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Latest Comments by rkfg
The original The Banner Saga is no longer officially supported on Linux
15 August 2018 at 11:38 am UTC Likes: 1

Basically, software freedom is like having unit tests. Tests don't guarantee your software doesn't have errors (and freedom doesn't prevent things from going wrong) but they allow you to notice bad behavior and fix it early, before you rolled the changes into production. Shit happens all the time but FOSS allows you to fix it. Whether yourself or outsource it, still you're in control. Proprietary software literally means that someone else, the proprietor, is in control and you're just allowed to use it. Maybe. Sometimes. And don't do this and that. Never. And also that. Then pay us.

Valve may be adding support for using compatibility tools for playing games on different operating systems
15 August 2018 at 10:02 am UTC Likes: 2

I'm late to the party due to the timezones but it's funny to see this is really a thing now. I predicted it twice right here, on GoL! Not exactly a super-insightful prediction as it's pretty obvious and who knows what that compat tool really does. Might really be a Windows-only thing as already pointed out.

My another idea is that Valve could start their own porting division using Wine+DXVK, like Virtual Programming do with their library. They might even do it "for free" because they already get their share from each sale, so they only need a developer's permission. The main point is these ports would be supported, i.e. tested and QA'd. Not just a button to install Wine and overrides automatically. This might be a good way to bring Bethesda and Ubisoft's games to Linux among others. For now those comments suggest the compat tool is a not reviewed feature and may or may not work for the particular user. I think this is going to change in, say, 2019.

Talking point: Leaving user reviews for Linux games can really help a developer
10 August 2018 at 5:32 pm UTC Likes: 9

I wish Steam allowed to leave reviews in multiple languages. I wouldn't mind translating my reviews to English to increase coverage but I can only choose one language and write a single review. I stick to Russian as most of my Steam friends are Russians and Steam usually shows the reviews in your own language by default. For niche games with not so many reviews the language separation makes it all look even more sad.

Talking point: Leaving user reviews for Linux games can really help a developer
9 August 2018 at 8:30 pm UTC Likes: 8

I want to add that it's not enough to just leave a review. It must be at least mildly interesting, informative and not short. I often see useless reviews like "good game, must buy" or some not so funny jokes (instead of a review) that still get many thumbs up. Don't be those guys, please. When I write a review I always ask myself: what would I like to know about this game that will make me buy it? Something not mentioned on the store page, something unique about this exact game. Why should I spend my hard earned money on this title and not on something else?

Sometimes the developer's description is too vague and uninformative. Sometimes to the extent that even watching the gameplay videos doesn't help. But you know that the game is a gem (or at least cool enough), it's just that the developer failed to describe it properly or highlight the unique mechanics the game has. Fix it! Write a review that makes the game look right. You don't need any particular writing skills for that, don't be scared. Just tell people what you liked in this game or something unusual you noticed.

I often write a review if I spent more than 10 hours in the game, that means I've been hooked so the title is worth it. And I help other people get hooked as well. Most of my Steam friends use Windows and that proves that Linux players are important for everyone if they help both developers and players, even on different platforms.

An update on the Linux version of Twilight Struggle, four years after the Kickstarter
9 August 2018 at 1:49 pm UTC

Yeah, KCD refunded the Linux pledges, they did a good damage control like true professionals. I wish they communicated a bit better on that issue but overall I and other Linux backers were satisfied. If you want a bad example of how to deceive the backers, take the latest Carmageddon. No Linux release, no communication, no refunds, nothing. The game is meh anyway so I don't care that much about this fraud.

