Tag Archives: gaming

Hidden Folks hidden object adventure on Steam

hidden folks hidden object adventure on steam linux mac windows gaming 2017

Since I have yet to dive into any Hidden Folks gaming. I have to mention that I overlooked the hand-drawn, #hiddenobject, interactive, miniature landscapes. So while the release took place back on Steam in February #2017 for Linux, Mac and Windows PC’s #gaming. The games ratings are well within perspective. Since players have to unfurl tent flaps, cut through bushes, slam doors, and poke some crocodiles. Using a strip of targets showing the player what to look for. Which means you can even tap a target for a hint. And find enough to unlock the next gaming area.

Hidden Folks Features:

  • 17+ hand-drawn areas
  • 155+ targets to find
  • 1100+ mouth-originated sound effects
  • 250+ unique interactions
  • 3 color modes: normal, sepia, and night mode
  • 1 Steam Cloud
  • 5 Achievements
  • 8 Steam Trading Cards
  • 22 languages (translated by the community)

So the reason for this news post is to announce the Factory Update. Which is available right now via Steam. Since this update comes with 3 new areas. One small area to get the hang of the new theme, one MASSIVE area – the Factory itself. While one puzzle area finishes the game.

Therefore there are 19,475 sprites, 3400 interactive objects, 921 characters, 540 sounds, and 28 targets. Hence the Factory is by far the most complicated area the dev team have ever made. Since you might have caught the making-of posts of the Factory. Available in the Steam product updates, and takes place over the past few days.

Hidden Folks Factor Update:

  • 8 new languages: Arabic, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Czech, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.
  • Many small iterations to targets and clues of previous areas.
  • Improved a lot of the sound mixing throughout the game.
  • Massive performance optimisations!
    … and more! Check out the changelog on the forums.

Since Hidden Folks Get it for Linux, Mac and Windows via Steam. Which is now on sale with a 25% discount until for a few more hours. Which turned out to be an epic release for 2017.

LiquidSky introduces free Ultra Performance PC gaming on Linux

liquidsky introduces free ultra Performance pc gaming on linux

LiquidSky — a first of its kind Gaming-as-a-Service (GaaS) #platform. While unique this solves the biggest hurdles previous #cloudgaming platforms faced in 2013. Such as high latency, high cost, limited scalability and a finite catalogue of supported games.

Since holding its inaugural CES keynote on January 6th, 2017 in Las Vegas. LiquidSky announced a number of new services, new products and significant enhancements. Since their already industry-leading platform makes it possible to play any PC title. While this can be an indie game to AAA blockbuster — on Android, Mac, Linux and even low-spec Windows devices. LiquidSky will gain significant new functionality and features. Including an all-new free-to-play model. Since this effectively introduces high-end PC gaming at no cost to gamers worldwide beginning March 2017.

In addition to the revolutionary new ad-supported model. This makes free high-performance PC gaming accessible to billions across the globe. Which should be interesting to see the performance benchmark.

Linux Support:

“Yes to Linux support! While in beta, LiquidSky already supports Linux with a native client. I’ve included its requirements below.

As for the updates coming to LiquidSky, yes, those will also be coming to the Linux client. But all new features announced will be available in February, not this week.”

Linux System Requirements: 

  • Raspbian/Ubuntu 12 or newer
  • 5Ghz Wi-Fi / Ethernet / 4G
  • 1GB RAM

LiquidSky enhancements coming February 2017:

New Payment Options: The new ad-supported Free Plan will join the current premium LiquidSky Pay-As-You-Go. While Monthly payment plans, will become even more affordable.

More Bang for the Buck: Existing Gamer and Pro Performance Plans will double the current plans’ GPU power. Hence the all-new Elite Performance Plan for the most discerning gamers. This will add four times the hardware performance previously offered during LiquidSky’s beta. Subscribers can now unleash up to 8GB of GPU vRAM, 32GB of RAM and 12 vCPU Cores.

