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Why We Want Native Ports Only (Gaming On Linux)

Discussion in 'General Linux Discussion' started by booman, Jul 6, 2015.

  1. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Here is an interesting read by Gaming On Linux staff: Why We Want Native Ports Only

    Of course we already know most of the information he is describing. We want native ports for all new games, but what about the old games?

    Moby Games lists almost 18,000 games for Windows alone.
    Amazon shows almost 52,000 games for PC (DOS, Amiga, Commodore, Windows, etc)

    We will never see the majority of those games ported to Linux. Wine is our only solution.

    Here is another article about Sales Figures for companies that develop Windows only games and are interested in using Wine to wrap their game for Linux:
    Sales Figures To Generate Profits With Linux Port

    This encourages developers to use a wrapper instead of native port because of cost and support.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2015
  2. allenskd

    allenskd Active Member

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    They are still on that? r/linux_gaming have discussed it aplenty. It ends up rather divisive on people being okay having WINE ports (like me) and people who wants native-only.

    This subject has been beaten to death. I'm not sure what to make of the article besides if they wanted to increase the FUD on linux users they sure do a good job.

    The interesting part? VP, along with the other companies with wrappers are going to benefit soon enough once CodeWeavers decide to release DirectX 11 in WINE upstream. Meaning, we'll have to see how it plays out.
    booman likes this.
  3. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Yes it has been beaten-to-death, which is why I posted about it here. I would love to hear some productive feedback instead of the same old comments.

    Part of me thinks these articles are about getting information published online and to educate new Linux gamers. Thats about it. The rest of us are already using Wine and the hardcore are refusing to buy games until they are ported as "native", as a result are playing less games.

    I know there is no "final" decision to be made because its about communities but it seems we have to continue waiting cause we have no other choice. Meanwhile I'll keep playing/testing games in PlayOnLinux (Wine)

    I just finished Dark Void and it ran beautifully!
  4. allenskd

    allenskd Active Member

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    Haha, well on my part I'm out of productive feedback. I would love to see it with fresh eyes; the whole "WINE can't co-exist with native games" is tired already.

    You say educate, I'd say "recruit"; just not in a positive way. But alas, I'm not going to be cynical all the way. Enjoy the games, booman! They were meant to be played!

    I haven't played much. I want to finish Dark Souls this July :D
  5. Marlhin

    Marlhin Member

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    Well, for me as a Linux user, I would love to see more games being ported to Linux as a native application. But personally I don't mind playing games via PoL because it is like allenskd has already mentioned: games are meant to be played!
    On the other hand, wrapped games raise the feeling that this product is not actually meant to be played on this OS and that the developer does not concern about the Linux community very much. If developers would put a lot of energy and money into native Linux ports, they would show that it is worth the effort because Linux is a great OS.
    But using only wrappers to simplify the process they just show that it is an unpleasant duty to satisfy the Linux community.
    If I want to concern Windows gamers to switch to Linux they might say: "Yeah, these games might run fine on Linux. But why should I relinquish a native environment just to emulate this in a different one?"

    I hope it is clear what I am trying to say :p
  6. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Totally understood...
    Its kind of ironic how we complicate something that is simple: Just play the game
    Just like sports... as a kid we "play" basketball, football, baseball, but it quickly becomes complicated.
    We focus too much on the resolution, eye-candy and frame rates.
    It starts to ruin all the fun trying to get the highest quality experience.

    I just want to play games and show the world you can play them in Linux and save money.
    That is all I really care about.

    I never purchase brand new games, I mostly purchase bundles and games on sale...
    I would love to support developers but I have to support my family first.
    In my free time I'm testing games, playing games, creating videos and guides.
    I'm even doing websites and concept art for indie developers.
  7. Marlhin

    Marlhin Member

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    Enjoying your free time with your family or with playing games (native or wrapped, it does not matter) instead of discussing things which are far beyond realism is the way how people should react.

