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World of Goo Ported To Linux 223

Posted by Soulskill
from the good-for-goo dept.
christian.einfeldt writes "Lovers of both games and Free Open Source Software will be pleased to see that the popular indie puzzle game World of Goo has been released for Linux. It was designed by a small team of two ex-Electronic Arts developers, Kyle Gabler and Ron Carmel, who used their entire combined savings of $10,000.00 USD to create the gooey game aimed at guiding goo balls to salvation. The developers built their gooey world with open-source technologies such as Simple DirectMedia Layer, Open Dynamics Engine for physics simulation, and TinyXML for configuration and animation files. Subversion and Mantis Bug Tracker were used for work coordination. Blogger Ken Starks points out that the release of this popular game for Linux could be a big step toward ending the chicken-and-egg problem of a dearth of good games that run natively under Linux."
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World of Goo Ported To Linux

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  • by fortunato (106228) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @02:35AM (#26853795)

    I'm curious what they spent the $10K on. That seems too small for living expenses (unless perhaps you are single and living on ramen noodles), and it seems too much if they used open source software for the most part. Of course, $10K buys a lot of coffee. I might budget $10K for coffee...

  • DRM-Less (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bonker (243350) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @02:54AM (#26853885)

    World of Goo is DRMless. There are no copy protections upon it.

    It's also very worth the $20. There's a level editor and fan-made levels starting to spring up as well, so even after you've exhausted the LENGTHY puzzle challenge, you can play other challenges to your heart's content.

    Go purchase this game.

    • by RichiH (749257)

      I love the game, but it's not lengthy. Neither is Crayon Physics. You can beat both in a few hours, but that's not the point. They are fun, simple as that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by lordofthechia (598872)

      Should also note that they have free demo .rpm and .deb so it's easy to give the game a try and see if it's worth your $20 (which as Parent pointed out, it really is).

      http://worldofgoo.com/dl2.php?lk=demo [worldofgoo.com]

    • by Mascot (120795)

      I would have bought it if it had properly supported current resolutions. I kept tabs on it a few months but eventually gave up waiting for it to happen.

      Any game that won't run on my desktop resolution, I steer clear of. It messes up my desktop icons and widgets and resorting those afterwards every time is too annoying to be worth it.

      I have to wonder how two apparently experienced game developers could overlook such an apparently small issue. Is it really very tricky to do?

      • by Barny (103770)

        Its because you don't need to run it at uber rez to see how well crafted the game is, its perfect and very worth the price (cheaper than a 2h trip to the movies, and more fun).

        • by Mascot (120795)

          I see you completely ignored what I wrote. It doesn't _matter_ how great the game is, if running it leads to me having to reorganize my desktop afterwards each time.

          No game ever released is worth that hassle to me.

          • by ghmh (73679)
            I suspect this is a limitation imposed just as much by the desktop as it is by the game?
            • It is a byproduct of how they handle the resolution switch. Windows supports a temporary switch which will not destroy all window & icon positions. Likely SDL does not support this method. Even still, it is not hard to support every resolution, I myself have done it and it only took an hour or so to handle.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by boteeka (970303)
          It is not about the "uber rez", it is about a game should run on the native resolutions of LCD displays currently available on almost any laptops and LCD monitors. If you are running _anything_ on other than the native resolution on an LCD display it looks pretty awful. So, GP has a good point here.
      • Re:DRM-Less (Score:4, Informative)

        by X0563511 (793323) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @07:00AM (#26854775) Homepage Journal

        Edit the preferences file. There is a disclaimer in it that states playing with the resolution might cause your computer to explode.

        I haven't seen it happen yet.

        Meanwhile, I enjoy my World of Goo in glorious 1680x1050.

        • by Mascot (120795)

          Yes, I read about this workaround in the forums. At that time it cut off parts of the visible area making the part you need to click to finish a level unavailable.

          Apparently they hacked together a fix so "not as much" is cut off making it possible to finish the levels. Last I read there were still issues though.

