Ludic Linux

  • OpenVPN for Gaming

    How I got it set up

    I’m no expert, certainly not in networking, so this isn’t so much a HowTo as a HowIDid. I’ll show you how I set up OpenVPN to allow my friends and I to play old ass games that only work on LAN (in our case, Titan Quest and a spot of FlatOut 2, both via Wine in my case, of course). This solution works for games which rely on UDP broadcast (i.e. games where you can’t just enter a direct IP, you have to look for games on the local network).

  • Snakebird

    Has genetic science gone too far?

    Snakebird is an absurdly cute abstract puzzle game. It’s one of the hardest puzzle games I’ve ever played, second only to the how-did-a-human-being-make-this-thing SpaceChem. Snakebird’s difficulty doesn’t derive from complexity — all you can do is move one of up to three snakebirds in one of four directions — it’s about abstract logic and creative thinking.

    And it really is preposterously cute. Just look at this little fella:

  • Grow Home

    The joy of sandbox

    Grow Home is ostensibly a game about growing a plant in order to get home. And also collecting things. None of that is why you keep playing though, that’s not what it’s really about.

    More than anything, Grow Home reminds me of Just Cause 2.

  • Victor Vran

    Why did it have to be snakes spiders?

    Victor Vran is an ARPG (the devs have even added “ARPG” to the game’s name on Steam, so you can be sure). As such you will be killing a lot of spiders and skeletons (some of whom will be wearing bowler hats). This game has so many spiders that it pushed the average leg-count of enemies up to nine. One cave in particular housed such a huge number of spiders that it crashed my co-op partner’s game (this was during early access, don’t worry).

    To best highlight some of the things Victor Vran does right, I need to outline a few things ARPGs often do wrong…

  • OpenMW (& Morrowind)

    Why they're both amazing

    There’s a certain type of gamer. They played Morrowind at some impressionable time in their lives and fell in love with it. They spend their time on forums and in chat rooms trying, any time it’s mentioned, to convince people that Morrowind is the greatest game ever made and, importantly, why it’s so much better than Oblivion and Skyrim. They wander like hungry ghosts, craving an understanding they never see and dying a little more each time someone says “yeah, sure, but the combat was better in Skyrim”.

    Occasionally they meet another like them and feel an immediate bond, a kinship with this person. Until their new friend reveals that they were a member of House Telvanni. Dirty slaver wizard scum.

  • A Game of Armello

    When you play the game of Armello, you either win or you don't

    Armello is a boardgame played on computer, if you can imagine such a thing. It takes place in a fairytale kingdom populated by anthropomorphic animals who compete with each other to become monarch in what seems to be a very unsustainable governmental system. The game encourages both straightforward combative play and devious skulduggery.

    It’s difficult to usefully describe a game like this; I can tell you that it’s a boardgame-like game which takes place on a hex board with card-based character progression and dice-roll combat, but you could get that information from a screenshot. So how about I play a game and take you through it?

  • Thea: The Awakening

    Non-linear survival strategy steeped in Slavic mythology

    If your first reaction to “roguelike city-builder” is “what?” then we’re in the same boat.

    The devs of Thea: The Awakening recently made us a free Linux version because they’re not (yet) willing to officially support it. I asked them whether there’s going to be an official Linux release at any point and they were understandably (they’re upfront about their lack of Linux experience) non-committal but they did intimate that they intend to keep updating the Linux version:

  • Hard West

    Weird, Weird, West

    I’ve never been particularly enamoured of wild west settings in games (or anything else) but Hard West’s American frontier with occultism and lovecraftian insanity (or as the game’s Steam description puts it, “supernatural chaos”) drew me in immediately. I was worried that the occultist aspects might be overplayed but, so far at least, the blending is deft. It’s the old West with a darkness bubbling under the surface, hinted at early on by chance encounters with creepy strangers and little eruptions of evil suggesting things are rotten beneath.

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