Monthly Archives: September 2011

A Few years ago I’ve pre-ordered the meta time strategy game Achron which I’ve posted about 2 years ago.
This month Achron was finally released and I was happy to learn that an additional serial number was supplied for a giveaway – I’ve contacted Chris Hazard the developer of the game and he said that it was their way to promote Achron multiplayer.

As you know I don’t tend to giveaway things without *some* contest, but this one will be easy.
The first one who answers in the comments below the following question will be given the serial number for Achron.

What game engine is being used in the largest number of GNU/Linux games ?

You must only pick one engine per person and be specific, for example you must write “id Tech 2″ and not “Quake Engines” or the “Quake 2 Engine”.

I don’t expect this question to stay without an answer for a long time, so be hasty.

I have 2 Amnesia The Dark Descent copies and 5 Hacker Evolution Duality copies to give.
So if you have ideas for good contests, please comment below.

Three years ago I’ve posted about a cRPG titled The Broken Hourglass.
Unfortunately the game wasn’t developed as fast and professional as one could hope for, and it seems more like a hobby than a real effort to finish the game, so the development was abandoned.
But there is yet a hope for the game to be released under some free/open source license.

From the Planewalker Games website :

“Planewalker Games LLC is formally abandoning development of The Broken Hourglass as a commercial product.
I have concluded that it is infeasible for PWG to deliver the game promised, and unacceptable to try to market a product that would not meet expectations.
I take full responsibility for this decision and the factors leading to the conclusion.

It is my intention to release the game materials for TBH and the underlying WeiNGINE game code in some open source/open content license model which will permit the ongoing exploration and development of the game as a non-commercial, community project.
The exact licenses and scope of this public release have not yet been determined, and there is no specific timetable for this public release to happen.
The intention will be to give the greater community the best chance possible to explore the potential of TBH and to honor the efforts of the dozens of people who have been involved with TBH’s development over the years.

Support from RPG players and press has been overwhelmingly positive and constant during the long development cycle of TBH and I am extremely grateful.
It remains to be seen if PWG will attempt a commercial project of more manageable scope in the future.
Until that day, please accept my apologies for coming short of the mark, and my thanks for your interest.

- Jason Compton”

Those are sad news with some hope that might deliver a complete FOSS cRPG at the end.
As far as I understand the game is in advanced stages of development so if they indeed release it under some FOSS license we will be able to finish it and even use their WeiNGINE engine for more games.

Josh (Cheese) Bush from Twolofbees.com let me know that has made an interview with rotektor (Tim Jung) who has recently been appointed GNU/Linux Games Lead for Desura , it comes with 3 parts – so here is the first part (the others will be published on his website in the next few weeks).

Parts Two and Three are now published !

Hi there
I recently did an interview with Protektor (Tim Jung), who has recently been appointed Linux Games Lead for Desura and is overseeing title acquisition for the upcoming Desura Linux client.
In the first part, we talk about development of the Linux client and what it’s like to scout for native/Open Source games. Parts two and three (which focus on the Desura/Fee Software communities, and what the impacts on Linux as a gaming platform might be) should be up within a week or so.
With Desura’s Linux client just around the corner, this is a pretty exciting glimpse into the near future. If you want to do a news post about the interview, feel free

So here is the first part of the interview
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been corresponding with Protektor (Tim Jung), who has recently been appointed Linux Games Lead for Desura and is overseeing title acquisition for the upcoming Desura Linux client.
In this three part interview, Protektor shares his thoughts on Linux title scouting, community interaction and how Desura’s Linux client might impact on Linux as a desktop platform.

How long have you been a member of the Desura community?
I became a member of Desura in April of 2011, when the Humble Frozenbyte Bundle came out. The Desura community is great and I have enjoyed being a member.

How did you come about landing the role of “Linux Games Lead”, and can you sum up what that entails?
I started emailing Desura to encourage them to do the Linux version of the client. I sent them a huge list of Linux games that have the potential to sell if deals can be worked out with the developers. Desura was already working on the Linux client, and the founder, Scott Reismanis asked me to be the Linux Games Lead. It is my job to assist developers in the packaging of their Linux games for the Desura platform, or if the developer chooses, I can simply do it for them. My second responsibility is to recruit Linux game developers to offer their games for sale through Desura.

