Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Leftovers: Games

Filed under
  • Sexy MF says things related to game programming on Linux, and tells you why you shouldn’t learn C!

    Now, at this point, I have a humble confession to make. I don’t know C! Specifically pointers. I never got into it at a young age, because after life with my Sinclair ZX Spectrum had come to a halt, I didn’t have access to a PC with a C compiler so that I could follow things in a natural progression (and my parents wanted me to get off the computer and focus on my schoolwork – probably the main reason I did so badly there!). I do remember reading about them at the time (in a book I got for my birthday at the time, in fact), but since I couldn’t actually try it out anywhere, they never became part of my bloodstream! This is the main reason I couldn’t actually try out anything from the Abrash book, since the whole thing assumes you’re adept at C! This has been a huge stumbling block in my programming education, since every single book on data structures or graphics programming, or what have you (not to mention websites like this one), assumes you know C. Now, today, where it’s actually taught in school (wasn’t the case back then), let me give you my opinion – I’m glad I never learnt pointers! There’s nothing wrong with understanding indirection, but when you’re trying to think of and implement a particular algorithm, trying to think of what the 0s and 1s are doing inside the computer is just hugely counter intuitive. This is not how human beings think. C was made so that an operating system could be written in it – that is the crux of how pointers came into being, and for some reason that hacker language caught on to become the most prevalent language in the whole world! Of course, it also led a young kid called Linus Torvalds to use it to do it all over again starting in 1991 (incidentally Linus, before the PC, worked on the QL, another member of the Sinclair family, a sort of a “big cousin” to the Spectrum), thanks to which you’re reading this website today, so I guess it wasn’t altogether a bad thing. But I, for one am glad that we’ve moved on to things like Javascript, in today’s day and age, and it makes me happy that we don’t have to worry about what’s zapping in and out of RAM when trying to write a game. Just at that point where those in charge of the Indian education system want their charges to know about nothing else but the syntax of weird things with asterisks in them (it seems, the more asterisks, the better), as if that was important. Trust the fools! Incidentally, I did get hold of a Youtube video about pointers sometime back, and followed it through, and yes, I did finally get what they are (where was that animation back in 1992?), but I guess it’s too late now – Javascript occupies much more of my mind now than C ever will, and I can’t say that makes me unhappy in any way. All along, I knew what [ and ] do in Assembly in any case! I just wish there were more folks like me, who will now have the happy task of porting, in their own minds, all the code in the Abrash book, to whatever their favourite language is, so that in the case of Javascript, wonder of wonders – their browser can show them the joy of a rotating cube! That’s why the exhortations of this article. By the way, I suggest you Youtube for “banana bread” some time – good stuff! This is clearly the future, and you need to get a handle on it.

  • Vagante, a nifty-looking platformer with permadeath, available on Linux

    Fans of challenging platformers with the trendy roguelite appellation might be interested to know that there's something new that they can sink their teeth into. Vagante promises countless hours of procedurally generated fun alone or with friends.

  • Atari Vault, a 100 classic game collection heading to SteamOS & Linux

    This is lovely news, Atari Vault a new official collection of 100 classic games is heading to SteamOS & Linux

  • Escape from Tarkov, the new Russian Survival MMO FPS looks like it's heading to Linux

    Escape from Tarkov is an interesting looking Russian-made action MMO that is apparently going to come to Linux too.

More in Tux Machines

KNOPPIX 7.7.1 Distro Officially Released with Debian Goodies, Linux Kernel 4.7.9

Believe it or not, Klaus Knopper is still doing his thing with the KNOPPIX GNU/Linux distribution, which was just updated to version 7.7.1 to offer users the latest open source software and technologies. Read more

CentOS 6 Linux Servers Receive Important Kernel Security Patch, Update Now

We reported a couple of days ago that Johnny Hughes from the CentOS Linux team published an important kernel security advisory for users of the CentOS 7 operating system. Read more

