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Games: Valve, SkateBIRD, Starbound, Rings of Saturn, Relic Hunters Legend, Vector 36, Skellboy, Volcanoids

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Gaming
  • Valve release a new stable Steam Client from all the recent Beta builds, nice fixes for Linux

    Valve have once again gathered all the new features and fixes from a bunch of recent Beta builds and pushed it out to everyone, this includes a bunch of nice fixes for Linux.

    Steam Remote Play is one of the biggest changes (previously in-home streaming), now it's "experimentally" available outside the home too with the renaming. You should now be able to stream games from one Steam client to another, wherever they are.

  • SkateBIRD has flown past the Kickstarter goal, Linux demo now available

    Get ready to explore a bird-sized skatepark, as SkateBIRD has not only flown right past the initial goal on Kickstarter, it also now has a Linux demo for you to flap your wings in excitement with

  • Starbound's massive 1.4 "Bounty Hunter" update is out now

    After a long wait, with this being the first update to Starbound since October last year. Seems like the wait may have been worth it though!

    The Bounty Hunter 1.4 update launched yesterday and it brings with it absolutely tons of news toys. The biggest new feature being the Bounty Hunting system, which has you take on procedurally-generated quests.

  • Hard sci-fi space game 'Rings of Saturn' is now doing an Early Access crowdfunding mix on itch

    Rings of Saturn, a hard sci-fi space simulation game made with the FOSS Godot Engine is now opening up Early Access builds on itch, with a slight difference.

    This isn't your usual Early Access model, as it's mixing in crowdfunding at the same time. Anyone who pays at least $9.99 on itch.io gets full access to the game and it has an always up to date demo to try first too. This is probably one of the nicest ways to do crowdfunding I've seen, something Fig also started doing recently with Vagrus.

  • Relic Hunters Legend to enter Alpha later this month, includes Linux support

    Relic Hunters Legend, the crowdfunded shoot and loot RPG from Rogue Snail is gearing up for the Alpha release this month.

    It sounds like it's going to be quite fun, an online co-op shoot and loot RPG from the creators of Chroma Squad, Dungeonland and Relic Hunters Zero. If you've not heard of it before, when it's eventually ready it will be going free to play so everyone can jump in, however they went to Kickstarter originally to get the funded need to actually make the game a reality.

  • Unique racing game 'Vector 36' adds online multiplayer in the latest update and a free weekend

    Vector 36 is a racing game that's quite unusual, as you're piloting a Skimmer across the surface of Mars.

  • Skellboy looks like a very sweet action-RPG where you swap body parts

    Skellboy, a recent discovery being developed by UmaikiGames and published by Fabraz (Slime-San, Planet Diver) looks like a very sweet action-RPG that I'm pretty excited about. Only appearing on Steam recently, it's going to be releasing with Linux support in "mid 2019" and they're very clear about the platforms too. On the official site, it's right there.

    Why am I exited about Skellboy? Well, not only does the graphical style look fantastic mixing in flat shapes with pixel-art and a 3D environment, the gameplay sounds highly amusing too. As you progress, you will be able to replace your bones with different body parts taken from others, which is a little weird but it does sound rather comical with the cute graphical style to it.

  • The latest Volcanoids update sounds amazing, lets you directly pilot your drillship

    Volcanoids, the steampunk survival game where your base of operations is a massive moving drill just had a massive update and it sounds like they're taking it in a fun direction.

    Released yesterday, the Travel Update has changed the way you explore. Previously, it felt like you had no real freedom to explore and as the developer said, the old map system was nothing more than a glorified fast-travel system. That's gone! Instead, you now get a Pilot Seat and this allows you to dig deep and explore directly. Also, while you're piloting your drillship you can actually use the massive drill to get resources on the map too making it even more handy.

More in Tux Machines

Funding for GNU and Debian

  • Paying (some) Debian developers
    In an offshoot of the Debian discussion we looked at last week, the Debian project has been discussing the idea of paying developers to work on the distribution. There is some history behind the idea, going back to the controversial Dunc-Tank initiative in 2006, but some think attitudes toward funding developers may have changed—or that a new approach might be better accepted. While it is playing out with regard to Debian right now, it is a topic that other projects have struggled with along the way—and surely will again. The discussion on the debian-devel mailing list about possibly recommending dh for building packages that we covered headed into a bit of a tangent on "difficult packaging practices" that might be preventing new people from contributing. From there, Andreas Tille brought up the longstanding idea of creating some kind of Debian equivalent to the Ubuntu personal package archives (PPAs). Raphaël Hertzog suggested that it might be worth using some of the money in the Debian bank account to fund the development of such a feature.
  • Double the movement: Inspire someone to explore free software
    Thank you for being part of our exceptionally generous community. Your interest in our mission is what got us where we are, in position to succeed if we keep at it. While it's incredible to have hundreds of thousands of subscribers around the world, we need to connect with millions if we're to realize a world free of proprietary software. This spring, we have set ourselves goals to reach 200 new members and 400 donations before July 15th, and to achieve them, we need your help. Please take this moment to publicly share your passion for free software. If each free software supporter inspires just one other, we can double our strength. We tasked free software designer Raghavendra Kamath with creating some inspiring visual images to help us spread our message further. You can find these banners and profile images, including their embed codes, here. Sharing these images online might inspire someone to explore free software, and may give reasons for you to educate your friends and family about why free software matters. Use the hashtag #ISupportFreeSoftware when you share the images online or on your social media.

