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Is id Abandoning Linux? 339

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the can't-believe-they-stuck-it-out-this-long dept.
edv writes "In a news posting dated 10th of September, Beyond3D is reporting of an article in a German publication in which id Software CEO Todd Hollenshead discusses the upcoming id title Rage and the engine it runs on, codenamed 'id Tech 5'. Amongst other things Todd mentions that no Linux version of the game is planned at the moment, and that it will run on Direct3D on Windows platform. OpenGL version is planned for the Mac however. If true, this would be a serious blow for Linux gaming (insert jokes here) as id and Carmack have been strong proponents of OpenGL and openness in the past."
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Is id Abandoning Linux?

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  • Hmm... (Score:5, Informative)

    by jafoc (1151405) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @10:15AM (#20667121) Homepage
    A few months ago (in April) they certainly intended to prepare a GNU/Linux version [enemyterritory.com].
    • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by EriktheGreen (660160) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @10:28AM (#20667319) Journal
      Another good point to remember is that ID is not of one mind.... back when they were deciding on their next product (Wolfenstein or Q4 or whatever) Hollenshead fired a few people loyal to Carmack as retribution for losing that argument. It's entirely possible that this guy thinks things are going one way and Carmack is going the other without telling him.

      When you get right down to it, having everyone in the world know the greatness of your company is entirely due to one man who is not you has got to suck :)

      Erik
      • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Funny)

        by somersault (912633) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @10:38AM (#20667463) Homepage Journal
        "When you get right down to it, having everyone in the world know the greatness of your company is entirely due to one man who is not you has got to suck"

        I doubt anyone on slashdot can truly understand that feeling though ;)
      • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Informative)

        by bluephone (200451) <greyNO@SPAMburntelectrons.org> on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @11:25AM (#20668131) Homepage Journal
        Actually, I remember that .plan update well. John, Paul Steed, and a bunch of others confronted Kevin Cloud and Adrian about their plan to remake Doom, saying that they felt so strongly to either agree to remake it or fire them. Adrian and Kevin were the other two co-owners beside John. Todd is just the business guy, and couldn't fire John if he wanted to. :) Paul Steed, their modeler, got fired in retaliation though for going along with John's mutiny.
        • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Informative)

          by Schnapple (262314) <`tomkidd' `at' `viatexas.com'> on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @12:23PM (#20668949) Homepage
          Paul Steed, their modeler, got fired in retaliation though for going along with John's mutiny.
          It's worth noting that a few years earlier Steed had shot his mouth off several times [gamespy.com] and embarrassed the company, something he never recovered from. Pulling a maneuver like this while working there on borrowed time wasn't the smartest move. Sure, it was retaliation, but it was also the straw that broke the camel's back.

          Incidentally some years later the bought out Adrian to get him out of the company - no one knew this until he sued them for it.
    • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Azarael (896715) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @10:37AM (#20667447) Homepage
      Also, everyone should keep in mind that porting of Doom 3 to Linux didn't happen until fairly late in the development process. Just because they haven't planned to port it yet, doesn't mean that they aren't going to.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by ACS Solver (1068112)
        Doom 3, though, has been OpenGL from the start. So when they decided to do a Linux port, it wasn't that complicated. If they truly decide to develop Rage in DirectX, a port would be much harder, requiring lots of rewrites... not something you just spontaneously decide to do around shipping time.
        • by Azarael (896715)
          Doom 3 was also developed in both (eventually), which would be part of why the xbox version came out much later than the PC version. That shows that they are willing to do that work, however I don't know if Rage is being developed solely in DX at this point.
        • by Svartalf (2997) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @12:05PM (#20668713) Homepage
          ...anyone makes a remark like that... I'd be filthy stinking rich.

