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I only read the first couple of pages in this thread, as well as the last two. If what I said has been already said, I am sorry.

When I think of what GOG can do to support Linux, porting their games is not one of them so we will ignore that.

I would argue that at least 40% of their catalog are dos games run in a custom dosbox (I could be wrong about that). If that is the case, then why not use dosbox on linux? You already own several games that have Linux (and/or Mac) versions.

Too many variables on Linux (i.e. Distributions, drivers, desktop environments)?

Then just use Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. It is a Long Term release which means it will be supported up to 5 years, just a year after the next LTS release. That would mean you only have one distro to work with. All of the spinoffs would work as well (like Linux Mint) and that combined will cover about 40% of all home Linux users. If that seem like to much work on your own, Canonical would be more than happy to help you in their efforts like they are doing with Valve/Steam.

Not big enough market for Linux?

Next year it is projected that 5% of all computers in the world will ship Ubuntu. Combine that with the million or so current Ubuntu users PLUS all the Ubuntu spinoffs and you will see that there is quite a big number there. Many of those users are hungry for quality gaming. Linux might be only 1% of the entire computing world, but I’m guessing less that 30% of all Windows users play games (excluding web browser/flash games). While the same can be said about Linux, as more games (and other software) become available, there will be an increase in the number of Linux users thus an increase in Linux gamers.
On the negative side of, while the Humble Indie Bundles have shown that Linux users are willing to pay twice as much as Windows users, Linux and Mac sales combined equal only to half the Windows sales BUT that’s still a lot of money.

P.S. While I am a Linux user, I also stand by Mac brethren. No one should be withheld from good games.
I'm not sure about 5% specifically for Ubuntu alone, but for Linux in general - pretty well may be (can be even higher).

Dosbox issue comes out not as drastic as it seems - it's mostly a convenience issue to avoid using Wine with GOG installer. You can extract all the files with innoextract tool and then use them with your Dosbox, modifing the config file as needed. innoextract is already available in Debian, and should appear in Ubuntu soon I guess (if not already). As some helpful hint, GOG can at least indicate which games use Dosbox, though it shouldn't be too hard to find it out for an unfamiliar game.

The biggest request (and the most important one IMO) is not about porting, not about Dosbox and etc. It's about GOG selling games which already have a native Linux version.
Post edited July 24, 2012 by shmerl
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shmerl: The biggest request (and the most important one IMO) is not about porting, not about Dosbox and etc. It's about GOG selling games which already have a native Linux version.
I apologize if this has been suggested previously. The linux version could be provided without official tech support from gog. Just set up a few places in the forums that could be used by people to help each other out. Make it clear that you're selling the windows version. Maybe make the linux version a goodie. Obviously I don't know how much more developers would charge, if anything, for providing the linux version along with windows.

The point is to get to a low cost of entry for selling linux versions of games and then grow it as time and money allow.
Post edited August 02, 2012 by Wut
Yes, that was suggested already, and GOG is reluctant to do that, since they want to set a high support standard for all their titles (it's arguable whether it's good or not though). So with perfectionist approach, they want to ship Linux games with good support (not worse than Windows ones), and are still unsure how to do that I guess. Or still wait for more interest in Linux games from GOG users.
Post edited August 02, 2012 by shmerl
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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. ;)
Unless there are legal issues stopping them. The only issue is GOG want to provide support. All we want is the Linux versions if they are made available by the game developers. That's it. Why the need for support just give us the other versions and continue with your great support on windows. Just dont see it.

Im currently not buying anything until there is some change on this one. Humble Bundle can get my money instead.
Post edited October 09, 2012 by Pvt_Will123
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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. ;)
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Pvt_Will123: Unless there are legal issues stopping them. The only issue is GOG want to provide support. All we want is the Linux versions if they are made available by the game developers. That's it. Why the need for support just give us the other versions and continue with your great support on windows. Just dont see it.

