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Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia confirmed for Linux, from Feral Interactive

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It seems we're going to get more strategy game goodness, as Feral Interactive have confirmed Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia [Steam, Feral Store] will release for Linux. This is fantastic, as the Total War games are popular with a lot of people, having more of them on Linux is ideal.

Curiously, this is not a game they previously teased. It's now showing up as a new game on their teaser radar, so we still have the "It's just a shot away" game to be properly announced. This makes three games announced/teased for Linux this year so far from Feral, not a bad start!

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About the game:

Thrones of Britannia is a standalone Total War game which will challenge you to re-write a critical moment in history, one that will come to define the future of modern Britain. With ten playable factions, you must build and defend a kingdom to the glory of Anglo-Saxons, Gaelic clans, Welsh tribes or Viking settlers. Forge alliances, manage burgeoning settlements, raise armies and embark on campaigns of conquest across the most detailed Total War map to date.

It releases for Windows on April 19th, with Feral Interactive saying the Linux version will release "shortly after Windows". 

“The choices players make in THRONES OF BRITANNIA’s campaigns have far-reaching consequences,” said David Stephen, Managing Director of Feral Interactive. “As they make decisions in response to a sequence of seismic events, players will forge their own diverging paths through the turbulent years following King Alfred the Great’s initial victory over the Viking invasion.”

Feral aren't giving out many other details yet, with system requirements due closer to release.

It's said that this is the first in "series of standalone games inspired by great turning points of history" so it's likely there's more to come after this as well.

18 Likes, Who?
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78 comments
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slaapliedje 21 February 2018 at 3:37 am UTC
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KimyrielleI am torn on seeing yet another TW game being ported. On one hand, strategy is hands down my favorite singleplayer genre (second only to MMOs), and it's a blessing to have such a great selection of strategy games available on my OS of choice. On the other hand, we have some glaring gaps elsewhere that still needed filling. Such as aforementioned MMOs, but also RPGs in general. If I knew that Feral can and will churn out another dozen AAA games this games, I'd still welcome this release - but if this is going to be one of three high-profile ports we will be getting in all of 2018 (like 2017 felt to me), I'd have opted for something else, given the choice.

Not sure why you say there is a lack of RPGs, there are tons that run native on Linux, and many more on the way! I actually am okay with few MMOs, though not really an MMO, I would love to see Elite: Dangerous ported.

In case you missed these RPGs; Wasteland 2, Shadow Run, Bard's Tale (4 is coming!), Pillars of Eternity, Tyrant, Neverwinter Nights:Enhanced Edition, plus all the other EE games. Of course if you do like old school RPGs, GOG has all the gold box ones wrapped up for Linux too.
Narvarth 21 February 2018 at 1:18 pm UTC
slaapliedjeIn case you missed these RPGs; Wasteland 2, Shadow Run, Bard's Tale (4 is coming!), Pillars of Eternity, Tyrant, Neverwinter Nights:Enhanced Edition, plus all the other EE games. Of course if you do like old school RPGs, GOG has all the gold box ones wrapped up for Linux too.

They are all old school /sometric RPG (i.e. Baldur's gate style). That's nice, but we have zero first person RPG with a non linear story and/or open world. Maybe Dying light (rpg/action) but that's all. One game.

Some games like Skyrim, Gothic 3, Kingdom Come: Deliverance etc. are really missing on Linux.
tuubi 21 February 2018 at 1:47 pm UTC
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Narvarth
slaapliedjeIn case you missed these RPGs; Wasteland 2, Shadow Run, Bard's Tale (4 is coming!), Pillars of Eternity, Tyrant, Neverwinter Nights:Enhanced Edition, plus all the other EE games. Of course if you do like old school RPGs, GOG has all the gold box ones wrapped up for Linux too.

They are all old school /sometric RPG (i.e. Baldur's gate style). That's nice, but we have zero first person RPG with a non linear story and/or open world. Maybe Dying light (rpg/action) but that's all. One game.

