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KDE teams up with Slimbook to bring a stylish new AMD Ryzen 4800H laptop

Wednesday 22nd of July 2020 09:12:10 AM

Power, style and what looks like a pretty good price too. KDE and Slimbook team up to announce the KDE Slimbook, powered by a beefy AMD Ryzen processor. They're not the first to announce a Linux laptop with a newer AMD Ryzen processor though, as we only just had TUXEDO announce their Pulse 15 too.

This isn't actually a brand new initiative either, KDE and Slimbook have actually been good partners for a few years now. This is the third generation, so hopefully together they've been able to craft something special and it certainly looks that way. If you're in the market for a new laptop with Linux, this could be what you need.

It's interesting to see multiple vendors announce AMD Ryzen lately. Not a surprise though, as historically you had to go Intel if you wanted the best performance but AMD have truly had a resurgence thanks to the Zen architecture and they're proving to be popular with all types of computing needs from compiling to gaming and more. The AMD Ryzen 4800H chip in the new KDE Slimbook III is certainly no slouch, in fact it's actually a pretty powerful CPU.

Tech specs:

Processor AMD Ryzen 4800H
8 CPU cores
7 GPU cores
16 threads Screen size / Model 15.6" IPS FullHD display or 14" IPS FullHD display
1920x1080 (16:9)
SRGB 100%
60Hz Storage SSD m.2 2280, NVME
Up to 2Tb SSD storage
250GB base config RAM Up to 64Gb RAM (8 base config, 16, 32, 64 available)
3200 MHz RAM
Has 2 sockets, supports dual channel Battery 47‑watt‑hour battery for 14"
92.6‑watt‑hour battery for 15.6" Ports 3 USB slots
1 USB-C slot
HDMI
Ethernet (RJ45)
Intel Wifi 6 AX200 (max speed 2.4Gbps) OS Choices Ubuntu, Kubuntu, KDE Neon, Ubuntu MATE, Manjaro, Linux Mint and more Pricing Starts at:
€899 for 14"
€929 for 15.6"

Available to order now with shipping expected after 2-3 weeks assembly time, Slimbook appear to ship worldwide. You can also configure it with a few different keyboards including English UK, English US, Spanish, French and German. You can find the official announcement over on the KDE news post.

In related news Slimbook's other line, the PRO X is also getting AMD Ryzen so you're getting even more choice. Check out the Slimbook store if you're interested.

Over the last few years, we've definitely seen a small surge in the amount of vendors coming along to do Linux. We have System76, TUXEDO, Entroware, Laptop With Linux, Purism, Slimbook and more. We even have Lenovo adding Ubuntu to a bunch of theirs too. Great to see.

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Accessible and colourful fighting game 'Fantasy Strike' goes free to play

Wednesday 22nd of July 2020 08:29:49 AM

Fantasy Strike, a fighting game designed to be easy for all types of players that released in July 2019 has now officially gone free to play.

Created by Sirlin Games, they're an ex-Street Fighter developer and they think of themselves as something of a "hardcore" fighting game player. Fantasy Strike was their attempt to create a fighting game that anyone could become reasonably good at quickly to enjoy it.

Originally £23.79 / $29.99, with the free to play release all characters are unlocked for everyone to play with. Everyone also has access to online casual play, online ranked play, offline practice mode, and offline “single match” mode against AI so out of the box it's a pretty full game. The update also came with two entirely new characters to boost the roster, Chancellor Quince and General Onimaru.


Watch video on YouTube.com

To unlock all other game modes - Arcade mode, Versus mode for local play (including standard and team battle), Survival modes (including 4 sub-modes), and the over-the-top Boss Rush mode it's a single purchase of £15.49 / $19.99 / €16.79. They're also monetizing it using Fantasy+, a subscription which gives dedicated players a special replay section with a Netflix-style interface and an XP boost.

Currently, free to play players cannot play with friends who have the Core Pack but the developer said that after feedback this will be patched soon to allow it. That's good news, as locking playing with friends behind the paywall was a bit of a daft decision if they wanted to pull people in.

