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  • #16
    You know, I am probably very wrong or maybe my thoughts are flawed but I think as a community as a whole we can resolve this whole issue. The issue is not out there as much as its within us already. Meaning, Open Source development. What we need to do is create a cool but simple open source game that can rival the industries best on every front. People migrate to Linux all the time due to Compiz or whatever, but if we could get people to migrate to Linux for that big word, games. We could really dish it out to the industry and ultimately I think we could really get what we want.

    Granted, thats alot of work, but I think with proper organization and the "right" people we could have the chemistry and all to build such a game. I know this could go right into another thread of its own but this covers the issue that we have been trying to fight forever now and there just doesn't seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel thus far.

    Just like how Enemy Territory got the attention of the game industry or Counter-Strike. We ultimately could do the same exact thing, infact there are projects out there right now that could pull it off but their development just isn't moving fast enough. I also think the game would have to be Linux and Mac only. If Windows was supported and the game became popular it wouldn't matter if it supported Linux or Mac. It would come back to haunt us and that wouldn't really work. Publicity would be another thing we'd need, without it, well, no one will know about it then haha.

    But I'm done ranting and preaching for now, thats just my two cents on how to solve this, we need AAA titles, we need all this and that. I don't think selling small time games that no one really wants to buy is the solution, I think the solution is a game of our own, but who knows I am very likely wrong here. But I'm just not sure what can REALLY work at this point.
    Last edited by Malikith; 08-18-2008, 11:28 AM.

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    • #17
      @me262:
      Nah, it's not ZP. Granted I have the tendency to rant in a similar way ( which is why I got at other places the title "Linux Dragon of quick wit and sharp tongue" ) but this time it's not him. It has been articles on TE about these topics ( not about Linux but the general game dev drama going on ).

      @Malikith:
      I do not think it is a good solution to make a "Linux only" game. This way we would be locking a software down to Linux as they do lock down games for Windows which would only increase the "elitists" reputation and would hurt us in the long run. No the game and engine in question has to be fully cross-platform and the package has to sport a fat Tux logo. Even if people play it on Windows they get it to know and the see the explicit Tux on it. It's better to have this propaganda than having none of it.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Dragonlord View Post
        @me262:
        @Malikith:
        I do not think it is a good solution to make a "Linux only" game. This way we would be locking a software down to Linux as they do lock down games for Windows which would only increase the "elitists" reputation and would hurt us in the long run. No the game and engine in question has to be fully cross-platform and the package has to sport a fat Tux logo. Even if people play it on Windows they get it to know and the see the explicit Tux on it. It's better to have this propaganda than having none of it.
        Why not? I don't think its elitist at all, Frozen Bubble isn't considered elitist for only having a Linux version. Theres nothing wrong with a Linux only version of a piece of software. Infact I didn't even say Linux only I said Linux and Mac, thats NOT locking everyone out. And say if you did support Windows, it wouldn't matter how many Linux logos you stick all over it, people don't care about that, they care about the game, and if they can access the game on Windows, they don't care and won't care.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by me262 View Post
          - I think we need to take a step back and survey the situation. What we can do to increase support? (Get the product to the retail store shelves. Any more?)
          Heh... The main problem with getting to the brick and mortar level of sales is that most store chains won't deal with the Linux stuff at all. Best Buy's got the XP eeePC 901 models in stock, but not the Linux ones (By the by, I can't see why anyone would want the XP version there- it's bog slow, etc...). To the retail stores, it's another similar SKU and unless they can see a substantive profit to allocate a good chunk of shelving space to delineate Windows, versus MacOS, versus Linux, they're just NOT going to allocate space. A mom-and-pop place might go this route or even go Linux-only in some locales, but the main vendors' worries are their bottom lines- and unless you're going to have them see the community buying something on the order of 5-10 of any given title at 30% or more of their chain, we're not worth the "trouble" we'd bring them.

