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The Rise of Linux/Mac Gaming?

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Face it. There are so few games on MacOS X and Linux, and the few that are there are generally pretty old and have been hand-ported. The only reason development companies ever support Linux is for a server mode for the game, and few companies support MacOS X. The only games that are for Linux or MacOS X are hand-ported by companies like Loki. But with OpenGL 2.0 coming out, OpenAL reaching its maturity, and SDL being stable as ever, I think that there is absolutely no reason why companies should not take the time and take the small task of making their games portable from the ground up. Most development companies have an excuse for not doing this: they are using non-portable APIs such as DirectX. However, companies may now consider OpenGL 2.0 and OpenAL more and more. Now if you are building a game from OpenGL 2.0 and OpenAL, why not just make it portable? You can just use SDL to initialize OpenGL, so there is basically no system-independent code. So do you think that, with the emergence of OpenGL 2.0, OpenAL, and SDL, that gaming could be taken over to MacOS/X and Linux?

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Just want to point out that OpenAL isn''t the only cross platform sound lib out there. FMOD has been very mature for quite some time now.
The biggest reason I can see for not making crossplatform games is that there is little market value to opening a game up to Mac/Linux. The companies often have tools or at least experience creating for the PC platform and probably see little reason to change.

karg

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My game works very well under Linux
I am using OpenGL 1.1, SDL, SDL_net, and SDL_mixer.
But it works only on Windows and Linux, doesn''t work on Mac, because:
1. I don''t have a Mac.
2. I hate the endianess change, so I''d have to rewrite a lot of code...

Height Map Editor | Eternal Lands | Fast User Directory

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I think a lot is ignorance. Everyone knows what DirectX is. I have used SDL a lot, but recently I heard it couses programs to run unnecesarily slow. I am looking into GLFW to see how it compares. I think it just isnt simple enough. Personally, I will always write cross platform, but others will find it easier to just go with the standard. If croos platform libs become more standardized, i think we will see change.

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We need more linux gamers especially those that are willing to part with their money Demand for games will drive game companies to meet it. That will create competition in the marketplace which in turn will result in better games or more of them. This will raise ihv interest and they''ll make better drivers since people will be buying linux hw. Better hw drivers and better dev. tools will drive more game devs to linux. More games will be produced and this will drive more gamers to linux and the whole cycle repeats. So you need to start with more gamers to create the initial demand so game companies can make profit otherwise they will go hungry and die.

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Yeah, I agree with JD. Most of the people using linux are using it for either a.) business (including servers), b) academia, or c.) free software. None of those categories are very condusive to buying games.

Yes, there are people who really do prefer it as a home desktop OS; but they are few and far between, and many are more than willing to dual boot so they can play the latest Windows games.

More Demand will result in more supply. Right now, the way I see it, Linux needs to become more user friendly so that Joe computer illiterate would honestly consider using it rather than Windows before it will have any impact on the gaming industry. Now, if you take away the gaming industry and just ask if Linux should become more friendly for Joe C.I., you get a whole new debate. So I wouldn;t plan on any major surge of Linux games soon, unfortunately.

The Tyr project is here.

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Mainstream professional developers have been writing multiplatform games for years . But they don''t give a gnat''s chuff about Linux. Most don''t even develop for Windows, since the PC market lost its dominance years ago.

Take a look around your local "Electronics Boutique" (or "Game", if you''re in Europe) and notice how the PC isn''t the platform getting all the marketing and hype. Consoles are where the money is. And multi-platform development has moved on from low-level APIs like OpenGL and DirectX. Middleware is where it''s at.

--
Sean Timarco Baggaley


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I like control over everything and from what code I''ve seen, it looks like SDL only gives limited control over the main window. Using the WinAPI, I can change the borders or disable them, enable/disable the titlebar, etc. This is good because when in fullscreen mode I remove the borders and titlebar so the window is completely flat. This looks much better when in the process of activating fullscreen mode.

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I think we need to wait for OpenML to get professional before such rise in linux/mac gaming. Because I don''t think game makers will make use of a independent designed library as SDL. OpenML made by a major company and approved by ARB(wich has it credibility) would be more reliable.
I think the formula OpenGL 2.0, OpenAL(later) and OpenML(later), could pretty much bring a rise in those market share.

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quote:
Original post by CGameProgrammer
I like control over everything and from what code I''ve seen, it looks like SDL only gives limited control over the main window. Using the WinAPI, I can change the borders or disable them, enable/disable the titlebar, etc. This is good because when in fullscreen mode I remove the borders and titlebar so the window is completely flat. This looks much better when in the process of activating fullscreen mode.



You can do that in SDL too.



Height Map Editor | Eternal Lands | Fast User Directory

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I''m writing my current engine using SDL and FMOD, with a view to making it completely cross-platform (i.e. no changes to the source code).

