Monthly Archives: June 2010

This Friday S2games will have a Free 2 Play Weekend for the beta accounts, as well as a new patch that will offer new features.
A new unannounced games is being worked on, and S2Games are hiring !
The Map Editor is also not forgotten.

The bringers of the Savage GamesS2Games, released Heroes Of Newerth a few months ago.
This Friday along with the new patch, S2Games will open their servers for the beta accounts who didn’t yet purchase an account.
HoN had several patches since the retail and improved a lot, with new heroes and balance fixes.
Now it’s your time to test the game again and see if it’s worth the $30 (full account) for you – for me it worth much much more, I am practically hooked to this game.

However some of HoN players are not so happy with the free2play weekend, they ask S2Games to close the stats games for the non-paying accounts so they won’t “feed” those who already purchased and raise their stats illegally.
S2Games have yet to respond to the petition.

Also S2Games mentioned that they are still working on the highly anticipated Map Editor, and it’s due to be released in the future.

S2games are working on a new unannounced game (Savege3 ?) and thus hiring staff !
They need 2D/3D artists, animators,FX, riggers, designers and off course – programmers (C++).
If you think you are good enough, try to apply.

From The Official Free2Play Announcement :
This Friday we will be introducing a patch that has some really strong updates. A quick preview of what you will see in the patch includes:

1. Report A Player functionality
2. New hero based on DotA’s Kunkka – The Gladiator
3. Complete Rampage rework
4. Gauntlet changes and undev
5. A new Item
6. Bunch of misc. balances and tweaks

To go along with this excellent patch, we will be inviting all existing beta accounts, (that have not purchased) to come back and play HoN for FREE over the weekend. Starting Friday at noon EST and ending Sunday 11:59pm EST anyone can login with their old beta account and enjoy HoN once again.

Links
Free2Play Announcement
Heroes Of Newerth
S2games – Jobs

Games For Loving are working on their java port of Bliss called jBliss.
jBliss is expected to be released in August 2010

jBliss is intended for 18+ year old couples, if you are a minor – please stop reading now !

jBliss is a passionate, romantic game for lovers who want to improve their love life and their relationship. It is full of romantic ideas to increase the fun you have together.
jBliss is designed to help couples explore the sexual aspect of their relationships by encouraging communication and openness. The goal of jBliss is to help long term couples strengthen and enhance their relationships.
Unlike many sexually oriented games, jBliss focuses on romance, love, and intimacy rather than blatant and sometimes offensive sexuality.

jBliss is a new Java implementation of Bliss. It makes Bliss available to those who have computers running GNU/Linux, Unix, OS X and other non-windows operating systems. It is nearly identical to Bliss.
The Bliss add-on packs will work with jBliss via supplied converter.
jBliss uses the same License Key as Bliss. If you have a license key you can use it on either Bliss or jBliss

What is it like to play jBliss?
Many people have asked us what a game of jBliss is like. The best way to find out is to download it yourself and try it. But if you aren’t ready to do that yet, this page will show you just how exciting this game can be.

Stage 1: Customize jBliss according to your personality.
Your love life is as individual as you are. Every couple has their own likes, dislikes, and sexual preferences. Because of this, jBliss can be customized to meet the needs of any couple. Here are some of the things that you can customize in jBliss:
Appearance
Choose a Skin to make Bliss appear the way you like it.
If you want to, you can even make your own skins using your favorite Paint Program.
Music
Add your own music to jBliss. Although jBliss comes with a beautiful set of romantic songs, every couple has their own special songs and their own musical style. Any music that you can rip from a CD, purchase from a music service, or download from a web site can be a part of jBliss.
Categories
We all have things we like to do in the bedroom. We also all have things we don’t like. jBliss lets you create your own profile that sets your own preferences and limits. For example, some couples love oral sex. Others like it if they are really aroused. Others don’t like it at all. jBliss lets you decide when, if ever, various categories of activities will be presented in the game. With over 100 categories, jBliss lets you precisely match your own likes and dislikes.

Actions
For the ultimate in flexibility, you can use the optional Action Editor to create, modify, or delete every action in jBliss. This is the same powerful tool used by the creators of jBliss to write the actions that are built into the game. See the Action Editor page for more details.

