Just days after the release of Nexuiz 2.5.2 that brought many new features to this popular open-source game, Alien Arena is out with a new version. Alien Arena 7.31 is the new version of this multi-platform first-person shooter and it too boasts a modest change-log.
The Unigine Engine is arguably the best gaming engine that supports Linux with its very impressive graphics and growing set of features, albeit there's a lack of games that actually use this engine on Linux besides a few tech demos (found in the Phoronix Test Suite). Earlier this year we found out that Unigine Corp was working on their own game and it looked to be a very exciting project. However, this game of theirs we found out had been delayed due to their developers being busy with working on a Microsoft DirectX 11 renderer for this engine.
There's a new point release available for Nexuiz that brings a fair number of changes. This newest release, Nexuiz 2.5.2, adds support for a "CTS" game mode where the players much work their way from one point to another on a map, a new heads-up display, changes to video settings, and motion and damage blurs have been added. There have also been a few other changes with Nexuiz 2.5.2, which can be read about on the game's news page.
For the better part of a year, LGP was porting Shadowgrounds: Survivor to Linux after in early 2008 we learned that Shadowgrounds and Shadowgrounds: Survivor were coming to Linux (back when they were being ported outside of LGP). However, in late August, Shadowgrounds: Survivor went gold. Never did Linux Game Publishing comment on the original Shadowgrounds title. This morning though there is a surprise: they have ported this original action game.
Last week we confirmed that Unigine's Linux compatible game has been delayed by a few months since Unigine Corp had diverted their resources to finishing out their DirectX 11.0 renderer. This week Unigine has now publicly confirmed their DirectX 11.0 renderer and have said that it is almost ready, but the tessellation support is yet to be implemented. Shader Model 5.0 is also supported by the Unigine Engine.
Contrary to earlier reports stating that the forthcoming id Tech 5 engine from id Software would likely not be ported to Linux due to the involved work, cost, and lackluster Linux graphics drivers (according to John Carmack), it looks like we will end up seeing this next-generation game engine running with Linux.
Koonsolo Games, an independent game studio that developed Mystic Mine, is amazed at the rate which Linux users are purchasing their game. We know that Linux gamers are excited for new games, but Koonsolo has released figures showing the proportion of Linux gamers to those on Windows and Mac OS X. Surprisingly, the Linux market-share is not in third, but second!
Earlier this year we shared that Unigine was working on a new game that was being developed internally and would run on Linux with their continually improving game engine that already sets an OpenGL precedent on Linux. Following that we did a Linux interview with the Unigine developers to talk about their proprietary engine, gaming on Linux, etc. But months later, what is the status of this game project? Well, rather bleak right at the moment.
While most open-source games still lack the graphics quality and features that the latest proprietary game engines support within retail games that are backed by the large studios, their quality has been improving as with their artwork and other characteristics. As an example of this, Warsow 0.5 made it out this week with a horde of new features and improvements.
Shadowgrounds: Survivor is a game from an independent Finnish-based game studio that was supposed to come to Linux last year around the second quarter, but then it was stuck in limbo for several months until this January we found out that LGP is now porting Shadowgrounds: Survivor. A month after that we showed this game running on Linux thanks to their closed beta program, but finally this game is getting ready to ship to Linux customers. Linux Game Publishing has ended their closed beta program for this game and has announced that this game has gone gold.
Quake Live, the project by id Software that effectively puts the classic but popular Quake III: Arena game and puts it in the web browser, is now available for Linux. Linux gamers interested in running this first person shooter just need to go to QuakeLive.com and install a plug-in for their web-browser. At the same time, id Software also announced this update is now compatible with Mac OS X too. Playing Quake Live is free, as it's backed by in-game advertisements.
There's a new game coming to Linux and it's called Aquaria. This is an underwater fantasy game developed by Bit Blot. This independent game allows for underwater exploration, combating, creating your own worlds, and more. Aquaria is currently available for Windows and Mac OS X, but a Linux port is now being worked on. In this forum thread at Bit Blot, the administrator confirms the port and shows this underwater game running on Linux.
The Unigine Engine, which is likely the most advanced 3D game engine that natively supports Linux, has stepped further ahead today. Unigine Corp has provided word of several new features and updates to this advanced game engine. With the latest code, the Unigine engine now is able to process physics much faster, adds continuous collision detection, multi-threaded simulations of physics, an updated Ogg Theora loader, new physics samples, support for Maya 10.0, and quite a bit more.
Unreal Tournament 3 was released for the PC nearly two years ago, and there was the promise of a Linux client and it was being worked on by Ryan Gordon, but to this day there is still no such client. Back in March it was said that it was still undergoing work, but there was no ETA for its completion. The work that it was supposedly undergoing was just optimizing the code, bug fixes, etc.
A week ago when S2 Games let us start handing out beta keys for Heroes of Newerth, their forthcoming title that is currently undergoing closed beta testing. In about 24 hours we had already given out around 450 beta keys and Linux gamers were very excited. Well, as of this afternoon, we have given away more than 1,000 keys to allow Linux gamers access to this closed beta program.
