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(Slashdot)   Steam client for Linux now in open beta. This is my O face   (games.slashdot.org) divider line 45
    More: Cool, Let the Games Begin, R-MS, beta versions, steam  
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1145 clicks; posted to Geek » on 20 Dec 2012 at 6:07 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-20 05:19:58 PM
Since it only works on very limited subset of distros, it is not accurate to call it a "Steam client for Linux".
 
Lazy steam developers could easily make it work across all current major Linux distributions, but have chosen not to do so.
 
2012-12-20 06:13:42 PM

wambu: Lazy steam developers could easily make it work across all current major Linux distributions, but have chosen not to do so.


Considering your average gamer isn't going to be running Gento or Slackware or whatever, it's probably going to be a long time before they bother.
 
2012-12-20 06:14:52 PM

wambu: Since it only works on very limited subset of distros, it is not accurate to call it a "Steam client for Linux".
 
Lazy steam developers could easily make it work across all current major Linux distributions, but have chosen not to do so.


Of course, it does run on Ubuntu, the most widely used distro, and of course, now it can much more easily be made to work on others if their developers want to.
 
I agree, it's not really a client for linux, more like a client for ubuntu, but it certainly opened the door.
 
2012-12-20 06:22:38 PM
Well I don't want it now if everyone else has it.
 
2012-12-20 06:42:02 PM
Also runs on Fedora (F17 here) - see instructions here.
 
2012-12-20 06:54:10 PM
It can be made to run on Debian, but it's not for the faint of heart.
 
2012-12-20 07:04:29 PM
Gamers are coming to linux? Great, now I gotta go install openBSD or something.
 
2012-12-20 07:26:56 PM
Given that Steam installs and runs well using WINE, perhaps they should have worked with Codeweavers to port it rather than developing a native client.
 
2012-12-20 07:31:13 PM
suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com


This might be a new record of laziness. All the time I've been here, this is my whopping 3rd greenlight. Go me.

Anyhow, this is big. My rig at home is only windows for games. Sure, my wife and kid will stay on 7, but if I can play AAA games like Skyrim on Linux, I would in a heartbeat. Lots of gamers and hardware enthusiasts would game on linux if it were available.

Yea, thats only one license the MS would lose, but it would add up more than you might think. Sure, I'll still support windows at work, and fix the families, but run it myself? Why?
 
2012-12-20 07:32:41 PM

BumpInTheNight: Gamers are coming to linux? Great, now I gotta go install openBSD or something.


In all seriousness though this is great news, my only genuine attachment to the windows platform is its gaming capabilities. Gimmie the same via linux and I'll be a happy camper.
 
2012-12-20 07:35:36 PM

wambu: Given that Steam installs and runs well using WINE, perhaps they should have worked with Codeweavers to port it rather than developing a native client.


Booo, hiss!

It's more about the games than the client, anyway. The client may run well, but most games don't. Setting up the client is a relatively small part of what they're doing.

/L4D2 is my game of choice right now, but I'm installing TF2 right now just because
 
2012-12-20 09:33:56 PM

wambu: Since it only works on very limited subset of distros, it is not accurate to call it a "Steam client for Linux".


That would be like saying that since 25" wheels only fit on a very limited subset of cars, it is not accurate to call them "wheels for cars."
 
2012-12-20 09:55:57 PM
I'm here for you, subby.
 
2012-12-20 10:12:22 PM
Have they ported Tux Racer yet?

/wasn't that supposed to open the floodgates of game development on Linux systems?
 
2012-12-20 10:37:54 PM

xaks: Anyhow, this is big. My rig at home is only windows for games. Sure, my wife and kid will stay on 7, but if I can play AAA games like Skyrim on Linux, I would in a heartbeat. Lots of gamers and hardware enthusiasts would game on linux if it were available.


Seconded.
 
2012-12-20 10:42:30 PM

Teufelaffe: wambu: Since it only works on very limited subset of distros, it is not accurate to call it a "Steam client for Linux".