The Xenko Game Engine recently became free and open source
7 August 2018 at 4:32 pm UTC

ArthurAmazing how people like to drag down other people's work. I think the Linux gaming community has become somewhat spoiled, and don't even appreciate fully free software anymore. It's pretty much all about proprietary engines and games now.
Not exactly that. When people talk about modern/nextgen game engines, they usually put graphics first. Other areas don't improve as fast so it's hard to impress people with audio, input or physics. And I feel that graphics fidelity is improving much slower recently than it was, say, 10 years ago. It's probably in line with the Moore's law so it's not surprising. But these days it's not that uncommon to find an indie game with really good looking graphics, not much worse than that of AAA titles. And FOSS engines are also catching up, they might not be that advanced but they're certainly capable of producing good visuals and have handy editors. I believe it happened exactly because the graphics race slowed down. Good looking games and engines don't belong to AAA monopolies anymore so more criticism is expected. No one says something like "shit, not another FOSS engine, we have enough already!" but it's hard to expect people giving a standing ovation to that in 2018.

The Xenko Game Engine recently became free and open source
6 August 2018 at 4:06 pm UTC Likes: 4

Hmm... each time I see a new game engine I'm basically interested in two things: what games were made on it and how good the graphics are. Xenko is lacking in both departments, unfortunately. I'd expect a showcase on the front page but there's none. And in that demo reel what they call "next level" looks pretty bland. Nothing I haven't seen in 2008 or so. Photorealistic skin rendering? It resembles cheap plastic at best. And, ahem, saying "photorealistic hair and cloth" while showing a completely bald and naked dude... Add C# to that, which, though being used in Unity3D, is still a weird choice as a game development language (for me, of course; I don't trust MS and their products). Maybe it will attract Unity3D switchers though, who knows. Other features are nothing outstanding as well.

I'm not trying to diminish their achievements and I fully understand how complex the modern game engines are and how much time one needs to make something like that from scratch. It's just that the competition in this particular IT field is quite strong and UE4 made it really uneven after going opensource (though not free) and forcing some of the other major engines to do the same. Now it's almost pointless to make a completely new AAA-quality engine if you can take UE4 or Unity and do whatever you want with it. Except you're a huge company making the next huge game with 9-digits budget, maybe then an in-house engine would be worth it (because of no royalties and license limitations).

I can only guess but probably they freed (read: abandoned) Xenko because they didn't have enough resources to compete with the leaders. And if you want an MIT engine with all the modern features, you might want to check out Godot.

Facepunch are no longer selling the Linux version of the survival game Rust (updated)
27 July 2018 at 4:17 pm UTC Likes: 12

I wonder if they are actually allowed to remove the platform support. It would mean that their customers are left without the product they paid them for. So that in turn would mean either a bunch of refunds or legal issues. Considering that Rust is a multiplayer-only game, stopping updating the game would mean roughly the same — the existing Linux players wouldn't be able to play anymore.

This statement must be clarified.

Stack Gun Heroes gives you a gun that can be modded during combat, superpowers and lots of explosions
19 July 2018 at 9:27 am UTC Likes: 3

Quoteguns that shoot guns
Instantly remembered that gun from Borderlands 2 DLC "Assault on Dragon Keep". It didn't shoot guns but the idea is similar (don't want to spoil it for those who didn't play that brilliant DLC).

And wow, man, the FOV is straight from the competitive Q3. Base building is surprising, it's not something you're likely to see in such games, neither it's shown in the trailer. Graphics are pretty basic but gameplay-wise this might be a lot of fun.

Some thoughts on Warhammer 40,000: Gladius - Relics of War
18 July 2018 at 1:36 pm UTC Likes: 1

It's a good game, I was a beta-tester in their closed beta stage. I reported several Linux-specific bugs that prevented the game from launching (missing libraries mostly) and it was fixed quite fast so I'm happy with their Linux support. My main complaint is still the GUI, seems that some people also noticed that (it's mentioned in the reviews). It's extremely basic and doesn't have any style unlike in other WH40k games. I genuinely thought it was just a draft for the beta but unfortunately it was final.

Other than that, it's a bit similar to Pandora (a great game from the same studio) with many changes like equipment, heroes, several weapons on the same unit, completely different building system (even different among factions), elevations on the map and so on. Enough to say that it's a different game and not a reskin like it was with Civ:BE. It's hard to say what the game lacks exactly, diplomacy is not that important. I hope they'll continue to polish it and add new factions. Some people complained about the lack of faction squad names to roleplay better, I personally don't care.

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