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Hemisphere Games Reveals Osmos Linux Sales Numbers

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the more-than-a-little-less-than-a-lot dept.

Linux Business 131

An anonymous reader writes "Hemisphere Games analyzes the sales numbers for their Linux port of Osmos and ask themselves, 'Is it worth porting games to Linux?' The short, simple answer is 'yes.' Breakdown and details in the post." A few other interesting details: the port took them about two man-months of work, the day they released for Linux was their single best sales day ever, and they got a surprising amount of interest from Russia and Eastern Europe. Their data only reflects sales through their website, and they make the point that "the lack of a strong Linux portal makes it a much less 'competitive' OS for commercial development." Hopefully someday the rumored Steam Linux client will help to solve that.

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131 comments

Valve hasn't said a word. (3, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697018)

Until Valve says anything about a Linux client, it's just rumor and speculation.

And contrary to what Phoronix has reported for a couple of years now, Valve has not said one word about a Linux port.

Re:Valve hasn't said a word. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32697052)

They've confirmed a linux client.
Those enthusiasts within the Phoronix community even managed to get the unreleased Steam Linux client running up to a partially drawn UI
>Those enthusiasts within the Phoronix community even managed to get the unreleased Steam Linux client running up to a partially drawn UI
That seems rather confirmed to me.

Re:Valve hasn't said a word. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32697256)

hmm, I can't seem to find a press release from Valve about a confirming a linux client. All I can find is the same post from Phoronix where they claim Valve confirmed it, but don't list a source and offer no proof.

and no, a broken UI screenshot is not proof.

It may be comming, but it's not official until Valve announces it publicly themselves.

I want to believe

Re:Valve hasn't said a word. (1)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697288)

They've confirmed a linux client.
Those enthusiasts within the Phoronix community even managed to get the unreleased Steam Linux client running up to a partially drawn UI
That seems rather confirmed to me.

Who is this "they" that have "confirmed" a Linux client? I don't see any references to Valve being the ones "confirming" this. I don't even see the word "Valve" in that statement. Is this just an enthusiast website "confirming" this?

Re:Valve hasn't said a word. (5, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697566)

No they have in no way confirmed a Linux client. Not at all. Show me one quote from someone at Valve confirming it. You can't because no such confirmation exists.

Don't get me wrong, I would LOVE to see a Linux client, but Valve hasn't said anything about it. The fact that people from Phoronix hacked together an alpha quality client is meaningless.

Re:Valve hasn't said a word. (1, Insightful)

jvillain (546827) | more than 3 years ago | (#32698282)

God what I wouldn't do for mod powers right now.

Re:Valve hasn't said a word. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32698502)

Yeah, and if I had some, I'd immediately mod you offtopic and possibly troll. Your "input" adds absolutely nothing to this discussion.

Re:Valve hasn't said a word. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32699024)

Yeah, and if I had some, I'd immediately mod you offtopic and possibly troll. Your "input" adds absolutely nothing to this discussion.

(And neither does mine)

Re:Valve hasn't said a word. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32699164)

Unlike your drivel, mine actually served to point my parent poster's lack of contribution. Hopefully, he'll think about that before posting "dur, wish i had mod points fer u" again. You, on the other hand, are just a complete idiot. Congratulations.

Re:Valve hasn't said a word. (3, Informative)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697842)

the confirmation of a linux client has come from articles like this one telegraph.co.uk [telegraph.co.uk] and they have definitely been working on it as people have downloaded and actually run some of their linux code, however there has been no actual confirmation directly from valve.

Re:Valve hasn't said a word. (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#32698358)

Yeah one sentence at the end of the article not attributed to anyone at Valve. Like I said. Valve has not confirmed the existence of a Linux client.

Re:Valve hasn't said a word. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32700110)

People opened up code involving steam awhile ago, and found several mac files, leading to a leak that steam was coming to mac before valve officially announced it.

In the same files, there are several files named specifically "linux". They're DEFINITELY playing with the idea of it being on linux, almost certianly working on it right now.

And... didn't I read from the valve post where they actually announced OSX Steam that valve officially said Linux by end of summer? Can't find the actual valve announcement so maybe that was just hearsay, but I thought they actually did say that at the end of the news post.

