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Cedega and Linux Games 422

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the pay-and-pray-gaming dept.
Linux.com's Stefan Vrabie has a look at the state of Transgaming's Cedega, which some claim to be the best current offering for running Windows games under Linux. While it may be better than nothing, the author still puts this solidly under the "plug and pray" column with the biggest drawback being the amount of fiddling required to make it work. From the article: "Cedega may not be the answer to games under Linux, but it's better than not being able to play at all, until gaming companies notice Linux users as a market and release games for Linux." Linux.com and Slashdot.org are both owned by OSTG.
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Cedega and Linux Games

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  • No games? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Short Circuit (52384) * <mikemol@gmail.com> on Monday July 31, 2006 @06:42PM (#15821231) Homepage Journal
    I bought Neverwinter Nights Saturday, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

    With the Diamond Edition ($30 at Best Buy), you get both expansion packs, and you can follow some online directions [bioware.com] to install to Linux without passing through Windows.

    I also bought Return to Castle Wolfenstein a while back. That was good, too.

    Oh, and there's DOOM, DOOM ][, Quake, Quake 2, Quake 3, several versions of Unreal...

    If you'll go the Open Source route, there's DarkPlaces [icculus.org], Cube [cubeengine.com], Duke Nukem 3d [icculus.org] (engine, anyway. You'll still need the gamedata.

    Uhm...no games? How about, no hyperadvertised games?
    • Re:No games? (Score:4, Informative)

      by spun (1352) <loverevolutionar ... m ['o.c' in gap]> on Monday July 31, 2006 @06:56PM (#15821309) Journal
      You missed Civilization II: Call to Power. And on the open source side, try Wesnoth and Freeciv.
    • Re:No games? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I've had my eye on this one and online it actually says it's 20 bucks [bestbuy.com].

      Either way, it's nice to have such things that are ported directly to Linux.

      In the holy wars of whether WINE benefits the Linux community or not, I think it hurts more than it harms. If you want to game with your PC, dual boot...you know, with that OS your machine came with. If you want to use Linux, convince yourself to use only native games. If you REALLY REALLY want to game, get yourself an XBox.
      • Re:No games? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by JeffElkins (977243) on Monday July 31, 2006 @09:14PM (#15822043)
        ==
        In the holy wars of whether WINE benefits the Linux community or not, I think it hurts more than it harms. If you want to game with your PC, dual boot...you know, with that OS your machine came with.
        ==

        I have to agree. As a former OS/2 user, in retrospect I think that having limited Windows compatibility hurt more than it helped.

    • Re:No games? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31, 2006 @07:24PM (#15821456)


      Uhm...no games? How about, no hyperadvertised games?


      Uhm...no games? How about, no contemporary games.

      Every semi-serious, hell every casual PC gamer has moved beyond all your listed games games years ago. You didn't present an argument for Linux gaming, you presented one against it.



      • Re:No games? (Score:5, Informative)

        by gormanly (134067) on Monday July 31, 2006 @07:33PM (#15821504)
        • Doom III (plus the Resurrection of Evil Expansion Pack)
        • Quake 4
        • Unreal Tournament 2004

        We all know that Linux isn't a platform for gamers, but still there are a few games for GNU/Linux.

        • True, and there are more games for Mac OS. So next time someone wants to make a mac joke, remember its windows only for games. :(

          I hope we can get games ported to serveral platforms. I love different operating systems and it would be nice to give the people variety. Also don't forget java games usually work on other operating systems as well.
        • Re:No games? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Phisbut (761268)
          * Doom III (plus the Resurrection of Evil Expansion Pack)
          * Quake 4
          * Unreal Tournament 2004

          We all know that Linux isn't a platform for gamers, but still there are a few games for GNU/Linux.

          I don't happen to enjoy FPS as my favorite type of game. Doom 1 to 3, Quake 1 to 3 and several versions of Unreal, that's all the same game to me. Thank god games aren't limited to FPS...

    • Re:No games? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Monday July 31, 2006 @07:44PM (#15821570) Homepage
      No games?
      Well, yes, you are right there are not "no games" under Linux, the throuble is there are only very few games under Linux. All the games you list are multiple years old, sometimes even a decade, and half of them happens to be done by id which is one of the very few Linux friendly game companies around. And the rest of the games kind of got more or less crippeled on its way (NWN came out half a year late, no editor, some throuble with videos, etc. when I remember correctly).

