Linux Gaming?

Ok, so I am seeing articles a lot that try to show Linux Gaming has something to offer. They then hold up a dozen first person shooters as proof that Linux Gaming is alive and well. I dunno about everyone else, but I do eventually get sick of playing FPS type games. Give me a nice RTS (Real Time Strategy) Game or a nice Sim of some sort. So I thought I would put a list together of Games that I have found that were a bit different, and lots of fun. And I refuse to fill this list with the standard Arcade style Games.

  1. Regnum Online : This is a nicely done MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game.) Many quests already, and more still being added. It is a Kingdom vs Kingdom type of Game. As in, you get big, and then try to take over areas by fighting other players who belong to other Kingdoms. Kinda fun, and adds a new twist. Or an old one if you ever played DAoC. (Dark Age of Camelot) Currently has some slow spots, but is a nice solid game, and has a new and interesting pay for premium content business model. Worth a look if you like MMORPG’s!
  2. Majesty Gold : A cool little Kingdom Sim. You are the ruler, you pay your heroes to go out and do things like rescue a princess, or get a book, or go out and kill the evil mage. Decent graphics, although slightly out dated now. Still a lot of fun to play!
  3. Knights and Merchants : A RTS(Real Time Strategy) game. Again, like Majesty, you are the ruler of your own Kingdom, this time though, you take direct control of your soldiers. If you ever played games like Dune 2/C&C(Command and Conquer)/Warcraft 2 and enjoyed them, this is probably a good game choice for you. Sadly, the graphics are a bit out dated, but it is still a good game.
  4. Alpha Centauri : When the colony ship from Earth reaches Alpha Centauri, the crew, once a united group, have splintered into seven factions. You are the leader of one of these factions as you explore this new world and attempt to gain the upper hand against the other groups. Research new technologies, make alliances, and betray your friends, all whilst defending your territory from those annoying aliens that seem to think they have some right to this planet.
  5. Dune Legacy : Lead one of three interplanetary houses, Atreides, Harkonnen or Ordos, in an attempt to harvest the largest amount of spice from the sand dunes. Exchange your spice stockpiles for credits through refinement and build an army capable of thwarting attempts of the other houses to stop your harvesting! This is based off the first ever RTS game as far as I am concerned, and is a good game. I got it running pretty well on Mepis 6.0 just by following their directions on the page I linked to.
  6. Penumbra : Overture is a first person adventure game which focuses on story, immersion and puzzles. Instead of using violence to progress the player has to use his/her wits to guide Philip on his quest to unravel the past. Similar in thought and play to Games like Mist. Adventure and solve puzzles.
  7. X2 – The Threat : X2 features stunning graphics, beyond anything seen before in the space genre.
    Open ended gameplay allows you to choose your path freely, in a universe that would take you almost 2 days playing time just to fly from one end to the other. Pilot any of over 60 classes of ship ranging from the tiny Argon Discoverer, a one man fighter, all the way to the Teladi Albatross, a huge carrier class ship over 2km long, capable of carrying a squadron of fighters, all at your command. Complex yet intuitive interface allows complete control of your empire. Be it a trading fleet of merchant vessels flying between the factories and stations littering space, or a fighter wing of deadly Split Raptors.
  8. Danger from the Deep : A cool Submarine Simulation Game. You are in control of a WWII German Sub. Very cool game, and the graphics are even pretty cool. πŸ™‚ Worth a look!
  9. Flight Gear : A cool flight Simulator. Decent graphics, cool game play, good physics. If you are into Flight Sims, this is worth a look!
  10. Thunder&Lightning : Thunder&Lightning is a futuristic action flight simulator game that takes place in a large 3D environment. Jump into the pilot seat of your Lightning aircraft and fight against Thunder tanks in a fierce battle for control of the island! In the long run, Thunder&Lightning will incorporate features from the 80’s classics Carrier Command and Midwinter . There will be multiple Islands to conquer, each with its own defense strategy.
  11. Neverwinter Nights : is a computer game set in a huge medieval fantasy world of Dungeons and Dragons. This role-playing game (RPG) puts you at the center of an epic tale of faith, war, and betrayal. As a player, you are able to choose what skills and abilities you will develop as you voyage though the complex and dangerous fantasy world of Forgotten Realms. Be a deadly and dangerous Rogue moving through the shadows using stealth and secrecy, be a scholarly Wizard and wield powerful magic against your enemies, be a hulking Barbarian whose lust for battle is matched only by his terrible rage, be an armor-clad Paladin who protects the innocent and vanquishes his foes, be a crusading Cleric who heals the sick and defends the helpless… be all this and more.
  12. Tribal Trouble : A bunch of clueless Viking raiders have stranded on a group of tropical islands – much to the annoyance of the local Natives. Help the tribesmen settle their disputes in this fast paced realtime strategy game.
  13. Lunar Domination : This looks like a cool finance sim meets RTS, but I have never gotten the demo to run right on Mepis 6.5. So Can not really recommend it.Β  However, that being said, it looks really cool, so if you can get it to run, let me know!