          1) Id abstracts the hell out of everything. OpenGL isn't ON X-Box, now is it? But there's Id titles on that platform. There's a hint there- it's easier to abstract things and produces portable code. It's also very MUCH worth mentioning that DirectX is only available on ONE of the dominant consoles, and on only ONE of the dominant OS platforms. This is about making as much or more money on ENGINE SALES as the game itself. Making a DirectX only engine is limiting as hell for that prospect (No PS3. No Wii. No MacOS.).

          2) It's NOT all that difficult to make a port from DirectX to OpenGL. It's been done. I had a hand in one of them. The damn game that I had a hand in porting would have shipped about 12-14 months earlier if the other two team members hadn't boggled on us and we ended up having a few 11th hour bugs that had NOTHING to do with the porting effort from DirectX to OpenGL.

          3) Id has NEVER, to the best of my recollection, announced anything other than Windows versions of ANY of their titles or engines that are currently in development. Suppositions about whether they're ditching Linux or not is just rattling to hear one's own voice at this point.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by bigstrat2003 (1058574)
            While it's true that an Xbox-only game wouldn't be a good move, it wouldn't be a very big deal if id made any of their games Windows-only. Unlike the console market, where there are three actual contenders, in the OS market, there's one contender, and two very distant competitors.

            I like id's decisions in the past to port their games, and think it's a great way to show some love to the fans, but you seriously overplay the damage they'd do to themselves by excluding Mac OS and Linux.

            • by Svartalf (2997)
              Considering that it's not just MacOS or Linux, but...

              MacOS
              Linux
              Playstation 3
              Anything else under the sun with enough muscle that follows on.

              Just because Windows is the dominant platform, leaving 15-25% of the rest of the market on the floor
              is a bad business decision, especially if you're in the market to sell game engines. Besides, John's
              already indicated that there will be a MacOS and a PS3 version of the title anyhow- this is all a moot
              discussion because they've already MADE the design choices to allow al
            • by Taagehornet (984739) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @01:21PM (#20669825)
              Actually, unless the reported sales numbers for august [ign.com] are way off it wouldn't surprise me if id games one day chose to abandon the PC platform alltogether:

              PC games:
              [77,374] Bioshock - 2K Games
              [49,126] World Of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Expansion Pack - Vivendi

              Consoles:
              [896,592] Madden NFL 08 - Xbox 360 - Electronic Arts
              [643,617] Madden NFL 08 - Playstation 2 - Electronic Arts
              [490,910] BioShock - Xbox 360 - 2K Games
              [336,189] Madden NFL 08 - Playstation 3 - Electronic Arts
              [256,781] Play With Remote - Wii - Nintendo of America
              With even the 10th console game outselling [gamedaily.com] the two top PC games combined, I can't help but wonder how (if) the smaller PC game studios turn a profit.
              • by kikensei (518689) <joshua@nOSPaM.ingaugemedia.com> on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @04:52PM (#20672575) Homepage
                Those numbers do not include online retail purchases, Steam purchases (where Bioshock was a big seller) or things like MMO subscriptions. Online purchases, whether from a retailer such as EB Games or Gamestop, orvia digital download, ala Steam or Direct2Drive represent a huge percent of the PC gaming market and are not included in those sales stats. Those stats, while powerful in the industry, don't represent any sort of true depiction of PC sales.
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by LarsWestergren (9033)
                I don't know how many time these sales numbers have to be refuted, but since even the journalists get it wrong, I guess I won't have to stop anytime soon:

                A) These numbers do not include online sales. The Steam servers were overloaded when Bioshock was released, and Direct2Drive also had good sales.
                B) These numbers are for US only. In many European countries for instance PC sales have a much larger market share.

                With even the 10th console game outselling the two top PC games combined, I can't help but wonder
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by TheRaven64 (641858)

            It's NOT all that difficult to make a port from DirectX to OpenGL

            I'd like to clarify this point by saying that it's highly dependent on your other point:

            Id abstracts the hell out of everything

            Porting from Direct3D to OpenGL is very hard if you have DirectX code scattered all through your program, but much easier if you have all of the drawing handled through a middleware layer. This is true of all code, not just games. Cross-platform APIs are great, until you find you want to use a platform-specific feature they don't support, or port to a platform where they don't run. Then your abstraction is the thing

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Chandon Seldon (43083)

          If they truly decide to develop Rage in DirectX, a port would be much harder, requiring lots of rewrites... not something you just spontaneously decide to do around shipping time.

