Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings available for Linux & SteamOS

After the leak of Linux files on SteamDB last March, the Witcher 2 has officially hit Linux. The Witcher 2: Assassins of King is now available for purchase and download to Linux via Steam and also on the SteamOS.

The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings is a gritty action role-playing game developed by CD Projekt Red that heavily focuses on the game molding itself based on the user’s choice while interacting with the game world. The game has won multiple awards and accolades and is said to have shipped more than 1.7 million units in May 2012 alone. The game was praised for its graphics too, which is also capable of bringing the most powerful GPUs to their knees.

To celebrate the launch, the game is available on Steam for an 80% discount.

The requirement of the Witcher 2 on Linux is as follows:

v  Minimum:

  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: GeForce 9800 GT 512MB (1280×720, low), Radeon graphics cards are not supported, Intel integrated graphics chipsets are not supported
  • Hard Drive: 25 GB HD space

v  Recommended:

  • Processor: Quad Core Intel
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: GeForce GT 640 1GB (1440×900, medium)
    • Hard Drive: 25 GB HD space

The first thing that comes to mind with the requirements is the exclusivity of only NVidia cards. This is apparently due to the fact that the Linux version of the WItcher 2 isn’t a true native port, but rather a wrapper implemented port from the Windows version. The Linux version of the Witcher 2 uses eON wrapper by Virtual Programming. The eON wrapper, much like Wine, is a “fully native implementation of essential Windows technologies (such as Direct3D)”, thus making it more efficient than Wine. But in reality, the performance boost can only be seen when using NVidia cards only. Even then, the game performs well only with people having the binary drivers. This move by CD Projekt has enraged many fans on Linux and has sparked many complaints. Instead of hurriedly pushing the game out to Linux, they could have at least waited till they were ready to make a native port. Or even if they were to use wrapper technology, they could have at least resolved the driver issues and the problem of only supporting one brand of graphics card.

This move really does cast a cloud of doubt on the Linux availability of their upcoming games.

Source: Web Upd8

Wasteland 2 confirmed to be released by the end of August, 2014

Wasteland 2 has been an ambitious project that has been in the making for over two decades, for Brian Fargo, the developer of the previous Wasteland. And now that dream of his is right around the corner of being fulfilled. In an update on the Kickstarter campaign page, inXile Entertainment has finally announced the final shipping date for Wasteland 2, the end of August of this year. And yeah, they will ship the Linux version simultaneously with the other versions too.

In the post on the Kickstarter campaign page, Brian Fargo says, “We are very happy to announce the ship date for Wasteland 2: the game will be coming to you at the end of August of this year! Before saying anything else, I want to first and foremost again thank you, our backers. Without you I’d never be where I am today, just a few months removed from finally releasing the game I’ve been wanting to make for 25 years.”

“What we’re releasing is a game of much greater scope than we ever dreamed of when starting our Kickstarter. More features, more areas, more reactivity, more words, all thanks to you for funding our game and for giving us the time needed to finish it. My goal has been to over deliver on your expectations for Wasteland 2,”

They have been hinting at a nearing release day for the game for some time now. There are a lot of people too who have been waiting for the game. In the last update, the development team said that they were in the last stages of optimizations, adding contents and removing bugs phase, so such a close release isn’t really a big surprise, but is after all a relief for all the fans waiting patiently for the game. They also released a major update for the game, which is in Beta phase that completes the entire set of maps for Arizona, which is said to be half the entire game. In addition to that many new features has been implemented, along with newer difficulty levels and a new HUD design based on the feedback from the community. For a complete list of changes you can look up the changelog here.

Source: Kickstarter

Games released on Steam in 2014 already surpasses games released in all of 2013

Ever had those times when you didn’t have any games left to play? The gaming blues as we gamer folks like to say it. Well, if you had or are having it now all you have to do is to turn to Steam to blow it all away. According to an analysis report by Gamasutra, Steam has seen more game released in the last 20 weeks than it has released in all of 2013!

The large influx of games in 2014 on Steam is something that is credited partly to Steam’s Green Light feature that allows the community to elect a game to be published on Steam. In fact only recently there were as high as 75 games released on Steam in a single day too! The trend, as analyzed by Gamasutra in their graphs, has grown exponentially and judging from the recent trends of May, it seems that it will continue down that part.

This trend however has both pros and cons. The pros of this trend being that indie developers now have a definitive platform where they can independently showcase their ideas without having to go through the hoops related to publishers. And since is a community driven process, the developers have a minimalistic quality level to take care of too which is again reinforced by the competition.

