LinuxGameCast Weekly 246 – 100% Penguin Sauce

Chet Faliszek leaves Valve! Humble gets Very Positive, glibc-OS receives an update, and NVIDIA throws some shade. Then Torn Tales faces the CHAIRQUISITION! All this, plus your hate mail.


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Colour key: Venn Jordan Pedro

Steam News:


  • At least they are doing, something?
  • Refund Requests volume is legit.
    • 50’000 60’000 refunds a day would be setting off alarm bells in most other retailers.
  • Hopefully they keep honest and don’t massage the data on that backlog graph
  • Just under 14’000 games total on Steam generate more than 4 times that amount in refunds, that’s a problem.

Steamy gift

  • Two good things, and one bad thing
  • Declined gifts immediately get refunded to the giver (that’s good)
  • You can purchase gifts in advance and set a delivery date (That’s good)
  • If there’s a large price difference between the giver and receiver’s location, you can’t gift (that’s bad).
    • Yeah, but I understand why it’s a thing.
    • Does it block low > high
  • Also prevents games being used as currency in trades, since they don’t go to your inventory anymore.
  • Can’t buy gifts on the cheap and store them.


  • Even the VR front man leaves… This whole VR thing sure is taking off!
  • I think he was the last of the HL writers to nope from vALVE.

It’s happening

  • We’ll have to wait and see how successful this version actually is. People may very well clue into why that’s a terrible idea
    • Unlikely, but still possible. People r dum
  • Basically all the non-Microsoft video game storefronts have zero presence on Windows 10 S”
    • I’m having a hard time believing even MS is stupid enough to release a lappy geared towards students that blocks Steam, GOG, and Origin.
    • They’re not “blocking it”, they’re just leaving it up to VALVe, CDPR, EA, etc. to support Windows 10S themselves.
    • What they don’t seem to realize is that none of those companies support Chromebooks either, which is what this OS is supposed to compete with.
  • I get Planned Obsolescence as a concept, but this is creating something which is already obsolete at inception.
  • The thing that keeps Windows with mass appeal is its backwards compatibility and software support.
    • The thing to realize though is that most people don’t want a computer anymore.
    • They want a facebook/instagram machine
    • Your statement holds true for people who want to game or do work, but everyone else really doesn’t care
      • Where’s Chrome with everyone’s passwords in 10 S?
      • Where’s Photoshop? Or the rest of the Adobe suite?
  • The S version is the complete opposite of that.
  • But this is neither here nor there.
  • Dear Microsoft, please do keep cocking up. The more you do, the more people realize there are alternatives and even if that doesn’t automatically mean Linux, it means game developers and publishers will be forced to consider those alternatives.
  • And it will be a matter of time until more than 2K, Paradox, Valve, Square Enix, and so forth, see those alternatives.

Heckpoint on Steam

  • We covered the original release but they have launched a demo on the Steam.
  • 4 days left on the their Kickstarter.
  • There’s an achievement for defeating that last boss, now.

Babby Rocket Car Deathmatch

  • Early Access aside this could be wicked fun.
  • The art style kind of reminds me of mcdroid



  • AMD continues supporting Linux before the hardware is out, which is a big change from the AMD of two years ago.
  • Which of course has the side effect of making those specs open in the sauce and everyone gets to see them.
  • Hardware wise, a significant bump over the RX580
  • With RadV ramping up the way it is, and Mesa’s improvments, I’d say we could maybe expect performance parity with nvidia on linux in say….2020-ish?

Can you speak the language

  • So this is a paper, co-authored by some nvidia folks that posits monothlic shaders are bad and a more modular approach is the way forward
  • They’re leveraging shader language/framework called Spire, which can output SPIR-V or GLSL, to create something called shader components
  • By making shaders out of shader components, you can retain efficiency while keeping your codebase manageable and potentially reusable, which doesn’t really happen in the shader space


  • The base buildsystem is now based on Cent 7 instead of 12.04
    • GLIBC-OS gets an upgrade from 2.15 to 2.17
  • MingW has been integrated into into the build chain, so you can build windows versions on mac and linux. You can also crank out 64 bit windows builds