Intuitive New Dashboard: A complete interface redesign will deliver powerful new functionality. Hence giving gamers direct access to their game libraries on any of their digital storefronts of choice.  Either Steam, BattleNet, Uplay, Origin, GoG, etc. As well as the LiquidSky community chat and community Twitch streams.

Full DirectX 12 Support: LiquidSky now supports DirectX 12 compatible Windows 10 PC titles. And Windows Store games.

Support for USB Accessories: Complete USB pass-through support allows any USB 2.0 (or newer) device. Including controllers, headsets, mice, etc. All connecting seamlessly to a user’s SkyComputer.

Expanded Developer and Publisher Support: Strict anti-piracy measures enforce legitimate purchases made through existing storefronts, while the new free-to-play LiquidSky access model dramatically boosts the potential reach of AAA titles that many gamers cannot currently enjoy due to hardware constraints.

Future Support for Additional Devices and Platforms: LiquidSky unveiled its early concepts of low-cost thin clients to be introduced later in 2017 that will make it possible to play more games on more platforms.

LiquidSky’s co-founder and CEO:

“From the beginning, LiquidSky has committed itself to changing the gaming status quo. By delivering the power of an ultra gaming PC to nearly any device for free, with the convenience and simplicity of consoles, we’ve made gaming more accessible than ever. Gamers across the world can finally enjoy experiences previously unavailable to them at home or on-the-go through the power of LiquidSky.”

“High-end PC gaming, as well as console gaming, is a luxury still out of reach for many,” noted Jason Kirby, LiquidSky’s Chief Marketing Officer. “LiquidSky is changing that through our F2P access model — already popular in mobile and online gaming — allowing gamers to turn their existing devices effectively into a high-end PC gaming system.” He added,”Developers and publishers will also benefit from LiquidSky, as their legitimately purchased games can now be enjoyed securely by significantly more gamers, including those that previously couldn’t afford the hardware required to enjoy full-performance PC games on optimum settings.“

So there you have it. This is LiquidSky Gaming-as-a-Service (GaaS). If you want a further breakdown on how things works, check out the LiquidSky PDF.

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Best desktop applications for Linux gaming available today

best desktop applications for Linux gaming available today

So maybe you have a new desktop or #gaming laptop for Christmas? Probably coming with a new installation of Windows, but you want to #install your favourite Linux distro. Hence the new lightning fast hardware is lacking some must-have #applications upon install. So we have included the best desktop applications for linux gaming. Some of these are obvious, things like like Steam and Google Chrome.

Since there are plenty of other everyday programs that deserve to be on your system. We are going to give a brief overview of the programs we suggest as the best desktop applications for linux gaming. Then we will throw in a couple more of our go-to apps.

Here are the best desktop applications for linux gaming

Web browsers

Google Chrome – The obvious choice, but Firefox already comes with most every distro.

Slimjet – Hence, if you are looking for something more secure. Maybe not the ultimate but better security to browse the internet with some very apt features. You can check out for yourself here. And we suggest running the browser in Private Browsing mode.

Vivaldi – Now, if you are someone who likes watching livestreams and gameplay videos. Vivaldi is where it’s at. The hardware acceleration and overall performance is definitely ideal. Which you can download here.

Messaging

Skype – As much as we hate to admit it, Skype improves the user experience. We should probably have it to chat with your parents, significant other or fellow gamers. The Skype of Linux Alpha is still the better choice. Unless you want to go old school, then the old classic version is still there.

Compression

7-Zip – Zip or unzip anything you throw at it. Free and lightweight and it’ll never bug you to pay for it. Just install the “p7zip” or “p7zip-full” in your package manager.

Media

VLC – VLC can play anything and is a reliable all-around media player. We have another media player recommendation below, too.

Spotify – (Optional) If you’re a subscriber, might as well grab the desktop app for Linux (Debian package).

