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Updated: 35 min 30 sec ago

Albion Online turns 3 with a big celebration and major update in August

Saturday 18th of July 2020 02:14:44 PM

Sandbox Interactive are celebrating their MMO, Albion Online, turning three years old and it seems they're going from strength to strength with a lot more planned.

Launching on July 17 back in 2017, Sandbox Interactive put Albion Online up as a pay to play MMO with a focus on PvP battling and it came with same-day Linux support. Later in 2018 it launched on Steam and then eventually went free to play in April 2019.

Since releasing, it's had quite number of large free expansions that has seen the player numbers continue to increase. Their most popular update named Queen, which launched in January 2020 saw player numbers quite rapdily increase from around 50,000 daily up to well over 100,000. During the COVID19 outbreak, they also raised €40,000 for charity which was a nice touch.

For the celebration they've enabled a 25% increase in Fame gain until July 24. Fame is their version of experience points, which you get from all sorts of activities like fighting mobs and gathering resources. A classic dungeon 'Defenders of the Past' has also appeared from the Albion Beta, which will stick around until July 31 and those who complete it will have a chance to get a brand-new Red Anniversary Banner.

With the next update titled Rise of Avalon update coming in August, it's going to bring in even more free content for the game including the exciting sounding Corrupted Dungeons which we covered here. I'm excited!

See their three-year overview here and a note on the celebrations here.

If you're a regular player, let us know if you've been enjoying it in the comments. What's been your favourite memory from playing Albion Online?

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Techland delays Dying Light - Hellraid until August 13

Saturday 18th of July 2020 12:00:56 PM

Dying Light - Hellraid, the upcoming DLC that sends you into dark dungeons to face off against skeletons and all sorts has been delayed.

Techland were originally developing Hellraid as a standalone game, a first-person co-op slasher where you're in a world being invaded by the forces of Hell. In 2015, they officially put the game on hold and continued working through Dying Light and then announcing Dying Light 2 in 2018. Not to get rid of all of it, a DLC inspired by it with Dying Light - Hellraid was announced back in June 2020.

It was due to release on July 23, and had a Beta available for people who pre-ordered. So why the sudden delay? Techland said the reason was all the feedback from the recent Beta:

We received tons of great feedback during our beta of Dying Light – Hellraid. Big thanks to everyone who participated! We’re hell-bent on applying your suggestions, so we will be launching the new game mode on August 13 for PC, and August 14 for consoles.

Not a long delay but hopefully enough for them to polish any rough edges. See our previous Beta footage below:


As a huge fan of Dying Light, with it remaining in my top 10 gaming experiences from the last few years, adding a whole new way to play it sounds great.

You can buy Dying Light from Humble Store and Steam, with the Hellraid DLC on Humble Store and Steam for pre-order which costs £7.99 / $9.99 / €9.99.

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Worms Armageddon gets a 21 year update, should work better with Wine and Proton

Saturday 18th of July 2020 11:26:56 AM

The classic Team17 game Worms Armageddon, originally released in 1999 and to this day remains very popular recently turned 21 and a big anniversary update is out - it's even nice news for Linux gamers.

While it's an older title that never got official Linux support, it seems someone has still been paying attention. Thanks to members of the community who continue working on the game, with approval from Team17, the massive 3.8 update released recently. This huge update even includes some adjustments to make it work better with the Wine and Proton compatibility layers. This was even mentioned in the announcement:

Much effort has been expended in allowing everyone, no matter their hardware, to have a good Worms Armageddon experience. […] Worms Armageddon now runs well under Wine or Proton on Linux. A new OpenGL renderer has been added which, depending on your hardware, might outperform the other renderers. Windowed mode means there’s no more need for your hardware to support specific screen resolutions. 


Watch video on YouTube.com

Interested in the finer details? The full patch notes can be seen here on the TUS community website. Adding a few Wine-specific fixes and a dedicated OpenGL renderer should make it a much smoother experience for any Linux gaming fans who want to play the classic Worms Armageddon.

You can buy Worms Armageddon on Humble Store, GOG and Steam.

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Wine 5.13 development release is up, here's the highlights

Saturday 18th of July 2020 11:00:22 AM

The Wine team have produced another development release of the Windows compatibility layer with Wine 5.13 going up on July 17.

