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Linux Game Publishing Remains Offline, Three Years After The CEO Shakeup

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    Svartalf
    Linux Game Publishing

  • Svartalf
    replied
    Originally posted by gbudny View Post
    I read the interview about this environment used by LGP, and I know that they had problems with the porting process of games to Linux x86-64. However, LGP ported several games to Linux PPC, Sparc, and I don't know if these were games for PPC64 or Sparc64. However, I know that Soul Ride was ported to Linux Alpha, and a 64-bit processor is the only option, in this case.
    It was also ported to X86_64 and demoed at a GDC- but it was never published on that target. I would've helped Michael package it...but there wasn't interest at that time for it, even though I'd scored three Clawhammer prototype machines from AMD for the purposes of making 64-bit games at that time. (THAT is a sore subject for myself- I'd lost a smidge of credibility with AMD over that and several other decisions in that space...)

    Can you explain if it was a specific issue with the porting games to Linux x86-64 or it was a general problem with 64-bit processor architectures?
    It was more due to the sins of many developers- I had to short-term can a demo of Ballistics or Bandits because it would only cowpile on 64-bit instead of compile because the game wasn't 64-bit clean (First bitch you'll hear from me publicly: int != long, int != void*) and it was outside the scope of the time allowed me to make the games go. So, I led with the clunkier, crappier looking game at GDC. I helped further things a bit by being there. It didn't help though- I'd have been vastly better off with Ballistics or Bandits even though they were more "B" titles because of their visuals and being generally more fun to play.

    Why LGP did not have these issues with Soul Ride for Linux Alpha, even if it was an experimental project?
    Because it was 64-bit clean. It wasn't making them much money, though, so they didn't bother with anything other than what they'd published. They kind-of lost a bit of money on it, to be honest. It was a bit of a sore subject for Michael- and I couldn't blame him. They GPLed the engine out from underneath us after they scored the porting royalties from us. We could've had a better royalty structure had it been AFTER the engine was opened- assets tend to have a differing structure than the whole deal.

    "LG: How will an evolution of the kernel be dealt with when it comes to the games?

    Michael Simms: When we build games, we build using a completely compartmentalised environment, where the machine we are building on does not matter. We can actually build games for PPC computers on a standard PC, or a sparc, or an alpha. This closed environment has been very carefully selected over a number of years to be neutral to as many aspects of the kernel, the libraries, and everything, as possible. We do not see the kernel changes being an issue.

    LG: So it is possible that you could publish games for more than one platform?

    Michael Simms: In theory yes, but I, and all of my staff, are linux people at heart. We have no interest in porting games to the mac, or to anything else, and so we dont. Saying that, our latest release, Soul Ride, works on x86, ppc, alpha, and sparc Linux."
    Yep. That's what a cross-compile toolchain will buy for you. Thing is...the way that LGP did it and used it was...clumsy. Hard to use. Hard to build up- especially for PowerPC and the like. It was this weird mix of pieces started off from scratch, coupled with some bits and bobs selected from a given version of Red Hat, etc. It was a bit of hold your breath while standing just-so to make it stitch together. Then you had to account for the makefiles using the toolchain right and not leaking the host environment into the build by accident. It was because of this pain as much as anything else that they didn't bother with X86_64 titles. The experiment for Soul Ride on X86_64 for the GDC I attended was built with my toolchain, not LGP's to be more specific. Couldn't easily or realistically make the LGP chain for X86_64 because the bits and bobs just didn't exist at that time for it and I just didn't have time for that and I'd built the other up for my embedded Linux projects for another company I was one of the CxO crowd for at the time.

    I do use cross-compilation. I don't use their way. Haven't for a while. In fact, I need to re-synthesize my build chains so that it's usable for more than just X86 and X86-64. There's a whole new range of ARM targets possible that're potentially credible targets for some of my games that I've responsibility for over the years. Probably start that this weekend or next if I find time.

    Leave a comment:

  • gbudny
    Senior Member

  • gbudny
    replied
    Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
    They used a hand-built customized cross-compiler setup that was...difficult...to build up a setup for without someone grooming it actively. I don't use that. I use quite a bit different cross-compile environment that makes it blindingly easy to build targets, including for ARM, MIPS, etc.
    I read the interview about this environment used by LGP, and I know that they had problems with the porting process of games to Linux x86-64. However, LGP ported several games to Linux PPC, Sparc, and I don't know if these were games for PPC64 or Sparc64. However, I know that Soul Ride was ported to Linux Alpha, and a 64-bit processor is the only option, in this case.

    Can you explain if it was a specific issue with the porting games to Linux x86-64 or it was a general problem with 64-bit processor architectures?

    Why LGP did not have these issues with Soul Ride for Linux Alpha, even if it was an experimental project?

    "LG: How will an evolution of the kernel be dealt with when it comes to the games?

    Michael Simms: When we build games, we build using a completely compartmentalised environment, where the machine we are building on does not matter. We can actually build games for PPC computers on a standard PC, or a sparc, or an alpha. This closed environment has been very carefully selected over a number of years to be neutral to as many aspects of the kernel, the libraries, and everything, as possible. We do not see the kernel changes being an issue.

    LG: So it is possible that you could publish games for more than one platform?

    Michael Simms: In theory yes, but I, and all of my staff, are linux people at heart. We have no interest in porting games to the mac, or to anything else, and so we dont. Saying that, our latest release, Soul Ride, works on x86, ppc, alpha, and sparc Linux."

    Leave a comment:

  • Svartalf
    Linux Game Publishing

  • Svartalf
    replied
    Originally posted by curaga View Post
    Interesting, what compiler did LGP use?
    They used a hand-built customized cross-compiler setup that was...difficult...to build up a setup for without someone grooming it actively. I don't use that. I use quite a bit different cross-compile environment that makes it blindingly easy to build targets, including for ARM, MIPS, etc.

    Leave a comment:

  • curaga
    Senior Member

  • curaga
    replied
    Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
    Don't worry about THAT. If you've got source code and make files that we can shift back to having the C/C++ compiler be gcc, I've got answers for that part that work better than LGP had. Hang onto it. It's probably worth it's weight in gold for LGP or ourselves if they've all but thrown in the towel.
    Interesting, what compiler did LGP use?

    Leave a comment:

  • Svartalf
    Linux Game Publishing

  • Svartalf
    replied
    Originally posted by gbudny View Post
    Runesoft decided to provide a new version for Windows of Earth 2140, when they created a Linux version of this game, and they updated an old version for Mac OS X.

    Nowadays, we can observe the increasing number of Linux and Mac gaming companies who try to port games for both operating systems.

    I know that LGP had almost completed Mac version of the Soul Ride, but you have never tried to earn money on it. Surprisingly, the original developer of this game made a similar decision.

    This a probably a good way to earn money, but LGP had a different goal, which is an understandable decision for me.
    The problem there is that the engine's GPLed. If you can lay hands on the assets, you too can have it. It was an "okay" game- even from Thatcher's perspective. What made it special was it's ties to the Catapult controller. The graphics...they were badly dated by the time I was demoing the stuff at AMD's request at GDC years ago. It's *REALLY* dated now. I suppose someone could, if they so saw fit, make a $3-5 GoG release if you could get ahold of the right people on it. I don't know how well it'd sell, though- there's a lot of other, better snowboard sims on Windows and Apple.

    Leave a comment:

  • Svartalf
    Linux Game Publishing

  • Svartalf
    replied
    Originally posted by Kristian Joensen View Post
    Valve owns Strategy First? I have never heard that before.
    I mis-read it. They've got a good deep relationship with them- but apparently they're owned by someone else, but publishing everything through Valve.

    Leave a comment:

  • Svartalf
    Linux Game Publishing

  • Svartalf
    replied
    Originally posted by random View Post
    So, I still have it. It looks complete (source code, assets, various tools and Makefiles) except I'm missing LGP's toolchain.
    Don't worry about THAT. If you've got source code and make files that we can shift back to having the C/C++ compiler be gcc, I've got answers for that part that work better than LGP had. Hang onto it. It's probably worth it's weight in gold for LGP or ourselves if they've all but thrown in the towel.

    Leave a comment:

  • gbudny
    Senior Member

  • gbudny
    replied
    Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
    It needs to be just like I'm saying...$5. I could even help the successors in interest provide a new Windows version if needs be. But it still needs to be ~$5.
    Runesoft decided to provide a new version for Windows of Earth 2140, when they created a Linux version of this game, and they updated an old version for Mac OS X.

    Nowadays, we can observe the increasing number of Linux and Mac gaming companies who try to port games for both operating systems.

    I know that LGP had almost completed Mac version of the Soul Ride, but you have never tried to earn money on it. Surprisingly, the original developer of this game made a similar decision.

    This a probably a good way to earn money, but LGP had a different goal, which is an understandable decision for me.

    Leave a comment:

  • random
    Junior Member

  • random
    replied
    Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
    Very much so, random. I've got the original source tree plus assets. If you've got a mostly completed port, if we get permission, we can run with it.
    So, I still have it. It looks complete (source code, assets, various tools and Makefiles) except I'm missing LGP's toolchain.

    Leave a comment:

  • Kristian Joensen
    Senior Member

  • Kristian Joensen
    replied
    Valve owns Strategy First? I have never heard that before.

    Leave a comment:

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