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LGP Announces Two More Titles 156

Posted by michael
from the we-miss-you-loki dept.
dolson writes "Earlier today Linux Game Publishing announced the next two titles that they will be porting to Linux. They are both made by Grim, a Swedish development company, and they are called Ballistics and Bandits: Phoenix Rising. One is a high-speed racing game, and the other is a driving/action game."
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LGP Announces Two More Titles

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  • Do Linux Games Sell? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tealover (187148) on Saturday January 11, 2003 @02:09PM (#5062770)
    What is the best selling linux game of all time and how does that compare to the best selling PC games?

    Just curious. I myself bought the Quake 2 games for Linux but that was a couple of years ago. I primarily play console games now.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 11, 2003 @02:20PM (#5062834)
      One industry insider compares the community to the Macintosh community ("Small but fanatical", in his words). Apparently, while the Mac community is still considered a reasonable investment for many companies, the perception of rampant piracy among Linux users was largely bourne out in Loki Software's books. He explained that a niche programming company needed something like 24% penetration at normal game pricing to achieve a reasonable return, but that the last three 'blockbusters' got anywhere between 2%-5% of the estimated Linux base, which was rather surprising given the quality of the software he said (comparatively, they got between 10%-16% of the Windows market, which factored heavily into the design considerations for future product).

      I pointed out that there isn't much point to running Quake and whatnot on a server, and he agreed, saying that if Linux ever really makes it to the desktop these companies that were just targeting it in the first place because it was "the next big thing" will revisit it.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Problem with Loki is they were run by fuckwits.

        The fact is, if anyone wants games, they use Windows. What do they expect with Linux? People use it because it's free, and they wonder why people don't pay for software? Any gamer worth their salt knows XP is where it's at for games, and Linux is, and will always be, a pretender to the throne when it comes to being an OS that runs games well.

        You can use XP and have a vast library of games, or you can use Linux, and get a few titles, but none of the big ones (like Warcraft 3, Championship Manager, the biggest selling game in Europe).
        • Problem with Loki is they were run by fuckwits.

          Well, no one who thinks you can make money selling GNU/Linux games is a genius. But in this case you can probably blame idealism more than lack of intellect.
        • Any gamer worth their salt knows XP is where it's at for games, and Linux is, and will always be, a pretender to the throne when it comes to being an OS that runs games well.

          Nothing lasts forever. Eight years ago people were saying that windows would always be subpar for gaming. Who knows what things are going to be like ten, twenty years from now.
        • The fact is, if anyone wants games, they use Windows . . . . Any gamer worth their salt knows XP is where it's at for games

          I beg to differ. Anyone wants games they get a console. Any gamer worth their salt knows Gamecube is where your hardcore gamer sits, and PS2 is where your casual gamer sits. Your XBox gamer sits somewhere in the middle and is usually an ex-PC gamer. I will admit that the only thing which keeps XP on my home machine is the lack of commercial quality games under Linux.

          The PC gaming market is on the decline anyway. With the cost of a console at about the same price of an average 3d graphics card (£150 for a GeFrorce4 Ti4200, ~£160 for an XBox with 2 games), PC gaming is rapidly becoming uneconomical. With the gap between PC and console games visual tricks diminshing, PC gameing will soon go the way of the arcade. And the Dodo
          • That is such a crock. Sales show that the PC market is NOT in a decline. The PC game industry has been dying for years if you listen to pundits, but the fact is, sports games aside, it's stronger than ever. Claiming it's uneconomical is crap too. I just picked up Warcraft 3 and the Brady strategy guide for less than half what the game was selling for two months ago. Also games don't have to pay their cut to any manufacturers (like console developers do) which means more profit. That alone will keep PC gaming around.

            With the war between nVidia and ATI hotting up, PC's will very shortly take a quantum leap ahead of consoles again, only for consoles to catch up with their next iteration. It's been the same for over a decade.

            As for graphics card prices, if you shop around, you can find the Ti series for under $100 if you know where to look.

            Gamecube for hardcore gamers? WTF are you smoking? I know many hardcore gamers. Some have X-Box, some have PS2... Not *ONE* owns a Gamecube. While it's gotten a few more adult games, the fact is Nintendo is still weighted down with it's cutesy image and is still considered by many to be a kids console.

            Hardcore gamers indeed...
            • In response to goldberg,

              The difference now is all down to Sony. Today software houses see the massive market created by the PS and it's brand successor's. When XBox was due to be released I had people asking me about Microsoft's new Playstation. Same as the way people don't say 'personal cassette player' but say Walkman, Playstation is synonymous in the general public's mind with console's and gaming.

              The clue's that PC gaming is on the decline? Let's look at recent release schedules. GTA Vice City was out in early december on PS2. Still no confirmed PC release date (different to GTA3 cos it's little more than a levels disk). Splinter Cell, out before XMAS on XBox, probably due out end of Jan on PC. Colin McRae 3 & Toca 3, out mid-late November on XBox / PS2. Still no confirmed release dates for PC. Which platforms did EA decide to release 'LOTR The Two Towers' on, and which platform did it decide was not worth the development effort (PC incase you didn't know). Take a look at E3 and, aside from Doom 3, which of the killer titles were console based and how many were PC based.

              Technology is not the decider on whether consumers purchase a games platform, it's brand awareness. And it's installed userbase that dictates which platforms third party developers support. Dreamcast is a prime example of this. And as a side argument, development costs are lower as it's easier to develop and test for a single console platform than for the miriad of different hardware combinations that exist with PC.

              And do you not think that being able to pick up Warcraft 3 and the Brady strategy guide for less than half what the game was selling for two months ago indicates that the game was over printed and stores have more stock than they can sell?

              I'm not saying that the PC market is dead, I'm saying that if you look objectively, the signs are there to indicate that the market is starting to lose interest and move towards console gaming.

