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Pushing Linux Adoption Through Gaming

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the year-of-games-on-the-linuxtop dept.

Linux Business 269

An article on CNet questions the viability of using games as part of a strategy to increase Linux adoption. It points out a blog post by Andrew Min which suggests: "... Linux companies also need to start paying attention to the open source gaming community. Why? It's lacking. However, gamers can get excited about free games. They just have to be up to par with commercial games. The problem is, commercial companies pay hundreds of employees to build a game for several years, while many competing gaming projects only last several years before the developer moves on. It's time for open source developers to start getting paid for their jobs. Who better to pay them than the companies that benefit most?"

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269 comments

Paying the OS Game Developers (4, Interesting)

BlueBat (748360) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297015)

Paying the OS Game Developers sounds like a good idea but most companies just wont pay for frivolity. In these uncertain economic times, I just can't see any but a Game company putting any money towards game creation. Especially if they don't receive a direct source of revenue from their investment. All of that said, I would certainly like to see it happen. If not that, how about some way for people to pay for features added to games that are already in development so that a game will be made better. If that sounds silly, then just a way to donate a few bucks would be good. I'm not talking paypal either, I don't trust the company as they have too much control over my money and I have none.

Re:Paying the OS Game Developers (1)

sveard (1076275) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297735)

I don't trust the company as they have too much control over my money and I have none.

Then what's the problem? :D

Re:Paying the OS Game Developers (5, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26298265)

Another reason this won't work is that older games tend to be ported. Gamers want the newest out there in general. Also, Open Source just won't be able to keep up with the billions of dollars spent on this industry.

But we shouldn't have to. A lot of casual gaming is moving to flash. Linux can run flash. ALL the recent games I like are on flash (no, I have a Windows install too, it's not because it's the only game in town for me): for instance games like http://www.playauditorium.com/ [playauditorium.com] Play Auditorium and the http://rocksolidarcade.com/ [rocksolidarcade.com] Rock Solid Arcade games in general.

In my experience, the easiest to convert were the casual computer users (99% browsing activity). It would seem to me, that the casual gamers, which the Wii tapped into completely, is a larger market and one easier to bring over. Flash already works! No work to be done!

Sticking money into this area, other than a common toolkit/API to run games would be folly. Trying to win hardcore gamers whose current platform gives them practically everything.

If Linux need to get popular as fast as possible, perfect Wine a lot. Have it run Direct X whatever out of the box as well as the top games and top windows apps. Before long, a self-feeding cycle will have started where requirements will start listing Windows XP, Vista, or Wine 1.x. Then companies too, eyeing the lower TCO, will start switching, and perhaps native apps start taking off.

interesting (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26297023)

but not as interesting as deep dicking my booty buddy. But feel free to sit around, pulling your puds white you talk about a fucking operating system 99% of the world doesn't care about.

Re:interesting (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26297213)

so you took time off from banging your fuck buddy to post here? something... doesn't seem right about that. who is more pathetic a Linux enthusiast (not) or someone who takes time off from sex to bash one? (LOL)

Re:interesting (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26297351)

so you took time off from banging your fuck buddy to post here? something... doesn't seem right about that.

Easy, he posts on Slashdot, he doesn't have sex.

Re:interesting (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26297823)

So self abuse doesn't count?

Open Source Games... (5, Insightful)

XDirtypunkX (1290358) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297029)

Require Open Source Artists. Art assets are very important to games and most programmer art just doesn't cut it.

That's the real challenge, because while many coders will happily knock up a game engine for their own amusement, handling stuff like artistic direction to get a consistent "look" and generating inane brick textures is not something that many people do for "amusement". Of course, that could change if people got passionate about it, but it's much easier to focus as an artist when working on something like a Source Engine mod, where a lot of the inane brick textures already exist and you can concentrate on building cool character models (etc).

Re:Open Source Games... (5, Insightful)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297077)

I think it would be easier if FOSS game developers generally worked with a common toolkit. For example, if most developers and artists used Blender for a decent part of the games' development, then those models and textures would be easily reused or modified by others also using Blender. Engines are similar.

The real problem is that gaming is too proprietary. Once most of the engines, textures, sounds, and models necessary are made, creating a game will be much easier.

Re:Open Source Games... (4, Interesting)

XDirtypunkX (1290358) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297137)

Or as an alternative, working on a commercial game and releasing the engine code as Open Source (like id software does).

You don't actually need the games to be completely free to users. But if the code is available for Open Source developers to port to Linux with the existing art (that costs money), then Linux still gets a boost. Of course, porting a Direct X game to OpenGL is a pain in the behind that is going to make the release lag a little.

But a lot of people here only claim to have Windows installed to play games.

Re:Open Source Games... (3, Interesting)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297315)

On the other hand, nowadays there's less and less proprietary code in games. Everybody's licensing Havok's physics engine, for example. That's code that would either need to be released by the developer as open source (ha ha--when they make their money from selling the stuff, no way in hell will they give it away), or replaced wholesale (which is likely to not be as good, and would, at least in the case of gameplay-affecting physics, bork any hope of crossplatform multiplayer).

That also completely ignores the unlikelihood that any multiplayer code will be released, for fear of exposing vulnerabilities. Rather than dealing with paying to fix them, publishers would rather hide the code and hope that it works.

Re:Open Source Games... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26298219)

But a lot of people here only claim to have Windows installed to play games.

I only installed Windows as a curiousity; downloaded a pirated copy off TPB[0], got a serial number off Digg (no shit!), installed it to a qemu virtual disk. Boot it up sometimes as a curiousity. Kind of like a paperweight that makes pretty colors. I've got a dummy0 interface just for it on 10.42.42.1, with it having a static address on 10.42.42.2.

At the risk of being redundant: 1) I realize I'm not the norm, and 2) I'm not trolling.

When I get the urge to play games, I play games. I play boswars, or netrek, or atlantik, or bomberclone, or armagetron-ng. When I really want to play games, I play Euler [projecteuler.net] .

Maybe I'm the sort of guy who's the reason Linux won't make it onto the desktop... maybe I'm the sort of guy who's the reason it will.

[0] Fuck you. With all the computers I've bought with XP preloaded, I'm going to download a copy. EULA be damned.

</rant>

Re:Open Source Games... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26297187)

If you want to standardise parts of gaming (I don't understand really what opportunity for standardisation there is there, or what is stable enough for standardisation) then let's hear which parts you think are suitable.

Re:Open Source Games... (4, Interesting)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297297)

Indeed. Engines are the easy part, and there are a lot of coders ready to work on them - either starting from scratch or modifying one of the existing ones. We have trouble finding artists and content creators though. A good first step might be to get a large Creative Commons texture repository that all games can share from. Then the big problem will be finding modelers and mappers.

Re:Open Source Games... (2, Interesting)

cgenman (325138) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297431)

Personally, I feel that Linux's file system is even more of a sewer as the Windows file system, and until it takes a major jump up... perhaps it doesn't deserve to be everyone's desktop.

That having been said, an OSS or Creative Commons license texture, object, skeleton, animation, sound, etc repository might be helpful, especially if standardized around specific file formats. There would need to be some recommendation system to tell people which resources can go with what, as some OSS games take the "melting pot" theory of art (which just looks terrible).

Also, we should look to the sorts of evolutionary development that OSS games can do, but retail cannot. Which is to say, focus on making your engine and code as modifiable as possible, release a minimal chunk that shows the greatness, and shephard your players to help build. That's the theory, of course. While most OSS software is actually build by one or two people, MUDS have shown that if you put gamers explicitly into the role of creators you can get amazing community-built experiences.

Keep it scripable, keep it modular, explicitly let anyone play and build, and maybe something will come out that will make the windows users jealous.

Re:Open Source Games... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26297491)

I've often wanted to create an open source online version of Animal Crossing. Such a game would be perfect for building simple user-created content, and the concept could be expanded to cover much of what the MUDs used to cover, with hopefully little difficulty in combining existing content to build new content.

Re:Open Source Games... (2, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 5 years ago | (#26298013)

Personally, I feel that Linux's file system is even more of a sewer as the Windows file system, and until it takes a major jump up... perhaps it doesn't deserve to be everyone's desktop.

WFT?

What do Linux filesystems have to do with gaming?

Besides, you can access just about every filesystem that exists with Linux, which is more than you can say with Windows.

Re:Open Source Games... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26298315)

>WFT?

WFT Weatherford International (stock symbol)
WFT Waterfront (real estate)
WFT World Family Tree (genealogy)
WFT Wet Film Thickness (Coating Measured in Microns)
WFT Wire-Fox Terrier (dog breed)
WFT Windowed Fourier Transform
WFT World Fisheries Trust
WFT Wingfold Transmission
WFT Web File Transfer
WFT Wireless File Transmitter

WTF?

Re:Open Source Games... (1, Informative)

cr_nucleus (518205) | more than 5 years ago | (#26298329)

Personally, I feel that Linux's file system is even more of a sewer as the Windows file system, and until it takes a major jump up... perhaps it doesn't deserve to be everyone's desktop.

What do Linux filesystems have to do with gaming?

I believe GP is talking about the linux file structure (/usr, /etc, ...).

Re:Open Source Games... (2, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297849)

Starting an engine is easy and there are tons of them out already, getting it into a stage where it is usable for an actually half decent game is a completly different matter on the other side. Most engines out there are lacking a lot of very basic stuff, you sure can import some very basic 3d model into them, but if you ever try to import a more complex one with animation, multiple layers of texture and stuff you are pretty much out of luck, because there is no art pipeline in place to convert the stuff you did in Blender into what the engine except or if there are export scripts, they are badly broken most of the time. Oh, and good luck finding a level editor for that engine.

Artists are pretty easy to come by if you have all the tools ready, just look at the Windows Mod scene, Linux on the other side is largely lacking in that area.

Re:Open Source Games... (2, Interesting)

ardor (673957) | more than 5 years ago | (#26298331)

You hit the nail on the head, sir. It is not uncommon to see tons of artists and designers, but only 5 programmers in a commercial game development team.

I wonder though if one successful open source game - not just a quake3 mod, but an entire game including top-notch design and custom-made game art - would kickstart a wave of similar projects. At the very least, it would serve as an example how it can succeed.

Late to the Party (3, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297047)

Let me see if I've got this straight: PC gaming was a huge market during the 90's and first half of the 2000's. In the past few years, the PC market has been on the decline, propped up only by the massive MMORPG sales. Now in 2009, a year by which there are three incredible consoles on the market that easily make 80%+ of PC gaming irrelevant, we hear a call to action for more Linux games?

Um, sure. I'll get right on that.

Gamers are adventurous folks. That right there is a positive sign. Linux adopters often need to be adventurous in order to even install a new operating system. But even better, gamers often build their own computers, either from scratch, a barebones kit, or a stripped down retail box.

Do they? There was a time when that was certainly true. A lot of the remaining PC gamers I've seen purchase overpriced Alienware hardware and refer to it as their "rig". No offense to the remaining serious gamers who build their own PCs, but the incredible market power that used to be behind PC Gaming simply isn't there anymore. Look elsewhere for your coup de grace.

Re:Late to the Party (4, Insightful)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297125)

I agree with you. If we want Linux adoption, then companies need to make drivers that support Linux. And Linux itself needs to make things more standard. Suse uses /srv/ for http and ftp. RH uses /var other distros use /opt. It makes installing some things difficult. Having to edit config scripts just to get a simple webmail program installed is not going to bring anyone to the world of Linux. Granted programs that you compile yourself will find the right places to put them and packages for your (you generalization) distro work, but for those programs that aren't packaged and don't need compiling it's a pain.

The argument for OSS replacement of this or that program is starting to be less and less. There's tons of programs out there now that can replace proprietary programs.

Re:Late to the Party (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 5 years ago | (#26298033)

Granted programs that you compile yourself will find the right places to put them and packages for your (you generalization) distro work, but for those programs that aren't packaged and don't need compiling it's a pain.

If it's not packaged and doesn't need compiling, then it's probably not open source in the first place. If that's the case, then you're wasting your time. Get an open source tool that does most of what you want, and improve it, or pay someone to improve it. You'll have more success than asking a company to fix their software to run properly on Linux, and you'll be helping others in the process.

Re:Late to the Party (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26298229)

While it's definitely a problem for installing applications in general, for games you could probably get away with just dumping everything in /opt and adding menu items using the Freedesktop standard. It won't be managed using the package manager, but that's probably OK since it's all in one place anyways.

Re:Late to the Party (2, Interesting)

EightBits (61345) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297151)

Not so fast. Gaming on Linux doesn't have to be on the PC. The PS3 runs Linux well. It has decent hardware for gaming purposes already built in. If game developers were to develop games that would run on a PS3 Linux using open APIs, it could be easily recompiled to run on a PC running Linux. Now you've developed for two platforms at the same time.

What we need is very real and very serious (possibly commercial) support of Linux on at least one game console to make this work. Once game devs see that their competition is making more profit on a model like this, they will start to migrate to that platform. So perhaps the console manufacturers need to look at this. Sony did a half-assed attempt at this years ago, but if they (or a third party) introduced official support for a Linux OS on their console, they could make Linux gaming happen and bring more devs to their platform.

Re:Late to the Party (3, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297233)

If game developers were to develop games that would run on a PS3 Linux using open APIs, it could be easily recompiled to run on a PC running Linux. Now you've developed for two platforms at the same time.

And now that the PS3 browser has Flash 9, you can make Flash games on the PS3 and tell everyone they work on the computer as well!

Except for the minor issue of: WHY?

