Tag Archives: news

Rocket League has now passed 14 million players but still no Linux and SteamOS support

Rocket League developer #Psyonix has revealed the #game has now passed 14 million #players across all platforms.

Although the number seems significant, it’s not reflective of actual sales. The number of players includes split-screen accounts as well as all players who got the game free with their Steam Controller or PlayStation Plus subscription.

Psyonix revealed this fantastic news earlier through Twitter.

Hoops, the basketball-themed Rocket League mode is expected to be available next week for free. Hopefully we will see the Linux and SteamOS release sometime soon.

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HTC Vive Pre redesigned, Oculus Rift price revealed, and Star Citizen taking up VR support

htc_vive_pre_completely_redesigned

As a pioneer in innovative smart technologies, HTC #announced new #developments to the Vive #virtualreality system which represents the next step in bringing virtual reality to a mass-market. With the Vive Pre, HTC is fulfilling a promise to create a fully immersive experience that changes how we communicate, how we are entertained, plus how we learn and train.

Every one of the components have been redesigned to provide better comfort, ergonomics, and performance. Milestone improvements in both visuals and versatility.

While Vive is set for commercial launch in April 2016, HTC and Valve will be starting the new year by making an additional 7,000 units available to developers.

Right now, social media is lit up in reaction to the high cost of the Oculus Rift, $599 / £499 – without shipping.
Which is expected to be sent out to purchasers on March 28, 2016, according to the Oculus online shop.

According to NVIDIA, a 3024×1680 resolution at 90 frames-per-second is the expectation for many VR games, which is well beyond today’s standard of 1080p/30 or even 60fps.

So players will need a beefy PC to power it. Here are the recommended specs:

  • Graphics card: NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD R9 290 equivalent or greater
  • Processor: Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
  • Memory: 8GB+ RAM
  • Output: Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
  • Input: 3x USB 3.0 ports plus 1x USB 2.0 port
  • Operating system: Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer

Take note the Windows only support for the time being. Linux and Mac have been put on hold back in May 2015. Where the Vive is expected to have native support, this will also present a further opportunity with the release of the Vulkan API. Which could give Linux that push ahead of other PC operating systems, potentially lowering some recommended hardware settings, but it is to soon to speculate.

As Linux gamers, the focus is on the HTC Vive which will be the first VR hardware to support SteamVR. Created by Valve, Steam VR tracking and the Chaperone system are optimized for use with Steam for Linux, Mac and Windows PC games.

HTC and Valve have worked with thousands of developers and partners to create VR content across a wide spectrum of sectors; from gaming and entertainment to health, automotive, retail and education

Also, just a heads up, Star Citizen‘s developers promised a robust VR integration. That may finally arrive this year.
Chris Roberts just announced the change during an end-of-year livestream, saying that there were a lot of updates for VR that Cloud Imperium needed to implement into Star Citizen, but it had been busy with the Alpha 2.0 and 2.1 updates most recently. However in the year ahead, they will be pushing to get “the guys in Frankfurt,” to work on better VR implementation.

Roberts also outlined that Star Citizen would support all major virtual reality headsets, which now means the Oculus Rift CV1 and the HTC Vive. A plus for Linux gamers.

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Vulkan will not hit end of year release according to Khronos update

vulkan_api_update_outlines_2016_release

The Vulkan Working Group recently #announced that the open-standard #OpenGL #successor will not hit the end of year release. Vulkan, which arose from AMD’s defunct Mantle API, was expected to roll out before the end of 2015.

Rather than explaining the details, here is the full update from the Vulkan homepage.

“We have some good news and some bad news.  The year-end target release date for Vulkan will not be met.  However, we are in the home stretch and the release of Vulkan 1.0 is imminent!

Here is a more detailed update…

The Vulkan specification is complete and undergoing legal review and final polishing. The Vulkan conformance tests are being finalized and multiple member companies are preparing drivers for release. Implementation feedback is the vital final stage of making any Khronos specification ready for primetime, and the Vulkan 1.0 specification will be published when the first conformant implementations are confirmed.

