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Josh “Cheeseness” Bush
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Josh Bush

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Last week, I sat down along with DerRidda and Nemoder to chat with Linux porter and F/OSS enthusiast +Ryan Gordon for my last +SteamLUG  Cast as group owner/admin person. Had a blast :D

Oh, and +Ethan Lee dropped in to say hi as well ^_^
 
We spoke to renowned Linux porter, Ryan Gordon, about the history, the future, and the current status of Linux Gaming.
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Josh Bush

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I'm currently doing research for a second article that I'm writing about the cinematic platformer Another World/Out of This World, this time exploring the ways that players have experienced and connected with the game over the past 23 years.

I've put together this questionnaire to help encourage people to share their memories/feelings/stories. It might seem a little long, but it's not like I'm likely to have the opportunity to do this again, so it's worth it :D

http://goo.gl/forms/VJPEzBcAJ2

I'd like to receive responses by the 25th of April. If anybody knows anybody who might be interested in providing responses, please pass this on!

Thanks ^_^
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Another World QuestionnaireHi, and thank you for your interest in my upcoming article on Another World (also known as Out of This World), which will be published at cheesetalks.net Below is a questionnaire I am using to gather perspectives and stories from fans of the game, which I will use as I write about the ways in which players have personally connected with the game and its themes. Please be as anecdotal as you like, and don't stress over any questions that feel ha...
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The January TasLUG Launceston meeting will be on Saturday the 31st at 2:00pm (lunch at 1:00pm) in the upstairs meeting room at the Royal Oak (crnr Brisbane and Tamar Streets).

For this month's meeting, we'll be taking a look at the Fedora 21 GNU/Linux distro and doing a demonstration install.
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I didn't quite make the 7DFPS deadline this year, so this will be a fun talk to give.
 
The November TasLUG Launceston meeting will be on Saturday the 29th at 2:00pm (lunch at 1:00pm) in the upstairs meeting room at the Royal Oak (crnr Brisbane and Tamar Streets).

For this month's meeting, we'll be looking at making a simple 3D game using SDL2 and OpenGL.
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The October TasLUG Launceston meeting will be on Saturday the 25th at 2:00pm (lunch at 1:00pm) in the upstairs meeting room at the Royal Oak (crnr Brisbane and Tamar Streets).

For this month's meeting, we'll be looking at Clonezilla Server Edition.
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So, for anybody who hasn't yet noticed,  the acclaimed 90s cinematic platformer Another World is now available on Linux.

It's been a fun ride to get here, and I'm looking forward to hearing how new and old players react to being able to play it natively.

I'm also very interested to hear from anybody who is passionate about the game and would be willing to answer some questions about why the game remains relevavnt for a collection of short interviews I'm doing as a companion piece.

Enjoy!
In 1991 I first played Another World (also known as Outer World and Out of This World in some regions), a game that would have a greater and more lasting impact on me than any other. On the surface, it seems clear that Another World is a product of its time, and does not align well to some ...
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Josh Bush

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I'll be giving another Inkscape talk tomorrow \o/
 
Tomorrow's Launceston Tasmanian Linux Users Group meeting will be on Saturday the 28th at 2:00pm (lunch at 1:00pm) in the upstairs meeting room at the Royal Oak (crnr Brisbane and Tamar Streets).

For this month's meeting, we'll be taking a look at the recent 0.91 release of Inkscape and going through the steps of creating an example illustration.
Hi all! Apologies for the late announcement. This month’s Launceston meeting will feature a talk on the recent 0.91 release of Inkscape, covering its new features and going through the steps of creating an example illustration. 2:00pm Saturday 28th February Royal Oak Launceston As per usual, some of us will be meeting for lunch there …
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I wrote a little something about Grim Fandango Remastered yesterday
https://www.gamingonlinux.com/articles/unfurl-your-scythes-grim-fandango-is-now-available.4889
Double Fine's remastered version of Grim Fandango has launched and is now available for Linux on Steam, GOG and the Grim Fandango Remastered website.
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For any of my Linux using friends, we're currently running a poll to gather information on what game genres people are interested in seeing more of in 2015 (requires SteamLUG group membership, which is open to the public)
SteamLUG - the Steam Linux User Group! A multilingual community of Linux gamers which aims to be a fun, welcoming space for people of all backgrounds and aptitudes.
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Any adventure/Double Fine fans at PAX Australia are totally welcome to come along! Weather forecast still says rain and hail, so we may need to fall back to the bad weather location (a nice warm, indoor food court).

http://double-fine-game-club.github.io/bbq/
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Transistor is now out for Linux and Mac:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/237930/

The Linux version supports the DualShock 4 light bar, too:

https://vine.co/v/OM00rdtZ6LF

Documentation is already up on the PCGW:

http://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Transistor


This is the second time I've ported something that I previously wrote about on G+. I could get used to this.

But let's talk about the port again anyway, since I've talked about the game before. Before referring to that old post, let's talk about the overall work:

Basically, I took all the files in their MonoGame branch that referred to OpenTK, and replaced them with the FNA versions of those files. That's about it. Most of the files never changed, and the FNA files that replaced the OpenTK files went through minor changes to line up with the internal APIs (primarily, fixing things to work under the XNA 3.1 spec, but not actually changing any functionality). For the actual game it was mostly the obvious set of changes, like save paths, and very little else. I made a couple changes so my very old Mono compiler would be happy, but those changes aren't relevant in the shipping version since the C# assemblies you're playing with are built by VS2012, primarily to ensure accuracy in the assembly output.

So what about those points I talked about back in May? Let's go in order:

1: Holy crap so much threaded OpenGL

It turns out Supergiant took my advice on this one. Pretty much to the letter, actually. By the time I got the source, they implemented a single-threaded renderer that uses the exact same ForceToThread setup I've got in FNA. Looking at their patch notes, it helped in the exact way that I discussed, too.

But, there was still some threaded GL hidden away. Not a whole lot, but it was there. At the beginning there was still a pair of MakeCurrent operations to get the context on the render thread, but it didn't actually do anything on the original thread, so I just delayed the context creation to when we made the render thread. This gives us a 100% single-threaded renderer, even if the rendering isn't technically happening on the main thread.

2: WinAPI

Nice and straightforward. What wasn't immediately fixed by moving to the FNA files was found/fixed in the first day; cursors work with SDL_SetCursor, total RAM is found with SDL_GetSystemRAM, etc. The cursors aren't 100% accurate since the .cur files didn't translate to SDL-compatible bitmap files very well (this may change with SDL 2.0.4, I'll revisit when I get my hands on it), but they do work well enough, I think. Since we use FNA for the platform stuff, it behaves identically to any other XNA port I've done, from the window management to the gamepad compatibility.

3: Steamworks requirement

I was right about it requiring Steamworks, but it does have an offline mode if you've got the libraries. I'm used to being able to omit those files in Steamworks# titles, but hey, if you've got the files, it works. Fine.

4: Middleware I don't have access to

I got the Bink libs. Duh.

Bink may very well be the first proprietary middleware I've ever used in my career where it actually worked consistently and reliably across all targets without a bunch of per-platform nonsense. In fact, the only problem I did find in the Bink work was on Supergiant's end; they weren't allocating memory for some planes that Bink wanted, and somehow that worked on Windows and PS4, but Linux/Mac caught it and an engineer at RAD was able to tell us what was up. It was a shocking contrast to the other middleware I had to fight...

5: Middleware that doesn't even exist yet

I updated FMOD Studio to 1.04.05 to get Linux compatibility. Just updating this one library took most of my time. I honestly don't want to talk about this one right now... maybe another time. There is still exactly one segfault in the audio engine that the new FMOD libs introduced for reasons science itself will never understand, and if you're unlucky enough you might even find it right at the end of the initial loading screen (it'll look something like a double free() 50 stack frames into FMOD Studio's update() call, even though there's no audio at this point). We only saw it once after I "fixed" the original problem, so it "should" be okay, but FMOD's a strange, confusing beast like that.


Middlewares aside, this port was about as straightforward as I anticipated, and you can expect it to be very accurate to the Windows version, with Light Bar support being a feature even Windows doesn't have.
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Josh Bush

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Last month I interviewed Lee Petty of +Double Fine Productions  about Stacking, his charming third person adventure featuring matryoshka dolls (Russian stacking dolls). If anybody's interested, there's a transcript here.
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Whoops. The link is correct, but the page title was wrong. That's been fixed, but G+ has cached it and there's not much I can do ^_^
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Photographer, artist, programmer, musician, gamer, writer.