What is Wine, apart from a tasty liquid that you should drink responsibly? A quick reminder for the newer Linux user: it's a compatibility layer that allows the running of Windows-only applications and games on Linux and other operating systems. It's one of the driving forces behind Steam Play Proton

Here's the highlights of what's new:

  • Re-mapping of INI files to the registry.
  • System call thunks in NTDLL.
  • Reimplementation of floating point numbers printing.
  • Beginnings of a restructuration of the console support. 

On the subject of bug fixes, in total they mentioned 22 solved for this release. Some old that were re-tested and some new. These include issues fixed for: Dungeon Siege 1 & 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered, Battle.net, Mass Effect: Andromeda and more.

See the full notes on the release announcement.

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Dead Age 2 brings party-based tactical zombie survival to a more open world

Friday 17th of July 2020 08:24:17 PM

Now available in Early Access, Dead Age 2 is the sequel to the 2016 hit and brings with it a much expanded game.

Developed by Silent Dreams with Headup helping out as publisher, Dead Age 2 follows a group of determined survivors who have fled to Freedom City in search of a cure for the plague that triggered the zombie apocalypse ten years ago. You will be completing quests, scavenging for resources and building up a base to survive.

In between all that, you also have the tight and fast-paced tactical turn-based combat against Zombies, gangs of looters and more. While death for characters is permenaent, it offers some outside progression in the form of persistent upgrades to go with in another run.


Watch video on YouTube.com

While it's not finished with it being in Early Access, it's designed to be a much bigger game and one they plan to continue boosting with new content for a few months. There's already a lot there and Dead Age 2 introduces a new, open world where you can explore unique indoor and outdoor environments along with different forms of fast travel thanks to boats, trains, and other vehicles. With a branching story-line and six unique endings, every decision made counts.

Dead Age 2 also introduces the 'Advanced Base Management System'. You will be able to assign tasks to survivors, to get them to do various helpful things like crafting essentials and upgrading, everything you need to help ensure your survival. As your base grows, you can then unlock advanced crafting recipes to improve items you craft and resource yield. There's certainly plenty to keep you busy during the second apocalypse.

The first game ended up getting quite a good rating from users, so hopefully this will continue doing well.

Dead Age 2 is now available for Linux on GOG and Steam and in Early Access for £14.99 / $17.99 / €17,99. There's also a 10% discount until July 23, with owners of the first game given an additional 10% discount.

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Have a chat and work on your relationship in We should talk. out now

Friday 17th of July 2020 07:58:07 PM

Spin the conversation wheel of fortune in the short-form narrative game We should talk. that's out now with Linux support. Released after a successful Kickstarter campaign, it's nice to see more experimental games that try to push the boundaries in different ways like this.

We should talk. is certainly a game that's quite intriguing, with a pretty unique speech feature that has you construct your answers in conversations with multiple parts you can switch around. Quite clever actually, I've not really seen such a feature used often at all. You're only usually given specific whole things to say but this is designed to get you to slow down, think things through and practice some social skills all while listening to some rather chilling tunes in a bar with friends. This is the Nintendo Switch trailer but ah—it's all the same and it's the latest one:


Watch video on YouTube.com

It's very much like a visual novel and a dating sim together. If you usually enjoy those sorts of experiences, then We should talk. is likely something you will also find interesting. The idea here really, is that it wants to make it a bit more natural. Games often want you to bring a gift to someone or do the exact thing they need, here it's more about digging a little into the conversation and the person in front of you or behind the text message.

Depending on who you chat with, and how you decide to treat your current girlfriend over text message, you will get to different endings. Your relationship might not last the night…

Need to talk? Pick it up on Steam and itch.io for £5.19 / €5.69 / $6.99.

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FOSS OpenXR runtime 'Monado' gets Lighthouse positional tracking with libsurvive

Friday 17th of July 2020 05:16:07 PM

Are you as excited as we are about the future of VR and AR (collectively known as XR)? It's hard not to be with the excellent progress going on with Monado, the open source OpenXR runtime.

Collabora, the team of seriously clever open source developers that work with various companies (including the likes of Valve Software) have written up a new blog post about the work going into Monado and as usual it's impressive. Monado can now work with the HTC Vive (Pro) or Valve Index hardware to provide positional tracking, thanks to the libsurvive project. Confused? Lighthouse positional tracking is the tech used by Valve for their VR kits. It uses what they call a Base Station to beam signals around to your fancy VR headset and controllers.