Work is also progressing to complete Vulkan SDKs for Windows, Android and Linux. Google has upgraded to Promoter membership and is now on the Khronos Board to help steer Vulkan strategy for Android and the wider industry.

There is considerable energy driving the work to bring you Vulkan. We are planning Vulkan sessions and demos at key industry events throughout the year. We are excited about the emerging Vulkan ecosystem that will create new business opportunities for the graphics and compute industry.

Vulkan will set the foundation for graphics and compute APIs for years to come and so Khronos is taking the time needed to do this right – and the Vulkan 1.0 release is near!”

While this is obviously a disappointment, it is not entirely. The delayed release shows development is close to, if not already finished and testing has to comply with individual companies respective drivers. A big deal for Linux and SteamOS and the negate reports regarding frame rate after launch.
This support is also a given for Nvidia but the more serious contender AMD, has struggled with graphics support to the point where an open-source driver initiative is being put into place.

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2013 the Year of Linux according to Linus Torvalds

Executive director of Linus Torvald’s Linux Foundation, Jim Zemlin, declared that 2013 was the year of Linux in everything as it reached out from #smartphones, tablets, consumer appliances and cars, to the open cloud and high-performance computers, to #gaming #platforms and more while recognizing Linus Torvald’s contribution to those successes.

Linux on a phone. Courtesy of ryan_worl.

Linux Foundation is a kernel development community for Linux operating system which was founded by Linus Torvalds in late 1980s.

Zemlin, in his report, notes that more than 1.5m Android, which is based on linux software, phone activations are happening every day. Many high-tech cars such as the Cadillac CTS sedan and the all-electric Tesla Model S run Linux.

Top contributing companies to Linux’s development include Canonical, Google, and Samsung.

The cloud computing space is one of the fastest growing areas of IT with Gartner forecasting it will account for the bulk of IT spending in 2016, said Zemlin. Gaming industry was flourished by Linux as well as Valve and SteamOS adopted Linux software for their brands.

Zemlin say, these developments represent a major shift in the way the gaming industry looks at Linux and open source and is poised to transform the competitive dynamic among companies in that space and the way users interact with their games. Linux is making this happen.

Reblogged from: finnbay.com

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Merry Christmas from Linux Game News

Merry Christmas from Linux Game News
Linux Game News would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
This year we brought you news and information from around the #gaming industry to further support #Linux as a platform. So we are very keen to make sure 2014 will be just as astonishing.  There are heaps of new projects coming from #Kickstarter and we are very keen to see what the Steam Box will bring to the industry and the platform. Let alone custom builds using SteamOS as the basis for next-generation gaming.
So if you have thoughts as to how we can improve Linux gaming, we are keen to hear.
Again, Merry Christmas and make sure to check out the Steam Holiday Sale.

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New strides for console gamers – its about time

New venues for console gamers - its about time

For hardcore gamers weary of persistent reports about Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 sales (2 million and counting for both, by the way) two stories have been circulating over the past few days reaffirming the position of the PC as the most flexible platform on the market.

Last week, Valve released a Linux-based operating system for its Steam distribution and gaming service: Steam OS. This beta release will be followed by a range of branded ‘steam machines’ next year.

So far, we’ve seen a variety of steam machine designs from the Xi3’s outlandish $1,000 Piston PC to Valve’s more appealing $499 set-top box, to Digital Storm’s monstrous $1,469 tower. System builders will enjoy the challenge of putting together their own SteamOS PC but Valve’s strategy is to have a Steam machine for every budget – and every front room.

SteamOS will struggle to grow Steam’s user base, although it will consolidate it. Regular console gamers, however, won’t be troubled by steam machines as the experience both because of overlap (which console gamer doesn’t play occasionally on a PC?) and the lack of optional extras. While Steam, Xbox Live and PlayStation+ are vibration online communities, it’s the optional extras that have Steam at a loss.