          The minute the PS3 supports DirectX, that'll become a possibility. Until then, any serious game engine will need both an OpenGL and a DirectX render path.

  • Not Happening (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @10:16AM (#20667133) Homepage
    I seriously doubt this. That would mean writing 2 full graphical back-ends for the engine. That would be almost double the work. There is no way they would do that. There would be no point since OpenGL is available on Windows. I have no doubt that they are using DirectInput and such (as basically every game on Windows does) but I would be amazed is they wrote a Direct3D renderer in addition to the OpenGL one.
    • Re:Not Happening (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @10:30AM (#20667335) Homepage
      Lots of games have both a direct3d and opengl renderer. wow, ut2k4 spring immediately to mind. Ultimately the two aren't that different, and it isn't that hard to code your engine using a generic wrapper so that there isn't that much work to be done to create the two render paths. Usually one of them is less optimized, and it's usually OpenGL since a lot of companies target Windows/Direct3D primarily and create the OpenGL path for the Mac port.

      However coming from id I'm taking this with a huge grain of salt. Carmack isn't the kind of guy who likes to have two separate yet redundant render paths where one is probably more optimized than the other. Software vs hardware rendering ala quake2? Sure. But since they're already committed to an opengl path for the Mac, I just can't imagine them going through with creating the Direct3D one.

      Though maybe it's a side effect of iD's business of selling engines? If customers are demanding direct3d for whatever reason, they may very well get it.
      • by IPFreely (47576)

        Though maybe it's a side effect of iD's business of selling engines? If customers are demanding direct3d for whatever reason, they may very well get it.

        Microsoft has been known to bend a few ears in the direction of their proprietary API over open API.

    • by Trespass (225077)
      If they're big projected moneymaker is licensing the engine rather than selling copies of a game, it doesn't seem completely implausible. Also, if this or the next generation of console are platforms they're aiming at then portability may have been a feature planned from the start.

      Of course, this is all just idle speculation at this point.
    • by Wylfing (144940)

      Why is this comment rated +5 Insightful? Do you not realize that to make a Mac port they have to do it in OpenGL?

    • At its heart, 3D rendering is 3D rendering, whether the actual function names are IDirect3DDevice9::ExtremelyLongName() or glShortSweet(). As long as you plan from the start for multiplatform support -- in other words, don't hard-code Direct3D vertex type constants or GL mode values into your data files -- it's not that much extra work. It's even easier (more so in the long run, admittedly) if you wrap both Direct3D and OpenGL code in a platform-agnostic layer, like I'm doing; then you can just code to that

    • I would be amazed is they wrote a Direct3D renderer in addition to the OpenGL one.

      Well, friend... prepare to be amazed!!!

      As CrusadeR [slashdot.org] wisely pointed out [slashdot.org], Carmack has stated that they already have an OpenGL and DX9 renderer [gameinformer.com] in development.

      I imagine that it wasn't their first choice to do this, however with their jump to next-gen console development I suppose it was a necessity (it's not like you can have DX9 on the PS3, or OpenGL on the 360).

  • shame... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by i.r.id10t (595143) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @10:17AM (#20667147)
    Shame... id is one of the companies I've always financially supported buy buying at least one copy (if not 2 or 3) of their games, *especially* with explicit Linux support (or from a Linux friendly retailer).

    Wonder if I should go ahead and open that unopened l33t tin edition of Q3 for Linux...
    • by fm6 (162816)
      Next time you feel the need to "support" a software publisher, just send them a check. Because buying extra copies mostly supports the retailer and wholesaler.

