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Linux Port For id's Tech 5 Graphics Engine Unlikely 461

Posted by Soulskill
from the sounds-like-they-need-some-encouragement dept.
DesiVideoGamer writes "John Carmack, the lead developer for id's Tech 5 graphics engine, does not plan on making a Linux port for the new engine. From his e-mail: 'It isn't out of the question, but I don't think we will be able to justify the work. If there are hundreds of thousands of Linux users playing Quake Live when we are done with Rage, that would certainly influence our decision.' One of the reasons for not making a Linux port was due to the fact that the new engine 'pushes a lot of paths that are not usually optimized' and that the Linux port would have to use the binary blob graphics driver in order to work."
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Linux Port For id's Tech 5 Graphics Engine Unlikely

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  • Big news... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 23, 2009 @11:03PM (#29168717)

    Linux Gaming not a huge market...more at 11pm

    • But it is a market with very little piracy of native games. Also, very little competition, so you have a better penetration rate. Not sure if it is enough, but it is substantial.
      • Re:Big news... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by GameGod0 (680382) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @11:10PM (#29168779)

        But it is a market with very little piracy of native games. Also, very little competition, so you have a better penetration rate. Not sure if it is enough, but it is substantial.

        100% of "very small" is still "very small"...

        • Re:Big news... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by houstonbofh (602064) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @11:12PM (#29168801)

          But it is a market with very little piracy of native games. Also, very little competition, so you have a better penetration rate. Not sure if it is enough, but it is substantial.

          100% of "very small" is still "very small"...

          I guess we have different definitions of small. If half the Linux users would all send me a buck, I think you might consider that to be a bit of cash.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 23, 2009 @11:15PM (#29168839)

            Linux users never pay for anything, so it doesn't even matter.

            • Re:Big news... (Score:5, Insightful)

              by houstonbofh (602064) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @11:23PM (#29168907)

              Linux users never pay for anything, so it doesn't even matter.

              Nope. I didn't buy all those iD games the day the Linux port came out. Never happened.

              And Red Hat and Crosover Office really don't make money at all... It is all a myth. ;)

              • Re:Big news... (Score:4, Insightful)

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 24, 2009 @12:05AM (#29169151)

                The plural of "anecdote" is not "proof".

                • Re:Big news... (Score:5, Informative)

                  by xigxag (167441) on Monday August 24, 2009 @12:44AM (#29169407)

                  You don't need a "plural." A singular positive anecdote is enough to disprove a categorical negative assertion.

                  • Re:Big news... (Score:4, Insightful)

                    by Toonol (1057698) on Monday August 24, 2009 @05:26AM (#29170755)
                    Yeah, but I think you're getting English confused with Math.

                    "It never snows in August"

                    "Categorically wrong. Your assertion is untrue. Study the 'little ice age' of the medieval period."

                    "Uh.. anyway, since it never snows in August..." *rolls eyes*

                    Natural languages would break if they were consistently held to mathematical and logical rigor. Your statement may be technically accurate, but the OP may still be 'right'.
                • Re:Big news... (Score:4, Interesting)

                  by muckracer (1204794) on Monday August 24, 2009 @06:00AM (#29170927)

                  > The plural of "anecdote" is not "proof".

                  Perhaps you accept as some sort of 'proof' a game developer's viewpoint....like Frictionalgames (Penumbra Series), who even wrote a big thank you note on their page after the Linux version deal got mentioned on Slashdot and people subsequently bought the games (I was one of them and I only ever buy games for Linux). In fact, from the note it appeared, that they teetered on the edge of development with a new version of Penumbra, but due to the sudden influx of cash they'll now happily go forward full steam.

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by westlake (615356)

                Nope. I didn't buy all those iD games the day the Linux port came out. Never happened.

                The problem is that this never happens often enough.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by bonefry (979930)

                And Red Hat and Crosover Office really don't make money at all... It is all a myth. ;)

                I know you're being sarcastic, but what about Loki Games?

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by TheRaven64 (641858)

                  I'm not sure about Loki specifically, but I wouldn't be surprised if they hadn't been killed by WINE. I can't speak for the Linux market specifically, but I recently bought a copy of Homeworld 2, and in spite of not using Windows, I got the Windows version rather than the Mac port. The Windows version runs nicely under Darwine (although it needed a little hoop-jumping to get it installed) and I know that it will run at least as well on my next x86 computer, as long as it runs one of the platforms that WIN

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by Moryath (553296)

                  Point: Loki Games no longer exists. [lokigames.com]

                  I think that proves the point.

