Just Tactics – Turn Based, Online Multiplayer Game That Gives Back To The Community !

Jordan Brock sent me an email about a game he is working on with his team called Just Tactics (they are also working on a new website 😉 ).

Just Tactics is a free (for now) turn based, online multiplayer, 1v1, tactical war game involving squads and deck building.

They Follow the “Minecraft business model” in which they give the game for free at first and as the game development progresses they start charging money from lower to higher (so those who buy early get a better price).

The plan is to gradually build a community that can help test the game and  enjoy it together (it is a multiplayer game after all).

 

The interesting thing is that they use the jmonkey engine and a lot of other open source tools but also give back to the community.

You can see the tools they have developed and released under the BSD license  far from their dev blog, and they are always working on new tools !

 

Here is the email Jordan Brock sent me :

Hi Maxim,

Sorry, I am not a pretty girl.

 

We are working on a game called “Just Tactics,” currently available for Linux and Windows.  Just Tactics is a Turn Based, Online Multiplayer, 1v1, Tactical War Game involving Squads and Deck Building.

 

We are using jmonkey engine and a lot of other open source tools.  Our entire codebase is not open sourced, but some day it likely will be (right now what is not open sourced is our art assets and the game logic specific to our game, honestly not particularly useful to anyone).  Any tool that we have made that actually would be useful to someone, we have open sourced, you can check them out on our devblog:  http://devblog.htssoft.com/

 

For Just Tactics we have been doing QA testing for 6 months, so there aren’t many bugs left.  The game is not quite finished (there are a number of art assets missing, mainly some paint and sound effects).  However, Just Tactics is very much playable, and it is time to build a community of gamers that will love all of the tactical goodness packed into Just Tactics.  We are looking to give away several thousand copies of the game, this will allow us to stress test our infrastructure, and also gets us to the ever important “critical mass” of gamers the community needs so that when you join the Quickmatch queue, you actually find an opponent.

 

We are using a “Minecraft pricing strategy.”  Right now the game is free.  As the game becomes more complete, we will start to charge a modest price for it.  As Just Tactics gains more content, we will continue to up the price commensurate with what is reasonable.  This creates an incentive to join the community now (especially now because the game is free 🙂 as opposed a traditional pricing structure where the game comes out as a finished product at a high price, and then some people delay their purchase until the game is in the “bargain bin.”  We feel that the “Minecraft pricing strategy” is a better fit for indie games like ours.  When we do start charging for the game, anyone already in the community is still good to go, you do not have to pay for DLC or anything like that.  Even when we are charging, new players will be able to demo the game for free forever using a default army (which is a decent army, not crippled in any way).  By letting you demo forever, it helps us to continue to grow the community, and it lets us simply ignore that part of DRM 🙂  When you grow weary of the default army, you can pay, and then you have access to everything  (paying gets you everything, all units, all cards, all future units, all future cards, there is no “pay to win,”  which is why having your fans join our community now, for free, is quite a good proposition for them 🙂

 

Check out some of these videos to see what the game is like:
First Look

Tutorial

Teleporters

 

Please check out the website (we have a web designer working on a nice design at this very moment I swear!)

The wiki is a good resource to learn how to play.

 

If you want to play a couple of matches add me as a friend on the client, I am ‘carnator’.  If you join Quickmatch you will probably not find a match (tiny community = no one online looking for a match, this is why I am writing you 🙂  Hit me up with an email if you want me to hop on and play you 🙂

I think that some of your site’s fans will really enjoy the awesome Linux game we are working on (and, hey, it’s free!)  I think that you will appreciate how we approach building the community, expanding the game, running our business, contributing back to the open source community, etc.

 

Cheers,

-Jordan Brock

 

So create a an account and download the GNU/Linux client while it’s free !

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17 October

The Fall Bundle – Oil Rush And Reprisal !

The Fall Bundle from Indie Royale is now under way for only 4 days !
And 2 of the games in the bundle (from the total of 5), have a native GNU/Linux client !
The games are Oil Rush and Reprisal.
So here is your chance to get those 2 games at a low price.
And if you pay $8 and more, you also get a cool music album called 88:88.