      So in the end, yes, there are games on Linux, however in five years you get as much new releases under Linux as you see in the Windows world in a week or two, which really brings the state of Linux games very close to "no games". The sad thing is that it hasn't really gotten any better, five years ago we where stuck with a few first person shooters, today we still are, just with a few updated ones.

    • Re:No games? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by narooze (845310) *
      You're forgetting Doom 3. Not only are there games for Linux, it's not uncommon that the hardware requirements are lower due to better hardware utilization. Doom 3 for example, sported official hardware requirements only 2/3 as high for Linux compared to for Windows.
      • Re:No games? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by CastrTroy (595695) on Monday July 31, 2006 @09:31PM (#15822131) Homepage
        If this is the case, why don't game developers put out a Linux Live DVD with their game pre installed. This way it runs if you have one of the supported video cards, and no more having to worry about background processes getting in the way of your gaming. I think this would be a great way to deliver games on the Computer, as the way we do it no often leads to a less than stellar performance, because you have Norton Antivirus and 17 other memory resident things running that you don't really want to/know how to shut down every time you want to play a game.
        • Re:No games? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by G-funk (22712) <josh@gfunk007.com> on Monday July 31, 2006 @10:19PM (#15822325) Homepage Journal
          Because this isn't the 80s / early 90s. If I want to turn off my pc and run a game, I have a PS2. I sure as hell don't want to reboot just to play a game, and then again when I want to go back to browsing the net.
        • Re:No games? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by labratuk (204918) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @12:03AM (#15822766)
          1: If it used the nvidia or ati proprietary driver, it would be illegal to distribute it (unless it did something mad like compile the module as part of the boot process).

          2: It would miss the entire point of an operating system - to have a common environment that is configured once and has to be updated once to make all your applications work. The live dvd would bring a whole new meaning to the phrase "Unreal UltraMAX Elite 2009 doesn't work with my nvidia card!"

          3: Offshooting from that, a live dvd would have to contain support for all future hardware that could possibly ever be designed.

          4: I think what you're looking for is called a 'console'.
        • Re:No games? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by blank axolotl (917736)
          Because the game usually wants to make use the operating system resources. For one, the live CD would not as aware of filesystem permissions you have set up, so could overwrite things you would not want to allow it to. In fact, telling it where to save 'save games' would be tricky in itself, since your filesystem (defined by fstab) would not be immediately available. You'd have to tell it where fstab is every time you load the program in order to make meaningful use of your filesystem. It would be a mess.

          Ru
    • by antdude (79039)
      How about newer games like Oblivion, World of Warcraft, Half-Life 2 Episode 1, etc.? I am talking about native Linux ports.
    • I also bought Return to Castle Wolfenstein a while back.

      You should try RtCW: Enemy Territory. It has a Linux build and is free (as in beer). Only multiplayer, but it's a good quality game.
  • Well duh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cyber-vandal (148830) on Monday July 31, 2006 @06:45PM (#15821247) Homepage
    why anyone would want to run Doom through Cedega, when ID Software offers a Linux binary for Doom (which needless to say runs better since it's native), is a good question.

    If every software company was as generous as ID then Cedega wouldn't be required now would it?
    • Well, many games use DirectX (direct3d) these days. So, other games may open their code, but if they user directx...you won't be able to compile them under linux. And I don't know if opengl is somewhat better or worse, but directx seems to work, and you can't blame companies for using something that works.

      Cedega (wine & friends) are the one opensource directx implementation out there. The opensource world needs a opensource directx implementation, just like it has a opensource smb implementation (samba)
      • Re:Well duh (Score:3, Informative)

        by Planeflux (992050)
        Using OpenGL as the graphics backend does not imply that the program is compilable on other platforms, such as linux. There are many other things involved, of course, like third party libraries, such as bink (video format). Even though the game Neverwinter Nights had a linux port, it didn't include video support due to the closed nature of bink. OpenGL and Direct3D are obviously two completely different APIs. The interesting thing is that, a little less than a decade ago, OpenGL was mature while The DirectX
        • Re:Well duh (Score:3, Informative)

          by the_bard17 (626642)
          Even though the game Neverwinter Nights had a linux port, it didn't include video support due to the closed nature of bink.

