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Updated: 3 hours 57 min ago

Unity 2020.1 game engine released, Unity acquires the Bolt visual scripting asset

Friday 24th of July 2020 09:26:41 AM

Unity Technologies have released the latest version of the Unity game engine with Unity 2020.1 with lots of new features and bug fixes included.

This is the first planned 'TECH' release of this year, which is the interim release build where all the fancy new tech goes in for developers who need the latest and greatest. Unity do two TECH releases a year to introduce and polish all the new stuff but they suggest sticking to the LTS (long term support) releases for production, which release following the two TECH builds.

Looking over the release notes, there's quite a lot of fixes for Linux included in there, and plenty of Vulkan improvements too which is good news. It also mentions added IL2CPP support for the Linux Standalone player, although that's been available in previous releases.

Get a little overview of what's new in the below video:


Watch video on YouTube.com

On top of all the advancements, Unity has also acquired the Bolt visual scripting asset from Developer Ludiq, so it's now included free for all Unity developers. It looks like an incredibly useful addon, allowing you to pretty-much drag and drop events around instead of line-by-line scripting. More about that here.

Full release notes of Unity 2020.1 here.

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No 10nm-based Intel CPUs for desktop users until 2021, 7nm-based CPUs delayed

Friday 24th of July 2020 09:05:40 AM

Seems Intel are not having the best of times with their CPU tech lately. Not only have they been through waves of security issues, they're continuing to struggle to move to smaller processing nodes.

In the latest earnings call showing off their second-quarter 2020 financial results, we got an interesting little peek behind the curtain at their plans for future CPUs. What we know is that Intel are continuing to lag behind and it's not getting any better for quite some time.

Here's what they said about it in the press release:

Intel is accelerating its transition to 10nm products this year with increasing volumes and strong demand for an expanding line up. This includes a growing portfolio of 10nm-based Intel Core processors with “Tiger Lake” launching soon, and the first 10nm-based server CPU “Ice Lake,” which remains planned for the end of this year.

In the second half of 2021, Intel expects to deliver a new line of client CPU’s (code-named “Alder Lake”), which will include its first 10nm-based desktop CPU, and a new 10nm-based server CPU (code-named “Sapphire Rapids”).

The company's 7nm-based CPU product timing is shifting approximately six months relative to prior expectations. The primary driver is the yield of Intel's 7nm process, which based on recent data, is now trending approximately twelve months behind the company's internal target.

This is all while AMD are still planning to have Zen 3 available this year and Zen 4 CPUs before 2022. It's good to see competition once again in the CPU market. However, it's not good if Intel continually get further behind like this, otherwise we eventually end up in a reverse situation of what we had before with Intel and AMD. Ideally, when Intel sort their yields out, they can come back stronger again which will then keep competition healthy because that's what benefits us consumers the most.

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Jack Black provides the tunes for the latest Psychonauts 2 trailer

Friday 24th of July 2020 08:49:48 AM

With some fully psychedelic styling to it, the latest Psychonauts 2 trailer is out now with vocals from Jack Black.

What is Psychonauts 2? Crowdfunded on the Fig platform with over three million dollars back in 2016, it's a sequel to the much loved first full game from Double Fine Productions, which ended on something of a cliffhanger. Fans have been waiting so very long to find out more and they will…in 2021.

In the brand new trailer, Raz is jumping inside a brain and it all gets thoroughly weird. As if things weren't trippy enough! It also showcases a brand new power with the 'Time Bubble, which lets you slow down platforms and you can use it against enemies too. Check it out:


Watch video on YouTube.com

On the subject of the release date, it was only briefly mentioned in the Fig post that the new date is 2021. Originally due in 2019, then delayed until this year and now they're saying that their new 'corporate masters mean a little more time and resources to perfect things'.

The good news is that Double Fine Productions have confirmed, once again, that Psychonauts 2 will be coming to all promised platforms—which does of course include Linux PC. We do expect this to be the last new Double Fine title supported officially on Linux though, as they're now owned by Microsoft as part of Xbox Game Studios. You can follow Psychonauts 2 on Steam.

You can also buy the original Psychonauts from Humble Store, GOG and Steam.

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WW1 survival horror 'CONSCRIPT' is fully funded and coming to Linux PC

Friday 24th of July 2020 08:29:12 AM

CONSCRIPT, a blending of themes and elements similar to Resident Evil and Silent Hill come together in the harsh trenches of the first world war. It recently completed a Kickstarter campaign, pulling close to $40,000 (AU) from almost 800 backers to bring it to life across the confirmed platforms of Linux, macOS and Windows.

