Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Company Seeks To Boost Linux Game Development With 3D Engine Giveaway

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the for-services-rendered dept.

Graphics 140

binstream writes "To support Linux game development, Unigine Corp. announced a competition: it will give a free license for its Unigine engine to a seasoned team willing to work on a native Linux game. The company has been Linux-friendly from the very start; it released advanced GPU benchmarks (Heaven, Tropics, Sanctuary) for Linux before and is working on the OilRush strategy game that supports Linux as well."

cancel ×

140 comments

wonderbar.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34353768)

now if video cards run under linux were more than just framebuffers we might go someplace.

Re:wonderbar.... (4, Insightful)

Iceykitsune (1059892) | more than 3 years ago | (#34353786)

Yell at the manufacturer of your card, not the linux devs. They can only do so much without the full details of how the card arcitecue is tsructured.

Re:wonderbar.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34353878)

How is he yelling at Linux devs? He's pointing out this engine licensing doesn't do much for the main bottleneck facing 3d gaming on Linux.

Re:wonderbar.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34354044)

He should keep preaching over and over to get ATI and Nvidia to release all of their code as GPL or they will be crippled. Free the Software..

YEAH LIKE THAT'LL WORK LOL.

Re:wonderbar.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34354566)

You mean like how they were but nothing came of it?

Re:wonderbar.... (2, Interesting)

braeldiil (1349569) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354802)

Actually, the first step towards good linux drivers is entirely in the dev's hands. No one to blame but the kernel hackers. Provide a stable interface. Provide a stable binary interface, and the manufacturers will provide drivers, at least for common processors. It really is that simple. As long as the drivers need to be rewritten every few months because the kernel was changed (often for no other reason than to break compatibility), linux will have crummy drivers. No sane company is going to sign up to do 10 times the work for a platform with 1% of the usage.

Re:wonderbar.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34354828)

Are you saying "Make Linux Windows"? Fool, Linux IS NOT WINDOWS. Go push your grand idea of an unfractured, unified driver environment elsewhere.

Re:wonderbar.... (5, Informative)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355678)

Provide a stable binary interface,

This is wrong on so many levels in linux land.

For starters, unlike windows land, in linux drivers tend to have common things that many drivers need put into modules and re-used. For example the mac80211 stack. In this example all the actual card drivers have to do is basically tell the kernel where the registers are and what they do and bam, working wifi.

Bug fixes in used modules fix bugs in all things that use it. Code re-use to the extreme.

It also helps with portability, can you run your nvidia binary driver on mips? Hell no, could you run neauvou which exposes the hardware through gallium and uses GEM etc.

As long as the drivers need to be rewritten every few months because the kernel was changed (often for no other reason than to break compatibility), linux will have crummy drivers.

Linux by far has the most in-built driver support of any operating system that has ever existed. To call it crappy is a bit of a farce.

All hardware vendors need to do is give a kernel dev specs and a driver which will be indefinitely supported is created. I can still use a tv tuner card from 2001 on my machine now, could you do the same with windows 7?

Having a stable ABI limits improvements to the kernel, and loses a great deal of flexibility and usefulness. So really, screw that. If you 'want' a stable ABI, it is a good sign you are doing it wrong anyway.

Re:wonderbar.... (2, Interesting)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34358024)

All hardware vendors need to do is give a kernel dev specs and a driver which will be indefinitely supported is created.

Yeah, driver for my Asus WL-167g wifi was created and worked, but now I can't compile it anymore, because someone thought that net_device struct is no longer needed (starting from kernel 2.6.31). Driver is still open source, but I'm not good enough at driver programming so I can't use this with newest kernels. Now imagine normal user, which buys a card which has "Compatible with linux" on a box but when he tries to compile the driver he is greeted with errors. Yes, I found what happened on some obscure forum, but I had others means of connecting than this card.

Moral: Constant ABI changes are just frustrating.

Re:wonderbar.... (5, Interesting)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 3 years ago | (#34356098)

Please hell no. If windows is an example of doing this right then I don't want it. The ABI for windows hasn't changed in 20 years and it's horrible riddled with bugs and simply a PoS. All one has to do is look at how lame their visual c++ compiler is because it has to compile down for their archaic abi to realise that's not the way to go.

Re:wonderbar.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34357632)

You are a troll and an idiot. The Visual C++ compiler is one of the best optimizing compilers in the world. It is only now with the 4.0 optimizations that GCC is finally catching up with it.

Re:wonderbar.... (2, Interesting)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34357284)

> Provide a stable binary interface, and the manufacturers will provide drivers, at least for common processors.

Are you sure it's all about binary interfaces? Hardware vendors lose control of whatever runs under linux, while a slightly incompatible windows release/service pack every now and then ensures forced obsolescence.

That would change a bit with binary interfaces but not that much.
And it would get in the way of kernel development.

But I could be wrong so somebody could mantain some kernel with a fixed ABI and see what happens. T2 project [t2-project.org] does have specified targets already IIRC.

Re:wonderbar.... (-1, Troll)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354626)

Stuff like this is modded "insightful" is incontrovertible proof that Slashdot is a site for morons and clueless gadget freaks, not "nerds".

