GNOME Games is one of my favourite core GNOME apps, so I’m stoked to learn it’s snagging some serious power ups ahead of its next stable release.
‘GNOME Games is like a music player, but for your games’
GNOME developer Adrien Plazas today provides gamers with a (really big) update on the features and improvements set to ship in GNOME Games 3.26, due later this year.
Wait, what is GNOME Games?
GNOME Games is sort of like a music player, but instead of managing and playing music files it lists your locally installed Steam for Linux games, open-source titles installed from PPAs and repositories, and retro gaming files, replete with box art, metadata and more.
Some games can even be played inside the app.
Games 3.26 Improves Game Detection, Display
Identifying and displaying local game files has been a bit of a boss challenge for devs, but thanks to some MIME type shenanigans they’ve been able to improve the hit rate, as Plazas explains:
“The system has no idea which files represent games and which doesn’t (sic), but it can associate a MIME type to each file thanks to shared-mime-info. shared-mime-info already had a few video game related MIME types and we added a lot more such as application/x-genesis-rom.”
‘Games is adding support for Atari Lynx, MS-DOS, and WonderSwan games’
This work extends to what Plazas describes as “exotic game sources” like Steam and titles installed from the distro archives.
For anything it misses (or you add at a later date) a new “Add game files” button has been added so that you can quickly select and append any compatible files to your library.
It will also be much easier to use the app to play games as some under-the-hood tweaking allows GNOME to open compatible games files with the Games apps.
Support for more consoles
Avid fan of Atari Lynx, MS-DOS, WonderSwan and/or the WonderSwan Color? Some good news: Games 3.26 will be able to list games for this consoles and, should the relevant Libretro core be installed, play ’em too! Pew-pew!
The PlayStation disc handling which debuted in the an earlier release is improved for the upcoming one, with Plazas explaining that “disc images are now parsed properly, which should greatly expand the number of detected discs and games”, advising anyone who has issues with PlayStation games not showing up in their games collection to file a bug.
Other changes include various tweaks to the user interface, better support for themes, and improved logging of messages from Libretro cores.
This is all Act 1 though; work on even more improvements is currently ongoing, including custom gamepad configuration, and support for various features of the Nintendo DS.
Try the bubble dance while you wait…
Running Ubuntu 17.04? Why not kick the tyres on the current stable release of GNOME Games, version 3.24. It’s available to install direct from the Ubuntu Software app:
Do you use GNOME Games? Are you excited to try these changes? What would you like to see the app support next? Let us know what you think in the comments below.