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Linux Port For id's Tech 5 Graphics Engine Unlikely

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the sounds-like-they-need-some-encouragement dept.

Graphics 461

DesiVideoGamer writes "John Carmack, the lead developer for id's Tech 5 graphics engine, does not plan on making a Linux port for the new engine. From his e-mail: 'It isn't out of the question, but I don't think we will be able to justify the work. If there are hundreds of thousands of Linux users playing Quake Live when we are done with Rage, that would certainly influence our decision.' One of the reasons for not making a Linux port was due to the fact that the new engine 'pushes a lot of paths that are not usually optimized' and that the Linux port would have to use the binary blob graphics driver in order to work."

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461 comments

Big news... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29168717)

Linux Gaming not a huge market...more at 11pm

Re:Big news... (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168751)

But it is a market with very little piracy of native games. Also, very little competition, so you have a better penetration rate. Not sure if it is enough, but it is substantial.

Re:Big news... (4, Insightful)

GameGod0 (680382) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168779)

But it is a market with very little piracy of native games. Also, very little competition, so you have a better penetration rate. Not sure if it is enough, but it is substantial.

100% of "very small" is still "very small"...

Re:Big news... (3, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168801)

But it is a market with very little piracy of native games. Also, very little competition, so you have a better penetration rate. Not sure if it is enough, but it is substantial.

100% of "very small" is still "very small"...

I guess we have different definitions of small. If half the Linux users would all send me a buck, I think you might consider that to be a bit of cash.

Re:Big news... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29168839)

Linux users never pay for anything, so it doesn't even matter.

Re:Big news... (5, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168907)

Linux users never pay for anything, so it doesn't even matter.

Nope. I didn't buy all those iD games the day the Linux port came out. Never happened.

And Red Hat and Crosover Office really don't make money at all... It is all a myth. ;)

Re:Big news... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29169151)

The plural of "anecdote" is not "proof".

Re:Big news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29169345)

I guess it are data, then.

Re:Big news... (5, Informative)

xigxag (167441) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169407)

You don't need a "plural." A singular positive anecdote is enough to disprove a categorical negative assertion.

Re:Big news... (2, Interesting)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169589)

Nope. I didn't buy all those iD games the day the Linux port came out. Never happened.

The problem is that this never happens often enough.

Re:Big news... (4, Insightful)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168917)

Linux users never pay for anything, so it doesn't even matter.

Do Windows users??

Re:Big news... (2, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169081)

Do Windows users [pay for anything]??

Hardware.

Re:Big news... (5, Funny)

RobVB (1566105) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169207)

Right, because Linux runs on air and penguin droppings.

Re:Big news... (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169433)

Without fancy games, I have no incentive to buy a new $400 video card every 3 months like some acquaintances of mine do (or even have a standalone card at all).

Re:Big news... (2, Insightful)

markdavis (642305) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169203)

Linux users never pay for anything, so it doesn't even matter.

You are full of crap. I have purchased *dozens* of commercial games for Linux: Wolfenstien 2, Heroes3, Doom3, Heretic 2, Myth 2, Goo, Sim City 3000, are just a few I can remember of the top of my head. All commercial. All Linux based. And I am certainly not alone.

Re:Big news... (3, Insightful)

xigxag (167441) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169441)

Sure but the real issue is, not if the AC is full of crap, but is Carmack full of crap when he says that your purchases (and those of your fellow Linux game buyers) aren't themselves enough to justify the expense of porting this engine? Certainly he has access to id's sales stats. Why would he lie about such a thing? And furthermore, if the Linux game market is so fertile, yet underserved, someone such as yourself should be able to make a killing funding a Linux games startup.

Re:Big news... (1)

vintagepc (1388833) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168861)

Damn right- Looking at just the download counters for openSuSE, they went well in to the terabytes when 11.1 released - and that wasn't including mirrors, only the main site. While openSuSE is more popular in Europe, I'd be interested to see the stats for Ubuntu- rumour has it around 2 million, but nobody seems to know for sure.

If you can reach everyone, that's a pretty big market.

Re:Big news... (4, Insightful)

wampus (1932) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168895)

100% market penetration for yet another first person shooter. A cutting edge first person shooter. On an OS whose users like to brag about how shitty and old their PC is.