Overall I thought Fantasy Strike was a pretty great fighting game. I'm exactly who it was aimed at too, someone who is not a regular fighting game player and it felt pretty fun to play. Visually vibrant too, great characters. Give it a try if you haven't before now you've got no barrier to entry.

You can play Fantasy Strike now free on Steam.

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The Humble Daedalic Bundle 2020 is live with some really good experiences

Tuesday 21st of July 2020 06:17:16 PM

Another game bundle for you to build up your collection with landed with The Humble Daedalic Bundle 2020. Daedalic are usually pretty good supporters of Linux too, with plenty of their modern titles being made available for Linux officially.

This new bundle runs until Tuesday, August 4th, 2020 and it's full of good looking games. Here's the run-down on what you can grab from it.

In the lowest tier you get:

  • Fire! - Linux supported
  • The Night of the Rabbit
  • A Year Of Rain

Pay more than the average for:

  • State of Mind - Linux supported
  • The Great Perhaps - Linux supported
  • AER Memories of Old - Linux supported
  • CryoFall

With the top tier having:

  • Iratus: Lord of the Dead - Linux supported
  • Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth - Linux supported
  • Iron Danger
  • The Suicide of Rachel Foster
  • 1 Month Free of Humble Choice for New Subscribers

Overall it does look like quite a nice selection. Our contributor Scaine was a fan of State of Mind (review), and I quite liked the recent Iratus: Lord of the Dead and Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth is quite an adventure to go through too.

Check out the full bundle here.

As a reminder: there's also the Humble Warhammer Bundle 2020 that's live too.

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BallisticNG, the anti-gravity racer inspired by Wipeout gets a big update and DLC

Tuesday 21st of July 2020 02:40:47 PM

Miss the classic Wipeout and feel the need for speed? BallisticNG is a fine choice and it just expanded with a DLC and a huge free upgrade for everyone.

First, the expansion! BallisticNG - Outer Reaches adds in 6 seriously cool looking tracks, each of which can be played in reverse giving you 12 options in total. A pack for big fans of the game who want more official tracks and looks to be worth picking up. Have a looksie at the trailer below:


Watch video on YouTube.com

Now onto what's even bigger, with the BallisticNG 1.2 update. Honestly, it's massive. There's a bunch of new music, the Custom Race menu got a nice overhaul to be more streamlined and easier to use, multiplayer mod support expanded although "code mods" can only be used over direct IP connections to keep multiplayer secure, reworked lighting of tracks, two new game modes with 'Rush Hour' and 'Team Race', tons of improvements to weapon behaviours and the list goes on with AI updates, ship updates, bug fixes and more. Everything you would expect from a major post-release update.

There's also a bunch of new settings, allowing you to tweak the racing experience a bit further to your likely. New options include the ability to change screen shake intensity, muffled audio when in vacuums, custom track music overrides, cockpit audio filtering, fine tune the camera distance and more.

I definitely don't remember Wipeout being as challenging as I find BallisticNG. Even getting to grips with the correct amount of acceleration and good braking with the flaps is difficult enough, once you get it down though it's totally exhilarating and it works so wonderfully with good performance too. If you love retro-inspired racers like this, you should check it out.

You can buy BallisticNG and the expansion on Steam.

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Shape-shifting casual bird sim 'Fugl' adds Vulkan support and 'High-detail' biomes

Tuesday 21st of July 2020 02:05:14 PM

Experience serenity with the peaceful bird flying sim Fugl, now with added support for Vulkan and more updates.

Currently in Early Access while they build up the world and the core experience, it's already quite a wonderfully relaxing game if a bit thin on encounters and things to actually do. It's like a bit of a walking sim, except, well—you're flying. It's a bit wonderful though and one I keep a keen eye on to see what they do with it in the end.

Recently, it had an update in late June that overhauled a bunch of the rendering to bring in Vulkan API support across Linux and Windows. This came with a few problems initially that they've been cleaning up, although the last patch makes it run great overall here. The major update also added in pretty high-detail biomes, new addition biomes, some tweaks to avatars and 'many' bug fixes.