 

About the games
Oil Rush
Oil Rush is a real-time naval strategy game based on group control. It combines the strategic challenge of a classical RTS with the sheer fun of Tower Defence. Fight the naval war between furious armies across the boundless waters of the post-apocalyptic world. Pump the ever-so-precious black gold by oil rigs, capture platforms and destroy the enemy in the sea and in the air. Be ingenious to unlock super technologies and quick to send your squads straight into the heat of the battle!

Reprisal
Created in homage to Populous, Reprisal lets you take control of a tribe, guiding them, building land and making them grow in number. Using special totem powers you can control nature itself unleashing its full fury on anyone that stands in your way. But be warned, other tribes may not take too kindly to your intentions and will put up a fight!

Desktop edition includes:
Enhanced full stereo chip tunes to knod along too, Unlockable challenge islands, Offline local storage and Enhanced full screen display features! It also includes a full standalone PC installer and Mac App version. A minimum screen resolution of 1024 X 768 required.

So go ahead and grab it while it’s hot because time is running out !

Poster: Maxim Bardin. Category: Uncategorized. Tags: , , ,
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16 October

Want Fabled Fortress On GNU/Linux ?

Fabled Fortress is a hybrid strategy game about building, managing, and defending the kingdom of your dreams against ruthless invaders.

While they currently using Unity3.5, they will upgrade to Unity4 when it officially ships.
But as their game is planned to be finished at March it could be a problem to deliver a GNU/Linux port…
However if you want this game to be ported to GNU/Linux, the developers asked to message them .
With enough interest, they may commit to a GNU/Linux client.

 

From our conversation :

 

LGN:
Hello !  , What about a Linux version ?

 

fine Orange Games :
Hi Maxim!

Thank you for your interest in Fabled Fortress!
Because the current version of our development platform, Unity 3D, doesn’t support Linux we haven’t listed this platform among our initial releases; however, the upcoming update of Unity 4 includes Linux support!
Provided we get enough backers from the Linux community and there are no unforeseen issues moving from Unity 4 beta to release, we will strive to release on this platform. We hope this gives you the confidence to back the project.
If you have any remaining questions or concerns, please feel free to respond.
Thanks again for your support! It really makes a difference!
fine Orange Games

 

LGN:
If you are going to upgrade to Unity4 which supports Linux, why not offer the Linux support so Linux gamers could pledge for your project ? (MANY other games that use Unity4 promised a Linux client…).
I mean, if you cannot promise it, then why should people pledge for a project they won’t even sure they could play later ?Thanks
Maxim.”

 

fine Orange Games :
Hi Maxim!

The main issue is making sure that Unity 4 is live and not still in beta during our release in March. We take this stance because shipping on beta software could cause unforeseen problems and, in our view, we can deliver a better product after all the Unity 4 beta issues are resolved. We have decided not to upgrade to Unity 4 until it has officially shipped and is not still in beta.
With that said, several of our backers have already requested Linux support and it is only a matter of time before we deliver this support. The only reason Linux support isn’t listed among the initial releases is because we want to make sure that Unity 4 is no longer in beta before committing to delivering in March.
Why don’t you check back closer to the end of the project when we should hopefully have more details from Unity about the Unity 4 release date? Because of the overwhelming number of requests for Linux in the past few days, we are going to review when we can realistically offer this support without any issues.
If you know of any others in the Linux community who are interested in adding this support, could you also have them send us a short message? This would really help reinforce adding Linux as an early release.

Thanks again for your support!
fine Orange Games

 

 Kickstarter Intro

Fabled Fortress is a hybrid strategy game that allows you to build, manage, and defend the kingdom of your dreams. Rule your peasants, embark on quests for rare loot with fellow monarchs, and annihilate your friends’ kingdoms with apocalyptic spells and ruthless armies all before lunch! It’s good to be king.

Game types:

  • Real-Time Strategy
  • Tower Defense
  • City Building/Management

Initial release on iOS followed by Android, PC, & Mac.

