Tag Archives: engine

Headlander action adventure releases

headlander action adventure fo pc will not be comingto linux

Launch into the ultimate head trip in Headlander, the new #retro-futuristic #actionadventure published by Adult Swim Games and developed by #DoubleFine. Headlander already garnered acclaim from media around the world, including IGN, who proclaimed it “…an unexpectedly great take on Metroidvania-style action,” while GamesRadar hails it as “[Double Fine]’s best marriage of concept and quality of content since Psychonauts.”

Headlander is available on Steam now for Windows PC at $19.99 USD.

This launch also marks the release of the Headlander Official Soundtrack, composed by David Gregory Earl and created using tape and analog synthesizers to deliver a distinctive, groovy 70s sci-fi soundscape. Read about the music-creation process and hear a variety of track samples on the PlayStation Blog, where you can also check out a music video to get a sense of how the soundtrack reflects the far-out game aesthetic. The soundtrack is available in a bundle with Headlander on Steam for $24.99 .

Set in a world inspired by 70’s science fiction, Headlander puts you into the shoes… errr… disembodied head of the last known human in the universe. Seeking clues to your fractured past, you must travel through a hostile world of machines using a special helmet that allows you to dock into and take control of any robotic host body. As you launch from one body to the next, you’ll start to discover that things are not quite what they appear to be, and the fate of humanity has yet to be decided.

Will there be a Linux release for Headlander?

The easy answer, No.
This discussion has taken place between Linux Game News back and developer James “Spaff” Spafford back in June, as well as the Steam Discussions. And to our dismay, there is very limited hope of seeing a native port.

Here is the full explanation from the forum post from Spaff:

Please excuse me if this isn’t the best explanation, i’m not the most technical of folks here, but this is how i understand it:

Previously we’ve been using Direct X 9 for the windows version of our games, and deriving an opengl version from that to make a mac and linux port.

For Headlander we wanted to push the visuals as much as possible, and so are using the more up to date Direct X 11. Building an opengl version from that would require a rewrite of the whole system we use, and we just don’t have the time / money / resources to do that.

Headlander is the last game that we will (probably) ever make on our internal Buddah engine as we are moving to Unreal from now onwards. So even if we did have the time and money etc, it doesn’t make much sense to invest lots of work into this engine that we won’t ever use again.

The good thing about using Unreal is that is has greater compatibility across win / mac / linux, so we should be able to better support Linux again in our future games – We’ve already confirmed that Psychonauts 2 will be on Linux.

Also: To make the Mac version, we’re using Metal, which has no compatibility with Linux. Where we’d usually be able to make both of those versions together, this time we can’t.

We’re really sorry guys, we do try our hardest to support everyone, but it’s not always possible!

Clearly, the internal Buddah engine seems to be the issue. Which makes one wonder why Unreal Engine 4 was not used much earlier and ported to not only Linux and Mac, but consoles as well?
After all, diversity in the market places makes a great game exactly that, aka. more people playing means more exposure.


DOTA 2 The Reborn Update coming soon to everyone for Linux, Mac and Windows PC

DOTA 2 is finally making the long awaited transition to #Reborn very soon.


Valve revealed on a blog post outlined they have already been processing the #transition, switching everyone’s game over from Source 1 to the #Source2 engine.

“With The International behind us and the Majors just around the corner, we are excited to have the world start playing Dota in the brand-new Source 2 engine. Within the coming weeks, the main client will receive the DOTA 2 Reborn Update. Moving away from the Source 1 engine soon will allow us to better focus our efforts entirely on Source 2 in preparation for various upcoming tournaments. There are still a few features that will need some work when the update is released, but we plan to finish them quickly. Expect the weeks that follow to focus on ironing out issues, refining the dashboard and iterating based on your feedback. Afterwards, we’ll begin shifting our attention toward the in-game UI, where we plan to redesign the HUD and work on a variety of other in-game features.

Today’s update to Reborn contains various bug fixes and improvements, as well as a large number of backend changes that result in a very large one-time download. Now would be a good time for everyone to start downloading the Reborn update, as you will not need to download it again when the main client receives the update in the coming weeks.

If you do not have the Reborn update installed and would like to get a head start on it now, launch the Dota client and head over to the Play Tab to get set up. All of your items are now in the Reborn client, and after today any new content will be added directly to Source 2 only.”