Online storage

Dropbox – You most likely have a Dropbox account for quickly moving files between systems. Grab it here.

Image Editing

GIMP – Since this the runner-up to Photoshop. GIMP is still a great free tool for editing and image modification. Which should already be available in your package manager.

Gaming

Steam – Get your game on. We already know what it is and how it works. So needless to say, this will be one of the first few apps to install on Linux.

Itch – So if you are a deep into the Indie scene or just keen to creative new titles. Then it will be a good ideal to install the Itch.io installer for Linux.

Discord

Discord has become a go-to chat client over this past year, with a very solid Linux test build. Making it easy to join channels with a quick invite link and chat, via desktop application or a web client. Plus it is completely free, hosted on remote servers instead of your own PC. Since it keeps getting better social integrations and other features every month. The Linux Game Consortium channel is another cool place to hang out.

f.lux

So the applet makes your screen look orange and weird. But stick with f.lux for a few days. Then you will wonder how you stare at the eye-searing LCD without it. The application does help prevent headaches and improves your quality of sleep. Which really is true. f.lux automatically color tints your monitor as the sun sets to mimic natural lighting. Hence this kicks in towards the end of the work day. Therefore warming the typical LCD white-blue to be much easier on the eyes.

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Black Mesa a first-look at the Linux port and PC gameplay video

black mesa review video on pc linux

Black Mesa

INTRO

Half Life is a cornerstone of PC gaming.  When it was released back in 1998 it broke sales records, was critically acclaimed, and revolutionised the FPS action genre.  Half Life 2 continued that legacy and the rest is glorious history.

Fast forward to today and Half Life 2 has aged well enough that you can still play and enjoy it without the graphics being so mind numbingly ancient it makes you want to poke your eyes out. The same can’t be said about Half Life 1 though.

And Crowbar Collective to rescue with Black Mesa. They took Half Life 1, put some shine back on it, and released it as a full featured game. Well not full game but but we’ll get to that in the review. They’re goal was to recreate the game in its entirety using the updated Source engine of the time ultimately evolving Half Life 1 into Black Mesa.  Black Mesa although completely redone is still very much based on the original gameplay, as outlined in this review.

Let me get this out the way up front though.  I played the original Half Life around the original time of release but that was long ago. Matter of fact I don’t even remember much of it or if I beat the game.  So I’m almost looking at Black Mesa as a fresh title.

Black Mesa review gameplay video:

GRAPHICS REVIEW

The graphics in Black Mesa by no means are cutting edge or state of the art.  But there are moments when you’ll undoubtedly stop to smell the roses and take in some of the gorgeous graphics that the Crowbar Collective team mustered out.  There are models like the walls, fences and other architecture that seemed to get nowhere near the attention as others which is easy to see without really looking. Makes Black Mesa feel a bit disjointed but I’m gonna guess this is the result of years of development.  At the end of the day the minor texture issue is in no way a showstopper.  From beginning to end I was continually engaged by the very smooth graphics, great use of colors, and environment effects. As a self proclaimed graphics whore, this game satisfied in the visual department.

SOUND REVIEW

The audio in Black Mesa are very well done. Environments have all the buzzes and hums you’d expect from a research facility. Stereo separation is done very well giving you a sense of space.  Once again, like the graphics, there seems to be a part that either did not get an date. Or did not get near the attention as some others.  Walking across the metal grates in the floor sounded really out of place. I haven’t checked but almost sounds like the same effects from the original game.  But again, with deep subwoofer explosions to the nuance and spatial quality of the environments you’re fighting your way through, sound is definitely a good companion to what you’re seeing on screen.

MUSIC REVIEW

The music as pointed out in the review is a bit weird here.  Music is initiated by an event, which is okay.  Which is common practice.  The problem is that the events are very far apart. So what you are left with is a game void of any music through the vast majority of the game. Except for example when you enter or coming to the end of levels.  It’s a bit jarring and seems really out of place.  There’s no sense of angst, tension, suspense or any audible cues that gives Black Mesa more sense of immersion or auditory feels. And the real kick to the nuts is that the music is actually really good.  Good enough so that when it finally does show up, it ends so quickly leaving you wondering what the what just happened.