  • 9 characters to aid you in the single player campaign
  • 6 chapters with 36 missions for approximately 10 hours of gameplay
  • Faction-specific playable units and buildings
  • 4 factions: Humans, Elves, Orcs, and Undead
  • Over 40 3D buildings
  • Over 25 units including melee, ranged, magic and boss units
  • Over 30 quests provide rare loot to unlock unique buildings, units, and spells
  • Devastating spells to annihilate even the strongest invasion
  • Asynchronous multiplayer

 

So if you want to see this game on GNU/Linux, make them know about it !

Poster: Maxim Bardin. Category: Uncategorized. Tags: , ,
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16 October

Pedagogical Bundle – Pay What You Want !

Pedagogical Bundle feature 5 cross platform, educational games made by  RyXeo.
Those games are aimed for children and (some for)  adults.
If you have children and you want educational games on GNU/Linux – that’s the bundle for you.

 

 The Games :

Mulot

Screenshot of MulotTrain your children to use the mouse with Mulot. Watching the image appear gradually allows them to develop their vocabulary by discussing what the image represents as it appears.

 

Fubuki game

Screenshot of Fubuki gameIf you like intellectual games then try our Fubuki. You can adjust the settings to challenge yourself to the maximum!

 

Mental Calculation

Screenshot of Mental CalculationIf you can’t imagine that homework could ever be a pleasure, test Calcul Mental (Mental Calculation).

 

Raconte-moi

Screenshot of Raconte-moiThe simple software game Raconte-Moi (Tell-Me) is designed for even the youngest pupils to use, yet it is also great for constructing quick presentations including pictures, text or recorded voices.

 

Coloriages

Screenshot of ColoriagesThe graphic design work on our software bundle is exceptional, making it enjoyable to use. Your children will however have the chance to personalise their drawings with Coloriages (Colouring pictures).

 


Improve with only five games! Pedagogic Bundle features five innovative educational games. Name your price and train your children (or yourself) in mental calculation with Calcul Mental or Fubuki. Introduce your family pictures or create stories with Raconte-Moi and just keep your kids amused for a while with Mulot or Coloriage.

Pay what you want. If you bought all this awesomeness separately, it would cost over $135. But we’re letting you set the price!

Play on Windows, Mac*, and Linux*. Note that these games are absolutely cross-platform. Please be patient while the developers put the finishing touches to the English-speaking version as quickly as they can and don’t hesitate to contact us if you wish to contribute to this process.

Free updates for a year !

Support non profit organisation (abuledu.org) Choose how your purchase is divided: between the developers and a non profit organisation that promotes educational activities… And if you like this promotion, a tip to Pedagogic Bundle would be greatly appreciated!

 

Poster: Maxim Bardin. Category: Uncategorized. Tags: , ,
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15 October

Help Bring Star Citizen To GNU/Linux – Sign A Petition !

Star Citizen is HUGE space game in developed with one of the best and detailed graphics we have ever seen to date.
It’s being developed by  Chris Roberts who brought us the legendary space games Wing Commander, Privateer and Freelance.

João Santos contacted Chris Roberts asking him about the possibility of a GNU/Linux version and he said that while a GNU/Linux version it’s high on their “wish list,” it will depend on community interest.
Then João Santos  asked him if a petition would help and he said it could help because : “it’d be good to know how many people really want a Linux version. I’m getting a LOT of requests for a Macintosh version, but not so much mention of Linux…”

So here is our chance to ask for a GNU/Linux version of this excellent to be, space game.

If you are interested, please sign the petition.

 

The developers are also raising funds to continue the development of the game (like a Kickstarter, but in their own website), the campaign ends in 30 days – but till the GNU/Linux client is not confirmed, I won’t propose to donate to this project.
This why we have this petition first.

 

Here is the introduction video of the game :

Poster: Maxim Bardin. Category: Uncategorized. Tags: ,
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12 October

Heroes Of Newerth Gets A MAJOR Patch For GNU/Linux And MacOS !

