[nSLUG] Mad Penguin: Linux Gaming 2.0: Why More Linux Users Aren't Gamers

Michael Lauzon mlauzon at gmail.com
Tue Mar 11 13:57:00 ADT 2008

I found the following article on Mad Penguin, however I don't know how
many of you would be interested in the subject...however I am going to
post the article to the list anyway!:

What would it take to get more Linux users playing video games? A
better selection of native games for the Linux platform? It has been
tried over and again with very limited results. But perhaps it's worth
trying again, this time with real, obtainable tools and help? Enter
Garage Games.

Real Games: A Real Profitable Platform. Understanding these games
remain few in number, the results are the same - they are cross
platform and include Linux users. No using silly emulators, these
indie developers have made sure that Linux users are included in the
gaming fun. Now, the really important question - why hasn't anyone
heard of any of this? Largely due to the fact that these games are
considered "independent," the exposure these studios have received is
otherwise limited.

And perhaps the one thing that is on all of your minds is how come all
of these games are closed source? Simple, while they include Linux as
a supported OS, it's not their primary focus. Therefore, don't expect
these developers to giveaway something that likely took them years to
make. There are some fantastic open source games, but unlike software,
video games don't make great open source business models as a rule.

Holding Onto Ideals Or Bringing Gaming Into a Cross-Platform Realm? As
far as I'm concerned, it all comes down to a choice. Expect the gaming
industry to follow the Linux doctrine or instead, build up a viable,
cross platform gaming market that includes us, the Linux users. It
ought to be set up as follows - if you don't like the idea, don't
participate. But try not to put down the idea.

If we can get more companies like Garage Games
on board with the idea of making games available to everyone, we could
begin to see a slow influx of new and exciting games developed with
the Torque gaming engine.

Build Your Own. Another approach altogether is to simply build your
own games (http://www.garagegames.com/makegames/) - within Linux, for
Linux. What's so cool about many of the development tools is that most
of them allow for full, and if need be, simple
(http://www.garagegames.com/products/torque/tgb/) development in

With the right amount of time invested, the ability to choose whether
or not to give away the games or sell them, you could become part of
the solution for getting Linux gaming into a stronger position.

Back to Windows-Only Gaming. What about Cedega
(http://www.transgaming.com/products/cedega/), you say? It's an
admirable effort and does work well enough for World of Warcraft ,
along with other games. But forget about having anything short of a
hair pulling experience with anything from EA. The Battlefield series
speaks for itself in the forums. It's less than the game itself and
more of the informal use of Punk Buster, also referred to "Skunk
Butter" throughout certain gaming circles, mainly because it's such a
hassle for Linux users. So yes, what TransGaming attempts with Cedega
is neat, but it's largely a 50/50 proposition.

Regardless, while it may not be fully open source
(http://www.cedega.com/license.php?source=1), it's a cross platform
solution at least.

Source: http://www.madpenguin.org/cms/?m=show&id=8118


Michael Lauzon

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