Games for GNU/Linux

  • Why GNU/Linux ports can be less performant, a more in-depth answer
    When it comes to data handling, or rather data manipulation, different APIs can perform it in different ways. In one, you might simply be able to modify some memory and all is ok. In another, you might have to point to a copy and say "use that when you can instead and free the original then". This is not a one way is better than the other discussion - it's important only that they require different methods of handling it. Actually, OpenGL can have a lot of different methods, and knowing the "best" way for a particular scenario takes some experience to get right. When dealing with porting a game across though, there may not be a lot of options: the engine does things a certain way, so that way has to be faked if there's no exact translation. Guess what? That can affect OpenGL state, and require re-validation of an entire rendering pipeline, stalling command submission to the GPU, a.k.a less performance than the original game. It's again not really feasible to rip apart an entire game engine and redesign it just for that: take the performance hit and carry on. Note that some decisions are based around _porting_ a game. If one could design from the ground up with OpenGL, then OpenGL would likely give better performance...but it might also be more difficult to develop and test for. So there's a bit of a trade-off there, and most developers are probably going to be concerned with getting it running on Windows first, GNU/Linux second. This includes engine developers.
  • Why Linux games often perform worse than on Windows
    Drivers on Windows are tweaked rather often for specific games. You often see a "Game Ready" (or whatever term they use now) driver from Nvidia and AMD where they often state "increased performance in x game by x%". This happens for most major game releases on Windows. Nvidia and AMD have teams of people to specifically tweak the drivers for games on Windows. Looking at Nvidia specifically, in the last three months they have released six new drivers to improve performance in specific games.
  • Thoughts on 'Stellaris' with the 'Leviathans Story Pack' and latest patch, a better game that still needs work
  • Linux community has been sending their love to Feral Interactive & Aspyr Media
    This is awesome to see, people in the community have sent both Feral Interactive & Aspyr Media some little care packages full of treats. Since Aspyr Media have yet to bring us the new Civilization game, it looks like Linux users have been guilt-tripping the porters into speeding up, or just sending them into a sugar coma.
  • Feral Interactive's Linux ports may come with Vulkan sooner than we thought
  • Using Nvidia's NVENC with OBS Studio makes Linux game recording really great
    I had been meaning to try out Nvidia's NVENC for a while, but I never really bothered as I didn't think it would make such a drastic difference in recording gaming videos, but wow does it ever! I was trying to record a game recently and all other methods I tried made the game performance utterly dive, making it impossible to record it. So I asked for advice and eventually came to this way.

Leftovers: Software

  • DocKnot 1.00
    I'm a bit of a perfectionist about package documentation, and I'm also a huge fan of consistency. As I've slowly accumulated more open source software packages (alas, fewer new ones these days since I have less day-job time to work on them), I've developed a standard format for package documentation files, particularly the README in the package and the web pages I publish. I've iterated on these, tweaking them and messing with them, trying to incorporate all my accumulated wisdom about what information people need.
  • Shotwell moving along
    A new feature that was included is a contrast slider in the enhancement tool, moving on with integrating patches hanging around on Bugzilla for quite some time.
  • GObject and SVG
    GSVG is a project to provide a GObject API, using Vala. It has almost all, with some complementary, interfaces from W3C SVG 1.1 specification. GSVG is LGPL library. It will use GXml as XML engine. SVG 1.1 DOM interfaces relays on W3C DOM, then using GXml is a natural choice. SVG is XML and its DOM interfaces, requires to use Object’s properties and be able to add child DOM Elements; then, we need a new set of classes.
  • LibreOffice 5.1.6 Office Suite Released for Enterprise Deployments with 68 Fixes
    Today, October 27, 2016, we've been informed by The Document Foundation about the general availability of the sixth maintenance update to the LibreOffice 5.1 open-source and cross-platform office suite. You're reading that right, LibreOffice 5.1 got a new update not the current stable LibreOffice 5.2 branch, as The Document Foundation is known to maintain at least to versions of its popular office suite, one that is very well tested and can be used for enterprise deployments and another one that offers the latest technologies.