That would be like saying that since 25" wheels only fit on a very limited subset of cars, it is not accurate to call them "wheels for cars."


No it wouldn't. "Linux" and "cars" are not interchangable in that context; your analogy is flawed.

Steam is , in effect, building a 25" wheel and stating that it will fit any car.
 
2012-12-20 11:04:45 PM

wambu: Teufelaffe: wambu: Since it only works on very limited subset of distros, it is not accurate to call it a "Steam client for Linux".

That would be like saying that since 25" wheels only fit on a very limited subset of cars, it is not accurate to call them "wheels for cars."

No it wouldn't. "Linux" and "cars" are not interchangable in that context; your analogy is flawed.

Steam is , in effect, building a 25" wheel and stating that it will fit any car.


Technically, the term "Linux" refers solely to the kernel and not the distro as a whole. Since all distros use the same kernel (albeit different version numbers) it is absolutely 100% accurate for them to call this a "Steam client for Linux."
 
2012-12-20 11:59:27 PM
Woohoo, we can play all those popular puzzle platformers and games that were popular over 9000 years ago
 
2012-12-21 12:21:30 AM

ZoeNekros: /L4D2 is my game of choice right now, but I'm installing TF2 right now just because


Shooting people while wearing sillly hats is just fun.
 
2012-12-21 01:40:18 AM
Who cares if the client runs on Linux if the games aren't ported from Windows?

Linux fanboys fail to understand the economics of software development and the damage Linux and Android fragmentation causes by raising development costs in a very competitive and fleeting margin market.
 
2012-12-21 02:11:30 AM
The last time there was a serious attempt to publish games to Linux, the piracy rate was so high the publishers went out of business. This was back in the pre-XP days when "year of the Linux desktop" didn't sound completely delusional.
 
2012-12-21 04:04:43 AM

wambu: Since it only works on very limited subset of distros, it is not accurate to call it a "Steam client for Linux".

Lazy steam developers could easily make it work across all current major Linux distributions, but have chosen not to do so.


Don't be a douche. They already said it isn't going to be limited to Ubuntu but they are releasing for it first because it is one of the widest used desktop distros. What do you think beta testing is for?

styckx: Woohoo, we can play all those popular puzzle platformers and games that were popular over 9000 years ago

lohphat: Who cares if the client runs on Linux if the games aren't ported from Windows?

Linux fanboys fail to understand the economics of software development and the damage Linux and Android fragmentation causes by raising development costs in a very competitive and fleeting margin market.


Link

OK you two, there are 36 games so far and the client is still in beta. Read that again. It isn't even a released commercial platform yet and there are 36 games. 36 cross platform games that also run on windows. Some of them are so old they were released all the way back in 2012. Gee, those sure are some really old games. And i can understand why you would think they are games nobody would want when it includes stuff like Team Fortress 2, Serious Sam 3, SPAZ, Killing Floor, Red Orchestra, Etc... Gee, nobody wants to play ANY of those games.

Or you know, there is the fact that Valve is porting the source engine so they can release ALL of their games for Linux. Not to mention the literally HUNDREDS of other games in their catalog that already have Linux versions waiting to be added.

And yeah, that software fragmentation must be causing all kinds of horrible damage since more games than ever before are going cross platform for multiple OSes. Those fleeting margins are so amazingly low that companies are happy when steam puts their games on sale because of all the extra sales they get and end up making extra money. Oh wait, the margins must be nowhere near as low as you seem to think they are because the profits are huge. And there is the simple economic fact that if the publishers didn't think they would be making money on a platform THEY WOULDN'T BE DOING IT!

The economics of software design? Have you not noticed how many complete game engines, libraries, and SDKs are cross platform? These days you don't even have to try to make your games or any other software cross platform unless you are writing everything from scratch from the ground up. We aren't talking about obscure stuff here. We are talking about things like the Source engine, the Unreal engine, and every 3D game engine ever made by id.
 
