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The Humble Daedalic 15th Anniversary MEGA Game Bundle is now live
21 March 2021 at 5:03 pm UTC

Yeah, would have been great if the whole catalog, especially the Dark Eye games, had official native Linux support

Terraria for Stadia cancelled, due to Google locking the developer out
8 February 2021 at 11:45 am UTC Likes: 1

Quoting: TheSHEEEPE-mail wise, I thankfully host my own (or, well, pay a provider to host it for me)

Yes, and then Google just randomly throws half the mails you send to people with gmail accounts into their spam folder, where the recipients never see them...

Is opening up your source code worth it? Terry Cavanagh thinks it was for VVVVVV
11 January 2021 at 12:02 pm UTC Likes: 15

The problem is that non-commercial clauses are pretty unclear. What exactly is "non-commercial" use? Does having ads on your website where you can download a build count as commercial? This is an age-old problem that has been debated for a long time with the Creative Commons licenses. There's no clear definitions.

For example, in one case, German courts decided that using a CC-BY-NC photo in an article on the website Deutschlandradio, a non-profit German public broadcaster (readable free of charge, no ads, no sponsoring), is commercial use. According to the court, non-commercial solely means personal use, which a broadcaster website is not.

The rest of the license is okay from my lay knowledge, obviously taking inspiration from the BSD licenses.

Epic Games has acquired RAD Game Tools so they now own Bink video and more
8 January 2021 at 2:15 pm UTC Likes: 3

I can't say anything about their original SDK. But I follow RAD Game Tools employees on Twitter and they do take pride in optimizing their code very well, low-level, down to optimal CPU pipeline usage, vectorization, etc.

So yeah, that's probably another good point, yes.

That's also one area where the Bink code in ffmpeg is very likely left way behind, just by the nature of specialized decoder for one format vs. broad framework for all kind of codecs. Even moreso for the code I pulled into xoreos from ffmpeg: for once, my bitstream reader and Huffman decoder is not optimized down to that level for the layout Bink uses and I reorganized a lot of it to be readable (I wanted to understand how it works).

Epic Games has acquired RAD Game Tools so they now own Bink video and more
8 January 2021 at 11:18 am UTC Likes: 19

Quoting: EikeWhy are game makers using Bink video that much, instead of say MPEG-23 (or whatever was/is available at the respective time)?

There's two things that make Bink a prime candidate for video games:

1) The API reportedly very easy and comfortable to use for games. It is, after all, specifically written for games. That alone is already a very good selling point. If you can just drop the library in and hook it up to your rendering code without having to rewrite your own engine, that kind of friction-less support is worth a lot

2) Bink (*) has several optimizations and block types to specifically support videos found in video games. Namely, hard edges you'll find in animated or 3D-rendered graphics. Other general video formats are tuned for real life video captured by a camera, where hard edges and wide stretches of the exact same color are scarce, but gradients and noise that needs to be filtered are frequent

To elaborate point two a bit, you might be familiar with how screenshots, webcomics, etc. shouldn't be saved as JPEGs. The hard edges, also around text, produce artifacts, weird block-like things. That's because JPEG is meant for photographs, not drawings. The same is true for most general video codecs, including the MPEG families.

Of course, newer codecs are more complex with more features, so this isn't that pronounced anymore, but with Bink, drawn and rendered sequences are a main focus, not a distant consideration.


(*) At least Bink 1, which I have read the RE'd ffmpeg sources for. Bink 2 isn't yet in ffmpeg, but it has been RE'd, however I haven't looked at that yet. Too much to do, too little time. But I do expect this point is also true for Bink 2


EDIT: To make it clear, I don't work for RAD nor is this supposed to be an advertisment for them, and they don't pay me. :P

FNA dev and porter Ethan Lee stops future macOS ports, Linux to be their focus
5 January 2021 at 8:52 am UTC Likes: 3

No. "it" is used for things; it's generally considered dehumanizing to use it for people unrequested.

There's one exception: some people do claim "it" for themselves, so when you know that about them, it's fine. Follows the common courtesy of using the name and pronoun people ask you to use for them.

FNA dev and porter Ethan Lee stops future macOS ports, Linux to be their focus
4 January 2021 at 5:13 pm UTC Likes: 5

That's sad. While I personally don't use macOS and sometimes macOS vs Linux is pushed into some kind of rivalry, I'm one of these "radical portability" types. I want more portability, not less.

I mean, I can understand flibit's position here, one person holding down the fort on their own is hard.

QuoteI'll even attempt to build Apple Silicon binaries and support that hardware as well if it seems like it's easy to do without first-hand testing (admittedly a bit lofty to attempt, but considering I'll probably have to support Aarch64 on Linux/Windows soon anyway it doesn't seem crazy).

This is great, though. Supporting more architectures is always a noble goal.

It will also help find some bugs in the code that are hidden by x86 idiosyncrasies, including reordering constraints and memory alignment. Though probably not immediately on current Apple Silicon machines, since they're still able to run x86 binaries through Rosetta 2. I fully expect Apple to remove that feature in the near future, though, this is what they did with the first Rosetta too back then.

Programming puzzler inspired by retro computing Comet 64 releases February 5, 2021
28 December 2020 at 10:56 pm UTC

Btw, there's also http://silverspaceship.com/hovalaag/ . No native Linux version, but it works in Wine.

NIGHT/SHADE is an upcoming 18+ LGBTQ romantic thriller visual novel
15 December 2020 at 2:14 am UTC Likes: 4

Or maybe infiltrate a ruthless crime syndicate to turn it into something better via positive queer relationships? :)

Want a great virtual tabletop for RPGs? Check out Foundry VTT
22 November 2020 at 3:38 pm UTC Likes: 1

Yes, there is a D&D 3.5 module: https://foundryvtt.com/packages/D35E/ . From the same system family, there's also support for Pathfinder 1e and Pathfinder 2e.

The whole list of currently officially (*) support game systems is here: https://foundryvtt.com/packages/systems .

(*) "Officially", really. Foundry itself doesn't support any game systems, those are system modules maintained by other people than the main Foundry development teams. The exception is D&D 5e, because the main Foundry developer uses Foundry for D&D 5e, so he also develops the D&D 5e system module, from what I understand.

Usually, the system modules are FLOSS, too, and take patches, feature requests, etc. One of my players has submitted some bug reports and patches for the Pathfinder 1e system and its German translation.

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