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A Year Later, Linux Game Publishing Is Still Irrelevant

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  • #16
    Originally posted by GreatEmerald View Post
    My view on this issue is less severe. As a matter of fact, so is the view of the FSF. You are right that Steam is definitely not something that promotes the ideals of the FSF, is restrictive and is a time bomb. But nobody is forcing us to use it. As a matter of fact, we probably are not even allowed to use it - I can't accept their license agreement, therefore I can't install Steam to begin with. But others don't mind it. They don't care about it as deeply. And that works for the best. For all that Steam does wrong, the fact that it's available on GNU/Linux is a good thing overall. That allows more people to ditch Windows, and that's already a good step. It also shifts the popularity. More people using Linux means more corporate interest in Linux. It means that it gets more commercially viable. And attention attracts additional attention. People who did not even consider porting their games to GNU/Linux may start considering it. With more people, even non-gaming companies may start porting their applications, or developing new ones cross-platform. And that is all positive feedback, it accelerates the move.

    More people using GNU/Linux and more people developing for Linux means more people who may become interested in free software, too. Perhaps the subset of people who do won't be as large as it would be otherwise, but the potential is there. With enough attention, new software may even become developed on GNU/Linux first, rather than on Windows, and it may be free or at least partially free software. Plus, people who care about software freedom are not going away, they will be there to inform others.

    In the end, we don't need to use Steam, but it does its job. It might be evil, but it's a good tool. A tool that may very well start the whole cycle. For now, it's a bit early to tell if it is going to work out or not, but again, the potential is there.

    The advice that RMS gave is overall good - those who care about software freedom should not promote Steam, and do point out its flaws, but let's not be too critical of those who do use it.
    I like your point, but am concerned about the effects Steam might initiate.
    Nevertheless, a balanced view is definitely the most rational currently.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by frign View Post
      I like your point, but am concerned about the effects Steam might initiate.
      What do you mean by that, exactly? That more developers would choose to go Steam-exclusive? That would hardly happen, as it would limit the target audience, and even GNU/Linux has other distribution platforms - Desura, for one. That more developers would choose to integrate DRM into their games? In that context, Steam is hardly relevant. Developers that don't realise that DRM hinders their sales instead of helping them will have DRM on regardless, no matter if it comes from Steam or it is self-made. That more distribution platforms will come with DRM? Again hardly relevant, if EA decides to port Origin, it will have DRM regardless. As a matter of fact, the opposite may be true. Steam already fills the niche of the distribution platform that is locked down. And so alternatives to it can seem even more attractive to gamers now. There is more choice. That more developers will choose to develop closed-source games? They would do it regardless, and on Windows they wouldn't even think there was an alternative to begin with.

      Steam is hardly the only player in the field. Desura is its main competitor, and it does not use DRM. There is also the phenomenon of Kickstarter, and most titles there are by popular vote cross-platform and DRM free. In the future, we will most likely see GOG.com on Linux as well. With Steam here, the field just gets more competitive and attracts even more attention. And its flaws, compared to the competition, may be more visible now - there are no other such locked-down platforms on GNU/Linux, currently - thus giving the competition a boost, as people who don't want to support Steam may choose to support the alternatives just out of spite or enthusiasm.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by frign View Post
        I accuse neither Steam nor the developers, because I don't know how sources are handled. The case is clear, though, what I mean by free software. It is not only the non-existence of DRM, it is the existence of free-use, which implies a public source.
        Coming to your last statement, I have no idea why you are so naive to believe game-devs just had good things in mind. Especially big publishers want to control their customers, or do you really believe they are just happy when you are having fun with your just-purchased game? No! They want you to buy another one of theirs!
        Do you have the secret sauce AMD or Nvidia blob drivers installed? Ndiswrapper? Printer or scanner drivers? Video editing software? If yes to any of these your argument is invalid hypocrite.

        Not that it matters, if OSS gaming was worth a damn it would have actually produced something worth playing instead of just making carbon copies of games on engines that where given to them by the original closed source game dev hose. No amount of retrofitting has changed the core of the games. If it wasn't they'd have gotten a clue by now and made a kickstarter or community project to make a game that isn't an Quake clone and has some actual content. Ryzom should have been a good base for such a project, but what has become of it?

        So yes, while everything else on my Linux installs is OSS as far as I can take it, even the GPU drivers when I can get away with it, but I have no problem with closed source user space software, I'm looking forward to getting a few native games that can't be had any other way even more so awaiting more higher end media production software that is supposed to be coming since thats another massive failing of the OSS community.

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        • #19
          Anyone else here see the excruciating irony of how half the posts on this topic are people being closed minded about open products? And the irony of how this news article was about LGP being irrelevant yet it's one of the lengthiest articles posted in a while? (not that I'm complaining, I just think its funny)

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          • #20
            Very few devs publish games on Linux because there's so few users.

            There's few users gaming on Linux because there's so few games.

            Steam is the best possible vehicle to breaking this vicious circle, especially given it is head-and-shoulders above the other digital distribution platforms.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by kaprikawn View Post
              Very few devs publish games on Linux because there's so few users.

              There's few users gaming on Linux because there's so few games.

              Steam is the best possible vehicle to breaking this vicious circle, especially given it is head-and-shoulders above the other digital distribution platforms.
              The chicken and the egg scenario as they say.

              Thankfully Valve isn't your typical company that simply looks at the profit margins and stats served to them by their secretaries, but actually has some vision and will take some risks (and being a private company helps).

              Comment


              • #22
                I'm always shocked at how many Linux people are so rabidly against anything closed source. I think there are lines that may or may not be crossed. For example, I want a completely free operating system. Important things relating to my work I generally insist on an open source solution -- unless one absolutely does not exist or isn't at all workable. I can't live with having my important work data (or a customers) locked into a proprietary solution if a OSS solution exists. Thats a real time bomb to me. The operating systems and the services I run on them are important and thus I want open source.

                But games, no. Games are just entertainment. I don't view them as different than say, watching a movie. I watch the movie, I can't change it. I can't edit the script or choice of actors before or after I watch it. You pay the money to watch it as it is, and if you don't like it well, its not like you can't watch something else later or suddenly your lifes work is destroyed. Same with a game. You buy the game, play it. If you had fun with it then it has completed its only purpose. If I hate the game nothing further bad happens. On this note too, my roommate and I often make short movies. The presence of hollywood movies hasn't prevented us from doing that either.

                Installing steam and buying a few games doesn't make the rest of my operating system, or my servers, or anything else suddenly less free. They are just as free as they were before. All steam does is allow users who want to be entertained by games in linux do exactly that. It doesn't hurt those who aren't interested -- oh, and I hear about how it kills interest in Open Source games but lets just stop bullshitting, those rarely go anywhere. There are some great open source games and they'll continue to be around too for the same reasons they are around now. The presence of closed source games on windows hasn't effected them and it won't on linux. Whether you like the "Triple A" titles or not isn't relevant to anyone but you.

                If you want to play closed source commercial games in Linux now you finally have some options too. If you don't, then please just shut up for christ sakes and let those of us who do enjoy ourselves. If there is some HUGE WORLD ENDING CATACLYSM because of it then we'll be the only ones hurt by it and you can totally feel free to show up then with your "OMG! I told you so!!!" speech. But we all know that isn't going to happen. Life and Linux will continue on like it always has, only some of us get a few more entertainment options.

                Some people just need to calm down and let people do what they want.

                Comment


                • #23
                  So what happens to my LGP DRM games?

                  I purchased Sacred Gold and X3 from them years ago. Loved playing them but I suppose I won't be able to play them any more. I noticed Linux Game Tome "http://www.happypenguin.org/" is tits up again. I suppose their server broke and the back up failed and coffee spilled on the hard drive again. Sun spots and Chemical degradation ruined the universe again!!
                  I have been enjoying this site lately. In order to get my Linux gaming news.
                  http://www.gamingonlinux.com/index.php

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by salsadoom View Post
                    I'm always shocked at how many Linux people are so rabidly against anything closed source. I think there are lines that may or may not be crossed. For example, I want a completely free operating system. Important things relating to my work I generally insist on an open source solution -- unless one absolutely does not exist or isn't at all workable. I can't live with having my important work data (or a customers) locked into a proprietary solution if a OSS solution exists. Thats a real time bomb to me. The operating systems and the services I run on them are important and thus I want open source.

                    But games, no. Games are just entertainment. I don't view them as different than say, watching a movie. I watch the movie, I can't change it. I can't edit the script or choice of actors before or after I watch it. You pay the money to watch it as it is, and if you don't like it well, its not like you can't watch something else later or suddenly your lifes work is destroyed. Same with a game. You buy the game, play it. If you had fun with it then it has completed its only purpose. If I hate the game nothing further bad happens. On this note too, my roommate and I often make short movies. The presence of hollywood movies hasn't prevented us from doing that either.

                    Installing steam and buying a few games doesn't make the rest of my operating system, or my servers, or anything else suddenly less free. They are just as free as they were before. All steam does is allow users who want to be entertained by games in linux do exactly that. It doesn't hurt those who aren't interested -- oh, and I hear about how it kills interest in Open Source games but lets just stop bullshitting, those rarely go anywhere. There are some great open source games and they'll continue to be around too for the same reasons they are around now. The presence of closed source games on windows hasn't effected them and it won't on linux. Whether you like the "Triple A" titles or not isn't relevant to anyone but you.

                    If you want to play closed source commercial games in Linux now you finally have some options too. If you don't, then please just shut up for christ sakes and let those of us who do enjoy ourselves. If there is some HUGE WORLD ENDING CATACLYSM because of it then we'll be the only ones hurt by it and you can totally feel free to show up then with your "OMG! I told you so!!!" speech. But we all know that isn't going to happen. Life and Linux will continue on like it always has, only some of us get a few more entertainment options.

                    Some people just need to calm down and let people do what they want.
                    Well said, I think that is basically my stance at the end of the day. I'm pretty rabid about my OS and productivity tools being FOSS if possible... gaming/entertainment I'm pretty lenient, so long as no lines are crossed (like SecuROM).

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Regarding Steam, I think you can run it in OFFLINE mode and still play the games, so you may not be that limited if you go camping or have no internet.

                      The great thing about Steam is you can instant patch when they become available, also get community mods for your game. There is news associated to each game and forums.

                      If you're a developer then Steam is a great platform to market your product on. I also recommend selling on Ubuntu's Software Centre, or other distribution methods.
                      Last edited by e8hffff; 01-28-2013, 12:33 AM.

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                      • #26
                        One of the big let down is all these companies bringing games to Linux are merely resurrecting old titles and converting them over. Usually this happens when they are spurred on by doing an Apple version using OpenGL.

                        If you want a vibrant market you need to embellish it. It's like selling old fruit vs new. People want fresh new fruit, it's as simple as that.
                        Last edited by e8hffff; 01-28-2013, 12:41 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by BO$$ View Post
                          How exactly is steam stealing your freedom? You buy a game and you play it. Nothing stolen here. Stop with the "proprietary is evil" bullshit. Did RMS brainwash you? Making linux dependent on commercial interests? Linux is already 80% of the kernel developed by corporations that only work for profit. Most of linux is actually dependent on commercial interests. Making money isn't evil. Get over it! What is your problem? That you don't get the source code? It's the one who writes the code that decides if they make it open or not. It's their freedom to choose. Not yours. Also, no one is forcing you to buy their products.
                          "Did RMS brainwash you?" LOL you are really stupid and this is again a statement of fact because RMS already pointed out that Valve/steam is good for Linux and opensource.

                          Just educate yourself or die stupid: "Richard M Stallman: Steam Is Good For GNU/Linux" http://www.muktware.com/4042/richard...-good-gnulinux

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by salsadoom View Post
                            I'm always shocked at how many Linux people are so rabidly against anything closed source. I think there are lines that may or may not be crossed. For example, I want a completely free operating system. Important things relating to my work I generally insist on an open source solution -- unless one absolutely does not exist or isn't at all workable. I can't live with having my important work data (or a customers) locked into a proprietary solution if a OSS solution exists. Thats a real time bomb to me. The operating systems and the services I run on them are important and thus I want open source.

                            But games, no. Games are just entertainment. I don't view them as different than say, watching a movie. I watch the movie, I can't change it. I can't edit the script or choice of actors before or after I watch it. You pay the money to watch it as it is, and if you don't like it well, its not like you can't watch something else later or suddenly your lifes work is destroyed. Same with a game. You buy the game, play it. If you had fun with it then it has completed its only purpose. If I hate the game nothing further bad happens. On this note too, my roommate and I often make short movies. The presence of hollywood movies hasn't prevented us from doing that either.

                            Installing steam and buying a few games doesn't make the rest of my operating system, or my servers, or anything else suddenly less free. They are just as free as they were before. All steam does is allow users who want to be entertained by games in linux do exactly that. It doesn't hurt those who aren't interested -- oh, and I hear about how it kills interest in Open Source games but lets just stop bullshitting, those rarely go anywhere. There are some great open source games and they'll continue to be around too for the same reasons they are around now. The presence of closed source games on windows hasn't effected them and it won't on linux. Whether you like the "Triple A" titles or not isn't relevant to anyone but you.

                            If you want to play closed source commercial games in Linux now you finally have some options too. If you don't, then please just shut up for christ sakes and let those of us who do enjoy ourselves. If there is some HUGE WORLD ENDING CATACLYSM because of it then we'll be the only ones hurt by it and you can totally feel free to show up then with your "OMG! I told you so!!!" speech. But we all know that isn't going to happen. Life and Linux will continue on like it always has, only some of us get a few more entertainment options.

                            Some people just need to calm down and let people do what they want.
                            Oh? I am yet to see anyone here saying that games must all be open-source. Nobody is contesting what you're saying here. It's just that not everyone can live with all the restrictions of Steam. When you watch a standard movie, you are not forced to run an unrelated program. And when you are done watching it, you are sure to be able to watch it again in the future. And if someone, especially by accident, deems you a cheater or so, you don't immediately lose access to every movie in your video library. And if the servers of the movie distributor are down, you don't get locked out of your video library, too. You typically also don't agree that you need to install software that may or may not contain spyware into your PC when watching a movie. There are exceptions, of course, as these days even movies are getting more and more restrictive, but I wouldn't watch those, either.

                            But again, I don't see people who can live with these restrictions as somehow bad. If you can, good for you, and it's your loss if something bad happens.

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                            • #29
                              More is better

                              I am a Linux Gamer. With that out of the way, I have found absolutely Zero problems replacing my Windows games with Linux alternatives. If you use Xubuntu, Ubuntu, Lubuntu or Kubuntu and have access to the Software Center; you can see several new games being added each week. There is no shortage and there are a plenty of games to play. As far as LGP, all I ever saw was Old and Obscure games I didn't really like anyway.

                              With Steam and the Software Center, It really wouldn't bother me if it faded away to be honest. Also, every time there is a Thread like this, people come in here and talk about how Proprietary Apps and Games don't belong. Look, Linux can't rise up to anything if these old hats keep sticking to the "If it ain't free I don't want it!" model. Your 'RMS' Titanic will fall to the bottom of the Ocean if you don't start opening your mind to other options.

                              As far as Freedom, you can choose to use Paid software or not, but don't push it on other people who are open to new possibilities. And Linux not having many users? Yeah if you listen to the Microsoft camp that they have 98% of the market and the old myth that Linux has only 1%; It's nonsense, Linux has at least 10-15% now. And Windows is a Western phenomenon as many people in other parts of the Earth are using things other than Windows. If you have a truly open mind, you can see Microsoft isn't really looking all that great as a company anymore; yes they make Billions but for the last two years and for the next few, It's looking quite bleak for them.

                              If there ever was a time for someone with money to start an advertising campaign which includes options to Buy Linux computers, Support and Application development; It's now. The truth is, most users still have no idea what Linux is and are still being forced to buy computers with Windows. Education is the Key here and I have been doing my part with good results, locally. I don't know what else to say except, Linux isn't the nightmare to use as it was in the 90's, It's ready for prime time. But you can't throw something like Trisquel or Arch at new people that expect good hardware support and a place where they can easily buy apps and games and install them simply. And you can't tell them to open their terminal and type so and so; we need more focus here on WHO we are talking to.

                              It's not all good though, there are still stability issues involving misbehaving apps that lock up the system. Developers need to put a little more focus into providing Linux a way sandbox a crash so it doesn't affect the entire system. Better Hardware support and more Applications with an easy-to-use Graphical Interface would be nice also; the recent release of Robotux was a great start to finally move away from the clunky Xnee, as an example.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by salsadoom View Post
                                But games, no. Games are just entertainment. I don't view them as different than say, watching a movie. I watch the movie, I can't change it. I can't edit the script or choice of actors before or after I watch it. You pay the money to watch it as it is, and if you don't like it well, its not like you can't watch something else later or suddenly your lifes work is destroyed. Same with a game. You buy the game, play it. If you had fun with it then it has completed its only purpose. If I hate the game nothing further bad happens. On this note too, my roommate and I often make short movies. The presence of hollywood movies hasn't prevented us from doing that either.
                                Like GreatEmerald said, the comparison of a game to a movie is not entirely apt.

                                Your game binary may call home. It may install a rootkit. It may have other malware embedded, often called DRM. Even if it claims to be DRM-free it may have less desirable code in it.

                                Your movie is just data - you can do what you will with it, including playing it with an open source player.

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