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Doublefine to release Gang Beasts next week on Steam

Broken Age and Costume Quest developer Double Fine is going to be publishing ridiculous physics-based brawler Gang Beasts.



Presented under the Double Fine Presents banner, Gang Beasts will bring its unique brand of multiplayer mayhem to Linux, Mac and Windows PC via Steam Early Access next week on 29th August.
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Thrilled to announce the newest addition to our Double Fine Presents lineup, Gang Beasts. The title comes to us from UK-based studio Boneloaf, which was founded by three brothers James, Jon, and Michael Brown (awwwww) who joined up with artist Jason Pugh to create experimental party games. That’s just what they’ve done with Gang Beasts, which very quickly became a go-to title for all our multiplayer gaming needs.

The game is a local multiplayer brawler in the style of Streets of Rage or Double Dragon that allows you and your buddies to fight alongside each other and face off head to head. It’s a jolly good time full of silly procedural animation and ragdoll physics that will no doubt insight giggles and guffaws.

You may have seen Gang Beasts on one of the many popular Youtube videos that are already floating around, or perhaps you even played the pre-Alpha build that has been available for a while now. Well the team has been hard at work at preparing a shiny new alpha build that is going to be landing on Steam Early Access on August 29th!

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Kickstarter action-adventure Jotun closing in on Linux

Since the debut, Linux Game News has been in contact with William Dubé, the creator of Jotun, an action-exploration game for PC and Mac. A game that takes you on an epic journey through Viking purgatory, but with one minor setback, there is no Linux support, yet. And since the Kickstarter has surpassed its first goal, already been Greenlit, the campaign needs another $5,000 to bring about native support. Check out the trailer below:



Jotun's core loop revolves around collecting Runes to summon and fight the jotun, gigantic Norse elementals. The game focuses on the balance between atmospheric exploration and ferocious combat. Imagine the mysterious romantic mood of Journey mixed with the scale of the boss fights in Shadow of the Colossus in top-down 2D.

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The world is randomly-generated and filled with different areas to explore and environmental puzzles to solve. Traveling to the far reaches of Purgatory is key to finding Runes, Shrines to the Gods and many more Viking mysteries.

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The combat in Jotun is fast-paced and brutally hard. Using only your massive two-handed axe, you take on foes that are hundreds of times your size. Every hit from a Jotun's attack will take out a huge chunk of your health.

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Features:

  • Beautiful 2D hand-drawn art style
  • Epic boss fights against the mighty jotun
  • A vast and mysterious randomly-generated world to explore filled with environmental puzzles based in Viking culture and mythology
  • An overarching story to discover for both Thora and Purgatory itself
  • Shrines to the Viking Gods
  • An amazing musical score, specifically composed for every gameplay moment

Thankfully, William Dubé and his team were able to get some traction with press which gave them more backers. To keep the existing backers interested, revealing a Norse God every 100 backers and asking people what kind of powers the Gods could provide in-game. This proved to be a great way of encouraging comments. It also gave the team interesting content to post on Facebook and Twitter. Along with high quality updates, additional details, and new content.



Final Stretch Plan

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Kickstarting a project is a full-time job. From the month leading up until the end of the campaign, expect to spend all of your time on the campaign. It is full-time marketing and community management. Depending on your team size, you can forget about development. The first week and the last week are insane emotional roller coasters. Though we all hear the negative stories about Kickstarter, the truth is Jotun could never be done without Kickstarter  and the amazing support of backers across the globe.



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Super Meat Boy creators next game A Voyeur for September



Team Meat will show off its next game, titled A Voyeur for September, at the Indie Megabooth at PAX later this month. Today, the developer of Super Meat Boy started teasing that new project, which it describes as “a new live action stealth game.”

The teaser for A Voyeur for September consists of grainy live-action footage, including shots of someone peering into a house and black and white vignettes of flora and fauna.

Team Meat is also working on Mew-Genics, a cat-breeding sim. That project has been put on hold, however, while Team Meat devotes time to another project, presumably A Voyeur for September. One half of Team Meat, Edmund McMillen, is also working on The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth.

listing for A Voyeur for September indicates a release on Android, iOS, Linux, Mac and Windows PC.