Just look at how pretty it is (click to enlarge):

Current features:

  • Freely control different flying creatures and enjoy the freedom of flying
  • Hundreds of animal friends to discover
  • Make your own avatar or mix from what you discover
  • Free roaming gameplay on your own terms – no pressure or set goals
  • Absolutely no hoops to fly through, but lots of caves
  • Diverse areas to explore
  • Morph into nearby animals and change your appearance and physics
  • Find mythical creatures
  • Customize in-game physics

Find Fugl on Humble Store, itch.io and Steam.

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Turn-based classless RPG 'Dark Bestiary' has left Early Access

Tuesday 21st of July 2020 01:43:26 PM

With tons of customization and a classless progression system, the turn-based RPG 'Dark Bestiary' has left Early Access.

The main aim of the game here is combat, and lots of it. If you enjoy turn-based character building with plenty of loot then you're likely going to feel right at home. It's quite a streamlined game one that does away with forcing you down the path of specific skill sets and big open worlds to explore. Instead you go through various smaller maps picked from a board of missions, with each one being a series of encounters to battle through.


Watch video on YouTube.com

Dark Bestiary definitely isn't a fancy game but if you love wildly varying character builds and lots of turn-based combat, it's all you need in a simple streamlined package. There's no tutorial and no easing you into it. It's quite abrupt which I noted originally when taking a look in 2019 and it seems that hasn't improved. Still, if you've played pretty much any turn-based strategy/RPG type of game, you will be able to pick up the game mechanics without any fuss.

Feature Highlight:

  • Dark fantasy theme.
  • Turn-based tactical combat.
  • Small but mechanically deep game.
  • Flexible character development system that allows you to create almost any build that can come to mind.
  • More than hundred of skills.
  • Craft and equipment upgrading.
  • Wide variety of monsters.

You can find Dark Bestiary on Steam.

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TUXEDO Computers announce the Pulse 15, a high-end AMD Ryzen laptop

Tuesday 21st of July 2020 01:04:20 PM

TUXEDO Computers, a hardware vendor that specialises in providing Linux systems has today revealed the TUXEDO Pulse 15 and it sounds like a wonderful beast.

It seems every time we write about hardware lately, the comments here and elsewhere are always "AMD RYZEN WHEN?!" or something to that effect. TUXEDO Computers listened closely and they've delivered with the new TUXEDO Pulse 15, which you can choose to be powered by a high performance AMD Ryzen 7 4800H (eight core) or the AMD Ryzen 5 4600H (six core). Thanks to the integrated RX Vega 6/7 Graphics, you should get some good overall power out of it.

This isn't the first AMD CPU powered unit from TUXEDO, as they also launched the TUXEDO Book BA15 back in May but that was on a previous generation of the Ryzen processor so this is much more exciting.

While they're nowhere near as big as System76, TUXEDO Computers do seem to be slowly growing themselves. They provide their own tailored Linux OS based on Ubuntu with their own tweaks and their fancy TUXEDO Control Center gives you a nice fresh dashboard UI for fan control, CPU speeds and more.

Here's some tech specs for their new Pulse 15:

Processor

AMD Ryzen 5 4600H (6x 3.0 - 4.0 GHz Hexa-Core, 12 Threads, 8 MB L3-Cache, 45 W TDP)
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H (8x 2.9 - 4.2 GHz Octa-Core, 16 Threads, 8 MB L3-Cache, 45 W TDP)

Graphics AMD Radeon™ RX Vega 6 Graphics (AMD Ryzen 5 4600H)
AMD Radeon™ RX Vega 7 Graphics (AMD Ryzen 7 4800H) RAM