Re:wonderbar.... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34355016)

Welcome fellow moron.

Re:wonderbar.... (4, Funny)

3vi1 (544505) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355198)

To those marking the parent as insightful, I'd like to see one single link that backs up what he says about video cards being "just framebuffers" under Linux. You realize that most of the OpenGL driver code is shared with the Windows implementations (which is why Heaven pretty much has the same framerates in both OSes), right?

Re:wonderbar.... (2, Informative)

CyDharttha (939997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355536)

The Unigine tech demos look excellent [unigine.com] , and have been used to showcase just what Linux gaming can look like [phoronix.com] .

Re:wonderbar.... (2, Interesting)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355888)

There aren't any characters in those images, or videos... just an empty landscape. How does the engine perform with 300 armed ogres running around?

Re:wonderbar.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34357464)

A polygon is a polygon, no matter what it's representing. Animated characters require a bit more CPU time and state changes for matrix manipulation, but that's about it.

Re:wonderbar.... (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34356050)

It sure looks great, I especially loved how the shadows worked realistically when interacting with water.

As for performance: I ran the demo in benchmark mode in Windows 7 using both DX10 and OpenGL, and in Ubuntu 10.10 using OpenGL, and I got the same numbers. Of course since the demo is rather limited it doesn't reflect the full picture of how a game would run, but what it does do is show that Linux is perfectly capable of running a good-looking, modern graphics demo just as well as Win7 at the same speed. That should already be enough to debunk OP's claim: if it was nothing more than a simple framebuffer under Linux it wouldn't achieve equal performance as compared to Win7.

Re:wonderbar.... (3, Interesting)

kayoshiii (1099149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34356978)

I use Unigine on Linux at work. Everybody else uses it on Windows. OpenGL performance is slightly faster on Linux than Windows but DirectX11 runs a bit faster than OpenGL/Linux I think this is down to DirectX11 multi-threading better thus the CPU becoming less of a bottleneck.
This is with the nVidia drivers.

Unigine is really targeted at DirectX10+ class hardware and is one of the first engines to support new DirectX11/OpenGL 4 features. Our most recent project involves perhaps 100kms of Railway track with animated crowds of people and thousands of animated cars. We have it running on about as fast a systems as you can get. But we don't do optimisation either unless we have to.

Unigine is really good at cross compatible too. All the tools are equally available on Windows/Linux and almost all the code I write under Linux will work the same on Windows.

Re:wonderbar.... (2, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355994)

now if video cards run under linux were more than just framebuffers we might go someplace.

Linux already had pretty solid 3D support going all the way back to the Vodoo1 days. Yeah, sometimes you needed to take a little care to buy a card that actually worked in Linux and not just the next best random piece of junk, but that isn't really that that much different from Windows where when you don't take care you might be stuck with some unusable on-board graphics solution.

If 3D hardware would be the problem of Linux gaming, it would have been solved ages ago.

Re:wonderbar.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34356682)

This is pretty much what my problem with Linux is: politics interfere with development.

Not quite as exciting as the headline sounded (2, Insightful)

Solar Granulation (1943072) | more than 3 years ago | (#34353798)

When I read the headline I, foolishly perhaps, imagined a free-for-all release. Nonetheless this is excellent news!

Re:Not quite as exciting as the headline sounded (3, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354364)

That's what I thought. Nice advert for the company, I guess. It's going to boost Linux development by precisely one game, in 18 months time, maybe....

Re:Not quite as exciting as the headline sounded (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34355266)

When I read the headline I thought "why would anyone care?" There are plenty of good, free engines out there already.

ioquake3 [ioquake3.org]
XreaL [xreal-project.net]
Cube 2 [sauerbraten.org]
Irrlicht [sourceforge.net]
OGRE [ogre3d.org]
Crystal Space [crystalspace3d.org]
Blender [blender.org]
Panda3D [panda3d.org]

And if John Carmack doesn't go back on his word, id Tech 4 will soon be free.

Re:Not quite as exciting as the headline sounded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34355400)

You neglected to mention Darkplaces, which slaughters all of the above '90s-stuck engines.

Irrlicht, Panda3D and Xreal are a freaking joke, and OGRE isn't even an engine.

Re:Not quite as exciting as the headline sounded (2, Informative)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355696)

have you even checked out a modern version of cube2?

It may not be up to par with the latest, but to call it 90's is a bit of a stretch.

Re:Not quite as exciting as the headline sounded (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 3 years ago | (#34356122)

OGRE isn't even an engine

OGRE stands for object Oriented Graphics Rendering Engine. So yeah, it's an engine, it's simply not a game engine however.

Re:Not quite as exciting as the headline sounded (1)

DaVince21 (1342819) | more than 3 years ago | (#34357362)

Care to explain? DarkPlaces looks worse than Cube 2, judging by the screenshots...

Bleak future of PC gaming? (3, Insightful)

whiteboy86 (1930018) | more than 3 years ago | (#34353864)

We are now entering a transition period when the masses are starting to migrate to low-spec tablet computers from the PCs. The iPads, the new wave of Android tablets and such.. There is no need for the old PC-format packaged computer, the average joe consumer is quicky realizing that fact. The games that need gigs of memory, are CPU/GPU hungry, draw lot of power and require these 3D engines might not be such a hot genre to dive in and develop for right now.

Re:Bleak future of PC gaming? (3, Insightful)

AnonGCB (1398517) | more than 3 years ago | (#34353960)

Yeah no. You have no idea what you're talking about. That said, I wouldn't be surprised to see Steam be released for Android/iOS/mobile, and get a chunk of that market.

Re:Bleak future of PC gaming? (4, Insightful)

Lucky75 (1265142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354018)

Damn I wish I had mod points. Whiteboy86 seems to just be repeating the standard apple rhetoric. PC gaming is NOT dying. The quality of the games on a phone/tablet is no where near what it is on a PC. Full stop.

Re:Bleak future of PC gaming? (5, Informative)

Tromad (1741656) | more than 3 years ago | (#34356626)

Support for the notion that PC gaming is dying: Civilization V, Spore, Supreme Commander 2, Dragon Age 2 (maybe). All dumbed-down versions of their predecessors. The current selection of PC games at retail stores. The trend of UI for PC games. Mandatory online DRM for single player games. Lack of innovation in the past decade/consolidation of genres. Games run like shit even on modern PCs. "Ship now, patch later". Shift towards netbooks/phones/tablets.

Support against the notion that PC gaming is dying: Steam holiday sales (AAA titles for poverty prices), wide-berth of indie games, probably more AAA titles released per year now more than ever, digital downloads, nearly the entire back catalog of PC games available to play (GOG) on modern hardware. Integrated graphics are good enough to play games from several years ago on minimal settings.

Regardless of where you stand on the issue, one thing is for certain: PC gaming is definitely not like it used to be.

Re:Bleak future of PC gaming? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354288)

Aside from the fact that Apple won't allow Steam on iOS, I fail to see the need. On the PC, Steam was the first good app store. Game developers can use the iTunes App store (and get a better percentage than they do on Steam). On Android, maybe, since Google is pushing free apps with advertising, but the only advantage there would be supporting more countries. What would steam bring over existing app stores? Play and sync Plants vs Zombies on your phone and your pc?

Re:Bleak future of PC gaming? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354756)

What would steam bring over existing app stores? Play and sync Plants vs Zombies on your phone and your pc?

Buy once, play everywhere? That's better than the iTunes+steam model where you have to buy once for each platform. Of course, iTunes makes more sense than steam since if Apple dies, your iPhone is quickly worthless. If steam somehow dies, your computers still work, but you can't install your software anymore.

Re:Bleak future of PC gaming? (1)

Dr Herbert West (1357769) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355654)

What are you talking about? I've been playing Left 4 Dead2 on my Mac for months now.

Re:Bleak future of PC gaming? (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 3 years ago | (#34356126)

Your Mac isn't iOS.

Re:Bleak future of PC gaming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34357220)

Yet.

Re:Bleak future of PC gaming? (1)

The Mighty Buzzard (878441) | more than 3 years ago | (#34356068)

Nice. I'm not sure I could manage offtopic, troll, and flamebait all at once. Go you!

Re:Bleak future of PC gaming? (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 3 years ago | (#34356938)

Laptops, which are more than capable gaming platforms, won't be going anywhere for a long time. Your iPad or Galaxy might be fun and might be a good substitute for some tasks, but I've yet to meet a single soul who has ditched their main PC for a tablet or smartphone.

And while we're on the subject, tablets aren't exactly "low spec". Compared to the PCs of only a couple of years ago, these tablets can hold their own quite nicely. Maybe PC game devs might be forced to hold back on the bloat a little for the next few years, but I'm not going to cry over that.

Re:Bleak future of PC gaming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34357316)

I wonder what whiteboy86 means by "these engines." Unity and Unreal both run on iDevices and are expanding to other smartphones/tablets as well. Games for them don't have the ravenous performance appetite "these engines" are supposed to have, because they're tailor-made for the platform.

Nothing about a 3D engine requires it to be have unreasonably high performance requirements. An engine is just a foundation to support games, on whatever platform. As other platforms become more popular, the engine creators will adapt to target those platforms' particular strengths and shortcomings.

How do they plan to make money on free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34353866)

Volume!

Re:How do they plan to make money on free? (2, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354972)

I'm guessing it's to get word out. But more than that I suspect that they're hoping that by giving out the engine that it will help a community develop from which developers can recruit the talent. Talent that's used to working with their engine. Probably not a bad idea.

It will be interesting to see how this turns out, but it definitely could work. The downside is that since only the winner gets a free license, I'm interested to know how many people are going to be willing to work on that, knowing that they'll not be able to redistribute their game if they don't either win or pay up.

Re:How do they plan to make money on free? (2, Insightful)

The Mighty Buzzard (878441) | more than 3 years ago | (#34356152)

  • It got them mentioned on the front page of /. As many a weeping webmaster can attest, that is a lot of traffic to their site. Yay advertising.
  • If even a few quality games come out of their offering, it grows the Linux gaming market that they can then take advantage of to sell more of their own games.
  • It gets them some non-trivial good will from the Linux community. Always a good thing to have if you want money from it.
  • It gets games made with their engine that otherwise wouldn't be. That makes it easier to point to quality examples of its use if they later decide to sell licenses.
  • It doesn't cost them anything except a few man-hours reading and replying to applications.

There really is no down-side to them. Take more economics classes.

What surprises me... (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34353972)

What I find curious about the general poverty of the linux gaming scene is how the prerequisite elements that do exist seem to have come together much less well than I would have expected, even as, in other areas, the prerequisite elements come together better than I would expect.

A lot of effort gets dumped into Linux and the software ecosystem that people generally mean when they say "linux"(gnome, KDE, prominent programs for both, etc.) A fair percentage of it is paid for(kernel work that makes it more suitable for vendor X's servers and vendor Y's embedded platforms, some Freedesktop consortium stuff, etc.); but much of it is purely voluntary, even the sort of thing that corporations might shy away from under the advice of their lawyers(swift reverse-engineering of iPod and MTP syncing, that one French physicist who single-handedly built support for about a bazillion pre-UVC webcams, etc.).

Similarly, a lot of purely voluntary effort gets dumped into the modding scene. On occasion, a very prominent and successful mod team gets snapped up and goes pro; but that is a sucker's bet. There is a lot of hard, sometimes tedious, modding/art/game balance work going on around commercial games purely voluntarily.

On the Linux side, support for cutting-edge, just-released games and engines is rather sparse; but there are a number of fully free engines and generic asset packs that have been kicking around for a while. All of ID's older engine properties have been cleaned up and open-ified, some from-scratch engines have as well, as well as a few other scratch developed or commercially abandoned projects.

There exist the engines(not cutting edge; but adequate enough for reasonably pretty graphics), there exists a talent pool, as proven by the modders, and their exists a reasonable amount of volunteerism and paid-for-by-people-unconcerned-by-free-riders paid work in the linux ecosystem generally. Why does that so seldom come together on the Linux side? Are the modding tools with contemporary-release proprietary games just that superior to the tools available to the freed engines? Is the mass of potential gamers to turn into modders just that much larger on Windows? Something else?

Mod Parent +Insightful (2, Insightful)

handy_vandal (606174) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354876)

Right on: you nailed it, clearly and succinctly and thoroughly.

Although you didn't take an outright "call to arms" tone, I hope the ideas you are propounding get the attention and action they deserve.

Re:What surprises me... (4, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355010)

It's a catch 22 sort of a situation. Which is why when I buy a game which is available on Mac, PC and Linux that I choose the Linux version or tell them that my main system is Linux.

I have a copy of HoMM3 bought from Loki before they went belly up, unfortunate since the produce was quite well polished and plays just as well as the Windows copy I now own.

More than that though, there's an awful lot of free Linux games out there, and Linux hasn't really drawn enough attention from either games or developers to make it a gaming platform. Crossover Games helps, but it's really not anywhere near good enough. Not to mention that the developer has no way of knowing that it's being played on Linux and that DRM schemes often foil it.

Re:What surprises me... (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 3 years ago | (#34356384)

Their freebies do not work in 64bit Fedora 13.

Re:What surprises me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34357372)

Working at a small game development studio, I can say it's not so much a matter of luring attention from developers, but rather of enticing publishers.

You can have a top-notch team raring to go make Linux games, but you won't, in the current ecosystem, find a publisher willing to front the money to pay salaries for the months or years the game is in development. Publishers lose money a lot, so they're a cautious bunch, and so far they haven't seen a business case for distributing on Linux.

Heck, many publishers (outside the casual sphere) are pulling away from personal computers entirely for fear of piracy. It's rampant in the Windows space, even though most Windows users (not the tiny sample reading this site, more the ones who run Windows Starter on their netbooks and call the sample who read Slashdot when they have a problem) don't know enough to remove copy protection, or know where to look for unprotected copies of a game. The Linux community is much more literate in software modification, and better-connected to non-commercial software distribution channels. Although I have no doubt many, many Linux users would want to buy games, I suspect the piracy rate for Linux versions of games would be even higher than it is currently on Windows. (To catch a potential misunderstanding: I'm looking at the piracy rate, the ratio of copies played to copies purchased, not total number of copies pirated, which would be lower because of the smaller user base, at least initially)

This may change if Linux develops a critical mass of users such that publishers can no longer resist trying to sell them something, or if a trusted distribution system like Steam takes the plunge in offering a Linux version that gives publishers some sense of security in their investment in the platform.

In any case though, in order to foster commercial development, the Linux community needs to first convince publishers that it's a profitable investment. Then the developers will follow.

Re:What surprises me... (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355390)

For one most of the people that are paid have employers that want them to focus on specific things, not in detail but I doubt they'd could sit around making games on company time. The other thing is that it's much easier to envision a mod of an existing game than a new game, and on Linux you're mostly talking about a new game. There's few existing communities today. The open source model has proven much more effective when there is a clear rally flag, the way FreeCiv is a clone of civilization.