Re:Valve hasn't said a word. (3, Interesting)

Burpmaster (598437) | more than 3 years ago | (#32699986)

Until Valve says anything about a Linux client, it's just rumor and speculation.

That's absurd. It's no longer just a rumor once it's been proven, regardless of where or who the proof comes from. What we have is better than an official announcement, since an announcement could be false.

We have the actual binary. Sure, it's a largely non-functional pre-alpha, but the build was frequently being updated, which indicates active development. And now the URL is an error 403 Forbidden. I'll bet the URL only works from Valve's internal IPs now, but that's just my speculation. The existence of a Linux client, however, is confirmed fact.

Duh? (2, Interesting)

bigspring (1791856) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697042)

Linux geeks like video games, but have barely any available natively. They'll pay to encourage others to be ported in the future. It's a pretty simple idea. I find it fairly remarkable that people are just figuring this out.

Re:Duh? (1)

gangien (151940) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697418)

just figuring this out? people tried before and haven't been successful.

Re:Duh? (3, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697538)

To reinforce the point:

Loki Software was founded on November 9, 1998 by Scott Draeker, a former lawyer who became interested in porting games to Linux after being introduced to the system through his work as a software licensing attorney. By December of that year Loki had gained the rights to produce a port of Activision's then upcoming strategy game Civilization: Call to Power for Linux. This was to become Loki's first actual product, with the game hitting stores in May of 1999. From there they gained contracts to port many other titles, such as Myth II: Soulblighter, Railroad Tycoon II , and Eric's Ultimate Solitaire. Throughout the next two years the company would continue to bring more games to Linux.
Although successful in its goal of bringing games to the Linux platform, the company was eventually forced to close due to financial troubles, with it declaring Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection in August 2001, and finally being disbanded in January 2002.

Re:Duh? (3, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697682)

I've read many tales about how he also spent most of their money on vanity items, and drove the business into the ground. Not to mention that 10 years ago Linux was a pain in the ass for a lot of people to set up and use. With distros like Ubuntu and Mint it's much more accessible now for people who simply want to play games, and not spend all their free time setting the system up.

Re:Duh? (1)

Binestar (28861) | more than 3 years ago | (#32698892)

I still have my Civ:CTP linux disk, along with my Q3A Linux Metal box!

Re:Duh? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#32699364)

I was mistaken for a Loki employee at Comdex simply because I was wandering around with their shirt.

At the time I thought it was a huge blunder that they weren't handing those shirts out themselves.

The fact that we have to go beating the bushes ourselves looking for stuff can't help the sales numbers.

Really good news (5, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697088)

"Windows for gaming" will still be the chant for the next 5+ years I fear, but I have to wonder some... "What If" someone got together with some other somepeople and created a "Linux gaming standard distribution" or something similar to LSB for gaming... something similar to "Wine bottles" but for game installation and playing. This could make Linux gaming SO much easier and more direct. It could ALSO aid in making the games more controllable by the software publishers (I know, no one likes that idea except the software publishers...) but consider that this would make a really nice link between console gaming and PC gaming. If this were to happen and somehow catch on, (yeah I know... fat chance) the new chant would be "Linux for gaming* because it can be faster and better than Windows can.

Are there still people running Windows 9X for their games? Last I saw (years ago) that was the case... makes me want to load up Win9X and then set up XvT and such... Those were some good ole days!

Re:Really good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32697194)

Keep in mind for a long time mac users claimed to have a faster operating system then windows as well. Turns out they were completely wrong.
http://themacgamer.com/2010/05/18/portal-performance-mac-vs-pc/

Re:Really good news (2, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697690)

That's unsurprising while being less bloated makes things snappier, it helps little for high end gaming.

Re:Really good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32699802)

Blind idiots benchmarking. It'd be only fair if Source on Windows were in OpenGL and be directly compared from there.

Re:Really good news (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32697202)

After I installed xubuntu recently and tried out Playonlinux, I was shocked to see that all my games were running, and only my graphics drivers were holding me back. I tried downloading the radeon 5830 drivers, and their website's fucked up and they still don't have the download fixed.

Frankly the year of gaming on linux is right now and I may have even missed some of it.

More games work through linux than windows for me!

Re:Really good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32698756)

Use the open-source raedon drivers. ATI's closed-source drivers don't work very well but the open-source drivers work surprisingly well.

