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Thread: Bioware's Dragon Age Petition for Linux?

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    Considering that Stan's an employee, even if he's talking just as himself, if it's in the forum with that BioWare "nametag" on, he's effectively speaking as the company, even if he doesn't have the authority to do so. You'll note I've not directly mentioned any of my current employers in any of my conversations here where it was my opinion. I've mentioned some of them (Yes, I've several- the joys of trying to get your company funded, doing consulting work, etc... )- but I've avoided associating my ravings and not-so-humble opinions with any of them. Stan unfortunately must have skipped the day they covered that in school..
    Apparently so! ...although I wouldn't be as hard on Stan as you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    Well, then, we're of the same opinions on that subject. Heh... I just wish we could get more people to listen to us on that one...
    Cheers! Actually, it's not a very popular point of view here. I think for other people, posting a petition is much better than doing nothing at all. I just think that in most cases it does amount to nothing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    You don't go and do what he did. Ever. It's not professional conduct. There is a reason I don't associate my own not-so-humble
    opinion with my respective employers and clients. And it's not so rare, my friend. All one has to do is look at iD or Epic to know that isn't the case- and even Ankh was that way until their crunch period and they just needed a little help to straighten it out. I don't care if they didn't think in those terms- just don't do stupid things that make it harder to make a Linux version.
    I would say it didn't make the Linux version anymore harder than it is. I think it just threw a perception...

    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    Now, they said something very similar about KOTOR- and there's little in it that would have precluded doing something identical to NWN for it. No, I don't own it. Wouldn't have even touched it save for my needing to do so to help my current main client get something fixed on their product line in regards to that game and KOTOR2 (UGH... Give me KOTOR over KOTOR2. The thing wasn't complete in any stretch of the imagination...). Between my past experiences and what has passed before from BioWare, I don't think we'll see much from them unless there's a radical change within the next 6 months in the overall market picture. I'd like to be proven wrong- believe me, I'd love little more than that in this case.
    KotOR 2 was a real disaster. Perhaps we won't see a Linux port. I'd like to believe Bioware might surprise us. *Keeps dreaming*

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by niniendowarrior View Post
    Apparently so! ...although I wouldn't be as hard on Stan as you.
    Well, I guess it's due to me being an old fart in the computer industry. Anything posted with a company logo or account associated with the post constitutes an official statement of said company unless there's a disclaimer with each posting- and even then you can get into trouble with it. I'd have gotten my hand slapped by a customer if I'd have done that- if not right away, eventually.

    Cheers! Actually, it's not a very popular point of view here. I think for other people, posting a petition is much better than doing nothing at all. I just think that in most cases it does amount to nothing.
    All too often it just results in rolled eyes- and nothing else. A petition doesn't translate into a purchase in most cases. And, they're in the business of making money. They want numbers- and a petition almost never gives them those. There's not usually enough signatories to give them the profitability numbers to make a good decision for a port by themselves. Typically, companies like LGP, Runesoft, etc. pay something on the order of 5-25k and possibly more to just have the rights to LOOK at the source code of a given title. That doesn't even go into what it costs to PUBLISH the title in owed royalties. Loki went under by signing too many deals that were in the 20k range and doing them too quickly to at least break-even with sales on them.

    I would say it didn't make the Linux version anymore harder than it is. I think it just threw a perception...
    Yeah, I know what you mean there. But there's good development ideas, and then just plain idiotic ones. I've seen my fair share of both- and more often than not, the idiotic ones end up panning out to be those "quick" or "clever" answers.

    KotOR 2 was a real disaster.
    I can't believe people consider IT to be better than KOTOR. There was a semblance of a plot and storyline with some small branching (It was way, way too linear and formulaic- it could have been much better.)- it's good enough that I wouldn't complain one bit about someone stepping up and doing a Linux version of it. KOTOR2... Oh, man... It needs a solid MST3K-ing or a Rocky Horror Picture Show audience participation session... I kept asking myself, "Is that all there IS to this?!" at the endgame with Darth Treya... It was worse than rushed, it was unfinished in the form they shipped it in. Small consolation would be that Obsidian did a better job with NWN2 (...although how much is open to quite a bit of debate... ).

    The big consolation for me with the whole thing is that I didn't need to buy the thing to find out how bad it really was.

    Perhaps we won't see a Linux port. I'd like to believe Bioware might surprise us. *Keeps dreaming*
    Again, you keep doing that- don't let this cynical old fart dissuade you from that. I've been kind of burned about that sort of thing, so I set my expectations summarily LOW and then I'm very pleasantly surprised when someone does the right thing these days.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    Well, I guess it's due to me being an old fart in the computer industry. Anything posted with a company logo or account associated with the post constitutes an official statement of said company unless there's a disclaimer with each posting- and even then you can get into trouble with it. I'd have gotten my hand slapped by a customer if I'd have done that- if not right away, eventually.
    I understand that from your exchanges with Stan. In a way, I agree but I think Bioware might be a tad bit lenient with these things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    All too often it just results in rolled eyes- and nothing else. A petition doesn't translate into a purchase in most cases. And, they're in the business of making money. They want numbers- and a petition almost never gives them those. There's not usually enough signatories to give them the profitability numbers to make a good decision for a port by themselves. Typically, companies like LGP, Runesoft, etc. pay something on the order of 5-25k and possibly more to just have the rights to LOOK at the source code of a given title. That doesn't even go into what it costs to PUBLISH the title in owed royalties. Loki went under by signing too many deals that were in the 20k range and doing them too quickly to at least break-even with sales on them.
    Oh yes, they want numbers. People who post those 'I want a Linux port' and those 'Me too' don't really mean much. In the end, I think it's the company's own market study that ends up dictating where the game goes. On which end will they generate revenues. That's my opinion.

    On Loki, I really think they should have ended up working their own games. Original content on Linux that have the same level of quality as those Windows commercial games would be lovely, but well more dreaming from me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    Yeah, I know what you mean there. But there's good development ideas, and then just plain idiotic ones. I've seen my fair share of both- and more often than not, the idiotic ones end up panning out to be those "quick" or "clever" answers.
    Sometimes you need the idiotic ones to see what the clever ones are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    I can't believe people consider IT to be better than KOTOR. There was a semblance of a plot and storyline with some small branching (It was way, way too linear and formulaic- it could have been much better.)- it's good enough that I wouldn't complain one bit about someone stepping up and doing a Linux version of it. KOTOR2... Oh, man... It needs a solid MST3K-ing or a Rocky Horror Picture Show audience participation session... I kept asking myself, "Is that all there IS to this?!" at the endgame with Darth Treya... It was worse than rushed, it was unfinished in the form they shipped it in. Small consolation would be that Obsidian did a better job with NWN2 (...although how much is open to quite a bit of debate... ).

    The big consolation for me with the whole thing is that I didn't need to buy the thing to find out how bad it really was.
    People consider KotOR 2 better than 1? That's news to me. I thought the Darth Treya part was less than half-cooked and the ending was far more atrocious. It's not a game that should have been out there. Now, I totally skipped NWN 2 because it was also by Obsidian. I just learned never to trust that house. NWN was all cool. NWN 2 seemed like a cash-in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    Again, you keep doing that- don't let this cynical old fart dissuade you from that. I've been kind of burned about that sort of thing, so I set my expectations summarily LOW and then I'm very pleasantly surprised when someone does the right thing these days.
    Ah yes, the secret of satisfaction in life, lowered expectations. To be honest, I tend to think Linux ports don't help expand the Linux game market though it does help. I think original content is what will push. Me and my idealistic thoughts... call me crazy.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by niniendowarrior View Post
    I understand that from your exchanges with Stan. In a way, I agree but I think Bioware might be a tad bit lenient with these things.
    Heh... It makes for bad PR, doing that... But that'd be their issue, not mine.

    Oh yes, they want numbers. People who post those 'I want a Linux port' and those 'Me too' don't really mean much. In the end, I think it's the company's own market study that ends up dictating where the game goes. On which end will they generate revenues. That's my opinion.
    You think they even do their own market research? Heh... They go off of numbers that Microsoft and the likes of IDC put out on "installed base", never mind that they don't ding MS' numbers for the stated Linux numbers, being that most of those Linux installs mean the Windows install is technically no more. Perhaps the biggest players do real market research on their own- but it's my understanding that they outsource that sort of thing to people like Yankee, Parker, IDC, et al.

    On Loki, I really think they should have ended up working their own games. Original content on Linux that have the same level of quality as those Windows commercial games would be lovely, but well more dreaming from me.
    It's easier said than done, I'm afraid. And I wholeheartedly agree with the thought. Indie development is painful and expensive in most cases. Unless you're lucky, a title will set you back at least a quarter of a million or more for what the market considers an acceptable title. That's tools, labor, etc. Now, you can do it as a hobby project- it might cost you less that way, but it will take a lot longer in many cases- and may never really get done. It's why a group of developers that were a spinoff of a couple of Loki game developers and their friends never made the next MMORPG. I was the network stack guy for that little project. It never quite got off the ground.