              And btw, go play Mario sunshine (or mario 64), have a think about level design, character control and pacing. And then come back and tell me how much better Warcraft 3 is than it's predecessor's because it's now in 3d.
              • It's always been the same. Games on one system don't neccesarily get ported. The PC hasn't had a port of Gran Turismo 3 for example... Doesn't mean a damn thing.

                Splinter Cell is due out next week I believe. Demo has been out for a month.

                As for GTA, of course there won't be a PC release date set yet. The game is selling PS2's by the bucketload. It's exclusive currently. Once the sales die down, I fully expect a PC date will be announced (though if the port is as badly don't as GTA3, they may as well not bother).

                PC gaming isn't dying in any genre other than sports games, and it's dying there because the games, by their nature, reward two or more players, and sitting round a TV is a better experience.

                I could take your example of consoles and reverse it, since I don't recall Neverwinter Nights having a release date on any console, ergo consoles must be dying.
            • by dolson (634094)
              Dude, just look at that Zelda game on the Gamecube!

              That just _screams_ harcore!
          • " The PC gaming market is on the decline anyway. With the cost of a console at about the same price of an average 3d graphics card (£150 for a GeFrorce4 Ti4200, ~£160 for an XBox with 2 games), PC gaming is rapidly becoming uneconomical. With the gap between PC and console games visual tricks diminshing, PC gameing will soon go the way of the arcade. And the Dodo"

            This is the same damn situation that has existed since the creation of the video game and computer. Consoles were always cheaper than the computer counterpart. And yet, both markets are expanding largely. The reason for this is that they are coming closer and closer together. Evidence of this: X-Box --- Intel PC with GeForce 3.5 in a box; PS2 --- runs Linux with a kit; Gamecube --- uses PowerPC and Radeon-based graphics. These consoles are more and more like trimmed-down and specialized computers. At the point when your prophecy comes to pass there will be _no_ difference between console/computer for the most part except for superficial differences like (does it use HDTV or digital monitor).

            Additionally, even the game selection is going this route. Notice that a growing number of third-party developers are releasing their games for three or more platforms consecutively? Better development tools / portable api design are making this possible and there is little indication that this trend will ever stop since its in almost everybody's best interest.
          • Show me one game on the console like NeverWinter Nights.
        • You can use XP and have a vast library of games, or you can use Linux, and get a few titles, but none of the big ones (like Warcraft 3, Championship Manager, the biggest selling game in Europe).

          Or you can buy a Playstation2 and kick back on your couch with a controller while your best friend has a controller and you play the new Contra game on your flat screen TV. Plus you never have to worry about upgrading the video card in your PS2 or reinstalling games because that ASM prog you wrote killed your hard drive.

          O.K. I am a little drunk this saturday night so I cannot think of all the reasons to switch to a console (be it: GameCube, PS2 or even the accursed console whose name shall not be spoken (X-Box)) but trust me that no one I know who has bought a console has regretted it. Linux on your PC and a PS2 in front of your T.V., there is no better combination.
        • It never ceases to amaze me how a simple news announcement about a game running on a different operating system than Windows can attract so many people who talk out their ass and are here for the primary purpose of trolling.

          How can you say that Linux doesn't "run games well" just because Windows XP has more games available?

          Have you ever compared the performance of any Linux game with Windows games? Of course not. If you have, you'd clearly see that in some cases, Windows is better, as you say, but in other cases, Linux is better. Therefore, you can not say that one performs better than the other.

          As for Windows having so many great games, well... There are more factors that I base my operating system on than just a wide choice of games.

          For one, the ratio of crap games to total games for Linux is much better than the same ratio for Windows. Do Linux users get the opportunity to buy crap such as Pool of Radiance? No. What about Extreme Paint Brawl, Extreme Paint Brawl 2, or Extreme Paint Brawl 4? No. What about Snowmobile Racing? No. What about Extreme Paint Brawl 3? No (and neither do Windows users, luckily). Point is, we may not have that many games to choose from, but the games that we do get are quality games. Sure, you may not have warezed^W bought them yet because they aren't hyped up like 99% of the games you probably do run, but if you actually try the game, it is just as good as the next game. I would never have known how good Majesty was had I not played the Linux port. The same will be true of the newly announced ports. I've not heard of them until yesterday.

          I don't use Linux because it's free, as you say. If you ever actually gave it a chance and tried to learn how to use it (if you have the capability to learn how to use an OS that doesn't look like it was designed in Flash by some kindergarten kids) then you would not want to go back to Windows. Whether you believe it or not, Windows *is* restrictive. It doesn't let me do half of the stuff that I want to do. To put it bluntly, it sucks for someone who knows how to use a computer more than just by clicking on icons.

          If you don't mind, would you stop stereotyping Linux users as people who warez software? I know, you most likely do it because somewhere, deep down inside of you, you have some sort of heart (maybe not much of one, but it's a heart nonetheless) and it tells you that you have to insult others to make up for your own shortcomings in life.

          The reality is that people warez software REGARDLESS OF WHAT OPERATING SYSTEM THEY RUN.

          However, I'm sure that the percentage of Linux users who don't is much higher than that of Windows users (not counting the poseurs that run WineX to play their warezed copies of WC3 (oh hell, counting them too even)).

          Alot of my friends play WarCraft III and Battlefield 1942, and they continually bombard me with comments like "get Windows again so you can play with us." To that I ask them to buy me a copy of the game and I'll consider it, and they promptly reply that they can burn me a copy of their copy, which was burned from someone elses copy, which was downloaded from KaZaa. Out of all of the people that I know that play WarCraft III, not a single one of them actually bought it. Same goes for BF1942. And yet somehow it is people like me, people that actually pay for games they play, that get labelled as software "pirates" and the like. Hell, I've even bought games that I don't play, mainly because I don't have time. How is it fair? The operating system that you use doesn't have any effect on how much software you pirate. If it does, and you want to argue it, then you have to wake up to your own arguments that Windows has much more and "better" software, which would increase the amount of warezing going on now, wouldn't it? Of course it would.

