Last week we exclusively reported that a Unigine Heaven update was imminent with proper OpenGL tessellation support for NVIDIA GPUs on Linux. Today Unigine Heaven 2.1 has been released with this support, among other improvements.
We have heard from Denis Shergin, the CEO of Unigine Corp, that an update to Unigine Heaven is imminent. Heaven is their beautiful but demanding technology demo / benchmark that launched last year with a DirectX 11.0 renderer and then in March reached version 2.0 and was released for Linux (finally) with an OpenGL renderer.
With Valve's Steam client and Source Engine coming to Linux in the coming months, we decided to check with Epic Games to see how Unreal Tournament 3 for Linux is coming along. After all, the game was released in November of 2007 and nearly three years later the client is still missing with few words having come from Epic Games or Ryan Gordon (a.k.a. "Icculus"), the well known Linux game porter that was contracted to port UT3 to Linux and has done previous Unreal Engine projects.
This month there's been the Humble Indie bundle whereby anyone can purchase this game bundle consisting of World of Goo, Aquaria, Gish, Lugaru, and Penumbra Overture for any price they want. Part of the proceeds would be donated to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Child's Play Charity. With the success of this bundle, they then decided if they generate more than a million dollars in revenues they would open-source the games. Well, they have achieved this milestone!
Last week we reported that Alien Arena 2010 was coming soon and this morning thias open-source alien first person shooter has been released. Since the last Alien Arena update last year there have been new maps added, engine improvements, new weapon models, graphical improvements, and much more.
Ryzom, a popular massively multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG), is being entirely open-sourced and even the artwork is going to be provided freely too. The Ryzom game is being put out under the GNU Affero GPL and the artwork is going under the Creative Commons.
CodeWeavers has just announced the release of CrossOver Games 9.0 Beta, which is just coming about nine months after releasing CrossOver Games 8.0. The 9.0 release still needs more testing and work, but for those interested customers they can grab the release today.
While Alien Arena 2009 brought numerous improvements to this open-source game, John Diamond has been hard at work on Alien Arena 2010. We received a message from John saying this inaugural 2010 release will feature "a host of updates, new content and bugfixes." He also said the release will arrive in a matter of weeks. Though in anticipation of the Alien Arena 2010 release he has put out a trailer (embedded below) and also updated screenshots on this media page.
It was just shy of a month ago when Unigine Heaven 2.0 was released with Linux support and it showed what Linux gaming can look like while slaughtering your graphics card. Unigine Corp, the company responsible for this multi-platform game engine, though hasn't been sitting around idly since the Heaven 2.0 release, but they have in fact been moving forward with great improvements their game engine.
Unigine Heaven has finally arrived! Unigine Heaven, a tech demo / benchmark that offers heavenly graphics and was released for Windows 7 back in October with a DirectX 11 renderer, is now available on Linux with its OpenGL 3.2 renderer. As we suspected, the Linux support has arrived with the release of Unigine Heaven 2.0, which includes an updated Windows binary as well.
Nexuiz, an open-source first person shooter that we have been covering since its first release in 2005 and has turned into a game that offers impressive graphics and raises the bar for open-source gaming, has been forked by many of its core community developers. This is coming after the Nexuiz founder and others ended up agreeing to an Xbox 360 re-make deal whereby a company known as Illfonic will take the code and re-make it within a closed-source game using their own artwork, etc. With Illfonic not looking to contribute back to the GPL-licensed Nexuiz and some community members not liking this capitalist move, they have parted ways and started work on a new project.
We've been itching for Unigine Corp to publicly release the Unigine Heaven tech demo for Linux with its advanced OpenGL renderer, since the DirectX 11 version launched last October with heavenly graphics, but GPU driver bugs have held up the OpenGL Linux release.
Valve, the makers of the popular Half-Life and Counter-Strike franchises (along with numerous other titles) and the company behind the Steam software delivery system, have announced today that they are now bringing their games (including Steam) over to Mac OS X. Not only are they bringing these games over, but they intend to provide first-rate support for Apple's operating system.
Back in December we shared that a dinosaur game is coming to Linux known as Primal Carnage and it's using the Unigine engine. The Unigine engine is the most advanced game engine that we have seen available for Linux that offers incredible OpenGL graphics now with their Unigine Sanctuary and Tropics tests and also coming soon with Heaven and its OpenGL 3.2 renderer. The Unigine engine developers are also Linux friendly.
We reported a month ago that Unigine Heaven on Linux is still trash with the ATI driver so Unigine Corp is continuing to hold off on releasing the Unigine Heaven tech demo with the OpenGL renderer that supports hardware tessellation until there is a good Catalyst release. Unigine Heaven was released for Windows 7 back in October on this operating system's launch day using a DirectX 11.0 renderer, but buggy Linux drivers have held back the public Linux-OpenGL build. We have been fortunate to run Unigine Heaven on Linux internally and it's a beautiful tech demo / benchmark to say the least even without a bug-free tessellation experience.
While the ioquake3-powered OpenArena game is not as advanced or popular as say Nexuiz, it is a fairly popular free software game amongst those using an open-source Mesa3D driver stack. It's not too graphically rich yet provides competitive and fun FPS game-play -- it can also be used for Mesa driver benchmarking.
