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Games Entertainment

Linux.com Chats with BioWare Regarding "Neverwinter Nights" 90

I lurked in the recent Linux.com Live! IRC chat with the folks from BioWare (creators of the Baldur's Gate series) regarding their development of Neverwinter Nights. The game looks awesome, and will have a Linux client. Rock. Good discussion, and the perspective of commericial companies on porting is always good.
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Linux.com Chats with BioWare Regarding "Neverwinter Nights"

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  • by Bad_CRC ( 137146 ) on Friday February 23, 2001 @10:40AM (#407389)
    Is at a critical stage. Please buy as many games for linux as you can or they won't keep making them.

    Tribes 2 will be coming out shortly for Linux, and if we don't support it, other companies will hesitate on making that investment.

    linux tribes [tribalwar.com]


  • Actually, I thought this game was being ported to Be.

  • Till you can create a video file using the codecs that ship with BeOS, which plays back under Windows and MacOS, BeOS can't possibly qualify as the best platform for A/V.

    Be has been about to get excellent OpenGL support since they first released R5. How long has it been? It does not support D3D at the moment. A third party product will support D3D once OpenGL support is in place.

    Frankly, if I were a game developer, I might keep BeOS in the back of my mind in the coming months, but it wouldn't be worth my time now.

  • by Wariac ( 56029 ) on Friday February 23, 2001 @10:43AM (#407392)
    Just as I kick one habit (Diablo2, baulders Gate) here they go getting me all stoked for a new game!
    Will D&D forever curse me? In the 70's it got my ass kicked, in the 80's prevented me from getting a girlfriend and in the 90's has caused me to stare at computer screens for endless hours!
  • Unfortunately it just doesn't work from a financial point of view to port games to an OS with a limited user base.

    I've been pining for a port of Battlezone to the Mac for years now, and it will never happen. The Mac has a vast marketshare compared to Be, and the number of games available for the Mac is pathetic if you're a hard-core gamer.

    Thankfully, I'm not a hard-core gamer, so I enjoy Close Combat, Myth, Oni, and a couple of other games on my Mac and am happy.

    It's one of those horrible chicken and egg things, and I do feel sorry for Be users. Maybe the best thing for games on Be would be a serious shareware developer to come out with a game or two that would exploit the power of the BeOS.

    Of course, finding a developer, even of shareware, to do this is the hard part.

  • by StarTux ( 230379 ) on Friday February 23, 2001 @10:47AM (#407394) Journal
    What is a defination of a port? The non-MS versions will be coming out at the same time, not exactly like they area releasing them six months after the release of the MS version (that is what I define as a port).

    Indeed they mentioned the fact that the Linux version is the one they started on first.

    And hey, what about Creatures? Really gave a good insight into the fact that developers would like to make software for other platforms, but they need to convince the publishers that its worthwhile.

    So, please if you are interested in splicing genes on artifical life, go to www.learningcompany.com and mail them asking for a Linux version. Get enough and they will publish. Its already pretty much made...
  • by Necromncr ( 35589 ) on Friday February 23, 2001 @10:47AM (#407395) Homepage
    Planescape: Torment was not a product of BioWare, it just used the Infinity Engine that was originally used in Baldur's Gate. Planescape:Torment was from Black Isle Software, the same people who brought you Fallout and Fallout 2.
  • by jmu1 ( 183541 ) <<ude.uosag> <ta> <namllumj>> on Friday February 23, 2001 @10:47AM (#407396) Journal
    I don't know about you guys, but I remember back in the day(joke) that the only reason I upgraded my 386 was so I could stop playing Wolfenstien and move on up to the world of Doom. After that, I moved up to a 486 so I could play DoomII and so I could play Falcon 2.0. It seems pretty obvious to me that the most important thing for those out there who want GNU/Linux to be a true contender for the desktop to do is to pour loads of resources into getting the top games onto the platform. Not just that, but to have competitive prices and simultaneous release dates. Get them out to Best Buy, Wal-Mart etc. Not just distributing the titles via stores that quite frankly, aren't all that widespread. If you want to appease the masses, you have to get to them. No one is going to come. You have to go. I look forward to playing this on my GNU/Linux box, and on my roomate's Windows box. Fact is, although we may not like what is out there, we have to live with the fact that it is not going to go away easily. We also need to stop biting our nails whenever some exec spouts off. We need to start coding and stop whining. Those who can't code, run PR for us, beta test for us, write documentation for us! Have fun etc... Remember, you can change the world by yourself, but you can't make it livable alone.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    11:43.55 NWN is going to Windows, Linux, Beos and Mac

