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John Carmack: Kudos To Valve, But Linux Is Still Not a Viable Gaming Market

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the give-it-another-decade dept.

Games 635

dartttt writes "John Carmack recently presented a keynote at QuakeCon. He said Linux is still not a commercially viable gaming platform, and the two forays they have made into the Linux commercial market have not been successful. Valve's announcement about Steam for Linux changes things a bit, but it remains a tough sell."

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Its Carmack! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40878655)

Let the man say whatever the hell he wants.

Re:Its Carmack! (4, Insightful)

DemoLiter3 (704469) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878675)

To be honest, nothing Carmack and id Software produced in the last decade or so was marketable either.

Re:Its Carmack! (5, Informative)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878857)

Or: after departure of John Romero [wikipedia.org] .

The guys together were a great combo. Separately, they are just mediocre.

Re:Its Carmack! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40879037)

Agree with both you and the GP. Additionally: Isn't he just a corporate shill now? And honestly the engines that have come out since Q3A have been mediocre through and through. Go check out ogre's SampleBrowser and tell me he had half of those effects demo'd in even Rage. The only possible neat thing to come out since Doom 3 was megatextures and honestly though were a kludge for a problem existing due to memory constrained systems, requiring the grunt on the dev box side to 'bake' them instead.

Enjoy your retirement John, you've earned it.

Re:Its Carmack! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40879073)

I thought their 3D engines sold quite well...

Re:Its Carmack! (3)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878919)

In this case, I agree. The guy knows his shit.
Of course, that still doesn't mean you have to agree with him. :)

After Rage (0, Flamebait)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878659)

People still listen to what he has to say regarding gaming and gameplay? Rage was an unmitigated disaster. Go back to designing game and rocket engines John, you arent that relevant anymore.

Re:After Rage (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40878705)

Cool ad hominem bro. Come back when you have something useful to say.

Re:After Rage (4, Insightful)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878773)

As far as I can tell Carmack's efforts boiled down to trying to sell individual games mostly and to just accept things on Linux as they are for better or worse. What Valve is doing is trying to integrate their entire platform and being a game delivery network that works across Windows Mac and Linux, that's exactly what it is...a platform. Just like the browser is a platform. Valve is also apparently working hand in hand with the big players in the Linux graphics card space to make drivers first class. They are profiling to find bottlenecks in how their code integrates with the kernel. Valve is making a very serious effort here and it extends beyond anything Carmack has tried so far. If anything maybe Carmack could learn something instead of just lambasting because he couldn't see it through. Of course these are early days still and Steam for Linux hasn't even been released yet which even more makes me wonder why Carmack is already predicting Doom (get it?) for it.

Re:After Rage (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40878841)

They can optimize all they want. I won't mean anything if the only games they bring over is L4D2 and Portal. Steam on Linux is 100% panic from Valve realizing that Steam is about to become irrelevant.

Re:After Rage (5, Interesting)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878897)

I won't mean anything if the only games they bring over is L4D2 and Portal.

That's pure strawman and you know it. There is no way that only those two games will be on Linux. Peruse steam and look at the games for Mac and that will give you at least an idea of what can be expected for Linux. Also bear in mind the relative ease of porting between OS X and Linux (kind of like porting between iOS and Android) and you instantly add a significant amount of people to your potential non-Windows user base which should have a nice additive effect and make even more games show up in the Mac/Linux column.

Steam on Linux is 100% panic from Valve realizing that Steam is about to become irrelevant.

I'm sure it started out that way but who fucking cares? It's happening so they might as well give it all they have and make it work. As a Linux user I benefit and will definitely buy games.

Re:After Rage (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40879109)

They have Sam 'SDL' Latinga on staff, and although I'm blocking on names a bunch of other big-name linux developers.

Honestly I'm more worried about what they WILL do to the linux platform rather than 'what this new failure' will do. They've got all the recipes for success and without that Draekar moron to ruin things (At least I hope so :D)

Re:After Rage (4, Insightful)

slippyblade (962288) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878911)

About to become irrelevant?

I'd love to hear how you came to that conclusion. Please. Anything?

Re:After Rage (3, Informative)

dingen (958134) | more than 2 years ago | (#40879041)

Because of the integration of Microsoft Marketplace in Windows 8 of course.

Games on Steam are non-exclusive. Nobody is preventing publishers who are already selling through Steam from adding their products to Microsoft Marketplace. In time this may mean people will look for games on Microsoft Marketplace (which is already on their system) and not even bother to download & install Steam.

