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Iracing Online Racing Game Comes To Linux In Alpha Via Wine
Posted , 13 September 2013 at 5:30 pm UTC / 7502 views
An online car racing game that PC Gamer voted "Best racing game of all time" has hit Linux in the form of an alpha version that uses Wine.

iRacing is a subscription based online racing game where it gets cheaper the longer you pay for, so this may put off some of you (if you wheren't put off by Wine already).

Sadly it seems the actual information about the Linux alpha is behind that subscription pay-wall, according to OMGUBUNTU it was announced on the forum which you cannot get onto unless you are a paying member, a bit annoying as there isn't even a free trial that I can find to even see if it's worth it.

Trailer


Features
  • The best on-line racing simulation and service in the world with brilliant features and functionality
  • Head-to-head racing competition - racing against real people
  • Open practice, qualifying, testing, time trialing competition
  • Constant free automatic updates and improvements to the service
  • Officially licensed cars that are engineered from the ground up in cooperation with real world race teams and using real-world physics
  • Officially-licensed, laser-scanned exact replicas of the world’s greatest race tracks
  • Officially-sanctioned racing organized by iRacing
  • An online community of racing enthusiasts over 40,000 strong
  • Ability to host your own private sessions, run your own tournaments or create your own private racing leagues

Seems like this is one to really wait for the final Linux build to come out before opening your wallets, especially with no trial, that's a bit crap.

The game itself does look quite awesome though, so here's to hoping they make a native build of the game for Linux. They have a Mac build of the game now officially out which uses Wine according to reports I've seen so I'm not personally holding hope for it, nor will I pay out for it.

It seems people aren't too happy with it either, according to a few posts I've seen on other racing forums the developers have started censoring their forums and deleting topics complaining about the use of Wine, it's not looking good in my eyes on this one. I have reached out to them to ask about their use of Wine and the possibility of a native port in future, considering how big they are I am unsure if we will get a response or not.

What are your thoughts? This is after I did an editorial recently on Wine porting.

I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. A fan of anything techy, and not just Linux stuff.

You can follow my personal blog here.

Comments on this article are now closed.
Valczir commented on 13 September 2013 at 5:56 pm UTC

I'm not sure.  I like it when people provide an officially-supported linux "version", even if it uses Wine.  I mean, why not?  Wine is (effectively) just a set of libraries.  There's a bit of a translation layer, there, but it's not that much different than using SDL or something (which also has a bit of a translation layer to underlying libraries, dependent on the platform it's compiled on).

That said ... I also hate direct console->PC ports, and that's how Wine ports strike me.  "We're going to provide our thing to a new audience, but do it using dirty hacks."  Oh, Dark Souls.

So I'm conflicted.  It's nice that they're officially supporting linux users, but they are certainly being a little lazy about it.  Meh.

As to the game, itself, well...  It looks nice, but I have a real life sports car (nothing special, just an RX8) that I periodically take out on the track.  I just don't feel like I need a video game when I've got a not-nearly-as-fast-but-good-enough-for-me real life version.

I'm not sure.  I like it when people provide an officially-supported linux "version", even if it uses Wine.  I mean, why not?  Wine is (effectively) just a set of libraries.  There's a bit of a translation layer, there, but it's not that much different than using SDL or something (which also has a bit of a translation layer to underlying libraries, dependent on the platform it's compiled on). That said ... I also hate direct console->PC ports, and that's how Wine ports strike me.  "We're going to provide our thing to a new audience, but do it using dirty hacks."  Oh, Dark Souls. So I'm conflicted.  It's nice that they're officially supporting linux users, but they are certainly being a little lazy about it.  Meh. As to the game, itself, well...  It looks nice, but I have a real life sports car (nothing special, just an RX8) that I periodically take out on the track.  I just don't feel like I need a video game when I've got a not-nearly-as-fast-but-good-enough-for-me real life version.
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liamdawe commented on 13 September 2013 at 6:04 pm UTC

It's a lot different to using SDL, SDL games are able to communicate with Steam (just using Steam as an example since iRacing want to get onto Steam) while a Wine game won't be able to for example.