8 GB (1x 8GB) 2666MHz Samsung base config, up to 64 GB (2x 32GB) 3200MHz CL22 Samsung

Screen 15.6 inch 1080p LED with IPS non-glare HDD 250 GB Samsung 860 EVO (M.2 SATAIII) base config, up to 2000 GB Samsung 970 EVO Plus (NVMe PCIe) Connectivity Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 & Bluetooth 5.1 (up to 2400Mbps) Ports 1x USB 3.2 Gen1 Typ-C (DisplayPort: no; Power Delivery: yes)
2x USB 3.2 Gen1 Typ-A
1x USB 2.0 Typ-A
1x HDMI 2.0 inkl. HDCP (4k UHD@60Hz / 2k FHD@120Hz / 2x FHD@60Hz (Daisy Chain))
1x Gigabit LAN/Netzwerk RJ45
1x 2-in-1 Headphone/Headset (Headphone & Microphon
1x Kensington Lock
1x Card-Reader (micro-SD)

A serious bit of enthusiast kit, with the power to back it up too. It comes with a "91 Wh Lithium-Polymer battery" which they say can give you 10 hours of run-time in "practical use". Oh, you also get their little "TUX" key to replace the Windows icon as standard. The base configuration costs around €896.81.

The TUXEDO Pulse 15 will ship from August 17 and can be pre-ordered now. See more here.

I have to admit I quite enjoyed the recent ShortCircuit (Linus TT) video which showed off a Tuxedo laptop with a custom keyboard, quite an amusing service Tuxedo offer. They later made a joke about Linus' video taking down their store from high traffic with another funny keyboard.

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General Horse and the Package of Doom might be the dumbest FMV I've ever played

Tuesday 21st of July 2020 12:12:56 PM

Released back in June, General Horse and the Package of Doom is a Full Motion Video game that might just be the dumbest FMV I've ever put time into. Note: key from the developer.

When some developers email in their games their attempts to cut through the noise can including lots of big marketing speak, flashy images, telling us how amazing we are so on. Studio spektar though? Hilariously brief and honest noting that it's "hours and hours of zero-budget films turned into a video game"—sold. Even their official website hilariously looks like something I put together in the early days of the internet.


Watch video on YouTube.com

Features according to the dev:

  • Full Motion Video - The whole game is played alongside high quality video sequences
  • Resource management - You must survive your travels through hostile space by trading, stealing and using resources and special items. Try not to starve or crash into a planet.
  • Replay value - There is enough scenes and choices to play more than once and still see something new.
  • Highly intelligent humor - Only the smartest people will get the subtle jokes in this dark and mystical space drama.
  • Method acting - Many of our high quality actors were never even given their scripts. They were carefully guided to become their characters and then we just let the script happen.

If their aim with it was to put me into a loop of smiling, chuckling and cringing from embarrassment at the acting then they did well. Games don't need to be serious, we have enough of that everywhere else in life and General Horse and the Package of Doom certainly doesn't shy away from being completely ridiculous.

To put it into perspective it's like picking out a B-movie to watch, one you know is not going to win awards or be talked about for years to come. It's stupid but it's fun and that's the point. Grab a bottle of your favourite drink, a tasty snack and settle in for the ride.

You can find General Horse and the Package of Doom on Steam. They shared a few technical details here too if you're interested.

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War Selection is a free to play Early Access RTS now available for Linux

Tuesday 21st of July 2020 11:39:04 AM

Currently in Early Access, War Selection from Glyph Worlds is a somewhat promising looking real-time strategy game and they just released it for Linux officially. It's free to play too, so at least in terms of cost there's no barrier to getting involved and giving it a try. Looking over the monetization model, you have to pay for access to specific nations and the single-player content.

A few different game modes are included like a free for all, a survival mode to face the hordes, ranked 1v1 matches, team games and more. For a proper RTS, it sounds like it has all the basics there to build upon to a full release.

Seems most players have been enjoying it too, as it regularly sees a few hundred online at any given time. Not only that, it's being rated by users on Steam positively too so they must be doing something right at least. Like some of the classic strategy games, you rise through different ages from throwing rocks to firing tanks and more.

Personally testing it, I found everything did work as expected with the new Linux build but the game assumes you will already know your way around it. There didn't seem to be anything to help ease in new players, which I hope they work on as it closes in on leaving Early Access. At least with the Sandbox mode you can play around building and check out the mechanics first before diving into an online match.

You can play War Selection on Steam.