                  And BTW, based on the forum responses in the slashdot-linked article, it reminded me why Linux is not (and probably never will be) widespread on the desktop: just to get the damn OS (of whatever distro you chose) running, you have to go to a forum filled with people like them and beg for help only to get a bunch of asstard responses, and then come back again whenever you're trying to find/learn another new program.

                  No thanks.

              • Re:Big news... (Score:5, Interesting)

                by crossmr (957846) on Monday August 24, 2009 @04:41AM (#29170503) Journal

                a few years ago I had to use project 2003 for a class. I was attempting to run only linux on my laptop at the time. It didn't support it.. I put down my pledge. 1.5 years later I get an email saying "This now works on crossover office, pay up!" I no longer needed it, but went over to check out its status. Their definition of "it works" was several users claiming "garbage won't even start" and one user claiming "I got it to run..but you can't open anything, save anything.. or pretty much do anything" and they considered that delivering on their end of the bargain.

                They want to make linux appealing, they need to work just a tad bit harder than that.

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by oatworm (969674)
                  For better or worse, you have to use the tools that work for you. In your case, you have a hard requirement - you need MS Project 2003 to work on whatever system you're using. Obviously, if you have a hard requirement that you have to use a Windows-native application, you should probably use the operating system that best supports it, which would be Windows, and that's okay.

                  The point of WINE is to help your migration path to Linux. If you have an app that only runs under Windows and you need some time
            • Re:Big news... (Score:5, Insightful)

              by JohnBailey (1092697) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @11:25PM (#29168917)

              Linux users never pay for anything, so it doesn't even matter.

              Do Windows users??

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by markdavis (642305)

              Linux users never pay for anything, so it doesn't even matter.

              You are full of crap. I have purchased *dozens* of commercial games for Linux: Wolfenstien 2, Heroes3, Doom3, Heretic 2, Myth 2, Goo, Sim City 3000, are just a few I can remember of the top of my head. All commercial. All Linux based. And I am certainly not alone.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by xigxag (167441)

                Sure but the real issue is, not if the AC is full of crap, but is Carmack full of crap when he says that your purchases (and those of your fellow Linux game buyers) aren't themselves enough to justify the expense of porting this engine? Certainly he has access to id's sales stats. Why would he lie about such a thing? And furthermore, if the Linux game market is so fertile, yet underserved, someone such as yourself should be able to make a killing funding a Linux games startup.

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by eltaco (1311561)
                  yes and no - any id game I actually bought was usually the windows version followed by a quick dl of a linux bin and a replacement of the windows exe (so, yes, they have general stats - ie apache logs (or do they actually sell linux/mac only versions in the states or elsewhere? they don't to my knowledge in Germany or the UK [I've seen mac and windows versions of other games, but nothing non-windows])) - seeing as they used to use opengl for everything.
                  it sounds like this time id went for dx10 - even thou
                  • Re:Big news... (Score:5, Informative)

                    by BikeHelmet (1437881) on Monday August 24, 2009 @04:12AM (#29170369) Journal

                    The big issue is the stability of the OpenGL 3.x codepaths on Linux. You'll need some relatively up to date drivers(binary blobs) to get all those new calls working. And no guarantees it won't break, later.

                    Since OpenGL 3.x and DX10/11 share a lot, it should be more straightforward than it was in the past porting from one to the other. The major differences between OGL and DX have partially been eliminated. Thanks to The Khronos Group, they're both moving in the same direction.

                    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                      by jedidiah (1196)

                      The "complaint" about the binary drivers really seems to be the most senseless of all.

                      If I am willing to run Carmack's proprietary code and pay for the priveledge, the idea
                      of running some binary driver doesn't seem like much of a stretch really. I really don't
                      see the problem.

                  • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                    by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702)

                    I ("only") minor in CS, but to my understanding, if you dev an application on a certain (cross plattform) api, it should easily be adapted to other plattforms.

                    Not harsh enough. If an application is developed on a cross-platform API, it should work without modification on every platform which has that particular API framework installed. If it doesn't, the API isn't cross-platform.

                    If id code a game engine which runs on OpenGL 3, it should run on OpenGL 3 in Linux, Windows, Mac, my SE mobiel phone... Any device which has "OpenGL 3 compatible" somewhere in its description. I shouldn't have to dick about with something to make it work if it says it runs the framework

                    • Re:Big news... (Score:4, Informative)

                      by robthebloke (1308483) on Monday August 24, 2009 @08:04AM (#29171483)
                      You've not developed for OpenGL3 have you?

                      DX10 came out November 30, 2006 - which gave DX10 devs geometry shaders

                      The OpenGL 3.2 spec was released 21 days ago (spec != drivers though!), which finally put Geometry shaders into the core specification. That's only, what, almost 3 years after DX developers got them.

