It has been nearly four months since Unreal Tournament 3 first shipped for the PC, while the Linux client is still missing in action due to software legal issues. At the same time, Linux Game Publishing is running late on delivering their Linux ports of both Bandits: Phoenix Rising and X3: Reunion. Over the past couple of quarters it's definitely been an unpleasant time for the Linux commercial gaming scene, but this week there is good news coming out of Finland and that is two games -- both relatively new to the marketplace -- being ported to Linux.
(Courtesy: Frozenbyte Inc)
Shadowgrounds and Shadowgrounds Survivor are the two commercial games that are being ported to Linux and will be released this year. The Finnish-based Frozenbyte studio, which was founded seven years ago, develops both games and Shadowgrounds was their first-ever title. Shadowgrounds was released in May of 2006 and Shadowgrounds Survivor was released for Microsoft Windows in 2007. Frozenbyte isn't doing the Linux client porting in-house, but have contracted the work to IGIOS Ltd. This company, IGIOS, has been around for just one year and specializes in 3D visualizations and Linux game porting, but this will be their first major port.
Both Shadowgronds and Shadowgrounds Survivor are Sci-Fi action games, but unlike the conventional first-person shooter, the game-play consists of both third-person/top-down views while fighting off aliens. Shadowgrounds Survivor is the sequel to Shadowgrounds where the last remaining humans ward off alien forces. The level editor for Shadowgrounds Survivor is also being ported to Linux.
According to the Frozenbyte press release, Shadowgrounds and Shadowgrounds Survivor will be shipping for Linux this spring. On the Windows side, Frozenbyte largely utilizes STEAM, the online content distribution software developed by Valve and made popular by Half-Life and Counter-Strike. Frozenbyte states that these two Linux game ports will be made available via online distribution, but they haven't acknowledged through which channels. Last September, Valve Software was looking for a senior software engineer to port Windows-based games to Linux, but since then we haven't seen or heard anything from them on the Linux front.
(Courtesy: Frozenbyte Inc)
We are currently working to find out more details on these Linux game ports from Frozenbyte and IGIOS. Pricing for these native Linux game ports hasn't been set, but their Windows versions are selling for $19.99 USD. While we're hopeful that they'll meet their spring timeframe for these two Linux game ports, if you're looking for an immediate Linux gaming fix you may want to try out Enemy Territory: Quake Wars or on the free software side is Nexuiz 2.4 and The Battle For Wesnoth.