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Linux support for ASUS ROG laptops is coming along nicely

Tuesday 21st of July 2020 11:13:41 AM

Back in April we revealed the ROG-Core project, with an aim to better support ASUS ROG laptops on Linux and it seems it's really coming along nicely now.

This special 'Republic Of Gamers' brand of ASUS laptops (available here) comes with a bunch of flashy features, most of which are only directly supported on Windows. Frustrating for Linux buyers of course but great to see a community project spring up to allow Linux users to fully appreciate their kit.

While it started off initially focusing on the Zephyrus GX502GW, which the author of the project owned, it's now progressed onto supporting quite a lot of models including: GM501, GX502, GX531, G512, G712, G531, G532 and more like GA14/GA401 depending on kernel patches. Impressive progress for something so new. It also shows how hardware vendors could and should be doing it if a few people hacking away in their free time can do it so well.

So what can it do? Quite a lot now. Per-key LED settings, fancy LED modes, modifying built-in LED modes, a Daemon mode, various system control options like screen brightness and Touchpad toggle, hotkeys for things like media controls and more.

It's gained a bit of a following now too, and has spawned another project with ZephyrusBling which builds upon ROG-Core to allow owners of the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 with the AniMe Matrix LED display on the back to do things like this:

While I have no need of it, I suddenly feel like I need it. How could you not love that though? Brilliant bit of useless flashy tech for the super nerd to show off a bit.

See the ROG-Core project here and the ZephyrusBling project here. Going even further, there's even now another project aimed at supporting AMD based ASUS laptops.

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NVIDIA 450.56.02 Vulkan Beta Driver is out for Linux

Monday 20th of July 2020 07:13:20 PM

NVIDIA continue expanding their Linux driver support, with a fresh Vulkan Beta Driver going live today.

In terms of overall changes, it's quite a small one as NVIDIA continue firming up further Vulkan API support with two new extensions now available. Both of which landed with the Vulkan 1.2.148 specification update, which was released on July 19, here they are:

Additionally, a Linux-specific fix made it in which was "Fixed flipping behavior of X11 swapchains that have more than 2 images". You can see the NVIDIA Vulkan Beta Driver any time here.

Reminder: you know it's a special Beta driver thanks to the additional two numbers on the end of the version string, with the newest stable version of the NVIDIA driver for Linux at 450.57 which released on July 9. This special Vulkan beta driver is where all the shiny new stuff goes in before making its way into the stable release for everyone. Really, it's mostly aimed at developers and serious enthusiasts. Unless you need what's in them, it's generally best to use the stable drivers.

If you just want to know when a new stable driver is released, you can follow our dedicated Drivers tag.

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Quirky 8-bit sailing adventure The Caribbean Sail gets a free expansion

Monday 20th of July 2020 04:08:30 PM

Sail across the seas and probably die a thousand deaths, The Caribbean Sail is a quirky retro 8-bit take on sailing the world in the 1700's and it got a huge update.

"Set sail across the Atlantic with your best friend, food. Food will keep you alive and food will keep you well- you get food by throwing harpoons at fish and turtles. Then one day BAM! The RNG screws you over and throws a pirate ship at you and you're forced to fight and defend your food!"

Covered here on GOL back in 2018, our contributor BTRE gave it a favourable look. Recently, the developer put out the Fantasy Toggle expansion to The Caribbean Sail adding in a completely new story, new encounters, new events, new opportunities, treasure hunting, sea monsters, mythical locations and a lot more.


Watch video on YouTube.com

The Fantasy Toggle update is practically a whole new game, and it took a lot longer than expected, which the developer attributed to 'the calamity maelstrom that has been 2020'.

Not played it before? Expect an 8-bit soundtrack of traditional shanties and naval tunes, ship and character upgrades, real-time naval combat, harpoon fishing to replenish supplies and all the dangers that comes with sailing a boat in the 1700s. There's lots of little details to it that make it quite the fun experience and it seems the majority of players agree, with it now having a Very Positive user rating on Steam.

This new fantasy themed expansion so far seems great, with a very different atmosphere to the main game. It's an option you can toggle so you can turn it on/off for each new run as you wish. Depends if you want to die by pirates and disease or mysterious fantasy creatures.

