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Linux Gaming after Loki 226

Posted by michael
from the sorry-state-of-affairs dept.
mahdi13 writes "Linux Hardware has a great story about the past, present and future of Linux Gaming in 2003. They briefly touch on the commercial games available and what will be available for Linux in the near future. It is a good read and contains excellent information to keep the Linux Gamers satisfied with what is commercially available."
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Linux Gaming after Loki

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  • Satisfied? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by use_compress (627082) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @04:01PM (#5783704) Journal
    keep the Linux Gamers satisfied with what is commercially available

    Come on! No Linux gamer with his stuffed penguin would say that it is possible for him to be satisfied with what is commercially available for Linux.
    • Re:Satisfied? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Lumpy (12016)
      excuse me? I am VERY satisfied that UT2003 was release with the linux client on the install disks. Granted I wanted to BEAT THEM for not supplying install instructions... I.E. "linux users look at disc 3 first" footnote in the manual.

      but I bough 2 copies of ut2003 and let them know that I bought it because they made a linux client.

      Now if we can get more good games released for linux (no not that sims crap) like ghost recon or splinter cell (Doubt it as that company is full of MS fanboys.) we will have t
    • Re:Satisfied? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AKnightCowboy (608632)
      Come on! No Linux gamer with his stuffed penguin would say that it is possible for him to be satisfied with what is commercially available for Linux.

      The only thing that is more pathetic than a Mac gamer [redvsblue.com] is someone who claims to be a Linux gamer. Let's face it, if you want to play games then you need to run Windows. Like people in the TiVo thread keep saying... why waste time building a homebrew PVR when you can just buy a TiVo? Use the best product for the job. Windows is the absolute best OS out the

      • BZZT! Wrong (Score:3, Informative)

        by gatesh8r (182908)
        Thank you for playing! [transgaming.com]
        • Thank you for playing! [transgaming.com] "

          A step in the right direction, but not perfect.

          a.) Doesn't work with all games.

          b.) Lots of complaints about stability.

          Make Windows jokes if you like, but I've had 4 Windows 2000 machines and one XP machine over the last 3 years. All of them played games just fine. The most 'painful' thing I've ever had to do was install an updated Direct X. The only thing painful about that was having to reboot. Bummer.

          Is it really that hard to dual boot with Windows?
          • Re:BZZT! Wrong (Score:3, Interesting)

            by gatesh8r (182908)
            There are some of us too that don't want to pony up the $200 for a half-decent Windoze XP Pro -- that just for the upgrade, or in my case, $300 because I dumped Windoze a few years ago and since I don't have 98, ME, or 2000, I'm not eligable for the upgrade. XP Home just doesn't cut it. There are those that don't want Windoze because of the privacy concerns, the security concerns, etc. For what I'd have to pay in Windoze software to help guard my system, plus the cost of the licence (which if I don't upgrad
            • " XP Home just doesn't cut it."

              Um, what's wrong with XP Home for gaming? I've been using it for months and it's fine.

              "There are those that don't want Windoze because of the privacy concerns, the security concerns, etc."

              If you're just booting into it to play games, what's the BFD? It's not like XP can read the Linux file system.

              "For what I'd have to pay in Windoze software to help guard my system, plus the cost of the licence (which if I don't upgrade when MS wants, I pay for dearly) I can get a he
              • How do you know nothing happened to your "naked" XP? It could be spraying spam or DOSing somebody right now. Is there a file integrity checker of some sort you didn't tell us about? BTW, unless you're booting from known clean media and running the checker from that, it isn't too reliable either.
      • Or buy a console. But that's another philisophical battle.. consoles or computer (pc/mac/freebsd) games.
        • Exactly what I'm thinking. My trusty old Celeron with a GeForce 2MX does everything I want for my line of work (sysadmin/webdesign), but it chokes on most recent games. A good console (I'm thinking about a Game Cube or a PS2) would be cheaper in the long run since they usually last for quite awhile, with huge amounts of games designed just for your platform.

          Of course, it doesn't beat the latest FPS on a bigass PC, but if you have limited funds it's a good idea... and console games are cool too :)
      • Re:Satisfied? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by slux (632202) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @04:42PM (#5784081)
        I play games occasionally. There's no way I'm buying Windows and booting to it just to play a few games sometimes. I'm happy with the Linux games currently available. In fact, they're more than I need.

        I might not be a "real gamer" (used to be though), but I do play a bit and strongly object to "if you want to play games you need to run Windows". Sure, if you absolutely have to get all the latest ones that got 90%+ in game mags, then you need Windows, but the titles that you can purchase for Linux are just fine for someone who does more things than just gaming on his computer.

        We've got Heroes3, Kohan, FreeCiv, Alpha Centauri, ASC, Lgeneral - all those games have a huge replay value so I think the strategists are covered.

        We continuously get the latest in first person shooters thanks to Epic and ID.

        And now, for those who like RPG's, there's NWN which has a great multiplayer, can be written mods for. Shouldn't get old too soon.
      • !Ding! Wrong...

        This is along the lines of, "if you want to use office apps, use Microsoft Office", or in the early days, "if you want to use a networking aware OS you Windows NT".

        Mac or Linux games would not get anywhere if you throw in the towel in and accept that fate. Sure neither are as good as the Windows landscape, but then companies aren't shy in admitting that they have to market Windows with its 90% share of the market, makes business sense.

        Commercial Linux games are fine, indeed its coming a po
      • Because Tivo will never let you save a local copy of a TV show, edit out the commercials and reencode it to MPEG4 for permanent storage. Time shifting is legal. What I just described is legal. But Tivo will never let you do it. Why? Ask them..

        I'm their customer and I think they should be giving me the products I want, not the products the movie or music industry would prefer me having.

        Remember what happened with DAT? I sure do. And I hate it! The MPAA and RIAA deserve ALL the piracy they get!
      • Nonsense. Windows has far more games available, so its good if you like to buy (or more likely warez) LOTS of games. Is that what makes a "real gamer"?
        If the games I like to play (Quake3 + mods, UT2003, etc) are available for my platform what's the problem?

        PS: Tivo is only available in the United States.
      • The only thing that is more pathetic than a Mac gamer [redvsblue.com] is someone who claims to be a Linux gamer. Let's face it, if you want to play games then you need to run Windows.

        Not if you want to play Linux games :P

        Seriously, he said "linux gamer" for a reason. If he ran windows he wouldn't be a linux gamer anymore, now would he?

        BTW, it a lot easier to run windows games under linux, than linux games under windows. That, and some gamers actually use their system for other things too.

        Windows
      • by nathanh (1214) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @06:37PM (#5785140) Homepage
        Let's face it, if you want to play games then you need to run Windows.

        Gah, if you consider futzing about with drivers and patches a "game", then sure. Imagine the typical blog of a "Windows gamer":

        9:30am Back from EB with the latest WarNerds 50000. Can't wait to play it!

        9:34am Installer crashed. Downloaded the revised installer from the WarNerds website. Only 167MB! How did people get revised installers before the Internet?

        9:54am Revised installer doesn't support my video card. Luckily I have both an nvidia and an ATI card just for such emergencies. I'll swap the ATI in. Will only take a minute!

        10:37am Phew, that took longer than I expected. My water-cooling pipes were in the way of the AGP slot. I should invest in a fan-forced nuclear cooling system like everybody has at the LAN parties.

        11:12am Yay! Installer finished. Needed to switch out the nvidia drivers and install the ATI drivers first. Thankfully Windows makes this all so easy!

        11:13am Hrm, game crashed. Says my ATI video card isn't supported if I want to play with VR headsets. Oh well, I guess I'll swap the nvidia back in.

        12:22pm Lunch-time.

        1:45pm Confused!? I swapped the nvidia card back in but it still complains about my video card. I guess I'll read the WarNerds forums.

        3:12pm Ahhh! Seems I need point release 316 with hotfix 76 because I'm using Windows 2005 with SP2 BUT because I'm using an nvidia revision 4 s/n 1287461 I need to retrograde the drivers to INFUSOR 2003. Of course! How stupid of me.

        4:05pm Ok, got the INFUSOR 2003 drivers installed and game starts now, but crashes at the menu. Getting closer! I can almost taste the gameplay.

        4:57pm Hrm, don't know why, but seems removing my Firewire scanner makes it get past the menu. Strange, because the scanner wasn't even turned on. But I'm playing WarNerds 50000 right now!

        4:58pm OHMYGODTHISGAMEISGREAT. This is the world's greatest game!!! I'm so glad I bought it!!! It's like I'm living the world's greatest dream!!! It's everything they said it would be!!!

        5:18pm Finished WarNerds 50000! That game was brilliant. I'll have to get the sequel.

        If you want to play games then you get a console. They Just Work.

        • That is a horrid overexaggeration. Most Windows games install via InstallShield or MSI (which is based upon InstallShield), both of which are very stable and have gone through multiple generations of bug fixes. The only games I can think of that don't use this install system are Fallout 2, Blizzard's Windows games, and the Unreal series. None of these crashed either.

