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hpolloni

Only linux games company

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I was thinking in make a little company, of pure linux games,no ports,games. Maybe the problem with most linux games company is that they make ports of windows games to the linux operating system. I would like to tell me what do u think of this.... PD: I know my english sucks :D

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I think that a linux only company could fly. It would probably have to start out with a spiderwebsoftware (i.e. not alot of frills, not alot of money in the company, but solid shareware type software) type approach, but I think it could be viable.

I agree that it seems alot of the linux game companies woes might be related to not being able to release the linux version of a piece of software at the same time as the windows version.

-- Aaron

| HollowWorks.com | Rhott.com |

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I like the idea of a linux only game company. I say go for it, just make sure your games are worthy and fun. They don''t have to be graphically enhanced, just fun. And for the love of God, please no more "you are the incredible super powered Tux and you must defeat the evil power known as BillG and his super weapon of mass destruction called Windows" type of themes. That whole theme has been played out so much. Also don''t start any of your games with K- or gno-.

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You know what I wonder is why doesn''t anyone take Crystal Space or some other Open source/Free engine and make a game around that. It is perfectly legal to sell it, and any bugs can be worked out by some of the customers so tech support costs will be lower.
Let''s assume that people follow the law. Piracy shouldn''t be a concern since even if someone can redistribute the source to the game legally, the data files which actually make up the game itself can''t be distributed.
I think it is completely possible to put up a game like that on the shelves next to closed source games.
Clearly piracy will be an issue realistically, but at the same time, what is stopping someone from doing this?
I mean, Quake 2 source is GPLed but you still have to have a copy of the game content to play it. I figure id doesn''t have to worry too much about lost sales on any of their games (do they make most of their profit on licensing the engine?), so maybe this is a bad example, but couldn''t some company just use an open source engine and work around it with their copyrighted data?

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quote:
Original post by GBGames
You know what I wonder is why doesn''t anyone take Crystal Space or some other Open source/Free engine and make a game around that.

a.) Games thrive on content, not technology.
b.) The technology of these Open Source/Free Software engines lags behind their commercial counterparts. In a hit-or-miss market (stupid, but unfortunately the case), they don''t have enough shine.
c.) Immaturity of codebases. CrystalSpace only recently finally locked down the API, gearing up for the 1.0 release. Any commercial entity using the alpha versions for development would have been forced through several infrastructural rewrites every time CS broke backwards compatibility. (Yes, DirectX does this too, but at least you can retrieve the API interface versions you were working with via COM!)
d.) Feature-led vs design-led. OGRE is the first Open Source graphics engine I''ve come across that is design-led, which means that it feels more cohesive and better engineered. Unfortunately, it''s Linux/OpenGL support lags behind its DirectX 8.1 support.

quote:
It is perfectly legal to sell it, and any bugs can be worked out by some of the customers so tech support costs will be lower.

I wouldn''t pay for a game that expects to use me as tech support. Patches are evil; the publisher should do their QA before they release the game to me.

quote:
I think it is completely possible to put up a game like that on the shelves next to closed source games.

Sure it''s possible. Is it profitable, though?

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I agree that QA should be done before release. Not all patches are necessarily the result of bad QA, however. Some patches are for bugs that are not terribly important to the stability of the game. For instance, the game doesn''t crash, but for some reason a texture might be improperly displayed on certain graphics cards.
The company has only so many months and resources to use towards developing the game. Yes you can attempt to make the perfect game, but sometimes time prevents you from doing anything but fixing the class A bugs: those that can crash the program or otherwise ruin the game. Smaller and less important bugs might not be worth the effort when the game has to be good to be released within the next couple of days and some necessary feature must still be done.
Patches can be released to fix those.
So if you release something GPLed, you can try to fix those bugs as other game development companies would, but you also have the added benefit of your customers having the ability to help.

Now if a company simply depends on the customers for all tech support, then that company shouldn''t expect to be paid much for the game in question, in my opinion.

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quote:
Original post by GBGames
The company has only so many months and resources to use towards developing the game...

