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Expert Opinions On Linux Gaming's Future

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the everyone's-got-one dept.

Games 411

jg21 writes "Following on from yesterday's Slashdot coverage of the idea to launch a games-based Linux distro, LinuxWorld Magazine has held a Gaming Round Table involving Chris DiBona, Ryan Gordon, Timothee Besset, Gavriel State, and Joe Valenzuela about where Linux currently stands and how it will one day become a premier gaming platform. 'It became perfectly clear to me that most of the technological issues are already solved, and that the others won't take too long to fix once the game publishers really get into the mix,' reports Dee-Ann LeBlanc, Gaming Industry Editor for LinuxWorld, who coordinated the round table. Well worth reading."

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411 comments

GNAA confirms: Lunix is dying. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584070)

GNAA / Google confirms: Linux is dying.
By GNAA Staff

Here you have it: it's official; Google confirms: Desktop Linux is dying.

Now, you might be thinking this is just another cut & paste troll based on the typical *BSD is dying bullshit.
It isn't.
As you might have know, your favorite search engine, Google [google.com] , has been running a little statistics service, called "Zeitgeist [google.com] ".
Since about a year ago, they started providing statistics of the operating systems used to access their search engine worldwide.
I will let the numbers speak for themselves:

Operating Systems Accessing Google in January 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in March 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in April 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in May 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in June 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in July 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in August 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in September 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in November 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in December 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in January 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in February 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in April 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in May 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in June 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in July 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in August 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in September 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in November 2003 [google.com]

If you've looked at even a few of these links, you don't need to be a Kreskin [amdest.com] to predict Desktop Linux's future. The hand writing is on the wall: Desktop Linux faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Linux on Desktop because Linux is dying. Things are looking very bad for Linux on Desktop. As many of us are already aware, Linux on Desktop continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

According to Google Zeitgeist [google.com] , there are about 80% of Internet Explorer 6 [microsoft.com] users. The only platform supporting Internet Explorer 6 is, of course, Microsoft Windows. These statistics are consistent with the earlier presented graphs of the operating systems used to access Google, with the Windows family consistently taking the top 3 ranks. Out of remaining 20%, the split is even between MSIE 5.5, MSIE 5.0, both Windows-only browsers. Netscape 5.x (including Mozilla) counts for only a measly 5% of browsers used to access Google. As you can see from the graph, this sample was calculated starting from March 2001 until September 2003.

Linux "leaders" will have you believe that Linux is gaining market share. However, according to Google [google.com] , "Linux" was never a top 10 search word at *any time* since Google began tracking search statistics. This can only mean one thing: Linux is dying.

All major surveys show that Linux on Desktop is something never meant to happen. Repeatedly, reputable organizations review Desktop Linux offerings, and consistently [osnews.com] give [com.com] it [com.com] unacceptable [yahoo.com] scores, compared to even Apple [apple.com] 's MacOS X [apple.com] , which is actually based on the "claimed to by dying long time ago" *BSD. If you paid attention to the operating systems used to access Google graphs earlier, you will notice that MacOS has consistently scored higher percentages than Linux. Infact, the obscure "other" category, which we assume is embedded systems, PDA's, cellular phones, etc, has at times ranked Higher [google.com] than even Mac OS - and of course, Linux.

In almost 2 years worth of statistics, Linux [linux.com] has NEVER outranked even such a truly "dying" OS as Mac OS, and infact, never raised above the 1% mark. When Windows XP [microsoft.com] was released, Google searches for Linux drastically decreased [google.com] . This clearly demonstrates that Linux on Desktop is, for all practical purposes, dead.

Fact: Desktop Linux is dead.

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Yay! (2, Redundant)

GFLPraxis (745118) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584081)

Games on a stable and free OS! My dream come true!

Re:Yay! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584100)

Please see http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=100689&c id=8584070 [slashdot.org] .
Lunix might be stable, but so is my DOS 6.22 box under my bed that doesn't do anything. And Games on Lunix? Get fucking real.

Re:Yay! (1, Flamebait)

bitbiter (632065) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584165)

But you still have to have an os that can be installed and work right. linux doesn't all the time...heck most of the time. Windows has problems and i am sure we will find more tomorrow..(hehehehehehe) but when you install a program....that program comes with everything it needs to run. linux doesn't work that way...you install a program and it needs another compontant and that componant needs another and another and another. Sometimes you find the right distro and it works fine for one thing you want just to findout that they broke somethingelse that you need and worked in the ver before. No i would say that linux is a very long way from being a gaming platform...a long ways.

