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The issue for me very much are those games that already have native ports. With those native ports the developers dealt with all the questions that GOG is putting forth, like what distros to support, how to package the games etc.

As it is now with all the games on GOG.com with native Linux ports already, there is a dilemma since buying the games from GOG means cutting yourself off from the Linux version.

How would shipping the respective Linux installers and binaries as an extra(just like all those wallpapers, manuals, art work, soundtracks, etc) hurt GOG and/or their customers?

What some of us want GOG to do is to upload a bunch of files to their servers and to provide them on an "as-is" basis. That is it, nothing more. But GOG's all or nothing policy is getting in the way of that. GOG is hellbent that downloading any binaries for the Linux OS from www.gog.com MUST be and stay impossible.

Who benefits from that stance and the absence of Linux binaries? Nobody at all, as far as I can tell.
The most obvious benefit have GOG themselves, since they don't need to worry about the whole cycle of bug reporting and feedback about Linux versions (which they'd have to deal otherwise). Not that it's impossible to do, they just didn't get enough resolve to start doing it already.
I know absolutely nothing about Linux, but having read the first page of this thread out of curiosity, something occurred to me. Would the legal ramifications (both in a distro/rights sense and in a customer service sense) be different if GOG offered the tarball thing (we're talking about a source code thing you compile yourself, right?) as an extra with games, as opposed to selling Linux versions? From the "this doesn't work, give me my money back!!!" angle, there'd be no monetary, legally binding need for it to work for a given user, presumably similar to if for some reason they can't open a PDF manual or get the OST MP3s working.

If that makes no sense to people who actually know about these things, it might at least be a starting point to consider positioning it as an extra that isn't directly paid for and has no warranty.

Edit
Damn it, I wrote all that while at the top of page 2, and since posting it I've read Kristian's post above mine. Great minds think alike, eh?
Post edited November 12, 2012 by Export
GOG's official line is that dropping zip and tar ball files at customers is possible but isn't how they do things. They want to offer the 'it works' service to everyone regardless of the platform. I admire that sentiment but in this case, it means no Linux versions for any of us.

I don't think it's possible to distribute source of the games unless the games are free open source software (like Warsow). It may also not be in the best interest of the original developers and publishers to hand it out if the game is fairly recent. I don't see this happening anyhow.
But... but a number of the games they release also do not work well in Windows... GOG.com should stop all service then....

Just kidding, of course :-)
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tarangwydion: But... but a number of the games they release also do not work well in Windows... GOG.com should stop all service then....

Just kidding, of course :-)
LMAO!!!
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niniendowarrior: GOG's official line is that dropping zip and tar ball files at customers is possible but isn't how they do things. They want to offer the 'it works' service to everyone regardless of the platform. I admire that sentiment but in this case, it means no Linux versions for any of us.

I don't think it's possible to distribute source of the games unless the games are free open source software (like Warsow). It may also not be in the best interest of the original developers and publishers to hand it out if the game is fairly recent. I don't see this happening anyhow.
I dunno, man. I hate to by cynical here, but I think it's more that they want to avoid legal ramifications and are taking a "not touching that with a 20 foot pole" approach to it, since the audience and potential gain for them is microscopic. Putting a tar or zip in the "Extras" section for people who, let's say, tick a "Linux owner" box in their profile, would be a world apart from forcing everyone to try and figure out how to compile a game.

And as the guy above said, though jokingly, there is not a 100% guarantee that the games will work on Windows either; several games including Torment, Myst and Alpha Centauri either had serious issues or flat out didn't work on my last PC. I contacted support about it and was ignored. They weren't bothered about "the GOG way of doing things" then.
Although of course I cannot speak for all Linux GOGers here, I think for starters we want GOG to release those games that not only have Windows version but also Linux version as well. So, not really only those games that are in Linux and nowhere else.

Chances are these kind of games are still relatively new, and the developers are still actively supporting them.

Funny thing is that the wishlist:
http://www.gog.com/en/wishlist/site/add_linux_versions_of_games
which at this moment of posting has 7804 votes, was started by JudasIscariot who is now a GOG staff :-)
Post edited November 12, 2012 by tarangwydion
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niniendowarrior: GOG's official line is that dropping zip and tar ball files at customers is possible but isn't how they do things. They want to offer the 'it works' service to everyone regardless of the platform. I admire that sentiment but in this case, it means no Linux versions for any of us.

I don't think it's possible to distribute source of the games unless the games are free open source software (like Warsow). It may also not be in the best interest of the original developers and publishers to hand it out if the game is fairly recent. I don't see this happening anyhow.
I know that is their official line, but it is what I am questioning. Why have that official line? It doesn't benefit the customers and I don't see how it benefits GoG.

As far as source code goes there is no need for that(except in the case of GPL games like Warsow in which case they already have to dristibute code). Just provide those binaries/installers that ALREADY exist.

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shmerl: The most obvious benefit have GOG themselves, since they don't need to worry about the whole cycle of bug reporting and feedback about Linux versions (which they'd have to deal otherwise). Not that it's impossible to do, they just didn't get enough resolve to start doing it already.
Not if they distribute it on an "as is" basis. There is tons of stuff distributed like that already. For example older games that are re-released as freeware.

Edit:

Can anyone tell me how Linux binaries/installers are any different than all the other extras they provide currently?

Also what should Linux users do with those games that already have Linux native versions? Take Psychonauts, why buy it on GoG when the Humble Bundle version has a native Linux port?
Post edited November 12, 2012 by Kristian
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Kristian: Why have that official line?
Assume the following support ticket:
"Hi. I'm trying to run Dungeon Keeper 2 on linux and it doesn't work. Can you help me?"
What information do you need to be able to suggest a solution?
Replace linux above with Windows, or with Mac, and do the list of information again. The number of linux distributions alone increase the variety of responses exponentially, thus taking a lot of support time, that gog doesn't want to commit at this point. If you do wish to run a game on linux, you should do it the linux way, and ask for the community to help, and as far as I've seen, the community does help quite a bit on that point.
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Kristian: Also what should Linux users do with those games that already have Linux native versions? Take Psychonauts, why buy it on GoG when the Humble Bundle version has a native Linux port?
One would hope that GOG could simply slip in the Linux versions into their downloads and let us play. Humble Bundle has been a large contributor on native Linux ports for sure, but if you missed the HB sale, then GOG could provide you another avenue to get your game.
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Kristian: Why have that official line?
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JMich: Assume the following support ticket:
"Hi. I'm trying to run Dungeon Keeper 2 on linux and it doesn't work. Can you help me?"
What information do you need to be able to suggest a solution?
Replace linux above with Windows, or with Mac, and do the list of information again. The number of linux distributions alone increase the variety of responses exponentially, thus taking a lot of support time, that gog doesn't want to commit at this point. If you do wish to run a game on linux, you should do it the linux way, and ask for the community to help, and as far as I've seen, the community does help quite a bit on that point.
Notice I talked about shipping those files "as is" that is in an unsupported manner.

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Kristian: Also what should Linux users do with those games that already have Linux native versions? Take Psychonauts, why buy it on GoG when the Humble Bundle version has a native Linux port?
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niniendowarrior: One would hope that GOG could simply slip in the Linux versions into their downloads and let us play. Humble Bundle has been a large contributor on native Linux ports for sure, but if you missed the HB sale, then GOG could provide you another avenue to get your game.
Well that is exactly the thing that GoG are saying they won't do.
Post edited November 12, 2012 by Kristian
Just a note: PlayOnLinux currently supports loads of GOG releases, install scripts are now changed to support GOG installers v2. All you need to do to get a GOG game running, you need to install playonlinux, click install, find a game in the list (and pray it's actually there) and select it. You then follow the automated installer and playonlinux does everything for you, including installation of an instance of Wine that works the best with the said version of the game, configuration, everything. It's a fantastic service.
So Steam has released with support for Linux sooner than GOG.

That's surprising... and very lame of GOG. I have to say I'm disappointed.

And you'd think Steam on Linux would shut up everyone who says it's infeasible, but apparently the myth that Linux is too much trouble persists despite all evidence to the contrary.
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dvolk: ... That's surprising......
Steam is much larger than GOG and started earlier with this whole distribution business. They just have the edge on technology. I think it's not surprising.
Post edited November 13, 2012 by Trilarion