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Hold onto your humanity as the incredibly stylish Neo Cab is coming to Linux

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After some confusion, it turns out Neo Cab from developer Chance Agency and publisher Fellow Traveller will be coming to Linux.

What is it? In Neo Cab, you play as Lina, someone making a last stand as a human driver-for-hire in a world increasingly overcome by automation. It's seriously stylish and has a story that will make you think about the way the world is going.

Your friend and only lifeline has gone missing; with no money and nowhere to stay, the only thing you can do is keep driving. Choose what passengers to pick up and how you engage with them to learn their stories. Balance your own emotional wellbeing with the needs of your pax as you strive to keep your perfect rating, and your job. Maybe someone in this city can help you with your own story?

The story behind Neo Cab and Linux got a bit confusing. It's one I saw years ago, before they really had any gameplay to show and only a few screenshots but it looked and sounded like a very interesting game. Their presskit at the time listed Linux as a platform but until we could see some gameplay, I decided to hold off on covering it. A good thing too, since as it turns out Linux wasn't supposed to be on the presskit at the time.

It's now launched on Steam and other stores for Windows and Mac. However, it will be coming to Linux. In a thoughtful post on Steam, one of the developers explained the situation clearly. What it comes down to is Linux being planned but it wasn't supposed to be announced fully until it was actually ready as they didn't want to over promise and not deliver. On the positive side, they said "it was never a question of whether we'd ship on Linux, only a matter of when" which is awesome. Additionally, they're now committed to getting the Linux version out due to the response (so yes, posting on Steam really can help give some developers a little push).

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As it turns out, some of the team worked on Firewatch as they said "we were able to first focus on getting the build solid and bug-free "only" on Mac, PC and PS4, and then a few iterations after it was solid, we released to Linux" and that's what they're doing here.

Feature Highlight:

  • An emotional survival game: hold on to your humanity in a world overcome by automation.
  • Meet people. Learn their stories. Stay human!
  • From the Neo Cab app, you’ll choose your passengers and navigate the city grid. Connect and converse with them as you drive to their destination. You’ll need to maintain your perfect rating to stay on the road. Balance your monetary needs and the needs of your passengers with your own emotional wellbeing. What’s more important: your mental health or your star rating?
  • Connect with your pax: Find ways to connect with passengers. Each has their own story to tell.
  • Uncover the secrets of Los Ojos: Lina’s best course for survival is to to keep driving. Piece together what has happened to Savy as you help Lina navigate the city grid.
  • Find your own route: Neo Cab features a branching narrative with pax stories written by Leigh Alexander, Kim Belair, Bruno Dias, Duncan Fyfe, Paula Rogers & Robin Sloan.
  • Original soundtrack by Obfusc (Monument Valley, House of Cards)

Until the release you can follow and wishist on Humble Store and Steam.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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dpanter 8 October 2019 at 9:43 am UTC
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Oh nice! The demo ran flawlessly with Proton as well.
Doc Angelo 8 October 2019 at 10:22 am UTC
It's interesting how differently people look at automation. Some see it as the tool to let humans be more human, some see it as the danger that makes humans less human. Personally I think driving a car, or to be more precise, transportation is something a machine can do much better. Humans could use the free time for... well, being more human. A cab driver and a passenger are being put into the same vehicle by fate. There they are, one has to work, and the other has to get somewhere. So what do they do? They talk, maybe. One might think that this could get lost when machines drive a cab. But... you can also go ahead and just talk to strangers if you like. If people like this kind of thing, it will prevail, and thanks to automation, we don't have to rely on luck anymore. We can just do it, and we even have more time and focus for it.

I don't share these dark views on automation, but the game seems definitely interesting.
14 8 October 2019 at 1:10 pm UTC
Looks pretty neat.

I also think driving could be automated. There are other aspects of technology I'm more leery about, like information gathering, removal of choice, and simulated guidance (ie. stores without sales people). A human can hear my voice and see my eyes -- read my body language -- like no machine. And I can do the same to them.
Cyril 8 October 2019 at 5:15 pm UTC
Reminds me of Night Call (sadly not available on Linux), but here it seems a bit different.
kaiman 8 October 2019 at 9:18 pm UTC
Had that one on my radar for quite a while. Hope it also makes it to GOG.

Doc AngeloI don't share these dark views on automation ...
I think there's good and bad things. I'd definitely be happy if my car drove the 360km to my parents place on its own ... I'd visit more frequently that way :-). But when I ride my bike or walk the streets, I find the advent of self-driving cars quite intimidating.

In some cases, I also have the impression that with automation comes a reduction of service. Nowadays, I need to check myself in at the airport, tag my luggage and haul it to the drop-off. In the supermarket, there are more and more of those self-checkout stations that'll force you to do a cashiers job on top of the groceries shopping. Who knows what's next!?

And then -- that's what the game seems to be about -- there's the human component. If you get mostly served by machines, only communicate with bots, etc., it's easy to lose touch with other humans, and who knows what that'll do to humanity (as a whole and your own).


Last edited by kaiman at 8 October 2019 at 9:19 pm UTC
Purple Library Guy 8 October 2019 at 10:27 pm UTC
Doc AngeloIt's interesting how differently people look at automation. Some see it as the tool to let humans be more human, some see it as the danger that makes humans less human.
Some think it depends who's controlling the technology. That would be the impetus behind Free Software.

Personally, I think a big part of the problem with automation is that it's driven largely by ownership and profit. I mean, in the abstract, more automation means more gets done with less labour, which, averaged out across the population, would mean we can all work less and have more leisure while everything still gets done. It's a great idea.
But in a world where automation is being done by corporations as a means of saving on labour costs, the main point is precisely not to average it out across the population, but rather to pay the remaining people the same as ever while not paying a bunch of no longer needed people at all, and have a few rich bastards pocket the difference. Automation under those circumstances will leave the still-employed people continuing to run hard to stay in the same place, while growing the ranks of the unemployed. There are also negative economic consequences in terms of reduced demand.

So automation would be great in a people-controlled economy. In ours it has its problems.
Purple Library Guy 8 October 2019 at 11:03 pm UTC
kaimanIn some cases, I also have the impression that with automation comes a reduction of service. Nowadays, I need to check myself in at the airport, tag my luggage and haul it to the drop-off. In the supermarket, there are more and more of those self-checkout stations that'll force you to do a cashiers job on top of the groceries shopping. Who knows what's next!?
Yeah. Basically, you're seeing costs being offloaded. Cashiers, for example, lose their jobs and the company gets the customer to do for free what cashiers used to do. I avoid those self-checkout things; if the company wants me to check out my own groceries they can pay me.
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