    This whole native-ports-discussion is like capitalism. Theoretically, it would work fine. But practically, developers would rather invest into wrapped ports than into native ports because they are cheaper and less time consuming.
    If there is no standardised level of development, native ports for all future games will be just a dream like it is nowadays.
  8. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    I hope Valve leads the way to standardization
  9. Marlhin

    Marlhin Member

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    Oh yes, they have the reputation and the influence to do so!
  10. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    I will continue to support Valve, they are the "risk takers"
  11. Aryvandaar

    Aryvandaar Active Member

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    I don't mind having ports as long as it's a good port, but a native will always be better.
  12. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Agreed, I'm in the same "boat"
    I'll take what I can get, but would rather have native ports than wrappers.
  13. Gizmo

    Gizmo Chief Site Administrator Staff Member

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    Unfortunately, there are some competing issues here.

    First and foremost, there's got to be a large enough market for the developers to justify their time making a dedicated version.
    Second, there's got to be some significant advantage to be gained if the developers make a dedicated version.

    Windows wasn't always a viable gaming platform. Back in the Windows 3.1 days, and even Win95 and Win98 days, the vast majority of games were written to run on DOS. Initially, this was because Windows had a low market penetration. Even after that hurdle was overcome, there was still a performance problem: Windows games had to contend with a lot more overhead and thus suffered from lower performance. It actually wasn't until Microsoft made the decision that they wanted to get rid of DOS and recognized they couldn't do that without improving Windows' gaming performance that things started to change, and that was when DirectX was born. Even then, it really wasn't until the advent of DX3 (and arguably not even until DX6) that it really became viable to move from DOS to Windows as a gaming platform.

    The same issue exists in Linux, to a certain extent. WINE allows Windows games to run on Linux reasonably well most of the time. In addition, using WINE means that developers can take advantage of tools they already know and are familiar with, as well as an API (DirectX). I've no experience writing games on Linux (or anything else, TBH), so I can't comment on the difficulty (lack thereof) of writing video, audio, and input code for Linux, but my sense is that the APIs are not as polished or as consistent in many cases on Linux as they are for Windows. From my admittedly limited viewpoint that means the following:

    1. Linux needs to grow its market-share.
    2. Linux needs to develop a 'gaming API'. Game engines help with this enormously, but there still needs to be some consistent way in Linux to talk to the hardware so that even if you 'roll your own' engine, you can be confident it will run across the various 'nuxen.
    3. Running in 'native' Linux needs to offer significant advantages to running in a WINE wrapper.
    The 3rd item will almost certainly take care of itself if the 2nd is adequately addressed.

    As I said, I'm not a game writer. Even my limited interaction with DirectX has been limited to some audio stuff, so I could very well be wildly off-base with my observations, but at this point, the above is what I think.
  14. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Thanks for your input Gizmo! Its a lot of fun knowing Windows and Mac had to go through these same seasons in order to grow. I've read many-a-post on this issue and you seem to be right on all accounts.
    Vulkan might be the API Linux needs thanks to Valve.
    Wine and PlayOnLinux might be the way to grow Linux communities and market-share. Its getting better at every release.
    Then hopefully the result is more native built games and more ported older games.

    Until then, us consumers are stuck to running our games any way can.
    Bioshock Infinite has proven wrappers do work, Wine has proved many games and programs run almost flawlessly in Linux and companies like Valve, Humble Bundle and GOG prove that there is a need/desire for more games in Linux.
  15. Kladiator

    Kladiator Member

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    Sorry to join this discussion very late, as usual.

    I think everyone of us would like that every game had a native Linux port but we all know that is not going to happen and, IMHO, it will stay this way for a very long time, if not forever.

    And yet, I constantly read from those zealots at the linux gaming subreddit that we should never use Wine because doing so we support Windows and encourage developers to ignore Linux.
    These are by and large the same guys that, every time a game is ported to our favorite OS, are ready to announce that they are seeing the game already downloading, meaning that they had previously bought it and played it on their Windows PC or partition!

    So Wine supportes are constantly vilified and downvoted by some f****ing dual-booters!

    Personally, as much as I am happy with the improving world of native Linux games, if I was hypothetically forced at gunpoint:eek: to choose between my Steam for Linux games or my library of PlayOnLinux titles, I would nuke the former in an heartbeat and, I must add, this is mostly due to this website and its great guides!