I have to admit the soundtrack is quite hilarious too. 8-bit drunken sailer is wonderful.

You can find The Caribbean Sail on Steam.

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Atari VCS gets another streaming service, teams up with Game Jolt

Monday 20th of July 2020 03:14:15 PM

With the Atari VCS looking to actually ship properly by the end of this year after many delays, they're finally starting to announce some actual partnerships.

Atari, well the people currently wearing the face of Atari, have been pretty tight lipped on what you will actually be able to do with it. We already know it will support the Antstream retro game streaming service, the Atari Vault selection of retro games, the newly released Missile Command: Recharged and recently they also announced support for the AirConsole game streaming service too. I actually tried out AirConsole myself and while it worked as advertised, the selection of games was hilariously poor. Today though, July 20, they also announced a partnership with indie game store/community Game Jolt which they said will help bring 'a curated list of games' from Game Jolt over to the Atari VCS.

It seems they've started calling it a 'retro console/PC hybrid' now, presumably to try and get a wider set of people to buy into it. Really though, it sounds like their idea of a retro console just hasn't worked out as well as they had hoped with still so few announcements of what will be supported.

"Atari is committed to bringing the creative work of small studios and independent developers to the Atari VCS platform," said Michael Arzt, COO of Atari VCS & Connected Devices. "Our partnership with Game Jolt will ensure the creative efforts of the Game Jolt community can find a home and reach an expanded audience on the Atari VCS."

"We have built Game Jolt to better highlight indie games and bring global opportunities to indie studios. Through our partnership with the Atari VCS platform, we're excited to extend our current reach into the family living room," said Game Jolt CEO Yaprak DeCarmine. "We are excited to be publishing games hand-picked from Game Jolt to the Atari VCS."

Worth noting they've only announced some sort of partnership, not a single title was confirmed as part of it yet.

The Atari VCS will come out of the box with the Linux-based Atari World, which shouldn't give developers much trouble porting to if they already support Linux anyway. You can also run any normal operating system on it like Ubuntu too.

After many delays, a lawsuit that Atari appear to have not even bothered to turn up for, more delays and plenty of scepticism, will it actually turn out to be a reasonably product in the end? I can only hope so for backers of the original IndieGoGo campaign and anyone who does actually pre-order.

It's shipping late towards the end of this year in a few different versions. Around $280 for just the basic Atari VCS, or $400 for the all-in bundle for the VCS plus a Wireless Modern Controller and a Wireless Classic Joystick and there's two special versions available from GameStop and Walmart. See more on the official site.

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Unspottable is an amusing upcoming crowd-blending party game

Monday 20th of July 2020 02:45:00 PM

Coming later this year is Unspottable, an amusing party game about blending in with the crowd across a few different game modes and it's confirmed for Linux with a demo.

It's similar in idea to Hidden in Plain Sight, in fact the basic idea of the game is the same. There's lots of the same character on the screen and you each need to find who is real to beat them. There's a demo that's available now with Linux support that has two different levels available and both are quite funny with gameplay that's already pretty great.

Speaking to the developer on their Reddit post, they confirmed that it's not just going to be a clone of similar crowd-blending games. Instead they're going for an approach that has lots of mini-games with different extra mechanics.


Watch video on YouTube.com

While the demo was quite limited, we've had a lot of fun trying it out here in the GOL office. In one level you're in a field with robots that gradually drop dead with a flat battery so it's a race against time, and another in a sushi house that gives you the chance to either catch the others or grab all the needed pieces of food to escape. The Sushi level also lets you send out a mouse with the camera then focusing on it, letting you and others quickly run around to reposition while the camera is focused on that. If they keep adding lots of little mechanics like that across all the other planned levels, I can see this being a brilliant party game when done.

I must admit my love of the character art here too, those big eyes are amusing. Try out the Unspottable demo on Steam.

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Tomb of the Eaters is the 'biggest update ever' for Caves of Qud

Monday 20th of July 2020 12:00:51 PM

Caves of Qud, the science fantasy roguelike epic had an absolutely colossal update released named Tomb of the Eaters with a huge new area.

