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Articles found under tag: linux

Software is not data

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You know that trick where the magician snatches the tablecloth from the table, leaving the plates, cutlery and glassware in place? Watch as I do something similar on my computer. The screenshot above shows the top left corner of a large data table of mine in a spreadsheet. Drum roll, please... …

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How to repeat a script, or not

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I have a data-entry script which adds records to a plain-text data table. It's a fairly complicated script with a GUI dialog, and until recently it added one record at a time. To add another record, I had to launch the script again. Was there a simple way (I asked myself) to re-run the script, or…

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On dates and stuffed non-dates

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Nothing gives my wife the Screaming Meemies like dates in spreadsheets. Unless she formats the target cell in advance as text, the spreadsheet will turn a perfectly innocent, non-date string like 23/2/6 into '23-Feb-2006'. When she types 6420-11-3, according to both LibreOffice Calc and Gnumeric,…

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The header line: how to add, delete and ignore it

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In a plain-text table, the first or header line usually contains the names of the fields. In this article I've pulled together a variety of ways to add and delete a header, and also how to do things with the rest of the table while leaving the header intact as the first line in the file. Add a…

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Joining Tables on the Command-Line

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This article compares 3 different ways to join tables on a common field. All 3 work OK on small tables, but there's a big difference in speed when the tables to be joined are large, as shown below. Table joining isn't something you need to do if you store data in a simple, flat-file database like a…

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Splitting a File Elegantly

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In a previous Linux Rain article I compared different ways to delete blank lines, and showed that the AWK way was the simplest and most thorough. Here I show how to split a text file into multiple text files using a surprisingly simple AWK command. Background In 2013 I published an article in Free…

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Tips on getting (and suggesting, and editing) user input

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In a previous Linux Rain article I explained how to use the YAD dialog to do multiple-item data entry in a GUI. Here I show one way to allow users to check and edit what they've entered in YAD. I also explain how to offer default, editable inputs in terminal-based data entry, and how to color the…

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How to get nowhere in particular

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In this tutorial I explain one way to generate a random geographical location, using simple command-line tricks. Latitude and longitude: decimal degrees Latitude runs from 0 to 90 degrees from the Equator to the North Pole, and 0 to 90 degrees from the Equator to the South Pole. Longitude in…

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Nostalgic Gaming On Linux With Good Old Games

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Thanks to the recent Linux support provided by DRM-free classic games provider, GOG.com, getting that nostalgic kick on Linux has never been easier. In this article I'll also detail a few of my favourite classic games that are now available to play in Linux. It's not all nostalgia, though. Some of…

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GOG.com Launches Linux Support, Ahead Of Schedule

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That's right, GOG.com has just announced they are supporting Linux, way ahead of their scheduled dates of around October or November. The launch brings 50 Linux-compatible games right away. GOG.com announced it on their website today, no doubt to the surprise of many. GOG.com says that 100 Linux…

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News Elsewhere

Linuxtoday.com

Docker 1.6 Coming April 7

InternetNews: Development on Docker never stops and the 1.6 release cycle is nearing the finish line.

How To Create QR Codes In Ubuntu/Linux Mint

 LinuxandUbuntu: QR codes can easily be created as a .png image on Linux machines with the program called QR Code Creator.

Linux 4.0 rc6

Linus Torvalds: Things are calming down nicelly, and there are fixes all over.

How to secure SSH login with one-time passwords on Linux

 xmodulo: Security is a not a product, but a process.

How To Install PowerDNS On Ubuntu 14.04

 unixmen: PowerDNS is an open source, high performance, and DNS server.

KDE Applications 15.04 RC Is Now Ready for Download and Testing

 softpedia: The KDE Project developers announced that KDE Applications 15.04 RC has been released

Docker at Age 2 Reaches Out Far Beyond Its Roots

eWEEK: This slideshow examines the wide world of Docker container virtualization.

Users, Permissions and Multitenant Sites

LinuxJournal: Creating a multitenant site, including separate administrators and permissions, can be a quick-and-easy process

The Linux desktop battle (and why it matters)

TechRepublic: Jack Wallen ponders the problem with the ever-lagging acceptance of the Linux desktop and poses a radical solution.

GamingOnLinux.com Latest Articles

Developer Infamous Quests Has Announced Two New Point-And-Click Adventures To Be Released This Year

The developer of the Kickstarter funded adventure RPG Quest for Infamy recently announced two new projects, which they aim to release by the end of 2015. One is a prequel to Quest for Infamy and the other is the first game in a planned anthology series.

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Quest for Infamy: Roehm to Ruin is the planned prequel to Quest for Infamy and will be a challenging puzzle oriented point-and-click adventure game with optional hidden objects to be found for additional in-game rewards. The game tells the story of how the protagonist, Mister Roehm, got in trouble with the baron he is on the run from in Quest for Infamy. The game will not be a full-length game and will be sold at a lower price.

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Order of the Thorne: The King's Challenge will be the first in the anthology of games set in the fantasy realm of Uir. You will take the role of Finn the Bard, who has a magical lute that he can use to solve puzzles. This sounds similar to how you solve puzzles in Loom; something that has me excited, as I feel this is an underused game mechanic in adventure games. In this first instalment you are one of the challengers in a competition held by the King to find his missing Queen.

Both games will use the open source Adventure Game Studio engine, which was also used in their previous game. Quest for Infamy recently won four categories in the AGS Awards 2014; including the awards for best gameplay and best puzzles. I have only put about half an hour into the game so far, but I like what I've seen and I look forward to hearing more about their upcoming games.

Create A Rad Spaceship In Captain Forever Remix, Now On Linux & Thoughts Thrown In


Captain Forever Remix is a colourful and fun spaceship action and building game that just released into early access, and I took a look.

About the game (Official)
Can you create the raddest spaceship? Captain Forever Remix is the spaceship builder roguelike. Voyage across the Solar System and blast apart randomly-generated enemies for spare parts.

You better build a pretty tough ship, because you're gonna need it. Your mutant little brother is being a total butthead and must be stopped! He froze the Sun, poked out Jupiter's eye, drank Neptune's oceans, and cracked Earth like an egg! Set off across a messed-up Solar System to put a stop to the big jerkface once and for all!

Captain Forever Remix is an officially-licensed re-imagining of the indie classic Captain Forever.

My thoughts
I’m a sucker for space games, and I do love being able to build something simply and quickly, so it already appeals to me quite a lot. Captain Forever Remix does make the building simple to do, but creating a decent ship isn’t as easy as it looks that’s for sure.

I held off on covering it at the initial release, as it did have a small bug with boosters not working properly, but testing it again today and everything seems fine!

What I most love about this game is that you can re-build your ship at any time during the gameplay, and pick apart modules from destroyed enemy ships to attach to yours. It works well, and it can be pretty amusing playing around with silly designs.

It has funky sounds, and funky graphics that do remind me of old cartoons I watched as a child, and that is exactly the style they are going for. This doesn’t mean it’s meant for kids, but it means a younger audience will probably enjoy it as much as I have been.

It’s a really interesting idea for a game, as you jump from planet to planet trying to reach your brother at Pluto. Each planet has a new bunch of randomly generated enemy ships, and it’s not as easy as I thought it would be either! The third planet had a level 3 enemy, and it literally tore my ship apart block by block with the amount of lasers it had.

My next try was even worse, although I was much happier with my ship since I had about 6 boosters, and 6+ lasers (I forget how many exactly), but just as I become happy with my ship, I end up finding a level 4 enemy, and that too obliterates me block by block with rapid speed. Game Over, damn it!

It’s one of those games that really makes you think “well, this isn’t going to end well”, as you see a million lasers being fired at the very edge of your screen.

Each time you finish an area you get 60 seconds to rebuild your ship before you automatically jump, so it doesn’t leave you masses of time to prepare. You can upgrade the amount of time you get to rebuild through the money system, along with other upgrades. As each ship you destroy rewards you with a small amount of cash for upgrades on the next run.
I do love that when you jump, any modules floating in space around your ship jump with you, so you can still rebuild in the next area, but it will be risky with new enemy ships trying to find you.

Some of the banter you get between the brother and sister does make you chuckle too, like the third or fourth planet basically looks like a big blob of snot layered on top of a ball of ear wax, and the answer your brother gives about what it is made me chuckle. I won’t say what they say exactly, as I don’t want to ruin the giggles for anyone who tries it out.

It actually reminds me of Reassembly a lot, but styled in a very different way and with more linear gameplay.

Final Verdict: It’s a cracking idea, and certainly kept me entertained! Even with it being in early access, there’s tons of replayability here, and it worked really well.

You can grab it from the developers directly, or on Steam. It’s on sale right now, and the price is due to go up once it exits early access, so now is a pretty good time to buy it.

Pirates, Vikings, And Knights II Released For Linux, It's Free On Steam


It's free game Saturday! Pirates, Vikings, and Knights II a free source engine action game to brighten up your weekend.

The game was released originally some years ago, and with the latest updates they added in Linux support.

I've played a rather small amount of it, and it's pretty much a mindless online first person hack and slash fest, so if that's your thing you will enjoy this.
In my limited testing the game gave me very smooth play, and high FPS, so it works well at least.

I feel the combat in Chivalry is so much better, but sadly that game is a crash fest.

About the game (Official)
Pirates, Vikings, and Knights II boasts a unique three-team symmetry and a myriad of colorful characters to promote exciting, strategic, and fun gameplay. It features several game modes, each requiring its own special brand of cunning to master. Do battle on a tropical island for control of bountiful treasure. Appease your gods by spilling the blood of your enemies deep within a Mayan temple. Conquer your foes by taking control of precious badlands territory. But most importantly, have FUN!

Check out Pirates, Vikings, and Knights II on Steam.

Spirits Of Xanadu, A Creepy Space Adventure Released For Linux, Some Thoughts Thrown In


Spirits of Xanadu is a creepy mix of exploration and adventure that was just released, and I decided to take an early look to see if it's worth your time.

About the game (Official)
At the farthest edge of the explored universe, the research ship Xanadu slumbers in orbit around a mysterious planet. Her systems remain active but there has been no message from her crew for months. Now a lone operative has been sent to wake the Xanadu and bring her home to Earth.

Spirits of Xanadu is an atmospheric exploration game set aboard a deserted starship in an alternate 1980s. It draws inspiration from classic sci-fi films, novels, and games to create an immersive and highly interactive environment, featuring puzzles and FPS elements in the service of a unique and layered plot.

My thoughts
Never judge a book by its cover, and that saying is quite true here. While it may not look like much graphically, it has some good ideas, interesting gameplay and the awesome creepy factor going for it.

I've played it for a little while now, and there are parts to it that are really interesting. Take saving for example, you need to find a computer, and manually use the save function on it. It's an interesting way to do it, and I haven't seen too many games do something like this.

It has a little bit of combat with your single laser weapon, and it is quite basic as it seems that it's not a combat focused game. It took me half an hour to realise I could hold down the fire button to charge up the gun shots too. That was a nice little extra touch they put in. There's also a peaceful mode to the game, so you can play it without any combat if you wish, so that's another nice little extra.

I do like games that make me think a bit, and this game is all about discovery and keeping you guessing. It's quite well done as you find audio logs that help you piece together what happened, and I've figured out most of it now. The speech for the audio logs is clear and well done as well, so that's a bonus point right there.

I haven't finished it yet, and it has three different endings, so I look forward to seeing what I can make happen!

Performance has been great, with VSYNC on I've been getting a solid 60FPS and ultra smooth gameplay with all the highest settings, so that's fantastic. I didn't expect it to make my system crawl though, as there aren't too many effects going on.

Visuals wise, it's not going to win awards, and it would have been nice to see a little more variation in the rather bland textures, but for a two man team I think I can forgive them.

Final Verdict: I found it interesting, and if you like exploring and trying to figure things out for yourself, then you might like it.

Check out Spirits of Xanadu on Steam.

Out Of The Park Baseball 16, Latest Sports Management Sim Now Available

The latest instalment in the baseball simulation franchise Out of the Park Baseball was released earlier in the week. It's the first in the franchise to have officially licensed brands and teams, going back over a hundred years of historical seasons, so baseball fans will be able to enjoy playing around with their favourite Major League Baseball teams. Not only that, but leagues in Australia, Japan and elsewhere are also represented, adding flavour and variety to the teams.



Plenty of other changes and improvements have been made over the last installment and can be seen fully here.
This annualized series is in the vein of Football Manager and the upcoming Sportball Manager, meaning that gameplay is centered around the management and business side of things. These types of simulations tend not to be graphically impressive but offer a lot of depth and freedom for players to attend to every detail if they so wish.

I personally haven't gotten sucked in by the genre despite trying a few different games out but it's great to see all sorts of games make it to Linux. I know that in the case of Football Manager, it's regularly in the top 10 played games on steam at any given moment; getting more of these types of games is good news.

You can get Out of the Park Baseball 16 on Steam or directly through the developer.

Prepare A New Set Of Pants, Outlast Releases For Linux On Tuesday


Well there goes my Tuesday night. Outlast, one of the scariest games ever made is releasing for Linux on Tuesday the 31st of March!

The official press release emailed to us was short and sweet:
QuoteWhile the team is working very hard on Outlast 2, we are pleased to announce that Outlast and Whistleblower, its DLC, will be released on Mac and Linux on March 31st, 2015, available on Steam.