It seems as if Linux gamers are indeed really excited for having new games on Linux, well, "really excited" may still be an understatement. About 24 hours ago we talked about Heroes of Newerth, a game being developed by S2 Games, was coming to Linux and we were able to hand out beta invitations to begin playing the game immediately as part of their closed testing process. Beyond that though, S2 Games has asked that the media refrain from sharing many details about this online role playing game that is derived from DoTA, but with much fancier graphics. In the past day we have already given out far more than 450 beta invitations to Linux users and there is no sign yet that the requests are letting up.
A few hours ago we invited everyone to come play this new Linux-native game with us, which happened to be Heroes of Newerth by S2 Games. This game is still under development and details surrounding this title are very scarce as the media (including Phoronix), is not yet allowed to post any media or really talk about the game that much. However, a closed beta is currently going on for this game, both with the Linux and Windows editions. S2 Games was surprised by the interest that was building around this new game of theirs on Linux, so they decided to let us start handing out keys to join the beta program. Well, so far, that is going extremely well.
S2 Games may not be as well known as id Software or Epic Games, but what distinguishes them from most of the other game companies is that they actually support Linux. With S2 Games' Savage 2, for example they provide a Linux-native game client. S2 Games is hard at work on another title, Heroes of Newerth, and that too will be supported on Linux. In fact, it's already running on Linux and Linux gamers will likely find a native client binary around the time of the game's release on Windows (read: it won't be released months or years later, like what we frequently find with Linux ported titles). Sound pretty great, but too impatient to wait for the game's release? Well, come play it with us right now! And for free!
Wildfire Games has decided to switch their development model for their real-time strategy title, 0 A.D., from closed-source to open-source. This 3D real-time strategy game is now having its code licensed under the GNU GPLv2 and the game content is going under the Creative Commons Attribute-Share Alike license.
The Unigine Engine, which is an impressive multi-platform game that hasn't really been widely used in any games yet but does offer some very impressive tech demos (via the Phoronix Test Suite), continues to advance and pick up new features. As we have shared earlier, the company behind Unigine is working on a new game that will run on Linux, which is not too surprising when considering the fact that the company is very Linux friendly.
Yo Frankie, the open-source video game that was developed around the Blender modeling software, has received its first major update after reaching version 1.0 some seven months ago.
Alien Arena 2009, which is the successor to Alien Arena 2008, has been released. We previously talked about the graphics improvements that were coming and now they have arrived.
Last year Linux Game Publishing launched their own game copy protection system to combat pirating of the games they port to Linux and now they have announced another fundamental change. At last, Linux Game Publishing will be making their games available by electronic download and they are also launching a game rental service.
Svartalf, a member of the Phoronix Forums and developer for Linux Game Publishing, recently asked our readers on the forums to provide a wish-list of games they wished to see ported to Linux. There ended up being an outpouring of interested Linux gamers with more than 1,120 replies! Svartalf shared that "[the] effort that actually did much more than I'd hoped for" and "as it stands, we've got one on contract (stalled though...) and one complete game as a result of this thread."
The Linux client for Unreal Tournament 3 should have been out over 550 days ago, but it appears to be dead with not even Epic Games being sure about its status. However, the independent developer that is responsible for porting this game's server and client over to Linux, Ryan Gordon, claims that the game is still on.
Regnum Online, a Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Game that has a native Linux client offered by its developers (NGD Studios), has received a major overhaul. Regnum Online is one of the very few MMORPGs that has a native Linux client, but now its own game engine got a whole lot more powerful. The game engine has been reworked greatly and is now known as NG3D2.0, but later this year they already plan to introduce another major update on top of that.
If you follow Phoronix or the Linux gaming scene at all you will know the mess that has become to be known as Unreal Tournament 3. Last month when we asked Epic Games about the status of the Linux game client, they were not even sure.
Our friends at Linux Game Publishing are preparing for a massive 24-hour sale with their web-store of games they have ported to Linux. This sale begins at midnight (UK time) and during that time each game will be priced at just 9 pounds! For the Americans, that is about $13~14 USD per native Linux title.
As we shared last week, a new release of Sauerbraten (a.k.a. Cube 2) has been in the making for quite some time, but today an update for this popular first person shooter has been released. The Sauerbraten 2009 "Trooper Edition" release brings a new player model, new weapon models, over two dozen new multi-player maps, bots for multi-player and off-line modes, rag-doll physics support, new engine improvements, and various graphical enhancements. More details along with plenty of screenshots are available in the Phoronix article we published last week.
Well over a year ago we shared that two new PC action games were being ported to Linux. These games were Shadowgrounds and Shadowgrounds: Survivor, but throughout 2008 updates on the Linux clients status were bleak. This February we then learned that LGP has been working on Shadowgrounds: Survivor for Linux, while work on the original Shadowgrounds port to Linux seemed to have been dropped. A month later we were then playing Shadowgrounds: Survivor on Linux through a closed-beta program at Linux Game Publishing.
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