          Sometimes you get lucky, and somebody puts enough effort into discovering that it's possible. The following link provides a method to actually get the video support under NWN. It's not user friendly, but it gets the job done if you're willing to slog through it.http://home.woh.rr.com/nwmovies/ [rr.com]

          'Course, like I said, it's not friendly. At all. It's definitely not something that I'd w
    • I remember running Doom on Linux back in 1996 at 320x240 on an unsupported trident card under XFree86 with an 8-bit color palette that got real ugly if I moved the mouse out of the window area, which was mostly full screen. It was aweful, but better than nothing. 486 DX2 66, at least 8MB of RAM, probably 16. I bet it would run better now..
  • Who really needs to play anything more than Frozen Bubble? :)
  • Is there a market? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by WombatDeath (681651) on Monday July 31, 2006 @06:48PM (#15821267)
    Or rather, a viable one?

    That's not a rhetorical question. I have no idea how easy it is to make a game compatible with both Windows and Linux but I assume that it's a bit more complicated than changing backslashes to forward slashes. I also don't know how big the market is for Linux games but I doubt it's huge. If it takes an extra, say, 20% longer to make a game Linux-compatible I'm not surprised that it doesn't happen more often.

    On the other hand perhaps it's just lazy design. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who doesn't share my ignorance.
    • by Dionysus (12737)
      Probably not. Loki [lokigames.com] thougth there was a marked and ported some games over to Linux (I bought the SimCity version). They closed shop after three years. Then again, the marked might be a little different now from the way it was four years ago (lots of newbie distros, like Ubuntu, Xandros, Linspire etc, that have brought in non-developers to Linux)
      • by StormReaver (59959) on Monday July 31, 2006 @08:12PM (#15821736)
        "Loki thougth[sic] there was a marked and ported some games over to Linux (I bought the SimCity version). They closed shop after three years."

        Loki didn't close shop for lack of a sustainable market. Loki closed up shop because the company president and his wife were draining the company coffers for personal use.
  • by weasello (881450) <weasel.greensheep@ca> on Monday July 31, 2006 @06:52PM (#15821285) Homepage
    I find it extremely difficult to justify porting or designing a game for Mac - and definately not profitable. When it's done it's usually an investment; garnering support for future releases or 'making a name' in the Mac community. Considering Linux is even smaller... The numbers just don't add up yet. It isn't really about market penetration or percentages, it's about pure numbers. How many Linux machines are on the planet; of those how many are used in a home-use desktop fashion; of those how many are willing to spend $40-60 on a game; and of those who would be willing to buy this particular game.
    • Alright, since you're a "game marketer" could you tell us how using free GL libraries and doing a two-hour recompile costs more than a DX9 SDK?
      • I'm not a developer, all I see are bottom-line numbers. Hiring a QA team and a support team for Linux is probably two of the biggest cost factors. it is quite simply adding up all the associated costs with:

        releasing, supporting, marketing, testing, and (rarely) developing something for a platform a developer is not familiar with (and quite frankly, scared of)..

        Versus...

        Potential sales to a platform comprising largely of a "free" atmosphere (that I enjoy myself), of limited and wide distribution (there's no 'region' that could be targeted), with a poor track record of profit for game releases.

        Two ways to bring gaming to Linux are to (a) reduce costs (such as making smaller scale, indy-style games), or (b) waiting the Linux community grow to a size where potential profits outweight the potential costs (which could be caused by (A)).
        • It could be done via the current methods of releasing a binary online and offering no official support. You can make clear that the game is Windows only officially. Linux users will support each other, we're good generally at making up for companies that give no support so companies that give the tiniest amount (in terms of releasing a patch 'as is') would bring us half way there to begin with. The linux mentality is do it yourself and if its possible the Linux community would help make it happen.

          You'll pro
          • It could be done via the current methods of releasing a binary online and offering no official support.

            I'm not a Linux user so don't take this as me speaking on their behalf... But is the community really willing to pay $30-60 for a game that is not supported? If it doesn't work on their particular setup will they really be satisfied with going to the community for answers? If help isn't easily forthcoming that way-- or if it doesn't work or remains buggy on the first few tries-- will they be patient or
        • If developers would just make it easier for Cedega/Wine users by not tying things to IE or using obnoxious copy protection. That would at least let them run on Linux.

          We're not asking for full support. Just fewer roadblocks.

          In any case even if I had Windows I wouldn't install any new games on it until I could find out if it used DRM Malware like Starforce.
    • Then don't try selling anything that requires XP or Vista to me. By the way, "making a name" is also called "Building Brand Recognition" in Marketing speak. Use that catchy phrase when you speak to the Marketing Droids and PHBs, not simple phrases that normal people use.

      What the hell do you mean "It isn't really about market penetration or percentages"? Market Penetration is a growth strategy, so that inane statement shows that your company really don't want to try to expand business.
    • by nukem996 (624036) on Monday July 31, 2006 @08:02PM (#15821678)
      Ive done a little game programming and what ive always wondered is why game developers cannt develop their games with OpenGL, OpenAL, and SDL to allow maximum portability. If coded using these libraries then its very simple to port to Linux Mac, Windows, PS 1, PS 2, Gamecube, and many more platforms. By having your game availible on Win Mac and Linux you'll not only make your customers happy but more people will buy. I know I for one am much more likly to buy a game if there is a native Linux port then if there isnt. As for paying for support why not just do what id software does and release the game binaries for Linux but say that there is no support availible, only bug reports.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        very simple answer, DirectX currently beats the hell out of openGL for development time, saving millions in dev costs makes it easier for game companies to ignore the linux community, openGL needs to either massively improve or this will remain the situation for years to come.
    • Well, let me put it this way:

      I paid so far for 4 copies of Neverwinter Nights (me, and friends to play together) Why? Because there was Linux support.

      I won't be paying for NWN2. Why? Because there's no Linux support.

      Have in mind this specifically with networked games: Just because people run them on Windows doesn't mean Linux didn't come somewhere into the picture tangentially. I will very preferentially pay for things that come with Linux support. Perhaps even extra copies as gifts for friends, if it happe
    • Well, you're right, Linux gaming would be a pretty small market. But I'd wager that selling a $40-$60 game wouldn't be as difficult as you think.

      For one, most Linux users tend to be against piracy and license violation, so the ones who play the game are likely to pay for it. Second, they tend to be pretty technical, which could imply they have decently paying technical jobs, so the $50 won't be too much money. And there's also a distinct lack of native Linux games, so there's not many alternatives.

  • Eagerly awaiting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZorbaTHut (126196) on Monday July 31, 2006 @06:55PM (#15821306) Homepage
    If Cedega and Wine could run all the Windows games I play, and the few apps I depend on that don't have Linux ports, I would literally switch to Linux tomorrow.

    If only.
  • by suparjerk (784861) on Monday July 31, 2006 @06:57PM (#15821313)
    Addressing those who say that "Cedega isn't encouraging gaming companies to develop games for Linux", as the article puts it.... you're somewhat right. It's not directly encouraging companies to make Linux games, but it is a step in the right direction.
     
    I used to be constantly rebooting back and forth between Ubuntu and Windows XP as I switched between playing games (XP) and doing everything else (Ubuntu). Thanks to Cedega, I can now spend almost all of my time in Linux, as Cedega emulates nearly everything I want to play, and does so with minimal problems. I'm just about ready to give Windows a kick to the face and abandon it permanently. In my case, thanks to Cedega, there's now one more almost-purely-linux gamer and one less Windows gamer. Now that I game under linux instead of in Windows, companies do have more incentive to make linux ports of their games.
    • I still do the rebooting for games versus serious stuff... and I will probably continue. I'm a niche gamer and a Linux user, which means I'm really in the minority ;o). I actually enjoy simulations, and the more realistic, the happier I am. Most of my recent gaming concerns Silent Hunter 3 (WW2 uBoat simulation), though I've been spending some time with X3-Reunion, too. Both use Starforce copyright protection, which kills my ability to play it under Cedega from what I understand.

      I've got hopes for X3, sin
    • In my case, thanks to Cedega, there's now one more almost-purely-linux gamer and one less Windows gamer. Now that I game under linux instead of in Windows, companies do have more incentive to make linux ports of their games.

