Why I Want to Make Games for Gnu/Linux

LinuxGames posts about the possibility of porting the sequel to Savage to Gnu/Linux. Basically, the Savage 2 engine is heavily utilizing DirectX, and the developers are going to try to work with Transgaming to get it working with Cedega instead of providing native binaries. Apparently Never Winter Nights 2 is also having these issues.

I really don’t like the idea that I have to buy games and then pay recurring fees for the right to play them on my preferred operating system. But if you read through the threads, apparently people are also upset at the level of support they received for the first Savage.

It is already bad enough that I have to keep Windows around to play most games, and there aren’t very many natively Gnu/Linux games of great quality, but why develop half-ass “ports” and make it worse?

I want to make great games natively for Gnu/Linux because I am tired of waiting for someone else to step up and do it.

2 comments to Why I Want to Make Games for Gnu/Linux

  • Does that mean you’ll be targeting Linux only? From what I’ve heard, games don’t really sell well on Linux. On the other hand, you might have a nice niche market there.

    I’m currently developing for Windows only. For me the issue isn’t so much portability – my games are quite simple and my code is already mostly portable – but rather giving support. I know next to nothing about Linux, so how am I going to give support to someone who has trouble running my game on that OS? I don’t even have a Mac, so I can’t even test for that OS.

    I hope that some day, not too far into the future, I can release my games for Windows, Mac and Linux. I don’t know when that will be, but I do know one thing: you won’t have to buy each version seperately. You buy a game, not a Windows binary or a Linux binary or a Mac binary.

  • No, I plan on targetting my game to multiple platforms, primarily because sales on Gnu/Linux aren’t usually that good. I just don’t want to be one of those game companies that releases a game for Windows and possibly Mac OS X but then waits six months to three years to port it to Gnu/Linux, and with half-ass support at that.

    I know that there are some very good indie-developed games out there that run on Gnu/Linux, but it is rare to find one that treats it as a primary target. DROD, Lux, Gish, Darwinia, and Dark Horizons: Lore are all games that run perfectly fine on my system, and I don’t believe any of them require the purchase of separate packages. They’re great. But I can’t play Void Wars or Dark Archon or a lot of games available for the IGF. I don’t blame the developers; I understand that support is a problem, and the Gnu/Linux distro proliferation is a huge problem itself. Still, I want more games that natively work with Gnu/Linux.

    If you want to play The Sims on your new Mac, you literally have to buy a new product. I understand that EA outsourced the Mac port, but I think it is a major inconvenience to the customer. Didn’t anyone anticipate people “switching” and wanting to play games they already paid for?

    Since the beginning, my goal has been to release games for Gnu/Linux, although I’ve never been targetting it exclusively. I just want more games for my system without a need to boot Windows on another.

Twitter: gbgames