          The fact to the matter is, if you are running something so unstable that you get results like that, your hardware is probably to blame. If my
          • The fact to the matter is, if you are running something so unstable that you get results like that, your hardware is probably to blame. If my computer were to crash and act up like that I would not trust it for data in either Windows or Linux/*BSD.

            Cripes, it was a joke, laugh a little :-)

        • You are unfair to Windows. The problems you mention are not problems of Windows themselves, but problems of the developers.

          In fact, using Windows ME and an Athlon 650/GFTi4200, I don't have any stability problems or crashes. Everything goes quite smoothly, and I only run Linux because I like OSS, Linux has some great tools to work on (it's an environment more developer-friendly with more open tools than Windows) and I like the do-it-yourself attitude.

          To tell you the truth, most people are unfair to Window
      • Use the best product for the job. Windows is the absolute best OS out there for gaming at this point unless you want to play on a console.

        Twenty years ago, that comment would have been: To get the best gaming OS, buy Commodore or Atari - not that unsupported DOS thing. We can only hope that Windows shares the same fate. The consoles will survive. :)

      • Sorry. (Score:2, Insightful)

        You are incredibly, unbelievably wrong.

        Windows is not "the best OS for gaming". It is the worst, and will continue to be the worst for many years to come.

        It simply has the most commercial games available. That is important, don't get me wrong. But it's easy to imagine many of those, if not all, having superior stability and/or available resources on anything other than windows. Windows is a bad joke, and I wish you subhuman microsoft groupies would quit telling it.
      • No, you don't "need" to run Windows. It's true there are more games for Windows than for any other platform; there might even be more games for Windows than for all other platforms combined - perhaps not, but I'll admit I wouldn't be surprised if it were the case. That said, there are still far more games available for the Mac, far more for any console, and perhaps even far more for Linux than any one person has time to play (do you play every single game that comes out for any given platform???). I don't k
    • You mean running NeverWinter Nights at 20fps isnt good enough for you?
      • Re:Satisfied? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by friedmud (512466)
        WTF are talking about?

        NWN runs BETTER in linux than it does in windows. Maybe you are using some POS videocard - but there is no reason at all for 20fps.

        I have a fairly standard rig and it runs fine:

        1.2 Ghz Athlon
        512MB RAM
        Geforce4 Ti4200

        NWN is great! Since the linux client has come out it has totally taken all of my time (yes the built in modules aren't that great - but the user created content that is out there is INCREDIBLE).

        Derek
      • 20fps? What are you running...an ATi card? You know they have drivers available so it will use the 3D acceleration
    • I am satisfied with what is commercially available for Linux. I would and do buy all the Linux games I see on the store shelves, as well as any new additions to the GTA series. But I don't care if companies don't want to sell me stuff.

      That's perfectly fine with me. I got plenty of new free stuff to keep me busy for a long long time.
    • Come on (Score:3, Insightful)

      Hunt the Wumpus and Hangman should be enough for anyone.
  • Loki Games (Score:5, Informative)

    by feed_me_cereal (452042) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @04:01PM (#5783709)
    Another great place to find loki games that wasn't mentioned in the article is used bookstores. I'm not sure if they're a nation-wide chain, but Half-priced books in columbus, OH usually has a bunch of loki linux games that I guess people probably bought thinking they were windows games. You can get most of them for a buck or two. I also found copies of quake3 a year ago at microcenter for $3! Though, I suppose at this point thats probably what you would expect to pay anywhere...
  • by huntz0r (580511) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @04:02PM (#5783712)
    is that sort of like Windows Security?
  • New record. (Score:2, Funny)

    by Mullen (14656)
    This must be a new record, /.'ed with only 3 +1 commments!

    Linux Hardware not having enough hardware, how ironic.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @04:07PM (#5783762)
    The Past
    Loki has undoubtedly become a synonym for "Linux game." While the company is long gone, their legacy lives on. Many of their works can still be had for a fair price at online vendors such as TuxGames, or at local shops which still carry older stock. I have found a number of my Loki titles at Electonics Boutique, including a tin box version of Quake 3 Arena. So which Loki-ported games were released? Which ones are still available? Well, the first question has an easy answer. If you look in the table, any game title that is still in stock is a link to its respective page on TuxGames. If there is no link, then the game is out of stock. This is not to say that you can't find it anywhere, but just that TuxGames no longer carries it.