Exploring a setting that horror games don't usually go to, a pixel-art survival horror like this definitely has a way of capturing our interest.

"During the First World War, a lone French soldier must navigate twisted trenches, scavenge for limited supplies and solve complex puzzles - all whilst fighting for survival in the midst of mankind’s most brutal and horrifying conflict."


Watch video on YouTube.com

Feature Highlight:

  • Experience classic and methodical survival horror gameplay in a unique historical setting: the Battle of Verdun.
  • Fend off enemy soldiers and disturbing psychological manifestations with a variety of melee weapons and firearms.
  • Navigate intricate level design that promotes item management and route planning, whilst solving complex environmental puzzles.
  • Survive in an intense, harrowing atmosphere boosted by a unique pixel art aesthetic and oppressive sound design.
  • Three distinct areas that intertwine and overlap.
  • Highly re-playable with multiple difficulty settings, alternate scenarios and bonus weapons.

Follow it on Steam now the Kickstarter is over, of course we will let you know when it comes to release date info as usual as we will follow along development. It's also now listed on our dedicated crowdfunding page.

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Get a bunch of Paradox Interactive titles in the latest Humble Bundle

Thursday 23rd of July 2020 07:03:23 PM

Need some games for this coming weekend? Humble Bundle has returned with a new Paradox Interactive bundle.

The Humble Best of Paradox Interactive Bundle runs from now until Thursday, August 6th, 2020 and has some quality gaming experiences.

In the initial bottom tier there is:

  • Age of Wonders III - Linux supported
  • Europa Universalis IV - Linux supported
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane

Pay more than the average for:

  • Stellaris - Linux supported
  • Victoria Collection
  • NECROPOLIS: BRUTAL EDITION

The third tier, which requires a payment of at least £9.44 has:

  • BATTLETECH Digital Deluxe Edition - Linux supported (missing the icon, I've let them know)
  • Tyranny - Linux supported

Finally, the top tier at £13.37 has:

  • Imperator: Rome - Linux supported
  • 1 Month Free of Humble Choice for New Subscribers

If any of that interests you, see the full Humble Best of Paradox Interactive Bundle here.

For the games that offer up Linux support here, that's a pretty good selection if you don't already own them. I had a huge amount of fun exploring the RPG Tyranny and Stellaris is a game you can constantly go back to if you love your space strategy games.

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Civilization VI - Ethiopia Pack is out with a 'Secret Societies' game mode - free weekend

Thursday 23rd of July 2020 05:10:50 PM

Firaxis Games and 2K, along with Aspyr Media for the Linux and macOS versions today released the next DLC for the New Frontier Pass available for Civilization VI.

Coming as either part of the pass or as an individual purchase, the Ethiopia Pack is the second in a planned year of free updates and paid DLC for Civilization VI. If you buy the full New Frontier Pass instead of individual DLC, you also get access to 'Persona Packs' which add new flair and abilities to some rulers. Check out the first-look below:


Watch video on YouTube.com

Also see this video from their recent livestream for a longer gameplay demo.

Apart from adding in the new civ it also gives you access to the brand new Secret Societies Game Mode, which I will admit to being quite excited about, adding in a different way to play Civilization VI yet again. Unlike the Red Death game mode, this keeps all the city building but has you join what's basically a cult. You're not guaranteed to find one and they could be hiding anywhere from Barbarian Camps to Natural Wonders.

There's also a free game update out for everyone which includes AI improvements, the ability to dismiss Wonder Movies with a right click, UI camera panning has been disabled when a popup is active to prevent unintended panning, the Espionage pop-up now gives mission success probability info, they finally made the multiplayer chat window auto-scroll as it fills up and lots of bug fixes.

Tip: on Manjaro/Arch you may need this launch option on Steam to run it:

LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libfreetype.so.6 %command%

Fedora may need this:

LD_PRELOAD=/lib64/libfreetype.so.6 %command%

To do this:

  1. Right-click on the game title under the Library in Steam and select Properties.
  2. Under the General tab click the Set launch options... button.
  3. Enter the launch option from above
  4. Launch it

Sid Meier's Civilization VI is for Linux PC is available on the Humble Store and Steam. The base game is also on a Free Weekend on Steam so you can try before you buy.

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Destroy, consume, spread and stop at nothing - CARRION is out now

Thursday 23rd of July 2020 04:36:52 PM

CARRION from Phobia Game Studio and Devolver Digital sees you turn into an almost unstoppable force and you're so very hungry for tasty Human flesh. Note: key provided by GOG.com.

