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Glaere: ...Or am I reaching? ...
Maybe you are. Nobody knows.
I think that once SteamOS takes off, if it becomes successful enough that other game publishers will start to bring their games to Linux (whether as ports or under wine or similar), and that other game distributors will follow suit with their distribution services. There are already some of them indicating interest to explore this. If Valve's Linux adventures turn out to be fruitful for them, the whole game industry will know about it and we can expect to then see a lot of games become available on Linux. GOG will no doubt follow suit at that time. With limited resources they have right now compared to the big guys though I think they're probably going to dedicate their finite resources to bringing more games to the service DRM-free than to spread themselves thin by trying to expand into an unproven niche (Linux) just yet. I do however think that things will change greatly in the next 2 years and that Linux will indeed begin to be a popular gaming platform and that all distributors/publishers will follow Valve's lead.

GOG is wise to hold off a bit on this and focus their resources on bringing more games in first I believe.
GOG's resources aren't any more limited than Humble Bundle's ones for example. GOG are doing pretty well and are profitable to the point of having R&D projects. So I don't think resources argument has any relevance here. You don't need to be a "big guy" to support Linux.
Post edited November 06, 2013 by shmerl
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skeletonbow: I think that once SteamOS takes off, if it becomes successful enough that other game publishers will start to bring their games to Linux (whether as ports or under wine or similar), and that other game distributors will follow suit with their distribution services. There are already some of them indicating interest to explore this. If Valve's Linux adventures turn out to be fruitful for them, the whole game industry will know about it and we can expect to then see a lot of games become available on Linux. GOG will no doubt follow suit at that time. With limited resources they have right now compared to the big guys though I think they're probably going to dedicate their finite resources to bringing more games to the service DRM-free than to spread themselves thin by trying to expand into an unproven niche (Linux) just yet. I do however think that things will change greatly in the next 2 years and that Linux will indeed begin to be a popular gaming platform and that all distributors/publishers will follow Valve's lead.

GOG is wise to hold off a bit on this and focus their resources on bringing more games in first I believe.
I'm pretty sure, if SteamOS and SteamBox will be successful.... it will not help the Linux gaming (in current understanding -> support the distros) that much. It will just transform "Linux gaming" to "Steam platform gaming" (on Linux), similar to how Android is designed (on top of linux kernel, minus GNU, linux userland stack and distro mess) or MacOS (on BSD kernel). For later one also no one saw a rise in BSD apps or games.
Architectural, SteamOS will take out the wonky distro and unix aspects out of the linux ecosystem, forming a addressable platform. Exactly the parts the linux geek ecosystem is so proud on, unlimited choice and customizability, gone.
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skeletonbow: I think that once SteamOS takes off, if it becomes successful enough that other game publishers will start to bring their games to Linux (whether as ports or under wine or similar), and that other game distributors will follow suit with their distribution services. There are already some of them indicating interest to explore this. If Valve's Linux adventures turn out to be fruitful for them, the whole game industry will know about it and we can expect to then see a lot of games become available on Linux. GOG will no doubt follow suit at that time. With limited resources they have right now compared to the big guys though I think they're probably going to dedicate their finite resources to bringing more games to the service DRM-free than to spread themselves thin by trying to expand into an unproven niche (Linux) just yet. I do however think that things will change greatly in the next 2 years and that Linux will indeed begin to be a popular gaming platform and that all distributors/publishers will follow Valve's lead.

GOG is wise to hold off a bit on this and focus their resources on bringing more games in first I believe.
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shaddim: I'm pretty sure, if SteamOS and SteamBox will be successful.... it will not help the Linux gaming (in current understanding -> support the distros) that much. It will just transform "Linux gaming" to "Steam platform gaming" (on Linux), similar to how Android is designed (on top of linux kernel, minus GNU, linux userland stack and distro mess) or MacOS (on BSD kernel). For later one also no one saw a rise in BSD apps or games.
Architectural, SteamOS will take out the wonky distro and unix aspects out of the linux ecosystem, forming a addressable platform. Exactly the parts the linux geek ecosystem is so proud on, unlimited choice and customizability, gone.
If they use the Linux kernel, then any driver updates for Steam OS will be compatible with the Linux kernel, or at least will have a known set of changes that Linus can implement.

Otherwise, I doubt that Steam OS is going to be so much good for Linux as bad for Windows and OSX. OTOH, getting people away from OSX and Windows to see what things are like should be good for people in general, and Steam OS games should be like 95% ported to linux in general, and probably even closer.
shaddim: Disagreed. It's pretty dumb for Valve to make Android style incompatible distro on a deep level (like using some other weird glibc, or reinvent a new display server instead of Wayland and etc.). They want their games to run equally on other distros too. So I expect SteamOS to benefit all other Linux distros in the context of gaming.
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shaddim: I'm pretty sure, if SteamOS and SteamBox will be successful.... it will not help the Linux gaming (in current understanding -> support the distros) that much. It will just transform "Linux gaming" to "Steam platform gaming" (on Linux), similar to how Android is designed (on top of linux kernel, minus GNU, linux userland stack and distro mess) or MacOS (on BSD kernel). For later one also no one saw a rise in BSD apps or games.
Architectural, SteamOS will take out the wonky distro and unix aspects out of the linux ecosystem, forming a addressable platform. Exactly the parts the linux geek ecosystem is so proud on, unlimited choice and customizability, gone.
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hedwards: If they use the Linux kernel, then any driver updates for Steam OS will be compatible with the Linux kernel, or at least will have a known set of changes that Linus can implement.

Otherwise, I doubt that Steam OS is going to be so much good for Linux as bad for Windows and OSX. OTOH, getting people away from OSX and Windows to see what things are like should be good for people in general, and Steam OS games should be like 95% ported to linux in general, and probably even closer.
While indeed driver support might become better, I don't believe general linux ecosystem compatibility of apps or games will rise, I assume the opposite: once the Steam API is available as stable, addressable platform for Linux, game developers will use it happily and completely drop all (fruitless and demanding) tries to support something else (e.g. distros) beside steam. Linux gaming will be in general transformed to a vendor platform system (like android with Google play)... and also lock-in as Steam is NOT a open, community designed platform.

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shmerl: shaddim: Disagreed. It's pretty dumb for Valve to make Android style incompatible distro on a deep level (like using some other weird glibc, or reinvent a new display server instead of Wayland and etc.). They want their games to run equally on other distros too. So I expect SteamOS to benefit all other Linux distros in the context of gaming.
They want that their steam client to run everywhere, they do not want that Steam games run anywhere than their defined and wanted context (Steam platform). Important difference. If you look on the current steam client architecture, you see already this kind of thinking. They don't try to make the linux distro ecosystem more compatible they just try to make an isolated isle with own rules unhindered by distro rules, lib variations...etc. Exactly like android did, a platform on its own on top.
Post edited November 06, 2013 by shaddim
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shaddim: They want that their steam client to run everywhere, they do not want that Steam games run anywhere than their defined and wanted context (Steam platform). Important difference. If you look on the current steam client architecture, you see already this kind of thinking. They don't try to make the linux distro ecosystem more compatible they just try to make an isolated isle with own rules unhindered by distro rules, lib variations...etc. Exactly like android did, a platform on its own on top.
Not a very significant difference for developers who avoid Steam lock-in features, as was already discussed above. It's demonstrated by Linux games released on Steam and outside of it. The main point is, that there is no reason for Valve to use some weird incompatible middleware on SteamOS, which will make its games not runnable on Steam on other distros. Which together with what I just said above means, that those games which will avoid lock-in stuff will be pretty much runnable outside SteamOS and even Steam as well (if their developers will be willing to release them that way of course).