However, the con of this system lies in the sheer number of games being released each day. As more and more games are released every day, their time on the front page is getting diminished; as such developers can’t showcase their games for longer than 24 hours at max. This is a big problem, which was the reason the concept of publishers came in the first place. There are a lot of indie games that are perhaps never seen by people and subsequently never played as it get buried under the big number of releases on Green Light every day.

Valve has however announced that the days of Green Light are numbered and will be removed entirely to make way for an even more open self-publishing system. Although nothing has been announced officially, nor said definitively by Valve, the new system will allow anyone to publish their game with the users of Steam acting as the curators. The developers can also host their own web-based Steam web-front.

Whatever it is Valve implements, one thing is for sure, indie developers will be given more freedom in releasing their game more effortlessly. Along with that they will be facing a tougher competition as the sheer number of games released reduces the exposure time each game gets drastically.

Source: Gamasutra

Unreal Engine 4.2 feature preview shows inclusion of Vehicles & Camera Animations

Following hot on the foot of the last update to the Unreal Engine, the update version 4.1, Epic is now gearing up for the next version of the Unreal Engine, version 4.2. A new blog post has been put up on the official Unreal Engine website previewing the various features of the latest update to the engine. The major update to this version is perhaps the inclusion of Vehicles, Camera Animations & tighter integration to Blueprints, along with other little features and tweaks & bug fixes common to new versions.

The latest version of the Unreal Engine 4 now fully supports Vehicles. The new version will support 4WD, FWD & RWD drive train out of the box, with as many numbers of wheels as you desire. The default number of wheels is set to four. You can even set up as many gears as you want and even choose between Automatic and semi-Automatic transmission of the gears. All of these features are completely exposed to Blueprints too. In order to celebrate these features Epic has included a demo of an off-road racer, which is available for free from the Marketplace. A simple vehicle template will also be included with version 4.2 to jumpstart your vehicle related projects.

Next on the list is the Camera Animations. This is a feature that is very similar to the one found in Unreal Engine 3, only it is much more expanded with Blueprints support. With CameraAnim, you can layer animations onto the in-game camera, thus animating the camera position and rotation, FOV, and post process settings. The CameraAnims can be created in the Content Browser, you can convert a track in Matinee to one, or you can import keyframes from external tools like Maya.

Along with these, there are a ton of features being added to this new version. For an in-depth look, you can visit here.

Also, this build heavily uses code contributed by the community as can be seen by the credit roll that begins the blog post. This just shows that opening up the source code can expedite the development process by a huge margin.

Source: Unreal Blog

Jagged Alliance Flashback confirmed for Linux

Jagged Alliance Flashback has just been confirmed for a Linux version. As mentioned in a post on the Steam Community boards, the developers are working on getting a stable Linux version out to the community to try.

“We are serious about the Linux version, and it will be up within days! We simply ran into some bug that had to be fixed vs. getting Linux set up as export. Takes a little while even with Unity.”

Jagged Alliance Flashback had just entered Steam’s Early Access and the promise by the developers for a Linux version to be “up within days” is quite exciting news, especially for fans of the series who were disappointed with the last game, Jagged Alliance: Back in Action.

Flashback, unlike the previous game Back in Action, is an attempt to reset the game franchise to what made it famous, pure tactical turn based enjoyment. Flashback includes a deep and engaging turn based tactics role playing game enhanced by new features. It includes a cover system that makes the tactics run even deeper and become even more engaging. Also, included in Flashback is a true line of sight calculation mechanic that makes enemies react more naturally while making you device tactics more realistically. Other deeper enhancements to the combat system have been promised by the developers over the phase of Early Access.

The Early Access version of the game has a small island that the players can explore and conquer along with a few dialogues and quests. The game also comes with an editor that allows players to make their own maps and mods and share it among themselves.

The game secured its Kickstarter funding in the May of last year and is slated to be released later this year.

Source: Steam Community

The Next Generation Road Rash: Road Redemption!

Any gamer who has played a racing game in the 90s are bound to have spent at least a bit of their gaming time playing Road Rash. With many older games getting HD remakes and new releases, it was high time this bundle of pure fun had a re-release too. Now it seems that the Gaming Gods have answered that prayer in the form of Road Redemption, a bike racer very similar to Road Rash.