Using the Flash games example, there was a push to make flash gaming happen on the Wii simply because of the Wii's more interesting control scheme. First developers tried to understand mouse motions in a way that would evoke a new experience with the Wii remote. Then they managed to get a hold of development information to target the motion and multiplayer capabilities of the remote. So there was a valid reason to target the system. Despite the superior flash support of the PS3, no one is falling over themselves to create a "PS3Cade" because there is no special access to the hardware. You simply hook up a keyboard/mouse and use it like a PC.

Besides that, there's the issue that Sony has locked out the GPU on the PS3 specifically so that owners don't use Linux as a cheap development platform for PS3 games. Without GPU access, you're going to be limited to more crude games than would normally be possible on a PC. And with web gaming working its way up the low end, there's little room in-between for PS3-targeted games.

Re:Late to the Party (1)

Drinking Bleach (975757) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297843)

Besides that, there's the issue that Sony has locked out the GPU on the PS3 specifically so that owners don't use Linux as a cheap development platform for PS3 games.

I've never bought this story or any of its similar variants without a valid citation. A better hypothesis in my opinion, is that NVIDIA (who manufactures the PS3's GPU) doesn't want users to be messing with pretty graphics on the PS3.

Re:Late to the Party (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#26298177)

Your 'better' hypothesis makes less sense than your dismissed hypothesis.

Its simple. Sony makes money from the licenses development studios pay to them to release for the PS3 - unfettered development under Linux, with full access to all the nice hardware the PS3 has available, means development studios have a path to take while avoiding the licensing costs.

Claiming Nvidia don't want users interacting with their hardware on Sonys platform, when they can pretty much everywhere else, doesn't make the slightest sense.

Re:Late to the Party (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297309)

So perhaps the console manufacturers need to look at this.

Quick question. Why? Console manufacturers are competitive to the point where they can, have, and will buy exclusive rights to a title in order to improve their consoles' install base. Not their competitors' install bases, and certainly not Linux Distro Foo's install base. There may be some minor argument for it on the developer level, but bear in mind that the difference between consoles goes a great deal deeper than simple operating systems.

Re:Late to the Party (3, Informative)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297395)

PC gaming has been increasing - not declining. However, the growth rate was slowing/stagnating for a few years there, while at the same time it was going up massively for consoles.

That was partly due to the lackluster games being shoved at us, favouring graphics over gameplay and stability. After all, pushing bleeding edge graphics is the most important factor - who cares if the game crashes every 30-80 mins!

It's also partly due to the expensive Vista/DX10 upgrades required to play new games. Most people required whole new systems, so before they could buy "new" games, they needed to spend $1000 getting up to date hardware.

But now that people have their new hardware(which will stick around for 5 years, just like a console), they're ready to buy games again - and they're in luck, since the past half-year has been great for quality games.

I predict in ~3-4 years we'll have another "death of PC gaming" era. It's a cycle

Re:Late to the Party (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26297433)

PC gaming has been increasing - not declining.

[Citation Needed]

Re:Late to the Party (4, Informative)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297649)

I need citation? The other guy didn't give any.

Go read a report like this one:
http://www.marketresearch.com/product/display.asp?productid=1911800&g=1 [marketresearch.com]

Or articles like this (more aimed at consoles):
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081223.wgtyearinreview1222/BNStory/PersonalTech/home?cid=al_gam_mostview [theglobeandmail.com]

Or read Gamasutra.

Most of the "doom and gloom" PC game sales figures are for retail outlets, and fail to factor in the tens of millions(?) of sales done online, through services like Steam, Stardock, Direct2Drive, etc.

There's lots of articles out there stating that 2008 was a good year for gaming.

Re:Late to the Party (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297777)

I need citation? The other guy didn't give any.

You're on Slashdot and challenging the groupthink - be thankful you didn't have to write a 10,000 word essay ;)

Re:Late to the Party (5, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297585)

As a game developer, I'm kind of annoyed how trivializing this is to the development process. A great game can take a team of 200 people 3-5 years to make. Most games are between 3 - 30 million dollars to make, and 80% of them don't make money. That means you need to spend between 15 and 150 million dollars to finally get a game that catches on.

It's not a trivially easy hook to sell systems.

Re:Late to the Party (2, Insightful)

chromatic (9471) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297599)

Most games are between 3 - 30 million dollars to make, and 80% of them don't make money.

That sentence answers and then asks its own question.

Re:Late to the Party (1)

grotgrot (451123) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297959)

And how much effort do you think it takes to make a great text editor, compiler, kernel, windowing system etc?

The problem the PC industry has is "sharing". So called piracy is seen everywhere as well as considering the used market hostile to its interests. Open source/free software is the other way round. It is all about sharing. The more sharing that goes on, the easier it is to recruit more developers (people to improve the software via code, testing, documentation, art assets etc). That incredible army can bring about rapid improvement especially compared to a traditional development team (see cathedral and the bazaar).

The open source world also leads to better tools. Since volunteer time is precious, there is a big incentive to give them productive tools. You can see how several other commenters have been pointing at the tools and hoping for improvement and standardisation.

Re:Late to the Party (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#26298471)

A great game can be written by one guy in a basement. A worthless game can be written by a team of 200 people over five years. Sure, there are good big-studio games and there are (a huge amount more) completely worthless or perpetually-unfinished individual projects, but it's a mistake to claim that only expensive-to-produce games are any good.

Re:Late to the Party (2, Insightful)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 5 years ago | (#26298495)

Most games are between 3 - 30 million dollars to make, and 80% of them don't make money.

Genuinely "don't make money", or Hollywood-style "don't make money" ?

The way I see it... (0, Redundant)

Laser_iCE (1125271) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297089)

Linux would be great for gaming, since the OS itself uses so little memory, it means there's a good chance that games are going to run faster than on Windows (XP) with explorer.exe taking up a large chunk of memory.

Why don't we take the same approach as they do to distro's of linux, a group of smart-minded people gather together, make a product, release it to the community, and then it starts from there. Modding, including ideas, etc. I'm sure there are many enthusiastic programmers and graphics designers out there eager to get into a project like this, but they have no idea where to put their name.

Re:The way I see it... (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297161)

Linux would be great for gaming, since the OS itself uses so little memory, it means there's a good chance that games are going to run faster than on Windows (XP) with explorer.exe taking up a large chunk of memory.

/me finds nearest wall.

*thunk*

*thunk*

*thunk*

*thunk*

*thunk*

Ok, now that that's out of my system... your statement is completely and utterly incorrect. Memory usage is generally not a major factor in performance unless the system becomes memory constrained. In that case a system that is not starving for memory will absolutely outperform a system which is not. But in today's world of 2GB+ systems, explorer.exe is not exactly the biggest memory hog. (Try your web browser for a good start.) Video games often worry more about the space available in the GPU's memory than the amount of main memory available.

Secondly, the vast majority of Linux users are going to launch their game via their favorite desktop environment. Since the feature-rich KDE and GNOME desktops are the most popular, there's a good chance that their Linux-based desktops are eating just as much if not more memory than Windows XP's explorer.exe. But no one is really concerned about that on today's multi-GB systems, so I recommend you either not worry about it or run something slimmer like XFCE.

