Within the Phoronix Forums and elsewhere it has been brought up that using a low-latency kernel can improve the Linux gaming performance, but is this really the case? In this article are some simple benchmarks comparing the stock Ubuntu 12.04 LTS "generic" Linux kernel compared to Ubuntu's low-latency flavor of Linux.
Here's an interesting finding: at least when running under Wine, Half-Life 2 is faster on the open-source AMD Radeon Linux driver than when running on the proprietary Catalyst driver. There are also some other similar results where these Windows games have the advantage when running on the Gallium3D open-source driver.
After a week of interesting Valve Linux news on Phoronix, Friday afternoon there was a special Linux delivery at Valve's offices for their "Linux cabal" -- the team of Valve developers that are working to provide the Linux versions of the Steam client and various Source Engine-powered games natively on Linux.
For those that have doubted the exclusive Phoronix claims for quite a while now that the Steam client and Source Engine are in fact being ported to Linux, the doubts can be nearly laid to rest. Even I began to wonder how long it would take before the clients for their popular games would be publicly released under Linux. However, after confirming the information perhaps a bit too soon, their level of Linux interest is much more clear after spending a day at their offices. A meeting topped off the day with Gabe Newell regarding Linux where he sounded more like a Linux saint than an ex-Microsoft employee. Valve does have some great plans for Linux beyond just shipping the client versions of Steam and their popular games on the Source Engine.
Unigine Corp met their latest deadline and will officially be shipping the gold version of their Unigine OilRush real-time strategy game today for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows gamers.
For anyone wondering whether the Mesa/Gallium3D drivers will work with the Humble Introversion Bundle titles (or are thinking about buying the collection at the last minute), here are the results from some quick tests using different hardware and drivers.
With the release of the Doom 3 source-code coming up soon (after John Carmack is done addressing a patent issue), it's time to begin dusting off your old id Software Doom 3 DVD/CDs and/or get ready to begin developing new content and games on the id Tech 4 engine. If you're wondering whether or not the open-source Mesa/Gallium3D Linux drivers in 2011 will now work with the id Tech 4 game from 2004, here are some tests of the very latest open-source Intel, ATI/AMD, and NVIDIA drivers under Ubuntu Linux.
It was a year and a half ago that Nexuiz was forked into Xonotic following some changes by core Nexuiz developers that effectively sold off the Nexuiz brand in order for an Xbox 360 re-make. In time for Christmas of 2010 they then did a v0.1 preview release of Xonotic and then came their first birthday without a new release. However, the Xonotic developers are now out with a major new release. Xonotic v0.5 is this new version and it boasts some radical changes as it becomes primed for a stable release.
While Unigine Corp has yet to provide any public beta of its forthcoming OilRush strategy game or to even begin the pre-order process for interested Windows and Linux gamers, following our exclusive preview of Unigine OilRush back in December using an early development build available to Unigine Corp partners, we now have an updated build. This new build, which still is only available to Unigine's partners and deemed confidential, now puts OilRush at version 0.54 while running atop the very latest Unigine Engine.
At the beginning of September there was the announcement from Unigine Corp that they were going to be releasing their first in-house game known as OilRush. The Unigine Engine has been in development for more than five years and has powered some very impressive technology demos / benchmarks, but has not really been utilized in many games yet. There's some games coming atop this engine (including those that won their game development competition), but OilRush is really the first game to set the stage for Unigine on PC, Linux, and PlayStation 3 platforms. OilRush is being released in March of 2011, but we have secured an internal development build of this strategy game to offer you the very first and exclusive preview with a number of screenshots.
While open-source game engines are beginning to progress in terms of features and graphics capabilities -- thanks in large part to id Software making open their older game engines -- as a whole the open-source game engines and other "indie" game engines are far behind their commercial counterparts. There is the Unreal Development Kit that is available for non-commercial use, but now Unigine Corp is getting behind a game development competition to spur Linux game development efforts.
Back in July we reported that Unigine Corp, the company behind the advanced Unigine gaming/3D engine, was working on its own strategy game. This game was supposed to be announced by the end of July, then in private we were told it got pushed back to the middle of August, but to start off September we finally have the announcement for this new game. Unigine OilRush is the game title and it will be available for Linux. Will this be the best Linux native game we see in 2010?