Re:What surprises me... (1)

Yfrwlf (998822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355704)

I think you may have hit the nail on the head. I don't think it's anything like a lack of standards that is keeping there from being more open source Linux games, except good cross-distro installation standards (getting your game recognized by the software manager so you can control it, and even update it, using it), I think it's vision and organisation issues. Conveying one's vision for a game is difficult, and getting several developers to agree and want the same vision is pretty hard too. With something like FreeCiv, like you said, that vision is already very clear if you're simply trying to duplicate an existing concept. That, plus existing games that are good are great attention grabbers so those can get a lot of modders flocking around them, while you need to have a well-presented visible open source project if you want to grab attention.

Re:What surprises me... (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355812)

The motivator for (most) people doing creative work is to have people see/experience their work.

You can make a mod for a PC game, which thousands of people share and talk about, or make a game from scratch on Linux, which not only has a significantly smaller audience, but is actually a harder development process (modding on an existing game lets you re-use a *lot* of stuff you'd have to make yourself on Linux.)

Re:What surprises me... (2, Insightful)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 3 years ago | (#34356150)

Most open source projects are only developed by one person. X.org for example has only 12 main contributors even through it's a 20+ year old project.

This is why open source games never go anywhere because a game needs far more then one person working on it, people quickly get bored due to lack of progress and the project dies. I've seen it over and over again on open source games.

Also I think this is a good guide that sums up the situation too.. http://cube.wikispaces.com/How+not+to+start+a+mod [wikispaces.com]

Re:What surprises me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34357144)

One thing that always bugs me about gaming is that if you're not playing a game that uses the latest and greatest graphics engine, you're a worthless waste of time.

Fuck that shit, now that I've got some free time, I would love to have an FPS-based adventure game to play in.

Re:What surprises me... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34357490)

The main problem is the linux 'community'. Overall they spend the majority of their time arguing over which flavor is better.
And slamming new users for not knowing the obscure commandline syntax to do task X. Not all of them. But a huge majority.

Secondary problem i've noticed in the game worlds the linux people are frequently the assholes.
Why? Age? Eliteisim? I have no idea. But the majority really are assholes on purpose. (please stop doing Z, Screw you i can do Z if i want.)

Plus from a pure marketing standpoint, many nix centric players are less likely overall to pay money for any given game.

Linux gaming is not worth it by any measure. Low potential time/cash return. Unpleasant community. High drama over pointless subjects. Open hostility to new users.

What nix only games i've explored were quickly dropped for various ratios of the above reasons.

This will be modded troll/flamebait. As it's the truth. Sorry. Linux might be perfectly capable and ready for mainstream gaming. But overall it's users are not.

A nice gesture (5, Interesting)

somenickname (1270442) | more than 3 years ago | (#34353984)

This is a nice gesture but, I don't really see it jump starting linux game development. I don't think linux will be considered a viable gaming market until a gigantic name like Blizzard starts releasing native linux clients. In fact, I think Blizzard could single handedly make linux a gaming platform. They already release OpenGL versions for the Mac so technologically, they are a short hop from a linux client rather than a giant leap. I wonder if thousands of e-mails to release Diablo 3 with a native linux client would be enough to persuade them to do it.

Re:A nice gesture (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354190)

s/Blizzard/Valve/g

Re:A nice gesture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34354208)

I wonder if thousands of e-mails to release Diablo 3 with a native linux client would be enough to persuade them to do it.

Nope.

Re:A nice gesture (4, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354230)

World of Warcraft and many of their games run fine on Wine already. Eve Online officially supported their game in Linux for a while, and that was just Wine + their Client bundled together. If Blizzard officially recognized and supported their clients on Wine, that alone would be a huge win for Linux.

And if Google is really pushing for greater success of Linux, helping advance Wine would help them.

Re:A nice gesture (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354978)

This seriously deserves some modpoints. While I'd prefer truly native GNU/Linux ports, I'd be a happy ducky if we could see "Made for Windows XP/Vista/7/Wine" on game boxes in the future.

Re:"GNU" $tallman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34355206)

Yes, you'll eventually see "GNU" on game boxes, along with pictures of your corpulent guru, $tallman.

Re:A nice gesture (4, Insightful)

somenickname (1270442) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355278)

Official Wine support would certainly be a step in the right direction. I played WoW under Wine long ago and I got the impression that while it wasn't officially supported, it wasn't such an unsavory configuration that Blizzard would tell you to bugger off if you asked for support for it. I have no evidence to back this up but, I also got the impression that the desire to play WoW on linux gave the Wine project a very tangible flagship kind of "This Must Work" application. So, while I would love to see native linux clients, official Wine support would still be amazing and, possibly more beneficial to the linux community because of the side effects of having a better Wine.

Re:A nice gesture (3, Interesting)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354656)

Valve is another company that could do it. Importantly, they're currently porting all their major games to the Mac, which is a very good halfway point for porting to Linux. More importantly, they've been releasing Linux ports of their dedicated server software - no renderer or client software, meaning you can't actually play it, but that means a good chunk of the code is already there. Most importantly, though, Valve is pretty much in control of digital distribution, which is the ONLY way commercial games are going to come to Linux (many shops don't even stock Windows games anymore, let alone Linux) - and their current push onto the Mac is causing other companies to port there as well.