This move to Source 2 will free up a great deal of Valve’s time to focus more on tournaments, but for players, this may not improve the game experience. So, when everyone gets their Reborn DOTA 2, this will not be a single game but a freely available game development platform.

Players will be able to dig into DOTA 2’s toolset and make their own games. Which can be playable with other DOTA 2 players via the Custom Game Tab.

Obviously everyone is getting into mod tools and game development tools, giving Valve another platform for everyone to get into game creation.


Coming soon to PC, Mac, Linux – Gratuitous Space Battles 2

Like the original, GSB2 is a 2D top-down #spacestrategy game based on the idea of hands-off battles between huge armadas of player-design #spaceships. GSB 1 sold over 150,000 copies on PC and continues to be popular with gamers, especially through the extensive mod scene and it’s innovative online asynchronous ‘challenge’ battles.

Cliff Harris of Positech Games does no’t think it’s much of a surprise, but just in case anyone was wondering, he made it official today that Gratuitous Space Battles 2 is in the works. It’s all about doing the job properly this time around, he said, and that means the sequel will be “bigger, bolder, better and have more cool effects than you can shake a laser gun at.”

That’s not to suggest that Gratuitous Space Battles was a flop by any means. In fact, Harris said it sold very well and has remained popular thanks to a dedicated modding community. Yet he also sounded somewhat dissatisfied with the game, writing, “The reason for doing a sequel isn’t financial though (I’d be doing Democracy 4 if it was), but driven more by a desire to do the job properly.”

It’s all about massive scale and popping eye-candy, a design philosophy perhaps epitomized by support for twin 2560-wide monitors. “As a kid I grew up watching the original Star Wars movies and playing Elite. Space Battles are in my blood and I love them,” he wrote. “Game-wise, I *want* to like EVE Online, but I’m sick of being ganked by some teenage boy and his pals for their amusement. I don’t want the lowliest of the low mining ships that gets one-shot killed. I want a huge, fuck-off spacefleet. I want to be Ackbar.”

GSB2 uses an entirely re-written custom engine, vastly better visual effects, a much-improved GUI, and will feature steam achievements, mod support and some very sexy undisclosed new features. The game is especially targeting gamers with multiple monitor setups who enjoy ridiculously over the top space battles, but the engine should comfortable scale down to much older PC’s too. The aim is to replicate all of the OTT silliness of sci-fi movie user-interfaces.

A bare-bones website offers a few details about the game and a pair of very sweet screens, including one showing off the glory of a 2560 double-wide battle. The game is being developed for Windows, Linux and Mac, but not tablets, because it’s designed for “gratuitously big monitors.” Gameplay sounds like it will be much like the original GSB, with custom-built fleets engaging in 2D, hands-off gameplay, but the engine has been “substantially improved” to provide a more immersive, 3D experience.

Other changes include three new classes of ships, overhauled fighter handling, orders and “a big, exciting new feature in the game that we have not announced yet, but [that] will completely transform the experience of playing Gratuitous Space Battles.” Oculus Rift support, anyone? (No, probably not.)

The release date for Gratuitous Space Battles 2 is ‘probably 2014, possibly early 2015. Positech have not yet decided whether to have a pre-order beta system but this is a strong possibility. The game will be available on PC, Linux and Mac and the engine is custom-written by the developer.


Unity5 game development engine to make 3D games more realistic

Unity Technologies is unveiling Unity 5, the next version of its game development engine, at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

The updated version packs a lot of new features that #developers can use to make more advanced #multiplatform games that run across the web, mobile, and social platforms. It’s a big deal because Unity has grown so big — with more than 2.5 million developers using the game engine — that any innovations it embraces mean that thousands of games coming in the near future will be more advanced as well.

Unity 5 is available for preorder from the Unity Store and it includes access to Unity 4 and all of its upcoming updates. Unity 5 is a “massive update” to the existing Unity Engine, with features such as Enlighten. That is a real-time lighting system that makes game scenes look much more realistic with accurate lighting and shadows that move as the scene shifts or characters move. If a developer places a sun in a scene, the shadows will move accordingly as the light source changes positions.

The engine also has physically-based shaders that provide the “power to render stunning high-quality characters, environments, lighting, and effects.” The engine is also more efficient when it comes to enabling game creators to create effects with a unified shader architecture, in-editor real-time lightmap previews, and better asset bundling. The game engine also has an overhauled audio system with a new audio mixer for creating dynamic soundscapes.

