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Latest Comments by Dunc
The Linux-powered Ataribox Joystick has been revealed, looks delightfully retro and rather stylish
28 November 2017 at 3:49 pm UTC

ColomboWould be fun if Ataribox was sneaky Steambox, where Valve is trying a bit different concept of Steambox, with specific brand image and specific target group.
My impression is that that's what it is, regardless of Valve's active support. I just hope they have the sense to recognise that themselves and put their weight behind it.

The Linux-powered Ataribox Joystick has been revealed, looks delightfully retro and rather stylish
27 November 2017 at 3:30 pm UTC Likes: 2

It looks nice, evoking the old VCS stick in the same way the Box does the console, but I'm not convinced it'll be a good controller. The original one was terrible. (Seriously, even back in the day I hated it.) I'm sure there'll be support for other controllers, but they really should design a more traditional gamepad if it's going to be more than a retrogaming device.

The Talos Principle VR is now live with a discount for owners of the original
19 October 2017 at 4:42 pm UTC

Honestly, even if I had a VR setup I'm not sure I'd be tempted, despite the discount. It's a great game, but there isn't much replay value after you've completed it once. Mind you, going on the performance of the “flat” version, I'd expect Croteam's engine to be excellent for VR though. With Vulkan, it absolutely flies on my relatively modest AMD Bulldozer/NVidia 750 rig (well over 100fps) while still managing to look beautiful. And the three-dimensional nature of some of the puzzles will probably work really well.

I'd like to try it in VR (I can think of some levels in particular that would be fun just to walk around in); I just don't think I'd want to pay for it.

What have you been playing and what do you think?
9 October 2017 at 9:05 pm UTC

iiariSpeedball 2 (Amiga)
The Rocket League before Rocket League. Addictive as all get out. You're completely convinced you can master it until you can't.
The only game I've ever broken a sweat playing. Sheer, absolute, videogaming perfection. The remake didn't do it justice.

Can't get into Rocket League, though. I'm sure it's just me, not the game.

slaapliedjeWhen I first saw Rocket League all I could think of was Ballblazer on the Atari 8bit / 5200.
Heheh! Me too, although I played it on the C64. And, um... I prefer it. (I know; like I said, I'm sure it's just me.)

STiATMount&Blade Warband, since they fixed some bugs in Mesa/LLVM...
They did what? I thought they'd given up. Have they fixed the memory leak yet? I have a 300-day save that's completely unplayable because of that. I'd love to get back into that game.

pcavalcanti(I)t generates fun stories and twists that only Paradox games manage.
That's what I liked about Crusader Kings II. You start off thinking it's a deep strategy game, and slowly come to realise it's actually a procedural story generator.

What have you been playing and what do you think?
8 October 2017 at 3:57 pm UTC

I have Rust (got it in some bundle or other), but the multiplayer-only thing is a deal-breaker for me.

Anyway, myself: Helium Rain, after your recommendation actually. Very nice, very good-looking, but maybe still a bit empty. That said, I haven't really got into the factional combat side of it, so perhaps I'm judging it prematurely.

Planet Nomads. Another game I saw here and thought would be right up my alley. Which it is. I'm loving the regular weekly update schedule, too. It shows the devs are properly committed, and gives you a new reason to play every Thursday.

Speaking of weekly, I'm still plugging away at Grid: Autosport's weekly challenges. I've never quite made it to #1, but I'm still quite proud of the occasional top 1% using a controller with all the driver aids off.

And, unusually for me, that's about it. Mainly because for the last couple of weeks I've mostly been “playing” with the Godot engine, trying to learn the ropes by recreating the first level of Manic Miner (of all things). It's going... surprisingly well, given my long (long, loooong) history of abandoned projects. If rather slowly. But I already have a few ideas floating around my head for what to tackle next. Stuff I might actually release (don't hold your breath)...

The latest Steam Hardware Survey shows Linux market-share has declined again
2 October 2017 at 11:13 pm UTC Likes: 5

peterp771I wonder how much Chinese users, many of whom use pirated Windows software, contribute to these numbers. It would be interesting to see a regional breakdown.
As Leopard says too, that's actually a really good point. Steam's currently exploding in popularity in China, and they're pretty much all on Windows.

But it's interesting that on the one hand we have the Netmarketshare story (even if it's not quite as earth-shattering as it first seemed), and on the other we have this. I think it just reflects the poor state of the Linux gaming market. Overall we're on the rise, but gaming is still difficult. Don't get me wrong; it's infinitely better than it was just three or four years ago, but there are still plenty of major developers who won't even look at Linux. We're nowhere near the stage where it's simply expected that a newly-announced game will be on Linux, and unusual if it isn't. Until that changes, it'll be an uphill battle to persuade gamers to switch. Maybe Atari will give us another boost, like Valve did.