As ever, thank you for your interest in Red Barrels.

I highly suggest you prepare for the experience by keeping a new set of undies handy, or a pillow to hide behind.

The Whistleblower DLC will also be on Linux, so we get the full frightening experience.

I can't wait to hear Samsai scream in fear in a future GOL Cast. Let us know if the comments if you want see our Samsai play it (please don't make me, make him!).

About the game (Official)
Hell is an experiment you can't survive in Outlast, a first-person survival horror game developed by veterans of some of the biggest game franchises in history. As investigative journalist Miles Upshur, explore Mount Massive Asylum and try to survive long enough to discover its terrible secret... if you dare.

Check out Outlast on Steam, but remember not to buy it until the release.

GOL Cast: Fending Off Pests And Collecting Biomass In The Mims Beginning

This game popped up on Steam a while back and immediately caught my attention with it's interesting looking visual style and store page description. Let's see how good it actually is!

The Mims Beginning is a RTS god game of sorts in which you must take care of your minions, the Mims, and take them on a journey through the galaxy. You'll have to manage defend them from dangerous creatures, manage your economy carefully and plant vegetation to allow your little village to prosper.

Note: this video was recorded before my Nouveau experiment on the Nvidia blob. Yes, I've been that lazy to write this review.



At first the game sort of reminded me of Spore with its cutesy creatures and colourful visual style. But it turns out at the end of the day it doesn't have a whole lot in common with Spore.

In The Mims Beginning you take the role of a god and you travel from floating island to another and help the Mims with a variety of problems. Currently the game only has a singleplayer campaign in which you will be given a unique set of objectives to complete on each level. These range from gathering enough resources and recruiting enough Mims to destroying dangerous plants or enemies.

To do this you must naturally manage your economy, as often is the case with strategy games. You have two major resources: biomass and gems. Biomass is gathered by collecting various kinds of fruit and thrown into an extractor. So you'll have to find a spot with plants or plant your own fruit plants and build an extractor there. Your Mims will handle the rest. It's worth noting that plants in The Mims Beginning are not quite like plants in real life. Instead of just dropping fruit they literally throw the fruit, often quite far away, so you either need to build buildings to block the flying fruit or build your extractor around where they usually land.

Gems on the other hand are a bit trickier to get. Currently you only have one way to gain gems which is trading. You can breed various animals and if you feed them with fruit they will grow into their full size and can then be shipped off using a space port to get a couple of gems per each animal. Gems are also very valuable and doing basically anything will require some gems. Want to construct a building? You need gems. Need additional Mims to handle biomass collection? Hand over the gems please. It's also very easy to screw up with your economy by not thinking about gem production early enough. I've had to restart a level couple of times because I ran out of gems and had no efficient way of gaining more. When you are breeding animals you also need to make sure you have the type of fruit available that that type of animal eats. Some animals are picky about their diet and will only eat black or yellow fruits, while others can eat all kinds of fruit.

That's the biggest part of the economy explained but there is more. You will also need electricity to power some buildings, such as the biolab which will produce animals for you to trade and the PSI Tower which allows you to use your divine powers. I'll come back to that a bit later. You have a couple of ways to produce energy. You can either build a generator, which will burn biomass to produce huge amounts of energy, or build wind turbines around the edges and on the higher parts of your little floating island to harness the winds to power your houses.

There is also one interesting thing to mention in addition to the economy, which is the “Smell” system. When your island starts to have more Mims, more animals and more fruit laying around, your island starts to smell. And that's not a good thing. The smell of fruit will attract pests and the smell of animals will draw in various predators. Pests are pretty harmless, they just run around your island and eat all the fruit they can find. But predators are usually very dangerous. In addition to hunting the pests on your island they will very likely want to eat a couple of your Mims too. So keeping the fruit and animal smell levels as low as possible is also one of your secondary objectives. By making sure there aren't any fruit laying around and having your guardian Mims kill all the pests you can avoid the pests and the predators for the most part.

I mentioned that this was a god game. Well, there are some divine PSI powers at your disposal, however, they are more or less just supportive abilities. One of your most useful powers is your Replenish power which you use to replenish your Mims energy and health. Naturally your Mims can get hurt in combat but they will also eventually become tired of working, so you'll either want to give them an energy boost or build a house for them to rest in. Other powers include the Psionic Explosion that will hurt enemies and throw them around and the Snail Gait which slows down enemies. There aren't a whole lot of divine powers at your disposal and the game doesn't really seem to focus around them. They are certainly very useful but they don't really make me feel like a god. In fact I nearly forgot about the fact that I'm supposed to be a divine figure after around 40 minutes.

