Linux Game Cast 490: Year of the Linux Deck-Top

Canonical is hiring a Linux Desktop Gaming Product Manager! Enabling EAC on Linux takes more than a few clicks, Intel talks about ARC at CES, and reducing your shooty pew pew times with LatencyFleX. 

Special thanks to:
Turnover (new death note)
Jpx (new patreon)
chz bacon (new patreon)
Katana, nubbn, game_mo_tron, don_m (twitch resubs)


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Timestamps:
00:00 Intro
05:45 Steam Winter award winners
11:20 2022 year of the Linux Decktop
15:10 ChimeraOS 29
19:20 Draconia dragon MMO
21:30 Skeletal Skism is autochess with skeli boys
23:30 Enabling EAC on Linux takes more than a few clicks
36:35 Intel ARC at CES
40:55 Nvidia RTX 3050 on a budget
48:45 Canonical is hiring a gaming product manager
53:55 Heroic game launcher gets Flatpaks in 2022
58:00 ScummVM 2.5.1 adds OpenGL scaling
59:40 Reducing shooty pew pew time with LatencyFlex
01:14:45 Emails


Colour key: Venn Jordan Pedro

Steam: News

Winnars

  • Terraria was the one native Linux winner.
  • Still racking up wins after all this time.
  • Deathloop as most innovative is pretty sus
  • People really liked steppy vampire dommy mommy.
  • I want to play it takes 2 but the friend pass and EA keep me from trying it.
  • Cyber Truck being on that list sends the wrong message to dev/publishers.
  • It’s letting them know that unfinished / rushed buggy messes are A.O.K.
  • Anyone who voted for that needs to keep their mouth shut right the hell up when Witcher 4 releases in a similar state.
  • Something something released in 2020, Brad.


Year of Deck

  • Ah yes, the year of the linux deck-top. I was wondering how long it would take
  • so why not go all the way and make the PC a console? It’s been tried before, but never by a company with Valve’s resources or name recognition.
    • You know, except for the last time they tried it.
    • try”
  • Ol’ Wes here seems pretty optimistic about the steam deck’s success
  • I think we’re all pretty hopeful that the deck is successful, not just for its sake but for the fringe benefits of something remotely resembling first class linux support
  • We’re speeding closer to that february deadline and it’s a short month at that
  • No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy, so I’m expecting either another delay or some rough patches for the first month or so.
  • Prove me wrong Valve. I really hope you do.
  • An iPod moment?
  • Everyone in the tech industry thought the iPod was going to fail hella hard, myself included.
  • Deck wins if it gets the attention of gamers, not tech enthusiasts.
  • Surviving the first round of Tuber & tech reviews is going to be rough.
  • Those will be a mix of what doesn’t work with a side of hurrr Linux dumb.


Chimera 29

  • Improvements and fixes for the Aya Neo and GPD Win 3
  • Nvidia Optimus support, because that’s still a thing in 2022.
    • Some people just have old gaming laptops. But you wouldn’t know anything about that.
    • I meant more the issues around Optimus and how it works in Linux.
  • But yes, I am missing a laptop with Optimus for the collection.
  • Once they release a generic steamOS image i’d be very interested to see how it and Chimera stack up side by side
  • ‘Specially on an Aya neo.
  • Steam Deck spins will become a thing.
  • DeckSpin.com.

Steam: New Games

Draconia

  • I’m getting some dragon the game flashbacks
  • Unlike that jank, this is an MMO where you can form dragon clans and hatch eggs and eat sheep and stuff
    • MO not MMO, I guess they’re self-aware enough to not put the “Massively” bit there.
  • So Many realistic carcasses
  • Coming spoon ™
  • The trailer continues the tradition of dragons flying around doing fk all The Game ™ on Steam.


Skeletal Skism

  • A free to play real time tactics PVP game
  • Okay, that’s a new one no it just auto chess
  • Grind for gear to see who can come up with ultimate minmax cheese.
  • It doesn’t even launch.
  • Tapped that Proton button and there was nobody playing.
  • Created a room, clicked Flash and something happened that resulted in a tie.

Steam: Game Updates

No Tide 2 (MrHoboSquadron from reddit)


News:

ARC deets

  • Vendor neutral “AI” enhanced super sampling makes a lot more sense in a world where everyone is stuck with whatever GPU they already have.
  • I watched that whole CES announcement and all I got was laptops.
    • Intel would love you to have to buy an entirely new computer to upgrade your GPU
  • If you’re not giving out specs on the discrete GPUs how about some prices?
  • Parts are shipping to OEMs.


Budget Nvidia

  • That’s a $109 increase from the MSRP of the 1050Ti and $140 up from the non Ti variant.
  • And if you’re wondering why bother comparing the 3050 to a now almost 6 year old GPU, well NVidia re-upped production on the 1050ti last year.
  • That’s what a pity fk GPU looks like? Huh.
  • That 3090 Tie announcement was taking a drink out of your Super Gulp surrounded by people dying of thirst.
  • Then we have the Radeon RX 6500 XT.
  • I guess making cards that miners just don’t want is one way of getting around supply shortages
  • Welcome our new RTX3050GTXTi Super budget overlords.
    • I’m all for having some souped up budget steam boxes


Linux Desktop Gaming Product Manager

  • I have successfully bullied pedro into applying.
    • Yeah, you and Mir.
  • I like the idea of this position but only through the lens of a challenge.
  • They are looking for a software engineer with strong people & leadership skills who wants to become a business executive management.
  • Also, they need to be able to tell a good story?
  • Pray you do not get this person.
  • This reads like a position for marketing / PR vs someone wanting to come in, break things, and build something better.
    • Given Ubuntu’s track record, I’d rather not see that as they tend to get stuck on the second part
  • That said, I think having a competent, knowledgeable person come in with their best foot forward and at least try to make ubuntu as game-friendly as possible is a good thing, even if the effort eventually doesn’t work out
  • Ubuntu has kinda fallen out of favour with the gaming crowd, so they gotta try and do something to win them over.
  • And if they don’t take it seriously? Well, they deserve whatever they get out of that investment.