A creature of unknown origin, whose body doesn't have any real form. You're just a mess of angry, red tentacles that you use to reach out and destroy with. It's a reverse-horror and a damn good one at that. The kind of setting we don't often get to play in video games and a welcome change. Plenty of gore, screaming and exploration are on the cards here and none of it is boring. I often found myself just destroying everything possible because CARRION makes it feel so good.

This is what makes CARRION so interesting, as you instantly feel powerful. That feeling doesn't always stick though, especially when the soldiers start throwing everything they can at you. It's the mystery of it though that keeps you going, even without realising you're still trying to figure out what's truly going on. As you continue to smash through vents, doors and more to tease and confuse the bags of flesh before you inevitably devour them you're always progressing to unlock more of the game and unlock more of yourself.

Small spaces is what helps keep CARRION so intense. There's not a huge amount going on at any one time but in these limited, often cramped spaces it's got such fantastic design work that there actually is plenty you can do when you stop and think. That's quite hard to do too thanks to the ceaseless craziness, as I just want to storm in and spread red across the screen. I feel like a bad guy.

Check out the launch trailer below:


CARRION can easily be compared with plenty of horror movies, games that throw in various strange creatures and plenty more as it does clearly borrow some elements. I couldn't help but think of things like, well—The Thing. A familiar beast in some ways then you could say but thoroughly unique in its own right. CARRION is, very much so, a game that your parents would love to have warned you about.

Atmospherically, CARRION is something of a masterpiece. Gorgeous pixel-art with wonderful lighting, bright colours where it's needed and that's backed up by a great musical score to go with it. It all feels so very epic, despite still being quite a cramped experience when moving around, especially as you grow in size.

What impressed me most though is the movement and how utterly brilliant it is. Seeing all my freaky tentacles automatically spread and grab as I move, with all the little wiggly-squiggly sound effects to go along with it. Absolutely brilliant, it's practically hypnotic. I can't think of another experience quite like it. Controlling the creature is amazingly easy too, relying on very simple controls with a few extra buttons for special abilities you gradually unlock.

Check out our preview footage from the demo:


What you don't get with CARRION is a lot of story. Not that it's much of a problem here. Honestly, I didn't really care. I was far too busy throwing people around and laughing about what a delightful piece horror I had become. It uses a lot of environmental story telling, you need to look out for all the signs. I mean that literally too, there's scrolling LED signs to give you an idea of what's going on and sometimes it's quite amusing to see. It's actually quite a Metroidvania experience I would say too, thanks to everything being so connected together, with areas locked away until you manage to smash through a special container of the good stuff to evolve a little and progress further.

It's good to be bad, a little gross too but CARRION is a game worth your time. Thanks to the awesome pixel-art, you never really feel disgusted with the gore that you so easily could have been with a more realistic style.

CARRION can be played with either a gamepad or mouse / keyboard and it felt stupidly good with both. The Linux version was great, it's not often I really can't fault an experience.

You too can become a tsunami of angry red otherworldly DNA if you buy CARRION from GOG.com or Steam.

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A Hand With Many Fingers is a first-person investigative thriller out now

Thursday 23rd of July 2020 12:17:53 PM

Fancy becoming an investigator? A Hand With Many Fingers puts you inside a dusty CIA archive to search through historical documents to uncover a real Cold War conspiracy. Inspired by real events that actually happened which makes it quite interesting, however to ensure the overall story isn't immediately given away the actual documentation you go through is fictional.

"A Hand With Many Fingers is a first-person investigative thriller. While searching through a dusty CIA archive you uncover a real Cold War conspiracy. Every document you find has new leads to research. But the archive might not be as empty as you think…  "


Watch video on YouTube.com

Features:

  • Slowly unravel a thrilling historical conspiracy
  • Discover new clues through careful archival research
  • Assemble your theories using corkboard and twine
  • Experience a story of creeping paranoia

Due to the nature of the game, it's quite a slow experience. One that tells you quite clearly from the get go to grab a pen and paper because you're going to need to take some notes. Just like a real investigation, you will be digging through documents and pinning them on a board to connect all the dots. It's quite enthralling actually.

The developer said to make the game as accessible as possible, they've put it on a hybrid purchase model. They're asking that if you can do so, to pay the full price of $10 but for anyone who cannot afford it they've put it on a minimum $1 purchase price to help others out. A nice touch I thought.

The Linux version is currently only available on itch.io which appears to work just fine.