Can you give a rundown on a typical exchange you might have with a game developer when trying to convince them to release a game on Desura for Linux?
Needless to say I am going to point out the benefits of offering their games on Desura. Those benefits include providing one stop shopping for both Windows and Linux platforms, and eventually Mac as well. Developers can focus on developing and use Desura to interact more closely with their customers. We manage the sales for a very reasonable cost to the developer. When downloaded from Desura, games are set to auto install, and updates will also be auto installed for games purchased from Desura.

Are there any Linux native titles that will be on Desura that you can mention at the moment?
We have a number of developers under contract. The catalog currently includes:

* Alien Arena
* Evolution RTS
* M.A.R.S. – a ridiculous shooter
* PlaneShift
* Red Eclipse
* Smokin’ Guns
* TripleA
* UFO: Alien Invasion
* Vertigo
* Warsow
* World of Padman
* Xonotic
* Zero Ballistics
* A.Typical RPG
* Air Forte
* Amnesia: The Dark Descent
* And Yet It Moves
* Atom Zombie Smasher
* BOH
* Braid
* Cogs
* Conquest: Divide and Conquer
* Crayon Physics Deluxe
* Family Farm
* Hacker Evolution: Duality
* Hacker Evolution: Untold
* Incognito Episode 1
* Incognito Episode 2
* Incognito Episode 3
* King Arthur’s Gold
* Lugaru: The Rabbit’s Foot
* Machinarium
* Osmos
* Penumbra: Overture
* Project Zomboid
* Puzzle Moppet
* Survivors of Ragnarok
* Revenge of the Titans
* Samorost 2
* Shadowgrounds
* Shadowgrounds Survivor
* Sickbrick
* Steel Storm: Burning Retribution
* Trine
* VVVVVV
* World of Goo

Can you describe (if it’s appropriate) the milestones leading up to the release of the Linux client. Are there lessons learned from the Windows launch that have been helpful in avoiding pitfalls in development of the Linux client?
Keith (Platima) here, I thought I’d respond to this one as it’s more about the development process itself than the games. I personally wasn’t around for the Windows development as I only joined the team this year, but as far as porting an existing application to a new platform goes I’d always recommend to design and document the program with cross-platform in mind from day one. Luckily a fair bit of this was already in place with Desura which made things a little easier. It’s of course always best to support cross-platform from the start. Not doing so is like trying to eat your steak with a spoon when there’s a perfectly good knife there for you to use, and just as difficult too.

When looking at prospective titles, what sort of things are taken into account? Are there any special considerations taken for Linux titles?
Well first and foremost we want the game to be able to run bug-free on as many platforms as possible. So for Linux that will mean the game runs on newer distros (hopefully in 32bit and 64bit mode). Beyond that we consider all games using the same criteria that is currently being used for Windows games. Does it fit the Desura community, ease of game play, popularity, quality of graphics etc. Of course we will be looking at demand for the game as well.

Do you think that there is a demand for older Linux native games that are now harder to find (eg: anything published by Loki games)?
There probably is a demand for the older games, but in the case of Loki acquiring the necessary source code/rights could take an extended period of time to research who actually owns the code, and then the rights for distribution. The short answer is I don’t see Loki games being a part of our catalogue in the near future.

Will you be looking at Free/Open Source games as potential titles to be delivered via Desura? Will the selection/approval process differ from the process for proprietary/closed source titles?
In terms of Open Source or free games we will be using the same criteria, however instead of considering purchase demand, it will be a question of the Desura community wanting to download and play the game. The more likely that is the more likely a release, as we only have time to do a few releases a day at the moment so we have to be selective.
There are many good games in many genres available on Linux. We hope we will be able showcase some of the lesser known but still very good games available on the Linux platform. We want our users to know that there is thriving market of games for the Linux Desktop just as there is for Windows or Mac.

