Linux gamers can now neglect sleep and join in on the medieval backstabbing and kingdom building of Crusader Kings II, which recently shot past Skyrim and Civilization V to be my most played game on Steam. It's SteamPlay enabled, so owning it for any platform now unlocks it for PC, Mac, and the new Linux version. The trailer above has been released to celebrate, and to distract you from your sister-in-law slipping poison into your coffee so she can push her punk, bastard son's claim on your realm. You can pay me back for that information later.
With Valve positioning themselves at the forefront of bringing big-name PC titles to Linux, and indies quietly supporting it for ages now, Penguin-enabled gaming must be looking increasingly attractive to developers. Phoronix are reporting that Blizzard are working on an Ubuntu port of one of their games, set to release sometime this year.
Valve's monthly Steam hardware survey/tech-peen comparison chart has been updated to reflect what users have been playing on through December. The big change this month is the emergence of Linux, after the open-source OS went into full public beta at the tail-end of last year.
There's a large penguin on Steam's about page, so either TF2 has got itself a surprising 10th class, or Valve have released Steam's experiments in Linux delivery to the public.
It's the latter (although I really wouldn't put it past the TF2 team). Now anyone can join the Steam Linux beta, simply by clicking the install button from one of the relevant operating systems.
OMG! Ubuntu are reporting that Valve have started listing Linux system requirements on Steam's game pages, possibly hinting that the company is preparing for an official Steam Linux release.
Hopeful applicants of Valve's Linux testing survey have much to rejoice today as a limited-access beta client for Steam's Linux version awaits testing starting today. Valve's official announcement states the studio received over 60,000 entries for its request for testers, and a slowly increasing group of players will receive access to the client going forward.
Earlier this week I had a chat with CD Projekt RED PR Specialist Agnieszka Szóstak and GOG Head of PR & Marketing Trevor Longino. We briefly discussed several topics, including CDP RED's upcoming open-world RPG Cyberpunk 2077, GOG's take on Windows 8 and its new Mac library, as well as some of the piracy issues CDP has been so vocal about in the past. Here are the best responses on those topics.
A Slashdot user has spotted that the beta version of Team Fortress 2 has received a sneaky update, introducing changes which emit the heady and appealing whiff of Linux support.
"Among the modified files are some Linux-related files including a hardware driver compatibility list, optimal graphics settings, and a shell script launcher (previously only for OS X, now with a case for Linux as well)," writes Slashdot submitter spacenet.
A request to developers of popular Linux distro Ubuntu seems to have revealed that Steam for Linux will launch some time this week. OMGUbuntu.co.uk spotted the correspondence, in which Canonical employee BryceH asked for some technical information about the distro citing, "These [details] are needed for the Valve Steam release that happens in a few days."
There’s an update over on Valve’s Linux blog that the Steam for Linux beta is less than five weeks away, and the team reckon they’ll have something to show outsiders running Ubuntu 12.04 or 12.10 by the end of October.
That’s the good news. The bad is that it’ll be restricted to 1,000 users for the first stage of testing.
Last week, Steam users spotted mention of the Linux client in the Steam database records. Now, Linux is an official tag to search by on Steam Greenlight. We all know that Steam for Linux is coming, but it's increasingly likely we'll be seeing it very soon - at least in beta form. To see what kind of games could be available, and ignoring anything people may be porting right now, check this list.
In a move that makes the long rumoured Steam Box look a lot more likely, Valve has started advertising for industrial designers.
The ad - spotted by The Verge yesterday - could just be about finding someone to join an existing team and model prototypes for gravity gun-shaped controllers, but the wording suggests that there are much bigger plans afoot than that.
As if to reinforce all the recent talk that there may be another way for PC gaming, open source steering group Khronos has announced the latest update to OpenGL. Release 4.3 brings the cross platform API more or less up to parity with Direct X 11.1 in terms of what it can and can't do for 3D games, and improves the ability of developers to port code from mobile and browser games to a native client.
The announcement was made yesterday at the graphics industry event SIGGRAPH, and marks 20 years of OpenGL development. At the same time, Khronos also announced updates to its API for browser based 3D games, WebGL, its mobile phone spec OpenGL ES and its GPGPU instruction set, OpenCL.
There’s an update to Valve’s Linux blog today with some performance figures for Left4Dead 2, which will be the first game released with Steam for Linux when it arrives hopefully later this year. Apparently work is coming along on the project in leaps and bounds, with the Linux version of the game actually running faster than under Windows.
A new official blog called Valve Linux has popped up, put together by an 11-strong team of developers on a mission to "strengthen the gaming scene on Linux, both for players and developers. This includes Linux ports of Steam and Valve games, as well as partner games. We are also investigating open source initiatives that could benefit the community and game developers."
The team was set up last year, and have been experimenting with porting Steam and Left 4 Dead 2 over to popular Linux operating system, Ubuntu. "We’re just starting development and working with a single distribution is critical when you are experimenting, as we are. It reduces the variability of the testing space and makes early iteration easier and faster," say Valve.
Valve has confirmed that an official port of the Steam client is on its way to Linux, and will have a native version of Left4Dead to accompany its release. Gabe & Co have shown off working prototypes of both to top Linux blog Phoronix, and say that there are plans afoot to bring other titles to the platform too.
Oh happy day. As someone who resents leaving the safety of his Ubuntu desktop every time I want to play a game or do some benchmarking, today's headline from Phoronix.com is frankly the news I've been waiting for for years.
Valve has been recruiting for at least one Linux specialist to help port Windows games with this job ad since January. But it looks like they're getting very serious, and keen to push on with the project. Phoronix' Michael Larabel has received an email from Gabe himself asking for help head hunting.