    Alpha Centauri Civilization: Call to Power Descent 3 1
    Deus Ex 2 Eric's Ultimate Solitaire Heavy Gear II
    Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 Heretic II Heroes of Might and Magic III
    Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns MindRover: The Europa Project 3 Myth II: Soulblighter
    Postal Plus Quake 3 Arena 1,3,4 Railroad Tycoon II Gold
    Rune Rune: Halls of Valhalla SimCity 3000 Unlimited
    Soldier of Fortune Tribes 2 Unreal Tournament 1,3,4
    Legend:
    1 - expansion available
    2 - unreleased
    3 - still in print, not by Loki
    4 - downloadable binaries
    As you can clearly see, there are still a good number of Loki games available. These titles won't last long, so you should order them as quickly as you can. TuxGames is not the only place that sells Linux games, but they do only sell Linux games, and game-related merchandise. It is possible that some of the titles that are no longer available can be found elsewhere. And there's always eBay, if you are comfortable with online auctions. It is unfortunate that we never got Deus Ex, but circumstances and fate prevented the game from ever being completed.

    Rune
    Some gamers don't want to buy these games, and that is fine. Not everyone appreciates every genre, and some people refuse to buy games that don't get shoved down their throats on television and Internet ads. However, for the majority of Linux gamers, the series of Loki ports includes some of the best games ever created. There is no telling what games Linux users could be playing if Loki were still around today.

    Tribsoft ported a game called Jagged Alliance II to Linux, and has since disappeared from the scene. Their domain name even points to some weird site in British Columbia now. I imagine they won't be porting any more games, but if you want a good strategy game with adventure and role-playing elements, something like Fallout, then look no further than Jagged Alliance II.

    Xatrix Entertainment developed a game called Kingpin: Life of Crime. They ported it to Linux, and if you can find a copy of the game anywhere, you may like to check out the unofficial installer, made by ravage, of icculus.org. It's worth checking out, if you like violent first-person shooter games that revolve around organized crime.

    So now that we have a good idea of what has happened in the past, let's take a look at what is going on right now in the world of Linux games.

    The Present
    So we know where Linux gamers got their roots from, but where will they go tomorrow? What is there to fill the seemingly large void left by Loki? Well, as you may have heard, there is a newer company called Linux Game Publishing, often referred to as LGP. What they do is, well, they publish Linux games. This includes titles that they port, and titles that are ported by others, just as Loki did.

    So what does LGP have in store for us? Well, for starters, Majesty has gone gold, and should be available any day now. You can pre-order it already. The game looks and plays like a cross between the best parts of Lords of the Realm 2, Total Annihilation: Kingdoms, and Age of Empires. It brings back those same feelings I used to get, and I can get lost in the gameplay for hours on end. definitely keep your eye on this game. Click here for some screenshots.

    L
  • Freely Available (Score:3, Interesting)

    by blazer1024 (72405) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @04:08PM (#5783775)
    I've always been more into the freely available games out there when it comes to Linux.

    For big flashy commercial 3d games and such, I generally prefer Windows anyway since I know it'll work right off. (Well, usually anyway :)

    In Linux, I like those games made by people with creative minds, but not the money to try to produce a big budget game. These games are frequently much more interesting, and sometimes even more graphically appealing.. (I like cheezy 2d graphics better sometimes, especially if it's a fun game)... in fact, one of my favorite Linux games ever, Koules, had very simplistic graphics, but four of us would huddle around the KB and a joystick and play that game for hours!

    I bet you that game had a budget of $0. Development tools, graphics programs and all sorts of useful apps exist for free in Linux.. so anyone with an idea and enough spare time can make something that could be more fun to play than a game with a 10 million dollar budget.
  • by tuffy (10202) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @04:11PM (#5783801) Homepage Journal
    Give the playable demo [linuxgamepublishing.com] a try and see for yourself. Though most of my Linux gaming involves xmame [mame.net] or zsnes [sourceforge.net], when I'm not doing actual work.
  • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @04:11PM (#5783807) Homepage Journal
    What, no mention of Transgaming? Sure they don't actually port the games to Linux, but if it works it works. The only big problem is that the Transgaming versions have to deal with all of the copy protection crap the Windows users have to deal with. Has a CD Key ever kept someone from pirating a game? Do any games with SafeDisc (which don't work in my computer) actually avoid being 0-day Warez? How many hours of my life have I wasted installing games only to realize that it's got another CD protection scheme that breaks in my DVD drive? How many hours of tech support time have I wasted with these problem (at least Blizzard fixed it in a patch, unlike most companies that just ignore you)[1]?
    I think Loki got it right. Too bad they were probably a bit too early (not enough users with cash) to make money. It's a shame, because the Loki versions usually ran better than the Windows versions on my machine.

    [1] Well, not too many, I usually just return the game instead.
    • by dolson (634094) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @04:23PM (#5783911) Homepage Journal
      The article was about Linux games, not Windows games.

      The chances that Transgaming has had to produce native ports have gone to shit. The Sims and Kohan are WineX-based crap. I've compared their Kohan against Loki's Kohan, and Loki's doesn't crash, it's faster, smoother, and the sound doesn't ever get messed up. Not to mention that the Linux version is an actual Linux version, and doesn't require that I connect to the Internet to install or run the game.

      Sorry, but I use Linux and Linux software, not Linux and Windows software. If I wanted to run Windows software, I'd just install Windows because it runs a hell of a lot better than Wine and WineX do.

      I used to be a subscriber, and I tested over 70 of my Windows games in it. Guess how many actually ran? Seven. Guess how many locked up and forced me to reset my system? The majority. It's not worth it. I don't agree with subscription-based software, for one thing, and I don't agree with Transgaming, for another. They are bad open-source citizens, and they blatantly lied to me when they said that after a certain number of subscribers, they would release their source code to Wine. I don't care what excuses anyone makes for Transgaming; the fact is that they said it, and now they don't.

      They also lied when they said that they won't be testing games that are being ported natively... Medal of Honor is being ported to Linux right now, just as my article says, and yet Transgaming brags about how it runs in WineX. I can't count the number of people that run Quake 3 Arena in WineX... I've talked to them myself, so I KNOW that it's true. I just don't understand this.

      Furthermore, WineX hurts Linux's chances of getting native ports. Aside from the Sacrifice port which they killed, they are creating a Linux gaming community that relies on Windows and Windows software... Transgaming is always a few steps behind Windows, and always will be. What happens in a few years from now, when WineX is good enough that it can run a lot of games, and then Microsoft sues Transgaming? They aren't loyal to Linux at all - look at Gav's track record. Does Corel support Linux anymore? No. Will Transgaming? No. They simply saw a potential for cash, and they stepped in. That's all this is. What if Microsoft changes their architecture so much that Wine and WineX are rendered useless with new software? They have to start all over... And what will become of those "hardcore gamer" Linux users? They'll crawl back to Windows on their knees. And if you don't agree that one of these scenarios will happen, then you can't deny that it will hurt or kill LGP. Linux users are NOT loyal to Linux - ask what was Tribsoft or someone from Hyperion, two companies who stopped porting to Linux because so-called Linux users are too fucking cheap to buy native games, and they'd rather buy the 20-discount bin Windows versions and then use WineX or dual-boot. At least Amiga and Mac users are loyal to their operating system. They don't buy Windows software at all. They buy software for their platform. Hell, the majority of Linux users don't even pay for their distro. Hyperion has a deal now, but if they will port to Linux remains to be seen.

      The future of Linux gaming is NOT bright when you keep getting bombarded with emails and comments about WineX and playing Windows games in Linux.

      When we can run Windows games on Linux, there is no need for native ports. It's a sad, sad day. I'm very glad I bought a Playstation, because I can't see Linux gaming surviving much longer.
      • "What if Microsoft changes their architecture so much that Wine and WineX are rendered useless with new software?"

        They can't change their architecture to break Wine w/o breaking apps on windows 2000, too. MS isn't willing to do that.
        • You don't think so? I guess we'll find out, won't we? They broke DOS, and they'll break everything else eventually.
          • "You don't think so? I guess we'll find out, won't we? They broke DOS, and they'll break everything else eventually"

            They didn't break DOS, they phased out of it.

            That was probably the worst example you could have used to prove your point, heh.

            MS isn't going to mess with WineX. There's no benefit to it. MS does, however, have every interest in making sure that game developers have a good development to work in. Linux developers would be wise to cater to the gaming Community in a similar way.
        • Well, for one thing, Windows 2000 wasn't targeted as a home/gamer platform. ME (briefly) and then XP were. I don't really think Microsoft would care if users can't run newer games on Win2k installs- they might even enjoy it as a way to push XP upgrade sales.

          They can't change their architecture to break Wine w/o breaking apps on windows 2000,

          Really? Don't they have some kind of "Microsoft-Update" internet-based system to push patches onto desktops? Couldn't this repair Windows2000 installations to tr
      • by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @06:30PM (#5785067) Homepage
        The chances that Transgaming has had to produce native ports have gone to shit. The Sims and Kohan are WineX-based crap ... Loki's doesn't crash, it's faster, smoother, and the sound doesn't ever get messed up.

        I think you'd have more credibility for this opinion if you didn't obviously have a grudge against TransGaming. If you were a subscriber, you should have clearly known that not all games would work, in fact, probably only the ones they support would work. This is made very clear at every stage.

        They are bad open-source citizens, and they blatantly lied to me when they said that after a certain number of subscribers, they would release their source code to Wine. I don't care what excuses anyone makes for Transgaming; the fact is that they said it, and now they don't.

        I believe they said they'd release their code when they reached 20,000 subscribers. Gav did set a figure, I think that's what it was, not 100% sure. Clearly they are a long way off that figure at the moment. I'd note that TransGamimg have released large amounts of code back to WineHQ - not all of it no, but quite a bit. A lot of the DirectDraw code, the SHM wineserver (though for various reasons that wasn't merged), DCOM code etc etc.

        I can't count the number of people that run Quake 3 Arena in WineX... I've talked to them myself, so I KNOW that it's true. I just don't understand this.

        Who cares? APIs are just a set of rules about how to invoke system services. Are you going to crusade against games that don't use SDL next, for not being pure enough? You clearly don't understand the nature of the Win32 APIs if you think MS can "break" them - sure they can introduce new things, and remove things, but so can Wine, and randomly removing or changing interfaces in an OS update would just break all their customers software - they cannot do this, and never have.

        If Q3 Arena works great under WineX and they want to use it, why not? For all I know, it's easier than installing it under Linux - if they have the CD next to them, why not use it?

        Furthermore, WineX hurts Linux's chances of getting native ports.

        Nobody has ever actually proven this, it's merely conjecture. A Tale In The Desert was ported to Linux despite the fact that people were running it in Wine just fine months before the official port was ready.

        What definately does hurt Linuxs chances of native ports however are a lack of gamers. Wine can only help that situation.

        What happens in a few years from now, when WineX is good enough that it can run a lot of games, and then Microsoft sues Transgaming?

        Your paranoia is bizarre. What, pray tell, would Microsoft sue TransGaming for? Reimplementations of other companies technologies is legally established as being just fine. Wine has been around for nearly a decade, the most MS have done is put slightly dubious things in the EULAs of their own software - things that probably wouldn't stand up in court either.

        The fact is, you appear to be horrendously ill informed, paranoid and blame the economics of Linux gaming on users being "too fucking cheap". Right.

        Let me ask you this. If a game works just fine in Wine what in gods name is the justification for producing a version that uses "native" APIs? Let's conveniently ignore the fact that SDL is cross platform, hardly Linux "native". Microsoft has no control over its own APIs you realise - the most they can do is extend them, in which case new games may use technology Wine doesn't implement for a few months, but for older games they cannot be broken.

        You appear to take for granted that "native" ports are better than a version that uses the Win32 API, despite the fact that there are virtually no Linux-specific APIs around. X? Cross platform. SDL? Cross platform. GTK? Cross platform. Even GLIBC is cross platform. Your position makes no sense at all, and your wild fatalism just spreads FUD whether you intend it to or not.

        • You're a Wine developer, aren't you?

          I've argued with Wine developers before, and they all sound the same to me, and you sound like one. Apologies if you're not.

          You can dismiss my arguments as whatever you like, I don't really care. They're my opinions, and last I checked, everyone was entitled to their own.
          • Wow, that's an easy way out of defending your reasoning! Attacking the person, then asserting that your views stand on their own and are thus not subject to scrutiny.

            I'll have to try that myself sometime.

    • CD keys for online games are VERY effective in stopping piracy. Since it checks the key each time you connect to an online server, it won't let you play with a pirated key, even if your game thinks it's real.

      For single player games, I'd have to agree, but gaming is becoming much more internet oriented these days.
  • Last real area (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rf0 (159958) <rghf@fsck.me.uk> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @04:14PM (#5783832) Homepage
    I really see gaming as the last area where Linux is seriously behind Windows. We have things like WineX which allows some games to be run and of course people like ID activly support Linux. However I have a number of games that I like to play that force me to reboot into Windows just to play them.

    Ask anyone and they will say that the availability of games, and even decent graphics drivers on Linux is really behind that of Windows. So if you have the ocassional home user who want to play a games, even a demo off a cover disk they aren't going to be going for Linux are they? Mind you they could just as easy go for a PS2 :)

    rus

    • Re:Last real area (Score:3, Informative)

      Actually, the nVidia drivers are overall considered better for linux... well at least by many people I know and by observing the game benchmarks over the years with UT 2003 and Q3. Also, WineX still doesn't work very well in my opinion. Usually it is only the very big games that work, or games that are based off of the Quake 3 engine. Games like Morrowind or Black and White I have found to barely work at all. To add to that, you have to pay for WineX and it is a pain in the ass to set up.
    • Re:Last real area (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Deacon Jones (572246)
      I really see gaming as the last area where Linux is seriously behind Windows.

      I don't feel that way.

      Let's see, OpenOffice is still a dog compared to M$ Office. It takes forever to launch, and many times just doesn't handle things as smoothly (even the positioning of bullets) that M$ Office can. Its nowhere near as robust. Granted, one can see its on track, and M$ has had quite a long time to get where it is in comparison to OpenOffice, but it is still behind.

      As well, don't forget that with any wind

      • As well, don't forget that with any windoze program, I double click, and it installs, and finds the libraries it needs (or just installs them itself). One click. I don't have to tar xzvf filename, and then compile it. Or rpm -i filename, or urpmi -prayitfindsfilename, or whatever.

        And during installation, it opens all the ports, doors, and windows, so you're comfy and feel right at home. As they say, ingnorance is bliss. :) There are linux distros (Mandrake for instance) that have GUI software installe

  • Still no stable NWN client. On top of that, WineX 3 is horribly broken. On my system (at least) GTA3 no longer works and WC3 performs worse.

    No major advances and a few steps back as far as I am concerned.
    • Re:Not too happy... (Score:2, Informative)

      by WWWWolf (2428)

      Still no stable NWN client.

      Oh yeah, but it runs already, sort of. Like just today I totally quit playing NWN on Windows and switched to Linux, because I got my accelerated graphics working and got far better performance than the 5 fps I pulled earlier. It was like, adding "export LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libGL.so.1" to the nwn shell script with vim because it used the Mesa library for some reason instead of the nvidia-glx libGL.so

      I mean, it's so simple. I can't see why anyone's still using Windows for gami

  • The future of linux games is on the Sony Play Station.

    Far in the future mind you... If you are a true gamer, as in the kind who likes to play with friends who are physically in the same room while drunk and/or stoned, you stick to the console.

    Linux on the Play Station, which is already available, is one step of something many predict will only become bigger.

    • "Linux on the Play Station, which is already available, is one step of something many predict will only become bigger."

      Hardly. You can't even burn a disc and play it on the PS2. The only way you can get a game to somebody else is if they have the $200 Linux kit for PS2. Sorry, Linux on the PS2 gets you nowhere into making games a bigger market for Linux.

      Linux gaming could happen, but it takes a great deal of effort to make it interesting. The first step would be to make a dev enviornment interesting
    • I believe the future of games as we think of them now is consoles. There was a huge gap between console games and PC games for a while, and there is still currently a gap, but it's shrinking.

      How many people own a PS2 versus and up to date capable of running Doom 3 PC?

      I'm sick of FPSes (which I hate on consoles due to lack of mouse for aiming) and that's about all that gets released for the PC of any caliber anymore (with some exceptions) or rehashes of older games and genres that don't add much (Diablo v
  • The Final Barrier (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tighe_L (642122) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @04:18PM (#5783860) Homepage
    I am completely switched to Linux & FreeBSD for my home PCs, but my co-worker will not switch (he wants to) until he can play games like DAOC, EQ, BF1942, PlanetSide (Yes I know you can use Wine and WineX) in linux. I think the syngergyst (sp.) that could cause a switch would be a Linux Based Gaming Console. Games are the only thing keeping home M$ Windows sales up.
    • I've got two linux boxes and and a high end windows box just for games. I dream about switching to linux and adding my Athlon 1800 to the openMosix cluster. I'm tired of Windows it has been a thorn in my side for too long.
    • by NanoGator (522640)
      " Games are the only thing keeping home M$ Windows sales up."

      That's not really true. Though I agree games are an extremely attractive feature of Windows, the fact is that it's a decent OS. Lots of apps, easy to use, easy to install, lots of places to get help with it, etc. (Note: I only speak of Windows 2k and even XP, Windows 95, 98, ME, and related are complete garbage. I will not defend those flavors.)

      Linux has arguably gained ground in most of those areas, but it's still got its rough areas. I
    • by BrookHarty (9119)
      Switching to Linux/Bsd/OSX full time is easy, the only time I ever go back to my windows box is for games. Pushing linux/osx on a windows gamer is the wrong direction to go. Pushing linux/osx on a person who is a desktop user is postive experience. WineX (while good) is geared towards the more techincal user, and is not yet "install and play" simple.
      -
      Do you use CS Skins? [games-fusion.net]
    • It won't be much of a barrier for long.
      Microsoft is trying to kill off gaming on the PC.

      - Halo nearly ready for release to PC, bought by MS, and shelved in favour of an XBox port.
      - iD Software approached by MS, offered a stack of cash to sit on Doom3 for PC in favour of an XBox port.

      Microsoft don't want people playing games on 'their' PCs, that much is clear. That's what the XBox is for (well, that and a test bed for DRM content). They're trying to permanently separate PCs and games consoles.

