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      X4: Cradle of Humanity and the big 4.0 update launching March 16

      Liam Dawe · / GamingOnLinux · Friday, 12 February, 2021 - 12:06 · 1 minute

    Ready to explore a bigger universe? The upcoming X4: Cradle of Humanity expansion along with the big free 4.0 update for all players is now confirmed to launch on March 16.

    Taking the X series from Egosoft back to Earth, it will significantly increase the size of the game's universe giving you new sectors to explore along with two Terran factions to X4: Foundations, along with their economy, ships, weapons and stations.

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    What Cradle of Humanity will include:

    • Big expansion of the X4: Foundations universe with new sectors
    • Return of Terran factions with economy, ships, weapons and stations
    • Thrilling new story missions and adventures to experience
    • New game-starts that allow new perspectives on the X4: Foundations story
    • Introducing a new terraforming gameplay feature, evolving the endgame
    • Visual improvements such as volumetric fog, making the X universe look better than ever

    As for the big 4.0 free update, Egosoft continue mentioning it will be the biggest free update in the game's history. You can even try a Beta for it on Steam right now . It does sound pretty expansive with a new coordinated attack system for fleet commanding, volumetric fog graphical feature has been added, a new transaction log to see a good breakdown of your monies, a new message system for important communication with NPCs, new Escorts missions, an option to declare war on a faction and absolutely loads more.

    X4: Cradle of Humanity is probably one of the biggest, or perhaps actually the biggest and most in-depth single-player space sim around.

    For the full game right now you can buy it on Humble Store , GOG and Steam .

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      Urban sandbox city-building GTA-like sim Voxel Turf is back with a big new release

      Liam Dawe · / GamingOnLinux · Friday, 5 February, 2021 - 16:53 · 1 minute

    Grand Theft Auto style mechanics blended in with some Minecraft blocky style and city-building, that's sort-of a basic overview of what you can expect in Voxel Turf.

    Hard to really properly describe it, as there's just so much to it. Want to build a city? Go ahead. Want to get involved as a person and fight for territory against gangs? There's plenty of that too and so much more. Released back in 2017 it's been steadily improved and after a break of updates lasting many months it appears the developer is back with some big stuff here.

    Returning players can expect to see a whole new biome, a revamp of the outback biomes with red stone and the plains now have patches of dry grass and salt lakes. Not just new content though, there's a big overhaul of performance with more multithreading and it should all be faster overall. Nice.

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    Need to be sold on it a bit more? From the developer:

    Voxel Turf is a block based city builder/action adventure game. Build cities or destroy them. Start businesses or rob them. Nurture your citizens or subjugate them. Build a real estate empire, or perhaps just drive around and blow stuff up. Its your choice! Voxel Turf allows you to be the force of benevolence or the agent of chaos in a city of your creation.

    - Have you ever played an open world game and thought "if only I could build something here?"
    - Or a city builder and wanted to drive around and interact with your creation?
    - Or even a building game and thought "if only these buildings would come to life?"
    If so then Voxel Turf is the game for you!

    You know Voxel Turf is also great? It's another game developed on Linux with the developer having their main machines and development done all under Linux so it sees first-class support.

    Buy and play Voxel Turf on Steam .

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      FOSS soft-body physics simulator Rigs of Rods has a new release

      Liam Dawe · / GamingOnLinux · Thursday, 4 February, 2021 - 16:08 · 1 minute

    In need of a new fun physics sim? How about one that's free, open source and can be played in multiplayer? Rigs of Rods might be what you're after and they have a new release.

    What actually is it? Rigs of Rods is a free/libre soft-body physics simulator mainly targeted at simulating vehicle physics. The soft-body physics system is based on mass-spring-damper theory. It's pretty much a sandbox vehicle playground, one you setup yourself with trucks, cars, cranes, boats, bridges, aeroplanes and much more.

    Not the most beginner friendly game, with it needing plenty of modding and configuration to get it where you want it but it seems like a nice option for some physics amusement. As it turns out, we've never written about it here, despite it being around since at least 2005 - madness!

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    Seems the team has been busy since the last release over a year ago, with a major new release landing on February 2, 2021. Quite a lot is included too, and much like Pioneer (another open source sim), they've moved their UI system over to the popular Dear ImGui . Now they have a modern UI system in place, it should be a lot easier to tweak it and work with it.