      But forget all that. This isn't NPR, where they can run the whole thing on the generosity of the 10% of listeners who feel compelled to pay. This is a commercial operation, that can't survive without selling enough copies of the software to make back their development and support costs. This relies on there being lots of gamers with Linux boxes, not t
  • by Night Goat (18437) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @10:25AM (#20667267) Homepage Journal
    I read the article with my high-school level German comprehension, and I don't see anywhere where Hollenshead specifically says they won't be supporting Linux. Just because it wasn't mentioned as a target platform doesn't mean it won't be on that platform. It could very well be that Hollenshead didn't mention it because their Linux versions haven't sold very well in comparison with the platforms that he did mention.
    Also, I would think that if id went through the effort of making an OpenGL version of the engine, they might as well port it to Linux, particularly if they're also going to port it to Playstation 3 and XBox 360. I don't think there's anything to be worried about here.
    • the relevant part (Score:3, Interesting)

      by leehwtsohg (618675)
      This is the relevent part: "Auf die Frage danach, ob denn Rage bzw. die zu Grunde liegende id-Tech-5-Engine neben Mac, Windows-PC, PlayStation 3 und Xbox 360 auch Linux-PCs unterstützen werden, antwortete Hollenshead, dass dazu noch nichts geplant oder angekündigt worden sei. Technisch möglich wäre es, zumal auch mit MacOS X ein Unix-System unterstützt würde. Hollenshead zufolge ist John Carmack mittlerweile nicht mehr so an Linux interessiert wie zuvor, auch wenn es noch einig
    • I'm surprised they support Linux at all. I think some of the previous ports were done as a labor of love by a few employees on their time off.
  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @10:38AM (#20667453)
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=6ffoj6oY3ug [youtube.com]

    The rendering quality looks great but seriously, when was the last time id released a game and not a tech demo? I'm looking forward to seeing the games the licensees make, those I bet will rawk.
  • by porkThreeWays (895269) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @10:38AM (#20667461)
    I hate to say it, but I don't think gaming on Linux is going to be a huge deal breaker for most people anyway. Most gamers I know are "Windows experts". They've got their Windows desktop super customized with skins and slick themes etc etc. They are probably the worst candidate for adopters of Linux. I've found Windows power users to be the most stubborn in switching. They think they understand something about computers and operating systems, but it comes down to they kinda understand how Windows works on the front end, and it's a HUGE blow to them when they have to start over. A lot of it is an ego thing. Instead of admitting they know less about computers than they thought, they pass it off as inferior. They do the same thing to Macs.

    The best candidates to convert are people who actually really do understand how computers and operating systems work, or people that want a computer that "just works". Not people that get pissed off because there's no control panel. I come across this all the time. Windows users that I feel are scared they will look stupid and put Linux and OSX down as inferior. I'll ask them, "have you ever tried it?". Most have never tried it or made an attempt to figure out how it works. The thing that will bring about the most adoption of Linux and OSX is an entire generation being raised off Windows.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @10:47AM (#20667565)
      I got into an argument with a user such as you describe. At a certain point in the discussion, he fell back onto the old rhetoric: "Well, the ubiquity of Windows is one measure of its quality."

      To which, I replied: "By that metric, McDonald's is the finest restaurant on Earth."
    • by westlake (615356) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @11:13AM (#20667973)
      Most gamers I know are "Windows experts". They've got their Windows desktop super customized with skins and slick themes etc etc. They are probably the worst candidate for adopters of Linux. They think they understand something about computers and operating systems, but it comes down to they kinda understand how Windows works on the front end, and it's a HUGE blow to them when they have to start over.

      Gamers game.

      They are not technical hobbyists as the Geek understands it. The Windows OS is simply another platform like the PS3 - The basics of Windows is all they need to know and all they want to know.

    • I wouldn't consider myself to be a "windows power user"...I mean, I can fix it if it's broken, and I know how to pummel the registry into submission, and how to prune the goddamn services to something sane and secure. I'm certainly very familiar with windows. But there is that little spark of, I don't know, "Taking it seriously" that I lack.

