Tag Archives: 2012

Gaming on Linux – 2012 in Review

by nibulix


The year 2012 is over now and it’s time to take a look back on it, and summarize the main events and games of the year.

The year started with an exciting and technically sophisticated title – Oil Rush. Unigine, a Russian software company behind the game, has been a big supporter of the Linux platform for a long time now. With Oil Rush the company has published the first game based on its own cross-platform engine. Originally, the company was specialized in complex 3D benchmark software. Maybe the most comprehensive Unigine’s benchmark is Heaven – a beautiful and very demanding graphics benchmark that supports OpenGL 4.0.

In March, Gabe Newell sent us an e-mail telling that Valve is urgently seeking Linux developers and is in the process of improving graphics card drivers for Linux in cooperation with the graphics card manufacturers.

In April, one of the most successful game titles of the year, Trine 2, was released for Linux. The new game has not disappointed. It has been implemented with a lot of attention to the details: a beautiful graphics, great music and exciting story made it very popular among Linux gamers.

In June and September, new Humble Indie Bundle collections surprised us again with great new titles. To the highlights of HIB belonged the winners of different video game awards, Bastion and Torchlight. Torchlight is a very successful counterpart to Blizzard’s Diablo and Bastion is a very atmospheric RPG.

In summer, Valve has repeatedly demonstrated, that it is taking development of Steam for Linux very seriously and has hired a prominent Linux game developer Sam Lantinga and has even started a Linux blog.

At the end of the year, it has finally happened what Linux gamers were waiting for years for: in November Steam for Linux has been started in a closed beta. Many bestseller games such as Team Fortress 2, Killing Floor or Serious Sam 3 were released for Linux at the same time. And, in time for Christmas, Valve has made the Linux community happy releasing Steam beta for everyone.

All in all, the year 2012 was much influenced by Steam for Linux, Humble Indie Bundle and Linux games funding on Kickstarter.com. Humble Indie Bundle has long been a driving force for the development of Linux games and has proved Linux as a viable gaming platform. In addition to the games being ported to Linux as a part of HIB, even more important, there were different game engines ported to Linux, like Unreal Engine 3 in Dungeon Defenders. Another common game engine, Unity was released for Linux this year. Porting of graphics game engines is probably the most important milestone on the way to releasing games for Linux.

The year 2012 was undoubtedly a phenomenal year for Linux gamers, and 2013 has good foundations to become the year of Linux gaming.

Reblogged from: steamforlinux.com

”linux-game-gaming-gamer-news” title="Linux Game Gaming News

Galcon 2: Galactic Conquest hits Kickstarter

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The sequel to space-themed RTS Galcon recently landed on Kickstarter. The series’ creator Phil Hassey first made Galcon in 1995, and continued improving and re-releasing the game over the years with standout versions available on Android and iOS.

Hassey recently took to Kickstarter to fund development on the game’s true sequel, Galcon 2: Galactic Conquest. The sequel would include expanded modes, an auto-match feature for online play, a trophy system and clan support. Hassey’s goal is to launch the free-to-play game on PC, Mac and Linux, with plans to port it to iOS and high-end Android devices. The Kickstarter project is seeking $23,099 by January 7.

Pledge Galcon 2 on Kickstarter 

Reblogged from:  joystiq.com

”linux-game-gaming-gamer-news” title="Linux Game Gaming News


Arcade survival racer Distance closing in on Kickstarter finish line

Seattle-based Refract Studios updated the Kickstarter page with new gameplay footage for its racing game project Distance, a spiritual successor to the team’s student project while attending DigiPen, Nitronic Rush. With DigiPen owning the rights to Nitronic Rush, Refract Studios (a fraction of the Nitronic Rush team) took to Kickstarter to fund its ambitions with a similar “survival racing” game in Distance.

According to the project’s description, “You control a unique car that allows you to boost, jump, rotate, and even fly through a chaotic and twisted city.” The game’s world is said to have a “mysterious history,” placing a heavy focus on exploration in the city’s bizarre environment in addition to its level editor and multiplayer modes.