          I assumed they would make a proper fix, so I decided to wait for that rather than take the chance at the time. Apparently they have decided not to do so, and unless they've updated the demo to the ne

        • by grumbel (592662)

          That will change the resolution, however the graphics seems to be build for 800x600, which means everything is going to look quite pixelated at 1680x1050, which especially with the vector-graphics look is a little annoying.

          Other then that however, very well done game.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Ed Avis (5917)

        Apparently you can change the resolution: Program Files -> World of Goo -> properties -> config.txt.

        (IMHO it is Windows's behaviour of rearranging the whole desktop just because you played a game fullscreen which is retarded.)

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Animaether (411575)

          That is indeed incredibly stupid - although I've not encountered it after playing a game normally, if a fullscreen game *crashes* I am indeed SOL. ..well, partly.

          Grab this:
          http://www.snapfiles.com/get/iconrestore.html [snapfiles.com]

          It allows you to easily store and restore the layout of your desktop icons - perfect for these situations.

          • by Mascot (120795)

            Unfortunately that would not solve my widgets issue. Also, I run another application (Fences) that interferes with other icon positioning apps. I've sent them a bug report on that, hopefully they'll get it fixed.

        • by Mascot (120795)

          Indeed. It's idiotic of Windows to not simply remember icon positions per resolution.

          In my case it's further complicated by running a dual screen setup. All sorts of fun stuff happens to my secondary screen when the primary one lowers its resolution.

        • From another place I commented since lots of people are making this mistake:

          It is a byproduct of how they handle the resolution switch. Windows supports a temporary switch which will not destroy all window & icon positions. Likely SDL does not support this method. Even still, it is not hard to support every resolution, I myself have done it and it only took an hour or so to handle.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Kjella (173770)

        Hmm, just played the demo now on my KDE3.5 desktop and it didn't mess up my icons - everything was where I expected it to be. I have experienced exactly what you're describing with certain WINE games though, particularly those that crash midgame have a tendency to screw up everything. Like you, I much prefer games that can run at my native resolution though, even if they just upscale the graphics.

      • by Dunkirk (238653) *

        Sounds to me like you're running the Windows version at it's default resolution of 800x600. You can change that to whatever you like in the properties/config.txt file, just like in the Linux version. I don't know if the game supports crazy shorted widescreen modes or whatever, but I suspect there's something there for you.

        • by Mascot (120795)

          Yeah, I forgot to mention I was talking about the Windows version.

          I read about manually changing resolutions by modifying the config file. However, to begin with, setting that to a widescreen mode led to situations where the area you needed to click to continue to next level was off-screen.

          They apparently hacked together a fix for that, but from what I've read it's still cuts off parts of the screen, just not enough to render the game unplayable.

    • Re:DRM-Less (Score:4, Informative)

      by Sibko (1036168) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @07:00AM (#26854777)
      As someone who's played it... No. No, it is not worth the $20 they charge for the game.

      Look, it's common courtesy to say such and such is great or fantastic so you don't hurt feelings, but I'm being honest here. This is a glorified flash game with all of about 15 minutes of actual gameplay that is simply repeated over and over.

      It's alright, it's what you might expect from a flash game on Newgrounds or wherever. But it most certainly is not worth $20. Just want to put that out there so people don't buy this expecting something different. [I'd recommend playing the demo first, so you know what you're getting into.]
      • Although I completely concur on the 'play the demo first' part, I do wonder what you mean by "it is not worth the $20".

        Yes, there's Flash games online that you can play for 'free'; they have ads around them (yes, you can block those ads, but as long as hundreds of thousands don't, I'm sure they don't mind all that much)

        So would rather they put advertising in/around the game and make it available for $0? (knowing that some will then just strip out the advertising, of course.)

        Or are you simply saying "It's no

    • And if you don't want to risk the $20 (well worth it) download the demo. It's the entire first 1/4 of the game.

      I've purchased several copies as gifts so far - they give you a customizable download page when you purchase a copy. You can write your own message, and afaict, the full-copy download link is good for quite some time. Downloading my linux copy off the link I was mailed when I purchased my copy back in December.

