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Open source games

Discussing the lack of games on Linux

   
5:38 pm on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

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For my tuppenceworth, I think what puts off someone like me from converting to Linux is that (as far as I know) I can't run Tomb Raider on it. In fact, looking at Amazon.com I see almost every Linux game has been discontinued.

I've heard it suggested that because Linux attracts the technically savvy, its users are much more likely to be able to obtain pirated games, so games companies won't touch Linux with a bargepole, which also means fewer consumers adopting it.

Now, this all wouldn't necessarily matter with non-game applications which are often distributed free anyway. I can see how something like a browser or a wordprocessor might be made quite well through open source, but does anyone know of any decent complex games made through group efforts?

And perhaps more importantly, does an operating system need a good amount of high profile unpirated closed-source software (e.g Tomb Raider!) to attract a large userbase of ordinary non-techie folks?

[edited by: gibbergibber at 5:49 pm (utc) on Nov. 30, 2002]

5:49 pm on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I think the market is still too small. The number of home-users of Linux is not very high, compared to windows. It has the necessary critical mass (yet).

René.

5:53 pm on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member nick_w is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Apparently it's not to hard to run Win from inside linux. That would (i think) allow the best of both worlds...

Nick

6:24 pm on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Some time ago the company Loki ported windows games to linux, and did a brilliant job, but they didn't make any money so they closed.

I bought Civlisation Call for Power, and it is just as good as the windows counterpart.

René.

6:33 pm on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



What, you're not all playing nethack?!?
6:50 pm on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

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After fifteen years with unix, back from the time of the 80x25 character monochrome displays, I have never ever played rogue, nethack, mud, dungeons and dragons and all the other games people played back them. I never quite got the idea about being a @ running around in a maze of ascii art, trying to kill % and # while avoiding the invincible &.

I have never been much of a game player I guess.

8:20 pm on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



almost every Linux game has been discontinued

The company that made the porting for these games went out of business.

Anyway, maybe the problem is that Linux folks like everything open source. And an open source game would be too easy to solve, since all the clues would be given at the source. Emacs has a game at the tools->games menu called "Adventure". Solving the game without being tempted to check out dunnet.el would require extra discipline. And a hobbist would probably not do a closed source one.

As for the commercial companies, with libraries like libSDL there's not reason for not writing portably. I don't know, ask them instead.

9:56 am on Dec 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I don't think the open source games are at the same level as the commercial games. It takes too many different kinds of qualifications to make a good game, and the open source world is mostly dominated by programmers. There are some graphics artists too, but not many. It takes a more diverse population to make good games.

It'll come, but it takes time just as any other cultural change.

René.

12:59 am on Dec 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



René -
You might find nethack more fun if you use the newer Gnome or X interfaces that are now part of the distrubution. I never got it as a text game, but I find it amazingly adictive with the graphical interfaces. Space is still very much pixelated, but there are different graphics for everything - no overloading of the ascii characters to mean fifteen different things each, which was my big complaint.
I'm afraid that as for the general state of gaming on Linux, well, I've never been enough of a gamer to even cosider paying for one. If all the Linux users are like me, there will never be commercial games for Linux.

-Andrew

3:43 am on Dec 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I have never played it but I heard that Unreal Tournament 2003 comes with a version for Linux. I just took a look at their site and they do offer a demo for Linux.
10:14 am on Dec 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I'm afraid that as for the general state of gaming on Linux, well, I've never been enough of a gamer to even cosider paying for one. If all the Linux users are like me, there will never be commercial games for Linux.

I have a bit the impression that, broardly speaking, most open source users are creators (in the sense that they want to program, design, develop new things), while most windows users are consumers (they want to use and play with existing programs). It makes very different markets, certainly for consumer oriented products such as games.

NB I'm not calling *all* windows users non-creative comsumers. I'm talking about a strictly computer-related creativitity, and given that the windows user-base is so much larger that the linux user-base, there are be a lot of very creative windows-users without impacting the statistics a lot. The demographics of the two groups are very different. That is the point.

René.

6:31 pm on Dec 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



-- I have a bit the impression that, broardly speaking, most open source users are creators (in the sense that they want to program, design, develop new things), while most windows users are consumers (they want to use and play with existing programs). It makes very different markets, certainly for consumer oriented products such as games. --

I guess this is what I'm wondering about really. If what you say is true, how is Linux ever going to replace Windows?

10:34 pm on Dec 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



how is Linux ever going to replace Windows?

Through portability and standard file formats.

Well, not really 'replace' it, because there will be always a market for Windows; but doing that will let choice, better competition and coexistence.

10:42 pm on Dec 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Part of the problem of running windows within linux is that it is generally a hardware emulator, so when you do things like calls to the graphics card, its actually a call to a linux software simulation of the graphics card, which then processes the commands some more before sending them to the real graphics card. For the games that everyone wants 3d acceleration for, this is too slow. And in general, the hardware emulation requires alot more resources (aka RAM) than just running an OS. Finally, you still have to buy Windows. So in conclusion, if you are buying Linux to run windows within, there is no point in running Linux.
11:15 pm on Dec 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I'm not so sure Linux should replace Windows. Ideally Linux should gain a wider and more diverse user-base so it can create a sound level of competition in the market. The de-facto monopoly of today is the worst scenario possible, and even with just 20-30 percent of the desktop market in non-windows hands will change everything dramatically.

The games will come when the consumer-type users start to come to Linux. They might come or they might not. Whether they do, I believe, will depende more on what MS does in terms of prosecuting piracy and making ever more horrendous EULAs, that might scare users away in droves.

René.

1:50 am on Dec 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



There are several windows games that will run on Linux. Winex from Transgaming does a nice job. I am not a gamer but we just converted my daughters box to RedHat. She plays EverQuest, Half Life (all mods)and Warcraft III. There are some work-arounds but the Games play great. She can't tell the differnce from win98.
 

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