      Incorrect. If Linux users can now run games written for Windows, then there is ZERO incentive to make Linux ports at all. Why make a Linux port when the Linux users can use the Windows version?

      For more information see Windows vs OS/2.
      • Incorrect. If Linux users can now run games written for Windows, then there is ZERO incentive to make Linux ports at all.

        Nice blanket statement, ignoring many dynamics at play here. Cedega is about support existing Windows games in Linux. By Cedega making it possible for Linux users to play existing games in Linux, there are more full-time Linux users. Myself and GP both are examples of this. If there are more full-time Linux users, there is more incentive to make Linux games. Do you think somehow the

  • It really peeves me that the linux gaming scene is so underdeveloped.

    However, on the one hand I can understand. Games are arguably the most sophisticated and difficult computer programs to create.

    But on the other hand I just can't stomach the fact that I pay $2k for a nice system, but I must have windows to play my games. It's like all those FLOPS from my CPU and video card are useless unless I am beholden to the software trickery of direct-x.

    Now I hear rumors that future games will require vista for play a
    • w33t, I agree entirely. Here's a message to the Game Developers, I WILL NOT PURCHASE ANY GAMES THAT DON'T RUN NATIVELY ON LINUX!
      Of course, if I find a game in the bargain bin that runs on Win2K, I will consider it. Either way, they aren't making top dollar (pound, euro, yen, etc.) off of me.
    • But on the other hand I just can't stomach the fact that I pay $2k for a nice system, but I must have windows to play my games.

      Why do you care what OS is underneath? Your nice $2K machine came with Windows, right? And it plays all your games out of the box, right? So what's the problem? Or is this some sort of irrational religious thing?

      It's so artificial to me. I mean, I know that direct-x's APIs allow for ease of development and speedier time to market, as well as giving a simpler interface to moder
      • Why do you care what OS is underneath? Your nice $2K machine came with Windows, right? And it plays all your games out of the box, right? So what's the problem? Or is this some sort of irrational religious thing?

        Mine didn't. All my computers have been assembled from pieces. Some completely new, some from whatever spare stuff was lying around. And it's been that way for a long time. Last version of Windows I paid for was Windows 3.1 that came with my first computer, a 386. Part of the reason is that

      • Why do you care what OS is underneath? Your nice $2K machine came with Windows, right? And it plays all your games out of the box, right? So what's the problem? Or is this some sort of irrational religious thing?

        Mine didn't. It came as a collection of parts purchased at various times. A constantly evolving thing. There was no single "out of the box computer".

        No company that wants to stay in business is going to take on that expense for a small market.

        So why is it that some do? I'm sure BioWare, fo

  • Anyone? (Score:2, Funny)

    by tonyr1988 (962108)
    Could anyone give me the link to the .torrent of Cedega?

    All I can find is this [transgaming.org] pesky page.
  • by corychristison (951993) on Monday July 31, 2006 @07:17PM (#15821413)
    With it's incredibly advanced architecture, linux is a game! Try rolling your own Linux install, that alone will eat up plenty of time. And if you are anything like me or possibly a lot of sysadmins here, it is fun, too. ;-)
  • Why not just make the original game's engine workable on all OSes,get out of this "Direct X part 2383739" bullshit and make one which every OS can use in some form. It may require a lot of work but your market would increase in the future if only because the OSS Community would support you for doing it (even if not the content).
  • by tcc3 (958644) on Monday July 31, 2006 @07:27PM (#15821475)
    Windows gaming didnt sprout fully formed from Billy G's Head you know. MS made a concerted effort to make Windows a platform conducive to gaming, Directx being one of the main developents. Anyone remember the old days of "IBM-PC compatible" gaming? Will my sound card be supported? Is my video card the right kind? Using the OS as a layer of abstraction for compatibility makes it easier for the developer. Granted, the sheer commonness of Windows accounts for the major reason developers choose windows. More users = more sales. But compatibility and ease of development counts for something to. So wheres the Linux answer to directx? Ask not what game developers can do for Linux. Ask what Linux can do for game developers (my apologies to Kennedy)
    • The libraries exist under Linux in the form of OpenGL, OpenAL, SDL, etc. These libraries have Windows versions. NWN and Doom 3 have native Linux binaries. It can be done. On the other hand, the fact that DirectX is so popular seems to imply that it is a better product. I would expect that the game devs looking for the maximum preformance would be using whichever libraries deliver the best preformance and would do the work to figure out which libraries those are. Then again, I am not a game developer.
      • by sinewalker (686056) on Monday July 31, 2006 @08:48PM (#15821918) Homepage
        I agree with you, but I think the big difference between OpenGL/OpenAL/SDL and DirectX, is that DirectX is the XBox platform. So writing for Windows DirectX is not a lot different to writing for XBox.