      And they're still small enough that you'll get an email back if you write to them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SashaM (520334)
      While by no means a short game, I'd hardly call World of Goo lengthy. I recall spending months on Lemmings, an oldie in the same genre, with sometimes weeks on certain difficult levels. World of Goo took me a whole of a few days to finish. I'm looking forward to harder fan-made levels.
  • Just bought it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Psychotria (953670) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @03:07AM (#26853923)

    I am not particularly interested in the game (I prefer FPS) but it looks like a bit of fun. Even if I do not play it all that much (or at all!), I am happy to give the developers $20 for their effort. In fact, I am pondering buying it TWICE. Games for linux should, in my opinion, be supported. Well done.

  • I specifically held off buying the game until the Linux version was available.

    I did the same with Doom3
    • I've been watching Greenhouse with this in mind, actually. Indie games, some of which look really good and interesting. World of Goo has had a "coming soon" button there for forever.

      Well, Greenhouse doesn't have it yet, and this version has no DRM at all, and even a native deb. Awesome! Impulse buy!

      I'd be curious to know what the statistics are, there...

    • by RichiH (749257)

      Way too passive unless you did _tell_ them about that fact in advance. I emailed them about it and made them promise. _Then_, I pre-ordered (they needed money back then, they have enough, now).

      • Perhaps it was in this case, but for Doom3 I emailed the guy who did most of the work on porting to linux and thanked him. I mentioned that it was the reason I bought the game.

        He replied and said it was a pleasure :)
  • Interesting. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Daemonax (1204296)
    Interesting that they used a lot of software that is available to anyone. Perhaps there is some hope for young bedroom/basement hackers.
  • I have Linux, which, according to TFA, is supported.

    $ ./WorldOfGoo.bin
    -bash: ./WorldOfGoo.bin: cannot execute binary file
    $ file WorldOfGoo.bin
    WorldOfGoo.bin: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, Intel 80386, version 1 (SYSV), for GNU/Linux 2.6.8, dynamically linked (uses shared libs), stripped

    I have a PowerPC processor, and I have Linux, and yet it does not work. They should advertise that it's only available for x86 users.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by FunWithKnives (775464)
      Being a PPC Linux user, you should understand that unless a piece of software specifically offers a PPC download alongside the 'regular' (x86) one, well, it most likely ain't available for PPC. For some reason you seem not to.
      • He probably understands perfectly well, and is just expressing his annoyance at that situation.

        Besides which, many open source projects are only offered for download as source tarballs, which tend to compile just as well for ppc as for x86. So, if this is his first encounter with a (proprietary) game, that's a reasonable mistake.

        • He probably understands perfectly well, and is just expressing his annoyance at that situation.

          Indeed I do, and am.

          I wonder if it's possible for proprietary games to have architecture-neutral byte-code blobs, and have an open source "shim" that can be compiled on multiple architectures, which will "compile" the blob into architecture-specific code on-the-fly.

          Isn't this something like what Java does with .class files?

          • by tepples (727027)

            I wonder if it's possible for proprietary games to have architecture-neutral byte-code blobs

            Yes. It's called XNA. But as of right now, the runtime is compiled only for Windows and Xbox 360, and the Xbox 360 version is licensed on a subscription model.

    • by ultranova (717540)

      I have a PowerPC processor, and I have Linux, and yet it does not work. They should advertise that it's only available for x86 users.

      Yes. However, unless this thing uses assembly, which seems unlikely, it's probably just a matter of recompiling it on a PPC machine, or cross-compiling for it. Maybe you should ask the authors to do so?

      Of course, the really smart thing to do would be to just offer a source tarball, and let users of exotic machines compile it for themselves. Since there's no DRM and apparently

    • by Dunkirk (238653) *

      Just for the record, it works great on my Gentoo amd64 system! (Including NOT having a problem with compiz-fusion, like they suggest in the readme it might.)

  • When it comes to games, I just don't care that much if they're not FOSS. I only care if it's supported under Linux--and not through Wine.

    I consider games far more to be artwork than just software.

    That said, I am a big fan of the id/John Carmack style of releasing source code after a game is no longer commercially viable, and I do wish more companies would do the same.

