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Linux will not become a gaming platform, it already is one
Network World ^ | 30 July 2014 | Bryan Lunduke

Posted on 08/01/2014 11:35:34 AM PDT by ShadowAce

The true measure of any great gaming platform is not the number of games available. Nor is it the need to have the same games as other competing platforms (the Playstation 4 doesn't need Mario games to be considered successful). And it really isn't even about how many total games are sold, though that certainly helps.

The measure of a great gaming platform is if people want to use it to play games on... rather than another platform. At least on occasion.

For example: The SEGA Genesis. That beautiful console sold substantially less than the Super Nintendo. But it was still an excellent console that people enjoyed playing on. Thus, a success.

By that measure – and that is the only measure I can think of that makes any sense – Linux qualifies as a successful (even, great) gaming platform.

(Bear with me here. This isn't a cheerleader article. This is going somewhere. Pinky swear.)

I've seen quite a few articles that have made the point, in one fashion or another, that Linux is becoming a viable gaming platform. Now, I'm a big advocate of Linux, and I've spent years in the video games industry. So these sorts of statements should get me excited... right?

Yet they tend to have just the opposite effect on me. Whenever I see an article declaring something akin to “Gaming on Linux has arrived!” it immediately reminds me of the last decade (two decades, really... plus some) of that similar declaration we have all heard so many times. “Next year will be the year of Desktop Linux!”

There came a point where I had heard that refrain so many times that hearing it instantly made me pessimistic, or, at the very least, compelled me to say something snarky.

When I hear something like “2014 is the year for gaming on Linux” I have the same reaction. Pessimism. Snark. That simple statement, as positive as it may be, can turn even the most exciting of news into something... far less exciting.

That's when I realized we need a way to actually determine if Linux is a legitimate, successful gaming platform. Then we can simply determine if it is or isn't, and stop making those sorts of (oddly un-compelling) declarations. After much thinking on it, I decided on the criteria I laid out at the top of this article, which I am not going to repeat now, because I am lazy. Also scroll-bar.

Once I figured that out, it became clear. Linux is a solid gaming platform. It has been for a long, long time. And, in recent days, Linux has only gotten even stronger as a gaming platform.

But it's not the year of Linux gaming. That already happened a long time ago.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go play Battle for Wesnoth.


TOPICS: Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: gaming; linux

1 posted on 08/01/2014 11:35:34 AM PDT by ShadowAce
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To: rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; JosephW; Only1choice____Freedom; amigatec; Ernest_at_the_Beach; ...

2 posted on 08/01/2014 11:36:05 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: ShadowAce

All it needs are .... GAMES


3 posted on 08/01/2014 11:40:07 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: ShadowAce

PlayOnLinux


4 posted on 08/01/2014 11:40:08 AM PDT by molson209 (Blank)
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To: ShadowAce
By that measure – and that is the only measure I can think of that makes any sense – Linux qualifies as a successful (even, great) gaming platform

huh? So the Dreamcast was a spectacular success?

This guy has a screw or two loose but he is not wrong about most of this.

5 posted on 08/01/2014 11:41:47 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: molson209

Steam has a native Linux client.


6 posted on 08/01/2014 11:45:47 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: ShadowAce
The measure of a great gaming platform is if people want to use it to play games on... rather than another platform. At least on occasion.

And that is why the Bally Astrocade and GCE Vectrex sold so much better than the Atari 2600 and the Mattel Intellivision.
7 posted on 08/01/2014 11:49:31 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana ("If you're litigating against nuns, you've probably done something wrong."-Ted Cruz)
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To: ShadowAce
I dunno. While Wine in linux has progressed to the point where I can use some legacy 'doze programs in it, anything made to run on win 2k or above simply refuses to run, no matter what level of compatibility I set it to. I still have yet to find a way to get the old Wing Commander, Privateer, Descent, and Mechwarrior games to run.

Haven't tried Quake or Duke Nukem yet -and I really don't know if I still have that old copy of Nude Tomb Raider saved somewhere...