Re:Really good news (1)

BoogeyOfTheMan (1256002) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697232)

I was pondering this the other night myself. A distro dedicated to gaming. And then I started thinking about an entity making a bunch of boxes with identical hardware, running this gaming distro, and suddenly you have a console like platform. You could make them upgradeable as well, as long as it has at least X amount of performance.

Imagine a dedicated linux gaming platform. With a keyboard/mouse control as a default, but you'd still have the ability to install a USB gamepad. I get all tingly inside.

Someone please make this so I can give you my money.

Remember DOS extenders? (2, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697428)

There was a time when games came with a "DOS extender" program that allowed the game to use machine resources that weren't available to MS-DOS. It wasn't such a big deal for the software companies to ship that small program together with the game, and it wasn't such a big deal for the user to install it.

Imagine if games came in a live Linux CD-ROM. MS-Windows users could play those games with all the benefits of Linux and Linux users would have a natively compilated game.

Are there still people running Windows 9X for their games?

Last week I found my original Tomb Raider CD lost in the bottom of a drawer. I tried to install it in XP, without success. I was considering installing windows 98 in an old computer, just to play that game again, when a friend suggested me to run it in a DOS box. I got it installed in DOSemu and it's awesome how well it runs in Ubuntu, with an i5-750 and a 9600 GSO graphics card.

Re:Remember DOS extenders? (4, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697684)

Imagine if games came in a live Linux CD-ROM. MS-Windows users could play those games with all the benefits of Linux

What benefits? I only see drawbacks:
- terrible loading times (wasting the hard drive advantage)
- having to reboot
- having to configure the network to play online games. Since it's a LiveCD, having to store those configurations in a USB disk or losing them
- wasting the integration of systems like Steam

In general, that would be like playing on a PS2 with better graphics. No thank you.

Re:Remember DOS extenders? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32697828)

Plus how the drivers installed on the Linux LiveCD would be outdated the minute something new was released, and there would be no good way to patch the disc.

Re:Remember DOS extenders? (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 3 years ago | (#32699106)

I fully agree with you.

But I've been tinkering with Linux a lot recently, and wanted to point one thing out. Distros like PuppyLinux can actually save your session onto write-once multisession DVDs, so settings like your Wifi SSID and password can easily be saved/restored.

I totally agree about the loading times. I've wondered for a long time about why consoles lacked HDDs.

Re:Remember DOS extenders? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32699664)

- terrible loading times (wasting the hard drive advantage)
- having to reboot
- having to configure the network to play online games. Since it's a LiveCD, having to store those configurations in a USB disk or losing them
- wasting the integration of systems like Steam

1. You can install from a Live DVD - problem solved
2. It's Windows, you are probably due for a reboot anyway
3. Duh, the hard drive. What makes you think a LiveCD can't partition, re-partition, or read/write NTFS partitions?
4. Steam is part of the problem in need of solution.

I can speak of the converse - as a Linux user. If I wanted to play a Windows game, it would be partioned separately and used only for games. Who runs IM anymore? My phone IS the message center. Of course, you can't have separate partitions for each game without cracking. Linux has the advanatage of you being able to create and destroy OS's with reckless abandon. Linuxgenuineadvantage was a joke site - maybe you didn't get it.

Biggest advantage: cost. Right now some SAP vendor is trying to sell us on B1 (Windows Server 2003, clients run on Windows only). I guess they didn't count on Microsoft Dynamics. In order to buy $30,000 worth of software, I need to buy $7,000 from one of their competitors too (Microsoft). If you are a game vendor, you don't have to get people to upgrade to this or that, just give them all the software they need. And make money as TFA suggests - moron.

Having to buy this to play that is just gay.

.deb v .rpm (3, Interesting)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697144)

That part was most surprising for me - whilst I think .rpm is more of the standard for server based business apps, it appears debia (ie ubuntu) is the predominant platform for clients.

Ok, it doesn't surprise me at all now I've thought it through :)

One game? (3, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697198)

One puzzle game proves that it's worth it to port to Linux?

If it took two months to port a puzzle game, imagine how much time and expenses it would take to port a big-name game with much higher technical demands and support requirements.

Re:One game? (5, Informative)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697298)

> If it took two months to port a puzzle game, imagine how much time and expenses it would take to port a big-name...