The game running in Wine would be looking for things installed inside Wine so it wouldn't communicate with the native Steam, making things very awkward.

So yeah if you launched a game from Steam that uses Wine for example, it wouldn't communicate well.

This is what a Steam developer has actually stated before, cannot find the link to it though sadly.

It's a lot different to using SDL, SDL games are able to communicate with Steam (just using Steam as an example since iRacing want to get onto Steam) while a Wine game won't be able to for example. The game running in Wine would be looking for things installed inside Wine so it wouldn't communicate with the native Steam, making things very awkward. So yeah if you launched a game from Steam that uses Wine for example, it wouldn't communicate well. This is what a Steam developer has actually stated before, cannot find the link to it though sadly.
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Valczir commented on 13 September 2013 at 9:26 pm UTC

liamdaweIt's a lot different to using SDL, SDL games are able to communicate with Steam (just using Steam as an example since iRacing want to get onto Steam) while a Wine game won't be able to for example.

The game running in Wine would be looking for things installed inside Wine so it wouldn't communicate with the native Steam, making things very awkward.

So yeah if you launched a game from Steam that uses Wine for example, it wouldn't communicate well.

This is what a Steam developer has actually stated before, cannot find the link to it though sadly.
I need to stop posting before I'm awake; that wasn't as clear as I wanted it to be.

Basically, Wine is a set of libraries, and in many ways, officially supporting Wine is a damn good thing.  It's good to be guaranteed that updates to a game won't break Wine support.

However, Wine does what it does through a fair number of dirty hacks and trickery - you're exactly right that it won't work well with Steam (and most other linux-native programs - I've tried plenty to get them to work together on my own system, and ... they just don't), and it's always going to be a poor choice compared to the other options.

SDL is a much better option.  I love SDL.  I'm not trying to put SDL on the same level as Wine.  SDL is a product of best practices, where Wine is a product of doing what's necessary.  In that sense, they are very different, and I would never intentionally imply that a game that uses Wine to provide multi-platform support is as good as one that uses SDL for the same reasons.

I guess I was just trying to say that I don't mind it when companies officially support running their product in Wine.  I don't like it, obviously, but it's better than nothing.  If my alternative is nothing, I'll take Wine.  But the game had better be worth it.  Because intentionally using the libraries supported by Wine is ... not the best option out there.

This is how my personal flow chart of "to buy or not to buy" goes:
1) A true, native linux version will often make me buy a game even if I won't play it (so long as it seems well-made). (Penumbra)
2) If they support and test running it through wine, that will push me over the edge if I'm on the fence. (Perpetuum Online)
3) If they don't officially support Wine but it works anyway, I'll pick it up if it's a game that *really* piques my interest. (Metro 2033)
4) If it doesn't work in Wine, I won't touch it, even if I desperately want to play it. (Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War 2)

So far as I can think of, the only possible exception to this list would be Dark Souls II.  I haven't installed a copy of Windows on anything I own or use for the past 8 years, but Dark Souls II may push me over the edge.  If I can't get it to run in Wine ... I may actually make a windows partition just for that one game.  It kind of depends on what the verdict is when it comes out.

I hope that came out better.  I'm still preoccupied with fixing some stupid issues with Google AppEngine, but I think I wrote this response a bit more ... accurately, I suppose.