2012-12-21 04:32:10 AM

Hacker_X: And there is the simple economic fact that if the publishers didn't think they would be making money on a platform THEY WOULDN'T BE DOING IT!


Show me the sustainable revenue streams instead of technical sideshow circle-jerks. Just because people are doing it doesn't mean is due to some imagined destiny of superiority. See. Firefox, Facebook, Zynga, et al
 
2012-12-21 06:24:30 AM

lohphat: Hacker_X: And there is the simple economic fact that if the publishers didn't think they would be making money on a platform THEY WOULDN'T BE DOING IT!

Show me the sustainable revenue streams instead of technical sideshow circle-jerks. Just because people are doing it doesn't mean is due to some imagined destiny of superiority. See. Firefox, Facebook, Zynga, et al


1) Gabe REALLY hates windows 8, and so do a lot of other game developers.
2) Steam is looking to release some form of HTPC/Console hybrid in the near future.

This move is less about moving steam to linux for the community, and more a single step in an overall Valve strategy: creating what amounts to a new console that doesn't try to mask itself from being a full PC based system.

Step 1) Release a new 10' interface specifically for using Steam on a television.
Step 2) Open up Steam to use regular apps, not just games.
Step 3) Build a client for a specific linux distro developers can use to port games and apps to.
Step 4) Build a hardware platform around that specific distro.
Step 5) Profit?

Step 1 and 2 are finished, step 3 is now in Beta, and we've known for a while that step 4 has been 'in-progress'. When you look at the bigger picture, this makes complete and total sense, even if it seems a little impracticable at this stage.

/it's 6:22am already and I am still typing
//The world has not ended
///I should probably get work then
 
2012-12-21 09:23:15 AM
I never understood why people develop for "Ubuntu" instead of "Debian". While they're at it, why don't they make a plugin that only runs in Iceweasle and not Firefox?
 
2012-12-21 10:24:24 AM

randroid: I never understood why people develop for "Ubuntu" instead of "Debian". While they're at it, why don't they make a plugin that only runs in Iceweasle and not Firefox?


What bad things happen if you try to install it on debian?

Also, aren't there tools to install DEBs on other distros, like there are tools to convert RPMs to DEBs? What happens when you try those on other distros?

I'm curious and I don't have a machine handy to try this stuff out on.

I've been Windows-only at home for a while now. Nothing else I have compares to Windows Media Player's streaming ability. I haven't tried Plex for Linux, but that would be the nearest comparison. And most of my steam games don't have linux versions yet, but it would be cool if they did. I may be interested later, but not now
 
2012-12-21 10:45:22 AM

randroid: I never understood why people develop for "Ubuntu" instead of "Debian". While they're at it, why don't they make a plugin that only runs in Iceweasle and not Firefox?


Many Ubuntu users don't know what Debian is. Almost all Debian users know what Ubuntu is. Thus, you can catch both by using the common term.

That's my guess at their reasoning, anyway. I don't know if that first statement is even true.
 
2012-12-21 10:55:34 AM

Millennium: randroid: I never understood why people develop for "Ubuntu" instead of "Debian". While they're at it, why don't they make a plugin that only runs in Iceweasle and not Firefox?

Many Ubuntu users don't know what Debian is. Almost all Debian users know what Ubuntu is. Thus, you can catch both by using the common term.

That's my guess at their reasoning, anyway. I don't know if that first statement is even true.


I'm sure that's correct, but it seems shortsighted to me to not develop for the base version of the Debian branch, and to assume Ubuntu supports it due to it's Debian roots. Sure, test it on Ubuntu to make sure, but developing in a more portable manner seems preferable, especially in Linux world.

This is, of course, assuming what SomeTexan above said is true, that it requires Jimmy-rigging to install it on vanilla Debian.
 
2012-12-21 07:01:04 PM

A Terrible Human: ZoeNekros: /L4D2 is my game of choice right now, but I'm installing TF2 right now just because

Shooting people while wearing sillly hats is just fun.


I decided to try it out of curiosity, so when the Steam client worked, I decided to see if they had a free game, and they have TF2. It's kind of fun, although my aged reflexs are not ideal for this kind of game. I LOLed when I got killed and saw a red blob on the ground labeled "Your Pancreas".
 
2012-12-21 07:52:46 PM

randroid: Millennium: randroid: I never understood why people develop for "Ubuntu" instead of "Debian". While they're at it, why don't they make a plugin that only runs in Iceweasle and not Firefox?

Many Ubuntu users don't know what Debian is. Almost all Debian users know what Ubuntu is. Thus, you can catch both by using the common term.

That's my guess at their reasoning, anyway. I don't know if that first statement is even true.

I'm sure that's correct, but it seems shortsighted to me to not develop for the base version of the Debian branch, and to assume Ubuntu supports it due to it's Debian roots. Sure, test it on Ubuntu to make sure, but developing in a more portable manner seems preferable, especially in Linux world.

This is, of course, assuming what SomeTexan above said is true, that it requires Jimmy-rigging to install it on vanilla Debian.



Not so much jury-rigging as a lot of effort for too little payoff. You have to like doing that kind of thing. I know it can be done, because I did it. Not running it now, because I farked up my system (in an unrelated way---hint: run a partition editor after you've had two cups of coffee). I did a total reinstall, and chose Xubuntu rather than Debian Wheezy specifically so that I could try the Steam client without spending eight hours hacking and tweaking. SpaceChem doesn't work. SPAZ works a treat, especially if you use the Nvidia 310 driver instead of Nouveau.
 
2012-12-21 08:15:56 PM

jonny_q: Also, aren't there tools to install DEBs on other distros, like there are tools to convert RPMs to DEBs? What happens when you try those on other distros?


There are ways and means, but a binary has to be binary-compatible to run on both. Ubuntu .debs won't always run on Debian and vice versa, much less converting it to an .rpm to try Fedora, or lord help us, OpenSuse. Compiling from source is sometimes possible, but you have to be more knowledgeable and patient. I'm guessing that a lot of games won't be open source.
 
2012-12-21 08:17:30 PM

SomeTexan: Not so much jury-rigging


Or should I say redneck-engineering?
 
2012-12-21 09:12:09 PM

lohphat: Hacker_X: And there is the simple economic fact that if the publishers didn't think they would be making money on a platform THEY WOULDN'T BE DOING IT!

Show me the sustainable revenue streams instead of technical sideshow circle-jerks. Just because people are doing it doesn't mean is due to some imagined destiny of superiority. See. Firefox, Facebook, Zynga, et al


Sustainable revenue streams? You mean like steam? Because the last I checked, most individual games aren't viewed as sustainable streams of income. People buy the game once, then they play it. Once everybody interested in it on a platform has a copy you either put it out on a new platform or release a new game. Surprise, putting it on an additional platform is cheaper than designing and developing a new game.

The only games that are sustainable income streams are ones with subscription fees and add on content that can be purchased. And even that already got covered by what you dismissed as a circle jerk. I already mentioned multiple games with extra content purchasable for them either as full blown add ons or little in game things like costumes. Good grief, that got covered by Team Fortress 2 all by itself. They are making so much money from that game that at this point they don't even bother charging for the game anymore.
 
2012-12-22 04:24:29 AM

Hacker_X:
Sustainable revenue streams? You mean like steam? Because the last I checked, most individual games aren't viewed as sustainable streams of income. People buy the game once, then they play it. Once everybody interested in it on a platform has a copy you either put it out on a new platform or release a new game. Surprise, putting it on an additional platform is cheaper than designing and developing a new game.


Precisely, and having to port games eats into profits.

Linux is a fragmented market with either unavailable drivers for latest and greatest hardware or at best, a small subset of hardware choices. Windows has that market because you have the ability to kit-out your system and you can be assured there's a driver to make it work. Apple and Linux can't claim that flexibility and freedom of choice.
 