Distance is in development for PC, Mac and Linux, with the only videos available labeled as pre-alpha footage. The Kickstarter project is currently sitting at almost $85,000 in funding with five days left before the team hopes to reach its $125,000 goal.

Relogged from:  joystiq.com

”linux-game-gaming-gamer-news” title="Linux Game Gaming News

Obsidian’s ‘Project Eternity’ RPG benefits from the freedom of crowd funding


The $2.5 million that Project Eternity has raised so far through Kickstarter isn’t just paying for the role-playing game’s development; it’s paying for freedom, Obsidian Entertainment chief creative officer Chris Avellone told Polygon today.

In an interview at GDC Online, Avellone explained that crowd-source funding wasn’t just the best option for getting the game made; it’s the only option. One issue is the studio’s resolution to developing the game solely for PC, Mac, and Linux, a narrowly-tailored release strategy that clashes with the multiplatform approach most publishers follow. Moreover, Avellone says that the kind of role-playing games Obsidian creates have fallen out of fashion somewhat.

“It’s really also hard to sell this type of role-playing game in today’s role-playing game market,” Avellone said. “I think the expectations have changed, and I think there’s a percentage of the RPG audience that remembers the Infinity Engine games and likes them, but I don’t know if that’s the zeitgeist of RPGs nowadays in terms of what people expect from them.”

Avellone explained that RPGs are effectively on a gradient: One one side, players have the greater share of control over their character’s every attribute. On the other side — the side many current RPG developers favor — the game’s creators make those kind of decisions for their players.

“I feel like the designers put more of their mark on the characters,” Avellone said. “It’s hard to say. When you’re dealing with Shepard in Mass Effect, you do get customization options with Shepard, but ultimately, at the end of the day, he’s still speaking with one voice, or with the female voice, and that’s who he is. In essence, that sort of sets a level of fan expectation right there that’s difficult to sell a game that’s not like that. Even Skyrim, to an extent, they kind of left their mark on characters with the advertising campaign in terms of his looks and his silhouette that I think people immediately start leaving a mark on him in that respect.

“There are always some elements that you have to design around, you always have those constraints,” Avellone added. “But when it comes to my character, I get a little sensitive about it.”


The effects of crowd-funding the development of Project Eternity have been nothing but positive, Avallone said. The development team is overjoyed to share what they’re working on as they’re working on it, and in turn is bolstered by the community’s immediate feedback. That feedback has come in the form of suggestions for the game’s artistic and systemic design — sometimes even volunteer work on the game’s environment and character art.

Avellone was never worried that their input would evolve (or, as the case may be, devolve) into a sense of funder’s entitlement.

“Their sense of entitlement wasn’t really ‘Oh, you must have this,’ it was more like, ‘Here’s what we feel about this,’” Avellone said. “Like, they didn’t want social tie-ins, for example, and like, if you don’t want that, and you don’t want to back a project that has elements like that, there is absolutely no need for us to put that in. We’re absolutely fine that you’re telling us this now, and not two months before ship, which is normally how people react to things like this with today’s publishing models.”

Aside from that feedback, the team at Obsidian has almost no external input on what kind of a game the studio is going to make. Starting with a clean slate has its fair share of benefits and problems, but before weighing them against one another, Obsidian had to decide what kind of an RPG it wanted to create. That core inspiration, Avellone explained, came down to one question.

“What were exciting RPGs we’ve played, and why,” Avellone said. “We all got together in a room and said, ‘You know what, there are certain things we love about Forgotten Realms, there are reasons that’s appealing to us.’ Not because we want to do Forgotten Realms, but it seemed like wherever you went in Forgotten Realms, there was some cool locale that was waiting to be explored, some dungeon to loot. And from all the D&D days from long ago, that’s what we love about dungeons: Solving puzzles, going through the dungeon crawling experience.”


That level of freedom often carries with it a kind of developmental paralysis, as constraints — commonly established by a publisher or the franchise in which a game is set — help focus every single aspect of the game development process. Obsidian is used to dealing with those kinds of restraints, but Avellone says he isn’t worried about Project Eternity getting hindered by freedom.

