Category: GamingOnLinux Latest Articles

Reports: Valve making their own VR HMD and app…

Reports: Valve making their own VR HMD and apparently a new VR Half-Life:

Tags: Valve, Steam, Hardware, Virtual Reality

It appears Valve are truly getting more serious about Virtual Reality as they appear to be making their own headset. On top of that, apparently a new Half-Life VR game is coming.

Leaked to an imgur album, which contains multiple shots of the new hardware. These includes shots clearly showing a Valve logo:

The uploadvr website has claimed they have had it confirmed by various sources that it is in fact real. As someone who really wants to try VR, I am hopeful Valve will be able to give it a decent price. The current price for most VR hardware is simply out of reach for a lot of people, myself included.

Even more interesting, is that Valve are apparently working on a new Half-Life which will be a VR title. That certainly could be one way to push adoption, I imagine that would turn a few heads that otherwise wouldn’t have been interested. Could backfire too of course, if it’s VR-only. To keep expectations in check though, reportedly it’s a Half-Life 2 prequel and not Half-Life 3.

Valve News Network also have this video up about the Half-Life game which is interesting:

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Considering Microsoft is making moves buying up more studios and making another attempt to fix up the Windows Store, along with some bigger players leaving Steam like Activision, EA, Bethesda with the new Fallout and all this together should make Valve at least a bit worried. Their current growth will only last so long, if others continue to leave and become exclusive to other stores.

Valve obviously need to make moves of their own and it looks like doubling down on VR is what they had in mind. The amount of people that currently own a VR headset as reported on the Steam Hardware Survey is still extremely low (lower than the Linux share) so Valve really will need a decent price on it.

It does make you think about Valve’s future plans. They’re doing this new VR hardware, some new games and pushing Steam Play to get more games on Linux. Would it be too far-fetched to consider a new Steam Machine? One continued to be powered by their SteamOS Linux distribution that allows VR support out of the box along with a huge back catalogue of previously Windows-only games.

That’s a pipe dream of mine though really and I’m basically thinking out loud at this point, as I’m sure it’s just different teams working on their own thing. However, if it did all come together, that could be amazing.

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Obsidian Entertainment and inXile Entertainmen…

Obsidian Entertainment and inXile Entertainment have officially joined Microsoft:

Tags: Misc

Some rather interesting news here, both Obsidian Entertainment and inXile Entertainment (source) have now officially joined Microsoft.

Together, they’ve made some pretty interesting Linux games such as Pillars of Eternity, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, Tyranny, Wasteland 2, Torment: Tides of Numenera, The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep and more to come.

Microsoft have been picking up quite a number of studios lately including Ninja theory, Compulsion Games, Undead Labs and also Playground Games so they’re continuing to bolster their forces. They’re facing huge competition in the console market, so it’s likely to help with that more than anything.

News that I am sure will shock some Linux gamers, that’s two pretty big studios that have been putting out games for Linux now under the roof of Microsoft. That’s a little worrying, but it doesn’t mean they will suddenly stop having Linux ports of their games. However, it does make Linux ports of their games slightly less likely I would think. As long as both studios retain a certain amount of freedom, I think we should be okay for future titles. Microsoft loves Linux after all…right?

I have to be honest, I’m a little in shock myself at this news.

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Cheap Golf, a retro-styled comedy mini-golf ad…

Cheap Golf, a retro-styled comedy mini-golf adventure released with Linux support:

Tags: Steam, Indie Game, Comedy, Action, Retro

Cheap Golf from developer Pixeljam (Dino Run, Starr Mazer: DSP) is a surprisingly good and quite amusing retro-styled mini-golf adventure. A very easy game to get into, since it only requires a single hand to fling the mouse around.

Note: Key provided by the developer.

After being successfully funded from a small Kickstarter in March last year, it entered Early Access in September 2017. It evolved somewhat since the original plan, to include games, social mediamusic and YouTube commentary.

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I have to admit, I fully expected to play all of ten minutes and turn it off. I’m not really one for overly retro-looking experiences like this. However, the way it’s done is absolutely brilliant. The comedy is really quite funny, with you talking to an AI named SUSAN. A cheeky AI, one that will mess with you.

SUSAN: “I think you should quit”
Me: *clicks “Yeah Okay” for a laugh*
Game: *Quits to desktop*

Alright, you got me there SUSAN.

A great example of how when you strip a game down to some basics, give it a good challenge and keep the gameplay tight that graphics don’t matter. It reminds me a little of games like Pony Island, where the game jokingly messes with you. I appreciated the comedy more than anything, it’s so simple yet so funny. I could honestly go for a game where it was just me talking to SUSAN, picking options and seeing it’s reply.

It can be a little frustrating at times, not overly so though but some of the levels are hilarious from a design point of view. Some of them are created in a way, that makes them look a lot harder than they actually are. It’s a bit like a puzzle as much as it is about smacking a ball around, as you need to find the best way to do each level with the least amount of shots.

Find Cheap Golf on Steam, going to recommend it as it was certainly an interesting experience.

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The Wall, a rather unusual FPS game is plannin…

The Wall, a rather unusual FPS game is planning to support Linux:

Tags: FPS, Steam, Indie Game, Early Access

A recent discovery is The Wall, an usual competitive FPS now in Early Access on Steam and they’re planning to support Linux.

Speaking to the developer on the Steam forum, they clarified that a Linux version is coming and they will be getting to it soon.

What’s different about it?

In the centre of the map, there’s a massive wall. This wall keeps the teams apart, until you start making your way around it somehow. Blow it up, build over it and whatever. It combines elements of a survival game with the resource gathering and building too, making it a strange and unique package.

The Wall is a strategic, multiplayer FPS game where the outcome of a match is defined by the player.

One of the main elements of this game is the enormous wall itself, in the center of each map, dividing teams until it is either dug under, built over, or destroyed by players. The wall, combined with the other features of the game, allow matches to progress in different ways, be it fast/aggression-based gameplay, slow/economy-based gameplay, or anything between.

I will admit it looks a little weird but sometimes weird is what we need. Have a look at their official trailer.

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See more about it and wishlist on Steam.

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Richard Garfield on ‘Upkeep Kills’ in Valve’s …

Richard Garfield on ‘Upkeep Kills’ in Valve’s card battler Artifact:

Tags: Coming Soon, Video, Valve, Steam, Strategy, Card Game

Keeping the hype train for Valve’s new card battler, Richard Garfield has another blog post and video out. This time, covering what they call Upkeep Kills.

I thought this was quite interesting, a nice little insight into some of the tactics you can employ. Since I don’t play a lot of these card games myself, learning a little more about it was fun.

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For those who can’t watch the video:

Any card that gives the potential for an upkeep kill should be weighed as providing more value than it first may appear, at least to the untrained eye. An example of such a card is the March of the Machines, which is the include card for Tinker, a black hero. March of the Machines is an improvement that does 2 damage to the enemy tower and each enemy before the action phase, as long as it has charges (it begins with 3). With this improvement in the lane, if you can get enemy heroes low enough you can score an upkeep kill. You set this up during the action phase for that lane – or using cross lane damage from other lanes. Once your kill is in place you don’t even have to worry about getting priority to make the first move in the lane – you will effectively be scoring a double kill.

As a reminder, Valve confirmed to us directly that Linux will see same-day support with Artifact on November 28th when it releases to the public.

Don’t forget, there’s also a tournament happening this weekend to show off their built-in feature to allow people to run their own. The tournament will be across November 10-11, both days will start at 9AM PST/5PM UTC on their streaming service. A feature that I am quite excited for, since we will likely run some of our own as long as there’s enough interest.

See more on the official site and follow it on Steam.

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Stealth and hacking game ‘OFF GRID’ fully fund…

Stealth and hacking game ‘OFF GRID’ fully funded and heading to Linux:

Tags: Stealth, Crowdfunding, Adventure, Coming Soon

OFF GRID, a stealth and hacking game about privacy and mass surveillance managed to get funded on Kickstarter and so it’s coming to Linux. 

Moments before your daughter was bundled away, she gave you a pair of smart glasses for your birthday.

An unidentified source gets in touch to help you install a new security-focused operating system, and gives you a few tools which will help you gain access to networks that might contain clues as to what is going on.

In the end, they managed to hit £25,252 which means they smashed through not just their initial goal but the first stretch goal too so the game will get an in-game social media app.

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I personally funded this one, since they put out a Linux demo and the developer came and commented on our previous article. Some people get rightfully worried about developers promising Linux support and not delivering, to which the developer commented with:

Hah, we certainly won’t abandon Linux, I’ve used Ubuntu as my main OS since 2005 and do most of my gaming on it. So making sure our own project runs on it is high priority to us.

Was really good to see such a statement. 

Looking forward to following this one along during development, has the makings of a very interesting game both in terms of the stort and the gameplay.

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CHANGE, a homeless survival game is in Early A…

CHANGE, a homeless survival game is in Early Access with Linux support:

Tags: Survival, Early Access, Steam, Indie Game

One I’m surprised I missed, CHANGE from developer Delve Interactive (PONCHO) is a survival game where you’re homeless in a randomly generated city. Currently in Early Access and so it’s still in development.

