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Ask Slashdot: What Video Games Keep You From Using Linux? 951

skade88 writes "Everyone knows content is king. Many of us use Windows or OS X at home instead of Linux because the games we love just are not available on Linux. With Steam moving forward for a Linux launch, I would like to hear from the Slashdot community on this topic. What are the game(s) you cannot live without? If they were available in Linux would you be happy to run Linux instead of Windows or OS X?"
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Ask Slashdot: What Video Games Keep You From Using Linux?

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  • by ALeader71 ( 687693 ) <glennsnead&gmail,com> on Monday November 19, 2012 @09:41PM (#42035021)

    Drivers, installed base, drivers, familiar windows interface, drivers, most users can barely power their machine on much less install linux, drivers, forget installing linux software...see comment before the last comment, drivers, lack of vendor support, and drivers.

    Oh did I mention drivers?

  • What sound system fragmentation? There's ALSA and there's ... ALSA.

    Even if you're stuck using pulseaudio, nowadays you just use ALSA and it magically routes through PA. And then most games are going to be using SDL (Valve did kind of hire one of the libsdl guys), it hides all of that anyway.

  • Re:TF2 (Score:4, Informative)

    by IVI4573R ( 614125 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @09:58PM (#42035235) Homepage
    Not sure if that was a joke or not, but Steam on Linux's beta already has 27 games, TF2 being one of them. Full list: []
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 19, 2012 @10:00PM (#42035267)

    Yeah this doesn't exist anymore. As others have said, the ALSA PCM plugin layer is flexible enough to allow pure ALSA programs to work while PulseAudio is running. Even for older games which only support OSS (which often isn't available out of the box in Linux) can be supported with alsa-oss which provides a simple wrapper around the program to redirect OSS sound to ALSA.

  • Re:Microsoft Office (Score:4, Informative)

    by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @10:08PM (#42035377)

    Word is not a good format for exchanging documents that need to look the same between computers. Word formatting changes between versions and, worse, between default printers (depending on settings). Powerpoint is OK most of the time, provided you have the correct fonts and are running the same version. The entire Office suite gives you no way to easily tell what version the file originated with, or even if it came from a Mac or PC. These details make a big difference in layout.

    Point is, you should probably be insisting on PDFs for "important documents".

  • by wallbase ( 2773553 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @10:29PM (#42035615)

    To be honest, I'm relatively happy with the combination of FOSS games, indie games like in the Humble Bundles, and older commercial games like Doom 3 and Wolf-ET such that gaming solely in Linux wouldn't be an issue for me. The problem, however, is a question of effort. Let me list one example:

    - Doom 3 -

    * Install game
    * Patch
    * Play

    * Install using the latest Linux installer using the text interface (which was only supposed to be a backup in case the GUI works, which it doesn't anymore because it was built to use the GTK1.2 libraries which don't work properly/aren't available with modern distributions).
    * Copy the required .pak files from the game's CDs to where the binary is installed, because the official installer won't do it automatically (though it's possible someone's written a script to do this by now).
    * Run, then find out there's no sound because OSS was deprecated in modern Linux distributions. Spend an hour googling and trying different options until you find out the correct method to launch D3 with sound:

    doom3 +set s_alsa_pcm plughw:0 +set s_driver alsa

    * Create a .desktop file/link because the installer fails to do so properly, otherwise you don't get a shortcut in your DE of choice.
    * Play, then discover you have massively jerky framerates because the Linux kernel changed to use a different method of timing (too complicated for me to understand) which affected how Doom 3 determines timing. Fixed using this additional variable during launch

    set com_fixedtic 1

    * Play and enjoy the same game that worked with far less effort in Windows.

    Sure, half the problem was in iD not giving a crap at producing a good installer that would do most of the work for you (like copying required files) and not using static GTK libraries that would survive changes to distros. But things like the removal of OSS within the default builds of distros as well as the change to kernel timings, kinda do make a few problems for older games.

    Newer stuff tends to works better, but often there are quirks even in newer Linux ports (I won't keep listing stuff but there are a number of complaints about bad Linux ports of a number of Humble Bundle games - look them up). For gaming, I get tired of messing about when things just fucking WORK in Windows. It's suppose to be entertainment and escapism after all.

  • Re:Microsoft Office (Score:5, Informative)

    by VanGarrett ( 1269030 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @10:41PM (#42035725) Homepage

    RTF. It has strong standardization, and so far as I know, it's universally readable.

  • by Vintermann ( 400722 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @03:39AM (#42037793) Homepage

    Interesting fact: Sam Lantinga and Ryan C. Gordon, who now work with Steam on Linux, also ported the original Alpha Centauri game for Loki. Apparently it had some extremely hairy self-modifying assembly code to make the modular units crawl on hills correctly. I'd say those guys are very qualified.

  • by silviuc ( 676999 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @07:17AM (#42038787) Homepage
    You don't have to pay them yearly. If your stuff continues to work with whatever version of Crossover you end up by the end of your paid subscription, that's it, you just use that. It's your to use forever. Also, all previous versions are freely available to you in case you spot regressions so you can mix and match.
  • by Nimey ( 114278 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:13AM (#42040355) Homepage Journal

    There's that, and then there's the fact that Windows 7 has gotten a much better UI than previous versions of Windows... and to a real extent, to current versions of Linux.

    I've been using Linux since early 1999, started on Debian and switched to Ubuntu in late 2005. None of the current desktop environments or window managers have the same "get the hell out of the way and let me run my programs" feel of Win7, likewise discoverability. I quite liked GNOME 2 paired with Compiz Fusion, but that's gone away unless I want to stick with an old distro[1], and MATE just isn't the same without Compiz and a good suite of supporting programs.

    Then there's fucking PulseAudio and its refusal to run 100% reliably, with all features running, on my sound hardware (Asus Xonar DX). Part of this is undoubtedly Asus' fault for not releasing proper drivers to enable Dolby et al, but part of it is just fucking PulseAudio. Fucking PulseAudio.

    Last is that it's been IME a huge pain in the ass to get multi-monitor support running properly compared to the epsilon effort on Windows. Again, a deal of this is going to be drivers, and I've had negative experiences with Intel and AMD video (haven't had an Nvidia card lately), but it really should be easier to get full-resolution dual-monitor 3D acceleration going. On Win7 you install the driver (often not requiring a reboot these days) and visit a single control panel to set resolution and screen position, done.

    [1] Ubuntu 10.04 with the window buttons moved back to the right is IMO about the high-water mark for Linux UIs right now.

You know, Callahan's is a peaceable bar, but if you ask that dog what his favorite formatter is, and he says "roff! roff!", well, I'll just have to...