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Re: Announcement -> Slashdot

Rob Kaper wrote:

>> Anyway, any objections against having the announcement text as slashdot
>> editorial plus a note on freshmeat?
>I could place the editorial.. I don't really mind cookies.. not from [fm]

Ok. I attached the newest version (i.e. the version you all already know
with the links adapted to the actual LGDC site).

BTW: Do you know how long it will take from posting the editorial until it
actualy appears on the Freshmeat pages? We won't make it on Friday in any
case, but it's interesting nevertheless...

BTW2: Can everyone come to this saturday's IRC meeting?



Drive C: not found: (A)bort (R)etry (P)anic
Title: The Linux Game Development Center

The Linux Game Development Center


Linux is gaining much attention these days. People who were anti-Linux for a long time suddenly discover that it has changed much the past few years, ultraconservative magazines feature positive stories about Linux at prominent places and The Big Ones in the computer business are almost crowding to support the former "hacker OS".

Good press is always welcome - but can Linux live up to its new image? Can it avoid to dissapoint the people finally giving it a try?

Well, the "It doesn't have a nice, easy to use desktop" and "There are no applications for it" arguments are vanishing in a puff of colorful smoke and the "It's too hard to install" problem is quietly dissolving. But there's still that nasty "But I can't play my favourite games in Linux!" thing.

Linux has games. Linux has good games. But that other operating system has several orders of magnitude more good games than Linux. That's bad. And difficult to overcome, as it's not only because of technical reasons. But we, the free software community, have have a long history of solving problems and shipping around obstacles. There is no reason why we should not be able to solve this issue, too.

So what's the current situation, what needs to be done and what can be done? Here is a short overview of the major issues:

Quick Summary

In essence we are suggesting that this new Linux Game Development Center be a kind of meta-project. It would be dedicated to advocating Linux as gaming platform, collecting knowledge about Linux game development and using it to help all interested people, providing facilities for discussion to Linux game developers and, last but not least, encouraging and helping existing free (Open Source®) game SDK projects coordinate with one another.

Please note that this is not an attempt to impose standards or rules on anyone. We just want to do what we can to help everybody coordinate their project with the others and to encourage all game SDK developers to develop compatible libraries.

This is also a call for developers, users and game SDK projects to join our efforts.


In the beginning ... there were many unrelated games SDK projects started by many different groups with little or no inter-group communication or coordination.

The initial initiative of starting the Linux Game Development site came from Ian Crawford (you can read his announcement of the site here).

It was first meant as a meeting and coordination point for people developing native and free Linux games, but its scope was soon widened to support Linux game development in general - the phrase "This site aspires to be the headquarters for all Linux game development" is from that time.

Cut - Switch to the PenguinPlay mailing list. Shortly after Ian's announcement of the site, Sam Lantiga suggested on the PenguinPlay mailing list that people could get together on IRC to discuss the future of Linux game development. His idea was considered as "really good" and after the first meeting the thing was extended to all people involved in pushing game development for Linux. Here are the archives of past meetings and the plans for future ones.

Well, the irc meetings became a regular event (each Saturday) and the possibility to have a real-time discussion through irc gave a big push to our work. We started discussing on how we could coordinate our efforts better, how to make Linux more appealing to professional game developers etc. After a few meetings we came to the conclusion that it would be best to merge the SDK projects (ClanLib, CrystalSpace, GAMES and PenguinPlay) to one, giving it the full support. It seemed to be the right thing, but we were a bit uneasy with it, as merging projects is a very, very difficult task.

Then Charles Durst threw in an proposal for a clearing house project, i.e. a project that would give developers from different game SDK projects a good way to communicate with each other, remind these developers to keep the different SDKs compatible to each other etc. He first proposed that PenguinPlay could become this "meta-project", but we found Ian Crawford's "Linux Game Development Center" much more fitting.

We started working on the homepage for this and Charles wrote an announcement text we wanted to post on Slashdot or Freshmeat and several newsgroups. However, as we assembled material for the homepage, discussed its structure etc it slowly mutated from the "Linux Game SDK Coordination Center" to a site for Linux game development in general - the "Linux Game Development Center" or LGDC for short. Ian's original site laid the foundation for this (as it was aimed at helping people to develop actual games) and the transformation was completed when the "Linux Game Breeding (LGB)" (aimed at creation of new projects around Linux GameDev) and "Linux Gaming Awareness (LGA)" (aimed at advocating Linux to commercial game developers) projects joined in.

So here we are. The Linux Game Development Center is a project from Open Source® game developers, maintained by them and dedicated to all people interested in the subject. Located at www.linuxgames.org, it serves as a sister site to www.linuxgames.com, the already well-established site targeted towards game players.

The Proposal

The new Linux Game Development Center would:

While game development for Linux would be an important goal of the web site, the most important goal would be the development of quality cross-platform game libraries. For that reason, developers of games and game SDKs for platforms other than Linux would be more than welcome to join us. Especially if they are interested in porting software to or from Linux.

In the end, there would still be multiple, competing game SDK packages, but that should be OK as long as at least one comprehensive open-source solution can be cobbled together from the pieces. As we have seen with multiple distributions, and even the KDE/GNOME projects, competition can sometimes be a very good thing ... if you can see past the flame wars.

The biggest problem with having multiple, competing projects is the resultant (developer and user) confusion. What we are proposing is a Linux Game Development Center that is aimed simply at reducing that confusion by helping people to find, evaluate, combine and use the available tools, or to develop new, missing ones.


At this point, we are mainly looking for:

All interested people are invited to join the linuxgames mailing list and participate in the discussions (send a blank message to linuxgames-subscribe@sunsite.auc.dk)

Current Linux Game Development Projects

These are the current Linux Game Development projects we have been able to locate and invite to participate. If your favorite project is not included, let us know and please join us.

Charles Durst, Christian Reiniger