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Re: Anyone on this list?

Gregor Mückl wrote:

(A lot of good things - most of which I agree with...except...)

> 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.

I think the original poster meant 'ease of installation of the game', 
not 'ease of installation of Linux'.

This is somewhat true.  If you are shipping source code, there is little
problem.  The autoconf/automake scheme is pretty painless once it's set
up (which *ISN'T* painless).  If you only want to ship binaries for some 
reason, there are other installation schemes (like RPM and apt-get) 
which work well too - but they are too dependent on a particular Linux 
distribution which is a major pain.

Remember that most Linux users *PREFER* installing from the source code,
so don't feel you have to make a binary installer just because the users
would prefer it.  That's true under Windoze - but not under Linux (in 

Users are pretty good at:

    tar xzf whatever.tgz
    cd whatever
    ./configure ; make install

...it's really not hard.

So, there is *some* justification here - but I don't think this is the
real reason people would be developing games for Windoze and not for

> Immature tools? Depends. For pure programming the best tools you can get 
> are free (even the Intel compilers for Linux are freely available for 
> non-commecial use).

Yes - the code development problem is solved.  We have everything we 
need to write good code.  IDE's, Compilers, debuggers, profilers, memory
leak detectors and code libraries are all in excellent shape.

> For 2D/3D artwork and sound/music the situation is 
> slightly different, though.

I think we have good 2D artwork tools.  The GIMP is pretty much all you 
need - and there are a bunch of other paint programs, image processors, 
Ray-tracers, etc, etc.

I havn't been too impressed with the quality of audio tools for Linux -
but that situation is improving rapidly...I don't think it would stop
someone from developing for Linux.

The issue with 3D tools has already been discussed at length.  If you 
have money, buy Maya for Linux - and you have the best of the best - and 
(I'm told) it works better under Linux than under Windoze.  $2,000 is a
lot of cash for amateur games developers though.

If you can stand to use Blender (or even *like* it) then you are also
well off.

Failing that, there are a pile of semi-usable, semi-useful, 
games-oriented 3D modellers out there - none of which really hit the 
spot for me.


Personally, I think the original premise here is wrong.  Given that
only a couple of percent of desktop users are using Linux, it's
remarkable that such a large percentage of amateur games writers
are targetting the Linux platform.

Another thing is that because Linux is all about openness and
standards with a heavy emphasis on portability, it's hardly any
more difficult to write a multiplatform game than it is to write
a Linux-only game.  Hence, almost all Linux games that are any good
get ported to Windoze.

However, if you write a game in DirectX or rely heavily on the Windoze
API, porting that game to Linux is an absolute pain in the ass.

Hence there is a unidirectional flow of freeware games that favors
Windoze.  In a rational world, all games developers would work under
Linux and port their code to Windoze as they go along.  However, the
world is not a rational place and a lot of Windoze developers are
either blind to the possibilities or just don't care about other

---------------------------- Steve Baker -------------------------
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