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The Cheapskate's Corner 4 (Jun 5th-11th) (UPDATED)

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Welcome to the a new edition of The Cheapskate's Corner: we've learnt our lesson and we're bringing this column on time. And not only is this issue on time, but also full with bundles past, present and future to satiate all your cheapest desires.




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· Groupees' Be Mine 8 ended yesterday, after selling almost 35,000 bundles. While there's still no news about the Constant C Linux version, those who bought this bundle got Paranautical Activity and also Primordia if they payed more than $5. As we said in one of the updates to last weeks' column Primordia can be played natively using the Linux port of the AGS runtime, but since the game comes as a Windows binary installer there's no way to avoid using Wine, some VM software or even a PC with Windows installed to get the game assets needed to play.
UPDATE: An anonymous commenter informed us that AGS games are Inno Setup archives that can be easily extracted on Linux with innoextract. We've tried and can confirm it works like a charm. Thanks! ;)


· The Bitcoin Bundle also ended yesterday, after being extended by 5 days because Bitcoins bought at Coinbase took up to 5 days to arrive to the buyers. It didn't do very bad at all, but its final numbers were a little below the creators' expectations. You can read all about sells and income in this entry of their blog.


· Finally, Shinyloot's Key Indie Sale also ended during last week, after giving you the chance to get some (or a lot of) indie Linux games with a discount. We don't know the outcome of this experiment of theirs or whether they'll be doing it regularly, so we'll keep an eye on their webpage for any possible re-run.






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Three bundles/massive sales ended, but there are three more that still resist!



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As they usually do, the Humble Bundle guys added some more games to The Humble Indie Bundle 8 on its second week. This time around the bonus games are: Tiny & Big in Grandpa's Leftovers, Intrusion 2 (available DRM-free for Linux for the first time), English Country Tune (debuting on Linux) and Oil Rush (plus the tower defense map pack DLC). All these new games come with their corresponding original soundtracks.

So if you haven't got this awesome bundle by now, you can still do it during the next 6 days. Pay what you want ($1 min for the Steam keys) and get:


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Or beat the average (currently around $5.75) and also get:


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As usual, all the games are available as DRM-free downloads and as Steam keys (if you pay more than $1, of course).





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After the last Cheapskate's Corner was published a new Bundle In A Box came out, and we duly (but also a little chaotically) reported it with a couple of updates. The Capsule Computers Indie Bundle will still be up for another 8 days, and today it's received a new addition, so let's sum up all this bundle has to offer us.

Pay what you want above the $1.99 minimum and get Hacker Evolution Untold (DRM-free + Desura key), The Blackwell Legacy, Blackwell Unbound, The Blackwell Convergence, The Blackwell Deception and the new addition, Lune (alpha) (DRM-free):


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If you beat the average (currently around $4), you'll also get Hacker Evolution Duality (DRM-free + Steam key + Desura key) and Secret of the Magic Crystals (Steam key):


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A few comments about some of the games on this bundle:

1) As was the case with Primordia, all the Blackwell saga games can be played natively in Linux using the AGS Linux port and the games original assets. But in order to extract those assets you'll need either a Windows-running PC or to make use of some emulation or virtualization software.
UPDATE: These assets can be extracted on Linux with the innoextract tool.

2) The Lune alpha has a downloadable DRM-free 32-bit native build, but when we try to play it all we get is a window displaying this. The game doesn't react to any key or mouse click. Is it just us, some incompatibility with 64-bit systems like ours or is it an outright bug?

UPDATE: Indeed it was the game's fault. Turns out it's all a matter to manually update the Unity3D configuration for this game. The kind guys from the Linux Game Cast tell you how to do it here.

3) In the pay-the-minimum tier there are also Super Tower Rush and Pixelry, which could be coming to Linux someday and become two unexpectedly unlocked games in the future.





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Indiebundle.org's Perilous Puzzle Bundle is also still available, but with no new additions. So the deal is the same as it was last week: pay $5 and get Hairy Tales or pay $7 and also get Wyv and Keep:


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And like we told you last week, the $5 level also includes Great Permutator, a game that is apparently being ported to Linux. So here's another potential unexpectedly unlocked game if you buy this bundle.






