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Thread: LinuxGames has a QuakeCon recap...

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by deanjo View Post
    1) Apple users bitched an complained just as loud and as verbose as linux users and they are getting games now.
    Oh yes, apple users bitched. They bitched a lot. The difference between the bitching by apple users and Linux users is simple:

    When apple users were bitching, they were simply not buying the game since there was *no* way to run it. That is at that time (yes, it was before the switch to x86 when EA started shipping eg C&C Generals for mac) they had nothing like wine. When they had no PC beside their mac, they had no way to run the apps. So they did not buy it. Some publishers saw that there is a demand, a group of players who did not buy a single copy. So they started to support it and got a raised profit from it.

    For Linux it does look a little different. That is many users do bitch loud. This is identical. What is not identical is that users do buy the game since they either dualboot with Windows or run it in wine. Both were no options for Mac users in the days when they really bitched.

    Since the Linux users (at least parts of them) buy the game anyway, even if there is no native binary (no matter if compiled against winelib or how it is done), why should the publishers change their view? How large are the numbers for those Linux users, who would buy the game when it is released natively for Linux and not when it is not? The studios don't see this as a too large cut in their profits, so they don't see a need to change things.

    If just those who buy the games to play them using wine would *not* buy unless there is a native binary, this might already help a little. Though the publishers will then probably just say "hey, our sale figures dropped, shame on you pirates!".

    The only thing that counts for the big players in the market is money. So far they have no seen that they really make more profit when supporting Linux and they just look at what they think who much they could lose by supporting it. Lose as in "hey, normal copy protection will not work, everyone will pirate it anyway" and "hmm, we have to invest money to port and later on to give support, which callcenter does also give support for Linux without charging insane prices?".


    I do understand Svartalf being upset about things since with the current attitude by many players things are unlikely to change. Yes, the prices are rather high compared to windows releases of the same games since those are often in budget range when the Linux binary is out. Even if they (unintentionally) run nicely in wine, you are using a Windows product and thus support the creation of Windows products. Nowaddays PC gaming is largely Windows based. It is sad, but that's the way it is. You don't have too much choice when you want to play those AAA games from the big publishers. The only thing you as players can do is talk to indie studios to offer native ports. They are more likely to be nice to you. Some of those indie games are really nice products and often the price is affordable, too.

    Unless maybe a big player like valve makes an offer for Linux and show the other big publishers that there is a big market to conquer things are unlikely to change. That is either many small studios show that they can gain a great profit from supporting those "special" platforms or one of the big players is brave enough to give it a try. I don't think that those ports of "released long ago" games will help a lot to show the big players that there is a market. It will just cater some smaller need for some core Linux users. I really appreciate this, but I do not think it will change the big picture. The players feel that the games are out too late and as such "totally outdated".

  2. #12
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    If just those who buy the games to play them using wine would *not* buy unless there is a native binary, this might already help a little. Though the publishers will then probably just say "hey, our sale figures dropped, shame on you pirates!".
    Followed by "PC gaming is dying, lets focus on consoles!" That'll help.

    Unless maybe a big player like valve makes an offer for Linux and show the other big publishers that there is a big market to conquer things are unlikely to change.
    id Software, Epic, and Bioware weren't big enough? id has supported Linux for a long time (weren't there Linux ports of the original Doom? and even if it may not be "commercially supported", I'll be surprised if we don't see official native Linux binaries for Rage and Doom4), Epic has supported it since gobbling up what was left of Loki until this UT3 fiasco, and Bioware made at least Neverwinter Nights for Linux (one of the expansions even came with a (broken) Linux installer on-disk), which they were still providing patches for until just last month when they stopped patching the game altogether.

  3. #13
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    Wine is detrimental to the adoption of Linux by third party developers (i.e. 99% of ALL commercial software) because it allows them to develop for Windows and say to use wine.

    This is not a problem of wine itself, but a problem of all compatibility layers. It is often said that the DOS compatibility layer in OS/2 hastened the demise, as many software developers simply developed for DOS, and as a result people were more inclined to buy DOS, as the programs just worked better on it.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by deanjo View Post
    NEWSFLASH!!!!

    1) Apple users bitched an complained just as loud and as verbose as linux users and they are getting games now.
    Two observations to this MacOS users point:

    • Like Svartalf said, these same users (though there has undeniably been piracy as well) did buy the products (not only games, mind you, but apps in general) at whatever price was requested at release.
    • MacOS users also had the benefit of God Almighty Steve Jobs pouring a hefty sum of cash to get at least some of these games on MacOS (from what I've seen there are rumours stating as much as 1 million per title to some studios). I've not heard some Linux-enthusiast millionaire or company willing to make such an investment (and yes, by that I mean Mandriva, Novell, Red Hat or Mark Shuttleworth)


