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ExtremeTech's "Why Gaming Sucks on LInux"

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  • ExtremeTech's "Why Gaming Sucks on LInux"

    I read these set of articles that, although don't necessarily point out anything new in the gaming arena, is very much a good read for those who don't know yet about Linux and gaming.

    http://www.extremetech.com/article2/...2047506,00.asp
    http://www.extremetech.com/article2/...2063130,00.asp

    The way I see it, this guy is right and Svartalf, I think you'll agree.

  • #2
    For Linux gamers, the death of Loki was a true tragedy. After that, who would want to ever bother making Linux versions of the latest and greatest games? As it turned out . . . nobody. And nobody will probably bother again . . . ever.
    It's true that Loki going out of business was a big blow to Linux gaming, but deriving that nobody will ever bother again to make a Linux game because Loki went out of business? How could anyone seriously make an argument like that? I stopped reading at that point.

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    • #3
      Sorry to tell, but this whole article was plain sh**. It was mainly about running WoW (the normal Windows version) with a commercial tool under linux. And it informs about the probs you will have setting up things. Sorry, but this stuff is really distribution specific. Eg on gentoo you just have to fetch the binary pacakges and afterwards tell emerge to install what you want. The games itself are as difficult to install as they are when you are running windows. Sure, not all games work in all versions. Sometimes you have to use wine, sometimes cedega, sometimes crossover.
      But to be honest: Why not use the native games as are available? Noone is forced to buy windows-only games. That is the way I do use: Whenever I see a new game I check if there is a Linux version, if there is none, I simply won't consider buying it at all. ID and Epic are able release Linux versions of their games, Bioware was able to release a pointrelease for NWN. If other companies are not able to do so, why should I buy their software?
      And there are plenty of full-size open source games. For friends of shooters: sauerbraten and cube, for strategy people: Wesnoth, freeciv, ASC and GLEST, ... Only in the realm of RPG there are not this many good ones. But eg NWN has a linux client and the infinity engine is getting an interpreter so that all the old Baldurs Gate/Icewind Dale/Planescape Torment games can soon be played on Linux, too. So IMO even gaming is possible on Linux. It is just that most of the hyped "Blockbuster" games do often not get an own port. But looking at how buggy many of them are I don't really want them...
      Keep in mind that all I wrote in here is my very own opinion. Might be that others think different, those should just stay with Windows and/or dualboot. And keep in mind that Linux is not Windows.

      Comment


      • #4
        I respect your thoughts but I thought the author makes some important points. I sincerely doubt Linux gaming has actually moved forward since the past few years and he points out the realities of things. Companies won't support Linux until it does perceive there is a market to be had. You have your freebie Linux games which for some is enough but for those who really are hyped to play tons of games, it's often not enough. And the attitude of we want it free isn't likely to fly with them. I myself am fairly disappointed with how Linux gaming hasn't grown and to be frank, am quite pissed with the options out there.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by niniendowarrior View Post
          I respect your thoughts but I thought the author makes some important points. I sincerely doubt Linux gaming has actually moved forward since the past few years and he points out the realities of things. Companies won't support Linux until it does perceive there is a market to be had. You have your freebie Linux games which for some is enough but for those who really are hyped to play tons of games, it's often not enough. And the attitude of we want it free isn't likely to fly with them. I myself am fairly disappointed with how Linux gaming hasn't grown and to be frank, am quite pissed with the options out there.
          As a person on the front lines of trying to get Linux gaming off the ground, I can tell you it's less of an impression of us that we want it free than it is that we really don't comprise over 30 million installed- like the Novell parodies of the Mac ads flatly stated. We don't rate, not because they think we want it all for free (though that does weigh in from time to time...)- we don't rate because they still think we're 1% max of the entire potential market instead of 10-20% of it. And, even then, they're seeing those Windows numbers and thinking that this installed base number is their target market- when in reality, the market's a lot smaller than the Windows numbers would lead them to believe. Much of that installed base is business machines or multitudinous servers businesses fielded trying to buy into MS' Kool Aid.