Thirdly, am I the only one who remembers the late 90's where much of the Linux community took it for granted that Linux was faster than Windows? That is, until benchmarks came out in '99 that showed that Windows had a significant performance advantage, especially in I/O heavy areas such as web serving. The news did result in a newfound focus to make Linux highly competitive, but it seems to me sir that your post needlessly repeats history.

Learn from history, least you repeat it. ;-)

Re:The way I see it... (2, Interesting)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297279)

The way one plays windows games via Wine is to create a separate account with X that only spawns an xterm. One gets better performance than Windows does, doing this way.

Perhaps one could load a 2d Windows platformer via Gnome or KDE, but it'd probably be slow. oh well.

Re:The way I see it... (3, Interesting)

drik00 (526104) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297421)

I honestly don't know what you're smoking. I submit the following example:

Running World of Warcraft + Firefox (and system monitor) in Vista = 15 frames per second, over 2gb RAM usage

same hardware,
WoW (under WINE, no less) + Firefox (and system monitors) in (a fresh install, no tweaking) of Ubuntu = 60 frames per second, only 700MB total RAM usage. ... WoW for x86 isnt really meant to run in OpenGL mode, and like I said, under WINE, and I'm getting four TIMES the performance?

J

Re:The way I see it... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26297709)

Don't compare with Vista.
It's a broken OS.

Re:The way I see it... (1)

Jamie's Nightmare (1410247) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297905)

Maybe you can share your stash with the rest of us? Over 2 gigabytes for an old ass RPG? I don't think you're reading the right numbers. Maybe you were using over 2 gigs in total with WOW, Firefox, and everything else you've got loaded up at the time. But 2 gigs for one game? No, not buying it. Show us a screen shot form Process Explorer [microsoft.com] , otherwise this is just troll fodder.

15 FPS you say? Sure, that's possible. I can get the same thing in Source Engine games when I enable HDR and 4x AA at 1440x900. Can you really be sure you were using the same settings on your Linux box? Could you even enable Anti-aliasing, or even know what it is? Are you using the original drivers that shipped with your card?

Your story just isn't credible, but it's sure is a nice bash on the gaming performance of Microsoft operating systems. Bravo.

Re:The way I see it... (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26298079)

You sir don't understand a thing about the way Vista memory manager works. So you have, say 4 gb RAM. You are running WoW and on linuzz and it is taking 700 Mb. On Vista it takes all 4Gb. Now tell me, WHICH system is working more effective? Linuzz which is leaving your memory unused or Vista, which is using all the memory you have purchased with your hard earned money?. Don't worry, if another process is started, Vista will free some memory from WoW for the new one.

Re:The way I see it... (2, Insightful)

KasperMeerts (1305097) | more than 5 years ago | (#26298197)

Linux does the same, using memory not used by programs as cache. But unlike in Vista, the System monitor in Ubuntu gives you the memory used by programs and not the silly and meaningless total used memory like in Vista.

Re:The way I see it... (2, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#26298233)

I have no idea what you are smoking either - I just did your 'example' and got 50fps on Vista (Home Premium), 1.2GB ram usage when running WoW and Firefox (plus system monitor). I cant do the Wine example, but from the look of your Vista example you have something seriously broken and thus it isnt a good example.

Re:The way I see it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26297899)

...and now we've found that single person who fell for the Microsoft-funded FUD "performance comparison" "research".

Re:The way I see it... (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297221)

What? Explorer.exe takes up 43 megs of RAM on my machine, at this second, while Firefox is tilting the scales at 180 MB. Given that the average consumer machine these days is shipping with two gigs of RAM, that forty megs is a fraction of a drop in the bucket-- these aren't the bad old days of DOS, when we needed boot disks to squeeze every last kilobyte out of below-640K RAM. Any extra performance you squeeze out of a trifling bit of memory is negligible.

What a bunch of wank (2, Interesting)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297099)

There is pretty much zero evidence that if recent games were available for linux it would speed adoption, even though for me personally the thing that let me switch was getting wow to run under wine (along with an unexplainable crappy ping in vista).

What has actually been observed to increase adoption (citation needed) is fancy crap like wobbly windows and spinning cube desktops.

Maybe collectively the companies could make a "content light" face booking, im-ing spinning flashing version of linux and attempt to lock up the teen market, i think you might find that would be of more interest to more people than the marginally smaller "hardcore pc gaming" crowd.

Personally i don't really care.

Re:What a bunch of wank (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26297173)

gOS could sorta fill the gap you're talking about: http://www.thinkgos.com/index.php

Re:What a bunch of wank (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297287)

Yep, the problem is that games don't push a platform, *exclusive* games do. If you would have a handful of MetalGears and Halos a year exclusive for Linux I bet that it would give a decent push to the platform and make Linux at least a standard dual boot on every gamers PC. Trouble of course is that those games cost millions of dollar to create and nobody that is investing that kind of money is going to do a Linux-only game when he could do a multiplatform release instead and get quite a bit more money, especially today where the PC platform is already not in the best shape.

That of course doesn't mean that Linux gaming should just be given up, I just don't see much hope for native Linux games anytime soon. Wine on the other side is extremely important and gives access to a much bigger range of games then an effort for native Linux games ever could. So any money that goes into Linux gaming should really go into improving Wine, since even when it ends up always being a step behind Windows, thats still a lot better then not being part of the game market in the first place, especially considering that gaming is often the only thing that lets people keep around a Windows for dual boot.

Truth to be told, there simply are no big exclusive native Linux games and there likely won't in the years to come.

Re:What a bunch of wank (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26298405)

I agree with your entire post, but just want to add a sub-point.

When evaluating platforms, gamers I've met tend to think in terms of how many unique games they can get, relative to the (sometimes) different experiences per platform.

Linux will probably only be able to get the FPS market. This is because Windows offers more games than Linux does (on the same hardware). The difference would probably only be a few frames per second in Linux's favour... Assuming video card driver equality.

The best way to get gamers who would otherwise use Linux, is probably by making a Linux-capable router really gamer-friendly, and marketing it within the gaming community as such.

Is Desktop gaming healthy enough? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297129)

The only way I see this working is to somehow use the openness of a Linux console as an advantage. It's like having a gaming PC, without the disadvantages of a PC (viruses/maintenance), and with all the advantages of a console (couch/controller/TV vs monitor/keyboard/mouse).

But even as a hypothetical, I can't really come up with a good example. Maybe an extensive modding community? Maybe an easy way to do this with a laptop?

Demographics. (3, Insightful)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297159)

I am 35. I got my first computer a Commodore64 around 1984. 1986 I first started connecting to BBS's and then to run my own BBS. I _was_ a hard-core gamer.

