Gaming on Linux

If there’s one thing that everyone likes it’s video games. Not only are they fun for when you are alone and bored, story of my life, but games are fun with friends and family, it’s an even better experiance. But now something that’s worrying me is the future of Linux PC Gaming. And sometimes I have a hard time explaining to myself the Linux Gaming problem and why it exists.

(note this is an old article I wrote months ago but forgot to publish, mainly cause I thought I published it already, but really didn’t. I still feel the same way as when I wrote it though) (also I now remember why I did not publish it, because the main writer of this article was not me but, some guy on a post named “Kagehi”, I give him credit for this post and our agreement in this situation.)

Fellow reader of TechNews World http://www.technewsworld.com/story/73121.html

“Is that half the time, when someone does make a Linux game, it doesn’t work as well as the Windows one, and usually due to half the bells and whistles being dependent of stable drivers, with support for what is on the video card. There is a terrible track record from vendors with respect to doing either of those right. The net result being that, if you want the latest tech in a game, you go with Windows. If you want 5 year out of date tech, you still go with Windows, because those games where never written for Linux. You put up with an OS that eats half the system resources, gets in the way of the game itself, and often includes ports of some games from console that manage to take something that ran on 10 year old hardware well (PS2), and suddenly needs 4 cores, 8GB memory, and a 1TB hard drive to just “install”, on the PC… (Ok, not quite that bad, but try installing Force Unleashed on a single core processor, with or without twice the memory that the console it came from needed to run the same thing. Betting you will give up about 30 minutes into the install, when it becomes obvious why it says – Recommended: Dual core processor).

Basically though, Linux is hampered by incomplete drivers, which is caused by not having games on it, which is caused by it being so hard to design games that work with the incomplete drivers. Beyond that, the idea that no one will buy a game, is pure idiocy. Quite a few “cross platform” ones have come out, for MMOs, like Eve, and Second Life, etc. The inevitable result, with monthly fees for those, which are oddly, the same no matter which system its on, is almost always, “We are improving the client beyond what we can manage under Linux, or can afford to keep upgrading, so as of X date, we will no longer support a Linux client (or won’t be upgrading it at the same pace).”

In any case, bets on how many of those, “They won’t pay for games”, people buy consoles instead, and *do* buy/rent those games, because, a) the damn things work, b) they won’t use Windows, and c) Linux can’t run any of them, including the ones that have non-console versions? Its not that Linux users won’t buy things, its that they don’t want to be overcharged for something that either, in the case of applications, can be done some other way without a $1,000 price tag (like Adobe Photoshop vs. Gimp), or, in the case of a game, it works worse than the Windows version, due not to the OS getting in the way, but the video driver being screwed up, out dated, and incomplete, all the time.

Put simply, if you have the option of the equivalent of watching a movie in a tent, with a leaking roof, during a windy rain storm, with a working projector, and your only other option is going into a heated, warm, non-windy, theater, where the projector only works “part of the time”, which would you pick, and how much would you pay for that? This is the choice between OSes for games. You pick the one that at least *usually* doesn’t crash for no reason, and where most of the game works, and put up with the leaking tent, or… you sit in comfort, wondering if it will even start, and how long before something goes wrong with the game itself.” (end of quote.) Waoh! That was long. But…

I agree with this dude. For some reason. I see where the Humble Indie Bundle has hit a sweet spot for Linux Gamers. Casual style games. Not hard core 3d intensive with fancy coding involved but simple fun games that are not 80$ a pop. Not only is it easier to make quality games for Linux when they are simpler, but also makes sense economic wise, they wil sell. Ubuntu’s trying this with their software Center Paid Section, I hope more developers notice this.

As a Linux user, my decision was affected by the fact that I don’t play many video games anymore. And if I do, I don’t have time to get into a game for long, so small native Linux games have filled in that void. Whenever I need a good challenge, I decide to install a Windows game under WINE or PlayonLinux. Most of the time it works. Then I might play it. But the point is this. Developers are scared of making video games for Linux becuase it may not pay off, small niche, and too hard. I only say this, work on making good small games and work your way up, just like Windows did. People still play those type of old-school classic style games. Eventually maybe Nvidia and ATI will work on better drivers for “other” OS’s if they see that gaming might be profitable, eventually. But of course that’s only my opinion.

So are there any “real” games for Linux? Yes, but not many, one game I can’t wait to see how it plays out is http://oilrush-game.com/ They plan on making a Native Linux port. There are others, see Humble Indie Bundle, Ryzome, and hundreds of opensource ones. But in the meantime, we patiently wait, deal with it, and play the newest and latest on Windows 7 and Consoles, and that’s not so bad either, sometimes.

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About Zerin

But can you show me the source code?

Posted on October 31, 2011, in Computers and Internet and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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