    P.S. I really hope that those Alien Isolation rumors are true.
  16. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    No problem, thanks for the compliments!
    It seems some people have a hard time seeing things in a simple manner. I get caught up in technicalities as well.
    I'm not sure why the zealots have to push their views on everyone and have this "higher than mighty" pride?
    I think they over-react because they spent $60.00 on a game claiming to be released in Linux and got burned. They tried it in Wine and found that it was slow and buggy. Then the rest of their life they trash Wine and everyone that uses it.

    I see us all as a community in an imperfect world. You play your game, I play mine.
    Some run native some run in Wine.
    No problems

    My experience has always been the opposite.
    I never invest a lot of money in games. I invest my money in computers because I have 9 of them. 6 are gaming computers.
    I already have a huge library of Retail games and Steam games. So naturally when I checked out Linux, I went ahead and tested a few of my games to see how Wine is performing.
    These were older DirectX 9 games and they ran perfectly!
    Of course I started testing more and more and more....
    I found that 90% of my retail games were running just fine. The rest had bad performance or DRM causing the game to not install/run.

    So I didn't invest a lot of money and didn't expect the newly released game to run in Linux
    As the last three years have passed, I have purchased a bunch of bundles and games on sale.
    Now I have a lot of Steam, GOG, Desura & Origin games to test.

    My Linux gaming experience isn't based on one or two games that I invested a lot of money in.
    So this website was the next step...
    Show the world that your old games can run fine in PlayOnLinux and you don't have to spend a lot of money

    In fact, you can build a gaming Desktop computer for around $500.00 and play almost all of your Windows games just fine.
    Who can complain about that?

    Instead of pushing this on people and having flame-wars, I just post my results and show you how to install/configure them.
  17. Aryvandaar

    Aryvandaar Active Member

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    The only true way to support Linux games is to buy games on Linux. I think that using WINE is pretty much irrelevant. Using dual-boot is a bit of a concern though, but people will decide for themselves what they want to do. I dual-boot with Windows 7, but the only games I play there is Guild Wars 2, Star Wars: The Old Republic and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

    I'm currently waiting for the release of TW3 on Linux before doing my second playthrough. GW 2 is one hold atm, until me and my friend wants to play it again. SWTOR I play a bit now and then. It's rather refreshing to run around as sith..

    There aren't a lot of games I consider it to be worth enduring the pain of booting into Windows. :eek:
  18. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    I still don't fully understand that...
    I am not in Linux every time I purchase a game, so how do I insure that game purchase is considered a Linux purchase?

    I have a feeling they have statistics for downloads as well as purchases.
    I've purchased many games from my windows machine at work and then download the GOG, Humble Bundle, Steam game in Linux. So I hope the downloads count as well. Specially because I never buy a game on release day.

    Wine is totally irrelevant when it comes to purchases.... of course.
    But I wouldn't be playing games in Linux at all if it wasn't for Wine.
    If anything, Wine is a gaming introduction to Linux and when gamers find their old games run great in Wine, they might start using Linux for gaming. Then hopefully start making purchases for native Linux games in the future.

    Unfortunately there are still a few amazing games that won't run in Wine yet, so I have to either use Windows or wait.
    Besides my LAN parties, I've been able to play most games in Linux.
    If I had a bit of money to add hard drives to each of my computers, then I would be able to dual-boot all of them with Win/Linux. Then I could start doing full tests of my LAN games in Linux.
    That is the one thing holding me back... I have not tried all of my LAN games in Linux on all 6 computers. I still have some older video cards and full hard drives.
  19. Aryvandaar

    Aryvandaar Active Member

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    On steam, I think how they count system sales is which system you are on when you buy the game. It's quite possible that they also have a system for seeing which system people download & play on as well.

    Whenever I see a Linux game I want when I'm on my Windows box I boot up Linux and buy it in Linux.

    And yes, there are plenty of great games that won't run in WINE. Some games just has bad compatibility and others require dx10+.
  20. Kladiator

    Kladiator Member

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    There is a nice explanation on this Gaminonlinux article:

    Basically, if you buy a Steam game from Linux, it is considered a Linux sale if in the first 7 days more minutes are played on this platform than on Windows or OSX or if you didn't touch at all (0 minutes).

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