If you could choose one game to magically (we all know it doesn’t work like that!) support Linux tomorrow, what would it be and why?
Personally the one game title currently I would love to see magically appear for Linux would be “Deus Ex: Human Revolution”. I have been a fan of the series, and the cyberpunk genre in general, for years. I haven’t had a chance to play it yet, but the reviews for it have been good and it looks great. I would love to see it happen, but somehow I doubt that Edios and Square/Enix are sitting in their offices thinking if they should port it to Linux or not.
If we just wanted to talk most popular games that were more likely, it would end up being The Sims series, Guild Wars and then the Battlefield series. I assume those would be big sellers for Desura if they were available, given the numbers they have sold for Windows/Mac. Personally, I love Guild Wars and the Battlefield series and I used to play both of them with some regularity.
For the big publishers it is always a numbers game. If it costs them X to port the game to Linux knowing it will earn them Y, we just need to make Y a much bigger number than X and it’ll happen. It’s a challenge and one we don’t expect to solve overnight, but with the Linux gaming communities support we aim to make it happen one game at a time.

Meklu: How is packaging of the Desura Linux client likely to be handled? *
Initially we are only distributing the self-installer as a single binary compressed in a tar.gz, however we are looking at doing a MojoSetup style installer and distributing .deb packages as things settle down a bit. This will hopefully lead to us being able to get Desura into the Ubuntu Software Center, and other repositories.

Meklu: Are you able to give a rough estimate of how long it will take to add mod support? Where does this fit within the Linux client roadmap? *
Mod support isn’t something that we’re looking at right now, but of course it is a feature on our minds. I couldn’t begin to estimate how long it will take, as there are a lot of factors that would have to be taken into account, and more research will need to be done. We have initially launched without mod support as the complexities in Linux far outweigh those in Windows.

That’s it for part one. In part two, we’ll look at matters relating to the Desura and Free Software communities. Keep an eye out for it within the next couple of days.

Original Post

Links
Twolofbees.com
First Part Of The Interview – Original Post
Second Part Of The Interview
Third Part Of The Interview
Desura

Sakura River is another visual novel developer that uses the GNU/Linux friendly Ren’py visual novel engine for it’s games.
If there is one game genre that we don’t miss on GNU/Linux (and have plenty of) is Visual Novels, thanks to this wonderful FOSS cross-platform engine.

Sakura River released 2 games so far :

Infinite Game Works
About
Play the role of Justin a high school student as he embarks on his dream journey to become a game developer. Having just won a programming contest he enlists the aid of Cleo the artist and Aki the music composer. How will the team grow and take on the hardships along the way?

Features
* Indie game management-sim
* Manage funding, game ideas and your team
* Multiple endings
* Multiple growth paths for team member
* Discover the story behind each member

Fading Hearts
About
An interactive story/game where you play the role of Ryou, a seemingly normal high school student in the land of Sorayama. Solve the mysteries that surround him while maintaining his friendships and saving Claire. Remain ignorant of the secrets and live a normal life or choose to learn the truth. Be careful where you put your priorities for it may prove fatal.

Features
* Change the ending AND the final climax!
* Daily Life-sim
* RPG Battles!
* Shocking plot-twists!

Screenshots

Each game is available for $15.

Links
Sakura River
Ren’py visual novel engine
Infinite Game Works
Fading Hearts

Thanks to Grzegorz Budny for letting us know of the Infinite Game Works releasestrong>

Guillaume from Swingswing Submarine informed LGN about the GNU/Linux release of Blocks That Matter.
You can buy the game at indievania for $5.
A demo can be downloaded from indiedb.

About
When indie game developers Alexey and Markus are in trouble, their only hope comes from their creation.
You are the Tetrobot: a tiny robot that can drill blocks of matter one by one, collect them, and recycle them into new pieces of 4 blocks. You also have the possibility to destroy lines of 8+ blocks in a very «retro russian» game style.
Sand, wood, stone, obsidian, iron, diamond: each matter has its specific behaviour you’ll have to use wisely and take advantage of them. So get ready to use your brain and combine your platforming and puzzle-solving skills in this incredible mashup!

Launch Trailer

Links
Swingswing Submarine
Blocks That Matter
Buy At Indievania
Demo At Indiedb

Winter Wolves released Spirited Heart Girl’s Love which is the yuri expansion to the popular fantasy life simulation game Spirited Heart.

You can now pursue 6 beautiful and interesting girls and unlock new different endings (different for each race).

Both the expansion and the main game are now merged into a single installer, using one-time online activation which eliminates the need of any extra downloads.

If you already own the original Spirited Heart game, you can buy the expansion with 50% off discount. Just enter the email you used to purchase the game to see a 50% off coupon that you can use to buy Girl’s Love.

