Open source and Linux games roundup: week of February 7 - 14, 2015

New games for Linux, Open Source Virtual Reality, and more

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Hello, open gaming fans! In this week's edition, we take a look at Steamworks SDK by Valve, mapping Twitch with Gephi, Open Source Virtual Reality, and more.

Open source and Linux games roundup

Week of February 7 - 14, 2015

Steam Inventory Service beta for Steamworks developers

With an update of Steamworks SDK, Valve has released The Steam Inventory Service beta. This adds another API to the list for Steamworks developers. What this service makes possible is the following, according to Valve:

With this service, a game can easily drop items to customers based on playtime or can grant items based on specific situations or actions within the game. These items can be marked as tradable through Steam or sellable via the Steam Marketplace. Developers can also configure recipes for crafting different combinations of items that result in more rare, unique, or valuable items.

Hats are a good example of such items. They are very popular, as Valve's paid out over $50 million to gamers already who created virtual wares in their games. More on this in an article on

Mapping Twitch’s massive gaming universe

Ana Swanson wrote an interesting article for the Washington Post this week, about Twitch's massive gaming universe. Twitch is a social video platform where gamers chat, broadcast, and watch videos about gaming. The Twitch team set out to map their gaming universe by using an open source tool called Gephi. The graphs clearly show the most popular games being played, like "League of Legends," "Defense of the Ancients 2," "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive," "World of Warcraft," and "Hearthstone."

Gephi is an interactive visualization and exploration platform for all kinds of networks and complex systems, dynamic and hierarchical graphs. Gephi is a free/libre software distributed under the GPL 3.

Read the full article by Swanson, which includes some of the data visualizations by the Twitch team.

More partners join OSVR

Just after the announcement a month ago at the Consumer Electronics Show where the Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) was showcased, Razer announced this week the addition of 13 new partners such as Jaunt and VisiSonics. With these new partners, the total count comes to 38 supporting the VR platform.

And it's not stopping there—the organization is also launching the OSVR Academia Program where it will provide 10 of its Hacker Development Kit VR headsets to universities. OSVR encourages interested parties to inquire on the ‘Join OSVR’ page on the official website.

New games out for Linux

Harold indie racing platformer on Steam

In this game, you are the guardian angel-in-training over Harold as he competes in a series of increasingly complicated and dangerous obstacle courses. Harold is a side-scrolling platformer racing game. The title is built using Unity and works well using PlayOnLinux with the native Steam install. For more information, check out the official website for Moon Spider Studio.

Space Hulk: Ascension - Salamanders Expansion coming this month

A new add-on, The Salamanders Expansion, is coming this month for Space Hulp: Ascension. The pack includes 20 new story missions and 20 flash missions from the story’s Salamander Chapter, adding 30 hours of content. The expansion will be available via Steam.


About the author

Robin Muilwijk - Former and Open Organization moderator/ambassador.