      All that being said, Windows is my gaming platform of choice. I always have a good gaming rig running the latest stable version of Windows. I run games on Linux occasion
    • I do not agree with this. I think Tycho of Penny Arcade said it best:

      I think that for most PC users, particularly gamers with no genuine recourse, their "choice" of platform isn't really what you'd call an act of volition. It's the default. I mean, right? It's what emerges from the tap. All we ask is that it be wet.

      Gamers don't care about Windows. They just care about getting the maximum experience from their games. If this happens to be on Windows, so be it. But there is no allegiance.

    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @01:48PM (#20670255) Journal

      You are talking about ricers, people who put neon-lighting in their PC and call it overclocking. Sorry, no.

      These are the kinda people who cut the suspension on their car and think it turns it into a racing machine and if they ever had access to a real race car would put a radio in it, to drown out the engine noise. (If you see a ferrari with a radio, it is legal to shoot the owner in Italy).

      A real gamer/overclocker cares about performance, they want their games to run as fast and smooth as possible. The simplest and easiest way to do this is to switch every unneeded bit of Windows OFF and the most unneeded thing is themes. Unless you play your game windowed (The horror) what use is a theme? Samething with wallpapers. Hell most gamers I know don't even want anything on the desktop, every icon shown costs resources.

      Same thing with a large unorganized HD. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to realize that the simpler the filetree, the less time spend by the OS looking for a file. SMALL is BETTER!

      Now think of this, how would a person obsessed with getting every last FPS out of their latest hardware configure their machine. Oh might they want to keep their windows/gaming box as clean as possible? Not install anything unneeded, not run any programs except the game?

      But where to browse and download and look at porn eh trailers? Why, we are talking about gamers, owners of lots of obsolete hardware. Hardware that could easily be put together to run a second PC?

      But what oh what to run on that second machine? Not linux you say because gamers don't know nothing about that? Where and how do you think all those linux counterstrike and other FPS servers come from?

      In fact, as you spend time overclocking and tuning your windows machine you are FAR more likely then an average windows to get totally dissatisfied with windows, and to anyone who has managed to tame the beast from redmond and actually make it run stable and fast, linux holds very few secrets. If you think compiling a kernel is hard you never had to clean out a copyprotection driver from XP.

      No, their are people like you describe, who know just enough of windows to press the right button, as long as it in request for the dialog (press any key) and fear having to learn anything new.

      But their are also plenty of gamers to whom linux holds no fear, they long since embraced it as their salvation from having to mess up their gaming machines and use it to run their game servers, host their guild sites and use it as their main desktop while gaming.

      I almost find it insulting that you say that people who mod closed source, no documentation games, can't make their way around an opensource open-documented OS. Not all gamers as the same.

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @10:49AM (#20667597) Homepage
    The question is not how many Linux users can play games on Linux, but how many Linux users will actually insist that it must be on Linux. I bet that most would-be Linux gamers are dual-booting, and until there reaches a critical mass of people who insist on not having to dual-boot, companies will have a business case for not supporting Linux.
    • by 12357bd (686909)
      Yes, that's the question, but the fact is that the trend is to increase share, and with AMD/ATI going open (that is good 3d linux drivers in months), and an scheduler properly tuned (hear this kernel poeple), linux can become a major playing platform, with superb rendiment and customization. IMO that's one of the most strategicaly needed targets for the linux world.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Didn't the demise of Loki demonstrate the weakness of the Linux gaming market?
      Loki was dedicated to porting games to Linux. But Linux gamers didn't buy Loki's games for various reasons, such as:
      1. Many Linux users refuse to pay for software, period.
      2. Many of the Linux users that are willing to pay for software are unwilling to pay for closed-source software.