Re:Big news... (1)

vintagepc (1388833) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169075)

I realize that 100% is not practical.. but imagine 20% penetration... with a game price of $25 and an estimated 3 million users (gross underestimate, considering all distros available) is still $15 million... which is a hefty chunk of change.

Re:Big news... (2, Insightful)

wampus (1932) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169153)

How many of those 3 million are sitting headless somewhere, serving up files or running batch jobs?

20% of gamers that run Linux, have a decent enough PC, and enjoy FPSes might be more reasonable.

Re:Big news... (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169313)

Just thought I would mention that there are a hell of a lot more than just 3 million machines running Linux. Even 30 million is probably too low of an estimate... and that doesn't count phones, TiVo's, GPS's and other embedded machines. Yes, a good chuck of those are servers. But your comment makes it sound like only a fraction of 3 million total Linux machines are running desktop.... WRONG!

Re:Big news... (3, Interesting)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169579)

So you're claiming all those phones, TiVo's, GPS's and other embedded machines ARE capable of running a cutting edge FPS?

The question is; how many of those Linux systems are desktop PC's with powerful enough hardware to run the very latest in gaming technology?

Re:Big news... (1)

Scarletdown (886459) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169591)

100% market penetration for yet another first person shooter. A cutting edge first person shooter. On an OS whose users like to brag about how they are not constantly flushing away perfectly good money down the virtual crapper by not having to take part in the endless upgrade cycle.

I took the liberty of fixing some serious typos in your post. ;)

Re:Big news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29169071)

And if one tenth the windows users would all send me a buck, I'd have even more cash, so thats the easy way to go

If getting 1/2 the linux users to send me a buck would cost me more than (1/2 linux user pop * $1) then why would i bother?

I'm too tired to try to work winex and dual booting into this analogy, but the wine developers will try to do all of the work anyways, meanwhile the linux gamers will just buy the windows copy and dual boot until it works in wine. ..Just like every other game.

Re:Big news... (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169267)

And if one tenth the windows users would all send me a buck, I'd have even more cash, so thats the easy way to go

Little fish in a big pond. You have hundreds of competitors fighting for that dollar, and most of them are much bigger than you are. You ain't getting 10%.

On Linux you can count your commercial competitors on one hand (use binary), and most are the same size as you, if not smaller.

Re:Big news... (1)

smash (1351) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169469)

ID software are hardly a "little fish" when it comes to FPSes. Fuck, they're not even a little fish when it comes to the entire gaming industry, even.

Re:Big news... (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169549)

In which imaginary world would half the Linux users all buy the same game?
Realistically, given the state of gaming on Linux in the past, I doubt many Linux users are also hardcore gamers.

Re:Big news... (4, Insightful)

MWoody (222806) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169053)

On what do you base that first assertion? Because you wish it were true, because Linux users are somehow better?

I would have said a similar thing about indie games once, particularly those who support their fanbase well and opt for no-DRM releases. Then World of Goo, which calls home for one of the online features in the game, reported a near-90% piracy rate. They even gave out the first world as a free demo, for chrissakes.

The fact is, there's nothing unique about Linux that's going to somehow reduce the piracy rate. I mean, let's face the facts: it's a group of users savvy enough to get their hands on a distributable (possibly via torrent), who have opted for a free OS with tons of free software, and who tend (if this very site is to be believed) statistically towards antiestablishmentarianism. We're hardly ideal customers for anything we can't recommend for purchase at work.

Re:Big news... (1, Troll)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169611)

"Yeah, but ID should have given the game away for free because, you know, other people's copyrighted information want to be free. So we're just helping them make the right choice by taking away their choice.".

Whatever the circumstances, piracy will always find an excuse to justify itself.

p.s. AFAIK, a "near-90% piracy rate" is pretty low.

Re:Big news... (2, Insightful)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169111)

It is not that Linux has a small market, ID claims technical problems with the Blog drivers.

This is sad because a lot of Gameheads are locked into Windows for playing games, and if Linux versions had existed you'd see more Gamehead defections to Linux because most hate Windows crashing on them or causing lags in the game when it eats up resource memory. If only Video Card makers would open up their standards so open source drivers can be used for them. My Nvidia chipset driver for Linux is limited to 2D support and there is no 3D support yet unless I use a proprietary driver. What almost killed OS/2 was lack of third party driver support as well as lack of OS/2 native software. Since OS/2 ran 16 bit Windows and MS-DOS programs companies felt that there was no need to write OS/2 programs, and hardware vendors didn't see a need to develop OS/2 drivers when Windows was dominating the market. Now Linux is facing a similar problem that OS/2 had, and software companies like ID are not making a Linux version and telling people to use the Windows version instead. I hope it at least works with WINE. :)

Re:Big news... (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169245)

ATI opened their specs, as well as Intel. Even reverse-engineered drivers for NVidia are coming.

But they're long way off.

Re:Big news... (2, Interesting)

Reservoir Penguin (611789) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169443)

If you read it more carefully, he later adds "If there are hundreds of thousands of linux users playing Quake Live when we are done with Rage". I believe that while the blob has technical and performance issues, the real meat is still , especially after id losing it's independance to Zenimax, is poor ROI on Linux ports. 100000s Linux users playing QL? He KNEW it wasn't remotely realistic by a factor of 10 when he said it.

Re:Big news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29169619)

Looking at the shitty sales performance of most PC games now, I bet many developers are having a hard enough time justifying a windows port let alone think about Linux ports.

Sounds like a challenge, not a problem (3, Interesting)

jkorz (1088471) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168735)

Linux users: play quake live I incidentally just tried it out on my ubuntu box last night. Pretty impressive for being browser based.

Too bad (5, Insightful)

pwizard2 (920421) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168747)

I've come to count on id porting their games, so I'm disappointed over this bit of news.

I use the proprietary Nvidia blob (version 180) for my Nvidia 8400 and I have no qualms about it. Windows users use proprietary drivers for practically every card that I've seen over the years, so how is it any different in principle if you replace Windows with Linux? While I take open stuff when I can get it, I would rather have a video card and wireless device that works on Linux. Not every Linux user sees things the same way that RMS does by insisting on a 100% FOSS operating system. While you can have that if you want it, I prefer the freedom of being able to mix and match as I see fit.

Re:Too bad (4, Funny)

PolyDwarf (156355) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168789)

You and your "freedom". When will you realize that RMS can do no wrong? Give up your quaint notions, your "thinking for yourself", and bask in the glory of his beard!

Re:Too bad (1, Interesting)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168855)

Ah, the dichotomy of freedom. In a perfect world of software, everything would be as free as RMS wants it to be. There would be no restriction on anything, and the user would be free to choose whatever he wanted for his system.
We do not live in a perfect world. Do we choose the freedom to select 'non-free' options in order to achieve higher performance? Or do we limit ourselves to only 'free' software with no restrictions? RMS's vision is like religion: if everyone subscribed to it, the world would be fine, but as long as there is a viewpoint in opposition to it, it will never reach its full potential, and seem to be as limiting as what it stands against.

If that doesn't make sense, I'm dog tired, and may as well be drunk for all I care.

Re:Too bad (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169637)

if everyone subscribed to it, the world would be fine, but as long as there is a viewpoint in opposition to it, it will never reach its full potential

Just like marxism the problem is that, the more people who subscribe to the system, the more benefitial it would be to an individual not to. At some point enough people would subscribe to the system that abusing it becomes just too tempting to some and than the whole system collapses.

Re:Too bad (1)

pwizard2 (920421) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168869)

I know you're being satirical, but I think there is too much blind zealotry in the open source community. While I admit that RMS has made a lot of difference in the open software world (I put a section on that into my upcoming book) that doesn't mean that I have to agree with everything he says. I like being able to choose between both worlds; to me, that is freedom.

Re:Too bad (1, Insightful)

PolyDwarf (156355) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169005)

I wasn't being satirical... The Beard knows all!!!!.... OK, I can't handle that any more. Back to reality.

Personally, I agree with you. The Cult of RMS is just that. If you don't fully drink the Kool Aid, you are outcast and unclean. That closed minded thinking annoys me to no end.

Re:Too bad (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169535)

I don't think ethical objections to the binary driver is the reason ID won't be supporting linux. It's money. If they thought the linux version would pay off, they would develop it.

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29169571)

Freedom to give up your freedom isn't much freedom at all. It's somewhat counter-intuitive, I grant.

Re:Too bad (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168807)

I am curious why he said that.

I don't think doom 3 or quake 4 runs with the non-free nvidia drivers. Not sure why he thinks this is suddenly a problem.

