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Games: Otter, Godot, and Steam

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  • Ian Jackson: Otter - a game server for arbitrary board games

    One of the things that I found most vexing about lockdown was that I was unable to play some of my favourite board games. There are online systems for many games, but not all. And online systems cannot support games like Mao where the players make up the rules as we go along.

    I had an idea for how to solve this problem, and set about implementing it. The result is Otter (the Online Table Top Environment Renderer).

    We have played a number of fun games of Penultima with it, and have recently branched out into Mao. The Otter is now ready to be released!


    Otter is fully functional, but the installation and account management arrangements are rather unsophisticated and un-webby. And there is not currently any publicly available instance you can use to try it out.

    Users on chiark will find an instance there.

    Other people who who are interested in hosting games (of Penultima or Mao, or other games we might support) will have to find a Unix host or VM to install Otter on, and will probably want help from a Unix sysadmin.

  • Godot Showcase - Gravity Ace developer talks about his experience

    Hi, I'm John, I'm a (mostly) solo game developer making games that I want to play. I've been making games as a hobby since 2013, mostly by participating in weekend or month-long game jams. My first game was for the One Game A Month challenge. Now I'm working on my first commercial project. My formal training is in programming but I've always been interested in art and music as well. Game development is fantastic because it allows me to bring all of that together into a single project.


    I've made games in a bunch of different engines and frameworks and languages over the years. Haxe, Lua, JavaScript, Java. Those experiences were great but they all fell a bit short in terms of ease of use or features or productivity. I think I discovered Godot not long after the project was open sourced. At the time I was looking for an engine with a built-in visual editor because I was tired of moving things around by typing coordinates in code. I needed something to speed up my workflow and make it less cumbersome to quickly prototype ideas.

    Of course I tried Unreal and Unity but as a full-time Linux user I was unsatisfied with their lack of official support. And those engines felt just so... massive. I chose Godot for a lot of reasons. It's small, fast, and has first-class support for Linux. It has all the features I need for the games I want to make. It's open source with great leadership and community. And I think it has a bright future.

  • How Boiling Steam Games: 4 Gaming Rigs

    Computer games are made possible, of course, by the hardware that runs them, whether it is the indie that just needs a bare-bones machine or the latest AAA game on a high res, high refresh rate monitor. On Linux these days we are blessed with choice when it comes to hardware, and can pretty much game the same as those Windows users. Still, I always find it interesting to know what others are using, especially in our niche of the gaming and computing world.

    We just launched our Linux gamer survey for 2021 to gather more data and better understand the Linux gaming community. You can access the survey directly at this link, and should only take about 10 minutes. Also, Ekianjo recently looked at what limited data we have on the trends of CPUs and GPUs in the Linux gaming market.

    Which brings me to the Boiling Steam staff. I thought we’d open the hardware conversation with a dive into what we use and what we may be upgrading next. A few trends have emerged recently, like the new found popularity of VR with the addition of Patola to the staff, as well as cow_killer and myself buying the Valve Index. Let’s see what else we use.


    Tell us, readers, how do you game on Linux? What does your list look like? What matters the most in your gaming rig?

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today's howtos

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  • An introduction (and how-to) to Plugin Loader for the Steam Deck. - Invidious
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