As I already mentioned, one of the things that draw me to play this game was the visual style of the game. It's very colourful and bright and these things seem to appeal to me a lot. I guess the dark winters of Finland might have something to do with it. In any case, the game looks very beautiful and the texture quality and the models are detailed enough to look good even at a very close distance. It doesn't have the most detailed textures I've ever seen, but come on, this is a strategy game.

It also performs very nicely for a Unity3D game. It does sometimes drop to 30-40 fps region but most of the time it will run at around 50-60 fps, even on Nouveau.

Even if this game isn't necessarily really a god game it's still a very enjoyable, very management oriented RTS. I've played it for around 6 hours and I've played around half of the levels available at the moment. The game is still in Early Access but it's a very complete Early Access game, meaning that it's not just a short bugfest. I haven't actually seen a single bug yet, so that's good. The developers are planning to tweak the game and the full version should have a 20 missions long campaign (currently 12 levels have been implemented) along with a sandbox mode and they are planning to add mining as an option to get gems, which should help with the economy just a bit.

I'd say give it a go if you like what you see. It's not really your typical strategy game and you need to be a bit patient (or increase the game speed using the game speed buttons) with your economy. It requires different sort of planning that most other strategy games I've played so far. The story is a bit meh but the levels are interesting and will present you with a nice mix of puzzles to solve.



Second Nouveau Livestream Starting At 6 PM UTC! [VODs Included!]

Hello, I want to play a game. Maybe a couple actually. Anyways, it's time for our weekly livestream and I'm once again streaming using the Nouveau drivers. Join in for some casual Linux gaming and chatting.

VODs from this week's and last week's livestreams:





Watch live video from GamingOnLinux on www.twitch.tv

Today's list of games includes a pretty big game: Cities: Skylines. I bought it during my Nouveau experiment and have been enjoying it quite a lot and I'd like to show you my city. Liam also hooked me up with a Running With Rifles key so that's also on the list of games to play. We might also have time for a viewer requested game, so have the Twitch chat ready.

I'm going to naturally share some of my thoughts on Nouveau, so hang around if that interests you. See you on the stream side!

Killing Floor 2 Gameplay Shown Off By PC Gamer, Early Access Soon

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PC Gamer has a bit of a world exclusive, they managed to get the Killing Floor 2 developers in to play with them, and we have the video for you.

I am a big fan of Killing Floor after spending so many hours on it, but sadly the Linux port was a little unpolished.

With Killing Floor 2 early access being right around the corner it's getting exciting. Especially as the Linux version is being done in-house this time, as we had confirmed from the developers (see here, at the bottom).

Here's the video:


It looks like a worthy sequel, as they seem to have taken everything good about the original, and made it more intense!

The developers state that what we see here is very close to what we will see in early access. The early access release will be quite polished, and ship with a modding SDK.

No exact wording on the release, but "soon".

Shadow Warrior FPS Releasing For Linux Next Week, Promises Swords & Lovely Visuals

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It was only in January that we saw signs of Shadow Warrior being ported to Linux, and it’s officially due next week! Get ready for some beautifully frantic and brutal action.

We already had the original, but to get the reimagining as well is amazing, and it further shows how far we have come as a gaming platform.

See the official announcement on Steam here.

System requirements
Minimum Requirements:
CPU: 2.4GHz Dual core processor or higher.
GPU: OpenGL 3.2+ supported cards at a minimum, with 512mb of dedicated memory
RAM: 2GB

Recommended Requirements:
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad 8200/AMD Phenom X4 9950 or higher.
GPU: OpenGL 3.2+ supported card at a minimum, OpenGL 4.x+ cards recommended, with 1.5gb+ of dedicated memory
RAM: 4GB

About the game (From Steam)
Shadow Warrior is a bold reimagining of the classic 3D Realms’ shooter from independent developer Flying Wild Hog (Hard Reset) starring the legendary and quick-witted warrior Lo Wang. Combine the brute force of overwhelming firepower with the elegant precision of a katana to annihilate the merciless armies of the shadow realm in an exhilarating and visually stunning transformation of the classic first-person shooter.

Check out Shadow Warrior on Steam. Remember, don’t buy it until the release!