        So it's not a technical problem, it's a matter of market forces and games developers only having a finite budget for porting.

        When/if Sony release a development suit for Playstation 3 that can be made to run on Linux/PC, then we'll start to see titles made available for it. I don't think that's likely though, or if it is, it won't be Free Software.
  • Cedega running on Linux is nice and peachy - it installs games well, and will try and configure its WINE/transgaming layer to run the game as well as possible. However, you can forget playing a lot of games if you have an ATI graphics card. I know a lot of folk on here frequently espouse how bad driver support for ATI cards on Linux is, but you would still expect to be able to at least play some of the more popular games. I couldn't get Halflife 2 (well, any source games) to work after a fair amount of tryi

  • The problem is. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by spysmily1 (962459)

    PC games in general don't have the market they use to. I remember going into some place like Babbages or EB(now everything seems to be Gamestop) and they would have almost two full walls of games. Walk into any store now including Best Buy or Circuit City and the selection is smaller with the fact that PC games don't generate revenue like they did at one time.

    So with the smaller interest there is commercially to develop games for PC I'm sure it is especially difficult to find a company that wants to port

  • These types of compatability layers don't really help developers to port their applications to Linux, but they remove a significant amount of the incentive to do so, as there will be less demand for a linux port when the game can be run (at least on some machines) through the compatability layer.

    I expect that effect this may kill, or at least stifle the development of mainstream games on Macintel.
  • by Runesabre (732910) on Monday July 31, 2006 @07:52PM (#15821626) Homepage
    Gaming companies don't develop for Linux because it's not pratical to support properly.

    There are too many Linux distributions, none of which have a big enough of the Linux market to be considered the de facto standard Linux distribution to develop for and build a customer service department to support.

    Game applications are the most strenous and sensitive to the capabilities of the platform. Windows is pretty standard with DirectX. On Linux you don't know what's going to work; the very philosophy of choice with Linux translates to everyone's machine is just different enough in a way that makes developing a game for Linux a real frustration.

    Finally, once you manage to get things working on a couple distributions, a new release comes out that invalidates your existing application. And in another 6 months another release of Linux is going to come out and invalidate your work again. A developer has a hard time keeping his game working under one distribution from one version to the next. Now multiply that by 10-20 for the most popular Linux platforms each releasing new versions every 6 months.

    Shipping source code to your customers and expecting them to build it every time they upgrade their machine or switch distributions isn't a solution.

    Combine the constant, frequent changes that aren't guaranteed to be backwards compatible like the Windows platform provides with the sheer number of distributions of Linux you would have to support to make it worthwhile, and then consider that all this effort just to support one platform might translate to an extra 5% sales and you have your reason why game companies don't develop for Linux.

    Linux is a great platform to develop for; it's a terrible platform to support. This is what's holding Linux back from becoming truly mainstream. It has nothing to do with features or hardware support or useability. If a company can't reasonably develop and SUPPORT their applications for a platform and expect a reasonable amount of sales while doing so then it's not worth doing it when you can simply focus on another platform (Windows) that is much easier to support and maintain and hits 90% of your whole market in the first place.
    • by NullProg (70833) on Monday July 31, 2006 @09:02PM (#15821987) Homepage Journal
      I'm not picking a fight, but I have a couple of issues with your post. First, I spent over $500US in the last seven months on Linux games. I think this is profitable for someone. When Win95 came out there was a transition. People didn't rush out to buy native Win95 versions of thier DOS games.