With how far along Monado has come, they've shown off a new video with Monado running libsurvive with the Godot Engine and all of this on a 'fully open source stack':


Watch video on YouTube.com

Nice to see the open source Godot Engine being used even more for stuff like this too, being free and open source means anyone can jump in with it. This is using the godot_openxr GDNative driver for OpenXR and a fork of the Godot OpenXR FPS.

Want the full details? Head over to the Collabora blog post.

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The pretty looking Idaho DLC and 1.38 update for American Truck Simulator are out

Friday 17th of July 2020 04:58:31 PM

A big free patch and an expansive new DLC are now available for American Truck Simulator. Prepare to travel through Idaho and take in the sights.

Firstly, the free 1.38 update for ATS is out that brings with it Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO), a redesigned route advisor, navigation ETA to the next waypoint in route advisor and in world map, a major revamp to the city of Las Vegas with new road networks and more detailed scenery, improved Truckstops and quite a bit more. The patch is so big that they gave it a dedicated video.


Watch video on YouTube.com

It's not been out for long (July 16) but it's already hit a Very Positive user rating on Steam, showing that all the attention SCS Software put into it as being worthwhile.

You can buy American Truck Simulator on Humble Store and Steam.

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Simply Puzzles: Junctions is a fresh logic puzzle game to test your brain

Friday 17th of July 2020 04:17:05 PM

Out now with Linux support, Simply Puzzles: Junctions is another streamlined and easy to learn logic puzzle game. This is the second Simply Puzzles release on Steam following on from Codewords in June.

The aim their games they said are to be 'easy to understand, uncluttered and relaxing', as they think there's not enough high-quality simple puzzle titles like it. Simply Puzzles: Junctions features 100 hand-tested puzzles, each presented with the same relaxing, uncluttered presentation as Simply Puzzles: Codewords.

Junctions is all about filling a grid with lines, while making sure each number has the correct number of lines connected, and that there are no loops formed. It is quite simple but it can also be easy to muddle it all up. Thankfully the clean design makes it easy to relax with and test your brain. It clearly succeeds with the aim as Simply Puzzles: Junctions is a very nice idea that gets tricky.

As with the previous game in the series, Codewords, Junctions is available for Linux day 1. It's core to the Simply Puzzles series - our games must be affordable, accessible and easy to understand. Linux is our Operating System of choice, and we see no reason all games shouldn't be playable on it. Simple!

Simply Puzzles

If you do get stuck you can quit and save your current progress in place, plus there's a demo to try it out and see if you like it.

You can buy Simply Puzzles: Junctions on Steam with a price that's not going to hurt your wallet either at £1.99.

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Developer of Robo Instructus gives out sales info after a year

Friday 17th of July 2020 03:23:26 PM

Now that the programming-puzzle game Robo Instructus has been out for just a year, the developer has written up a blog post talking about sales and how it went.

What is it? Robo Instructus is a puzzle game in which players manoeuvre a robot by issuing instructions via a simple programming language. As players progress through the game they unlock new functions to overcome new puzzles, each of which can be solved in multiple ways. The more you master the robot, the more elegant and powerful your solutions will be. This is not a game of moving logic blocks around, it needs actual programming.

So now you know what it is, how did it do after a whole year? Not well in terms of sales or even player progression. Going by achievements, only 5% managed to complete 2 of the 4 acts. As for sales: in total it sold 2,571 copies which is just over 200 a month. Split across stores that was 2,544 sold on Steam and a mere 27 came from itch.io. Across different operating systems on Steam, keeping in mind this was developed on Linux and launched with Windows/Linux support and macOS came ~2 months later:

  • Windows - 89.7%
  • Linux - 7.6%
  • Mac - 2.7%

Their takeaway is that you obviously need Windows support on Steam and it's not something a game developer can keep going with. This led to Alex Butler, who wrote the post, mentioned that they went back into a regular software engineering job in October 2019. Like I've said many times in the past—if you're a small developer publishing on Steam, it's very difficult to get much now unless you have some good marketing and it sounds like the wider press largely ignored Robo Instructus.

You can see the full post here and pick up the game on itch.io or Steam.


If you wish to see sales numbers from other developers check out our dedicated tag.