One suspects most of that time was learning a new platform. If Linux was a target from the start and the game house had done it before the porting time would be less. To begin a cross platform library like SDL would probably be selected at the start of the project. Porting would then be a minor problem. Even better would be to divide the development team's workstations and develop all targeted platforms in parallel to catch cross platform issues during development. Done that way a wide targeted product should not add more than a couple percent to the development costs.

Another idea. If a game house or group of them developed a common repository the distribution costs could be minimal. This doesn't require their wares be free either. Activation keys/etc could still be used while using repos to eliminate installation problems, distributing updates, etc. Who needs Steam? Better, who needs to cut Steam in for a cut for something Linux has native?

Re:One game? (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697508)

Agree... it's sad I have no mod points right now. :/

It would be awesome if I could add my favorite game studio's repo and select from their games.

Re:One game? (3, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697610)

One suspects most of that time was learning a new platform. If Linux was a target from the start and the game house had done it before the porting time would be less. To begin a cross platform library like SDL would probably be selected at the start of the project.

Quote TFA:

The code was engineered to be cross-platform from the start, built on libraries like OpenGL, OpenAL, libogg/libvorbis, freetype, etc.

And something to consider (4, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#32698118)

What happens if you need something that is NOT cross platform to Linux? You then have to develop an in house version of it. Ok, but that is increasing the cost of development over all, not just for the Linux version.

An example for commercial titles would be Speedtree, Scaleform, or any number of other middleware apps that do not have Linux ports. None of them do anything you couldn't write yourself, however they simplify development thus reducing time thus reducing cost. Scaleform is used to make resolution independent UIs easily and quickly. It gives artists robust tools so that they can design UIs right away. The programmers then can make use of them. This is cheaper than having to have the programmers write not only the UI code for the engine, but then tools for the artists to make the UIs and so on.

So in a complex title you might well find costs of the Windows version going up because the tools you use aren't available for Linux. Saying "Just use something else," or "Just write your own," isn't an answer. The question isn't if it is technically possible to do it, the question is it economical to do it. The amount of expected sales has to exceed the costs by a non-trivial amount.

Re:And something to consider (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32699396)

Why do you think speed tree needs a specific port? It's a c++ library that lets you drop in your own rendering code. It would work on any platform that lets you compile the library.

Please, if you don't know what you're talking about just stop commenting.

Re:One game? (2, Informative)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 3 years ago | (#32698874)

> Quote TFA:

> The code was engineered to be cross-platform from the start, built on libraries like OpenGL, OpenAL, libogg/libvorbis, freetype, etc.

That basic level of avoiding Microsoft only tech makes a port plausible, it doesn't make your code cross platform. I noted the distinct lack of a mention of an explicit cross platform layer such as SDL. The article doesn't say what the original development environment was but I'd put more money on Microsoft Visual Studio than emacs/autoconf/gnu make, etc. Weeks getting a SDL app that builds on Windows to one running on Linux would imply they hit some sort of obscure glitch, the sort they probably would have mentioned.

Re:One game? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697708)

The code was engineered to be cross-platform from the start, built on libraries like OpenGL, OpenAL, libogg/libvorbis, freetype, etc. In addition, Aaron had already done a great job on the Mac port, ironing out any remaining gcc/abstraction details.

From TFA:

The code was engineered to be cross-platform from the start, built on libraries like OpenGL, OpenAL, libogg/libvorbis, freetype, etc. In addition, Aaron had already done a great job on the Mac port, ironing out any remaining gcc/abstraction details.

Re:One game? (1)

Narishma (822073) | more than 3 years ago | (#32698430)

The article says that the project was planned as a multiplatform game from the start, using stuff like OpenGL, OpenAL, Freetype and so on. It still took them 2 months to port to Linux, after they have already ported it to a similar system (MacOS X).

Re:One game? (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#32698680)

get it to work on non binary distros, and you have a winner. not all of us run distros from 3 years ago...

Re:One game? (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 3 years ago | (#32699118)

Who needs Steam? Better, who needs to cut Steam in for a cut for something Linux has native?

Short of a few indy devs, Linux users need Steam to bring them developers and publishers.

Whatever cut Steam takes, it's worth it.

Re:One game? (4, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697576)

If it took two months to port a puzzle game, imagine how much time and expenses it would take to port a big-name game with much higher technical demands and support requirements.

