It's a shame it doesn't run better on your machine. However, since you are running linux, i think it might be a good idea to try the OpenGL version of the game. Atleast all the symptoms you mention are often cured when running that version. I'd like to hear if it improves the performance if you test it :-)
Darn, did you just add the OpenGL version or have I managed not to see it before..?
Either way, it works much better, only stuttering occasionally. My second play was much better as the game ran smoother, managed to get to the 3rd place..
Perhaps you could even make the OpenGL pipelined version the default?
I absolutely agree about the background. I have been planning it for a while, but due to the current story-line it didn't seem like such a great idea. However now that you remind me of it, i think i'll rewrite the story and change scenery every once in a while. :-)
I'll be sure to check out your game, sounds like you have some good ideas :-)
Another idea which might (or might not) improve your game is wrapping play area. So the area is limitless in a sense, you can fly straight endlessly and the game world keeps repeating around you. It would make the game easier though, as you couldn't get cornered anymore, so I don't know.
Again, thanks alot for taking the time to provide feedback :-)
No problem, it's a great game.