The full lineup for the Indie Megabooth at PAX Prime is available on its official website.

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Backer Beta released for Pillars of Eternity

The Back Beta for Obsidian Entertainment’s classically-styled role-playing game Pillars of Eternity is now available on Windows PC via Steam for all Kickstarter backers of $110.00 USD or above

According to a post on the Obsidian website, the Backer Beta is spoiler free and has no connection to the final game’s critical path or main story. Stronghold mechanics and content above the eighth level also isn’t included in the Backer Beta.

Players can get an idea of the basic functionality of all 11 classes and will be able to make use of four pre-made “intentionally (extremely) generic party members.” Players are also invited to put the game’s systems through its paces, such as exploration, conversation, combat, loot-grabbing, crafting and enchanting, hiring adventurers as well as camping supplies and inns.





As the game is in beta stage, the developer has highlighted a number of known issues it is addressing, including pathfinding, AI, attribute balance, overpowered characters, buggy rangers and more.
The Backer Beta is initially being released only through Steam and only for the Windows platform. We are working hard on bringing Mac and Linux to you guys in the next few weeks. Note that if you are concerned about linking the Backer Beta to the final product, you need not worry — the Backer Beta is considered a separate product. If you want to participate in the Backer Beta, your final product will not be locked into Steam or Windows.

The first release of the Backer Beta is the build we have put together for the Gamescom convention in Cologne, Germany. What you will be initially playing is what we are showing there. We plan to update the Backer Beta over time to test performance improvements, bug fixes, balance passes, and other changes we’d appreciate your feedback on.
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There are no NDAs for those who are participating in the Backer Beta. If you want to share images, videos, or general feedback on content with the public, we appreciate your thoughts and criticism.

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Crawl is retro fun with modern gameplay

Crawl is (appropriately) a dungeon crawler with an 8-bit heart of gold, a fun lark that takes on a whole new life when played with friends, and a conditional flaw.



The art style and music are pure retro: Modelled after arcade dungeon crawlers, they manage to somehow give the hero and monsters their own personalities and a trippy, kinetic feel.

Crawl is available for Linux, Mac, and Windows PC; it was released by Powerhoof on Steam Early Access August 6. Having played it on Linux using the mouse, the keyboard, and a Xbox 360 game controller to control the hero and ghosts.

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What you’ll like

Being bad is so very, very good

It’s good that both hero and monsters have personality, because you’re going to spend time as both. As the hero, your job is to hack and slash your way through monsters and objects to level up so that you can face the end boss. You can buy better weapons and earn better abilities from dropped gold.

If you die, you become a monster, and the person or bot previously playing the monster “regains his humanity” and takes your place. The monsters level up, too, via “vitae” points that players earn after clearing each floor, and they earn gold of their own from spilling the hero’s blood.

As the hero, you have a simple attack and a special attack, controlled either by mouse or keyboard — not both (or by game controller, if you choose). Battle your way through the levels to face off against the bosses, controlled by a bot or another player.

As a monster, you start as a ghost, which can possess traps or physical monsters and then attack the hero. And if the hero makes it to the boss of a level? Yes indeed: That’s you.

You’re going to find yourself secretly wishing to die if you’re playing as the hero, because the strategy of playing the ghosts (what you possess and how you use it against the hero) is so very much fun. As the hero, the big payoff is getting to beat up on your friends, if you’re playing with others. More on that in a second.

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Easy to pick up, smooth to play

Crawl’s action is fast and smooth, and while rooms are somewhat featureless, it’s impressive how much personality and how many effects you can simulate with large square, pixel-like blobs of color. Clearing a floor is quick, taking just a few minutes, and the run to level up enough for a boss easily takes less than half an hour.

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Best enjoyed with friends you don’t mind killing

But where the game really shines is multiplayer. When human beings are controlling both hero and monsters, what was a quick-paced crawler becomes a frenetic battle, with heroes battling it out against player-controlled monsters that take their turn as the hunted hero if they’re successful at killing him.

Playing as the monsters constantly changes. Depending on how far you’ve evolved, you’ll add new abilities and forms to each of the three beasts you can inhabit. Which monsters you get is determined by how much power you’ve sucked up from blobs on the floor, which evolutions you’ve chosen to spend your vitae on, and by the god you choose to worship when you create your character. A rat-like creature can become a minotaur, for example.