Now I play flash-games, or classics in a Dosbox window. Sorry but Linux gaming missed it's mark by being 15 years too late to the table. Don't get me wrong, I still occasionally play Enemy Territory, Padman, and other 'popular' games, but the kids today don't care. Not like we used to care. I am likely to hear BOOM-HEADSHOT! yelled across the LAN party these days as we would yell "I'M IN!!!" when 'searching' for a virgin ftp server to use as dump sites back in the day.

Flash gaming for most people is linux gaming (1)

voss (52565) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297587)

Most flash games run just fine in linux including Runescape which is very popular among the younger set, the number of sophisticated web browser games is growing everyday, and with 20% of users on firefox now, programmers will write games that will run on linux browsers.

Re:Flash gaming for most people is linux gaming (1)

LaurensVH (1079801) | more than 5 years ago | (#26298039)

Isn't Runescape a Java applet? I don't play it, but I could've sworn it was.

Re:Demographics. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26297629)

I am 31. I got my first (Dad's) computer, a Commodore 64 in 1982 and then a Compaq Portable in 1983. I first started connecting to BBS's and then to run my own BBS. I _am_ a hard-core gamer.

Now I play Eve-Online, and am involved in stackless development and clustering solutions for the masses. Don't get me wrong, I don't play WoW, Everquest, and other cheap and easily created crap that only a couple thousand can play at a time together - but the kids today don't care about being able to play with their friends and neighbors! Not like we used to care.

Get off my LAAAAaaaWWWWWWWWWWnnn!

Re:Demographics. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26298275)

This raises an interesting point...

When I was a kid (80s-90s), getting a game working was half the fun. I went to the local geek store (PC BUGS), and looked at all the pretty boxes until I found one I liked. I'd buy it, go home and spend three days reconfiguring my parents computer until it worked. Sometimes requiring actual new hardware. After the first three times I formatted the C: drive and started from scratch, my mom bought me my own machine.

That is pretty much the heritage of my geek foo.

I see kids today get pissy and give up because the installer takes more than 5 minutes. They run back to their console and think the gaming experience is better. Well, in some ways it is. It's generally quicker, it's simple to the point of idiocy, and it's almost totally integrated. Voice, video, sound, controls, and multiplayer all come in a nice wrapped up package. The only part they have to think about is if they want the grape or cherry headset.

PC gaming is complicated. I know, most of us don't think so, but it is for people without a lot of computer skills.

How do you find your friends online with a console? You click on their name in a list and you get asked if you want to talk, or join them.

How do you find them with a PC game? You install a Xfire and use that, or gamespy (shudder), or all seeing eye (is that still around?), or steam, or whatever. The point is, it requires a bit more effort on your part, and more cooperation from your pals.

What if you want to enjoy the new game you just picked up? On a console, you put the disc in, pick up the controller and get some dew from the fridge.

On your PC, you put the disc in, supress the autoloader, run the setup.exe on the disc... woops, that one installs gamespy, fuck, ok, this one... yep that worked. OH shit, I don't have 11gb of free space on my c: drive, guess we'll go for F:. Now you drool over the jewel box for 20 minutes, and when its done... You reboot. Alright fine, rebooted, all set, hit it... crap, black screen. Shit, I need to update my video drivers. Alright, done rebooting, lets roll. Wow, cool logos, why is the sound fucked up? *Sigh* DL/Install/Reboot. Alright, hit it... Cool, It's loading.......Oh good it's done. Nope it's loading again......Oh finally, do you click "new game" or "settings" because if you didn't click settings it's going to look like shit, or run like shit, it's 50/50. Alright, got the settings all sorted for my machine... New game, oh they didn't take effect until I restart the game...

Restarted, done loading. New game. Cool cutscene.... CRASH.

Fuck it, I'm gonna go play some wii bowling.

You see why maybe the PC market is having problems?

Combine the general complexity with the industries propensity to put CDs in the box that contain a game that doesn't actually function yet, and you've got an industry in decline. A while back, maybe 2-3 years, I purchased two brand new games, practically on release day (it was in fact the first day BF2 was available). Black and white 2, and battlefield 2. Man, I was so happy that day. It's friday, I've got 2 great new games I've been waiting for, and my Wife and kids are visiting the grandparents for the weekend. It doesn't get any better. Get home, install, run... crash. Drivers, reboot, clean up, reboot, all good-check, run the game, NOPE. Both of them were broken out of the box. BF2 would only play in local mode, it wouldn't connect to any server until they patched it. B&W2 wouldn't run at all on Nvidia hardware. My system far exceeded the specifications for these games, frankly, it was state of the art at the time. I even went ahead and rebuilt from the ground up with a fresh XP install and all the latest drivers and updates. The games were simply broken out of the box.

I had to wait a week or more for patches to run either of my two new games, and by then I was less than happy about it.

That was the last time I purchased a game with an EA logo on it. Er... I guess it "almost" the last time. I did buy COD4, but I waited till after the first patch was out.

A little bit more complicated. (4, Interesting)

Shag (3737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297217)

I'm all for getting games away from Windows, because I remember DOS, I remember games running fine on DOS because the OS wasn't trying to do all kinds of crap under them, and I remember just about every version ever Windows breaking games that ran just fine either on DOS or older, lighter-weigh versions of Windows.

And really, this is a big reason PC gaming sucks compared to the consoles. Consoles don't have to worry about whether they need to be doing all kinds of other crap at the same time; PC's running Windows do (and this is more true with each version). Same goes for Mac, and frankly, same goes for any mainstream distro of Linux.

So one big thing that needs to be overcome is how to optimize Linux so it's actually better for gaming than Windows or Mac. Do you strip it down and get rid of stuff games don't need, come out with a gaming-specific distro? Or do you work on making the internals as fast as possible in ways that matter to games? Or something else entirely?

Get Linux to the point where things run better on it than on Windows or Mac, on equivalent hardware (since it is equivalent nowadays), and you might attract more game development.

The issue of artists someone pointed out is the other big issue. You need to motivate the artists. And - especially if you want them to work for free - you need to give them something really compelling. That means something OSS that's better than what they have now. Something that beats DirectX, beats OpenGL, or whatever. I don't know whether adding OpenCL support like Apple is doing will help - that seems more aimed at offloading processing tasks to the GPU, not offloading graphics tasks to spare CPU cores.

But in both cases, I think Linux is going to have to be a clear "best choice" before game developers will flock to it. Make it outperform other OSes in game execution as well as graphics and multimedia, and make compelling tools or toolkits for developing games and the graphics and multimedia they need, and they will come.

I honestly don't see it happening, though. :(

Re:A little bit more complicated. (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297319)

I remember games running fine on DOS because the OS wasn't trying to do all kinds of crap under them

Not to detract from your point, but you have a rather rosy recollection of DOS, my friend! ;-)

The way I remember it, the first step for every new game I got was to spend a half-hour working out a custom boot-disk that provided enough low-mem while loading all the drivers required by the game. After which I'd throw the disk in the box for the game so that I was only a reboot away from playing the game. God, what a pain in the arse that was! :-P

Get Linux to the point where things run better on it than on Windows or Mac, on equivalent hardware (since it is equivalent nowadays), and you might attract more game development.