Re:Yay! (1)

Trinton Azaleth (559255) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584287)

Nothing is preventing smart game writers from creating games that include every possible package you could need.... ie: maybe the base core and drivers on a system need to be installed by the user to get a decent functionality going, but the rest of the packages can all be on the game disc. That said, what is needed is a decided base distribution that provides the functionality that can then be extended by the game writers. The reason none of this matters is because the average user isn't capable of installing a linux installation, and demands a higher level of functionality in games than can currently be done off a non-configured auto-install of a linux distribution. There is still a ton of hardware that doesn't even run properly under linux. Heck; I have hardware that doesn't run properly on windows 2000... Until the whole world is using 'linux compatible open hardware' there will always be a predominant 'windows'.

Re:Yay! (2, Funny)

mgoodman (250332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584292)

that's why we need linux to adopt a uniform package management system that can appease binary as well as source installations and solve/download dependencies...im looking your way gentoo...

Re:Yay! (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584351)

but why can't the game distro come with everything it needs to create it's own enviroment, and run the game?

How can I play a game when I'm blind? (-1, Troll)

HappyCitizen (742844) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584088)

YOU INSENSITIVE CLOD!

Re:How can I play a game when I'm blind? (3, Informative)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584121)

How can I play a game when I'm blind?
YOU INSENSITIVE CLOD!


Nethack [nethack.org] has pretty good support for such technologies as screen readers and braille pads.

Re:How can I play a game when I'm blind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584167)

The punchline made me think this might be a joke, but your website [angelfire.com] certainly leads one to believe you may in fact be blind...

Wow... (-1, Offtopic)

GFLPraxis (745118) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584090)

wow...did I just get first post? Didn't expect that... :)

FAILURE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584209)

Sorry, but YOU FAIL IT. Even a BLIND man [slashdot.org] beat you to it.

You're so, so pathetic.

Where's the games at? (5, Insightful)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584095)

It's nice to talk about creating a "gaming OS", but the key component here is that you need some games.

Sokoban and Mahjongg only get you so far..

OpenGL exists on Linux, what else are game developers missing?

Re:Where's the games at? (2, Funny)

FreemanPatrickHenry (317847) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584126)

Duh. It's called Nethack! What more do you want?

You and your newfangled first person whatchamacallits...

You heard it here first (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584142)

Mahjongg is a first person whatchamacallit.

Re:Where's the games at? (3, Interesting)

caluml (551744) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584138)

OpenGL exists on Linux, what else are game developers missing?

Stable nvidia drivers to take advantage of it? My machine at work has a lovely graphics card in it - but once I load the nvidia driver, it will crash/hang at some point in the future. And that sucks.

Re:Where's the games at? (5, Insightful)

LordK3nn3th (715352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584189)

Does the average Joe know how to install the drivers, or even how to turn off X so the drivers can be installed?

Also, ati and Nvidia haven't released open source drivers. It would be so much easier for the average person if the kernel could come with those video drivers already loaded in.

Re:Where's the games at? (1, Interesting)

ScottGant (642590) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584261)

Gee, my nvidia card works great. I have a lovely graphics card on it, and it runs like a champ.

FSAA, anisotropic filtering...runs nice and fast.

Also, I haven't rebooted since I upgraded my kernel to 2.6.3...which was 3 weeks ago.

I've yet to have this thing lock up on me. And I run Steam/Counterstrike, Warcraft III, UT2003 and UT2004-demo, Red Orchestra...all run great.

Don't know what you're doing wrong...

Re:Where's the games at? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584282)

He's running Windows.

Re:Where's the games at? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584322)

People like you are the reason people don't want to go to Linux. "I have everything running perfectly so you must be a moron." You know there is more than one Nvidia chipset out there. How about instead of posting your blather you found some helpful advice or just shut up.

Re:Where's the games at? (1)

ScottGant (642590) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584342)

People like you are the reason people don't want to go to Linux. "I have everything running perfectly so you must be a moron." You know there is more than one Nvidia chipset out there. How about instead of posting your blather you found some helpful advice or just shut up.

Did I say he was a moron, I was mearly pointing out that if I had it working nice, it's not impossible to get it running. The original poster was implying that nvidia's drivers were all buggy. That's not the case, at least on my end.

Also, I notice that you posted under an anonymous coward and you yourself didn't post anything constructive. So it seems you don't even practice what you preach. Hypocrite!

Re:Where's the games at? (1)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584406)

Considering that the article said nVidia drivers were great, I'm with ya here.

It also said that ATI's were lacking horribly.

Hardware manufacturers are often in bed with MS to put out binary drivers, and the knee-jerk OSS devs that try to pry source out of them doesn't help garner much support for GNU/Linux.

Re:Where's the games at? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584356)

you didn't help him either you fucking idiot. Why did you post this? So people like him are the reason people don't go with Linux? You Fucking moron.

Re:Where's the games at? (1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584358)

Also, I haven't rebooted since I upgraded my kernel to 2.6.3...which was 3 weeks ago

No offense, but I haven't rebooted my XP system in months. I've changed more settings, upgraded more system files, and installed/removed more programs than the average user does in his/her lifetime. No reboots.

