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TheEnigmaticT: Or if FreeBSD removes a driver from the kernel that we depend upon in order to run some games?
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TheJoe: Well that'd only matter if you were supporting BSD.
The irony there is that *BSD is a lot easier to support than Linux is. It's a lot more likely to happen for both Linux and Windows than for *BSD as *BSD tends to have compatibility modules that handle most of that. Sometimes something does get removed that's really needed, but it's never been a problem I've had to deal with.

That being said, chicken meet egg.
just adding my pov:

at the community wiki, we do have already a lot of information about running the games on different linux distributions.

Example: Broken]http://www.gogwiki.com/wiki/Broken_Sword:_Director%27s_Cut]Broken Sword/url]

Just add your information of the games you have and animate others to add more linux stuff as well, and we have a good database ;)
It would be nice if there was an easier way of getting the files out of the dosbox based games without having to use wine/windows to get the folders for the windows games though your going to be using wine the whole way so it's less of a hassle to do it there
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Future_Suture: The subject of not enough resources and wanting to provide a quality service at all times actually came up starting from here. Needless to say, apparently it's not as much effort as GOG likes to make it seem.
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TheEnigmaticT: Making packages and distributing them? Yes, that's trivial. But what your poster in that thread doesn't account for is that we do a lot more than that with classic games. I'm not the guy in charge of testing, mastering, and building games, but let's just look at what *I* can think of that makes Linux release a very difficult proposition:

1: Testing. What distros do we support? There are 10 "fairly common" ones (Ubuntu, Mint, OpenSuse, Fedora, CentOS, ArchLinux, Debian, Slackware, FreeBSD and, um, I've forgotten a couple). Hardware? What level of updates? Only FOSS drivers, or can we take some closed source stuff? Once we've decided on a test bed, we still have to check the games. Do they boot? What about oddball games like, say, Theme Hopsital? There's a version-specific DOSBox-related fix there. Does it in work in any distro? In all of 'em? Managing testing across the 3 OSes we support is tough and requires a lot of time, effort, and money. How much more complex will 10 more OSes make it?

2. Support. Having problems getting your game running? We'll help you out. Contact Support and they'll try to diagnose your problem and offer a solution--but they only know how to fix common (and less common) Windows problems. LInux is famous as the hacker's OS--that is to say, the OS of people who like to do odd things with their hardware. If someone contacts Support because he can't get his copy of Fallout running on his Raspberry Pi with a video out that's connected to a six-panel e-ink display and he wants his money back, well, that puts us in a bad spot.

3. Maintanence. Across those 10 common distros, how often does one of them update? Quarterly? Monthly? I don't know, but the answer is certainly "often". What do we do if slackware updates and breaks the functionality of a glide wrapper that we're using for all of our games? Or if FreeBSD removes a driver from the kernel that we depend upon in order to run some games? Just planning for Windows 8 is a minor headache--ask Tolya about his test plans if you want to hear an earful--but planning for a wide spectrum of OSes that have constantly changing sources and see major feature and bugfix releases more than once a year? Man, that's a Herculean labor.

This is a thumbnail sketch of the challenges that await a digital distributor who wants to release games on Linux and who also wants to provide proper support when doing so.

Of course, we could just release a client, sell the games, and figure that you can sort the rest out yourself--I'm sure some businesses may even consider that a successful business model--but that's not really the GOG way of doing business. ;)
I must say, that induces in me what I believe to be the very opposite of great felicity. I do hope that the numerous Kickstarter and Humble Bundle games that support Linux and will likely end up on GOG will change your mind, plus Steam's arrival on the Linux platform. There is also the request to add Linux which is accumulating more votes every day. I can wait for now.
I'm not sure what your total market is, but surely the 3000+ votes for Linux support indicates more than 1%.

You're not targeting everyone, you're targeting people who play old (and now indie) DRM free games, and from various sources (e.g. the poll on this site, the humble bundle sales stats) a lot more of them run Linux than the general computing public.

Something to keep if that 1% statcounter result is a big factor (you mentioned it in your reasons for not supporting Linux.)
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TheCycoONE: I'm not sure what your total market is, but surely the 3000+ votes for Linux support indicates more than 1%.

You're not targeting everyone, you're targeting people who play old (and now indie) DRM free games, and from various sources (e.g. the poll on this site, the humble bundle sales stats) a lot more of them run Linux than the general computing public.