Heroes of Newerth (HoN) from S2Games is a DOTA like game that like all of their games supported GNU/Linux.
Sadly the GNU/Linux client was always a bit behind the Windows one, but now after the release of patch 2.6.22 they are finally in par.

I’m heavily addicted to HoN and for me the GNU/Linux client was always stable as a rock, while the Windows users crashed all the time – I kept playing.

 

Official Announcement :

Hi everyone,

We are proud to announce a MAJOR patch for our Mac & Linux game clients. For a while now, as our Windows client received features and updates, our Mac and Linux clients have been slowly falling behind. While we always strive to make sure Mac and Linux stay updated and compatible with the latest patches, we haven’t always been able to keep them feeling as feature-complete and polished as our Windows client.

Maintaining separate clients is a LOT of work – it really requires some dedicated attention (mostly from programming) to keep things running in top shape. Through the hustle and bustle of developing the game as a whole, it’s easy, if not paying proper attention, for small bugs to crop up here and there, building up over time.

A few months ago we filled a key programming position of a dedicated Mac + Linux programmer (along with fleshing out our QA staff) to give these clients the attention and time they deserve, and we couldn’t be happier with the results (up to DOUBLE the performance in some cases on Mac). We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to not only fix up the current client, but to make sure it is among the top performing native games for both Mac and Linux operating systems (and certainly the best client in the genre). This upcoming patch not only brings them up to speed, but makes sure they look and feel great, and have all the latest features that the Windows client has.

S2 has always proudly supported Mac and Linux for our games, even when sometimes it didn’t seem economically feasible. While some other companies may choose to take the “easy” route and drop support of these clients, we simply couldn’t accept that, we were determined to redouble our efforts.

Highlights contained in this patch:

  • VASTLY improved performance and stability (up to 2x the performance of the current retail client)
  • Awesomium Integration (HoN TV, guides, player ladder ,etc)
  • Fancy new updater (similar to the one released recently for the Windows client – generally improves reliability of updating)
  • New installer (does away with the disk-image method that was causing some update issues on Mac)
  • Many miscellaneous bug fixes and stability improvements (fixed the most common causes of crashes, skybox reflections now work, and lots of other stuff)
  • Retina display support

Some of the updates here were incompatible with Mac OS X 10.4, and as such, we have dropped support of it. Keep in mind this is just the mac/linux highlights of the upcoming patch, there’s other goodies that’ll equally affect PC + Mac/Linux.

We’re excited to bring you these updates and to continue giving these clients the love and attention they deserve to continue running at top notch. If you have any Mac or Linux gamer friends, now is the time to get them hooked on HoN!

 

If you still haven’t tried this game, even after it went free-2-play –  PLEASE DON’T !
This game is heavily addictive and will consume your life.
You have been warned !

Poster: Maxim Bardin. Category: Uncategorized. Tags:
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11 October

Saga Kingdoms – Revolutionary MMORTS

Saga Kingdoms is a revolutionary real time MMORTS, focusing on questing and empire building.
They say it’s what Star Craft 2 could have been (in terms of gameplay).
It will be free to play (as it seems from the rewards), but you can pay for additional content.
Currently the project managed to get ~$8,600 of the $100k goal ,with 29 days to go.
From past experiences it’s very hard to get the funds for “free to play” games and I personally doubt that this project will reach it’s goal (although there is always hope).

 

SAGA was designed to show what is possible in an RTS when it is made for the players and not by the big studios who may be too scared to try something new. We asked ourselves questions such as, What if the world never reset? What if we could figure out how to balance not just two or three factions but six? and most importantly, What if every play session enhanced your virtual empire and not just a rating?

Most RTS games we’ve ever played focus on player vs. player combat. This is understandable because creating 10 maps and relying on players to provide variety is much less time consuming than creating 600 quests. SAGA, however, embraces that players love a rich story and while PvP has its place and is certainly not an afterthought in our design, we felt it was a lot more fun going on quests not just alone but with groups of friends.

