[OT] AAA Linux Games Titles, was September Web Site Statistics

Steve smorrey at gmail.com
Thu Oct 12 10:48:59 MDT 2006

Ya know I do game development for a living.
More specifically I do game engine development, which means I make
tools that game developers buy, so I get to speak with game developers

One of the major reasons game developers don't really want to do AAA
titles on Linux is because of the risk vs rewards.

I've been doing my part by proselytizing, and making sure the tools I
release all work with Linux and even Mac out of the box.
But there is more to be done.

You want to see AAA game titles on Linux?  Don't buy the windows
version.  Let the game company know that they lost a customer because
they didn't offer a Linux version.  And for the love of god stick to
your guns.

With a good crossplatform toolset, a game developer can make a game in
his environment of choice, and have it work in all target environments
sometimes with  just a simple recompile.  But they WONT take this step
because they don't see a financial market for Linux games.

Every once in awhile I talk with devs who make mention of the fact
that there is no way to make good money selling a linux version, and
that sales would not even likely cover costs of development.  They
cite the demise of LokiGames as one example http://www.lokigames.com/

Honestly I think the demise of great companies like Loki games was due
to timing aspects, there wasn't really a good desktop linux when they
were in business, and 3D support sucked especially bad, but times have
changed.  My last install of a desktop linux had 3D support already

You know I got very upset last year when Jeff Tunnell over at
GarageGames.com, announced that Linux support was no longer going to
be a priority for them, because to quote him "We Love Linux, but Linux
doesn't love back".
He says this because Linux folks are not coming over to buy games, and
so it's not worth their time to publish their game development tools
in a Linux compatible version.  Guys this is from a company that HAD
up until then created one of the ultimate cross platform game
development engines.

Fortunately, there is an active Linux developer community over there
that sees Linux as a real potential market for games, and that
community HAS ported or is in the process of porting the entire line
of tools.

But your likely not a game developer, so heres a couple of things you
can do if you want to see more AAA Linux games.

#1 Donate to the aspiring developers who do write the high quality
free games you're already playing on Linux.  And I don't mean donate
$1 via paypal.  I mean literally buy the game, figure out what you
would have spent on the game at your local Walmart, and pay for it.
This shows the developer that you really like the game and provides
him/her encouragement to continue in the endeavor.(also let them know
that's the reason why your donating)

#2 Where there are Linux titles for sale, buy them.  And make sure to
mention to the developer(s) that one of the reasons for your decision
to purchase the game was the fact that there was a native linux port.
And lest you think there are no commercial Linux games for sale, there
is a really great selection of games that have native Linux versions
over at http://www.garagegames.com/pg/
Make sure to buy only games with a little penguin at the bottom, and
make sure to let the developers know that your reason for purchase was
because they took the time to make a native Linux version.

#3 Support companies that support Linux, this means the hardware
manufacturers, as well as the software guys, if someone open sources a
driver for a product that you are in the market for.  Or releases the
binary driver under a license that allows it to be distributed, or
makes a sizable contribution to Open Source projects, then choose that
hardware, and let the manufacturer know that Linux support was one of
the reasons you choose their product.

Remember guys, be vocal, vote with your wallet, and stick to your guns.
If you do this you will see more and more AAA game titles on Linux as
developers wake up to the fact that Linux is a serious gaming


p.s. I do not work for GarageGames, in fact I tend to butt heads over
there alot, but we're all in the same boat of being "independent
developers", so it's kinda like butting heads over here :)

On 10/12/06, Joseph Hall <joseph at thatworks.com> wrote:
> Are you kidding? I would totally keep the Pinto, for its sleek
> stylishness, speed and.. wait, which car were we talking about again?
> On 10/12/06, jeff <jeff at parlant.com> wrote:
> > I like the comparison.  Explodes when touched.  Gutless.  I wouldn't
> > admit to using either.  Ugly.  Seems appropriate.
> >
> > Did pintos get good millage really, or are they just assumed to because
> > of their size?
> >
> > Hill, Greg wrote:
> > snip
> >
> > >
> > >>It's like keeping a Ford Pinto for "the gas milage"
> > >
> > >
> > > That's a *bad* idea?  :)  Seriously, though, it's such a flawed
> > > comparison I don't know where to start.
> > >
> > >
> > snip
> > --
> > Jeff
> >
> > "Zathras used to being beast of burden. Zathras have sad life, probably
> > have sad death, but at least there is symmetry."  -- Zathras
> >
> > /*
> > PLUG: http://plug.org, #utah on irc.freenode.net
> > Unsubscribe: http://plug.org/mailman/options/plug
> > Don't fear the penguin.
> > */
> >
> >
> --
> Joseph
> http://blog.josephhall.com/
> /*
> PLUG: http://plug.org, #utah on irc.freenode.net
> Unsubscribe: http://plug.org/mailman/options/plug
> Don't fear the penguin.
> */

More information about the PLUG mailing list