HIB Positive

  • The Humble “We’ve run out of ideas for bundles so we’re just going to grab Steam’s aggregate score names” Bundle.
  • $10 for Stephen’s Sausage Roll is worth it.
    • This. Experience the mindfuck for yourself

Unreal pains

  • So these guys ditched their custom engine for UE4, mainly due to the expense of keeping their engine up to snuff and the difficulty of supporting additional platforms
  • Apparently PHYS-X doesn’t really cut it for racing simulation, so these guys had to roll their own physics
    • Being source-available, that becomes much easier with UE4 than other proprietary engines


  • Don’t see many game using the Q2 engine.
    • Warsow is the only one that really comes to mind
  • Well, it “runs” but it’s more of a framework for a game.
  • I can’t stress how much we need another free FPS on linux

Persona 5 and Demon’s Souls on Linux

  • Considering how long it’s been since we first heard about this emulator, that’s impressive advances.
  • The performance in Persona 5 is bad! But Demon’s Souls, assuming you have a powerful enough CPU, they say it’s almost playable.
  • Also, there’s currently no CPU on the market powerful enough to run all the games for which the emulator hasn’t been optimized.

Fade to Racism

  • An open source reimplementation of the sequel to flashback.
  • Both are games I’ve never played!

The gravity is strong with this one

  • Anything is better than that shite mobile direct port we ended up with on Steam.
  • Hey, working demo.
  • Looks pretty.
  • Plays like Wipeout would if the ships had no weight to them.

CHAIR– Nooope

CHAIRCHAIR– Not sure if want


CHAIRCHAIRCHAIRCHAIR– Shutupandtakemymonies

Game: Torn Tales
Devel: Twist Play
Engine: Unity
Price: 12.99 / CDN 13.99

Wazzat: Lead your party of 3 heroes on their quest to repair the torn pages of folklore. Evil has destroyed the tales you love. Hack monsters and slash enemies throughout the Torn Tales in this real time squad based RPG.

Disclosure: They sent us keys.

Makes with the working


  • Not the biggest fan of op-out anonymized statistics.



  • You can tell it’s Unity because it always spawns on the wrong screen and just outright refuses to remember the resolution is supposed to be 1920×1080 and not 2560×1080


Shiny / Sounds


  • Not the worst jaggies i’ve ever seen but FFS give me some anti aliasing options.
  • It’s well done programmer art,take from that what you will.
  • The loading screen is a special blend of WTF.
    • Green Arrow and Young Sanchez look alright but Snowflame, wow… what is wrong with your face-organ.
  • It has sounds, this I can confirm, however I put on the soundtrack from Emerald City, a fine show that was unjustly canceled by the ass-banjos at NBC.


  • This game looks like baldur’s gate done in unity
  • Torment and Pillars get a pass on this, because they’re explicitly homages to the infinity engine
  • Here, it’s just kinda meh
  • There are some sounds. Not good enough to warrant any real attention
  • Oh my god I don’t care about the book reading stuff.


  • You do get antialiasing but you can’t pick it since it’s tied to the presets, and it doesn’t work.
  • You can get some MSAA and or SSAA if you add __GL_FSAA_MODE=<number> %command% to the game’s advanced launch options on Steam.
    • nvidia-settings –query=fsaa –verbose will let you know what <number> to put in.
  • But lack of AA is the least of this game’s problems when it comes to aesthetics.
  • The sound effects can be summed up into grunts and jingles.
  • The background music is the same 15 second loop repeated ad nauseum
  • The effect you get as the rest of the map pops in was supposed to look like someone was drawing it in a book. What it does look like is that the wireframe pops in before the textures do.
  • Also, what do the in-game proper aesthetics add to the narrative when the whole plot is told in still cutscenes?




  • Everything “works” but that’s really stretching the definition.
  • I’ve lost track of how many times the AI has flipped out after I gave it an order.
  • Never really feel in control, it’s more like issuing suggestions.