“I don’t think that our studio is ever in danger of getting lost in the woods when it doesn’t have a franchise parameter around it,” Avellone said. “That’s never really been a problem for us. In some instances, some folks might need those parameters to help them focus, and sometimes having bookends like that helps you design more creatively within the box. But we’ve been doing RPGs for so long, we know what those scope constraints are. Now we get to express ideas that we just think are cool, period, without any sort of obstruction. It has our voice, I guess is the best way to put it.”

That voice belongs to other RPG development veterans like Avellone, includingArcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura project lead Tim Cain, and Black Isle Studios head Feargus Urquhart. Obsidian has put together something of a supergroup of RPG visionaries, and Avellone said that the group hasn’t stopped looking for new members.

“We made a list of people that we want to get to contribute to the project, and we’ve been sequentially asking them one by one if they would come aboard and help us out with it,” Avellone said. “Hopefully, it will bear fruit.”

Source: theverge.com

”linux-game-gaming-gamer-news” title="Linux

20 Most Exciting Linux Games for 2012

 In terms of stability and flexibility, Linux blew away its proprietary counterparts a long time ago. What it sorely lacks is developer interest, especially in the gaming department. But there are signs of a major revival. To the delight of Linux gaming enthusiasts, EA started publishing games in Ubuntu Software Center in May 2012. Valve on the other hand is taking things to the next level by actively developing a Linux port of their popular game Left 4 Dead 2. To celebrate the occasion, we have put together a collection of 20 most exciting games for Linux (not essentially released in 2012 itself and in no particular order). Hope you like it.

top 20 linux games for 2012

Braid: One of the most downloaded games in Ubuntu. Braid is a platform game where you manipulate the flow of time to solve puzzles. “Braid has the potential to change the way you think about reality. It will certainly change the way you think about video games”, noted Arthouse Games’ Jason Roher. Price: US$ 9.99

  • Buy Braid Puzzle Game from Ubuntu Software Center.
  • Those who use other flavors of Linux, see Braid website.
top 20 ubuntu games for 2012
OilRush: Real-time naval strategy game based on group control. Exciting combination of traditional RTS based gameplay with attributes of tower-defense. Price: US$ 19.95

  • DRM free, Multiplayer support over LAN and Internet.
  • Buy OilRush RTS from Ubuntu Software Center
best ubuntu games 2012
Amnesia: The Dark Descent – Easily one of the scariest games I have ever played. ‘An experience that chill you to the core’ in every friggin’ sense. System requirements are not very steep either. Price: US$ 20.00

  • Buy Amnesia: The Dark Descent from Ubuntu Software Center
best linux games 2012
Super Meat Boy: A highly addictive platformer where you play as an animated cube of meat who’s trying to save his girlfriend from evil Dr. Fetus. The game has more than 300 levels. Level of difficulty might be a tad too high for normal users.  Price: US$14.99

  • Buy Super Meat Boy from Ubuntu Software Center
bastion game for ubuntu 12.04
Bastion: An action role-playing game where the player character, “the Kid”, moves through floating, fantasy-themed environments that form paths as the player approaches the edge. Bastion is widely acclaimed for its story, art direction, narration, and music. Price: US$18.99

  • Buy Bastion from Ubuntu Software Center
  • Visit Supergiant Games Store for more download options.
top linux/ubuntu games 2012
0 A.D: Unlike all the other games mentioned here so far, 0 A.D is a free and open-source, cross-platform real-time strategy game which is still in very early stages of development. The game is already pretty darn good by the way. FREE

  • Download 0 A.D from Ubuntu Software Center
  • Visit 0 A.D download page for more options.
lone survivor for ubuntu/linux

Lone Survivor: A psychological survival adventure game with retro-styled 2D graphics. Players control an isolated, surgical mask-wearing survivor of an infection which has turned the world’s population into an aggressive bunch of mutants. Lone Survivor was well received and got widely praised for its storyline and gameplay. Price: US$ 9.99

  • Buy Lone Survivor from Ubuntu Software Center
Psychonauts for linux

Psychonauts: Critically acclaimed platform game that was released for Linux in May 2012 through the Humble Indie Bundle V. Price: US$ 9.99

  • Download Psychonauts from Ubuntu Software Center
  • More download options here.
top 20 games for ubuntu

