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An Attempt To Push Ubuntu As A Gaming Platform

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  • #16
    Originally posted by allquixotic View Post
    Admirable goals, but good luck implementing them (especially, the library compatibility) without stagnating or forking so far from other Linux distros as to be a total outsider.
    worked for Android

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    • #17
      Originally posted by boast View Post
      worked for Android
      Perhaps but Canonical isn't Google...

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      • #18
        Audio latency? Maybe they'll finally get rid of pulseaudio and choose jack-audio-connection-kit!

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        • #19
          Originally posted by devius View Post
          Process clean-up actions seems important. I was left with a 640x480 screen several times in the past when something goes wrong or even when exiting a game normally.
          True, but that sounds also like a problem of the very software (game e.g.) itself that it doesn't leave tidy and properly.

          Originally posted by phoronix news article
          Audio Support ... Longevity of Binaries ... Graphics Support ... Input Devices Support ... Multi-Arch Libappindicator etc.
          LOL. Sounds somehow well known to me. Regardless of distribution. Besides their Unity etc. stuff that is their own thing and fault. Why did they invent that horrible DE/WM anyway?

          Then a LOT of things mentioned in this list depend on HW manufacturers.
          I mean, okay, the unix world could actually also use a GUI for mouse button / keyboard layout management. (Still keeping the command line tools). But then, there are few mice where you can actually use or reprogram/rebind all keys and wheels they have. Neither with any GUI nor command line. Same goes for non standard keys on keyboards. And prolly gampads or joysticks, too.
          Audio: Also HW enterprises need to give specs. Hello, Creative.
          I even have a strange bug on my box with the onboard chip so that sometimes sound is completely gone until I just pull out the headphones plug and plug it back in.
          This is far from being perfectly working. It might seem minor since everything else works but it just isn't the way to go when you have to unplug and plug it every 3rd boot.
          Longevity is one thing FOSS devs could do something about. Or we will need emulators/layers like DOSBOX or WINE later, e.g. to emulate Linux 2.6 and libc abc behaviour on Linux 5 kernel + libc xyz to play an old game.
          Audio latency. Well, I wish most of that was done via ALSA so we wouldn't have to have esds, jacks and pulses running around in userspace.

          So we have a few acutal shortcomings in FOSS code but also it needs specs and/or drivers from the HW vendors.
          And I dearly hope that gaming won't be restricted to Ubuntu.

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          • #20
            1) Improvements in HW space are more likely to come from Valve starring at HW vendors than Canonical shouting at them
            2) Focus on perf of Unity is always welcome though!
            3) Canonical can help a bit with OGL though, there are some IP matters to resolve (at least we could use info WHO owns those damn patents and IF they are willing to share them)
            4) Where Canonical can actually shine is integration and Q&A. Hardcore gamers* tend to care about their PCs and have deeper know-how. Since Ubuntu have good options for feedback and bug reporting, Canonical can be important man-in-the-middle between those gamers and upstream component developers.**
            5) And probably best thing Canonical can do: Become de facto Linux Desktop Distribution. So 3rd party devs can just forget about myriads of other distros. (Other distros can care about compatibility with Ubuntu without much fuss after all. But more important is SINGLE(1) focus point for those who want to enter Linux Desktop market)


            * this name in game dev refer to people who play AAA titles as oposed to Casual gamers who play farmvile
            ** as opposed to popular viewpoint, developing program is not about writing new stuff, but about caring about old stuff if judged by the time spent on those

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            • #21
              Generally speaking Linux can be a gaming platform when you have an ecosystem with companies, manufacturers competing for customers utilizing a platform.

              It's already happened. Yes, my friends, Android is that platform.

              In the end without a market (with customers and demand) you not gonna have the manufacturers (contributing to the platform with device drivers) and the software companies.

              So what is the target audience for Ubuntu Linux?

              It is an operating system for personal computers competing primarily with Microsoft Windows. Personal computers are competing with the game consoles, also nowadays with the touchscreen mobile devices.

              You have a lot of competition and Ubuntu doesn't really offer as a gaming platform anything besides it is free as beer (and for philosophers it is free as speech).

              You get nothing for nothing, it's a vicious circle, without customers no developers.

