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Unusual Physics Engine Game Ported To Linux 117

Posted by Soulskill
from the three-cheers dept.
christian.einfeldt writes "Halloween has come early for Linux-loving gamers in the form of the scary Penumbra game trilogy, which has just recently been ported natively to GNU-Linux by the manufacturer, Frictional Games. The Penumbra games, named Overture, Black Plague and Requiem, are first-person survival horror and physics puzzle games which challenge the player to survive in a mine in Greenland which has been taken over by a monstrous infection/demon/cthulhu-esque thing. The graphics, sounds, and plot are all admirable in a scary sort of way. The protagonist is an ordinary human with no particular powers at all, who fumbles around in the dark mine fighting zombified dogs or fleeing from infected humans. But the game is remarkable for its physics engine — rather than just bump and acquire, the player must use the mouse to physically turn knobs and open doors; and the player can grab and throw pretty much anything in the environment. The physics engine drives objects to fly and fall exactly as one would expect. The porting of a game with such a deft physics engine natively to Linux might be one of the most noteworthy events for GNU-Linux gamers since the World of Goo Linux port."
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Unusual Physics Engine Game Ported To Linux

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 17, 2009 @07:18AM (#28727719)

    I remember trying the Penumbra... Scariest experience in my life. No other game or movie has gotten anywhere near. (Though I am the kind of person that get scared easily.)

    Sneaking in dark mines, waiting for your eyes to get used to the darkness enough that you see something, hearing that there is something else nearby and staying still... I hoped it - whatever it was - would not see me (if it hadn't already)...

    And you know that though you can escape, you can't outrun anything so you should very slowly sneak towards the door, turn the knob and get yourself to the other side and close the door before anything else gets there... But then again, you have no idea what is on the other side of the door.

    I still don't know what was it that killed me. Perhaps one of such zombie dogs. It was pretty early and I didn't open the game again. Would recommend it, though.

  • Not recently ported (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Rynor (1277690) on Friday July 17, 2009 @07:22AM (#28727733)
    This Penumbra trilogy has been on Linux for a while, the first game ran on linux somewhere in 2007 iic, so it's definitely not recently ported... the only news here is that it's perhaps cheaper now, so it's a nice slashvertisement.

    That being said, these games are pretty cool if you like survival horror / adventure games.
  • by zwei2stein (782480) on Friday July 17, 2009 @07:40AM (#28727805) Homepage

    ... he player must use the mouse to physically turn knobs and open doors ...

    Oh come on, ain't first rule of game design to throw away "realistic" rubbish and make game comfortable to play?

  • This p'sses me off! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 17, 2009 @07:56AM (#28727895)

    This company can manage a native port of this great sounding game and engine, but WTF happened to UT3 and when are Bethesda going to port Fallout 3 and DLCs to GNU eh? Never that's when!

    Seems like only the little companies are preapred to dispense with the BS and try something truly original, UT2004 was ported when EPIC was still allowed to, then ATARI got in there and just like the old days of the 80's, they suits decided that they not going to support some Mickey Mouse hippy type O/S!

    Ughh!

  • by Razalhague (1497249) on Friday July 17, 2009 @07:59AM (#28727917) Homepage
    It's called "immersion". You wouldn't believe the effect this has on simple actions like opening a door. You grab the door and slowly push it open, all the time fearing that there's something on the other side waiting to gnaw your face off. And you know what? It's still comfortable to play.
  • by CarpetShark (865376) on Friday July 17, 2009 @08:05AM (#28727947)

    Oh come on, ain't first rule of game design to throw away "realistic" rubbish and make game comfortable to play?

    Generally speaking, you're quite right, so long as you bear in mind that sometimes the physical stuff -- timing your jump and hitting the button at just the right time for instance --- is where the challenge comes from.

    BUT, in a horror game, it may be quite different. Horror is usually about making people uncomfortable -- ESPECIALLY about things like how fast they should open a door, whether they should rethink the action halfway through, whether they've already made a noise and should therefore get out of the room they're currently in ASAP, etc.

  • Re:It's Only $5 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by loki_tiwaz (982852) on Friday July 17, 2009 @08:24AM (#28728073)

    i bought these games on steam, i think i paid the same. good games but i found it incredibly frustrating the lack of object highlighting as you would in some places have to scan your mouse around to find objects of interest, as, not *everything* would be interactive.

    however, given a walkthrough i got to enjoy the very scary events of one of the games but i have to say that solving a puzzle is one thing, but not being able to find the pieces is quite another. i have played dreamfall, and that game is mostly puzzle with a bit of fun scary action in it, it's more playable.

    but whinges aside. kudos for porting the game to linux. imho, game engines are probably not that hard to port from one platform to another, given the use of opengl. getting the management to see the worth of it is quite another. hopefully this will change in time. games that use opengl are also readily ported to mac. with the rapid uptake of ipods and iphones i suspect that the rate of new buyers of macs will slowly escalate, and this should bring more game engines onto opengl and thus increase the chances of other operating systems getting them too.

    and then finally, almost anything will actually be available in mostly the same state almost anywhere. wouldn't that be lovely.

  • Re:It's Only $5 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by menkhaura (103150) <espinafre@gmail.com> on Friday July 17, 2009 @08:57AM (#28728373) Homepage

    Voted with my pocket and bought my copy, too. I just couldn't find the system requirements on the site.

  • by KlaymenDK (713149) on Sunday July 19, 2009 @07:06AM (#28746803) Journal

    3 games for a fiver?
    For Linux even?
    In this quality?
    I just can't *not* buy this game, which will be my first game purchase since I fished a copy of Half-Life (1) out of a bargain bin, back when I still had Windows at home.

    But My God, this game is too creepy for me! The game is so dark and moody, it's no use trying to play it in any sort of daylight. Thanks for that, yer bastards. ;-) I cherish the opportunity to run a proper 3d game, in fullscreen resolution, I do appreciate the very nice motion blur effects, and it is kind of fun to learn the somewhat different control method (which, for some reason, reminds me of Alone in the Dark).

    But it's just sneak sneak sneak BOOH! and I don't think my nerves can take this. I mean, that one place within the crawling tunnels of Space Quest was quite enough for me, thank you very much. I'd much rather play something like Day of Defeat (v1.3-ish), ported to Linux.

    Still: if a smallish game company can pull this off, there is just *NO BLOODY EXCUSE* for EA and the rest of 'em to not do the same. True, one might argue that Friction "needs" to do something like this because they need to make a name for themselves, they need an "edge" that the big studios just don't need to bother with, but it does not alter the fact that Linux *can* support great games. Most likely, we will see an influx soon (which is about bloody time, really).

    Kudos to Friction and a friendly nod to my brothers across the strait. I wasn't aware the Copenhagen Post went back that far ;-) (hi San!).

If I'd known computer science was going to be like this, I'd never have given up being a rock 'n' roll star. -- G. Hirst

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