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Gaming in Linux

Gaming: Does Linux have a future in the arcade zone?

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GamingDoes Linux have a future in the arcade zone?

GNU/Linux has an immense potential, not only because of the fact that it can be ported to myriad of devices and installed on almost any hardware, but also because of the touch of openness and freedom it provides to its users. The question here is, will Linux be ideal to base all games in? Currently, Linux might not have as many games as Windows probably has but fact that Linux has a strong community of developers in its periphery shows a better future.

Linux games create a separate niche market for its users. Are the gamers, more than just users, are willing to go that extra mile and make an extra effort for a great gaming experience? It isn’t strange that a large section of the gaming industry is still not acquainted with the gaming options in Linux, sadly though.

A large collection of good 3D games may probably lead to a heavy increase in its user base. Linux gaming outcasts the open-source world, as there aren’t enough Linux users who believe in Linux gaming and its advertisement. Linux is not yet into competition with Windows, as far as gaming is concerned but there definitely lies a future. The appeal of free games and the exotic open environment experience shall be hard enough to resist, especially for the geeky teenagers.

Gaming is just another pillar for Linux to increase its user base and market share.

Min suggests that Linux gaming may be the key to beating Windows-plus-Office, in part because the demographics of gamers mesh well with the demographics of Linux users. Linux servers host a lot of high-quality online games available and provide a plenty of choice. On the stand alone desktop games, the selection is still thin when compared to the MS Windows platform.

If you’re an Ubuntu fan and need some help configuring your graphic cards, check out the Ubuntu games wiki.

Shifting to the world of gaming in Linux does not imply that one has to compromise on the habits and styles of playing games. Infact Linux offers its own share of gaming experience – which is slightly different in a better sense. Linux can attract the masses by making them addictive of the programmability features i.e. the power of customization of the character, game, features and graphics. Further, the possibilities of optimizing a game are endless.

Gaming in Linux would revolutionize the entire PC gaming industry, and broaden the gaming market. However there needs to be great business model for the developers to put in their hard work and build something that can squeeze some users off today’s largest gaming platform – MS Windows, which has painted the gaming industry with colors!

  1. One of the major problems with Linux games in desktop environment is that they crash often. I am not talking about the normal games but graphic intense games.

  2. One of the major problems with Linux games in desktop environment is that they crash often. I am not talking about the normal games but graphic intense games.

  3. The main problem is that Linux don't have enough market share to justify the extra coding. Only a few commercial games(World of Goo comes to mind) have a Linux version.

    @John Samuel
    You must be playing the games with Wine - it has a few stability issues. But when games are release for Linux, that will be fixed.

  4. The main problem is that Linux don't have enough market share to justify the extra coding. Only a few commercial games(World of Goo comes to mind) have a Linux version.

    @John Samuel
    You must be playing the games with Wine - it has a few stability issues. But when games are release for Linux, that will be fixed.

  5. Linux games crash often?

    I've run both Windows XP and Linux (Ubuntu 8.04) and by far I see Windows falling over more frequently than Linux FPS games.

    Prey comes to mind as a really intense FPS game. Runs great. Savage 2 (another graphically intense game) runs just awesome. Unreal Tournament 2004. Return to Castle Wolfenstein (just to name a few) I own and they run great. Did I mention these are native to Linux also?

    How about Windows games that run under WINE in Linux. Counterstrike Source, Team Fortress 2, Day of Defeat Source, Half Life 2, World of WarCraft, Call of Duty 4, StarCraft, Star Trek Armada......

    I have a few dozen Windows games and the ONLY problem I had was using the in game voice chat with Source / Steam games. Everything else was awesome. And that's under Linux.

    FYI... I've been a linux gamer for several years. I don't know if that makes a difference but honestly, I don't see why Windows is necessary.

    I just wish there were more games natively under linux. And I'm not alone.

  6. Linux games crash often?

    I've run both Windows XP and Linux (Ubuntu 8.04) and by far I see Windows falling over more frequently than Linux FPS games.

    Prey comes to mind as a really intense FPS game. Runs great. Savage 2 (another graphically intense game) runs just awesome. Unreal Tournament 2004. Return to Castle Wolfenstein (just to name a few) I own and they run great. Did I mention these are native to Linux also?

    How about Windows games that run under WINE in Linux. Counterstrike Source, Team Fortress 2, Day of Defeat Source, Half Life 2, World of WarCraft, Call of Duty 4, StarCraft, Star Trek Armada......

    I have a few dozen Windows games and the ONLY problem I had was using the in game voice chat with Source / Steam games. Everything else was awesome. And that's under Linux.

    FYI... I've been a linux gamer for several years. I don't know if that makes a difference but honestly, I don't see why Windows is necessary.

    I just wish there were more games natively under linux. And I'm not alone.

  7. I've often thought Linux offers a lot of potential to real hardcore PC gamers. A distro like Gentoo in particular would be ideal for gamers because it would let them leave out all the bloat of Windows to make a fast, lightweight operating system. They could leave out all the drivers they don't need from the kernel, use a lightweight window manager like Fluxbox instead of a full desktop and compile everything specifically for their hardware to get every last bit of speed out of it. I expect this would give a substantial boost in gaming performance compared to the same game on Windows.
    I guess what Linux really needs is either an API comparable to DirectX, or some kind of free software implementation of DirectX, similar to how Mono is a free software implementation of .NET. I' sure I heard Wine does this to a certain extent though.

  8. I've often thought Linux offers a lot of potential to real hardcore PC gamers. A distro like Gentoo in particular would be ideal for gamers because it would let them leave out all the bloat of Windows to make a fast, lightweight operating system. They could leave out all the drivers they don't need from the kernel, use a lightweight window manager like Fluxbox instead of a full desktop and compile everything specifically for their hardware to get every last bit of speed out of it. I expect this would give a substantial boost in gaming performance compared to the same game on Windows.
    I guess what Linux really needs is either an API comparable to DirectX, or some kind of free software implementation of DirectX, similar to how Mono is a free software implementation of .NET. I' sure I heard Wine does this to a certain extent though.

  9. Another thing Linux could use is support for the things that keep gamers coming back-- like achievements. The Linux world needs an Xbox Live equivalent; XBMC may be it, but I can never get an answer to email queries. The concept also needs to be extended to the mobile Linux world; I'm hoping to drive this with MeeGo (www.meego.com).

  10. Another thing Linux could use is support for the things that keep gamers coming back-- like achievements. The Linux world needs an Xbox Live equivalent; XBMC may be it, but I can never get an answer to email queries. The concept also needs to be extended to the mobile Linux world; I'm hoping to drive this with MeeGo (www.meego.com).

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