Puzzle Moppet: Ingeniously designed puzzle game with a different sort of gameplay and simple graphics. Due to the game’s failure to generate enough sales and interest (according to the developers themselves), Puzzle Moppet is now available for free to download and use. Game’s source is also available for free download. FREE

  • Download Puzzle Moppet for Linux at Zero Cost
penumbra series for linux/ubuntu

Penumbra Series: One of those games which I just can’t play with my headphones on, no matter how hard I try. The tension can gave you an heart attack. Developed by the same Frictional Games of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Penumbra series is just as scary, and very subtle in its approach too. As a matter of fact, Penumbra series was released before Amnesia. Penumbra Series consists of a collection of 3 games. Price: US$ 20.00

best linux FPS game - Xonotic

Xonotic: One of the finest open-source first-person shooter games available for Linux (a fork of Nexuiz originally). Gameplay is heavily inspired by Unreal Tournament and Quake. Care for more? Here’s is an elaborate collection of finest FPS games for Linux. FREE

  • Download Xonotic for Windows, Mac and Linux
Shadowgrounds game for linux

Shadowgrounds: The game is a fast-paced top-down shooter with widely acclaimed graphics and gameplay. Even though the Linux port of this game was released as early as in 2009, Shadowgrounds is still a lot of fun. Price: US$ 9.99

  • Buy Shadowgrounds  shoot ’em up for Linux
top 20 games for ubuntu 12.04

Heroes of Newerth: A multiplayer online battle arena heavily inspired by Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. The game deploys smooth graphics and engaging gameplay, but learning curve can get a bit too steep for casual gamers. FREE

  • Download Free Heroes of Newerth Client for Linux
machinarium for linux

Machinarium: Surprisingly good point and click puzzle game which also won the Excellence in Visual Art award at the 12th Annual Independent Games Festival. Price: US$ 10.00

  • Buy Machinarium for Linux (32-bit version only)
savage2- top linux games

Savage 2: A Tortured Soul – A fantasy and science-fiction themed game that combines elements of the first-person shooter, real-time strategy, and action role-playing game genres. Both 32-bit and 64-bit downloads available for Linux. FREE

Prey FPS game for Linux

Prey: Another brilliant FPS game which is as good or even better than Xonotic. Critically acclaimed and supports Linux and Mac OS platforms.

World of Goo: One of the finest games I’ve ever played in Ubuntu. Basically a puzzle game with very distinctive gameplay and soundscore. Everything about this game is really light and smooth and you won’t be needing any premium graphics card to run this. Price: US$ 19.95

  • Buy World of Goo from Ubuntu Software Center 
Osmos for Linux

Osmos: Deceptively engaging, cross-platform puzzle game which I really enjoyed playing in my Android. And now it is available in Ubuntu Software Center as well. For me, highlight was the music. It was just perfect. Price: US$ 9.99

  • Buy Osmos from Ubuntu Software Center
  • Check out more download options and Osmos demo if you like.
Trine for Linux

Trine: A side-scrolling action platform and puzzle game whose Linux version was released in April 2011. Trine was developed by Frozenbyte, the same company behind Shadowgrounds series as well. Trine will debut in Ubuntu Software Center very soon. Price: US$ 9.99

  • Buy Trine for Linux, Mac and Windows
Left 4 Dead 2 for Linux

Coming Soon: Left 4 Dead 2 – Now, this is big. Steam client for Linux is not some crazy speculation anymore. Valve has made their plans very clear. Porting of Left 4 Dead 2 (L4D2) to Ubuntu is already underway and if all goes well, more Valve titles will follow suit. They even got L4D2 to run much faster in Ubuntu 12.04 than in Windows 7 (315 FPS vs 270 FPS). Exciting times to be a Linux user indeed. Watch this space for updates.

Two other Linux games worth mentioning are Botanicula and Shank. They have not been included owing to the lack of proper Linux support. Also, some of the games featured here are currently available in the latest Humble Indie Bundle with the usual pay-what-you-want offer. You might want to check it out too. Thank you for reading.
Screenshot courtesy: pcgamer.com (Amnesia: The Dark Descent) 

Source: Tech Drive-in


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