2012-12-22 05:40:17 AM

lohphat: Hacker_X:
Sustainable revenue streams? You mean like steam? Because the last I checked, most individual games aren't viewed as sustainable streams of income. People buy the game once, then they play it. Once everybody interested in it on a platform has a copy you either put it out on a new platform or release a new game. Surprise, putting it on an additional platform is cheaper than designing and developing a new game.

Precisely, and having to port games eats into profits.

Linux is a fragmented market with either unavailable drivers for latest and greatest hardware or at best, a small subset of hardware choices. Windows has that market because you have the ability to kit-out your system and you can be assured there's a driver to make it work. Apple and Linux can't claim that flexibility and freedom of choice.


You seem to have completely ignored the point. They don't have to port the games. The dev kits, tools, and SDKs are all cross platform. You develop once and then compile it for each target platform.

Flexibility and freedom of choice? You point to windows as a platform providing freedom of choice when it comes to being assured you can have drivers and that your games will work? Do you have any clue just how many different games either now have compatibility problems on Windows 7 and 8 or just flat out won't run at all? We are talking about Windows where they keep trying to limit which versions of Direct X you can install so you have to move to a new version just to get a game to install. Windows is where I had game hardware that would work on 98SE but not anything newer. Windows where anything that used/uses a 16 bit installer can no longer be installed even if the software should theoretically work flawlessly. Windows where you can have trouble getting a new piece og hardware to install and work correctly with the drivers that come with it.

Please explain what latest and greatest hardware won't work in Linux. Pretty much the only thing I am aware of at this point is some cheap wifi chipsets. Meanwhile i have 7.1 audio gear from multiple vendors that is almost impossible to get working correctly on Windows. Microsoft is going further and further down the road where they are trying to eliminate freedom of choice. They want pretty much everything submitted to them for review and certification to be "signed" by them. Anybody who doesn't pay up has to have end user scared of the boogy man every time they install anything.

Market fragmentation? Yes, there are a lot of specialized Linux distros. But you know what the key term there is? Specialized. There are only a handful intended for use on modern desktops. Everything else is for servers, embedded platforms (including cell phones and set top boxes), older hardware that struggles with modern OSes, and oh yet it also includes game systems. So if you are going to count all that as market fragmentation you may as well throw in all the specialized versions of windows nobody expects to have install on their desktop to play games. The multiple versions of windows CE, the different flavors of Windows server, the new tablet edition of Windows, Windows Phone, the 4 different desktop versions of Windows currently supported (XP, Vista,7, and 8) each with multiple sub versions (home, starter, home premium, professional, etc...) AND the fact that most of those come in both 64 bit and 32 bit versions AND the service packs for all of them (except 8 so far) with compatibility issues between them. Gosh, no. There isn't ANY market fragmentation in Windows at all.

The sad fact is that with each passing year and each new version of windows Linux has become more compatible with Windows games than Windows has. People keep making compatibility layers for Linux that let windows stuff run better and better even without porting while Microsoft is intentionally removing compatibility with older software from newer version of windows. Microsoft has a commercial self interest in trying to force people to upgrade.

Meanwhile, the average game developer couldn't care less what platform you are going to play their game on as long as they get their money. So guess what, when all it takes these days is an extra compile run more and more of them are going the route of pushing it out for everything and Valve is only too happy to help them sell their games on more platforms as long as they get their little cut. First it was Windows, then OSX, and now it is Linux. You buy a game once and you play it on whatever you want. And you may not think it is working but Valve, their sales numbers, and the developers selling their stuff through steam all disagree with you.

This year alone I have bought over 100 games that are cross platform with Linux versions. A large number of those are on Steam for Windows and OSX and are being added for Steam for Linux.

If you don't want to be involved with cross platform development that is your decision. Just don't be shocked when somebody chooses a competing product they can run on whatever they want instead of being locked into one platform that may drop support for the software they purchased.
 