Honestly, it's the chicken and the egg problem. No game developer is going to spend the money to make Linux a first-class release unless there's a significant user base. And I imagine their market research currently tells them that the Mac is a better prospect than the Linux community.

In short, it's not a technological problem. It's a business problem. And the greater Linux community is not a business. It does not react to the nuances of the market, but rather provides an OS that appeals primarily to its user-base of developers and contributors. :-)

Re:A little bit more complicated. (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297321)

But in both cases, I think Linux is going to have to be a clear "best choice" before game developers will flock to it. Make it outperform other OSes in game execution as well as graphics and multimedia, and make compelling tools or toolkits for developing games and the graphics and multimedia they need, and they will come.

I honestly don't see it happening, though. :(

I don't agree with you. I think we are very, very close with the recent development of the "live" CD.

Start with a Live CD that's well supported. (EG: Canonical or maybe RedHat?)

Add drivers that are well supported for major hardware. (right now, most sound cards are supported, network cards, most video cards, though not in 3D, etc.)

Add WINE as a development platform for porting over Windows/Xbox games, in stable API releases that update only every 6 months or so, instead of every other day.

Finally, add some GUI glue to make device driver management easy(ier).

Suddenly, you have a stable API to port games to, and you don't have to worry about OS updates. Games could incorporate their own O/S in their Live CD, so you simply wouldn't have to worry about software updates, etc. unless you are upgrading to a supported new release for your game.

And, since each game comes with its own "O/S" on the game CD, if a newer release of the Live CD were out but your game wasn't supported on it, you'd just boot off the Live CD that's still compatible.

And, even security issues would be minor because all ports would be closed, etc.

When this happens, remember: you read it here on Slashdot, and you won't be a millionaire because you aren't the one who made it happen!

Re:A little bit more complicated. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26297385)

Add drivers that are well supported for major hardware. (right now, most sound cards are supported, network cards, most video cards, though not in 3D, etc.)

That little bolded bit kinda just killed your own entire argument.

No good 3D support == no games, as in the kind of games that would make gamers actually ponder moving away from windows.

Nice try, though.

Re:A little bit more complicated. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26297693)

Sounds like a great and workable idea. As gaming hardware becomes a commodity, I expect something similar to this will happen. You're just forgetting one thing...

The main reason consoles exist is to kill piracy. Consoles make available a vendor lock-in for game *distributors* to a device that is much more difficult to modify than a standard PC.

The consequence is that people like me, who have bought games for the PC for years, don't buy their crap anymore. Why bother? As a non-pirate, law-abiding consumer, I just have a better understanding of how low companies like EA (etc) will sink to in order to exploit game developers AND customers in pursuit of their own greedy fortune.

Until the PC gaming community deals with piracy in a rational and effective way, the PC is just a re-release spot for distributors to farm $$$ from people like me. The developers probably don't even see a dime of my money anymore.

And that's why I play Flash and browser games today. Thanks game industry!

Re:A little bit more complicated. (4, Insightful)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297451)

I'm a bit young to have first-hand experience writing DOS games, but I've talked with a few people who have. Writing DOS games was a pain because you had to write your own drivers for everything. That's why older installers card whether you had an SB16 or a Roland something-or-other or Disney's craptacular card - DOS provided no support.

Programming drivers is hard; most people bought a driver package from someone to include with their game. That drove up the cost of games somewhat.

Complete hardware independence is why DirectX - software pipeline takes over if they *don't* have a SB16, rather than crashing back to a command prompt.

Besides, Windows generally does a good enough job of not "running things in the background" during a game. DirectX locks your graphics card and your sound card; your game has exclusive control over that. If you check your performance logs, you generally won't find much CPU% being gobbled up your non-game process.

And really, this is a big reason PC gaming sucks compared to the consoles

GTFO v.v

Re:A little bit more complicated. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26297699)

I'm a bit young to have first-hand experience writing DOS games, but I've talked with a few people who have. Writing DOS games was a pain because you had to write your own drivers for everything. That's why older installers card whether you had an SB16 or a Roland something-or-other or Disney's craptacular card - DOS provided no support.

You idiot. That's because the operating system didn't have any support for something as idiotic as sound or relatively advanced graphics.

That just shows how limited the early operating systems were!

With open source systems, you don't have to have any kind of secret knowledge or code to produce to an amazingly flexible target.

Also, please at least try to have some information straight. 3D sound (and even more in graphics) has been around a LOT longer than you'd think. Creative, Roland, Turtle Beach, or other hardware based sound platforms were behind the times even if they did it first. Just look up GEnie and CyberStrike, opened in February 1993, and had 3D sound soon after. As soon as any kind of idiotic and insipid hardware was there, people were capitalizing on it almost from the first.

btw: The guy that wrote the sound routines for CyberStrike also did the same in Syndicate. I hung out with him quite a bit at the time, he was awesomely knowledgeable regarding sound design and programming in general.

Re:A little bit more complicated. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26297575)

I think a gaming distro would be an excellent idea. But, I think a lightweight yet feature rich WM would need to be developed.. making it look and act kinda like Windows 2000.

Re:A little bit more complicated. (1)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297779)

There already is one, Linux Gamers something something. THey even tried putting a popular demo in there, but some company siced(sp?) their lawyer onto them that the game should not be distributed that way (thru physical media? I forgot, but you probably can check their changelogs) because of the potential loss of sales or whatever. So they stuck some other games in there, but it would have been nice to see how those demos would have fared on my system.

They're on distrowatch. There's your proof of concept.

Nah, doesn't need to look like Win2k; which crowd or demographic are you after? The screen could look like DVD menus so you could easily hop on to a specific game quickly. So long, lengthy boot times!

Why? (3, Informative)

cromar (1103585) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297237)

There's nothing wrong with making money off of apps, especially games. I for one am happy to pay for games and have them open-sourced after 3 to 5 years like all the good companies have been doing. Games aren't like other apps where you can charge for support or there is a need for interoperability and backward-compatibility. Yes, game publishers should compile Linux (and BSD) versions of their games. No, it doesn't really matter if they are initally released as open-source or not!

So make a decent all encompassing API (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26297393)

The big reason windows wins for gaming isnt that everyone HAS windows. It's that the developers find programming for windows is EASY!

I've heard that the difference between an Xbox game and a PC game, using DirectX in visual studio, is a checkbox at compile time.

Think about that.

Balmer was right.
I wont quote it in full, but that particular speach went something like this: "Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers!"

DirectX encompasses every aspect of gaming from input to output. OpenGL does graphics only.

The day someone comes out with a competing cross platform, fast API that is supported in all major coding suites and is easy to develop for, will be the day that linux/mac gaming starts for real.

What is DirectX anyhow? It's basically a shim that sits between the OS and the game. It redirects, modifies and offers a range of input and output functionality that would take years to write directly into the game.
It's a masterpiece that has saved rediculous amounts of time and effort for developers.