Something to keep if that 1% statcounter result is a big factor (you mentioned it in your reasons for not supporting Linux.)
Since you mentioned the Humble Bundle, I thought I would add that the guys from the Humble Bundle are seeking Linux developers. Seems like Linux is more than a worthwhile platform for them!
In the end, this is the reality that matters the most:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems

Supporting Linux doesn't give enough returns per number of users.

Linux is still very much a server's or supercomputer's OS.

I already hope they keep working on the usability with sound defaults to draw more people in.

@TheEnigmaticT:

Concerning the distros, you don't have to support all of them.

You could start by supporting maybe the 2 or 3 most popular ones and list the support as unknown for the other Linux distros.

You don't have to support Linux with a capital L ;).
Post edited June 14, 2012 by Magnitus
While we're at it, any chance of supporting Novell's Netware? :p
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TheCycoONE: I'm not sure what your total market is, but surely the 3000+ votes for Linux support indicates more than 1%.

You're not targeting everyone, you're targeting people who play old (and now indie) DRM free games, and from various sources (e.g. the poll on this site, the humble bundle sales stats) a lot more of them run Linux than the general computing public.

Something to keep if that 1% statcounter result is a big factor (you mentioned it in your reasons for not supporting Linux.)
Without knowing how many members GOG actually has, you can't say for certain that those 3000 votes represent any particular percentage. GOG supposedly has membership in the low millions, so let's lowball completely it and say they only have a million members, then those 3000 votes only represent 0.3% of GOG's membership. Even without knowing exactly what percentage that number represents, 3000 potential customers is really not worth the effort required.

Where did you get the idea that GOG is not targeting everyone? When the site first launched, they were a niche market, but not anymore. Old games, indie games and even new games are all on GOG now. They are working towards being a market for everyone... everyone on Windows that is (for now at least).
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cogadh: Without knowing how many members GOG actually has, you can't say for certain that those 3000 votes represent any particular percentage. GOG supposedly has membership in the low millions, so let's lowball completely it and say they only have a million members, then those 3000 votes only represent 0.3% of GOG's membership. Even without knowing exactly what percentage that number represents, 3000 potential customers is really not worth the effort required.

Where did you get the idea that GOG is not targeting everyone? When the site first launched, they were a niche market, but not anymore. Old games, indie games and even new games are all on GOG now. They are working towards being a market for everyone... everyone on Windows that is (for now at least).
I think it's a bit hard to evaluate judging just on the current GOG users, since GOG never focused on Linux yet. Imagine a scenario, when GOG (given enough resources) starts shipping quality native Linux games. Many Linux users will naturally pay attention to GOG, since finding good games for Linux is a challenge. I.e. the number of actual Linux GOG users will instantly boost, and the total number of Linux desktop users is numbered in millions. So it's not really easy to predict the actual outcome just from the poll or even current GOG userbase.
Post edited June 14, 2012 by shmerl
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cogadh: Without knowing how many members GOG actually has, you can't say for certain that those 3000 votes represent any particular percentage. GOG supposedly has membership in the low millions, so let's lowball completely it and say they only have a million members, then those 3000 votes only represent 0.3% of GOG's membership. Even without knowing exactly what percentage that number represents, 3000 potential customers is really not worth the effort required.
Conceded, I worried about that point as I wrote it. I could point out that it is among the most requested site options, and you could counter that that's because the majority is satisfied with the status quo and we are just a very vocal minority. The humble bundle stats we do have however, and I think they share a target demographic.

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cogadh: Where did you get the idea that GOG is not targeting everyone? When the site first launched, they were a niche market, but not anymore. Old games, indie games and even new games are all on GOG now. They are working towards being a market for everyone... everyone on Windows that is (for now at least).
No one targets everyone. GOG's marketing tells you who they are targeting: People who want games without DRM, who want value added extras, who want their games prepackaged to work with the latest operating system, who are willing to pay for software widely available on pirate/abandonware sites, who are willing to buy digital copies of software. In terms of pricing they are competitive but not bargain basement - at least in North America it's usually cheaper to get the games somewhere else (e.g. steam sales). I think in particular there is a strong correlation between people concerned about DRM and people who use Linux. It's obviously not 1:1, some Linux users are very excited about a native Steam client.

All that said, the market is not untapped, Linux users have Humble Bundle and Desura, so maybe we wouldn't all jump in with our wallets wide open.

