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Transgaming to Support Half Life 2 Under Linux 477

rpdillon writes "According to Half-Life Fallout, Transgaming Technologies has announced that they will be releasing version 4.2 of Cedega, their Wine based software allowing some DirectX games to be played under Linux. The new version will be released Dec 7th with official support included for Valve Software's Half-Life 2 and Steam, Valve's online software store and distribution system, and a required component of Half-Life 2."
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Transgaming to Support Half Life 2 Under Linux

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  • slow? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by liquidpele ( 663430 ) on Friday November 19, 2004 @12:11PM (#10864663) Journal
    So i'm not familiar with exactly how wine works, but since the word "emulator" is part of the acronym, won't emulating graphics stuff slow down the game a whole lot?
    • Re:slow? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Orgazmus ( 761208 ) on Friday November 19, 2004 @12:12PM (#10864675)
      WINE = Wine Is Not an Emulator
      You're right, it IS oart of the acronym
    • Re:slow? (Score:2, Funny)

      by drinkypoo ( 153816 )
      Is this a troll, or are you stupid? Please advise, I'm not sure how to reply to this comment.
      • just stupid I guess...
        I've never used wine though. be gentle.
        • Re:slow? (Score:3, Informative)

          by drinkypoo ( 153816 )
          Okay well then, in the grand tradition of recursive acronyms like Gnu's Not Unix, Wine is Wine Is Not (an) Emulator [wikipedia.org]. Wine emulates the Win32 API so that windows programs can be run on Linux. Direct3D runs in Wine, though last I heard not very well, and it's going to have to be well-supported to run HL2.
          • Re:slow? (Score:3, Interesting)

            by MikeBabcock ( 65886 )
            Last you heard must have been a long time ago.

            It runs Morrowind on my machine very well now except some delays loading the background music but that isn't a D3D issue.

            It even has nicer looking graphics on my home Linux box than on my work Windows box (its a better computer mind you ... but its nice to take advantage of that fact).

            I've used Cedega (the latest wine name from Transgaming) to run D3D and Windows OpenGL demos as well; its quite fun to see hundreds of frames per second in a 3rd party API imple
    • >> but since the word "emulator" is part of the acronym

      ... preceded by "Is Not A"...

    • Re:slow? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Huogo ( 544272 ) <adam&thepeacock,net> on Friday November 19, 2004 @12:14PM (#10864698) Homepage
      Wine stands for "Wine Is Not an Emulator". It doesn't emulate the graphics, it maps the syscalls from DirectX into opengl for graphics (This is my understanding of it, IANAWD (WineX Dev))
    • IANAWH (Wine Hacker), but AFAIK, Wine just translates the DirectX calls into OpenGL, and does the same with all the other APIs.

      And yes, emulator is in the name. Specifically:
      Wine is NOT an emulator
    • Re:slow? (Score:5, Informative)

      by P-Nuts ( 592605 ) on Friday November 19, 2004 @12:18PM (#10864750)
      Wine is not an emulator, but a reimplementation of the Win32 API. The various system calls that are made available to Windows programs are reinterpreted by the Wine libraries, so as to perform similar functionality, sometimes by making system calls to Linux. In the case of DirectX stuff, 3D calls are converted to OpenGL. Some people have found that games can even run a little faster under Wine, but in most cases there is a small performance hit, probably equivalent to a few frames per second.
    • Re:slow? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Edgewize ( 262271 ) on Friday November 19, 2004 @12:24PM (#10864818)
      The mods will assume that you're trolling, but that's unfair. Some people just don't know how WINE works. (Of course Slashdotters will accuse you of living in a cave, but whatever.)

      I trust that you're being honest so I'll just answer the question.

      "WINE Is Not an Emulator" is one of those recursive acronyms that was invented after the fact. It used to stand for WINdows Emulator. But the important thing is that the new name is pretty much right; it isn't an emulator, it's a translation layer. Windows EXE and DLL files are directly executed by the CPU; WINE's job is just to implement all the Win32 API calls that they make.

      Transgaming took a branch of WINE and added some fixes, some workarounds, and a much better implementation of the DirectX APIs. Specifically, most Direct3D functions are translated into their OpenGL equivalents, so the graphics are still hardware-accelerated (assuming you have a Linux-supported video card).

      So to get back to your question,
      there is generally very little performance loss when WINE is compared to Windows. The binary is running natively on your CPU, and the video calls are still hardware-accelerated. The only difference is another level of API indirection.

      It's interesting that some programs actually perform better under WINE, due to differences in the Win32 and Linux kernel architectures.
    • I'm not sure. I think a more important question is GNU. Is it Unix? Is LAME an MP3 encoder? Damn, this is why linux stuff is so difficult. The project names are just a bunch of arbitrarily chosen letters.
  • by 2.7182 ( 819680 ) on Friday November 19, 2004 @12:11PM (#10864664)
    Halflife refers to the amount of time it takes for a radioactive substance to decay to 1/2 of its mass.
    What is the relation to the game, exactly ?
  • Or just badger Valve (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tod_miller ( 792541 ) on Friday November 19, 2004 @12:11PM (#10864669) Journal
    Unreal Tournament 2003
    Unreal Tournament 2004
    Quake 3
    Doom 3
    Postal 2
    Return to Castle Wolfenstein
    Medal of Honor: Allied Assault
    more here... [wikipedia.org] ...

    Half Life 2?

    Go on Valve!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'd buy it!
  • by RandoX ( 828285 ) on Friday November 19, 2004 @12:12PM (#10864678)
    Steamed pengiun for dinner!
  • or will it run on my DX2s and P75s?
  • wow (Score:3, Interesting)

    by adamruck ( 638131 ) on Friday November 19, 2004 @12:14PM (#10864709)
    If steam is ported to linux, perhaps more vendors will consider making cross platform games. Of course there is the whole market share thing, but its sure a step in the right direction.

    I think I should send a link to this article to my linux friends who are playing hl2.

    • Re:wow (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Sc00ter ( 99550 ) on Friday November 19, 2004 @12:20PM (#10864770) Homepage
      Steam isn't being ported to Linux, it's just being supported by Transgaming's product that uses WINE to run windows programs.

      If anything this will make people not port the products to run in linux because they'll tell you to just use a WINE product to run them.

    • > If steam is ported to linux, perhaps more vendors will consider making cross platform games.

      After spending a couple of days to get HL2 working (mostly steam working) I can tell you now that I won't be buying any games that require steam to play. Cross platform or not.

    • No, the day it is cost effective to port code for a maximum 2% of the market, the day linux ports will be available. :) sorry!
  • by HohlerMann ( 410170 ) on Friday November 19, 2004 @12:16PM (#10864728) Homepage
    Linux users join the masses of gamers who are collectively WINEing about activation delays.
  • You know what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Friday November 19, 2004 @12:19PM (#10864762) Journal
    We bitch and bitch about how much we hate corporations sticking it to us. We hate DRM, we hate devices that phone home, we hate buying a game, and then being unable to take that game over to a friends and just play it.

    And yet, everyones head is so far up Valve's ass, that noone seems to be bothered with how odious this steam thing really is.

    I mean, you can't play single player without a 'net connection. You cant drag your disk over to your friends house and just play.

    It stinks worse than ANYTHING I've ever seen. This is the absolute worst ass-reaming any pointy haired manager ever decided to give the consumers.

    You all are just grabbing your ankles and grinning.

    I won't buy, leech, crack, play, or even talk about Half Life 2 anymore until they reissue it in a format which I can just install and start playing the single player game without phone-home activation, or being bundled with your ad delivery service.

    Fuck you Valve. I will never purchase games via Steam. Luckily I have Halo 2, Metroid Prime 2, Doom 3, and a pile of other titles to keep me entertained.
    • Re:You know what? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Sc00ter ( 99550 ) on Friday November 19, 2004 @12:25PM (#10864845) Homepage
      "You cant drag your disk over to your friends house and just play."

      You dont' have to because you can DL the steam client, log in with your account and just DL any game you have purchased already.

      I have HL1/CS on three computers. When I want to play I just click on the game, put in my login and off I go.

      I love it. I lost my HL CD but still had the case, all I needed was the key number off the case.

      And you do not need to have a net connection to play the single player mode

      • " log in with your account and just DL any game you have purchased already."

        Which means what if you are using a 56k modem? You get to play the game in a few days time?

        Or how about if you live in Iceland where consumers are charged for every MB they download outside of Iceland. Valve set up a server in iceland for the locals but then didn't bother to update it.

        As for offline play, if you bought the boxed game then yes you do have to be online to play single player.
        • Which means what if you are using a 56k modem? You get to play the game in a few days time?

          Umm... if you have the firepower to actually play HL2, there's pretty good odds you have broadband.

          Or how about if you live in Iceland where consumers are charged for every MB they download outside of Iceland. Valve set up a server in iceland for the locals but then didn't bother to update it.

          Get the boxed version and you don't need to worry about d/ling the game.

          We can all come up with extreme examples, but
          • >there's pretty good odds you have broadband.

            Sorry but that is not true. A lot of places still do not have broadband. Where I live broadband only became available last year. I go 5 miles down the road and no one there can have broadband.

            >Get the boxed version and you don't need to worry about d/ling the game.

            Wrong again. The boxed version downloads a huge chunk while it is unlocking. It took quite some time for me even on broadband. From what I have heard from modem users 10 hours or more.

            You also
    • Re:You know what? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 19, 2004 @12:33PM (#10864949)
      And you're just misinformed.

      You can play HL2 without a net connection, its called "offline mode". The only thing it requires a network connection for is the initial activation, and thats no more odious than Microsoft's current required activation practices, and I bet you've got Windows on your PC. (Or did you leech or crack your copy of it, mr. high and mighty?)

      As other people have pointed out, once you have a steam account, you can fetch and play HL2 anywhere.

      Sure Steam has its issues, mostly being an annoying adware program that currently pops up messages about HL2, but will probably start popping up all sorts of ads when Valve wants some extra cash. Also after years of watching MMO services crash and burn the first day, Valve let Steam's activation servers crash and burn for their first day, showing that some people just don't learn.
      • "The only thing it requires a network connection for is the initial activation, and thats no more odious than Microsoft's current required activation practices, and I bet you've got Windows on your PC."

        You are completely wrong here.

        Microsoft's activation process allows you 30 days to complete it, and they have a phone system you can call, handled by an automated attendant, which takes care of activation for you if you can't do it online (as was the case with me, didn't have a working NIC driver).

        It could
      • Just because "Microsoft/Windows already does the same thing" doesn't make it any less craptacular. And what in the name of CowboyNeal are you thinking using that as a selling point on /.?!

        People bitched like crazy when XP did the same thing, people just don't like the concept of it.

        Bitching about X is nothing like not buying X, however. Everyone and their brother bought HL2 and tried to activate it in the past week, thus causing massive slowdowns and server problems. Yes, everyone is bitching, but th
    • I'm sick of hearing all you folks complaining about Steam activation. You act as if it's your god-given right to play this game, without any restrictions whatsoever. Until you suggest a better solution, a better way to combat rampant game piracy, a better way to make sure the developers don't lose money, then keep your mouth shut.

      Valve had to make a decision, and I think they made the right one. Is it easy to get HL2 working right away? No, it's a bit complicated. But with a little bit of time, it's n
  • You know, TransGaming just recently got their webservers back online after some downtime. Next thing, they make it on Slashdot. ... have mercy.
  • by phorm ( 591458 ) on Friday November 19, 2004 @12:24PM (#10864823) Journal
    The speed at which Wine is supporting new games seems to indicate a certain amount of support from the game manufacturers. At the very least they're probably getting their hands on pre-releases in order to prepare for compatibility once the true game comes out.

    This isn't as good as having an actual native port for Linux, but at least it indicates that there is an awareness that Linux and cross-compatability are a consideration.
    • by dave420 ( 699308 ) on Friday November 19, 2004 @12:55PM (#10865218)
      I don't mean to sound rude, but that's not what's going on. WINE is getting better. Games companies aren't going to bend over backwards to help linux, if their games are in DX. It's just not going to happen. Linux has a tiny share of the market, approx. 2%. A games manufacturer can improve sales of their game by 2% just by improving marketing or with various other non-expensive-labour-intensive activities. Using your core assets to port a game over for a MAXIMUM 2% of the market (if every single linux user bought a copy of it) isn't very cost-effective.

      Linux's market share will have to be muuuch larger before games manufacturers base too many decisions on it.

      I didn't meant to sound like a dick, but lots of people seem to forget the sheer economics of this.

  • From what I can make out on the Transgaming website, Cedega is a subscription-based commercial offering based on Wine, which is Free Software.

    Is this not a violation of the GPL, and exactly the sort of thing it was written to prevent?

    • Re:Cedega and GPL (Score:3, Informative)

      by wowbagger ( 69688 )
      Cedega is based on the Wine codebase before Wine converted to GPL - in fact, that was part of the motivation for Wine to convert from a more BSD-ish license to GPL.

      However, Transgaming does give code back to Wine occasionally, and some Wine contributors will allow Transgaming to also distribute their changes.
    • I'm pretty sure they'd only have to contribute the modified and improved wine code back up. Anything else they do on their own, they can keep.
    • You're right, it is a violation of the GPL, but Cedega is released under the Aladdin License, not GPL.

      Besides, you can go into the Transgaming CVS and grab all the source free (when I say "all", it doesn't include their licensed cd copy protection code) and compile it yourself, though they offer no support if you do.
    • Re:Cedega and GPL (Score:5, Informative)

      by I confirm I'm not a ( 720413 ) on Friday November 19, 2004 @12:35PM (#10864984) Journal

      Is this [charging for software/subscription] not a violation of the GPL, and exactly the sort of thing it was written to prevent?

      The GPL was not written to prevent charging for software, either a flat-rate charge or a subscription - from the GPL [gnu.org]: "When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price. Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for this service if you wish)" (my emphasis)

      Now, I'm not a lawyer, and it is possible that Transgaming are breaking the GPL - but certainly not by charging a subscription.

      • Fine. But since the software is Free, what is to stop one of the subscribers from re-distributing it for no cost, and why have they not widely done so (I could not find Cedega on RPMFind, for instance)?

        Do Transgaming distribute the GPL Wine and their own components separately, and then use the "Mere Aggregation" clause to retain exclusive distribution rights over their extensions?

  • Confusing Quote (Score:5, Interesting)

    by khendron ( 225184 ) on Friday November 19, 2004 @12:31PM (#10864931) Homepage
    "Consumers rank the ability to play video games on their desktop as one of the top 3 important reasons for the adoption of Linux."

    Is there a "not" missing somewhere in that sentence.? As in "... one of the top 3 reasons for NOT adopting Linux." For me, game support is the biggest reason why Windows still exists on my desktop.
  • by ceeam ( 39911 ) on Friday November 19, 2004 @12:37PM (#10865006)
    First - they have removed "bobbing-and-swaying" when you walk, it's like you're riding on a Segway, just like it was in "Wolfenstein 3d" (1992). People are complaining of motion sickness and I say that IS THE reason! Pretty silly. Then the story is kinda jerky - ok, it starts great, just like adventure game (though "on the rails"). But then all of a sudden (I did not get why) you have to run somewhere with "energetic" music playing in background, then you shoot... Well - I tested it only for one late evening, so I may change my mind later ;)

    Also - the whole Steam registration business is SO silly. I mean - warezed version is everywhere and runs seemingly problem-free w/o any registration. Oh, well, these days there is a new ironic meaning to the word "paying" in "paying customers".