Re:Too bad (1)

pwizard2 (920421) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168901)

Doom3 works fine with the Nvidia blob the last time I checked. (at least on Ubuntu) I was able to get adequate performance on low quality out of a chipset, of all things.

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29168841)

We all prefer the freedom of using any hardware, but usually when we use hardware with only proprietary drivers, they crash the kernel, because they are poorly written. We can't fix them, because there is no source code. For example, one of my recent computers with a Nvidia card (and Nvidia's proprietary driver) started crashing every 20 minutes or so - but worked fine with the VESA driver.

Re:Too bad (1)

suckmysav (763172) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169361)

Well, that is not necessarily an indication that the driver is crashing. The card could be faulty in one of its 3D rendering pipelines or some part only engaged in 3D mode. By using the vesa (2D) driver that faulty part is not engaged therefore the PC doesn't crash.

Re:Too bad (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168843)

Me too... I will buy it if the port it. I won't if they don't. But they have made noises like this before... And always managed a port eventually. Still would not hurt to fire up Quake Live, and pass it around. It is still free right now. http://www.quakelive.com/ [quakelive.com]

Re:Too bad (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169049)

Problem with that is, I still see less than no point to Quake Live, other than that it's free. And even that doesn't buy much.

Why would I play Quake Live instead of, say, Nexuiz?

I think low usage of Quake Live would point more to the average Linux user being somewhat more discriminating, and actually taking the step to think about it before downloading random browser plugins.

If I'm only playing Quake Live to show him that there's another Linux user, maybe. But even here, I sort of don't see the point -- if buying Doom 3 and Quake 4 wasn't enough, why would it be meaningful to show how many Linux users are willing to play a free game, as opposed to actually put down money for a good game?

Re:Too bad (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169261)

if buying Doom 3 and Quake 4 wasn't enough, why would it be meaningful to show how many Linux users are willing to play a free game, as opposed to actually put down money for a good game?

I couldn't agree with you more. I have no interest in "Quakelive", yet I, too, purchased Quake 4 and Doom 3 (and many others) for Linux. Of course one problem was that we couldn't really buy the LINUX version, we had to buy the MS-Windows version, the download the Linux binary from the website and use the WAD files and license off the disc. So, unless the program was feeding back spy info to ID, they really have no idea how many were Linux sales.

Had they not run in Linux, I would not have purchased them at all.

Re:Too bad (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169411)

Better yet, why would I play Quake Live instead of Quake 3 on linux?

One of them runs a hell of a lot better in linux, allows me to set up my own servers with mods, and is much easier to play with friends on the fly.

Re:Too bad (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169141)

If you insist on a 100% "Free" system with no closed-source software, then you're unlikely to purchase a proprietary closed-source game, even if it is likely get open sourced 10 years later.

You heard the man (3, Interesting)

Spit (23158) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168795)

Play Quake live and get some meaningful stats back to a major developer.

Re:You heard the man (1)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168887)

I have been. It worked well enough; the bugs are a little shifty, but it works. It's a hell of a lot better than ioQuake3.

Wait, wasn't it an insult back in the days to say that an OS was good for nothing but games? Not that I boot up Vista very often anyhow, but the only real reason I've logged back into that thing was because of a recent GOG.com sale. It's like Windows is now a new gaming console at my house, except that this one bugs me about drivers and DRM on a regular basis.

Re:You heard the man (1)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168953)

It's like Windows is now a new gaming console at my house, except that this one bugs me about drivers and DRM on a regular basis.

Seriously? Drivers, yeah, I understand that. A better distribution mechanism would be nice although I suppose Windows Update is better than having to actually seek out & download the installer yourself. But DRM? Windows doesn't include any DRM for controlling access to executables. The only built-in DRM is for media playing, like Bluray and DVDs and crappy audio files. (Windows XP didn't include any DRM at all - that's why it can't even play DVDs without a 3rd party DVD player installed).

I've never gotten any DRM-related bugging from Windows - although I *have* gotten DRM bugging from things like SecuROM, which isn't part of Windows. Blaming Windows (and by extension MS) for the shite-layer that third-party games publishers love to wrap their product in isn't really fair.

Re:You heard the man (1)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168969)

I'm talking about the GAMES' DRM mechanics, such as Bioshock's "Please activate online" nonsense or Steam's hullabaloo it raises everytime you go offline for five minutes.

