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Why The Porting Method Doesn't Matter For Linux Games

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So, I've already talked at length about "bad ports" and why I thought the toolkit used to port games to Linux matters. Now I'm here again to talk about why it actually doesn't matter and why we need to accept that in the end.

The first thing to note is that I feel like my mind has done a complete turn-around on games being ported to Linux that aren't "native". Native ports are great yes that's true of course, but I doubt we will ever have every developer and publisher on board with that. Publishers & Developers are in it for the money, no matter what they say if they didn't sell well they would be in trouble and wouldn't be able to continue, time is also money and time-saving for a tiny platform where they are likely to see ~5% of their sales from will probably look appealing.
So, for those developers & publishers what would be so bad about them using something like Wine?

If they used an open source technology like Wine and contributed a bug-fix here and there to make sure their game works then surly that's better for the Linux gaming ecosystem as a whole than not having a game at all? We then have a game and a less-buggy version Wine for everyone.

The problem with The Witcher 2 is that the toolkit it used is very new on Linux and untested by the masses. Once it gets fixed up somewhat (and I am hoping it does) then it will become more useful and the games using it will get better performance thus making way for more games using it. It certainly looks like Virtual Programming are working on it as since the Linux release there has been a few new builds of the "vp_beta" branch, so patches will come soon hopefully. If they can suddenly make me go from 10FPS to a reasonable amount and it becomes playable, then will it bother me any more? Probably not.

If the game is using eON, Wine, DosBox, and it works for you, why does it matter? It doesn't since it works and isn't a working game what you want? If it doesn't work then report the bugs, don't get up-in-arms about it as bugs just happen and treat it as you would any other software.

I recently guest talked on Jupiter Broadcasting's LINUX Unplugged Episode 42, if you listen to it be mindful that was my first live cast ever!

I think Alan Pope from Canonical said it best after I had my section:
QuoteI don't care what technology enables it, so long as it works and it depresses me that the Linux community is happy to file a bug like their keyboard or mouse not working to their distro, but when a developer of a game comes along and uses a 3rd party enabler to make their game work on Linux rather than file a bug and say "your game doesn't work very well on my platform" they go full-bore hassling the person on Steam, and I think that's the wrong way.


Those are some really wise words and they sunk into me that's for sure. I've seen reports from people actually stating Windows games ran in Wine have at times worked better for them on Linux than they did in Windows and hearing that has actually become more common.

If you are on the thought process of "wine is often buggy and unreliable", well that's thinking from the point of view that you have purchased a Windows game and have to tweak everything about Wine to fit it. This is the developer doing all that work for you so that the game works without an issue.

When GOG.com comes along and brings with it games using DosBox will anyone get annoyed about that? I doubt it if I remember correctly masses of people were excited about that, and I feel the same applies here really. If it works, it works. If it doesn't file bugs, don't be rude and don't carry on the bad reputation Linux gamers already seem to have.

I will always support developers who go the native route more of course, but if it works using something else and sets a precedent for that developer & publisher to go native in the future then that's bloody fantastic.

If you still feel that strongly about refusing ports that aren't "100% native" then vote with your wallet and not a loud mouth that attacks developers and shuns them for even trying, they might never return to our platform keeping us in the limbo of "but x game isn't on Linux!".

The situation is going to improve over time, Source engine 2 from Valve is going OpenGL native, Unreal Engine 4+ is native and more. It's a time to be happy to be a Linux gamer and support those who try rather than ignore our platform don't you think? Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Editorial
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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Cheeseness 31 May, 2014
Quoting: a4644246You are saying that technology doesnt mater, but it does matter, very much.

I'm not. I'm saying that game devs who don't fix stuff or don't bother actively contributing fixes upstream (most don't) don't end up providing much benefit to the F/OSS ecosystem.

Quoting: a4644246My approach is healthy for F/LOSS platform it is unhealthy for corporation and developers, and if they dont care about F/LOSS platform I dont care about them.

It's not healthy for F/OSS at all, and it's super disappointing that we have prominent people who're abusive and act like bullies. Elitism breeds exclusivity, which is unsustainable and more or less counter to what makes F/OSS communities and good F/OSS development work.
Samsai 1 Jun, 2014
Quoting: a4644246Im not calling names Im just describing my observation. When there is a problem in F/LOSS just ask your self "What will Linus do", he would throw couple of "f*** you"s then said do it right way or GTFO. My approach is healthy for F/LOSS platform it is unhealthy for corporation and developers, and if they dont care about F/LOSS platform I dont care about them.
Linus Torvalds is in a special position. The kernel team is very exclusive and they have to have a clear authority to make sure the kernel doesn't suddenly break completely. Here you are on an open community website and here your attitude is only poisonous and it won't be tolerated.
Maquis196 1 Jun, 2014
Well the beauty of this entire situation with Eon and Co is simple, if you don't like what theyre doing (as in not contributing upstream and what not), just don't buy their games... or any closed source games.

That way you can feel morally superior whilst playing open source games.
Cheeseness 1 Jun, 2014
Quoting: SamsaiLinus Torvalds is in a special position. The kernel team is very exclusive and they have to have a clear authority to make sure the kernel doesn't suddenly break completely.

Is he though? IMO he behaves inappropriately. He's totally capable of not being abusive with his feedback. That wouldn't undermine the stability of the kernel.
oldrocker99 3 Jun, 2014
Hmmmm. My own opinion is that, "Hey! [GameX] is out for Linux!" is how I typically see a new game out for Linux. I have been happily playing the wrapped version of "The Witcher 2" for the last few days, and it plays just fine for me, with a very few framerate drops here and there (AMD Phenom II 965, GeForce 650ti, 16GB RAM), and, in fact, runs pretty identically for me as the Windows version did using wine.

I know a lot of gamers have not had the positive experience I have had, but look at the Steam forums for "Painkiller:Hell and D*mnation." This is a native Linux port of the engine, and, while I was (on my hardly high-end system) playing it from day 1, AMD/ATI users have had one rough time of it. The developer of that game has put out patch after patch, and made some ATI users happy, eventually, but by no means all.

If a wrapper is skillfully customized for a specific game, well and good; it means I don't have to dual-boot. Note the use of the word "skillfully."

Obviously, I want native ports whenever possible, but if this is the only way I can get to play, say "X-COM:Enemy Unknown," without (shudder) booting into Windows. I won't carp if it comes with a wrapper.

Words said above about DOSBox are 100% correct; Windows retro gamers use DOSBox as well.

I am One Happy Consumer of Red Projekt's products, and I've bought two Andrej Sapkowski (the creator of Geralt of Rivia) novels, too.
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