Endianness is a major problem for people who aren''t expecting it. I found it came up most rfrequently when loading assets in - you can''t just readfile(&var, sizeof(DWORD)) if the file you''re reading from was created on a machine with a different architecture. Once in memory, it takes care of itself, on the whole.

I''ve not found SDL to be slow at all. I''ve isolated it in the foundation tier of my engine, so if I need to replace it I can do so with minimal changes to 90% of the engine. But I''m playing fullscreen (1280x1024x32bpp) DirectShow movies through it - the framerate is at 60fps, locked to my monitor (because I have no need to make it faster).

All that we need now is for SDL to get PS2 and XBox support. Then SDL and FMOD will be the perfect couple.

Superpig
- saving pigs from untimely fates, and when he''s not doing that, runs The Binary Refinery.

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When I walk into the local Apple store (yes I know they aren''t exactly in every mall or shopping center) I do see a lot of the bigger PC titles for the Mac, i.e. Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Quake III, The Sims and a lot of the other hits. They really filter on the bigger hits for the most part, which keeps out the smaller titles and niche games.

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Personally, all of my future games will be developed for Linux as well. I've always been a fan of linux, just never had had means of running it (always comp troubles grrrr)... like my harddrive is crazy and partitionmagic wont partition it... cause ya know i gotta dual boot... but ah yea anyway, once I build a new linux box I'll definetly start developing games for linux, probably port my current "galaxacon" project too. I'm mainly curious to see how things run in comparison to windowsXP But yea, I would love to see Linux take off, even though it probably wont for a long time.

Oh yea, and i use OpenGL (of course) and FMOD. I highly recommend FMOD, its quite handy, and cross-platform of course.

Hmm.. are there any good dev tools for linux? I dont know what id do without my handy vc6!

And in regards to SDL, I found flickering in some of the SDL games i've played... so i dunno i wouldnt say its too reliable of an API, then again I'd really have to look into that more to have an accurate perseption.

-plasmicsoup
Gilgamesh Games

[edited by - plasmicsoup on March 24, 2003 9:19:36 PM]

[edited by - plasmicsoup on March 24, 2003 9:21:21 PM]

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Now for linux, nope, it ain''t going to happen. Ports usually come out late, and the majority of Linux users have Windows Boxes anyways. If the game is important, than the game will be out of Windows a lot sooner than Linux. So the majority of the people won''t wait, and will buy the Windows verson.

Why is this important, well, people bytch that since they bought the Windows verson, they deserve the linux verson. Cries of, "make this opensource!" are heard through most of the linux world.

Most users, including linux users, don''t understand that it takes work to port something to linux, to make sure everything works, they only understand that us game developers are trying to sell them the same product TWICE!!

So maybe if it was easy to port, and both verson were simultaneous released, or even in the same box, then it would work, but other than that, nope...

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One thing we''re attempting is to design our game engine as cross-platform as possible. I''ve had to write some Win32-specific code for disk access and main OS loop (which I intend to port to Linux/Mac equivalents eventually) but the rest of the engine is pretty straightforward in terms of OS-independence.



MatrixCubed
http://MatrixCubed.cjb.net

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Not sure if this helps you in any way at all, but Shadowbane is being equally released on both PC and Mac at the same time, so they probably use OpenGL or some other such cross-platform library. Then again the graphics in Shadowbane are pretty crappy so it''s a bad representation of OpenGL

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quote:
Original post by stimarco
Mainstream professional developers have been writing multiplatform games for years . But they don''t give a gnat''s chuff about Linux. Most don''t even develop for Windows, since the PC market lost its dominance years ago.

Take a look around your local "Electronics Boutique" (or "Game", if you''re in Europe) and notice how the PC isn''t the platform getting all the marketing and hype. Consoles are where the money is. And multi-platform development has moved on from low-level APIs like OpenGL and DirectX. Middleware is where it''s at.


Good grief, another one falls victim to the "PC is dead, console is king" rumor!!!

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About FMOD, I don''t know why but sounds play about one second delayed in linux, and without esd or other sound server.

And you don''t need to wait OpenGL 2.0. OpenGL is very capable of doing things.

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quote:
Original post by Raduprv
My game works very well under Linux
I am using OpenGL 1.1, SDL, SDL_net, and SDL_mixer.
But it works only on Windows and Linux, doesn''t work on Mac, because:
1. I don''t have a Mac.
2. I hate the endianess change, so I''d have to rewrite a lot of code...

Height Map Editor | Eternal Lands | Fast User Directory


You don''t have to worry about endianess in SDL it has libraries to deal with endianess thats why its cross platform. Check out sdl_endian.h I think in the SDL header directory. I am using SDL on my new PowerMac running OSX and love it. I use OpenGL and SDL and will probably move to using FMOD for the sound and music if I decide I dont'' like SDL''s sound/music libararies.

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PlasmicStefu: Kylix now supports C++ in version 3, but I don''t konw how good it is.

stefu: The reason I said OpenGL 2.0 is that I expect that, with 2.0 coming out, there will be a lot of hype and developers will start developing for it more.

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