    Sometimes you need the idiotic ones to see what the clever ones are.
    Actually, most of the idiotic ones were people trying to be clever.

    Brilliance is a different beast. I've seen it when I was working on the Utah-GLX project. If it weren't for a brilliant, but truly EVIL hack done by none other than John Carmack, the RagePRO support might never have gotten off the ground the same way it did. With the RagePRO, you just dropped the driver in the machine and if you had enough free system RAM, it would just simply work. No configuration. Worked cleanly every time. I've done a few things like that myself, though not in the games industry.

    People consider KotOR 2 better than 1? That's news to me. I thought the Darth Treya part was less than half-cooked and the ending was far more atrocious. It's not a game that should have been out there. Now, I totally skipped NWN 2 because it was also by Obsidian. I just learned never to trust that house. NWN was all cool. NWN 2 seemed like a cash-in.
    Yeah, some people seem to like swill in the online forums. What's worse is that this nasty little piece of tripe is still on the store shelves at places like Wal-Mart, bundled with KOTOR. Heh... Sell a piece of toxic waste with the good stuff, I guess.

    Ah yes, the secret of satisfaction in life, lowered expectations. To be honest, I tend to think Linux ports don't help expand the Linux game market though it does help. I think original content is what will push. Me and my idealistic thoughts... call me crazy.
    Original content and more simultaneous releases will do it. The only problem is that you have to convince a game dev studio to DO it for Linux only or as an initial release for Linux. Or form your own. That's NOT a simple or easy task, believe me. I know, I've been trying for some 4 or so years now.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    You think they even do their own market research? Heh... They go off of numbers that Microsoft and the likes of IDC put out on "installed base", never mind that they don't ding MS' numbers for the stated Linux numbers, being that most of those Linux installs mean the Windows install is technically no more. Perhaps the biggest players do real market research on their own- but it's my understanding that they outsource that sort of thing to people like Yankee, Parker, IDC, et al.
    Well, I would think that for whatever reason, the numbers they get are often Microsoft leaning. It's still probably a Microsoft infested world though not as deeply rooted as before. Yeah, I agree on the outsourcing thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    It's easier said than done, I'm afraid. And I wholeheartedly agree with the thought. Indie development is painful and expensive in most cases. Unless you're lucky, a title will set you back at least a quarter of a million or more for what the market considers an acceptable title. That's tools, labor, etc. Now, you can do it as a hobby project- it might cost you less that way, but it will take a lot longer in many cases- and may never really get done. It's why a group of developers that were a spinoff of a couple of Loki game developers and their friends never made the next MMORPG. I was the network stack guy for that little project. It never quite got off the ground.
    Yes, it's easier said than done. I also think that it has to start somewhere. I know how hard it is to get something off the ground, I've been trying to churn out a Linux game for years and so far it hasn't really gotten off the ground.

    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    Actually, most of the idiotic ones were people trying to be clever.

    Brilliance is a different beast. I've seen it when I was working on the Utah-GLX project. If it weren't for a brilliant, but truly EVIL hack done by none other than John Carmack, the RagePRO support might never have gotten off the ground the same way it did. With the RagePRO, you just dropped the driver in the machine and if you had enough free system RAM, it would just simply work. No configuration. Worked cleanly every time. I've done a few things like that myself, though not in the games industry.
    I didn't know John even contributed code. It's a pity brilliance didn't shine for Loki. I tend to think the Linux porting business is running into a deadend. It takes more than coding gods to get that whole business running.

    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    Yeah, some people seem to like swill in the online forums. What's worse is that this nasty little piece of tripe is still on the store shelves at places like Wal-Mart, bundled with KOTOR. Heh... Sell a piece of toxic waste with the good stuff, I guess.
    Hey, they've got to sell all that backlog somehow. People think LucasArts pushed Obsidian to release it premature. But with NWN 2, it does seem like Obsidian can be quite a wreckless bunch. Maybe we will get to see a NWN 1 + 2 bundle soon. Do you know how did the Mac OSX port of KotOR 2 fared? At least I think there was a Mac port... or maybe that was KotOR 1.

    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    Original content and more simultaneous releases will do it. The only problem is that you have to convince a game dev studio to DO it for Linux only or as an initial release for Linux. Or form your own. That's NOT a simple or easy task, believe me. I know, I've been trying for some 4 or so years now.
    I think it's kind of a chicken and egg problem. You cannot expand the gaming install base without games and companies aren't going to put in the effort without a consumer base.