              You have to show some initiative or at least the software companies has to.

              Valve just did that.

              Being ready from a technical standpoint is vital, but not nearly enough.

              I personally think that Ubuntu Linux should not be a gaming platform, we already have that from the Microsoft and Sony.
              A maintained (and supported) Linux distribution is more important for servers and workstations.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by AJenbo View Post
                Are you sure it wasn't for spamming?
                I think it actually was for being honest and intelligent, but you apparently know how bitches can be.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by jannis View Post
                  Audio latency? Maybe they'll finally get rid of pulseaudio and choose jack-audio-connection-kit!
                  On Twitter I suggested to Michael to do some audio latency benchmarks with PA, Jack, and various kernels.

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                  • #24
                    The thing is Linux already is a gaming platform - people do play games on it. So this is not a theoretical discussion as some people are making out. Improvements in any of these directions would be appreciated, but all platforms could receive improvements for gaming, not just Linux. Remember, the Humble Bundle guys are releasing games on Linux today - they are not waiting on a magic list of technical concerns to be fixed. Desura is selling games on Linux today - they are not waiting. Valve is going to release games on Linux as it stands today - they are also not waiting on some magical list.

                    We already are a gaming platform. Yes, we should improve ourselves. But we have already made massive progress, technically and in terms of available titles and services, and the people acting like this can not happen as things stand now should wake up and see that it is already happening. We just need to keep the ball rolling.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by allquixotic View Post
                      Admirable goals, but good luck implementing them (especially, the library compatibility) without stagnating or forking so far from other Linux distros as to be a total outsider.
                      well theoretically you could have game-specific library drectories with stable library versions. This would be basically the same strategy as all those .dll:s that are in an application directory rather than in a system directory on Windows.

                      Ugly as hell, but probably the only way to handle this.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Hamish Wilson View Post
                        The thing is Linux already is a gaming platform - people do play games on it.
                        Nevertheless it is not a gaming platform.

                        For that you want video games available from the stores and digital distribution systems for the platform.

                        But you only have an Ubuntu Software Center with free and open source software in it and indie developers aiming to be multiplatform.

                        Everything else is not official, and not available to the customers.

                        Steam can make the difference and it's a noble gesture from Valve to support Linux.

                        Only thing that Valve depends on the income from their primary market, Microsoft Windows, which can be overtaken by the Microsoft Store being integrated to the operation system.

                        Not to mention the mobile platforms, Valve currently not participating in them, Microsoft Store, Google Play and Apple Store does, and no competition is feasible with them in their platforms.

                        I thinking more in a long term of course, as Microsoft Store is only available for Windows 8.

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                        • #27
                          My Opinions

                          My personal opinions on each of Ubuntu's goals.

                          Audio Support: I agree fully with what they want to achieve in this area. I would really enjoy some 5.1 and 3D positional audio in my games instead of the normal stereo output. I want true 5.1 not mixed channel to a 5.1 setup.

                          Longevity of Binaries: This goal may be hard to achieve unless you have a set of sub directories dedicated to needed libs the games use. Or at least allow someone to recompile the games every 5-10yrs with the newer libs.

                          Graphics Support: I've been using Nvidia since the 4mb riva 128. I have owned pretty much at least one card from every generation of their chips. I don't think I will ever change unless something faster and better supported comes out for Linux.

                          Input devices support: This is a really interesting area. Wouldn't it be nice if we had a graphical config for things like the Razer Nostromo, Razer Naga and Razer Blackwidow? I game a lot on windows and as much as I can on Linux although I do have to reboot a lot.

                          Multi-Arch Libappindicator: I have no idea what this is as I have never used Ubuntu.

                          Process Clean-Up Actions: Umm, why would anyone have resolution restoration problems? Why are you not starting a second X Server to run your games in? That way you are not wasting gpu and cpu cycles rendering that opengl accelerated desktop behind the game.

                          Unity Performance: Umm... LOL? People use this?

                          Audio Latency: This is another interesting and sore spot for me in Linux. I honestly never had audio lag until Pulseaudio came into the picture. Or I at least never noticed audio lag in my every day tasks and gaming in Linux. I have always had multichannel sound output and input as, (I know I will be scoffed at for this but), I always use creative sound cards in Linux. I used my Audigy2zs for almost 8 to 9 years because onboard audio is ass and everyone knows it. They just don't want to admit it or care about audio enough to get a proper add on card that has hardware mixing support. I have since upgraded to a Creative X-FI titanium that also has hardware mixing support when we finally got the basic drivers in Linux for the card. There are plenty of other cards out there that have support for hardware mixing so from my point of view anyone that cares about gaming and audio in Linux will have a hardware mixing sound card wether it is from creative or not.
                          Now, I honestly have tried my onboard audio chip, a Realtek 892 8 channel chip, on my Asus Sabertooth P67 mobo. The audio was fine but did not sound any better than what I had out of the X-Fi. With the onboard chip I needed Pulseaudio and this in turn caused a 1-6 second delay in my games audio. So obviously I went back to my X-Fi without Pulseaudio.

                          The audio issue alone originally made me go back to windows for an entire year in 2009 - 2010. Then I decided to just use Gentoo and do a -pulseaudio in my USE flags. I have been using Linux since 1998 and have never ever experienced audio assery until pulseaudio. Honestly as well, I constantly install and try every version of freeBSD just to see if it is where I want it to be just so I can try to get away from Linux audio issues. If steam works in freeBSD I will kiss the Linux audio problems goodbye once and for all. Until then, -pulseaudio all the way.

                          Ugg, my bad, it turned into a rant.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Vorzard View Post
                            Nevertheless it is not a gaming platform.

                            For that you want video games available from the stores and digital distribution systems for the platform.

                            But you only have an Ubuntu Software Center with free and open source software in it and indie developers aiming to be multiplatform.
                            Linux operating system is actually a gaming platform regardless the lack of commercial games from majority of mainstream publishers.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Vorzard View Post
                              Nevertheless it is not a gaming platform.
                              I play and buy games for it. It is the only platform I game on now, and I game a lot. What the hell is your definition? Your argument does not work even on a semantic level!

                              Originally posted by Vorzard View Post
                              For that you want video games available from the stores and digital distribution systems for the platform. But you only have an Ubuntu Software Center with free and open source software in it and indie developers aiming to be multiplatform.
                              What the hell is this supposed to mean? First off, there are other Linux game services such as Gameolith and Desura, and second, all games are games. If you play games on a platform, and if you buy games for a platform, then that platform is, ladies and gentlemen, a gaming platform!

                              Originally posted by Vorzard View Post
                              Everything else is not official, and not available to the customers. Steam can make the difference and it's a noble gesture from Valve to support Linux.
                              Valve can bring some bigger names, I agree, but your point is still flawed and comes from such a skewed perspective. You make all these walls to defend your narrow world view and yet any reasonable person can easily knock these down with a little logic!

                              Trine 2 is a game. I play it on Linux. Amnesia is a game. I play it on Linux. They are both being sold for Linux. If I pay for them and if I play them, I am engaging and utilizing the Linux game market and I am using Linux as a gaming platform. Therefore it IS a gaming platform!

                              And I am sorry if I am being a little more pedantic than usual, but this argument is such a complete and total non-sequitur that the fact it is still repeated is really beginning to piss me off. Grow up and look beyond your skewed little world view and realize what you are saying does not make any sense.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by MNKyDeth View Post
                                Input devices support: This is a really interesting area. Wouldn't it be nice if we had a graphical config for things like the Razer Nostromo, Razer Naga and Razer Blackwidow? I game a lot on windows and as much as I can on Linux although I do have to reboot a lot.
                                Well, this is unfortunately very dependant on the manufacturer. Thankfully, you can now get Roccat devices in Canada (through NCIX) so if I ever wanted to get one I would definitely go with them, based on what Larabel has said.

                                Originally posted by MNKyDeth View Post
                                Process Clean-Up Actions: Umm, why would anyone have resolution restoration problems? Why are you not starting a second X Server to run your games in? That way you are not wasting gpu and cpu cycles rendering that opengl accelerated desktop behind the game.
                                Well, never really had all that much trouble with this specifically, but I do have the annoying problem of xfdesktop forgetting it's icon placement after screen resolution changes. I have their positioning files backed up so that I can easily restore them, but this should still be unnecessary and should be fixed.

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