Re:Where's the games at? (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584328)

Stable nvidia drivers to take advantage of it?

So you want to make the Linux game market just like the Windows game market? "NVidia users only, otherwise you're a putz so go away!"

Re:Where's the games at? (1)

abe ferlman (205607) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584352)

Um, I crash my machine occasionally b/c I run lots of bleeding edge stuff, but... I don't think I've had the NVIDIA drivers crash on me in a year. They're pretty solid.

I just wish they'd open them up- I used to buy ATI cards then they stopped sharing the card specs with the DRI developers. I'm sure I'm not the only one whose business ATI lost this way. I hate not running a free software-only OS, but the latest card with free drivers is about two generations behind the times. Not good enough for games when my LCD's native resolution is 1280x1024.

Re:Where's the games at? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584158)

Chicken, meet egg. Egg, say 'hello' to chicken.

Re:Where's the games at? (2, Insightful)

LordK3nn3th (715352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584159)

A significant userbase to market to to justify the time spent on porting to Linux, for starters?

Spread the word.

Re:Where's the games at? (4, Interesting)

Chess_the_cat (653159) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584246)

But what exactly is the barrier to a significant userbase? Linux is free and you can install it on a partition on your HD; you don't have to get rid of Windows to run or even try Linux. So what is the barrier? If you can't even get people to take something for free you know you have a problem.

It's beginning to look like the adoption of Linux on the desktop is going to take a massive scandal on Microsoft's part. Something like Bill Gates is stealing your credit card number or something. I know I'm going to be modded down for this but I challenge anyone who's going to throw away a mod point on me to reply and refute what I've written.

Re:Where's the games at? (1)

LordK3nn3th (715352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584271)

Well, for one, few people know about it. I've heard one kid say something about how Microsoft may be a monopoly, but they're the only ones who make "that", meaning desktop operating system. Quite ironic, no?

Re:Where's the games at? (5, Insightful)

adug (228162) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584172)

Unfortunately, what developers are missing is the market. Top notch games are very costly to produce. There is just no way that developers can make money, or even break even with the small desktop marketshare that Linux commands.

There might be some truth to "If you build it, they will come" but in reality, unless there are an awful lot of people clamoring for the ballpark, it's not gonna happen.

Re:Where's the games at? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584198)

Which is why we need to encourage developers to start creating games with cross platform in mind. That way compiling the binaries for different OS's including linux and including them on the cd would not really add a huge anount to the budget, but will get more sales with the linux crowd

falvious
Editor
Linuxgaming.net [linuxgaming.net]

Re:Where's the games at? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584286)

Unreal engine is cross platform. Unfortuinately the unreal engine is basically a steaming pile of shit and most licensees have to rewrite alot of the code. The netcode for one sucks, you need CERN just to run it as they wont get off theyre asses from cryin "its the servers" rather than fix it. Not just the netcode, its just an engine for ragdolls and karma, everything else is quite shit. Having done some modifications it really is and well im now looking at the CryTek engine or XRay engine.

Re:Where's the games at? (4, Interesting)

krahd (106540) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584196)

No trolling, but.. something like DirectX wouldn't hurt!

I mean (aside from DirectInput which is pretty cool), the whole development cycle is DX-centered: Microsoft asks Nvidia/ATi what they need, then they put it on DX nad then the cards take advantage of it... it's cyclic.

Carmack is the only reason for OpenGL's survival...

--krahd

Re:Where's the games at? (3, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584224)

"something like DirectX wouldn't hurt!"

What we'd end up with would be about ten diferent projects, each of which does about one tenth what DirectX does. Then the project members would fight over which of the ten is the best and which one the other nine should be rolled into.

Re:Where's the games at? (5, Informative)

Doogie5526 (737968) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584291)

"Carmack is the only reason for OpenGL's survival"

That may be true for games but as for professional 3d apps, OpenGL is king. Likely because of crossplatformability. Since those professional OpenGL cards cost so much (they make the money) and they can just apply the same technology to the game cards is another reason OpenGL is still strong for games.

A 7-syllable word that makes sense! A new personal record!

Re:Where's the games at? (5, Insightful)

OneFix at Work (684397) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584338)

Umh, OpenGL is really no different, the only difference is it leaves the hardware developers the job of deciding how to support additional features. As for games in todays market, when you are talking PeeCee, you are talking 2 companies nVidia and ATI. Both have their own proprietary drivers for every card made in the last few years.

OpenGL is perfectly fine, not to mention the fact that the existance of OpenGL apps on Windoze makes it easier to port apps and games...but to be honest, the existance of OpenGL on Linux has nothing to do with games and everything to do with 3D Modeling. OpenGL is just how it's done and the fact that there is legacy hardware support for OpenGL means that it will probably remain the low-level standard for 3D Linux apps.

Re:Where's the games at? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584243)

No, the key component here is paying customers willing to buy games. Loki software put out lots of quality AAA game ports for linux. Ask them (RIP) how "ready" the "Free" software movement is for games.

