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Linux user and advenure game lover.

posted by Anonymous on - last edited - Viewed by 2.4K users
Hi there!

I am a Linux user from Sweden. I'm going to spare you the details of why I am not using Windows, but I let's just say that I got real tired of paying the Microsoft tax and that Linux fits my needs better. Everything would be really great in Linux-land except for one thing - games. Or rather, the lack of games. And that is why I am writing this post.

In my dreamworld all Telltale games will have native Linux ports. I really think there is a market for Linux games, and I think a lot of Linux users would love the kind of games I imagine Telltale will make - adventure games with lots of humor. Adventure games should be relatively easy to port, if I recall correct Escape from Monkey Island could render with OpenGL. Using OpenGL and not DirectX means having half the Linux port done. And having a native Linux port means that you almost have a Mac OS X port.

Ok, maybe I'm dreaming. But at very least, you could make sure that your games run on Linux with Transgaming's Cedega. I would really love to test the Hold Em-demo, but it is distributed in a .msi-file and I can't get it installing. (Maybe there is a way, but I want to be able to use point2play.)

To sum up. Native Linux ports and I will be Telltale's number one fan-boy and buy all of Telltale's games.. If the game is a new Sam n Max or Monkey Island it is quite possible that I will buy it if it runs with Cedega. But c'mon - id could make Doom 3 run nativly under Linux, I'm sure Telltale will bring the love back to adventure gaming and make Linux and Mac ports...
24 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
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    In truth, though, a standardized code base (like Java or C) with open-standard libraries (specifically OpenGL) would make cross-platform applications (including games) much, much easier to create than those that are coded with Microsoft-proprietary tools like DirectX. Game and application developers are only hurting themselves by voluntarily coding with closed-standard tools as they are limiting their market. And as was mentioned before, the Linux market *is* expanding as people become more and more frustrated with Microsoft's lack of security and bug-ridden software.

    I thought Java was proprietary, and that this was the reason that it wasn't included in debian?

    On the other hand, OpenGL is as proprietary as DirectX. There is nowhere you can download the OpenGL source code... the only difference with DirectX, is that OpenGL is available on many different platforms, that's all!

    If you want to make an implementation of OpenGL on a new platform, you need a licence from SGI (Silicon Graphics). You can see it if you look on the intro page of Mesa (an opengl-compatible API).

    As for asking a development team to release the source code of their game at the time of the game's release to ease the development of a Linux or Mac port, I think this is really suicidal, especially if you're asking it to a small development studio that has to sell its products in order to make money...

    Porting the game to other platforms can be tedious, even if the game was built with portability in mind... just think of Neverwinter Nights... the Linux client came out some 6 (or more) months after the game was out... I still remember the flame wars of Linux users... it was awful for Bioware, but still they carried on! I'm a debian user, but have also a valid Windows licence because I'm a hardcore gamer, and most of my games don't work on Linux at all!

    I don't know how this will work with the online distribution of Bone, but imagine Telltale distributing their game, and protecting it in some way to prevent/limit piracy. On windows-based systems, you usually do that with ensuring the CD is in the drive for CD based games, or using an authentication method with a server (like steam, or the NWN premium modules: the server gives a key to decrypt the game data, allowing you to play the game). The CD based method could be difficult to implement in Linux because of the way drives are mounted... Authentication with a central server works, because of NWN premium modules working with Linux.

    Ok, but now, the source code for the game engine is given out for free... this means that anyone could build an engine, working on any platform, and not needing any form of authentication! Just think of the engines build by gamers based on the doom/quake source code. They just need the game data files (not the CD), to run the game, and these data files can be obtained easily on abandonware sites, and/or P2P networks. (I'm not encouraging this, it's just a factual statement). So, if anyone could create an engine that bypasses the protection, and if the only requirement would be data files (that can be obtained through a lot of different ways), it doesn't look easy for Telltale to make sure the sales go well!

    Even iD Software release the source code of their games a few years after the game comes out... Quake III was released in 1999, the source code just a month ago!

    The only personal drawback I find with server authentication, is that if a company like Valve goes bust and all the steam servers are shut down, how can you ensure you're still able to play the game you bought? Ok, maybe Valve is a bad example, because of the boosted sales of their games, but still... It's very difficult to imagine an interpreter like ScummVM or an emulator like dosbox coming out in 10 years, allowing me to show this or that game to my kids!

    Anyway, I can't wait to play the Bone game! Even if it doesn't run on Linux on day one, I'll still buy it to play it on my Windows partition!

    *wow* what started to be a quick reply to a post, rapidly became a very long post... thanks for reading all of it!
  • The only personal drawback I find with server authentication, is that if a company like Valve goes bust and all the steam servers are shut down, how can you ensure you're still able to play the game you bought?

    I remember this issue was raised by someone earlier concerning texas hold'em, and it was said that if that ever happened, they would probably release patches that removed the online authentication thingie.
  • For those who don't know. DOS emulation on Linux works real well. I can get all those old DOS games to play! Doom, Duke Nukem, Leasure suite Lary, Lucas Arts games and Karandia, Red Neck Rampage in high visa mode to name just a few :)
  • Hey talk to those guys at ID Software. I don't see them going broke. They open source most their code.
  • Gaah! Absurdly big bump!
  • I thought Java was proprietary, and that this was the reason that it wasn't included in debian?

    It is for the moment... However, SUN are going to make Java open source from the 1.6 release onward (due for release before the end of the year) - Or something like that

    But.... Why don't Linux users just use Wine?
  • Alucard wrote: »
    ugh macs. it's like people trying to hold onto betamax

    BetaMax was a superior format over VHS. It's why it lasted as long as it did even when it got almost no support from suppliers.
  • Well as far as DRM goes, I'd like to see some sort of pledge by companies that if they ever go belly-up or otherwise can no longer support the game, they would disable the copy protection. I heard that Unreal Tournament 2k3 actually silently removed the CD checks in a patch a few months after the game was released. It would be a show of good faith towards customers who don't want their games to stop working after a few years.

    Also, DRM tends to interfere with things like WINE, but I'm not sure what the best way of dealing with that is. At the moment, DRM is usually either A) ineffective, or B) involves ugly hooks into the system (see: Starforce) that may also prevent it from working on future versions of Windows or even just certain hardware configurations.
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    Speaking from a programmer's point of view, porting anything is non-trivial. Especially after it's been coded. And graphics is just one of many of the systems which have to be fixed, you've also got incompatible sound, input, timing and network code. Basically, you're looking at rewriting much of the engine from scratch - which is why ScummVM has been relatively active for around 5 years (ok, they're adding support for non SCUMM games, but a large portion of that time was spent in getting the engine up and running and all scripting events working). Heck, AFAIR it took Raven somewhere around 8? months to port a finished Doom 3 to the XBox. I mean, it would be nice to have ports, but I don't think it's practical.

    As for open-sourcing it, that's a whole other can of worms. A significant amount of time and money has presumably gone into the technology that telltale's working off - it's still current. It's still being updated internally (I hope!). Extra time and resources would be required to manage the public/private branches of the code, and to refactor important changes across them. Similarly, add the multiplatform framework requirements (that's a whole other post in itself, and something that isn't particularly easy to do). And from a more proprietary background, if they're doing something sneaky cool to solve a difficult problem, then it's in their best interests to keep it secret. Throw the copy protection security stuff (and any licenced middleware) onto the top of the pile, and it just becomes impractical.

    As for the UT2003 CD check, I'm not sure, but I seem to remember that there were some issues with authenticating damaged cds or cds with patched versions or something - which is why it was removed silently. Similarly, a large portion of a game's income is generated within the first month or two, so giving out the source code (and hence a giant 'look here' sign for crackers) isn't a great financial move.

    That said, it would be so cool.

    Of course, I'm probably just ranting now...

  • plupster wrote: »
    Macs have a completly different hardware architecture so they can't just run PC executebels. To be technical: they have a different instuction set and are not binary compatible.

    Naa, not these days Intel macs ARE PC's (bar that cheesy Apple chip), essentially running FreeBSD Unix (good choice I reckon, Berkley Unix was always my favorite) with a proprietary front end (I seem to remember reading that it's very easy to make Linux app's compatible with FreeBSD, though I don't know if it is the same vice-versa?).

    I'd quite fancy using OSX myself, but I prefer to be able to choose the hardware components that go in my box (I am a geek after all), which leaves me with Linux, Unix or Windows as my potential OS' of choice - & since I like to play the odd video game, I stick with Windows (otherwise I'd have jumped ship to Linux a long time back)
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