Linux Gaming: Heroes of Newerth

It’s no secret that one of the areas that Windows has the advantage of Linux, is gaming. It’s not that Linux as an OS isn’t capable of running quality games, it’s just that game manufacterers don’t think the Linux gamers can make them any money. For that reason, it’s always nice when a game is released with a native Linux version, like World of Goo a couple of months ago, and Savage 2. Now, the same people who are responsible for the latter are working on a game called Heroes of Newerth. It’s being beta tested at the moment, and yes, the good people of S2 Games provide Windows, Mac and Linux version (both 32-bit and 64!).

Even better, one of the communities it’s reaching out to for the beta test is the Linux community, by providing Phoronix 400 beta keys they could hand out. And as could be expected, 400 won’t be nearly enough. The interest in this was huge. When I asked for a beta key yesterday, the reply forum was on its third page, which means I was one of the first. I then left for a walk, and when I came back the page count had reached 12. A few hours later when I went to sleap it was 31, now it’s 38 and the 400 invites are pretty much gone. And that’s not even counting the people who misunderstood and requested their key by mail or in the wrong thread. Phoronix has already asked for, and received, new keys, and they guarantee that if you’re using Linux and you’re interested in testing this, there will be a key for you.

Now, because the beta is closed, I can’t tell you that much about the game and I certainly can’t show you any screenshots or videos, but if you have a Facebook account you can become a fan. There’s some content there that give you a pretty good idea of what the game is about. In any case, if you ever played DotA, which is a Warcraft 3 mod, you’ll know exactly how the game plays. If you haven’t, but you have played Warcraft 3, just imagine a bunch of Heroes who decided to drop all the building and raising armoes and just kick the crap out of eachother instead. It’s a little more complicated than that, but the gameplay is definitely faster than in Warcraft 3, and strategy is still present but very different.

I can also reveal that I suck at this game :D I played one and a half game and managed to kill absolutely no one. Getting killed, on the other hand, was incredibly easy. I set all kinds of records, but not the good ones. I had a lot of fun though, and my teammates were understood the sheer noobness of my endeavors, though some did go “What in the name of all that’s good and holy are you doing?”

But the best part of this game? Fast, because I didn’t have to run it in wine. Beautiful, because I didn’t have to run it in wine. At the correct screen resolution, because I didn’t have to run it in wine. And it worked as good as the Windows version, because I didn’t have to run it in wine.

If you manage to get your hands on a beta key, go and try it out. It’s well worth it.

San

20 Responses to Linux Gaming: Heroes of Newerth

  1. scott says:

    this is great news :D, S2 will possibly lead other companies into making games linux native games, I hope they do well in sales to show others there is a possible market, especially in this recession.

  2. SoftVision says:

    I’m a DotA fan and I wanted to put this game on Arch and blog about it but I couldn’t get a key. Guess I’ll have to wait a bit.

  3. celettu says:

    SoftVision:

    Not really. As far as I know, Phoronix still has keys left. This was posted 5 minutes ago:

    “Keys sent out to everyone in the list so far… For those that missed it. we still got plenty of keys left. “

  4. [...] Linux Gaming: Heroes of Newerth It’s no secret that one of the areas that Windows has the advantage of Linux, is gaming. It’s not that Linux as an OS isn’t capable of running quality games, it’s just that game manufacterers don’t think the Linux gamers can make them any money. For that reason, it’s always nice when a game is released with a native Linux version, like World of Goo a couple of months ago, and Savage 2. Now, the same people who are responsible for the latter are working on a game called Heroes of Newerth. It’s being beta tested at the moment, and yes, the good people of S2 Games provide Windows, Mac and Linux version (both 32-bit and 64!). [...]

  5. Jackass who is Correct says:

    Linux is not an OS; it is a kernel.

  6. celettu says:

    This is true. I also don’t care.

  7. “It’s not that Linux as an OS isn’t capable of running quality games, it’s just that game manufacterers don’t think the Linux gamers can make them any money.”

    I like linux very much, but you’re forgetting one important thing. If you compare the capabilities of the video drivers in linux to windows, windows definitely has the advantage.

    I must admit: I happen to have an old ati card, which is no longer supported, and won’t function in the the current xorg-server. For 2D graphics the opensource driver works perfectly, but as soon as I need 3D capabilities, the cpu has to do all the work.

    Then add to that the differences in api between xorg versions and the lack of documentation. Next come the different available sound systems. You could just pick one there and the user can usually redirect the sound to his preferable system with some workaround. It would be nicer for the user though to support all standards.

    The big issue however stays the video card. If it’s capabilities could be fully used, linux would truly be ready for games. The only thing still lacking then would be a well documented api to easily access the hardware in a universal way. Let’s call it an open source variation on directx. I know there a few systems to do so.

    And that’s the second issue. I illustrated it above with the example about the sound cards. There usually are different standards in the open source world, which coexist. Not having one standard makes it harder for developers to transport there games to linux. And in the end the question is: will it be profitable?

  8. Leigh says:

    “The big issue however stays the video card. If it’s capabilities could be fully used, linux would truly be ready for games. The only thing still lacking then would be a well documented api to easily access the hardware in a universal way. Let’s call it an open source variation on directx.”

    You can easily use cross platform open standards to build a “DirectX” if the developers are so inclined – it just takes a little bit more thought and initial planning.

    API-wise there are a set of standards for both sound and GFX – OpenAL and OpenGL. The trouble is that between Khronos group dropping the ball and Microsoft making it far too easy to use DirectX few games stuck with OpenGL effectively locking them out of the Linux/Mac arena. This will change, but not because Linux is getting better, but because MacOS is gaining traction at a remarkable rate. The by product is that major studios will probably invest in OpenGL renderers (a fairly trivial task for a well engineered engine) or at least better developed abstraction layers – like we are seeing EA deploy.

    Of course that doesn’t mean that both the opensource and vendor drivers for Linux couldn’t be improved but I don’t see them as the major problem anymore it is sheer economics with a dash of Microsoft back scratching.

  9. Railstorm says:

    Hey guys check out http://www.hon-strategy.com they are giving away beta keys. The site looks like it’s up to date as well

  10. Barnz says:

    This has got to be the most amazing game in the DBG genre!

  11. To be able to play this game we are giving out beta keys.

    Simply read what you need to do here. : http://forumsofnewerth.com/showthread.php?t=205

  12. Adam says:

    Happy New Year. to all of you guys.

  13. Check out the forums there are still many beta keys to be given out. Also if you are a active member there is a point system of where you can purchase GAMESTOP gift cards! It is like your are being a active member of a community and getting paid for it! Check it out!

  14. Marty Yahna says:

    It is remarkable, this very valuable message

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