    Of course I suppose you can't compete for first post if you actually read the links that were posted with the article.
  • I'm interested to know how they managed a Linux port so quickly. With DirectX being the 3D standard on Windows and OpenGL on Linux, have they got some cool abstraction layer on top of both ?

    Is it open source ?

  • They aren't doing a port, they used that word because it's more (l)user friendly... It appears they're using a common codebase with all OS-specific stuff in separate libraries, so they just compile with a directive or whatever...

    Doing it this way, they don't really need to even convince the publishers. If they give the publishers a finished Win32 version and say "oh, by the way, here's a Linux version as well" they'd be stupid not to take it. Sure, they'd probably have a smaller initial distribution, but when they see it selling they'll print (don't know the real word, burn seems wrong) a load more...

  • Bioware did not write Planescape: Torment, though it uses the Infinity Engine developed by Bioware. Torment (which is a ROCKING game) was created by Black Isle Studios, the division of Interplay which publishes Bioware's games.

    Raymond Prach, Bioware QA

  • Thats the biggest load of BS I have ever heard! I really hope you were joking and I made myself look like a fool.

    Linus went out of his way to say that the desktop is King, lose the desktop and you lose the server too. I know a lot of gamers who would drop Windows in an instant if they could get games on Linux (they do not like BSOD's either you know...).

    Go over to FreeBSD or something...

    Do not speek for Linus, he made Linux to be fun :-) and to learn about Operating Systems. Those were his own words.
  • I would love to buy more Linux games but Loki has stopped shipping new games and has yet to ship SMAC and Mindrover...

  • by Christopher Bibbs ( 14 ) on Friday February 23, 2001 @10:54AM (#407403) Homepage Journal
    I wish I could get excited over a new game on Linux, but that's why I have an N64. For the rare PC game that is worthwhile, I have a Windows box.

    Do many people actually use a Linux box as their sole gaming platform? Am I a freak for using my Linux boxes as servers and development platforms?
  • Don't mean to start a flame war here, but IMHO it's a lot harder to write stuff, especially games, for MacOS than either Win32 or any of the various Linux display models. The worst thing is the memory management (I know this is changing in MacOS X, but for now...). Having to effectively specify how much memory your app will use at design-time is bad, and very few users know how to allocate extra memory to a program if they actually have it.

    It's coding ease as much as anything which gets releases -- there's still a fair number of Amiga releases, yet it has a (comparitively) small user base.

    Just my experience in programming anyway. Please don't flame me about [whatever OS] being better or anything...

  • The most important part of multi-platform development, as this showed, was it catches programming errors. The errors that show up on ports are the same errors that show up on weird drivers, etc.

    Yes, Linux gaming is good. Mac gaming is good. Anything that fights MS monopoly power is good.

    Whether you like Windows or not, MS Monopoly power SUCKS.
  • Will this game come with support for Linux/Mac/Be/Windows in one package? Thats the only way companys should go, otherwise they'll probally get low sales for anything but Windows. Now if only Blizzard would support linux.
  • After the horrible bomb that was D&D The Movie, I'm glad that at least the games have some redeeming value. I wish more people would get into D&D and not make fun of it so much. I've been playing for years and we all have girlfriends. Are we breaking the mold?

  • Since NT3.51 and Win95OSR2, Windows has had OpenGL support with every OS. It wouldn't surprise me in the least that they were simply using OpenGL. Quake3 was written for OpenGL. Just because DirectX is on Windows doesn't mean they used it.

  • Wrong... BeOS 4.5 has OpenGL support for Voodoo2 and Voodoo3 cards (and it is not the fastest). BeOS 5.* has no OpenGL support at the moment. How about actually doing some research before spouting off blatantly incorrect statements.