2012-12-22 07:17:50 AM
I'm a 62 year old gamer who has been gaming since the mid-nineties, and likes games like Tombraiders and Diablo. You guys would piss your pants laughing at how horrible i am at TF2 - and that's just against the bots. I don't even want to know what the fifteen-years olds would do to me.
But it's cool to see Steam working on a few Linux distros. Not everything has to be a huge financial success - these kinds of toys can sometimes build little niche markets for themselves. A guy is making a living as an artisenal pencil-sharpener.
This could be fun - don't be too quick to disparage it.
 
2012-12-22 10:33:25 AM

Hacker_X: We are talking about Windows where they keep trying to limit which versions of Direct X you can install so you have to move to a new version just to get a game to install.


Jebus, when was the last time you installed a game on Windows? What's next, complaints about how difficult it is to make sure you've got enough Extended Memory available for your game to run?

Most game installers stopped requiring specific versions of DirectX for the install 10+ years ago. Now they just run the DirectX install along with the game install, ensuring that you have the minimum version required.


Hacker_X: Windows where anything that used/uses a 16 bit installer can no longer be installed even if the software should theoretically work flawlessly.


LOLWUT

Right-click -> Properties -> Compatibility -> Check "Run this program in compatibility mode for:" -> Select "Windows 95" or "Windows 98 / Windows ME" -> OK

Now your 16 bit installer will run.
 
2012-12-22 10:52:14 AM

Hacker_X: You seem to have completely ignored the point. They don't have to port the games. The dev kits, tools, and SDKs are all cross platform. You develop once and then compile it for each target platform.


That, admittedly, is a bit naive. Cross-platform dev toolkits greatly reduce the effort it takes to port a game, but they do not eliminate it. At the absolute least you still have to run QA on every platform, and platform-specific issues will still arise more often than not: far less than if you'd had to rewrite from scratch on every platform, but enough to still be significant. Even when they don't, as stated above, you still have to check.

The question is whether the overhead of doing this outweighs the additional profits of having another market in which to sell the game. Rewrites certainly are not profitable on Linux, but ports using cross-platform engines may be. The jury is still out.
 
2012-12-22 11:25:42 AM

Teufelaffe: Hacker_X: Windows where anything that used/uses a 16 bit installer can no longer be installed even if the software should theoretically work flawlessly.

LOLWUT

Right-click -> Properties -> Compatibility -> Check "Run this program in compatibility mode for:" -> Select "Windows 95" or "Windows 98 / Windows ME" -> OK

Now your 16 bit installer will run.



No. Not on 64-bit Windows.
 
2012-12-22 12:25:43 PM

SomeTexan: Teufelaffe: Hacker_X: Windows where anything that used/uses a 16 bit installer can no longer be installed even if the software should theoretically work flawlessly.

LOLWUT

Right-click -> Properties -> Compatibility -> Check "Run this program in compatibility mode for:" -> Select "Windows 95" or "Windows 98 / Windows ME" -> OK

Now your 16 bit installer will run.


No. Not on 64-bit Windows.


Yes, you are correct (unless you use emulation)...and you can't run 16-bit apps on a 64-bit Linux kernel, or on a 64-bit Mac OS, so that particular limitation is hardly a Windows thing.
 
2012-12-23 05:35:59 PM

Teufelaffe: Hacker_X: We are talking about Windows where they keep trying to limit which versions of Direct X you can install so you have to move to a new version just to get a game to install.

Jebus, when was the last time you installed a game on Windows? What's next, complaints about how difficult it is to make sure you've got enough Extended Memory available for your game to run?

Most game installers stopped requiring specific versions of DirectX for the install 10+ years ago. Now they just run the DirectX install along with the game install, ensuring that you have the minimum version required.


Which is nice in theory except for the fact that Windows XP is still a supported OS but you can't install Direct X 10 or 11 on it. There is NO technical reason why you can't. Somebody even proved it with a hack to get DX 10 installed on XP at one point. MS has a history of trying to force upgrades for anybody that wants to play games and you can't count on it again soon. Just how long til DX 12 "requires" Windows 8 even though Vista and 7 (and possibly still XP) are supposedly supported OSes?

