On top of our initial Quake 4 v1.2.1 SMP article, which shares some information with our investigation thus far for the Hyper-Threading and multi-core support, we have learned some new information today. On top of the finite performance, there appears to be some in-game issues with the SMP binary. When attempting to connect to a multiplayer server with the quake4smp binary, the game with v1.2.1 is known to produce a segmentation fault. This issue can be potentially fixed by using the r_useSMP 0 command to disable the SMP feature, and then once connected to server it can be re-enabled. We have also received a report that when switching weapons when running the quake4smp binary, the game had froze. The problem had also persisted with the SMP version even after binding the process to a single processor -- which would eliminate the effect of Symmetric Multi-Processing. We still have yet to receive an official word from id Software on any SMP matters.
id Software has today unveiled Quake 4 v1.2.1 point release for Linux. Addressed in this new Linux Q4 update is most notably SMP (Symmetric Multi-Processing) support! Yes, those with Hyper-Threading enabled systems or with multiple CPU cores can finally benefit when gaming. We at Phoronix are in the midst of running through a plethora of Quake 4 v1.2.1 benchmarks to study the SMP benefits under Linux with gaming. We hope to have up an article soon within a couple of hours. On top of the Linux SMP capabilities in this minor update is no longer using SDL_ListModes to filter available resolutions, fix stalls that may occur with DNS resolution, and fixes an in-game download bug. In order to benefit from the SMP technology within Quake 4 v1.2.1, a modified version of the SDL (Simple DirectMedia Layer) library is required. This modified library is integrated with the Quake 4 installer itself. The Quake 4 v1.2.1 Linux information is available at id Software ZeroWing.
The Beta testing announcement has opened up for Cold War from Linux Game Publishing. Those interested in applying to be a Linux Beta tester can go to the Beta portion of the Linux Game Publishing website. The retail version of Cold War should hopefully ship on June 15 of this year. More information on Linux Game Publishing taking over the publishing role of Mindware's Cold War is available in a recent Phoronix news posting.
Linux Game Publishing has announced today that they will be the publisher of Mindware's Cold War. Cold War can be described as: Cold War follows the story of a freelance journalist who finds himself in the midst of an international conspiracy that aims to control the U.S.S.R. Twelve hours after arriving in Moscow for a routine story, he has been stripped of all possessions, beaten unconscious and thrown into the KGB`s political prison. Using only recovered weapons and improvised gadgets, he must now evade or overcome elite Soviet forces and defeat the conspiracy before he is sent to a Siberian prison camp or killed. The Linux demo of Cold War had premiered last November, and it will not be until June 15, 2006 that LGP will begin to ship the title. For screenshots from the demo maps, Phoronix has it covered. Linux Game Publishing has stated on its Cold War product page that the game will retail for £30.00, or approximately $37 USD. The system hardware recommendations include a 1.7GHz processor, 384MB of RAM, 1.6GB of disk space, DVD-ROM drive, 3D hardware accelerated device with 128MB of video memory, and an OSS compatible sound card.
Ryan C Gordon, or also known as Icculus, has just updated his finger with some very jaw-dropping information. It seems as though the Macintosh and Linux client ports for America's Army (the popular free FPS game based upon the Unreal engine and is supported by the US Army) is a drowning matter. Icculus has revealed details that the US Army has stopped paying him to port the America's Army game clients from Microsoft Windows to Linux and Macintosh OS X operating systems. However, there is still some hope left for the Linux ArmyOps server port. America's Army v2.7.0 is expected in the very near future, and to this point there is still no client ArmyOps v2.6 port for either alternative operating system. Icculus has stated he is willing to work pro-bono on these client ports, however, time is the limiting factor in this world. For Linux gaming advocates (such as Phoronix) this is another blow to the gaming belt. To reiterate, here is an excerpt from Icculus' message -- "To be clear, there aren't plans to abandon the Linux server at this point, but at this time, the non-Windows clients are basically gone." We at Phoronix cordially thank Ryan Gordon for the exception work he had done with the America's Army client, and we wish him the best of luck on all of his Linux/Mac ports for the near future and the ones he is presently working on. His message can be found at his finger. It has been almost a year since we last interviewed Icculus, but we hope to strike up another interview period soon. If you happen to have any nail-scratching questions you would like answered by Ryan, feel free to contact us.
As we had shared late last month, the Quake 4 v1.1 point patch release was recalled almost immediately after its release. The Quake 4 v1.1 patch was known to potentially kill some LCD monitors when in wide-screen mode. Rather than pushing out this new release back at version 1.1, this fixed release is now entitled 1.2. The changes for Quake 4 v1.2 are identical to what was found in the original v1.1 point release. No dual-core/Hyper Threading support has yet to make its way into the Linux build. More information on this release and downloads are at id Software.