          Like you say, if anyone wants a large quantity of games, they can use Windows, sure. But if anyone wants a decent, stable, working OS that does exactly what you tell it to do, nothing more, and nothing less, then they use Linux, and get their gaming fix from a console or make due with what they've got to choose from. Me? I have just got a PSone so I can buy lots of cheap (as in price) games locally. I do buy games online from TuxGames (ask Michael Simms), as well as via eBay and a few local EBs that have old Loki stock.
      • Or perhaps not (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Somehow I doubt the reason was piracy among Linux users... It's more likely Linux users bought the game from their local shop for their Windows partition, rather than mail-ordering from a distant location, and paying more to boot.

        For example, the Bungie game Myth 2 Soulblighter: there was a MacOS version and a Windows version, with about 45% and 55% respectively on each platform. Loki ported it to Linux. However, out of the many thousands who played it online, I only ever _heard_ of several _individuals_ who were playing it online on Linux, and at least one of those was a programmer who worked at Loki!
        Now considering how much more likely high-tech Linux users are to play a game online, and even if a whoopingly low 5% of buyers played it online, that means Loki sold well under 1000 units.
        If they did that badly with Soulblighter, how badly did they do with other titles? No wonder they weren't making any money.
    • by dattaway (3088)
      I haven't been playing games since I switched to Linux several years ago. But looking at the screenshots of these games [grin.se], that may change. It might be hard to resist that kind of virtual world.
    • I don't think any Linux games have sold well... or at least not the ones ported by Loki. I just went to Microcenter in Cambridge, MA today and bought both Myth II and Railroad Tycoon 2 for 1.99 a piece. If anyone's in the Boston area and wants some cheap, professional games for Linux, go to microcenter. They still have about 10 or 15 copies of each left.

      It's sort of unfortunate that Loki went under because they did port the games well. From what I've heard, it was more mismanagement and bad decisions. They might have been able to stay alive if they had made better business decisions.
    • John Carmack [slashdot.org] has posted here that all of the Linux games, combined sold as well as a single moderately sucessful Windows game.

      Now, I myself bought a few Loki games, even ones which do not run on my present computer (ugh, no 3d acceleration): Heretic II, Quake III, Heroes of Might and Magic III, Railroad Tycoon, and Alpha Centauri.

      However, I think many people, even people who use Linux, do not understand that with freedom comes responsibility. Such people have a Windows partition on their own computer; do not develop libre software nor contribute to Linux in any other meaningful way. These people are not willing to make real sacrifices to have a libre system, and will not wait six months and pay a little more for the privledge of not having to dual-boot. In fact, such freeloaders often times pirate video games instead of paying for them, so they don't help the development of games for Windows either.

      - Sam

    • IIRC, Michael Simms said that Tribes 2 was their all time best seller.

      I still play it! It rocks.
  • Should I care? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wideBlueSkies (618979) on Saturday January 11, 2003 @02:14PM (#5062801) Journal
    On one hand yes. I wish these developers every possible success.

    On the other hand. Well, I haven't heard of Grin, or it's games. Sorry. I can't recall seeing anything in a PC Gamer, or a box in a software shop.

    There's no planetbandits.

    Oh well. I wish everyone involved the best.

    YAULSS. Yet Another Useless Linux Slashdot Story

    • Most of you earthlings have no idea what is out beyond your puny solar system. Perhaps this game will further our cause to open a dialogue between my people and yours. Geccoman PlanetBandit (yes, we exist) Actually, it does make me smile to see companies making an effort to bring linux appeal to as large of an audience as possible. I seriously doubt that we'll ever see any major piece of software out there (commercial) that can only be run on Linux, causing people to flood in droves over to Redhat's site and spam their message boards with posts asking why Linux is "so hard to work." For a good example, check out the message boards for ShowEQ [sourceforge.net]

      Bleh

    • Re:Should I care? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Black_Logic (79637)

      I haven't heard of the game either, but there happens to be a link to a description of the game right above your post,.. how handy.

      The Bandits game looks kind of cool, since when did a linux user care what's in some mainstream windows centric pc gaming magazine?
      • Re:Should I care? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by wideBlueSkies (618979) on Saturday January 11, 2003 @02:38PM (#5062903) Journal
        >> since when did a linux user care what's in some mainstream windows centric pc gaming magazine?

        Since the LINUX user in question happens to use multiple operating systems for both work AND gaming.

        This kind of comment really pisses me off. Grow up bud. LINUX is a tool, not a religion or a way of life. The same can be said for Windows or any other hunk of software.

        It's a tool provided by a very generous group of people, and one extremely generous individual. They deserve our support, and our thanks. But even they know, I think, that LINUX isn't everything. Nor can it be everything.

        • Why can't Linux be used for games? In the cases where a port of a Windows game has been done, the Linux version runs a little faster and with less administrative hassle.

          No dll hell, no fumbling with DirectX versions, no bluescreens or corruption, no goofy cd checks, game preferences stored in your home dir.

          Its quite a nice experience to play in Linux. Not to mention its inconvenient to reboot for a quick 15 minute deathmatch or something.
          • Actually, last Saturday I installed Linux Mandrake 9.0 and Windows XP on a dual-boot configuration. I knew before I reformatted that on Quake 3, 640x480 with Vertex lighting, I could achieve nearly a constant 125 FPS. I installed the Loki version of Quake 3, which upon running froze up while it was initializing sound. Therefore, I had to deal with trying to get my sound working on Linux, which involved me having to read more documentation about my sound server than I ever really thought I'd need to know. Also, I had to make a shortcut to automatically run Quake properly with "artsdsp -m quake3" so that it would automatically emulate the old way of doing Linux sound. Even though I did this, the sound STILL lags behind the action of the game unless I set the buffer to be shorter, which wastes my time because I had to restart the sound server to do it.

            Did I mention that I also had to use unofficial precompiled RPMs to install the nVidia drivers with ANY kind of convienience? Also, I had to mess around with an XFree86 configuration file.

            Finally, when I was playing Quake, the same settings as before yielded a steady 80 fps. Whee.

            I haven't used Windows very much, so I haven't really gotten around to installing Quake3, but normally it involves simply running nVidia's install EXE, then putting the CD in the drive and hitting install. No crashes, no problems, and it's faster.
            • I installed the Loki version of Quake 3, which upon running froze up while it was initializing sound. Were you running KDE or GNOME, or ? If you're running KDE, the aRts sound server should be disabled in the Control Center, as it grabs the DSP and doesn't let go. Even though I did this, the sound STILL lags behind the action of the game unless I set the buffer to be shorter, which wastes my time because I had to restart the sound server to do it. "esound [replace with arts/yiff/what have you] is junk. The only thing esd has is a good client API for going boing at approximately the right time. Anything else is beyond it." -- Alan Cox Did I mention that I also had to use unofficial precompiled RPMs to install the nVidia drivers with ANY kind of convienience? The unofficial ones that are on the driver section of nVidia's Web site? Also, I had to mess around with an XFree86 configuration file. The README should've spelled out the install process clearly enough. Finally, when I was playing Quake, the same settings as before yielded a steady 80 fps. Whee. This is a sign that either: a) you're not using the same settings as before. or b) something's hogging CPU (probably aRts.) Switch to a console (Alt+Ctrl+F2) and run ps auwx. Check to see if anything besides quake3 (or perhaps "quake3.x86") is taking a noticeable amount of CPU time.
              • Well, darn. Should click "preview" next time. Properly-formatted reply follows.

                I installed the Loki version of Quake 3, which upon running froze up while it was initializing sound.

                Were you running KDE or GNOME, or ? If you're running KDE, the aRts sound server should be disabled in the Control Center, as it grabs the DSP and doesn't let go.

                Even though I did this, the sound STILL lags behind the action of the game unless I set the buffer to be shorter, which wastes my time because I had to restart the sound server to do it.

                (replace "esound" with arts/yiff/whatever.)

                "esound is junk. The only thing esd has is a good client API for going boing at approximately the right time. Anything else is beyond it." -- Alan Cox

                Did I mention that I also had to use unofficial precompiled RPMs to install the nVidia drivers with ANY kind of convienience?

                The unofficial ones that are on the driver section of nVidia's Web site?

                Also, I had to mess around with an XFree86 configuration file.

                The README should've spelled out the install process clearly enough.

                Finally, when I was playing Quake, the same settings as before yielded a steady 80 fps. Whee.

                This is a sign that either:

                a) you're not using the same settings as before.
                or b) something's hogging CPU (probably aRts.)

                Switch to a console (Alt+Ctrl+F2) and run ps auwx. Check to see if anything besides quake3 (or perhaps "quake3.x86") is taking a noticeable amount of CPU time.

                (Sorry if I come off as condescending.)
                • Yes, I WAS running KDE, and I already tried suspending the aRts server before running it. However, Quake uses some old mmap technology or something like that, so it would either play with aRts emulated mmap sound or no sound at all.

                  Also, the point I'm trying to make here is that the poster was exclaiming that Linux makes everything so fast and so easy to install and such, but with Windows, I don't have to mess around with configuration files, I don't have to worry about aRts, and I don't have to find out how to make everything work in harmony. Also, I guess I don't see the RPMs or something, but there are no Mandrake 9 drivers for nVidia cards yet. So I had to rely on the mercy of some kind soul out there to make RPMs since I am not the kind that compiles all my software. All I can say is that it is MUCH quicker to get Quake III runnning in Windows and yields better results. I don't like having to mess with all the stuff I had to mess with in Linux.
            • Sorry about your luck. My Quake and RTCW installations are faster than they used to be in Windows. Most dual booters will probably agree,\.

              Since your soundcard and its drivers suck, try disabling artsd or esd. That will fix your sound problem.
        • And a Porsche is just a car. Right...
        • Granted, I'll agree about right tool
          for the right job. My opinion is
          skewed because I love the linux/opensource
          movement, and slightly OT, why can't
          i be a linux zealot? Seems like a good
          place to talk about it. Besides if the
          'windows people' (gross generalization)
          had it their way, everything (servers, palm
          tops) would be windows, regardless of whether
          it was the right tool for the job.

          But what I was trying to say in my
          previous post was, why was that
          a useless story? I thought those games
          were interesting, I've never heard of them,
          and now I may buy them. Maybe my future
          purchase will go a small way towards making
          linux a viable gaming platform.
    • Yes, plenty of great games out there that you may not have heard about. I didn't :).

      This is just really a start to LGP, if they make enough income and become more widely known expect more games.

      Think it this way too...We only really here about big block buster movies, not so much about independent, yet many great movies or films have come out of independent studio's.

      Of course I am waiting for some games that are original to come out on Linux first :). Other than Open Source ones I don't see this happening for awhile yet.

      StarTux
    • I play Ballistics a while ago at Six Flags. They had a few cabinets running the game on WinME, and all I can say that it is extremely FAST. Very, very cool game. But I agree, never heard of it until that point.
    • On the other hand. Well, I haven't heard of Grin, or it's games. Sorry. I can't recall seeing anything in a PC Gamer, or a box in a software shop.

      Me neither, but I don't care, I'm an absolute sucker for fast racing games. Pansy ass cars are no good for me, I need, and I mean medically need speed. Up until now I got my fix from Supreme Snowboarding, which lets you go at a simulated 130km/h on a snowboard in places (if you're leet enough ;) but Ballistics looks damn cool.