  • Because I would rather not have to deal with Windows just to play a game. That and since I seem to be a very typical GNU/Linux geek the games that come out tend to be the ones I want to play. A box is whatever you use it for. Here at work they are servers and the one on my desktop (finally got permission to do it) is used to do my job. At home one of the thing I do with my desktop machine is game and I would rather not own a m$ product thank you.
  • Do many people actually use a Linux box as their sole gaming platform?

    I do, and I'm fairly certain others do. I use Linux to play SOF, Q3A, UT, and a handful of other games. I only keep windows on my machine because my bf can't stand linux.

    Am I a freak for using my Linux boxes as servers and development platforms?Not at all.

  • you mean falcon 3.0. falcon 2.0 was Falcon AT.
  • by tuffy ( 10202 ) on Friday February 23, 2001 @11:06AM (#407413) Homepage Journal
    ...the right tool for the right job. My Linux box is for work with the occasional xmame session on the side. But when I want to enjoy a bit more in the way of gaming, I fire up the old Dreamcast and indulge. Consoles are cheaper than good 3D accelerator cards, trivial to set up and require no real maintanence (okay, those last two are a lot like Linux too, but you get the idea).

    I wouldn't edit text with the Gimp, and I don't use a machine whose primary imput devices are mice and keyboards as my main gaming platform. Again, it's all about the right tool for the right job...

  • I use mine for everything. I had to make a conciencious (ack, spelling) decision to just get Linux games. I have never really liked condsole games anyway, personal preference.

    Was not really that hard as I hate dual booting and there are only a few games out there, plus with work and other parts of life needing taking care of time is limited.

    I will never buy anything for Windows ever again, no need to anymore. My dual boot Hard drive has lready lost a large part of its windows section, and its due for another chop real soon.
  • Uh, actulay BioWare made the games, Black Isle is just the division of Interplay that published torment, and both BG games.
  • by goingware ( 85213 ) on Friday February 23, 2001 @11:14AM (#407416) Homepage
    If a company wants to develop software that will run on both Windows and Linux (and Mac OS and BeOS too), one application framework they can use is the ZooLib [sourceforge.net] cross-platform application framework.

    There's still some work it needs for complete Linux support as you can read here [sourceforge.net] but it's a lot less than developing your own framework.

    ZooLib requires very little in the way of system graphics support so it wouldn't be too hard to port it to the framebuffer if you prefer doing that to running your game under X.

    Because ZooLib uses the MIT License [sourceforge.net] (also known as the X11 License) it is appropriate for use in both proprietary and Free Software [gnu.org] programs.

    If ZooLib doesn't suit your needs, have a look at the GUI Toolkit, Framework page [geocities.com].

    Mike [goingware.com]

  • by bughunter ( 10093 ) <bughunter@@@earthlink...net> on Friday February 23, 2001 @11:17AM (#407417) Journal
    This may not be apparent from the PR and buzz that you've been exposed to, but a lot of us [rpgconsortium.com] are planning on creating Persistent Worlds [google.com] using NWN. Of course, NWN servers won't support the huge populations that, ahem, grace such institutions as EverQuest and Asheron's Call. But then, we see that as an advantage: smaller populations make it easier to weed out the munchkins, twinks and d00ds, and thus "make the world safe for real roleplayers."

    And at this point, I'd like to plug the project I enjoy being a member of, Neverwinter Nights Online [nwnonline.net]. NWNO is devoted to reproducing the Forgotten Realms' forest nation of Cormyr on a dedicated 24/7/365 NWN server with a T1 link. A lot of other projects [alandfaraway.net] plan to use a network of volunteers with DSL and cable to run world "modules" that will be linked via "portals." While we at NWNO applaud and cooperate with all persistent world efforts, the senior DM (and server owner) decided that this approach is subject to too many avenues for abuse, inconsistency, and preferred more control over the platform... and the environment. We hope to retake the definition of Roleplaying from EQ, AC and the other munchkinlands, and restore its original meaning.