Stage 2: Set the stage each time you play
Each time you start a new game of jBliss, you tell the game what toys you have available, what you are wearing, and even how hot or cold you are feeling that day. This lets every game be a unique experience, tailored to the mood you are in each time you play.
Toys
Toys can add spice and excitement to the game. Tell the game what you have available whenever you play

Clothing
jBliss adapts to what you are wearing. You tell Bliss what clothing you have on, and it adapts game play accordingly. If you have layers of clothing or unusual items, that is OK, the Advanced Clothing Editor can handle it.

Passion Level
Some times you may be very aroused before you even start the game. Other times, you may need a lot of warming up first. Sometimes you might even be totally cold. jBliss lets you specify your personal arousal level each time you play.

Stage 3: Have Fun
Once your personal Data is entered, it is time to play. This is where the fun starts. Bliss will surprise you, arouse you, and take you as far as you wan to go. You can build your own businesses, frequent your partners businesses, dance with each other, touch each other and …

Links
Games For Loving
Bliss</a
jBliss
Add-On-Packs
Action Editor page

The developers of Osmos, Hemisphere Games have finally revealed the GNU/Linux sales in detail, while there are no hard numbers, sales percentage is still an indicator.
So enjoy the good read and support the indies !

Linux, the Numbers
Jun 23rd, 2010 by eddybox.

A little over a month ago we released the Linux port of Osmos, promising statistics on our sales and downloads. We wanted to find out – from a financial perspective, for our studio – “is it worth porting games to Linux?”
The short, simple answer… is “yes.”
Did we get rich off it? No. But the time we invested was repaid, with room for margin of error, and possibly with a little extra at the end. Allow me to break it down:

Costs
t took Dave six weeks to do the port, including time spent testing across multiple flavours of Linux, and running the beta from start to end. Personally, I’m really impressed with what a solid job he did, and how quickly he did it. I doubt an experienced Linux programmer could have done it much faster, especially since Dave was already intimately familiar with the codebase. In fact, it’s hard to imagine porting any game to Linux much more quickly. (Excluding games built in Flash and engines that already support it of course.) The code was engineered to be cross-platform from the start, built on libraries like OpenGL, OpenAL, libogg/libvorbis, freetype, etc. In addition, Aaron had already done a great job on the Mac port, ironing out any remaining gcc/abstraction details. All this to say that Osmos was primed and ready for Linux-porting, and all work done on that front was specific to Linux.
We spent an additional week or two on miscellaneous tasks, including some additions to our e-commerce/delivery system, support, community, PR time, etc.
So… let’s call it an even 2 man-months across the board for our studio. A big question is, what’s a man-month worth? All I can say is, if your answer is the industry consulting standard of $10k/month — you’ve way overbid, and put the Linux port of Osmos into the financial-loss category. However, as independent developers with a passion for what we do, our goals and desires are considerably lower than that (i.e. less than half).

Revenue
Unfortunately, this isn’t so simple for us to measure. We’re selling Osmos under a pay-once-for-all-platforms philosophy — for $10 you get the Windows, Mac and Linux versions. So the numbers are fuzzy. What we can determine though, is how many times each person downloaded each version. We can also look at our sales graph over time, where there is a clear and obvious spike associated with the release on each platform.


Sales per day. (Pardon the ugly graph. Also note that the regions are very roughly drawn,
and do not reflect exactly how numbers were estimated.)

On first glance, one very cool stat emerges: our best sales day ever (by 29%) was right after the Linux release, similar to what 2dboy experienced with World of Goo. That said, the spike is also somewhat narrower than what it was for the Windows or Mac releases. In any case, if we measure the area above the “background noise” for the Linux release (based on the previous month’s sales), this gives us a conservative lower bound on sales. I say lower bound for several reasons. 1) As many Linux folk have pointed out, some purchased Osmos prior to the Linux release in support of our studio and on the promise that we would deliver the port. 2) There may still be some Linux mini-spikes to come, and future “background noise” will of course include Linux customers. That said, based solely on these numbers, Linux accounts for roughly 15% of our sales to date.

We can also determine an upper bound based on client downloads. Here we see that 21% of all our customers have at least clicked on the Linux download link.

You may notice that the percentages add up to more than 100; this is because customers can download on multiple platforms. In any case, it’s safe to call this an optimistic upper bound, as I know for a fact that some customers click on every download link just to test it out. Also, it’s impossible to know if some of those people would have made the purchase based solely on the Linux version.

So as a bottom line, Linux accounts for between 15% and 21% of our sales, with the “real” number being somewhere in between.

Profit
When we say “yes, it was worth porting Osmos to Linux”, we’re basing it on the lower bound. If the reality is closer to the upper bound: that’s “gravy”. The tail: more gravy. (Though it does cost us time and money to support and maintain the site).
It’s also important to note that this analysis applies only to sales from the Hemisphere Games website. The majority of Osmos sales come from portals — in particular, Steam. (Steam’s recent addition of Mac support has had a huge effect on our Mac numbers.) If we were to include portals in this analysis, the percentages would look very different. So in the bigger picture, the lack of a strong Linux portal makes it a much less “competitive” OS for commercial development. Of course, if Steam or another successful digital distribution portal decides to support Linux, that’d be major! Like… extra gravy. With stuffing. Mmmmm… stuffing…

A few more stats…
As any Linux user or developer knows, there’s more than one way to skin a distribution on Linux. Dave created four different packages: .deb, .tar.gz, a 32-bit .rpm, and a 64-bit .rpm. Here are download stats by distro.

So .deb is more in demand than all other packages combined, while the 32- and 64-bit flavours of .rpm are rather low. A question I have for the Linux community is: could we have skipped the .rpm packages? That is – to be completely materialistic about it – how many sales would we have lost as a result? (Just curious…)

Another point of interest for us was referring web traffic, and we were surprised to see where much of it came from. Here are the sites that generated the most traffic for the Linux port:
1. linux.org.ru
2. linuxgames.com
3. habrahabr.ru
4. hup.hu
5. planet.ubuntuusers.de
6. linuxtoday.com
7. happypenguin.org
8. root.cz
9. linuxlock.blogspot.com
10. planet.ubuntu.com
11. linuxfr.org
12. linux-gamers.net
13. linuxjuegos.com
14. and a special mention goes out to Liam Dawe of gamingonlinux.info, who helped spread the word to a number of those sites!

While we expected/hoped to see traffic from sites like linuxgames and happypenguin, we were very surprised to see the amount of interest from Russia and Eastern Europe. Apparently Linux gaming is alive and strong in that part of the world!

“I am not a number — I’m a free (as in speech) man!”
People are interested in numbers, and we’ve provided them, but that’s just one dimension of the story. As independent developers, there are other more altruistic factors that are important to us.

Before I go on, I must admit that I’m spoiled. Dave did all the hard work on this port, and all I did was some website work: extending our digital delivery system, etc. So I’ve experienced nothing but the happy glow of the release, and from my perspective the Linux community has been awesome and generous. We’ve received a heap of positive and encouraging feedback, which is always nice to hear. Support emails for Linux are night-and-day-different from Windows or Mac — they include the log, version numbers, stack info, troubleshooting schemes already attempted, etc. Sometimes they even include the solution to the problem — just letting us know. And Linux users are vocal — there have been some amazing people in the community that have helped spread the word. We simply could not have done this ourselves; we wouldn’t have known half the places to approach, and even if we had we would have come across as fish-out-of-water. So once again, thank you.

That’s it for now on sales. We’ll probably follow up with some additional stats on the Linux tail in a month or two; but in the meantime, if you have any questions or comments, fire away!

Original Post

I’ve received a newsletter from the developers of the Penumbra series Frictional Games that are now working on Amnesia: The Dark Descent :

My hands tremble as I write this and my mind is left weakened by the things I have witnessed. The contents of this message might be too terrible and unspeakable to believe, but I assure you that it is all very real. For the sake of us all, I urge you, dear Reader, to keep an open mind, and very seriously consider the matters which I am about to disclose.

You might be familiar with “Amnesia: The Dark Descent”, a sort of interactive horror experience supposedly run on Personal Difference Engines. Exposure to it is said to induce nightmares, evoke strong sensations of fear and even reports of involuntary hospitalization has surfaced. Foggy details can be found at its electronic net dwelling, www.AmensiaGame.com, but it proved not nearly enough to satisfy my curiosity. I felt an urge to learn more about this stygian binary apprehension and decided to seek out its infamous creator, Frictional Games. To do so I had to travel to the remote port town of Helsingborg, located in the dark southern depths of Sweden.

Upon arrival I was overwhelmed by a distinct sense of discomfort. This feeling escalated as I started to ask the townspeople of Frictional Games’ whereabouts. People seemed to shudder by the mere mentioning of the name, refusing to reveal anything which could lead me in the right direction. Only by bribing a local drunkard was I able to find out more about the creators of “Amnesia: The Dark Descent”. Disturbing details emerged from the old man’s frantic babble, haunting my mind as I followed his directions toward the supposed workshop. Approaching my destination, alleyways grew narrower, edifices more imposing and the townsfolk increasingly withdrawn and repugnant.

After an unnerving stroll I found the sought-for address and faced a derelict building, oozing of decay and eons of neglect. Stepping inside I found the walls filled with strange drawings that grew more and more vexing the further in I got. God knows what drove me, trembling as I was, but my thirst for knowledge was strong and I eventually ventured into the house’s underground quarters. Greeting me there was a picture that truly chilled me to the core. So blasphemous was the eldritch creature painted on the canvas, that a mere glimpse almost put me in a frenzied panic. This was not the work of sane men.

The space opened up into a gloomy room with a row of cells at the far end. I carefully approached one of the barred compartments and lit a match to investigate it closer. An overwhelming rush of fear, so strong that I thought my heart would stop, shot through my veins. The lit match fell from my numb fingers and was immediately snuffed by the damp stone floor. Desperately I scrambled to get out and ran towards the door. In my panic I snatched a few documents and stumbled out of that wicked house, fighting my way through the dark alleys, determined to leave this god forsaken land forever.

As I write this, I am browsing through the documents I found, a couple of which I have attached to this message. I have come across a terrible passage, detailing the date of release for this monstrous creation. On the 8th of September 2010 the stars will align and “Amnesia: The Dark Descent” will be unleashed upon the world. I fear for us all.

You might wonder dear Reader, what startled me so inside that murky cellar. Behind those rotten metal bars, a pair of loathsome eyes stared back at me. The ungodly cellar-room painting was not the work of some twisted mind’s imagination – it was a portrait!

Video :

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bo053hjMkcs&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

Links :
Frictional Games
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Penumbra series

The winner of the first LGN contest Hamish Paul Wilson has sent LGN an update regarding his work on The Chzo Mythos.

Dear LGN,

I am happy to announce that technically the project is very close to completion. I have created a nifty little script for 5 Days a Skeptic that pre-loads certain libraries that are going to be included with the finished binary. This means that the games should be able to run on any Linux system, regardless of what libraries you have installed already. After having recently done a fresh install of Fedora 13, I can report that with my new script it ran perfectly out of the box.

Now all that is left is final polishing, as I have just today created the scripts for the other four games. I have already started work on a rather nice read-me file, which includes instructions and technical troubleshooting. After that all I need to do is attempt to get into contact with Yatzhee again. I am currently hopeful that the games will be available for everyone to enjoy by some point in July.

Thank you,
Hamish Paul Wilson.

Stay tuned for the upcoming GNU/Linux release of The Chzo Mythos !

Last week LGN reported that Hanako Games are working to port more of their games to GNU/Linux.
Today Cute Knight Kingdom came out of beta and is now available for GNU/Linux !

Is destiny what you find, or what finds you?
Travel the kingdom to meet new friends, find treasure, and encounter monsters! Choose your outfit, jobs, and classes to raise the skills that you need for success.
You could become a hero, find true love, discover the truth of your origins… or embrace villainy as an evil warlord. Dozens of endings depend on your choices. It’s all up to you!

Features:

  • Magical spells to collect
  • Four dungeons to explore
  • Make your own items with cooking and crafting
  • Multiple marriage options
  • Dozens of endings and secrets to unlock
  • Download And Play – no waiting for CD delivery

Screenshots :

Links :
Hanako Games
Cute Knight Kingdom

Two weeks ago I’ve started the LGN Theme contest, but so far there wasn’t even one submission.
I would like to think that you are working hard and pushing the limits to the last day, but there is also the possibility that the prize isn’t good enough.
Leszek Sta?czyk from the Polish GNU/Linux game reseller Wupra has offered Airline Tycoon Deluxe or Knights and Merchants to the winner of the LGN Theme Contest.
This in addition to Sleep Is Death which was the first prize.