      Loki, despite making decent ports of many games, had to close down because Linux users refused to pay for the games that Loki provided.
  • Problem: 1.34% market share, and the remaining 98.66% of software is represented on Windows or Macintosh.

    Current solution: make clones of existing software (Open Office, GIMPshop).

    Future solution: either using virtualization or crafty API emulation, make Linux be able to transparently run Windows games and software.

    It's a different approach, but you'd have more people using Linux, because since Windows is the de facto standard, it's the standard the software they need requires.
    • by Dr. Manhattan (29720) <sorceror171@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @11:16AM (#20668027) Homepage

      Future solution: either using virtualization or crafty API emulation, make Linux be able to transparently run Windows games and software.

      Nope, that's a trap [wikipedia.org]. OS/2 was essentially 100% Windows 3.1 compatible, and what happened? Developers thought, "Why bother writing an OS/2 native app when I can just write a Windows app and be compatible?" So OS/2 never got any apps to speak of.

      Linux needs a better, cross-platform gaming API. Fortunately, it has one [libsdl.org].

      However, if you really have your heart set on compatibility, check out WINE [winehq.org]. I'm running a few older Windows games (Alice, Freedom Force, Tomb Raider III) flawlessly with that. Many of 'em don't work, but I'm surprised how many are playable.

  • by vinn (4370)
    Wine's Direct3D has taken amazing leaps over the past year. Maybe id should contribute a little love to that project to come up with a native version similar to how Google did Picasa?
  • by CrusadeR (555) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @11:07AM (#20667863) Homepage

    Regarding id Tech 5 and Rage, id titles are usually ported to Linux relatively late in the development process when the programmer has the time, but they've always been ported. There were also these statements from Carmack at QuakeCon last month:

    http://www.gameinformer.com/News/Story/200708/N07.0803.1731.12214.htm?Page=1 [gameinformer.com]

    GI: Will this engine support any DX10 features?

    Carmack: No, not currently. We're not expecting to. We're not sure if we're going to be a Vista title or not. There will be some support benefits by being Vista only. It depends when we get the game done what the adoption has been. But it's a OpenGL title on the PC and Mac right now, obviously D3D on the 360, and the PS3 it's kind of an in between where it's Open GLES but we do a lot of direct command buffer writing there. If necessary we can move the PC version over to DX10, but there's not much strong pull for us to do that. All of the toolset is in OpenGL, I wouldn't want to convert everything over.

    http://www.linuxgames.com/news/feedback.php?identiferID=9374&action=flatview [linuxgames.com]

    Q: I wanted to say thank you for open-sourcing the Quake 3 engine, it's made a huge difference to the community. I wanted to ask your opinion about the future of Linux and open source gaming.

    A: I do take a great deal of personal pride and satisfaction with what I've been able to do with getting so much of the stuff out. Sometimes I think about it, and while I know it's not something I'm generally considered for, I may be one of the most prolific open source authors considering all the code that I've written over the last 15 years that I've made open source, or have made open source there. I do think it's very valuable. I'm very happy when I see both user gaming community stuff, or research universities, or people doing simulation tests, or bringing up things. Every new piece of hardware ends up having Doom or Quake titles used as an early form of test application. So I'm very happy to have done that. It's certainly going to continue. I mean I won't commit to a date, but the Doom 3 stuff will be open source. We still make those decisions even today when we're doing the Rage code when we have decisions about "do we want to integrate some other vendor's solution, some proprietary code into this". And the answer's usually no, because eventually id Tech 5 is going to be open source also. This is still the law of the land at id, that the policy is that we're not going to integrate stuff that's going to make it impossible for us to do an eventual open source release. We can argue the exact pros and cons from a pure business standpoint on it, and I can at least make some, perhaps somewhat, contrived cases that I think it's good for the business, but as a personal conviction it's still pretty important to me and I'm standing by that.

    The id-produced title coming out at the end of the month, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, will have a Linux dedicated server and client as well:

    http://zerowing.idsoftware.com/linux/etqw/ [idsoftware.com]

    Linux client?

    When it's done. We have beta testers, they are doing a great job, you don't need to apply. There is still some work to be done before it matches id quality standards, and we won't commit to any dates.

    In summary: Don't panic.
    • by sniggly (216454)
      Thanks crusader, well researched.

      Also, as far as I can judge his character, Carmack doesn't launch rockets into space because he thinks it's big business but because he loves space and the idea of exploring it. Equally he doesn't code open source because it makes good business sense for iD but because ethically it is the right thing to do. I think he rejects the monopolization of code (such as in closed source operating systems) for the same reasons that other coders who remember the pre-microsoft era do; c
  • You know, i would be pretty happy if all the gaming would be windows territory, because we know its the only thing its real good at.

    Whenever it comes to doing work and business, there's no question who that territory belongs to.
  • by Timbo (75953) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @12:57PM (#20669421) Homepage

    For Tremulous [tremulous.net] (incidentally, based on Quake^H^H^H^H^Hid tech 3), the OS breakdown is as follows:

    Windows: 78%
    x86 Linux: 16%
    ppc OS X: 4%
    x86 OS X: 1%
    x86_64 Linux: less than 1%
    Freebsd: much less than 1%

    This is based on approximately 370000 clients. Admittedly the figures are a bit skewed in favour of Windows and Linux as the OS X build is only available from apple.com [apple.com]. The same is true of x86_64 and Freebsd -- those are built manually by whoever is running them (I assume). There are other issues as well as it could be argued that the Linux version is potentially easier to get than the other versions since it has made its way into various packaging systems.

    Even if you take this data with a pinch of salt, I think it does reinforce that there is a demand for gaming on Linux. What it doesn't indicate (and I'm not convinced exists) is a demand to pay for gaming on Linux.

  • by thesandbender (911391) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @03:05PM (#20671311)
    I was a game developer [mobygames.com] almost 8 years ago (no where near my full C.V. but just to prove I'm not blowing smoke).

    Further... until recently I ran two Gentoo boxes and on Debian box at my house, set up more than one IT shop on Linux and Samba and was the black sheep at my last job in a Windows/.NET shop. I've been running at least one critical system on Linux since about 1998. I know and love Linux.

    With that said... there is not a chance in hell that I, as a game developer, would ever release a game for Linux (in it's current state).

    What platform are you running on?
    What distribution are you running?
    What build?
    Is 32 or 64-bit?
    What video card are you using?
    Are you using the vendors drivers or open source drivers?
    What sound driver are you using?
    What front end are you using (KDE or Gnome)?
    Have you updated to this version of libc?
    Have you enabled/disabled this option in your kernel (you can see where it goes downhill from here).

    The problem is that Linux is a victim of it's own success. You can do anything with it... and, as a consequence... expose developers and support technicians to a version of hell worse than they ever imagined.

    The support costs for Linux systems are substantial. And just not worth it. Besides the requirements are now substantially different. By a 360/PS3/Wii to fulfill your gaming needs and buy a lower powered PC rigged for power saving for your 24/7 needs.
  • A direct response (Score:5, Informative)

    by John Carmack (101025) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @03:35PM (#20671657)
    There is certainly no plans for a commercially supported linux version of Rage, but there will very likely be a linux executable made available. It isn't running at the moment, but we have had it compiled in the past. Running on additional platforms usually provides some code quality advantages, and it really only takes one interested programmer to make it happen.

    The PC version is still OpenGL, but it is possible that could change before release. The actual API code is not very large, and the vertex / fragment code can be easily translated between cg/hlsl/glsl as necessary. I am going to at least consider OpenGL 3.0 as a target, if Nvidia, ATI, and Intel all have decent support. There really won't be any performance difference between GL 2.0 / GL 3.0 / D3D, so the api decision will be based on secondary factors, of which inertia is one.

    John Carmack

You can now buy more gates with less specifications than at any other time in history. -- Kenneth Parker

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