    • When it comes to games, I just don't care that much if they're not FOSS.

      Yeah, but I do mind if a game is advertised on ./ with a phrase like "Lovers of both games and Free Open Source Software will be pleased..." when the game itself is not FOSS.

      It would be news if some noteworthy game was released as FOSS, but it's definitely not news these days anymore if free software has been used in the development of a game, and a low budget indie game at that.

      • by Rhone (220519)

        Yeah, but I do mind if a game is advertised on ./ with a phrase like "Lovers of both games and Free Open Source Software will be pleased..." when the game itself is not FOSS.

        There's certainly potential for misunderstanding, but the phrase is perfectly sensible considering it's referring to a game being released for a FOSS OS.

        It would be news if some noteworthy game was released as FOSS, but it's definitely not news these days anymore if free software has been used in the development of a game, and a low budget indie game at that.

        Yeah, it's not news for FOSS to be used in the development of a game, but I'd say it's news (on a site like Slashdot, at least) for a game that gets reviews as good as WoG's to be released natively for Linux.

  • by Ed Avis (5917) <ed@membled.com> on Saturday February 14, 2009 @06:00AM (#26854571) Homepage

    It's worth noting that the Windows x86 binary runs fine under Wine [winehq.org], and that's how I first played the game before buying it and running it on a Mac. A native Linux release is great news though.

  • by RichiH (749257) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @06:09AM (#26854607) Homepage

    I for one am glad I emailed them, making them promise to support Linux at _some_ point and then pre-ordering early in the game to make sure they had enough food to get this thing out the door. The last piece of software before WoG which I paid for was Vim. SuSE 8.1 before that. So yah.. ;)

    • by Barny (103770)

      Trying to help them along too, pre-installed their windows demo version on over 100 customers PCs so far, lets push the indie devs to make more great games that are worth paying for :)

      Oh, for the record, I build pre-install environments for windows, I am not hacking or anything stupid to do this.

  • by RichiH (749257) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @06:17AM (#26854631) Homepage

    They promised everyone who pre-ordered a profanity pack to replace the standard sounds with. But as they systematically kept all their promises up to now, I am not exactly worried ;)

  • One less pirate (Score:4, Interesting)

    by meist3r (1061628) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @07:24AM (#26854853)
    Well, I gotta admit. I belonged to that 90% pirate numbers for the game which I got in a Windoze version and played under WINE as a means of "extended demo". Never really played beyond the third level though because I felt that if I really spend that much time on a game it should run natively. Now that there is a Linux client I'll gladly pay for it even though I'll probably never finish it. Just BECAUSE there is a Linux client made me want to pay for this.
    • by LingNoi (1066278)

      That's pretty sad, I run Linux but I pay and play for games because they're fun. Not because the author happened to compile a native binary for my OS.

      I really don't understand this kind of behaviour and as a game programmer myself, I'd rather you look at the games themselves rather then the PR around it.

      • by meist3r (1061628)

        That's pretty sad, I run Linux but I pay and play for games because they're fun. Not because the author happened to compile a native binary for my OS.

        I really don't understand this kind of behaviour and as a game programmer myself, I'd rather you look at the games themselves rather then the PR around it.

        Problem is, most games are practically worthless to me if they don't run natively. WINE isn't really any good to play the stuff I want to play and I already have to swap hard drives to play certain games. I can live without that and most games aren't worth spending the money AND the effort of dual booting or swapping drives. If I buy a game to a half hour I won't do it if I have to through a 15 minute routine of shutting down all my running stuff, swapping the drive, booting it up, updating all the drivers

  • by goodmanj (234846) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @04:36PM (#26858233)

    "a big step toward ending the chicken-and-egg problem of a dearth of good games that run natively under Linux."

    So was the Quake port in the late '90s. So was Loki Software around 2000. So was Uplink in the mid-2000s. So was EVE a couple years ago.

    People have been predicting the imminent end of crappy Linux gaming for ten years now; every new game is heralded as the savior of Linux gaming, and a year later we're pretty much back where we started.

    This changes nothing.

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