  • sigh... i just regained my life after finally completing Torment ... i gave the CD's away so i wouldnt be tempted to replay it as an evil bastard...

    diablo2 isnt grabbing me the same way... something about mindlessly bashing on the mouse buttons that doesnt do it for me...


  • The game looks awesome, and will have a Linux client. Rock.
    The Win32 client, Paper, is obviously superior to Rock in head-to-head comparisons. I believe the BeOS client is to be called Scissors.
  • ...by my wife.

    At least we both are addicted to Diablo II, and we've sworn not to even touch Everquest. The danger lies in that I have a budget set aside for Linux games (yeah, yeah, I know, fiancial planning and all that crap), and I've been waiting on Tribes, and now this - man, I'm doomed!

  • why don't they mention when it will be released? It would have a lot to do with how much attention I pay to this right now. I don't wanna be waiting for a game for ages. Just tell me when :)

    "just connect this to..."

  • Because not all games can run that great on a console, especially not what NWN is going to be demanding.

    Consoles are great for many games, but not all...
  • No, the original poster is correct. Bioware, the developer of Neverwinter Nights, made the original Infinity Engine and developed Baldur's Gate, Tales of the Sword Coast (the BG expansion), and Baldur's Gate II. All of those games were distributed through Interplay; I think that Interplay also procured some of the voice talent and did QA, but all of the development was done at Bioware.

    Black Isle, Interplay's RPG division, used Bioware's Infinity Engine, and developed and distributed Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale, and Heart of Winter (the IWD expansion).

    All of the games share a lot of common elements besides using the Infinity Engine. For example, BG2 has a load of monsters from IWD, and Heart of Winter contains a lot of the engine modifications and other features from BG2. While there's a lot of synergy between the two companies, though, they are quite separate.
  • Oops. Forgot in my first reply -- here's an article that explains this all -- http://www.gamespy.com/articles/january01/blackisl e/ [gamespy.com]
  • I didn't buy Quake (1 or 2) until the Linux binaries came out for them (I don't have Windows on my system at all.) I got Unreal Tournament after the binaries came out but before Loki took it up. Gotta wonder how many extra units were sold to Linux people and not counted as such.

    Ultima Online had a Linux client for a while but after they dropped ongoing support for it I dropped them.

    I'll buy NWN when it comes out specifically because they have Linux support. I'd buy Creatures 3, too, if I could get the Linux binary. Chances are in either of those cases it wouldn't be counted as a Linux sale (I always make a point of sending the product registration cards in, though.)

    Of course, I have a PlayStation and will probably buy a PS2 at some point here, since for the most part the Linux gaming scene sucks.

  • You're right... it's all OpenGL.
    Learn more @ www.neverwinternights.com [neverwinternights.com]
  • Yep, according to everything I've read it's all being shipped in the same box.
  • I've got similar problems. I never even got into Baldur's Gate. I haven't finished FFIX or the new Zelda. My friend is trying to get me to play Counter-Strike. Anarchy-Online is about to come out. I have some programming projects I'd like to work on. I'm trying to read the Lord of the Rings. That damned Shadow of the Hegemon book is out! I still need to eat at some point!! I have to go to work also!!!


    (prator just exploded)
  • And the Beanie Award for "Best Abuse of Slashcode's support of punctuation in a User Name" goes to...
  • It's scheduled for late 3rd quarter or early 4th... but that might be an optimistic date. You can pre-order on some of the major e-shopping sites already however... with a projected date of ship being mid September of this year....
  • by rppp01 ( 236599 ) on Friday February 23, 2001 @11:49AM (#407431) Homepage
    From their site [bioware.com]

    Will there be a Mac/Linux/BeOs version? We are planning a simultaneous PC / Macintosh / Linux release for Neverwinter, with all three versions to be included in a single box. BeOS users will be happy to know that we are also developing a BeOS version in parallel to our other platforms. It's been going very smoothly so far and, if all goes well, we hope to include it as part of our standard release. On the PC, Neverwinter Nights will run under Win95/98, as well as NT 4 (using service pack 6), which is our favored development OS at present. The game also works quite well on Windows 2000 and we hope to continue support up to release.

  • If it's so critical, they can release the games I want to play, not yet another FPS.

