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    Feel the need for a little karaoke? Check out UltraStar Play and UltraStar Deluxe / GamingOnLinux · Monday, 10 May, 2021 - 09:45 · 1 minute

Two interesting projects we've not covered here before are UltraStar Deluxe and the newer UltraStar Play, both open source games aimed at karaoke fans. You've likely somewhere heard of SingStar, an exclusive PlayStation series. Sadly, it was shut and so it's mostly lost. Thankfully though, as usual, open source to the rescue!

UltraStar Deluxe has been going for a while now, with an aim to create a similar experience. It's been going strong but there hasn't been a release of it since 2020 and going by the GitHub page, not much development activity for the last year either.

Another more recent project appearing is UltraStar Play , which we're told is "the youngest of UltraStar games, currently in development and available for desktop (including Linux) and mobile (Android already available, iOS planned)" and that in response to SingStar shutting "UltraStar Play fills this gap by allowing everyone to create their own sing-along version of songs. And it removes the need to buy USB-microphones via the Companion App such that you can use a regular smartphone as mic (see the Companion App).".

14766879141620639901gol1.png It's not pretty but it does the job.

Note: while UltraStar Play is open source, the project itself relies on the proprietary Unity game engine.

It's not finished but it's perfectly usable and should be fun enough to get a party going. With the UltraStar Play Companion , you only need a phone to use as your microphone so it's quite cleverly thought-out.

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    Not just Facebook: Snap, Unity warn Apple’s tracking change threatens business / ArsTechnica · Friday, 5 February, 2021 - 18:11

Snapchat on an iPhone.

Snapchat on an iPhone. (credit: Maurizio Pesce )

Social media company Snap (which runs Snapchat) and game development software company Unity have joined Facebook in warning their investors that Apple's imminent ad-tracking change will negatively impact their businesses.

As previously reported, Apple plans to use the next iOS update (iOS 14.5, due out in early spring) to implement a requirement that all apps on the platform gain user opt-in to track users with IDFA (ID for Advertisers) tags. IDFA tags are used to track what users do across multiple apps in order to target advertising more effectively.

Social media giant Facebook has told its own investors that the coming change to Apple's operating system could very negatively impact its advertising revenue, because this kind of tracking-based ad targeting is one of Facebook's main ingredients for success.

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    Albion Online's next major update is a Call to Arms with Faction Warfare 2.0 / GamingOnLinux · Thursday, 4 February, 2021 - 11:41 · 1 minute

Albion Online is the sandbox classless MMO that has Linux support and it's going strong, with another major update announcement that will bring Faction Warfare 2.0.

That's the big headline feature, bringing on the next stage of City Faction Warfare which will give you the ability to control entire regions and a special front-line battle system to encourage fighting. There will also be a big bunch of rewards too, along with powerful Faction Mounts to grab. Also teased is a new Faction with a unique playstyle aimed at advanced players. More map changes to help with this too including the Royal Continent to see an expansion.

Hellgates, the special system where two teams fight through a dungeon engaging in both PvE and PvE will also see a major expansion. It will have an option for 10v10, better graphics, a bunch of new layouts to prevent it getting stale, a new and better matchmaking system, a new rising lava mechanic to prevent one team stalling, new creatures to fight and a dedicated Hellgate Infamy system for rewards and track success. Sounds like Hellgates are going to get awesome.

You can listen to an overview of it in the below video:

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What else? Apart from the major features there's also new vegetation graphics coming to bring the world to life a bit more, better tooltips are coming along with a Loadouts feature to quick-equip a selected set of items and loadouts can be shared to other players.

Play Albion Online free on Linux from the official site or Steam .

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    Open-world voxel sandbox game Rising World is going through a rewrite / GamingOnLinux · Monday, 25 January, 2021 - 10:27 · 1 minute

After entering Early Access in 2014, JIW-Games have been rewriting their open world sandbox game Rising World to move away from Java and instead use the Unity game engine.

They actually announced this back in 2019 , as part of a post mentioning how changes to the Valve algorithm for showing games had dropped off their store page traffic dramatically. They said about wanting to rework a lot of it and Unity would help them achieve this.

Back in December they finally showed off the result of their efforts, with a massive overhaul available in Beta that's now using Unity and they're continuing to support Linux.