Looking through my current Steam gamelist, I see 20-odd games that already have Linux ports, and another 30 or so that could be ported with less effort than normal. Now, not all of them are guaranteed to get a port - but even if half of them do, that's enough for 35 games on launch day, probably more (I used my "purchased games" list instead of the full "all games on Steam" list). That's enough for a pretty good launch, which would probably push other developers to either release ports, or hire someone to port it.

Re:A nice gesture (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354934)

They already release OpenGL versions for the Mac so technologically, they are a short hop from a linux client rather than a giant leap.

That brings up an interesting point. If a developer knows they're going to make a Mac port, why in the world do they still write their game in Direct3D first?

Re:A nice gesture (2, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355292)

Performance. On Windows, Direct3D apps are faster. Not by much, but enough to be used. Also, the renderer itself is only a small part of the port. The main thing is optimization - fine-tuning it to run quickly and efficiently.

Re:A nice gesture (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355300)

Because they can just wrap it up with Cider.

Re:A nice gesture (2, Interesting)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355844)

That brings up an interesting point. If a developer knows they're going to make a Mac port, why in the world do they still write their game in Direct3D first?

It's not an either/or problem. You can easily write your game engine to use either, and it's been done before. (For example, pretty much every game engine that exists ever in the last decade.) That way, you get higher performance on DirectX-supporting machines, and compatibility with more platforms, without having to change your core game code. This is how, for example, Gamebryo and Unreal-based games are ported to Mac and PS3.

You have to remember, though, that adding a second platform doubles the QA time, and if you're talking about Macs (and especially Linux), OSes full of users who, for one reason or another, don't play (or don't buy) games, then the financials just don't line up for the port.

You also have something of an image problem, in that DirectX 10+ games really, really do look completely different than DirectX 9 games. So you're stuck either writing a *ton* of code in your GL layer to simulate the DX10 look, or shipping a game that looks radically different on Mac/PS3/whatever.

It's not some horrible nasty conspiracy towards less-popular OSes, like so many people on this site make it out to be, it's a simple equation on the developer's balancesheet.

Re:A nice gesture (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355288)

Except that Blizzard has been releasing Mac games for nearly two decades now. Macs still aren't a real gaming platform. Why would Linux, which has a much smaller piece of the desktop market than Apple, suddenly become a gaming platform when Blizzard releases a game for it? You'd need a serious Linux EXCLUSIVE game to do that, and I don't see that happening.

Re:A nice gesture (1)

somenickname (1270442) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355510)

I'm not really sure how to say this without using stereotypes but, linux users and mac users are generally very different types of people. While the installed user base of OSX is larger than linux, the percentage of hardcore gamers is probably much, much higher on linux. I think when you target OSX for games, you are targeting a platform. If you target linux, you are targeting a demographic: Nerds with copious amounts of free time.

Re:A nice gesture (2, Insightful)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355588)

Nonsense. If people were hardcore gamers then they wouldn't be running only Linux in the first place. There are some that run Linux and use games in Wine, but there aren't as many as you make out. Furthermore, those who do are usually savvy enough to get games running in Wine. Most Mac users have a hard time figuring out how to dual boot, and Crossover in OS X has much crappier performance than Wine in Linux. As such, combined with Apple having, at minimum, five times the marketshare as Linux on the desktop, you have game devs far more likely to port games to OS X than Linux. That's the state of things. I think Linux users can expect devs to try and make sure they don't break Wine compatibility at the very best.

Re:A nice gesture (1)

somenickname (1270442) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355820)

I may not have made my point well but, I think a love of gaming and a curiosity of technology are attributes you'll often find together in a person. I admit that this is again generalizing but, buying a mac is practically a declaration of "I have no interest whatsoever in understanding how my computer works. I just want it to work" (In fact, that's basically what Mac ads say). If a curiosity of technology and gaming go hand in hand (which I think they do), then mac users are the most abysmal gaming market available.

Show me a hardcore gamer and I'll show you someone who would probably find linux interesting.

Re:A nice gesture (2, Insightful)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#34356440)

I have several friends who are pretty hardcore gamers. None of them are very interested in Linux. Why would they be? Everything they want to play runs fine in Windows. Furthermore, I've seen PLENTY of hardcore gamers who are utterly clueless. Why else would people blow money on Alienware? You are completely mistaken in thinking that hardcore gamers are interested in how a computer works. Most don't really care. They just want the computer to run their games.

Re:A nice gesture (2, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355866)

the percentage of hardcore gamers is probably much, much higher on linux.

Hardcore gamers who (generally speaking) don't see anything wrong with pirating software. That little detail is pretty important.

Re:A nice gesture (1)

somenickname (1270442) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355986)

the percentage of hardcore gamers is probably much, much higher on linux.

Hardcore gamers who (generally speaking) don't see anything wrong with pirating software. That little detail is pretty important.

That seems a bit disingenuous. There are philosophically crazy open source users and there are practical open source users. The latter almost certainly outweigh the former and they don't mind paying for a game. I've met far, far more "This just works better" linux users than I have "Fuck the man!" linux users.