But if the big games stop coming to Linux, I stop playing the big games. It's as simple as that.

Atari are launching a new gaming system, the 'Ataribox' and it runs Linux
2 October 2017 at 12:22 am UTC

Oh, I'd almost forgotten about Amithlon. That brings back some memories. (Never got a chance to try it, though.) But, from what I remember, it was really a heavily optimized UAE running on a stripped-down distro with the (very cool) capability to run x86 code transparently from the emulated Amiga for extra grunt. Really nice idea, and it could've been a contender if Amiga Inc. hadn't put their foot down, but what I was talking about was actually, for about six months, Amiga Inc.'s own official Plan for the Future, to develop an Amiga-like DE from scratch on top of Linux. I don't think there's any connection between the two. In fact, I can't help thinking that the reason they put a stop to Amithlon was that it was too similar to the “Amiga DE” (I'm sure that's what they called it), but not similar enough to be useful to the project.

I remember some people dismissed it as just an “Amiga window manager”, and I didn't know enough about Linux at the time to argue, but looking back there was clearly more to it, and it really was incredibly similar to OSX in its basic concept: new, but familiar, APIs and UIs on top of a totally different kernel, with transparent emulation for legacy apps. I don't think it was going to use X11, for example, but I can't remember. And now that I come to think of it, I can't actually recall whether it was to be x86 or PPC either. Or something else entirely. I don't think they knew themselves.

Atari are launching a new gaming system, the 'Ataribox' and it runs Linux
1 October 2017 at 12:47 pm UTC Likes: 1

slaapliedjeOnly problem with that logic is that Commodore and Amiga never really made Video Games, only hardware and all of their patents / IP have been completely plundered.

Commodore went under over 20 years ago; its patents have long since expired. I agree about the “plundering” of the IP, though. As an Amiga guy, I never had much love for Commodore itself, but it's been sad to see both brands dragged through the mud.

Interestingly, the last credible plan I remember for Amiga (I've never counted the current proprietary PowerPC-based OS4 as “credible”) was an Amiga-like environment - Workbench, public screens, Datatypes, userspace filesystems, user-feedback-tuned scheduling, etc. - on the Linux kernel. This was a good five years before Apple put a Mac frontend on Mach/BSD, and about a decade before Android. It would have been more like the former than the latter, since I don't recall any talk of the Amiga parts being open source, but given the success of Android and the USP of some of those Amiga features, in retrospect I can't help thinking that it might have had a chance. I don't think it ever went beyond the presentation stage.

Atari are launching a new gaming system, the 'Ataribox' and it runs Linux
26 September 2017 at 12:18 pm UTC

Heh. I thought it might.

To be fair, I half-expected it to be a SteamOS device, but it's interesting that they're saying (effectively) that Steam will be possible. I think that actually fits well with Valve's Linux strategy, even if it's not exactly what they planned themselves. This sort of thing, in fact, is more what I expected right back at the start than their explicitly-branded “Steam Machines”.

JajcusIt have been decades since anything under the „Atari” trademark really succeeded and there were many attempts. I would like to believe, but I have no hope left for them.
I know what you mean, and I won't deny that it does have a bit of the air of those doomed-to-failure projects like Ouya and Nuon, but I can see this one succeeding. Atari might have been out of the hardware business for a long time (and some would say the renamed Infogrames isn't really Atari anyway), but they aren't nobody. There will (should) be some really big titles on this thing.

It could go either way.

Minecraft: Story Mode for Linux never got released, even though it was “ready”
5 September 2017 at 3:00 pm UTC

Sir_DiealotIt seems telltale just buy the rights to big IPs and create very boring games around that. I've watched someone play their version "Game of Thrones". It was incredibly hard to stay awake.
The only two I've played are the first episode of Tales from the Borderlands, which I quite enjoyed, and The Walking Dead, which I have in its entirety on the XBox 360 (thanks to Games With Gold, as far as I recall). I played through most of the first episode and got bored with it.

So it depends on the game. And, although I can give more traditional games a chance regardless of the theme - I'm not into the whole faux-medieval, cod-Tolkein thing at all, but thorougly enjoy the Elder Scrolls series, for example - I think, given Telltale's heavy narrative bias, it strongly depends on the story/franchise too. If that isn't engaging, there isn't a whole lot of gameplay to prop it up and keep you interested. They stand or fall on the plot, writing, and acting. Now I know TWD is a hugely popular series, but it's not something I've ever felt the urge to watch, while, although I realise it's hardly Great Art, I already know and like the Borderlands universe.

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