Heroic getting the Flatpaks

  • Steam and heroic make sense as a Flatpak.
  • Pedro will now tell you why Snap is a superior option.
    • I’ve been shouting since the beginning that Flatpaks were the better option.
    • I may be looking at a job at Canonical, but snaps are in my opinion a symptom of the bigger issue which has made Ubuntu less appealing to a fat chunk of the Linux community.
  • They got goals for 2022. Running external apps that aren’t part of the epic games store, sorta like how steam lets you launch non-steam apps


ScummVM 2.5.1

  • Graphical scaling works with the OpenGL backend
  • Scumm will now also not automatically try to overwrite your auto saves
  • Nothing too exciting with this release though. Just bug and emulation accuracy fixes


Speed hax

  • An alternative to NVIDIA Reflex.
  • Shave 10ms off of your next round of Xbill.
  • Both of those limitations make it look like the same could be accomplished by not using any vsync or compositing.
  • But tearing would happen.
  • If this eliminates tearing in games without any compositing or vsync, and thus lowers input latency.
  • I think a lot of people would deal with the microstutters for the sake of lower input latency with no tearing.
  • Your mileage may vary when it comes to tripping anti-cheat
  • Apparently the proton hook is a lot safer than the UE4 one, but the devs take no responsibility if you get ban hammered

CHAIRQUISITION:
– Nooope

– Not sure if want

– Check it out

– Shutupandtakemymonies


Game: Midnight Protocol
Webzone: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1162700/Midnight_Protocol/
evel: LuGus Studios
Engine: Unity
Price: £12.99 / $14.99 / $17.49

Wazzat: Midnight Protocol is a tactical narrative-driven RPG with unique keyboard-only controls. Hack into servers, beat security systems and discover encrypted secrets while you try to find answers to why and how you got doxxed.

Mandatory Disclosure: Devs sent us keys on Curator Connect



Venn:

Launch/Looks/Sounds/Control

  • Does your keyboard work? You’re good.
  • Windowed & fullscreen work.
  • That main menu tune reminds me of Nier for some reason.

Fun?

  • Right out of the gate you know you’re in for some “artistic vision” bullshit.
  • Sorry not sorry, limiting my options for input makes me a little grumpy regardless of the game.
  • It’s a “hacking” game where you play on a videogamehackerbox 9000 in a future where pointer devices never existed.
  • That’s right, keyboard only.
  • Turn-based single player typing combat.
  • At least it has a tab complete.
  • Yeah, this is your standard boop enemy while managing resources game but with more typing.
  • Plus a bunch of busy work between rounds to pad out actual gameplay.
  • RNG is alive and well in Midnight Protocol.
  • Keeping track of the hacking commands was a bit of a chore even with tab complete.
  • Well, remembering what does what was.
  • Easy enough to figure out but FSM damn this feels like borderline work.
  • Not that the game is a chore but the typing in a terminal is a bit too real.
  • I made it to the having to search for some random nonsense bit and called it a day.
  • It has a demo so I suggest giving that a nibble before dropping $14.


Jordan:

Launch/Looks/Sounds/Control

  • Launches OOTB
  • There’s a lot of typing in this game. No mouse or controller for you.
  • Graphics are pretty simple. I guess programmer art is an intended pun. The visual metaphor of network graphs works
  • The music is pretty standard beep boop
  • You can shut off the screen fuzzies if that’s not your jam

Fun?

  • It’s kind of fun. Kinda
  • It’s sort of a deckbuilding puzzle game where you have five programs and a certain number of turns to do some stuff
  • Sometimes you can extend the number of turns, and the challenge is picking the 5 tools that will let you get the most doen in the least amount of time on a per level basis
  • Part of that comes from grinding the pretty easy side quests for credits to buy extra cards
  • That said, there’s also a lot of waiting. Sometimes the best move is to just do nothing while all your programs tick away
  • And then it starts getting a little tedious.
  • The missions are pretty short though, so I can see this being decent as a pick up and play coffee break game.
  • The narrative is a bunch of emails. Please don’t make me read emails for fun


Pedro:

Launch/Looks/Sounds/Control

  • Launched out of the box.
  • Holds 144 at 2560×1440.
  • I like the ominous background music but it doesn’t seem to really fit with the gameplay.
  • It has flashier graphics than most of the hacking games I’ve tried up to now.
  • It’s a keyboard only affair.

Fun?

  • You know, for a moment there I thought this would be the one.
  • This would be the hacking game that changed my mind.
  • Because it’s only a hacking game on the surface.
  • When you look at how the mechanics behave and the heavy reliance on the story to justify or at least attempt to give some context to the ridiculousness of it all, it’s a text based adventure RPG.
  • You type to do quests and get money.
  • With money you buy equipment and upgrades.
  • I think what solidified that idea in my head was the way the dagger attacks the firewalls.
  • But the more I played the more I realized just how much like work this felt.
  • Doing menial things for minor or no reward, just busy work to progress what passes for a story.
  • A story that I’m being told is happening, but I don’t actually see it let alone play it.
  • I’ve stated on many occasions that video games as an art medium are unique in the way they combine visual art, video, audio, and interactivity.
  • All of those are completely disparate here.
  • It’s not a bad game, it does some interesting things.
  • But it wasn’t enough… for me.

Verdict:

Venn:
Jordan:
Pedro:


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