According to the website, which just put out a 90 second video of the game, the game is almost ready. The trailer, apart from making the internet go gaga over it, made go and dig up a copy of Road Rash and have stroll down the memory lane of the wonderful era of gaming. The developers didn’t mention that the game is the successor to Road Rash, probably because EA was the publisher of the original and it could cause some licensing issues, but the game seems to be heavily inspired by it.

The game is choke full of all things Road Rash, from oncoming traffic and bi-lane racing to even coppers chasing you for speeding. The police even ride those big white bikes! And before you ask, yes! There is a combat system! You can beat the pulp out of your opponent as well as the police chasing you. Not only that, but like the original Road Rash, you can even steal your opponents weapons. In addition, there are a variety of weapons that you can buy, including timed bombs that you can lay on the road to blow up your fellow racers, the police or even traffic to create an instant obstacle. The game even has a weather system.

The game is currently in alpha, available for $33.99. The game has been greenlit by the Steam Community so a Steam version is imminent. The game works on Windows only at present, but the developers have promised that they will release a Linux version too. They have mentioned on their website that they are hard at work on the other versions too, so a Linux version just might come our way even before the launch! According to the developers, the final release will have the following features (which really got me excited for the game!):

  • Take your gang on an epic journey across the United States
  • Seamless, procedurally generated world, that’s different every time you play
  • Tons of weapons including swords, chains, cattle prods, grenades, shotguns, and many many more
  • Earn money, new gear, and equipment to improve your character
  • Battle enemy gangs, cops, and the military, all with state of the art AI
  • Local splitscreen and online multiplayer play

I especially like the procedurally generated part and the multiplayer. I have so always wanted to bash my friend while I rode my superbike in the original Road Rash. Now if only they would show if I can run and cross the finish line, the most iconic thing we could in Road Rash, ahhh….memories!

Source: Road Redemption Official Website

Kingdom Come: Deliverance campaigning for professional voice actors, pushing towards $2 million stretch goal

Kingdom Come: Deliverance was the first officially announced game that was based on Cry Engine and is going to have a Linux release. The game is a Kickstarter project which wowed the world by going over the target goal $503,730 in just a month and ending up securing a total funding of $1.82 million. Now the developers are hoping to get enough funding to cross off their final stretch goal of getting professional voice actors for the game. The stretch goal is set at $2 million.

We raised over £1.1 million (US$1.82 million) within one month and the response from gamers and media was awesome.

The game was saved and overnight it grew to be one of the most expected projects. We can hardly expressed how we felt after months of desperation. Now we are independent of publishers, funded by private investors and our fans. This gives us creative freedom to make the best game we can. If you like what we do, please support our game. In exchange you will get a chance to influence its design and play an early access version.

Although the Kickstarter campaign period has ended, the developers are continuing the campaign through their own website, allowing both new backers and existing backers to pledge their support for the game and in the process be upgraded to the new tier of backer rewards. The goal of this last stretch goal is to hire professional voice actors for both voiceovers and performance capture. They intend to increase the immersion of the game with this last stretch goal and thus make this a game that will truly stand out among the already crowded field of Role Playing Games.

Having seen the innovation that they have put in the AI system of this game, I am really excited as to how this game turns out to be.

Source: Kickstarter

Humble Daily Bundle from Outer Space: For all your Space faring dreams!

First, there was the Humble Bundle, and then came the Humble Weekly Bundle and then there was the Humble Store, to make our wallets cry. And now, seemingly to make all of our savings vanish in one button click, we now have a Daily Humble Bundle sale. Like the name, these are normal humble bundle with average tiers and a pre-specified tier, but running for only 24 hours. This is kind of like a flash sale, similar to Steam’s sale and so will run for a limited time of two weeks with new bundles every day.

Today’s bundle is named Humble Daily Bundle from Outer Space, and as suggested by its namesake, it a bundle featuring space based games. The bundle consists of three games, not the highest number in its history, but it carries three of the best space simulations available today. The games are Freelancer like  X3: Terran Conflict, the wonderful Space Physics simulator Universe Sandbox and Kinetic Void, which is basically a mixture of the above two games.

X3 is available for anyone paying more than a dollar, while Universe Sandbox is for those that beat the average, which is $4.26 at the time of writing this article. The last game, which also happens to be an Early Access game, is available for anyone paying more than $10. All three games unlock on Steam, with X3 and Kinetic Void having a Linux version. The sale runs for another 14 hours so better grab ‘em before they disappear.