Yes, I'm on Slashdot, and I mentioned Windows and DRM in the same sentence. But they're not related, no. I know, take a breath. It'll be okay.

Re:You heard the man (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169537)

...Steam's hullabaloo it raises everytime you go offline for five minutes...

I'm hardly a fan of Steam [slashdot.org] and I think their offline mode is poorly implemented in a few different ways (e.g. a half-updated game is unplayable), but "hullabaloo it raises everytime you go offline for five minutes"? What?

I just moved a few weeks ago, and I didn't have an internet connection for a couple weeks after moving in. A friend and I both finished the Steam-based Mass Effect during that time, running Steam in offline mode.

Didn't have any problems, nor did we get nagged by Steam during that time except at startup.

Re:You heard the man (2, Funny)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169357)

Who here has the skill and will, to write a virus that infects a large botnet, to turn the bots into Quake live for Linux players?

I bet *you* do. :)

binary blob graphics driver? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29168805)

Does that mean there is some kind of windows-only driver involved and linux needs to encapsulate it in emulation? I'm confused by that.

Re:binary blob graphics driver? (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168975)

No. He's referring to the (native) proprietary Nvidia drivers and the (native) proprietary ATI drivers.

Everyone uses the blob anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29168815)

Who cares?

Binary blob ... eh? (5, Insightful)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168835)

"and that the Linux port would have to use the binary blob graphics driver in order to work"

From TFA, it seems that Carmack believes it would be hard to get the necessary performance without using the NVidia drivers. It's somewhat surprising to me if it wouldn't be possible to get it running acceptably on anything else, even if the game does use a lot of advanced features - but if Carmack says so!

However I'm not so keen on his assertion that if you're using the binary drivers you might as well run the code under Windows. I guess this probably *does* make sense for most people, since there are relatively few people who don't have a Windows license available somewhere. However, it would be *nicer* not to have to reboot into Windows for a specific app even if that were unnecessary.

Unfortunately I saw a fair few quite negative reactions in the linked thread and I expect we'll see others here. Carmack has not ruled out a port for sure. But even if he does, that's not exactly evil or a betrayal of open source or anything else negative. Many gamers here will have benefited in some way from the GPLed code he's released to the OSS community in the past at some point, pretty much all gamers will have benefited from his position as a developer pushing the games industry forwards. He's not done anything *bad* here, he's just not necessarily doing something we'd hoped for.

Hopefully the Rage code will - one day - be GPLed and get ported to Linux. I think that's a fair way down the road at this point, though.

Re:Binary blob ... eh? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29168859)

I agree. If you're willing to use the proprietary drivers, just log back into win-does. If you're not willing to use the proprietary driver, then you probably aren't willing to use windows anyways, so ID isn't exactly losing your purchase.

Re:Binary blob ... eh? (1)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168929)

That's a dumb argument. What if I didn't buy Windows yet and don't want to pay for it for my new rig? I mean, if I have the card, but not the Windows...

Re:Binary blob ... eh? (0, Troll)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169271)

Not sure if you've noticed, but the retail price on computer components is far higher than the cost of buying a box and upgrading it.

I guess if you're a serious computing enthusiast, the pride and enjoyment might surpass the increased cost. I'm a bit more pragmatic and will always choose to just purchase and upgrade if/when necessary.

Re:Binary blob ... eh? (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168939)

I agree. If you're willing to use the proprietary drivers, just log back into win-does. If you're not willing to use the proprietary driver, then you probably aren't willing to use windows anyways, so ID isn't exactly losing your purchase.

Depends on why you use Linux. If it is some religious reason, you have a point. If it is because it is more stable, and just a better tool for the job, then you don't I just like to pick the best tool. For me that is Linux with the 180 nVidia blob drivers.

Re:Binary blob ... eh? (5, Interesting)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168903)

Carmack stated at Quakecon that Betheseda has to sign off on the GPL'ing of any future code. The chances of that happening are slim to none. IdTech5 is a pretty impressive piece of technology; from what I can tell it's Fallout 3 graphics maxed out with about 50% less overhead.