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Beyond a Steel Sky gets a first major patch, some big Linux improvements

Thursday 23rd of July 2020 11:54:45 AM

Beyond a Steel Sky, the recent big release from Revolution Software that acts as a sequel to the classic point and click adventure Beneath a Steel Sky has a most needed patch.

While an interesting and quite fun game to explore overall, the initial release was, uh—rough. On all sides, not just for Linux and there's been lots of reports about big bugs (some game breaking too). Thankfully, Revolution pushed through to support it and a first major update is out now.

On the Linux side the game should now use the correct GPU if you have a hybrid NVIDIA/Intel device and there's OpenGL support for those that need it. Looking at their launch script, it appears to default to OpenGL for NVIDIA and Intel but Vulkan for AMD. You can switch between using "-opengl" and "-vulkan" as a Steam launch option. On top of that there's "improved" transitions and cut-scenes which should fix some crashes. Speaking about the Linux updates, Revolution said:

Joost (who is so integral to Revolution, he doesn’t have a coherent title) and his old friend from his ScummVM days, TMM have teamed up and brought you these fixes thanks to the thorough feedback we’ve received from all of you!

Wonderful to see Linux dedication there!

Most importantly though, the game-breaking issue for all versions (Windows / Linux) where a certain robot was seemingly fixed to the ground preventing some saved games from continuing has been solved. I've gone back to an older save to verify and yup—works fine now.

They also confirmed Steam Achievements are coming and they're continuing to go over bugs as they come in. They plan to continue supporting it for some time.

You can buy Beyond a Steel Sky on Steam where it's discounted until July 30.


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Drink More Glurp brings some truly hilarious party gaming on August 6

Thursday 23rd of July 2020 11:20:01 AM

Now confirmed for release on August 6, Drink More Glurp is one party game I am especially looking forward to.

Set on a world where the alien inhabitants copied Earth's summer games and got everything just a bit wrong, players compete in various events and crazy contests. With a ton of single-player challenges and local hot-seat multiplayer for up to 20 people it's a very promising game.


Watch video on YouTube.com

I actually took a look during the 2020 Summer Steam Game Festival, and came away rather impressive with it. In fact, it's some of the most fun I had across the entire event because it's such a ridiculous game. The different events, mixed with the fun physics system and individual leg control just make it so satisfying when you're able to get a good run. When you don't get a good run, it's still highly entertaining because when you fail you do so in often hilarious ways. The parody of various sponsors are amusing too, taking aim at real sporting events in a playful way.

Feature Highlight:

  • Local multiplayer Party Mode from 2-20 Players
  • Thousands of possible event and sponsor combinations
  • A new competition each time you play
  • Single player Challenge Mode with online leaderboards and replays
  • Silly physics

Do keep an eye on it, could be the best party game releasing this year.

You can follow Drink More Glurp on Steam.

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Designed for big-screen TV gaming, the SteamOS-like 'GamerOS' has a new release

Thursday 23rd of July 2020 11:05:58 AM

Celebrating one year of existence, the impressive Linux distribution 'GamerOS' has a brand new release out for this updated SteamOS-like experience.

With the idea of giving you a decent out-of-the-box experience when gaming from a big screen, say on your big TV in your living room to game from your sofa, GamerOS can take away some hassle of the setup. Building upon the idea of SteamOS, it includes a bunch of extra enhancements to make Linux gaming on the big screen better while still using Steam and the Big Picture Mode.

GamerOS 19 went out this week on July 22, updating a bunch of the core components. This include the Linux Kernel 5.7.7 for new hardware support, Mesa 20.1.3 drivers for improved AMD/Intel GPU support, NVIDIA 450.57 drivers, RetroArch 1.8.9 and updates to their own steam-buddy and steam-tweaks tools.


If you've used Steam Big Picture, you'll get along fine.

With this release GamerOS can also now resume partially downloaded system updates, the steam-tweaks tools can now apply fixes during the first-time setup of games run with Proton and they're also certifying a bunch more games to work nicely including Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, Jurassic World Evolution, Into the Breach and more. You can see the release announcement here.

Since SteamOS development has seemingly halted for now (although Valve may get back to it one day), GamerOS is the next best thing for ease of use on a big screen for some dedicated Linux gaming. I still think they could have gone with a better name, as GamerOS sounds like some of the terrible "gamer" brands we see hardware vendors like to throw-up into the market. Name issues aside, we've had quite a few reports from readers very happy with GamerOS so it sounds like they're onto something.