          This would be another facet of the "more money" line of thinking being just about opposite in reality. The moment you throw one of those other OSes in the mix, it convolutes the situation for the publisher (costing them profits...if the gain's not moderately or majorly offsetting the increased expenses...you can do the math there...) and of the retailer (ditto...).

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Malikith View Post
            Why not? I don't think its elitist at all, Frozen Bubble isn't considered elitist for only having a Linux version. Theres nothing wrong with a Linux only version of a piece of software. Infact I didn't even say Linux only I said Linux and Mac, thats NOT locking everyone out. And say if you did support Windows, it wouldn't matter how many Linux logos you stick all over it, people don't care about that, they care about the game, and if they can access the game on Windows, they don't care and won't care.
            The biggest problem with it isn't that, per se. If you're going to accomplish something, you'd better have a seriously kick-ass game to make it barred from Windows to garner enough attention from that crowd to have that work for anything other than showing some small interest in the potential of making a Linux version to get a profit out of it. It'd make sales numbers, but it wouldn't have the same impact, I fear because of the brick-and-mortar situation. Online distribution is a great idea, but there's more than enough gotchas to everything that unless you're as big as Valve already, all you'll do with it is "get by". With the meatspace sales, unless you can show a decently sized positive net effect on their bottom line, you won't show on most store shelves- period. Since we're a small demographic right at the moment (as far as they're concerned...) we make it Linux or Linux/MacOS-only, you're just going to be limited to boutique stores and online sales and just hang just below the radar indefinitely.

            [edit]

            By the by, I suspect they might actually care. There's a lot of people honestly looking for a better answer- Vista's NOT it and it's putting a big bar towards new machine sales, with people trying to figure out ways of getting XP or looking at "that there Linux thing" (yes...I've fielded LOTS of answers to people lately about it...). They're looking for a way out of the mill MS has set up for everyone. If you could show them that the cool games they're buying right now could be actually moved over and be supported on Linux, they'd be very interested in many cases. Don't let the leet crap going on in forums like [H]ardOCP and elsewhere fool you. If we could have a viable gamer space going on right now, you'd see a LOT of people make the jump because they see what Linux brings to the table. Right now, we don't have one- because of some of what deanjo commented on as perceptions, and every bit of what I commented on as perceptions (and to some extent, reality...)
            Last edited by Svartalf; 08-18-2008, 01:10 PM.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
              By the by, I suspect they might actually care. There's a lot of people honestly looking for a better answer- Vista's NOT it and it's putting a big bar towards new machine sales, with people trying to figure out ways of getting XP or looking at "that there Linux thing" (yes...I've fielded LOTS of answers to people lately about it...). They're looking for a way out of the mill MS has set up for everyone. If you could show them that the cool games they're buying right now could be actually moved over and be supported on Linux, they'd be very interested in many cases. Don't let the leet crap going on in forums like [H]ardOCP and elsewhere fool you. If we could have a viable gamer space going on right now, you'd see a LOT of people make the jump because they see what Linux brings to the table. Right now, we don't have one- because of some of what deanjo commented on as perceptions, and every bit of what I commented on as perceptions (and to some extent, reality...)
              Yeah thats true.. I guess I just got a sour taste in my mouth lately due to the latest events and its just kinda gotten to me. Sorry guys, but yeah you're right, the game would need to be very kick ass, which could be done, but it would take a hell of a commitment and I don't know how many guys out there would be willing to make such a commitment for free. Probably not as many as we hope.