I voted for the feature because I run Linux and find it annoying to have to check for support, whether the game is the dosbox version, run the installer through wine and move the files, and for new games whether another store sells a linux native version before I buy. I know I'm not the only one. I know that GOG is unwilling to go halfway with this and compromise their brand so they're choosing to do nothing for now which I can respect.

What I don't respect is having a polling feature about what users desire and then brushing off the most popular results. From all the 'just do this' or 'just do that' comments in the poll it sounds like the majority of those voting are willing to have a half way solution, and if you don't want negative publicity - advertise it as such. Hide it if you want - a profile option: "[x] Unsupported Files - For technical users only, no support will be available for files downloaded if you select this option" or www.gog.com/linuxbetacaveatemptore
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TheCycoONE: What I don't respect is having a polling feature about what users desire and then brushing off the most popular results. From all the 'just do this' or 'just do that' comments in the poll it sounds like the majority of those voting are willing to have a half way solution, and if you don't want negative publicity - advertise it as such. Hide it if you want - a profile option: "[x] Unsupported Files - For technical users only, no support will be available for files downloaded if you select this option" or www.gog.com/linuxbetacaveatemptore
That would be great, as it would cause headlines in the Linux community and thus more attention for GOG which in return would encourage GOG to give Linux more love. Games like Heroes of Might and Magic 3, Unreal Tournament 2004, and Neverwinter Nights have native Linux versions, so just go that one tiny, extra step and see what happens. Yes, risks are involved in the world of business and they may or may not pay off, but going that one tiny, extra step to test the waters will hardly cause the downfall of GOG. I would love to give GOG my money as they are my favourite digital distributor, but cannot do so if they do not have what I want. Give me what I want, GOG, and I permit you to have more of my money.
Yeah, just imagine the headline somewhere on OSnews or LWN: "GOG ships native Linux games - DRM free". People will run to check it out :D
Post edited June 14, 2012 by shmerl
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TheCycoONE: What I don't respect is having a polling feature about what users desire and then brushing off the most popular results. From all the 'just do this' or 'just do that' comments in the poll it sounds like the majority of those voting are willing to have a half way solution, and if you don't want negative publicity - advertise it as such. Hide it if you want - a profile option: "[x] Unsupported Files - For technical users only, no support will be available for files downloaded if you select this option" or www.gog.com/linuxbetacaveatemptore
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Future_Suture: That would be great, as it would cause headlines in the Linux community and thus more attention for GOG which in return would encourage GOG to give Linux more love. Games like Heroes of Might and Magic 3, Unreal Tournament 2004, and Neverwinter Nights have native Linux versions, so just go that one tiny, extra step and see what happens. Yes, risks are involved in the world of business and they may or may not pay off, but going that one tiny, extra step to test the waters will hardly cause the downfall of GOG. I would love to give GOG my money as they are my favourite digital distributor, but cannot do so if they do not have what I want. Give me what I want, GOG, and I permit you to have more of my money.
The problem is you and everyone else arguing for "Linux now" are assuming that this is a tiny step, as if GOG could pull it off tomorrow with little to no effort. It's not. It's actually a huge step, even if it is only a few titles. As TET already mentioned, GOG may not even have the licensing to distribute Linux games (I'm guessing that NWN would be the one exception, since the Linux client is already free to anyone who owns the game). Getting those licenses involves new negotiations with rights holders, possibly even adding rights holders they don't already have deals with, and a layout of cash that could be prohibitive. It's not that it could cause GOG to fail, it's that they could end up wasting or even losing money on a venture that produces little in the way of sales when that money could be better spent on continuing to build the library and user base they already service and is already proven to be (extremely) profitable. TET has already confirmed that they are considering their options with Linux and no amount of second guessing on our part will make a difference when no decision has even been made yet. We've told them how we feel and what we would like to happen, but this is GOG's business and their decision to make. As much as we would like to think that this is an easy "no brainer" decision, it's really not and we need to get over that.
Of course effort is more if they are to add many titles with messed up release rights right away. What was meant by tiny steps I think, is first to prepare the infrastructure inside GOG, and then to start with titles which treat their different OS builds as the same release. When that will work, GOG can engage in more complex cases where rights are spread amongst different entities. In this case the difficulty will increase gradually, and GOG can use the easier ones as a test for the whole process.
Post edited June 14, 2012 by shmerl