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NoiseTorch is another tool to remove background noise while recording on Linux

Friday 17th of July 2020 02:55:10 PM

NoiseTorch is another recent discovery that can help you remove background noise in real-time while recording with a microphone on Linux.

Much like Cadmus which we covered recently and were very impressed with, it makes use of the Real-time Noise Suppression Plugin for PulseAudio based on Xiph's RNNoise (a noise suppression library based on a recurrent neural network).

The application gives you pretty much a one-click solution, as it sets it all up for you and then you can just select NoiseTorch as the microphone source and away you go. Just like we did with Cadmus in the above link, here's a test of its ability to cut out some harsh noise.

 

While it seems Cadmus does a slightly better job at reducing background noise while chatting, overall it still pretty much does the job you need it to. Unlike the test, you're not usually going to have someone taking a hammer to the desk the microphone is attached to but it's interesting to see how these tools do in extremes. It should nicely get rid of all that crisp eating, furious typing and vaping noises for you.

Do you want to try it out yourself? You can find NoiseTorch on GitHub.

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Ultra Hat Dimension is a puzzle game about getting constantly punched

Thursday 16th of July 2020 08:09:56 PM

Kitsune Games, developer of the rather fantastic roguelike MidBoss (see Scaine's review) just released one of their older titles Ultra Hat Dimension on Steam with a bunch of upgrades and added Linux support.

It's a very sweet puzzle game about fancy hats and people getting punched for wearing them. Although, reading that back, saying it's sweet and then talking about throwing punches probably sounds quite strange. You, the player, are actually unable to do any punching yourself. Instead you get bounced around various levels while constantly hearing these little Spluff creatures go "POW" as they send you flying in each direction. It's like they're just mocking me.


Watch video on YouTube.com

It's a really strange mechanic that's also honestly quite brilliant because every level is basically a maze you have to figure your way through. Starting off with just simple paths to walk through, the levels do soon get complicated. Take a wrong turn and you end up getting punched around for some time, and it's actually a bit hilarious.

The gameplay doesn't get much more complicated than that but it does throw in a fancy hat mechanic. Spread across levels are hats you can pick up and when wearing a hat, it will allow you to walk on by some Spluffs with a matching hat without getting punched or even get them to move out the way. Ultra Hat Dimension is a great example of how to take a simple idea and work it into a solid game. Originally created for the Ludum Dare 32 Game Jam under a theme of "An Unconventional Weapon", with close to three thousand entries it managed to come in the top 30 overall.

Along with adding Linux (and macOS) support, the latest update/re-release brings in niceties like gamepad support and an animated intro along with a few translations. Looks like the Linux build was another done by game porter / FNA developer Ethan Lee. Much like their newer game MidBoss, Kitsune Games managed to create something wonderfully different.

Ultra Hat Dimension is a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle game. You can buy it on itch.io and Steam.

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Fantastic one-button action-packed party game 'Aeolis Tournament' out now

Thursday 16th of July 2020 06:41:59 PM

Need a new party game to add to your collection? Aeolis Tournament is one that needs to be high up on your wishlist. Note: key provided by the developer.

When it comes to party games, some attempt to do a little too much and some not enough. Aeolis Tournament seems to fit pretty much perfectly in between. With an extremely accessible control scheme that only needs movement and a single button, it's seriously easy to pick up and enjoy for a few hours at a time. Up to 8 players total can join various game modes with or without bots and there's online play too.


Watch video on YouTube.com

There's a lot to enjoy here with game modes including: football, ice hockey, snowball throwing and more. All easy to get into but difficult to master. We've had a lot of fun with it over here and it has a nice bit of progression to it too, allowing you to unlock extras as you play. You get to give your character a little flair too with eye patches and all sorts, as well as change their colour. Each game mode has a different map, with different environment interactions and there's a special Chaos Mode too which makes the game throw all sorts at you.

Easy enough for a younger audience to enjoy (tried and tested) and thanks to how absolutely action-packed it is, adults can get a huge amount of fun from it too. Can't ask for much more than that, does exactly what it advertises to do and does it really well. When playing with a full game, it's absolutely frantic. Great polished entertainment.

For the Linux version, it was perfection. No performance issues, gamepads all picked up correctly and a whole lot of fun. The only part that was not tested was online play, as there wasn't anyone online before release. Great to see such a party game have both local and online multiplayer as well as bots—everything you could need in one complete party package.

You can buy Aeolis Tournament on Steam now for £9.76 / €10.61 / $12.74 that's with a 15% discount until July 23.

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3D adventure thriller 'Beyond a Steel Sky' is out now for Linux PC

Thursday 16th of July 2020 05:48:27 PM

Beyond a Steel Sky, the big 3D sequel to the much loved classic Beneath a Steel Sky is out now with Linux support. A long awaited sequel too, since the original was from way back in 1994. A long time between them of course, with Beyond a Steel Sky being a much prettier game in full 3D with nice WASD controls and an absolutely fantastic style to it.

What is it? From Charles Cecil, creator of the Broken Sword series, with art direction by Dave Gibbons, legendary comic book artist behind 'Watchmen' it's an adventure set within a dynamic world, populated by wilful characters driven by motivations that the player can subvert. In combination with a unique hacking tool, multiple solutions to puzzles emerge from player choices. Playing as Robert Foster, you attempt to track down an abducted child that leads you back to Union City, one of the last remaining mega-cities in a world ravaged by shattering wars and political meltdown.


Watch video on YouTube.com

Beyond a Steel Sky had a lot to live up and it's always difficult to do what they've attempted here, to bring such a classic into modern gamers hands. It does set things up nicely with a great little comic-style intro, and the overall style of the game is fantastic. Being an adventure game, one with deep roots in the classic point and clicks, Beyond a Steel Sky may have been updated visually but it's still very much taking on the mechanics of the older game so you're hopping between conversations, solving a few issues and then repeating somewhere else.

The weird thing is how calm and chilled out Foster always seems, for someone in his position you would think there would be a lot more urgency about him but that's the feeling I got from the game and the pacing. It's quite slow going

This backtracking between conversations can be a little annoying, as characters tend to wander off so you're often left chasing the people you want. A minor point but still a bit frustrating. The modern interaction system is great though, giving you options that appear as you come closer to people and objects. There's plenty of quirky characters to meet, with some amusing events and conversations to be had. It helps that the conversation system is nicely streamlined too, with it noting when a talking point has something new with a little arrow that appears so you don't get stuck in a loop.

You're also going to be doing plenty of hacking to get around, which involves scanning the environment with a tool and then swapping around code blocks. It's not particularly difficult to do but fits perfectly within the setting. Simple and effective to progress through it but I do wish the game did more with it.

What's also quite nice is it has a proper hint system, that allows you to get an idea of what to do from the main menu during the game. It has a 30 second timer on it, so if you're truly stuck you mind need to wait a minute or two to get all the hints you need. It starts off somewhat vague and the more you click the more it gives.

It's come with a few technical troubles though while playing through before release. In the Linux version tested with an NVIDIA GPU I had it reliably crash every single time during the intro after starting a New Game, unless I made sure Vsync was on in the settings. That's sadly not the end of the technical issues encountered. Having "Detail Level" set to "High" seemed to break a bunch of shadows causing flickering black areas in lots of places, so I was forced to play it in lower settings. Those two things are likely Unreal Engine weirdness.

There's also cases of NPCs that like to try and walk through things including you, the game vanished a few times when ALT+TABBED away, a puzzle just didn't work on one of my saves causing a broken game and the list goes on. Speaking to someone I know reviewing it for Windows, it's clear technical issues are not limited to the Linux version. Lots of niggling issues that overall give it a feel that's a bit too rough. To Revolution's credit though, they promptly replied about some issues and are looking into them. On the side of performance though, there was no issue there for me. It remained smooth sailing 99% of the time minus a few loading hiccups.

Funnily enough, the idea of a sequel to Beneath a Steel Sky was talked about during the Kickstarter campaign for Broken Sword 5 - the Serpent's Curse. It was actually a $1M stretch-goal that wasn't hit so it's nice to see they delivered anyway.

It's a reasonably good game as a whole that could have been really great if a few of the rough edges were properly smoothened out. Overall though I enjoyed my time spent chatting with peculiar people, funny robots and hacking the city. The accents made me chuckle quite often because they're pretty over the top at times but they nicely play into it with some good voice actors.