Re:Where's the games at? (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584257)

GLTron is lots of fun. It's not enough of course, but its a definite start.

Jaysyn

Re:Where's the games at? (1)

daVinci1980 (73174) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584295)

Actually, another point is that in order for the "publishers to get on board," you need gamers. (Which linux is currently *very* short on.)

Additionally, developers are missing a *well* standardized graphics API. Unfortunately, Open/GL is not it.

Re:Where's the games at? (1)

sloanster (213766) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584363)

the key component here is that you need some games.

um, hello?

ut2004, ut2003, ut2000, quake 3 arena, return to castle wolfenstein, enemy territory, medal of honor, doom 3 (coming real soon now) etc etc...

Re:Where's the games at? (1)

cfuse (657523) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584395)

OpenGL exists on Linux, what else are game developers missing?

Um, customers.

I know that it's a chicken and egg thing, but while there aren't paying customers using linux already for gaming there won't be game developers writing for the platform.

Assistant needed (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584096)

I have polio of the penis and need my dressings changed twice a day. Please help.

John Carmak (3, Insightful)

after (669640) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584097)

I wonder if they contacted John Carmak about this... or even concidered him. I mean, he and his team did create the first true 3d (raltime) game (wolfenstien, for those you living inside a cave) and his company does support Linux (Quake III Arena, for example)

Re:John Carmak (3, Informative)

Drantin (569921) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584120)

If you'll check the links in the summary, they do have a representative from ID Software...

Re:John Carmak (1)

after (669640) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584144)

Yep sorry.

The article was borked (all links pointed to this article, iirc) before I posted that. It is fixored now.

Re:John Carmak (1)

InThane (2300) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584187)

Unless I'm wrong, Ultima Underworld actually predated Wolfenstein 3D by a month or two - and it was realtime, AND was more "3d" than Wolfenstein 3D - supported angled floors, 8 axis walls, bridges, etc.

Also, there are much older "3D" games that predated that - anybody else recall Eidolon on the C64?

Re:John Carmak (0)

after (669640) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584212)

>> Also, there are much older "3D" games that predated that - anybody else recall Eidolon on the C64?

There are; I dont; But by standards I would have to say that "3D" has to involve texture mapping and lighting -- not green, transparent, unshaded triangles.

Re:John Carmak (1)

InThane (2300) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584214)

And of course, after I write that, I realize I'm thinking of System Shock versus Doom - I just don't remember the publication dates of UU and Wolf 3D.

Re:John Carmak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584400)

if you vist ID's website you will see that they made catacomb: the abyse and hovertankt 3d a short time before wolfenstine3d.

Re:John Carmak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584211)

Engage pedantic mode. Castle Master ( http://www.ysrnry.co.uk/articles/castlemaster.htm ) was out long before Wolfenstein 3D, and also was much closer to "true 3d"; Wolfenstein is merely a 2D map displayed in pseudo-3D.

For me... (3, Insightful)

ThomasFlip (669988) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584113)

The most annoying thing is getting the grafix drivers to work properly. When I was trying to get UT2003 to work, I found the install to be the easy part, but finding the proper drivers and installing them was the most difficult part.

Re:For me... (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584317)

Well, you know, I agree with you. I know a lot of people hate the idea of closed-source video drivers but it's better then nothing. nVidia and ATI both have linux drivers out and if you're going to be playing games it's going to be on one of those chipsets.

I have found the nVidia drivers to be fast, although a little quirky at times. I've never had them crash or anything. Sure, if it was OSS then someone *could* fix them, but there's a whole lot of other quirky OSS on most linux boxes that it sometimes doesn't seem like this is always the reality of the beast.

I for one, and happy to see driver support at all. I'd prefer them to be fully GPL but hey, as long as the OS itself is GPL then I think things are looking up.

Let's face it, it's going to take a long time before everything is GPL. Give it time.

The gaming industry needs to change first. (1, Redundant)

zaunuz (624853) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584122)

Well, first of all, game developers will have to focus more on other platforms than windows, since many games still rely on windows internals (anarchy online for one). There are many who code their games to fit with both Linux and Windows, but i wish there would be more, since games such as Anarchy Online are some of the few reasons why I dont remove my windows installation completly.

Isn't it a market issue...? (4, Insightful)

krahd (106540) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584128)

Traditionaly the gaming industry is one where garage developers have great impact.

A big problem I see with Linux as a mainstream gaming platform is that there is no significant market to tempt those developers with no extra money to burn...

I speak myself as a former game developer (now on the academic side of the world)... how would you convince me to develop for linux if I have no extra money??

--krahd

Re:Isn't it a market issue...? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584249)

Fame and Chicks.

Re:Isn't it a market issue...? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584290)

Traditionaly the gaming industry is one where garage developers have great impact.