[quote=liamdawe]It's a lot different to using SDL, SDL games are able to communicate with Steam (just using Steam as an example since iRacing want to get onto Steam) while a Wine game won't be able to for example. The game running in Wine would be looking for things installed inside Wine so it wouldn't communicate with the native Steam, making things very awkward. So yeah if you launched a game from Steam that uses Wine for example, it wouldn't communicate well. This is what a Steam developer has actually stated before, cannot find the link to it though sadly.[/quote] I need to stop posting before I'm awake; that wasn't as clear as I wanted it to be. Basically, Wine is a set of libraries, and in many ways, officially supporting Wine is a damn good thing.  It's good to be guaranteed that updates to a game won't break Wine support. However, Wine does what it does through a fair number of dirty hacks and trickery - you're exactly right that it won't work well with Steam (and most other linux-native programs - I've tried plenty to get them to work together on my own system, and ... they just don't), and it's always going to be a poor choice compared to the other options. SDL is a much better option.  I love SDL.  I'm not trying to put SDL on the same level as Wine.  SDL is a product of best practices, where Wine is a product of doing what's necessary.  In that sense, they are very different, and I would never intentionally imply that a game that uses Wine to provide multi-platform support is as good as one that uses SDL for the same reasons. I guess I was just trying to say that I don't mind it when companies officially support running their product in Wine.  I don't like it, obviously, but it's better than nothing.  If my alternative is nothing, I'll take Wine.  But the game had better be worth it.  Because intentionally using the libraries supported by Wine is ... not the best option out there. This is how my personal flow chart of "to buy or not to buy" goes: 1) A true, native linux version will often make me buy a game even if I won't play it (so long as it seems well-made). (Penumbra) 2) If they support and test running it through wine, that will push me over the edge if I'm on the fence. (Perpetuum Online) 3) If they don't officially support Wine but it works anyway, I'll pick it up if it's a game that *really* piques my interest. (Metro 2033) 4) If it doesn't work in Wine, I won't touch it, even if I desperately want to play it. (Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War 2) So far as I can think of, the only possible exception to this list would be Dark Souls II.  I haven't installed a copy of Windows on anything I own or use for the past 8 years, but Dark Souls II may push me over the edge.  If I can't get it to run in Wine ... I may actually make a windows partition just for that one game.  It kind of depends on what the verdict is when it comes out. I hope that came out better.  I'm still preoccupied with fixing some stupid issues with Google AppEngine, but I think I wrote this response a bit more ... accurately, I suppose.
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Bumadar commented on 14 September 2013 at 5:54 am UTC

liamdaweIt's a lot different to using SDL, SDL games are able to communicate with Steam (just using Steam as an example since iRacing want to get onto Steam) while a Wine game won't be able to for example.

if the game uses wine and steam well then one of the requirements will be to have steam running under wine and they are simply making sure that the game runs fine under steam in wine.  That how the rift people did it (not the steam part as its not needed), they not officially support linux but went out of there way at launch time to make sure their code runs under wine.

[quote=liamdawe]It's a lot different to using SDL, SDL games are able to communicate with Steam (just using Steam as an example since iRacing want to get onto Steam) while a Wine game won't be able to for example.[/quote] if the game uses wine and steam well then one of the requirements will be to have steam running under wine and they are simply making sure that the game runs fine under steam in wine.  That how the rift people did it (not the steam part as its not needed), they not officially support linux but went out of there way at launch time to make sure their code runs under wine.
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Bumadar commented on 14 September 2013 at 5:58 am UTC

Valczir
but Dark Souls II may push me over the edge.  If I can't get it to run in Wine ... I may actually make a windows partition just for that one game.  It kind of depends on what the verdict is when it comes out.

Daemon souls and Dark Souls, both played in the PS3 so probably gone stick to that for Dark Souls 2.  I can't remember any game where I cursed more about my mistakes, turned of the system more frustrated but always came back, they are unforgiving but they are brilliant 

[quote= Valczir] but Dark Souls II may push me over the edge.  If I can't get it to run in Wine ... I may actually make a windows partition just for that one game.  It kind of depends on what the verdict is when it comes out.[/quote] Daemon souls and Dark Souls, both played in the PS3 so probably gone stick to that for Dark Souls 2.  I can't remember any game where I cursed more about my mistakes, turned of the system more frustrated but always came back, they are unforgiving but they are brilliant :)
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