You can buy Beyond a Steel Sky available now on Steam for £23.99 / $27.99 / €23.99 which is with a 20% discount until July 23. If you own Broken Sword 5, you're supposed to get an additional 10% off too.

Never played the original? You're in luck! It's not strictly required but if you have the time I would recommend it for the full backstory experience. You can actually play Beneath a Steel Sky easily on modern platforms if you wish to refresh your memory a little with ScummVM.

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SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE is out now for Linux PC

Thursday 16th of July 2020 04:30:55 PM

SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE, a full length standalone first-person shooter where time doesn't really move much until you do is out now and it's pretty magnificent.

The feeling of being able to duck and weave through bullets, like something out of the Matrix is what truly makes SUPERHOT MCD so fine. Being able to throw a bottle at an enemy resulting in them dropping their weapon, so you can run in and grab it mid-air is just so ridiculous and enjoyable.

Is it pretty much SUPERHOT 2? Yes—and no, it's complicated and I can see why it's not called that. It does basically everything you would expect another game to do: take the basic idea from the original and build on top of it to create something a bit different while also being very familiar. It's not just more SUPERHOT though, it's quite a different game overall. One that pulls you into it in a similar way with a very similar feel and then expands. New levels, new weapons, entirely new game mechanics and the list goes on. Once again though, time is actually always moving. Time only moves when you move? No, it is moving, just super slowly.

While the first game played out something like a puzzle, MCD is a lot more random and depends on your ability to think on your toes. It's much more like a shooter than the original, complete with a health system and all. A fun shooter though and I've very much enjoyed it. Run out of bullets, throw the gun, pick up a bottle and throw that too and yes even the balls on the Pool table can be thrown. So many things to turn into a weapon.

There's even a node-based map to pick areas that gives it a roguelike touch, with most slots giving you a small series of missions. This is where you can also pick up some extra abilities to unlock, as some nodes will be abilities instead of levels to play through. You get a little tutorial of the new abilities when you acquire them too. You can even repeat nodes you've completed if you particularly enjoyed them.

As you progress through each node in the series of missions, you get to 'hack your mind' and unlock special powerups like more health, starting with a gun, having thrown items explode when they hit something and there's a good few more with them all resetting for the next node.

It's not only in-level upgrades you get to pick, as you also come across special Cores to unlock other main abilities that can stick around. So if you don't like multiple hearts, use something else. One of these lets you pounce forwards and hit enemies in the head with force, which I will admit to having quite a lot of fun with. Here's a quick video to show it in action:


Watch video on YouTube.com

The enemies do gradually get a little more difficult too, it's not just the plain red crystal-like people always chasing you. It starts throwing in enemies that only have specific body parts that you can target like an arm or a leg. Not only that, some of them come running in with a weapon that's part of their body and breaks with them so you can't pinch it after you punch them in the face. There's a few nice twists like that.

I will say there are times it becomes repetitive though. Mostly due to the small missions and locations but thankfully the gameplay shines through that I didn't notice it too often. Overall though I've had a ridiculous amount of fun with it and that's the most important thing here. There's moments it's made me panic, plenty of times I've had a huge grin on my face for the tricks I managed to pull off and it's just body-smashing fun.

How is the Linux version? Well, compared to how the original launched (rough) it's a completely different experience. It's wonderfully smooth, the input feels really great and it performs perfectly. The only thing that I couldn't get to work is replay recording. It's also pretty good with a gamepad but I do much prefer mouse control for such an FPS.

If you wish to pick up SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE it's available from the Humble Store, GOG and Steam. You don't actually need to have played the original either. If you purchased the original before now, you should have been given MCD for free.


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Point & click adventure 'Whateverland' lets you steal your way through it

Thursday 16th of July 2020 11:21:52 AM

Whateverland, an upcoming point and click adventure from Caligari Games just recently finished a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign and it's fully funded. It's also sounding pretty bizarre.

The game follows Vincent, an engineer by profession and a thief by trade who attempts to steal a necklace from a lonely old woman. As it turns out, she's some sort of witch and banishes Vincent to a parallel world where people are compelled to languish indefinitely, reflecting on their life choices—Whateverland.


Watch video on YouTube.com

Covered here on GOL recently, the developer describes it as a 'Grotesque Burton-style Adventure' and it's going to offer up something a little different compared to traditional point and clickers. It's non-linear for a start, so you can go through it in a random order, which also means if you're stuck for a while you can just go elsewhere for a bit.