The Xbox One’s goal of being an integrated home entertainment solution is beyond Steam at the moment, while the cross-device compatibility of PS+ accounts will show the power of using multiple devices as a means of strengthening an ecosystem.

I had hoped subscription-based streaming gaming service OnLive would have matured by now to compete as a software/hardware combination with competitive pricing. At $139 for a controller and set-top box I have a hard time figuring out why publishers aren’t embracing a Netflix-style revenue model more. Then again, given the quality of titles on OnLive compared to Netflix’s vast but weak US catalogue, maybe they are.

Getting back to my main point, SteamOS can’t compete with Microsoft and Sony in a head-on clash but its flexibility gives it an edge in third party peripherals – this is where good news story number two comes in. Good news here came last week in the announcement that virtual reality headset maker Oculus VR had secured $75m in funding for its Rift project. This is on top of the $16.4m it got from Series A funding and $2.4m from a crowdsourcing campaign on KickStarter.

Yes, virtual reality died a death in the 90s but advancements in graphics and motion control have turned a novelty technology into a sought-after peripheral. A series of viral videos showing the reaction of regular people experiencing the Rift for the first time shows just how powerful the experience can be.

We still don’t know when Oculus’ Rift will appear on the market or how much it will cost but its applications in education and media production take it beyond the human computer interaction novelty device graveyard with trackballs and early attempts at handwriting recognition. From a gaming perspective the Rift coupled with an accurate motion controller could be this generation’s d-pad and stick combination.

SteamOS in its various guises could do fine on its own and may even put some people off buying a console but the Rift will definitely put pressure on the consoles to adapt or risk migration from consoles back to PCs. For Valve and its hardware partners, that’s great news.

Reblogged from: rte.ie

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Steam Box a PS4 or Xbox One killer from Valve?

Steam Box a PS4 or Xbox One killer from Valve

With the announcement of SteamOS, Steam Machines, and the Steam Controller, Valve has effectively worked the internet into a frenzy. The number of voices singing Valve’s praises has been enormous, and with good reason. Valve is moving in a really interesting direction, and nobody can claim that it’s playing it safe. Even so, the amount of cheerleading being done about the superiority of the so-called Steam Box has gotten out of control. While a nice PC made of off-the-shelf parts can usually outperform consoles, the high barrier to entry and fast-paced upgrade cycle will make the average gamer scoff.

Using Amazon, Crucial, and Newegg, I priced out the off-the-shelf components that roughly equate to what will be inside of Valve’s prototype Steam Machines. Valve remains vague on some of the details, so I did have to do a little bit of guesswork. That being said, I tried to find fair and representative prices for the components, but your milage may vary when shopping for PC parts.

Low spec

  • $249.99: Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 (3GB of GDDR5)
  • $165.66: Intel Core i3-4340 Dual-Core
  • $163.99: 16GB (8GBx2) of DDR3-1600 RAM
  • $134.99: Gigabyte GA-Z87N-WIFI LGA1150 Motherboard
  • $99.99: Seagate ST1000DX001 1TB+8GB SSHD
  • $59.99: Rosewill CAPSTONE-450 450W Power Supply

Total: $874.61

High spec

  • $999.99: Nvidia GeForce GTX TITAN (6GB of GDDR5)
  • $294.99: Intel Core i7-4770 Quad-Core
  • $163.99: 16GB (8GBx2) of DDR3-1600 RAM
  • $134.99: Gigabyte GA-Z87N-WIFI LGA1150 Motherboard
  • $99.99: Seagate ST1000DX001 1TB+8GB SSHD
  • $59.99: Rosewill CAPSTONE-450 450W Power Supply

Total: $1753.94

Xbox One and PS4, product shots

Let’s assume that Valve and its hardware partners work out a noteworthy deal, and sell these machines at a discount. If you take a 20% cut, the bottom-end machine would still be roughly $700 before you factor in the cost of the case, controller, and packaging. Even if the machine was being sold at 50% less than what the parts retail for online, that low-end machine’s innards would still cost more than an entire PS4 package.

PC gaming rigs, and therefore Steam Machines, are inherently at a disadvantage in a few vital ways. Most importantly, there’s no single hardware spec, so it’s impossible for developers to spend the time needed to optimize for each combination of hardware. The bottleneck areas aren’t consistent among all PCs, and that can lead to serious frame rate issues on some machines. With consoles, developers always know what hardware they can expect, and that makes for better optimization across the board. Even though the PS3 is seven years old now, The Last of Us pulled off jaw-dropping visuals because the team at Naughty Dog was able to squeeze every last drop of processing power out of the PS3. Good luck trying to get that kind of performance on a gaming PC purchased in 2006.

While many diehard PC gamers incessantly brag about the power of upgradability, that also comes with the inevitable creep of system requirements. If you buy a low-end gaming PC that can play today’s games at a decent frame rate, will it be able to pull that off for games made in 2015? It’s certainly not guaranteed. It’s true that PC games almost always look better than console games, but that comes at the cost of a larger initial price tag and a comparatively fast upgrade cycle. For example, a launch-day PS3 can still play every game ever released on that platform, but a PC gamer would have likely gone through countless upgrades and at least one or two major rebuilds over the course of seven years.

Valve is definitely making bold and interesting choices with its new platform, but the Steam Machine will still have much of the baggage that comes along with any traditional PC. It’s clearly a fascinating option for core gamers, but based on the details we know, it’s not going to be a console-killer. The simplicity, affordability, and lengthy upgrade cycle of traditional consoles still has a lot to offer in a post-Steam world. A Valve-endorsed Linux gaming PC is worth noticing, but the PS4 and Xbox One teams don’t have anything to worry about just yet.

Reblogged from: extremetech.com

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Intellect Motion Launches iMotion Kickstarter Campaign

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Intellect Motion, a company focused on delivering motion control devices that deliver haptic feedback, today announced that its Kickstarter campaign to fund the final prototype stages and production of its first product, the iMotion, has begun and has already reached 35 percent of its fundraising goal. The iMotion gives users the ability to interact with games and Apps in 3D space utilizing any standard webcam, while providing haptic feedback within titles that implement the iMotion Software Developers Kit (SDK). The device works with Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android systems as well as the Oculus Rift.

The iMotion Kickstarter campaign is now live and the company is asking supporters to pledge at any level to help fund the project. The first 100 iMotion controllers sold out quickly via an early bird promotion for just $49. Now that the early bird version has sold out, the next tier of iMotions is available at $59, but still limited to 2,000 units. The overall project funding goal is $100,000 and the company has 27 more days to reach that level. If the project is successful, the first units are expected to reach early bird supporters in February 2014.

Weve created a project that will deliver a unique interface device that is both affordable and responsive, while featuring very low latency for a high performance experience that outpaces even the most advanced motion control devices available today for the average consumer, said Alex Khromenkov, CEO/CTO of Intellect Motion. With haptic feedback provided to the users palm, interaction within 3D spaces, virtual environments, and even web browsing takes on a new dimension. We know people are going to enjoy the immersiveness of the experience that iMotion provides.

Everyone who purchases an iMotion will have access to the SDK meaning anyone with the device could develop for the platform without needing to pay anything else. Additional tiers provide greater access to development resources, and multi-packs of iMotions since the system can support up to four iMotions at once.

Users simply strap the iMotion controller to their hand, similar to a glove, and theyre ready to control PC or mobile devices with intuitive, natural gestures. The iMotion is compatible with existing games and applications, and allows users to replace keyboard and mouse commands with gesture controls. All thats needed is the iMotion controller and the free SDK (downloadable from the companys website).