              But as far as what you're saying about people coming over, yeah, even Wine could partially pull it off to some degree if it could just run some of those games flawlessly, but Wine just isn't a overall solution, its more of a bandaid. I do know exactly what you're talking about though, I've read some Windows gaming forums here and there throughout the months and I see people all the time saying that they would be willing to depart from Windows if they could just get their favorite games, alot of people were saying they wanted Team Fortress 2/Steam then they would. But I don't think that whole Steam coming to Linux thing/rumor is really working out as well as we would had hoped.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Malikith View Post
                Yeah thats true.. I guess I just got a sour taste in my mouth lately due to the latest events and its just kinda gotten to me. Sorry guys, but yeah you're right, the game would need to be very kick ass, which could be done, but it would take a hell of a commitment and I don't know how many guys out there would be willing to make such a commitment for free. Probably not as many as we hope.
                Well, there are various teams trying to build games for Linux, but almost all of them are encountering the same problem: Not enough arty people. Technically they can compete, but on the art front they struggle. Looking at the successful open source Linux games, what you see is that they tend to for "cult" style art, and I believe even there, some of them are using professionally done, paid for, art.

                What Linux gaming needs if it really want to go that route is people in the Universities which offer Computer Game Design degrees....

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by RobbieAB View Post
                  Well, there are various teams trying to build games for Linux, but almost all of them are encountering the same problem: Not enough arty people. Technically they can compete, but on the art front they struggle. Looking at the successful open source Linux games, what you see is that they tend to for "cult" style art, and I believe even there, some of them are using professionally done, paid for, art.

                  What Linux gaming needs if it really want to go that route is people in the Universities which offer Computer Game Design degrees....
                  Yeah definitely, I think the weakest link of all this art related stuff is 3d modeling. Good 3d modelers are really really hard to find. Level designers and programmers though are very easy to find. The easiest would probably be level designers when you're speaking of Quake based games. I would fall into the level designer category myself since I have a few years of experience of dealing with GTK Radiant (Been messing with it off and on since 2002 and know how to do pretty much everything there is in Radiant). If I'm considered a level designer, I'm sure everyone and their mother is too.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Malikith View Post
                    What we need to do is create a cool but simple open source game that can rival the industries best on every front.
                    ...
                    I also think the game would have to be Linux and Mac only. If Windows was supported and the game became popular it wouldn't matter if it supported Linux or Mac.
                    How would you accomplish this? Windows isn't void of open source coders, and there's plenty of Linux coders that aim for the ultimate in portability. Even if the end product itself doesn't support Windows, as long as the source is available you can be sure someone will port it there.

                    But I tend to agree with Dragonlord on this. Let it run on Windows, but make sure it's clearly "developed for Linux".

                    Someone mentioned asking Mark Shuttleworth/Canonical to fund such game development. I think that might be a good starting point, but we could also ask companies behind other distributions.. or hell, maybe even IBM, if they want to pitch in. Such a game doesn't have to be free, either. Even if the code was open source/GPL, there's nothing stopping you from selling it for money. Plus if you put the art/media assets under a non-free license, people would still have to buy it to legally get the full game.

                    Then if such a game is a success, we can start funding more games, and paying other developers/publishers to port their games to Linux as well.

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                    • #25
                      @Malikith:

                      I have to disagree there. Getting by good coders is hard since most of them do their own thing. 3D modelers are also not the biggest problem to get by. Most troubles are int he 2D department and mapping. Also the quality of course. The good people are often snagged away buy Windows only projects leaving half-hearted people for the other projects which have a good idea and dedicated people but none with the top-notch skills required. Would help if projects could be narrowed down and people clogging into them instead of distributing them over a lot of projects ending up with project teams of a couple of people most of which are not artsy enough.

                      EDIT: got race-posted ... so much for not locking the Mutex

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                      • #26
                        Art-wise, the main problem (besides modeling, for which Blender is a God-send) are textures and sounds (effects and music). We have the necessary tools to create good stuff on Linux, we just lack the people (it would seem) to do it in the Open Source model.

                        Here's a wild thought... There are common interests among and across the different distributions for gaming. Open source and free gaming. Why not bring these people together on board to such an effort like this? Lemme explain myself:
                        • Different distributions (Debian, Ubuntu, Gentoo, Fedora, etc) have people interested in and some times even projects dedicated to games. Fedora calls these SIGs (Special Interest Groups).
                        • These people work on many aspects of the games for the different distributions (package, build, patch, etc).
                        • Since what is lacking the most for generating open source games seem to be art-related people, why not ask people in the art teams of these different distributions and bring them together to a common project? Then, the most critical element missing would be the idea itself for such a game and its type (Action, Adventure, Puzzle, RTS, etc)

                        The bulk of the work in a game, besides the evident technical problems, seem to be precisely the art-related stuff. And even then there seem to be a lot of people dedicated at seemingly the same tasks (but not necessarily). Take 3D model generation, for example. A person could be a very good modeler, but a lousy mapper (map textures to the actual model), so two different people may be required to work on the same model for finalizing it. The same may apply for textures, where different persons can work on different textures (for example on is better generating furniture and building masks, and other is better at plants and outdoors). The most frequently requested talent for mods and other free games are artists, and since the different distributions have art teams comprised of volunteers, why not check with them if they'd be willing to participate in an open game?

                        Sorry for the thread hijack... I had created a thread for precisely these kinds of discussions a while back.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Dragonlord View Post
                          @Malikith:

                          I have to disagree there. Getting by good coders is hard since most of them do their own thing. 3D modelers are also not the biggest problem to get by. Most troubles are int he 2D department and mapping. Also the quality of course. The good people are often snagged away buy Windows only projects leaving half-hearted people for the other projects which have a good idea and dedicated people but none with the top-notch skills required. Would help if projects could be narrowed down and people clogging into them instead of distributing them over a lot of projects ending up with project teams of a couple of people most of which are not artsy enough.

                          EDIT: got race-posted ... so much for not locking the Mutex
                          Again, the versions I heard was that it was getting consistent artwork of a decent standard across the entire project. Textures, cut scenes, video clips, music...

                          These are graphic design skills, NOT computer nerd skills, and it is getting those across a large project that is hard. The games companies can manage it because they PAY their teams doing it.

                          Engines? Sure, it's a coding challenge. Modelling? Again, close enough to the coding. Consistent game theme and feel, blending in sound, getting the pacing just right? Face it, most programers can't even begin to to that side of it.

                          Take Battle of Wesnoth. It's managed to achieve a consistent feel. It adopted it's own look, and the graphics and themeing are consistent, though very simple. I believe they STILL had to pay for some of the artwork, though it was mostly on a private basis, and not project wide. Now imagine a game where the themeing is more complex and bigger in scope? Are you really trying to claim that a bunch of amateurs (which is how most Open Source stuff is done) are going to be able to cope with the challenge in their free time? Vegastrike shows they have serious problems with it...

                          EDIT: Damn that not locking the mutex...
                          Last edited by RobbieAB; 08-18-2008, 03:25 PM.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Chris View Post
                            How would you accomplish this? Windows isn't void of open source coders, and there's plenty of Linux coders that aim for the ultimate in portability. Even if the end product itself doesn't support Windows, as long as the source is available you can be sure someone will port it there.

                            But I tend to agree with Dragonlord on this. Let it run on Windows, but make sure it's clearly "developed for Linux".

                            Someone mentioned asking Mark Shuttleworth/Canonical to fund such game development. I think that might be a good starting point, but we could also ask companies behind other distributions.. or hell, maybe even IBM, if they want to pitch in. Such a game doesn't have to be free, either. Even if the code was open source/GPL, there's nothing stopping you from selling it for money. Plus if you put the art/media assets under a non-free license, people would still have to buy it to legally get the full game.

                            Then if such a game is a success, we can start funding more games, and paying other developers/publishers to port their games to Linux as well.
                            Yeah, you could have LGP or something actually make a game even though they just do ports/publish it might prove for at the very least an interesting discussion for them.