On top of our ATI Radeon X1000 benchmarks we also have up today a few X2 The Threat benchmarks. For those not staying up to date with the X2 The Threat happenings, the Beta 8 candidate is the most recent release to the closed testing community -- and it will likely be the version that goes gold. While the game is not yet available to the general population, we have completed a few in-house tests with this Linux-native game and the ATI Radeon X1000 series. The 8.24.8 display drivers were used, which were just released about an hour ago, and the system specifications were the same as what we had presented with our ATI Radeon X1800 Linux Preview. While Linux Game Publishing doesn't have a large emphasis on ATI Linux, the benchmark with these new drivers and Radeon parts seemed to create no apparent troubles when using the Beta 8 release. Below are our findings. ========================== X2 The Threat 800 x 600 - Low Quality ========================== X1800XL 256MB: 68.866 X1300PRO 256MB: 65.475 ========================== X2 The Threat 800 x 600 - High Quality ========================== X1800XL 256MB: 35.594 X1300PRO 256MB: 15.168 ========================== X2 The Threat 1280 x 1024 - Low Quality ========================== X1800XL 256MB: 62.823 X1300PRO 256MB: 51.930 ========================== X2 The Threat 1280 x 1024 - High Quality ========================== X1800XL 256MB: 17.561 X1300PRO 256MB: 6.947 X2 Linux Benchmarking Notes: - Results shown are average FPS of all scenes as reported by xperf.txt - LGP X2 The Threat Beta 8 used, compiled on April 09, 2006 - Low Quality: No anti-aliasing, bumpmaps, shadows - High Quality: anti-aliasing, bumpmaps, shadows
Yesterday Ryan C Gordon, or better known as Icculus, has updated his finger -- the first time in almost a month. No word yet on America's Army v2.6 client, or any other game status, but he has posted a few words regarding Apple's newly established BootCamp. He also shares some interesting views on Macintosh gaming and his personal philosophy on the entire Mac situation. Icculus' statements can be found here.
Yesterday we brought news of X2 The Threat Linux Beta 7 from LGP, now Beta 8 has been released this afternoon. Linux Game Publishing's Beta 8 fixes issues for people with only ALSA drivers and it also fixes a crash for people playing without sound. Now with this internal Beta release, users of either ALSA or OSS or both, now should properly experience the in-game audio. No other corrections have been made since Beta 7. Once again, the public release candidate of X2 The Threat should be available soon.
Michael Simms of Linux Game Publishing has just unleashed the seventh Beta of X2 The Threat onto the closed testing community. The purpose of this final build is to determine whether the sound works properly for people with just ALSA or just OSS, whether the new installer works well on all machines, and any issues with the various language packs. Unless any severe bugs are found within this last Beta, it is the build that will be going gold soon. Now that the development for this game (originally by Egosoft) is winding down, look for it to being released soon. Linux Game Publishing's X2 product page is here. More launch details to come.
Due to the possibility of damaging your monitor, the recently released Quake 4 v1.1 patch has been officially recalled. According to id Software's statements the wide-screen functionality in this patch may harm a user's monitor. It is recommended to down-grade the Quake 4 installation or to NOT enable/disable this display setting. A new patch is anticipated to be released soon. An updated SDK for Quake 4, however, is available at this time.
Quake 4 v1.1 final has been released. This new Quake 4 release for both Windows and Linux feature several client enhancements -- in addition to the SDK for mod developers. Some of the improvements include a multitude of changes, and below is id Software's official notice. The QUAKE 4 1.1 Point Release update is now available. This highly anticipated patch addresses a number of issues throughout both single and multiplayer, with a heavy and attentive focus on improving the multiplayer experience. Such improvements include: a fixed pure server system, a new AddonPak autodownloading system, voice chat in multiplayer, a forcemodel option, brightskins, smooth stairjumping, a one-minute warning for tournament matches, Hyper-Threading Technology and Dual Core support as well as a ton of multiplayer specific fixes which have been requested by the community and discovered during our own gameplay.
According to a message yesterday on the X2 - The Threat mailing list by Michael Simms, the CEO of LGP (Linux Game Publishing), a new X2 Beta will be out shortly to the closed testing community, or they may even skip another Beta 6 release candidate and go straight to gold. The Linux port of X2 - The Threat has been available to LGP's closed testing community since late December, and to this point there have been six Beta releases. According to Mr. Simms message, they are still working on trying to make both OSS and ALSA work in the same binary. If they are skipping this final Beta, you can likely find this Linux-native game in the various Internet retailers in the near future. More information will be passed along upon hearing further updates.
Today AGEIA has announced the launch of the world's first dedicated physics processor. Among the many manufacturers that will begin to utility these PPUs (Physics Processing Units) are Dell, Alienware, and Falcon Northwest. As we had mentioned this past September AGEIA PhysX support will soon be available under Linux. More information on the AGEIA PhysX processor launch can be found here.
Icculus (a.k.a. Ryan C Gordon) has updated his finger. New gaming information includes universal Macintosh patches for Spidey2 and Shrek2, as well as Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45. However, Red Orchestra is for Microsoft Windows only and is available through Steam. A dedicated Linux server for this game, however, is available. The Unreal Tournament 2004, ArmyOps v2.6.0, Postal 2, and Second Life information also remain on his finger. Unfortunately, the Americas Army 2.6.0 client still has yet to be released for Linux and Macintosh.
For those keeping track of the progress of Egosoft's X2 - The Threat Linux port by Linux Game Publishing, it has reached a new milestone last night. Michael Simms, the CEO of Linux Game Publishing, has announced the release of X2 BETA 6 RC 1 to its closed testing community. Included in this new testing release are several fixes -- German introduction scene, JPGs with clipped ends, buffered sound, movies, script editor, and the sound should work now on ALSA-only or OSS-only machines. It is anticipated that BETA 6 will be the last testing build, however, there are likely to be multiple release candidates at this stage. We imagine X2 - The Threat for Linux should be reaching the general public in the very near future now. Michael Simms also announced a competition to the community of drawing a player logo for the X2 game. At this present time, they have five player logos integrated into the game and they will include the best user-submitted one into the final release of the game on the disc. He also mentioned that Tux will be one of the logos.
Icculus, a.k.a. Ryan Gordon, has passed along word that the America's Army v2.6 Server for Linux has been released. Shipping today is ONLY the Linux dedicated server and NOT the client. Icculus, however, has stated that the America's Army v2.6 clients for Linux and Macintosh should be available soon. The Linux server is available in two tarballs - one if upgrading from v2.5.0 or alternatively if you are seeking a fresh build.
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