Dungeon Crawler Legend Of Dungeon Gets Free Expansion


The action RPG dungeon crawler Legend of Dungeon is an interesting blend of old-fashioned hack and slash gameplay and 2.5D graphics with impressive lighting and dynamic music. The game already had high replay value due to its randomized nature and the free expansion seems to add even more to the experience. Named Legend Heroes, the update boasts plenty of new features and additional content whose highlights include:

  • 8+ unlockable player classes
  • The ability to tame wild animals and recruit them as companions
  • Oculus Rift support
  • More monsters, bosses, weapons and hats
Official About
SteamAs you journey deep into the dungeon, you will find weapons, items, and long forgotten magic.. ..if you're lucky, it
might help you to fight off the droves of mysterious creatures you will encounter. There will be complete darkness to contend with,
potions to quaff, secrets to discover, traps to avoid, hats to wear, and treasure that (if you make it out alive) will make you a
legend.

Legend of Dungeon is a randomly generated action RPG Beat'em'up with heavy Rogue-like elements, striking visuals, and dynamic
music.
It's always nice to see free content for games, especially a long time after initial release. I haven't played in a while so the expansion is a good excuse for me to check the game out again.

You can get Legend of Dungeon on Steam or a DRM-free version at the Humble Store.

Casual Survival Adventure 'Dyscourse' Is Now Available, Our Review Of The Game

The crowd-funded choose-your-own-adventure survival game Dyscourse by Owlchemy Labs launched on Steam yesterday. Backers can get a DRM free version by contacting the developers, but there are currently no DRM free options available to the general public.



Story and gameplay
The story starts off when a passenger of Dysast Air, Rita Locket, wakes up on a deserted island after a crash landing. She soon comes across the other remaining survivors, and together the group of six must find a way to survive; and hopefully make it off the island.

Dyscourse is marketed as an interactive choose-your-own-adventure, and after spending some time with the game, it feels like a fitting description. The most prominent game mechanic is the many choices you're presented with, which you respond to by selecting one of two or more dialogue style options. Of these choices, the most basic ones are selecting a group of people to perform a specific task or choosing your next destination, but there are more and different variations on this concept. One is the action choices, which have a time limit and can be triggered by things like being attacked by wild animals or being trapped by fire. There are also other, less frequent types of choices and a few of them are very puzzle oriented.

During the game you get some limited conversation opportunities with the other members of your group. I've talked to and started digging into the stories of some, but so far it feels like I've only scratched the surface. It's apparent that care has gone into fleshing out the backstories of the characters, and I'm curious to learn more about them. It's not straight-forward, as the timing isn't always right for a talk, and you might not even get another chance, as death is always imminent on the island.

As you make choices, the game starts branching out. Often as a very direct and noticeable consequence of your choices, but the effects of an early choice can sometimes take a while to unfold and it's not always apparent what causes certain events to take place. During the first few days the main story branches won't branch out far, and you'll go through the same main events. Though when you get to a certain point in the game, there are three main paths you can choose between, which each take the story in very different directions.

Impressions
Something I really like with the game is the day rewind feature. It is available from the menu when continuing a game and gives you a nice visual representation of the status of your survivors, including their injuries. Using it you can step back through all the days you've survived so far and start over from any of the previous days. Note that doing so will overwrite any progress after the point you choose, but if you feel like you've screwed up your current playthrough, you'll get a chance to attempt to improve the situation. I didn't touch this feature at all on my first run of the game, but I used it several times on my second playthrough and I found that some of the choices you make can have a pretty significant effect on which locations you'll see, how the story unfolds, and ultimately who survives.

I have played through the game two times so far and I'm currently on my third playthrough. Getting to the end took me about an hour both times, and the playthroughs were surprisingly different.

At the end of each playthrough you're presented with a bulletin board with various clippings related to the members of the group. These vary a bit depending on how the story unfolds, and they act as a nice wrap-up of your playthrough. The most prominent element on this bulletin board is the newspaper frontpage with a headline covering the incident, where you'll see character portraits for each member of the group, with a short text describing their fates.

On the technical side, I haven't had any major issues while playing the game, except that on my first session with the game the desktop cursor remained visible in-game. The cursor was also locked to the center of the screen, something that still is an issue while Alt+Tab-ing out of the game. I haven't seen the cursor in-game on subsequent sessions and opening up the Steam overlay unfreezes the cursor, so for me this is a minor issue. I have reported this as a bug through the handy in-game bug report form.

Conclusion
All in all, I'm enjoying the game so far, and though there are some repeated conversations and events, I find that there are still many things to explore. I'm also curious to find a way to escape the island without anyone dying or getting seriously injured, something that has turned out to be pretty challenging so far. The game is not by any means as punishing as the somewhat similar Gods Will Be Watching though, and should have a much bigger appeal to casual gamers.

