[Nottingham] Games on Linux

Michael Simms michael at tuxgames.com
Thu Nov 3 14:29:08 GMT 2005

On Thu, 2005-11-03 at 12:36 +0000, Simon wrote:
> I was reading a website about Mac OSX for Intel when I found some
> interesting information. It seems a fair few games companies are
> wanting to port games to this system. Given that PowerPC macs will be
> in use for a while yet, it could take a long time for the Intel line
> to get as big. But these companies are wanting to port the games.
> Regarding the Linux community, do we have anything to gain here?
> Surely if they port games to run on OSX intel then it's pretty trivial
> to port to run on Linux? Is this even possible though?

Aha, I missed the original email.

The problem there is that right now there is only one company that is
doing a whole lot to port Linux games, and thats mine, and we are
stretched to our utter limit in what we are doing. We have work backed
up for a long time. Too much work not enough staffmembers {:-(. Very
very few companies want to do in-house ports of games, and most of them
want a whole boatload of money just to say hello to a Linux company. A
lot of that was caused by Loki software ripping off many of the Windows
companies to the tune of around 2 million dollars. Makes them a bit
cautious now.

As I mentioned its all about the libraries, so a port from MacOS to
Linux is not a lot different from a port from windows to linux.

However saying that, a port to a third platform is ALWAYS easier than a
port to a second. Porting to the second you will need to abstract a lot
of the code to make it run (while maintaining the ability to patch the
source code for yourown updates). This means that the vast majority of
porting points have been identified, making the whole job easier for the
third platform.

So actually, yes, we may have something to gain on this (I hope) but the
problem isnt a technical one for the most part. Companies dont see Linux
as big enough on the desktop to bother about,and for the most part they
are right, unfortunately.

We need to get past the barrier of 'Im not using linux cos it hasnt got
the applications I need / We arent making our applications for Linux
because people arent using it'. Its a hard cycle to break out of though.

I for one dont know how we will do that except time and patience.
Michael Simms - CEO, Tux Games

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