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Should you support Linux?

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#21 Bregma   Members   


Posted 10 October 2012 - 07:49 AM

Here's a parable for you.

A man is dropped into a city of one million people. "Boy," he says, "there's a half a million women here!!!"

Another man is dropped into a remote rainforest where he encounters a village inhabited only by desperate Amazons who have not seen a male in six months and have an endless supply of fresh raw oysters.

If you wanted to find a mate, would you rather be the man dropped in the city or the one in the Amazon village? Choose carefully, behind the third door is a goat.

Seriously, target Ubuntu and sell your game through their software store. A userbase of over 2 million known to pay for games, help in packaging, an established distribution channel, and a market with a well-developed appetite. Sales there would subsidize your effort to break into the Windows market.
Stephen M. Webb
Professional Free Software Developer

#22 rnlf   Members   


Posted 10 October 2012 - 07:51 AM

Also, all other distro's users are probably comfy with derping around for a while to get the game working.

#23 Rasterman   Members   


Posted 10 October 2012 - 08:52 AM

In my engine I support Win7, Win8RT, OSX, Android, iOS, Web (JS+WebGL), NaCl and NPAPI, but not linux. The reason is majorly because the number of distros is huge and after evaluating it, the build and packaging process is a pain. If you ask five different linux people what the most important distro to support is, you'll get at least five different answers. Depending on distro * distro version * kernel version * GPU card vendor combination, the support for OpenGL driver varies wildly. The system testing complexity is up the roof compared to any other platform. And most importantly, since the market segment is smaller compared to Windows and OSX and there are no good marketing channels, I can't see the point in it. If you're already a linux whiz that knows the different distros and kernels and drivers in and out, perhaps you'll be able to pull off decent support for all the combinations with a bearable/manageable pain, but for "normal" developers, I don't think it's at all worth it.

If some big player (Valve+Steam?) comes in and manages to unify the development pain (doubt it), then I'll definitely be reconsidering.

You may find these articles a good source, supposedly they explain how to create an exe that will run and install on any distro, so you only have to create and manage one.


Edited by Rasterman, 10 October 2012 - 08:56 AM.

#24 jmakitalo   Members   


Posted 10 October 2012 - 01:09 PM

I think, if you like Linux and know how to code for it, and if you're an indie or hobbyist, it's your obligation to pave the way for future developers. If you don't know anything about Linux and return of invest is your primary concern, it's probably not the time for Linux yet.

I am actually doing it the other way around. I'm developing everything on Linux, using only multi-platform libraries and will create a Windows port later on. But I'm not in any way depending on the sales.

I'm pretty much on the same track, developing primarily for Linux, but building also for Windows. I do it as a hobby, so I don't have to consider market shares and such. I noticed that there are a lot of multiplayer FPS games for Linux, mostly build upon the old id tech:s, but practically no tactical shooters that are up-to-date visually. There was America's army, which I played a lot, and it was sad when it was discontinued on Linux. I then decided to try to make a tactical multiplayer FPS primarily for Linux and after two years of work now it starts to be in a pretty good shape. I consider my work as paving the way for tactical shooters on Linux.

#25 Orymus3   Members   


Posted 11 October 2012 - 06:54 PM

Orymus3, on 09 October 2012 - 06:55 PM, said:

You don't get a lot of sales on Linux, but its generally not an overcrowded market. The big advantage you might have here is if your game is "a lot like" another game (say, an RTS) and your competitors didn't port to Linux yet. You might rake a few sales you wouldn't otherwise. If you can identify your market and competition effectively, it might turn into a more appealing market. Without more details about your product, it would be impossible to advise.

Here is my game:

Did you expect me to do your marketing research there and see what your competition is? I'm affraid that's your job...

-=- My Articles -=-
Getting Games Done - Method and tools on how to start a hobby project and get it Done!

The Art of Enemy Design in Zelda: A Link to the Past - Reverse-engineering functional enemy design from applied example.

Retro Mortis - "RTS" - Article Series (4 Parts) on the history of RTS development (4th part finally released!!!)


#26 / derda4   Banned   


Posted 12 October 2012 - 12:29 AM

Linux is about 10% marketshare, but only for top notch games. Because there are tons of freeware/openSource, maybe even more than on any other OS.
I don't think you would sell a lot of your games, but compared to the needed changes, supporting Linux is no wasted time. However go for LSB 4 alike google
has done:

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