          We're a small market, but we're not quite as small as the studios think we are. And like we both said in another thread, it's probably going to take a couple of studios doing the bold and brave thing of doing official simultaneous, or better yet, Linux first releases of titles to change this stupid impression (Or a massive groundswell that just simply cudgels them in the head- can't argue numbers... That might be happening right now, it might not. From where I see things, it could go either way there...)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by joshuapurcell View Post
            It's true that Loki going out of business was a big blow to Linux gaming, but deriving that nobody will ever bother again to make a Linux game because Loki went out of business? How could anyone seriously make an argument like that? I stopped reading at that point.
            Loki going under had NOTHING to do with the oft thought of unviability of Linux Gaming. Loki going under is because Scott Draeker went and did a bunch of grotesquely stupid business moves and embezzling funds just when they were beginning to get traction. And any time I see a business statement from a studio or publisher where they lead with this, I come up with the case study info of why Loki's merely an example of what not to do with a business instead of a case for NOT doing a Linux version of a title.

            Anyone trotting that out as a reason understands NOTHING of what actually happened- and probably ought not to be doing assessments of anything in the games segment of the whole industry. And, to say that nobody will ever do a Linux title because of their flameout missed the releases of Majesty, ColdWar, X2, etc.- it's patently wrong.
            Last edited by Svartalf; 03-27-2007, 11:45 AM.

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            • #7
              Majesty - Released, March 00. Gold Edition, Jan 02. Linux port of Gold Edition, April 03. 37 months after original release, 15 months after Gold.

              ColdWar - Despite distinctly average (at times searing) reviews, managed a Linux port after only 11 months.

              X2: The Threat - Released in 2003, ported in May 06.

              All of the games above were ported by "Linux Game Publishing." Their latest release, "Knights and Merchants: The Shattered Kingdom" is a March 07 release of a 1998 game.

              Overall, I do not agree with the statement that people will not do a Linux title, for whatever reason. However, I can but hope that the examples provided were not the shining lights of Linux porting.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
                We're a small market, but we're not quite as small as the studios think we are. And like we both said in another thread, it's probably going to take a couple of studios doing the bold and brave thing of doing official simultaneous, or better yet, Linux first releases of titles to change this stupid impression (Or a massive groundswell that just simply cudgels them in the head- can't argue numbers... That might be happening right now, it might not. From where I see things, it could go either way there...)
                Perception could be the problem, but I think even with that fixed, we are still a small market. Companies do need to have some sort of rediscovery on the actual Linux market, but I doubt that will change much of anything right now.

                You know, this was just a thought, but if Linux porting houses decided to do exclusive console games ported to Linux. You'd at least have a game that Windows users don't have, and it would be a sort of exclusive kind of thing. The problem becomes a matter of translating it properly for the PC from consoles. Wishful thinking and highly unlikely example might be The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Linux port. This might make things a bit more interesting in the Linux arena, could it?

                Comment


                • #9
                  I like the idea of hitting back with a LINUX only game. Imagine a game that rates highly and makes windows users think again that Linux gaming is below mediocre. A game that is relatively new with technological advancement and original. It's a good thought at the moment, but I guess for me, just a dream. I'd love to try and make it a reality and become the next ahem, loki. But without the corruption / embezzlement etc...

                  I'm very impressed with the Nintendo wii. I was once a die hard Sega fan. For a gamer brought up on Sega mega drive and Sega Saturn. Then to Windows gaming for 7+ years. Now Linux for the past three years. There is a future, but not as bright as I first thought. Consoles are becoming far more successful with games than PC's ever have.

                  PC's would be lucky to cover a 6th of the console market in terms of profit and sales. Linux games almost feels like a hobby than a fully fledged industry. I'm glad it exists though. Gaming on Linux has something special about it, I'm trying to put my finger on it, but so far finding it hard to point out. Linux feels very fluid to me. A much more mature environment and less driven by money.

                  Maybe this is the problem since games developers want large sums of money. I don't see this as being a problem though if it's done right. If a game was as good as say WoW, yet cost much less to play, it may just hit off. WoW might be a bad example of a game I have in mind.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Synergy6 View Post
                    Overall, I do not agree with the statement that people will not do a Linux title, for whatever reason. However, I can but hope that the examples provided were not the shining lights of Linux porting.
                    Well, you try doing it effectively on a shoestring.

                    Each title that comes out costs money to even get access to the privilege to have a shot at porting it. Typically, that amount is anywhere from $10-50k for each title ported. This doesn't even cover the royalties owed for a production run to sell the title so published- which, oftentimes, part of the total for a production run is owed up-front at the time you press the title. This is IF the studio and their main publisher even agree to at least give you a shot- a large number of them won't even give you the time of day on this; this having absolutely nothing to do with Loki's flameout- they did this even back in Loki's day.

                    In order to get something like Quake 4, you'd have to pony up 50-75k, and would owe at least around that much for the up-front production royalties.

                    And that doesn't cover the labor for the porting effort in any of that.

                    Do you have about 100-250k burning a hole in your pocket? I can probably hook you up with several prospects for you on some titles that are about to come out for the PS3 that might have a sympathetic ear for a version in the Linux space.

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                    • #11
                      So.. those titles were as good as it gets, and nobody with an interest in Linux gaming has $100K? What about Shuttleworth or somesuch?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by b15hop View Post
                        I like the idea of hitting back with a LINUX only game. Imagine a game that rates highly and makes windows users think again that Linux gaming is below mediocre. A game that is relatively new with technological advancement and original. It's a good thought at the moment, but I guess for me, just a dream. I'd love to try and make it a reality and become the next ahem, loki. But without the corruption / embezzlement etc...
                        Heh... Add just plain flat stupid business decisions on top of the other two and you'd have Loki ("Stupid" would be things like having Q3:A for all intents and purposes and delaying the official release for fifty thousand special edition tins, held up in customs for three or four weeks... This is why the Linux sales for Q3:A never did well- everyone couldn't wait, bought the Windows version and "patched" it to be the Linux one...).

                        Unless you're flush with cash, the only way you're going to accomplish that is to sit down and just do it. Be forewarned- it's NOT simple or easy. I know, I've been at it as a spare-time vocation for the last four or so years now. I've gotten a little somewhere with it all, but it's still not there with all that effort.

                        I'm very impressed with the Nintendo wii. I was once a die hard Sega fan. For a gamer brought up on Sega mega drive and Sega Saturn. Then to Windows gaming for 7+ years. Now Linux for the past three years. There is a future, but not as bright as I first thought. Consoles are becoming far more successful with games than PC's ever have.
                        In reality, the current generation of consoles may be a goad for many Linux titles. OpenGL ES 2.X is the base rendering API for the PS3. It's one of the primary middleware targets on the Wii. This is an easy, easy port back to OpenGL 2.X (and vendors are working on an OpenGL ES 2.X driver interface for Linux and Windows, removing the actual need for any port...)- and you're about to see a resurgence of OpenGL/OpenAL/etc. "PC" games pop up as a result of the PS3 and the Wii even being around. I know this for a fact as a result of my work for my current day-job client. This makes for more prospects for everyone interested in Linux gaming.

                        PC's would be lucky to cover a 6th of the console market in terms of profit and sales. Linux games almost feels like a hobby than a fully fledged industry. I'm glad it exists though. Gaming on Linux has something special about it, I'm trying to put my finger on it, but so far finding it hard to point out. Linux feels very fluid to me. A much more mature environment and less driven by money.
                        It might be that. It's definitely more of a hobby than an industry for many (I won't place Michael Simms and Ryan Gordon in that set- for them, it IS an industy, fledgling as it is right now... ) I know I can't support myself with it as a form of making a living right now.

                        Maybe this is the problem since games developers want large sums of money. I don't see this as being a problem though if it's done right. If a game was as good as say WoW, yet cost much less to play, it may just hit off. WoW might be a bad example of a game I have in mind.
                        That is precisely the problem. The studios or publishers want what is an insane amount of money to make a port happen. They expect turn arounds like they see on the Windows side of things, not realizing that the scale of the Linux market for titles, at best, is 1/5th the size of the Windows one. They ask at least 5-10 times more than they probably ought to be asking for the access and far too much up-front on royalties.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Synergy6 View Post
                          So.. those titles were as good as it gets, and nobody with an interest in Linux gaming has $100K? What about Shuttleworth or somesuch?
                          We've got a few more that are more to speak of coming our way. I don't know if Mark would be interested in that aspect of things yet- he's still trying to win the baseline battle for the desktop. While Games ARE important to that thing, ease of installation, use, and office software are a little more pressing. I guess I can see if I can get him and one of the players (or several...) to see what we could accomplish under a little better conditions...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by niniendowarrior View Post
                            You know, this was just a thought, but if Linux porting houses decided to do exclusive console games ported to Linux. You'd at least have a game that Windows users don't have, and it would be a sort of exclusive kind of thing. The problem becomes a matter of translating it properly for the PC from consoles. Wishful thinking and highly unlikely example might be The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Linux port. This might make things a bit more interesting in the Linux arena, could it?
                            LoZ:TP is probably a bad example for this (Lucifer really would be ice-skating to work if that one got ported to anything NOT Nintendo controlled... ), but I would be inclined to agree with the sentiment. The only problem is that until the current generation of consoles, you typically had a lot of programming close to the metal going on in the game- they would be major undertakings that nobody in their right mind would take on unless the game was based on an engine with interchangeable rendering backends, etc. PS3 titles are going to be mostly portable. Wii ones will probably be. PS2 ones are going to be evil, as will GameCube ones, unless it was done for all console types out of the gate (Anything with an X-Box/X-Box 360 version is a likely candidate as it'll be largely a Windows to Linux port at that point.). I probably wouldn't mind too much if something Viewtiful showed up (1 or 2...) or Burnout Revenge showed up on Linux.

                            But, the story I told you about the Windows to Linux porting is going to likely be even worse for console titles to Linux- because they're going to be gunning for numbers commensurate with THEIR market share.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
                              LoZ:TP is probably a bad example for this (Lucifer really would be ice-skating to work if that one got ported to anything NOT Nintendo controlled... ), but I would be inclined to agree with the sentiment. The only problem is that until the current generation of consoles, you typically had a lot of programming close to the metal going on in the game- they would be major undertakings that nobody in their right mind would take on unless the game was based on an engine with interchangeable rendering backends, etc. PS3 titles are going to be mostly portable. Wii ones will probably be. PS2 ones are going to be evil, as will GameCube ones, unless it was done for all console types out of the gate (Anything with an X-Box/X-Box 360 version is a likely candidate as it'll be largely a Windows to Linux port at that point.). I probably wouldn't mind too much if something Viewtiful showed up (1 or 2...) or Burnout Revenge showed up on Linux.
                              Well, I know how bad an example LoZ is but it's a thought of getting some brains to think about the idea (Hey, LoZ did appear on CDi! *snicker* *snicker* ). I know what you mean. I do think that people would be up for a little Viewtifulness and Burnout stuff on Linux. I think it's an interesting prospect although the work is clearly equally hard or even more difficult. I do hope to at least stimulate the thought.

                              Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
                              But, the story I told you about the Windows to Linux porting is going to likely be even worse for console titles to Linux- because they're going to be gunning for numbers commensurate with THEIR market share.
                              Well, you have a point and I would think that if somehow the choice of what to port is a bit conservative, you might snatch some nifty titles and add a tiny bit of bonus content like what Konami and Silicon Knights did for MGS Twin Snakes. Again, in the hopes of starting something.

                              Pipe dream, everyone. It's okay to dream...

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