Unity 5 will also feature the Unity Cloud ad-sharing network, which will enable easier cross-promotion of mobile games. In collaboration with Mozilla, Unity will also support WebGL, a web format that makes it easier to create 3D images on web pages. Developers can get early access to Unity’s WebGL add-on to create interactive experiences for games that don’t require plug-ins when used with WebGL-compliant browsers. Madfinger Game’s Dead Trigger 2 game, pictured at top, runs on WebGL, and Unity will demonstrate it at its booth at the GDC in San Francisco this week.

David Helgason, CEO, Unity Technologies, said in an interview with GamesBeat that Unity has about 160 engineers now, and roughly half of the team worked on Unity 5 or things related to it. The whole effort took about 18 months.

The real-time lightmap previews will tap Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR Ray Tracing technology, which will also result in better realism. The Unity engine also supports 64-bit processing, Nvidia PhysX 3.3, and other special effects. The lighting system comes from partner Geomerics, wihch is owned by ARM.

“We’ve got the most complex lighting in the industry now,” Helgason said.

Unity competes with rivals such as Crytek and Epic Games. Helgason said that Unity’s 3D graphics are more functional than Epic’s Unreal Engine 3, and new features will approach the quality of Unreal Engine 4.

“We think we can get to the point where we beat everything else out there,” Helgason said.

Helgason said Unity 5 would be available in a couple of months or so, and the final purchase price has not been set yet.

Reblogged from: venturebeat.com

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Valves' DirectX to OpenGL translation software open-sourced

Valves' DirectX to OpenGL translation software open-sourced for Linux and SteamOS

Valve has made Dota 2‘s Direct3D to OpenGL translation layer open source. This is the piece of code that allows Valve to take a standard DirectX Windows game that uses the #Source #engine (Dota 2, Team Fortress, Portal), and easily bring it over to Mac OS X or Linux/SteamOS. The code, with some tweaks, could also be made to work with other DirectX-based #game engines as well. By open-sourcing this code, Valve is clearly encouraging developers to release OS X — and more importantly, SteamOS — ports of their Windows games.

The code, aptly named ToGL, was uploaded to GitHub by Valve developer Pierre-Loup A. Griffais — a fantastic name that he sadly abbreviates to Plagman. ToGL is taken straight from the Dota 2 source tree and supports a subset of Direct3D 9.0c, bytecode-level HLSL to GLSL (shader) translation, and some Shader Model 3 (SM3) support. The code is provided as-is and completely unsupported; Valve says you’re free to use it however you wish, and you can submit modifications to the GitHub repository if you like.

If you’ve ever heard of Wine or Cedega — emulation software for running DirectX games on Linux — then ToGL is similar, but different. Basically, almost every Windows game has a graphics engine — and that engine uses specific APIs (functions) provided by Direct3D. Direct3D, which interfaces between the game and the GPU, is only available on Microsoft platforms (Windows, Xbox). ToGL intercepts the calls to Direct3D, replacing them with the OpenGL equivalent. There’s a performance hit, of course, but it’s small. (I’ve played Dota 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 on OS X, and it runs just fine.)

Steam Linux

Now, considering this only supports Direct3D 9.0c, ToGL isn’t going to suddenly allow newer Direct3D 11 games to be brought over to Linux/OS X (unless they have DX9 legacy support, of course). What it will do, though, is allow big studios to re-release older titles on OS X and Linux/SteamOS — and if there are any indie developers out there who develop games in DirectX, they obviously stand to gain as well. Let’s not forget that Valve rather famously said back in 2012 that OpenGL is faster than DirectX, even on Windows, too.

At the very least, Valve is probably hoping that the release of ToGL will increase the number of games available for its nascent SteamOS. Of course, if it also kick-starts an open-source effort to create a translation layer for D3D 11 and 12, that would be a very good thing as well. It will also be very interesting to see which graphics APIs Valve supports with its upcoming Source 2 engine, which will probably be released alongside Half-Life 3.

From Linux Game News:

Incidentally, a fun fact: Titanfall, which is released today, uses the Source engine — and it’s the first game to use the Xbox One version of the Source engine.
However, there does not seem to be a Linux build planned, as we also confirmed in a recent email. It would seem Respawn have partnered up with Microsoft to inspire more sales for Xbox One and Window 8. No further platforms are supported.  (Click the Titanfall link above and check out the wiki page.)

Reblogged from: extremetech.com

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