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Re: Anyone on this list?

On Mon, 28 Oct 2002, [ISO-8859-1] Gregor Mückl wrote:

>Jan Ekholm wrote:
>> It would be nice to see some more traffic on this list, as the one other
>> game-related list (opengl-gamedev) I know of is just about Windows games.
>What should the extra traffic be about? Implementations, algorithms, 
>game theory or what else? Problem is that these topics may get very 
>project specific. And most projects keep those details to themselves, 

Ok, something I've been wondering about is where I could get data/info for
my game about animating in 3D a running guy/girl with a rifle in his/her
hands. I don't need something complex, just some frames of a wireframe
animation. I'm no good at that stuff, so some list of coords that have
been found to work would be ideal.

Other thing: what do people use for simple multiplayer servers? Say, a few
players on a local LAN. I planned on putting a central server in the
middle, and routing all traffic through it. Is it worth adding the extra
complexity that UDP drags in, or is TCP enough? Pretty frequent updates of
small amounts of data (player position and some angles).

Another thing: what can be said to be the minimum hardware a normal Linux
user has? Can a 3D card be assumed? I don't have one.

Another thing: where can one find free/dirt cheap textures? I need a few
nice bushes and trees, but all I can find is pics about an anonymous
president. :) The best ones I've found so far have been from Combat
Mission, but those of course not legal to distribute.

Another thing: do people want to play games fullscreen or windowed? Must a
game support fullscreen in order to be viable?

Hmm, these are issues that I've been thinking about for my game. The thing
is so far not released, but it can be shared if someone wants it.

>Do you really want an answer to this?

It could spur some discussion, which is what it was meant for. 

>Linux is not really missing hardware support. Most high quality sound 
>and video hardware has superb support for Linux (Creative and nVidia are 
>good examples here). So cancel that out.

Do we really have good audio hw support? Stuff like OpenAL is afaik
software on Linux and hw on Windows. Why do most vendors eventually
release (often) crippled and unsupported drivers that lack features that
the Windows drivers have?

>Helper libraries are not a problem either. Loki has successfully ported 
>several successful high quality titles to Linux using SDL, OpenGL and 

If it wasn't for SDL I don't think Linux would have a fraction of the
games it has now. There sure *are* good stuff out there. I tried the Loki
installer once (from CVS), but it didn't even compile anymore.

>So this works for production use. You can't get much further 
>than this ;). Btw: the upcoming UT2003 uses OpenAL and SDL on both Linux 
>and Windows (have a look at the Sytem/ subdirectoy in the demo to see 
>the proof)!

Unfortunately I don't have a machine capable of running UT2k003, but I
will try it once I get a newer machine. I've heard that the Linux version
is a lot slower though. Is that true.

>Installing Linux shouldn't be a problem anymore. I've read reports that 
>first-time users have installed Linux more quickly than a up-to-date 
>M$-OS. The installers for Linux are really easy to use by now and can 
>simplify installation even more than M$ does (which is a very useful 
>feature for totally inexperienced users). Rule that out, too.

Not installing Linux per se, that is something that is as easy (or hard)
as installing any modern OS. I meant the games themselves. Doing the
automake/autoconf/libtool/rpm/deb dance is not for the faint of heart.
Apps like KDevelop ease this process, but those that came up with the
auto* toolchain must've been either ubergod developers or on mushrooms.
Couldn't Linux get something that works on a LSB system, and screw the
those that don't fulfill it? Some kind of installer thingie that doesn't
require the developer to have an additional Masters in rocket science?

>Too eager/unskilled developers, unrealistic projects, lack of time: you 
>*do* see this on other platforms as well. It is not limited to Linux 
>only. Esp. for the Windows plattform there is a big (and already very 
>organized - at least here in Germany) community of independent game 
>developers. Of course many projects fail. Only a small fraction of them 
>ever gets completed, but because of the sheer number of developers and 
>projects this small fraction still leads to a considerable output. 
>Another reason is that going commecial on Windows is a lot easier than 
>doing the same on Linux because the market share of gamers that use 
>Linux is virtually non-existent. The situation is like an inverse 
>self-fulfilling prophecy: No one is making games for Linux, so why 
>should I be interested in using Linux as OS? - No serious gamer has 
>Linux installed, so why should I have my game ported? As long as no 
>serious high-quality titles (read: commecial games) are available for 
>Linux (even better: Linux only) the market for Linux games won't 
>increase. And as long as the market isn't there most spare-time Linux 
>game projects will be bound to fail because they are only driven by 
>self-motivation and not by outlook that the project might go commecial 
>one day and actually make money.

Well, I'm a serious gamer, but a PS2-gamer. :) Developing Linux games has
its fun moments, and one of these days I'll actually get all needed things
working so that I have something that works. But it's also a journey full
of frustration, and those frustrations start (at the latest) when you have
something that "works for me" and you want others to be able to test it
and give some feedback.

Does the GPL thingie prohibit me from charging for a game I create if I
use normal Linux stuff like Linux, OpenGL, SDL, g++, python etc? If that
isn't possible (without giving out the source) then we already have a
problem at that point. Why pay for shareware (or "full" commercial) if you
can copy it for free.

Phew. Let's see if this list gets some life for a few mails now....

     "I name you... Esmeralda Margaret Note Spelling of Lancre!"
                                      -- Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum