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John Carmack on Linux ports

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  • John Carmack on Linux ports

    Wolfenstein is pretty unlikely, since it was developed at Raven, and published by Activision. There are no firm plans for linux ports of the idTech 5 titles, but it certainly isnít off the table. I donít think it will be very difficult to get them running on the binary nvidia drivers, but bringing them up to functionality and acceptable performance on other OpenGL drivers would probably be a more significant undertaking than we could afford.
    http://www.linuxgames.com/archives/14005

  • #2
    This seems very short sighted to me

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    • #3
      It seems that he does not like fglrx

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      • #4
        I wonder if anyone from AMD/ATI has already contacted him about this. Apart from the actual issue of running the game, it would be a pretty big PR fail if Rage got released for Linux and only ran on Nvidia hardware...

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        • #5
          What a bunch of crap. The real reason is laziness. Id have 3 internal dev teams now and cannot afford a guy to port it? Come on, the engine was made with super portability in mind.

          What pisses me off is that the devs' attitude is that they're doing us a favour and they think in terms of, can they afford the money to do us this favour of porting the game to Linux. When in reality they gain some sales and good image that translates to the future sales.

          You could even go as far as say that important studios such as Id, Blizzard etc. are the market shapers. If Starcraft 2 suddenly decided to come out just on Linux, does ActiBlizz really imagine they'll lose sales? Of course not, Linux is free and every possible customer will simply do the shift from Windows. Their sales will stay the same, while they will have shaped the market with not much effort.

          I can't stand hearing the big devs expressing their worries about the market trends when it is exactly them the ones who shape the market.

          Also, until now I regarded Carmack as a super guru and a really good guy but it seems he just lost interest, and just goes where the wave takes him.
          Last edited by geamandura; 07-25-2009, 01:46 PM.

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          • #6
            I think perhaps carmack might have meant instead that he's familiar with the nvidia drivers. He would be likely to use certain extensions that, whilst not part of the official opengl spec, might be common enough (for example, occlusion_query before it was more standardised was an nv extension) to use. If the extension wasn't available, fallback solutions would have to be used, and that might have some bad performance penalties.
            On the other hand, he could just be lazy - but given his track record, his words might be given slightly out of context. If there's a more detailed interview, it would be worth reading it (not there on the page linked).

            -- btw, using a method, and being dependent upon it, only available from one company is a very, very bad idea anyway.
            Last edited by mirv; 07-25-2009, 02:38 PM.

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            • #7
              the mighty do fall. please keep that in mind.

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              • #8
                Not a problem... big ones will fall... new ones will grow. Just support the right guys folks, then victory is ours

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                • #9
                  Yep, theres alot of small game development companies/indie games that do actually support Linux in full and look to have a very promising future. Whether or not we get another Linux port of any game from ID in the future ever again doesn't really matter, I'd like to see one as much as anyone else but lets face it, it doesn't look very promising right now.

                  Also I'm no programmer or OpenGL guru but if the ID games can run on Windows and MacOSx in OpenGL on ATI and nVidia hardware, shouldn't it be no problem to support them on Linux in a very similar way? It just looks like a load of crap hes saying:

                  "I don’t think it will be very difficult to get them running on the binary nvidia drivers, but bringing them up to functionality and acceptable performance on other OpenGL drivers would probably be a more significant undertaking than we could afford."

                  As far as the OpenGL calls and extensions and stuff, I would just assume it would be very similar or the same as Windows (especially MacOSX which ID does support), and the extensions on both drivers for ATI and nVidia are practically identical on Windows and Linux. What I mean by that is, ATI on Windows and Linux have similar extensions as well as nVidia, however ATI and nVidia have some different extensions from eachother when you compare the two in general. I guess those would be called vendor specific extensions, which no game can be built around else it would break compatibility and screw the customer.

                  I don't know, all I know is its sad to see them sell out like this but as you guys have said, big ones fall, new ones grow. I would just figure though that Carmack would come up with something better than that to say, why not just say: "ZeniMax doesn't want us porting to Linux as well as our publisher EA.", the end.

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                  • #10
                    our scene? thats hard. few people give a bad rap to the many. All linux users dont buy software says leadwerks. We are open source zealot fags says the steam community.

                    The real question is, how do you plant that seed?

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                    Carmack is a big deal, he has contributed alot. Indies are essential but they are not movers and shakers. What we need is a real big project. It needs to be very very linux and it needs to be opengl 3.
                    Last edited by L33F3R; 07-25-2009, 06:51 PM. Reason: darn msn made me post 1 minute late!@!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by L33F3R View Post
                      our scene? thats hard. few people give a bad rap to the many. All linux users dont buy software says leadwerks. We are open source zealot fags says the steam community.

                      The real question is, how do you plant that seed?

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                      Carmack is a big deal, he has contributed alot. Indies are essential but they are not movers and shakers. What we need is a real big project. It needs to be very very linux and it needs to be opengl 3.
                      Of course Carmack has done great things for us, I am thankful for that.. I just don't understand why hes saying the things he is, I understand him not being able to support Intel graphics on Linux for various reasons, its hard to support them on Windows too with a modern game, but saying nVidia is the only way for him to get it to work makes absolutely no sense.

                      And as far as Indies and the big project, well, the big game has to come from a company like a Indie developer or a small game development company, no one else wants to do it, or wants to take the chance. A company can single handily make a name for Linux in the gaming world if they bring the right product that shines enough and brings enough interest, however, I don't know if you'll ever find a company or group in this day and age that would make a Linux exclusive game for the purpose of trying to spark a revolution. It just doesn't sound very realistic to me. Multiplatform sounds realistic though.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Yomp!! View Post
                        Of course Carmack has done great things for us, I am thankful for that.. I just don't understand why hes saying the things he is, I understand him not being able to support Intel graphics on Linux for various reasons, its hard to support them on Windows too with a modern game, but saying nVidia is the only way for him to get it to work makes absolutely no sense.

                        And as far as Indies and the big project, well, the big game has to come from a company like a Indie developer or a small game development company, no one else wants to do it, or wants to take the chance. A company can single handily make a name for Linux in the gaming world if they bring the right product that shines enough and brings enough interest, however, I don't know if you'll ever find a company or group in this day and age that would make a Linux exclusive game for the purpose of trying to spark a revolution. It just doesn't sound very realistic to me. Multiplatform sounds realistic though.
                        his brain is getting old. Hes making dumb decisions. ATI works great on ETQW for example.

                        If indies moved as much as you say then we would be golden. This is not the case. World of goo for example was one of the games you speak of, but linux was an afterthought. Multiplatform is the only linux option, you are right. You can find a group of programmers and artists who can do a smashing job, you just need to give them the right incentives.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by L33F3R View Post
                          his brain is getting old. Hes making dumb decisions. ATI works great on ETQW for example.

                          If indies moved as much as you say then we would be golden. This is not the case. World of goo for example was one of the games you speak of, but linux was an afterthought. Multiplatform is the only linux option, you are right. You can find a group of programmers and artists who can do a smashing job, you just need to give them the right incentives.
                          Yep I agree, the game can't be late, World of Goo came pretty late, to the point where no one really cared, although from what I could tell it sold ok on Linux, I don't think it sold as well as MacOSx though. It could had sold better though, most people hate buying the same game twice just to play it on their preferred OS, but it came out late so they just bought the Windows version, played through the game, and left it at that.

                          As far as future games sparking any excitement on Linux, if the development team is very pro Linux and wants to help it out, they can release the Linux version a day or two earlier than the Windows and Mac versions, that would maybe put some incentive into the customer to say, hey, maybe I should try Linux! Or if they already use Linux in a dual boot scenario and aren't accustomed to purchasing Linux games, that might put in some incentive to do so as well.

                          The game has to sell very well too on Linux though for any change to take place. We gotta show the dollar signs to all of those big gaming companies out there. Because honestly I think there are enough people using Linux already right now, there just needs to be a game that interests most of the userbase, something highly anticipated and highly spoken of around the community, word travels fast, theres enough media outlets such as Phoronix. We just need the damn game hehe.

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                          • #14
                            You have to change the way the game is played. If you work with the aged philosophy of porting games instead of working with a truly platform independent solution things will never change. This is simply because if you have to port a game there will always be a major platform it is released for first and minor platforms it's ported too. In that game Linux has no chance. It only has a chance if a game is made once and 0-day playable on all platforms. This is what a revolution looks like. And this is not coming from AAAs since they are still clutching to their engine licensing business forgetting that the world is changing around them.

                            But for getting such a project off the ground it lacks on one thing: artists. They are nearly none around which are worth and dedicated to make a great game and without the content the tech doesn't help much.

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                            • #15
                              Well maybe Nvidia's It is meant to be played program would help him in case of problems and would fix the driver if needed. Nvidia does much more for games developers than ATI, they even help em to use Physx. ATI should really care more about popular game developers.

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