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    Valve’s year-old Steam Deck is on sale for the first time / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 16 March - 22:11

A fun Valve video showcases some of the highlights from the Steam Deck's first year.

Valve is celebrating the first year of official availability for the Steam Deck with the hardware's first-ever official sale. Those looking to buy Valve's portable hardware can get a unit for 10 percent off until March 23 as part of Steam's regular spring software sale.

In the US, that translates to the following price reductions for the various Steam Deck configurations:

  • 64GB eMMC: $399.00 down to $359.10
  • 256GB NVMe: $529.00 down to $476.10
  • 512GB NVMe: $649.00 down to $584.10

Even a temporary price drop would have been hard to picture for the Steam Deck just a few months ago, when the hardware was still enjoying a months-long run atop Steam's top-sellers list and Valve was still struggling to fulfill launch-day preorders in a timely manner. But Steam Deck units have been available without a preorder since October and are now set to be delivered one to two weeks after an order is placed.

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    Get ready for a flood of self-published games on the Epic Games Store / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 9 March - 16:54

Epic Games Store Epic Games Store Epic Games Store Epic Games Store Epic Games Store Epic Games Store...

Enlarge / Epic Games Store Epic Games Store Epic Games Store Epic Games Store Epic Games Store Epic Games Store... (credit: Epic)

Epic has just made it much easier for small and individual developers to get their titles on the Epic Games Store. The company's self-publishing tools, which came out of closed beta Thursday , allow any developer to submit their game to Epic's platform for a $100-per-game fee.

Since its late-2018 launch with a small, curated selection of games , the Epic Games Store has slowly expanded to include nearly 2,000 titles . But those games have been selected by Epic for inclusion based on a "high quality standard," as Epic's Tim Sweeney put it to Ars in 2019 , leading to the publication of a number of "how to get published on the Epic Games Store" tutorials.

"We're not going to be that sort of venue [that accepts everything] because we don't think we can help those games to reach users," Sweeney told Ars in 2019. "So it's going to be driven by quality."

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    A more powerful Steam Deck is “a few years” off, Valve says / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 8 March - 20:31 · 1 minute

Calendar Man is marking the many, many days until a more powerful Steam Deck shows up.

Enlarge / Calendar Man is marking the many, many days until a more powerful Steam Deck shows up.

If you're waiting for a more powerful version of the Steam Deck before diving in on Valve's Linux-based portable hardware, you may find yourself waiting a little while longer. In a recent interview with Rock Paper Shotgun , Valve designer Lawrence Yang says it will be "a few years" before the company releases "a true next-gen Deck with a significant bump in horsepower."

A look at the Steam Deck's performance over its first year of availability helps show why Valve might not be in a hurry to release a more powerful portable. The current Steam Deck now supports over 8,000 titles that are either rated Playable or Verified by Valve's official Compatibility program . And that list isn't just low-end indie games, either; heavy hitters like Cyberpunk 2077 , Elden Ring , and the recent Dead Space remake run great on the handheld, and the device can even handle ray tracing on slightly older games like Doom Eternal .

That said, the Steam Deck hardware is already beginning to show its age on some recent releases. Games like Wild Hearts and Returnal will technically run on the Deck but reportedly show some significant frame rate and performance issues on the portable. While future software or OS patches could help a bit for these bleeding-edge games, the Steam Deck's unchanging hardware may start to look increasingly dated as PC gamers continue to upgrade their rigs with plentiful graphics cards (and PC game makers continue to target those high-end desktop users with their newest titles).

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    Dream Harvest announce the gorgeous looking NeuroNet: Mendax Proxy / GamingOnLinux · Monday, 17 May, 2021 - 11:29 · 1 minute

NeuroNet: Mendax Proxy is the upcoming title from Dream Harvest, an upcoming choose your own adventure styled cyberpunk visual novel and it looks brilliant.

While Dream Harvest are also working on the strategy game NeuroSlicers (which will also come to Linux ), NeuroNet: Mendax Proxy will be coming out first but they're not giving a date just yet. NeuroNet: Mendax Proxy is also confirmed to be launching with support for Linux.

"You are an artificial intelligence charged with managing a city-wide augmented reality network known as the "NeuroNet". Embark on a journey of self-discovery as you learn what it means to be human in a world losing itself to technology."

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  • A branching narrative that takes you across the city of Catena, exploring humanity's reliance on technology and its power to be both our saviour and downfall.
  • Manage a variety of city resources tied to the state of affairs within Catena. Balance the city's financial prosperity, how the public perceives you, the axis of order, and your degree of power.
  • Meet and build relationships with 23 diverse, fully voiced characters, each with their own wants and needs.
  • 6+ hours of gameplay with over 5000 unique story cards.
  • Discoverable mini-games and secrets.
  • An expansive Codex packed with gorgeous character and environment art.
  • A unique original soundtrack.