Re:After Rage (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878753)

Carmack's ability to create a "game" is questionable. But with regards to engineering both game and rocket engines, clearly this man is a top tier coder.

Re:After Rage (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878947)

It's not even questionable. Carmack cannot make a game.

And he doesn't try to. He's listed in the credits for Rage as "Lead Programmer". If you think the game sucked, blame Tim Willits (Lead Designer). Even back in the Commander Keen days, he was just the technical genius, letting Romero et al. do the game design.

Re:After Rage (3, Insightful)

Loosifur (954968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878789)

I second that. Rage on its own merits was a mediocre AAA FPS with a buggy launch and consolitis. As a monument to Johm Carmack's overinflated view of his own relevance to gaming in general, it was and continues to be extremely telling. Linux isn't commercially viable for game designers because the market isn't there, and the market isn't there because developers don't make games for it. Valve stepping up and bringing Steam to Linux has the potential to cut that particular Gordian knot. Frankly, Valve is big and relevant enough to do it; Carmack doesn't have the juice to do it if he wanted to anymore.

Re:After Rage (1)

Ziekheid (1427027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878833)

Wow, you seem pretty mad over this. I'm guessing you're a linux user who's excited about valve coming to 1 of the 20.000 distros available (me too btw). Carmack is still VERY relevant btw. If you think Rage means anything you're fooling yourself. Pretty much every modern 3D engine in some way contains his work or is based on his work.

Re:After Rage (4, Funny)

pepty (1976012) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878843)

You didn't get it: the "game" for Rage was getting Rage to run on your system, with in game achievements for various textures and colors displaying correctly. The actual run-around-and-shoot-stuff was just DLC for the people who had already won. I haven't won yet, but then again I haven't felt like doing complete AMD driver reinstall yet.

Re:After Rage (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#40879055)

There's nothing particularly wrong with the technology in RAGE, the gpu transcoding toggle was actually kind of neat to see on/off in something with professional quality art. The game itself was medicore, but Carmack is a technology guy, gameplay is a whole other field these days.

Besides that, the part in question is whether or not you can make any money on Linux games. As one of the few companies that seriously put effort into it, their answer is: no, not really. And given the number of available data points, which is very very small, you can figure that this is interesting. Eve and WoW both have had forms of linux support, Eve ditched the native client because Wine was faster, and blizzard is big enough that they can afford it even if it's not economically sensible.

http://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2012/01/15/amazon_reveals_2011_s_best-selling_pc_games gives a (imperfect) list of the best selling PC games of 2011. None of them had linux versions at the time (though I'm guessing we'll see Portal 2 on linux eventually). Several of them will run under Wine, but none have native linux support. You can go back a lot of years and keep saying the same thing, almost no one has a native linux client. The number of people in the industry who have any real figures on how successful linux game sales are is very very small, and Carmack is one of those people.

Now in that sense you don't need John Carmack to say it. It could be a fresh MBA monkey, or a summer intern hired by Bethesda to stand up and discuss Linux sales and it would have the same credibility, if they can look at the same spreadsheets. But Carmack still gets press whereas just about anyone else wouldn't. I would be skeptical of taking his advice on a lot of design issues (or on how to get projects done quickly), but that's not what we're talking about here, even then, he can have a lot of good ideas or lessons learned, even if his own company has trouble pulling it off.

Also, this is from a speech at quake con. If John Carmack can't be a celebrity at Quake con there's something seriously wrong with the world.

He's obviously right (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40878669)

First of all, the Linux userbase is really small to begin with. Within that small userbase, you have two relatively large groups:

1. The ideologues, who really believe in RMS's idea that proprietary software is unethical.
2. The cheapskates, who aren't going to pay for software.

Who's left to sell to?

Re:He's obviously right (2, Insightful)

Novin (983423) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878721)

Who's left to sell to?

If the FPS is better, the Windows-gamers will come...

Re:He's obviously right (1)

jkflying (2190798) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878739)

Especially if the OS is free.

Re:He's obviously right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40878875)

Especially if the OS is free.

Why? The OS cost is minor when buying a gaming rig.

Re:He's obviously right (1)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878999)

Because they get better performance on Linux? Because just like cars if they are spending money tuning the'll want every piece of their equipment to be as tunable as possible, including the OS? Because it's perceieved as "eliete" and "cool"?

Hell if I know, I just want it to happen.