Two manmonths of work is extremely little. Development studios like Inifinity Ward has 60 employees, Telltale Games 70, Bizarre Creations 165, Valve 225, Turbine 300, Bioware 500, Take Two 2000, Blizzard 4600. Some do publishing and other game-related stuff, but still two months is a drop in the ocean compared to the manyears laid down in many games. Even a small increase in sales would pay for much, much more. Enough? Tough to say, depends on how it scales. True this isn't proof but you also brought nothing but a very spurious argument for why it couldn't.

Re:One game? (0, Troll)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697594)

So just stack man-months as if they werent mythical?

Re:One game? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697760)

So just stack man-months as if they werent mythical?

I think you're repeating a slashdot meme, because clearly you haven't understood it. The mythical man month is about adding project members to a project very late in the process to deliver faster on a delayed project. In practice the new members not only aren't very productive, they suck up time from everyone else to teach them about the system so it ends up taking as long or longer to finish anyway.

That does not preclude large software projects, producing the game itself is one of them. If a Linux port would take 5 manyears you don't need one man for five years, with some planning you can have 10 people working on it for six months. But if it after 4 months it looks like it'll take 7 months (30 manmonths), you don't add 5 more thinking you'll still finish in six doing 2z15 instead of 3x10. That's the mythical man month.

Re:One game? (1, Troll)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#32698334)

If a Linux port would take 5 manyears you don't need one man for five years, with some planning you can have 10 people working on it for six months.

Why not 100 people for 18 days? or 1000 people for 2 days?

Re:One game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32698666)

Because you're a fucking jackass. That's why.

Re:One game? (1)

Draek (916851) | more than 3 years ago | (#32699496)

Because Amdahl's Law [wikipedia.org], surprisingly enough, also applies to people. You can't, for instance, ask somebody to write half an algorithm and another person the other half, well technically you can but the work needed to keep it orderly so it works (same variable names, etc) would be far more than it'd take just one programmer to write the entire thing himself.

Dunno why you were modded Troll though, I think it's a valid question, at least at first glance.

Re:One game? (1)

Spykk (823586) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697920)

If the game was written properly its size shouldn't change how long it takes to port it. Game logic is intrinsically cross platform. If the code that renders scenes, plays sounds, accesses the file system or uses the network is sufficiently abstract then the time to port any given game shouldn't vary much regardless of its scope.

rather impressive (3, Informative)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697226)

I don't think linux will become a more profitable platform to target than windows for major game houses in any sort of foreseeable future, but I think that graph [hemispheregames.com] from the article makes a pretty strong case for indie developers to target linux.

Good news for indy developers (who now have a larger potential audience), and of course good news for linux users.

OSS Fail (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32697242)

Apple FTW!

Two man-months? (1)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697248)

I hate to ask this because it sounds like looking a gift horse in the mouth, but how on earth did it take them two man-months? I ported my game engine over and it took about a week. And that's with manual X11 calls - if I'd wimped out and used a library for it, it would've taken just a few days.

What exactly took the time there?

Re:Two man-months? (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697426)

Maybe they were unfamilar with the platform, and didn't code the engine to be relatively platform independant the first time around?

Re:Two man-months? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697758)

Won't someone read TFA?

The code was engineered to be cross-platform from the start, built on libraries like OpenGL, OpenAL, libogg/libvorbis, freetype, etc. In addition, Aaron had already done a great job on the Mac port, ironing out any remaining gcc/abstraction details.

This was *before* the porting started.

Re:Two man-months? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32697444)

They said testing on many distros. Setting 5+ distros is not easy. Build chains are not easy.

Re:Two man-months? (2, Insightful)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697476)

Yeah it is, you install vmware and drop a bunch of distros in. That week included testing on ubuntu 10.04, ubuntu 8.04, kubuntu 10.04, ubuntu 10.04-64, fedora 12, and debian 5.04.

(Doesn't currently work on ubuntu 10.04-64 but that's mostly due to me being lazy with 64-bit porting. Works on all the rest, though.)

Re:Two man-months? (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697898)

Testing it on 4 versions of Ubuntu, and on Debian, are pretty darn easy, since they are all very similar. Testing on Fedora was the only environment significantly dfferent from you you are likely using on a daily basis. Now also test on suse and gentoo. Debian, fedora, suse, and gentoo are currently the 4 main base linux platforms, and each do some things slightly differently, including a few differences that can make binary distribution a real pain. Also you did remember to test both the 32 and 64 bit versions of each, right?