The iMotion controller has three LED lights to establish the body’s position in 3D space. It determines the x, y and z coordinates as well as the angle of rotation and plane of elevation. iMotion also features a gyroscope and accelerometer, so people can use it at any angle and achieve a very high level of accuracy and performance for action games and applications.

Features and Key Specs:

  •     The only motion controller that supports full 3D motion control
  •     Can replace your mouse and keyboard with a virtual touch screen
  •     4-channel haptic motion feedback sensor
  •     Functional range of 1 to 16 feet
  •     Supports applications operating at up to 100 frames per second (with a high-end camera)
  •     Pinpoint accuracy of 0.08 inches and low latency of 10 to 20 milliseconds

About Intellect Motion

Founded in 2012, Intellect Motion is a dedicated team of hardware and software engineers, computer scientists and creative designers that are looking to change and enhance how people interact with their computers and other devices. Based in Singapore, and with a Research & Development team in Minsk, Belarus, Intellect Motion is bringing haptic feedback motion control to the masses.

Reblogged from: consumerelectronicsnet.com

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New Kickstarter Campaign Launched for Castle Breakers

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Black Black Beast have announced that a new Kickstarter campaign is now underway offering $10 pre-order for the game. It also clarifies RPG elements, features simplified rewards, solidified stretch goals, and lower funding goal of $25,000.

One part Zelda, one part Super Breakout, Castle Breakers is a retro inspired,block breaking action adventure for the PC to be release first quarter of 2014.

The forces of evil have overrun the kingdom and taken up residence in the many castles, keeps, and fortresses that dot the land. You are the last of the Castle Breaker Knights, called upon to drive these villians from the world with your sword and mystical wrecking ball.

Features

  • Discover new areas: Travel across the world, unlocking territories with new found powers and equipment.
  • Physics driven game play: Decimate targets with skill based positioning and timing.
  • Destruction: Break, bash, and smash just about everything on the playfield and leave the carnage in your wake.
  • Voxel style artwork: rendered with modern shader technology, for a pixellated fantasy storybook feel.
  • A World to expolore: Travel to (and wreck) unique and interesting locations! Glittering palaces, decrepit ruins, magic towers and more.
  • Boss Battles: Super tough boss characters will challenge even the most skilled Castle Breaker Knight with their special attacks and unique AI.
  • Spells: Fire, lightning, ice! Unleash devastating spells on the enemy.
  • Secrets: Hidden areas, shortcuts, traps. What other mysteries await?

Gameplay

Game play begins on the Overworld map. You will traverse the continent, visiting numerous villages, towns, and encampments  where you will meet NPCs that will provide information and new quests for you to undertake.

New Kickstarter Campaign Launched for Castle Breakers

Each castle on the map is made up of a number of levels where the action takes place. Clear these levels by smashing through the defenses your enemies have erected, eventually making your way to the boss that has taken over the area.

The artifacts you obtain by beating bosses will open up new areas around the map, or provide assistance during the battle sections of game play. For example: after defeating the dwarf king, he will agree to clear a path through the mountains, unlocking passage to the northern reaches of the map.

When attacking a castle, you set your position and then strike the wrecking ball with a swing of your sword. This sets the ball in motion on the field, where it smashes into obstacles and enemies, eventually returning to the zone at the bottom of the screen. By adjusting position and timing the attack, the you direct the ball towards specific targets. If the ball manages to get past you, it is lost. Lose too many, and the you will have to start over and mount a new assault.

New Kickstarter Campaign Launched for Castle Breakers

This Kickstarter campaign includes rewards allowing backers to name in-game locations after themselves, and appear as key character in the story. A hand crafted table top arcade game running a custom version of Castle Breakers awaits backers at the top pledge level.

Scheduled for Q1 2014, for Windows and Linux, Castle Breakers is a retro inspired re-imagining of the block breaker games of the past. It combines physics based game play, action RPG elements, and a voxel fantasy story book graphical treatment.

