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Classic Games (Games) Games Linux

GOG.com Announces Linux Support 81

Posted by Soulskill
from the year-of-linux-on-the-gamebox dept.
For years, Good Old Games has made a business out of selling classic PC game titles completely free of DRM. Today they announced that their platform now supports Linux. They said, We've put much time and effort into this project and now we've found ourselves with over 50 titles, classic and new, prepared for distribution, site infrastructure ready, support team trained and standing by ... We're still aiming to have at least 100 Linux games in the coming months, but we've decided not to delay the launch just for the sake of having a nice-looking number to show off to the press. ... Note that we've got many classic titles coming officially to Linux for the very first time, thanks to the custom builds prepared by our dedicated team of penguin tamers. ... For both native Linux versions, as well as special builds prepared by our team, GOG.com will provide distro-independent tar.gz archives and support convenient DEB installers for the two most popular Linux distributions: Ubuntu and Mint, in their current and future LTS editions.
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GOG.com Announces Linux Support

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  • That would be a much bigger install base, including users in developing countries that missed these games first time around and could use inexpensive ones from GOG. Most games could be controlled with a single row of soft keys at the bottom of the screen.

    • by kamapuaa (555446)

      Playing these games with no mouse and a virtual keyboard half an inch tall doesn't sound like very much fun. Even if it's technically possible.

      • Mouse
        A virtual trackpad at the corner of a touch screen replicates a laptop trackpad just fine. I know of at least one Android device (Archos 43 Internet Tablet) that uses the trackpad abstraction when docked to an external display. And if that's not good enough, Android supports USB mice through an OTG cable.
        Keyboard
        I agree that some games are best with a keyboard because a flat sheet of glass provides no tactile feedback to line up the thumb over on-screen controls. But that's why Android supports USB ke
        • by Darinbob (1142669)

          These aren't baby games that can be run from a trackpad. Ok, some might be. But a lot of these were very serious games for their day that require fine mouse control and fast typing of keys. Sure you could probably do a point-and-click ScummVM game this way but I wouldn't want to attempt some of the GOG games I have this way (Thief, Gothic 2, BG2).

          Basically most of these games being offered are offered as-is, except with Wine wrapper on top. That means that they can't modify the UI.

  • There are a few GoG games that have known Linux ports already, like Unreal Tournament 2004. Personally, I hope we see a modernized Alpha Centauri Linux port on GoG soon. The Icclus one doesn't seem to fare to well on modern systems.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Personally, I hope we see a modernized Alpha Centauri Linux port on GoG soon. The Icclus one doesn't seem to fare to well on modern systems.

      Fully-patched AlphaC ain't exactly stable on Windows, either. It seems to crash more when some kinds of automation are used than others, which makes me suspect code that's probably similar (if not identical) between platforms.

      • They probably have regression test cases to make sure bugs in the source are preserved. Wouldn't want to spoil the original experience...
      • by jedidiah (1196)

        One of the things about Civ V that quickly stuck me was how much less crash prone the Linux version is when compared to the Windows version. I had co-op players constantly going offline because their version was crashing all the time.

        • by fatp (1171151)
          Tried the tutorial in Civ 5 Linux version... Linux crashed (and rebooted) just when I saw (but before getting contact with) the first NPC
      • by Jaysyn (203771)

        I should have been more clear. I don't remember all of the particulars, but I couldn't even get the port of Alpha Centauri running on Kubuntu 12.04.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's a great move, but we're not done yet. ID Software released (at one time) the source to older titles. Why can't GOG do/push for that too? Or are they?

    The market here isn't about cost. It's about ease of use and simplicity. The code being available doesn't really change that. Somebody still has to package it up and that is exactly what they do. So why not get other companies to release the source and make the games all that much more valuable?

    I'm not about to compromise my machine my running proprietary

    • ID Software released (at one time) the source to older titles. Why can't GOG do/push for that too?

      Even many companies that distribute their old games' programs as free software keep a tight leash on the "assets" (parts of the game other than the program). Case in point: Id Software cease-and-desisted Mozilla [slashdot.org] for making an Emscripten-powered JavaScript port of Doom available to the public. One reason that a publisher might decline to distribute an old program as free software is that doing so might encourage unlawful copying of the assets into games that compete with the publisher's own products.