  • You click things and occasionally press 1-3 or qwer
  • Other things then happen, sometimes how you direct them to, other times no
  • Camera rotation only works if you don’t have the map up


  • Controlling a character is pointless.
  • I wish the game would give me an option to unselect all characters in combat and just let them do the fighting.
  • Because it seems when I have direct control of a character, at one point it just stands there gormlessly doing fuck and all while the AI controlled ones automatically readjust their targetting to the next enemy over.
  • I don’t feel like I’m control of that character, I feel like I’m actively cockblocking it.
  • That may also be because the combat has no impact to it.
  • Dr. Jekyll so far has only transformed into Mr. Hyde right at the end of combat, so that’s pointless.
  • And the moment you start the game, you’re bombarded with percentages and other MOBA-like terms and item stats which feel so out of place it’s not even pretty.




  • Short and simple, here we go.
  • Play as one character with three bodies.
  • Yes, that controls about as well as you might imagine.
  • Learn the leveling and skills system that clearly had more thought put it in than the rest of the game.
  • Click on enemies and make some tea since the AI will nope them without your input.
  • Watch the aforementioned AI get stuck in new and interesting places.
  • Get extremely bored and prey for a unrecoverable bug that will prevent you playing the game any further.
  • Get dumped into the first boss battle equipped with all the skills I just mentioned.
  • Die, die, DIE.
  • The difficulty curve in Torn Tales resembles a hockey stick with half the business end cut off.
  • You put me on cruise control for the first 45 minutes and expect me to get good at the drop of a hat?
  • Yeah, no.
  • I spent 20 minutes learning how to nope the Big Bad Wolf only to FK right off.
  • Unlike Hollow Knight from last week I didn’t have the slightest desire to revisit it.
  • Why? Because this is generic RPG indie action adventure, the game.
  • And if we’re being honest, it does a shite job of pulling that off.


  • There’s really not that much variety in this game
  • The levels are all labyrinthine, but unlike hollow knight where it was ultimately all connected, this is a straight line with a few false leads dropped here or there
  • Sure, sometimes it’s a treasure chest, but most of the items suck, and you only get 3 slots
  • Beyond that, click, wait, occasionally kite if the enemy blows up when they die. Repeat
  • Sometimes you get overwhelmed and need to pick a different lead
  • Hyde is by far the most fun, but you gotta load up on abilities that boost his blood toxicity, otherwise he’s pretty useless, being the only character without a cheap ranged attack
  • Storywise, it makes zero sense either
  • What do a medieval folk hero, a scottish science fiction character, and the subject of an 1800s german fairy tale have to do with each other?
  • Well, they’re all in books, and all part of the public domain. Beyond that, I don’t really get what this game is going for
  • All in all, I felt the game was kind of brainless, and not in a good way
  • If I can pay half attention to your game while watching youtube videos, I’ve either spent far too much time playing it, or I’m not being engaged
  • This is a case of the latter


  • It’s hard to find a game that manages to do everything wrong.
  • It always starts on the wrong monitor. In-game Anti-Aliasing doesn’t work.
  • The in-game visuals look horrible, the sound is annoying and repetitive.
  • The story is told completely separate from gameplay in non-interactive cutscenes, which I don’t think I need to remind everyone how bad that is when we’re talking about an interactive medium.
  • Character art for Dr. Jekyll and Robin Hood look alright, Snow White and Mr. Hyde on the other hand look like they were beaten with several iterations of the ugly stick.
  • The combat, read: the only thing you do in this game, is either piss easy or fuck you, because fuck you hard and has absolutely no meat to it.
  • And even though the levels seem to have forks on the road, they are the laziest possible way to have branching paths in level design.
  • Last week I talked about negative space in level design, in broad strokes that is the dead ends when you’re trying to navigate a labyrinth.
  • But in videogames, that can also be applied to entire areas which while not exactly dead ends, they serve no mechanical purpose at that point or ever.
  • There are only ever 2 options in those branches, you either find a dead end, which may or may not have a chest, or you find the way to progress.
  • That is elementary school grade level design.
  • It’s really hard to get any and every thing that could save your videogame wrong, yet here we are.



Hate Mail:


Old Windows

  • Ubuntu MATE.
  • Since slashdotaion uses XFCE4 and wants a gaming distro I say grab the latest Buntu and be done with it.
  • Or if you don’t mind a little bit of homework and don’t much care for the Ubuntu paradigm, Solus.

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