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Descent 3 returns to Linux (and macOS) with an official modern port

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Ryan "Icculus" Gordon, a developer who has ported tons of games to Linux has done it again. Descent 3, has been re-ported and upgraded for Linux (and macOS).

Originally released in 1999, it was later ported to Linux thanks to the defunct Loki Software in 2000 and eventually in 2014 the Windows version came to Steam. The Linux port was old, not easy to find and many people likely didn't even know it was a thing today.

Speaking on their Patreon post, Icculus gave a little history of the game and Loki and goes on to mention multiple other titles they've tried to re-port without success. So when one does come along, they obviously jumped at the chance. The new port is 64bit, built with the wonderful cross-platform SDL 2 tech and runs on modern Linux and macOS. It also handles larger screen resolutions, improved cutscenes handling and the movie files have been encoded in Ogg Theora making the install a lot smaller.

I'm thrilled to be bringing this game back to a modern Linux audience. It was the first big project at Loki that I was in charge of, and I'm super-thrilled to be in charge of it again today.

Ryan "Icculus" Gordon

Thanks to this effort, you can now pick up Descent 3 in modern form on Steam for both Linux and macOS, which comes with the Mercenary expansion. If you already had it for Windows, as usual you get access free thanks to how Steam works. Icculus mentioned that it may come to GOG later.

You can support more work from Icculus on their Patreon.

Like with the recent re-port of Little Racers STREET, it's fantastic to see developers open to someone keeping their games alive and well.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Action, FPS, New Release, Steam | Apps: Descent 3
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27 comments
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andy155 3 Feb
Der Linux Port ist eine Frechheit, wo steht hier auf der Shop Seite das es sich um eine unspielbare Beta Version handelt ???? Es Crasht oft, zusätzlich gingen meine Savegames kaputt usw... Videos sehen viel schlechter aus. Demos aufnehmen und ansehen Crash...


The Linux port is a cheek, where is it here on the Steam shop page that it is an unplayable beta version ???? It crashes often, my savegames also broke, etc. ... Videos look much worse. Record and watch demos Crash ...
Maath 3 Feb
Is this open source? I think the engine for Descent one and two is open sourced, and I'm wondering if they did the same for three.
slaapliedje
Purple Library GuyLooking at his post, doesn't sound like Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns will be happening any time soon because whoever made it dropped out of the space-time continuum. Pity; I know it wasn't a big or important game, but I liked it--probably because I didn't have access to any of the Windows games that were similar but better, I suppose.
Now what I'd really like to see is this treatment done to Alpha Centauri. Every time I go back to my old Loki CD of that, it takes a bit more fiddling to get it working (and last time I still couldn't get sound). I suppose it probably works under Wine/Proton these days, but somehow I really don't want to buy a Windows copy of a game I bought for Linux just to get it to run on Linux.
I haven't really gotten around to play it, but isn't 'Beyond Earth' supposed to be similar to Alpha Centauri?
Yes, well. Civ: BE is not bad. And it's newer and more modern and stuff.
And it has this thing that looks like it ought to be cooler than Alpha C's different government types--these three different sort of ideological attitudes towards colonization and relationship to the planet and technology. All the technologies have an affinity to one of these three, so depending on your tech emphasis you'll get more levels of them and that'll give you perks. Actually, a lot of the power of combat units comes more from progression in the three affinities than from specific tech developments. But I mean . . . you can do them all, and why wouldn't you? So there's no real choice happening. The technology web isn't that huge; by the end of the game I'm usually pretty maxed in all three so it doesn't matter much. And the factions are a bit like that--their differences are a bit more genuinely futuristic or at least different, but what that gains in science-fiction-y-ness it loses in wimping out. Alpha Centauri's factions and government systems confronted real social and political issues and differences, and they also required choices; if you take the advantages of a Free Market or Green economy, you gotta live with the disadvantages, you can't have both at the same time.

Oh yeah, technologies go out in a circle from the centre to the edge instead of up a tree, which looks cool but makes almost zero difference. Seriously, you could fold it into a tree without changing anything in terms of which techs lead to what.

There are some nice touches. Floating cities can actually move, getting access to more resources. Aside from that, it's Civ 5 with higher tech and weirder strategic resources. I like Alpha Centauri much better; can't quite put my finger on why. Maybe something about how the gameplay and pace work that's not obvious in the surface mechanics, maybe I like the way in Alpha C, vehicle technologies separate chassis from what you put in it so you can customize a bit, maybe it's the factions and governments . . . dunno, but Alpha C is a classic to me and Civ:BE is . . . decent.


Last edited by Purple Library Guy on 3 February 2020 at 10:10 pm UTC
hiryu 5 Feb
Bought it, seems to run just as well as you'd expect for a game this old...

I remember trying the Loki demo back in 02... I had to disable multitexturing for my original Radeon 32 ddr for the game to render properly so I'd say this already gives a better experience now than it did way back when.

Haven't tried to get a controller going yet.
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MaathIs this open source? I think the engine for Descent one and two is open sourced, and I'm wondering if they did the same for three.
Not sure about Descent 3, but Freespace 2 is open source, and I thought the actual game was kind of under a 'DGAF' license, where they don't care if people distrinute it.
So there are TONS of mods for it.

I could never really play the descent games as they used to make me hurl. Really wanted to dive into foresaken as well, but same issue. But now I am a bit better with VR and Elite, so surely I should be able to handle Descent now...
Pit 8 Feb
slaapliedjeI could never really play the descent games as they used to make me hurl. Really wanted to dive into foresaken as well, but same issue. But now I am a bit better with VR and Elite, so surely I should be able to handle Descent now...

And once you can handle those, continue with Overload. It is absolutely worth training hard for it
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Pit
slaapliedjeI could never really play the descent games as they used to make me hurl. Really wanted to dive into foresaken as well, but same issue. But now I am a bit better with VR and Elite, so surely I should be able to handle Descent now...

And once you can handle those, continue with Overload. It is absolutely worth training hard for it
Yeah! I actually to play that one. Though now I can't remember if it was that one or the other semi-recent Descent style game that I backed on kickstarter, then haven't had time to play...
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