I’ve also extended the contest and all submissions must be emailed until the 30/06/2010 .
The next day I’ll put a vote for one week (if there will be any competitors that is…).
More info could be found at the first LGN Theme Contest post

Leszek Sta?czyk writes :
Wupra (read voopra) is Linux Game store located in Poland and our main customers are from Poland.
My store is on-line since 21 August 2009.
Linux games are twice expensive for Poles than for British, German or French customers.
I’d like change it a little so I offer many games for Linux with the lower price as it’s possible (of course mainly for customers from Poland).
Price is very important so I don’t sell games which are overpriced more than it’s rational.
I’d like add some cheap games with English language version (final price maybe lower).

If you want suggest any other game with cheap price, don’t be shy and send an
e-mail: info@wupra.com to us and we see what we can do.

Upon checking the Wupra store, the Polish (sometimes even include Russian) versions of the games are indeed very cheap, but while the English versions are much more costly they are still the cheapest you can find on the net ! (Native GNU/Linux Box versions).
The shop offers many games from LGP, RuneSoft, id software, Epic Games, indies and many more…
So even if you are not a Polish or Russian – it’s still worth taking a look at this online store.

Also I’ve asked Leszek Sta?czyk a few questions :

1. Will you offer a download versions (like Tuxgames) ?
I’d like too but I’m not a programmer so I can’t work on my own, I need somebody to help me with it.
BTW – Bandwidth is not a problem at all.

2. What about the English versions of the Polish games like Doom3 +Expansion, Unreal Anthology, E.T:Quake Wars etc… ?
Even if they will be more expensive then the Polish but less expensive then those games at other shops – it could be still worth it.

I’m working on it, I must find suppliers in UK.

3. Some “Polish” marked games on your website like “Unreal Anthology” and “Prey” says “English” if you look at their data sheet.
So are they in Polish or English ?

They are in English but UT2004 have only polish subtitles, English was ripped of by CD-Project.
I applied a patch for UT2004 but there are only partial English files.
When I say Polish that mean Polish cover, manual and Polish language if game have English language game data I added this information to “Data Sheet”.
I can’t add English subtitles without permission from Epic Games.

So if the data is in English, does it mean the whole game (not cover and manual) is in English ?
Correctly, only UT2004 text/subtitles are incomplete for other language than Polish, but the voices and the menus are in English.
I can ask Polish distributor for access and permission for add full English (or other) subtitles or Ryan help (he helped me with Postal X, I got permission from RWS to use Linux binary of Postal, Postal 2). I added information about ripped of English version.
Also it is possible to order the Full English version with manual and cover but at least 30 requests are needed.

Polish version of Prey is a little more complicated because there are 4 polish editions :
First edition is without polish game data (and polish distributor didn’t give me permission to add polish version.
That’s weird because their claim that they can’t because they can’t) but other have it.
2 latest edition have game data package in .bin files (Windows only).
Prey have Polish cover and manual and language version listed on page description in data sheet.

Can we remove the Polish subtitles from Unreal Anthology ?
I don’t want to make anyone confused, but if you think I should rename Unreal Antologia POLISH to Unreal Anthology I can do it.
For examples of Polish version of Defcon have Polish cover without manual, Polish game data but Linux version support only English language so I didn’t add POLISH for English description.

Other games with English and Polish game data but with Polish manual and cover:
- Doom 3 (Polish sounds are so stupid especially if some served in army,soldiers don’t talk with that stupid way)
- Tactical Ops: Wojna z Terrorem

Links :
LGN Theme contest
Wupra
Airline Tycoon Deluxe
Knights and Merchants
Sleep Is Death

Hanako Games, the creators of Date Warp which I’ve posted about earlier and other games, are working hard to bring even more games to GNU/Linux,
Spiky Caterpillar let me know that he is working to port Cute Knight Kingdom to GNU/Linux and MacOSX and it’s currently in beta testing.
He also said that Fatal Hearts may also be ported (The Cute Knight Kingdom port involved writing a large chunk of a GameMaker runtime for Linux, so the work to get
Fatal Hearts ported should be much smaller – however, he intends to wait for bug reports on Cute Knights Kingdom before starting in on any other GameMaker-to-Linux ports, and he has several new games trying to be written).

