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Re: Loki...

"J. Perkins" wrote:
> Steve Baker wrote:
> > My efforts (Tux - A Quest for Herring, TuxKart and now "The Chronicles of
> > the Evil Overlord") have tried to circumvent these problems.
> An observation Steve, which I hope you will take in the
> manner it's intended. TQFH and TuxKart are both really fun
> games, and you did an excellent job on both, but perhaps
> they aren't games that *Linux users* like to play?
> Certainly there are successful game projects under Linux,
> FreeCiv being a prime example, FlightGear comes to mind
> (is that really a game though?). Your two are what I
> would consider "console" style games, and the people who
> like those kind of games, well they play them on consoles.

That's certainly a valid criticism - and TCOTEO addresses that
(if I ever get it done).  They were designed to be like console
games because my primary motivation was to get my (then 8 year old)
son interested - and he was very much into Mario'64 and MarioKart
which have more than a passing resemblance to TuxAQFH and TuxKart!

Oliver is 11 now - so expect more 'Teen-rated' games emerging from
The Bakery in the future.

It's not a total loss though - FlightGear is pretty successful - and
it uses 65,000 lines of code (my PLIB library) and about 100,000 lines
of it's own code.  Looking at it another way, 93% of the code that I
wrote for TuxKart is in FGFS!

My point is though that for Linux to be a gamer's platform with *only*
OpenSource games, we'd have to produce a great game every month.  Most
great games seem to consume 100 man years or so of total effort and
200,000 lines of code.  FlightGear probably comes close to that - they
must have 20 active developers - and they've been at it for *years*.

We'd need maybe 3000 active developers with the right mix of skills
- working in organized teams all putting in maybe 10 or 20 hours a week
to achieve that.

It's not going to happen.

> > 1) With most OpenSource packages, the developers write it because they
> >      want to *use* it.  Nobody wants to play the game they just wrote
> >      because they already know all it's little secrets and are heartily
> >      sick of the sight of it by the time they are done.
> >
> A simplistic solution would be to not write those kind of games.
> Games that require a certain amount of skill (Tetris, racesims,
> etc.), have plenty of random elements, or heavily involve
> other people (MMRPG) remain playable even for the authors.

Yes.  I do still occasionally fire up TuxKart - for that reason - but
the incentive to win a race in order to "open up" another track isn't
there because I know every kink and wiggle of all of the tracks.

> For the rest of your points, I think it's a matter of making a
> game that people want to play, and perhaps more importantly,
> play over an extended period of time. I can't help but wonder,
> had TuxKart looked just as good as the console version, would
> it have been much more successful? I'm not sure. I know my
> kid stopped playing Crash a while ago, but he still comes
> back to Spyro on a regular basis. The problem, of course,
> is trying to figure out what people want to play. If I knew
> *that* I'd be sunning myself on a beach somewhere instead of
> sitting here. ;)


TuxKart wasn't unsuccessful in terms of what it is.  There were
probably 100,000 downloads before it fizzled out - but all that happened
over a period of a month or so - there was a flurry of email on the
mailing list - then interest died out.  That shouldn't suprise me - I
guess my kid didn't play MarioKart for more than a month before he
lost interest.

But would you really set out to write something of that magnitude
if you knew that it would be played for a month or two and then forgotten?

So - I guess the answer is to look for a game idea with a longer life.
----------------------------- Steve Baker -------------------------------
Mail : <sjbaker1@airmail.net>   WorkMail: <sjbaker@link.com>
URLs : http://www.sjbaker.org
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       http://prettypoly.sf.net http://freeglut.sf.net
       http://toobular.sf.net   http://lodestone.sf.net