Re:Binary blob ... eh? (3, Insightful)

acidrainx (806006) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169649)

No, not Bethesda. They're owned by ZeniMax, who also owns Bethesda. It's ZeniMax that has to sign off on it.

id Tech 5 is impressive right now, but so was Quake 3 back in the day. I wouldn't rule out id Tech 5 being open sourced when their next big game is about to be released on id Tech 7.

they developed doom using open source tools (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29168919)

so fuck him

Re:they developed doom using open source tools (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169045)

What exactly does that have to do with the new engine? It's also great how you ignore the fact that every engine they've worked on has been released under the GPL...

Re:Binary blob ... eh? (1)

mindbrane (1548037) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168957)

I run Windows XP and Vista for gaming and vids but more to the point I'm always happy to buy a new Windows based Quake version. It's my way of saying thanks. Although either the whole FPS thing is getting kinda old, or, maybe it's just me :(

Re:Binary blob ... eh? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169083)

However, it would be *nicer* not to have to reboot into Windows for a specific app even if that were unnecessary.

There's also the fact that I'm likely to keep my Linux OS cleaner than Windows, that my Windows is 32-bit while my Linux is 64-bit, and I keep things like wireless keys and VPN access on Linux.

He's not done anything *bad* here, he's just not necessarily doing something we'd hoped for.

That, I'll agree with. In the past, the fact that he's stuck to OpenGL has made ports easier, and it's also forced vendors to keep OpenGL relevant.

I think his point about proprietary drivers... he's right and wrong. He's right in that the second biggest thing that sucks about my Linux desktop today is nVidia drivers. (The biggest thing is KDE4 -- I really should move on.) But he's wrong in that both nVidia and AMD have made noises about open video drivers. If those ever happen, the id tech, being a nice GL engine, should work just fine -- unless it's a Windows-only engine, in which case it'll only run on proprietary stacks, top to bottom.

Re:Binary blob ... eh? (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169213)

Carmack is right.

First, OpenGL is a mess. And OpenGL 3.0 is a complete failure, so it's no wonder Carmack doesn't want to port his code to use it. Also, in any case OpenGL 3 is implemented only by NVidia and ATI blobs.

And only NVidia currently produces decent drivers and hardware for Linux. ATI's drivers are quite unstable and unreliable. Intel's drivers are good, but their hardware is not.

OpenSource graphics drivers are coming, but they're a long way off. I expect that we won't see them for at least two more years and by that time I'd surprised if there'll be support for OpenGL 3 in them. And by that time Windows will have new DirectX with new features...

Re:Binary blob ... eh? (1)

kregg (1619907) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169297)

Actually I am using ATI's new Catalyst Centre and driver for Ubuntu and it is really good.

Re:Binary blob ... eh? (4, Interesting)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169243)

I appreciate Carmack's pragmatic reasoning instead of legal bullshit or calling us all pirates.

I have Windows and Linux available at home, so I don't really care. Yeah, it would be nice to not have to dual boot, but I see that as a necessary evil for the time being anyway, regardless of what games become available on Linux.

Not worth the money. (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168893)

They money they would bring in from a Linux port probably wouldn't cover the man-hours involved in doing the work.

Re:Not worth the money. (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169155)

And it never will be until more companies start porting the engines/games to Linux. As one person tagged- it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Someone has to get the ball rolling.

Even if it is not a big money maker, there is something to be said for doing it anyway. Many of the game companies (especially ID) use and enjoy FOSS... it is a way of giving back by supporting it.

Fortunately, "porting" such games to Linux is usually not all that difficult for professional shops, since they tend to program very well and use portable code.

Re:Not worth the money. (1)

wampus (1932) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169333)

How's Loki Games doing lately?

Re:Not worth the money. (1)

Reservoir Penguin (611789) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169391)

I think Loki was too much ahead of it's time. Linux's penetration into the desktop market is probably ten times higher than in the late nineties. Maybe another compnay will step in. Actually I was thinking, couldn't Id recruit some linux enthusiasts to sign an NDA and port the game to Linux for free, if the man hours roi is the issue?

Re:Not worth the money. (2, Insightful)

xigxag (167441) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169487)

It's not a self-fulfilling prophecy. It's fulfilled by the external factor that not enough Linux users are buying games. For it to be self-fulfilling would indicate circularity -- that Linux users aren't buying games because they aren't being put out. But that's not the case. They have been put out but are simply not selling large enough numbers to justify additional investment. Porting more games would simply make the debit side of the balance sheet worse. And that kind of investment can't be justified these days -- we're in the midst of a huge game recession. Even consoles games are hurting, so what would inspire a major game studio to leap into Linux?

