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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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  • Forget Halo! (Score:0, Informative)

    by Sixtyten (991538) on Monday July 31, 2006 @05:44PM (#15821241)
    I would rather play Tuxracer any day of the week, thank you very much.
  • Re:No games? (Score:4, Informative)

    by spun (1352) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `yranoituloverevol'> on Monday July 31, 2006 @05:56PM (#15821309) Journal
    You missed Civilization II: Call to Power. And on the open source side, try Wesnoth and Freeciv.
  • Re:No games? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Short Circuit (52384) * <mikemol@gmail.com> on Monday July 31, 2006 @06:00PM (#15821335) Homepage Journal
    Freeciv is probably the most complete Open Source game I've had the pleasure to enjoy. Supplemental nethack interfaces (Such as Falcon's Eye/a.) take a close second. [users.tkk.fi]
  • 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)).
  • Re:Anyone? (Score:2, Informative)

    by corychristison (951993) on Monday July 31, 2006 @06:25PM (#15821467)
    How about CVS [transgaming.org]?
  • Re:No games? (Score:5, Informative)

    by gormanly (134067) on Monday July 31, 2006 @06:33PM (#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.

  • Nevermind... (Score:2, Informative)

    by hackwrench (573697) <hackwrench@hotmail.com> on Monday July 31, 2006 @06:34PM (#15821513) Homepage Journal
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neverwinter_Nights [wikipedia.org] Hordes of the Underdark...
  • by Mad Merlin (837387) on Monday July 31, 2006 @06:40PM (#15821547) Homepage
    Now Cedega are going backwards because they cannot use the new WINE code.

    They can actually, and do still. Only a month or two ago they took several dlls from vanilla Wine (they, of course, are still licensed under the LGPL, not the regular Cedega license).

    Furthermore, Cedega is generally full of hacks to make specific games work, which is good in the short run, but bad in the long run. This is especially showing now, as in many ways, vanilla Wine has better D3D support than Cedega. Expect this gap to continue to widen as time passes. There may be a point where Cedega starts using vanilla Wine's D3D implementation too.

  • Just play savage (Score:1, Informative)

    by JavaTHut (9877) on Monday July 31, 2006 @06:40PM (#15821549) Homepage
    http://savage2.s2games.com/ [s2games.com] -- linux client at launch, absolute best game there is. What more could you want?
  • Re:Well duh (Score:3, Informative)

    by Planeflux (992050) on Monday July 31, 2006 @07:19PM (#15821778)
    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 stuff was still in its infancy. Nevertheless, as 3D acceleration became a reality, more and more developers began using DirectX. It was backed by Microsoft, after all. Why an alternative when you already have something that works? Because Microsoft didn't own it. It's that simple. As for which is "better", there is an interesting comparison at Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct3D_vs._OpenGL [wikipedia.org]

    In my opinion, and I'm sure everyone with a sane and reasonable way of thought will agree, an open source implementation would be a fool's errand. With the limited amount of hardware-accelerated drivers for linux, just how large are the chance for an implementation by a hardware vendor even if open source Direct3D was a reality? The best solution, which both Wine and Cedega utilize, is a Direct3D->OpenGL wrapper. It's not optimal, but it often works decently.
  • by NullProg (70833) on Monday July 31, 2006 @08:02PM (#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.
  • Re:Well duh (Score:3, Informative)

    by the_bard17 (626642) <theluckyone17@gmail.com> on Monday July 31, 2006 @08:12PM (#15822032)
    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 want the average computer user undertaking, especially if they're used to "stick the CD in, and Windows autoruns the install..." *theatrical sigh*
  • Re:Sorry (Score:2, Informative)

    by AlgorithMan (937244) on Monday July 31, 2006 @09:14PM (#15822300) Homepage
    you didn't understand the whole point in wine/winex/cedega... it is not that it uses directX dlls (which might not work outside of vista) but brings its own directX by mapping the api calls to openGL,ALSA whatever calls...
    if UT2007 uses directX 10 functions which would be unavailiable in winXP (since XP won't get DX10) this doesn't mean that the wine and cedega programmers can't map the new DX10 calls to linux-system-calls

    cedega stems from wine and WINE-IS-NOT-AN-EMULATOR... its an api-compatibility layer
  • by Aypok (988840) on Monday July 31, 2006 @09:40PM (#15822415) Homepage
    Agree and good comparison! Making games for Linux now is like what making games for DOS was years ago.

    Obviously you have not tried developing games for Linux. If you had (and actually given it a good go), you would have come across the wonderful world of SDL [libsdl.org], OpenGL [opengl.org], OpenAL [openal.org], etc.
  • by kevlarman (983297) on Monday July 31, 2006 @09:41PM (#15822417)
    you forgot a really big one in your list of open source games: tremulous (http://tremulous.sourceforge.net). it is based on the GPL'ed Quake3 engine and the data is released under a creative commons license. and while i'm listing stuff based on quake3, i think Wolfenstien: Enemy territory deserves a mention, it's a great game, and it's free as in beer.
  • by Ash-Fox (726320) on Monday July 31, 2006 @10:05PM (#15822516)
    have an issue with Zoo Tycoon right now, not recognizing the CD.
    You might want to report that on Wine HQ's AppDB [winehq.org]. Sometimes someone does go out of their way to test issues and may post a workaround, or even contribute a patch that would solve your problem.
  • by Shadowfire3000 (992415) on Monday July 31, 2006 @10:08PM (#15822521)
    If your a linux gamer, it's time you spoke up and let the developers and publishes know you are looking for companies support of native linux games. Once they figure out that there is realestate on the linux desktop they will start testing the waters. Check out the patetion you can sign to speak out and let them know you want games! http://www.gamersforlinux.com/index.php [gamersforlinux.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31, 2006 @11:12PM (#15822814)
    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.
  • by kiddygrinder (605598) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @03:21AM (#15823531)
    "US retailers sold $10.5 billion of gaming hardware, software, and accessories"

    "2005 saw PC-game revenue slide from 1.1 billion in 2004 to just $953 million"

    source: http://www.gamespot.com/news/6142571.html [gamespot.com]

    so it's under %10 in north america including console but not PC hardware, i'd say it's a bit more than .05%, no matter where you shop.

    You are right that the linux gaming market is not worthwhile however, who uses linux for games? The most intelligent thing these companies could do is drop a bundle of cash on the cedega crew to get some better support via cedega, then include a 3 month subscription to cedega with the game itself. This would make the whole thing cost them bugger all and they could look like good guys in the process.
  • by ianOz (988378) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @06:19AM (#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?
  • Re:No games? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Indras (515472) * on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @06:55AM (#15824072)
    Here, I keep this site bookmarked at all times:
    http://doc.gwos.org/index.php/Native_Games [gwos.org]

    Lost Labyrinth is my current infatuation... well, that and Escape Velocity Nova (windows version) in Cedega, runs beautifully.

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