Not only that though instead of forcing you through the actual gameplay in a certain way, to acquire items through puzzles and what you might expect from such an adventure, you can steal your way through it. The choice is down to you: you either be helpful and deal with issues people have or steal everything you need to progress the plot. Caligari Games say your choices across the game on this will affect the ending too.

There's also going to be a bunch of mini-games, one of which is Bell&Bones, a turn-based strategy sports simulator. Thanks to the success of the crowdfunding campaign, which just ended on €20,540 they hit a stretch-goal to make a standalone online version of Bell&Bones too which backers will get free.

Want to give it a go? Whateverland: Prologue was released to accompany it as a demo which you can find on Steam and itch.io. You can also follow the full game on Steam and check out the finished Kickstarter here. Caligari have confirmed that at release, the full Whateverland title will be up on GOG.com and itch.io concurrently with the Steam release.

With their Kickstarter over and a success, it's yet another to make its way onto our dedicated Crowdfunding Page.

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Halo 3 and Halo Reach may need this audio fix on Linux with Steam Play Proton

Thursday 16th of July 2020 11:00:48 AM

With the Halo: The Master Chief Collection expanding thanks to the PC release of Halo 3, it came with some upgrades that for some has broken audio - here's a solution.

Previously Halo: Reach, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and Halo 2: Anniversary all worked nicely in single-player on Linux thanks to the Steam Play Proton compatibility layer and 343 Industries including a switch to turn off the anti-cheat easily. Halo 3 was released for it on Steam on July 14, which came with an update that upgraded the audio and as a side-effect it causes issues on Linux.

For Halo: Reach and Halo 3, you may find you only get audio in the menu but not the games themselves. Thankfully, there's a relatively simple fix for it. You just need to set your Wine version in Proton for the Halo: The Master Chief Collection to Windows 7 and that fixes it. To do so easily, you can grab the protontricks tool and then simply run this quick line in terminal:

protontricks 976730 win7

What is protontricks? It's a simple tool to adjust Proton settings, enabling you to do a few handy extras when needed like this. Do so at your own risk of course, we're just giving you the info. In my own personal testing, it worked great. Here's a video of Halo 3 running on Linux:


Watch video on YouTube.com

I continue to be slightly amused at Microsoft / Xbox Game Studios titles running so nicely on a Linux PC. The classic Halo titles are great too, and of course having them playable on Linux is just fantastic.

You can buy Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Steam.

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SpaceChem, a Zachtronics classic sees a 64bit and SDL2 upgrade

Thursday 16th of July 2020 09:45:22 AM

SpaceChem, the design-based puzzle game from Zachtronics that has you make valuable chemical products, recently had a big tech upgrade that's out now.

Originally released in 2011, SpaceChem was originally refused by Valve to be placed onto Steam so they had to sell direct. Shortly after release it received quite a bit of praise, moving Valve to then promptly reach out after changing their mind. This was quite a long time before Valve opened up the floodgates for anyone to self-publish on Steam.

After seeing some time since an update, Zachtronics announced on Twitter that game porter and FNA developer Ethan Lee worked to update it to bring 64bit support to Linux and macOS along with it being bumped up to SDL2 which should mean it works a lot better than before. Fullscreen issues should be a thing of the past with the upgrade.

Amusingly, I owned it from a Humble Bundle some time ago and apparently never got around to redeeming my Steam key and properly playing through. Now it should work even better, I think I shall, given that it's got such a great rating from users and other critics.

I find that games from Zachtronics are always of a certain top quality, with their 2017 title Opus Magnum being my absolute favourite by them and to this day it continues being one of my top design-based puzzle games.

You can buy SpaceChem from itch.io and Steam. It's also on GOG but it appears to be lacking updates.

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DirectX 12 exclusive DEATH STRANDING runs on Linux with Proton 5.0-10

Thursday 16th of July 2020 08:27:39 AM

Not long after the official PC release, the DirectX 12 exclusive DEATH STRANDING is now playable on Linux with the Steam Play Proton compatibility layer.

Previously exclusive to the PlayStation 4, DEATH STRANDING is the latest game from Hideo Kojima and the first to come from Kojima Productions after the split from Konami back in 2015. The PC release also comes with a little Half-Life crossover and a special Photo Mode.

