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Why We Shouldn't Accept Bad Linux Ports

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Note: This is a really old article, if you're here, I do suggest you read this article "Why The Porting Method Doesn't Matter For Linux Games".

Thanks to the recent fiasco of The Witcher 2 I wanted to write down some thoughts on why we shouldn't accept bad quality ports from developers.

Only in recent years have we had so many damned games in our Linux libraries that you now see comments from Linux gamers like "I've got too many games already!" which I imagine now sounds familiar to a lot of you. We have never before seen so much attention from developers thanks to Valve & Steam.

Also thanks to the push from developers we are seeing ports come along that are quite frankly lazy or just downright buggy to the point of being unplayable for a majority of people.

The problem is if we keep accepting ports at a sub-par quality then Linux will gain a reputation for having low quality games. Think about that big picture for a moment, seriously.

Imagine if you will that AAA developers started pushing out more games for Linux using technology like this "eON" that was used to port The Witcher 2. Let's say we have a lot of them and it suddenly looks like Linux has a lot of big-name games. You then have plenty of people trying out Linux, and seeing that their games run with terrible performance on the exact same hardware giving them the impression that Linux itself is bad for gaming. That's not good for anyone.

I've seen many people say "the toolkit used to port doesn't matter?". That in my eyes is a very naive statement to make. Of course it matters, it can mean the difference of light and day in the quality of a game on Linux. Which directly goes back to my point above about the perception of Linux gaming.
You can still say the toolkit doesn't matter and use whatever comparison/analogy you fancy, but if the toolkit is the root cause of the issue, like it will be 99% of the time when we are talking about computer software then yes, it does of course matter.

I've seen comments now from other major websites stating we should just accept them and be thankful we have them at all. That is an idiotic statement from people who don't look at the bigger picture.

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Think about the developers and publishers who will see it as acceptable to push terrible Linux ports out the door and call it a day with only profits in mind. The consumer perception of Linux gaming would worsen yet again with even more bad quality ports.

I am all for ports from developers, of course I am I run this site after-all. I as a customer however do not want to pay for games that would work on Windows, but run like a snail on Linux, why should I? Why should you?

Final added point: You should never attack a developer when they reach out to the community having issues, that's not acceptable. Feedback is fine, but name calling is childish and makes Linux again look bad. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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98 comments
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Lots of deletes 28 May 2014 at 10:50 am UTC
Why We Shouldn't Accept Bad Linux Ports...

So you will be busy deleting the ported games you are advertising, promoting and removing the download links on this site ?

lol
liamdawe 28 May 2014 at 10:52 am UTC
Lots of deletesWhy We Shouldn't Accept Bad Linux Ports...

So you will be busy deleting the ported games you are advertising, promoting and removing the download links on this site ?

lol

Why the hell would I delete articles highlighting the ports? That's idiotic. We don't hide anything.
Darryl L. Pierce 28 May 2014 at 12:27 pm UTC
+1

Just a quick note: it would be "the difference _between night_ and day".
Torp 28 May 2014 at 2:21 pm UTC
Witcher 2 has a Linux port now? The Mac port was just a Wine wrapper with horrendous performance, so I wouldn't expect much from them. Maybe on Witcher 4 which will be developed with Steam Boxes in mind from the start...
Anonymous 28 May 2014 at 3:37 pm UTC
Two things:

1) 9-10 FPS? I installed the linux version fron Steam, use the configuration I have for running it under wine and get 30-40 fps at 1280x1024. I played some of my saves, seems stable enough except for crashes on quitting. Sure you turned Ubersampling off? My gear is hardly top notch gaming stuff (AMD X2 250, GTX 260, 4GB RAM, LCD with nax res. 1280x1024, no gamepad).

2) Before we stop buying bad ports we should stop buying games without a linux port at all. As long as we manage with wine or dual booting, there's no real pressure on game companies to put any major effort in porting their titles to linux (and we'll have to see if Steam can make a difference here). That's why companies like CDProject or 4A deserve some trust that they will improve their ports over time, since they seem to believe that there's a future market for linux games and they are willing to invest in that future.
liamdawe 28 May 2014 at 3:39 pm UTC
Yes I am sure I had it turned off, I had everything on lowest settings I am obviously very capable of changing settings in a graphics panel ;). Many people reporting the same issues.
Richi Plana 30 May 2014 at 4:22 pm UTC
The problem with this article (as with many opinion pieces) is that it fails to have a wider scope in its analysis. What I'm hoping to see is something that clearly defines the scope of, say, buyers of the product and properly categorizes them.

For instance, out of the population of the world, some infinitesimally small percentage will actually buy a port for Linux. Just considering that percentage as our target, of that group, what percentage would buy the port and think: "Oh what crap! Is this what gaming on Linux is like? I don't think I'll ever come back to it!"? Then there will be a percentage that might just shrug their shoulders and move on, uncaring. And then there will be a percentage who have been avidly waiting for a port of a game they've always wanted onto their favorite platform (Linux) and will either patiently and painstakingly play the game at 17 FPS, spending countless nights until they complete it or go out an invest on more powerful hardware just to make it playable.

We'd be doing the guys in that latter category a disservice by saying stop porting games if the ports are of lower quality. They are already members of the community and would you sacrifice their happiness for the sake of someone who we're attracting to and might become a member of the community of Linux gamers?
Hori 1 January 2015 at 5:10 pm UTC
I agree completely. For me the problem is Mount & Blade Warband and a few more games which is completely broken and my "Windows friends" are laughing at me saying "that's your Linux masterrace you were talking about?"
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