Spectre v1 hardware vulnerability is often characterized as allowing array bounds checks to be bypassed via speculative execution. While that is true, it is not the full extent of the shenanigans allowed by this particular class of vulnerabilities. For a demonstration of that fact, one need look no further than the "SWAPGS vulnerability" known as CVE-2019-1125 to the wider world or as "Grand Schemozzle" to the select group of developers who addressed it in the Linux kernel. Segments are mostly an architectural relic from the earliest days of x86; to a great extent, they did not survive into the 64-bit era. That said, a few segments still exist for specific tasks; these include FS and GS. The most common use for GS in current Linux systems is for thread-local or CPU-local storage; in the kernel, the GS segment points into the per-CPU data area. User space is allowed to make its own use of GS; the arch_prctl() system call can be used to change its value. As one might expect, the kernel needs to take care to use its own GS pointer rather than something that user space came up with. The x86 architecture obligingly provides an instruction, SWAPGS, to make that relatively easy. On entry into the kernel, a SWAPGS instruction will exchange the current GS segment pointer with a known value (which is kept in a model-specific register); executing SWAPGS again before returning to user space will restore the user-space value. Some carefully placed SWAPGS instructions will thus prevent the kernel from ever running with anything other than its own GS pointer. Or so one would think.

  • Long-term get_user_pages() and truncate(): solved at last?

    Technologies like RDMA benefit from the ability to map file-backed pages into memory. This benefit extends to persistent-memory devices, where the backing store for the file can be mapped directly without the need to go through the kernel's page cache. There is a fundamental conflict, though, between mapping a file's backing store directly and letting the filesystem code modify that file's on-disk layout, especially when the mapping is held in place for a long time (as RDMA is wont to do). The problem seems intractable, but there may yet be a solution in the form of this patch set (marked "V1,000,002") from Ira Weiny. The problems raised by the intersection of mapping a file (via get_user_pages()), persistent memory, and layout changes by the filesystem were the topic of a contentious session at the 2019 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit. The core question can be reduced to this: what should happen if one process calls truncate() while another has an active get_user_pages() mapping that pins some or all of that file's pages? If the filesystem actually truncates the file while leaving the pages mapped, data corruption will certainly ensue. The options discussed in the session were to either fail the truncate() call or to revoke the mapping, causing the process that mapped the pages to receive a SIGBUS signal if it tries to access them afterward. There were passionate proponents for both options, and no conclusion was reached. Weiny's new patch set resolves the question by causing an operation like truncate() to fail if long-term mappings exist on the file in question. But it also requires user space to jump through some hoops before such mappings can be created in the first place. This approach comes from the conclusion that, in the real world, there is no rational use case where somebody might want to truncate a file that has been pinned into place for use with RDMA, so there is no reason to make that operation work. There is ample reason, though, for preventing filesystem corruption and for informing an application that gets into such a situation that it has done something wrong.

  • Hardening the "file" utility for Debian

    In addition, he had already encountered problems with file running in environments with non-standard libraries that were loaded using the LD_PRELOAD environment variable. Those libraries can (and do) make system calls that the regular file binary does not make; the system calls were disallowed by the seccomp() filter. Building a Debian package often uses FakeRoot (or fakeroot) to run commands in a way that appears that they have root privileges for filesystem operations—without actually granting any extra privileges. That is done so that tarballs and the like can be created containing files with owners other than the user ID running the Debian packaging tools, for example. Fakeroot maintains a mapping of the "changes" made to owners, groups, and permissions for files so that it can report those to other tools that access them. It does so by interposing a library ahead of the GNU C library (glibc) to intercept file operations. In order to do its job, fakeroot spawns a daemon (faked) that is used to maintain the state of the changes that programs make inside of the fakeroot. The libfakeroot library that is loaded with LD_PRELOAD will then communicate to the daemon via either System V (sysv) interprocess communication (IPC) calls or by using TCP/IP. Biedl referred to a bug report in his message, where Helmut Grohne had reported a problem with running file inside a fakeroot.

