I have Windows 7 on my laptop, but my desktop machine (which has a huge video card) only runs Linux. So, gaming happens on Linux or not at all (almost; I play Civ V on my laptop sometimes).
People have grown sick of the phrase "this is the year of the linux desktop" but I can't help remember when all the games I could play were nethack and tuxracer.
this is a great thing, as a person who only runs linux, I'm super excited at the idea of getting the older games updated to this version and potentially running on Linux. :)
QA takes time. Middleware may or may not be available. Launchers may not be there (especially in the case of Hearthstone). A lost of indie/kickstarted projects are still considered "Linux Scams" because they assumed that it'd be that easy.
It sure is, I'm a Linux-exclusive gamer ever since Steam on Linux came out, but I try to look realistically at reasoning of developers who never did this before.
Blizzard are well known for their approach of not releasing things until they're ready, and they won't want to kill that reputation for a Linux port.
This is the biggest concern. The linux community is crazy hostile. Heaven forbid your game doesn't work on some wonky setup that would be 100% unreasonable to support. We also see this in Android where reviews for games are sometimes, "Zero stars, doesn't work on $49 $obscure_chinatablet."
Even if a company picked a reference Linux distro, like the current Ubuntu, it would be still displease a lot people, especially if the game only worked correctly on closed video drivers. There's really no winning in such a fragmented environment, unless you're willing to invest a serious amount of your budget here. Its not just "push a button."
"Crashes when using wayland. FAIL!"
What. Why do people think that? Even if you use Unity, the DirectX/OpenGL distinction still matters, not to mention all other platform-specific stuff. Of course, with Unity you _can_ develop a very simple and unoptimised game that would be able to compile on all desktop and mobile platforms with one click — but when you start to dig down and try to do things effectively, you end up with a lot of platform-specific code.
You can ship GLES games on desktops no problem. And anything remotely notebook / desktop class graphics wise is so much more powerful than some Mali GPU that you can ignore "performance characteristics" for the most part and assume brute force will be fine. If your game runs on a feature phone, it will run with GLES on desktops.
What I was getting at with the performance characteristics comment - though don't ask me why I didn't act like normal people and just say this, because I've no idea - was that the game will probably look crap on a PC. That means you'll have to spend some time making it look a bit nicer, if it's to be competitive. This is all going to involve a bit more than a simple button press.
Mesa doesn't do that:
It does, every driver independently advertises GLES 3, and while it doesn't support full 4.3, every driver supports GLES 3. That post is like three years old now.
Game engines, as every similar kind of middleware, are an abstraction that is almost always leaky. It's still a great improvement over doing everything natively, of course.
Sure, they could enable a linux build with a "push of a button", but to have linux support they require a support department to support that build.
Actually supporting something is a lot more than just the technology required.
Try to get Quake 3 support today. Then try to get support for ioquake3.
Alternatively, try to get support for Transport Tycoon. Now try to get support for OpenTTD.
It's not a matter of "game or not game". We have these examples of formerly commercial games for which commercial support no longer exists, but for which open source community support is plentiful.
I am of the opinion that Quake3 is an exception, not the rule.
So if the game is successful but doesn't work out of the box players will not bother and simply run the Windows version while the Linux gang will lament how it's not yet the year of Linux gaming. If the game isn't successful the Linux version will die out the same but faster.
Thinking an AAA game that missed its launch might benefit `from the community bug reports` is wishful thinking.
And it's not due to the technological aspects or the software philosophy of the platform, it's about having the money and the time to support a product for a niche platform.
Oh, that explains why it's so shitty on Mac OS X.
On the other side, the PC gaming platform is thriving, especially in certain parts of Europe and Asia. The PC was able to render Witcher 3, Watch_Dogs and The Division in all its graphical glory without the need for a Console-downgrade. Also many former PlayStation exclusive titles are released on PS4 and PC. And Steam and GoG are big too. So great, despite the little effort from Microsoft itself.
Civ V and all of the Valve games are excellent under Linux. Rust is a little flaky, but I get the impression it's a little flaky under Windows, too.
[Warmly recommended] game if you are into space and simulations.
Edited to change 2012 to 2011 iMac.
What I find strange is that the game starts and seems to render fine, and then crashes the whole machine.
Edit: fixed the link
Having said all that I have been buying lots of games from GOG and have been really impressed with the quality AND quantity of linux versions.
ssh and git: I personally use mobaXterm for git and ssh. Others like putty and other different programs.