The developers are also working on the Indie Island bonus story, which can be bought separately or as part of a special edition with the main game. Backers of the Kickstarter campaign will get this DLC as a free upgrade and it will include famous developers like Tim Schafer, Edmund McMillen, Rami Ismail and many more.

Dyscourse can be bought directly from Steam or from the Humble Store. Be aware though that the Humble Store option only includes a Steam key at the moment.

Pillars Of Eternity RPG Released For Linux, Early Port Report Included


Pillars of Eternity is the brand new RPG from Obsidian Entertainment and Paradox Interactive. It’s expensive compared to a lot of our games, so here’s our look at it.

About the game (Official)
Prepare to be enchanted by a world where the choices you make and the paths you choose shape your destiny. Obsidian Entertainment, the developer of Fallout: New Vegas™ and South Park: The Stick of Truth™, together with Paradox Interactive is proud to present Pillars of Eternity.

Recapture the deep sense of exploration, the joy of a pulsating adventure, and the thrill of leading your own band of companions across a new fantasy realm and into the depths of monster-infested dungeons in search of lost treasures and ancient mysteries.

So gather your party, venture forth, and embrace adventure as you delve into a realm of wonder, nostalgia, and the excitement of classic RPGs with Obsidian’s Pillars of Eternity!

Tech specs
MINIMUM:
OS: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 64-bit or newer
Processor: Intel Core i3-2100T @ 2.50 GHz / AMD Phenom II X3 B73
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 4850 or NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT
Hard Drive: 14 GB available space

RECOMMENDED:
OS: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 64-bit or newer
Processor: Intel Core i5-2400 @ 3.10 GHz / AMD Phenom II X6 1100T
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: Radeon HD 7700 or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570
Hard Drive: 14 GB available space

My thoughts
We would have had this up a lot earlier, but after speaking to Paradox, Obsidian weren’t giving out any Linux keys before release, but they were giving out Windows keys, odd. I find that a bit concerning, and it tells me that Linux isn’t high a priority.

Luckily, we had a generous email with a key from a supporter, so thanks to them we can still cover it properly, after the release.

Annoyingly, Steam decided to change to “Coming Soon” when the timer was up. This actually happens quite often with bigger releases, but it was no fun waiting around. It took a good 15 minutes to finally decide it was released!

It’s especially important to test Unity based games on Linux, as their performance is quite often very poor, so without further rambling here’s my early look at it.

Remember, these thoughts are mine, and mine alone. Any review/port report/initial thoughts are from my personal point of view.
The actual port report
It launches and actually works, so that’s a good start at least! Nothing like a new game actually launching properly to get you excited!

It starts off with a nice little intro story to set the scene, and you proceed to setup your character.

Setting up your character!
This is where you could probably spend a long time deciding what you want to be, and like every RPG that gives me the option, I chose to become an Elf! Each race has different statistics, so choose wisely! Once you pick your favourite race, you also get to choose a sub-race, and that changes your statistics again. I decided to go for a Wood Elf, and that enables me to be better at ranged combat. I always love being an archer, so this pleases me to not only be my favourite race, but to also setup my character exactly how I like.

It has the standard class chooser as well, so as you might imagine, I chose to be an Archer. There are 11 different classes, so there’s plenty of options for everyone’s play style.

There’s even more to chose from, as you go through picking a starting ability, and an animal companion. I am simply loving the amount of options you get.

When I thought I was finally done, nope. You then need to arrange your starting statistics, and it gives you a handy star beside the statistics that are most beneficial to your class.

You’re still not done yet, you also need to pick your Culture. Each different culture gives +1 to a specific attribute, so again, choose wisely adventurers!

Are we done yet? Nope! You also need to pick a Background. Each different background will again add to your different attributes.

Finally we get to change our appearance, and this is the only place it fell a tiny bit flat for me. There weren't as many options as I had hoped, but sufficient enough for me to feel my character looked awesome.

The game, the most important bit right?
Once I finally got into the game, I am pleased to say that it’s not entirely text based. There are some voice overs. I do love RPG games, but I also don’t like reading paragraphs of text often, as this actually reminds me I am in a game, I do prefer speech to really get me engrossed in a game.

The voice acting sounds great, and some of the start even made me chuckle a bit with the banter between the caravan owner and the guide.

I’m not entirely sure if the VSYNC option is working, there’s no difference with it on or off, and either way I notice a bit of tearing, not a lot, but it’s there.

The FPS seems to refuse to go above 60, but it does give me a mostly solid 60, so it performs pretty damn well.

