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.
We were very impressed last year when first watching the Unigine Tropics demo that was integrated in the Phoronix Test Suite as its OpenGL graphics were stunning and the game engine behind it, Unigine, is fully compatible with Linux. While not yet released, the latest work going into this powerful game engine bring multiplayer and physics support along with a horde of other features. Screenshots recently published show that this engine has become even more incredibly powerful and beautiful. This latest Unigine engine update will be out later this year.
Take it as you will, but a group of interested Linux gamers have launched the Ubuntu Gaming Team. The mission of this newest Ubuntu focus group is "to give the open source gaming world a boost!" They intend to promote gaming on Ubuntu, connect free software gamers together on Ubuntu, address barriers to the development of free and open-source games, promote such games, and to organize gaming events.
An area where open-source games have traditionally lacked is with regard to delivering high-end graphics capabilities that can compete with modern day commercial games. To this day, many open-source games still look like something that would have been pushed out of a commercial game studio years ago due to lacking proper artwork and a game engine that has an OpenGL renderer that can sustain delivering impressive graphical features with modern hardware. We have seen more progress lately on improving the graphics in these open-source games, but it looks like more free software projects are finally getting serious about how their games look and run on newer hardware.
Unigine Corp has done a phenomenal job with its multi-platform game engine in delivering a new level of OpenGL realism to Linux users -- albeit it can tax your hardware quite a bit. Last year's engine was amazing, but as we shared last week, they are working on a host of new features, including but not limited to multiplayer and physics support. They also have a few internal projects they have been working on.
Back in February we talked about a new ioquake3 engine was forthcoming that would deliver a number of enhancements, but this week that new version (1.36) has finally gone gold.
Our friends at Unigine Corp have published a 2009 development road-map for the Unigine Engine, their cross-platform gaming engine that is able to deliver stunning graphics on Linux. In 2009 the Unigine Engine is set to receive support for game consoles, improved physics capabilities, multi-monitor support, world layers support, an integrated terrain editor, high-level vehicles support, a new game logic framework, and much more.
While there are great open-source games like Nexuiz and XreaL, a title many Linux gamers have been waiting years for has been Unreal Tournament 3. Prior to the game launching, a Linux client was confirmed and that famed developer/porter Ryan Gordon was porting the UT3 engine.
For those interested in turn-based strategy games, Battle For Wesnoth 1.6 is now available on Linux and other supported platforms. This major update to Battle For Wesnoth brings a new campaign (called The Legend of Wesmere), many multi-player improvements, improved game graphics, new terrain types, user-interface improvements, and an improved map editor.
Unreal Tournament 3 was released back on the 17th of November in 2007. Nearly a year and a half later, we still have no UT3 Linux client -- nor do we know the reason(s) behind this massive delay. Ryan Gordon, the widely-known Linux game developer that was contracted by Epic Games to port UT3 over to Linux and Mac OS X, has provided a brief update on the matter.
Bandits: Phoenix Rising, a unique racing game that was released for Windows back in 2003, is finally getting closer to being released on Linux. Linux Game Publishing began work on porting this title to Linux in January of 2007 and up to February of 2008 they had only issued two betas. It was thirteen months since the last beta was released and their private beta mailing list has been silent. However, now that Sacred Gold is finally shipping later this month, LGP developers have returned to working on Bandits: Phoenix Rising.
It took longer than expected, but Linux Game Publishing is now prepared to ship Sacred Gold. The description of this game is below.
The latest mission for NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is not to put man on Mars or revisit the Moon, but to develop a video game. NASA is working with three game studios now to develop their very own massively multi-player online game. This game is being called Astronaut: Moon, Mars and Beyond and will be available on a subscription basis to the general public. Hence the title and it coming from NASA, it will be an MMO game about outer-space where one has to deal with a variety of extraordinary tasks. More information on NASA's MMO game can be found at NASA.gov or there is a bit more information at BigDownload.com.
It's not too frequently that Ryan Gordon updates his blog (finger), but when he does it's usually to announce a new Linux game port or an update to one of the titles he has ported. In this morning's update by Ryan Gordon, he mentions that an update is now available for Prey.
Albeit an "Indie game", Caster is being ported to Linux. This announcement was made on our very own forums. This game will be available at the same price as the Windows and Mac OS X ports: $9.99 USD. More details will be made available soon.
The team behind the development of the ioquake3 engine, a spin-off of the open-source Quake 3 engine, is preparing for the release of a new update. The second release candidate for ioquake3 1.36 is now available and it features a number of new improvements. This new release of ioquake3 brings off-server data downloading support, OpenAL sound support for surround-sound configurations, Ogg Vorbis audio decoding, full x86_64 architecture support, improved Quake Virtual Machine tools, and there are many other features. There is also an SDL back-end for the OpenGL context, window management, and input.
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