A month is sill substantial, but it is not as completely outrageous as you seem to think.

Re:Two man-months? (1)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 3 years ago | (#32698226)

I'll admit that I mostly didn't bother with suse and gentoo because gameplayers don't use suse and gentoo. I haven't yet had any reports of my code not working on those platforms, which means either it works, or nobody cares :)

It doesn't work on 64-bit, but it's a known problem because one of my libraries doesn't support 64-bit well. If that were fixed, I don't expect it would be much more difficult than changing a few build flags.

"A development log" (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#32698048)

Breaking Into the Industry - A development log about starting a game studio.

Totally unrelated, but can I just take a minute to thank you for not calling it a "blog"? :)

Re:"A development log" (1)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 3 years ago | (#32698096)

I've considered renaming it to "blog", sadly, because even though I dislike the word it's pretty normal. For now, though . . . nope, stickin' with devlog :D

Re:Two man-months? (2, Insightful)

rasjani (97395) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697472)

1) Actual porting of the game - if you read the article, the guy who did the port did not know the codebase from the start - you propably knew your codebase in and out ?
2) Multi format packaging - its not only about building debian rules or spec file and you are set - if you target multiple platforms and hardware architectures via proper packaging - you need to be checking a lot of build options with dependencies..
3) website changes
4) and testing ..

And last, possible promotion ?

Releasing stuff might not always be just about making the code compile and hoping it works..

Re:Two man-months? (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697536)

I'm guessing it probably wasn't all two months... I'm sure there were long breaks, conferences, hookers, beer... the usuals.

Re:Two man-months? (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#32698688)

auth, moving all of the DX code, etc.

Re:Two man-months? (2, Interesting)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 3 years ago | (#32698896)

According to the article, it already ran on OSX. That implies it was already using OpenGL.

Re:Two man-months? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32699862)

Source actually had support for OpenGL all along but was disabled since it's not officially sanctioned and supported. Also in Source for rendering that's been unavailable but code ready is a software renderer, and a DirectX 6 (SIX!!! SIIIIIIX!!! NOT SEVEN!) renderer.

Interesting (4, Insightful)

immakiku (777365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697252)

Gaming is one of the last things keeping people from switching to Linux entirely. Once the Linux gaming scene picks up steam (pun intended), "those in the know" will have no reason to retain an installation of Windows. The increase in user base will spur further development in the areas of Linux that are inferior to Windows at the moment.

Re:Interesting (1)

waambulance (1766146) | more than 3 years ago | (#32698996)

no. one of the last things keeping people from switching to Linux is that Adobe doesnt have a Linux-compatible Creative Suite. if they did, LOL, there would be a "sea-change" for sure.

Re:Interesting (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#32699316)

Gaming is one of the last things keeping people from switching to Linux entirely

Linux has a global 1% share of the desktop. Top Operating System Share Trend [hitslink.com]

I can't believe that 99% of the holdouts are PC gamers.

Re:Interesting (3, Interesting)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#32699430)

You'd be in for a surprise then. Gamers love to tinker with their systems, and most of my friends, and myself would be using Linux full time if we could. It wouldn't be 99%, that's a bit of a stretch, but I know it would be around 10-20%.

Gaming is not that much of a factor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32699798)

You overestimate the power of paid "games". Beyond the Flash-based non-installed apps, "most" people don't play games. There are more Facebook users than self-proclaimed "gamers."

Something else is preventing the adoption of Linux in the desktop. Inertia? The evil marketing arm of M$? Hardware incompatibility issues. Who knows? One thing is sure. It's not games.

Linux = Fuzzy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32697430)

The overhead of supporting "Linux" is just too high. There are too many distributions. Mac OS X is reasonable. "Linux" is a much broader term. However, I could see a dev shop saying something like "we added v1 support Ubuntu, the rest of you guys can figure it out for yourselves".

Re:Linux = Fuzzy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32697812)

Theoretically Steam could fix this if the rumored Linux port turns out to be true.