Id Tech 4 maybe? (1)

PhasmatisApparatus (1086395) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168913)

With the recent sale of Id to ZeniMax, it seems unlikely, despite Carmack's continued promises, that Id Tech 4 will be open-sourced either.

Ok by me, I'm getting old. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29168921)

I must be getting old because first person shooters are FUCKING BORING. For christ sakes, is there any other industry in existence where all the products made by different companies look and work exactly the same? Cars, I guess?

Good analogy. (2, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169119)

Cars still work, and are still fun, and can still be innovative, despite all of them using the exact same UI, even when the steering column is no longer necessarily directly connected to anything, and the car could've been driven as easily with a joystick.

The same could be said of first person shooters. The gameplay mechanic may not change much, but the games can be very different experiences, and they are still fun. Indeed, many of us still have fun with the occasional Doom 1 game, so if Doom 4 ends up playing just like Doom 1 but with better graphics, I don't see that as a bad thing.

Mac but not Linux, there's a reversal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29168967)

I'm a Mac user, who fondly remembers having to boot into Linux/PPC to play Quake II.

A Linux port attracts attention. (4, Interesting)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169065)

A while back Slashdot pointed us to this blog [wolfire.com], in which the blogger pointed out how having Linux and Mac ports attracted a lot of attention and even boosted the sales of their Windows versions.

I wouldn't put much stock in that (-1, Troll)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169585)

Reason being he says fully half his sales are on MacOS. You do NOT get those kind of numbers with retail games. So either he's a fanboy and making stuff up, or more likely he has atypical results because his game is poor quality. That game is extremely poor quality, even by the standards of indy titles. As such, it isn't likely to find a very big market. 50% of his sales might be 100 copies. This leads to skewed results for all sorts of reasons.

With a major title, most of your sales on the PC will be for Windows. That is just guaranteed based on numbers of ownership. Windows has a better than 90% market share. So even assuming Mac people bought your game at the same rate Windows people did, you'd tell less than 10% of your Windows copies.

So while it is fine for him that it works out, trying to generalize it to the whole game industry is silly. He should know from the fact that his numbers are vastly off base that his results are not what you'd typically get.

Over all, the Mac and Linux game markets are extremely small. Not a lot of people use those OSes on their desktop, and of those that do, a non-trivial portion aren't gamers. Thus for many companies ports don't make economic sense. A good deal of it depends on how much work you'd have to do on the port. Some games, it might be pretty easy. This could be the case if you have built on an engine that is quite cross platform already. Other games it might take a good deal of man-hours, enough that you aren't likely to make your money back.

In the case of an engine, maybe they decided there just wasn't the interest in porting it. After all they are already dealing with maintaining more than one port, in addition to the Windows engine there is going to be a 360 and PS3 version. Perhaps they decided the resources necessary to maintain an OS-X and Linux branch weren't worth it. This would mean, of course, they'd also be dropping game ports for those OSes.

Regardless, what that blogger believes to be true has little to do with the realities of the retail game world. I'm quite sure the decision wasn't made arbitrarily. It may have been made by ZeniMax as an economic one. When they bought iD, they most certainly went over the books to see what was making money and how much. They may have determined that the minority OS ports were a money-losing proposition, something iD engaged in because they liked it, not because they were making money. They then may have said "Well, that is stopping, we want you on projects that make money."

That kind of thing happens all the time in acquisitions. Pet projects that the old company had, even whole divisions, that weren't pulling their weight get spun off, shut down, reassigned, whatever. ZeniMax may be very interested in licensing out iD Tech 5, as there's a major market for good engines these days. UE3 has been licensed like 150 times so far. However, part of doing well in that market is having a top notch engine and tools for it. So they may want more developer time being spent on that for the big 3 platforms (Windows, 360, PS3) than on an OS-X and Linux port.

Bring it on (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169089)

I, for one, don't care if it needs to use the Nvidia binary driver, I still welcome it with open arms. And I am still waiting to open my wallet for a decent, Linux compatible, *SINGLE USER*, first-person shooter game. The last game I bought was Castle Wolfenstien for Linux and I loved it dearly (and it was worth every penny).

The fanboys come out early (2, Insightful)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169197)

I love how the original poster ends with

The Zenimax deal really has killed id software.

This news needs to be blogged and passed around like wildfire. id software is dead, long live id software!