THIS is where it has to start.
When the difference between compiling for windows, mac, linux, whatever is a checkbox in the compiler, the game will change. Until then, it will remain a niche market.

Re:So make a decent all encompassing API (1)

jfim (1167051) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297661)

I've heard that the difference between an Xbox game and a PC game, using DirectX in visual studio, is a checkbox at compile time.

It's not. The Xbox does not have the same API, although both are similar.

The day someone comes out with a competing cross platform, fast API that is supported in all major coding suites and is easy to develop for, will be the day that linux/mac gaming starts for real.

There already is such a thing. It's called middleware and it allows using the same game on various platforms with only minor changes.

Re:So make a decent all encompassing API (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297741)

The day someone comes out with a competing cross platform, fast API that is supported in all major coding suites and is easy to develop for, will be the day that linux/mac gaming starts for real.

Its called SDL and has been available for a decade.

Re:So make a decent all encompassing API (1)

ardor (673957) | more than 5 years ago | (#26298301)

The big reason windows wins for gaming isnt that everyone HAS windows. It's that the developers find programming for windows is EASY!

Wrong.
The big reason Windows wins is that developing games for it actually may pay off. Linux is too small for this. Back in the days when the PS2 was No 1, developers wrote games for it, even though its "SDK" was horribly crappy (basically a modified gcc whipped up together with some basic docs).

Re:So make a decent all encompassing API (1)

KasperMeerts (1305097) | more than 5 years ago | (#26298327)

Yeah, nice try.
Only too bad DirectX is dead now, only Direct3D still survives now. All the other crap like DirectPlay, DirectMusic, DirectInput and so on have been deprecated over the last five years. With Windows Vista, they removed one of the three remaining API's, DirectSound.
Game developers write most of this themselves anyway and use libraries that have proven their worth over the ages for the rest.

(I'm not saying Direct3D is crap, the rest was though.)

Great Linux Games Already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26297461)

http://www.nexuiz.com
http://www.tremulous.net
http://www.warsow.net

Re:Great Linux Games Already (1)

ardor (673957) | more than 5 years ago | (#26298311)

If you're into the FPS genre, that is.

But: where are open source RPGs? I don't mean shallow crap like Oblivion, but stuff like Planescape Torment or Baldurs Gate 1 & 2.

Unfortunately, the game art problem allows only FPS games to be done as open source...

Lame, lame, lame (2)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297489)

I just ordered my first computer yesterday: 4GB RAM, a 250 GB SATA 3gb/s hard drive, a 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo processor, a Nvidia 9800 graphics card, and a comfortable 20 monitor. But while these were all expensive (especially the video card), none of them compared to one item on the list: Windows. That's the hope that Linux companies must look forward to.

This is too pathetic for words.

Walmart.com will gladly sell you a HP Pavilion Slimline [walmart.com]

Quad Core AMD CPU, 4 GB RAM, 64 Bit Vista Premium, NVIDIA DX 10 graphics, a 640 GB HDD, an HDTV tuner and the combo Blu-Ray drive and DVD Burner for $1K.

Monitor extra.

The truth of it is that Walmart has never been able to sell OEM Linux at a significant discount.

Though every now and again the big W will unload a few carloads of junk it picked up on the cheap on the ever-so-naive and hopeful Linux Geek.

Linux distributions need to start sponsoring companies like the old Loki Software. Companies like Canonical, Red Hat, and Novell would do well to sponsor some of that work.

The port is what you get when you are the PS3. The original big-budget production is for the Wii and the XBox 360. The port simply keeps you in the game. It is not the winning hand.

The commercial Linux distros are shamelessly enterprise oriented. There is no intelligible reason for Novell or Red Hat to go into the high risk, high stakes, game business.

Re:Lame, lame, lame (1)

barius (1224526) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297825)

I hate to rain on your parade, but that 1k machine isn't all that impressive.

  • A quad-core PhenomII @ 2.0Ghz is not nearly as fast as a dual-core Core2Duo @ 2.53Ghz. Only software written to make use of multiple CPUs will ever see a speed increase with multiple cores. Since very few programs are written this way (very, very few games) you are smarter to buy a dual-core CPU with faster cores than you are to buy a quad-core CPU with slower cores. Also, the Phenom isn't even as fast as the C2D clock-for-clock, so that 2.0Ghz is probably more equivalent to a 1.8Ghz C2D.
  • The gfx card is an Nvidia 9500 GS. That's the cheap version of the 9500 GT, which is itself on the low end of the performance spectrum. The best of it's generation was the 9800 GTX, which is already far surpassed by the GTX280. Bottom line: This is not a serious gaming rig. You'd be lucky if it had playable frame-rates in Crysis at 1024x768 with mid-tier quality settings.
  • A cheap TV tuner card is $50, which I'm sure is what you're getting in a Walmart 'special'. Such a card is going to need that quad-core CPU just to keep the video playing if you intend to watch HD channels because it won't have an integrated decoder so all that processing gets offloaded to the CPU. I guess that's fine for most people, but anyone with a bit of common computer sense wouldn't consider it a big selling point.
  • 10/100 networking? Really?? What century was this motherboard manufactured?

Overall, this system is clearly designed to be a PVR and/or word processor. A performance/gaming rig it is not.

I don't know if the poster you responded too was trying to build a gaming rig, or just wanted some serious performance, but their computer is far better than what you've suggested. On the other hand, if all they wanted was an average computer to do work then there are perfectly decent low-end models on Dell starting at $400.

FreeCiv (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297505)

I've played around with it a bit, and it's clear that it's a Civilization II clone; not decided as to how *good* a Civilization II clone it is, though.

Granted, I'm inclined towards oldschool PC games [Civilization II, Stacraft, etc.] as opposed to the new stuff [GTA, HL, etc]
And yes, one game does not a gaming platform make.

Re:FreeCiv (1)

Paradigm_Complex (968558) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297571)

Granted, I'm inclined towards oldschool PC games [Civilization II, Stacraft, etc.] as opposed to the new stuff [GTA, HL, etc]

While I don't know much about Civ2, you seem to be confused with the rest of the games. Half life and Starcraft were both released in '98; Halflife is only a number of months newer than Starcraft. GTA was actually released the year *before* Starcraft, as well.

If you want to compare only the newest iterations - HL2:EP2 and GTA4, then you'd be comparing them against SC2 - which is so new it isn't even in beta yet.

missing point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26297513)

the companies that make money on linux couldnt care less about desktop adoption.

Obvious solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26297543)

Make the game itself free but sell it as a service and also incentivize them to buy ancillary products to go along with your game. People love games that aren't worth playing without subscriptions and add-ons.

As long as the gfx drivers suck... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26297655)

It would really help if the graphics driver developers would start creating drivers that at least allow smooth 2d scrolling without tearing (I have not a single machine that can do it under Linux).

What is the problem? Please get a move on. (2, Interesting)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297665)

If you do a search of source forge for open game development kits you will be spoiled for choice.