    Linux only games is going to be extremely difficult case to build. It's a pity that this is the case. I agree that the only other recourse is to form your own, and you'll most likely end up like Loki. Belly up. My hats off to you for trying. I often feel passionate about the Linux gaming arena because it looks quite pitiful and I'm quite happy to know that there's somebody else I can connect to with this topic (Finding people who have a pint interest in Linux gaming are quite hard to find ).

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    Quote Originally Posted by niniendowarrior View Post
    I didn't know John even contributed code.
    Yep. He got involved when Q3:A was coming out and he was dismayed at the paltry amount of support for 3D for Linux and decided to help out some. It was cool working on the drivers with him during that period.

    Hey, they've got to sell all that backlog somehow. People think LucasArts pushed Obsidian to release it premature. But with NWN 2, it does seem like Obsidian can be quite a wreckless bunch. Maybe we will get to see a NWN 1 + 2 bundle soon. Do you know how did the Mac OSX port of KotOR 2 fared? At least I think there was a Mac port... or maybe that was KotOR 1.
    KOTOR had a port done by Aspyr. I don't think KOTOR2 was ported. God, I'd hope not... For the Mac crowd's sake... And a KOTOR/KOTOR2 set for Linux? Ugh... I thought you cared about Linux gaming... As for NWN2, it was some of Obsidian's doing, but mostly due to Atari ORDERING Obsidian to do a port from OpenGL to DirectX for the rendering engine, in an abortive attempt to get a "competitive" answer to Oblivion on the X-Box 360 that they ran out of resources for and had to backtrack to the PC version with the resultant mess. Obsidian MIGHT have been in a similar bind with LucasArts with KOTOR2- that is always a problem with being a the followup studio on a franchise title, not being in a position to tell a publisher "Hell, NO- that'll screw us all up!" on a bad idea, like iD, Epic, or even BioWare can do.

    I think it's kind of a chicken and egg problem. You cannot expand the gaming install base without games and companies aren't going to put in the effort without a consumer base.

    Linux only games is going to be extremely difficult case to build. It's a pity that this is the case. I agree that the only other recourse is to form your own, and you'll most likely end up like Loki. Belly up. My hats off to you for trying. I often feel passionate about the Linux gaming arena because it looks quite pitiful and I'm quite happy to know that there's somebody else I can connect to with this topic (Finding people who have a pint interest in Linux gaming are quite hard to find ).
    Who can rightly say what will happen in a year's time? I can't- at least it's not directly clear for me right at the moment. If it were, I could tell you much more. Of some of my plans. Of how it'd help everyone... But no such thing is forthcoming- yet.
    Last edited by Svartalf; 03-18-2007 at 02:02 AM.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    Yep. He got involved when Q3:A was coming out and he was dismayed at the paltry amount of support for 3D for Linux and decided to help out some. It was cool working on the drivers with him during that period.
    That is truly awesome to know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    KOTOR had a port done by Aspyr. I don't think KOTOR2 was ported. God, I'd hope not... For the Mac crowd's sake... And a KOTOR/KOTOR2 set for Linux? Ugh... I thought you cared about Linux gaming... As for NWN2, it was some of Obsidian's doing, but mostly due to Atari ORDERING Obsidian to do a port from OpenGL to DirectX for the rendering engine, in an abortive attempt to get a "competitive" answer to Oblivion on the X-Box 360 that they ran out of resources for and had to backtrack to the PC version with the resultant mess. Obsidian MIGHT have been in a similar bind with LucasArts with KOTOR2- that is always a problem with being a the followup studio on a franchise title, not being in a position to tell a publisher "Hell, NO- that'll screw us all up!" on a bad idea, like iD, Epic, or even BioWare can do.
    Ha! Well, I was just thinking there might be a remote chance that a porting house might 'finish' KotOR 2, with all the axed planets and all.

    I didn't know NWN2 was chasing Oblivion. But for me, finding out Obsidian was doing it instead of Bioware was enough to erase it from my wish list. You have a point about follow-up studios. When people decide on certain things and there's no way to challenge that decision, crap happens. The best game ideas turn to crap this way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    Who can rightly say what will happen in a year's time? I can't- at least it's not directly clear for me right at the moment. If it were, I could tell you much more. Of some of my plans. Of how it'd help everyone... But no such thing is forthcoming- yet.
    Come on, Svartalf. You didn't go all the way of painting that picture of cynicism and pessimism just to tell me that this year might be the year of change, did you?

    I honestly don't think it'll change in 5 years time... maybe even more. I do think that no matter how unlikely it is, it always starts with the first step and if nobody takes that first step, you'll never get there.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by niniendowarrior View Post
    Come on, Svartalf. You didn't go all the way of painting that picture of cynicism and pessimism just to tell me that this year might be the year of change, did you?

