Gaming on Linux
Bad news first: Psynoix’s Rocket League will not be out for Linux this year after all. Earlier this month the community manager for Rocket League, username Dirkened, said the game would be released for Linux before the end of December. However, since then Psynoix CEO Dave Hagewood told a fan of the game in an email that there will be a delay but it will still be coming out. A Valve representative with the reddit username Plagman issued an apology to the community on behalf of Psyonix, taking the blame for the delay:
I want to clarify that this is entirely on us, not Psyonix; we were really trying to help them get this out as close as possible to the Steam Controller launch but ran into a series of unforeseen problems along the road. We’re working to get this resolved as fast as possible and are very sorry you didn’t get to play it on Steam for Linux this year, as we were initially confident that this would be the case but unfortunately missed our target.
On a more positive note, an open-source Age of Empires II engine is in the making. Openage will be native to Linux and run using AoE’s assets. The engine is being rewritten from scratch to be an exact source port with less bugs and more features. Unfortunately, according to the project’s gitHub page, this version will not be network compatible with the original version. Build and install instructions, current features , and a link to the code can be found on the project’s website.
More good news: AMD will soon be embracing open source with a new set of gaming tools. Until now, Nvidia’s proprietary GameWorks tools have had the lead over AMD in PC gaming. To counter this, on December 15, AMD announced GPUOpen. The suite will contain open source tools, graphics effects, libraries and SDKs and promises to be a boon to game developers.
According to WCCFtech, GPUOpen will allow completely unrestricted access to the drivers, and will be licensed under the permissive MIT license, meaning developers can add include the libraries in proprietary projects. The project will also open up some previously proprietary libraries, such as TressFX for hair and fur, ShadowFX and and GeometryFX for physics, enabling developers to optimize games for Linux. GPUOpen will be launched in January.
Finally, next month in Pasadena, California, SCALE 14x, North America’s first Linux conference for 2016, kicks off and will again include the UbuCon Summit. Of special interest to gamers will be the UbuCon presentation: Gaming on Ubuntu which will be led by Jorge Castro, the cloud community liason for Canonical/Ubuntu. The presentation is tailored for beginners and will be held January 21-25.
Several gaming topics will be covered, including:
- Gaming in a couch/living room environment with a controller.
- Hardware you should use when building (or buying) a PS4/XBox-equivalent gaming machine.
- Differences between SteamOS and Ubuntu and which is right for you.
- How you can help make the experience better for the community, finding friendly people to game with.
According to Castro: “I’ll be covering howtos on controller support, video card drivers, and everything you need to setup a low maintainance gaming machine, with a little bit of HTPC thrown in for good measure. By the time we’re done you’ll be ready to put your first Linux machine under your television. ”
As a member of the SCALE team, I encourage everybody who can to attend, especially students interested in free and open source software and FOSS gaming. Registration is cheap, and there’s a 50% discount for students and school faculty — just use the discount code “STDNT” (without the quotes of course) at registration. I will be attending the expo as well, and will be reporting on any important news discussed by the panel.
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Hunter Banks has been a part of the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE) Family for the past 13 years. When not writing about open source gaming, he’s working on creating his own games. Follow him on Twitter @SilvrChariot