Category Archives: Linux

Game: Outlast & Outlast: Whistleblower

OutlastFinished Outlast and its DLC Whistleblower. Phuuu! Played fully on Linux.

Outlast is a nice first-person survival horror game. You are an investigator researching the rumors about the Mount Massive Asylum. You arrive with your car, park the car just at the gate and from this point on you are on your feet, walking around the manor. No one is seen, doors shut tight. Then you find an opened window and you crawl into the building… starting the horror.

Pretty soon you find remnants of brutal massacres. Entrails, heads, limbs, and blood – gallons of blood – everywhere. This is the “good” old school of American horror: gore, gore, GORE! There is no time for a subtle inkling of some ‘thing’ which causes you goosebumps. Mhm, nope. It’s pretty expressive, direct. Brutal. And as if it isn’t enough, the DLC masters to even add to this already very high level of gore. Whistleblower introduces yet two other lunatics with a very unhealthy sense of body fixation. Along with several pretty hefty cutscenes.

And, oh – btw – the graphics are excellent. Light, shadow, smoke, all are very good placed. Some light bulbs are blinking, some lights are shaking. More than once you need your camera with some night vision capabilities to view your path in more or less absolute darkness. These all add to the atmosphere.

From time to time you find documents revealing what has happened to the asylum. The story which started off been rather some sort of cliche turns out to be quite interesting.

Then the gameplay: rather soon you discover to be not the only survivor in this pretty large building. Some inmates are afraid of you, some ignore you, and some … try to kill you. Namely, one big super strong guy, Chris Walker, is very keen and eager to get a “grip” on you. Pretty explicit when he succeeds…

Sadly you are not able to interact with the environment in any other manner than open doors, pick up batteries, jump over obstacles or crouch under them, pressing some buttons, moving some boards and pickup up keys to unlock doors. There is no inventory. You may not combine anything on your way through the manor. No nothing you can use as a weapon to defend yourself. Oh, and no health bar too: run for your life! … or hide under beds or in lockers and pray not to be discovered.

This is also the critic on the game: as a player, you have virtually no agency. There is always exactly one single way the developer wanted you to go. Sometimes faster under stress as been chased to death, sometimes with some leisure. However, you do not have any real choice. As such, Outlast is likely more a horror “movie” than a horror “game”. There is nothing for the player to do as to exactly do what the developers wanted to. Point. No (or at least a very, very limited) interaction with the environment. You can’t even turn the lights on (or off, if you really wanted to be it even darker than in the first place).

If you are interested in good stories, riddles, interesting places look elsewhere. If you are into the most extreme American teenager horror money can get you: welcome.

Still, the enacting, the presentation of the game is really engaging.

7/10 7 out of 10

Bioshock under Linux/Wine: better than Windows! OMG!

Yesterday I found myself in the mood to play a game again. So I turned up my Windows 7 partition and tried to play Bioshock. But: there was no in-game sound. After the very first cut-scenes (the airplane crash) you float in the middle of burning water but mute. No sound, no beep.

So I googled around to fix that issue and discovered there is a ton of people suffering from the same problem. I followed several recommendations but nothing changed. There is even a YouTube video for the very dumb with several tips, but none (none!) enabled the sound. It took me about 1 hour along with several reboots and changing Windows 7 core components. Finally I gave up, frustrated. And I’m not alone with that. It seems that Bioshock under Windows 7 (or Vista) is a No-Go.

Today I tried the same game under Linux and within 5 minutes going for the mouse fix I had it up and running! With full sound enabled!

OMG!

I can’t believe that applications made for Windows do not run under Windows but under a Windows Emulation on Linux. This is crazy. One should expect that applications should run better or at least with equal performance on both operating systems. But having Linux being superior to Windows on Windows own playground … is this yet another sign of dying M$ technology?

So, everyone wanting to play Bioshock but is suffering from the sound problem: get yourself a Linux installment! I guess any will do. Bioshock does run on your machine – but not under this operating system.

Copy 20GB to a remote server: no luck.

On my laptop my harddisk has started to fail. =(

So I wanted to backup my crypt file holding all my valuable files. This crypt file has 20GB. I tried to copy this file at once on our server. No luck.

Tried within KDE (4.9.0), no luck.
Tried in bash with

$ cp crypt-file smb/server/home

(I use to mount Samba shares in ~/smb/SERVER/SHARE)
No luck.

Tried with scp: no luck.

The effect: at a certain point of time the transmission starts to either abort or – in the case of scp – is stalled. That is when I got around 11GB on the server. So scp got stalled and I tried it with the -l option:

$ scp -l 8192 crypt-file user@server:

But this takes an eternity for 20GB! And there is no guarantee of success either.
No luck.

Next, I dropped the TCP SACK ability, which occasionally causes scp to get stalled:

# echo 0 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_sack
$ scp crypt-file user@server:

No luck.

*sigh*

Finally I mounted the crypt and went for rsync

$ rsync -avuz crypt/ user@server:backup

and encrypted there by using gpg the tarball of credentials holding passwords.

*sigh*

So rsync is the salvation. But then it is put there in plain on the server. I admit: this *has* some advantages but the drawback is: that you have to go and find all your precious files which ought to be protected and find yet another way to encrypt them. With the help of $ gpg -e FILE this is ok but cumbersome.

phpBB3 multiboard + VirtualServer

… simply doesn’t work at all. Investigated to much time for this (some hours) without any results but this: it’s totally broken. What a pity. OTOH the phpBB3 devs do not support multiboard on VirtualHost in the first at all. So the Debian people tried hard but failed to find a convenient way to do this.

What a pity.

To have a multiboard running on the machine it is best to kick the update possibilities offered by apt (*sigh*) and go for the plain, manually install into the VirtualHost’s folders. Each with an unique phpBB3 installment. Yes, this works, but leaves the user with the nightmare in upgrading each board in separate, which is very, very cumbersome.

I hope the phpBB3 devs some day realize that multiboard and/or VirtualHost support is needed right out-of-the-box.