The Chzo Mythos Is Coming To GNU/Linux !

Posted: 17th May 2010 by Maxim Bardin in Uncategorized
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Two weeks ago I’ve officially started the first LGN contest, that with the disappointing results will also probably be the last LGN contest.

I have received a few news reports via IRC chats from friends, but those people didn’t ask to participate in the contest and didn’t ask for a prize.
Only one official email was received from “Hamish Paul Wilson” just hours ago, making him the winner by default.
Hamish Paul Wilson wins the Osmos game I wrote about on LGN.

Here is his article below (links added by myself) :

The Chzo Mythos is coming to GNU/Linux!
By Hamish Paul Wilson

Although he is probably more well known for his satirically negative game review series Zero Punctuation, Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw has had another identity for at least the past twelve years; that of a talented game creator and designer. His works include the amateurish yet still enjoyable Arthur Yahtzee Trilogy, his first publicly released games from which his nickname is based. He would then go on to envision the Rob Blanc Trilogy, the wickedly funny game series which first made his name a household one, well, that is if you were a part of the amateur adventure scene at least. His next project, The Trials of Odysseus Kent, took a step into the lurid which would eventually lead to his most celebrated works and the subject of this post: The Chzo Mythos.

Originally styled after horror slasher films, the games later took on the character of an H.P Lovecraft novel. The first and most celebrated game of the series, 5 Days a Stranger, depicted the events that would later become known as the “Defoe Manor Incident”, as seen through the eccentric cat burger known only as Trilby. From this modest beginning the series spans hundreds of years and entangles many different characters, from ancient Celtic druids, to freed African Slaves, to land use authority investigators, and even Starship counsellors. Each game in the series has its own unique setting, and each game offers a different view to of the universe and plot of the games. It is important for them to be played in order for the plot to make any sense however.

Although all four games, five if you include Trilby: The Art of Theft which serves merely as additional back-story for the Trilby character, can be run native on Linux using the sadly closed source AGS Linux Interpreter, this was often a pain to set up and caused these great gaming gems to be inaccessible to a common user. I myself have taken up the role of packaging native Linux binaries of each of the games which is easy to use and enjoyable for anybody on any distribution. Keep in mind these are the Special Editions, so they will include extra features not included in the original freeware releases. Although I am not quite satisfied enough to release them yet, I have already made significant progress in making them releasable. I have all five games currently running on my Fedora 12 system at this very moment. I have already tried to contact Yahtzee but as of yet not received a response, this I consider unsurprising and I am fairly confident he will get back to me soon. If not I will release them in my own capacity.

Unfortunately some of his older titles, which are my own personal favorites, are not applicable to be packaged, since the AGS interpreter can not run Rob Blanc or Odysseus since they were constructed with an older version of Adventure Game Studio. However, I can confirm that both Adventures in A Galaxy of Fabulous Wonderment and the 1213 series can be packaged at a later date. Arthur Yahtzee was built using Visual Basic 3 and could potentially be ran through WINE. I know Rob Blanc runs great through Dosbox, and I can only assume that Odysseus does as well. I can not promise a release date for this project. It will depend on Yahtzee’s response and whether or not I consider my work ready for release. I will update LGN if there are any later developments in this story.

The Games

  1. Hamish Wilson says:

    Consider the fact that you got so few responses a reflection on your own uncanny ability to discover news about Linux games the instant it hits the internet rather than a reflection on your readership. I myself was going to send you a different article about another game, only to find out you had already covered it months ago. I only won by finding a loophole, the fact that I was the person generating this bit of news in the first place. With your skill, it was a contest that was almost impossible to win.

  2. Maxim Bardin says:

    Thanks Hamish Wilson,
    But as I’ve stated before, I had a few contributions during the contest period and sometimes people give me a word about new games that I had no hope to find without them.
    It was not me alone and I always give credit to those helpful people.

    Thanks again to everyone who helped me
    Best Wishes

  3. Kyle Newton says:

    I’d have been all over that contest if I needed another copy of Osmos! Hemisphere Games were kind enough to run their own incentive for the game: Spread the Osmos love on your own blog in return for a copy of the game.

    Congratulations to Hamish for “finding” the Linux related news. He’s right about the difficulty of finding Linux game news that hasn’t been covered. LGN is quick about it.

  4. Sean Tilley says:

    This isn’t really news at all, I think. Judging by the screenshots, this is just the Windows version of the game using a converted binary with the AGS Linux runtime. (AGS is what powers Yahtzee’s famous adventure games).

    Anybody can take a closed game, run the script, and have a native Linux binary with it. What you fail to grasp is that although it runs quite well, even the current version of the ported runtime doesn’t use native save paths. So, it’s impossible to package it up and install it to, say, /usr/local/games, because the method in which it saves files is still in the Windows method, where it saves to the game’s actual directory.

    It’s nice and all to see someone bothering to do a port, but technically speaking I could just go take the King’s Quest II remake, run a little script, and have a fully converted, mostly-working game from it. (I say mostly due to the above issue.)

  5. Hamish Wilson says:

    I never claimed it was a proper port. I am just releasing a cleaned-up binary. My only goal is to make it just as easy to run the games on Linux as it is on Windows, and in that I am succeeding. Just extract them to your Home or whatever, and you are ready to go. You will no longer need to dick around with Allegro and other libraries and run a series of scripts just to get the damn thing running. That is my only goal, to make it easier for everyone.

    And please comment on the latest post about the subject, and not this one. I do not want to have keep checking on this one to answer peoples questions. Thanks for the heads up on the comment BTW Maxim.