Screenshots From Cute Knight Kingdom And Fatal Hearts

Links :
Hanako Games
Date Warp
Cute Knight Kingdom
Fatal Hearts

With the FIFA World Cup 2010 now being held in South Africa, there is no better time to release a soccer game, and better yet for GNU/Linux !

Awesome Soccer World 2010 is the second game from Red 27 Studios (the first being Awesome Soccer, which also available for GNU/Linux).
The game is based on Java and currently only supports Sun/Oracle JDK, but OpenJDK support is coming soon.

If you are using OpenJDK and can’t wait to try ASW2010, you can set your Java environment to use Sun/Oracle JDK as explained here.

Screenshots :

Awesome Soccer World 2010 Features :

You’ve just scored…
…a spectacular overhead kick in the dying seconds of the World 2010 Final and are celebrating in style with your trademark somersault for the TV cameras…
…the final whistle blows, the crowd goes wild…you slowly climb the stairs up to the podium…you pause briefly to savour the moment….then hoist the trophy high into the air to the delight of the watching millions and the supreme pride of your entire country.
Awesome Soccer World 2010. It’s time to make your country proud.

Awesome Aftertouch!
In ASW2010, you can apply absolutely amazing aftertouch to the ball, and it’s so easy to achieve…in the moments after a shot, you can adjust the swerve on the ball in multiple directions!
Whether you want to make that adjustment because you applied too much – or not enough – swerve, or simply to make the ball swerve back the opposite direction to confuse the goalkeeper – like a Roberto Carlos free kick – YOU CAN!

Golden Balls
In ASW2010, your achievements and successes are rewarded with special Golden Balls. A unique Golden Ball is awarded for winning your first game, scoring your first hatrick, all the way up to winning an International Cup with the Tournament Leading Goal Scorer – whatever the achievement there’s a Golden Ball to win!
In fact, there are almost 300 Golden Balls over 5 Skill Levels for you to collect – can you collect them all?

Tournaments, Leagues & Cups
ASW2010 comes complete with over 16 Preset Tournaments from around the World…including International and European Cup Competitions, National Leagues from England, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Holland and the USA, plus many more!
Alternatively, you can Create Your Own Tournaments featuring up to 128 teams – Cups, Leagues & Multi Stage Tournaments that use International or Club sides from around the World – the choice is yours!

Total Customization
ASW2010 comes complete with a fully featured Team Editor, Kit Designer, Badge Designer and even a Formation Editor which enables you to edit every aspect of the Teams & Players, including Kits, Club Badges, Player Names and Skill Levels.
ASW2010 already includes over 280 Teams, but you’re also able to easily create or edit any team from around the world…so why not add yourself as the new star signing for a team in Madrid…?

It’s the Beautiful Game…
ASW2010 features an ultra-intelligent control system – one button does everything!!
Yes! One Button….why use more, when it’s obvious that when the ball is in the air you want to overhead kick it, and when the ball is rolling along the goal line you want to slide in to score…
But don’t mistake ease of use for lack of control….short passing, long passing, crosses – they are all catered for, and much, much more!

Video :
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FffsWo_Lbs4&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

Thanks Mateo for letting LGN know about this awesome game.

Links :
Red 27 Studios
Awesome Soccer World 2010
Awesome Soccer

The Polish indie game developers Easy Future developed an engine called “Too dizzy” and tested it with their new tetris game Teagon !
Teagon is available as freeware for GNU/Linux (currently only as .deb packages for Debian and Ubuntu 32 and 64 bit).

Teagon is a new arcade game with old well know rules. We added to it a new feature called “chain”. Try to figure out how to get the maximum score. Our dragon will show You the way!
We use our special engine written in C and called “Too dizzy”. It uses Simple Direct Library to connect to the hardware. We can change any part of it to meet specific goals. It’s a very flexible, fast and compact system.

Links
Easy Future
Teagon
“Too dizzy”