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Is the "Linux Gamer" disappearing?
Linuxak commented on 9 December 2019 at 5:43 pm UTC

Well, its weird, but I actually buy more games on Linux, than before in Windows. Lots of them are Proton, yes, but I have AAA linux ports, and of course few little indie games also. Not sure if off-topic, but I realise that, when Im really tired of, all thoose blockbusters perfect graphics, total action destruction super epic perfect games, I have more fun with small linux games. Because they reminds me "good old days", when you actually just play the game. I mean, linux gaming has its positivenes, thats for sure.

Last edited by Linuxak on 9 December 2019 at 5:44 pm UTC

Gryxx commented on 9 December 2019 at 10:44 pm UTC

Samsai
Laboratoryo_ni_Neil
GustyGhost
anewsonI just read the post <Are we seeing the end of the most recent "golden age" of Linux gaming?>; maybe this question could be reframed as "Is emulation ending the Golden age of Linux gaming"

Many GOLer's are probably already attuned to this, but for the sake of general knowledge this is probably an opportunity clarify some terminology.

Translation layer = converts foreign system calls into system calls native to the host. As far as gaming on Linux is concerned, this largely involves translating DirectX into OpenGL. Proton and Wine.

Emulation = takes things a step further by entirely imitating a foreign system within software on the host. Virtual machines, console emulators.

My own personal thoughts on these: When one purchases and plays games designed for other platforms through compatibility layers or emulators, one is indirectly telling the market "I endorse that games should continue be constructed adhering to standards hostile to interoperability laid out by proprietary interests". It is a single vote cast for short term convenience at the expense of long term freedom.

So, what do we tell to PC gamers who are considering to switch to Linux?


Just stick to Windows? I'm sure telling them to just play alternatives won't convince them to switch.
Even many of us who are critical of Proton use do accept that Proton helps smooth out the conversion. I imagine you've gotten that mixed up with criticism of using Proton at the expense of native development efforts.

Also, counter-point: do we actually need more "PC gamers" and if so, why? Getting more active community participants is good obviously but getting someone to play their Windows games on Linux instead of Windows seems quite inconsequential to me and any growth in marketshare would similarly be rendered pointless if all of those people are buying Windows software regardless.

I think we do. As of now anyone can safely ignore Linux as a gaming platform. By wild guess i would estimate Linux sales percentage to be around 10%. That's not a lot of influence on a developer. And there were times that Linux port actually hurt game's reception (Wicher 2?). We can safely assume that we will not get most of older (/currently released) games ported (reason 1 we neeed Proton). And we will not be taken seriously even if we increase our playerbase by a factor to Mac level. Until we don't have numbers trying to make devs port to Linux is like trying to turn river with a spool (BTW, is this correct idiom? SRSLY i can't check right now). With sufficient numbers question of "Is it worth to support Linux" will naturally turn into "Is it worth maintaining compatibility with Proton over native port?". Next thing- why do you think it is pointless if Linux users are buying Windows-made software? They will inevitably want it to work on their machine. And if something does not work- they will not want to buy it. If i was developer: 10% loss would probably upset me, but i would not be the end of word. If i would see 30% decline (like some patch broke compatibility with Proton) i would certainly investigate the issue. If our percentage would go higher (but i don't think it will without another huge bomb like Proton) developers would start to include Linux at beginning (as some are right now), as it seems to be much easier to properly port game prepared for Linux to Windows then other way around.

EDIT: To clarify, all numbers/percentages are just wild guesses to illustrate the point. Actual value is actually irrelevant to me.


Last edited by Gryxx on 9 December 2019 at 10:47 pm UTC

GustyGhost commented on 10 December 2019 at 2:27 am UTC

Laboratoryo_ni_NeilSo, what do we tell to PC gamers who are considering to switch to Linux?

Just stick to Windows? I'm sure telling them to just play alternatives won't convince them to switch.

These days, I do not tell them much of anything. I have gone through the motions enough to begin to see a clear pattern. Using free operating systems is an action of self selection. If somebody has to be convinced by others to do something, they will inevitably drift away from it when left to their own devices.

I've begun to follow the moral behind Star Trek's "Prime Directive" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_Directive . It is ultimately irresponsible to give warp technology to any civilization which has no means of maintaining it nor the development to properly utilize it.

Now When Windows useds express interest to me over switching to Linux, my first inclinations are that of; "good, you'd better start learning new things then!" and then offer them an encouraging smile.

Cyril commented on 10 December 2019 at 4:09 am UTC

GustyGhostUsing free operating systems is an action of self selection. If somebody has to be convinced by others to do something, they will inevitably drift away from it when left to their own devices.

Yeah, it's clearly a difficult subject. But more than convince them I try to explain them how Linux differently works and why it's better in many aspects. I try to be honest when I speak to neophytes, the lack of something on Linux, and I do the same for Windows. But even if some people don't really understand at the moment why it's better than Windows (or macOS), if they try it and are happy about it, I'm happy too, and I will be happy to help them out to using it.
I mean I see some people that are really tired about what Windows does and they don't even know that Linux exist.

But ultimately, you're right, they have to learn new things because if an issue occur and I'm not there, there is a chance someone else will reinstall them Windows... cause these people don't know about Linux either and/or their business is only based on selling Windows/Apple stuff...
Sorry for off topic.

Last edited by Cyril on 10 December 2019 at 4:11 am UTC

dvd commented on 10 December 2019 at 12:21 pm UTC

Laboratoryo_ni_Neil
GustyGhost
anewsonI just read the post <Are we seeing the end of the most recent "golden age" of Linux gaming?>; maybe this question could be reframed as "Is emulation ending the Golden age of Linux gaming"

Many GOLer's are probably already attuned to this, but for the sake of general knowledge this is probably an opportunity clarify some terminology.

Translation layer = converts foreign system calls into system calls native to the host. As far as gaming on Linux is concerned, this largely involves translating DirectX into OpenGL. Proton and Wine.

Emulation = takes things a step further by entirely imitating a foreign system within software on the host. Virtual machines, console emulators.

My own personal thoughts on these: When one purchases and plays games designed for other platforms through compatibility layers or emulators, one is indirectly telling the market "I endorse that games should continue be constructed adhering to standards hostile to interoperability laid out by proprietary interests". It is a single vote cast for short term convenience at the expense of long term freedom.

So, what do we tell to PC gamers who are considering to switch to Linux?

Just stick to Windows? I'm sure telling them to just play alternatives won't convince them to switch.

The sad truth is that you will not ever convince "gamers" to switch to linux. Many of these so called gamers are perfectly ok with - for example - the practice of exclusives and many others which are alien to the nature of what you call "linux" or "gnu/linux". There are many other practices too that are like this, that is why most distributions don't view proprietary blobs as part of them. Even if they switch at some point, it won't be "linux" they will be playing on, but something like Android or Stadia that uses free software to build something like the windows ecosystem. (Android is already a lot like windows, i would even say much worse)

While many of us here are enthusiastic about games, I would bet the majority are not using "linux" because of them. Also, from what i gather from the comments, at least 2/3 care for the idea of free software too.

Laboratoryo_ni_Neil commented on 10 December 2019 at 1:15 pm UTC

dvd
Laboratoryo_ni_Neil
GustyGhost
anewsonI just read the post <Are we seeing the end of the most recent "golden age" of Linux gaming?>; maybe this question could be reframed as "Is emulation ending the Golden age of Linux gaming"

Many GOLer's are probably already attuned to this, but for the sake of general knowledge this is probably an opportunity clarify some terminology.

Translation layer = converts foreign system calls into system calls native to the host. As far as gaming on Linux is concerned, this largely involves translating DirectX into OpenGL. Proton and Wine.

Emulation = takes things a step further by entirely imitating a foreign system within software on the host. Virtual machines, console emulators.

My own personal thoughts on these: When one purchases and plays games designed for other platforms through compatibility layers or emulators, one is indirectly telling the market "I endorse that games should continue be constructed adhering to standards hostile to interoperability laid out by proprietary interests". It is a single vote cast for short term convenience at the expense of long term freedom.

So, what do we tell to PC gamers who are considering to switch to Linux?

Just stick to Windows? I'm sure telling them to just play alternatives won't convince them to switch.