In Saga Kingdoms each player will control a capital city that will serve as the seat of their power, however we have greatly expanded on this concept by giving each player a full Island as a starting point. In addition we plan to allow players to take over both resources and outposts on the main continent as their empire expands.

Similar to SAGA, Saga Kingdoms will feature hundreds of quests to test your skill. While some quests do have prerequisites that you must best, you can always go back and do old favorites for loot and XP.

The power of our new engine means we can create much grander quests that can be enjoyed by large groups of friends.These epic battles will be much more difficult but we promise the rewards will be worth it.

Players will be able to choose from one of six factions, each with a unique look and play style.

Primary Race: Elves

The oldest of the races, the elves have long ago learned to live in harmony with Gaia – the spirit of the world itself. Through their allegiance and honor of Her, they have learned to master Her powers, and now control the most destructive forces of Nature. As warriors, they possess terrific skill, and have made strange allies in some of the oldest creatures on Gaia, including treants and elementals.

Primary Race: Orcs and Ogres

The orcs and ogres live for war. They have long pursued it, and have fashioned their living around it. They have traded refinement for mass, and like a blunt instrument, will bludgeon the life out of their enemies. Their spells and abilities are targeted inward, purposed with instilling their warriors with greater power in combat. Individually, their warriors are skillful, en masse: terrifying.

Primary Race: Giants and Humans

Noble, powerful and indomitable – the forces of Light are truly magnificent to behold. Their ancient civilization has reached a glorious age of wisdom and refinement, and their armies have long ago mastered the art of war. They are a balanced and formidable force, able to draw on heavily armored soldiers and powerful magic alike to crush their enemies into submission.

Primary Race: Dwarves

Dwarves are particularly skilled in the arts of mechanical engineering. Hidden deep in their mountain hideaways, they have created terrible machines of war and destruction. In all their tinkering though, they have lost the art of magic and must rely on their own ingenuity and cunning.

Primary Race: Dark Elves

The dark elves are the masters of magic. They have studied many dark arts and have mastered the secrets of daemonology, allowing them to conjure up horrible beasts. By tapping into the powers of the Underworld, they have possession of mighty spells, with which they terrorize their enemies.

Primary Race: Undead

When the god of the Undead was all but defeated he called upon his powers to bring to power the newest of the factions to gain a foothold on Gaia. Adept casters, the undead use their powers of decay to manipulate the course of battle and weaken their foes while gargantuan undead abominations rush forth to devour their prey.

We love variety in most RTS games. Trying to find the perfect balance of troops is an integral part of the strategy. As difficult as it was to balance 6 factions, that task was nothing compared to trying to create over 100 distinct troop types. Saga Kingdoms will bring back many of the old favorites and will commit to creating many more in upcoming free content expansions.
Saga Kingdoms is a Free-To-Play Collectible game

Collecting troops was one of the best received and unique features of SAGA. Booster packs which can now be purchased for gold farmed in game will provide a random assortment of troops. Nothing beats the excitement of ripping open a new pack or the exhilaration of finding a dragon as your rare card.

Every aspect of your empire can grow in power. This means that every play session will reward you with some type of progress.

  • Buildings will be constructed, which will provide additional benefits.
  • Research will reward you with new abilities and benefits.
  • All troops will gain experience during combat, making them more powerful.
  • Magic items will be found during quests and crafted in your city.
  • Every quest completed and booster purchased gives the possibility of new and exciting troops to enhance your army.
  • Even logging in for just a few seconds and collecting resources brings you closer to purchasing that next building upgrade or booster pack.

Each unit in your army will be led by a hero as detailed as any character in an MMO. Heroes can gain levels, learn spells and possess a range of abilities and bonuses that they confer to the unit they lead.

We’re also expanding the number of available heroes slightly from the dozen available in SAGA to many hundreds. (OK maybe more than slightly)

Not only will be we able to create items with a larger variety of abilities, but Saga Kingdoms will feature many thousands more magic items since Heroes can equip armor in multiple slots in addition to weapons and trinkets, rather than the limited 2 slots in SAGA.

