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Space Mercs from Bearded Giant Games who develop their games entirely on Linux, released on Steam recently and now you can also catch it on itch.io.

Haven't picked it up yet and want to know what to expect? It's a retro 3D arcade space shooter, designed primarily as a quick pick up and play experience. The developer said to think of it like a coffee-break game, only a bit more intense when some of it can be like a bullet-hell.

Feature Highlight:

  • Huge, real-time, space ship battles, with up to hundreds of spaceships on screen at the same time
  • Mission battles range from small (3-10 ships) and scale up into the gigantic sector wide battles (400-500 ships)
  • Single-player campaign where the stakes increase with every mission
  • Thousands of projectiles on screen at every time
  • Consistent graphics and performance even on really low hardware specs
  • Shooter-style control and flight system optimized for Keyboard and Gamepad use
  • Instant battle mode where you are thrown in a procedural generated battle of epic scales
  • Loadout system for ship weaponry and internal systems
  • Functional cockpit display
  • Battle Designer that allows you to create your very own battle with up to 4000 ships (available after completing the main missions).

I should note, that the game is designed for keyboard movement controls with no support for mouse control.

Going by what information the developer has provided for me, the game is closing in on 600 sales on Steam so far and Linux is making up about 38% of that:

Nothing compared to what AAA developers or bigger "indies" make, but let's be clear on something here: For a game developed by one person over the course of only a few months, that's actually really impressive for the first week of sales with hardly any marketing being done.

Space Mercs is due to get some updates since it's doing okay including the ability to match speed with a target, an improved tutorial to explain the different reticle and targeting overlay, a feature to target the closest ship and get a readout on its health and more.

So now you can head over to itch.io or Steam, the choice is yours pilot.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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18 comments
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iiari 9 August 2019 at 9:23 pm UTC
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mirvI noticed yesterday that it had shown up in Steam's "new and trending" section, which is good to see (if even for a short while).

Cheers for not only the game, but continued updates as well.
Sales might not have been helped by the fact that there are also right now two other ongoing Space Shooter genre releases for Windows at the same time as Space Mercs, so genre fans looking to pick up one might be waiting:

* Rebel Galaxy Outlaw - Highly anticipated AAA exclusive release on Epic Store
* Subdivision Infinity DX - Action space shooter, a mobile to Windows release that looks VERY similar to Space Mercs...


Last edited by iiari at 9 August 2019 at 9:24 pm UTC
chancho_zombie 9 August 2019 at 9:38 pm UTC
ok I'm not into space games, but the last one I played was Iron Sky Invasion and space combat really felt awkward with a mouse, so not supporting mouse it's a good decision imho.
iiari 9 August 2019 at 10:59 pm UTC
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chancho_zombiespace combat really felt awkward with a mouse, so not supporting mouse it's a good decision imho.
Gotta say, as a hard core space gamer, there's really no other way I want to play it anymore... Ideally, in a zero G environment, it plays best IMHO with FPS/mouse like setup, almost like you'd use in Descent...


Last edited by iiari at 9 August 2019 at 11:17 pm UTC
Patola 9 August 2019 at 11:04 pm UTC
chancho_zombieok I'm not into space games, but the last one I played was Iron Sky Invasion and space combat really felt awkward with a mouse, so not supporting mouse it's a good decision imho.
Using sc-controller I am able to revert that decision. ;) I like using the touchpad for gaming, judge me.
anewson 10 August 2019 at 8:49 pm UTC
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Patola
chancho_zombieok I'm not into space games, but the last one I played was Iron Sky Invasion and space combat really felt awkward with a mouse, so not supporting mouse it's a good decision imho.
Using sc-controller I am able to revert that decision. ;) I like using the touchpad for gaming, judge me.

you monster! XD
dpanter 10 August 2019 at 10:26 pm UTC
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Worth noting, as one Steam review mentioned; Subdivision Infinity DX is a $15 port of a FREE mobile game... even recommended getting the free game instead.

Rebel Galaxy Outlaw looked pretty dang nice... hope they enjoy that EGS money. Interesting follow up to the space cowboy trucker quasi-2D/3D RPG thing that is Rebel Galaxy.
iiari 10 August 2019 at 11:30 pm UTC
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dpanterWorth noting, as one Steam review mentioned; Subdivision Infinity DX is a $15 port of a FREE mobile game... even recommended getting the free game instead.
Good point, and quite right.

dpanterRebel Galaxy Outlaw looked pretty dang nice... hope they enjoy that EGS money.
I'm happy to wait the year or 18 months or whatever the exclusivity is for it to come to Steam. I'll use my dollars to reward Valve as the Proton it will run on was funded by them in the first place...
BrazilianGamer 12 August 2019 at 12:47 am UTC
ZapaOn the whole marketing part, I have to say that GoL was the only website to cover it (outside of Jason's interview on L4E that ended up a Forbes Article)! Keep one thing in mind, my sales wouldn't have been even half of what they are if Linux users didn't go for the game.

An interesting thing that I'll try and expand further on is based on how Steam gives visibility to it's games - it's similar to the way an ads network does it. The ad that sells the most get's the most visibility. If they have two ads running, they both get 100 views initially (this is an example). One sells 30 produts and one sells only 5. The one with 30 products get's more visibility.

When the forbes article went up Linux was at 36-37% of the total sales. With the conversation that sparked on r/linux_gaming or r/linux you'd expect Linux to get a higher percentage and up into the 50-60's percentile.

What happened was, although Linux numbers grew (by almost 100) so did the Windows numbers. And I'm mentioning this that, next someone says, linux doesn't matter let this be a lesson. At least for small indies like me, Linux literary allowed me to continue making games without doing any freelancing or going back into the F2P industry!

So thank you Linux! Thank you a ton!
And thanks to Liam for covering the game's release and announcement and Jason of course!
But thank you Linux! You just made a Bearded Giant really really happy!

Not all heroes wear capes


Last edited by BrazilianGamer at 12 August 2019 at 12:48 am UTC
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