For more details, check out Castle Breakers on Kickstarter

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Bionic Dues Launches Next Week on Linux, Mac, and PC

Bionic Dues Launches Next Week on Linux, Mac, and PC

Arcen Games is excited to announce Bionic Dues, our upcoming tactical turn-based roguelite (with mech customization), is set to launch next week on Steam, our site, and other distributors. The game will be made available on PC, Mac, and (for the first time with one of our games) Linux.

Bionic Dues has players guiding multiple classes of Exos through a variety of missions filled with enemy robots that are as buggy as they are angry.

This is at least as bad as it sounds.

Explore for loot, destroy key robotic facilities, and brace yourself for the final attack by your enemies… just as soon as they can pull it together.

Bionic Dues launches next Tuesday, October 8th.

Features

  •  Out-think wide-ranging tactical situations featuring robots with bad GPS, terrible aim, insecurity, a lack of focus, a tendency to backstab, and dozens of other maladies to exploit.
  •  Over 40 unique bots, ranging from the hilariously inept-but-dangerous DumBots, BlunderBots, and BatBots to the terrifyingly effective WyvernBots, DoomBots, and MurderBots.
  •  Carve your own path: choose 50 missions out of the 120 you discover as you explore the city map.  Which missions you choose determines how prepared you will be for the final battle against the massing robot army.
  •  Missions come in 23 different general flavors, and are entirely procedurally-generated like a floor of a traditional roguelite.
  •  Mix and match your squad of four from six classes of Exos: Assault, Siege, Science, Sniper, Ninja and Brawler.  Each has its own build and weaponry.
  •  Choose an overall pilot from a roster of six to add a powerful perk that lasts your entire campaign.
  •  Customize your four Exos with procedurally-generated loot that grants weaponry and defensive upgrades, new abilities, and more.
  •  Difficulty levels ranging from quite casual to incredibly hardcore.
  •  Stellar soundtrack by composer Pablo Vega, headlined by the game’s title theme “The Home We Once Knew.”

About Arcen Games

Arcen Games entered the PC indie scene in 2009 with their cult classic AI War: Fleet Command, which was named the 40th best-reviewed PC game of the year by MetaCritic. Their second year saw the release of The Zenith Remnant, the first two full expansions for AI War; as well as Tidalis, an innovative block-based puzzle with casual appeal and hardcore depth.

AI War’s third and largest expansion Light of the Spire marked Arcen’s first release of 2011, with the rest of the company’s focus being devoted to their most massive project yet: A Valley Without Wind, which released in 2012. The end of 2012/start of 2013 has been another busy time for the team, with AI War’s fourth expansion Ancient Shadows launching, A Valley Without Wind 2 hitting 1.0, and Shattered Haven’s releasing as well. The studio just launched its latest title, turn-based strategic god game Skyward Collapse, this past May and now turns its attention to developing its latest project Bionic Dues along with adding new content to both AI War and Skyward Collapse over the coming months.

Originally a one-man shop, Arcen Games has grown to have half a dozen part-time or fulltime contributors to its various titles. The team is also proud to be a platinum sponsor of the Child’s Play charity. For all the latest news, coverage and other musings, visit us on our website, Twitter and Facebook; as well as Arcen founder Chris Park’s Games By Design blog.

Reblogged from: gamasutra.com

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Heavy Bullets FPS Game in Pre-Alpha

Heavy Bullets FPS Game in Pre-Alpha in linux mac windows games

Heavy Bullets (PC, Mac, and Linux) is a game in pre-alpha, which should mean it’s too early to show off yet.  What’s actually here, however, has off a level of polish and design that I’ve seen full retail games fail to attain.  Admitted, that’s not a particularly high bar to overcome, but the point is that I just lost two hours of my day to a clever little rogue-like FPS, and could cheerfully lose a few more.  They would all end in failure, of course, because it’s going to take more than a couple runs through the levels to see the end of level 4, which is currently the last area.