Probably one of the top 10 roguelikes available for Linux, it's a big game full of some really wild stories and character design possibilities. The crazy side of it just expanded with a gigantic tomb complex that's 12 stories tall and
Freehold Games said it includes around 100 maps. That's madness.

There's also a ton of new creatures, NPCs, objects and mechanics scattered throughout the Tomb and surrounding environments along with the Tomb of the Eaters questline. There's also a new village, new side quests, new factions, new music and more to go along with it.

Pictured: Caves of Qud with the pre-release UI enabled.

I always love looking over the changelog of Qud because there's always something delightfully weird. Cyberpunk has nothing on Qud, with 16 new cybernetic implements you can grab like reactive cranial plating and a fire suppression system because with all that tech you might need to put yourself out. A whole new liquid made it in too with 'brain brine'—excuse me what? I can only imagine what that's used for…

On top of all that there's a whole bunch of new combat sounds, various other sound effects additions, there's new combat animations, work is progressing on a whole new UI some of which can be enabled in the options and so much more that my eyes blurred trying to read all the changes. It's massive.

Not many games can let you be a mutated human with thick fur, that involuntarily releases electromagnetic pulses and has the ability to distort time around you but Caves of Qud does. Yes really.

You can grab a copy now from GOG, itch.io and Steam.

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Don't Starve Together gets a 'Troubled Waters' update expanding the seas

Monday 20th of July 2020 10:28:38 AM

Life on the sea is dangerous and now perhaps even more so in Don't Starve Together with the latest free update named Troubled Waters and it sounds great.

Don't Starve Together is the incredibly fun co-op survival game from Klei Entertainment, it's the standalone multiplayer version of the original uncompromising Don't Starve. It's going through an update chain named Return of Them, which comes in multiple parts. Starting with Turn of Tides in August 2019 which added in new boat mechanics to travel across the seas together and this update further expands that.

Klei also put out another of their lovely animated trailers for this update:


Watch video on YouTube.com

What's actually in the Troubled Waters update? Here's your highlights:

  • New craftable mast upgrades.
  • New craftable water pump for open water fire emergencies.
  • Sea Weed living out on the Sea Stacks.
  • Spittlefish
  • Rock Jaw sharks plying the deep waterways.
  • The Terrorclaw, aquatic relation to the Terrorbeak.
  • Barnacles and new Barnacle cooking recipes.
  • New cooking recipes for Leafy Meat.
  • Something to break the lonely nights at sea.

As for what's to come next, they're planning an update in August focusing on 'QOL' (quality of life) so expect numerous bug fixes to improve the flow of the game. Klei has started on the next character refresh too and another animated short along with a 'big' content update - all of that will be announced sometime soon.

You can buy Don't Starve Together on Steam. It remains one of the most popular games on Steam, constantly in the top 50 by players online seeing regularly close to thirty thousand players at a time.

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Strange Adventures in Infinite Space is back, free and under the GPL

Monday 20th of July 2020 09:27:06 AM

Before the likes of FTL: Faster Than Light we had Strange Adventures in Infinite Space, one of the first spaceship roguelikes and it's made a return.

Originally released in 2002, it was later made open source in 2005 and eventually the actual game assets became freeware too. It's now seen something of an updated re-release, using improved source code that remains under the GPL license and they've also now made the game assets freely available under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license. Nice!

"Experience the little game that did. The game that opened the door just a crack, yet wide enough to allow a new roguelike subgenre to emerge. One which would eventually give us classics like FTL."

It's a single-player space exploration roguelike, giving you a full game in short bursts of 5-20 minutes depending on how lucky or unlucky you are.

Features:

  • 21 different ship types
  • 69 different weapons, drives, shields, gadgets and artifacts
  • 18 alien lifeforms
  • 17 different planet and star types
  • 7 unique alien races

You can find it on GitHub and itch.io. The current itch build for Linux didn't run for me on Manjaro but the release build on GitHub does, they noted there was a mix-up and so it seems the itch build hasn't updated yet.