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Slide is an upcoming split-screen racer with a colourful animal cast

Thursday 23rd of July 2020 10:46:08 AM

Slide is colourful, it's family friendly and it actually looks like a sweet upcoming split-screen indie racing game that's releasing later in 2020.

Currently in development by Mathias Fontmarty, a French indie game dev with their studio Oneiric Worlds whose aim is to create inspiring and feel-good video games. Slide will be their first title, which is a colourful racing game with a unique twist on the characters. You each play as a particular aquatic animal across wild and colourful environments, with the ability to dive below the surface to boost. A nice little twist on the usual arcade racer:


Watch video on YouTube.com

Currently their plan is to have 4 tracks, 4 different characters, 6 'totally unfair bonuses' and there will be split-screen support for up to 8 players to race against each other. Tracks will have hidden shortcuts too, so mastering them will give you an obvious little time bonus. Could be a nice little addition to your local multiplayer library.

The developer has confirmed it will be launching with Linux support towards the end of 2020 but no exact date has been set just yet. You can follow it on Steam.

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Narrative exploration RPG 'Vagrus - The Riven Realms' enters Early Access

Wednesday 22nd of July 2020 05:42:49 PM

Lost Pilgrims Studio have finally released Vagrus - The Riven Realms into Early Access on GOG and Steam.

Vagrus - The Riven Realms puts you in the shoes of a travelling caravan leader, as you explore the wastelands left over from the gods getting angry at humanity and basically annihilating everything while also leaving behind all sorts of horrors. It's a setting that demands to be explored and sucks you right in with the impressive world-building.

It's been a long time coming, after being available on the crowdfunding platform Fig for a year already. This is where they used a hybrid model of Early Access / Crowdfunding to raise funds to develop the game further while also providing people with a copy to play right away. Which obviously proved to be worthwhile for them, as the campaign recently passed $95,000.


Watch video on YouTube.com

It's a very slow-burning game, and your enjoyment will largely depend on your appreciation of the writing. In some ways Vagrus is like an interactive dark fantasy book. For me, I have a tendency to read a bit too fast and so Vagrus was a bit of a struggle to get into it initially, thankfully though I very much enjoyed the style of everything and the mystery of the world. The ability to pull up previous info is nice to let it all sink in when you're able to. Then you also have the turn-based combat, with all sorts of freakish enemies and resource / people management.

Keeping in mind it's still early, there's a lot left to do and this is the widest it's been available there's going to be plenty of rough edges but it's incredibly promising.

You can buy Vagrus - The Riven Realms on GOG and Steam, with a demo available in the form of a Prologue also on GOG and Steam.

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The no-violence survival platformer 'Residual' gets a demo and Kickstarter

Wednesday 22nd of July 2020 04:40:26 PM

Orangepixel are a long-time indie game developer with titles like Space Grunts, Gunslugs, Heroes of Loot and more. Their next title is Residual, a survival platformer with a difference.

Setting itself apart from the rest, there's no combat. The whole idea is to have a non-violent game of survival and exploration which I will admit has made me most curious about it. Stranded on a strange alien world, your task is to find a way off as you come across the residual technology left behind an ancient advanced race.

Check out the video with the developer talking about it and showing off some early footage:


Watch video on YouTube.com

Feature Highlight:

  • Everything in the world is procedurally generated, from the layout of the environments to the flora, fauna, temperatures, water, types of fruit, and range of creatures you'll encounter. Each playthrough will offer a completely unique experience and there's a virtually endless supply of new planets to explore.
  • There are no guns in the game, but that doesn't mean the world isn't filled with danger. You'll just have to discover creative solutions to avoid being killed by creatures who view you as tasty snack, flesh-eating plants, and whatever else the world you're exploring throws up.
  • Each planet is full of useful resources, and you can use mining and crafting to take advantage of them. Collect resources, combine items, craft tools, and fix your ship!

I always love the style of Orangepixel's pixel-art and their recent releases have been pretty good, I especially enjoyed a good few runs in Space Grunts 2 that released with Linux support back in May. Orangepixel have supported Linux with their games for a great many years too.

Now on Kickstarter, they're hoping to raise at least €7,200 with the game already around 50% done. Their current work is going into fleshing out the actual content and gameplay mechanics, now that there was enough for a demo to demonstrate the idea. It's also using their new 'Nature engine', designed to allow procedurally generated planets based on a set of nature rules like temperature, how much sunlight it gets and so on.

See the demo on Steam and back it on Kickstarter here. At release for PC (Linux, macOS, Windows) it's planned to be available on itch.io and Steam.