Choose your friends’ deaths for maximum enjoyment

Monster abilities vary widely. You can breathe fire with a dragon-like creature or shoot arrows from a skeleton. Inhabit traps with your ghost, and you can do things like send lines of spikes shooting up from the floor at the hero, snap a trap shut on him, pepper your opponent with fireballs, or send spiked stars wheeling across the floor.

As the hero, you can chose a variety of defensive abilities — set up shields! carry an eyeball to reduce damage! — and a range of weapons from daggers to pikes with which to slay beast and friend alike.

There are a wide variety of creative ways to kill your friends, and this is easily the best part of the game.

Add extra enemies or keep it simple

You can choose how many bots you battle against: The game starts with any mix of people and bots, from two to four players (one hero and up to three ghosts/monsters). The bots are surprisingly smart, but playing with friends adds another level of fun.

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What you won’t like

No online multiplayer in a game that thrives on competition

This is Crawl’s Achilles’ heel: Its multiplayer is couch co-op only, on a single machine. It is so fun playing with other people — one person can use the keyboard, another the mouse, and the rest game controllers — that many of the threads about this game in its Steam forum were at one time or another dominated by the discussion of why it doesn’t have online play. Those discussions continue despite a permanently pinned post addressing it.

Dave Lloyd, the game’s programmer at Melbourne, Australia-based Powerhoof, says they hope to add online multiplayer while the game is still in Early Access. It’s clear their players hope they can overcome the technical difficulties that would pose.

Room designs are (at this stage) plain

Most of the environments at this point are a little simple — straightforward rooms with some bits of repetitive, destructible furniture; traps and pentagrams for the ghost opponents to inhabit; and doors leading to the next room.

The developers have said they expect to add more monsters, more weapons, more abilities, and more environments as the game moves through Early Access, but for now, the focus is definitely on the gameplay, not where it takes place.

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Conclusion

Crawl is a lovingly retro arcade crawler that will instantly appeal to gamers who remember pumping quarters into games that were just like this (but not as intelligent).

The variety of weapons, monster evolutions, and abilities mean good replay value even though floors and the time to end bosses are quick.

The lack of online multiplayer for a game that is at its most fun when you know who’s pummeling you is unfortunate, and it’s not surprising Powerhoof is trying to build it in. But in the meantime, Crawl gives you a truly fun reason to seek out some people to huddle around your Linux, Mac or Windows PC.

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Guacamelee Super Turbo Championship Edition out Aug 21

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Guacamelee Super Turbo Championship Edition will arrive on Steam Aug. 21 with a discount for those who already own the game, developer Drinkbox Studios announced today.

The upcoming $14.99 version will include support for a costume shop through Steam Workshop, Trading Cards and “plans for future updates.” It will launch at 10 percent off for new players and a 66 percent discount for those who already own Guacamelee Gold Edition on Steam.

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Guacamelee Super Turbo Championship Edition includes Guacamelee's downloadable content and new aspects like areas, a new boss, new abilities and new enemies. Guacamelee is available now on Linux, Mac, Windows PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One.

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Groove to the Rhythm Flash Bundle

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The Humble Flash Bundle: Rhythm is available for one day only and ends on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time.



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Steam Tags exit beta and merge language translations

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Steam Tags, the system where users of the Steam digital distribution service and storefront assign keywords to games, has exited beta testing. Valve announced the change earlier this week via a news post, but noted that the removal of the b-word is “mostly a cosmetic change.”

Valve reasoned that the change feels cosmetic due to the fact that Steam Tags will continue to evolve and change. For example, it used to be that tags were divided by language, so that the list of tags for Russian users would be different from the list of tags for English users, and so on. However, the news post notes that many languages had so few tags that they were disproportionately full of bad data such as inappropriate tags and joke tags. Hence, all language pools will now be combined and then translated where needed.

Tags with similar concepts are also being merged. The post brings up how Valve noticed four variations of a tag advertising a game that supported mods - “modding,” “mod-friendly,” “moddable” and “mod supported” - so now, if a user types in “mod-friendly,” you’ll actually see the “moddable” tag appear.

