Telltale Autumn Sale

Linux user and advenure game lover.

edited October 2006 in General Chat
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...

Comments

  • Options
    edited February 2005
    Here's a wacky idea. Why don't you (Telltale) open source your game engine and you will have ports in no time. That doesn't mean you have to give away your games for free. You can still sell the game data (with ported engine). You can also keep the in-house tools you use to make the game closed if thats what you want.
  • Options
    edited February 2005
    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.)
    I copied the installation over to my linux partition but the game wouldn't run with cedega :-(
  • Options
    edited February 2005
    No doubt it's the biggest flaw with the modern day OS market, incompatibility. You know the incompatability problems with older OS's and the internets endless sources of information,(that oftern can't agree), we are going to be losing a hell of a lot of history. I myself would love it if Macs could run EXEs, but that would require Direct X on Macs, and I'm sure microsoft hold some rights to it. I don't even know if mac runs DLLs. Ahhh well. Maybe one day in the distant future.
  • Options
    edited February 2005
    >"
    No doubt it's the biggest flaw with the modern day OS market, incompatibility. You know the incompatability problems with older OS's and the internets endless sources of information,(that oftern can't agree)
    "

    It isn't easy to support programs written for an older OS (such as DOS) under a modern multi-taking OS (such as Linux/Window 2000). One of the reasons is that a modern OS makes so much more and protect running programs from each other.

    In the old days you had do a lot of low level, close to the hardware, stuff to get something as sound or high resolution graphics in your programs. Today that is all taken care of by the OS and the OS will not let you try to take control over the hardware directly (that's a good thing).

    >"
    we are going to be losing a hell of a lot of history.
    "

    Yes, that is a problem. That is why I love project like ScummVM. They have really saved LucasArt's classic games for the future.

    >"
    I myself would love it if Macs could run EXEs, but that would require Direct X on Macs, and I'm sure microsoft hold some rights to it. I don't even know if mac runs DLLs. Ahhh well.
    "

    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.

    The reason that you can run some modern Windows games under Linux is that they run on the same hardware and that somebody has made the effort to map some of the services that Windows provide (for graphics, sound, input etc) to equivalent services on Linux. So then the programs tries to call a Windows specific operation, for example "draw triangle with DirectX" it is tranformed to a "draw triangle with OpenGL" when the program runs on Linux.

    >"
    Maybe one day in the distant future
    "

    When the hardware is fast enough to simulate older hardware in software we can hope for it. Somebody just have to write a good enough emulator. Not a easy task.
  • Options
    edited February 2005
    Yes. We need Linux/BSD ports. Myself, I am running Fedora Core, when I'm not feeling nostalgic in front of my old Slackware box. If native ports could be made for the upcoming Telltale adventures, I'd be ecstatic.

    Considering that Escape from Monkey Island ran on OpenGL, and since noone wants to reinvent the wheel, I say it is quite likely that Freelance Police also used OpenGL for graphics. So if Telltale could pick up where they left off when leaving LucasArts, I think it could be a very portable game (meaning it could compile on Linux, Win32, BSD or any OpenGL-enabled OS with only minor differences for audio handling etc).

    I for one am looking forward to seeing adventure games return, and I also think Linux users are the most likely customers, considering most of us have that wacky sense of humor commonly found in adventure games (and The Far Side, but that's beside the point), most of us have fond memories of Maniac Mansion, Loom and the other old LEC classics (and are running them again thanks to ScummVM), and most of us have a deeply felt gratitude and loyalty towards the (few) companies and development teams we choose to support. As such, we also constitute a powerful and free living ad campaign for those companies.

    For me, the ultimate game release of the next year will hopefully be a boxed edition (ie sold in average computer stores, not just on the 'net) of <cool Telltale adventure title here> with engines for Windows and Linux, and downloadable source to modify and compile on your operating system of choice (and all changes should of course be submitted back to Telltale and checked into CVS making the engine even more portable).
  • edited February 2005
    I don't want to ruffle too many feathers, but.... here it goes anyway.

    Personally, I think you guys are being a tiny bit too demanding. For myself, I much prefer OS X for the Mac - but I understand computer game economics. No adventure game company, especially not a brand new start-up, is going to spend the energy making a game that works on Linux or OS X, when 90% of the world uses a Microsoft OS. So, I own two computers. My Mac for all my basic needs - and my PC for games. My spending an extra $1000 bucks or so is a much easier way to ensure I can play all games that come out rather than demanding that my favorite games all be ported to other Operating Systems.

    If Telltale had come out with their first game made for Linux or OS X, then it would have been a sure sign they were going in the tank. Bottom line - until someone can dethrown Bill Gates, the world runs on Windows, and Telltale must abide if they are going to survive.

    Just one man's opinion.
  • edited February 2005
    ugh macs. it's like people trying to hold onto betamax
  • Options
    edited February 2005
    I'm exactly the same spf, Mac for Net, Writing, Photoshop. Microsoft for solitaire.
    EDIT: To Alucard,
    Hey, Beta was far superior to VHS. Vhs only had a better marketing, and I don't know about you, but I think Mac has a great marketing campaign. Anyway, sounds like you were trying to flame the thread. Why?
  • Options
    edited March 2005
    I am a Linux user from Sweden. I'm going to spare you the details of why I am not using Windows
    Uh, perhaps because you're a rational, intelligent human being rather than being a "Microsoft is God because Kim Komando thinks so" drone? [>:)]
    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.
    I do agree with you in principle. Economies of scale have to come into play, unfortunately. OS/2 users ran into the same mess 10 years ago. Same with Commodore 128 users. It all came down to "Why should we write games when you have full compatibility with another platform that is more popular?" Sadly, thanks to WINE and Cedega, companies have to struggle with that decision again - and we know which way smaller companies like TTG are going to have to go to survive in the near future.

    But, who knows? If any of TTG's programmers are Linux freaks (as in super-uber-fans), maybe there is a Linux skunkworks project in progress. One can hope. :)
  • Options
    edited March 2005
    ... and downloadable source to modify and compile on your operating system of choice (and all changes should of course be submitted back to Telltale and checked into CVS making the engine even more portable).
    This is not a flame, but unfortunately that kind of attitude is one of the reasons why some game makers are ignoring Linux. I can't remember which company it was who released an application (it wasn't a game) to Linux (ported from Windows), but they got deluged by snot-grams from Linux extremists who think that anything involved with Linux should be open source, as though to do otherwise is blasphemous. As a result, they decided to never release anything for Linux again. I don't blame them.

    I know this because I had a long conversation about this through e-mail with one of the developers. They were actually working on porting some of their other utilities, based on the better-than-expected sales of the one that they released, until the demands for releasing the source code started. It ended up looking more like a "bite the hand that feeds you" scenario. So, they decided to stop feeding Linux.

    If TTG has a great game engine or other intellectual property that could be of great value to them in the future, should we expect them to give it away? I wouldn't.
  • edited March 2005
    oh it wasn't a flame of mine either. I'm just giving my view of things thats all. Beta was better but in the end it died. I'm all for ports to other os's but there really isn't a market for it to make it worth while.
  • Options
    edited March 2005
    This
    might be pertinent (scroll down a bit past the browser stuff). Yes, Windows is going strong, but Linux and Mac have been showing slow and steady growth over the last couple of years. I'm not really going anywhere with this because my Linux experience is about 35 minutes, I'm just pointing out some interesting data.
  • Options
    edited March 2005
    oh it wasn't a flame of mine either. I'm just giving my view of things thats all. Beta was better but in the end it died. I'm all for ports to other os's but there really isn't a market for it to make it worth while.
    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.
  • Options
    edited April 2005
    If TTG has a great game engine or other intellectual property that could be of great value to them in the future, should we expect them to give it away? I wouldn't.
    I'm not saying they should give it away. There is nothing to stop an open-source project from also being sold commercially. Open-source doesn't inherently mean it's free, it only means the source for the executable is available for peer review and improvement. Traditionally, any changes goes back into the main source tree, thereby giving back to the original developer. This can be a great advantage in availability for a multitude of platforms. Additionally, the developer doesn't need to provide the data files for free. There are many games that employ this strategy, like the Quake series, Freespace and others, where you can download the source, improve it, but you have to buy the actual data files in order to actually play the game.
    If something like this could be worked out with Telltale - possibly after the game has been available for Windows for some time - it would be awesome. But of course, much relies on them actually choosing OpenGL as their API of choice. But as I said, considering that they already have experience with both OpenGL and DirectX, I hope they will choose the open standard or make an engine that can handle both (like the EFMI engine).
  • Options
    edited September 2005
    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!
  • edited September 2005
    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.
  • edited October 2006
    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 :)
  • edited October 2006
    Hey talk to those guys at ID Software. I don't see them going broke. They open source most their code.
  • edited October 2006
    Gaah! Absurdly big bump!
  • edited October 2006
    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?
  • edited October 2006
    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.
  • edited October 2006
    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.
  • CJMCJM
    edited October 2006
    Hey,

    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...

    --CJM
  • edited October 2006
    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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