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Sorting the mess of vendor specific lighting apps, OpenRGB has a new release

Wednesday 22nd of July 2020 04:23:47 PM

Having something with pretty RGB lighting and want to play with it on Linux? Often the hardware vendor doesn't bother with Linux tools or drivers but the OpenRGB firmly has your back.

This is not just another open source project for Linux to make up for vendors ignoring Linux, in fact it's actually made for Windows too. Their aim is to sort the big stinking mess of vendor-specific tools and applications to deal with RGB lighting across various motherboards, GPUs, strips, keyboards and more. As the project page states:

One of the biggest complaints about RGB is the software ecosystem surrounding it. Every manufacturer has their own app, their own brand, their own style. If you want to mix and match devices, you end up with a ton of conflicting, functionally identical apps competing for your background resources. On top of that, these apps are proprietary and Windows-only. Some even require online accounts. What if there was a way to control all of your RGB devices from a single app, on both Windows and Linux, without any nonsense? That is what OpenRGB sets out to achieve. One app to rule them all.

A very noble aim and one I can get in with. OpenRGB recently had a new 0.3 release. According to the developer, it pulls in support for more devices and thanks to a rework with it now using hidapi-hidraw, it should nicely coexist with other tools too. It's got quite a long list of devices it supports too, which is most impressive.

While I can use ckb-next for my Corsair keyboard, having just one application needed for it and more is a very nice idea but currently ckb-next is a lot more functional for my Corsair keyboard. I'll definitely be keeping a closer eye on OpenRBG from now on.

Feature Highlight:

  • Set colors and select effect modes for a wide variety of RGB hardware
  • Save and load profiles
  • Control lighting from third party software using the OpenRGB SDK
  • Command line interface
  • Connect multiple instances of OpenRGB to synchronize lighting across multiple PCs
  • Can operate standalone or in a client/headless server configuration
  • View device information
  • No official/manufacturer software required

See more about OpenRGB on GitLab.

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Euro Truck Simulator 2 gets a big free update with SSAO

Wednesday 22nd of July 2020 03:41:52 PM

For those who prefer trucking around Europe instead of America, SCS Software just upgraded Euro Truck Simulator 2 with some nice engine upgrades and location improvements.

Much like they also did with American Truck Simulator just recently in their big update, this update for Euro Truck Simulator 2 brings in some graphics updates. This includes Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO), a redesigned route advisor, a redesigned RGB colour picker with support for specific color inputs (HSV, RGB, and HEX), and more. All dealership locations across the Euro Truck Simulator 2 map have received a refresh too, with each being unique. There's plenty more map updates, improved automatic transmission for vehicles and so on. SCS continue giving ETS 2 plenty of attention. You can see their overview video below:


Watch video on YouTube.com

It's pretty amazing actually how popular it remains. After releasing for Windows in 2012 and then for Linux in 2013, it's continued to pull in many thousands of players. Looking over the statistics now, it regularly sees around thirty thousand players online at the same time.

SCS Software have certainly done well for themselves with both Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator. Quite amazing really, just goes to truly show how wide peoples tastes are for gaming. I'll admit to enjoying it quite a lot with my Logitech Driving Force G29.

You can buy Euro Truck Simulator 2 on Humble Store and Steam.

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SuperTuxKart has a fresh Release Candidate out for testing

Wednesday 22nd of July 2020 11:49:06 AM

The classic free and open source racer SuperTuxKart continues to mature, with a brand new testing release available with some changes to the tech used.

It seems the current focus for SuperTuxKart is to improve the overall look and feel of it right now, giving it that all important professional feel. One of the big changes behind the scenes is the move to using more of SDL2, instead of Irrlicht which is missing some big features. They're now using SDL2 for things like window creation and input handling. As a result it should get better with gamepad handling, hot-plugging and less gamepad input annoyances.

The interface is also going through something of an overhaul to make it more modern. With the 1.2 update bringing in a "Modern" skin. A highlight there is the addition of SVG icons, along with work to enable the SuperTuxKart engine to properly render SVG files to ensure the UI looks great at high resolutions. They said they plan to blog about this more work in a future update.

After testing it out, the new interface does look quite nice, which you can see in the two below shots. Gamepad input handling was also vastly improved with my Logitech F310.

Multiple new camera modes are also in, addon karts can be used online and the 'Pidgin' kart was upgraded with lights, new tires and a spoiler—oooh, fancy. A fantastic and constantly improving kart racer, one that's great for children and adults alike thanks to the family-friendly theme. Wonderful to see it improve further.

