SuperTuxKart 1.1 RC1 Is Released With Improved Online Play, Emjois and High-Resolution UI Scaling
The latest version of the free software kart racing game SuperTuxKart has several improvements to online multiplayer gaming such as IPv6 support, better synchronization, better support for addons and other fixes. It adds emojis support in chats. There's greatly improved touch-screen support which is nice but mostly interesting to those using the Android version. There's also improved fonts scaling and user interface elements now scale so they look great on 1440p and 4k displays. It's even got a new arena called "Pumpkin Park". Binaries are available for Linux, Windows, Mac and Android.
We reported the SuperTuxKart was close to a 1.1 release back in October and now it's finally happening.
A Better Online Multiplayer Experience
SuperTuxKart had limited local-network multiplayer support prior to the 1.0 release back in May. That release added online multiplayer support. SuperTuxKart 1.1 adds IPv6 support, better support for add-on tracks and, most importantly, better game synchronization. There's also emojis support in chats and flags which indicate which country a server is located in.
SuperTuxKarts online multiplayer mode supports regular races, a football mode, capture-the-flag and free-for-all play. There are special "Arena" tracks for the multi-player modes which don't involve strait-forward racing.
The one weakness SuperTuxKarts multiplayer mode still has is a lack of players. Developers can't really solve that one by adding code. There are many servers to choose from but most of them don't have any players at all most of the time. There's typically one or two servers with players on them and that's it. You're screwed if those happen to be so far away your ping to them's in the thousands.
New Track: Pumpkin Park
SuperTuxKart 1.1 has a new arena track called Pumpkin Park. It's for multi-player game modes like football (it is not a regular race track). It is the only new track the developers will include in the final 1.1 release. A close-up inspection of SuperTuxKart's assets tree, still hosted using svn, releveals that there are several other new tracks in the works for future releases - including a interesting track by "sam" called "Ciudad Catalina":
Ciudad Catalina racing track by "by sam". It's a work in progress track scheduled for a later release. Crossing the finish line doesn't work - among other minor issues.
Better "High-Resolution" Scaling
1440p and 4k users can enjoy better a lot better user-interface scaling and font scaling in the new version. Font sizes can now be configured in the user-interface. SuperTuxKart will run smoothly at 4k on mid-range hardware like the RX 570 if some of it's graphics settings (Bloom, Light Scattering and Light shaft) are disabled.
The story mode, which you will need to complete to get all the tracks and carts, has a new timer which lets you see just how fast you manage to finish the various challenges. Those who don't want to can, of course, just edit a file in
$HOME/.config/supertuxkart/config-0.10/. We are not going to reveal which file, no-no cheating.
A new ability to see what power-ups other players are holding is a somewhat strange new feature added to the latest release. Looking at that list while driving is more distracting than useful. The reasoning for adding this feature is that multiplayer clients already have that information in current releases. Displaying it is more "fair" in case someone was cheating. It's unlikely that many are cheating. SuperTuxKart does have a ranking system where users get a rank when they participate in online races. Changes to a users ranking is shown at the end of each race in SuperTuxKart 1.1 rc1. Version 1.0 doesn't really make it clear that there is a ranking system in place.
Many of the improvements are small and not very noticeable. There's no longer a driving-on-the-ground found effects when karts are flying and battle spawn points are given out randomly not predictably. Polish like that is hard to notice but it does provide a better gaming experience.
There's still some bugs to address before 1.1. final is released
When will 1.1 final be released?
"maybe after fixing more gamepad bugs first"
1.1 rc1 has gamepad bugs?
"stk has lots of gamepad bugs"
A final 1.1 release will "maybe" happen if/when some of those gamepad bugs have been fixed.
"maybe after fixing some gamapad bugs for steam stk as this currently affect users the most. Steam users have no tolerance for that."
So there will be a Steam release?
"maybe. bye bye."
SuperTuxKart is currently licensed under the GNU GPLv3. Getting it into the Steam store would only be possible if all the contributors agree to re-license it to a dual GPLv3/MIT license. It's not entirely clear that everyone will agree to that. It may or may not happen after 1.1 final is released.
The major GNU/Linux distributions do not have the 1.1 release-candidate in their repositories, release-candidates are generally never added to regular repositories.
Binaries for Linux, Windows, Mac, APKs for Android and the source code area available from a SourceForge download page. You can also checkout and compile the git version yourself (which is easy).
SuperTuxKart 1.1 profiles are backwards-compatible with 1.0 so achievements and unlocked karts and tracks stay intact when upgrading from 1.0 to 1.1rc1.
Those who prefer to use the stable 1.0 version distributions ship who use Debian and Ubuntu can click this apt://SuperTuxKart link. Those who have KDEs application store Plasma Discover installed can click the special appstream://SuperTuxKart link to install it (those links will currently install SuperTuxKart 1.0, not 1.1rc1, and they may or may not work depending on the OS/web browser). SuperTuxKart packages in all distributions repositories are named
SuperTuxKart's own release-announcement is at blog.supertuxkart.net: SUPERTUXKART 1.1 RC1 IS OUT.