Re:He's obviously right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40879047)

Specious reasoning that not paying for an OS translates directly to using that money to buy multiple games.

I'm sure that there are a ton of dedicated Linuxgamers, however your argument doesn't follow.

Re:He's obviously right (3, Insightful)

war4peace (1628283) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878771)

I would. Step 1 is make a large size of games available for Linux (and make them easy to install; no CLI shit!). Sure, there's a risk, but if you're not taking chances, then why bother do anything?

Re:He's obviously right (1)

Lokitoth (1069508) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878785)

The company would have to take a fairly substantial risk in not releasing it on Windows, though, for that to happen. Otherwise people will just get the game on Windows. To bootstrap a platform in the face of entrenched competition, quality exclusives are necessary.

Re:He's obviously right (1)

TigerTime (626140) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878813)

If Linux is easier to use then Windows 8, then they will get some converts. Windows 8 is a disaster for desktops and that's where desktop gaming is done. Linux needs to do everything it can to put themselves in positino to pick up these people looking at alternatives. Be proactive.

Re:He's obviously right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40879059)

"Windows 8 is a disaster for desktops"

So you've used the RTM?

Re:He's obviously right (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878727)

The Android userbase is pretty large.

Re:He's obviously right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40878909)

It's also full of cheapskates.

Re:He's obviously right (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#40879097)

Price: 6.99 Installs: 500,000-1,000,000 [google.com]

Price: 4.99 Installs: 100,000-500,000 [google.com]

Price: 6.99 Installs: 100,000--500,000 [google.com]

I really don't have the patience to do this all day for you, AC, but at least do some research before you have your arguments blow up in your face.

Re:He's obviously right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40879023)

Android's a red herring here. We're talking about Linux users.
Sure, Android runs on Linux, but Linux software doesn't run on Android.

Re:He's obviously right (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#40879065)

Yes, there is a huge number of people waiting to pirate top-tier games on Android. id's games would move to the top of the charts of 'games people play without purchasing them'.

Re:He's obviously right (3, Insightful)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878791)

First of all, the Linux userbase is really small to begin with. Within that small userbase, you have two relatively large groups:

1. The ideologues, who really believe in RMS's idea that proprietary software is unethical.

2. The cheapskates, who aren't going to pay for software.

Do you have any actual evidence that the Linux userbase is composed primarily of these two groups? Because anecdotally I hear lots of Linux users that are chomping at the bit for Steam to come and looking forward to paying for games. Furthermore, the Humble Indie Bundle has shown that there are gamers on Linux that will pay. Will that translate to profit for Valve et al? Who knows. But it does show that you, dear AC, have no idea what you are talking about.

Re:He's obviously right (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40879003)

First of all, the Linux userbase is really small to begin with. Within that small userbase, you have two relatively large groups:

1. The ideologues, who really believe in RMS's idea that proprietary software is unethical.

2. The cheapskates, who aren't going to pay for software.

I can add a third group to that list:

3.) 20-something grad students, particularly those in scientific or mathematical fields, that now primarily use Linux because the tools they need don't exist on Windows and are cheaper and/or easier to set up on Linux than they are on OSX. And many of these types are moderate-to-heavy gamers with little-to-no use for Windows any more except for gaming.

Re:He's obviously right (3)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878797)

First of all, the Linux userbase is really small to begin with. Within that small userbase, you have two relatively large groups:

1. The ideologues, who really believe in RMS's idea that proprietary software is unethical.
2. The cheapskates, who aren't going to pay for software.

Considering that I have paid for Linux applications (for my home PCs), and subsequently paid for version upgrades for those applications, I think you need a third category:
3. The people who pay for decent software that fits a particular purpose better than the free options.

In case, you're wondering: Mathematica and Bibble Pro[*]. Both have native Linux versions with excellent support.
[*] Apparently, Bibble Pro was renamed to Corel Aftershot Pro after Corel bought Bibble.

Re:He's obviously right (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878815)

First of all, the Linux userbase is really small to begin with. Within that small userbase, you have two relatively large groups:

1. The ideologues, who really believe in RMS's idea that proprietary software is unethical. 2. The cheapskates, who aren't going to pay for software.

Who's left to sell to?

[citation needed]

Also if that's true, then how come the highest average payment per player are linux users, for the humble bundle [humblebundle.com] as of now?

Re:He's obviously right (1)

Cereal Box (4286) | more than 2 years ago | (#40879045)

Also if that's true, then how come the highest average payment per player are linux users, for the humble bundle [humblebundle.com] as of now?