Flameshot is a brilliant screenshot tool for Linux

The default screenshot tool in Ubuntu is alright for basic snips but if you want a really good one you need to install a third-party screenshot app. Shutter is probably my favorite, but I decided to give Flameshot a try. Packages are available for various distributions including Ubuntu, Arch, openSuse and Debian. You find installation instructions on the official project website. Read more

Android Leftovers

IBM/Red Hat and Intel Leftovers

  • Troubleshooting Red Hat OpenShift applications with throwaway containers

    Imagine this scenario: Your cool microservice works fine from your local machine but fails when deployed into your Red Hat OpenShift cluster. You cannot see anything wrong with the code or anything wrong in your services, configuration maps, secrets, and other resources. But, you know something is not right. How do you look at things from the same perspective as your containerized application? How do you compare the runtime environment from your local application with the one from your container? If you performed your due diligence, you wrote unit tests. There are no hard-coded configurations or hidden assumptions about the runtime environment. The cause should be related to the configuration your application receives inside OpenShift. Is it time to run your app under a step-by-step debugger or add tons of logging statements to your code? We’ll show how two features of the OpenShift command-line client can help: the oc run and oc debug commands.

  • What piece of advice had the greatest impact on your career?

    I love learning the what, why, and how of new open source projects, especially when they gain popularity in the DevOps space. Classification as a "DevOps technology" tends to mean scalable, collaborative systems that go across a broad range of challenges—from message bus to monitoring and back again. There is always something new to explore, install, spin up, and explore.

  • How DevOps is like auto racing

    When I talk about desired outcomes or answer a question about where to get started with any part of a DevOps initiative, I like to mention NASCAR or Formula 1 racing. Crew chiefs for these race teams have a goal: finish in the best place possible with the resources available while overcoming the adversity thrown at you. If the team feels capable, the goal gets moved up a series of levels to holding a trophy at the end of the race. To achieve their goals, race teams don’t think from start to finish; they flip the table to look at the race from the end goal to the beginning. They set a goal, a stretch goal, and then work backward from that goal to determine how to get there. Work is delegated to team members to push toward the objectives that will get the team to the desired outcome. [...] Race teams practice pit stops all week before the race. They do weight training and cardio programs to stay physically ready for the grueling conditions of race day. They are continually collaborating to address any issue that comes up. Software teams should also practice software releases often. If safety systems are in place and practice runs have been going well, they can release to production more frequently. Speed makes things safer in this mindset. It’s not about doing the “right” thing; it’s about addressing as many blockers to the desired outcome (goal) as possible and then collaborating and adjusting based on the real-time feedback that’s observed. Expecting anomalies and working to improve quality and minimize the impact of those anomalies is the expectation of everyone in a DevOps world.

  • Deep Learning Reference Stack v4.0 Now Available

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to represent one of the biggest transformations underway, promising to impact everything from the devices we use to cloud technologies, and reshape infrastructure, even entire industries. Intel is committed to advancing the Deep Learning (DL) workloads that power AI by accelerating enterprise and ecosystem development. From our extensive work developing AI solutions, Intel understands how complex it is to create and deploy applications for deep learning workloads. That?s why we developed an integrated Deep Learning Reference Stack, optimized for Intel Xeon Scalable processor and released the companion Data Analytics Reference Stack. Today, we?re proud to announce the next Deep Learning Reference Stack release, incorporating customer feedback and delivering an enhanced user experience with support for expanded use cases.

  • Clear Linux Releases Deep Learning Reference Stack 4.0 For Better AI Performance

    Intel's Clear Linux team on Wednesday announced their Deep Learning Reference Stack 4.0 during the Linux Foundation's Open-Source Summit North America event taking place in San Diego. Clear Linux's Deep Learning Reference Stack continues to be engineered for showing off the most features and maximum performance for those interested in AI / deep learning and running on Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs. This optimized stack allows developers to more easily get going with a tuned deep learning stack that should already be offering near optimal performance.