Documentary video of Mighty No. 9 details weeks before reveal

At $2,802,326, Mighty No. 9, Keiji Inafune’s new Mega Man game in all but name, is sitting mighty pretty high above its initial Kickstarter target of $900,000 and now, with 3 days left in its campaign, you can get a peek at the action going on at developer Comcept.

Documentary video of Mighty No. 9 details weeks before reveal

Today, a new documentary video about the game from 2 Player Productions, who has similarly covered the development of projects from studios like Mojang and Double Fine. The video covers the weeks leading up to Mighty No. 9’s announcement at PAX Prime, following around members of the development team, Inafune included, as they prepare the game for its big debut.

The video below is the first in a series of videos that 2 Player will create over the course of the game’s development. Three episodes were originally promised, though considering that the episode below is “Episode 0”, it’s likely that number will end up being four.

Mighty No. 9 has made enough cash to clear two extra stretch goals, allowing Comcept to include a challenge mode in addition to an extra endgame stage and boss. At this point, it’s hard to tell if the campaign will be able to acquire the $3.3 million needed to get the game onto the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Whatever the case, the game is scheduled to arrive on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC, Mac and Linux at some point around April 2015.

Reblogged from: gamedynamo.com

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New Games From Paradox Interactive's Will Run Natively On SteamOS

New Games From Paradox Interactive's Will Run Natively On SteamOS

The nascence of the SteamOS brings with it good tidings and cheer for all… well, mostly good tidings and cheer for PC gamers. The SteamOS is an open-source platform designed to force Linux into the mainstream and Paradox Interactive has announced that they are in full support of this idea, with some of their newer titles being designed to run natively in SteamOS.

PC Gamer picked up word from Paradox Interactive’s CEO Fredrik Wester who felt that the SteamOS was a great thing and that they will be supporting the OS moving forward with their new titles.

In addition to this, games like Crusader Kings 2 and Europa Universalis IV, both designed to support Linux, will also run natively in SteamOS. According to Johan Andersson, Studio Manager of Paradox Development Studio…

“We have been developing for SteamOS for quite a while as it’s basically the same as the Linux version Steam runs,” … “CK2 & EU4 should run on it natively, as it runs on Linux on Steam, and all our future games will as well. We think SteamOS is great for gamers, as it will give far better performance on the same hardware than Windows does.”

Valve’s SteamOS is not only designed to be an open platform but, as Andersson mentions, it’s designed to provide better performance through a bypass of mid-layered APIs and clunky operating system procedures. Instead, the OS provides developers near direct-access to the hardware, similar to AMD’s new Mantle GPU API that allows developers to tap directly into the power of a GPU and harness it in the same (or a similar) way to console developers. Meaning, better, faster, more proficient optimization and performance for the end-user. PCs are now closer to consoles than they’ve ever been before.

This is very important because of a few things: it means that there’s no longer an excuse for people not to get into PC gaming because a cheap PC for about $200 will give you comparable performance to mid-to-high-end gaming with the proper GPU. It also means that there’s less reliance on middleware like DirectX to filter out performance or bottleneck a developer’s direct access to the hardware’s capabilities.

Paradox’s CEO, Fredrik Wester, added that…

“We are actively expanding the number of published games on SteamOS—and as Johan mentioned, [Paradox Development Studio] is fully supporting SteamOS already,” … “SteamOS is a great thing for PC gaming; competition means more choices which, in the end, should favor gamers.”

It looks like there are good times ahead for PC gamers and casual gamers looking to get into PC gaming. Hopefully the Steam Machines are reasonably priced to help bring in new gamers as well as give all those who are afraid to step into hardcore PC gaming a nice alternative from the sometimes fearful looking and high priced PC Master Race peripherals that carry price tags that would make a used car salesman blush.

The SteamOS is scheduled to launch in early 2014 alongside the Steam Machine and Valve’s new Steam controller. There are exciting times ahead.