                            My whole point about having a game be Linux/Mac only was just a idea to fight fire with fire. But maybe it would make sense to Windows users to see a runs best on Linux thing or something on it right on the main menu down in the right corner or something. I just think about alot of the Windows users I see on these Windows hardware forums that are so closed minded and how ignorant they are. It just makes me feel like they wouldn't even look at the logo. Thats really where I was coming from on that. I guess you can't say they won't, but you really can't say they will either.

                            Originally posted by Dragonlord View Post
                            @Malikith:

                            I have to disagree there. Getting by good coders is hard since most of them do their own thing. 3D modelers are also not the biggest problem to get by. Most troubles are int he 2D department and mapping. Also the quality of course. The good people are often snagged away buy Windows only projects leaving half-hearted people for the other projects which have a good idea and dedicated people but none with the top-notch skills required. Would help if projects could be narrowed down and people clogging into them instead of distributing them over a lot of projects ending up with project teams of a couple of people most of which are not artsy enough.

                            EDIT: got race-posted ... so much for not locking the Mutex
                            Now here I disagree with you and heres why, lets look at all the open source and free games out there that support Linux. Heres some of the more recent examples, Tremulous, Warsow, World of Padman, Frozen Bubble 2, Urban Terror, all these games have pretty good coding (mostly ioquake3 games but they do have to do some Quake C for sure), but how many of these games actually have really high quality art, well.. World of Padman does, Frozen Bubble 2 does, and Warsow has some good art too.

                            Warsow though has some good coding as well since they really did rework that Quake 2 engine to death. And without programmers/scripters, well, none of these games would exist. So I think its safe to say theres plenty of "good enough" programmers out there, hell, look around. I mean theres good stuff everywhere I look in the open source world. I can't say I see GREAT artwork all the time though when it comes to Open Source games.

                            You can have 5000 John Carmacks but if you don't have the artists your project won't go anywhere, it'll just be a engine not a game. So I think its safe to say you just need programmers that are "good enough". Which theres quite a few of those. Sure you could find a crappy modeler anywhere, but if your game doesn't look very good, not really anyone is gonna want to play it even if you are John Carmack himself doing the programming.

                            Mappers are in abundance though, everytime I look at what projects are looking for are usually modelers or a programmer. They are usually full of level designers. Guys that do textures and stuff though can be hard to find too though, I will agree with you there.
                            Last edited by Malikith; 08-18-2008, 03:34 PM.

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                            • #29
                              @RobbieAB:
                              You got to it first. I wanted to mention the lack of consistency myself. It's one thing to have different people work on the same models or map but the main problem is to get it consistent. Successful mod teams have members sticking to the project for long enough to have a consistent look and feel.

                              @Malikith:
                              I'm basing my opinion on the observations in the modding scene. This is also free game making in that the mods itself are free to play but not necessary the code. There the situation is that most projects lack coders first then mappers or modelers. Chances are in the indie scene this is the other way 'round but this is how I observe the situation.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by RobbieAB View Post
                                Now imagine a game where the themeing is more complex and bigger in scope? Are you really trying to claim that a bunch of amateurs (which is how most Open Source stuff is done) are going to be able to cope with the challenge in their free time? Vegastrike shows they have serious problems with it...
                                Heh... They can do it. But it's a hit-or-miss proposition, RobbieAB. I can manage passable stuff myself- but I'm better at coding than I am at graphic arts stuff. This is the story for most people and is at least part of the source of woe for Vegastrike But, groups like the World of Padman team, the Tremulous team, and a few others show that it's doable all the same. It's just that it's...very difficult...to find people with the level of dedication to do that level of work that aren't already tied up with closed projects in a way that they couldn't help even if they wanted to.

                                EDIT: Damn that not locking the mutex...
                                At least you guys know what a mutex is FOR... I know of places (not naming names, no...) that part of the development team think declaring something "volatile" makes operations on int values atomic on at least x86 machines- and mutexes are 'too painful to use'.

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