      I played their port of Creatures 3 and was very impressed, it was a high quality port. I didn't buy the game, Creatures just wasn't interesting enough (i used to play v1), but I'll be looking forward to the demo of Ballistics.

      I stopped reading gaming mags a long time ago, so even if it'd had loads of coverage I still wouldn't have found it. Now I've seen those screenshots I'm interested.

    • It might actually be an advantage that the games aren't well known.

      Fanatical gamers will buy the blockbuster games soon after they come out. If they're Linux users they'll keep a Windows partition around and play on that. By the time the Linux port comes around (if ever) they already have the Windows version and aren't likely to buy another copy. That's what sunk Loki.

      These games, on the other hand, might be pretty good and will likely get some publicity in Linux circles. Linux users who play games probably don't have the Windows versions yet.

      Who knows if it will work out, but I think they've got a better chance than Loki.

  • Every time I see the title of that new game I think of the hugely awesome Amiga game by (I think) Psygnosis.
  • That's great... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Sayten241 (592677)
    but is it really worth the effort? If you really wanted to play games on your computer just run a dual-boot for god's sakes. I know Windows is expensive, but I'm sure you can find a copy of windows 98 for pretty cheap, and that (as far as I'm awayre) should still play most games. It will certainly be able to play all the games that have been ported to Linux so far.
    • by a_n_d_e_r_s (136412)
      Well some of us don't even bother to get Win98 or any other bad operating system...

      Single boot - the only way to live!

    • Why would I want to buy a different operating system and another hard drive just to install games that I can play in Linux anyhow? I fail to see your reasoning.

      I don't have THAT much time that I have to play every hyped up unoriginal game that hits the shelves. I don't get that much free time to even play the 30 or so Linux games that I do already own.

      I do really want to play games on my computer, but there is still no reason why I can't just use Linux.

      And as far as Linux being a hassle goes, have you not ever had a BSOD or DLL conflicts or any other common Windows problem? If you *really* want to play games without any extra effort, you'd buy a PS2 or an XBox.
  • LGP :) (Score:4, Insightful)

    by StarTux (230379) on Saturday January 11, 2003 @02:21PM (#5062837) Journal
    I know many people will bemoan the fact that they cannot get some brand new highly known game to run on Linux. The reason why is simple: Economics.

    OTH, having LGP port lesser known games has opened up a whole new world to games I would never have known about, because they don't have the publisher to spam all the well known gaming magazines with reviews etc. Also, not having the huge publisher gives the smaller developer a chance to release the game they want :). And also lets the customer actually have more of a voice...

    I'll be getting these games for sure, a little more expensive than the Windows versions, but thats a small price to pay in terms of having to run on an OS I don't like to use.

    StarTux
  • I clicked on their reseller link and clicked on the one line they had for the US. That page only had Quake for Linux under the software category.

    How do they expect to make a profit if they're only reseller for the US doesn't carry their stuff?
  • Some Ballistics info (Score:5, Informative)

    by wpmegee (325603) <wpmegee@yaDALIhoo.com minus painter> on Saturday January 11, 2003 @02:31PM (#5062875)
    On the Win32 side, Ballistics was one of the first games to use DirectX 8 vertex and pixel shaders, which where introduced with the Geforce3.

    Here's a Maximum PC review [maximumpc.com]. It got a 7, with gorgeous graphics but not too much content. Interestingly, it only listed for $30.


  • Every time I read or hear abou ta new driving game, I just think of the fuss back in 1976 when an arcade game based upon a really bad B movie [rottentomatoes.com] of the same title came out ... Death Race 2000 [coinop.org]. Ah, but then I'm just showing my age ...

    Actually, what I'd like to know is if these games actually compete with titles on "that other operating system" enough to tell my kids, Mandrake 9.1b1 [slashdot.org] is enough for you skippy?

  • devil's advocate (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    How are we going to play these games on Linux, when setting up 3D is such a dark-art voodoo nightmare? I cringe when thinking of trying to make OpenGL work.
    • On Gentoo
      emerge nvidia-kernel
      emerge nvidia-glx
      vi /etc/X11/XF86Config; find 'nv' change to 'nvidia'
      Done.
      You can do the same for ATIs drivers, I think.
    • Hmmm? If you use a decent distro this should be entirely automatic? I've used several distros and never had any issues with OpenGL on decent cards. If you're thinking of the nVidia drivers, it's normally just a case of installing the RPMs.
    • I am a serious gamer and have been since DOS 5 /Win3.1. Believe me setting up a Mystique 1 with Voodoo Grafics or trying to get DX[fill in random iteration here] makes *me* cringe.
      Setting up GL on Linux is a piece of cake compared to that. And it's predictable. It will allways work the same way.
    • On Suse and a few other distributions, some drivers are very easy to install. Just select a package in Yast2.

      On my Slackware machine, I had to add a few documented lines (I read the installation instructions. I suppose that you do not) and then run "make install". The Kyro 2 documents also explained this.

      nVidia drivers are simple to install too. OpenGL comes by default. You don't have to "Try" anything to get it to work.
  • In Other News... LGP will begin selling its newly ported games for linux on www.thinkgeek.com
  • This is a major setback for Linux.
    The increasing distribution of Linux in the industry is mainly due to the fact that there are no decent games for Linux so that people play less and work more, increasing efficiency and profit.
    If now such nerd companies develop better and better games for Linux most companies will switch to other powerful, game-free platforms like Solaris or OpenBSD.
    In the long term this might be a very big setback in the competition with Microsoft. You might argue now that you will gain more distribution on private computers - but people are already using Windows for this task which is much better suited and a complicated unix system is not the right thing for non-professional private users. And the gaming industry (even MS) is moving more and more towards Playstation like boxes these days.

    This playing thing was really a big problem until Linux, I remember an admin saying that they had to install Linux on electronic cashier systems (the big ones with a 15" monitor used in travel stores) because some secretaries found out how to install Doom on them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 11, 2003 @02:51PM (#5062958)

    I've mirrored the demos of the games here:

    Ballistics Demo [brettglass.com]
    Bandits Demo [brettglass.com]

    Brett Glass to the rescue

  • The goal is FUN (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Amsterdam Vallon (639622) <amsterdamvallon2003@yahoo.com> on Saturday January 11, 2003 @02:58PM (#5062985) Homepage
    When it comes to games, I urge you all to ditch your "only Open-Souce" principles.

    The goal of gaming is to have fun. Stop worrying about device drivers, monitor drivers, serial numbers, low ping connectivity, mouse drivers, keyboard configurations, etc. and just play fun, easy-to-use games on a traditional console gaming system.

    Gamecube and X-box are the two best choices these days. You can get a Gamecube for $139 (half of a day's salary) and all you do then is simply chuck one of the many amazingly fun games into the device, turn on your TV, and start smiling.

    An X-box is as low as $199 and now includes special new controllers and two great games in this starter package. It's a great bargain, and with their new online play, it's better than ever. You can turn everything on and be playing HALO against someone in China and someone in France in less than 15 seconds.

    Really cool!

    When it comes to games, I don't care if it's Linux or Microsoft or whatever, I just stick to the proven console games that always work since all the hardware's the same. It makes life so much easier.
    • > When it comes to games, I don't care if it's
      > Linux or Microsoft or whatever,[...] It makes
      > life so much easier.

      So true, let's follow through all the way.

      "When it comes to principles, it makes life so much easier if you don't have any."

      Or to quote the Dead Kennedy's:

      "Give me convenience of give me death."

      I love this New World(TM) we live in!

      /me vomits with disgust.
    • I didn't know you made $278 a day working at EB.
    • Re:The goal is FUN (Score:3, Insightful)

      by StarTux (230379)
      Screw the Xbox, why?

      Because of the reason you have to pay for Xbox Live and that you will be charged automatically each year, for a price that has not even been decided. Oh and you need to cancel your live! enrollment before they renew it, or you'll be charged.

      I got a PS2 :). $40 for network adapter and now I am free to go on the 'net with it and pick and choose manufacturers without worrying about being charged extra by a monopoly. Is it true also that with the xbox you need to buy something extra just to be able to play DVD's?

      Anyway, even with a PS2 I still buy and play games on my computer system.

      StarTux
      • Well, that was a good reason to "screw the Xbox", but I've got another, even more important reason.

        No, not "because it's Microsoft". I may be a Linux zealot, but I'm not insane.

        No, the reason I will not buy an Xbox is because I refuse to help MS demo/test it's goddam drm systems. The Xbox is a PC with DRM builtin, that only runs MS signed software. Palladium will be essentially the same thing. THIS is was MS wants to turn PCs into.

        If you don't want to help them do that, don't buy an Xbox.

    • You can get a Gamecube for $139 (half of a day's salary)

      Half a days salary for who? Certainly not me!
      I figure that I make about $12.00 a day BEFORE taxes.
  • From the screenshot gallery:

    This gallery shows screenshots from the Diesel Engine(TM) rendered environments of Ballistics(TM).

    How can you make a racing game with a Diesel engine??
  • by Milo Fungus (232863) on Saturday January 11, 2003 @03:03PM (#5063002)

    I think Tux Racer is about the coolest game I've ever played. My very favorite course is "Who Says Penguins Can't Fly?" although I have become somewhat partial to "Path of Daggers" lately. Anyone else out there love Tux Racer?

  • Open your minds (Score:5, Insightful)

    by be-fan (61476) on Saturday January 11, 2003 @03:28PM (#5063109)
    I keep hearing "oh, these games aren't AAA titles, they must suck. Well, some of the most pure fun games I've played are obscure titles like these. They have nice graphics (not bleeding edge, but pretty) and fun gameplay. They not be the deep, sweeping experience of something like HalfLife, but they're still good entertainment. If the price is right, this games might be a good buy.
    • Well, some of the most pure fun games I've played are obscure titles like these.

      I completely agree. The game I've spent the most time on in the last five years is not Half-Life, Diablo II or Unreal Tournament (all three of which I own). Rather it's Elastomania [elastomania.com]. It's a silly little side-scrolling platform game on a motorcycle, with passable graphics and cheesy sound effects. It's even difficult to learn the controls. But once you do, look out. I've been addicted for five years. Best $10 I ever spent. (By the way, it requires DirectX 7 or higher. Haven't tried it on WineX.)

    • Try Space Tripper and Mutant Storm from Pompom [pompom.org.uk]. Those guys know how to make FUN games.

      I probably never would have tried them, had I not been a Linux gamer. They have Windows and Mac versions too.
  • Forget dual booting (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tjwhaynes (114792) on Saturday January 11, 2003 @03:58PM (#5063216)
    To all of those who think that dual booting really holds the secret to playing games when most of your work is done in Linux - forget it. This machine here I'm on has Windows 98 and an up to date Linux distro. I bought Black & White almost on the day of release, thinking that I would boot into Windows just to play it. Its a great game, particularly if you liked Populous. But after a week, it has barely seen the light of day. Rebooting back and forth is too much of a pain. When I want to play, it's normally for 30-40 minutes. If I reboot back and forth, it had better be really worth it. I got hold of GTA3 and it's the same story. I got off the first island and it hasn't been played since.

    Now I have a healthy collection of Linux games on my box, including a fair number of Loki ports, some of the source code released games (Abuse, Freespace 1 & 2, Aliens vs Predator), and a bunch of improving open source projects, from Vegastrike to Foobillard. And Black & White and the other Windows only games don't provide sufficient allure to make me reach for the reboot.

    LGP seems to have the right idea. The games they are porting are good games in their categories and they aren't costing a fortune for the porting rights. They are also managing to get games in more genres than just first person shooters. I hope that LGP hangs around long enough to break even or preferably show a profit. I hope that the Linux desktop market is starting to expand at a sufficient rate that the future for Linux gaming actually exists and that LGP is in a good position to reap the rewards.

