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sakky

DemoLinux -- Bootable Games :D

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sakky    100
I was looking around for some Linux ISOs to download to add to my collection when I came across DemoLinux. DemoLinux is a distribution of Linux that runs off a CD. The screenshots looked very nice to me, as to all Linux screenshots (that damn Linux is just so cool looking). I had this thought cross my mind – Bootable games. Why couldn’t you, or has anyone made a bootable game. The computer can boot from the game CD and then load the required information or libraries into the system memory. Then the rest is just ran like a normal OS. I think it would be bad ass. In fact I would gut up a machine just for that purpose. It would be the ultimate video game console! Well, what do you people think?

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bytecoder    100
I remember hearing about something like that a while ago, but I can't remember its name. Personally, I would never run a game if I had to reboot just to play it. It would turn the pc into an oversized console; which gets rid of one of the best features of pcs--multitasking.

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Cipher3D    340
er...why can't you just use the autorun feature of windows and make games run off of the CD? its the same thing, without the rebooting step.

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gmcbay    130
This topic comes up here once every month or so.

Go ahead and make a bootable game if you really want to, but there are a ton of reasons why it is a bad idea:

Hardly anyone is going to bother rebooting to play your game. Modern OSes multitask for a reason. Why fight it? I know there's no way in hell I'd ever reboot to play a game.

Also, you'd have to include drivers for all possible hardware on your boot CD. And then when the manufacturer updates the drivers, or (worse) comes out with new hardware that didn't exist when your game shipped, you're fucked because your bootCD game is always going to be using the older, buggy drivers.. or in the case of entirely new hardware, your game might just not run at all because no matching driver is found on your bootCD OS.

Last, but not least: game patches. If you discover a bug in your game after it has shipped (and chances are very high you will), there is no reasonable way to patch the bootCD.

All in all this is a horrible idea.




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bytecoder    100
Quote:

er...why can't you just use the autorun feature of windows and make games run off of the CD? its the same thing, without the rebooting step.

The point of having the entire OS on the cd, and therefore the point of the rebooting step, is so that it will run on a computer no matter what OS it has already. But the drawbacks--no multitasking in particular--outweigh the gain, IMO.

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GamerSg    378
But you cant deny that it will focus all of the PC's resources (CPU/RAM) on the game, with minimal resources for the OS(Gentoo can be configured to use only what your game will require). It's hard to believe that a 733mhz Pentium III XBox with a GF3 has games looking as good as their PC counterparts running at their maximum detail settings with far superior hardware. Halo required a much more powerful computer to run when it was ported to the PC.

If the hardware is of the same architecture, you can only blame the OS/background apps for eating up all the resources on a PC.


What could be done is that someone comes up with a linux specifically configured/compiled for games(As minimal as the console OSes). PC users would have to install that OS once into a unused partition, and all future games for that OS would perform better than in Windows.

Only problem is the driver support for linux is still quite poor, and perhaps not everyone knows how to partition their drives.

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bytecoder    100
Quote:

But you cant deny that it will focus all of the PC's resources (CPU/RAM) on the game, with minimal resources for the OS(Gentoo can be configured to use only what your game will require). It's hard to believe that a 733mhz Pentium III XBox with a GF3 has games looking as good as their PC counterparts running at their maximum detail settings with far superior hardware. Halo required a much more powerful computer to run when it was ported to the PC.

If the hardware is of the same architecture, you can only blame the OS/background apps for eating up all the resources on a PC.


What could be done is that someone comes up with a linux specifically configured/compiled for games(As minimal as the console OSes). PC users would have to install that OS once into a unused partition, and all future games for that OS would perform better than in Windows.

Only problem is the driver support for linux is still quite poor, and perhaps not everyone knows how to partition their drives.

Yes, but that still involves a reboot. Besides, it's not like the game would be the only thing running; there would be an OS running still, it just wouldn't be running alot of things. The same could be accomplished by disabling most of the daemons and such and not running a window manager.

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MaulingMonkey    1730
Bootable Game Pros:
1) Ability to cut out un-necessary bits of the bootup process, much faster initilization (minor point, assumes computer is off allready)
2) Ability to control the computer more directly (double buffering in 13h mode on VGA, for example, as was done on DOS... which the multitasking layer of the OS might screw up due to not being able to sync to the vertical retrace. Being able to exactly control the processing of the system instead of leaving it up to the multi-tasking layer of the OS)

Bootable Game Cons:
1) The reasons we abandoned DOS. Reimplementation of drivers required in every game for sound support, and/or hardware acceleration, and/or input devices, etc etc etc....
2) Requiring reboot if the computer is allready on.
3) Inability to multitask.

Bootable as an option Game Pros:
1) Flexibility for simple games. May be suitible for some games, such as 2d side scrollers. _May_.

Bootable as an option Game Cons:
1) More complex a project.

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M3d10n    170
Such idea is, however, suitable for creating PC-based arcade machines. Just get the smallest HD you can find and install the game/OS in it.

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
Frozen bubble is an open source clone of puzzle bubble and is (also) downloadable as a 22M iso file which boots a cstomized Mandrake in order to play the game.

http://www.frozen-bubble.org/index.php?menu_item=1

excerpt from the site :
"If you only run a sucking proprietary OS like Windows, or if you use a lousy Gnu/Linux distribution for which there is no binary package available here, you may try the following alternative: this is a modified installation program of Mandrake Linux for i586, which runs icewm and frozen-bubble 0.9.2, instead of running the actual installation program."

Okay, in this case this is OSS zealot talk and I surely wouldn't want to reboot my PC every time I launch a game. But I have to admit that in some cases, in a LAN party or such, having the ability to run a game without actually install it and mess with exotic versions of drivers, directX and such, it would be easy to bring the CD, let the PC boot, maybe let him download and apply latest patches on a ramdisk (or have it stored in a multisession CD) and play it!

However, I don't think that games which heavily depend on hardware (such as less than 6 months old FPS) would be able to achieve that. Isn't it possible to do the same on the "sucking proprietary OS" with a bootable CD which would boot some sort of fail-safe mode plus DirectX and sound and allow you to play Quake 3 or starcraft on any computer you would encounter ?

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