    Hence the reason I broke down and bought a console.

    If they won't make the games I want, why should I 'save' them?

  • first post, bitch!

  • Just for clarification. Be has software only OpenGL support. That's it. Software only OpenGL support can hardly be considered excellent OpenGL support (which is what the original poster claimed) and is hardly the fastest out there (which is what you claim).

  • I agree, we should be supporting gaming on alternate operating systems as much as possible. I don't think it's bad that Microsoft has done a decent enough job of making computing for the masses as simple as possible. I also think that power users who really know what they're doing and don't like the way Microsoft doesn't offer up much control over the processes that are running is a bad thing.

    For instance, a friend of mine was able to get CounterStrike to run through Linux in a roundabout sort of way, but it ran, full screen, full sound, no problem. And when it locked up on him, he dropped back to an alternate login and just killed the process, rather than rebooting the machine. (aka - no blue screen of death). This means less wear and tear on the HD, and less wasted time waiting for Windows to reboot. I LOVED IT! Linux may not be infallible, but the control offered to the user is far better, IMHO.

    I'm definitely going to be keeping an eye out for commercial games being ported (or developed in) linux.

  • "..I don't use a machine whose primary imput devices are mice and keyboards as my main gaming platform" why not? a keyboard is really just a big comsole controller, so what if it has more purposes?! "Consoles are cheaper than good 3D accelerator cards..." True, but a console limits you to games that are developed in partnership with the console maker. while a good 3d card and a little patience, you can get almost any game released for console. For me, the right tool for my gaming is my PC.
  • ...and don't forget about the Star Wars RPG that's being developed. No news on a Linux port as I can tell, but if Bioware is making a habbit of doing Linux ports, it's possible. Official press release on the Star Wars RPG here. [lucasarts.com]
  • Even if this "port" is sold at the major retail outlets, do you honestly believe it will make back its development costs? The way i see it there are three models for games in the linux community.

    MUDS/Shareware/Freeware - No way to profit.
    Browser Based - Ads generate income, but there's no way to tell if its coming from the linux community.
    Commercial - If you can convince stores to carry your game for a very limited target audience when compared to console or Win/Mac, you still have to get word out to the community in hope that they'll buy your linux version (good luck securing an advertising budget for this). There is no chance in making anywhere near the profit you would for a platform with a broader user base. Since most young kids do not use the platform, your most profitable demographic is unable to get you the "uninformed consumer" purchase which makes or breaks games.

    I commend BioWare for being early adapters of this, but until more companies do this (and lose money), there will be little incentive for companies to take what they see as a longshot on linux ports.

    " Well, you know *shrug* " - Mr. Generic Guy

  • Have you ever requested a particular game for Loki to port?

  • I find it funny hearing people whine about how long the development is taking. I know several hundred people who have been waiting for this game for over six years.

    NWN was one of the first fully graphical multiplayer Internet games. This little 16 color game developed one of the strongest communities I've ever seen. Forget Everquest, I knew people who were spending $600 a month on Neverwinter Nights (back when you still paid your ISP by the hour).

    NeverWinter Museum [bladekeep.com] - Screenshots and memorials from the old game. One of the screenshots (page 5) even shows my character. And of course if had to be a shot of me getting Feebleminded. ;p

    "Neurosis is stupid."


  • Couldn't you just "support it" buy asking the company to charge you more for it, so the rest of us don't need to get sucked into buying something we don't want?

    I assure you they won't mind taking more dollars per unit instead of selling more units.

  • Man, that Frapazoid guy is annoying. I thought they told him to shut up until the end.
  • This better be one hell of a Hello World [sourceforge.net] application.

    I mean, all this:

    this->SetBackInks(ZUIAttributeFactory::sGet()-& gt;GetInk_WindowBackground_Dialog(), new ZUIInk_Fixed(ZRGBColor::sYellow));

    Just to set the background color?

  • A keyboard is supurb for typing in text, but has a tough time adapting to general purpose gaming use; I can play Quake3 and "the Sims" fine on a keyboard, but I wouldn't want one for Crazy Taxi or Soul Calibur.

    Of course a general-purpose PC can be a fine gaming platform, but I find the specialized consoles often just as enjoyable and with less hassle. But I'll grant you there is a difference in the gaming styles between the two, and that accounts for why people with certain tastes prefer one sort over the other.

  • Star War MMORPG. That'll be neat. I can see it now... somewhere in a galaxy far, far away...

    fags suk
    hi how is everyone LOL i am fine LOL
    +17 blaster for sale msg me plz
    hi leia228whatever wanna fuk?

    I'm breathless with anticipation.
  • I read through the FAQ.

    Sounds pretty damn impressive if they can pull it off. I'm definetly looking forward to playing on Linux. Sounds like they are including all versions in the same box. Cool. Time to see if DirectX is faster than XFree86. However, any news of when they plan on releasing?

    I'm hoping they didn't get caught up in feature bloat and try to make the end-all-be-all fantasy RPG game that never ships.

  • According to the FAQ, all versions ship in the same box. Also, it's not a port; it's concurrrent development on multiple platforms.
  • I guess it really depends on your tastes. As a child I was never allowed the console systems. But I always had a computer around. Therefore I grew up playing games on the computer, and later in life when I started playing console games, I found it hard to adapt to the controller style of play.
  • I'll tell you one thing - I seem to be having a rough time. Maybe I'm too sensitive or something. I know I'm (at least physically) as attractive if not more so than many people...

    It's pretty funny, objectively speaking. My apartment has basically become a flophouse for between four and eight males, and between two and ten females every night, but I still haven't gotten laid since Randy and I moved in last week.

    C'est la vie, I suppose...

    So, any single women in the Richmond, VA area who love Linux and wouldn't mind going out skateboarding with their boyfriend and his roommate once in a while? My email address above is correct... :)
  • Patrick, You couldn't be more wrong about linux gaming. But everyone else is too. Patrick here has a legitimate, on-topic opinion of the articla and, ludicrous as it is, it deserves to be heard. Patrick shouldn't be modded down just because everybody else disagrees with him. Modding down is to get rid of people posting strings of dirty words, links to porno videos, and posts that read "All your base are belong to us." Give the man a voice, mod him up.
  • Yes, it is complicated to do something very, very simple in ZooLib.

    But it is much, much easier to do something complex in ZooLib than many other means that might be available.

    And yes, you can probably set the background color much quicker by programming to the native API of your OS, but then you wouldn't have a cross-platform app, and to ship one, you'd have to port and maintain multiple parallel codebases.

    The learning curve pays off the larger the application you write.

    Mike [goingware.com]

  • This means less wear and tear on the HD

    You're kidding, right?
  • I don't know...I (and about everybody else on earth) play FPSs with a mouse...but back in the day I somehow managed to play Wolf3D and Doom without a mouse, just using arrow keys. There is no way I can do that these days...
  • I can't wait for:
    "1 4m 4n 31337 D4RK J3d1. Y0u 4re 0WN3D, B17CH!"

    "These aren't the newbies you're looking for... Move along."
  • Adapt?

    For some reason the memory of a New Joisian calling me up on a tech support line and bitching about how our new game REQUIRED him to use a mouse, not just the keyboard like all his other games, comes to mind. Mices being considered some new fad by him, soon to pass like those joysticks did a couple years earlier.

    It's not so much adapting to the different controllers (I have USB gamepads and joysticks for my Mac/PC), consoles have very different games than what you see on the PC. To be honest I like both console games and PC games, and never the two shall meet, or at least I hope not.

    Though I wouldn't mind having more unbelievably long games - on the PC single player games are often ridiculously short (I finished Elite Force in 4 freakin' hours! FOUR!), while a surprisingly large number of console games require over a week to finish.

    I picked up Chrono Cross a couple months ago with no idea that every free waking moment in the next couple weeks would be spent playing that thing...
  • Why ZooLib? SDL [libsdl.org] is out already, is under the LGPL, and has good support for Windows, Linux, Mac, and BeOS.

  • by lupa ( 218669 )
    i was playing D&D for years in junior high and high school, and i was playing with only girls! it took me quite a few years after that to finally have a boyfriend - fancy that ;)
  • While they do develop in OpenGL, making the point moot, Direct3D and OpenGl are quite similar. In any event, most of the real graphics code is specific to neither DirectX nor OpenGL, but involves higher-level algorithms such as portal, terrain management, and animation-related code. This is not to say that porting is trivial --- it is just that porting from DirectX to OpenGl is a lot like porting from Win32 to Linux, except easier. It's mostly low-level boilerplate code in both cases. Further, it doesn't require someone who groks graphics. D3D and OpenGL can easily be learned sufficiently to do it in no time at all by a decent programmer --- one doesn't really need to understand what the code is doing at an algorithmic level.
  • For those not familar with neverwinter nights -
    1. It is going to be published for MacOS,BeOS,Windows,and Linux, all to be released at same time
    2. It is a D&D 3rdEdition game allowing modules for D&D to be used directly on PC, with a person acting as DM (true D&D on PC)
    3. It does not have a set release date, but should be 3rd or 4th quarter 2001
    4. More specific D&D info - takes place from Neverwinter(northern FR) to Luskan, over 200 spells, up to 20th lvl. 7 races, 12 classes, 9 alignments. 200+ monsters, can import characters from the BG series.
    5. can play singleplayer or multiplayer, allows full voice communication

    All of this can be changed(such as additional spells can be created, 20th lvl can be exceeded with future enhancements to be released). The main selling point of the game is that it has near-infinite playability, since you can create your own modules and use others modules, not just the ones included with the game. Therefore, you can create a PnP D&D game to PC!

    Sorry if this is a recap.. but the newbies need to know
    for more info - http://www.rpgplanet.com/planetnw
  • ZooLib [sourceforge.net] and SDL [libsdl.org] appear to be different cross-platform frameworks.

    One would do very well to use them together in an application, and now that you've been so helpful as to tell me about SDL, I'll investigate how we might do a ZooLib/SDL integration.

    ZooLib is for doing the following in a platform-independent way from C++:

    • threads with various kinds of mutexes, reader/writer locks and so on
    • thread-safe reference counted smart pointers
    • Simple vector graphics
    • fonts and text
    • creating and using various kinds of windows (but not what the X folks refer to as "window management - dragging and so on)
    • platform-appropriate graphical user interface widget creation, drawing, input and layout
    • TCP networking
    • single-file databases (the databases, being entirely contained in single files, can be used as user documents, so the user could double-click on on a desktop to open it in an editor after receiving it via email).
    • streams and filters, conceptually like C++'s iostreams, but more appropriate for binary data formats
    • Debugging memory allocator and debugging support through widespread use of assertions
    Ah, but one thing it's completely lacking is any support whatsoever for multimedia! That's because the original developers primarily targeted Mac OS and Windows, for which the cross-platform QuickTime API was readily available, but not open source.

    Now don't fault me if I leave something out, because I only just now found out about SDL, but lets see what SDL says it has:

    • Simple, portable direct access to the graphics framebuffer, audio device, mouse and keyboard
    • Support for OpenGL (the actual GL support must come from a separate library, many of which are available)
    There's probably more but it's not readily apparent from the page.

    What I'd suggest you do in writing a game is use ZooLib for the overall GUI and threading support, and have a pane in the middle of the screen where your main action takes place. In that pane you do direct-to-screen drawing with SDL and if you're doing fancy 3D, consider using OpenGL. Use SDL for your sound.

    Again, thank you for bringing this to my attention.

    Mike [goingware.com]

  • The boot up process is one of the more stressful parts of operation for a computer. Same as a car. When you're doing it constantly due to frequent OS crashes, that's not good. So no, I'm not kidding.
  • Really? Like the oil's all sitting at the bottom of the spindle and not lubricating the top end of the platter?
  • Just play nethack and be happy! www.nethack.org
  • Providing commerical support for "Linux"....do people mean:

    1) RedHat
    2) RedHat/Debian/whatever is determined to be a 'popular' version of Linux
    3) Or support for SCO/UnixWare/BSD/Solaris X86/QNX that can run 'Linux ELF' binaries? (I don't know how good some of them are, but FreeBSD runs the Linux version of quake FASTER than Linux does, according to the tests done by the duke of URL)

    Loki is the only vendor to date I am aware of who has said "Yes we will support our Linux games on BSD". Hopefully the BioWare staff will see the wisdom in capturing the (almost) entire X86 based unix market by supporting a Linux ELF format that will run using the facilites added to SCO/UnixWAre/BSD/Solaris x86/QNX.

