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For today's Sunday Section we're going over a few missed bits and pieces for Linux, open source and gaming topics while also asking you that all important question.

Firstly, Steam has a fresh Steam Client Beta up! Well, there's actually been a few recently but one in particular released on April 26 caught my eye. Valve has upgraded the video decoder on all platforms, with Linux now using VA-API 0.2 for optional hardware decode functionality. So those of you with an AMD GPU should see a nicer experience for Remote Play.

Audacity, the open source and powerful multi-track audio editor and recorder now has new owners as it's now part of the Muse Group. Confirming the move on the official blog, James Crook mentioned how they were "scared and excited". See the announcement video:

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Krita, the fabulous open source painting program has a new Development Fund, which is based on the model used by the very successful Blender. This new system is more open to the public, showing what funding they're currently getting and allows you to easily adjust what you donate. They currently get €1,959 a month from donations on this system.

Remember the craziness that was the University of Minnesota's (UMN) getting effectively banned from contributing to the Linux Kernel, over some "research" being done to introduce malicious patches "Hypocrite Commits"? Well, the Linux Foundation's Technical Advisory Board (TAB) has issued their report on it. Thankfully, the vast majority were actual good commits. As a result of what's happened, the TAB will be working "with researchers (to be named soon) to develop a document describing a set of best practices for researchers to follow when working with the kernel community".

Star Citizen, the crowdfunded in-development multiplayer space trading and combat simulation game that's been in development for a long time now should still be coming to Linux. While you should take it with a pinch of salt, as Star Citizen is still in flux and a long way for being properly released, team member Silvan-CIG mentioned recently in reply to a request about Linux:

It's on our list! Chris Bolte is pushing for it the whole time. Once we have vulkan we will do a Linux Build one day

Do you love Total War Warhammer? Well Total War: WARHAMMER III from Creative Assembly and Feral Interactive is getting a first gameplay reveal on Thursday 13th May at 5 PM BST / 9 AM PT. Check out their teaser:

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Finally: the party game Drawful 2 from Jackbox Games now has the free International Update out now! Adding in support for German, French, Italian, and Spanish translations for many more people to enjoy it.

As for the all important question: what have you been playing recently and is it any good? Let your fellow readers know your latest suggestions.

For me, I've been playing plenty of Half-Life: Alyx on our Twitch Channel and it's every bit as fantastic as I was hoping. Will have thoughts on VR coming this week! Plus plenty of Groove Gunner, which is a great VR rhythm-shooting game.

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vindicivuoto 10 May, 2021
In major news, after much toil and strife, I've finally finished Divinity: Original Sin 2. Despite holding every advantage in the final fight, I still managed to make it a tense and almost insurmountable experience. If not for the style over substance writing, this and the previous game would've won a lofty spot among my favorites, but even as it is, I just can't stop playing, to the point of starting, against better judgment, an honor mode run. Wish me dumb luck.

I play with Proton-6.4-GE-1. Aside from some rare freezes and crashing, as well as rather frequent FPS drops that occur when you save your progress and force you to relaunch the game, performance was fine, at least for someone as patient as I am. A proper Linux port would've been nice though. Oh well ...

Also played Shadowrun Returns. Nifty little game with an XCOM feel to combat and refreshingly solid writing. No need to fumble with Proton, no performance issues. I've read about some nasty bugs but never encountered any myself, or they were minor enough that I missed them.

Lastly, replayed Dreamfall: The Longest Journey after many years, and it evokes the same sense of wonder that it did back in the day. Beautiful story, but also unfinished, and I’m definitely biased anyway, so I'd hesitate to actually recommend it. It was just great to revisit it, especially after playing through the original game and being able to pick up on all those references that I'd missed as a kid.

On a more pragmatic note, has anyone here tried both the first Bioshock and its remastered version? Which one runs better on Linux? I don't care about visuals or quality of life improvements, only stability.

Last edited by vindicivuoto on 10 May 2021 at 11:41 am UTC
Dunc 10 May, 2021
For some reason that I'm not entirely sure of myself, I've been playing The Lego Ninjago Movie Videogame. I picked it up for free, or in a bundle, or something, ages ago.

I've never had any problem with cynical toy marketing tie-in campaigns, but it was nice, growing up, to have a brand that seemed to stand against all that stuff. Remember when Lego only came in five colours? (Just me? Urgh, I'm getting old.) However it seems that simplicity and innocence are, like, so last century, so apparently now Lego has a line of wisecracking ninjas with their own Saturday-morning cartoon to sell the stuff. It's like seeing your maiden aunt twerking to K-pop. (Or whatever it is the young people do with their time these days.)

Still, it's a TT Lego game, which are always a fun way to pass a few hours, and doesn't deviate too much from the established formula while subtly tweaking the score multiplier into a (very) minimal beat-'em-up-style combo system, which is a nice touch. Plus, although I'm probably missing a ton of fan service, I have to admit that there are a few funny lines in there, too.
Arten 10 May, 2021
Final Fantasy XV
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