Im currently not buying anything until there is some change on this one. Humble Bundle can get my money instead.
Does the Humble Bundle's Linux port of Torchlight feature heads yet? ;)
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Pvt_Will123: Unless there are legal issues stopping them. The only issue is GOG want to provide support. All we want is the Linux versions if they are made available by the game developers. That's it. Why the need for support just give us the other versions and continue with your great support on windows. Just dont see it. Im currently not buying anything until there is some change on this one. Humble Bundle can get my money instead.
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Snickersnack: Does the Humble Bundle's Linux port of Torchlight feature heads yet? ;)
Unsure never played it even though i have it my bundle. I assume its broken then lol. But you see my point. Just give us what the devs already provide....
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Snickersnack: Does the Humble Bundle's Linux port of Torchlight feature heads yet? ;)
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Pvt_Will123: Unsure never played it even though i have it my bundle. I assume its broken then lol. But you see my point. Just give us what the devs already provide....
I'm a lot more likely to buy games on GOG than basically anywhere else, because I know they've got my back if something goes wrong, and I know that they take care of a lot of problems beforehand. I'd much, much rather not be handed a terribly broken game.

I would like Linux versions, but between WINE, ScummVM and DOSbox most of my GOG games are covered. I don't think we're at the point where the extra work of the Linux version would be worth the cost. That point may come soon though.
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Pvt_Will123: Unsure never played it even though i have it my bundle. I assume its broken then lol. But you see my point. Just give us what the devs already provide....
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HGiles: I'm a lot more likely to buy games on GOG than basically anywhere else, because I know they've got my back if something goes wrong, and I know that they take care of a lot of problems beforehand. I'd much, much rather not be handed a terribly broken game. I would like Linux versions, but between WINE, ScummVM and DOSbox most of my GOG games are covered. I don't think we're at the point where the extra work of the Linux version would be worth the cost. That point may come soon though.
I dont care about WINE, DOSbox or any of these emulators. All that is necessary are the native versions already provided by the dev's. That is not hard to provide. Its GOG's pride in their support thats holding this one back.
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HGiles: I'm a lot more likely to buy games on GOG than basically anywhere else, because I know they've got my back if something goes wrong, and I know that they take care of a lot of problems beforehand. I'd much, much rather not be handed a terribly broken game. I would like Linux versions, but between WINE, ScummVM and DOSbox most of my GOG games are covered. I don't think we're at the point where the extra work of the Linux version would be worth the cost. That point may come soon though.
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Pvt_Will123: I dont care about WINE, DOSbox or any of these emulators. All that is necessary are the native versions already provided by the dev's. That is not hard to provide. Its GOG's pride in their support thats holding this one back.
Yeah, and I basically agree with GOG on that. I'd like Linux versions, but I'd rather that a company not try to sell me something than try to sell me that something done halfway.

When the Linux ecosystem starts being an OS instead of an ecosystem, then by all means GOG should get on that. Until then, well, Linux prides itself on requiring people to dive into the system. That's what Linux users signed up for. It's a great philosophy for a programming environment, not so great for a production mainstream OS, and that's part of the Linux package.

I agree that Linux support is a good idea in theory, but there has been an awful lot of whining about it lately from the same group of people. GOG addressed the Linux request in a timely manner, with the reasoning behind their decision, and they've only gotten more whining in return.
I say sit back and see how things go for Valve/Steam on Linux. I guess Valve's expecting people are going to flee from Windows 8 and switch to Linux, well Ubuntu. Personally I think even if Win 8 fails most folks are going to stay with Win7(supported til 2020) just like people stayed with XP when Vista flopped. But that's just my uneducated opinion.
Maybe one person's opinion doesn't matter much but I just wanted to let you know that the main reason I'm still on windows and not on linux is because of the games and some software that I need and that isn't available on linux, if that changed, even just in ubuntu, I would just leave windows and adopt linux as my main OS
Ah, but we don't want you to leave Windows. We just want GOG to support Linux :-)
My guess is that fans of Linux have to take it into their own hands. Invent a script that converts a Windows Installer and makes a Linux package for all dosbox/scummvm games. It should not be too difficult but might work only in a limited number of cases. But anyway it will mean a benefit for Linux fans, so they should do it.
That's basically what I'm doing with PlayOnLinux scripts...
http://www.gog.com/en/mix/playonlinux_install_scripts
Post edited November 11, 2012 by petchema