    Cheers,

    Toby Haynes

  • by OnyxRaven (9906) on Saturday January 11, 2003 @04:20PM (#5063282) Homepage
    Ballistics and Bandits are games that take a unique spin to current games. Ballistics could be called the first supersonic racing game, where your insane speed turns a game of reaction into more of a game of pattern. The developers at E3 2001 were able to complete most of the courses at full supersonic speed, where we could barely make it at subsonic speed.

    The game is one of the first to introduce pixel shading and other features of the GeForce 3.

    Bandits I know less about, sadly. I've been sitting around waiting for word of Grin's ever-in-development game, Vultures. The guys at Grin were nice enough at E3 2001 to give me their concept-art posters they had posted in their booth (Kentia Hall). From what I remember the game has gone under a couple design revisions, but the detail they paid in the rendered weapons and the concept art I have is amazing. It should be a game I wont be able to miss. That is, if it ever does get released.

    So what if these arent Popular games? They use cutting edge technology and were probably easy to get a hold of (Grin is full of nice guys), so maybe the lessons learned from porting these games will enable LGP to publish those games you are clamoring for?

    Again I'm taken back to my argument that people shouldnt purely deride games. If they are supported through either fans or at least constructive criticism, the whole industry benifits.
  • by core plexus (599119) on Saturday January 11, 2003 @05:13PM (#5063532) Homepage
    Many of the negative remarks directed at Linux I see from time to time here are from apparent windows or other proprietary OS users who exhibit signs that would indicate they feel threatened. Could it be because they feel that one of the last obstacles to Linux becoming more popular is in the area of gaming (among others)? That assumption doesn't answer the question. Why? I know why I strongly dislike microsoft, or at least their products and practices, and it isn't because someone else is using it. Frankly, I have made a boatload of money fixing windows screw-ups, but I also have fixed screw-ups on everything from a home box to an IBM mainframe.

    I'd be interested in learning the opinions and observations of others. Meanwhile, I shall continue to support the developers of Linux products, as opposed to megacorporate closed-source proprietary/predatory fat cats.

    Computer geek peddles bootleg porn from city hall [xnewswire.com]

    • I've never really gotten that either. Every time one of these stories comes up it seems to make a lot of people annoyed, or even downright angry. I'd guess a lot of the flack comes just as much from Linux users as windows users though. I'm sure with how often the 'Linux sux cuz its got no games!' argument comes up it'd be easy to just build up a general resentment to anything suggesting Linux users might actually want to play games. I'd also guess people using it more as a geek status symbol than the OS best suited to them feel a bit annoyed deep down at such an indication of it's increasing appeal to the less technical user.
    • I've seen this too, but I think I know why they feel that way. Being on /., they are probably pretty computer saavy, possibly system administrators and programmers. But they only know windows, and they are scared of emerging technology. *nix is completely alien to them, and for many a command line probably is too.

      It's quite sad that people would react this way, instead of just deciding the learn something new so they are prepared if they ever need to use it... But, there you go, people are like that.

      I think it's the same for software companies who respond to requests for Linux ports with vitriol, instead of just saying, "not at this time". They have no *nix experience, and hence are scared of Linux taking hold in the industry.

      Anyway, that's what I think.

  • ...Linux desktops are only going to appeal to consumers to the low end. Since if you're paying $500 for a computer it's no big deal to tack on an extra $50 dollars for a Windows license. But at $200 that extra $50 seems like a lot, especally with the lower profit on cheap hardware, the vender won't want to eat the cost of the OS himself.
    Low end computers can't run games like this, they just don't have the 3D hardware. If linux is going to see more games besides a few oddballs (like these two) and the occasional blockbuster (UT2003) than it'll have to make inroads into the general desktop market. Or else much cheaper 3D hardware that has linux support.
    Selling games that were released on Windows a year or two ago is not a good buisness model; customers with dual boot machines can often get your game for windows for $10-$20 in the bargin bin. And how many non geeks out there have a linux box that can run UT2003 (or something like it) and are running linux only?
    • ...Linux desktops are only going to appeal to consumers to the low end. Since if you're paying $500 for a computer it's no big deal to tack on an extra $50 dollars for a Windows license. But at $200 that extra $50 seems like a lot, especally with the lower profit on cheap hardware, the vender won't want to eat the cost of the OS himself.

      That is so much BULL*&^%!

      Hell, if I buy a system, it has to be close to/ on the cutting edge. When I bought my current desktop box, the Athlons had only been out for a couple of weeks and I bought the fastest stepping (650Mhz) I could lay my hands on. My laptop sports a 2GHz P4m. My next machine will be faster and feature a GeForce 4. And guess what the OS on all these machines is? Linux. Yes - Linux. And I play games on these machines as well as develop on them. Don't assume that everyone who uses Linux does so because it is cheap/free. I use linux because I can configure every last damn byte in the box and the OS and surrounding products generally do what I want rather than having to fight with strange UI decisions that can't be sidestepped.

      Oh yes - number of Linux software packages BOUGHT: about 20. Total purchase outlay - $500+. Amount of pirated software on any of my machines: 0.

      Cheers,

      Toby Haynes

      • I can totally agree with you. Next machine that I build will be a high-end Hammer based machine with a sizzling graphics chip. And it will be running ONLY Linux.

        And the Windows kiddies can cry when I waste their asses in UT2003, just as I do right now in RTCW.

        Here's my vote for these new LGP games. I'm really looking forward to Majesty and Disciples too!
      • No, you missed the point. If linux is going to become a gaming platform on par with Windows then OEM boxes will have to be able to run current games, and those boxes will have to be popular enough that developers like EA and activision can make games for them and expect a reasonable chance at profit.

