sabato 24 agosto 2013

5 different ways to track frames-per-second

Hi guys! This is a tutorial about tracking some frames-per-second when running your favourite games. This tutorial will cover tracking FPS on native Linux games (2 ways to do that), on Crossover, on Wine and on PlayOnLinux!
On Windows, there's an easy way to do that, and that's using Fraps, which is an amazing program. Unfortunately, on Linux there's no program like Fraps, but don't desperate, i have the solution for you!
Why do you have to track FPS? The answer is pretty simple, sometimes you want to check the performances of the game on your OS, maybe changing some options to improve those performances and make the game run better than before.
So, let's begin with...


First of all, launch the program and go into the "manage bottles" section.
Now, select a bottle and click on "run command..."

In this section, select the right command (the main executable of the game), click on "debug options", then "create log file", and write "+fps" inside the "other:" blank line.

Then, click on "run". At this moment, the program will ask you where to put the log file you're about to create, so choose the folder you prefer and give a name to the file (for example: NBA 2K13.log).
Play the game as usual. The more you play it, the more it will be accurate.
When you go back to the desktop, double-click on the log you've created.

This is the only way to do that. You can't track FPS in-game, but you can get informations about the lowest and the highest FPS you get inside the game, and an average value of them (the average value is the number which is repeated more times).


Launch the program, click on a shortcut and then on "configure".
As you can see, there's a "debug flags" line. Write "fps" inside that, and close the window.

Now, instead of running the game with the "run" command, click on "run debug".
It will open a window, the debug window, where FPS are tracked.
Play the game as usual. The more you play it, the more it will be accurate.
When you go back to the desktop, the window is still opened.

You can choose to check your FPS inside the window, or open the log file. If you want to do that, click on "find this log file", it will open a folder (/home/yourusername/.PlayOnLinux/wineprefix/nameoftheshortcut/), and it will tell you that the log file is called "playonlinux.log". Open that file, and you've done it!

This is the only way to do that. You can't track FPS in-game, but you can get informations about the lowest and the highest FPS you get inside the game, and an average value of them (the average value is the number which is repeated more times).


Open the terminal inside the main directory of the game.
Then, run this command "WINEDEBUG=fps wine ./mainexecutableofthegame.exe 2>&1 | tee /dev/stderr | grep --line-buffered "^trace:fps:" | osd_cat".

The game will open, and you will see in the left-upper part of the screen, the FPS you're getting while playing.

This is an easy way to track your FPS, but nothing will be saved inside a file.
If you want to save your performances inside a file, you have to run this command instead of the previous one: "WINEDEBUG=fps wine ./mainexecutableofthegame.exe &> /home/yourusername/Desktop/nameofthelog.log | tee /dev/stderr | grep --line-buffered "^trace:fps:" | osd_cat"

The game will run, you will NOT see the FPS while playing the game, but they will be saved inside a file. Close the game, go to the desktop, open the file and...

Native Linux client (debug console method):

This method works only if the game you're running provides a debug console.
In general, you can search "nameofthegame show fps" on Google to find out if you can track FPS in your game without external tricks.
For example, Half-Life provides a debug console which can be shown with the "\" button.
The command to show FPS inside the game is "cl_showfps 1"

Close the console, and this is the result..

Nothing will be saved inside a file and there's no way to do that.

Native Linux client (Mumble method):

If your game does not provide a console or any way to show FPS, Mumble is what you wish for.
Mumble is a teamspeak-like program, which provides some overlay options, including FPS tracking.
First of all, install it with the command "sudo apt-get install mumble".

Now, if you use a 32-bit version of Ubuntu, you can easily skip the next 3 steps.
But, if you use a 64-bit version of Ubuntu, you may have some library issues. Here's the way to solve those problems.
Open this link: "".
Download the file "mumble-plugins-1.2.4-0.20120422.1.i586.rpm".

Extract it with the archive manager to your desktop folder.

Now, open a terminal inside the extracted /home/yourusername/Desktop/usr/lib/mumble/ folder.
Run the command "sudo cp .* /usr/lib32"

Then, finally open the program. Open "settings -> overlay". Click on "show FPS counter" and check if "enable overlay" is ON.

DO NOT CLOSE MUMBLE. This is very important, do not close it. Leave it open (you can reduce it if you want).
Open a terminal inside the folder of the game you want to play.
Type this command "mumble-overlay ./executableofthegame"

The game will run.

And then, you will see your FPS counter in the left-upper part of the screen (yeah, just like FRAPS).
Nothing will be saved inside a file and there's no way to do that.

So, if you enjoyed this tutorial, or you have some other tips, or you want to ask me anything, feel free to send me an email or just answer this post, i will always answer you!

venerdì 23 agosto 2013

Let's Play: Brutal Legend

Welcome again to a new "Let's Play".
It is now time for such a great game, a triple A game which has a native Linux client (and this is awesome)... I'm talking about "Brutal Legend"!
Brutal Legend features a heavy metal tracklist and some original voices by Ozzy Osbourne, Jack Black, Lemmy (Motorhead) and so on.. And since i'm a heavy metal fan, i LOVE this game.
Great graphics, violence, funny and original voices, all in a game!

But, let's see how to install and play this game on Ubuntu.

A hard choice?

No, not at all. First i want to tell you that the Linux version of the game was released inside the "Humble Double Fine Bundle", and i don't know if another Linux version is available right now. So, all you gotta do is to download the Humble Bundle version and install it on Ubuntu (be careful, it's about 8 GB).

Talking about performances...

First of all, my hardware:

agp_aperture_size: 256
cpu: AMD Phenom(tm) II X4 955 Processor
cpu_ghz: 3.21
distro: Ubuntu 13.04 raring
kernel: 3.8.0-30-generic
machine_bitness: 64
memory: 3953
soundcard: HDA ATI SB at 0xfbcf4000 irq 16
soundcard_driver: ALSA Version k3.8.0-30-generic
videocard_direct: True
videocard_driver_version: 4.3.0 NVIDIA 325.15
videocard_manufacturer: NVIDIA Corporation
videocard_ram: 1024
videocard_type: GeForce GTX 550 Ti/PCIe/SSE2
x_version: X.Org X Server 1.13.4

Here's the pain. The game works, and that's a fact. I tested it on my Ubuntu 13.04 x64 and on Windows 7 x64. I found out that performances are good with "low" quality (which is not actually bad, it's nice but it's not the best), but are very bad with "high" quality (all maxed out). The good thing is that performances are quite similar on Ubuntu and on Windows. My conclusion is that the game, firstly went out on console, has not been optimized for PC, so even if the game does not require a powerful hardware, it stutters at high settings. However, another good thing is that the game is awesome even at low settings.
Anyway, check this graphs out (FXAA << SSAA4x):

As you can see, performances on high settings (last graph) are quite bad, even on Windows.


The process depends on your connection speed.
Quite simple: download the .deb, install it, play.


That's all. Feel free to send me an email or leave a comment if you got some problems or if you just wanna ask me a question. I will always answer you!

giovedì 22 agosto 2013

The Humble Weekly Sale: Hosted by PewDiePie

Damas y caballeros, it's now time for another humble weekly sale!
This week it's a very strange one: all the games contained in this bundle have been chosen by a youtuber, PewDiePie (if you don't know him, here's his channel:

Let's see which games PewDiePie has chosen for this bundle:

- Botanicula: In Botanicula, you must guide a motley band of tree creatures in a journey to save their home from brooding, spider-like invaders. With a huge cast of charming characters, Botanicula is the latest and greatest example of Amanita Design's unique storybook vision brought to vivid fruition in a point-and-click adventure game.

- McPixel: You've got 20 seconds to save the day in McPixel! This point-and-click parody of MacGyver will have you scrambling to put out a stick of dynamite in 100 different levels. You'll find yourself in some absurd situations, like standing on a roof with a cow or facing a sumo wrestler with a Poké Ball. Once you've mastered all the levels, you can also create your own levels of hilariousness and insanity.

- Thomas Was Alone: It's hip to be a square (or any other kind of parallelogram) in Thomas Was Alone, a minimalistic puzzle-platformer. Start out as Thomas, a red rectangle, then fall and jump through 100 levels as you discover new friends along the way. You'll run into John, a tall, lanky, and helpful yellow rectangle, Sarah, a pint-sized curious purple rectangle with a powerful double jump, and more, as you fall in love with the characters in this simple but endearing game of quadrilaterals.

...And, if you pay more than the average (now $2.85) you'll also get:

- Amnesia: the Dark Descent: Amnesia: The Dark Descent is Frictional Games' first-person, survival horror masterpiece, pitting a weaponless protagonist against the darkest secrets of the castle he's trapped in. With an emphasis on puzzle-solving and maintaining sanity amidst unspeakable abominations, Amnesia's tense adventure breaks new ground for a well-loved, but challenging genre.

Pay what you want, help charity and get all the soundtracks!
So, what are you waiting for? Don't be stupid and be quick, you have (gosh, i didn't noticed that) 7 hours!

giovedì 15 agosto 2013

The Humble Weekly Sale: Introversion

LLLLLLadies and gentlemen, here's the new Humble Weekly Sale, the "Introversion" Humble Weekly Sale, featuring 4 Linux games plus the pre-order for coming game Prison Architect!

Let's take a look at these games:

- Uplink: in Uplink, players take on the role of a hacker for-hire, breaking into computer systems and nabbing valuable, secret information.

- Darwinia: the award-winning Darwinia combines sweet bits of arcade action with engaging strategic gameplay, making it a must-play, retro visual experience. In environments reminiscent of Tron and Lawnmower Man, players must deploy and control combat programs to fight off a malicious virus corrupting the Darwinia network.

- Multiwinia: Survival of the Flattest: Multiwinia: Survival of the Flattest spins the core gameplay of Darwinia into six competitive multiplayer game modes for one to four players. The objectives for each mode vary, from the familiar capture the flag-style game mode, to the task-based "Rocket Riot" mode, which has players competing to be the first to leave the planet.

- Defcon: inspired by the classic geek film WarGames, DEFCON emulates the experience of Cold War-era, global thermonuclear war on a "big board" map of the world. Up to six players compete as generals of opposing nations, with the basic goal of eliminating as much of the enemy’s population as possible while minimizing their own losses.

...And if you pay more than $24.99, you also get the pre-order of...

- Prison Architect: build and manage a maximum security prison in the top-down prison management sim Prison Architect. It’s entirely your choice when it comes to building the most horrifying prison or the most luxurious penitentiary ever.

All soundtracks are included!
Unfortunately, the week is about to end, so you only have 8 hours to get this bundle. So... What are you waiting for? Don't be stupid and be quick!

giovedì 8 agosto 2013

Wine 1.7.0 released

The Wine development release 1.7.0 is now available.

What's new in this release (see below for details):
  - Support for vertical text in the Postscript driver.
  - Version 2 of liblcms used now instead of version 1.
  - Unicode data updated to Unicode 6.2.0.
  - Hyperlink controls supported in installers.
  - Improved support for XML attributes.
  - Various bug fixes.

The source is available from the following locations:
For the complete list of bug fixes follow this link: