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[manjaro] xbox 360 controller

December 31, 2015 Leave a comment

Question
For Xmas I bought an Xbox 360 (wired) controller for me. It’s really good :) It works well under Windows but how to use it under Manjaro?

Answer
When I started Manjaro, the led on the central button (“ring of light”) was blinking and the controller didn’t work. I tried it with some games on Steam but nothing happened. Then I noticed that if I unplug and reconnect the controller, then it starts working :) Actually, the cord has an inline release and it’s simpler to disconnect and reconnect this inline release. After this the led stopped blinking and its second quadrant started to glow.

Now the controller worked with the games but I could also move the mouse pointer with the controller. It was disturbing in the games so I had to create the following file:

/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-joystick.conf :

Section "InputClass"
        Identifier "joystick catchall"
        MatchIsJoystick "on"
        MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
        Driver "joystick"
        Option "StartKeysEnabled" "False"       #Disable mouse
        Option "StartMouseEnabled" "False"      #support
EndSection

Restart the machine and you are done. Some tutorials suggest the “xboxdrv” package but I didn’t need that. The kernel in Manjaro includes the “xpad” kernel module and it worked well for me.

There was another problem: while I was playing, after some time the screensaver kicked in. The “caffeine-ng” package solved this issue (see also this post).

Links

Categories: games, manjaro Tags: , , ,

playing Heroes 3 under Linux

October 29, 2015 Leave a comment

I don’t play much but a few days ago I decided to play with Heroes 3 again. GOG.com offers the complete package for less than $10. There is a new HD version but the critics are not very good. Everyone says that the original is much better.

I tried it with Wine and I could install it without any problems. The game worked well for 10 minutes, but then I couldn’t click on some buttons, there was a problem with the mouse handling, so the game became unplayable.

I have dual-boot on my machine but I didn’t want to restart it each time I wanted to play this game. But I also had a Windows 7 in VirtualBox. I use that for work, so I didn’t want to pollute it with games. So I made a linked clone about this virtual machine. It means that the linked clone requires the original image and it only registers the differences. Thus, a linked clone doesn’t require much space. In this linked clone I installed Heroes 3 and it was playable. However, there were some problems with the resolution. The game has a fixed resolution of 800 x 600, so it started in a small area. I wanted to stretch it to fullscreen, so switched on the “Scale Mode” under the “View” menu point of VirtualBox. It was fine on one of my machines, but on another one it bacame terribly pixelated. Upgrading VirtualBox from version 5.0.0 to 5.0.8 solved this issue.

Summary: I can play Heroes 3 again under Linux using VirtualBox. The resolution of Windows is set to 800 x 600 and “Scaled Mode” is activated in VirtualBox.

Links

Categories: games Tags: , , , ,

Game: Frozen Synapse

December 1, 2013 Leave a comment

I found an excellent game in the Humble Store a few days ago called Frozen Synapse. This game was released in 2011 but I never heard of it before.

Frozen Synapse is a turn-based tactics video game developed by independent game developer Mode 7 Games, in which players plan their moves at their leisure and turns are resolved simultaneously. Players attempt to win by giving orders to a small squad of armed combatants, most commonly with the goal of eliminating all enemy units.” (via wikipedia)

Here is the trailer:

The design of the game is very similar to the games of Introversion Software (Uplink, Darwinia, Defcon). I guess the creators of this game are a huge fan of Introversion games :)

In theory it works under Linux too but I couldn’t make it run under my Ubuntu 13.10 yet. I had to try it under Windows.

Are you aware of similar games? If yes, please leave a comment.

Categories: games Tags: ,

The Humble Store

November 12, 2013 Leave a comment

Visit https://www.humblebundle.com/store.

The Humble Store is a permanent addition to the Humble site that allows customers to buy great games at great prices 24/7 for PC, Mac, Linux and Android. The list of games is updated daily!

Today I bought for instance Euro Truck Simulator 2 for $6.25. Good bargain :)

Categories: games Tags:

FTL: Faster than Light

October 14, 2013 Leave a comment

The last weekend I was at the RuPy 2013 conference in Budapest, Hungary. It was awesome! I met lots of cool people who share the same interests as me. I had a great time.

During the conference some guys played a game that turned out to be FTL: Faster than Light. I also tried it and it’s really addictive :) It’s multi-platform; it runs flawlessly on my Linux box.

FTL

Some links:

Thanks Füli for showing me how to play this game :)

Update (20131111)
A free update is on its way! Teaser video here.

Categories: games, ubuntu Tags:

Best movie/game techno soundtracks

April 14, 2013 Leave a comment

Here I collect my favourite soundtracks. The entries come in no particular order. The list is not final, it will be extended over time.

Movies

Games

Categories: games, movie Tags: , ,

Uplink: the game

April 6, 2013 Leave a comment

Uplink_1I play very rarely but this week we had a holiday and I tried Darwinia (2005) from Introversion. It was a mistake because now I must try their other games too :) Yes, thay are that awesome!

The first game from Introversion was Uplink, which has become a cult hacker simulator. “It is best described as a simulator of the cinematic depiction of computer hacking.” It was released in 2001. It’s a shame that I heard about it 12 years later but later is still better than never…

Linux
The game is available on Linux in Steam. However, I had a problem with the resolution. The game started with a different resolution and in the middle of the tutorial I couldn’t click on some icons, this event was not recognized by the software. From the command line you can start the game with any resolution so with the following launcher script I could solve the problem:

# uplink.sh (I use 1920x1080 resolution under Linux)
cd /opt/Steam/SteamApps/common/Uplink
./uplink.bin.x86_64 '!graphics_screenwidth' 1920 '!graphics_screenheight' 1080

How to get started
The game has a built-in tutorial that explains the basics. Then go through the Ultimate Uplink Guide, which explains everything :) You can also look at some YouTube videos if you get stuck with some advanced missions. Here is a short walkthrough too.

Soundtrack
The game has a very nice soundtrack. My favourite song is The Blue Valley, which is the perfect “hacker song” in my opinion :) But you can listen to the whole soundtrack too.

Related Movies

Links

Save Game
There is no “save game” option. If you get caught, it’s over. But there is a solution :) Your game state is saved to ~/.uplink, so all you have to do is quit the game regularly and make a backup of this directory. The game starts instantly so you don’t lose much time with this. But if you die and you need to restart from scratch, well… that’s annoying. I made a little backup script. It makes a copy of the ~/.uplink directory in the current folder and adds a timestamp to it. I put it in ~/backup. I suggest keeping several backups because in the game you are not caught immediately. You may continue to play for several in-game days when the black screen of death appears.

#!/usr/bin/env python

import os
import shutil
from datetime import datetime

UPLINK_DIR = "{home}/.uplink".format(home=os.path.expanduser('~'))

def get_timestamp_from_year_to_second():
    """A compact timestamp."""
    now = datetime.now()
    date = datetime.date(now)
    time = datetime.time(now)
    template = "{year}_{month:02}_{day:02}_{hour:02}{minute:02}{second:02}"
    return template.format(year=date.year, month=date.month, day=date.day,
                           hour=time.hour, minute=time.minute, second=time.second)

def main():
    dest = "uplink_{timestamp}".format(timestamp=get_timestamp_from_year_to_second())
    shutil.copytree(UPLINK_DIR, dest)

#############################################################################

if __name__ == "__main__":
    main()

Extra Stuff

Categories: games Tags: , , ,