Yes, it is Zenimax that killed the linux port, not any of the reason that he lists or anything...

Linux and games still don't mix. (1, Troll)

Reservoir Penguin (611789) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169263)

Unfortunetly Linux is still a complete no go for a serious gaming enthusiast. Despite myths of technical superiority common on slashdot, Linux performace lacks in many fundamental key areas, in order to get acceptable performance on Linux, Nvidia didn't just write a regualr binary driver, they had to rewrite a large chunk of Xwindow and package the resulting mess in a large drop-in binary blob, unstable and heavily dependant on the kernel version. It's a nightmare. In addition, the multitude of overcloking and stability testing tools that arre bread and butter to windows performance gamers are completely non-existant on Linux and windows (non)emulation can not keep up with Microsofts technical progress on directx. So many recent AAA games in every genre are listed as 'bronze' or 'garbage'. The PC gaming market is small enough to justify p[orting to a platform that is a tiny fraction (about 1%) of users. Aspyre may port the idtech5 games to Mac, who will port it Linux?

Re:Linux and games still don't mix. (2, Interesting)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169483)

Ah, fanboys. nVidia's didn't "rewrite a large chunk of Xwindow [sic]". The driver just bypasses the OpenGL direct rendering stack. OpenGL requests still go to from userland to the kernel just as they would under DRM, but under the control of the nVidia driver and not the generic rendering pipeline. nVidia's reason for doing that has nothing to do with performance, but rather with using a common codebase for their Windows and Linux drivers.

Furthermore, "overcloking" [sic] is not "necessary" in any way for playing games. Unless you're 14, that is: thanks, but Linux is for adults (unless you're running Gentoo and compiling everything with -O1.7e34 -fOMGLOLHACKS, which would be the moral equivalent of this overclocking nonsense.)

You're right about it being difficult to use Linux for gaming (though my copy of Alpha Centauri still runs fine), but the difficulty has nothing to do with technical merits and everything to do with the small intersection between the Linux desktop user base and the set of people likely to purchase games. That's the sad reality. For other tasks of equal complexity, like software development, audio editing, and document creation, the free software world is at or near par. There's just not a whole lot of interest in gaming.

Bring it on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29169331)

He wants to see Linux users in Quake Live to justify the port.
Here is the link: http://www.quakelive.com/ [quakelive.com]
Bring it on, fellow slashdotters!

quote from TFL (1)

smash (1351) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169439)

Yes, it is. The codebase is much, much larger, and the graphics technology pushes a lot of paths that are not usually optimized. It probably wouldn't be all that bad to get it running on the nvidia binary drivers, but the chance of it working correctly and acceptably anywhere else would be small. If you are restricted to it only working on the closed source drivers, you might as well boot into windows and get the fully tested and tuned experience... John Carmack

Hand has been forced by the fact that NVidia/AMD don't have decent open source drivers.

I guess what he's saying is that ID do not want/can not allocate resources to deal with the flood of tech support calls they anticipate from people who are trying to run it and getting graphical anomolies, etc on Linux.

Which, given the size of the Linux gaming market, is probably a sensible business decision.

Damn shame though, I still hope that down the track they open-source/release this engine like they did with previous versions so that the Linux driver/kernel people can have a crack at making it work, and thus people can run ID tech5 games, albeit "unsupported" officially by ID.

Ok seriously... (2, Insightful)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169505)

When the hell did the Ubuntu Forums become a trusted/valid source of news?
Slashdot is going downhill fast. I tried to deny it but this is just crap.

ATI Radeon drivers (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169507)

"It probably wouldn't be all that bad to get it running on the nvidia binary
drivers, but the chance of it working correctly and acceptably anywhere
else would be small."

Hmmm, "anywhere else"? That can only be ATI Radeon drivers, as the Intel GPU aren't up to specs I guess.

So, thanks AMD/ATI!

Wont buy it, will play it though (-1, Flamebait)

marcushnk (90744) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169521)

What a shame.. I make a point of buying only Linux native games.
But they should understand this.. it wont stop me playing the game. If they would like to turn a profit from me, then Linux port it.

Why can't a game run itself without an OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29169575)

I never understood why a big game developer like id couldn't eliminate the middleman and just release a game that runs off a liveCD style operating system. Screw windows, mac, or linux, have the game itself be the OS.

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