Check out our Monthly Survey Page to see what our users are running.
Latest Comments by mcphail
GOG have a 'Grand RPG Sale' going on with tons of good games going cheap
27 July 2020 at 4:14 pm UTC Likes: 1

I just finished the Tyrants of the Moonsea DLC for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition at the weekend. It was the best RPG I've played since Pillars of Eternity. There's no getting away from the fact that the underlying engine is frustratingly clunky (and Beamdog seem to have abandoned their promises to improve it) but it was a fun ride to the Epic levels. Base game and DLC for under 8 quid is worth checking out, in my opinion.

Beyond a Steel Sky to release for Linux PC during July
29 June 2020 at 3:40 pm UTC

Slightly excited about this, but the minimum system requirements are beyond the capabilities of my potato. Maybe it is time to upgrade if I can't even run an adventure game!

Morrowind lives on with a major new OpenMW release out
15 June 2020 at 12:58 pm UTC

Brilliant! I've been checking their site on a weekly basis waiting for this release. It is a spectacular piece of work.

Crusader Kings III launches for Linux on September 1
15 May 2020 at 8:51 am UTC

Quoting: TheSHEEEPAnd don't even get me started on the hoops you have to jump through just to not have your realm fall apart if you are stuck with Gavelkind.
On one hand, they want it to be historically accurate, but on the other hand, all that leads to is you killing off all your sons after the first (or killing off your spouse after the first son). Pretty dark comedy, there...

For me, wrestling gavelkind is the whole core of the game! Without it, CK2 just becomes a slow-paced map painter. There are several mechanics in there to help direct succession without resorting to murder but the whole fun of the experience is that they're difficult, slow and brittle. Very much like the historical situation. I think this is why I prefer CK2 to EU. I hope CK3 keeps its own identity in this way.

dosbox-staging, a 'soft' forking of DOSBox to work on advanced features has a first release
9 May 2020 at 8:00 am UTC

Alan Pope has released a snap version. Worth trying out if you don't want the hassle of compiling.

The Linux 'Desktop Entry Specification' gets a way to automatically use a discrete GPU, merged into GNOME
6 May 2020 at 10:30 pm UTC Likes: 2

I package a few games. I'm not sure whether to add this to the .desktop files. Would it be seen as user-hostile if I was making this default decision for users? Most of the games I package would run satisfactorily on integrated graphics but might be better on a dedicated gpu.

dosbox-staging, a 'soft' forking of DOSBox to work on advanced features has a first release
6 May 2020 at 10:21 pm UTC Likes: 3

I've been bundling this as my dosbox-of-choice for my snapped games for a while. It is a huge improvement over the upstream project, most significantly from the switch to sdl2. All the issues with broken multiple monitor setups and resolution switching have resolved. It is a real pity that forks have become necessary to support modern requirements but I suppose it means we still have the older project to support older hardware, where there isn't sdl2 support.

Distro News - Ubuntu 20.04 'Focal Fossa', Ubuntu MATE and other flavours released
24 April 2020 at 9:07 am UTC Likes: 9

I like snaps. They're convenient to install, use and create. There are still a lot of problems with the confinement, performance and ecosystem but these are improving. Canonical know, from their own survey, that about one third of users are positive about snaps, one third neutral and one third negative. If you follow the forums and IRC channels you'll find they are trying hard to improve things.

Thousands of people run the snaps I've packaged, including games like Wolfendoom: Blade of Agony, Quake Shareware and Tales of Maj'Eyal. Some people love them, some people hate them. Some of the hatred comes from my incompetence in packaging and some comes from flaws in snap technology. But we're all learning and trying to improve. This is a community, after all.

Upgrading to 20.04 will break some games (such as those linking to older versions of libssl) and Steam Controller users may be dismayed to find that sc-controller no longer runs. This is because of the deprecation of python2: something Canonical has no control over. I'm working on an sc-controller snap which will allow it to run on 20.04. It requires a bit of new plumbing to come to snapd before it will be ready to use, but the snapd guys are working on this. As I said, this is a community.

Being a community, it would be nice if we could be kind and respectful to each other. Ubuntu (and its flavours and its remixes) offers plenty of scope to run without snaps. It offers plenty of scope to use PPAs, Appimages and Flatpaks. Maybe the whole snap experiment will be abandoned further down the line but that will be dependent on what the community wants. Canonical are asking them and are being transparent about the results. Is that worth the anger? Let's enjoy what has been created, uninstall whatever annoys us and thank our respective $DEITYs that we have the freedom to do so.

Distro News - Ubuntu 20.04 'Focal Fossa', Ubuntu MATE and other flavours released
23 April 2020 at 7:59 pm UTC Likes: 3

I'm running Ubuntu Mate 20.04 on several machines and Ubuntu Server 20.04 on a raspberry pi and a VPS. It is a super release and I can't thank Martin Wimpress and the team highly enough.

Google has opened up their Stadia game streaming service, two months free Pro too
8 April 2020 at 6:38 pm UTC Likes: 3

If nothing else, it has allowed me to confirm that my internet connection is too poor to play this. Yay for free trials :)