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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.
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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cogadh: EDIT - Epic ninja'd by TET!
:: wave ::

But you did bring up a good point I'd forgotten: I don't even know if we have the rights to sell games for Linux. How much would that cost? How long would that take to recoup?

Yeah, not simple at all.

THAT SAID: we know that some of you want it, and as you can tell from the fact that i was able to spout all of those questions off relatively quickly (despite losing my first draft at my reply thanks to the site hiccup an hour ago), we're thinking about it. No promises, though. Linux is, what, 1% of the market for desktop computers? That's a lot of work for a very small audience. It's still quite possible that, after evaluation, the answer will still be, "No, sorry, This will cost us more money than it makes."
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nullzero: Mr T, all fair points! It looks like Linux needs to be easier to support before native versions to become feasible.

What about providing the Winehq AppDB ratings for releases and providing links to the Wine project (with their permission) ?

Since you guys provide the games in the best available version (without DRM) many entries in the AppDB are for the GoG release of the game, and people often post how they got the game to work.
I'm leery of providing a third-party's evaluation of a game's functionality on our website, because that starts us down a slippery slope:

"The website you linked to says that this game runs with no issues. It doesn't run for me. I want my money back."

It seems, if we linked to AppDB, we end up with the worst of both worlds: unhappy customers and a support/test team that is wholly unprepared to deal with any issues that may arise. Not to mention publishers coming to us and saying, "It looks an awful lot like you're telling people that your game is supported in Linux. This is funny, because you aren't paying us for Linux distro rights."
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crazy_dave: So since most of these objections don't apply to selling games on the Mac (except the rights to sell them to that platform maybe) that means you'll be doing so soon, right? RIGHT?

Do you guys do support on the newer games? You don't just hand support off to the devs/publishers who are still supporting those games themselves?
Well, the question in this thread was specific to Linux. The same objections that come up with Linux come up with Mac, albeit at a somewhat reduced scale. Just as we've not announced anything about Linux support (although, as you can tell, we've been considering it), we're not announcing anything about Mac either.

And yes, we provide support for newer games, too. Having a problem with Grimrock? Feel free to ask the guys on Support. They'll help you out. ;)
Post edited June 11, 2012 by TheEnigmaticT
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crazy_dave: I think maybe you flipped a couple of the OSes around :) Fixed:
Gadzooks! I should drink my morning tea before writing replies.
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adamhm: I get from TET's posts over on GOL that GOG doesn't consider it financially viable to support Linux, a view which differs from much of the rest of the industry (and especially indie developers that GOG seems to be focusing on as of late); all these developers that are now creating Linux versions of their games seem to consider it worthwhile. Even the likes of CryTek, Kalypso, Sega / Sports Interactive, Deep Silver / 4A Games etc. As far as distributors go, there's Steam (obviously), the Humble Store, Desura etc. but none of them insist on DRM-free like GOG does. And as far as difficulty supporting Linux goes - they obviously don't consider it as difficult as GOG does.

Even if GOG just provided native Linux versions as unsupported extras (I don't really care how they're packaged so whatever the developer provides, even .tar.gz is fine) without any promise of official Linux support, what would be the harm in that? The native Linux versions exist already and have been tested & are supported by their developers. Providing them like this would be no different to how GOG provides the Ittle Dew prototype, "The Lady, The Mage, and The Knight" tech demo with the Divinity games and other similar extras. Refusing to provide them at all no matter what just denies us the native Linux versions for no good reason.
I'll mention this here as well: GOG.com is a fundamentally different platform than Steam or Desura: we support every game we sell. They do not.

When a developer ships a game, after a year or so he is presumably done with any support. So it's much easier for him or her to accept Linux support as a short-term cost and move on with life. He only has to worry about supporting a single distro, and probably only for a single major build. Further more, he's got access to his game's source code and can, presumably, issue patches if something goes utterly pear-shaped.

We don't have any of those cost advantages. We have a commitment to providing our users with support and product that they can enjoy long after their purchase. We aren't in quite the same business as the other guys out there, and that may account for part of your frustration if you think we are. From our point of view we try to guess what the costs for a move to an OS would be over the course of 4 or 5 years, because that will drastically effect the profitability of GOG.com as a whole. If sales on Linux are rubbish and the costs of maintaining Linux builds are high, then we have a very bad fiscal situation we've put ourselves in.

You can see why we're taking our time on this, I hope.
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Fever_Discordia: I defiantly think GOG should at least be keeping an eye on this and thinking about whether it wants to try to re-position itself as less of a competitor and more of a ally to Valve in its upcoming war with MS and Sony - PC gaming to conquer the console space in 2014!
\m/
We're certainly keeping our eye on it, yes. :)
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TheEnigmaticT: We're certainly keeping our eye on it, yes. :)
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Kristian: Nice to see you posting :)
Back from a week's vacation. I'm here to blue up all your threads.
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TheEnigmaticT: Back from a week's vacation. I'm here to blue up all your threads.
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shmerl: Thanks for appearing here. What do you think about using Docker for providing long term support? Then you won't be limited by distro choice and won't support "SteamOS only, or "distro ZZZ only"? I hope you'll develop something that won't require everyone to use Steam runtime.
I've never heard of it before, but from a quick look it seems to be something that's developed to help create a simple environment for web SaaS applications, which don't really address what GOG.com does?
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astropup: Well, then I'd like to hear that from them directly. Not satisfied with "They are working on it, I guess..." or "They should be working on that already, I think...". ;)
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Daliz: I think they're trying to get all the native Linux versions they can for the current catalog. There's no point holding them back really.
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astropup: I don't see how is asking them about something holding them back?
How abooooout:

We added Guacamelee! Gold Edition, Inherit the Earth (English and German), and The Labyrinth of Time, all native Linux versions :)
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hummer010: Yup. Downloaded, installed, and played this morning. Nice work GOG!
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vicklemos: Hi!
Played it with keyboard and mouse or controller?
Tried unepic on wii u and the controls are great, so now I'm curious for the pc version.
You should be able to play Unepic with an Xbox 360 controller as well. Yes, on Linux as well :)
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JudasIscariot: You should be able to play Unepic with an Xbox 360 controller as well. Yes, on Linux as well :)
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lufu: I just tried it with a Xbox One controller (running Linux 3.17), but it doesn't work. Any idea why? Would it work with the Xbox 360 controller?
The Xbox One controller may not be fully supported by games that support the Xbox 360 controller.

Unepic fully supports the Xbox 360 controller, however :)