                      So... if you need to use geometry shaders in your game, what GL extension do you code against? GL_EXT_geometry_shader4? GL_ARB_geometry_shader4? NV_geometry_program? or the core spec? Chances are you'll end up coding against all 4, because you can be absolutely certain most cards will support 1 of those extensions, but each card will probably support a different one.

                      If the Khronos group keep insisting that they must keep the OpenGL APi 3 years behind D3D10, it's not difficult to see why developers aren't all that keen to go with OpenGL. If the Khronos group continue to keep giving us information which they later back track on (like the entire OpenGL3 spec), it's not surprising to see game developers ditching OpenGL3 in droves. To see Carmack ditching OpenGL really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone working with OpenGL3. I've worked with OpenGL for the past ten years or so, and I'm sad to say that I'm currently stripping all OpenGL out of our codebase in favour of the 'other' API. Currently it seems to be what every developer is doing at the moment. OpenGL is just a royal pita these days. Let it die.
                    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                      by TheRaven64 (641858)
                      Yes, it should. Now look at which of those devices actually have working OpenGL 3 drivers. I doubt your mobile phone does, as most of the high-end ARM SoCs use an OpenGL 2 ES GPU. Mac? Well, OS X 10.6 is supposed to support OpenGL 3, but 10.5 only supports 2.1 and OS X 10.6 is never going to support PowerPC Macs. Sure, a lot of the newer features in OpenGL 3.x are exposed as extensions in 2.x, but that doesn't simplify development. And Linux? I think the nVidia proprietary drivers support OpenGL 3.
                    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                      by TheRaven64 (641858)
                      Reading that comment, I wonder if you've ever written any code, let alone any cross-platform code. If you declare i as an integer, it will be some kind of integer on every platform. But will it be a 16-bit, 32-bit or 64-bit integer? Will it be big enough to hold a pointer? Does the hardware wrap or produce some other undefined result on unsigned overflow? And we're only in implementation-defined parts of the core C language specification here, not talking about any APIs - even the C standard library.
            • by suckmysav (763172)

              Ummm, I purchased Nero for Linux just a few weeks back.

      • Re:Big news... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MWoody (222806) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @11:51PM (#29169053)

        On what do you base that first assertion? Because you wish it were true, because Linux users are somehow better?

        I would have said a similar thing about indie games once, particularly those who support their fanbase well and opt for no-DRM releases. Then World of Goo, which calls home for one of the online features in the game, reported a near-90% piracy rate. They even gave out the first world as a free demo, for chrissakes.

        The fact is, there's nothing unique about Linux that's going to somehow reduce the piracy rate. I mean, let's face the facts: it's a group of users savvy enough to get their hands on a distributable (possibly via torrent), who have opted for a free OS with tons of free software, and who tend (if this very site is to be believed) statistically towards antiestablishmentarianism. We're hardly ideal customers for anything we can't recommend for purchase at work.

        • Re:Big news... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by moon3 (1530265) on Monday August 24, 2009 @02:00AM (#29169781)
          It is not about piracy, trust me, it is all about Linux not being viable as a platform. That is what TFA is about, they would do it, BUT Linux "pushes a lot of paths that are not usually optimized' and that the Linux port would have to use the binary blob graphics driver in order to work".

          Basically what they are saying here is that after over a ten years of Linux development they are unable to effortlessly and painlessly port the game to the platform, or without taking some hard measures that could backfire, being nasty or buggy.

          There is little criticism in the Linux community in general, so you would never really hear the X-windows system is probably the worst piece of software ever written or that Linux drivers do not really exist as the frequent kernel changes makes vendor software drivers invalid, lots of people got alienated over the years and even enthusiast now say something like that they've stopped worrying about Linux and love Windows. A sad story.
          • Re:Big news... (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Virak (897071) on Monday August 24, 2009 @05:21AM (#29170725) Homepage

            Basically what they are saying here is that after over a ten years of Linux development they are unable to effortlessly and painlessly port the game to the platform

            Gee, I wonder why? It's not like Linux is a different OS and id Tech 5 is a gigantic codebase or anything like that? Oh wait.

            Besides, he never said "OMG LUNIX IS THE WORST THING EVER GUYS I CAN'T PORT IT TO THIS PIECE OF SHIT LOL", he said "It isn't out of the question, but I don't think we will be able to justify the work." That's hardly the scathing criticism of Linux you so desperately try to make it out to be. Hell, it isn't even a criticism of Linux at all.

            or without taking some hard measures that could backfire, being nasty or buggy.

            He said nothing of the sort, you're just making shit up here. RTFA. What he said was that it'd probably only work on closed source drivers. Not that he can't get it running on Linux without accidentally opening a gateway far into the depths of hell.