There's no mentioned plan of a specific date on the full 1.2 release yet. They're also still going through with their plan to have dual-licensing for SuperTuxKart under both the GPL and MPL which they gave reasons for here.

You can try out the first Release Candidate for SuperTuxKart 1.2 over here.

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It's now easier than ever to play STAR WARS: The Old Republic on Linux

Wednesday 22nd of July 2020 11:32:36 AM

With EA continuing to dump their older games onto Steam, the popular MMO STAR WARS: The Old Republic is now available thanks to Steam Play Proton it's easier than ever to play it on Linux.

Confused? Don't know what Steam Play or Proton are? Check out our dedicated page first.

This free to play MMO originally released in 2011 and it's set thousands of years before the original Star Wars movies. A time when the Sith are very much around and something not explored in any of the movies. As a huge Star Wars fan, seeing this easy to access on Steam makes me happy. Not a fan of Origin? Good news for Linux users, as it's not here. The Old Republic is one EA title that does not come with the Origin client and so it should be less of a nuisance.

Like the fancy HUD in the corner? That's MangoHud.

With the latest stable version of Proton with 5.0-9, the game works and performs well. Tested across a character I had left on it from a great many years ago, to a brand new character pictured above. There is one issue though: with the typical Star Wars intro video giving you a blank white screen with audio. It's possible to just skip it but thanks to that one issue it's not perfect out of the box. Still, an overall minor point when the rest of the game works so well.

Looks like the Steam release is quite popular, unsurprisingly, with well over twenty-five thousand players online. Looks like another EA game to get a player boost thanks to Steam. You can find STAR WARS: The Old Republic on Steam.

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Linux distro Fedora 33 may get DXVK as the default for Wine

Wednesday 22nd of July 2020 10:40:13 AM

If you make use of the Wine compatibility layer on Fedora, it seems the upcoming Fedora 33 release may end up defaulting to DXVK for better performance.

Currently in Fedora, like most distributions, Wine is mostly left alone. Once installed, it's up to users to tinker with it and configure it (I much prefer using Lutris personally). That may change though if this latest proposal is accepted for Fedora 33 which releases in October 2020. There is currently a dedicated wine-dxvk package you can install to get it but this change would set DXVK as the default graphics backend for Wine to translate Direct3D 9/10/11 to Vulkan.

The benefits are obvious, like giving users of Wine a much better gaming experience for Windows-only titles. DXVK is used in Proton for Steam Play, it's developed at a quick pace for game compatibility and the performance is often far better than Wine's own wined3d which translates Direct3D to OpenGL.

See the proposal here if interested.

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Widelands, the Settlers II inspired RTS has a huge Build 21 release out now

Wednesday 22nd of July 2020 10:05:31 AM

Widelands, a free and open source strategy game inspired by the classic Settlers II has now formally released the massive Build 21 update.

Recently I wrote about the upcoming update after doing some pre-release testing, and it's proven to be a wonderful RTS that keeps the spirit of the classic Settlers experience alive. Widelands is a strategy game where you don't have direct-unit control, instead you place down orders and everyone gets to work—as long as your road system is connected up properly. I'll openly admit to getting a bit carried away with playing Widelands recently sinking half a day into it.

Some of the highlights from Build 21 include:

  • A much stronger AI
  • New “Peaceful Mode” and several new starting conditions
  • More detailed user controls for game speed, map scrolling, and many properties of building windows; new hotkeys; re-added quick navigation with ‘,’ and ‘.’; partly redesigned and modernized user interface
  • Allow the player to choose the soldiers to send in the attack box
  • New planning-ahead ship scheduling algorithm
  • Ferries carry wares over waterways
  • Improved display of work areas
  • Spritesheets and mipmaps provide high-quality graphics when zooming in

While Widelands has a big set of features and can be enjoyed just like another other game, it's always under development and it's not "finished" in the traditional sense. Part of this release was to help with that, as they did a huge clean up of the code and plenty has been refactored to help expand it in future.

Not only can you play against the AI, it also has online play and LAN support.

Find out more on the official Widelands site.

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More in Tux Machines

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Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Monday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (pillow, ruby-kramdown, wpa, and xrdp), Fedora (ark and rpki-client), Gentoo (apache, ark, global, gthumb, and iproute2), openSUSE (chromium, grub2, java-11-openjdk, libX11, and opera), Red Hat (bind, chromium-browser, java-1.7.1-ibm, java-1.8.0-ibm, and libvncserver), SUSE (LibVNCServer, perl-XML-Twig, thunderbird, and xen), and Ubuntu (samba).

  • Have I Been Pwned to release code base to the open source community

    Members of the general public can submit their email addresses into the Have I Been Pwned search engine to find out if they have been "pwned," and if their emails have been linked to a data breach, each one and a summary of what happened is displayed -- as well as what information has been exposed. Since its launch in 2013, Hunt has poured more resources, including time and energy, into managing the search engine over time, expanding the service to include domain monitoring and breach alerts. At the heart, one main operator isn't enough to ensure future scalability or sustainability, and with this in mind, Hunt previously attempted to find a buyer to help expand his life's work. Unfortunately, the merger and/or acquisition process failed, and so Hunt has decided to pursue another alternative -- opening up the Have I Been Pwned code base to the open source community.

  • Researcher Demonstrates Several Zoom Vulnerabilities at DEF CON 28

    Popular video conferencing app Zoom has addressed several security vulnerabilities, two of which affect its Linux client that could have allowed an attacker with access to a compromised system to read and exfiltrate Zoom user data—and even run stealthy malware as a sub-process of a trusted application. According to cybersecurity researcher Mazin Ahmed, who presented his findings at DEF CON 2020 yesterday, the company also left a misconfigured development instance exposed that wasn't updated since September 2019, indicating the server could be susceptible to flaws that were left unpatched.

Red Hat/Fedora Leftovers

  • Fedora Nest 2020

    This year Flock did not happen due to COVID-19, and in its place, Fedora Nest happened. After many events I’ve seen going virtual in the last few months, I was skeptical. I was yet to see an acceptable online platform to run events. I was wrong on the platform. Fedora Nest used Hopin , which is by far the best platform for events I’ve seen so far. Don’t get your expectations too high, though, because when I say the best one I’ve seen so far, only means that it is usable, and it does not mean in any way that is on par of real conferences. I might be a weird being, but I find traveling relaxing, so I usually add to the joy of the conference the pleasure of traveling. In addition to this, at conferences, I find myself to connect with people - sometimes briefly, sometimes more deeply - and this does not occur in online events. For those reasons, I really hope we will be able to soon go back to in-person conferences.

  • Miroslav Suchý: Nest 2020 - my notes

    This year, we had Nest conference instead of traditional Flock, which has been canceled due to COVID. The conference happened purely remotely over the Hopin video conference. This was good and bad. The good is that we saved a lot on traveling and that it happened at all. It would be bad if it was canceled. The bad part was that I found it hard to focus on the conference. There are too many distractions at home. It was much harder to socialize. And a lot of people had issues either with microphone or internet upload. It was sometimes hard to follow. The conference was organized mostly for US folks, and therefore some sessions were very late in my timezone.

  • Btrfs by default status updates, 2020-08-09
  • Fedora Btrfs Activity Continues - New Options To Control Discard, Compression

    Fedora developers continue embracing the work on making the Btrfs file-system the default for F33 desktop variants. Their latest progress report indicates new installation options being wired up for the Btrfs support. A new Anaconda Kickstart install configuration knob is being added for setting the async discard behavior for solid-state drives. This configuration option will simply set the Btrfs DISCARD option to be enabled by default per the /etc/fstab options. They are still weighing whether to make it the default or more than likely that default transition would be next year for Fedora 34.

  • “To be, or not to be,” vulnerable… How customers and partners can understand and track Red Hat security vulnerabilities

    That is the question. Yes, I believe William Shakespeare was thinking about container security when he began Act 3 of Hamlet. He probably scanned his Red Hat Universal Base Image (UBI) 8 container with multiple vulnerability scanners, and with "the heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks", noticed each report told him something different. One report said his container had a vulnerability, another indicated the vulnerability was patched, and another didn’t even show the vulnerability. As Hamlet contemplates his fate, it’s no wonder he says: "With this regard their currents turn awry, And lose the name of action." In other words, he rips up the reports and does nothing! In many ways our customers are experiencing the same vulnerability inconsistencies as Hamlet. But unlike our hero’s tragic fate, there is some good news: Red Hat is working with independent software vendors (ISVs) to help drive vulnerability consistency for both Red Hat and our partners.

  • Kubernetes and the hybrid cloud with Skupper

    DevNation Tech Talks are hosted by the Red Hat technologists who create our products. These sessions include real solutions plus code and sample projects to help you get started. In this talk, you’ll learn about Kubernetes and the hybrid cloud with Skupper from Ted Ross and Burr Sutter.

today's howtos