The key of Android incompatibility with normal Linux is not its bundled approach nature, but deep architectural differences (like using bionic libc instead of glibc, using its own display server - Surfaceflinger and so on). Those are main things that make Android a completely different beast. If Valve avoids such wild rifts - then SteamOS will benefit many other distros pretty well.
Post edited November 06, 2013 by shmerl
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shaddim: They want that their steam client to run everywhere, they do not want that Steam games run anywhere than their defined and wanted context (Steam platform). Important difference. If you look on the current steam client architecture, you see already this kind of thinking. They don't try to make the linux distro ecosystem more compatible they just try to make an isolated isle with own rules unhindered by distro rules, lib variations...etc. Exactly like android did, a platform on its own on top.
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shmerl: Not a very significant difference for developers who avoid Steam lock-in features, as was already discussed above. It's demonstrated by Linux games released on Steam and outside of it. The main point is, that there is no reason for Valve to use some weird incompatible middleware on SteamOS, which will make its games not runnable on Steam on other distros.
They use "strange middleware" in the sense that they try to use a frozen steam lib ecosystem instead of being flexible and using the distro lib ecosystem (like every other good linux app does), a completely different approach. Additionally, Steam API will act itself a middleware. Developers are already annoyed (e.g. my experience with recent kickstarter devs) in providing non-steam API relying builds, as Steam API functionality is so convenient and useful for them. They will not avoid Steam lock-in features but happily embrace them! They will start to push out steam games instead of linux games if steamos becomes successful.
Post edited November 06, 2013 by shaddim
That's why we need more competition amongst distributors, so developers would pay attention to avoiding Steam lock-in features. Some already do, at least those who care to release their games to Humble Bundle or Desura, and not just Steam. GOG joining the club would improve the situation as well. But GOG really need to put themselves together with this effort. Waiting forever will be bad.
Post edited November 06, 2013 by shmerl
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shmerl: GOG's resources aren't any more limited than Humble Bundle's ones for example. GOG are doing pretty well and are profitable to the point of having R&D projects. So I don't think resources argument has any relevance here. You don't need to be a "big guy" to support Linux.
Just because they have more resources doesn't mean they have enough to provide that kind of support. Their main priority is to get old/new games, make sure they work for existing supported platforms (and relevant support). If they are unable to provide games or support for linux, they will have good reasons not to.
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shmerl: That's why we need more competition amongst distributors, so developers would pay attention to avoiding Steam lock-in features. Some already do, at least those who care to release their games to Humble Bundle or Desura, and not just Steam. GOG joining the club would improve the situation as well. But GOG really need to put themselves together with this effort. Waiting forever will be bad.
I completely agree, also for this reason GOG should join.
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nijuu: Just because they have more resources doesn't mean they have enough to provide that kind of support.
May be they don't, though I don't think so. They never said their problem is resources so far. They said their problem is finding a way which enables support in the manner they want it. So it's a technical issue (supposedly). But who knows. At least from profits perspective, GOG are doing pretty well and growing.
Post edited November 06, 2013 by shmerl
I love gog and their drm free stance, and the fact that they give support for their releases.

What I don't like, is that they don't offer linux support. Drm-free games are nice, until I can't play them on my computer.

It's a bit difficult to not want to use steam, regardless of their practices, because at least I don't have to do something special to run my game library.


GOG let me uninstall wine!
SteamOS could really help desktop Linux adoption, says Torvalds
Torvalds: SteamOS will "really help" Linux on desktop

Having worked in the Linux field previously for many years (X11 video driver development primarily), I have to agree with Linus' sentiment. Valve's Linux adventures are going to fare very well for the Linux desktop (whether or not SteamOS or games on Linux succeeds) simply due to the giant bags of money pushing on solving problems that are not video game specific, in particular hardware support but in other areas as well. Valve has already made a number of great contributions on this front. For those who do not follow these things too closely, http://www.phoronix.com keeps track of Valve's Linux activities fairly closely and is a good RSS feed to monitor things and stay informed.

Enjoy.