            There is little criticism in the Linux community in general,

            No, not really.

            so you would never really hear the X-windows system is probably the worst piece of software ever written

            No, not even close. It's got a lot of cruft, but it's still managed to keep up with the times quite well. Furthermore, most of the complaints people make about are absurd, outdated, or just plain wrong. Like the ever classic "X uses a server and has network transparency so it uses the network for everything even locally so it's SLOW LOL". Which would be a fine complaint if it weren't for the fact that it is wrong. Locally it'd use Unix sockets, a very different thing from network sockets. Actually, it wouldn't even use that, it'd use shared memory, directly communicating with the server, and avoiding any overhead. So yes, you wouldn't hear that sort of complaint much except from idiots.

            or that Linux drivers do not really exist as the frequent kernel changes makes vendor software drivers invalid,

            It sure makes things easier when you completely redefine words to your liking, doesn't it? The lack of a stable driver API doesn't mean "drivers don't exist". People can either update their drivers themselves to keep up with the latest kernels, or get them in the kernel itself and not have to worry about such a thing anymore. However just because the driver might break on newer versions doesn't make it stop working on older versions and doesn't make it "not exist". In fact, quite a few of them exist; probably more than any other OS comes with out of the box, even Windows. (Certainly more than any OS that's not Windows comes with)

            lots of people got alienated over the years and even enthusiast now say something like that they've stopped worrying about Linux and love Windows.

            Oh hey that's funny because lots of people I know got alienated by Windows over the years and now say something like they've stopped worrying about Windows and love Linux! Clearly the year of the Linux desktop is finally at hand! (If you don't get what I'm going for here, "the plural of anecdote is not data", especially not anecdotes personally gathered from acquaintances, a, too put it lightly, rather biased group.)

            A sad story.

            The only thing sad is how your post consists entirely of bullshit, nonsense, and outright lies.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Draek (916851)

            so you would never really hear the X-windows system is probably the worst piece of software ever written

            ORLY? let's see you backing that up with some reliable data. Something better than the "it's 20 years old!" and "it uses the network!" idiocy that gets posted to Slashdot so often, preferably.

            or that Linux drivers do not really exist as the frequent kernel changes makes vendor software drivers invalid

            Carmack's argument is that he can't port it easily without relying on closed-source drivers, and you somehow derive from this that Linux needs *more* closed-source drivers? or are you just trolling out of context here?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Orion Blastar (457579)

        It is not that Linux has a small market, ID claims technical problems with the Blog drivers.

        This is sad because a lot of Gameheads are locked into Windows for playing games, and if Linux versions had existed you'd see more Gamehead defections to Linux because most hate Windows crashing on them or causing lags in the game when it eats up resource memory. If only Video Card makers would open up their standards so open source drivers can be used for them. My Nvidia chipset driver for Linux is limited to 2D sup

        • by Cyberax (705495)

          ATI opened their specs, as well as Intel. Even reverse-engineered drivers for NVidia are coming.

          But they're long way off.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          If you read it more carefully, he later adds "If there are hundreds of thousands of linux users playing Quake Live when we are done with Rage". I believe that while the blob has technical and performance issues, the real meat is still , especially after id losing it's independance to Zenimax, is poor ROI on Linux ports. 100000s Linux users playing QL? He KNEW it wasn't remotely realistic by a factor of 10 when he said it.
        • Re:Big news... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOsPAM.gmail.com> on Monday August 24, 2009 @02:17AM (#29169877) Journal

          This will probably get me beaten down for say, but I doubt seriously you'd get the Windows gamers over with more Linux ports, and here is why-#1.-As a PC repairman i can tell you I haven't seen a crash that wasn't caused by the user installing malware since...oh lord, it has to be around XP Sp1.

          -#2- As someone who has built and sold many a custom gamer rig, I can tell you Windows gamers are the second most GUI centric bunch you will ever see, the "Sally home user" types being the only ones LESS likely to touch a CLI. They have GUI tweaker tools, the have GUI benchmark software, they used pre-tweaked GUI based drivers, etc. They simply have ZERO desire to ever see and use a CLI, and anyone that has used Linux for any length of time will admit there are still plenty of places where a CLI is required. Update bone your sound? CLI. Your new GPU (which WinGamers do change more than home users) doesn't get the monitor resolution correct? CLI. These guys want to frag, not learn Unix commands.

          -#3-From what I have been told (not a game developer, so I don't know how accurate it is) OpenGL is simply no where near parity with DirectX. This means the fanciest graphics, the biggest booms, all the bling bling that those that are willing to spend the crazy money on an uber-powerful GPU love, will always be for Windows, and will take a long time to port if it ever is at all. The odds of getting even half of the AAA rated games in any given year natively ported to Linux in a timely manner is virtually nil.