Unlike Bum Simulator, CHANGE seems to take a much more mature approach to this type of survival experience. They will also be donating 20% of each sale to homeless charities, so that’s quite nice to help raise some awareness and help people out.

CHANGE is an emotional homeless survival experience set in a randomly generated city with rogue-like elements. Explore, survive, earn perks, find items and more to develop your character and escape to a new life.

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  • An endless city to explore filled with randomly generated items, events and environments, unique to every playthrough
  • Develop perks by experimenting with different methods of survival
  • Beg, busk or work your way to finding a new home
  • Randomly generated “night events” lets you develop your own abstract story
  • Find companions, find shelter, find kindness
  • A complete weather system will force you to adjust your survival strategy in rain and snow
  • Build your own inventory with food, items for survival and more.
  • Unlock new items for your next playthrough as you progress

These types of games can be a touchy topic, but with their aim to be more realistic with their approach it seems to be getting a pretty decent reception from users so it looks like they might be onto something here. I’m very interested in trying out, so I’ve reach out to the developer to see if we can check it out.

Find it on Steam.

Hat tip to razing.

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Out of Space, a co-op multiplayer game about t…

Out of Space, a co-op multiplayer game about trying to live together in space will come to Linux:

Tags: Coming Soon, Indie Game, Steam, Strategy

One I spotted recently, Behold Studios (Galaxy of Pen & Paper, Knights of Pen and Paper) are working on a new game called Out of Space and it sounds interesting enough.

Not a huge amount of detail out there on it just now, since it’s not due until next year. Not entirely sure when it was announced, going back through all the details I could find it seems they’ve been working on it for a while.

The Steam page is pretty light on details for now:

Out of Space is a cooperative multiplayer game about trying to live together in space. 

To live with your folks, or your boyfriend or your best friends is not an easy task. Who is going to take the trash out, do the dishes, or even walk with the dog? Oh… our mundanes things that makes us humans! 

– But in outer space, it is not just a matter of making your home feel cozy, but actually, avoid getting killed in the process. 😮

You can follow it along on Steam.

You can see some rough early gameplay they put up back in September below:

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Theme park builder ‘Parkitect’ had another nic…

Theme park builder ‘Parkitect’ had another nice beta update recently:

Tags: Early Access, Indie Game, Sandbox, Simulation

For those of you with a creative side that fancy building a theme park, Parkitect is a good option. It’s currently in Early Access and progress is great.

Beta 12 was recently released, which includes a big overhaul to the audio systems in the game. It now has stereo sound, crowd sounds, a music volume slider to ride settings along with fixing a bunch of issues with the audio in the game.

Additionally, there’s some new path styles along with custom colour support for some normal types of paths. A bunch of new building pieces have been added including: spires, dormers, windows, door, clocks and stepped walls. 

To make the game look even more awesome at night, lights have been added to the Power Surge, Top Scan, Plane Carousel, Gyro Drop Tower, Star Shape rides. There’s improved performance, a reduction in the RAM use, improved TV images and a bunch of bugs were fixed too.

They put out another development log only recently too, which shows that the terrain generation system is getting a small but nice update. It will in a future Beta allow you to pick which types of trees it will plant. It will also give a little colour variation in the trees. Small, but fun.

There’s a lot to love about Parkitect, they’re onto a winner here I think. Great community involvement, a good Linux version that has seen pretty good support along with game mechanics that are fun to play with.

You can grab it from Humble StoreGOG and Steam.

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Unreal Engine 4.21 is out, now defaults to the…

Unreal Engine 4.21 is out, now defaults to the Vulkan API on Linux:

Tags: Game Engine, Game Dev, Unreal Engine, Vulkan

Epic Games have released Unreal Engine 4.21 and it includes some interesting stuff on the Linux side of things.

From now, Unreal Engine will default to using the Vulkan API on Linux and fallback to OpenGL when that can’t be used. This is going to be good for the future of Linux games, since it should help developers get better performance.

On top of that, it features a new media player for Linux with the bundled WebMMedia plugin which includes support for WebM VPX8/9 videos. To further improve Linux support, they now have a proper crash reporter interface so that they can “continue to improve support for Linux platforms”.

That’s just the improvements for Linux, there’s absolutely tons more included in this release including Android and iOS optimizations as a result of Epic’s work on Fornite.

It’s also really nice to see Epic thank contributors, noting 121 improvements where submitted by the community to their GitHub. Although you can only access it with an Unreal Engine account.

More info on the official announcement.

Who knows, maybe now that Vulkan is in better shape in Unreal Engine, Epic Games might eventually bring Fortnite to Linux. I can dream right?

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