    I honestly don't think it'll change in 5 years time... maybe even more. I do think that no matter how unlikely it is, it always starts with the first step and if nobody takes that first step, you'll never get there.
    Well, I've been on the first step for the last five or so years- I've been trying to take the next for a while now.

    Vista's a train-wreck. Trust me, NOBODY in their right mind will want it- even DX10's not performing like they'd hope for it to on EITHER company's chipsets...
    Linux is doing far better than other people would give us all credit for- if only AMD would shore up their performance and we could have 2-3 solid performers in the 3D space...
    You've got hardcore Windows fans giving pause about that and the DRM that's in Vista- and putting on the brakes and possibly considering Linux as at least an option.

    We're sitting at a tipping point for Linux- and I know what needs to be done and how- and can't do a damn thing about it in my current situation. Though that situation MIGHT just change in the coming months.

    I'm still cynical right at the moment largely from having to live through five years of being in a possible position to tip that balance, only to NOT have the financial resources to do so because of the downturn in the economy. That might be ending soon for several different reasons. I'd be a little more optimistic if I knew if my company was actually finally getting their VC funding or not. That alone would put me in a position to impact business and industry- and the back pay and pay going forward could be used to fund other things... But, since it's still all more of a pipe-dream right at the moment (We've been fighting with it for a while now... While we're the closest we've ever been, until the deal all closes, it's NOT there.) I have to keep struggling with what I've in hand- and five years of that will make most anyone cynical. So, with seeing the light on the other end of the tunnel, I'm thinking it's a train instead of the end right at the moment...

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    Well, I've been on the first step for the last five or so years- I've been trying to take the next for a while now.
    It sort of sunk into me that Linux gaming is on its first steps except that it cannot find the next step forward. Sad that it hasn't happened yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    Vista's a train-wreck. Trust me, NOBODY in their right mind will want it- even DX10's not performing like they'd hope for it to on EITHER company's chipsets...

    Linux is doing far better than other people would give us all credit for- if only AMD would shore up their performance and we could have 2-3 solid performers in the 3D space...
    You've got hardcore Windows fans giving pause about that and the DRM that's in Vista- and putting on the brakes and possibly considering Linux as at least an option.
    You're assuming people are interested in moving to Vista. Vista has been receiving quite some flack and honestly, I don't see myself even reading a sentence about that OS. I do think that if Vista doesn't fly, people will stick to XP. So the number of Linux users isn't likely to change anytime soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    We're sitting at a tipping point for Linux- and I know what needs to be done and how- and can't do a damn thing about it in my current situation. Though that situation MIGHT just change in the coming months.
    Makes me wonder what that one shot solution is. Might I look forward into the distant future to hear your thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    I'm still cynical right at the moment largely from having to live through five years of being in a possible position to tip that balance, only to NOT have the financial resources to do so because of the downturn in the economy. That might be ending soon for several different reasons. I'd be a little more optimistic if I knew if my company was actually finally getting their VC funding or not. That alone would put me in a position to impact business and industry- and the back pay and pay going forward could be used to fund other things... But, since it's still all more of a pipe-dream right at the moment (We've been fighting with it for a while now... While we're the closest we've ever been, until the deal all closes, it's NOT there.) I have to keep struggling with what I've in hand- and five years of that will make most anyone cynical. So, with seeing the light on the other end of the tunnel, I'm thinking it's a train instead of the end right at the moment...
    That's quite a long time of getting stuck. Linux gaming seems always like a pipe-dream. As long as money matters, things will always look difficult on Linux game development. No consumer base means driving to a brick wall. I think through the 3 years of working on Linux, I've heard all that promise and it just never seemed to happen. I guess I can welcome myself to your gloomy club.
    Last edited by niniendowarrior; 03-19-2007 at 12:05 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    The only way for them to know there's interest is to show it. It might not sway them this round, but it might next one- as long as they're being nice, they're not explicitly saying "NO" to us, and we're interested in what might be a cool game, we ought to have a presence there. Having said this, I have no illusions that we're going to get a Linux version out of them at this point- it's not terribly likely with some of the commentary from the Bioware people. I'd love to be surprised by them, but...
    I don't see a forum thread as likely to "sway" anything. If every poster sent a 10 donation to Bioware, which would then be discounted from the price of the game if they bought it, then perhaps. But people making free posts on a free forum provide little indication of commerical viability of a product. For example, I'd sign a petition or post in a forum to get Dragon Age on Linux, but I wouldn't buy it

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