The team from Digital Eel also released two further games with Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space and Infinite Space III: Sea of Stars.

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What have you been playing recently? We've been tinkering with a Raspberry Pi 4

Monday 20th of July 2020 08:49:28 AM

Apparently we missed the weekend and didn't ask you for your latest recommendations? Let's fix that. What have you been playing recently and what do you think about it?

For me personally, I've actually been doing something a little different. Since my 32nd birthday is coming up soon on July 30, I picked up a Raspberry Pi 4 (4GB model) and what a wonderful little device it is. I can finally join the world of tiny computers! Using the full Raspberry Pi 4 Desktop Kit, it couldn't have been any easier and what a joy it was to get going.

Snap it together into the little case, plug it in with the SD card that came with the 'NOOBS' installer so there's absolutely no fuss. Okay, that's a small lie, there was a tiny bit of fuss with KODI having a really slow mouse which was solvable by adding "usbhid.mousepoll=0" to the end of "/boot/config.txt".

Without much fuss then it was up and running—yes that's Halo: Reach with Steam Play Proton being streamed from a Manjaro desktop to the Raspberry Pi. Glorious. I also need to one day invest in a better camera but priorities…

So as you might expect, I've been testing out a lot of games with the Steam Link from my Linux desktop to my new Linux-powered Raspberry Pi 4 and so far it's handled it like an absolute champ. It's surprising how much better Steam Link works now than the last proper time I tested it, where it was quite rough, now it seems fantastic.

If you're also interested in the Raspberry Pi, Humble have a dedicated Raspberry Pi Book Bundle on until August 10.

Over to you: what have you been gaming on Linux lately? Serve up your recommendations in the comments.

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Linux game manager Lutris gets a small update for Direct3D 12 using VKD3D-Proton

Monday 20th of July 2020 08:21:57 AM

The free and open source game manager Lutris had a small update focusing on having better Direct3D 12 support on Linux thanks to it now using VKD3D-Proton.

What is Lutris? An application you can use to manage Linux games across GOG, Steam and more along with support for scripts to manage Wine / Proton installs for Windows games and applications too. It's super useful.

It had quite a big update earlier this month so this recent update is on the smaller side, although still interesting. With Lutris 0.5.7.1, they now provide D3D12.DLL based on the VKD3D-Proton project as part of their provided DXVK runtime for Wine which they said will "help push updates faster and provide better compatibility for Direct3D 12 titles such as World of Warcraft".

VKD3D-Proton is the Valve-backed fork of the original VKD3D, which now serves as the official implement the full Direct3D 12 API on top of Vulkan for Proton.

See more on the official Lutris website and GitHub. You can also support Lutris on Patreon.

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Gyroscope tool JoyShockMapper comes to Linux, Valve adds 'Flick stick' to Steam Input

Saturday 18th of July 2020 02:40:53 PM

Own a gamepad / controller that has a built in gyroscope? Using it for first-person shooters might be about to get better for you with JoyShockMapper and Steam Input for Steam users.

What's all this then? Well, JoyShockMapper is an open source project (MIT license) from developer Jibb Smart available on GitHub that gives you new ways to use controllers like the PlayStation DualShock 4, Nintendo Switch JoyCons, and Nintendo Switch Pro Controller because of the gyro inside. It can give you much finer aiming than just using the right stick by itself and it sounds awesome.

Have a look at Smart giving it all a demo in the below video:


Watch video on YouTube.com

JoyShockMapper itself was previously only supported on Windows but as of a few days ago, a developer mentioned that it should now work on Linux too! They're planning to provide Linux builds soon, once they get the flow right on the dev side to enable that but you can manually compile it all together yourself to test if you wish.

On that subject, Valve recently put out a fresh Steam Beta on July 17 which upgraded Steam Input with an added implementation of Jibb Smart’s Flick Stick too. Valve also said they managed to lower the CPU hit on some Steam Input API calls. On the Linux side, the Steam Beta should also now actually do something when you hit the "STOP" button on 'non-Steamworks titles'.

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More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

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