          So I'm sorry, while Linux does have some distinct advantages, servers, HPC, cell phones, PMPs, etc gaming just ain't one of them, and having one or two big name games ported over ain't gonna change that. I would say the much more important thing to worry about IMHO would be getting a stable ABI so that the local Walmart Supercenter will have nice little driver CDs included with their devices with a "Linux 32/64" driver, instead of the less than 25% support I see there now. There are plenty of folks that just use their PCs for email, web browsing, etc but until you can take the "research every single purchase" part out of the equation then the mom & pop stores like mine can't help Linux by offering your product.

          There are simply too many devices currently being sold at Staples, Best Buy, and the 800 pound gorilla known as Walmart that have zero support, which leaves the little shops like mine having to add the "MSFT Tax" to every sale because Linux support would eat away all my profits. But wasting time and effort on a niche like gaming that is so tied to Windows and DirectX just seems nuts and with the new Windows 7 gaming will be even easier with the centralized game explorer it just seems crazy to me to go for a market where you are already disadvantaged badly because of the reasons I listed above.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Khyber (864651)

            "-#3-From what I have been told (not a game developer, so I don't know how accurate it is) OpenGL is simply no where near parity with DirectX."

            I'll help clarify this. See, OpenGL can't compare with DirectX, because DirectX is just more than a graphics package - it's input, sound, video, networking, etc. You need to compare OpenGL to Direct3D, and in doing so, OpenGL wins, because it's an extensible graphics language where you can add in commands not originally built into the spec. Direct3D makes up a spec t

            • Re:Big news... (Score:4, Interesting)

              by abigsmurf (919188) on Monday August 24, 2009 @03:51AM (#29170279)
              Read Carmack's thoughts on OpenGL and why he's switched to DirectX. What you think is a strength is actually a huge weakness for developers.

              Say you've a feature that isn't part of the OpenGL spec and has been introduced into nVidia and ATI's latest cards. Both the companies will want an implementation of this feature optimised for their cards so as a coder, if you want to put this feature in your game, you're going to have to code it in twice and it's probably going to produce slightly different visuals for each manufacturer. It's a lot of extra coding and testing work.

              Then, when it comes up to drawing a new spec for the latest version, you'll have two of your most important contributors arguing over which implementation to use and the spec gets delayed.

              With D3D they talk to all the manufacturers and say "this is how the feature will work, design your card to use it". If they want their card to be DX18 or whatever, they've got to implement it that way. It can mean you have to wait between revisions for new features but it prevents the kind of divergence than a graphics API is supposed to prevent in the first place.
      • Re:Big news... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Lotana (842533) on Monday August 24, 2009 @02:05AM (#29169811)

        Very little piracy for Linux games?

        That is absolutely false. The piracy even worse because the market is small enough as it is, a small percentage will push the product from barely profitable to absolute loss.

        The problem has got so bad that Linux Game Publishing (Major porter of games to Linux and a successor of Loki) were forced to implement DRM for their releases:

        http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=lgp_copy_protection&num=1 [phoronix.com]

        And they didn't like doing it one bit. Here is a quote from the above linked article by LGP's CEO Michael Simms:

        When this game copy protection system became known with LGP's closed testing community, it had enraged some users. In response, the CEO of Linux Game Publishing, Michael Simms, had a few things to say. "Trust me, I don't like it, I'm not happy about it, but we HAVE to do this. I've fought for 6 years against the need for any kind of protection system and all that's happened is that for every legitimate copy of an LGP game out there, there are probably 3-4 pirated copies. That's the difference between success and failure."

        Now I know everyone here buys their Linux games, but it is a drop in the ocean compared to the number of pirates out there that care not for it.

        • If you read Slashdot for more than a little while, you find a non-trivial amount of posters that seem to think charging any money for software is wrong. "Information wants to be free," and all that. They believe everything electronic should be no cost. That is part of why they use Linux.

          Well, it would be no surprise at all if those people copied their games. After all, they believe it is right. There is no ethical dilemma for them, they think this is how it should be.

          Also, doesn't matter if there is very li

        • Buy every Linux release.

          I have a policy: If I think I'll get more than a few hours of entertainment out of a game and it runs on Linux, I buy it.

          I've purchased a bunch of Id releases (Q3, Q4, D3), a couple S2 titles (Savage 2, Heroes of Newerth), World of Goo, UT 2k3, Neverwinter Nights, and a few others. These games are WELL WORTH their box price, and I'm telling these developers to keep it up with their linux ports.

          I would bet if every gamer that also runs Linux does the same, we'd see a lot more Linu

  • Too bad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pwizard2 (920421) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @11:06PM (#29168747)

    I've come to count on id porting their games, so I'm disappointed over this bit of news.

    I use the proprietary Nvidia blob (version 180) for my Nvidia 8400 and I have no qualms about it. Windows users use proprietary drivers for practically every card that I've seen over the years, so how is it any different in principle if you replace Windows with Linux? While I take open stuff when I can get it, I would rather have a video card and wireless device that works on Linux. Not every Linux user sees things the same way that RMS does by insisting on a 100% FOSS operating system. While you can have that if you want it, I prefer the freedom of being able to mix and match as I see fit.

    • Re:Too bad (Score:5, Funny)

      by PolyDwarf (156355) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @11:11PM (#29168789)

      You and your "freedom". When will you realize that RMS can do no wrong? Give up your quaint notions, your "thinking for yourself", and bask in the glory of his beard!

      • by pwizard2 (920421)
        I know you're being satirical, but I think there is too much blind zealotry in the open source community. While I admit that RMS has made a lot of difference in the open software world (I put a section on that into my upcoming book) that doesn't mean that I have to agree with everything he says. I like being able to choose between both worlds; to me, that is freedom.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by PolyDwarf (156355)

          I wasn't being satirical... The Beard knows all!!!!.... OK, I can't handle that any more. Back to reality.

          Personally, I agree with you. The Cult of RMS is just that. If you don't fully drink the Kool Aid, you are outcast and unclean. That closed minded thinking annoys me to no end.

        • I think you confusing freedom with force choice.
      • There is no reason to attack RMS over this. RMS is just telling the true stupidity which breaks the main purpose of Linux OS.

        Even using latest OS X and only Macs, I can understand how ridicolous the binary "blob" driver is. One doesn't need to be a GNU fanatic to do so.

        What was the reason behind binary blob drivers again? Evil competitors stealing x86 code? What competitor really? It is just ATI and Nvidia left. ATI already went open , Intel was always open but not really a gaming GPU company. It is not RMS

    • I am curious why he said that.

      I don't think doom 3 or quake 4 runs with the non-free nvidia drivers. Not sure why he thinks this is suddenly a problem.

      • by pwizard2 (920421)
        Doom3 works fine with the Nvidia blob the last time I checked. (at least on Ubuntu) I was able to get adequate performance on low quality out of a chipset, of all things.
    • Me too... I will buy it if the port it. I won't if they don't. But they have made noises like this before... And always managed a port eventually. Still would not hurt to fire up Quake Live, and pass it around. It is still free right now. http://www.quakelive.com/ [quakelive.com]
      • Problem with that is, I still see less than no point to Quake Live, other than that it's free. And even that doesn't buy much.

        Why would I play Quake Live instead of, say, Nexuiz?

        I think low usage of Quake Live would point more to the average Linux user being somewhat more discriminating, and actually taking the step to think about it before downloading random browser plugins.

        If I'm only playing Quake Live to show him that there's another Linux user, maybe. But even here, I sort of don't see the point -- if

        • by markdavis (642305)

          if buying Doom 3 and Quake 4 wasn't enough, why would it be meaningful to show how many Linux users are willing to play a free game, as opposed to actually put down money for a good game?

          I couldn't agree with you more. I have no interest in "Quakelive", yet I, too, purchased Quake 4 and Doom 3 (and many others) for Linux. Of course one problem was that we couldn't really buy the LINUX version, we had to buy the MS-Windows version, the download the Linux binary from the website and use the WAD files and l

        • by Sir_Lewk (967686)

          Better yet, why would I play Quake Live instead of Quake 3 on linux?

          One of them runs a hell of a lot better in linux, allows me to set up my own servers with mods, and is much easier to play with friends on the fly.

    • If you insist on a 100% "Free" system with no closed-source software, then you're unlikely to purchase a proprietary closed-source game, even if it is likely get open sourced 10 years later.

    • Re:Too bad (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nacturation (646836) * <nacturation.gmail@com> on Monday August 24, 2009 @01:51AM (#29169743) Journal

      First they implemented video card drivers as blobs, and I didn't speak up because I was happy playing games.
      Then they implemented the network drivers as blobs, and I didn't speak up because I enjoyed faster network connectivity.
      Then they implemented the storage drivers as blobs, and I didn't speak up because now the latest hardware ran in Linux.
      Then they implemented my kernel as a blob, and there was nobody left to speak up for me because their systems were causing kernel panics because of all the blobs that nobody could debug.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by cowbutt (21077)

      I use the proprietary Nvidia blob (version 180) for my Nvidia 8400 and I have no qualms about it. Windows users use proprietary drivers for practically every card that I've seen over the years, so how is it any different in principle if you replace Windows with Linux? While I take open stuff when I can get it, I would rather have a video card and wireless device that works on Linux. Not every Linux user sees things the same way that RMS does by insisting on a 100% FOSS operating system. While you can have

  • You heard the man (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Spit (23158) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @11:11PM (#29168795)

    Play Quake live and get some meaningful stats back to a major developer.

    • I have been. It worked well enough; the bugs are a little shifty, but it works. It's a hell of a lot better than ioQuake3.

      Wait, wasn't it an insult back in the days to say that an OS was good for nothing but games? Not that I boot up Vista very often anyhow, but the only real reason I've logged back into that thing was because of a recent GOG.com sale. It's like Windows is now a new gaming console at my house, except that this one bugs me about drivers and DRM on a regular basis.
      • It's like Windows is now a new gaming console at my house, except that this one bugs me about drivers and DRM on a regular basis.

        Seriously? Drivers, yeah, I understand that. A better distribution mechanism would be nice although I suppose Windows Update is better than having to actually seek out & download the installer yourself. But DRM? Windows doesn't include any DRM for controlling access to executables. The only built-in DRM is for media playing, like Bluray and DVDs and crappy audio files. (Window

        • I'm talking about the GAMES' DRM mechanics, such as Bioshock's "Please activate online" nonsense or Steam's hullabaloo it raises everytime you go offline for five minutes.

          Yes, I'm on Slashdot, and I mentioned Windows and DRM in the same sentence. But they're not related, no. I know, take a breath. It'll be okay.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Hurricane78 (562437)

      Who here has the skill and will, to write a virus that infects a large botnet, to turn the bots into Quake live for Linux players?

      I bet *you* do. :)

  • by Lemming Mark (849014) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @11:15PM (#29168835) Homepage

    "and that the Linux port would have to use the binary blob graphics driver in order to work"

    From TFA, it seems that Carmack believes it would be hard to get the necessary performance without using the NVidia drivers. It's somewhat surprising to me if it wouldn't be possible to get it running acceptably on anything else, even if the game does use a lot of advanced features - but if Carmack says so!

    However I'm not so keen on his assertion that if you're using the binary drivers you might as well run the code under Windows. I guess this probably *does* make sense for most people, since there are relatively few people who don't have a Windows license available somewhere. However, it would be *nicer* not to have to reboot into Windows for a specific app even if that were unnecessary.

    Unfortunately I saw a fair few quite negative reactions in the linked thread and I expect we'll see others here. Carmack has not ruled out a port for sure. But even if he does, that's not exactly evil or a betrayal of open source or anything else negative. Many gamers here will have benefited in some way from the GPLed code he's released to the OSS community in the past at some point, pretty much all gamers will have benefited from his position as a developer pushing the games industry forwards. He's not done anything *bad* here, he's just not necessarily doing something we'd hoped for.

    Hopefully the Rage code will - one day - be GPLed and get ported to Linux. I think that's a fair way down the road at this point, though.

    • by Hadlock (143607) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @11:23PM (#29168903) Homepage Journal

      Carmack stated at Quakecon that Betheseda has to sign off on the GPL'ing of any future code. The chances of that happening are slim to none. IdTech5 is a pretty impressive piece of technology; from what I can tell it's Fallout 3 graphics maxed out with about 50% less overhead.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by acidrainx (806006)

        No, not Bethesda. They're owned by ZeniMax, who also owns Bethesda. It's ZeniMax that has to sign off on it.

        id Tech 5 is impressive right now, but so was Quake 3 back in the day. I wouldn't rule out id Tech 5 being open sourced when their next big game is about to be released on id Tech 7.

      • by rmdyer (267137)

        From what I've seen, they have basically worked the game so down to the nuts and bolts as to make it fit into a three year old console. For starters, how about dynamic weather? None? Shame. Carmack is loosing sight of what made games great to buy and own on a PC, that you could enable advanced new graphics techniques on the PC with the latest graphics cards that were not available to the main stream. Even FarCry2, now a year old, has dynamic weather, and good weather too! I've played Crysis and FarCry

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Turiko (1259966)
          Wow, sorry to say this, but you're a graphics whore. ID has always made great games, and will continue to. If they want to focus on making a good game rather then adding dynamic weather, then that is a good thing. And ID has always put out the SDK's for their games. On a pc, you can mod and change things - make your own part of the game. You can't do that on a console, and that's one of the major reasons i'll stick to PC gaming. That and the xbox/ps3 only have joysticks and i've used a pc mouse nearly all
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Carmack stated at Quakecon that Betheseda has to sign off on the GPL'ing of any future code. The chances of that happening are slim to none.