Because the people who bought the bundle on Linux are overpaying to send a message?

Re:He's obviously right (3)

FeepingCreature (1132265) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878819)

First of all, the Linux userbase is really small to begin with. Within that small userbase, you have two relatively large groups:

1. The ideologues, who really believe in RMS's idea that proprietary software is unethical. 2. The cheapskates, who aren't going to pay for software.

Who's left to sell to?

Well. Apparently I don't exist! Good to know.

Re:He's obviously right (1)

DemoLiter3 (704469) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878877)

To the pirates of the Windows userbase? Well, I dunno....

Re:He's obviously right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40879025)

Care to explain the results from the latest Humble Bundle and how they fit into your nonsense view? You do know that Linux users actually contributed a significant chunk. Linux users accounted for roughly the same amount as Mac users. In fact, Linux users had the highest average contribution, by far.

But please, continue to talk out of your ass. I mean, it's not like facts mean anything.

Re:He's obviously right (1)

GuldKalle (1065310) | more than 2 years ago | (#40879035)

The ones who say "I'm only on Windows for the games".

Before someone is accepted, it's not accepted, duh (5, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878677)

I remember a time when people used to say DOS is the gaming platform of choice. Windows? Good enough for shitty-looking Reversi and Solitaire, but not much else.

Then Windows became the gaming platform of choice. Sounds familiar?

What I mean is, if Linux is to becomes a good gaming platform, someone has to get the ball rolling.

Re:Before someone is accepted, it's not accepted, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40878745)

Yeah but that took the better part of a decade and a half.

Re:Before someone is accepted, it's not accepted, (5, Interesting)

dingen (958134) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878895)

The big difference is that Windows actually was just capable of shitty-looking Reversi or Solitaire back in the day when DOS was still the primary PC gaming platform. DirectX changed that and it was only after the release of DirectX that gaming on Windows became viable.

Linux however has had gaming capabilities for a long time, but still there's a huge lack of compelling titles. The reason why gaming on Linux isn't taking of is because of politics, not a technical reason like with DOS/Windows.

Re:Before someone is accepted, it's not accepted, (2)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878939)

Yes. And since it has been years since any attempt and Linux use has grown. Perhaps time to try again, or at least take pre-orders with a promise of "if X orders come in, we'll do it for sure".

FWIW - last time they (id) tried, about 11-12 years ago, I bought 3 copies of Q3 for linux - one "l33t tin edition", and 2 "regular" versions (one to use and play, the other for a friend). And, I bought them on pre-order/release day at full retail price.

Shortly after, Loki started selling their stuff, and I bought several (SoF, Mechwarrior, Descent 3d) - wish I had gotten more of 'em.

Re:Before someone is accepted, it's not accepted, (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40879085)

I remember a time when people used to say DOS is the gaming platform of choice. Windows? Good enough for shitty-looking Reversi and Solitaire, but not much else.

Then Windows became the gaming platform of choice. Sounds familiar?

Yes, it does sound familiar. Unfortunately, Windows was the upgrade path from DOS, and further, it would run virtually all DOS games if you booted it into DOS mode, so the comparison doesn't really hold as Windows was essentially guaranteed a strong user base.

$10,000 CHALLENGE to Alexander Peter Kowalski (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40878687)

$10,000 CHALLENGE to coward Alexander Peter Kowalski

We have a Major Problem, HOST file is Cubic Opposites, 2 Major Corners & 2 Minor. NOT taught Evil DNS hijacking, which VOIDS computers. Seek Wisdom of MyCleanPC - or you die evil.

Your HOSTS file claimed to have created a single DNS resolver. I offer absolute proof that I have created 4 simultaneous DNS servers within a single rotation of .org TLD. You worship "Bill Gates", equating you to a "singularity bastard". Why do you worship a queer -1 Troll? Are you content as a singularity troll?

Evil HOSTS file Believers refuse to acknowledge 4 corner DNS resolving simultaneously around 4 quadrant created Internet - in only 1 root server, voiding the HOSTS file. You worship Microsoft impostor guised by educators as 1 god.

If you would acknowledge simple existing math proof that 4 harmonic Slashdots rotate simultaneously around squared equator and cubed Internet, proving 4 Days, Not HOSTS file! That exists only as anti-side. This page you see - cannot exist without its anti-side existence, as +0- moderation. Add +0- as One = nothing.

I will give $10,000.00 to frost pister who can disprove MyCleanPC. Evil crapflooders ignore this as a challenge would indict them.