Millennium: Hacker_X: You seem to have completely ignored the point. They don't have to port the games. The dev kits, tools, and SDKs are all cross platform. You develop once and then compile it for each target platform.

That, admittedly, is a bit naive. Cross-platform dev toolkits greatly reduce the effort it takes to port a game, but they do not eliminate it. At the absolute least you still have to run QA on every platform, and platform-specific issues will still arise more often than not: far less than if you'd had to rewrite from scratch on every platform, but enough to still be significant. Even when they don't, as stated above, you still have to check.

The question is whether the overhead of doing this outweighs the additional profits of having another market in which to sell the game. Rewrites certainly are not profitable on Linux, but ports using cross-platform engines may be. The jury is still out.


I didn't say you didn't have to do any bug testing. Of course given how many patches most products seem to get in the first month after the product is released I am beginning to suspect that many developers are skipping that part of the development cycle. Generally speaking any bug fixes for one platform are going to be important for other platforms too, they just didn't realize it to start with. Things that are symptoms of memory leaks and such. In other words things that should be fixed regardless of the platform. Of course that isn't always the case 100% of the time but it is a lot of the time from a ton of the stuff I have seen.

There is an exception to all of this. With some of the full game engines The developer essentially doesn't even have any code of their own to develop, test, and debug. You drop in your asset files for sound and graphics, add your scripts, etc.. You have to do all the other development work for designing the game and building the game world, recording audio, and having people create all the art but there is no platform specific coding. Anything that does crop up as a platform specific bug gets handed off to the engine developer that you licensed it from. Of course that does go out the window in the case of stuff like Halflife where they licensed the engine from quake and then modified it so heavily that it was essentially a completely new engine.

And regarding the 64bit OS with 16 bit applications. Yes, you can emulate a whole OS to "fix" the problem. The catch is that uses a TON of extra RAM and CPU time as well as way too much hard drive space if you only need it for one or two programs. The part where it gets sad is that a 64 bit copy of Linux can run 16 bit windows applications just fine because of WINE. For anybody who isn't familiar with it WINE is a compatibility layer that allows Windows software to run in Linux. Microsoft could have written their own compatibility layer or even reused parts of WINE but instead they had programmers working on multiple new shells that nobody wanted.

When Apple switched CPU types (with completely different architectures) they had compatibility layers so that everybody could keep using all their old stuff. I don't even like Apple as a company and I will still readily admit that was a great thing that they did. Linux routinely has compatibility layers and can have multiple versions of various libraries to help ensure that old stuff keeps working. Microsoft on the other had not only doesn't make an effort to keep old software working, they actively try to break compatibility in some cases. I can think of at least one case in the past where they got caught and were sued for it. That is on top of the forced mess with updated software "requiring" a new version of Windows to run when there is no technical reason it shouldn't work.

The jury hasn't been out on the profitability of cross platform software in a decade. It has gotten more profitable since first cross platform libraries, then tool kits, and now complete dev kits and game engines. The only real reasons for not doing cross platform development is if you are doing something specialized like certain audio work and you need realtime kernel access or something else to tie in low level or directly to certain hardware. Then it can be a real headache or literally impossible to make it cross platform for some platforms. But that isn't the case for most software and certainly not the case for games on PC. Console games are a entirely different mess with all the different pieces of hardware on all the different platforms.
 
2012-12-23 06:10:28 PM

Hacker_X: Which is nice in theory except for the fact that Windows XP is still a supported OS but you can't install Direct X 10 or 11 on it. There is NO technical reason why you can't. Somebody even proved it with a hack to get DX 10 installed on XP at one point. MS has a history of trying to force upgrades for anybody that wants to play games and you can't count on it again soon. Just how long til DX 12 "requires" Windows 8 even though Vista and 7 (and possibly still XP) are supposedly supported OSes?


I'm pretty sure there aren't any games that require DX10 or 11. Plenty that support them, but I'm not aware of any that require them.