Whether these changes sound good or bad, Valve invites you to share feedback with them on the subject.

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Hat stacking Max Gentlemen coming to Linux, Mac and PC



Organ Trail creator The Men Who Wear Many Hats will release its free, “old timey arcade action” game called Max Gentlemen on August 21, the developer recently announced for mobile devices and Linux, Mac, Windows PC.

The game was funded via Kickstarter last year. Although the core experience is free, players can choose to purchase extra characters and levels. It also offers cross-platform local multiplayer to compete against friends. In Max Gentlemen, players will collect and stack hats in a Victorian-era world, mixed with “the over-the-top, pile-drive-your-mom aesthetics of professional wrestling.”

“When you drink a beer, a hat will fly upon your head, because you deserve it (for being so manly),” the game’s description reads.

Max Gentlemen was inspired by a spam email for penis pills received by a member of the dev team. Speaking with Polygon via email, designer Ryan Wiemeyer said the team began breaking down the traits of a “Max Gentlemen.”

“We decided that they are extreme manner gentlemen,” Wiemeyer told Polygon. “Take the showboating and extreme attitude of profession wrestlers and mix them with Victorian era gentlemen. BOOM. You’ve got a Max Gentlemen.

“We started dreaming up all the extreme things they could do. They open doors for old ladies and rip the door off the handle. They flex and their shirts explode, and they are covered in polite tattoos like ‘Manners.’ They go to the hat shop, and they wear many many hats.”

Although early concepts for Max Gentlemen were unsuccessful, it was later turned into a drinking game for a game jam, and then finally a full product. The game will be available for Linux, Android, iOS, Mac and Windows PC. For a complete breakdown on the game, check out the trailer above.

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lunarraygames:

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Timespinner

Developer: Lunar Ray Games
System: Windows, Mac, Linux, PS4, PS Vita, Nintendo 3DS
Website: lunarraygames.com

Description: “2D Metroidvania about a young woman who travels through time to destroy an empire.”

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Europa Universalis 4 and Crusader Kings 2 new expansions

Paradox Interactive has announced that two game expansions for its strategy games Crusader Kings 2 and Europa Universalis 4 are on their way.



In the expansion “Charlemagne,” Crusader Kings 2 players will be introduced to the titular historical figure, including a series of story events that chart his rise to power. You can create your own kingdoms with custom names and banners. Additionally, the expansion also comes with a new in-game option, Chronicle, which highlights a dynasty’s conquests, marriages, and labours for the faith.

Meanwhile, Europa Universalis 4 receives the expansion “Art of War,” marking some changes to battle mechanics and a revamped Reformation system. There’s also a new set of diplomatic options, including the creation of client states to support or resist revolutions.



Both expansions will be available on Linux, Mac and Windows PC, though a release date for either has not been given.

We gave Crusader Kings 2 comes highly rated, finding it a unique strategy experience despite its learning curve. Europa Universalis 4; we were impressed at how accessible it was, even with its complex gameplay.

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Shadowrun: Dragonfall Director’s Cut out next month

Shadowrun Dragonfall Director's Cut expansion coming next month

Shadowrun Returns’ Dragonfall expansion was a huge improvement over the main campaign, so it was a little frustrating that you were required to fork out for Returns in order to play it, particularly when it only shared a setting with the original game. As mentioned last month, the situation is thankfully about to change, with a new standalone version of Dragonfall that will be available for free to existing owners (and Kickstarter backers). A few more details have just come to light about what the new version entails, and it sounds like there will be a fair bit of additional content on offer, plus changes to the combat system and interface. There is also a release date: 18th September.

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New missions, new music, a revamped interface and combat system, and swisher visual effects are the order of the day here, along with a new armour system that will be detailed in a developer diary before release. You can see the new interface below, complete with sexy, sexy toolbars that no longer require you to click through to access your other weapons or abilities.

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Another interesting titbit: the original, expansiony version of Dragonfall will be removed from sale (but not from your game library) when this new version releases, for the same price of $14.99. As such, there will also be a new Steam Workshop page to go along with it. Devs Harebrained Schemes will provide details on how to change your mods so they’ll be compatible with the new editing tools—the Kickstarter’s updates bit is likely where that info’ll be posted.

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