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Old 01-12-2005, 04:45 PM   #1
maamold
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Games under Linux - Support nightmare


I was reading about the good and the bad regarding Windows vs Linux. I found myself wishing that game companies would start porting 'real' games over to Linux (like UT2004, Doom3)

Then I realized that doing so might turn into a support nightmare. Can you imagine trying to support a game that could be running on 372 (distrowatch figure) different distro's of Linux. The reality is that you'd have to make support agreements with only a hand full of the most well known and supported distros....Red Hat (not Fedora!) Mandrake, Novell-Suse, Xandros and 'maybe' Ubuntu and Lycoris. How could you really support a game running on slackware?. The same thing goes for production software such as Adobe Photoshop or Macromedia xxx.

That said...playing my own devils advocate....Support could be based on signed libraries and such, If you have libxxx.0.2.1 and it is signed then we can help you. Or a company could support the product strictly on an open forum playing a minor support role and letting the community do most of the help (already the norm)

Just my 3.14159 worth

Matt
 
Old 01-12-2005, 04:53 PM   #2
Caeda
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Just an idea but it's not like the Game companies and the major linux distro's couldn't pair up. The game companies share the source to Suse and Redhat and Mandrake and the linux distro's make a compiled rpm out of it so that the games compaines can sell it. Then the linux distro's get, 10% of the profit?

No one but companies would actually see the source code...
 
Old 01-12-2005, 05:37 PM   #3
maamold
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Quote:
Originally posted by Caeda
Just an idea but it's not like the Game companies and the major linux distro's couldn't pair up. The game companies share the source to Suse and Redhat and Mandrake and the linux distro's make a compiled rpm out of it so that the games compaines can sell it. Then the linux distro's get, 10% of the profit?

No one but companies would actually see the source code...
I'm betting your right that this will be the only real way to get real support from game (or software) companies. Still it would be hard to get support for the non-corporate distro's because they will most likely not create a compiled RPM. (other than support forums)

I'm still new to Linux, but I can see where this may not even be a problem at all....but try telling that to a CEO of a game company that may know nothing about how Linux really works.

10% for the distro company is a great idea, what a way to get extra revenue.
 
Old 01-12-2005, 06:10 PM   #4
AxeZ
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Re: Games under Linux - Support nightmare

Quote:
Originally posted by maamold
I found myself wishing that game companies would start porting 'real' games over to Linux (like UT2004, Doom3)

These games you mention already have native Linux ports and the work quite well on the plethora on Linuxes.
It doesnt really matter which Linux you use.
 
Old 01-13-2005, 01:16 AM   #5
kierl
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The problem doesn't(usually) lie in the distro, but in how the program is compiled and what the end user has done to the Linux environment.
Basically, game manufacturers face the exact same problems in Linux as they do in Windows.

Sure, there are certain distros who's kernel tweaks have made them incompatible with the Linux community at large but that's a select few. Heck, there's even a fancy new organization for standardizing the Linux kernel which Red Hat, Slack and most of the other big distros are a part of.

As a for-instance, anyone out there who can't run the official release of the original Unreal Tournament? I mean, honestly, the original UT hasn't been updated since before MS released Internet Exporer 6 3+ years ago... And I can still run it on RH, Fedora, Gentoo, Debian, and just about any other Linux distro out there.

The reason most game manufacturers DON'T port to Linux is that most of them don't know how(and until recently had almost no motivation). All they know is Windows programming using Microsoft's Visual Studio(Visual C++ Visual Basic) and Direct X, both of which are Windows-only.
Sad fact is that most people don't learn C++ or C# or whatever. They learn Visual C++ or, Visual C#(Which, despite similarities, are actually completely different languages from their standard counterparts) and, rather than use OpenGL or other cross-platform direct access APIs, they use DirectX, which makes porting it to Linux require almost an entire re-write of the code, that is, if the code isn't chock-full of Visual Studio code... then it does require an entire re-write of the code.
 
Old 01-13-2005, 08:00 AM   #6
looseCannon
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Um, UT2003 and UT2004 both come with linux installers on the last disk. So, as for that wish, *** poof *** it's been fullfilled. Unsure of Doom3. Have seen Q3 and Q2 run under linux with few issues.

As for the support nightmare issue, that seems somewhat irrelevant now.
 
Old 01-13-2005, 10:22 AM   #7
kierl
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Yes. There is a Linux version of Doom3. Come on, this is ID we're talking about. ID and Epic have, been providing Linux support for their games for years(ID since Quake 2 I think and Epic since Unreal Tournament).

IMHO, the companies we really need to push are Blizzard and Bungie. Yeah, I know that Bungie is a MS subsidiary, but that still doesn't mean that I can't dream about playing Halo 2 on my Linux compy. Ooh, and Warcraft 3... That one, I think, could really benefit from being Linuxized. I mean, I noticed some pretty good enhancements in speed and picture clarity when I ran it using WineX(Cedega) as opposed to Windows XP(on the same computer)... Imagine if it was Linux native.

PS:looseCannon, your sig is awesome.
 
Old 01-13-2005, 10:54 AM   #8
Genesee
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Re: Games under Linux - Support nightmare

Quote:
Originally posted by maamold
Then I realized that doing so might turn into a support nightmare. Can you imagine trying to support a game that could be running on 372 (distrowatch figure) different distro's of Linux. The reality is that you'd have to make support agreements with only a hand full of the most well known and supported distros....Red Hat (not Fedora!) Mandrake, Novell-Suse, Xandros and 'maybe' Ubuntu and Lycoris. How could you really support a game running on slackware?. The same thing goes for production software such as Adobe Photoshop or Macromedia xxx.
you bring up a great point. my first reaction was "Linux doesn't need corporate support, we've done fine so far without it" - that works for those of us that actually like figuring things out ourselves, but as Linux gets a broader base, and given that these companies are charging a lot of money for their products, it does present a real problem.

your idea of limiting support to specific releases of specific distros makes sense - it would cut down on support problems and give casual users a reference, but not limit the tweakers.
 
Old 01-13-2005, 11:48 AM   #9
Padma
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Gee, I wonder how existing proprietary apps manage to install on a wide range of distros without problems. Apps like Java, and Firefox, and games like UT2004, Doom3, and Majesty, to name a few.

I think this is a non-problem. There is more difference between desktops than there is between distros.
 
Old 01-13-2005, 12:56 PM   #10
maamold
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Re: Re: Games under Linux - Support nightmare

Quote:
Originally posted by AxeZ
These games you mention already have native Linux ports and the work quite well on the plethora on Linuxes.
It doesnt really matter which Linux you use.
Thats what I meant. 'Like UT2004 and Doom3' they have already been ported
 
Old 01-13-2005, 12:59 PM   #11
maamold
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Quote:
Originally posted by looseCannon
Um, UT2003 and UT2004 both come with linux installers on the last disk. So, as for that wish, *** poof *** it's been fullfilled. Unsure of Doom3. Have seen Q3 and Q2 run under linux with few issues.

As for the support nightmare issue, that seems somewhat irrelevant now.
\

That is what I meant, I guess I should have written 'Such as the UT2004 and Doom3 Ports'
 
  


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