Steam's Summer Sale, a handheld Steam Machine, and more in our weekly open source games roundup

Steam Summer Sale, open source X-COM for the 21st century, and more

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Open source games roundup

Week of June 15 - 21, 2014

In this week's edition of our open source games news roundup, we spend all of our extra cash on the Steam Summer Sale, and then punish ourselves for it by playing the original X-COM with the OpenXcom interface.

Steam Summer Sale runs until June 30

It's that time again, folks. We get to spend money on discounted games that will probably sit unplayed in our Steam accounts until next year's Summer Sale! I kid, I kid. There are some excellent titles available with deep price cuts, many of which will play just fine on your Linux rigs. For more information on the sale, check out the official FAQ.

Open source OpenXcom v1.0 released

The clone of the original X-COM game by MicroProse (you may remember it as UFO: Enemy Unknown, or X-COM: UFO Defense, or possibly X-COM: Enemy Unknown) has hit version 1.0. The release lets you play the original game in a more modern interface, but because it's essentially the same game, it does require that you have a copy of the original installed. And if you're hoping that this version is easier, or that you've gotten better at the game in the twenty years since it came out, think again.

Handheld Steam Machine teased in trailer

Combining the ergonomics of the as-yet-unreleased Steam Controller, the variety of the Steam Library, and the mobility of the PSP, the SteamBoy Machine promises to be "the first device that allows [you] to play Steam games on the go," according to the press release. The press release offered up no details on hardware, and the extent of the project's website is a flashy video showing off a rendered 3D model of the device. The Escapist managed to get ahold of some specs, but I'm still skeptical. Then again, I'm still reeling over all those AA batteries my Sega Game Gear gobbled up...

Game designer releases novel based on his open source shoot 'em up

Project: Starfighter, an open source 2D shmup created by Stephen J. Sweeney, was an ambitious game. With a non-linear plot, rich world-building, and an amazing cast of diverse characters. The game, licensed under the GPL, was originally developed for the Amiga, but has been ported to all sorts of platforms: Linux, Mac OS X, PSP, and Xbox, among others. Now, Sweeney has released a novel set in the game's universe, which just may be "the first time that a commercial novel has been based on an open source game," as he told Boing Boing.

Big thanks to summer intern Bryan Behrenshausen for his help in gathering stories this week. If you like our open source games coverage, be sure to follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.


About the author

Michael Harrison - Michael an unrepentant geek with a love for games, the social web, and open source projects to share with his kids. He writes about raising geek children at GeekDad and records a podcast about games called The Dice Section. You can follow him on Twitter at @oldbie.