GAME FEATURES
- Girl & Boy and Girl & Girl romance options
- Three different races to play, each one with different dialog options
- Six male and six female romanceable characters for a total of 12 different subplots!
- Different ending for each race for a total of 36 unique marriage endings
- Detailed fantasy life simulation with optional dice minigame
- Complete a special “Goddess” mission for each race unlocking an extra unique ending
- Get a title by reaching special skill levels
- Many random events hidden in the game!

From the Winter Wolves Blog Post.
Spirited Heart Girl’s Love is finally out! Well, to be honest since I started this project only about 3 months passed, but seems an eternity…! I’m really pleased by the result, each girl has a very different personality, goals, and behavior. I am also happy because the race you choose really has a big impact over the story (even more than in the original game). It’s particularly evident in some characters, like Leah or Reid: playing it with an Elf character will be a very different experience than playing it wih a Demon one.

The original game and the expansion now are a unique installer: I decided to adopt this system so is easier for the users, using the one-time online activation system already implemented in my latest games. This way if you want only one version of the game, you can buy it, but if you want both versions you can buy at once (with 25% discount) and enter the email one time to get instantly both versions activated without any need of extra downloads.

As promised, if you already own the original game, you can get the expansion for 50% off. For more informations, visit this page.

if you enter the email you used to purchase the original game in the input field below the game description, you will get a unique discount code, valid for a one time 50% discount on the standard price.

Screenshots

Spirited Heart Girl’s Love – Ria

Thanks to our usual contributor Grzegorz Budny for the newsflash.

Links
Winter Wolves
Spirited Heart
Spirited Heart Girl’s Love
Winter Wolves Blog Post

Cameron Bonde aka Vectrex has found an update on the Unity GNU/Linux Exporter that was posted earlier on LGN.

Hey, remember the Unity news I sent a while ago? Well I found an update.
They had said before that yes they are working on a native Linux web plugin exporter, but they said there was no timeline and it was low priority.
However a recent blog post shows two pieces of good news.
First Unity is going to be exporting to the Flash 11 plugin at almost native speeds and it’s shown here working (since Flash 11 exposes low level GPU).
If flash work on the exporter it should mean Unity in browsers on Linux.
But the more interesting bit was I noticed a little addition to the export options :


Looks like they’ve added Linux standalone to the their internal
version. Of course they didn’t mention this at all in the video, but
it looks promising.

Thanks Cameron Bonde aka Vectrex for keeping us up to date with the Unity GNU/Linux support.

Links
Unity GNU/Linux Exporter In Development !
Unity Blog Post

Kitty Lambda will soon release their action RPG The Real Texas which is be available for GNU/Linux.

About
While holidaying in England, an ordinary rancher from Texas is trapped in an abandoned castle.
There he finds a portal to a town called Strange, whose residents are somehow all stuck in a purgatory dimension of Texas.
The Real Texas is an epic action RPG with gun combat, lots of secret items and areas, NPC day/night cycles, bosses, puzzles, dungeons, zombies and cross-dressing.

Awesomely Explorey
Sam finds himself in The Strange Texas, which is really just a sort-of satire of our own world.
When you’re not shooting stuff you’ll be rooting through people’s houses, collecting items, and getting clues from NPCs.
Objects usually have a few purposes, and while there are definite solutions to the main quests in the game, there’s also lot of optional secret-hunting and easter eggs, if you’re into that kind of thing.

FPS Control, Retro Vibe
The Real Texas is a bona-fide old-school top-down adventure game, but with guns instead of swords. It controls like a first person shooter where you aim with the mouse and move with the keyboard.
There’s no health bar; instead, combat is intuitive and takes a blend of strategy, reflexes, and luck.
The pace is quick and things stay interesting: you’re never left to slog it out, but always hunting for the right rhythm.

Technical Mumbo-jumbo
The Real Texas has modest system requirements; you’ll need a computer that has basic 3D graphics and a decent processor.
If you bought your computer in the past 5 years or so, or even if it’s a little bit older, it should do the trick.

Screenshots

Trailer

The Real Texas – Official Trailer #2 from Calvin French on Vimeo.

Links
Kitty Lambda
The Real Texas