      There are too many Linux distributions, none of which have a big enough of the Linux market to be considered the de facto standard Linux distribution to develop for and build a customer service department to support.
      I bought just about every port that Loki did and I didn't have any problems playing them on on any >= 2.4 kernal version SuSE, RedHat or Ubuntu. Instead of a customer service department, how about a good technical support forum? The Linux Standards Base is your friend.


      Finally, once you manage to get things working on a couple distributions, a new release comes out that invalidates your existing application. And in another 6 months another release of Linux is going to come out and invalidate your work again. A developer has a hard time keeping his game working under one distribution from one version to the next. Now multiply that by 10-20 for the most popular Linux platforms each releasing new versions every 6 months.

      See above. All my Loki games have worked since SuSE 6.4/RedHat 7.0. As a user space game programmer why should you care about kernal changes. Just code to SDL/OpenGL (Both are backwards compatible).

      Game applications are the most strenous and sensitive to the capabilities of the platform. Windows is pretty standard with DirectX. On Linux you don't know what's going to work; the very philosophy of choice with Linux translates to everyone's machine is just different enough in a way that makes developing a game for Linux a real frustration.
      Thats nonsense. Code for the lowest good versions of SDL and OpenGL. You will be suprised on how many different distributions of Linux it will run on.

      Shipping source code to your customers and expecting them to build it every time they upgrade their machine or switch distributions isn't a solution.
      I have purchased over 20 commercial Linux games, none came with source. Are you trolling? You have never purchased/installed a native Linux game yet your an authority on shipping source with a Linux game? I call bullshit.

      I buy my Linux games from here: http://www.tuxgames.com/ [tuxgames.com] (No I'm not affilated with the site).
      Check out the loki games from here, http://liflg.org/ [liflg.org], pay special attention on how the installer works. You can get the installer sources for free from here: http://www.lokigames.com/development/setup.php3 [lokigames.com]

      As a Windows developer, you can always code your game/application to work with wine. http://www.winehq.com/ [winehq.com] It seems to work OK for Google http://earth.google.com/earth4.html [google.com].

      Your post does disgrace Interplay, SirTech, MindScape, SSI, Origin and many other great gaming companies from the 80s/90s that did (Intel/Non-Intel CPUs/OSs) cross-platform games.

      Enjoy.
    • Combine the constant, frequent changes that aren't guaranteed to be backwards compatible like the Windows platform

      While Fedora core5 won't run some buggy licencing software that has not been updated for eight years Fedora core4 will becuase it still supports the long abandoned linuxthreads implementation. Many other much older binaries that are less buggy will run without any problems. If binary compatability for many years is the issue a staticly compiled version of the binary solves most problems, and a

  • Well, the title really says it all. I've been itching to switch over to a Linux only rig for a while now. I'm tired of Windows, I'm tired of all of the problems. I'd rather spend my time playing games than diagnosing the upteen million problems I've encountered with Windows.

    It's too bad that my main source of enjoyment (Multiplayer FPSes) are not readily available in Cedega.

    At least, not ones that use Punkbuster, the most ubiqitious anti-cheat available on the market. Battlefield 2 certainly isn't playa
  • by Ash-Fox (726320) on Monday July 31, 2006 @08:21PM (#15821788)
    The funny thing is... Cedega doesn't run half of the games I run under normal Wine.
  • Unless you're a zealot who refuses to dual boot windows for gaming, the performance will never measure up, ever. It's just about useless.
  • I bought every Linux game Loki Games [wikipedia.org] ever ported. I still play half of them quite often (under FC5). However, it seems that nobody else did, as they went belly-up and near the end of their life the games were liquidated at EBGames for $5.00/title.

    It'll be a while before investors try Linux gaming as a business again, unfortunately.
  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @05:32AM (#15823677)
    I really do not see there being any increase in games companies making native Linux games.

    For starters, even if you suggested that 10% of computer users in the world are using Linux currently (possibly side-by-side with Windows), then that community of users is made up of many different distros and many different types of people - it's dangerous to assume that all of that 10% actually want or care about commercial games on Linux.