While there are many open-source games available (just see the recent discussion about the most advanced GPL-ed FPS), most of them are based upon the ioquake3 game engine that in turn is based upon id Software's open-source id Tech 3 engine. There's also games like Nexuiz that use the DarkPlaces engine and then also Warsow that uses QFusion. There have also been projects like XreaL that seek to greatly expand upon the visual capabilities of the ioquake3 engine, but many of these projects go on without ever making it to a release stage. Today there is yet another open-source game engine in development.
Version 1.7 of the Irrlicht Engine has been released. For those unfamiliar with Irrlicht, it's an open-source, real-time 3D engine that has OpenGL support as well as its own software renderer. Irrlicht is used within games, technology demos, and other projects -- even areas like using it as a 3D renderer in CAD applications. Irrlicht 1.7 is a particularly large release that is coming less than six months after the 1.6 release.
We have just received official word from Unigine that they still are not ready to release their OpenGL Linux version of their Unigine Heaven benchmark. "Unfortunately we were asked by a hardware vendor not to release current version :(," said Denis Shergin, the Unigine Corp CEO. Catalyst 10.1 was just recently released and obviously it still doesn't make the cut, which has been pushing back the Unigine Heaven release for Linux. Now we are waiting for Catalyst 10.2 or later...
While the Linux community is still waiting on the native Linux release of the OpenGL3-using Unigine Heaven tech demo with its heavenly graphics (it's being held off by a bugged ATI Catalyst driver), the core developers working on this advanced game engine continue adding in new features. One of the latest features added into this proprietary engine is physical destruction with a destructible body type currently offering three destruction patterns. The videos below show off what this physical destruction in the Unigine Engine looks like for a user.
Bob Sutor, who has served at IBM in one position or another since 1982 but currently holds the title of VP of Open Source and Linux after serving as the VP of Open Source and Standards, has decided to share his thoughts on Linux gaming. Dr. Sutor had drove IBM's adoption of the ODF document format and has many other open-source wins for the company, but on his blog he now begs the question will video games make desktop Linux into a killer consumer platform?
The Nokia N900 mobile computer may just have a 3.5-inch display and a 600MHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor, but it does have a PowerVR SGX graphics processor that is capable of providing OpenGL ES 2.0 support, albeit through a binary-only driver. While this hardware is not much, it is enough for some gaming even with the ioquake3 engine. The ioquake3 engine, which is the free software project founded around the open-sourced id Tech 3 engine, is used by games like World of Padman, Tremulous, Urban Terror, and other free software games. Now thanks to the world of Oliver McFadden, an ioquake3 port is running -- and running quite well -- on Nokia's N900.
There's a new game under development that is another first-person shooter but takes the roles of dinosaurs fighting humans and vice-versa. This game is Primal Carnage and is currently under development by a relatively unknown studio called Lukewarm Media. We have been told by the studio that the game's engine will soon be announced and it does offer Linux support and thus they intend to release a Linux binary of Primal Carnage once released in 2010. More details for now can be found at ModDB.com.
For those of you that still have time off of work from the holidays, there is a new release of the Alien Arena first-person shooter if that piques your interest. Alien Arena 7.33 has been released, which is coming just two months after Alien Arena 7.32.
Back in October Unigine Heaven was released for Microsoft Windows 7 with its DirectX 11.0 renderer, but there was no Linux client to be found. This was not because Unigine Corp is liking the Linux platform any less, but because none of the Linux graphics drivers could simply handle the complexities of this technology demo and rendering its OpenGL 3.2 implementation correctly.
We have received confirmation from Unigine Corp that with Catalyst 9.12 for Linux now released with its proper OpenGL 3.2 support and bug-fixes, this paves the way for Unigine Heaven to be released possibly as soon as next week.
A game that Ryan Gordon has been porting to Linux for some time has just went into an open beta testing process. However, it's not Unreal Tournament 3 that went from being potentially one of the greatest games for Linux to an uncertain future to now being dead, but it's a much smaller game. This game now in an open beta is Aquaria, which comes from the Bit Blot indie game studio.
We are still waiting on Unigine Corp to release Unigine Heaven for Linux -- their latest engine demo that shows off their latest improvements, including an OpenGL 3.2 renderer and other mighty impressive advancements. Unigine has the Linux version of Heaven completed (we have seen it and even benchmarked it, and it's amazingly great), but they are waiting on AMD to publicly release a Catalyst Linux driver that can even handle this demo as right now the Linux drivers out there simply don't work because this demo is absolutely gruesome on the driver stack and hardware. Unigine Heaven will hopefully be here this month or next. However, Unigine Corp developers aren't sitting around idly but continue to advance their flagship game engine.
While we are still waiting on the release of Unigine Heaven for Linux, the Unigine Corp developers continue advancing this multi-platform game engine. The latest code being worked on for this engine adds support for physical cloth along with physical wind that impacts physical cloth areas. There's also been some other changes too, but their newest feature is for the physical cloth. Unigine Corp has also provided a few videos showing off the new effects.
While quality native Linux games are rather in short supply, those that do end up coming out of the professional game studios end up being first-person shooters, just look at Doom 3, Quake 4, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Cold War, Unreal Tournament 2004, etc. Even on the open-source side there are many first-person shooters from Nexuiz to Warsow to many others. If though you have been trying to find a new non-FPS game that has native Linux support, there is a new one emerging and that is QuantZ.
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