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Besides the three still-running bundles, we also have three brand new ones to tell you about, although don't expect anything über-spectacular.



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After one bundle with no Linux content, IndieRoyale has released The Hammerhead Bundle featuring Primordia and Potatoman Seeks the Troof (recently released on Desura:


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The bundle also includes Richard & Alice, a game built with AGS and therefore likely to be natively playable with the AGS Linux port. However, nobody has reported it so far, so get it at your own risk. Or better still, you can try it with the game demo as they suggest here. If any of you suceeds in trying it, or has already played the game this way, please tell us and we'll update this bundle info including Richard & Alice as a full-fledged member.

Needless to say, Primordia needs to be played with the Linux port of AGS, as we've repeatedly stated before.

Hurry up to snatch this bundle as it ends in less than 2 days! As usual, you have to beat the minimum (which is currently €4.28) to get it.

UPDATE: Too late! This bundle is no longer active. However, we won't have to wait too much till the next one as they are already promoting it.





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Despite being advertised as a Windows & Mac bundle, the fact is that the Race Against Time Gamer Bundle includes a Linux game, Dungeon Hearts:


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Strictly speaking the bundle also contains another Linux game, Waveform, although here it's only available as a Win/Mac DRM-free download. Anyway you can get Dungeon Hearts for as little as $1, so it's still a good deal. And you can think it over for quite a long time, as the bundle will last for more than 18 days.






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And finally the last of this week's new deals is the 8th Bundle Stars bundle, called Atomic Indie. It contains no less than 10 games but, as was the case of the previous bundle, this one also only includes one Linux game, SpaceChem (Steam key):


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The bundle is sold for about €4.60 so that would equate roughly to a 54% discount from SpaceChem's Steam €9.99 retail price (prices and discount percentage may vary depending on from where you're reading this).

UPDATE: If you're only interested in Spacechem from this bundle, it might be a good idea to previously check this new Amazon deal, as it may be cheaper depending on the currency conversion rates.



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We won't leave before taking a quick peek to what could be happening in the next few days regarding Linux games:


1) The current Humble Weekly Sale will be ending in about 24 hours. Will they go back to offer Linux games in the next one, or will the weekly sales become a "Linux-hostile" environment forever? You sure bet we hope on the former!

UPDATE: "Habemus sale novam!" And it does include a Linux title -Serious Sam 3: BFE-, but it's certainly not enough. It's on the Beat Average level and it's been on sale many times recently, so we don't really see hordes of Linux gamers rushing to get it.


2) Rumour says that a new Groupees bundle, of the Build a Bundle sort, will be launched next week. No idea about its contents, but Groupees' bundles usually include a couple of Linux games. Besides, given their nature, a Build-a-Bundle is the ideal type of bundle for us since they allow us to pick on what we really want.




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And that was all we had that could interest to a bunch of cheapskates like you are. Keep coming back as we'll be updating this column with whatever new information we can gather about the bundles we presented you or any new one that could pop up out of the blue. And as we always say, remember to check the sales page in this website to keep up to date with the current sales on Linux games. See you!




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Amazin'! Boy, did this one really come out of the blue! (At least for us, maybe it was announced a week ago and everybody already knew :P) Amazon.com has just created an Indie Games section and they are celebrating with wholesale discounts and a couple of interesting bundles as well.

The first one is called Indie Quintet and includes The Cave, Little Inferno and Stealth Bastard Deluxe:


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This bundle also includes Strike Suit Zero, a game that is coming to Linux for sure. It costs $9.99 which equals to about a 70% discount, only counting the 3 current Linux games.


The second bundle is called Oh So Fine and Dandy Bundle and it's like a re-run of the recent Humble Double Fine Bundle, only that this one also includes The Cave besides Costume Quest, Stacking, Psychonauts and Brütal Legend:


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This other bundle also costs $9.99 or what's the same, more than 85% off the listed prices on Amazon. How crazy is that?


But that's not all! For any indie game purchase (and there are quite a few to choose from) you make between June 6-10 you'll get 3 games for free: Dynasty of Dusk as a Windows-only download, The Curse of Nordic Cove unfortunately also as a Windows/Mac download, and a Steam key for Huntsman: The Orphanage, a game that will eventually be available for Linux (see the comment from March 27 on their Greenlight page).




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And yet another unexpected deal to reach our doors! Charlie from Charlie's Games has put almost his entire catalogue into Charlie's Games Mega Bundle Pack. Pay what you want ($1 min) and get Irukandji, Bullet Candy (2013 update) and Bullet Candy Perfect:


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Alternatively, pay $9.99 or more and also get Scoregasm (registers on Steam):


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We don't know for how long will this deal be available, so if you ever fancied some of Charlie's games don't think it twice and go grab this pack!
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Mike Frett 5 June 2013 at 6:15 pm UTC
Bit of a thought, I find it quite frightening that the Core of Linux gaming is hanging on whether or not the Humble Bundle and Steam will continue to push Linux. As it seems that those two big names are the ones people are most familiar with. If they quit pushing, it might send ripples of fear through Devs.

I wish Linux Gaming had a few more fronts to fight on. It's a large battlefield and while our army is small, we are very vocal. But are we shouting loud enough?.
L4Linux 5 June 2013 at 6:28 pm UTC
I wouldn't fear so much with Unity3d, Unigine and other game engines being multi-platform. Indie developers should continue making Linux versions even without Steam and Humble Bundle. But it is true that these are the 2 biggest driving forces of Linux gaming, along with Unity3d of course.
liamdawe 5 June 2013 at 8:15 pm UTC
We still have a lot of indies releasing outside of HIB and Steam, we also have Planetary Annihilation which will have a Linux version in a few weeks (Alpha keys just started rolling out) so we will finally have a big RTS game as well (it will be on Steam and outside Steam).

Desura is also quite a big player for anyone who isn't a fan of Steam which adds new titles almost every week, so I wouldn't worry too much.

What I worry about is developers who only release on Steam, that's annoying.
s_d 5 June 2013 at 9:16 pm UTC
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Perhaps we need to actually begin to helping people switch over (again!).  I used to do that, but I stopped.  Instead, I focused my hobby-time (and often my work focus!) on improving the Linux ecosystem itself, between submitting patches and bug reports to just getting more people to rely on it, and see how robust it is.  However... it may be time to try to build the base with outreach efforts, working with LUGs, etc.

It's been years since I worked any direct advocacy;  in the past decade I quit with the zealotry and convincing others to give Linux a try, mostly because it didn't work.  One of the reasons it didn't work was due to the available software, including games.  Now, we have a wide variety of great native apps, as well as popular & very functional web-based (or mobile) versions of most media consumption and productivity applications, and hundreds of games.

Responding to Mike Frett;  we are not only shouting loudly enough, but we are well known for over-representing, at this point.  Pay-what-you-want initiatives like Humble and crowd-funding have finally permitted that over-representation to turn us from an intense annoyance into a viable market to serve.  In fact, RuneSoft was the only dev I ever remember trying to use a crude version of crowd-sourcing (and achieved pretty good success at the time!).  To continue this, though, we need some steady increases in our userbase, something consistent that concurs with our claims of increased adoption due to increased availability (of worthwhile stuff).

I'll just continue down the "build it, and they will come" path that I'm pursuing with my game porting work because I'm not sure that I'm clued-into the social media generation enough to do direct advocacy effectively, but some of you are!  Do it!

L4Linux:  I agree, but Unigine is having a tough time gaining traction because of the primitive nature of their game development tools in contrast with the sophistication of their engine.  It is an amazing engine, better than UE4 in some ways, but multiple devs (not just motorsep from Kot-In-Action) have expressed how difficult it is to actually work with.  That is a shame, and I hope that the situation improves with Unigine being able to invest further in tools and developer-relations.  Also, despite what developers and representatives of Unity Technologies has stated publicly, their Linux port seems at best a grudging concession after porting to literally every other viable platform first.  

Humble has, I think, done the most, by far.  Valve would never have listened up, otherwise.  The porting crew at Humble have done so much publicly, with open-source engines, tools, and other goodies, that they have made it easier for all Linux devs to port and distribute games.  Heck, for the indies I'm working with, I'll be packaging up their Linux games using MojoSetup, by icculus himself!  Valve has taken it to the next level, with some of the most awesome and well-respected triple-A titles (their own, of course!), as well as growing the Steam ecosystem to bring on hundreds of cool titles.