If you wish to try the new Beta, on Steam you can opt into the "unity" Beta which has a description of "New Version Preview". Currently though, they say it's a "demo" as it has very limited features and just meant to showcase they are genuinely working away on the big overhaul.

The good news is that they mentioned how many of the core mechanics are integrated or almost ready, so hopefully they will start doing more regular updates now. On their official forum in early January 2021, they mentioned construction and multiplayer currently being in progress.

Good to see they're still going with it after so long, especially as the original Java version was quite highly rated by players.

Find Rising World on Steam .

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    Odin is finally pleased so the open-world survival game Valheim releases on February 2 / GamingOnLinux · Monday, 18 January, 2021 - 16:11 · 2 minutes

Odin has finally had enough sacrifices and shall be releasing Valheim from Iron Gate AB will enter Early Access with Linux and Windows support on February 2.

What is it? A brutal multiplayer exploration and survival game set in a procedurally-generated purgatory inspired by viking culture. Battle, build, and conquer your way to a saga worthy of Odin’s patronage! With low-poly artwork and a very flexible building system it looks absolutely brilliant. The early builds they had available were seriously promising back in 2018 so I'm personally excited to see how far they've progress with it in that time.

Check out the new absolutely rockin' trailer below:

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It has a lot of nice ideas that help set it apart from other similar survival games. With the starting area being more peaceful, allowing you to build up and explore a little with it getting progressively harder as you venture from the centre of the lands. That should suit quite a lot of different people to play together with different styles.

Feature Highlight:

  • Huge procedurally-generated world - explore and inhabit mystical lands, from mysterious forests to imposing snow-topped mountain ranges and stunning meadows, complete with their own creatures of legend to battle and wildlife to hunt.
  • Co-op multiplayer- - Whether you want to brave the lands alone or venture with trusted allies, Valheim supports independent, player-hosted servers and unlimited world creation.
  • Punishing dodge & block based combat system with a wide range of weapons
  • Build & sail ships - from flimsy rafts to imposing warships, build legendary vessels to conquer the seas and discover new lands.
  • Summon and defeat vengeful primordial bosses of myth and legend, and collect trophies to progress and craft new powerful items
  • Flexible house and base building system - raise mead halls, farms, settlements outposts, castles and more.
  • Intuitive item crafting - forge the finest weapons and armour, and craft food and mead.
  • Dedicated server- for players who want to run a persistent server.

Once the initial kinks are worked out, as no doubt there will be some with it being in Early Access, we might have to get up a community server for this one.

The developer has also been creating Valheim on Linux. So not only does it support Linux, it's being made with it. I always love to see more of that. Lenna's Inception is another recent (that we've written about) example of that.

You can wishlist / follow Valheim on Steam .

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    Neon Wings: Air Race is a new sci-fi arcade racer in Early Access / GamingOnLinux · Wednesday, 30 December, 2020 - 10:43 · 1 minute

Need more casual arcade racers? Neon Wings: Air Race is a colourful sci-fi air racer currently available in Early Access and they recently hooked up a Linux build. Originally released in November 2020, the Linux build came in mid-December.

"Neon Wings: Air Race is an adrenaline-filled fast-paced air racing game packed with a cart-game like skill system, spectacular effects and graphics, innovative gameplay mechanics, and good old fun!"

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Current features:

  • 3 axis controled ships! You can move around freely, the sky is the limit!
  • 11 levels - Open environments for taking your own shortcuts
  • 12 unique ships with upgrade system
  • 3 single player game modes: tournament, time trial, and single race
  • Personal upgradable hangar, where you can walk around your ships to admire them
  • Competitive AI with difficulty settings
  • Player progress is checked
  • Local save system working
  • 4 music tracks

Since it's currently in development and not finished, they have plenty of plans. They're currently investigating multiplayer, reversed levels, new game modes, more music, better controller support and more. They're estimating being in Early Access for around 4 - 8 months.

You can find Neon Wings: Air Race in Early Access on Steam .

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    Unity rolls out the Unity 2020.2 TECH release available now / GamingOnLinux · Wednesday, 16 December, 2020 - 10:15 · 2 minutes

Unity 2020.2 is the latest 'TECH' release with all the latest features, that eventually make their way into a more stable LTS release. Following their newer release cycle of two TECH releases per year and then the next LTS upgrade for everyone. There will be a new 2020 LTS release early next year.

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Looking over the full release notes , it seems they are continuing to go over their Linux support with a fine-tooth comb as this version of Unity includes quite a lot of fixes and improvements just for Linux.

Here's some highlights for their Linux support:

  • Graphics: Added support for Virtual Texturing for Linux Standalone player.
  • Linux: Added VTune integration support for Linux.
  • Asset Pipeline: Unity no longer needs to reimport all textures, audio, and video when switching between Standalone platforms (for example, Win32 to Win64, or Mac to Linux).
  • IL2CPP: Fixed a GC performance regression on Android and Linux.
  • Burst: Fixed a compatibility issues between burst and older linux distros.
  • Editor: Fixed a class of GTK warnings showing up in the editor log when running the Linux editor. ( 1268468 )
  • Editor: Fixed an issue in the Linux editor where mouse input in one window could create undesired visual changes in other windows upon repaint. ( 1131492 )
  • Editor: Fixed an issue on Linux where the prefab overrides popup could overflow the available vertical screen space. ( 1119679 )
  • Editor: Fixed an issue where the keyboardLayout was not returning correct value on linux. ( 1167021 )
  • Editor: Fixed an issue with Linux using FitRectToScreen instead of FitWindowRectToScreen. (1263999)
  • Editor: In the linux editor, guiviews no longer gain focus on scroll events (scroll still occurs), which has the effect of preventing the editor from stealing focus on scrolls over guiviews that were previously unfocused. (1270605)
  • Linux: Disabled unstable DrawHeader_WhenInvokedManually_FromPrefabOverridesTreeView_InvokesCallback test for case 1179487.
  • Linux: Fixed a highlighting issue in the hierarchy window while dragging assets. ( 1251614 )
  • Linux: Fixed an Editor crashes if there was not a X11 window desktop environment. (1264934)
  • Linux: Fixed an issue where the eyedropper tool in the color picker did not work on Linux. ( 1174814 )
  • Linux: Fixed keyboard modifiers from being incorrectly munged while moving between editor windows. ( 1218006 , 1236681 )
  • Linux: Fixed performance regression while running in Play mode inside the editor. ( 1271213 )
  • Linux: Fixed sporadic errors in the console due to sending invalid drag events. ( 1251591 )
  • Linux: Fixed UnitySetup -L option incorrectly showing defaults. ( 1160471 )
  • Package Manager: Fixed an issue where the Diagnose button in the critical startup failure dialog would not launch a diagnostics window on Linux.
  • WebGL: Added check for Linux to use the correct version of the Brotli compression library. (1241347)

In regards to Linux support for the Unity Editor, it's currently still in a Preview status. From what we learned back in November, they're fully committed to supporting it and getting it into a properly released form with Unity 2021.2 which would be towards the end of 2021.

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    NIGHT/SHADE is an upcoming 18+ LGBTQ romantic thriller visual novel / GamingOnLinux · Monday, 14 December, 2020 - 16:42 · 1 minute

What looks like one to watch - NIGHT/SHADE is an upcoming romantic visual novel thriller from KingAsphy Studio.

"NIGHT/SHADE is a visual novel about overcoming the toxicity within interpersonal relationships as well as within oneself. This character driven plot explores the complexities of love and loss in the form of a romantic thriller through the eyes of our main character, Sasha, while he navigates life's darker elements and tries not to get caught in the crossfire of two ruthless crime syndicates."

Fair warning though, this is a game clearly aimed at 18+ with themes of violence, murder, blood, drug use, abuse and more. As a Visual Novel, it looks really high quality.

Check out the trailer below:

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Planned features include:

  • 2D Animated Trailer/Opening
  • Unique in game experiences
  • LGBTQ+ Characters and Concepts
  • Partial Voice Acting
  • Choose your own adventure timeline
  • Explicit NSFW scenes, also skip-able
  • Multiple endings, good, bad, and neutral
  • Fresh track list and amazing OST

Currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter it appears to have been quite popular. Against their $60K goal they're hitting above $40K right now and with 26 days to go they have plenty of time to push ahead. If they manage to reach stretch-goals of higher funding levels, they have plenty of excited additional features planned like an upgrade to full voice acting and 2D animated cutscenes.

If you wish to try the demo you can find it on and Steam .

To help fund it you can find it on Kickstarter , and they estimate a full release in late 2021 if they hit the initial goal.

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