Gaming in Linux

Of the Tabletop, and other, lesser varieties.

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Gaming in Linux

Postby mutestorm » Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:51 am UTC

Essentially, the only thing I use windows for is to play games. Why is it that companies don't produce games for linux (as often), and what can we as consumers do about it? Somehow I don't think boycotting would be effective.
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Re: Gaming in Linux

Postby Dthen » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:02 am UTC

Mainly (as far as I know and I could be very wrong) because Microsoft own DirectX (which a lot of, if not most games use).
The amount of time it would take to rework a game to use OpenGL would not be worth it for the tiny market share that is Linux.

I'm probably wrong, but that's my understanding of it. I'm also aware of how poorly phrased this post is, I'm sorry about that.
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Re: Gaming in Linux

Postby _Axle_ » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:31 am UTC

Making a PC game already is a pain in the ass for support. There are thousands, if not millions of combinations of hardware setups, with different sets of Software ( OS ). You are only given a small time frame. To properly release a game on different OS, you 'have' to support it, so if a linux version is released, you have to keep it up to date along with the Windows and Mac version.

Most Linux users already have communities to provide unofficial support for some games or they just bite the bullet and have a windows partition to play games. With that, Developers wouldn't get their money back by providing first party support on a new version of the game ( different OS -> different version ).
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Re: Gaming in Linux

Postby psion » Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:26 pm UTC

Dthen wrote:Mainly (as far as I know and I could be very wrong) because Microsoft own DirectX (which a lot of, if not most games use).
The amount of time it would take to rework a game to use OpenGL would not be worth it for the tiny market share that is Linux.

I'm probably wrong, but that's my understanding of it. I'm also aware of how poorly phrased this post is, I'm sorry about that.

Quite right. I wouldn't say developing under OpenGL wouldn't be worth it, but most game engines are created with DirectX because: it's more advanced (more money thrown into it) to deliver cutting edge graphical quality, it's somewhat of an expected standard due to overwhelming marketing efforts, and... well, hand-outs now and then I'm sure.

I think the only thing that would change that would be a cross-platform API that could compete with DirectX and Microsoft. Which isn't happening because there's no money in it.
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Re: Gaming in Linux

Postby mutestorm » Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:46 pm UTC

psion wrote:
Dthen wrote:Mainly (as far as I know and I could be very wrong) because Microsoft own DirectX (which a lot of, if not most games use).
The amount of time it would take to rework a game to use OpenGL would not be worth it for the tiny market share that is Linux.

I'm probably wrong, but that's my understanding of it. I'm also aware of how poorly phrased this post is, I'm sorry about that.

Quite right. I wouldn't say developing under OpenGL wouldn't be worth it, but most game engines are created with DirectX because: it's more advanced (more money thrown into it) to deliver cutting edge graphical quality, it's somewhat of an expected standard due to overwhelming marketing efforts, and... well, hand-outs now and then I'm sure.

I think the only thing that would change that would be a cross-platform API that could compete with DirectX and Microsoft. Which isn't happening because there's no money in it.


What exactly makes directx better than opengl?
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Re: Gaming in Linux

Postby psion » Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:24 pm UTC

I couldn't answer exactly, nor do I think I'd want to. OpenGL lags behind DirectX by a few years being that it's developed by a non-profit consortium, whereas DirectX development is making money under Windows OS sales. Money makes the world go 'round.
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Re: Gaming in Linux

Postby mutestorm » Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:08 pm UTC

psion wrote:I couldn't answer exactly, nor do I think I'd want to. OpenGL lags behind DirectX by a few years being that it's developed by a non-profit consortium, whereas DirectX development is making money under Windows OS sales. Money makes the world go 'round.


couldnt seems like the more operative point. the fact that it's backed by a company, while a point, is a minor one, and doesn't actually illustrate anything in the realm of concrete pros and cons to either api.
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Re: Gaming in Linux

Postby llamanaru » Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:55 pm UTC

Wolfire wrote a pretty good overview of DirectX vs OpenGL. Apparently OpenGL is ahead of DirectX via extensions and is faster.
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Re: Gaming in Linux

Postby Menacing Spike » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:12 pm UTC

OpenGL is better, but devs are used to DirectX thanks to microsoft marketing.

Fuck those guys, seriously.
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Re: Gaming in Linux

Postby _Axle_ » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:27 pm UTC

. . . The Playstation 3 graphics API is based on a version of OpenGL. The Wii has its own custom graphics API. Any game that has a multi-system release, outside of XBox 360 and Windows, has an engine that has wrappers around both DirectX and other APIs. This isn't a 'lets bash Microsoft' thread.

Unless I am mistaken, 2 major Dev studios have developed their engines around using OpenGL only... that is Blizzard and id Software.

As I stated before, there really isn't worth putting money to put in a testing, QA and support branch for a game release on a new OS. Linux users have to buy enough games to at least break even, for it to be worth with in a financial way.

OpenGL is backed by a group, the Khronos group, which has some major players in the industry. So, it isn't some basement team supporting it. Microsoft just provides better first party support for their products, while OpenGL has community support.
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Re: Gaming in Linux

Postby WarDaft » Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:25 pm UTC

Okay, so they make a big name game for Linux.

... now which distro do you want them to QA it on?
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Re: Gaming in Linux

Postby Amalith » Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:33 pm UTC

_Axle_ wrote:As I stated before, there really isn't worth putting money to put in a testing, QA and support branch for a game release on a new OS. Linux users have to buy enough games to at least break even, for it to be worth with in a financial way.


This is probably a really big point. Linux users are often generalized as being against paying for things. While this is true for a sect, who follow an "open source or die" policy, I imagine that group is rather small. But that fact, along with the small user-base and numerous variants of Linux distros that would have to be tested, make most companies see it as a financial loss to spend their time making their games compatible.
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Re: Gaming in Linux

Postby |Erasmus| » Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:33 am UTC

Menacing Spike wrote:OpenGL is better, but devs are used to DirectX thanks to microsoft marketing.

Fuck those guys, seriously.

There's also the rather crucial issue that OpenGL hardware support lags a long way behind DirectX (I think is maybe what psion meant), at least on ATI/AMD's side. It's notably better (but not phenomenally so) on NVidia's side. So a similarly graphical game written using OpenGL will take a lot more grunt to run. And with the trend for games to look pretty, it seems unlikely many games will go for it.

Blizzard are again a notable exception as a company that does not go for overly fancy graphics. This is helped a lot by the kinds of games they make though, too.
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Re: Gaming in Linux

Postby Gefrierbrand » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:27 pm UTC

Linux games are coming!
But they are mostly flash or java based and small little casual games.
I'm talking on all the Smartphone/Mobile/Tablet games.
Most of them practically run some form of linux oder an other unix derivative. Their producers seem to make enough money via micropayments.

Most of these devices use OpenGl, so you can't say Open GL is not popular or badly supported. (However John Carmac stated lately he (and ID software) likes Direct3D better and it how it has improved over the time compared to OpenGl and the only reason they stick with it is that they don't want to port all their own developing tools)
Some of these games run on both pones and PCs already. But they are closed source most of the thime and you have to pay a small amount for them if you want to have them legally...
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Re: Gaming in Linux

Postby _Axle_ » Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:10 am UTC

I wouldn't really call Flash or Java based games... anything other than that. They are not directly tied / compiled to an OS dependent executable.

I know linux games are coming ( Android OS games ), but I doubt you will see any major Development studio support on AAA games on Linux for a while still. Getting games on Mac seem to be the higher priority, since they are released DirectX drivers for OS X, so there seems to be a small shift towards Apple gaming. Which is sad, since the Apple store by me seems to carry more Computer games than the local Gamestop :roll:
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Re: Gaming in Linux

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Mar 18, 2011 5:56 pm UTC

mutestorm wrote:Why is it that companies don't produce games for linux (as often), and what can we as consumers do about it? Somehow I don't think boycotting would be effective.
Two Words - Market Share.

Why make games for not even 5% of the market?

Now, yes, that's not a true representation of who has what, with there being dual, triple (or more) OS computers out there and the figures covering more than just home PCs but at the end of the day... the market's big enough to market hardware for it, but software? It's hard enough to make software on One OS meet all the various hardware configurations. Throw Linux into that...which all the flavors are essentially the same, yes, but they're different enough that there may be issues... you have something where the costs associated with making it work do not overcome the profit margins for having the product.
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