A current Windows core-gamer may not find what they're looking for in Steam, by switching, and may feel cramped in that small-ish games library.  But a new gamer, starting fresh with Steam on Linux today... well, that kid is hundreds of hours deep in amazing indie and triple-A titles, across a dozen genres (or more!) before remotely becoming bored.  Further, this entire website is a testament to the fact that new amazing games are becoming available every day.  So, any of you folks out there with little sisters & brothers, daughters & sons, or nieces & nephews entering high-school... get to them early!  Help them love Linux like we do!  Help them appreciate quirky indie titles that can do & say things the larger devs can't get away with, in addition to the deep immersive triple-A experiences!  The next generation is now...
Mike Frett 6 June 2013 at 9:26 am UTC
Been trying my best s_d, to spread the word about Linux. I just switched my brother over to Xubuntu three days ago, he's quite happy. It takes a lot of work to change things so that the UI becomes 'familiar', I also usually add a bundle of bookmarks to sites such as this one. Easy access to things is the key.

I have about 3000 'friends' on Facebook that I constantly throw Linux articles at and Articles relating to things such as Skype's links with Law Enforcement. On my blog I try to write articles as much as I can, to help ease people into Linux and give them helpful Tips.

I recently joined Twitter, I only have three followers but I Tweet as many links to News Articles as I can. It should be noted that I was a 'Core' Windows gamer for 15 years until switching to Xubuntu last year. The thought of switching was a bit scary, but the actual switch was a cake walk. I did research beforehand to find alternatives for Games and Apps. Like wxLame as a replacement for a Windows encoder and Torchlight as a replacement for Diablo, which is better than Diablo in my opinion and Oil Rush became a fantastic replacement for C&C Generals; I wish Torchlight 2 was ported. Everything was replaced without issue.

It all boils down to addiction. People don't really need Windows, they are just addicted to it and afraid of change. And there are lots of MS Shills that love to spread fud about Hardware not working or some other nonsense. I know it's nonsense because I have odd hardware, yet it works flawlessly without clumsy Windows drivers and accompanying bloatware.

As far as AAA Titles and Windows, what was their really besides a rehash of Call of Duty. I don't think that's anything to be missed. I also apologize for not knowing who you are, but I thank you for your work. I myself can't code and are too sick to learn but I do my best to add my library of Win Games to the WineDB, only a few so far, but hopefully I can get them all in their to help people know what's working. =)
@munt 6 June 2013 at 10:10 am UTC
A reply about this topic from reddit:
QuoteNicely done again! This is a bit off-topic, but have you considered using another font for the header images? The question marks look squished compared to the other letters. For a moment I thought they were exclamation points.
muntdefems 6 June 2013 at 11:31 am UTC
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Quite true, I'd never noticed...

I happen to like this font, so I've tried stretching the question marks to make them less mistakable with exclamation marks. Much better now, right?
Sabun 6 June 2013 at 1:45 pm UTC
QuoteRumour says that a new Groupees bundle, of the Build a Bundle sort, will be launched next week.
Oh man, this is exactly what I wanted to hear!
So much game saving bundles, and it isn't even the Steam Summer sale time of the year yet. It's really cool to start seeing Linux games appear in bundles besides the Humble Bundle (e.g Groupees, BundleStars).

On a side note, HB8 adding more games was unexpected. I made a bit of gameplay of Intrusion 2, it really reminds me of the Metal Slug series. Pretty awesome stuff
QuoteIt's been years since I worked any direct advocacy;  in the past decade I quit with the zealotry and convincing others to give Linux a try, mostly because it didn't work.
Boy, do I know that feeling. Back in 2010-2011, I was really pumped trying to get my peers into Linux. Sadly, after short trials most of them went back to Windows. At the very least though, they now know that Linux and Ubuntu exist
Anonymous 6 June 2013 at 2:33 pm UTC
You do not need Windows to extract the Adventure Game Studio games - they are all Inno Setup archives (at least they were the last time I looked) which can be extracted with http://constexpr.org/innoextract/ on Linux. Just call innoextract on the .exe file.
Anonymous 6 June 2013 at 2:33 pm UTC
Leave the advocacy to the non-techies. That's the only thing we can do
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