Programming/Development Leftovers

  • ‘I code in my dreams too’, say developers in Jetbrains State of Developer Ecosystem 2019 Survey
    Last week, Jetbrains published its annual survey results known as The State of Developer Ecosystem 2019. More than 19,000 people participated in this developer ecosystem survey. But responses from only 7000 developers from 17 countries were included in the report. The survey had over 150 questions and key results from the survey are published, complete results along with the raw data will be shared later. Jetbrains prepared an infographics based on the survey answers they received. Let us take a look at their key takeaways:
  • Python and "dead" batteries
    Python is, famously, a "batteries included" language; it comes with a rich standard library right out of the box, which makes for a highly useful starting point for everyone. But that does have some downsides as well. The standard library modules are largely maintained by the CPython core developers, which adds to their duties; the modules themselves are subject to the CPython release schedule, which may be suboptimal. For those reasons and others, there have been thoughts about retiring some of the older modules; it is a topic that has come up several times over the last year or so. It probably had been discussed even earlier, but a session at the 2018 Python Language Summit (PLS) is the starting point this time around. At that time, Christian Heimes listed a few modules that he thought should be considered for removal; he said he was working on a PEP to that end. PEP 594 ("Removing dead batteries from the standard library") surfaced in May with a much longer list of potentially dead batteries. There was also a session at this year's PLS, where Amber Brown advocated moving toward a much smaller standard library, arguing that including modules in the standard library stifles their growth. Some at PLS seemed to be receptive to Brown's ideas, at least to some extent, though Guido van Rossum was apparently not pleased with her presentation and "stormed from the room".
  • When and How to Win With New Programming Languages
  • Understanding Data Ops and it's impact on Application Quality

Latest Security FUD

Linux Foundation, Kernel, and Linux Plumbers Conference

  • Tech Giants Join Linux Foundation's Connected-Cities Efforts [Ed: Just surveillance capitalism inside Zemlin's PAC. Reminder: the spokesperson of the "Linux" Foundation is the former spokesperson of James Clapper.]
  • Generalized events notification and security policies
    Interfaces for the reporting of events to user space from the kernel have been a recurring topic on the kernel mailing lists for almost as long as the kernel has existed; LWN covered one 15 years ago, for example. Numerous special-purpose event-reporting APIs exist, but there are none that are designed to be a single place to obtain any type of event. David Howells is the latest to attempt to change that situation with a new notification interface that, naturally, uses a ring buffer to transfer events to user space without the need to make system calls. The API itself (which hasn't changed greatly since it was posted in 2018) is not hugely controversial, but the associated security model has inspired a few heated discussions.
  • Detecting and handling split locks
    The Intel architecture allows misaligned memory access in situations where other architectures (such as ARM or RISC-V) do not. One such situation is atomic operations on memory that is split across two cache lines. This feature is largely unknown, but its impact is even less so. It turns out that the performance and security impact can be significant, breaking realtime applications or allowing a rogue application to slow the system as a whole. Recently, Fenghua Yu has been working on detecting and fixing these issues in the split-lock patch set, which is currently on its eighth revision. [...] With a split lock, the value needs to be kept coherent between different CPUs, which means assuring that the two cache lines change together. As this is an uncommon operation, the hardware design needs to take a special path; as a result, split locks may have important consequences as described in the cover letter of Yu's patch set. Intel's choice was to lock the whole memory bus to solve the coherency problem; the processor locks the bus for the duration of the operation, meaning that no other CPUs or devices can access it. The split lock blocks not only the CPU performing the access, but also all others in the system. Configuring the bus-locking protocol itself also adds significant overhead to the system as a whole. On the other hand, if the atomic operation operand fits into a single cache line, the processor will use a less expensive cache lock. This all means that developers may increase performance and avoid split locks by actions like simply correctly aligning their variables.
  • Real-Time Microconference Accepted into 2019 Linux Plumbers Conference
    We are pleased to announce that the Real-Time Microconference has been accepted into the 2019 Linux Plumbers Conference! The PREEMPT_RT patch set (aka “The Real-Time Patch”) was created in 2004 in the effort to make Linux into a hard real-time designed operating system. Over the years much of the RT patch has made it into mainline Linux, which includes: mutexes, lockdep, high-resolution timers, Ftrace, RCU_PREEMPT, priority inheritance, threaded interrupts and much more. There’s just a little left to get RT fully into mainline, and the light at the end of the tunnel is finally in view. It is expected that the RT patch will be in mainline within a year, which changes the topics of discussion. Once it is in Linus’s tree, a whole new set of issues must be handled. The focus on this year’s Plumbers events will include: