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Lessons For Developers In Porting Games To Linux

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Ancurio View Post
    You didn't understand a word he said. What is meant by "steam runtime" isn't a steam developed library, just a bundle of commonly used libraries (that steam needs) which the games would otherwise have to ship themselves. It has nothing to do with DRM whatsoever.
    I sure didn't understand what he said - I don't understand Polish I was reading slides. Steam runtime is usally referring to their proprietary DRM stuff, thus my concern. If he simply meant common open source middleware - than for sure, there is no problem with that.

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    • #17
      The Humble Bundle's "still selling games" just won't do for big companies. It works like falling back from PC market and making console exclusives when piracy on pc kills the sales. Getting little non-drm games won't help mainstreaming linux games.

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      • #18
        Humble Bundle can work perfectly for big companies. GOG works too. All are DRM free. DRM has no benefits for any big company from sales perspectives - only drawbacks. The fact that some backward companies still use DRM is not related to sales in any way already. It's related to incompetent execs covering their backs for losses on bad quality games with excuses that they have DRM, and it's piracy that eats their sales.

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        • #19
          Hi guys, Leszek here. I didn't expect Phoronix to pick my little talk up, especially after 2 months, but it's nice to be featured.

          Indeed I'm a Debian guy, and all my port development takes place on Debian. I only have an Ubuntu chroot+debootstrap environment for building.

          I don't mean to stir up a flamewar here, but you guys are - quite naturally and I don't blame you for it - looking at things from a consumer's perspective. And judging by some of your posts in this thread, you're quite emotionally engaged in your stance.

          But from a developer's standpoint, you need to deliver a quality product that works reliably on a wide range of systems. Valve allows us to cut some corners in that regard with the Steam Linux Runtime. How can I possibly consider basing my game off of Debian libs if their SDL2 is binary-incompatible with Ubuntu's (sic!)?

          The numbers don't lie - Ubuntu remains the most popular Linux distro. There is no well-established proprietary software distribution mechanism for Linux. That's why aligning with Valve and Steam is a no-brainer to professional gamedevs: we're simply trying to cover the largest market area possible so that we can pay our bills.

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          • #20
            Then explain why there still is some DRM. Ask yourself why there aren't too much demo versions novadays. Its because some big portion of gamers would just want to check out the game instead of playing it even if game is really good. A lot of steam users get bundles not even having the time to play every one game, just to check them out.

            Thats just how it works and why companies still go for the DRM. I'm not defending it, its just business won't change fast enough to fit DRM-free world, and we should go the other way around.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by shmerl View Post
              I sure didn't understand what he said - I don't understand Polish
              By "him" I meant "mrugiero", who replied to your post trying to explain it to you (well he failed).

              Originally posted by shmerl View Post
              I was reading slides. Steam runtime is usally referring to their proprietary DRM stuff, thus my concern. If he simply meant common open source middleware - than for sure, there is no problem with that.
              Bullshit, you didn't read them. On the same exact slide where "Steam runtime" is mentioned it clearly states:
              • Collection of essential packages "ripped" from Ubuntu repos + patches [applied to them]
              • Ready-to-use GCC-based toolchains for i386 and amd64

              By the way, I looked around in that directory a bit, and it seems that steam does something pretty cool: Before downloading libraries to your steam-runtime directory, it first checks if a library with that same name exists on your system (in usual /lib folders), hashes it, and if that file exactly matches the one steam would provide, it skips the downloading. So essentially the steam-runtime guarantees developers a certain set of libraries always present on the system, without needless duplication. (This is just my speculation)

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              • #22
                Originally posted by shmerl View Post
                Humble Bundle can work perfectly for big companies. GOG works too. All are DRM free. DRM has no benefits for any big company from sales perspectives - only drawbacks. The fact that some backward companies still use DRM is not related to sales in any way already. It's related to incompetent execs covering their backs for losses on bad quality games with excuses that they have DRM, and it's piracy that eats their sales.
                Good "Old" Games (GOG), last time I checked there are more newer big titles on Steam (for win and even mac).

                and this is their new mac line up:

                http://www.gog.com/catalogue?system=osx

                lots of older titles and indies. That's their Niche, so don't think they are equal to steam.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Ancurio View Post
                  By "him" I meant "mrugiero", who replied to your post trying to explain it to you (well he failed).

                  Bullshit, you didn't read them. On the same exact slide where "Steam runtime" is mentioned it clearly states:
                  • Collection of essential packages "ripped" from Ubuntu repos + patches [applied to them]
                  • Ready-to-use GCC-based toolchains for i386 and amd64
                  I saw that, and that was expected. It should use some system middleware, but who said it doesn't use more than that, like DRM stuff. Judging it from the slide is not enough to understand what the context is.

                  Originally posted by kacperpl1 View Post
                  Then explain why there still is some DRM. Ask yourself why there aren't too much demo versions novadays. Its because some big portion of gamers would just want to check out the game instead of playing it even if game is really good. A lot of steam users get bundles not even having the time to play every one game, just to check them out.

                  Thats just how it works and why companies still go for the DRM. I'm not defending it, its just business won't change fast enough to fit DRM-free world, and we should go the other way around.
                  I didn't get how the lack of demos is connected to the usage of DRM. Some can be scared, that users could not like the demo and thus wouldn't buy the game. Understandable, though a stupid thing to be scared of - make good games and not some junk in order not to worry about it. What does DRM has to do with it? If you sell DRM free game but without a demo - user still has to pay before playing it. As I said, the only reason some still use DRM is a dumb excuse that they are doing something useful in the face of poor sales. I.e. the argument of execs goes: "sales are poor because piracy is rampant. But I'm not sitting idle, I put DRM there!" While in practice it had to go like: "sales are poor because I don't care about my users and produced a junk game who no one wants to buy".

                  We shouldn't go any other way around. We as users and developers should firmly oppose DRM, and luckily there are enough DRM free digital distribution services already.

                  Originally posted by madjr View Post
                  Good "Old" Games (GOG), last time I checked there are more newer big titles on Steam (for win and even mac).

                  and this is their new mac line up:

                  http://www.gog.com/catalogue?system=osx

                  lots of older titles and indies. That's their Niche, so don't think they are equal to steam.
                  GOG is not as big as Steam, but they are second biggest. They used to focus on old games, but not anymore. They are not placing themselves in a niche, they are competing with Steam directly. Except that they have a clear and resolute DRM free stance. And deal only with game developers who agree to that. That's one of the reasons why some games aren't there for sure, but it doesn't stop them from growing and attracting those who appreciate the absence of DRM as well. The only thing they lack so far is Linux support. Feel free to vote for it: http://www.gog.com/wishlist/site/add...sions_of_games
                  Last edited by shmerl; 06-21-2013, 05:37 PM.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by shmerl View Post
                    I saw that, and that was expected. It should use some system middleware, but who said it doesn't use more than that, like DRM stuff. Judging it from the slide is not enough to understand what the context is.
                    Well, for a start, most of the middleware is GPL or LGPL, which means the actual libraries are probably unmodified (otherwise, they would have to release the source code for their DRM stuff), and you can still choose what you link to.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by mrugiero View Post
                      Well, for a start, most of the middleware is GPL or LGPL, which means the actual libraries are probably unmodified (otherwise, they would have to release the source code for their DRM stuff), and you can still choose what you link to.
                      As I said before, if developers would target only that without some Steam specific stuff - I'm OK with it.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by shmerl View Post
                        I saw that, and that was expected. It should use some system middleware, but who said it doesn't use more than that, like DRM stuff. Judging it from the slide is not enough to understand what the context is.
                        How about instead of making up bullshit and spreading FUD you actually research any of the things you claim.
                        You read "target steam" and immediately associated "DRM" without even thinking twice, and now you don't want to admit you were wrong.
                        The slide provided the link containing everything (https://github.com/ValveSoftware/steam-runtime), so you didn't even have to install steam to fact check.

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                        • #27
                          If you don't need to install steam to use the runtime - then it's an acceptable development approach if that's what was meant in the presentation. I already said that in several posts before, which you didn't pay attention to.
                          Last edited by shmerl; 06-21-2013, 06:24 PM.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by shmerl View Post
                            I saw that, and that was expected. It should use some system middleware, but who said it doesn't use more than that, like DRM stuff. Judging it from the slide is not enough to understand what the context is.
                            If you have all libraries from the runtime you're even able to disable it. Just set $STEAM_RUNTIME to 0 and you'll see:
                            STEAM_RUNTIME is disabled by the user
                            while starting Steam.

                            BTW: That's the default setting on Gentoo Linux.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by shmerl View Post
                              If you don't need to install steam to use the runtime - then it's an acceptable development approach if that's what was meant in the presentation.
                              Now this doesn't really make sense. I doubt users who are not interested in steam are going to install the steam runtime themselves.
                              I think the nice point of it is that "hey, if someone buys your game, he probably also has steam installed, in which case we can provide you most of the stuff you will probably need".
                              It's not like games will ship the entire runtime themselves.

                              Originally posted by shmerl View Post
                              I already said that in several posts before, which you didn't pay attention to.
                              No, you always implied that there might be some evil DRM library hidden in the runtime. The presentation never said anything about using steam specific stuff in the first place.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Ancurio View Post
                                Now this doesn't really make sense. I doubt users who are not interested in steam are going to install the steam runtime themselves.
                                I think the nice point of it is that "hey, if someone buys your game, he probably also has steam installed, in which case we can provide you most of the stuff you will probably need".
                                It's not like games will ship the entire runtime themselves.

                                No, you always implied that there might be some evil DRM library hidden in the runtime. The presentation never said anything about using steam specific stuff in the first place.
                                I mentioned that it's acceptable if Steam is not required for it and it just uses system middleware, so you can think whatever you want, I know what I said.

                                Regarding what makes sense. That's the whole point. If this runtime is advocated as for Steam only users - then this advocacy is bad, since Steam itself is DRMed. If the idea of the presentation is for developers to target runtime, as a common base that users who don't use Steam would have to install - that's different. But if not - that again leaves those who don't use Steam as some second class citizens who should be an afterthought for developers, and it's equal to the promotion of DRM.
                                Last edited by shmerl; 06-21-2013, 07:00 PM.

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