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Ion Maiden, a new 3D Realms FPS has launched in Early Access with Linux support

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Well this was unexpected! 3D Realms is back, teaming up with Voidpoint for a brand new FPS named Ion Maiden [Steam, Official Site] and the first part is now available in Early Access with Linux support.

It's using an upgraded version of their "Build engine" to include bigger levels, more colour support and many more modern features. However, they said it's being built using original old-school tools and methodologies. They say it's the "true successor to classic shooters such as Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior and Blood".

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From the press release I got sent today:

Ion Maiden laughs at the idea of constant checkpoints and straight paths through shooting galleries. But just because this is a true old-school first-person shooter doesn’t mean there won’t be all the good new stuff the last two decades have brought. Headshots? Hell yeah. More physics and interactivity? You betcha. Widescreen, controller support, and Auto Saves? 3D Realms and Voidpoint took the best of both worlds and cooked it all into a bloody stew.

3D Realms and Voidpoint are proud to bring back the Build engine, which powered Duke Nukem 3D, Blood, and Shadow Warrior, in all of its hand-crafted pixelated glory. They’ve spent a lot of time tinkering under the hood to take advantage of new technology and techniques. Bigger levels, hundreds of new colors, and morphing maps that transform mid-level are all just a few of the advancements made to the engine.

On top of crafting an oldschool FPS with modern touches, they are also hinting at some form of multiplayer too.

"Bringing back classic build-engine shooters has been our aim for years, so we’re diving right into a spiritual successor to the games which put 3D Realms on the map,” Frederik Schreiber, Vice President, 3D Realms. "The team assembled for this project knows exactly how to execute our vision, and we couldn't be more excited to finally bring back a true 3D Realms shooter."

Pretty nice that it has full Linux support—exciting! The current version is a "polished exclusive multi-hour preview campaign", with a plan for the full game to be ready in "Q3" of this year.

You can grab it from Steam, or from their official site for a fully DRM free build. From what I understand it will also head to GOG sometime as well, but I've not been told when.

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The comments on this article are closed.
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kneekoo 19 March 2018 at 8:49 am UTC
Read my previous posts (page 12).
tuubi 19 March 2018 at 8:57 am UTC
kneekooRead my previous posts (page 12).
I did read the whole thread. Still don't see what they would gain, beyond some geek cred.

(By the way, the amount of pages depends on your settings. For me there are 3 pages.)
kneekoo 19 March 2018 at 9:02 am UTC
Oh well, if you read the whole thread you probably noticed my recent posts and why I think 32-builds could prove to be useful in more than one way.
Samsai 19 March 2018 at 9:12 am UTC
kneekooOh well, if you read the whole thread you probably noticed my recent posts and why I think 32-builds could prove to be useful in more than one way.
Just let 32-bit die.

kneekoo 19 March 2018 at 11:14 am UTC
Samsai, you're so wrong, it's painful. Would you kill all the gaming consoles and the old PCs just because they're old? There are many platforms that still have users and developers. Here's a short list:

- Color Computer still has an active community, a lot of resources, new development, their ongoing CoCoFESTs, podcasts, and even CoCoTALK - a talk show about the Tandy Color Computer.

- AtariAge brings together Atari fans and developers in periodic events, their forums are packed with tens of thousands of discussions, so no wonder the AtariBox is still in development - because there's a huge active fan base that would welcome it if it's done right.

- The Spectrum world also has a huge community, and the new ZX Spectrum Next is an awesome PC that can handle old and new code as well.

Now the x86 PCs shouldn't be treated any different. There are tons of software that work great on them, and especially for gamers it's great to experience retro games on old platforms, which is why we can easily find PC restoration projects on YouTube and other places, from LGR and the 8-Bit Guy, to various others.

Apart from the historic and retro coolness I mentioned here, there are new PCs with 2-4GB of RAM which are better off with a 32-bit OS because their 64-bit counterparts would require more RAM for the very same activities. Here's an article I wrote on DistroWatch: 32-bit support prematurely obsoleted.

The graph you posted here is just as useful as the DistroWatch ranking. Most people don't know how to properly choose technology, so the usage is irrelevant because it's terribly flawed.

Last edited by kneekoo on 19 March 2018 at 11:18 am UTC
Doc Angelo 19 March 2018 at 11:43 am UTC
Comandante ÑoñardoIf it is a retro game with retro graphics using a retro game engine, it should work on retro machines with retro hardware and retro operative systems.

In my personal opinion, there are so many games that look worse than Megadrive/Genesis titles, yet require a multiple core 2GHz CPU and a GPU that could easily run Far Cry. It's cool that you can create games without intricate knowledge of every last programmer trick to gain the last bit of performance. That means that we get more games and by people who maybe wouldn't even have created one.

But also, we are constantly getting newer and better hardware, while the games are getting more and more inefficient using them.
Samsai 19 March 2018 at 11:51 am UTC
I am well aware of the fact that retro systems still have active communities but those communities are self-contained and it'd be absolutely ridiculous to demand support from essentially any new piece of software for a C64 or even a DOS machine, even if that piece of software could essentially run in some form on that piece of hardware. So it's entirely irrelevant that these communities exist, new software doesn't need to bother with them. And Ion Maiden just so happens to be a new piece of software.

As for the RAM issue, sure, a 64-bit OS is going to need a bit more RAM than a 32-bit OS. However I would consider it questionable that this would critically affect the usability of a computer with 2 or 4GB of RAM. You are going to have a bad time regardless. And if the CPU in that computer doesn't have 64-bit capability then you're going to have an even worse time, considering you'd probably be running some kind of a crappy Atom or a processor from before 2005.

Demanding the continuation of 32-bit support is a burden and an incompatibility hassle. Distros to this day have to drag a well over a decade's worth of what is practically necrotic flesh around to support software that is actually only needed by less than a percent of the userbase. If people want to keep their 32-bit machines up and running they are free to do so through whatever porting and development efforts they want to do but new stuff shouldn't need to do it. It's time for those 32-bit machines to move to the retro section and for serious desktop computing to move on.
kneekoo 19 March 2018 at 12:34 pm UTC
Asking for 32-bit support for everything under the sun is of course not the point. But Ion Maiden fits more in the retro world than the modern one. That's why it makes perfect sense to have 32-bit builds. Even the original Crysis is a 32-bit game, so I'm sure there's no technical reason for Ion Maiden to be 64-bit only, especially considering EDuke32 is already 32-bit compatible.
Doc Angelo 19 March 2018 at 12:47 pm UTC
Civ 5 for example is 32 bit. There is no 64 bit version of it. It just isn't needed. 64 bit is rarely more performant, as far as I know. Scientific software that uses 64 bit floats benefits greatly from it. But I think we didn't have games yet which benefited from 64 bit.

Last edited by Doc Angelo on 19 March 2018 at 12:48 pm UTC
kneekoo 19 March 2018 at 1:09 pm UTC
Games requiring more than 3GB of RAM per process benefit from the 64-bit architecture, and this has become the case for more and more AAA titles in recent years. But plenty of games and apps out there can easily live in the 32-bit world, and Ion Maiden should fit here very well. So I hope we'll have this option.
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