Steam already "hides" the executables in its internal guts, all it has to do is replace the standard linux linker with its own, maintain its own internal library packages, and make everything "just work". Steam can even have multiple versions of libgl available and link the one matching the driver installed. Then they tell the developers "build this way if you want to publish on Steam" and it's done.

Re:Linux = Fuzzy (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 3 years ago | (#32697956)

there's only about 5 distros you need to support tho, and that's probably being a little generous.

Re:Linux = Fuzzy (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 3 years ago | (#32698672)

10 - 11 years ago I was working for a small shop that produced some graphics tools for Windows & IRIX. It was clear that IRIX was going the way of the DODO and we were looking to port and Linux came up. Red Hat was the "standard" standard of the day so we ported the application to RH. Shortly there after linux accounted for less than 5% of sales and about 12% of technical support requests. We found that very few were even running "standard" builds of Red Hat. It seemed like folks in those days would set up their user libraries in different locations because of this reason or that reason. It was a nightmare. Granted, most people that tinkered with their installs understood the problem was *theirs* and some paid a bunch of $$$ in support costs because of it. But there were that vocal few that really turned me off the linux "community" as a whole for a decade now. The next release dropped Linux support in favor of OSX because we started to see a demand from Apple users.

Re:Linux = Fuzzy (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#32699210)

> We found that very few were even running "standard" builds of Red Hat. It seemed like folks in those days would
> set up their user libraries in different locations because of this reason or that reason. It was a nightmare.

So? Do an OpenStep style package setup or use statically linked binaries.

The fact that libraries are in a strange place on some system should have 0.0 impact on anything.

Unix simply isn't the sort of thing that shatters when you wiggle some little part of it.

Re:Linux = Fuzzy (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 3 years ago | (#32699142)

You only really need to support Debian/Ubuntu, Fedora, and Suse?

Gentoo users will figure it out themselves. :P

Many distros have Ubuntu compatibility, so if it works in Ubuntu, it'll work for them. Ubuntu is by far the biggest target.

But they still lost money on it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32697578)

Unless Dave the programmer lives in a third world country, they lost money on the Linux version.

So it is news, but not the story that we are looking for.

Re:But they still lost money on it (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 3 years ago | (#32698002)

it was between 15% and 20% of their total sales, so if they lost money on it they probably lost money on the whole thing.

Re:But they still lost money on it (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#32699340)

> it was between 15% and 20% of their total sales, so if they lost money on it they probably lost money on the whole thing.

Yes. I just love how these drones keep on repeating the idea that the port didn't make sense economically when clearly the actual article flatly contradicts that idea.

LOLWUT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32698654)

When we say “yes, it was worth porting Osmos to Linux”, we’re basing it on the lower bound. If the reality is closer to the upper bound: that’s “gravy”. The tail: more gravy

Apparently you're either just a troll, or an illiterate troll, being that this was in the "Profit" section of the page, aka "the opposite of lost money".

linux game middleware and IDEs (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32697706)

I'm currently writing a 3D game for Linux using OpenGL and SDL. In a way those two cover a lot of bases, but there are some glaring holes as well:

* Middleware. DX owns the game middleware market.

* IDEs. I'm using kdevelop, and have looked at Eclipse, but there is no Linux IDE that can come close to Visual Studio. I say this as a huge Linux advocate, and someone who barely ever even boots into Windows - but credit where it's due, MSVC is simply a better product.

Otherwise, I don't see much reason to tie your game to just Windows and DX. Even boost helps a ton - it provides a lot of platform independent libraries to make your portability life easier.

I just bought it (2)

future assassin (639396) | more than 3 years ago | (#32698070)

Thanks to Slashdot for the article which made me buy a Linux compatible game. Level two baby!!!!!

Re:I just bought it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32698268)

Thanks to Slashdot for the article which made me buy a Linux compatible game. Level two baby!!!!!

you seem to be the first one to fall for the slashvertisment

Re:I just bought it (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 3 years ago | (#32698366)

Who cares when I'm having fun after the purchase.

Re:I just bought it (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#32699400)

> Who cares when I'm having fun after the purchase.

I second that sentiment.

It's a very well done game with a cool concept and nice art. It kinda reminds me of Oids.

It's like the classic notion of an arcade game (easy to learn & hard to master).

Re:I just bought it (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#32699484)

God forbid someone puts their money with their mouth is and supports a company actually producing a product for Linux...