        Carmack also stated at Quakecon that he now has a pretty good business case for doing so. With the success of Wolfenstien 3D Classic on the iPhone, which uses an OpenGL port of Wolfenstien 3D, there is now a real business case where a contribution to the open source community can pay dividends in the future.

    • However, it would be *nicer* not to have to reboot into Windows for a specific app even if that were unnecessary.

      There's also the fact that I'm likely to keep my Linux OS cleaner than Windows, that my Windows is 32-bit while my Linux is 64-bit, and I keep things like wireless keys and VPN access on Linux.

      He's not done anything *bad* here, he's just not necessarily doing something we'd hoped for.

      That, I'll agree with. In the past, the fact that he's stuck to OpenGL has made ports easier, and it's also forced vendors to keep OpenGL relevant.

      I think his point about proprietary drivers... he's right and wrong. He's right in that the second biggest thing that sucks about my Linux desktop today is nVidia drivers.

    • by Cyberax (705495)

      Carmack is right.

      First, OpenGL is a mess. And OpenGL 3.0 is a complete failure, so it's no wonder Carmack doesn't want to port his code to use it. Also, in any case OpenGL 3 is implemented only by NVidia and ATI blobs.

      And only NVidia currently produces decent drivers and hardware for Linux. ATI's drivers are quite unstable and unreliable. Intel's drivers are good, but their hardware is not.

      OpenSource graphics drivers are coming, but they're a long way off. I expect that we won't see them for at least two mo

    • by digitalunity (19107) <digitalunityNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Monday August 24, 2009 @12:18AM (#29169243) Homepage

      I appreciate Carmack's pragmatic reasoning instead of legal bullshit or calling us all pirates.

      I have Windows and Linux available at home, so I don't really care. Yeah, it would be nice to not have to dual boot, but I see that as a necessary evil for the time being anyway, regardless of what games become available on Linux.

  • They money they would bring in from a Linux port probably wouldn't cover the man-hours involved in doing the work.
    • by markdavis (642305)

      And it never will be until more companies start porting the engines/games to Linux. As one person tagged- it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Someone has to get the ball rolling.

      Even if it is not a big money maker, there is something to be said for doing it anyway. Many of the game companies (especially ID) use and enjoy FOSS... it is a way of giving back by supporting it.

      Fortunately, "porting" such games to Linux is usually not all that difficult for professional shops, since they tend to program very well

      • by wampus (1932)

        How's Loki Games doing lately?

        • I think Loki was too much ahead of it's time. Linux's penetration into the desktop market is probably ten times higher than in the late nineties. Maybe another compnay will step in. Actually I was thinking, couldn't Id recruit some linux enthusiasts to sign an NDA and port the game to Linux for free, if the man hours roi is the issue?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by xigxag (167441)

        It's not a self-fulfilling prophecy. It's fulfilled by the external factor that not enough Linux users are buying games. For it to be self-fulfilling would indicate circularity -- that Linux users aren't buying games because they aren't being put out. But that's not the case. They have been put out but are simply not selling large enough numbers to justify additional investment. Porting more games would simply make the debit side of the balance sheet worse. And that kind of investment can't be justifi

  • by Tubal-Cain (1289912) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @11:52PM (#29169065) Journal
    A while back Slashdot pointed us to this blog [wolfire.com], in which the blogger pointed out how having Linux and Mac ports attracted a lot of attention and even boosted the sales of their Windows versions.
  • I, for one, don't care if it needs to use the Nvidia binary driver, I still welcome it with open arms. And I am still waiting to open my wallet for a decent, Linux compatible, *SINGLE USER*, first-person shooter game. The last game I bought was Castle Wolfenstien for Linux and I loved it dearly (and it was worth every penny).

  • by bigbigbison (104532) on Monday August 24, 2009 @12:13AM (#29169197) Homepage
    I love how the original poster ends with

    The Zenimax deal really has killed id software.

    This news needs to be blogged and passed around like wildfire. id software is dead, long live id software!


    Yes, it is Zenimax that killed the linux port, not any of the reason that he lists or anything...
  • Yes, it is. The codebase is much, much larger, and the graphics technology pushes a lot of paths that are not usually optimized. It probably wouldn't be all that bad to get it running on the nvidia binary drivers, but the chance of it working correctly and acceptably anywhere else would be small. If you are restricted to it only working on the closed source drivers, you might as well boot into windows and get the fully tested and tuned experience... John Carmack

    Hand has been forced by the fact that NVi

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