Some games like Skyrim, Gothic 3, Kingdom Come: Deliverance etc. are really missing on Linux.
We've got good old Witcher 2.

I guess your definition of rpg/action should cover Mad Max and Shadow of Mordor as well. And Tomb Raider? Personally I wouldn't call these RPGs though. I like open world action games with plenty of exploration, but their stories don't leave much room for role-playing.
slaapliedje 23 February 2018 at 4:29 am UTC
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tuubi
Narvarth
slaapliedjeIn case you missed these RPGs; Wasteland 2, Shadow Run, Bard's Tale (4 is coming!), Pillars of Eternity, Tyrant, Neverwinter Nights:Enhanced Edition, plus all the other EE games. Of course if you do like old school RPGs, GOG has all the gold box ones wrapped up for Linux too.

They are all old school /sometric RPG (i.e. Baldur's gate style). That's nice, but we have zero first person RPG with a non linear story and/or open world. Maybe Dying light (rpg/action) but that's all. One game.

Some games like Skyrim, Gothic 3, Kingdom Come: Deliverance etc. are really missing on Linux.
We've got good old Witcher 2.

I guess your definition of rpg/action should cover Mad Max and Shadow of Mordor as well. And Tomb Raider? Personally I wouldn't call these RPGs though. I like open world action games with plenty of exploration, but their stories don't leave much room for role-playing.

Ha, not many crpgs actually allow for much roleplaying, usually their rpg-ness comes from being able to customise your character, in which case Mad Max and Shadow of Mordor qualify. Tomb Raider less so.

Also, and maybe this is just me, but the party based isometric RPGs are the best ones. The Skyrims of the world are like graphical errand runners. . Well, less so than say WoW, but there are still plenty of quests of gather this, steal that, etc.

To be fair, I have been playing a lot of Horizon: Zero Dawn lately and it has a few rare choices to make, and really is just a game with a decent plot, but a huge amount of eye candy. Very often though I feel like I am doing quests just for the xp, or to get a trophy. A really good RPG doesn't need a particular style, it just needs a good story, a rewarding ending and some opportunities for making a difference within the game. Too many of the ones with fancy graphics fail at that. (Skyrim is good though, just trying to be a completionist gets tiring....)
tuubi 23 February 2018 at 9:30 am UTC
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slaapliedjeAlso, and maybe this is just me, but the party based isometric RPGs are the best ones. The Skyrims of the world are like graphical errand runners. .
It's not just you.
etonbears 23 February 2018 at 11:40 pm UTC
Narvarth
slaapliedjeIn case you missed these RPGs; Wasteland 2, Shadow Run, Bard's Tale (4 is coming!), Pillars of Eternity, Tyrant, Neverwinter Nights:Enhanced Edition, plus all the other EE games. Of course if you do like old school RPGs, GOG has all the gold box ones wrapped up for Linux too.

They are all old school /sometric RPG (i.e. Baldur's gate style). That's nice, but we have zero first person RPG with a non linear story and/or open world. Maybe Dying light (rpg/action) but that's all. One game.

Some games like Skyrim, Gothic 3, Kingdom Come: Deliverance etc. are really missing on Linux.

Feral and other porters can only port games that fulfill a few basic criteria

1. The rights holder must want, or be open to, a Linux port.

2. The porter must believe the amount of work is justified by the potential return,

3. The porter and rights holder must be able to come to an agreement.

Many of the first person AAA games fail on the first criterion, as the likes of EA and Zenimax currently dismiss anything to do with Linux out of hand; but some are also excluded due to porting and support costs, or an inability to agree terms.

Personally, I like both Paradox grand strategy and CA's mix of strategy with real-time tactical battles, so I appreciate those ports.