GAMEPLAY REVIEW

Black Mesa gameplay should be familiar to everyone who plays video games, let alone read a review.  Half Life pretty much set the precedence to many games we play today with its innovative ideas of the time. Short and simple is that you play the game in a first person point of view.  Something terribly wrong happens in the top secret research facility that you work at.  You get some super suit that is ideally for hazardous material use but in video game logic is like power armor. Equipped with body protection and soon after a few guns to light up your enemies, you’re the potential hero that can rescue the survivors of the Black Mesa research facility.  Definitely isn’t going to win prizes on plot, but works fine in the context of the game.  At no point am I that interested in what super slick plot twist was going to be throwing at me as I move throughout the game.

No problem learning the controls. All straight forward and as expected.

PERFORMANCE REVIEW

Black Mesa is a Source engine game and Source engine games probably running best on Linux.  The game ran so good actually that I was forced to turn on vsync because my graphics card was getting pretty hot while hitting the 300 frame per second limit.  Not much to say here.  No input problems, no technical problems, and just plain no problems make this an A+ game in the performance department.

IS IT WORTH IT?

Black Mesa is an early access game.  And there’s always something with early access games. So let’s get to the catch for the review. The last 4 levels are nowhere to be found. I clocked in about 25 hours on the game after beating what is there.  So there’s really not a lack of content either.  They have a tentative timeline to roll out the levels but the next level isn’t due release which is called Xen till summer of 2017.  But this is your caveat emptor warning.

Asking price is $20 which I find to be fair considering the amount of content, fun, and nostalgia this game has to offer.  If you’ve never played Half Life, I’d even say skip the original and play this one. Definitely wont leave that late 90s taste in your mouth like the original will.

All said and done, this title should be at least on your Steam wishlist.  Every PC gamer should experience the glory that is Half Life and thanks to the efforts of Crowbar Collective, you can now do so with a more relevant game. 

You can find me on twitter at osirez or go to my site osirez.tech.

Steam VR Vive showing signs of Linux support

Steam VR Vive showing signs of Linux support at dev days

Looking at that hefty stack of #Steam Controller‘s, it makes a person wonder just how much native support is going to be available at #DevDays?

Apparently further details of Linux and VR support have been cropping up on Twitter. Steam Dev Days has been kind to native support this week. As part of its annual effort to educate developers about PC gaming and Steam VR platforms.

Valve outlined that developers have published more than 10,000 titles on Steam for Windows, PC, Linux, and Mac over the past 10 years. A milestone, seeing only a little over 2,600 of those titles are available on Linux.

Steam VR support was brought to the gaming community just six months ago with the launch of the HTC Vive. And now Valve points out that developers have already published over 600 VR experiences via Steam. This also includes those using OpenVR.

However it seems there have been dev’s keen to make the VR transition to Linux, according to a couple of recent tweets:

It looks like Steam VR is being shown off for Linux via AltspaceVR:

A new Vive Controller is in the mix as well:

Valve’s two-day event features speakers from third parties and Valve, discussing local and long-term expansions for Steam. The new VR peripheral prototypes will available for demonstration and design collaboration for attendees.

Some of the featured content includes “VR content”, “Vulkan graphics”, “steam controler”, “building Unity games for Linux/SteamOS” and “the future of VR and PC games”.

The adoption of SteamVR Tracking does continue, there are over 300 licensees planning to incorporate the technology for entertainment VR, automotive, televisions, and toys. Many of these products will ship in 2017.

To learn more about what is happening in Steam Dev Days, check out the official website. Details right now seem viable, but we will keep on top of the Dev Days progress as more content is revealed.

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