At the end of last month the VDrift project did their first snapshot release in more than a year for this open-source drift racing game that's supported on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X operating systems. The VDrift 2010-06-30 snapshot incorporates a great deal of changes, among which are a rewritten physics engine and a new deferred rendering engine that brings a great deal of visual improvements to this free software game. In this article are some screenshots on this OpenGL racing game and more of the new work found within this release.
Born out of the demise of Loki Software in 2001 was Linux Game Publishing, but now a decade later the fate of LGP is not looking good for the company that has ported about two dozen game titles to Linux.
Valve Corporation has today rolled out their Steam Mac OS X client to the general public and confirmed something we have been reporting for two years: the Steam content delivery platform and Source Engine are coming to Linux. This news is coming days after we discovered proof in Steam's Mac OS X Client of Linux support and subsequently found more Linux references and even the unreleased Steam Linux client. The day has finally come and Linux gamers around the world have a reason to rejoice, as this is the biggest news for the Linux gaming community that sees very few tier-one titles.
We have our hands on the bash launcher used by Valve's Steam client for Mac OS X that was recently announced -- along with the Source Engine for OS X -- and is currently in closed beta. While such scripts are usually insignificant, there is something interesting within it and that is explicit support for Linux.
Yesterday the 2.0 release of the Unigine Heaven tech demo was released for Microsoft Windows users. This Windows release was greeted finally by the OpenGL Linux release of this impressive demo too. While we had published benchmarks and screenshots of the Unigine Heaven Linux release, this was based off of an internal build that we had received from Unigine Corp back in December -- long before the 2.0 release came about with its optimizations, updated engine, and new artwork. Due to this, we have now published a new set of Unigine Heaven performance numbers for Linux from a selection of ATI and NVIDIA graphics cards along with many new screenshots.
Our friends over at Unigine Corp love to push the bounds of graphics realism in their Unigine Engine, which continues to be one of the most advanced commercial game engines, and right now is certainly the most advanced game engine for Linux. While there are not many game studios actually shipping products based on Unigine's technology right now, Unigine Corp is known for producing a couple technology demos and working with us on the Phoronix Test Suite. Their Unigine Sanctuary benchmark was phenomenal, their Unigine Tropics benchmark was even better yet and set a new Linux OpenGL precedent, and now Unigine Heaven takes it unbelievably further. Today Unigine Corp is finally unveiling the Linux version of Unigine Heaven with its OpenGL 3.2 renderer. We have had our hands on a pre-release copy of Unigine Heaven and so now we are able to share our thoughts on this impressive benchmark / tech demo along with performance numbers for an assortment of ATI / NVIDIA graphics cards.
Recently on our forums, Frank Earl (who goes by the synonym Svartalf), has been seeking the input of Linux gamers as to what games they would like to see ported to Linux. Frank has been working for Linux Game Publishing for a few years porting various titles to Linux and has done work independently on bringing new software from Windows to Linux. Frank was overwhelmed by the response on our forums and it has even led to new Linux games with many other possible ports being looked into. To get his view as where Linux gaming is currently at, he has answered a few of our questions about Linux game porting, Linux gaming in general, and other questions that may be of interest to gamers and Linux enthusiasts.
Back in October we reported on the release of Alien Arena 2008, which brought several graphical improvements, such as GLSL enhancements, parallax mapping, and new shaders. The developers behind Alien Arena and its Quake 2 derived engine had not stopped there, but they immediately began work on Alien Arena 2009. Now just a mere six months later, we have Alien Arena 2009 and it brings more graphics improvements along with many other technical improvements and new game content.
While the Unigine game engine may not be as widely known or used as the Unreal or id Tech engines, its capabilities and features have been increasing at an incredible rate. Last year there were two tech demos released by Unigine Corp to demonstrate the capabilities of their proprietary engine -- both of which were very impressive -- but since then their software stack has picked up a slew of new features like improved physics and multiplayer support. This year they are slated to release a new in-house game / tech demo that will be even more impressive and will go head-to-head with the latest high-end commercial game engines. Through all of their game engine development work, they continue to support Linux gaming, so we recently carried out an interview with them to learn more about their current and future work.
It has been nearly a year since the last update to Sauerbraten, the 2008 CTF edition, but the open-source developers behind this game and its engine of the same name have been preparing for a new release. Within the next few days we should see the first 2009 release of Sauerbraten and it brings a host of new features. In this article is a rundown on some of the key features along with screenshots we captured when running their latest Subversion code.
Last week Nexuiz 2.5 was released and we said it raised the bar for open-source gaming as it already offered impressive graphics and this new release was greeted by various engine improvements, new models, and over 3,000 other changes. Well, Nexuiz is not the only open-source first person shooter striving for perfection even without the backing of a major game studio. A relatively unheard of game engine is XreaL, which has not had a stable release yet but its lead developer claims that it is definitely the most advanced open-source game engine.
Nearly a year ago Nexuiz 2.4 was released and it offered impressive graphics along with a new menu design, improved networking performance, reduced memory usage, and many other enhancements to this open-source game. The developers behind this first person shooter have now outdone themselves again with the release of Nexuiz 2.5. This latest release of Nexuiz brings even better graphics capabilities along with a new HUD, network communication improvements that cut the bandwidth in half, smarter bots, even better graphics, and several new maps. In total more than 3,000 changes make up Nexuiz 2.5!
Nearly a year ago we shared that two new PC action games were being ported to Linux. The games were Shadowgrounds and, its sequel, Shadowgrounds: Survivor. Both games were supposed to ship in the first half of 2008 for Linux, but that never ended up materializing. A Finnish game studio known as Frozenbyte originally developed these games and the Linux port was contracted to a company known as IGIOS. In August we were told that the delay was due to publisher negotiations and that they would hopefully have something in a week or two. That never ended up amounting to anything, but a month ago, we finally learned that Linux Game Publishing was working on Shadowgrounds: Survivor. Well, last night we finally got our hands on a beta copy of Shadowgrounds: Suvivor for Linux.
Cube was early on one of the first open-source first-person shooter games designed around its own engine. The 3D graphics for Cube were not the best, but development of this game had been going on since 2001. Based upon the Cube engine was then the Sauerbraten game that was also referred to as "Cube 2" with its engine being redesigned. Now though another game is emerging and its engine is derived from Sauerbraten. This game is called Blood Frontier and in this article we have a few screenshots of this game, which is working its way towards a stable release for the open-source community.
Earlier this year we shared that Valve's Source Engine is coming to Linux after receiving some information that pointed in this direction. In addition, a year ago Valve Software was publicly looking for a senior software engineer to port Windows-based games to Linux platform. There have long been rumors and hopes among Linux users that Steam games would become natively available for Linux, but we have additional confirmation that Valve Software has ported their Steam game client to Linux. In Valve's most recent title, Left 4 Dead, there are shared Linux libraries shipping alongside this Windows game client.
While not commonly mentioned at Phoronix, Alien Arena is an open-source sci-fi first-person shooter that has been around since 2004 and uses the CRX engine, which is a derivative of the Id's GPL source-code. Version 7.20 of Alien Arena 2008 was released this week and a few features had caught our attention. In addition to a number of game-play improvements, Alien Arena has received a number of improvements to its graphics renderer with GLSL program management, parallax mapping, new lighting, new shaders, and other work.
A week ago we shared that Linux Game Publishing, the company that has ported games to Linux such as Cold War and X2: The Threat, was bringing Jets 'n' Guns to Linux. Just a week later this 2D side-scrolling arcade game is now being distributed to LGP's closed testing community. We have our hands on the first beta of Jets 'n' Guns for Linux and in this article are a few screenshots.
For several months the Blender and Crystal Space projects have been working together to develop an open-source game they hope will be of a professional quality and deliver an industry standard 3D gaming experience. This game, now called Yo Frankie, was supposed to be released at the end of August, but that deadline wasn't met. However, released now is the first technology demo for the Blender Game Engine. This tech demo is playable and includes a small level from Yo Frankie, but to be released soon will be a more game-oriented demo that includes additional characteristics and game-play options.
111 linux gaming articles published on Phoronix.