  • Yes, it's that Bad_CRC. He also runs a Linux Tribes site @ http://www.tribalwar.com/linuxtribes/ [tribalwar.com].
  • You forget, it's backwards compatible with the PS1.

    -- Eat your greens or I'll hit you!

  • they've been developing the linux, mac and PC versions simultaneously.

    They are also concurrently working on a BeOS version, but that's going a little slower. They do hope to have all 4 versions ready to go at launch time.

    The word "port" doesn't really apply here.
  • Internally and as of yet not released they have written OpenGL support that is faster than Windows by about 10%. This has been well known for a while now - and along with BONE will probably be out for BeOS 6.

    If you're one of their developers, or you ask them nicely, they'll send you a copy. It's going through extensive testing as - rumour has it - that the new BeOS desktop will be hardware accelerated.

    -- Eat your greens or I'll hit you!

  • Any game available, minus about 10% of the windows speed.

    -- Eat your greens or I'll hit you!

  • I just love scrolling through pages of non-color-coded, single-spaced, fixed-width-font, completely raw IRC transcript.

    Seriously... for something this cool they could at least do a little formatting.

    I know... I'm being picky. Whatever.
  • Minor sidenote: their are a goodly number of addon libs associated with SDL that address some of the things you say zoolib offers. (image and movie file formats, networking, fonts, etc. etc.). This is not to knock zoolib (about which I know basically zip), I'm just pointing it out for the sake of completeness.

    News for geeks in Austin: www.geekaustin.org [geekaustin.org]
  • Why the hell is it so damn hard to get a game like Quake III for Linux running?

    I have a supported video card, I have the Glibc libraries, I have X Free 3.36 and all the other crap mentioned on the box, I installed it as per the instructions, but still it craps out. I might find out what causes it but it takes me so long that I lose any enjoyment I might get from it.

    Linux will only be a games platform for geeks. For the normal gamesplayer it is not an option. Gamers want to PLAY games, they don't want to mess with installing.

    In Windows they made great advances in recent years so it's not hard to install a game as it used to be.

    Why can't this be the same under Linux?
  • I think the gaming community is starting to learn the value of patience. Games like Fallout, Baldurs Gate, and Diablo II have taunted gamers with release dates of "when it's done." While it's frustrating to wait years for a game, it's well worth it to have a great product in the end. Compare this to games such as BattleCruiser 3000 AD, which was initially shipped to stores in an unplayable condition because the software company got tired of waiting. I'm willing to wait a while for a good game to become great. Heck, I'm still waiting for Prey to come out. ;-)
  • I'm just happy Bioware threw out DirectX, and specifically DirectPlay.

    11:26.13 BioDon Yes, DirectX locks you to Windows. Early on we prevented that problem.
    11:26.25 Briareos No DirectPlay then?
    11:26.41 BioDon No, we are using the standard socket library.

    Writing their own network code from scratch seems overkill though. Perhaps they should look at OpenPlay [apple.com].

  • To the end user, there is no OpenGL for BeOS worth giving a damn about. That's all that really matters.

  • Since Counterstrike wasn't even made to run on Linux, it's not surprising that it crashed. It crashes in Windows fairly often too. If I had to choose between rebooting after a crash or not, I think I'd choose not to. I suppose that does make Linux a better choice in this case.

  • No, like the sudden restart of the drive, for starters. Not to mention the voltage spikes involved in the process (which are harmfull to the rest of the machine as well).

    Most failures of equipment happen during the boot sequence, there are reasons.

    It is a known, established, and irrefutable fact that the power on/reboot sequence is harder on a computer than leaving it on. Your monitor is a different story (it is better to have it off, though power cycling it is not good either).

    Get a clue. Do some research.

    Or admit you are being facetious. :)

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith