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Linux Business Games Linux

Is LGP Going the Way of Loki Software? 124

An anonymous reader writes "After the demise of Loki Software, Linux Game Publishing sprouted up in its place, and for the past nine years has ported a number of games to Linux. But LGP may now be sharing the same fate as Loki. Linux Game Publishing hasn't updated its blog or news pages in months, has stopped responding to e-mails, and its only active ports are games they began work on in 2002/2003."
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Is LGP Going the Way of Loki Software?

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  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @01:36AM (#32661876) Journal

    Has anyone tried getting the games at Good Old Games [gog.com] to work in Wine? I know they're older titles comes with a pre-configured DOSBox (works 100% better than DIY DOSBox and is 100% X64 Win7 compatible) so those shouldn't be a problem, and since ALL their games have the nasty DRM stripped out and use a simple .exe installer the games there should be easier to get going than all those infested with SecuROM or Starforce. And of course at $5-$10 the price is a hell of a lot better than the prices you get for ported games.

    So how about it? Has anybody given the games at GOG a shot on Linux?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @02:02AM (#32661990)

    Loki's "financial problems" were largely mismanagement. Lurid tales of the owner using the company accounts as his personal ATM for buying cars and designer dresses for his wife; choosing games to port based on prestige and vanity over sound financial consideration of licensing costs and such; and other things. Loki was making money; their management just pissed it away faster than it came in, while shining everyone on until it eventually blew up.

      See, it's true that "the market is small," as other posters will point out, but porting is a pretty low-overhead proposition. You hire a couple of programmers, negotiate a licensing deal, and get porting. The game design, art, music, and other assets are all done already. It's much more like running a game company in the eighties, when you could have a couple of guys working out of a garage, than the gargantuan multi-million-dollar enterprises that you see today, so it really doesn't matter so much if the market is kind of small, as long as there's a market.
      (Plus, as the Humble Indie Bundle showed, there is money out in Linux-land. They got about 25% of their revenue from Linux, outdoing Mac users, even.)

  • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @02:37AM (#32662124)

    Actually, looks like I was wrong: it crashed if I tried to install over NFS from my server, but after I copied the setup.exe file to the local machine it did install and run.

  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @04:54AM (#32662768) Journal
    I think the point is that it's cheaper to make a game run under WINE than it is to do a full native port. Games don't require any platform integration, so no one cares if they aren't using native widgets - in fact, they're more likely to complain when they do. If you care about the Linux market, just add a guy to your QA team who tests it under WINE and pay a couple of consultants to add the missing features to WINE (or just get your devs to avoid them). It's much cheaper than paying a third-party company to do a full port.
  • by Maquis196 ( 535256 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @05:31AM (#32662888)

    As I said, I spoke to Michael Simms a couple of weeks ago over email to see what could be done about getting the license to the Linux port of Alpha Centauri so it could be patched and sold again, etc.

    Didn't see any evidence that LGP had stopped working, they're a part time company mostly from what I gather, give them some credit!

    Oh and as for SMAC, it seems Mr Simms tried hard; nay VERY HARD to get the rights to it but with no success, I'm hoping that if Steam does make it to Linux we can use that as the carrot to get a few of the older Loki titles back.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @06:35AM (#32663142)
    worth noting that a game running well under wine is one compilation away from being native, thanks to winelibs
  • by parasonic ( 699907 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @10:48AM (#32664998)
    I have been gaming on 64-bit Linux in GL mode since 2004. There aren't many titles to choose from, but everything that I have tried--Enemy Territory, UT2004, and a few others--run flawlessly and at higher framerates than they do in Windows XP, not to even get started with Win7. I have never had a video driver crash. I have been running NVIDIA 64-bit binary drivers the entire time.

    At one point, I had a problem with ET not liking sound since it is Quake 3 based and was written to use OSS, but I was running Gentoo and of course had to spend a half hour trying to figure out how to restore sound. It runs flawlessly out of the box in Ubuntu.

    The problem is not drivers and is entirely the selection of games out there. We will hopefully see some good Source-based games for Linux once Steam makes its way in.
  • Re:UT3 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by apoc.famine ( 621563 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .enimaf.copa.> on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @01:32PM (#32667462) Journal
    Undercooked? It was a fucking disaster of a launch. They launched a game before they had the servers ready. For some reason they thought that the 80-90% of Linux/Unix UT servers would magically become Windows servers because they only had a Windows server at launch. That meant that 80% of the UT servers in the world didn't transition to UT3. Great idea - launch a multiplayer game, and hope your half-dozen servers serving 10-20 people each will cut it.

    They made some of the most idiotic choices about their maps they could make. Before, maps were moderate sized. They relied on all the textures, sounds, meshes, etc to be installed on the client computer. If you didn't have those, you'd download them.

    Their brilliant idea for UT3 was to "cook" their maps - essentially zipping ALL the textures, sounds, etc needed for a map into one gigantic file. Maps used to be 0.4-5 mb, at the absolute most. Now the average map runs 50-100 mb. Disk space usage is obscene like that, and the time it takes to download maps is noticeable on a fast connection, and game-ending on a slow connection.

    Linux has pretty much perfected package managers. I don't for the life of me understand how they felt zipping it all up was a better idea.

    Add to those disasters broken menus, designed for a console, (no back buttons, flaky arrow navigation, first letter of choice doesn't go there) a very shitty game selection screen, no crosshair customization which has been standard in UT for years now, and vehicles which drive like shit, and you've got a lot of angry fans.

    In the last year, they've made some improvements. But overall, the game is still a half-assed implementation of what it used to be. A pretty one, but still very broken. You can hack around the cross hairs, but when they code a small vehicle to weigh 100x a large one because it doesn't have the traction they want, you know it's a half-assed game.
  • by grumbel ( 592662 ) <grumbel+slashdot@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @03:18PM (#32668920) Homepage

    See, it's true that "the market is small," as other posters will point out, but porting is a pretty low-overhead proposition.

    One problem however is that ports aren't all that attractive these days. Why pay $50 for a port, when I can run the $10 original in Wine or dual boot? Unless a port comes out very close to the original, there just isn't all that much interest for it, as its either not worth it or you played it on another platform in the meantime. The only exception are the small indie games, their prices don't fall as fast as those from the big commercial titles and thus you don't end up paying extra premium for the port, even if it might come out a few month later.

  • by Urkki ( 668283 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @05:39PM (#32671198)

    worth noting that a game running well under wine is one compilation away from being native, thanks to winelibs

    Also worth noting that a pre-compiled native binary for "Linux" isn't necessarily a good way to distribute an application for Linux. Even if you make sure it runs (or make separate versions for) all major distros today, you have no idea if it'll work even with next releases of same major distros.

    Ironically, if it's a Windows application built to work well under WINE, it's likely to work on any Linux in the foreseeable future... And if it stop working, and you still want to to support that application, a bug report to wine upstream will probably fix the breakage easily, and for *all* the Linux distros.

    IOW, if you're doing closed source for Linux, don't do Linux, do WINE.

Air is water with holes in it.