Thanks to Slashdot, I saw the article at MadPenguin.org called Linux Gaming 2.0: Why More Linux Users Aren’t Gamers and immediately dove into it.
Never dive into shallow water head first.
I was really expecting to see an in-depth article on the subject. Instead, it seemed to be a very short advertisement for Garage Games and Torque. Back on Slashdot, ChuckyKibbles wrote a comment called
On Hobbyists Hocking GarageGames:
The reason I started using torque, years ago now, was its unrivalled cross-platformness.
Oh, how things change
He proceeded to list out the ways that GarageGames’ offerings, such as Torque Game Builder and Torque 2, went from fully supporting Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms to only really supporting Windows, with Mac and Linux offerings being afterthoughts or “community supported”.
I hadn’t heard about this development until now, and when I checked the system requirements for Torque Game Builder, sure enough, I saw: “Linux version is supported by the community.”
The Torque Game Engine itself looked promising since it listed actual system requirements, but then I saw: “NOTE: Linux is community supported. The last known version to run on Ubuntu was TGE 1.4.1. Using Linux requires expert knowledge of C++, the compilation process, and Linux itself. Please do not try to use Linux if you are new to the OS.” The current version of the engine is 1.5.
Considering games like Dark Horizons: Lore Invasion and Orbz were made to run on Linux-based systems AND used Torque, I was expecting Garage Games to provide a wealth of new cross-platform games. It seems now that the Linux versions of their engines and tools are considered marginal and essentially unsupported, it isn’t likely that new games will be available, and that’s too bad. To top it all off, if I were to decide to use Torque anyway, I have to pay for a product that isn’t fully functional, and if I want to change that, I’m paying for the privilege of getting it to work, and Garage Games gets to take advantage of that work. It doesn’t sound win-win to me.
I’m sure Garage Games has a reason for dropping Linux support, most likely to do with the combination of support costs and low income. Still, it’s sad to learn that Torque is no longer THE cross-platform game engine for indies to use.
Is there anything to take its place?
[tags] linux, video game, game development, tools, indie [/tags]