    Although I'm a relatively avid gamer and a user of Linux far more than Windows, I personally am not that interested in any commercial software on Linux. I'm a Gentoo Linux user, I enjoy tweaking and optimising my systems and I'm more than happy to compile source code to run as best as it can on those machines whether it's a game or application. I'm just not prepared to take someone else's closed-source pre-compiled executable and trust it on my Linux machines, especially when I update the machines a lot and will end up breaking those same executables quite quickly due to dependency issues. Besides which, I don't want to "pollute" my nice Open Source-based operating system with closed source software and I think a lot of the core Linux user community thinks entirely the same way.

    Yes, I'd like to see more games on Linux but I'd rather see games companies releasing source code to older games (like ID and the early Quakes) at which point I'm happy to go buy the Windows version of the CD in order to get hold of the games data files and levels.

    I've no problem with commercial software or Windows and probably buy a game a month to run on my Windows XP machine. But I've no "passion" for Windows XP - as long as it does what it's supposed to do, I really don't care to know how or why it does it.

    However, my Linux machines are *mine*, I decide what and how software gets installed on them, no argument - again, a lot of Linux users feel entirely the same way.

    Therefore, it's safe to conclude that the community of people who want commercial games on Linux is a very small minority, to the point where it just isn't ecomonically viable for games companies to port the games across. Sure, I'd *like* to see it happen for those people because Linux is about "having it your way" but I personally wouldn't buy any closed source Linux software.

  • by ianOz (988378) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @07:19AM (#15823957) Homepage
    We have two screencasts [showmedo.com] (swf) which show how to setup and test Cedega for Suse Linux. These were contributed by Bruce Cadieux of ItsYourPC.org [itsyourpc.org]. It all looks rather straight-forward, but I haven't tried it myself...maybe these help with the 'plug and pray' comment in the original article?
  • TransGaming Response (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gavriels (55831) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @01:29PM (#15826056) Homepage
    While this article is informative and the author has shared his views, some of the information provided is simply not correct. We at TransGaming would like our say on a few points.

    In response to the comments on TransGaming's contributions to the Wine project, we began development of Cedega while Wine was still under a BSD-style license which fully allows the creation of proprietary derivatives. During the time before the Wine license was changed to the LGPL we contributed dozens of patches to the Wine project including key infrastructure for DirectDraw, DirectSound and DirectInput. The LGPL change made it more difficult for us to work closely with the WineHQ community, but nevertheless we continued to contribute code in areas such as DirectSound, OLE, COM, DCOM, the Wine IDL compiler, a 2D DIB rasterizer, and the WinInet APIs. We also made proposals for improving Wine performance through the use of a prototype shared memory WineServer. Those wishing to view our contributions can easily find them in a simple search of the wine-patches archives:

      http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=wine-patches&w=2&r =3&s=transgaming&q=b [theaimsgroup.com]

    We continue to work with the Wine project, with Cedega incorporating several of the WineHQ DLLs under the LGPL license. Full source code to these DLLs is of course available from our website. We're also thinking carefully about how we can cooperate further in the future.

    On the topic of ease of installation and use of Cedega, the TransGaming team has taken huge strides recently to make Linux gaming much easier. With the inclusion of the Game Disc Database (GDDB) using Cedega has never been easier. Simply insert a supported title in the drive and Cedega will detect the disc and use the optimal settings for both installation and game play. No more messing or tweaking with settings.

    Is Cedega hurting Linux gaming development? This topic is hotly debated by armchair quarterbacks, however, as Linux gaming is our business, we have some pretty in-depth and intimate knowledge here. We have been talking to game publishers and developers for years and the fact is that most game publishers prefer to stick to the markets that they know and understand - standard console and PC projects. Working on other platforms would require not only a direct investment of resources, but also means fewer resources directed to traditional console or PC projects that the publishers already know how to make money on.

    TransGaming works very hard to show publishers that exactly the opposite is true - that a vibrant gaming culture exists on Linux.
    Unfortunately, the misconception that all Linux users believe that software should be free-as-in-beer makes many of the decision makers feel that even if they were to produce a Linux game it would simply be pirated rather than purchased. Fear of wide scale piracy plays a significant role in preventing quality commercial games from transitioning to Linux.

    TransGaming is still pushing to prove the value of the Linux market and will continue to do so at every opportunity. Meanwhile we will continue our work to improve Cedega, to provide better support for more titles and to give customers the ability to play their favorite games on the platform of their choice.

    Take care,
      -Gav

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