Re:I just bought it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32698752)

Just played the demo, it's a pretty slick timewaster LOL. Katamari Damacy breeds with Asteroids and learns cost-benefit analysis. Thumbs up.

Re:I just bought it (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#32698988)

I would have bought it, had I not paid for the windows version via steam a long while ago.

Delayed releases suck. Had I any idea, I would have bought only the Linux version.

Worth mentioning.. (2, Interesting)

Trubacca (941152) | more than 3 years ago | (#32698424)

This "linux gaming" concept is a very interesting subject, and perhaps my fellow slashdotters can help my brain tackle some "ethical dilemma's" that I am facing. Some quick backstory.. I love me some computer games. Grew up on the stuff.. Civ 1 was my first true computer game.. it came bundled with our first cd-rom drive that my dad bought. I never went back to a console again. I grew up, but never outgrew gaming.. although these days I try to temper "frivolous entertainment" with worthwhile projects and contributions to reality ;-) Still, a system's "gaming potential" is the primary factor I must consider when working on my personal box.. and is one of the reasons I still have to boot back into Windows all the time. In fact, it is usually easier for me to just arrange everything in Windows so that I can do all my "*Nixy stuff" from inside Win7.. Cygwin, ssh, etc.. so that when I need to unwind for a few mins on TF2 pwning newbs I don't need to close EVERYthing and reboot into Win.. pain in my butt if I may say so. For this reason, I have been eagerly anticipating Steam on Linux for many years.. the rumors began in '08, right? Shouldn't this be a very exciting prospect for me? Well.. I guess it has only been the last several months that Steam has started "irking" me.. Something about DRM and "anti-competitive behavior".. and for me to continue playing on Steam I feel I am having to compromise my personal code. When I compare Steam to iTunes.. it comes down to just a few differences: Steam is owned by Valve (yay Valve!), one of the best darn CPU game developing houses out there. CPU games are much more appealing to me than music But there are too many similarities for me to be comfortable: DRM, anticompetitive practices, proprietary software platform requirement, Draconian developer/publisher agreement policies (ok I cannot verify that rumor).. yeah yeah, I know, a business is in the business of making money, blah blah. I love my computer games, and I have loved EVERY SINGLE ONE of Valves products. And I know that Steam on Linux is probably going to be a net win for my favorite operating environment.. but I can't help but shake the feeling that Steam doesn't BELONG on Linux.. Does that make sense, or am I just being a whiny bitch? Flame-baiting aside.. I know that Steam has done some wonderful things for various small-time developers.. and that they are WORLDS better as publishers than the rip-off artists at EA, so it is all a very gray area for me.. I could go on for pages, but I will cut this short. In conclusion, I want to shout out Hooray for LINUX GAMING! It will be wonderful for me and for millions in the long run. I just wonder whether Steam should be the platform that we are pinning our hopes on.

Re:Worth mentioning.. (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#32699470)

Look at it this way. If we all adopted the purist attitude that everything should be 100% open, then you should forget about ever having entertainment software on Linux. Like it or not, piracy is a real concern for independent game developers like Valve, and if you expect them to forfeit copy protection in the name of Stallman-style zealotry, then gaming on Linux is never going to happen in a big way. Where Valve got their DRM right is that Steam also provides useful features for their games. It's not simply just DRM. Friends lists, saving your game settings to the Steam cloud, and opening it up for indie devs to sell their games all bring something substantial to the table. It's not like starforce or some crappy copy protection like that.

Re:Worth mentioning.. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#32700140)

Steam doesn't belong on my PC, and I run Linux, but that doesn't mean Steam doesn't belong on Linux.

If you love first sale law then don't patronize Steam. Otherwise it's really not that bad. But personally I consider the ability to resell to be critical. If you get a game cheap enough to where it offsets this, or you just don't care, why not use Steam?

A note from LGP. (4, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#32699414)

Wed, June 23 2010

Is grateful to Slashdot for finally noticing that LGP exists, after militantly ignoring any game release we have made for the last 5 years, as soon as reports of our death come through, we get a front page story. Slashdot - Your support of Linux is inspirational.
For others who wonder, we are very much alive. We have had a couple of staffing issues on the admin side of things, which explains most of our silence, but work is progressing on more than one unannounced title. We will offer further updates as and when there is news to update you with.

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