Also Windows 7 and 8 do have a monthly update that does require the machine to reboot which is stupid, but I wouldn't say someone couldn't get work done with Windows. That is not the reason why I use Linux. I use Linux because I can set up my computer any way I like and use any kind of work flow that is best for me. It is also much easier to script and program common tasks.
Local tools is different, but administratively you get great ssh and well that's all you need. I go full screen and tmux and I am good as gold. If need be XForarding is available but people that install X on servers need to be put through tiny cut on a slide that ends in a pool of rubbing alcohol.
This Windows system is like a server, however I need to use TightVNC as remote desktop. Regular remote desktop doesn't work.
I've been using Linux as a desktop at work, and it just works.
(Good HW configuration seems to be the key though, and Windows still is the leader of running almost on anything x86 out there)
I don't play games on my desktop computer anymore because I prefer to do work there. After giving my old Xbox 360 to my nephew I've been hesitant to get another console, choosing instead to wait out Steam's living room experience (Steam's where most of my games are anyways). It'll be fun to fill some of my work breaks with a little bit of light gaming on the couch.
Some middleware solutions however still lag behind. For instance Umbra 3D still has no Linux support: http://umbra3d.com/
I wonder how Witcher 3 developers plan to port it to Linux without Umbra.
Their linux OpenGL drivers often outperform their Windows drivers.
As for AMD, the open source Radeon drivers are pleasant to work with, and on some hardware perform as well as Catalyst.
The open-source drivers are not on the same performance level as the closed-source drivers, though the AMD open-source driver can be classified as "usable" (or better) in most contexts whereas the nVidia open-source driver has many issues since it depends far more on reverse-engineering the GPU's programming interface. Intel has the best open source driver of all of the desktop vendors (since the open source driver is their official driver) but its use for anything 3D is constrained by the relatively weak performance of their GPUs.
7 years with Ubuntu, I don't see that, what is it you're doing that makes it so difficult for you?
I suppose it's a good step forwards though.
Wine is major performance and feature hit since it attempts to translate DX API calls into OpenGL, many of the commercial GameOnLinux solutions are technically wine with slightly better profiles.
Engines with dedicated Linux support are still well kinda messy, graphically wise they might still have to make sacrifice mostly because OpenGL was in a political limbo for a decade and didn't kept up with DX graphical API.
But the biggest issue in many games for me was actually the controls, audio, and network code.
DX is much more than just graphics and OpenGL doesn't cover audio, controls and network code.
So unless your engine has discrete code to deal with that e.g. uses Steam Workshop or what ever Unity calls their set of API's you'll get quite a shitty experience.
GOG at this point seems to be an actual threat to Valve's Steam, they got the right business model at this point to pull it off. If they'll still would've been as Good if they were in Valve's shoes i don't know.
But no DRM on any game, and an offset for regional pricing which means It's finally makes sense to me to buy games in GBP with a very good customer support policy makes me wish i could transfer my giant Steam library to GOG.
GOG Galaxy is such a load. I tried reinstalling some games after I replaced a hard drive -- in order to get one game to work I had to dig into the GOG folders and manually run the installer myself. And then I had to redownload another entire game again to get the synced saved game files, because GOG Galaxy seemed to neither think that it was important to download my saved game files the first time or to make the saved game files available for download separately for the main game. There are very, very few people willing to put up with the level of inconvenience GOG Galaxy presents versus Steam just for the lack of DRM, so long as Steam keeps its DRM unobtrusive enough for most people not to notice it.
Not to mention the thing i hate the most about steam is it getting it's nickers in a twist and refusing to go into an offline mode or launch games while in offline mode that weren't launched for X amount of time.
To this day every time i travel i keep cracks for all of my steam games that i might want to play while on a plane or in a hotel with poor internet connection, or just somewhere in the middle of nowhere like my GF's parents summer house in Iceland.
And the sad part? most of the people i know who both use steam and travel allot are still doing the same for any game which might have some weird pseudo online-DRM which cannot be launched without steam from the steamapps folder directly.
GOG in general has a much better user policy than steam, the regional price normalization alone is worth it this means that Europe and more importantly the UK which paid much more on games than the US due to currency exchange rate actually get a rebate to match the USD game price.
You also have 30 days refund for any purchase no questions asked, and ofc no DRM. And the fact that even with GOG Galaxy you can still do anything you want without a client makes this service better than steam.
How long will they be able to keep up with such generous user oriented policies i don't know, but for sure it looks better than steam atm.