There are plenty of gamers who are pretty smart, and ready to make content using modeling and content creation tools, (www.racer.nl - huge libraries of fan-made performance cars and stuff imported from other games). Gamers are highly conditioned to not paying money for games... and ready to bit torrent anything they want at the drop of a hat. So I think all the ingredients for a OSS gaming revolution is there. What we need is a few killer projects to get things going. The few OSS games now aren't very good - they pale in comparison to some excellent indie games out there.

Forget Linux adoption rates; war already decided (1)

1 a bee (817783) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297673)

I'll go out on a limb, put on my clairvoyant glasses, and describe the scene today in the past tense:

As the decade grew to a close, it must have been clear to Microsoft, the first and most enduring oligarch of the digital age, that it would soon secede leadership to a band of toolsmiths loosely organized under a cloak of Linux, a disdain for the oligarch's controlling and sometimes capricious ways, and a nascent humanist infomatic ideology . The war had been fought on many battle lines: from servers, routers, cell phones and other specialized hardware, to virtualized environments and even the desktop. On every front, Linux had pushed the oligarch back and was gaining ground. It was only a question of degree: the trend was already clear.

This was unlike any threat the oligarch had faced in its existence: this was guerilla warfare. An almost faceless enemy, a militia that was said to be capable of subsisting on just pizza and soda. And because of an almost monastic devotion to contributing the fruits of their labor to what they called the free bazaar, they enjoyed both the support of the citizenry and an emerging business nobility that had grown sour of the oligarch's onerous taxes.

And while the writing must have clearly been on the wall inside the Redmond offices, the pundits of the time, still bickered over so-called Linux adoption rates, ignoring the fact that the in the end the oligarch had lost most battles it had chosen to fight and was incapable of defending its steadily shrinking territory.

I think it's the other way 'round ... (1)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297679)

I'm playing Alpha Centauri, Railroad Tycoon II, and Star Craft (WINE) on my Linux box now. I'm not a WoW fan, but I understand it also works under WINE, although I don't know how well.

Unless a game runs either native Linux (preferred) or in WINE, I'm not going to buy it, and I do mean BUY it, since I don't run pirate software, except to escape DRM, and, even then, I buy a copy, if I'm going to use it.

Lack of Linux support means no game sale to me, rather than I will run M$-Windows to play a game.

I used to keep a Win2K machine to play games, but it's very rarely booted these days.

Re:I think it's the other way 'round ... (1)

barius (1224526) | more than 5 years ago | (#26297845)

Wow, that sounds exactly like me. However, I don't consider my PC to be my games machine. I still use my PS2 for that, though I'm getting close to giving in to the hype surrounding the Wii.

America's Army (1)

incripshin (580256) | more than 5 years ago | (#26298103)

The games that would work best as open-source are already free, and America's Army comes to mind. As for commercial titles, all games get pirated anyway, so what do the developers have to lose?

No, not games (1)

ToastBusters (1247286) | more than 5 years ago | (#26298259)

I think the one thing that would speed up adoption drastically would either be a Photoshop port, or getting Gimp up to a level where professionals can use it on the same level that they use Photoshop. Also, if we're going the Gimp route, then we need some real artists to start posting some super awesome art that just blows people away and convinces then that, yes, Gimp can do that!

And while that would be a major kick in the pants, nothing will boost Linux adoption like an ad campaign. A real one. With, you know, mainstream ads? Television?

"Hi, I'm Linux. You should install me over Windows because..."

Now, if we're going the game route, then it would not be sufficient to simply port a game to Linux. There would have to be an exclusive game, an experience that you can't get anywhere else, otherwise users would simply play said game on their existing platform of choice. Anyone got the millions to fork out for a game + marketing campaign needed to accomplish this?

Linux will never get gaming credentials... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26298303)

because it's ghey.

FLAME ON! :D

What a stupid, stupid statement... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26298371)

"However, gamers can get excited about free games. They just have to be up to par with commercial games"

In other news, drivers can get excited about free cars too.

Wrong. In very many ways. (4, Insightful)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 5 years ago | (#26298401)

The GP Metaarticle is wrong.

1) Frequently, the best and most successfull games our at least their proofs-of-concept don't come from the industry anymore, but from the modding community. In fact, the modding community is such a powerfull force in gaming you *must* play ball with it, if you want to be taken for granted. However, the modders, being passionate freebee providers themselves, have considerably different ethics on some issues. In ways they are even more pragmatic than the OSS vs. FOSS crowd. And they have to be, as they have a completely different goal, which is: Building good games. Duh. Right now, Valve and the Source engine are pulling over quite a few of the modders, for the simple reason that they have one of the best engines.

2) The best people built games primarly because it's their passion, not because they are paid. However, these people want to build games, and not have to dick around with XFree86 crap with problems which, believe it or not, that sorry excuse of an operating system called Windows solved something like 2 decades ago.

3) As with #2, game builders want to build games. They want a working production pipeline. As long as that is virtually non-exsitant on OSS, they won't use OSS. Plain and simple. Cudos to the Blender [blender.org] team [yofrankie.org] for hacking away at this problem one step at a time. However, modders use free versions of Softimage or Maya or UT Editor to build their stuff, and they quite frankly care squat wether it's FOSS or not, as long as it gets the job done.

And last but not least: Good software takes time. From an non-expert end-user standpoint, Linux is barely stopping to suck with Ubuntu 8.10 - and only if you don't want plug-and-play your printer or want to play games that don't run on Wine without a hitch. AFAIAC, Gnome & Nautilus has just stopped sucking a few months ago (I like(d) KDE/KUbuntu much better before) and one-stop zero-fuss printing as in Mac OS X will probably take another year or two until the vendors finally catch on. The very same goes with games.

And lets face it and be realistic: The first thing you want out of the way is your grafics layer, and that has been sucking long enough with XFree86 (Yeah, I know, neat networking, whatever, XFree fanboy, screw you, that's a total non-issue nowadays). Since that appears to be out of the way and desktops are rapidly maturing left, right and center all over the OSS community it is now moving to productivity apps. And AFAICT only now are Evolution and KMail slowly closing in on closed source apps in the field. (Allthough I could be wrong, the KMail crew could still be flat out lying about their ability to provide viable working mail encryption, as they have done for many years).

Once that is all aside and the more complex apps required for multimedia are nearing their true 1.0 release in the OSS community and we finally get a FOSS 3D game engine and a 3D production pipeline that doesn't suck by todays standards, we will see games pop up left right and center as the modding community joins the FOSS fray. And we all will be blown away by the quality they bring to the table. The gaming industry will be hit just as hard as other software fields and will have to adapt with pay-for-content or simular strategies.

Bottom line:
If you want to know how the future of FOSS gaming looks like, check out the modding community. And yes, it's a 120% Windows world right now. And, yes, believe it or not, for its very own very good reasons too. ... (I can't believe I just said that.)

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