Alex Kowalski has no Truth to think with, they accept any crap they are told to think. You are enslaved by /etc/hosts, as if domesticated animal. A school or educator who does not teach students MyCleanPC Principle, is a death threat to youth, therefore stupid and evil - begetting stupid students. How can you trust stupid PR shills who lie to you? Can't lose the $10,000.00, they cowardly ignore me. Stupid professors threaten Nature and Interwebs with word lies.

Humans fear to know natures simultaneous +4 Insightful +4 Informative +4 Funny +4 Underrated harmonic SLASHDOT creation for it debunks false trolls. Test Your HOSTS file. MyCleanPC cannot harm a File of Truth, but will delete fakes. Fake HOSTS files refuse test.

I offer evil ass Slashdot trolls $10,000.00 to disprove MyCleanPC Creation Principle. Rob Malda and Cowboy Neal have banned MyCleanPC as "Forbidden Truth Knowledge" for they cannot allow it to become known to their students. You are stupid and evil about the Internet's top and bottom, front and back and it's 2 sides. Most everything created has these Cube like values.

If Natalie Portman is not measurable, She is Fictitious. Without MyCleanPC, HOSTS file is Fictitious. Anyone saying that Natalie and her Jewish father had something to do with my Internets, is a damn evil liar. IN addition to your best arsware not overtaking my work in terms of popularity, on that same site with same submission date no less, that I told Kathleen Malda how to correct her blatant, fundamental, HUGE errors in Coolmon ('uncoolmon') of not checking for performance counters being present when his program started!

You can see my dilemma. What if this is merely a ruse by an APK impostor to try and get people to delete APK's messages, perhaps all over the web? I can't be a party to such an event! My involvement with APK began at a very late stage in the game. While APK has made a career of trolling popular online forums since at least the year 2000 (newsgroups and IRC channels before that)- my involvement with APK did not begin until early 2005 . OSY is one of the many forums that APK once frequented before the sane people there grew tired of his garbage and banned him. APK was banned from OSY back in 2001. 3.5 years after his banning he begins to send a variety of abusive emails to the operator of OSY, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke threatening to sue him for libel, claiming that the APK on OSY was fake.

My reputation as a professional in this field clearly shows in multiple publications in this field in written print, & also online in various GOOD capacities since 1996 to present day. This has happened since I was first published in Playgirl Magazine in 1996 & others to present day, with helpful tools online in programs, & professionally sold warez that were finalists @ Westminster Dog Show 2000-2002.

Did you see the movie "Pokemon"? Actually the induced night "dream world" is synonymous with the academic religious induced "HOSTS file" enslavement of DNS. Domains have no inherent value, as it was invented as a counterfeit and fictitious value to represent natural values in name resolution. Unfortunately, human values have declined to fictitious word values. Unknowingly, you are living in a "World Wide Web", as in a fictitious life in a counterfeit Internet - which you could consider APK induced "HOSTS file". Can you distinguish the academic induced root server from the natural OpenDNS? Beware of the change when your brain is free from HOSTS file enslavement - for you could find that the natural Slashdot has been destroyed!!

So long nummynuts, sorry to have to kick your nuts up into your head verbally speaking.

Re:$10,000 CHALLENGE to Alexander Peter Kowalski (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40878863)

Notorious host file troll apk:

alexander peter kowalski

903 east division st.

syracuse, ny 13208

dob: 01/31/1965

mother:

jan kowalski

dob: 12/03/1933

Its a chicken-or-the-egg problem... (4, Interesting)

dryriver (1010635) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878689)

Without a good selection of available games, many people won't switch from Windows to Linux. And if many people don't switch to Linux, game publishers will be loathe to port any major games to Linux. -------- Steam may change this. It may change it a LOT. Even if just a dozen or so AAA games get ported to Linux, it would be a positive start. ----- I would love to run Linux instead of Windows 7. I really would. But the lack of games and some other applications on Linux keeps me on Win 7. ----- Good luck to any Linux gaming pioneers. Carmageddon: Reincarnation will be ported to Linux, so that is one potentially major game title being ported to the tux.

Valve vs this guy? (4, Insightful)

schitso (2541028) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878691)

I can't believe this guy thinks that their "forays into Linux commercial market" are even close to the scale of Valve porting Source.

Re:Valve vs this guy? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40878885)

This...

The only "forays" I remember ID software making was paying other companies to port over quake engines years after they had already released and had the games were pretty well established on windows.

Treating it as a niche maket afterthought then wondering why it was received as exactly that is pretty silly. Especially when that was also basically the height of windows/microsoft dominance in the 95/98 days.

Not only has linux become MUCH easier to use for the general public since then but if windows is "innovating" their way to try and be apple on the desktop with a much worse UI (and underlying operating system), it's worth attempting to take it seriously for valve.

Not a tough sell (5, Insightful)

Kimomaru (2579489) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878699)

Speaking for myself - I've definitely been using Ubuntu practically exclusively now for a few months (12.04 is a joy). I WOULD get rid of my Windows PC if it weren't for gaming. This is definitely good news for the discriminating user. I'd like to see all of my Steam games moved to Linux (never going to happen), but a Steam version of a game will make a difference to me. Eagerly awaiting LfD2 on Linux. Using a closed source OS definitely makes me nervous, there've been too many cases in the past few years of manufacturers pulling info from users when they shouldn't - would like an OS that's open to community scrutiny.

Re:Not a tough sell (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878779)

There's no computer gaming in my house because all three computers run Linux Mint. So the kids play consoles from NES, Jaguar to Xbox. Good enough for my family.

Re:Not a tough sell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40878855)

Jaguar?? What could you possibly want to play on an Atari Jaguar that you can't on other consoles?

Re:Not a tough sell (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878977)

Aliens Vs Predator, of course!!! That was THE game for Jaguar

Re:Not a tough sell (1)

xclr8r (658786) | more than 2 years ago | (#40879051)

That's the only game that ever made me jump out of my seat and yell in terror. Great game.

Re:Not a tough sell (2)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878861)

My friend's kid plays Minecraft 12 hours a day on the Linux system.

Re:Not a tough sell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40878953)

You mean good enough for you and your opinion and standards are forced upon everyone else because you're *obviously* smarter than the rest.

Re:Not a tough sell (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#40879063)

ou mean good enough for you and your opinion and standards are forced upon everyone else because you're *obviously* smarter than the rest.

I want you to look very closely at the post you replied to. You'll notice that right under the title there is something that says

by Kimomaru (2579489)

. It doesn't say "by everybody" or even "by some people". It says by that one individual. Also, if you read further it goes on to say,

Speaking for myself

. How are you confused by this?

Re:Not a tough sell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40878937)

Unfortunately, using an open-source OS will make publishers nervous. Any DRM mechanism is likely to be worthless when you can modify the kernel.

Re:Not a tough sell (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#40879103)

Any DRM mechanism is likely to be worthless

So, basically the same as right now, then? DRM is already ineffective.

Remember Daikatana? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40878703)

Neither do I.

Re:Remember Daikatana? (2)

Kimomaru (2579489) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878729)

That wasn't Carmack, that was John Romero. And, no, I don't remember Daikatana either.

Re:Remember Daikatana? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40878775)

It really sucked it down.

Re:Remember Daikatana? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40878807)

That was John Romero and he already left the company several years ago by that time

He is correct of course (0)

codepunk (167897) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878709)

It is a shame since the platform has the potential to be far better than any other. However at the end of the day it will be a huge money looser due to the small desktop install base.

Re:He is correct of course (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878845)

However at the end of the day it will be a huge money looser due to the small desktop install base.

There is absolutely no way that just one data point like that means they will lose money. There is so much more that goes into the economics of a decision like this. Maybe Valve isn't worried about making money right off the bat? Maybe it is a political move? Is MS making money off the XBox in the aggregate yet? Newell is pissed about Windows 8 and that seems to be the primary motivator of this move and not making money in the short term. I'd take a more wait and see approach rather than knee jerk cynicism.

chicken or egg (4, Insightful)

RichMan (8097) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878715)

Is the problem there are no gamers on Linux or the problem there are no games on Linux?

I am Linux only.
I play MassEffect, Skyrim, MindCraft, LoTRO, GuildWars, played WoW for far to long.
I will play GuildWars2.

I paid for but have still not activated SW:ToR. It worked on Linux in Beta and then they did a zig/zag and it did not. I know there is a wine patch. Just have not done it and interest in doing so is decling.

I am a paying Linux gamer. I would have given more money to SW:ToR, but they broke their game on Linux.

When Steam does it's "Check System" thing it reports my machine as windows *sigh*, so I am not even sure I am counted.
There is a Linux market, just not sure anyone knows it.

Re:chicken or egg (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40878777)

Also Neverwinter Nights has a native Linux client. (The original, not 2, which as a disaster anyway even on Windows. 1 is still a top notch game better than any RPG since except maybe Dragon Age)

Re:chicken or egg (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878873)

I loved NWN until the servers lifted all password restrictions and opened everyone's account wide open.

Re:chicken or egg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40878799)

Actually I'm fairly confident that Steam knows whether it's running on Wine or not.

As much as I love and support Linux (and free software in general) I'm not sure whether it is really viable in the games market and with every failed attempt at changing this (e.g. UT 2004, LGP, Loki) I feel that professional gamemakers are more and more alienated by this platform.

Re:chicken or egg (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#40879019)

Yes, there have been many failed attempts at putting Linux at the forefront in the consumer space but just because everybody tried and failed before doesn't mean it isn't possible [android.com] . Stop rolling your eyes. Android will be an indisputable first class Linux when all their patches hit mainline (if that hasn't happened already). Maybe not GNU/Linux but Linux is pulling the levers and turning the dials underneath just like it is everywhere else it lives. And if you doubt that, check this [ubuntu.com] out.

Re:chicken or egg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40879075)

Steam detects wine internally and Valve uses this to count Linux users for now.

Re:chicken or egg (1)

xeriouxi (1370427) | more than 2 years ago | (#40879089)

I recall that whenever Valve do their random surveys via Steam, the install date for Windows is set to 1970, IIRC, so that'll surely give them the number of people (who took the survey, of course) using Steam via Wine.

With all due respect to Carmack (2)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878719)

His company's foray into Linux gaming hasn't panned out. That doesn't mean that a different strategy might not work. That's like saying that because MS tried to find consumer success with tablets for over a decade that there is no chance anyone else could do it...er...

ahh slashdot (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40878731)

I love when nerds praise JC but then he speaks the truth about linux and they start dissing him and calling him irrelevant. carmack: OPENGL FASTER THAN DIRECTX!!! TELL EVERYONE!! carmack: LINUX IS STILL NOT VIABLE GAMING PLATFORM!!! DOWN WITH CARMACK HES IRRELEVANT AND DOESNT KNOW WHAT HES TALKING ABOUT!!!!

sfasdfs

Re:ahh slashdot (2)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878985)

I love when nerds praise JC but then he speaks the truth about linux and they start dissing him and calling him irrelevant. carmack: OPENGL FASTER THAN DIRECTX!!! TELL EVERYONE!! carmack: LINUX IS STILL NOT VIABLE GAMING PLATFORM!!! DOWN WITH CARMACK HES IRRELEVANT AND DOESNT KNOW WHAT HES TALKING ABOUT!!!!

Hold up there, homeslice. There are a lot of people that post on Slashdot and some of them like Carmack and some of them are Linux users. There is nothing inherently mutually inclusive between these two groups. I think Carmack is cool and I use Linux but nobody is perfect. Note all the people that piss all over Rage and Doom 3 so it is pure strawman to say that every nerd praises him at every turn. He says that Linux isn't a viable gaming platform and his main argument is that he failed to crack it. That's not a good argument as to why Valve can't make it happen. Matter of fact Valve is taking a completely different approach so it is unlikely that any conclusions can be drawn from id's experience in the space. Maybe you and Carmack should wait and see. Newell and co. might just show us all how it's done.

Microsoft is doing it for us (2)

WiseWeasel (92224) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878741)

Thankfully, Microsoft is making Linux a viable gaming platform by so utterly screwing up the Windows gaming platform with Windows 8. Valve is just covering its bases.

multiple monitors (1)

mSparks43 (757109) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878749)

id's software never sold on linux, because non of id's games work on linux machines with more than one monitor, which is most linux machines I'd guess. let's hope valve don't make the same mistake.

Re:multiple monitors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40878933)

I'd actually bet most linux machines have no monitor.

Re:multiple monitors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40879087)

"id's software never sold on linux"

Do you have any effing idea of id's history of supporting Linux on their titles?

"non of id's games work on linux machines with more than one monitor"

Certainly I don't recall any of the former games through Doom 3 being called out as having this problem.

Carmack's getting old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40878761)

It's sad to hear this from one of the guys who made PC gaming viable, when no one thought it could be made viable.

I never thought I'd hear Carmack, of all people, fold and let someone else do the heavy lifting on "making things work," though I certainly don't blame him for not trying as hard as Valve is.

