Here we release our first point release, 0.52.1, in the beta development cycle. Major changes are bug fixes, more free stuff, and a flatpak.
Unvanquished is a first person real time strategy game that just reached Beta status with its 0.52 release some weeks ago. As a player, you become either a soldier or an alien beast, building useful structures like mining machines, poisonous gas parasites, and earning your salary with your feats of arms or feeding yourself from your unfortunate victims to buy your big freaking gun or evolve to a deadlier form to gain the upper hand.
This 0.52.1 beta release is entirely compatible with the 0.52 beta one. You can join 0.52.1 servers with 0.52 clients or join 0.52 servers with 0.52.1 clients.
We recommend to update both servers and clients as this 0.52 version fixes graphical bugs and the newer 0.52.1 client on an older 0.52 server may still reproduce some visual bugs because it will load older 0.52 data.
Note: we also published a blog post summarizing how we dealt with recent Freenode IRC drama and the current status of our chat service.
The Unvanquished launcher is made for you
If you installed and you run the game using the launcher, it will prompt for an update.
We strongly recommend players to use the launcher. The launcher will download and update the game data with bittorrent, install and configure the game properly for you and keep it up to date. The launcher is free software as well.
Other downloads like the universal zip or the raw torrent are for advanced users. Using them you won’t be able to use the server list from this website to join games, nor to join games from the chat. Your operating system or unarchiver may not extract the game in a way it can work. Your operating system may prevent you to run the game if you don’t know what application translocation means.
We have seen third-party websites providing needlessly convoluted and non-reproducible instructions to run the game, even sometimes giving instructions contrary to the ones we provided in the readme shipped with the data they may break by doing so.
We have a launcher. It’s a single binary to download and run. It’s made for you. If you use Linux, the Flatpak is also a good option (see below).
This was one of the oldest and most noticeable bugs we fixed, along with another one making a weapon model disappear when looking at some angles, which was fixed just before the 0.52 release (and then already shipped to you players)!
We worked around an Nvidia bug affecting all Nvidia GL 3+ hardware (from Tesla hardware from 2007 to their recent GPUs) on all of their proprietary drivers (340, 390, 465…) on all operating systems (Windows, macOS, Linux…). This bug didn’t affected the same Nvidia hardware running the free open source nouveau driver, and this bug did not affected any other hardware or any other driver from any other GPU vendor.
The bug was there since forever, but was never seen before 0.52 release because it was hidden by a disabled option we turned on in 0.52, uncovering the bug at release time. The bug, affecting animated models, caused not all model surfaces to be entirely rendered on every frame, resulting in black artifacts on the model.
At the root of the bug, we noticed a computation did not produce the same result in a reproducible way when done in two different places and using the proprietary Nvidia drivers, it may be an unlucky GLSL compilation (resulting in floating point discrepancies) or an actual compiler bug. The bug was fixed by arbitrarily rewriting the code to avoid triggering this effect in the GLSL compiler.
Some people reported some graphical issues on Intel UHD. This may be a driver regression since the issue was not seen previously while testing similar hardware. This seems to not affect Intel GPUs older than UHD. If you’re affected, just use the Medium graphical preset and everything will be fine.
To make modding easier, we gathered some configuration files that were previously stored in multiple DPKs into the unvanquished one, making it more comfortable to edit things without having to touch multiple packages.
We’ve set up a special web service that redirects https links to our unv:// protocol, allowing our bot to paste clickable links in chat places (like IRC or Discord). This way you can join a game just by clicking a link in the chat, when the bot announces it.
We have a Flatpak
This will be appreciated by some Linux users, we now have a flatpak alongside our usual updater. A flatpak is a Linux package meant to be working across multiple distributions. The Unvanquished flatpak is now available on Flathub.
The flapak properly integrates the game with the desktop as well as the launcher.
Note: flatpaks do not store their configuration at the same place we do. While we store game configuration in
~/.local/.share/unvanquished the flatpak stores it in
~/.var/app/net.unvanquished.Unvanquished/data/unvanquished/. This can be useful to know if you want to use the flatpak and keep your configuration.
Our wiki is now free
You may remember that after a multi-year effort of reaching out past contributors to replace non-free licenses on our assets by free ones, we announced that our game data is now free and open source. And given our game and engine code was already free, this meant our game is now free.
At the same time, a similar effort was done to free our wiki. For some unknown reason, the default license of the wiki was a non-free license (it had a non-commercial clause that is considered non-free). We attempted to reach out every contributors of our wiki to switch to a free open source license instead.
Unfortunately, one contributor never answered our requests, and this one authored a large amount of contributions. So we had to review one by one every of his contributions to either identify it was already deleted or replaced, or to identify it wasn’t subject to copyright or that it was subject to someone else’s copyright, or to simply delete the contribution or replace them with new original contributions done by other authors agreeing with the new free and open source license.
That wiki relicensing effort lasted 5 years and 6 month… and on the 8th of June of 2021, at 04:00 UTC, we switched the wiki license to a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike one, effectively removing the non-free Non-Commercial clause. Starting with that date and time the wiki content is considered free, while older revisions may be subject to other terms.
So, our game engine is free, our game code is free, our game data is free, and now our documentation is free. 🕊