Definitely excited about this one. With some wonderful visuals backed up by what sounds like a thoroughly interesting story in a visual novel adventure style setting with a cyberpunk theme.

You can follow it on and Steam .

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    The Paws and Claws DLC for Children of Morta raises over $130,000 for charity / GamingOnLinux · Monday, 17 May, 2021 - 10:39 · 1 minute

Paws and Claws, a pretty wholesome DLC for the fantastic and stylish Children of Morta has managed to raise a rather nice lump sum for charity.

"We have a piece of truly wonderful and heartwarming news for you today! The Paws and Claws charity DLC has proven to be a huge success and ever since its launch, we've been able to raise MORE than $130K for animals worldwide!" - Dead Mage & 11 bit studios

Not an essential DLC for the game by any measure, and it's a completely different experience to the main game overall. However, it's just so wonderful that you should probably buy it anyway. It adds in an animal shelter system, a herd of various animals to visit you, a new treats mechanic for animals, animal-related character boosts and quite a bit more. 100% of the proceeds of Paws and Claws goes to the Humane Society International (HSI) .

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The developer confirmed the figure is PC platforms and Consoles combined for the total. Considering the low £2.99 / $3.99 / 3,99€ price - it means it's sold quite a number of copies.

You can buy Children of Morta from GOG , Humble Store and Steam . We can easily recommend it.

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    Top-down tactical shooter RUNNING WITH RIFLES had a massive surge in players recently / GamingOnLinux · Monday, 17 May, 2021 - 09:49 · 1 minute

After being available in some form since 2012, RUNNING WITH RIFLES (RWR) seems to be finally hitting it big with a sudden surge of thousands flocking to the top-down tactical shooter.

For Osumia Games, this has been a long-deserved moment in the spotlight. They've supported Linux with RWR since 2012 during the early Beta builds and it's a huge amount of fun to run around in. It's currently 80% off on Steam, which has probably helped the surge of players, however it's done the same discount multiple times in the past which did not cause much of a surge until now.

How big a change are we talking? Well, RWR usually only saw around 100-300 players. Now? It's been seeing multiple thousands with a new record set of 14,149 online on Sunday, May 16 2021.

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What caused it then? Well, it wasn't Twitch livestreams like Among Us saw, instead it looks like it might have been YouTube and specifically the Asian market with multiple videos hitting 10s of thousands of views and some in the 100s of thousands ( like this one ). It shows once again, how powerful a market it is and translations can really help sell a game with RWR seeing text translations to Simplified Chinese, Korean and plenty more.

You can buy RUNNING WITH RIFLES on Steam with 80% off until May 21. Also on Humble Store but no discount.

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    Terraria has officially turned 10 years old with a small celebration update / GamingOnLinux · Monday, 17 May, 2021 - 09:07 · 1 minute

Terraria, the 2D pixel-art sandbox survival adventure has now officially turned 10 years old and it's going as strong as ever. Seriously impressive from developer Re-Logic!

I remember seeing it on PC for the first time almost 10 years ago while a friend was playing it, thinking it looked interesting and never thought it would go on to be as popular as it is. Frankly, I sort-of dismissed it entirely back then and went back to Minecraft. I was seriously wrong about it because it's an incredible game that deserves to be played.

Anyway, a fresh update went out to mark the occasion. Re-Logic mentions that "this update may not contain any new content (we were serious when we said 1.4.2 was it ;) ) - it does contain a very special celebratory world seed that is unlike any other that we have made previously". The wink face being an obvious nod to this really not being the end of Terraria.


Here's what's new in Terraria

  • Added Celebratory Seed
  • Corrected the damage on Frost Armor's set bonus debuff from 20 to 25 DPS.
  • Fixed Vulkan and Metal rendering issues that lead to crash, on FNA builds.
  • Fixed a certain exploit.
  • Fixed missing tooltip in Queen Slime's treasure bag.
  • Fixed every vine type except Normal/Flower vines from passing on paint as they grow longer.
  • Fixed King Slime's spiked minions being able to pick up money and despawn with it, similar to Queen Slime's minions previously.

The celebration world seeds are:

Spoiler, click me
  • celebrationmk10
  • 05162011
  • 5162011
  • 05162021
  • 5162021

Across both GOG and Steam it's currently 50% off for about 8 hours, so the sale ends around 4PM UTC. Be quick if you wish to get it with such a nice discount although it's not the highest it's been discounted but still a fantastic game to get so cheap right now.

You can buy it on GOG , Steam and Humble Store .

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