8 posted on 08/01/2014 12:01:54 PM PDT by Utilizer (Bacon A'kbar! - In world today are only peaceful people, and the muzzle-em's trying to kill them-)
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To: Utilizer

I run Civ 4 under WINE, and Civ 5 natively, using Steam.


9 posted on 08/01/2014 12:08:11 PM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: ShadowAce

Linux is a platform that you can play games on. It will never be a “gaming platform” where you put together a Linux system primarily to play games.


10 posted on 08/01/2014 12:08:15 PM PDT by Domandred (Fdisk, format, and reinstall the entire .gov system.)
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To: ShadowAce
Hmmm. I see a couple of issues with that. One, why would I pay to download a game I already have to play it on Steam, and Two, Steam appears to have some issues with ntfs-3g and wine.

Thanks for the suggestion, though.

11 posted on 08/01/2014 12:20:11 PM PDT by Utilizer (Bacon A'kbar! - In world today are only peaceful people, and the muzzle-em's trying to kill them-)
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To: Utilizer

Steam is native on Linux—it doesn’t use wine.


12 posted on 08/01/2014 12:21:53 PM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: ShadowAce
Yes, I am still studying it...

Perhaps I can try adding a FAT32 partition using partimage or gnuparted and try again later on to see if I can get more apps running or even some games.

Something to tinker with later on, I suppose.

On a side topic, you have a moment to advise on an unrelated topic? I can FReepamail you if you wish.

13 posted on 08/01/2014 12:25:33 PM PDT by Utilizer (Bacon A'kbar! - In world today are only peaceful people, and the muzzle-em's trying to kill them-)
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To: Utilizer

There was an old freeware game called Cyberdogs or close. It was a maze with characters you could arm all kinds of ways. Fun game, ran off a floppy.


14 posted on 08/01/2014 12:32:10 PM PDT by wally_bert (There are no winners in a game of losers. I'm Tommy Joyce, welcome to the Oriental Lounge.q)
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To: wally_bert
The first version of Privateer came on floppies. Still love it and wish I could play it.

Almost impossible to find analog joysticks that still plug into the old 15-pin D-sub ports though, so it's a challenge.

15 posted on 08/01/2014 12:38:39 PM PDT by Utilizer (Bacon A'kbar! - In world today are only peaceful people, and the muzzle-em's trying to kill them-)
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To: Utilizer
Haven't tried Quake

There is a native client for Linux. I used to play that a lot back in the day.

16 posted on 08/01/2014 12:38:52 PM PDT by zeugma (Islam: The Antidote for civilization)
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To: ShadowAce

The day Fallout 4 is released exclusively on Linux, I’ll believe it... :-)


17 posted on 08/01/2014 12:39:15 PM PDT by LambSlave
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To: ShadowAce

GOOD TIMES. GOOD TIMES.

< |:)~

18 posted on 08/01/2014 12:40:02 PM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: ShadowAce

I don’t dispute final numbers but when people always say the SNES beat the Genesis it took them 2 years after Sega stopped making games for it to do so.

Sega was beyond stupid and incompetent making the 16 to 32 bit generational jump. They had the Genesis, Sega CD, Game Gear, 32x, Pico, Nomad and Saturn going at the same time.

Sonic Team stopped making 16 bit games while Nintendo kept focusing on the SNES gems like Yoshii’s Island and Donkey Kong Country (Yes, I know.... Rare.) so for 2 holiday seasons while Sega wanted 16 bit dead and to focus on Saturn (Which always sucked.) Nintendo finally took the lead on generational sales.

Year in and year out it was neck and neck while Sega was actively pumping out 16 bit titles. It took them quitting 18-24 months early on the generation for Nintendo to finally claim victory.


19 posted on 08/01/2014 12:52:25 PM PDT by PittsburghAfterDark
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To: Dr. Sivana

“GCE Vectrex” ... a masterpiece.