Re:A nice gesture (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34356490)

Possibly, but the perception is the part that matters. It doesn't help that Mac game releases also generally have > 50% piracy rates if they're priced more than $15.

Re:A nice gesture (1)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355730)

You do know that the WoW beta included a linux client as well as the windows one yes?

Apparently the official reasons it was dropped for release were 'legal reasons'. Nobody knows if the port is kept up to date, however it is known that one point some of the developers were using the linux build on their own machines.

Re:A nice gesture (1)

SheeEttin (899897) | more than 3 years ago | (#34356476)

Blizzard could single handedly make linux a gaming platform. They already release OpenGL versions for the Mac so technologically, they are a short hop from a linux client rather than a giant leap

The Source engine does OpenGL on the Mac now too, so Valve is in the same position. The Steam client partially runs on Linux (natively, that is, not under Wine) too, although Valve is denying there's an actual Linux client for end users now. (Of course, Michael Larabel of Phoronix claims otherwise.)

Time will tell if it will come to pass or not. In the meantime, write an email and express your interest.
http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/about/contact.html [blizzard.com]
http://www.valvesoftware.com/contact/ [valvesoftware.com]
Protip: writing a physical letter carries a whole lot more weight. Do that if you can. ;)

No Thank You (2, Informative)

goruka (1721094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354094)

I'd rather use alternatives such as Ogre3D [ogre3d.org] or Irrlitch [slashdot.org] even if not technologically advanced. I think that's the best way to support Linux-based game development, the same way Blender3D has been doing with their animated short films. Otherwise I feel the community will gain nothing from this. You know, what bugs the the most is that even though Unigine is closed sourced, It has never been used in any important industry title, despite being around for years.

Re:No Thank You (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34354584)

Technology wise, Ogre3D is not behind, at least on the 3D engine front. Unigine might offer a few features that fall outside the strict 3D engine category, but I doubt the 3D part is any more advanced than Ogre's. Not being able to fix bugs or customize the engine is a major downside.

Still, it's good that whoever might be using it for a game can now release a linux binary with minimal cost.

Nexuiz, Tremulous, etc. (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354198)

If you already have a fairly successful Linux game now, why wouldn't you put in a bid for this? It would take less work for you to port your game than one designed from scratch. And you can prove that you already know how to deliver on the Linux platform.

That being said, shooters come and go. Their are 10 million. Even with shooters being the most popular genre typically, I think a great platform game would be more likely to steal headlines and gain attention.

Retro-style platform games (New Super Mario Bros, Megaman 9 and 10, Sonic 4) are all the rage. Deliver a good looking game with old school sensibility as a platformer, and everyone will fall in love.

If I'm a start-up trying to explode with a commercial product, I'd see if I could buy the Commander Keen license on the cheap, end up landing a great engine here for free and capture the social/platformer market with releases on XBox Live, PSN, Wiiware, PC, Mac, Linux and maybe even iOS.

If someone steals this idea and does literally make a new Commander Keen game, please consider bringing me on for design.

Re:Nexuiz, Tremulous, etc. (1)

TiberiusMonkey (1603977) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354580)

God I'd kill for a new, well done, Commander Keen game.

Re:Nexuiz, Tremulous, etc. (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355318)

Heh, I don't know if "everyone" would dive in. There are plenty of good retro games out there that have gone absolutely nowhere. You'd need to serious advertising dollars to have more than a scant chance of real success. Heck, I'm building an old-school party-based RPG (Think Bard's Tale) for Android and iOS once I either learn Cocoa or see if there are any good cross-compilers when I'm done, but I'm not betting on it doing more than making me a few bucks. It's fun to dream, but try to keep your expectations low. At worst, it'll probably meet those expectations. At best, you'll have them vastly exceeded.

Re:Nexuiz, Tremulous, etc. (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355910)

Even with shooters being the most popular genre typically,

Here in the Real World (i.e. outside of Slashdot and our parents' basement), sports simulations are the most popular genre of game. I mean, no doubt shooters are popular, but Halo 3 has nothing on Madden.

meh (4, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354312)

there are plenty of FREE (as in GPL) 3D engines on Linux. These posers should take their closed-source engine and cram it up their ass.

Re:meh (2, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355046)

Actually, that's probably one of Linux's biggest problems in that respect. People are used to getting really good games for free or not being able to have them at all without Wine. It's a tough cycle to break because somebody has to release something in order for it to be bought, and gamers expect to have something to play or they won't ditch Windows.

It's getting a lot better than it used to be, the commercially available Linux games are far better than they used to be in every way.

Re:meh (3, Funny)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355324)

Yes, cry that someone is trying to help Linux development. Get pissed because they're not doing it in a way that YOU want.

Zealots like you are exactly what is wrong with Linux right now. Linux can be free and open all you want, but when you expect software vendors to strictly do the same and badmouth those who don't, you're driving developers away. Less software = less users, plain and simple.

Re:meh (1)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34357196)

Yes, cry that someone is trying to help Linux development. Get pissed because they're not doing it in a way that YOU want.

I know it's easy to point out that "but it isn't GPL! waah!" is not exactly a good argument. Obviously.

But I think it'd be much easier to say "but we already have GPL engines! waah! How does this contest inspire us to do something we were already avoiding doing?"

The problem with open source games, or Linux gaming in general, isn't the lack of 3D engines. It's the lack of budget (time, effort, talent?) for creating nice game assets and developing the content. An engine donation isn't going to make the game instantly awesome. It just raises the same question as always: "where the hell are we going to get the assets from?" It fails to give a great, new answer to the other burning question: "can we sell the game as closed source?" (because there are plenty of 3D engines out there that are under LGPL/BSD/MIT license.)

Obligatory Car Analogy: It's kind of like lending a Ferrari to someone, who just replies "thanks, dude, but I don't have a driver's license and live in a hick town with only damn twisty mud roads, no much use for a sports car anyway. My dad promised me his old Lada when I grow up."

Re:meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34357386)

Yeah, cuz those big name software companies really care about some post on slashdot. After reading that I would not be surprised if there were a number of developers on the floor crying because they got their feelings hurt. They are probably making a solemn vow to never go anywhere near linux for the rest of their lives. A shame, really. We were that close.

Re:meh (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355332)

Not of this level of quality. I've checked out many of the GPL engines, and they just aren't up to the level of quality of Unreal Engine 3 or Unigine. There's a lot of things open-source does better, but so far, game engines are not one of them.

Re:meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34357416)

Reason for that is that open source lacks artists and modelers and other designers. There are lots of pure code monkeys but too few artists and especially artists for games (to draw illustrations, ideas and the whole virtual worlds as example for code monkeys how stuff would be done).

Example the spring engine for RTS games. It has nice code but totally lack of the artists. There are few games (like complete annihilation) on what projects has artists to model some new own models, other than copied from original Total Annihilation game.

If they would get even 5 artists to intrest the games, it would be huge help.

Re:meh (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355918)

I see plenty of free 3D engines around, yes, but most of them are rather inadequate for modern games. And like it or not, there's still quite plenty of gaming companies who prefer closed-source engines.

I'm just saying that I personally do not care if the game is closed or not, or if parts of it are, as long as it looks good, has great gameplay, and is available for Linux. God knows we lack good games.

Re:meh (2, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34356314)

I don't know if it is the engines so much as the crappy lack of ideas. Look at the list of engines another posters added above, how many are nothing but shitty Q3:Arena clones? On the Cube 2 page I got "We aren't focused on single player, but click here for a bunch making a great single player with our engine" or some such. What do I find on the link? project: dead.

You come up with a kick ass single player with a good story, maybe some nice twist like Bioshock? Folks WILL notice. Crank out the same tired ass Q3 shit we have been seeing for a decade? Why would we care, when Counter Strike and its kin have had that genre locked up for ages? Surely with all the paranoia I've seen on some of the forums somebody could come up with a good Deus Ex/Conspiracy Theory/ Matrix/ they are all out to get you storyline, and hell if it had cool twists and gave you a hell of a ride most of us wouldn't care if the graphics were at Far Cry 1 level.

So WTF? Why is every damned Linux game designer on the fricking planet bound and determined to give us the same old CTF DM bullshit we've seen about 100 bazillion times huh? Hell I just got done playing a little NOLF and even though the graphics are dated it is still pretty damned fun to play. Yet another CTF or Mario clone is just too been there, done that. C'mon guys, I know there are some talented writers out there, if you want us Windows guys to suddenly start taking Linux gaming seriously make a game that makes Deus Ex or Bioshock look like DOOM. You can do it if you try!

Re:meh (3, Interesting)

kayoshiii (1099149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34356944)

Please point me to a GPL game engine that supports DirectX11/OpenGL4 features.

mod do3Jn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34354334)

num3e8s continue [goat.cx]

I really don't understand... (1)

suprcvic (684521) | more than 3 years ago | (#34356052)

why there is even a question of "Why isn't there more gaming on Linux?" Look at how many desktops Linux currently occupies. I don't have the numbers in front of me but it's pretty small compared to Windows and Mac. Now look at how many of those users are going to be interested in playing games. Comparatively, not many. Hell, they already chose a free OS with mostly free apps, why would they pay for a game? The logic may not necessarily hold up, but I can imagine thats how the game companies see it. Nobody is going to put all the time, effort and resources into creating a port of a game for Linux when their return on investment is almost guaranteed to be negative. How people can't see this is beyond me. It's simple economics folks.

Re:I really don't understand... (1)

IRWolfie- (1148617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34358094)

Linux users do pay for games: blog.wolfire.com/2010/05/Linux-users-contribute-twice-as-much-as-Windows-users But yes, there are a relatively small number of linux consumer desktops.

mod 0p (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34356108)

we have plenty of engines! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34357692)

The problem is not a lack of good engines. There are plenty of good engines. The problem isa lack of good and open source art, models, music, and sound effects. the creative commons really needs boosting here

Not Linux friendly at all... (1)

hackel (10452) | more than 3 years ago | (#34357786)

In my opinion, being Linux-friendly *cannot* exclude being Open-Source and GPL-friendly, as these are really the heart and soul of Linux. Releasing a free *license* is not like releasing the source code. This should not be applauded.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...