The games:

  • X3: Terran Conflict: X3: Terran Conflict includes new plot lines, missions, spaceships, and more! You’ll also be introduced to a new race, the Terrans, who inhabit Earth. Soar through a stunning intergalactic universe, engage in colossal space battles, and insert yourself directly into the economy by running your own trading stations. In this open-ended sandbox game, you can choose to undertake campaigns or forge your own way.
  • Universe Sandbox: Harness the power to create black holes, collide galaxies, and manipulate gravity with just a few clicks. Inspired by the software astronomers use to unlock the mysteries of our universe, never before has astronomy been so interactive or so much fun. Spawn a massive moon to tear apart Saturn’s rings or launch a rogue star to rip the planets from their orbits around our sun. After unleashing catastrophic destruction, create your own solar system and share it with friends.
  • Kinetic Void (Early Access): Kinetic Void (Early Access Game) is a Ship Building Space Adventure game.  It allows users to experience the creativity of building their own vessel and use it to explore the vastness of space, whether it be simple exploration or wreaking havoc and waging war with enemies.  Players may create their own procedurally generated galaxies, specifying the name of the galaxy, number of factions (NPCs both friendly and hostile) and number of Star Systems (explorable areas) as well as whether they are given creative freedom in their ship design, or a more challenging career mode providing fewer initial pieces.  Next, they build their ships and launch into space.  Finally, once launched, the player may begin looking for missions to accept, enemies to fight,  and galaxies to explore.  Kinetic Void is part of Steam’s Early Access program and is constantly being updated.

Source: Humble Daily Bundle

Killing Floor 2 confirmed for SteamOS & Steam via Steam Early Access

If splaying brains and splattering blood on the walls and streets is your definition of fun, then you are in for a load of fun. Tripwire Interactive announced that they will be bringing Killing Floor 2, the sequel to the gory filled Killing Floor to Steam and SteamOS through Steam’s Early Access program.

Killing Floor 2, is “a simple game”, according to Bill Munk, senior animator and creative director at Tripwire Interactive and co-founder too. Killing Floor 2 is, like its predecessor, a gore filled co-op first person shooting fest. “You have weapons; you see something that looks messed up. And you kill it. You get money for doing it and you buy better weapons. Rinse and repeat. The more enjoyable that small little loop is, the more successful the game is,” according to Munk.

But the game isn’t supposed to be a blunt repeat of the original game, which started its life as a mod for Unreal Tournament 2004. This game boasts of the most complicated gore system ever seen in a game. The game will allow the player to experience gore that is unique every time. According to the team at Tripwire, each and every splattering of the brain, shredding by the bullets will be unique. Not only that, to make the game more realistic, almost all of the parts of the game has been motion captured, including the gun movements and even the melee moves. Even the guns are modeled on real world guns, so there’s plenty of realism outside of the gore filled fun being offered by this game.

A release date has not yet been set, but the confirmation of a SteamOS version adds another gem to the SteamOS’ library as well as to Linux fans’.

Source: Polygon

Cry Engine based Crossing the Line coming to Linux on launch

A new game just announced its support for Linux. A new Cry Engine based First Person Shooter game named “Crossing the Line” is all set up to release for Linux in the second quarter of this year. The game will also be simultaneously available on Windows and the next generation consoles, namely the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The game will be available through Steam.

“Crossing the line” – mystical First-Person Shooter about a man who begins to fight with evil in order to rescue his beloved. The plot of the game is that as a result of the terrorist attack that resulted in the death of a large number of people, at that time the wife of the head of the investigation department of the police died. After this situation, he was dismissed, and this case was closed for unknown reasons. A few years later, he started to see a lot of strange dreams, in one of which he sees the death of his wife and hears her cries for help. Realizing that no one would believe him, he decides to investigate the matter alone and save his beloved in the after world. Pretty intriguing and has quite a bit of promise if executed properly.

The gameplay involves the player shifting between the worlds of the living and the dead, but the shifts aren’t available at the player’s convenience. There are certain actions that the players need to perform in order to make the switch. Additionally, being a living soul in the world of the dead isn’t really healthy for the player, so there are repercussions and hazards in entering the world of the dead. For example, entering the world of the dead hurts the player and repeating it too much could even lead to the player’s death.

The entire game is being developed by a single person. The game is in its early stages of development and so gameplay details will be announced later. This game is an important milestone for the Linux community as it is one of the first few games outside of CryTek that is getting a Linux version at the launch. This just goes on to show that the developers are willing to support Linux as long as they are supported in their effort.

Source: Zomboko