Reblogged from: cinemablend.com

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Kobalt Games distribution rights to ‘Blood Knights’ action-RPG for Linux, Mac, PC, and console

The Kalypso Media Group has further strengthened its portfolio of digital entertainment with the creation of the new Kobalt Games label. Released under the tag line: ‘Digital. First. Quality. Gaming’ Kobalt Games will publish high quality titles for PC, XBLA, PSN, MAC and Linux at a mid-price level, with a maximum price of £24.99, €29.99, $29.99, primarily via digital distribution channels.

The first title in the Kobalt Games line-up will be ‘Blood Knights’ from the renowned developer Deck 13 Interactive, whose worldwide distribution rights were recently acquired by dtp entertainment AG. The distribution rights include all planned platforms: Windows PC, XBLA and PSN with a release scheduled for Q4 2013.

“With the founding of our new ‘Digital First’ Division, Kobalt Games, we create a clear and direct-to-consumer purchasing channel,” said Simon Hellwig, Global Managing Director of Kalypso Media.. “The Kalypso brand will continue to publish premium full-price titles such as ‘Tropico 5’ and ‘The Dark Eye – Demonicon’ which will be released simultaneously via digital distribution and boxed retail, while Kobalt will offer mid-priced, high quality titles to our audience.”

“With ‘Blood Knights’, we have our first title in the Kobalt Games line-up. We are sending a clear signal that we are committed to publishing high quality titles in the mid–price range, “added Stefan Marcinek, Global Managing Director of Kalypso Media

About ‘Blood Knights’:

‘Blood Knights’ is a hack ‘n slash action – RPG, where the age-old war between humans and vampires is out-of-control and threatens to plunge the world into the abyss. The game combines spectacular combat with RPG elements in single-player or co-op mode. ‘Blood Knights’ is developed by Deck 13 interactive, who have made a name for themselves with such titles as ‘Venetica’, ‘Jack Keane’ and ‘Ankh’. Set in a mystical version of the Middle Ages, ‘Blood Knights’ is an exciting story about the Knights Templar and a legendary Vampire Hunter who finds himself bound by blood to the powerful vampire Alysa during a daring mission. The two must work together to break the blood spell and defeat the hordes of evil creatures who stand between them and their goal.

About Kobalt Games

Kobalt Games is the ‘digital first’ – Division of Kalypso Media. The Kobalt Games label is committed to publishing high quality games in the mid-price range, distributed primarily digitally. The first game in the line-up to be published in Q4 2013 will be ‘Blood Knights’ (PC, X360, PS3) by the renowned developer Deck 13 Interactive.

About The Kalypso Media Group

Founded in 2006 in Germany by industry veterans Simon Hellwig and Stefan Marcinek, Kalypso Media is a global, independent developer, marketer and publisher of interactive entertainment software with over 120 employees worldwide.

Along with Headquarters in Worms, Germany, the company has offices in the United Kingdom and the United States. Kalypso Media also enjoys very strong global digital distribution through its Kalypso Media Digital Ltd. subsidiary, owns three development studios – Realmforge Studios GmbH, Gaming Minds Studios GmbH and Noumena Studios GmbH – and works with multiple leading independent developers.

Kalypso Media‘s titles include the critically acclaimed Tropico 3, Tropico 4, Sins of a Solar Empire (Europe and Asia), and Dungeons. Upcoming titles include The Dark Eye – Demonicon (PC), Air Conflicts: Vietnam (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC) and Rise of Venice (PC).

About Deck13 Interactive

Based in Frankfurt, Deck 13 Interactive has been active in the gaming market for over ten years and has earned an excellent reputation in the German games industry. With internationally successful hits, such as ‘Jack Keane’ and the ‘Ankh’ series, they have celebrated award-winning success. The release of the role-playing ‘Venetica’ marked Deck 13’s debut in productions for PC, Xbox360 and PlayStation3. They continue this work and design with ‘Lord of the Fallen’: a gripping RPG for the PC and next generation consoles, but they also proudly develop exciting products for mobile platforms such as the iPad.