Valve staffer Pierre-Loup Griffais mentioned on Twitter, that they've put out a new Release Candidate (testing build) of the upcoming Proton 5.0-10 release. The linked issue report on the official Proton GitHub, created by Andrew Eikum from Valve partner CodeWeavers mentions that to run this build you need this setup:

The game does require the latest Nvidia and AMD drivers. We've had success on Nvidia with Nvidia drivers 440.100 and 450.57, and on AMD with Mesa 20.1.3 with LLVM 10.0.0. If you are on AMD and experience a graphics error dialog on startup, please restart the Steam client once to ensure you have the latest Proton configuration settings for the game.

Currently for Proton 5.0-10 the only mentioned change is getting DEATH STRANDING into a working state. Going by comments from people doing early testing, it's a little rough around the edges including: floating objects, crashes and so on—everything you expect from a testing build. Hopefully they will be able to get it into a proper released state soon. Getting a new DX12 title working so quickly under the Proton compatibility layer though is impressive with VKD3D-Proton.

To try it out, you need to opt into the Beta for Proton 5.0 within the Steam client. Here's a quick reminder on how to go about doing that:

If you do wish to buy DEATH STRANDING it can be picked up on Humble Store and Steam.

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Conjure portals between worlds in Unbound: Worlds Apart Prologue - now on GOG

Wednesday 15th of July 2020 02:32:24 PM

Unbound: Worlds Apart Prologue, an impressive demo for the upcoming 2D metroidvania puzzle platformer can now be picked up on GOG and it's been updated a few times.

In Unbound, you play as Soli, who can conjure magic portals to travel between different realities. It's a really clever and great-looking game mechanic that puts a new and challenging spin on platforming puzzles. Inside certain portals, the physical properties of the character or world elements can change, offering new gameplay possibilities.

Originally released back in March, Linux support came later in April and since then they've continued to tweak it based on feedback. You can see our original preview below:


Watch video on YouTube.com

Since the initial release they've cleaned up plenty of issues and improved various areas. These include updated collisions to make some areas easier, better visual cues, better input mapping, character movement tweaks to feel better and they also redesigned the main character a little to be 'more expressive' and have some new animations. If you tried it before it might be time to give it another go.

After playing it through a bunch again, I'm looking forward to the full game which should be coming out sometime next year. There's a huge amount of potential in this with the portal mechanic, there's so many things they can do with it to mix and match the worlds together that we get a fun slice of in the Prologue.

Now that a GOG release is actually confirmed for Unbound: Worlds Apart, they've also released the Unbound: Worlds Apart Prologue on GOG for you to try too. Also on Steam as before.

Unbound: Worlds Apart was funded on Kickstarter. You can see it any many more on our dedicated crowdfunding page.

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More in Tux Machines

Servers: Hosting, Supermicro and Containers

  • Linux vs. Windows hosting: What is the core difference?

    If you are having a budget constraint, Linux hosting is always a better option. But if you want to run certain complex applications on your website or web hosting that is specific to Windows, Windows hosting is the solution for you. If you are looking for a bulk of free and open-source applications and content management systems such as WordPress to run, it is better that you select Linux hosting.

  • Supermicro Launches SuperServer SYS-E100-9W-H Fanless Whiskey Lake Embedded Mini PC

    US-based Supermicro is known for its server products, but the company’s latest SuperServer SYS-E100-9W-H fanless embedded mini PC targets other applications, specifically industrial automation, retail kiosks, smart medical devices, and digital signage. The mini PC is equipped with an Intel Core i7-8665UE Whiskey Lake Embedded processor coupled with up to 64GB DDR4 memory, and offers plenty of connectivity options with dual Gigabit Ethernet, eight USB ports, four serial ports, and dual video output with HDMI and DisplayPort. [...] Supermicro only certified the mini PC with Windows 10, but looking at the OS compatibility matrix for X11SWN-H SBC used inside the mini PC, 64-bit Linux OS like Ubuntu 18.04/20.04, RedHat Enterprise Linux, and SuSE Linux should also be supported. The company also provides SuperDoctor 5 command-line or web-based interface for Windows and Linux operating systems to monitor the system and gets alerts via email or SNMP.

  • OpenDev 2020: Containers in Production – Day 1

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
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    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.