The graphics are really quite nice, and it really does feel like the older Infinity engine RPG games, but with everything updated for modern gamers. It’s actually quite beautiful to look at, and considering my FPS hasn’t dropped below 59FPS I think I’m going to enjoy this.

I wandered around a bit doing the first quest, and killed a couple bandits and everything seems to be going swimmingly.

The combat is real time, but like with FTL you can simply press space and have it pause. You will need to pause often to give different orders to your followers, so remember it.
I didn’t really notice any performance problems during combat, or during the small cutscene I saw, so it looks like it’s a pretty good release for us.

One thing I really love, is that after certain scenes have played out, you get a story board of what's going on. What was completely unexpected was that it gives you options you can take sometimes to help or not help someone in need (trying not to give spoilers here!).

The one thing that does bug me are the tutorial scrolls that pop up, as sometimes they vanish too quickly, and you then have to scroll through the text history to know what they were describing.

The production quality seems pretty high, and that's not surprising coming from Obsidian Entertainment.

After putting some time into it, the part that is really annoying me is the amount of micromanagement your team requires. Sometimes it seems like there is zero AI to your members, and even on the easy setting where you're not supposed to have so much of it, my team seems to stand around often during fights not attacking.

I don't want my hand held the whole time, but having a little more AI scripting during fights allowing my team to do the occasional spell and attack by themselves would have been great.

Sadly, I feel the fights are confusing. It's hard to tell who you have selected and who is where while lots of spells and attacks are going on.

Final Verdict: I haven’t seen a release this smooth in a while, and I imagine it's a great experience for big RPG fans, but the combat ruins it for me.

Check out Pillars of Eternity on Games Republic. Buying it there on the Linux store supports us directly!

It’s also on GOG for a DRM Free build.

Shadowgate (2014) Point & Click Adventure Released For Linux


Shadowgate is one of the most well-known and beloved point-and-click adventure titles in gaming history. Apparently, I'm going to be honest and throw my hands up as I've never heard of it or this remake before. It's now on Linux though, yippe!

It does looks pretty fantastic, so I imagine this will make adveture/point & click fans very happy. It has some pretty awesome visuals, and everything about it looks great.

About the game (Official)
Shadowgate is one of the most well-known and beloved point-and-click adventure titles in gaming history. As one of the original titles in the popular MacVenture series that went on to be celebrated on the NES, GBC, and Nintendo 64, Shadowgate quickly endeared players with its fantastic atmospheric soundtrack, perilous locations to progress through, countless puzzles to solve, and more ways to gruesomely die than gamers previously thought possible. Thrust into the role of "The Seed of Prophecy," players travel deep into the living castle, in hopes of defeating the evil that dwells within – the dreaded Warlock Lord.

Now, nearly 30 years after the original version haunted Mac and NES gamers, the original development team behind that timeless classic is back with a full re-imagining of the original Shadowgate. Much more than a port, the team at Zojoi has painstakingly redesigned the game from the ground up, adding in tons of new mind-bending puzzles, lots of new rooms with stunning hand-painted 2D graphical detail, and more objects to interact with and help you along your quest.

Check out Shadowgate (2014) on Steam.

Livestreaming Software OBS Studio Major Update

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The awesome open source OBS Studio livestreaming software has been updated, and it has some new pretty major stuff.

OBS Studio has transformed how Linux gamers can show off their gaming, and it really is a great bit of software. Myself and Samsai both use it for when we livestream, and we couldn't be happier with it.

I'm not sure how long it has done this, but on first launch it even tells you it's under the GPL, and that's a nice touch.

There's some Linux specific stuff:
QuoteAdded an option to video device capture to optionally buffer the video (off by default to reduce potential lag issues with webcams)
Made various improvements to video capture on Linux

And some major new features for all of us:
QuoteAdded video/audio filtering; you can now access filters for a source by right-clicking the source and then clicking 'Filters' from the popup menu. These filters can be applied to any compatible source.
Added filters: Chroma Key, Color Key, Color Correction, Video Delay, Image Mask/Blend, Crop
Added media source (plays video/audio media via FFmpeg)
Added Blackmagic device capture source to capture Blackmagic devices (Mac, Linux, Windows)
Added visibility indicator to the source list to toggle visibility in the current scene
Added mute button to sources on the mixer
Added option to select different themes in general settings
Added a dark theme
Added a menu option to view the current log file in the help menu
Fixed an issue where service-specific settings would not be set again when changing encoding settings

It isn't yet considered stable, as this is a 0.9 release. You can grab the source and compile it, or if you're on Ubuntu you can follow these instructions.

See their full announcement here.