    Not only that though, here's a bunch of what else is new:

    • Major cleanup of the codebase
    • Upgraded the translation system to work with popular Weblate
    • A new Quake-style console variable system
    • Vehicle speedometer will now be based on wheel speed rather than vehicle speed
    • Added the ability to configure the blinker lock range
    • Added the ability to toggle hydro speed coupling
    • Added support for OS-specific input mapping
    • Added a game controls information panel
    • Added thrust reversal for aircrafts
    • Added the ability to individually remove vehicles
    • Updated Xbox 360/One controller and G29 wheel input maps, added wireless PS4 controller input map

    Plus the usual assorted bug fixes.

    Find it on the official site and download it easily from .

    As impressive as it is, hopefully someone will be able to hook up a good introduction / tutorial for new players getting into it. While it's been around a long time and there's beginner guides out there, having something in game for people to follow would really help.

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      Factorio 1.1 update is out with blueprint flipping, performance upgrades

      Liam Dawe · / GamingOnLinux · Saturday, 30 January, 2021 - 15:27 · 1 minute

    A big feature players have been asking for a long time is now live in the Factorio 1.1 update, and it should run smoother than ever with big factories.

    Blueprint flipping is the big headline feature here, allowing you to pretty much copy and paste creations while also now flipping them around. They repeatedly said no on it but then they wanted it and so they hooked it up in a way that only allows it for blueprints that can flip properly (preventing giving you a bunch of broken creations).

    Seems to work okay too:

    Lots more than just that arrived with Factorio 1.1 including:

    • Spider waypoints and the ability to set spiders to to follow other things. Making controlling the big spider mechs a huge amount easier.
    • Smart belt building to lock quick building into a direction, and automatic underground belt traversal. Building belts nicely has never been easier looking at it.
    • Multithreaded belts to help boost performance. This will be especially noticeable in the later game stage.
    • New Train Overview GUI.
    • Much faster saved games.

    That's just the basic gist of it, you can see the full details of the 1.1 update here .

    Factorio is an absolutely incredible game and I imagine most people who've put a few hours into it will agree. Looking at Steam, it's hit over 87,000 user reviews now and still remains on an Overwhelmingly Positive rating. That's pretty amazing and so hopefully they can keep on expanding it for years.

    You can buy a copy of Factorio from Humble Store , GOG and Steam .

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      Steam Festival returns February 3, plus new Steam Beta fixes up shader processing

      Liam Dawe · / GamingOnLinux · Saturday, 30 January, 2021 - 13:44 · 1 minute

    Ready for another huge Steam Festival? It shall be returning with the Steam Game Festival, February 2021 edition. Plus there's a fresh Steam Beta that Linux users will want to try out.

    For the Steam Game Festival it goes live on February 3 at 10AM PT / 6PM UTC. Much like the previous festivals, it's all about giving developers a chance to showcase their upcoming games. There's going to be tons of demos across various genres for you to try, plus there will also be livestreams where developers will talk about various topics surrounding their games from development to live gameplay.

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    As usual, we shall be going over to find all the Linux demos worth taking a look at so be sure to come back to GamingOnLinux on February 3 to see what we liked.

    You can follow the event page here .

    Now onto something related: there's a fresh Steam Client Beta available as of January 30 which polishes up the shader cache and processing system on Steam. This is the feature that is supposed to make games smoother, so it's worth giving it another go. Here's the changelog :

    • Fixed a bug where processing Vulkan shaders would run out of memory on NVIDIA Pascal cards and older
    • Re-enabled Vulkan shader processing on NVIDIA
    • Fixed a bug where NVIDIA shader cache files above 2GB couldn't be loaded
    • Greatly improved memory usage and disk I/O when processing NVIDIA cache files (requires driver 460.x or newer)
    • Updated to latest Fossilize, picking up some general memory usage improvements
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      Prison Architect - Going Green and The Glasshouse free update out now

      Liam Dawe · / GamingOnLinux · Thursday, 28 January, 2021 - 18:24 · 2 minutes

    Perhaps your prisoners in Prison Architect fancy growing something to pass the time? Give them the gift of green in Prison Architect - Going Green and The Glasshouse free update out now.

    Most prison tend to a look a bit…depressing. Grey, lots of walls and just terrible. Now though you can give them a splash of colour and of course all this growing comes with its own type of contraband because no prison can apparently be without some kind of special herbs. Here's the list of what's new in the Going Green DLC

    • Fruits of Labor: Farming introduces a new type of Prison Labor, allowing prisons to grow potatoes, wheat, apples, and more. Produce can be exported or used as ingredients for inmate meals.
    • Room to Grow: Three outdoor rooms facilitate farming: Fruit Orchard, Farm Field and Vegetable Allotment. But that’s not all, players can recruit staff Farm Workers, build a Pantry to store produce, and construct a Shed to house farming-related items.
    • Best Buds: Inmates who enjoy nature’s beauty can grow flowers and other plants recreationally. Gardening affects inmates and gives them a positive recreation activity.
    • Trouble is Brewing: With new crops comes new contraband. Prisoners can now secretly grow herbs in the fields and swipe kitchen ingredients to brew Booze. Fields can also become Gang Turf, so keep your guards on alert!
    • A Greener New Deal: Prisons get an eco-friendly makeover with Solar, Wind, and Solar/Wind Hybrid power sources. Excess power created by these sustainable methods can be sold back to the grid using the Power Export Meter.
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    Meanwhile there's also The Glasshouse free update that everyone who owns the base game sees. Here's the highlights of what's free for you all:

    • New Recycling System
      • Includes new Recycling Bin object
    • New Quick Rooms
      • Yard, Grove, and hedge maze
    • 2 New dog types
      • Shepherd
      • Bowtie Bandit
    • Community improvement: dump/demolish
    • Community improvement: Objects Menu Sorting Methods
    • Staff alerts
    • Job Menu optimization

    According to their Twitter team, it should also be having a Free Weekend on Steam so you can try before you buy all weekend long. It's not live yet though it seems as of time of writing but expect it soon.

    You can buy Prison Architect from GOG , Humble Store and Steam .

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      Wasteland 3 gets a big patch with a new mode to enjoy the story

      Liam Dawe · / GamingOnLinux · Thursday, 28 January, 2021 - 15:30 · 2 minutes

    Wasteland 3 from inXile Entertainment has a big new free update out with the Robots & Rangers" patch, and it's looking to be a good one for all players.

    "In Wasteland 3 you take command of a squad of Desert Rangers, lawmen and women in a post-nuclear world, trying to rebuild society from the ashes. More than a century after the bombs fell, you’re fighting a losing battle to keep your beloved Arizona alive. Then the self-proclaimed Patriarch of Colorado radios, promising aid if you'll do a job he can only entrust to an outsider—rescue his land from the ambitions of his three bloodthirsty children."

    Originally released in August 2020, the Linux version came just before the year was up in December and since then they've clearly been busy on fixing up bugs and expanding the game elsewhere. Here's what's new in 1.3.0 "Robots & Rangers":

    • New difficulty mode: Tourist - Tourist mode is easier than Rookie, letting you enjoy Wasteland 3’s story, with combat difficulty taking a back seat.
    • New cosmetics! New Hair, Beards, and Pants have been added to character creation.
    • The Handmade Wizard and Knight costumes will let you roleplay all your Robots & Rangers fantasies. Once players in have completed the quest 'Cornered Rats' they will find that a lootable crate has been delivered to Ranger HQ, outside of the base structure, near the transition waypoint that leads to Downtown Colorado Springs. Equip the costumes at the wardrobe in Ranger HQ or the clothing shop in Downtown Colorado Springs ... and attack the darkness!
    • Intelligence now gives +1 skill point for every point of Intelligence spent, up from +1 every other point. This change applies retroactively to existing save games.
    • The Book Learnin’ and Answering Machine achievements are now achievable.
      Note: The missing Book Learnin’ note becomes available after passing a Leadership skill check when first meeting the Patriarch and then speaking to Magistrate Silas Watkins in Downtown Colorado Springs.
      The missing cassette tapes "Kidnappers in Trouble" is in the Gett Family Homestead in a new container. "A Proposal" is in the Machine Commune, just west of Vivisecto.
    • More actions are now able to be bound to keyboard and mouse, most notably camera panning. The game will also unmap double-bound keys to prevent input conflicts, and warn you about missing keybinds before you leave the menu.