    Having read all the "wowed" reviews I expected a bit more, it's not bad, but not earth-shattering: you do need good hardware (my 8500 is barely usable, even though it's definitely faster than all the 9200s), fully-physical world is not so fully physical, not to say that someone aparently scripted all the holes and ladders - it's all on the rails I tell you. Gordon Freeman is the "Invisible Man" (and totally dumb. Speechless). And of course - the environment is a mix of post-soviet Russia - everything's dirty and broken - and that "Equilibrium" movie (talking man on the screens is a strong flashback :)

    Well - maybe I will force myself and finish it though. Some day. I've spent over a year of sporadic play on the first Half-Life after all ;)
  • by GrouchoMarx ( 153170 ) on Friday November 19, 2004 @12:46PM (#10865115) Homepage
    I still won't buy Half-Life 2. Sure, it looks cool, and from what I've seen/heard will likely be a better game than Doom 3. I don't care. It's DRM-restricted. My computer has to spy on me and report back to the mother ship before I can even play single player. That Is Wrong. I will not support it.

    Boycott Steam!
  • by div_2n ( 525075 ) on Friday November 19, 2004 @12:59PM (#10865264)
    With Codeweavers doing so well with business applications and Transgaming doing so well with games, I would love to see Codeweavers and Transgaming merge into one powerhouse and merge the codebases into a unified product.

    I have a sneaky suspicion that if you get the best of both worlds that the sum of the whole would be greater than the sum of the parts. In other words, the list of compatible software would not just be the sum of compatiblity of each but that together they may fill in enough holes to expand total compatibility.

    Anyone from the Codeweavers or Transgaming camp care to comment on this?
  • by Skraut ( 545247 ) on Friday November 19, 2004 @01:06PM (#10865357) Journal
    I bought Doom 3 and downloaded the Doom 3 linux binary. I bought Unreal Tournament 2004 from linuxgamers. I bought Neverwinter Nights and all the expansions and again grabbed the linux binaries.

    I simply refuse to buy games that do not have Linux Binaries. Yes I know I'm missing out on some decent games, but it's the principle. Id, Epic, and Bioware can all look at their logs and see how many linux binaries were downloaded, and I am represented in there. They can say, we sold X copies, but Y% of them were Linux Users.

    If I buy Warcraft III, or Half Life 2, to Blizzard or Valve, I am a Windows user. They look and say "Look at all the Windows versions we sold. Why spend any time on making a binary for our next game when we know how many Windows copy will sell?"

  • by sinner0423 ( 687266 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (3240rennis)> on Friday November 19, 2004 @01:07PM (#10865367)
    This is great news & all - except for no. There have been *NUMEROUS* complaints regarding performance in the game. If you can get it to not crash to your desktop, the audio lag / stuttering makes it almost unplayable.

    Normally, I wouldn't bitch about speed when it comes to linux ports. Typically the games run a little bit faster, (I have no idea how this works, kudos to the WINE monkeys that have engineered it) but we're talking about serious lag in HL2 on uber fast GF6800U / AMD64 systems.

    I believe ValVe still needs to PATCH the game, before transgaming starts porting it. Who wants to port a broken piece of sofwtare? I have HL2, pre-loaded for two months, and I'm telling you now that it's still riddled with bugs. Mine runs okay on XP2100 / GF4 ti4200 / 512mb PC2100 DDR.

    When I say "okay", I mean it's playable, but that's about it. I'm down for linux gaming, but I don't think you guys want to touch this game until it's fixed.
  • by Krondor ( 306666 ) on Friday November 19, 2004 @01:15PM (#10865449) Homepage
    Will this new version of Cedega support Direct X 9.0 graphics API? Is it simply letting the source engine fall back to Direct X 8.0 support?

    I was under the impression that WINE had not yet supported Direct X 9.0. I can't wait for this! I can feel the MS grip slipping on my games hehe.
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) * on Friday November 19, 2004 @01:17PM (#10865469)
    It seems they are going to have an XBox version in 2005 (probably late), so if you don't like Steam and can wait then you have an option.

"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"