FYI, MS support for XP will officially end on April 8, 2014.
 
2012-12-23 09:34:01 PM

Hacker_X: And regarding the 64bit OS with 16 bit applications. Yes, you can emulate a whole OS to "fix" the problem. The catch is that uses a TON of extra RAM and CPU time as well as way too much hard drive space if you only need it for one or two programs.


Most of the people you are talking about can use DOSBox. You argument is invalid. The 16-bit Windows installers can be worked around. Even if you have to install an old Windows version under VirtualBox, the resources it consumes are trivial for those old programs, because they don't need 3GB of memory and 24GB of disk space. Those programs require about 500MB of hard disk space and 64MB of memory. Or less. The real problem is the time and effeort needed to get it working. In this day and age of 8GB memory and 2TB hard disks, nobody cares about stuff like that. A gamer and enthusiast already has a pretty sweet rig.

If anything, the program won't work because the computer is too fast.
 
2012-12-23 09:48:35 PM
I forgot to mention: People are installing Win 3.1 in DOSBox quite successfully. There are even people who try to run Win 95 in it, and it wouldn't surprise me if they will succeed eventually. If they managed to get Win 98SE running, I would be all over that in a heartbeat. A lot of old Win 98 programs exist that might still be mildly useful. Most will install under Windows 7 64-bit with some tweaking because they are 32-bit, but there are a few classic games that have 16-bit installers.

DOSbox FTW!
 
2012-12-24 12:41:08 AM

Teufelaffe: Hacker_X: Which is nice in theory except for the fact that Windows XP is still a supported OS but you can't install Direct X 10 or 11 on it. There is NO technical reason why you can't. Somebody even proved it with a hack to get DX 10 installed on XP at one point. MS has a history of trying to force upgrades for anybody that wants to play games and you can't count on it again soon. Just how long til DX 12 "requires" Windows 8 even though Vista and 7 (and possibly still XP) are supposedly supported OSes?

I'm pretty sure there aren't any games that require DX10 or 11. Plenty that support them, but I'm not aware of any that require them.

FYI, MS support for XP will officially end on April 8, 2014.


Assassins Creed 3, Battlefield 3, CoD Black Ops 2, Dirt Showdown, F1 2012, F1 Race Stars, Hitman Absolution, MoH Warfighter, NFS The Run AND NFS Most Wanted, Sleeping Dogs, and Ghost Recon Future Soldier. That is just a few of the examples from just a few of the bigger publishers and developers. There are more. It took a few years but more and more stuff is requiring DX 10 and 11 the same way it took a few years for stuff to require earlier version of DX instead of just supporting using them.

So now we have an OS that supposedly is being supported for more than another year and yet even if your hardware is good enough there are games from the last two years that you can't run because the required version of DX will refuse to install. It was already proven that it isn't a matter of it not being able to work, they just want to force people to give them more money for a new OS even though the one they are already using is perfectly sufficient for running a video game.

SomeTexan: I forgot to mention: People are installing Win 3.1 in DOSBox quite successfully. There are even people who try to run Win 95 in it, and it wouldn't surprise me if they will succeed eventually. If they managed to get Win 98SE running, I would be all over that in a heartbeat. A lot of old Win 98 programs exist that might still be mildly useful. Most will install under Windows 7 64-bit with some tweaking because they are 32-bit, but there are a few classic games that have 16-bit installers.

DOSbox FTW!


Instructions for setting up 98SE in Dosbox with 3DFX support

I warn you, it is a MAJOR hassle and you shouldn't count on it being 100% stable. But sadly, as I have already pointed out stuff like this is now the ONLY way to get some older windows stuff running "on" a newer windows machine. I put on in quotes since the emulated environment doesn't know any different nor does it care what the host OS is. It doesn't even have to be a x86 compatible host as long as you have enough spare CPU cycles to throw at it.

You would think that Nvidia would have built some sort of backwards compatibility into their drives for the 3DFX patched games after they bought 3DFX.
 
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