    There is quite a lot of additional bug fixes, a few improved animation and sound effects, a balancing pass, UI updates and the list of smaller details goes on that you can see in full here .

    Note: for the Linux version, it's been reported that on AMD GPUs you may need to turn off Ambient Occlusion to prevent graphical glitches. Hopefully that will be solved in either a Wasteland 3 patch or a later Mesa driver update. There is an open bug report that needs more testing for AMD GPUs on the Mesa bug tracker.

    You can buy Wasteland 3 from GOG , Steam or the Humble Store .

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      Steampunk survival game Volcanoids has a huge combat upgrade

      Liam Dawe · / GamingOnLinux · Tuesday, 19 January, 2021 - 22:19 · 1 minute

    Stuck on an island where the volcano is erupting constantly, Volcanoids is an interesting setting for a survival game that gives you a big moving drill for a base.

    After sticking in co-op to the Early Access game a while back, the team at Volcanoid (yes the team is named like the game), have now boosted the combat in the game to make it actually a lot more interesting. To say this is a huge update would be quite the understatement. They added in aiming down sights, weapon recoil, bullet drop and spread, hit indicators, actual projectiles (no hit scans), lots of new animations, new guns and…you get the idea.

    Check out the new trailer to show it off:

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    Enemies got more interesting too and they no longer aimbot, they have to try and hit you now. Enemy COG robot units also now come in many more flavours and designs for each class and tier, plus they learned some new tricks like how to switch weapons depending on the situation, what clever cogs. There's even more like new sound effects, turrets to build and even a defibrillator to bring your buddies back to life.

    For me it's probably one of the most exciting open-world survival games (next to Valheim) supported on Linux. The idea that you build up a base that doubles as a moving drill you walk around inside, it's just awesome and very steampunk with the inspiration and design work. Lots of levers to pull and big buttons to press.

    You can buy Volcanoids on Steam . It's 25% off until January 25.

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      Stellaris will get more mysterious with Intel gathering and Espionage systems

      Liam Dawe · / GamingOnLinux · Tuesday, 19 January, 2021 - 13:11 · 2 minutes

    Stellaris from Paradox Development Studios gets a lot right in how it deals with grand space strategy but some parts of it are still being expanded.

    Paradox have continued their regular development diaries on Stellaris for the next big upcoming update. Looks like things are again about to get more interesting, especially when it comes to communication and information gathering on other space civilizations.

    Spread across three development diaries ( #1 , #2 , #3 ) they go over changes to First Contact, Fog of War, Intelligence Gathering and Espionage systems that will all see a revamp and expansion. I'm excited for all of this, because Stellaris a good story-teller and expanding on that is a great idea to invite more playthroughs.

    For First Contact, there's going to be more options to make it a more engaging process with new First Contact Protocols to pick how you deal with such a huge situation that previous Stellaris made pretty normal. The whole system expands from there, with it being a longer process and much more like the dig site system for relics as it goes through stages. Exciting!


    Information gathering becomes hugely more important too. The newer Fog of War system will block out more info on other races, making them that little bit more mysterious. Gathering Intel directly is now a bigger part of exploration in Stellaris, as you will need to do it to get much more details on each race. You get an Intel value from 0 to 100 based on lots of things and Intel will be split into different categories including Government, Military, Diplomatic, Economic, Technology. To go along with that, there will be an Intel Report system, allowing you to gain information in a category over time.

    Just as exciting is their new Envoys and Spy Networks system coming, allowing you to put spies to work passively gain intelligence needed due to all the other changes. On top of that you can also give them active roles to work in including:

    • Subterfuge - Information gathering and operations that improve the spy network itself
    • Sabotage - Ruining things (physical or immaterial)
    • Manipulation - Replacing the truth with your own improved version
    • Provocations - Don't do these, they're bad


    Since empire security can now be a bigger problem Paradox are also giving players and AI new technologies to research, like having telepaths walking around reading the minds of everyone around them or tracking implants to ensure increased local security.

    All of the changes make Stellaris sound properly interesting again, and a lot more sci-fi. Looking forward to seeing the full announcement on the next update!

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

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