      Another reason is that third-party libraries often aren't free software. For example, the big three console makers are known for banning copylefted software on their platforms [slashdot.org]. The original source release of Doom was silent because Id Software had licensed a non-free audio library from a third party. (Source ports ended up replacing it with a shim around Allegro or SDL.) Id had to rewrite the Doom 3 engine to eliminate a patented "depth fail" shadow volume processing technique invented by William Bilodeau and Michael Songy of Creative Labs before its source could be released.

      I'm not about to compromise my machine my running proprietary software on it.

      Then how does it connect to the Internet? All cellular radios and many WLAN radios contain a microcontroller running non-free software. And how does it boot? Most commodity PCs ship with a proprietary implementation of EFI and not coreboot.

      • by GNious (953874)

        An interesting setup could be selling the original version (and assets) under license, while including an "updated binary" option, compiled to work on more recent OSes, and possibly with some minor improvements.

      • by Dekonega (1606763)

        Id had to rewrite the Doom 3 engine to eliminate a patented "depth fail" shadow volume processing technique invented by William Bilodeau and Michael Songy of Creative Labs before its source could be released.

        Those guys invented nothing. They were allowed to patent mathematics. Carmack's Reverse was independently discovered by John Carmack. He didn't know that the principles of his algorithm, the idea, had been patented. Besides he had an actual implementation of the thing. The version of z-fail in Creative's overly broadly worded patent isn't even a thing. Creative then used this as a leverage to blackmail id Software to include their EAX stuff into the game. This is a yet another good example why software pate

    • by Desler (1608317)

      It's a great move, but we're not done yet. ID Software released (at one time) the source to older titles. Why can't GOG do/push for that too? Or are they?

      And what leverage do you think they hold over the game companies to make such a demand?

    • I'm not about to compromise my machine my running proprietary software on it. I don't care if it's Adobe Flash or GOG's titles.

      That's a sperglord statement if I've ever seen one.

    • I'm not about to compromise my machine my running proprietary software on it. I don't care if it's Adobe Flash or GOG's titles.

      It is usually not dangerous to run proprietary software on your computer. It's not that every proprietary developer is automatically some kind of monster who wants to screw with your computer and steal all your data. Just pick your software with good taste and you will be completely fine.

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      GoG only offers games that they get legally. They can't offer source unless the current IP holder gives them the source. All GoG is doing is taking an existing game off of CD or DVD, patch it up to be current sometimes, and and then packaging it up with a newer installer that includes Wine or sometimes dosbox or other support layer. And then sell it DRM free which is way ahead of how Steam is doing things.

  • You have to click each game to figure out if it has Linux support. It would be nice to let me filter (or make it obvious how to do so) or to just stick some icons by the boxes so I can see which platforms are supported in the list.

    • by Coreigh (185150)

      http://www.gog.com/games#%23sy... [gog.com]

      There is a menu bar right next to the search box labeled "Filter"

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Sorry, should have made it clear I was talking about my existing library.

        Naturally, they made it easy to find games to buy

        I want to find the games I already "own"

        • by zukakog (909670)
          I wish they'd make those same filters available in our downloads section. As is, I just go to "Browse All Games", filter for Linux, and CTRL+F for Owned. As a side note, http://www.enhancedsteam.com/ [enhancedsteam.com] has a plugin that adds a "Library" button to the Steam website, which allows you to sort your library by genre and category. For me, it only works in Chrome. Now if Steam would add this to the client library, I'd be happy.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Looks like the folks choosing their screenshots have a sense of humor:

    http://static01.gog.com/upload/images/2012/05/763f1b89e9284f1c0901405f47fb0cd987c96c99.jpg

  • One of the reasons these would be awesome on Linux:
    * PXE boot game environments

    There are a surprising number of people who enjoy playing nostalgia games. I have a PXE server which - through some custom scripts - loads the appropriate fglrx/nvidia driver and the loads a custom GUI with various games. There are some native linux games but most are loaded through wine and do a lot of trickery involving COW filesystems and a remote DB to get a unique (legit) serial key loaded on individual machines for net-play

  • There has been an active Linux community for these games for quite some time. Many can run on DOSBox or WINE with alittle tweaking.

    As well, a lot of theses games have hi-def visuals available as a substitute and other enhancements.

    If GOG can package all tghis together as an easily insrtallable package (insted of requiring a HOWTO), it will be great.

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