However I also like CRPGs, both Isometric and 1st/3rd person, and both directed-path and open-world, so I also understand the frustration that these are thin on the ground. I am certain that Feral are aware of these frustrations, but it doesn't mean they can do anything about it.

One thing that interests me is the fact that Beamdog are releasing a new version of NWN. As a Bioware game, that should be EA property, unless they sold the rights off. Maybe I'll go look on the Beamdog web site...
slaapliedje 24 February 2018 at 2:41 am UTC
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etonbears
Narvarth
slaapliedjeIn case you missed these RPGs; Wasteland 2, Shadow Run, Bard's Tale (4 is coming!), Pillars of Eternity, Tyrant, Neverwinter Nights:Enhanced Edition, plus all the other EE games. Of course if you do like old school RPGs, GOG has all the gold box ones wrapped up for Linux too.

They are all old school /sometric RPG (i.e. Baldur's gate style). That's nice, but we have zero first person RPG with a non linear story and/or open world. Maybe Dying light (rpg/action) but that's all. One game.

Some games like Skyrim, Gothic 3, Kingdom Come: Deliverance etc. are really missing on Linux.

Feral and other porters can only port games that fulfill a few basic criteria

1. The rights holder must want, or be open to, a Linux port.

2. The porter must believe the amount of work is justified by the potential return,

3. The porter and rights holder must be able to come to an agreement.

Many of the first person AAA games fail on the first criterion, as the likes of EA and Zenimax currently dismiss anything to do with Linux out of hand; but some are also excluded due to porting and support costs, or an inability to agree terms.

Personally, I like both Paradox grand strategy and CA's mix of strategy with real-time tactical battles, so I appreciate those ports.

However I also like CRPGs, both Isometric and 1st/3rd person, and both directed-path and open-world, so I also understand the frustration that these are thin on the ground. I am certain that Feral are aware of these frustrations, but it doesn't mean they can do anything about it.

One thing that interests me is the fact that Beamdog are releasing a new version of NWN. As a Bioware game, that should be EA property, unless they sold the rights off. Maybe I'll go look on the Beamdog web site...

Actually I think the rights to Neverwinter Nights might belong to Atari, Bioware wasn't publishing through EA until after NWN was released. The second one was as well, though it was developed by Obsidian, which I believe also developed KOTOR 2, which also has a Linux port, not to mention Pillars of Eternity. So NWN2 confirmed for Linux? :p
etonbears 24 February 2018 at 1:58 pm UTC
slaapliedje
etonbears
Narvarth
slaapliedjeIn case you missed these RPGs; Wasteland 2, Shadow Run, Bard's Tale (4 is coming!), Pillars of Eternity, Tyrant, Neverwinter Nights:Enhanced Edition, plus all the other EE games. Of course if you do like old school RPGs, GOG has all the gold box ones wrapped up for Linux too.

They are all old school /sometric RPG (i.e. Baldur's gate style). That's nice, but we have zero first person RPG with a non linear story and/or open world. Maybe Dying light (rpg/action) but that's all. One game.

Some games like Skyrim, Gothic 3, Kingdom Come: Deliverance etc. are really missing on Linux.

Feral and other porters can only port games that fulfill a few basic criteria

1. The rights holder must want, or be open to, a Linux port.

2. The porter must believe the amount of work is justified by the potential return,

3. The porter and rights holder must be able to come to an agreement.

Many of the first person AAA games fail on the first criterion, as the likes of EA and Zenimax currently dismiss anything to do with Linux out of hand; but some are also excluded due to porting and support costs, or an inability to agree terms.

Personally, I like both Paradox grand strategy and CA's mix of strategy with real-time tactical battles, so I appreciate those ports.

However I also like CRPGs, both Isometric and 1st/3rd person, and both directed-path and open-world, so I also understand the frustration that these are thin on the ground. I am certain that Feral are aware of these frustrations, but it doesn't mean they can do anything about it.

One thing that interests me is the fact that Beamdog are releasing a new version of NWN. As a Bioware game, that should be EA property, unless they sold the rights off. Maybe I'll go look on the Beamdog web site...

Actually I think the rights to Neverwinter Nights might belong to Atari, Bioware wasn't publishing through EA until after NWN was released. The second one was as well, though it was developed by Obsidian, which I believe also developed KOTOR 2, which also has a Linux port, not to mention Pillars of Eternity. So NWN2 confirmed for Linux? :p

Yes, of course, you're right; NWN and NWN2 rights gained from Hasbro were Atari owned. I think there was some animosity after NWN2 between Atari and Hasbro. Beamdog must have been able to negotiate with Atari where they probably would not be able to with EA.

As you say, NWN2 was an Obsidian development for Atari; it would be great to have NWN2 available as it significantly better than NWN in many ways, and has some great fan-mod adventures ( Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale have been re-made in the NWN2 toolset, for example ).

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting, though; NWN was a generic C/C++ engine using OpenGL, whereas NWN2 was much more Windows-specific C++ using D3D9. The toolset, in particular, used Microsoft UI frameworks, and would be a lot of work to port.
slaapliedje 24 February 2018 at 5:44 pm UTC
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Yeah I know about the pains of NWN2 and it using Windows specific APIs. Then again, Baldur's Gate and all the other EE games they worked on were written for earlier DirectX. So who knows? Obsidian is definitely more Linux friendly than most though, at least now they are. Previously everyone thought they were turds for changing NWN's engine to be DX only for part 2.

I think there was hope that the toolset would be ported finally, but from glancing at some of this it's a weak 'maybe'. https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/66930/linux-version-of-the-toolset#latest
etonbears 24 February 2018 at 11:13 pm UTC
Yes, the NWN toolset was never ported either. That was Borland C++, the NWN2 toolset was Microsoft C++ with an early version of .NET frameworks, if I recall correctly. It might actually be that mono on Linux would support a relatively easy port of the NWN2 toolkit, I'm not sure.

It's difficult to say which would be preferable; NWN1 used much simpler character and object models, which made that custom content easier to develop, but developing new terrain using the NWN tile based system was ( apparently ) a pig. NWN2 character/object models were more complex ( 10x the vertex count ) and they added newer rendering ideas like normal mapping that required extra texture channel. But the outdoor terrain in NWN2 was much easier to create resources for.

NWN2 was overall a much better and more capable engine, but had a fairly big drawback for modders, which was their use of Granny3D ( RAD Game Tools ) to do the animation. There was a plugin to Blender for a while, which abruptly disappeared when RAD pointed out that Atari had not paid for that, and it never reappeared publicly. This meant that you needed to own or have access to £2500 worth of professional modelling software ( the devs used 3DS Max ) to create animations using the 3DS exporter they actually had paid for.

There was an unfinished, community developed, Python import/export plugin for Blender which allowed you to do at least some re-skinning and mesh manipulation. I tried to finish that plugin, and managed to expand it to include most model data types, including the model skeletons used in animation, but ran into the problem of Granny3D. I found enough information about Granny to be able to pull out animation curves from existing data files, but not enough to understand how to write animations into new Granny data files. Added to that, I would have had to modify the Blender internal representation for models to expose the necessary additional data. Obviously, as Blender is open source, that was possible, but the code ( at that time, at least ) was a mess and there were developer disagreements about direction. In the end I decided it would be unlikely I could finish a proper Import/Export for Blender, so I moved on.

That was all on Windows, of course, 10 years ago. RAD have since ported most of their tools to Linux and MacOS, including Granny3D, but modding would still be difficult unless an "NWN2 Enhanced Edition" included a Blender Importer/Exporter as well as a working toolkit. The original NWN toolkit at least had the benefit of properly documented data structures and no third party software was needed.

I'm blathering! You didn't need to know any of that, of course, but the more I think about it, the more I realize I really would like NWN2 on Linux...
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