    Edit
    Just wanted to clarify that the alleged pour of money from Jobs (or Apple) for games, was with the migration to the x86 architecture.
    Last edited by Thetargos; 08-18-2008 at 01:42 AM.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlord View Post
    Are you finished with the lame ranting? Sorry to say this but it's a long time since I read such a garbage. Over at the Escapists there's a nice article about "game industries lies" or let's call it "excuses". People who do not support a platform and then go moan about the platform not having users is hypocritical. What we need is "action" and "solutions" not "excuses" and "fighting-problems-instead-of-solving-them". Sure Linux is not the same mass as Windows but if any minority ( no matter how small or big ) on Earth would be genocided would you call this "correct" or "their own fault"? Here it's the same. The AAA companies fight with daggers and swords against Linux so what we need are people taking up the weapons and fighting back with solutions instead of running from them. Attacking the common user unable to change something is plain utterly wrong.
    That Escapist article wouldn't be done by Zero Puncuation would it? It sounds like his tone...

    I do want to offer my arguments again as well.

    - Linux just came on the big-league market for pre-installed computers courtesy of Dell. Windows and Apple have a long lead on us. For simplicity I'll use a running race analogy. MS is using steroids and has now run out. We're starting to see the after effects of that ill-gotten gain (the fact they had to have a commercial to toute Vista SP1 is proof). Apple burst out of the gate, got a good lead, fell flat on their faces, and is now back up and running, trying to catch up to MS. Both MS and Apple are in it for the prize at the end. We've been pacing ourselves, but we're in it for the fun, not the prize (although it doesn't hurt). We expect that MS and Apple will run out of breath and we'll just zoom by them, keeping our pace, with MS and Apple struggling to keep up.
    -- I wonder how many analogies can be applied that fit...

    - The industry situation definitely is a catch-22. There has to be a market before there can be a market. Some of the small time games may help, but a lot of people are looking for more recent games that they will enjoy. I like the quote about some companies stepping up to the plate, leap of faith and all.

    - The main reason that prices are so high on the Linux developed stuff, is that the studios have to try and recoup the prices they paid to get access to the code they ported. The Windows games have been out so long, everyone has been paid fairly thuroughly, and they can afford to drop the price, now that they have recouped their costs.

    - There are moral people in the downloading community. Why do you think gamecopyworld has continued to exist? I had to go there all the time because I ran a CD-Less gaming system for some time. Heck, I still have the data stored on an external hard drive on my desk!

    - There are people spearheading (and oddly enough, the pun wasn't intended) a drive to change the industry's thinking on the matter, Svartalf is one of them, Icculus is another, but he is being stringed by Epic. I hope to be too once I finish school (Thanks for helping with ideas for my X-platform IDE, Svartalf, I'll be setting it up soon, I'm procrastinating because I don't have my EVDO card set up in my Windows partition yet).

    - From what I read on the first post, Carmack may not officially support it anymore, but he won't stop any of his office staff from porting it on their spare time. He's still for it, but I get the feeling it's coming off to him as more of a hassle nowadays it seems. Chances are someone will take him up on that. I know I would.

    - The Windows emulation is definitely killing us. What we can't run natively, we can emulate. I'm lobbed into this group because of game popularity. I most likely will be getting Starcraft II, and unless there's a Linux native binary, I will most likely be using Cedega to play with my friends. It's one of those "We'd love it for our system, but we'll settle for second rate emulation". This is causing the numbers to skew very badly, against us. We don't have a relation with the developer or the publisher. We have a relation with the retailer selling us the game. The shop I saw selling Quake 3 for Linux was the only package I saw, and I have not seen a "for Linux" game package after that. I agree we need better distribution.

    - I cannot begin to recall all the posts I've seen asking for a linux native binary. A lot of them also say that "if this comes out on linux, I won't need to dual-boot to Windows anymore". This goes back to the leap of faith part. More people will abandon Windows if their favorite games can be made on Linux. Even more piercing is the arguments "The server doesn't count.", "It's leveraging Linux stability for an otherwise unusable game.", "Let the unstable software run on their unstable servers.". These definitely do hurt our image by saying if we can't have it, we don't want it, period. Problem is, someone always does want it, there is a market, see leap of faith. The only way I see it is that it has to be developed in parallel, or it's hardly worth it.

    - People can change things, right now. That's the beauty of Linux. You don't like it, you write it. Unfortunately this attitude is also part of the problem.

    - There's more... but I'm tired, and it's light out again.

    - Svartalf, you have every right to be upset, I am too, but I am not in direct view of your looking glass (I don't know most of the data that you have).

    - 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?)

    ... not bad for someone up at 6:16a EDT and hasn't gone to bed yet... ^_^
    Last edited by me262; 08-18-2008 at 06:50 AM. Reason: Swords daggers and spears oh my! (an analogy, an idea, and cleanup)

  6. #16
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    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 at 11:28 AM.

  7. #17
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    @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.

  8. #18
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    Quote 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.

  9. #19
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    Quote 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...).

  10. #20
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    Quote 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 at 01:10 PM.

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