I have every game for this thing except Polar Rescue and one of the light pen games (well, I have those on a flash cart ... but that doesn’t count).

I have the 3D goggles and all 3 games for that with the color wheels (had to trade some vector arcade stuff I had for those) :-).

I frigging love that system :-). I was young when it came out ... my dad grabbed one + a bulk of the games I have when they were being cleared out for next to nothing around 1985 or so.

There have been a lot of great homebrew releases over the past 15+ years too.


20 posted on 08/01/2014 12:55:59 PM PDT by edh (I need a better tagline)
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To: Utilizer

“The first version of Privateer came on floppies. Still love it and wish I could play it.”

You need to check out Star Citizen. The creator of Wing Commander (and Privateer) got boatloads of money off Kickstarter to revive the space combat/exploration genre. I fear the day that game is released ... I may as well say goodbye to my wife, son, family, friends :-) ...


21 posted on 08/01/2014 12:58:37 PM PDT by edh (I need a better tagline)
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To: edh

Wow! First I’ve heard of Star Citizen. I’m checking it out now, it looks great!


22 posted on 08/01/2014 1:36:37 PM PDT by adaven
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To: edh

Vectrex was GREAT! I was a video game reviewer, and got the how thing free. Sold long ago. Perfect Star Castle. Minestorm a classic. Responsive analog controller. I didn’t have the color wheel. I did have the pen.

The owners of the ROMs turned them over to the public domain.

Great Trivia Question Answer: Vectrex was the only game unit that didn’t have to pay royalties to Magnavox, because it didn’t hook up to a TV.


23 posted on 08/01/2014 2:51:55 PM PDT by Dr. Sivana ("If you're litigating against nuns, you've probably done something wrong."-Ted Cruz)
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To: martin_fierro

lots of GTs for me on Rites Of Passage.


24 posted on 08/01/2014 3:41:47 PM PDT by Rodamala
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To: edh

Star Citizen looks like something that will cost me $$$$ in computer upgrades. :-/


25 posted on 08/01/2014 4:13:07 PM PDT by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
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To: martin_fierro
 telnet 198.212.189.111
Trying 198.212.189.111...
Connected to 198.212.189.111.
Escape character is '^]'.
EMPIRECLASSIC:hello player.warp
HP3000  Release: C.65.00   User Version: C.65.00   SUN, DEC 11, 2011,  6:41 PM
MPE/iX  HP31900 C.25.06  Copyright Hewlett-Packard 1987.  All rights reserved.

      -----------------------------------------------------------
      |           W E L C  O M E   T O   W A R P !               |
      |                                                          |
      |      The paradoxical world of Warp awaits you with       |
      |           intrigue, suspense, and adventure!             |
      |                                                          |
      |  Please sit back and relax while I assemble the world.   |
      |                                                          |
      |                   Brought to you by                      |
      |             * Rob Lucke and Bill Frolik *                |
      |                                                          |
      ---------------------------obie-----------------------------
       //|| |                  //|| |                  //|| |
      // || |     \/\/        // || |         \/\/    // || |
     //  || |      ||        //  || |          ||    //  || |
     VVvwWWvWWWwVVvVVwWWwwVVvvWWwwwWWVvVwwVwwVVwwWWvwWVvwVwvVWvvvwVV
Initializing, please wait ....................

Central Plaza.
You are standing in what appears to be the central plaza
of a small seacoast resort.  There is a large fountain in the
center of this square, and the plaza extends quite a distance
to both the north and south.  You can see the ocean in the
distance to the west, and to the east there is a large
building on which there is a sign that reads "WARP BUILDING".

I can see the following:
  Fountain
  Round Peg

>look at fountain
The fountain is obviously neglected, its bottom is covered with mud
and old leaves.

>get in fountain
That's not a vehicle!

>get peg
  Round Peg taken.

>look at it
Round.  Made of wood.  Not very big.

>touch fountain
"Touch" is Danish to me.  Try English.