...Too many of which are wasted developing technology. Fortunately we''re seeing an increasing reliance on licensed and middleware solutions, allowing developers spend their time on developing content and gameplay (once they''re familiar with the third-party tech and tools).

quote:
So if you release something GPLed, you can try to fix those bugs as other game development companies would, but you also have the added benefit of your customers having the ability to help.

Don''t count on it. The nature of individual who is an effective Open Source contributor is very different from a gamer, who is generally a consumer. All that gamers normally are interested in doing is playing games; they submit bug reports because the bugs are interfering with their product enjoyment.

quote:
Now if a company simply depends on the customers for all tech support, then that company shouldn''t expect to be paid much for the game in question, in my opinion.

Absolutely.

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Well submitting bug reports is definitely a good thing, and I never said you could count on the gamers to also be programmers. Still, having one dedicated programmer as your customer would be at least somewhat beneficial.

What if some company decided to concentrate on the gameplay and content and decided to use Crystal Space or some similar open source engine? Not only do they have all of the engine developers working on the engine behind the game, but the engine gets possibly more help from some of the customers of the game in terms of publicity and support.
Plus, some of the engine developers would probably like that "their" engine is in a commercial game and become unlikely customers as well.
Not a lot of money maybe, but still.

In any case, that is what I meant. I didn't mean that the game should revolve around the technology. I meant that instead of making new technology, they should use an existing engine. Having that engine be open source just makes it better in terms of bug fixes.
On that note, I see that we agree basically and that part of this might have just been a misunderstanding/poor communication on my part.

On the technology/shine lagging behind closed source counterparts, I guess it is a matter of time. Plus the developers of a game could always add their own stuff and send it back to the sourceforge project or whatever. B-)
The gimp is amazing in that it is a fully featured graphics editor. I have seen some things done with it, and I wouldn't know the difference between a Photoshopped image or one that was gimped. Now an engine and an image editor are two different things, but the point is that the technology isn't that far behind.

Whether it will be profitable or not, I guess that would be the question now. I wouldn't mind being able to risk an attempt to see if it would work out for the best. Stupid risk...

[edited by - GBGames on December 6, 2002 7:36:32 PM]

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quote:
Original post by GBGames
What if some company decided to concentrate on the gameplay and content and decided to use Crystal Space or some similar open source engine? Not only do they have all of the engine developers working on the engine behind the game, but the engine gets possibly more help from some of the customers of the game in terms of publicity and support.
Plus, some of the engine developers would probably like that "their" engine is in a commercial game and become unlikely customers as well.
Not a lot of money maybe, but still.

Still what? Still broke? Still Loki?

You and I agree, as you noted, about the viability (and preference) of using third-party middleware whether Open Source or propretary; the question then gravitates to the business model of this company. Is there a large enough Linux userbase for a commercial company to thrive? Yes, but the company must approach the market intelligently.

The Mac user community has traditionally been small, passionate and vocal about their computers - very similar to Linux users. They haven''t historically gotten a lot of hi-tech games, but there have been a number of successful Mac-only game publishing houses. The secret lies in providing polished and fun products, even if not necessarily cutting-edge. The problem for a Linux-only game publisher is the user demographic. Mac users were "regular people" - artists, editors, writers - and tended to be a fairly mature crowd not swayed by visceral depictions of bloody decapitations and explosions; Linux users tend to either be young and impressionable (read: they need explosions and blood; lots of it) or older and highly technical (classical hackers). Not a very good audience.

quote:
The gimp is amazing in that it is a fully featured graphics editor. I have seen some things done with it, and I wouldn''t know the difference between a Photoshopped image or one that was gimped. Now an engine and an image editor are two different things, but the point is that the technology isn''t that far behind.

Technolgy is one thing, and the result of that technology is another. But have you ever used the GIMP? Even with highly similar interfaces, PhotoShop just "feels" more cohesive and comes across as easier to understand and use. To use a term already introduced to the discussion, PhotoShop itself has more "shine" than the GIMP.

quote:
Whether it will be profitable or not, I guess that would be the question now. I wouldn''t mind being able to risk an attempt to see if it would work out for the best.

I wouldn''t. I don''t do high-risk enterprise; I''m in the business of implementing/applying ideas that have proven themselves useful/successful/worthwhile. It may not always be apparent, but it''s always the case.

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