Our friends over at OSNews have written about the state of Linux gaming in a new editorial. What's interesting, in particular, are the comments by veteran Linux game porter Ryan "Icculus" Gordon.
Gordon is known for making interesting comments, going back to an interview I did with him
over six years ago. Earlier this year Ryan made some controversial remarks about open-source GPU drivers not being ready
(for mass consumption) and it's putting Linux desktops into dangerous positions since distributions are relying upon them. He's also made comments concerning open-source use of S3TC texture compression
and is known for recommending the NVIDIA binary Linux driver as the only reliable Linux driver for serious users. Gordon continued with more Linux driver comments this summer
He's also come out in support of open-source games
and efforts like the Humble Indie Bundle.
Ryan Gordon is responsible for porting Unreal Tournament 3 to Linux
(albeit it was never publicly released), Prey
, America's Army
, Google Earth
, Crysis Wars
, and countless other titles since his days at Loki Software.
He's also been responsible for various open-source creations like MojoSetup
Among the comments made by Ryan Gordon in the OSNews' The State of Linux Gaming 2011
- Linux video drivers are becoming more available. He acknowledges more viable alternatives are coming around than just using a GeForce graphics card with the NVIDIA blob. "This is an awesome step forward. But, as this is all work in progress (and, as new hardware ships, a moving target), it can certainly feel like a terrible step back"
- Ryan is impressed with the progress made in the past year by the open-source Intel and ATI/AMD drivers. Hey, we're nearly at OpenGL 3.0
- At the end of the day, he still recommends NVIDIA hardware and their binary driver for Linux. "If you don't have moral objections to closed-source drivers: get an Nvidia GPU."
Aside from the Linux graphics situation:
- Ryan recommends game developers never give exclusive distribution rights to any independent entity. In fact, he doesn't recommend indie developers even use a game publishing company. "They'll only make your life miserable and eat your profits."
- Ryan recommends never using source-less middle-ware.
- The usual open-source libraries and projects earn Ryan's recommendations: SDL, OpenAL, OpenGL, PhysicsFS, SQlite, ManyMouse.