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TransGaming Ports 3 Kohan Titles to Linux 277

Posted by timothy
from the by-the-blood-of-our-tribe dept.
Kohan_Rocks writes: "TransGaming today anounced the opening of their new 'webstore' which includes the brand new port of Three Kohan Titles. Probably equally amazing is the distribution method: All three games are available for download only (finally big name games available for download!). I'll probably buy atleast some of these games even though I have the old Loki version of the original Kohan - Loki's wern't network compatiable with windows, TransGaming's apparantly are (and its just such a cool game)."
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TransGaming Ports 3 Kohan Titles to Linux

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  • arises Transgaming!

    Hmmm...Loki sounds better than Transgaming.
  • by Quasar1999 (520073) on Tuesday August 20, 2002 @02:45PM (#4106826) Journal
    Hmm... just in time for the new caps on downloads from our broadband providors... BLOODY HELL!
  • From the requirements list:
    >Internet connection recommended for multiplayer use

    I'm very curious how well they've managed to get multiplayer working without an internet connection...
  • Loki is MUCH better name: the name of the norse god of mischief, which fits perfectly for the kinds of cool games they are distributing.

    at least they did some research to make a cool name, but transgaming? WTF is THAT supposed to mean!

  • I'm buying an iMac with OSX installed and I was wondering whether the BSD core means that transgaming will work for me as well. Has anyone had experience with Transgaming or an equivalent on OSX?
    • x86 binaries don't work on different architectures without cpu emulation, so, no.
    • I'm buying an iMac with OSX installed and I was wondering whether the BSD core means that transgaming will work for me as well. Has anyone had experience with Transgaming or an equivalent on OSX?

      As far as I know, not yet. Look, forget the whole BSD thing, it's largely irrelevant. MacOS is too far away from Linux to be similar, it uses different APIs for graphics for instance. Plus of course Macs are based on PPC architecture, so you'd need opcode translation which is SLOW unless you do it before you run the game. I think they teamed up with an opcode translation company to make this happen, but until it does TransGaming is Linux only.

      Oh, not to mention it's based on Wine, which afaik is Linux and similar forms of UNIX only. MacOS is not UNIX enough for it.

      • Um, Mac OS X is completely UNIX. 100%. It can run XWindows, KDE, etc... A comment like Mac OS X is not UNIX enough is absolutely stupid and shows ignorance. The correct answer is - its the processor. If Mac OS X ran on x86 (Darwin does, but the upper layer - the window manager per se does not), then WINE and therefore transgaming could probably run with a few modifications.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          Um, Mac OS X is completely UNIX. 100%.

          No. It lacks (by default) the dlopen() interface to the dynamic linker, which Wine utilizes heavily. Big chunks of POSIX are missing.

          The correct answer is - its the processor.

          Correct. Kohan is packed with (in some cases, self-modifying) assembly.

          If Mac OS X ran on x86 (Darwin does, but the upper layer - the window manager per se does not), then WINE and therefore transgaming could probably run with a few modifications.

          Possibly? Yes. Probably? No.
  • Please Note That Kohan On Linux Is Available By Download Only

    Approximate Download Times:
    56K modem - 9 hrs
    Cable/DSL - 1 hour - Please note that many cable modems have different speeds so downloads times may vary.


    I have cable so 1 hr isn't a big deal but for a dialup user 9 hours is a bit extreme. You would think that they would at least OFFER another option for slow connections. Sheesh.
    • Yeah, they'll give you the number of a good local broadband ISP.
    • Back in my modem days I used a download manager, a connection re-establisher (I made that word up), and would simply start the download before I went to bed. I did a lot of downloading of large files that way.

  • by Vengie (533896) on Tuesday August 20, 2002 @02:51PM (#4106867)
    "amazing distribution method"

    Please please please let this work!? Finally...we have support for "downloadable" big titles....and hopefully the incidence of "warez" (re: all the posts that have probably already been modded offtopic/flamebait above this post) will be low. I hope people realize how important it is to buy this stuff...
    • This would TOTALLY feed the impulse buyer, which is a Good Thing.

      This past weekend I downloaded the demo of Moonbase Commander [moonbasecommander.com] and called every computer store I could think of in the state, willing to drive 2 hours to pick up a copy, but no luck. It wasn't in stores yet.

      I would have happily made my credit card payment and started downloading without a second thought.

      BTW, if you like strategy games, check that one out. It's turn-based, VERY balanced and strategy really pays off.

      Oh, and there is NO micromanagement. Imagine that.

      It'll also run on machines as low as 233. I run it on a 300, with no issues whatsoever, and it's only $20. Amazone apparently has it for $16.
  • Corporatized (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Tuesday August 20, 2002 @02:51PM (#4106869) Homepage
    Behind TransGaming's cross-platform solutions is a unique proprietary portability technology that facilitates the migration of games

    Maybe I'm just wierd, but to my ears "proprietary" is a bad word, especially considering that their "portability solution" is based off the hard work of the Wine crew (go Wine!). This sounds like they've been taken over by the marketroids. Sad, but I hope it won't be too long until WineHQ also has DirectX compatability, even if it is x86 only.

    • Yeah, "proprietary" and "patented" are not words that make me want to buy things.
    • Re:Corporatized (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jaaron (551839) on Tuesday August 20, 2002 @03:34PM (#4107201) Homepage
      Maybe I'm just wierd, but to my ears "proprietary" is a bad word,...

      proprietary [dictionary.com] (adj).

      Of, relating to, or suggestive of a proprietor or to proprietors as a group: had proprietary rights; behaved with a proprietary air in his friend's house.

      Exclusively owned; private: a proprietary hospital.

      Owned by a private individual or corporation under a trademark or patent: a proprietary drug.

      I know I'll probably get flamed for this, but you know, I always thought property rights were a good thing. WINE chose to license their work as they did just so that someone like Transgaming *could* come along and do what they're doing. Besides that, Transgaming has been putting forth an effort to both (1) make a profit and (2) give back to the community. If someone works hard and choses to not give that work away to the community for free, that's their choice, but it's not BAD.

  • what happends if.... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jas79 (196511)
    transgaming goes out of business
    from there site
    * Live Internet connection required to complete install process*
    • I think they'd still have to go out of their way to make it so you couldn't back up the game onto CD for later non-net install. I see no evidence that they've done so, and considering that they're being pretty cool by doing this in the first place, I doubt that's the case.
  • by Dark Paladin (116525) <jhummel@NosPam.johnhummel.net> on Tuesday August 20, 2002 @02:56PM (#4106912) Homepage
    A Kohan review in less than 60 seconds:

    The core idea behind Kohans: Immortal Sovereigns deals with a group of immortal beings who can be resurrected at any time as long as you have their medallion.

    The game is in the RTS genre, with some nice features. Micromanagement is largely out, since once you "claim" a resource, it's yours, unless one of your enemies goes to claim it.

    Instead of having huge armies, it's organized into squads with 1 leader, 4 "primary" units, and 2 secondary units.

    The squad system is unique, and adds some interesting strategy. Each Kohan (the immortal guys) have their own specialty, like "bonus to horse riding units", or "extra healing powers". And, as your Kohans, go into battle, they gain levels to get stronger (and can be carried from mission to mision.) You might want to do things like put the healing expert Kohan in charge of a defensive force, and have them protect the city, while a Kohan who gives bonuses to speed might be sent out to scout out enemy territory and claim mines and such.

    One thing to remember - if your Kohan dies, they go back to Level 1 after you pay to "resurrect" them, so you start to get attached and have to weigh sacrificing a Kohan this time to win a battle, playing it safer to win the war, or hitting the "reload" button.

    There was a lot to like about the game, and while most levels are usually just "go claim other cities and kick ass", and having a mass of squads in battle can really slow things down, overall Kohan is probably worth your time to check it out.

    Now, if they would just make an OS X version, I'd be set....
    • One more thing. The Loki Kohan folks still have an active community on the Loki newsgroup [lokigames.com]. There are even a few sites dedicated to Kohan on Linux/FreeBSD:
      Even if you've never played before, the Linux folks are great to play with and kind to newbies.

    • It's almost like the game authors had a novel idea, but just couldn't push it through all the way. It feels like a brand new RTS game when you start off, but after a while you realize that it doesn't really matter how you group your units, you just need more of them than the opponent. And, then, it's just back to the old "build up and attack once you have enough units" game.

      • by Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968) on Tuesday August 20, 2002 @03:53PM (#4107375) Homepage
        it's just back to the old "build up and attack once you have enough units" game.

        This is the main reason that "network compatability with Windows" doesn't really concern me - I rarely play online because this seems to be the only tactic that's allowed to work in most RTS games, and therefore that's how most online players play them. Not much fun, in my opinion.

        On the other hand, Kohan has a fair selection of AI's with different strategies, and in addition to the built-in "campaign", they have a number of pre-built maps AND a very nice "random map generator", which I still call upon from time to time for a quick distraction.

        The way you build and group your units DOES make a difference - my own play style is so conservative that I occasionally even get "mobbed" by an AI player, and I find that if I've set up a few defensive units in the area carefully, it can make a difference. Picking the right combination of "front line" units and support units, placing them in the correct terrain, and having one or two 'melee' units backed up by one or two 'ranged' units all make a big difference.

        It still won't completely counter especially a "live" player with the "build a horde and rush like crazy" strategy perfected, but I find the disparity between "real strategy" and "rush" is not as extreme in Kohan as in some other games I've played....

        • by jandrese (485)
          You'd be surprised how easy it is to counter the zombie rush though. I honestly don't see very much rushing in Kohan. Your early militas are strong enough to beat down a zombie company and a half, and the upkeep on any other units prevents them from being used. Additionally, there is a restrictive company limit in the game (that slowly increases as your empire expands), that prevent you from massing a huge army at the very start of the game. Even if you have a ceyah player with 5 zombie companies (starting village upgraded to town and one expansion), by the time those zombies get to you (they have to find you first) 10 minutes or more have passed in the game and you probably have a strong enough army to counter them.

          Like all things this isn't absolute, but rushes are very difficult to pull off in Kohan so not many people seem to employ them.

          Now if you don'd build up your econ and turtle then you will be defeated. If you are annoyed that you get defeated with this strategy (which works against the computer), then don't come complaining to Slashdot.

          Part of the RTS genre is learning good tactics and good strategy.
          • Now if you don'd build up your econ and turtle then you will be defeated.

            This usually isn't a problem for me. The occasions when I run into trouble are generally when I focus TOO MUCH on settlements and expansion and not enough on "having some basic troops around as backup". Or I get too wrapped up in exploring an area or 'getting rid of that #$@#$#@ Rhaksha hive' and I end up giving an opponent too long to amass some decent armies to swarm an unattended corner with...

            Haven't tried playing online since Starcraft, so I haven't seen the internet games of Kohan...Just as well, since it's nice to be able to pause the game to go eat dinner, which is somewhat harder to arrange when playing with a bunch of people online...

      • by jandrese (485)
        You must not play against experienced players.

        Havn't you seen the games were a severly disadvantaged (poor starting spot, many nearby monsters, etc...) but experianced player is able to defeat a newbie though careful company management and solid tactics? I'd laugh if I saw an army (6 companies) of skeletons facting off against 3 Grenadier/Channeler/Cleric companies. Despite being more expensive to maintain and numerically superior, the skeletons will loose.

        Besides, how radical of a concept are you looking for? A game where you have to kill off your armies to gain strength? Or maybe a game where you start with an army, and they become more effective as you plant more flowers (oops, that's building up), or maybe one where you just get some force and you just attack at random? WarCraft III has some elements of this with the creep hunting, but IMHO it requires too much micromanagement for me to play effectively, at my best I can only beat the computer about 3/4 of the time, and that's pretty sad.
        • I think I like more of the "puzzle" style battles.

          Take Kohans as an example. There was one battle where you were given posession of a *ton* of Mana generating points.

          Problem was, they drew a lot of cash to keep, and there were invading hordes of enemies coming in.

          My solution? Destroy the mana towers - that would make them auto-attack anything in range, weakening my attackers. Granted, I'm not sure if the developers thought of that, but I like strategy games where you can use the terrain itself (ie: high ground, swamps, etc) to cause your enemy troubles, rather than just overwhelming them with tons of numbers.

          In some ways, Warcraft III has that, in levels where it's "go do this - but watch out for these guys". Still a bit to much "build and smash", but the break is always good.
        • Well, of course that the experienced players will beat the newbies that make bad decisions. What I'm saying is that after you've gone through your "newbie" period, and learned some basics of the game and the units, you'll never have situations such as skeletons vs. grenadiers. It will always be down to the question of who can build faster, at which point it becomes more of a management game than strategy. Which can be fun, but I might as well play Civ, then, which has a much better management system.

          Besides, how radical of a concept are you looking for?

          How about a strategy game where a year after the game came out, people still come out with new and improved strategies? A game where you can't blindly build up same armies over and over again, without a care about what the opponent has waiting for you.
  • Alright whiners... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FreeLinux (555387) on Tuesday August 20, 2002 @02:56PM (#4106914)
    Let's here what the complaints are with this now. You've all complained that there weren't any games, certainly no decent ones. Then there were complaints about availability and distribution. Then, of course, there were the complaints about price.

    Well, now they're offering great games, the best distribution channel and a really fair price.

    So, what's the bitch about this now? I can't see any.

    Will Linux users buy these games and support the company? Will there be a ground swell of interest/sales for these games, causing other companies to look more seriously at games for Linux? Or, will Linux users bitch and moan about some petty detail, not buy the games, cause the company to abandon Linux games completely and doom the entire Linux gaming industry forever.

    Only time will tell but, I'm doing my part.
    • by garcia (6573) on Tuesday August 20, 2002 @03:11PM (#4107050) Homepage
      how about games that I actually want to see? I have never heard of this game nor after reading about it on their website would I want to play it.

      That was my main problem w/Loki in the past. As great as RR Tycoon was, it wasn't something that caught my eye so much that I wanted to buy it.

      I am not a fan of the WineX ordeal but the amazing things that they are doing as far as getting games working is just great for the community.

      I read recently that GTA3 is working under it. If I didn't have a PS2 I would most certainly be interested in that.

      Just my worthless .02
    • by ivan256 (17499) on Tuesday August 20, 2002 @03:23PM (#4107108)
      Will Linux users buy these games and support the company?

      I don't know about you, but I only buy games if I want to play them. I'm certainly not going to buy a game to "support the community." If I wanted to support the commuinty I'd do just that, and not support transgaming instead.

      Most games flop. Hell, most software flops. If there are only a handful of games for linux then the chances are high that they'll all flop - especially if they're older titles that people already bought for windows if they wanted to play them. Linux games have an uphill battle to begin with, because gamers already have windows and they don't want to reboot for one game. Basically ports will never bring success to the linux gaming market, only original games will bring gamers over to linux because linux users (like me, and lots of people I know) will still buy the windows version of the game if it's out first or at all.

      The way to a successful linux gaming market doesn't come from a show of confidence from the users. The developers are the ones that have to commit and bring good games to the platform. If they don't, then maybe it's not worth it. Does it really matter if gamers don't use linux? Is there even any benifit to playing games on linux instead of windows?
      • You make some very good points and seem to have a well thought out argument, so I figure that you might actually be looking for answers when you asked:

        Is there even any benifit to playing games on linux instead of windows?

        Here's a couple I can think of really quickly:

        Get rid of Windows, and there's one less licensing/IP rights nightmare you have to deal with.

        Competition is always good for the customer. Even if there are no operating systems left but Linux (yeah, whatever), as long as it is open, there will always be competition (branches).

        Cost. Linux is free as in beer. Sure it may take more time to set up (may not) but that is time that I wouldn't be making money anyways.

        These all assume that games are the last thing that you use Windows for. I'm sure there are more, but I just felt like throwing a few out there.

      • Is there even any benifit to playing games on linux instead of windows?

        Yes, you don't have to buy Windows

      • I don't know about you, but I only buy games if I want to play them. I'm certainly not going to buy a game to "support the community."

        That's a very good point, however, if you're at all interested in the future of Linux I suggest that you give them the benefit of the doubt and buy it even if you want it only a *little*. If you don't want it at *all*, then by all means don't buy it.

        Having said that, will I buy it? No, for two reasons:

        1. I don't have much of an income right now and buying more games would be irresponsible.

        2. There is only One true Immortal Sovereign, and I'm not going to buy a game that pretennds to put anything in His place! :)

        Is there even any benifit to playing games on linux instead of windows?

        Technically, probably not. But I believe it is utterly crucial that we keep chinking away at Microsoft's market share. We need more games on Linux so that more users will be able to switch to Linux. If people don't switch to Linux, Microsoft will rule the computer industry with an iron fist for decades to come, and that thought makes me shudder!

        Eradicate Windows Now [eradicatewindowsnow.com] -- my new site that answers the question for you. :)
        • That's a very good point, however, if you're at all interested in the future of Linux I suggest that you give them the benefit of the doubt and buy it even if you want it only a *little*.

          I do have an interest in linux's future, but linux on MY desktop already does eveything I want it to, and games are unimportant in the markets where I would hope to benifit from linux through my job. The linux I am looking for has a bright future already.

          2. There is only One true Immortal Sovereign, and I'm not going to buy a game that pretennds to put anything in His place! :)

          If you mean what I think you mean, then I feel sorry for you having an inability to accept some fantasy into your life. If your beliefs are strong enough you should be able to use your imagination without fear of betraying them. Video games aren't real.

          I believe it is utterly crucial that we keep chinking away at Microsoft's market share.

          At who's benifit? Taking market share away from Microsoft just because you are opposed to them or what they do isn't a good enough reason in itself to convince other people to join you. There has to be a clear benifit to the user, which leads to my next point:

          If people don't switch to Linux, Microsoft will rule the computer industry with an iron fist for decades to come

          Linux is not the only other choice, nor is it necissarily the best choice in all situations.
          • I do have an interest in linux's future, but linux on MY desktop already does eveything I want it to, and games are unimportant in the markets where I would hope to benifit from linux through my job. The linux I am looking for has a bright future already.

            Same here. I just want it for everyone! :)

            If you mean what I think you mean, then I feel sorry for you having an inability to accept some fantasy into your life. If your beliefs are strong enough you should be able to use your imagination without fear of betraying them. Video games aren't real.

            I'm not saying it's a sin or anything (although some games can be) but I just choose not to get involved in that kind of thing. Besides, Loki's Railroad Tycoon II provides all the fantasy I need -- that I'm in charge of building the Trans-Siberian Railroad! :)

            At who's benifit? Taking market share away from Microsoft just because you are opposed to them or what they do isn't a good enough reason in itself to convince other people to join you. There has to be a clear benifit to the user, which leads to my next point:

            It will benefit others when computers cost less (no MS tax), when file formats are open so there can be more competition in productivity suites, when the productivity suites also cost nothing, when businesses can pay any consultant to fix a problem that Microsoft won't fix... etc etc. I'm sure I don't have to convince you of all the benefits. But for the masses to enjoy those benefits, they have to be convinced to choose to use Free Software.

            Linux is not the only other choice, nor is it necissarily the best choice in all situations.

            Right, I'd consider OS X a reasonable alternative. But a large part of it is still non-Free so if it got 95% market share, it could be a Microsoft type situation repeating itself. The only true long term solution is to get people to standardize on Free operating systems.

            Sorry if I sound like RMS -- actually I like to think I'm quite a bit more level headed than he is. I don't mind proprietary software, I just want my OS Free!
    • Maybe it's just me, but somehow I doubt it. My computer is simply too old to run these games. Yes, even the relatively paltry PII 500 requirement is just a little too much for me. I think a lot of Linux users are more content with their old hardware than most people, particularly hardcore gamers. We simply know how to get more mileage out of our hardware. While I'd love to be able to run these (I love the Loki Kohan demo) but new hardware is simply out of my range. I don't think I'm the only one either.
    • So, what's the bitch about this now?
      I bought somewhere around 9 or 10 games from Loki. I've been paying Transgaming $20 per month for 4 votes because I thought funding WineX might be worthwhile. I don't pirate and I know freedom isn't free.

      Today, I'm going to reconsider my support of Transgaming, and it's because of copy protection. I hate copy protection. And it's not just a "petty detail" -- my hatred never is.

      I didn't have a problem with WineX "supporting" copy protection, because I just thought of it as a necessary aspect of emulation -- sort of like how an unlicensed DVD player needs to "support" CSS or else it's useless.

      But selling binaries that are somehow keyed to a certain machine, that's crossing the line. (Loki never did that. Loki never screwed me, and because of that, I never regretted throwing money at them.) Does this mean I can't install it on two machines on my own LAN? Does this mean if Transgaming goes out of business and I ever want to reinstall the game some day, I won't be able to? I really am disappointed to see Transgaming sink this low. I hope I've somehow misinterpreted this, and that the Internet-needed-to-install aspect is actually some sort of connection to the original publisher, rather than Transgaming. I eagerly wait to hear more news.

      And if I haven't misinterpreted, then someone else can have the $20/month that I've been sending to Transgaming. It's not like there's a shortage of worthy projects. My donation ability is finite and I need to make sure the right people are getting it. People who deal in bad faith with their customers, aren't the right people for me.

      • Unfortunately, very few game developers or publishers are willing to allow their games to be made available online (or, in many cases, offline) without some sort of copy protection.

        The copy protection that we provide is very unobtrusive. If you change your hardware or use a different machine, it will simply download a new keyed-to-your machine build. But if the build is widely pirated we will see it and act appropriately.

        -Gav

        --
        Gavriel State, CEO
        TransGaming Technologies Inc.
        gav@transgaming.com
        http://www.transgaming. com/
        • If I buy the game from your website with a credit card, you've got my name. I'm not anonymous; you can find me. Send me a serialized version keyed to me, not my machine.

          If a copy with my serial shows up where it shouldn't be, then sue my ass back to the stone age. Copyright is all the copy protection you need.

  • I was a bit dissapointed to see that the new Kohan's would be "WineX" based rather than native - I've been very pleased with the 'native' Kohan from Loki.

    Anyone tried any of Transgamings Kohan offerings yet? If so, how do they run? I notice that the system requirements are still rather reasonable by modern standards (P-III 500, etc.)....

    Considering actually plunking down the $30 for the download. It'd be nice to encourage more attention to Linux as a game platform, but not at the cost of buying something that may or may not work well. (It'd also give me something new to play with until the continued wait for NWN for linux is over.)

    • um...they just mailed the press release dude. anyone who would have stats would be from transgaming.
      • they just mailed the press release dude.

        Yes...and then got advertised on Slashdot. There's a chance that someone on Slashdot with a cable-modem or DSL will see it and decide to download and try one out. If so, we could theoretically see a review from an actual purchaser in the next couple of hours...

        Provided, of course, that the game(s) don't turn out to be too good to stop playing long enough to post about them...

        • I bought it last night and downloaded it (took 15 minutes via Cable Modem).

          Installed the WineX RPM with no problem. Tried to install the actual Kohan RPM and it barfed. Said "invalid MD5 checksum in Kohan-something something".

          I then downloaded a fresh copy, same error, same file.

          Awaiting support's answer on this issue. It's not a great introduction to Transgaming, imho. :(
          • Still no reply from Support.

            Here's the error, if anyone is curious:

            error: unpacking of archive failed on file /usr/lib/kohan/Immortal_Sovereigns/Kohan.tgw;3d659 7ae: cpio: MD5 sum mismatch

    • Kohan isn't a processer intensive game though. My old PII-400 didn't even break a sweat with the old Loki port. It looks like there's a bit of overhead for the WineX libraries.
  • Kohan? Reminds me of 'I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy'. Never heard of it. I must be a dinosaur already. Pacman, Invaders and Digger are big names. And they are all available for download [dosgames.com] :))
    • I never heard of these big name games either. "Big name" games to me would make me think of Warcraft, Starcraft, Counterstrike, Half-Life, etc.

      Oh well, just the Linux hype machine running at full speed again.
  • I really wish... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SlashChick (544252)
    I [yahoo.com] really [altavista.com] wish [google.com] that [trillian.cc] article [yahoo.com] submitters [yahoo.com] would [fark.com] not [slashdot.org] put [yahoo.com] ambiguous [zdnet.com] links [craigslist.org] in [yahoo.com] the [openprojects.net]
    article. [sourceforge.net]

    Seriously, though, would it be too much effort to say "three Kahn titles: Title 1 [slashdot.org], Title 2 [slashdot.org], and Title 3 [slashdot.org]"? As it is, it's annoying because you have no idea where each of the three links points. Come on, editors, you can do better than this.
  • Listen I was not to hot on the idea of a company relying on wine to run windows games on linux. I liked the idea of companies already doing ports to other OSes (like Hyperion though their experience was not good) creating a few linux ports along side their Mac ports or whatever. That way they still had steady income and were less fragile than a linux only company.

    I know by the way that being linux-only was not what killed Loki.

    This move has me re-thinking Transgaming. I will probably buy some of the Kohan games. If I was a big gamer I would probably be subscribing and trying out some of the Windows titles on top of their wineX or whatever it is.

    Count me as a linux user that is grateful when a company backs the OS.

    ________________________________________________ _
  • by RealBeanDip (26604) on Tuesday August 20, 2002 @03:04PM (#4106991)
    It's great to see these ports, but quite frankly I'll be impressed if they sell 2000 copies max.

    It's been said a zillion times; ports need to be out at the same time, or very, very close to the same time to be viable. And they need to be patched at the same time, or ...

    Loki was a good effort, but even they didn't succeed. It's not because the games got warezed, it's because the games were well past their shelf life when they came out.
  • Live Internet connection required to complete install process

    This could mean one of two things:
    - They could be using this to require registering your name and email with them (privacy issue for some)
    - They could use it in the Quicktime-installer style of downloading a small installer program and then downloading the rest from their server.

    Neither of those appeals to me at all.
  • When Loki released Kohan Immortal Soveriengs, it was network compatible with the Windows game, although there were bugs. Towards the end of Loki's life they were unable to port the newest patches, which will obviously break compatibility. After Ahrimans Gift was released, there were fewer KIS players and KIS was not compatible with KAG.

    Its similar to what happened to Soldier of Fortune. The games were compatible on Windows and Linux, but the Linux port got outpatched.

    • The problem was that in a large game, you were almost certain to get a "sync failure". Apparently the cause of this was differences in the way Windows and Linux handle floating point. Apparently they round to different numbers of digits internally or something, and eventually you send your company on path A around some obsticle, and on the windows machine it chooses path B and you get kicked off. If you play small games (2-4 people) you can usually get away with it, but most windows players seem to go for the 4v4 TvB 256x256 maps with maximum indy/monster/mine settings.
  • While i'd love to buy all three i don't feel like blowing $100 in games, so I'm asking anyone that knows about the games which 1 game would you recommand? is it a story line and i should start from the beginning, or is the latest far superior from the earlier ones?
    • Re:Which one (Score:2, Informative)

      by mdwebster (158623)
      Kohan: Ahriman's Gift is the best for a number of reasons. The downside is that it's significantly harder than the first game, Immortal Sovereigns.

      You get access to the new units. You get access to more campaign missions. If you play online (and that's where the longevity of these games lie), most people are using K:AG vs. K:IS these days. The campaign is a prequel in storyline vs. a sequel, so you're not really spoiling yourself (not that the stories GREAT or anything, but if it's a concern it shouldn't be ..)

      My recommendation would be to play a number of skirmish missions to get a feel for the game mechanics before playing the campaign. Some people prefer the skirmish mode to the exclusion of the campaign as they can fine-tune the difficulty by chosing various AI opponents, their race, the map, etc. Then play the campaign using the easiest AI setting. I believe you can get some strategy tips at www.kohan.net forums still.
  • this is the future of Linux gaming.

    Transgaming have made steady progress since I first noticed them at the fall of 2000. I have deleted my Windows partition and can play all the games I need, without ever wanting to reboot.

    Ciryon
    • this is the future of Linux gaming.

      Yeah, just like KDE is the future of the Linux desktop... ;-)

      Remember, having a selection is a good thing...and native Linux games will work better than Wine ports.

      Personally, I'm more interested in games based on the Torque engine, Q3/Doom3 engines etc.

    • Having native support would be more exiting, but games of any kind are a key factor in adoption of any given platform for the desktop. Games seem to have kept the MS desktop, alive the last few years. Remember MS leveraging the market for DOS/Win95 to get support for WinNT? Odds are that without forcing NT versions, MS would not have gotten NT off the ground.

      As more games start to get ported to Linux, more people will do as you do and never boot their MS-Windows partitions. Later, those buying new systems to play the new games aren't going to see the need to have MS-Windows at all.

  • Downloading it now (Score:3, Informative)

    by Fizzol (598030) on Tuesday August 20, 2002 @04:00PM (#4107413)
    I decided to spring for the original version of Kohan. You pay your money and then get directed to a download site. You get what I'm assuming is a custom version of winex (4mb) and the game (158mb). The manual is available in both PDF and txt formats while the game files are available in rpm, deb and tgz formats (tgz files weren't available but will be shortly according to the site). The internet connection is required because the first time the game runs it downloads a specially modified executable tuned to run only on your system. That part doesn't bother me as I'm the only one I know running Linux and I don't pirate software anyway. However, I am a bit concerned that upgrading my system (I fiddle and reinstall pretty often), or making changes might cause the game to decide it's running on a foriegn system. We'll see.
    • by crazney (194622)
      It may not run after some upgrades, but thats easily fixed as it will just re-grab a new executable that will run. (actually if it detects you as pirating the game it will still run, just with a nice easter egg *grins*).
      No personal or statistical information is transfered to TransGaming in this process.

      David
  • by jvmatthe (116058) on Tuesday August 20, 2002 @04:04PM (#4107441) Homepage
    I've expressed my frustration [linuxgames.com] with WineX before, and every time I see a headline like this, I feel compelled to speak up.

    The people that defend (or, as it more often the case, blindly promote) WineX tend to think that games of any kind, even through Wine, will inevitably help Linux. "Now Windows users can switch!" they chant. Yet, what self-respecting Windows gamer would really leave the relative comfort of Windows (2k|XP) where all of their hardware and games work great just to move to Linux, a system rife with hardware incompatibilities and filled with unfamiliar elements at every turn? There is no unhappy faction of Windows users that chafes so much under the Microsoft yoke that they'll give up everything they have already for freedom (in the sense of GNU). It just isn't going to happen. (Note: WineX itself isn't even completely free, so that's not a very good example of freedom, is it?)

    So where does WineX sell? To people who are already Linux users. The people who are already using Linux can use WineX, but then they run a serious risk of killing any chance for a native port. Remember, game companies need a whole lot more than karma and a good warm feeling inside to port a game to your system. They need, in particular, cash. Lots and lots of cash. And they'll most likely take any excuse that sounds resonable to ignore a platform that has marginal (if not improbable) profit potential, like Linux. "Oh, it works under Wine. Go play that, Linux users." Reminds me a bit of a former instructor's description of the selection process for a really good position: They're not looking for reasons to take anyone...they're looking for reasons to eliminate them. And Linux hasn't made good money for anyone yet.

    You'll never make your platform legit like that. It didn't work of OS/2. It didn't work for Bleemcast. It hasn't worked for VirtualPC on MacOS. Not once has this kind of compatibility meant more native apps for that platform that tries to leech off its more successful neighbor.

    Yes, Loki died. They died for a whole lot of reasons, one of which was that there was no real money in the Linux gaming market. But they at least brought a lot of damn good tools to the community and left them for all to use after they died. Where is Wine getting us? Half-working compatibility with a nigh eight year old system that is probably going to change dramatically (if not completely) in the next revision of Windows.

    Welcome to Square One, people.

    Sorry for the disjointed ramble.
    • What's better for "Linux?"
      1. "Hm, this game doesn't run on Linux. Better continue to buy Microsoft OSes instead."
        -or-
      2. "Hm, this game doesn't run natively in Linux, but I can work around it with Wine(X). I guess I'll spend my money on a donation to the EFF instead." (or more realistically, on CDs or Movies or porn or whatever.)
      Sure, long term, we'd like many more NATIVE Linux games. However, what's going to convince game makers to make Linux ports? On one hand, you've got happy companies like Id Software who just "believe," as it were. On the other hand, you've got companies who just won't eat the kind of monetary loss doing a Linux port probably creates. Why? The Linux desktop just isn't ready for every-day, mom-and-pop use. Granted, it's been getting a hell of a lot better recently, and I certainly love it, but it's just not there yet. Until there's a significant percentage of home desktop users running Linux, it's just not profitable for most companies to make Linux ports. To say nothing of releasing only Linux versions, which I suppose is the eventual goal here.

      So what do I do? I want to play Half-Life. No Linux version will ever be forthcoming. I install Wine(X). There we go. Is that good for the community? ("Hey, switch to Linux - you can still play Half-Life." vs "Hey, switch to Linux - you can't play Half-Life, but maybe someday in the future you'll be able to play other games.") IMO, when Linux wins in the desktop arena, that's when we'll start seeing more native Linux games. Demographics drive the games, not the other way around.

      • Sure, long term, we'd like many more NATIVE Linux games.

        This is precisely one of the issues with WineX. It is being touted as a future for Linux gaming, yet it is ultimately a short-term bandage that might even have bad side effects (like deterring some native ports).
        Demographics drive the games, not the other way around.

        I'd argue that they are inextricably entwined, but technology and games can drive the change. Off the cuff, I'd say that it takes a serious shift in one platform to let another arise or it takes an disruptive technology. For example, the stumbling of one game console company can leave open an opportunity for another to strike (e.g. PSX from Sony vs. Sega's Saturn and Nintendo's SNES). Or the shift to fast, edgy, colorful games (e.g. Sonic on the Sega Genesis vs. Nintendo's NES).
        • This is precisely one of the issues with WineX. It is being touted as a future for Linux gaming, yet it is ultimately a short-term bandage that might even have bad side effects (like deterring some native ports).
          Okay, so some people are touting WineX as the future for Linux gaming. That's not what I'm touting it as, though. I wasn't making that argument. Wine(x) lets me play games today that I wouldn't otherwise be able to play without Windows. It also lets me watch Sorenson-encoded Quicktime movies. It also lets me use some Office programs that I still need for work occasionally. It's providing a solution today and for that I'm thankful. I said that I'd "like" to have many more native Linux games. And I do. I'd also like native Sorenson playback. I'd also like to be able to legally reverse-engineer my own DVD-playing software. I'd also like for Israel and Palestine to grow up and be nice to each other. But, at least in the short-term, none of these things are going to happen. In the meantime, Wine(x) gives me a solution I can use today (though not for the Israel/Palestine and DVD issues. Damn you, WINE developers!).

          As for the other point, I do partially agree, but I doubt that it would work in this case. Console gaming is kind of beside the point; they're all competing in a very limited market. PCs just aren't like that. Gaming isn't the only thing that PCs do. When I was growing up, I'd want to upgrade this and that, but there were always the parents saying, "Make sure I can still use MY programs." Let's imagine the best case scenario: Some huge gaming company decides to release their premiere product on Linux ONLY. This game has been highly anticipated for, say, EVER. Everyone and their dog wants this game, and it's Linux only. "So, Dad, I'm gonna install this game on the home computer, but I'm gonna have to install Linux to do it." "Will I be able to use <blank>?" Sure, you might score some converts. Perhaps the game even comes with some freaky-cool install that repartitions your drive (keeping all the other partitions intact, of course), installing Linux and the game into the new partition, and adding an entry for "PLAY THIS GAME" in the bootup menu next to the regular "Windows 2000" options. Even then. "I have to do what to install this game?" And that's pretty much the only way you'll get any converts, IMO. If you release a Linux AND Windows version, everyone with Windows is going to buy the Windows version. It'll make us Linux-heads happy, but it won't do anything to boost popularity.

          Plus you've got the fact that no major game company is going to DO that to begin with. These companies exist to make money, not promote alternative platforms. They're going to develop for where the market is, which just isn't Linux right now.

          Now I'll jump on the Wine bandwagon and argue that it might actually be good for "Linux," and not just a measure that works for me now. Every user using Wine isn't using Windows (well, they might dual boot or have more than one computer, but you get what I'm saying). Let's say someone wants to get rid of Windows, but just can't bear to part with program X. Someone else shows him that Program X works perfectly in Wine. *ding!* We've just got a new Linux user. This goes on for awhile, aided by the fact that the Linux desktop continues to get better and better. The new Linux users want to play new Game Y, which happens to work under Wine, so they buy it. The game companies start noticing that more and more of their users are using Linux. Running their games on a platform they didn't even code for! "Linux? What's that? Isn't that just a server OS? But wait! They can run GAME Y on it, and we didn't even know about it! That must be one cool OS. Let's talk about doing native versions in the future, since there seems to be a market for it . . ."

          All conjecture, of course. But I still say that desktop use has to come first.

    • Then you do not understand the point of WineX at all.

      The point is not to just lure over Windows people who don't want to switch. Its for those that want to switch but don't feel they can.

      There are many such people (I am one of them) and Wine helps move them all over to Linux, that grows the community, which provides a market to pay for solving the remaining problems in Linux.

      Personally, I regard, WineX and the Transgaming effort in general along with Open Office as the most important things going on in the Linux community right now.
      • Then you do not understand the point of WineX at all.

        Quite the contrary. I feel I've spent a good deal of time thinking about the ramifications of Wine and WineX. I've spoken with many people about it, including the heads of the Wine and WineX projects to get their views. Not to mention one of the developers of one of the two major 3D engines used in games today. (Incidentally, he tells me I shouldn't worry about Linux gaming and Wine. He says it's not going anywhere any time soon.)
        The point is not to just lure over Windows people who don't want to switch. Its for those that want to switch but don't feel they can.

        There are many such people (I am one of them) and Wine helps move them all over to Linux, that grows the community, which provides a market to pay for solving the remaining problems in Linux.

        While I have no proof that there are not a lot of people that wish to switch, I think it's equally true that you have no proof that there are a lot of people ready to swtich. Just because you are one of them doesn't mean that there are a lot of them.
        Personally, I regard, WineX and the Transgaming effort in general along with Open Office as the most important things going on in the Linux community right now.

        I'll agree with you that it's an important project, but I disagree as to why. It is important because it represents a potential danger to native software. Think about it: if Wine were so good that Office 97 ran flawlessly, why would anyone move to OpenOffice in the first place? Wine takes away the incentive to use free software projects and if everyone starts using Office 97 over OpenOffice then we're not any better off and haven't succeeded one bit in breaking the real deep roots of Microsoft's .DOC and .XLS monopolies.

        Yes, it is important, but must be eyed with suspicion and used wisely, always with an eye to the long time view that we are better off with native ports and open document formats and all the other things that come by leaving Microsoft and the non-free world behind.
    • Sorry, but you are just plain wrong.

      First, we have to get the userbase THEN we can expect native ports. And Wine is a means to get the userbase.

      It works like this:

      Stage 1: Some game works in Wine, but the game company does not care about it.

      Stage 2: Game works in Wine and the game company cooperates to make it work well in wine (AFAIK Sims and now Kohan fall into that category already)

      Stage 3: The game company releases quasi-native ports using winelib. Which means that there is no practical difference between that and a native port.

      Stage 4: A real native port.

      Now, let's analyze: Wine can produce games with winelib that are de-facto as good as native ones and the best thing is: THEY CAN BE RELEASED AT THE SAME TIME. (As soon as Wine is good enough).

      So winelib will make it possible for game companies to RELEASE their games Linux-compatible without much finanzial investment (ideally it should be a recompile, of course nothing is ideal, but you get the idea).

      As the userbase of Linux grows, game companies might find it better not to use the Win32API on Linux (aka Wine) and use Linux' APIs directly.

      Wine is the single most important project for desktop-Linux. Without Wine, Linux will have a very hard time succeeding on the desktop.

      When I look at the crossover products, I can say that apps on Wine *can be* rock-solid, reliable and performant. And Wine will get better and cover more and more of the Win32API until the whole thing is covered (they just need Win98 compatibility, which is a fixed target). And when we finally reach the stage when we can install and run almost any Win32 app without hassle on Linux, there is no reason to run Windows anymore.

      • First, we have to get the userbase THEN we can expect native ports. And Wine is a means to get the userbase.

        There is no evidence, even anecdotal, that Wine will grow the userbase.
        It works like this:

        I think you mean "This is how we hope it works". There is no evidence anywhere that these steps of yours are any different from the "Collect underpants" routine we're all familiar with.
        As the userbase of Linux grows, game companies might find it better not to use the Win32API on Linux (aka Wine) and use Linux' APIs directly.

        Ok, now you've really stepped off into complete fantasy. You realize, of course, that there is no way that we would ever reach this point even if MS stood by and let it happen? And even if the Wine project somehow offered an improved Win32 API that was such an app programming nirvana then MS wouldn't just stand around and let some free software project highjack it's crown jewels. I mean, get a grip, and think about what you're saying!
        Wine is the single most important project for desktop-Linux. Without Wine, Linux will have a very hard time succeeding on the desktop.

        See my response here [slashdot.org] for a response to this pipe dream about Wine leveraging Linux onto the desktop.
        And when [Win98 is completely reimplemented] we finally reach the stage when we can install and run almost any Win32 app without hassle on Linux, there is no reason to run Windows anymore.

        Except that by that time MS will be pushing .NET apps that just happen to require a whole new API to implement. This is what I meant by Square One in my original post.
  • Sheesh (Score:3, Funny)

    by Twister002 (537605) on Tuesday August 20, 2002 @04:20PM (#4107538) Homepage
    What's their next "port" going to be?

    Deer Hunter? Then Big Game Hunter and Who Wants to be a Millionare.

    Why not work on being more compatible with more popular games? I see a lot of games on the list at level 4, but what does that mean really?

    To find out I have to make sure that my video driver are up to date (not a bad idea, but not a trivial task under Linux), then get Transgamings WineX installed (another unknown, do I have all of the libraries it needs and up to date?), THEN install the game and see if it works. If it doesn't, spend some more time making sure that I've covered all my bases (that belong to us) before I get replies to my cry for help like "Install the latest video drivers." or "Why would you want to play game X anyway?".

    Compared to just keeping a Windows machine around for games (or a Console?) or dual booting.... dunno just seems like an awful lot of effort.

    Uhm, this just in!! The entire Kohan series for Windows can be had for $15 more [gamestop.com] than any one of the Kohan for Linux titles from Transgaming.

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