Gaming on Linux
Hopefully, everyone who was able to attend enjoyed SCALE 14x this past weekend, especially the Game Night which went off without a hitch, thanks to the SCALE staff and the efforts of a certain FOSS Force gaming writer. There were a few presenters with interesting Gaming information, and others with plans later down the pipeline that can be expanded upon later
To start the conference off on Thursday morning, Jorge Castro gave a speech regarding “Gaming on Ubuntu” as part of UbuCon. In only 15 minutes he was able to deliver a State of the Union address on gaming on Linux distros, particularly Ubuntu. He covered the pros and cons, and talked about Steam and Linux getting next gen titles. Most helpful was a reference to multiple Personal Package Archives for the Linux gamer for controllers and new drivers, as well as the proper hardware to use to complement Linux gaming. This was followed by a presentation by Didiers Roche discussing Ubuntu Make, a command line tool for developers of many kinds.
Kodi, the open source media streaming service will be adding game streaming via Steam Link. This was made possible after Valve released the Steam Link SDK, and with community help developers are hard at work getting Kodi’s software on the device. Bugs are still being worked out right now, so for the latest stable release check the SteamOS-Tools page on GitHub.
Last but not least for SCALE related news: Thanks to the efforts of Jill Bryant Ryniker of LinuxChix, we not only have a guide for a Linux gaming rig for around $400 but also added instructions on running games with multi-monitor support. In a flyer provided at the conference, users were given the steps to set up and edit preferences to run Unity-made games (which many Linux games are) with proper resolution on a 3 monitor display. This will also work with Valve or Unreal games with minor changes to the instructions. For more information check the LinuxChix website, where Jill plans to post her findings, as well as information about a low budget gaming rig within the week.
In other conference news, the Game Developers Conference is happening in March at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. AMD has announced they will be at the conference, discussing their Vulkan drivers, their experiences working in open source and support. Last year conference also added a few Linux titles, including some AAA games. Most noteworthy was GRID Autosport, one of few racing games available on Linux. No details yet about Linux titles at the upcoming conference, but updates will be sure to come soon.
Finally, as of a week ago Steam on Linux has surpassed 1,800 native games with no end in sight. Though fan favorite titles like Saints Row and Medieval Total War have been added, Linux market share on Steam still remains at around one percent. For a brief period that number rose, but dropped again, likely due to a slowdown in titles released over the last two months. Still, with such games as XCOM 2, Street Fighter V, Payday 2 and Dying Light — and likely Rocket League — all slated for release next month, the odds of another market increase are good.
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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