Key word here being traditionally. I have the feeling that these days the gaming industry is being driving increasingly by large developers.

Even more worrysome is that PC gaming is definatly in decline and consoles are becoming more and more prevalent. Even Doom 3 by ID, once the kings of cross plateform gaming, will have coop only on the XBOX.

If trends continue and consoles become the most important plateforms for gaming, I don't see that Linux has any real use. I can tell you right now that Microsoft has no need for Linux on the XBOX so Linux won't get anywhere there. Sony and Nintendo will probably just continue using whatever system they currently use. There is no need of a full unix type OS for consoles.

In my opinion, Linux should focus on what it's good at, UNIX workstations, and stop trying to be everything for everyone. It's not a sin not to use Linux after all.

PS3 (1)

CoolMoDee (683437) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584403)

Yea, that would rule if they just made games mainly for consoles. As afaik the PS3 will be running linux, so x86/ppc linux support is only a compile away.

Re:Isn't it a market issue...? (3, Insightful)

DeltaSigma (583342) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584428)

Getting developers to develop for Gnu/Linux isn't hard. They'll do it automatically when gamers want Gnu/Linux support. What we need to do is figure out a way to get gamers to desire Gnu/Linux support.

It's not going to be a one-step process either, we're really going to have to work at it.

One way is resources. Suppose the major distros could have a "mode" dedicated to fullscreen OpenGL games. With generally more effecient use of resources in Gnu/Linux as opposed to windows the guys that just have to have that extra 3 frames per second will find it in Gnu/Linux. There's always a small percentage of players that are competing for maximum FPS no matter how useless a pissing contest it is. If all the people winning that contest are running Gnu/Linux, more of those types will turn towards Gnu/Linux since it becomes a necessary tool to compete.

Often games are released on Gnu/Linux as a server only version, no playable client. A lot of server maintainers choose the Gnu/Linux server over the windows server because of stability and features. Gnu/Linux servers often end up with more features.

That's the thing. If we already have this fantastic environment for developers, then why are we worrying about the developers? Get the gamers over here. Let's not forget that one of the massive drivers behind the gaming industry's profit is the fact that games are competitive. If we really want Gnu/Linux to be a viable gaming platform, by attracting developers, which are attracted by gamers, then what do we have to do?

The answer is so simple I shouldn't even have to write this length of a post.

The answer is we must use Gnu/Linux to give gamers a competetive edge on the games we _DO_ have.

If we can do that, they'll come. And they'll bring their friends.

Then we just keep doing that, for every game we get, until we have all of them.

Clustered Gaming monster (5, Interesting)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584133)

One thing that Linux can do really well is CLUSTER EASILY. Forget the PS3... as long as games are written to make use of Linux's clustering abilities - we can have some MASSIVE gaming servers and game environments.

Now all I want for Christmas is an Open Mosix release for the 2.6 kernel. :)

Re:Clustered Gaming monster (2)

mgoodman (250332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584242)

and that is why there are quite a few games coming out with linux-based servers, but the clients are still win32 unfortunately.

Re:Clustered Gaming monster (1)

The Lynxpro (657990) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584323)

One thing that Linux can do really well is CLUSTER EASILY.

Apple has a clustering program demo on their website currently. Food for thought since OS X is receiving more gaming ports than Linux currently...

Re:Clustered Gaming monster (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584422)

"OS X is receiving more gaming ports than Linux currently.."

Apple always has had more ports.

Of course. (5, Interesting)

LordK3nn3th (715352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584134)

Obviously, we've all heard about UT2003/2004, Neverwinter Nights, and the upcoming Doom III (id Software usually supports Linux well, yay them!)

Even the US gov't is jumping aboard with America's Army (as well as support for Mac).

Linux is growing, and needs to grow more and more in regards to users, so we can get better game AND hardware support. I know some people think this Linux vs. Windows war is kind of silly, but until Linux grows to the point where it's recognizable by the average user we'll still be left out in the cold in many regards (such as, of course, games and hardware).

I admit, I myself still have Windows installed. How else can I play many games? Wine doesn't want to work on my computer, and it's not perfect anyway.

Re:Of course. (1)

blahbooboo2 (602610) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584337)

Ok, could you tell me where i can get this game? The Download page is just terrible as all the providers are these crap login or game spaming sites... Bittorent?

Re:Of course. (1)

LordK3nn3th (715352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584354)

You'll have to to take one of those crap sites like I did... sorry, no Torrent I could find.

WRITING IN MAYUSKULAS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584152)

WRITING IN MAYUSKULAS, KE YOU VOI TO CRACK UNDER KABRON AUNKE YOUR LIKED MENSAGE I To, BUT IN MINUSKULAS EHHH. ofter, sometimes, to put weiner in the end of men is ting greatest can do! TODAY MY HEAD IS DAY QUANDO GREEN MONKEYS INHABITE!What happens is that they are a ball of suffered because they have not invited them

Uff.. MMMmmm.. I feel It, I do not hold. Who cono you think that you are for commanding to shut up to somebody? Only people like you, that commands to shut up to that say something that they do not like would have to be shut up. So callate and I also shut up myself. I feel it... ... this is not the information that interests to me, a thing is that you make an article on different means from payment, and very different other is that you send a question in a supposed "Weblog" to see that so they are the payment means. And above you take advantage of to say of course that the Windows is an m * and that explorer is another one, without giving no reason to the fact. Because, as they ask to you before, what has to do the Explorer with https and company. In short, senor/a editor/a, of undertow, amiguito, I do not understand why of this "news" in cover. They would not have to be elaborated more, to what level we are going to arrive? Derfel "Of the things that can be done with a computer, most useless is amused"

you will already go to the campus party with your debianeros colleagues and doing apalogia once again (and another one, and another one, and another one...) of fabulous, wonderful and the wonderful thing that it is Debian GNU/Linux and in case I am was little, discrediting the rest of works?

Something thus single could say it ErConde, jeje We let us go thread offtopic more lady's man is having left!

Ths single most important requirement (3, Interesting)

Performer Guy (69820) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584153)

The most important thing required for a successful gaming platform is an audience to purchase the games. If you have that, game developers will develop for your platform. Linux does not have this yet and it is a bit of a chicken and egg scenario.

About the only thing Linux can hope for in the short term is the occasional port but even that may not be financially viable for quite some time judging by the smouldering crater that was once Loki.

Re:Ths single most important requirement (2, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584226)

But on the other hand, linux users are mainly computer geeks, and a higher percentage of computer geeks play games than any other segment of the population. So there's a good argument for developers to consider writing for linux- there may be fewer users, but a higher percentage would consider buying your product. Especially since the competition is low in the Linux world.

Re:Ths single most important requirement (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584385)

How many computer geeks bought Deer Hunter, or Dirt Track Racing? For that matter how many computer geeks bought Mandrake's The Sims distro?

Linux is already reasonably well supported in FPSs, because that's where sales to geeks are strongest, but the titles that sell millions of copies, on the whole, are not the games the geeks are playing.

I think there are some vaguely popular titles that would do well with a Linux geek version. Hard core sims, like IL2, maybe even NASCAR Season 2003 (despite the title. It's state of the art as a racing sim and has now been modded to modern Trans Am). There are some niche markets where the geek appeal ought to be significant, such as Battlefront's hard core war gaming products, and their games based on the old Avalon Hill style of board game really shouldn't be that hard to port.

But the games that sell in the millions, like the EA stuff, just doesn't have enough raw geek appeal to make the geek market significant.

KFG

Re:Ths single most important requirement (1)

randomErr (172078) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584314)

Q: Were do you find enough Linux users to have enough people to buy your games?

A: Create a self-booting CD/DVD like Knoppix and you've got almost every PC users out there.

Hmmm... (3, Interesting)

GFLPraxis (745118) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584164)

Hmm...I wonder if it'd be easy to convert Mac OS X games to Linux? After all, both Mac and Linux games use OpenGL, and both Mac and Linux are UNIX based... If the developers take the Mac source code and tweak it a bit for linux, then recompile it on an x86 Linux machine, voila, Mac games on Linux!

Re:Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584230)

And then you could play WarCraft! and uh, WarCraft!

Re:Hmmm... (2, Funny)

The Lynxpro (657990) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584309)

"and both Mac and Linux are UNIX based..."

Careful. That sounded like an SCO penned legal brief.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

LordK3nn3th (715352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584376)

Mac
Max
Mix
Nix
Unix

*gasp* IT'S TRUE

Two Words: Market share. (5, Interesting)

Behrooz (302401) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584166)

Two Words: Market share.

The games will come if/when a larger proportion of their target market runs Linux.

Right now, very few games are developed for Linux, because relatively few game buyers run Linux. Most game developers don't have the time or resources to port their products, because the margins are razor thin and time is critically important. Windows development toolkits like DirectX are widespread and proven effective.

Until linux is percieved as a major market and has the level of (hardware) vendor support that Windows-based stuff does, it will continue to be an afterthought in game development.

X-Plane is coming too... (2, Informative)

StarTux (230379) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584176)

Although more of a Simulation, rather than a "game".

http://www.linuxsimulations.org

As in console or PC? (5, Interesting)

fembots (753724) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584177)

Personally I think it might just be a bit easier to roll out a gaming linux console, as it eliminates most of the installtion/setup processes that could be complicated sometiems.

Linux games on Xbox (1, Funny)

tttonyyy (726776) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584178)

1. Convert Xbox to run Linux
2. Convert games developers to Linux
3. ???
4. PROFIT!

As a Linux Noob... (1, Insightful)

Tangwei (704210) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584183)

I can speak somewhat from Joe Sixpack's perspective. I'd love to become a full time linux user. Right now I'm playing around with the latest Mandrake distro... the only problem I've had is the fact that I can't play games. It'd be nice to be able to have the same ease of installation/play with linux, that I have with Windows. If some day down the road this happens, with a large choice of games, count me in. Until then... my money gets to go to Gates.