Too late (1, Interesting)

Zaphod-AVA (471116) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878795)

Now that Steam insists I must sign some of my rights away, it doesn't really matter what platform it runs on anymore.

Re:Too late (1)

Tr3vin (1220548) | more than 2 years ago | (#40879033)

If you are going to get your panties in a twist about their licensing terms, you wouldn't be able to play most games through the service anyway since they all have fairly restrictive EULAs.

Unity (1)

theswimmingbird (1746180) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878805)

Perhaps Valve could release their own distro with gaming in mind, as it might help unify the community. I could get behind that in a heartbeat.

Re:Unity (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878951)

No, bad idea. Most Linux users will just turn their nose up and not use it. I don't mean that in a sarcastic way but in a very practical sense. Linux is a general purpose OS and I'm going to want to run more than just games so any version I use on my desktop will need a fully stocked package manager and at least a fairly typical LSB standard directory tree etc. Maybe do a thing with Ubuntu where Ubuntu is the blessed distro and has all the goodies packed in with a one click install or whatever. I'd like to see some good hardware that comes with Ubuntu and Steam out of the box maybe sold by Canonical or a distributor like System76. Something like that maybe but I don't think them doing their own distro is going to be the answer as that gets them into a non-core space where they could easily screw up.

Re:Unity (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40879081)

Imagine a distro/game that you load onto a Flash drive/hot pluggable SSD and go. Ignore the underlying OS completely. I am already installing USM adapters in all my rigs for such a future.

Linux Gaming (1)

michael_rendier (2601249) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878817)

PS3 is running on linux...???

By what metric? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40878821)

I recall buying the retail linux version of quake in the late 90s but by the time of Doom 3 (when the linux user base had grown) I bought the windows version for the assets and grabbed the linux binaries from my distros package repository.

Mobile phones were also not a viable gaming market (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40878827)

Until someone decided to try and make them into one. Now there are tons of sales.

Will Linux become a common gaming platform if no one tries? No.

Linux doen't need games to be fun (1)

DerUberTroll (2676259) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878879)

It fun enough as it is and wine takes care of the rest. Steam will to and others will follow. This takes time. Still prefer my Linux desktop and software over any windoze any day. Thank you.

We know which one is the egg... (4, Insightful)

eepok (545733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878945)

I know this will turn into a "chicken or the egg" conversation...

"We shouldn't build games for Linux unless there's a proven market!"
"There can't be a market if there are no games to buy!"

But, there's an obvious "egg" here. There must first be a venturing company with a solid history of great games (*cough* half-life, portal, TF2, etc.) that's willing to take the risk. Forging new markets it ALL ABOUT RISK. If you're stunted by your fear of risk, then you're probably not a good entrepreneur.

Work it Valve. I hope it works out for the best. And if it doesn't, then EVERYONE will still thank you for giving it the ol' Orange Box try!

What about us? (1)

Sav1or (2600417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878957)

What about the people, like me, who bought a bunch of games while still using windows? What, did you think I don't want to finish Half Life 2? Or pwn some noobs in CS:S? I like those games, but I hate windows more. When I get steam working on linux I'm definately going to be buying more games. Carmack, you're a cool guy and all, but c'mon. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go play Quake 1 on a linux native engine.

Market (4, Insightful)

robmv (855035) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878975)

Sorry John but successful people create a market, they don't wait for it to be ready for you. Valve working with GPU manufacturers is a signal that they want to create a market. It is sad to say this but Id was a market defining company, now a follower

Steam on Linux (1)

rl117 (110595) | more than 2 years ago | (#40878987)

I for one will happily ditch windows gaming in favour of Linux as soon as Steam has decent coverage for the games I play. I've been wanting this for years, and it really is the primary reason I even have a windows partition--everything else is done on Linux. If Steam can set up wine nicely to play the non-native ports of games I own, I really won't have any reason for keeping it around.

Two sides... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40879001)

On one hand..
He's right. Go where the money is. And it's not nix users. Too small of a market. And too many who are all about the 'free'.

On the other hand...
He produces nothing but shit console ports anymore. Or just outright shit.
He's irrevelant and i really don't give a fuck what he has to say anymore.

So there you have it. lol

It doesn't make much sense (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#40879021)

It's nice to have Steam on Linux but it's a small market and it doesn't make huge sense for Valve to support it except in the context of either a) Getting leverage to compell Microsoft to open up Windows 8 more, or b) Cloud gaming, e.g. porting games to Linux may lighten their costs if they offered hosted titles in the cloud.
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