Those are some of my favorite games that are not FPS types, and not arcade games. Do they make Linux a viable Gaming platform? Maybe not, but they are at least a bridge to get people to start using Linux. The more people we get into Linux, who then buy games to run on Linux, the more chance there is that we will be able to get more great games on Linux! So as I have always said,”Want Games in Linux? BUY GAMES IN LINUX!”

New areas!

2! Count them 2 new areas added today!Β  Linux, and Gaming areas were both added.Β  They are both Linux related of course, but still.Β  I will be adding more info to them as I get time, but thought I would get the basics up there now!Β  Hope they help someone!Β  Enjoy!

Regnum Online!

Ok, so a few months back, I noticed a MMORPG on one of the Linux RSS feeds I follow. It is called Regnum Online. It is free, with Premium Content, and it runs natively on Linux and Windows. As a big fan for Linux and MMORPG’s, I of course had to check it out. πŸ™‚ It is a little simple compared to some games out today.. But it is still rather addictive.


As you can see, it is not the highest level graphics ever, however, that being said, it is really a rather cool game. The idea is that you level up on quests, then battle between the 3 kingdoms to own the most castles, towers etc.

Here is the full page.

You can have clans, and parties and all the regular stuff for MMORPG’s… except, they do not have professions. So you can not bake, cook, make potions, or much of anything else like that. It is pretty much an old fashioned Sword & Sorcery type of game. Which is just fine by me. It is also largely played by spanish speaking people as the developers are in Argentina I believe.

I had started out playing it alone, but since a reset where they took the servers live and ended the beta, Emmy and I have been playing together. It is a lot more fun with someone. Emmy and I have been hacking and slashing our way through as a couple of warriors. It is a lot of fun! πŸ™‚ If you care to look us up in the game, we are members of the Syrtis Kingdom, and she is Kilenu, and I am Xirx or Mystak. Have fun all! πŸ™‚ Hope to see you there!


So I am into Linux.. Have been for years.. I have used a bit of everything.. From early Slackware in 94 or 95.. to Redhat 5 or so… then Mandrake for a few years as a server and then Lindows/Linspire a few years later for a Desktop OS.. Since then, I have used a lot of the Debian based distros.. Knoppix, Mepis, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xandros etc.Β  I also tried Lyrcoris, PcLinuxOS, Gentoo and many others.. I find I tend to come back to the Debian based apt-get type distros though, as they are what I know and am comfortable with..

Of course, for anyone who knows me, I also have Emmy, who is right there into Linux with me.Β  So when I seen this I just had to post about it.. Cause Emmy is a Linuxchix through and through.. We run our business for the most part on Linux.. She does all the web development on Linux.. and she has only me as support.. Pretty impressive, as I do not feel I am an expert at much of anything. πŸ™‚Β  Well, just thought it was cool when I seen it and had to share. πŸ™‚

Python Program Idea

So I was thinking about what project might be fun to do with Python as a test. I was thinking maybe a Trivia Game. Something where when you first start it, you pick the default topic that questions are randomly asked from. When someone answers a question correctly, they get given an option to change the topic. If everyone leaves, it stays with the same topic. If you get a high enough score, you get to submit questions to the database, that then have to be oked by the admin.

We could have ads for Amazon and Google type targeted ad stuff linked to different topics and questions. The admin would do that as they were oking submitted questions. The answer area would be seperate from the chat area so that every “guess” someone makes at a question helps to rate it’s difficulty. The more difficult a question is rated, the more points it is worth when it is gotten right. We could also make different difficulty levels that change the time you have to answer. The more difficult questions get put in the appropriate difficulty area.

We would start out with a “General” difficulty level area that people could go into and play, as the questions get rated on difficulty, we could then switch to “Easy”, “Medium”, “Hard” difficulties. Where the time is shorter, and the proper difficulty rating questions always get asked. We could still provide the “General” area where new questions could get added in to pick up a rating. We could also make it so the “General” area is worth 1X times the difficulty rating of the question, “Easy” is 2X, “Medium” 3X, “Hard” 4X. The questions get a rating based on how many guesses each person makes at the answer.


So I got my Python book on Friday, and decided to start trying to work my way through it, yesterday I wrote my first program.. Well, ok, it was my second. My first program was a bit to easy to bother with covering here.. It was print “Hello World!” and that was it. Just like starting to learn any new language. πŸ™‚ I also learned that the Python Programming Language is named after Monty Python. Which I guess I sort of knew, but it was interesting to discover that was the case for sure. Anyways. Here is my first script even close to a real program!

# Make a variable called name, and have the user input what it is equal to
name = raw_input(“What is your name?”)
# Greet the person by name using the variable we collected
print “Hello, ” + name + “!”
# Make the screen pause and wait for input so it does not close the minute it is finished.
raw_input(“Press <enter> “)

Duke 3D in Linux

So I really wanted to get Duke3D going in Linux. I tried the Eduke32, and the JonoFs Build, but had no luck. I decided to go to old faithful for Linux, Icculus. I got an error right off as I tried to build the buildengine with a make. πŸ™ Bummer.

a.c: In function ‘prevlineasm1’:
a.c:189: error: invalid lvalue in assignment
make: *** [a.o] Error 1

Luckily, my better half is a coder geek, so we went to line 189 where it was puking, and she suggested taking out (unsigned long). Parenthesis and all, make sure you leave the rest of the line.

((unsigned long)i4) >>= mach3_al;

make it:

(i4) >>= mach3_al;

We saved the file, tried make again, it worked, I then proceeded to follow the rest of their instructions. Make sure to copy over their .con files otherwise it won’t work! I also downloaded the Hi Res pack. But was unable to get it going with the Icculus version. If anyone knows how, be sure to leave me a comment? Thanks!

Making the Linux version of Simcity 3000 Unlimited work

Ok, so I have been kinda annoyed that I could not make Simcity 3000 Unlimited from LokiGames work in linux in the last few years. Everytime I try, something does not work. I have followed directions from different places for years to get this working in Linux, and never had much success. Until today.

I discovered if you install the Loki Simcity 3000 Unlimited, then download the patch from one of the places here, (This one worked for me.)then install the patch with the command:

./ –keep

If you run the patch without the –keep it will give you an error like this:

Verifying archive integrity…OK
Uncompressing SimCity 3000 Unlimited 2.0a Updatetrap: usage: trap [-lp] [arg signal_spec …]
If all goes well it will install and ask you a few questions. Answer all those right, then run the program using the command:

LD_ASSUME_KERNEL=2.2.5 /usr/local/games/SC3U/sc3u

If you run the game without the LD_ASSIME_KERNEL command it will probably just segment fault on you like it did me. I give credit to this thread on the Ubuntu forms for this info, as well as Google for allowing me to find the info I needed! Hope this helps someone else!

SimCity 3000 Unlimited

Library Books

So everytime I get a chance, I go and comb the local library for Python and Linux books. Why? Well, because I would like to know more about Linux, and because I have had a long standing interest in learning Python. Ever since I discovered you could create applications like Lsongs in Python. Lsongs may not be the best music player ever, but it is pretty feature rich, and reasonably pretty. So it got me interested in Python. I will be trying to learn more about Python soon as I just bought a decent book from Amazon on Python.

What I did get recently at the library was Linux For Dummies and Linux Power Tools. Seems silly right? Getting a Dummies book, and a Powertools book? However, the dummies book is about Fedora Core, which I have not used. The last time I tried an RPM distro was Red Hat 6.2 and Mandrake 8.2? Mandrake is now Mandriva, Red Hat now has a seperate free version (Fedora Core) and their Red Hat Products are aimed at Servers and such. So it has been a while. So the Dummy book on Fedora could be interesting. Although, the more I read about RPM stuff, the more I am happy with Debians apt-get and synaptic and dpkg package management for stuff. πŸ™‚

The Power Tools book is all about improving performance and tweaking your system. In the book they talk about compiling your own kernel, different package management for different distros (they talk about Suse, Red Hat, Debian, Mandrake and Slackware throughout the book.) If you ever wanted a bit more in depth knowledge of the differences in distros, this is not a bad book. It has just enough info to be useful, but not enough to make you an expert at anything. πŸ˜›

As I read more, I will post more thoughts about it. Just felt like I should post some idea of what I am learning today.


Ok, so Emmy read my entry for the other day, and said,”You really should put a step by step instruction on your blog.” So, I thought about it, and thought she was right. After all, I did link to a lot of places with a lot of good info, but what if those places go away? So, here is a step by step of what I did to recover my dying drive.

  1. Put old drive back in as slave. Make sure you have enough room on your master drive for the entire old drive, freespace and all.
  2. Boot up your main drive. The failing one probably will not mount, that is why you are trying to rescue it, right? However, you will need to know what device it is. If it is actually the slave off the master, it will probably be /dev/hdb something. So goto a konsole and type mount, that will give you a list of all partitions, mounted or not that are available on your system. Find the one you are looking to recover.
  3. Type : dd_rescue /dev/hdb3 /home/mine/Backups/olddrive.img
    The Command, The device, This is the directory you want it backed up to.
  4. Make sure the directory you are backing up to has plenty of space on that partition. If you run out of space, you may not recover what you wanted.
  5. Watch it run… watch it run for a very long time… watch it stop on errors for a long time. Find something else to do.. Watch a movie or 10.
  6. When it finishes, you should be able to do an su or sudo depending what distro you are running. You need access to write to system areas and do admin tasks.
  7. losetup /dev/loop1 /home/travis/Backups/olddrive.img
  8. That will set the image you just created as a loop device.
  9. You will then want to mkdir /media/olddrive or whatever or where ever else you want to reference it.
  10. mount -t reiserfs /dev/loop1 /media/olddrive
  11. You will need to know something of the mount command, and what file system type you have. With Linspire, it was Reiserfs. Also, you can exit the console at this point if everything was successful.
  12. I was then able to open /media/olddrive in konq and see everything from my old drive and copy it off. I love Linux and ddrescue!

I hope this helps someone as much as all those other references helped me. At the very least it gives everyone one more place to possibly find what they need to know to save some important data! For good measure, here is another picture I recovered!

Me on a rope swing!