Since Units in Saga Kingdoms are built around heroes not troop types, you will have much more freedom when designing your units. Each troop type will possess a special ability, allowing you to have much finer control over the type of army you field. For example, if halberdiers grant increased damage to the whole unit and swordsmen grant increased armor, a unit consisting of 15 halberdiers and 5 swordsmen will play very differently than one with 15 swordsmen and 5 halberdiers. Adding a hero who brings its own set of unit enhancements means an unlimited set of strategies.

Using the Unity engine means being able to do battle on a PC, Mac, or even using Linux. While the client will be available for all of these platforms, developing in Unity means that when you’re at work or school and can’t resist checking your empire or doing a quick quest, Saga Kingdoms will also be playable in a browser. In addition, developing in Unity opens the possibility for a mobile version.

We have been working on Saga Kingdoms for over a year. Some of our players have even had a chance to try the Alpha version.

We can field troops, move them around, and cause havoc to our enemies as well as build a city. The funds raised on Kickstarter will help us port the remaining SAGA features, finish our quest design tools and make the necessary changes to magic items and heroes to bring Saga Kingdoms to the next level.

 

Poster: Maxim Bardin. Category: Uncategorized. Tags: , , ,
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10 October

Source – Not Just A Game Engine

As you know Valve is  bringing Steam and Source to GNU/Linux.

Most of you probably think about Source as only a game engine – but Chris Smith is actually working on a web series called “Aura” that is made with Source SDK and other tools such as Faceposer –  which is used for the lip syncing onto character models, Garry’s mod – for backgrounds and Sony Vegas for editing.

 

Chris Smith told me he wanted to be a director and that he is working on the series called “Aura” for 6 months now, and in my opinion the directing part of this trailer is very well made (although the graphics could be better – but Chris said he will improve 😉 ).

 

 

Usually I don’t post about series and movies, but this time I wanted to do something different as it is related to GNU/Linux in some way.

Poster: Maxim Bardin. Category: Uncategorized. Tags: , ,
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27 September

Get AirBuccaneers HD For $4 !

Other GNU/Linux gaming websites have noticed that AirBuccaneers HD which uses Unity, will have a GNU/Linux client.

Luckily AirBuccaneers HDis included at the GamersGate Indiefort Bundle which I’ve posted about earlier.

 

AirBuccaneers HD Alpha – Loot & Booty Pack includes:

  • AirBuccaneers HD Game Account with:
    o    All the features
    o    Access to Beta & all later development builds
    o    Access to the finished game
  • Bunch of Attachments for your character:
    o    Wise Owl that will sit on your character’s shoulder
    o    Raven that will sit on your character’s shoulder
    o    A shield that will hang on your character’s back

 

 

There are many other GNU/Linux gamers at this bundle which currently available for GNU/Linux download  : Telepath RPG: Servants of God (Adobe Air), 3079 (Java),  Survivors of Ragnarök (Java), Will Fight for Food (native) and Devil WhiskeyBlue Libra – other GNU/Linux gamers might also come later.

 

So it’s a great opportunity to get those wonderful games at such a low price.

 

 

Poster: Maxim Bardin. Category: Uncategorized. Tags: , ,
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23 September

Winter Wolves Visual Novel Game Bundle

My friends at GamingonLinux already posted about it, but in case you missed it I want to let you know that Winter Wolves, the company that specializes on visual novels is running a bundle on groupees, you can get 6 (and even 7) games – depends on how much you choose to donate.

Because the games use the cross platform Ren’py engine they all  have a GNU/Linux client.

 

The games are :

Planet Stronghold , Heileen 1 and Heileen 2 , Bionic Heart , Vera Blanc: Full Moon , Always Remember Me and if we pass the 1000 sales goal then we also get Spirited Heart !

Please note that some games have a minimum donation sum to download them.

25% of all donations go to the Rainforest Alliance !

 

So what are you waiting for ?! get the bundle here !

Poster: Maxim Bardin. Category: Uncategorized. Tags: , ,
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19 September