      If Microsoft
  • ut2003? (Score:3, Informative)

    by phre4k (627961) <esbenp AT cs DOT aau DOT dk> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @04:28PM (#5783957)
    I see no mention of ut2003 in this article. It is one of the best ports i have seen. It runs nativily on linux. The installer is even included in the retail, which imho is great.

    /Esben
  • DOOM 3 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SeaPig (649774) <jeremiah0@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @04:41PM (#5784064)
    John Carmack said there will be a linux version of DOOM 3. That's all I care about. ;-)
  • Easily the best action game ever in my book... it's a Robotron psychedelic 2D shooter on a 3D engine... absolutely gorgeous... it was developed by PomPom Games [pompom.org.uk] in the UK.

    I saw their first title, Space Tripper, in an old /. article about Linux Games but, IMO, Mutant Storm is much more deserving of some publicity.

    • Both games were mentioned in the article. I liked Space Tripper better, but that's just me.

      Both are great games, and yeah, they are worth the money.
  • by Dave_21-6 (635736) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @04:47PM (#5784115) Homepage
    21-6 Productions [21-6.com] is one of the studios developing games with the Torque Game Engine offered by GarageGames [garagegames.com]. It's a bit of a shameless plug, but today is the launch day for our title Orbz 2.0 [garagegames.com], which is being released for Linux, Mac, and Windows simultaneously, along with a demo for each platform.

    We really believe in developing fun and interesting games for both the Linux and Mac platforms. We don't just believe in doing so just because it's "the right thing", but also because there is money to be made. The article mentions Marble Blast, another TGE-powered title, and the Mac and Linux sales have been substantial. Certainly nothing for a small, independently-financed game studio such as ours to turn our noses up at.
  • Tzar (Score:3, Interesting)

    by StarTux (230379) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @05:24PM (#5784473) Journal
    "A while ago, Hyperion Entertainment ported both Sin and Shogo: Mobile Armor Division to Linux. While they haven't ported any games to Linux recently, they were considering porting Tzar, but Linux gamers rejected that idea. That is sad, because Linux doesn't have an overabundance of real-time strategy games at the moment. I think that we shouldn't be so choosy when it comes to what we get ported, as we are a very small market as it is. I would have liked to buy Tzar, or any RTS game for that matter. I hope that Hyperion find something to port in the near future, as well as a publisher willing to support them. The more games we get, the better!"

    Shogo had clipping issues, pretty large ones....Tzar was rejected because we're getting Disciples 2, wehich is similer but much better. Tzar didn't really offer anything unique.

    StarTux
    • Re:Tzar (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by dolson (634094)
      So then we should reject every FPS game, since we've already got Quake 3 Arena, and every sports game because we've got Stoned, and every racing game because we've got TuxRacer?

      Get a grip. Do you want more games for Linux or not? Why is choice bad? Why can we have 80 desktop environments and window managers, but we can only have one RTS game?
  • It's possible to hack DS to work without the servers: Use the login disabler at http://mainframe.chani3.com/ [chani3.com]
  • by An Ominous Cow Erred (28892) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @06:03PM (#5784840)
    Hyperion just completed an agreement [hyperion-e...inment.com] with IncaGold to bring their games to Amiga, MacOS, and Linux, the first title being Midnight Racing. Here's to giving Linux another shot. ::raises glass::

  • by ggwood (70369) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @06:27PM (#5785026) Homepage Journal
    A small company called Spiderweb Software [spidweb.com] released a game for Linux called Exile III - it is similar to the classic Ultima IV or Ultima V style. It is shareware, so you can try before you buy (even for Linux). I am kind of disapointed they only released one game for Linux as they released so many for both the Mac and the PC - including scenerio design tools - and this was way before Neverwinter Nights. Sure the graphics are not overwhelming but worth a look. Here [spiderwebsoftware.com] is a link to the game.

    I personally bought and played Exile I-III on the PC around 1998 and was very satisfied. Currently, there is NWN and Everquest and many others to choose from, but I felt it was the best comptuer RPG at that time.

    But the reason I bring this up is that apparently it did not sell well under Linux - perhaps it was piracy, perhaps just not enough of a user base (note: I did not play under Linux maybe it is ultra buggy or something) but for whatever reason an ideal candidate for producing Linux games was turned off.
    • I knew about it because I had played the Windows version and caught the beta announcement on LinuxGames. The main problem with sales is that they're nearly unknown with a game only the hardcore RPG crowd would want. It's a 2D map game that has simplistic graphics. While the story's really pretty good, it competes in a space occupied by at least 71 other (as listed in The Linux Game Tome) games in the genre, most of which are free.

      I doubt it was piracy or a lack of a userbase- it's more likely something

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