        Cheap OEM boxes can't run current games because they lack the 3D hardware needed, and have such low profit margins that adding that 3D hardware means they aren't cheap anymore. The only place linux has made any inroads in the OEM market is in low end PCs (servers and workstations not withstanding).

        Linux enthusiasts like yourself aren't cheapskates, and neither is your average consumer. They'll happily pay the extra money to get windows because unlike you (and me for that matter) they aren't Linux enthusiasts. On higher end machines the cost of windows is a much lower percentage of the total cost, and it's easier for the OEM to pass the cost along without it being noticed.

        The way things are it seems like Linux is going to get stuck in the low end market as a means of keeping profit margins on cheap PCs high. As long as only Linux enthusiasts (as opposed to the average OEM box buying consumer) have the hardware to run high end games, they'll be too few people for game developement on Linux to be profitable enough to really bring the industry in.
    • " ...Linux desktops are only going to appeal to consumers to the low end. Since if you're paying $500 for a computer it's no big deal to tack on an extra $50 dollars for a Windows license. But at $200 that extra $50 seems like a lot, especally with the lower profit on cheap hardware, the vender won't want to eat the cost of the OS himself.
      Low end computers can't run games like this, they just don't have the 3D hardware. If linux is going to see more games besides a few oddballs (like these two) and the occasional blockbuster (UT2003) than it'll have to make inroads into the general desktop market. Or else much cheaper 3D hardware that has linux support. "

      Well thats BS :).

      "Selling games that were released on Windows a year or two ago is not a good buisness model; customers with dual boot machines can often get your game for windows for $10-$20 in the bargin bin."

      Nor is your suggestion as it costs a great deal of money to port to only about 1% of the desktop population. Now if enough people support the games that are currently coming out you will see more top titles, and hopefully eventually more simulaneous releases.

      "And how many non geeks out there have a linux box that can run UT2003 (or something like it) and are running linux only?"

      Well about 40% actually for server.

      StarTux

      http://linuxgames.com/news/feedback.php?identife rI D=6117&action=flatview
      • Sorry, not following you here. Are you suggesting that 40% of average computer users currently have a computer running Linux (what I meant when I said "Linux Box") and have hardware that's up to snuff for UT2003 (IMO, at least a 1 ghz, 256 meg of ram and a newer nvidia or ati graphics card)?

        While it may not cost much to port to linux, and it may even be profitable, I doubt the current market makes it profitable enough for EA, activision or any of the other big name studios/publishers to pull coders off Windows projects. The industry isn't likely to move towards Linux unless they can be reasonably sure of making at least as much money as on consoles and Windows.

        And yes, of couse if enough people supported currently available titles there would be more offered. If enough people supported Linux in general Microsoft would wither away and die and we wouldn't be having this discussion. My point is the current OEM market isn't very condusive to making this happen because the kind of computers linux gets bundled with can't play newer 3D games.
  • ...because while I'm using Windows for gaming, I know a friend of mine who's trying to get as much as possible to work on Linux. I constantly hear him needing to tweak something to get it to run/play smoothly/get sound working etc, even on Windows games that supposedly "works" to run from Linux. He gets most stuff working, but if I was doing the same I'd get a pre-tweaked setup from him.

    I think they're doing the smart thing, smaller games are it. Look at it from the producers side, if they refuse to licence it for a port they earn nothing. If they do, there's a chance they might earn *something*. Compare that to a big game that the producer assumes will sell "big" on Linux and charges accordingly. I'm pretty sure the work and cost for porting a game has little or no relationship to its popularity.

    Besides, "unknown" games aren't that bad in a market with little competition, assuming you just want some game you'll enjoy, not only the latest wiz-bang things. I mean I still like to play my C64 games on emulator, or old DOS games. Though I must say I'm enjoying Warcraft 3 for the time being :)

    From a friend of mine I know of a little girl that's hooked on Tux Racer. I'm sure it could be any one of a hundred other games, but it's Tux Racer because it's there, and it's free. I'm sure there are "better" games around, but that doesn't really matter...

    Kjella

  • I spoke with one of the devlopers. Real nice people. To summarize his statment, they are not yet a full-time LGP staff and unlike Loki they are choosing game titles that do not summon exaggerated licensing fees. Loki dove head-first into porting software to Linux and admirably performed verry well despite their financial loss in an earlier Linux market. LGP has the benefits of Loki's base (snickering) because:

    1) LGP has chosen to utilize the verry mature Simple Direct Media Layer (http://www.libsdl.org)
    2) Interacts with a more mature and aware market for Linux
    3) chose applications that do not tend the verry-high royalties Loki crippled under
    4) the applications chosen have merit in their gamplay, fun-factor, and presentation.

    Majesty Gold! Disciples 2! Bandits! These are fun games that were ignored in the Microsoft Windows markets simply becase there were much more "shiny lures" that attracted all the "fish." LGP spear-headed Tzar, but then decided not to based on the comments of a minority of people in the Linuxgames.com and Happypenguin.org forums. LGP is well on its way to fill the void that Loki over-marketed and here we have a verry predictable startup mustering its nets around as many herring as possible. LGP is in hopes of marketing to all isles of the Linux gamers: Athlon, Pentium, PowerPC, and a few others. We, and owners of our computer software and hardware, have received LGP with baited hering breath. :-) They chose the software on merits as being gamers too and LGP is hardcore gaming! They will only die once, as did Loki! Lets have some fun with their software.
  • In this day in age for now anyway a company that just port Windows to Linux games is bound to go under quick. What you should be doing is not focusing yourself on porting games but doing something else that will give you stablility and port games on the side like Transgaming. They make WineX and also do an occasional port. They have a good buissness model and are sure to last for a long time.(unless Microsoft buys them out)

  • ... has /. carried stories about new ladies golf tournament titles ?

    oh crap, never mind, I should have read the F* article first... ;)

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