It's St Paddy's Day in Eire, so here's a filk (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584192)

By a lonely prison wall I heard a Taco callin'
Michael they have taken you away
For you stole CowboyNeal's porn
And withered him with scorn
Now he sits and questions if he might be gay.

(Chorus) Low lie the profits of VA
Where once we watched dividends pay
Our careers were on the make, we had shares and stocks to take
Now Taco sits and questions if he might have failed.

By a lonely prison wall I heard a young man calling
Nothing matters, Taco, when you're free
Against the threat of anal rape
From Linux coders I escaped
Now you must take the pain with dignity.
By a lonely harbour wall he watched the penguin falling
As that crap OS fell down next to XP
For he'll live in hope and pray
For his masters in VA
It's so hard to see that open source has failed.

step 1. get ATI and Nvidia to offer proper drivers (1)

atarione (601740) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584201)

I had a b1tch of a time getting 3d working on my radeon 9500 with redhat. and I had to accept the fact that the drivers were not GPL, it sucked.
Something that would really help is if people were assured they relatively new 3d cards would actually have good (easy to obtain / install) drivers so we can play the games available under linux.

Re:step 1. get ATI and Nvidia to offer proper driv (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584324)

Its ATI, they have a history of horid drivers and support. Not really the best example.

stuck (4, Insightful)

AnonymousCowheart (646429) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584206)

Linux seems to be stuck right now as far as games go. There are GREAT free games, don't get me wrong, I've wasted many hours using frozen bubble, but, there needs to be incentive (read users) for commercial game developers to develop for linux. The catch-22 is that there needs to be incentive (read games) for windows users to switch to linux. I'm not a big gamer, so doesn't effect me and I'd rather buy a game console, however, joe six pack needs games that can play easily on his OS, before a switch.

Uh? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584207)

Is it just me or Linux is a complete joke as a gaming platform? We can't even get decent drivers for our video cards, how in hell can we play good games on that? Oh, you mean rogue is the top seller since 1975? I guess I was reading the wrong reports on game sales then!

engines for linux (4, Informative)

maxmg (555112) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584260)

The FA makes some valid points about the cost of porting games to linux. However, there are commercial-quality game engines out there that do run under linux. One of them, Nebula [sourceforge.net] if even open source (even though Nebula2 is still lacking graphics support for linux, but that's in the works). Nebula1 is perfectly useable and has all kinds of goodies, including input handling, sound, and a slick architecture.

I believe the major problem at the moment is definitely the difference in availability/quality of hardware accelerated graphics drivers. One ATI get their shit together, the story might be different...

Danny Boy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584266)

Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
The summer's gone, and all the flowers are dying
'Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide.
But come ye back when summer's in the meadow
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow
'Tis I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.

And if you come, when all the flowers are dying
And I am dead, as dead I well may be
You'll come and find the place where I am lying
And kneel and say an "Ave" there for me.

And I shall hear, tho' soft you tread above me
And all my dreams will warm and sweeter be
If you'll not fail to tell me that you love me
I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me.

I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me.

Vote with your wallet. (3, Insightful)

angst7 (62954) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584279)

State: It's very simple. Buy more games and tell the industry that you're buying that game to play on Linux.

I totally agree. The single biggest hinderance to seeing more games running natively on linux is the perception (and likely fact) that there's no money in it. It's for this reason that I subscribe to Transgaming, Bought Neverwinter Nights (and sent them a letter explaining why I picked their game and thanking them), and have copies of games from (some defunct) companies that I dont even play, but whose development I thought it was important to support.

Just keep supporting the folks doing a good job.

---
Jedimom.com [jedimom.com] , picking out a thermos for you.

A Linux Game fund? (5, Interesting)

Hunzpunz (634432) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584289)

I posted this in the last Linux - Gaming - Distro - Thread, but was a bit late. This isn't consistent in itself, but the idea should be clear:

What about setting up a fund for developing a linux game? It should have a concept, only rough, like the genre, set.

Then set up a website with a nice progress bar, and a target sum needed for the developement, like what? 5 Million Dollars? 10 Million Dollars?

Ok, that won't get us a completely new Half - Life - 2 developed, but maybe a nice RPG / Adventure built on an existing engine.

Maybe different Funds for different uses, like
- Make a cool RPG a 'la Deus Ex / System Shock
(Wizardry would be even better, but i don't know about the mass - marketing appeal...)

- "Make a good game developing environment based on Crystal Space"

Make an agreement with some game studio to get a cool engine for a guaranteed price for a free - as - in beer - game production use, let it be the UT or Doom 3 Engine. Or not, depends on the game's genre, i guess.

Let somebody develop a cool game from this money for the community.

If the community wants a new cool game developed, everybody transfers a few bucks to a new proposed game fund of his choice. I think there are enough gnu / linux / bsd / mac etc. fans out there to invest a few dollars each to get a big enough budget, it's mostly a marketing question, i guess.

Kind of like the effort for opening the Blender source?

The fund should be handled by a trusted entity, of course.

Supporting Direct3D & OpenGL (2, Insightful)

AhBeeDoi (686955) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584306)

For Linux to become a gaming platform, game developers have to be willing to support both Direct3D and OpenGL. For id Software and a few of the more established developers who already have Linux versions of their games, it is less of an expense. For newer developers, it would be a larger risk than just supporting D3D to hit 90+% of the desktop PC's.

Re:Supporting Direct3D & OpenGL (1)

Quobobo (709437) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584425)

AFAIK, id uses only OpenGL, not Direct3D at all, and there doesn't seem to be any expense or risk associated with this. OpenGL can be used on Windows too, so why limit yourself to one platform?

It's all about the money (mostly) (5, Informative)

olePigeon (Wik) (661220) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584310)

The biggest problem is convincing developers that there's money in it for them.

Most are under the impression that they shouldn't bother with anything other than Windows because there's no money in it. "95% of the market is Windows, so why bother with a poultry 5%" type attitude.

Also, added to the cost is desktop support. If you write a game for just Windows you only have to worry about Windows problems. If you write a game for Linux and Mac OS X, you have to hire, train, and then troubleshoot Linux and Mac problems.

The other problem is to convince developers to NOT design their game around proprietary technologies such as DirectX.

By the way, this information comes from the developers themselves. Personally, I think it's a bunch of crap excuses for lazyass companies trying to squeeze out every profit they can by minimizing responsibility. I'm an avid Mac user but I just recently had to buy a PC just to play games. Counter-Strike, Infantry, and Subspace are Windows only and impossible to play under emulation. However, I'd LOVE to see all my favorite games running under Linux and Mac OS X so I can chuck Windows.

If game developers can't be convinced to even write games for the Macintosh using the above excuses (especially the marketshare one), why would they be at all interested in a desktop that has an even smaller marketshare than the Macintosh?

Isn't there a cultural disconnect as well? (2, Interesting)

faust2097 (137829) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584325)

I'm going to ignore the driver/hardware support issue for now, I'm sure other people will cover that in depth.

It seems to me that the people who pride themselves on having open and free software are probably those least likely to actually buy games. I think the best bet in the short to medium-term is for companies that are already doing porting like Aspyr to pick up the ball once they see that a market exists. The success of shareware companies like Freeverse and Ambrosia are what has kept big-name titles on the Mac and as far as I know there aren't a lot of examples of super-successful for-pay games on Linux.

Microsoft also has a serious advantage as far as DirectX goes and its integration with Visual Studio. The development environment is a very big deal, especially as games get more and more complex.

Sound drivers... (2, Interesting)

antdude (79039) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584344)

Since Creative Labs don't make and open source drivers for Linux, the audio area is lacking. I have to use drivers from http://opensource.creative.com [creative.com] for basic sound. I would like to have EAX for games to get those sound effects like reverbs, directional sound for 4.1 speakers setup, etc.

gn4a (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584346)

It's best to try Profits without I've 8ever ssen worthwhile. So I

Chuck Norris Dead at 63 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8584367)

Famed martial artist and actor Chuck Norris passed away today at the age of 63.

Even if you didn't enjoy Walker Texas Ranger you probably saw him in a 80s action flick.

Truely an American Icon(tm).

Linux game (1)

abe ferlman (205607) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584378)

Just thought I should mention because it's timely, I went out and bought UT2004 today. It has a penguin on the box! HOORAY!

You guys are kidding right? (0, Flamebait)

juuri (7678) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584390)

Big developers are leaving PC development for consoles and now you wonder why they won't release in-house ports to a subset of a dying market?

Get a console.

will they make a profit? (2, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 10 years ago | (#8584411)

Gaming is the one place where payment has always seemed to be important. On the old Apple ][, one of the few copy-protected things were games. One of the nice thing about console systems is that it defines the customer base and tend they are designed to discourage casual coping. The PC is popular platform because nearly everyone has one, and even if you sell only sell copy to every people how play it still results in a good chunk of change.

So the question is can the games be sold on a *nix platform. Yes people do pay for *nix software, and people do make money off it, but can *nix games generate the types of profit that will attract the top game developer? Even if the engines are cheap or free, even if *nix market share rise to 20%, is this enough of a customer base to warrant the effort?

Then there is the question of marketing entertainment on a platform that potentially has no possibility of viable copy protection.

Just to be clear, I think that *nix products in general can be sold and generate a profit. However, games and the like seem to follow a more complex set of economic rules.

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