The sad truth is that you will not ever convince "gamers" to switch to linux. Many of these so called gamers are perfectly ok with - for example - the practice of exclusives and many others which are alien to the nature of what you call "linux" or "gnu/linux". There are many other practices too that are like this, that is why most distributions don't view proprietary blobs as part of them. Even if they switch at some point, it won't be "linux" they will be playing on, but something like Android or Stadia that uses free software to build something like the windows ecosystem. (Android is already a lot like windows, i would even say much worse)

While many of us here are enthusiastic about games, I would bet the majority are not using "linux" because of them. Also, from what i gather from the comments, at least 2/3 care for the idea of free software too.

If us Linux users do not believe in Linux as a gaming platform, then, who will?

I'm a PC gamer for more than 10 years and have used Windows until 2017. I switched to Linux for gaming without dual booting even before the time of Steam Play / Proton and I never looked back to Windows. Now that Steam Play is here, I have more reason to stick with Linux.

Nobody convinced me to switch to Linux. I just searched for information on Linux and tried it. When I say "convince others to switch to Linux", I didn't mean literally messaging your friends through Twitter/Facebook or going to online forums telling Windows users Linux is better because [put here your beliefs]. What I meant was make information readily available about how Linux is suitable for certain gaming scenarios then actively promote it.

For me, Linux gaming is great because I play mostly single player games even when I was still using Windows. Yes, there are also single player games that are still broken with Steam Play but I'm hopeful that it will soon be addressed by Valve and Codeweavers. Now, for the record, I still buy native Linux games if I like it. The recent ones I bought at full price are Indivisible and Project RIP. The developer of Blasphemous informed me their game has private Linux beta so I bought the game in the recent Steam sale and they gave me access to the private Linux beta.

dvd commented on 10 December 2019 at 2:35 pm UTC

I did not say that. I think nowadays "linux" is just as good at running games as windows. However, most people who consume video games do not only use their computer to play them.

Imo it's also the case that most people who do not grow up around a university will have no idea about what "linux" is, unless there is outreach from the community, since mainstream commercial outlets (which in my teen years were mainly gaming/computer magazines, nowadays mainly youtube or your favourite tech guy on facebook[if there is such a thing]) will always take the interests of the corporate giants and make "linux" users look like the creepy basement dwelling neckbeard using an "inferior OS", which it is by and large not.

I think that even though "gamers" might not care about the ideas of free software, each time a corporation goes less against them with their behaviour, these "gamers" also gain. Lootboxes/copyright trolls/all kinds of DRM are only a thing because there is little that protects people in the world of computing against the greed of corporations. (It's essentially a wild west)

And to directly answer the question i don't think the "linux gamer" will ever disappear. Right now there are more corporations that are headed more or less the direction that we want them to head. (linux support, no drm releases, etc...) This can contribute to the community, but i think it will ultimately come down to how well the community can grow itself. (As again, mainstream media that can promote stuff is always on the side of big corporations, unless they do something so horrible that they can't spin it)

Last edited by dvd on 10 December 2019 at 2:38 pm UTC

tonR commented on 11 December 2019 at 1:45 pm UTC

Is "Linux Gamer(s)" disappearing?
Nope

Is Linux gaming will extinct?
Nope

Is most publishers (which also include many "big" developers) becoming greedy?
Yes

Is video game markets nowadays are oversaturated or fragmented or both?
Yes, both unfotunately.

Do you think video game crash like 1983 will happen at any time now?
No one knows, but let's say almost all the "warning lights" are bleeping.

If video game market crashed, will Linux gaming survived?
I hope, but again no one knows. Hope for the best, prepared for the worst.

That's all...

Ehvis commented on 11 December 2019 at 3:45 pm UTC

tonRIf video game market crashed, will Linux gaming survived?
I hope, but again no one knows. Hope for the best, prepared for the worst.

That summarises it nicely. And I have prepared! My game backlog is big enough to last me for the rest of my life.

Liam Dawe commented on 11 December 2019 at 9:56 pm UTC

Well, if there is a serious crash where enough developers suddenly give up and stop making games, of course Linux gaming would survive. For starters, we already have many thousands of games (and yes a huge amount of GOOD games too). The only way Linux gaming would die is if Linux itself stopped being used, can't see that happening with even MSFT putting their apps on Linux.

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