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Lessons For Developers In Porting Games To Linux

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  • #11
    Originally posted by mrugiero View Post
    I didn't really look in depth, but I didn't see anything in the repo that is closed source, but just frozen binaries of open (and pretty common) projects, for example GNU-binutils and SDL. I think this runtime is just the runtime Steam uses, not Steam's proprietary API. If so, then you can have a DRM free game targeting them, just without having to open source your game (which IMO is up to the dev to decide, not us) and without having to either recompile for every distro/version or add extra bloat when other games need the same version of the libraries.

    EDIT: Also, what is recommended in the slides (I don't know the videos, I prefer the written version) isn't using Steam, but just the same version of the libraries, that's why there is a sample script to check if it's already installed and to install those libraries if it isn't.
    Thats what it looked like to me too, just frozen versions so that there's a steady target to base off of.


    • #12
      Originally posted by kacperpl1 View Post
      About Ubuntu - I assure all of you - Leszek ain't the ubuntu guy, he's more of a debian power user, but there's quite a lot of stuff thats still not stable enough for debian that can be done faster or works out of box on Ubuntu....
      Its a race about getting linux attention through steam and ubuntu ASAP.

      Ubuntu point is arguable. What is more stable there than on Debian? I'd be interested if you could elaborate, since I'm not aware of such thing.

      About using Steam to gain attention - as I said, this is bad as well (because of promoting DRMed runtime). If developers can't come up with DRM free alternative solidified runtime - let them just use bundles libs, but not Steam.


      • #13
        As I said - there's stuff newly introduced to ubuntu that ain't stable enough for debian yet, that is used by steam and valve games. So Leszek says to go with Ubuntu as Valve does, at least for some time. The whole talk is about getting it done fast for the mainstream.

        OK, my first post might be interpreted sideway, I see it now. I said not stable enough for debian meaning its not stable to get into debian yet its already alive and kicking in ubuntu.
        Last edited by kacperpl1; 06-21-2013, 03:36 PM.


        • #14
          I think Humble Bundle do a good job. They don't jump on Steam+Ubuntu wagon, and still sell games. Mainstream or not - they are successful enough. There can be issues, but they work on them if people report bugs. Valve of course PRs their approach, but I don't think it's good long term for gaming, if developers don't want to pollute Linux gaming market with DRM. If Valve will show signs of abandoning DRM - I can change my mind. But I don't see this happening so far, since they are entangled with lot's of DRMed games on Steam. I'd sooner expect GOG to enter the DRM free Linux gaming scene with whatever approach they come up, rather than Steam drop all DRM.
          Last edited by shmerl; 06-21-2013, 03:50 PM.


          • #15
            Originally posted by shmerl View Post
            If this runtime is fully open source, has no DRM and can be installed without being Steam user - then I'm OK with developers using it (regardless if their games are open source or closed source ones), since it means they don't push DRM on their users. But in general I think it's better not to single out Steam is a preferred runtime. Simply because Steam isn't reliable in DRM free aspect so far.
            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.


            • #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.


              • #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.


                • #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.


                  • #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.


                    • #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.