>w
Easy Street.
You're in the middle of a long north-south street.  To the west
you can see the ocean in the distance, and to the east you can
see a large building.

I can see the following:
  Policeman
The policeman tips his hat to you as he moves on.

>look at policeman
Policeman?  I don't see any policeman here.

>w
North Beach.
You're on a sandy beach.  Ocean lies to the west; you can go
any other direction.


There is water lapping at your feet.

>e
Easy Street.


>look
Easy Street.
You're in the middle of a long north-south street.  To the west
you can see the ocean in the distance, and to the east you can
see a large building.


>e
Central Plaza.
You are standing in what appears to be the central plaza
of a small seacoast resort.  There is a large fountain in the
center of this square, and the plaza extends quite a distance
to both the north and south.  You can see the ocean in the
distance to the west, and to the east there is a large
building on which there is a sign that reads "WARP BUILDING".

I can see the following:
  Fountain

>e
Warp Building Lobby.
You're standing in the lobby of the Warp Building.  On the
door to the north you read "MEN"; similarly, on the door to
the south, "WOMEN".  There's a security desk between you and
the corridor to the east.  The only other exit is to the west.

I can see the following:
  Security Guard, who possesses:
    a Gun
A stately policeman just wandered by.

>take gun
  Gun taken.
The policeman tips his hat to you as he moves on.

>look at gun
It is a large, heavy handgun of Warpian manufacture.  There is a
small engraving on the handle which reads,
 
                    WARPSON 19MM BLASTER
                     Treat With Respect


>shoot guard

>BANG!<

That was stupid.
The guard, seeing you reach for your Gun, whips out a hidden gun and
deftly shoots you through the head!


 You sense yourself leaving your physical body --
 A spiritual entity in a black haze.  The bleakness 
 begins to clear, however, and you begin to recognize
 familiar things, only everything appears in various
 shades of grey.

Cemetary.
This small cemetary appears to serve the City of Warp, but it
does not have room to contain many graves.  Small simple grave
markers show the location of those in eternal sleep.  A large fence
prevents you from going east into a very deep ravine.

I can see the following:
  Tombstone

>look at tombstone
 
                        *******
                  *****/       \*****
                 / +  /  R.I.P  \  + \
                 |        LEE        |
                 |/     COLLINS     \|
                 |   6/1980-9/1981   |
                 | ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
                 |  PIONEER WARPIAN  |
                 |   PUZZLE SOLVER   |
                 | ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
                 |  "He died every   |
                 |        way        |
                 |    imaginable"    |
            vwwWvVVvvwwWWvVVwwwvVVvwWWwwwVVwv

>

26 posted on 08/02/2014 2:41:10 PM PDT by zeugma (Islam: The Antidote for civilization)
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27 posted on 08/02/2014 2:41:30 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: ShadowAce

Not just Steam, but one of the most wildly popular games among kids, Minecraft, plays on Linux without a hiccup, assuming you’re okay with installing Java on your Nix desktop.

I LOVE my Ubuntu desktop. I think one of their bigger challenges, one I’m dealing with right now, is their LTS (Long-term Support) distros (i.e. Ubuntu 12.04) aren’t as “long-term” as say, Microsoft’s Windows. I’m having to upgrade all of my 12.04 servers to 14, and while it’s a pretty painless upgrade, there are some features that are tweaked just enough to make troubleshooting difficult on some products.

If they could come out with a universally stable OS that’s patched and updated for, say 2 or more years, they’ll have something that’s commercially viable.


28 posted on 08/03/2014 5:23:32 AM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: rarestia
If they could come out with a universally stable OS that’s patched and updated for, say 2 or more years, they’ll have something that’s commercially viable.

12.04 LTS has been out 2 or more years. :)

29 posted on 08/03/2014 5:44:37 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: ShadowAce

April 2012 was the first release, so yeah, it’s been 2 years. They’re already putting up the warning messages in Landscape that security update development stops later this month.


30 posted on 08/03/2014 8:34:11 AM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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