Ya most packages are from Debian Sid. Pretty much the entire Universe and Multiverse is pulled almost straight from Debian Sid.
But that doesn't matter. There are a lot of tools, games, and packages that are floating around that are not packaged by any distribution.
One examples is the Ogre3D python bindings. Ogre is a very nice gaming engine that is developed on Linux, but actually is more popular on Windows. The python bindings allow you to do fast 3D graphics and games written python, but are executed on the effective C++ engine.
There are all sorts of extras that go along with that such as special versions of Ogre physics packages and whatnot that are extra.
So sure the Ogre3D engine and some stuff is included in most distributions right now, but not all the extras and not the python bindings. Depending on what version your dealing with it may not even be able to use the distribution-provided Ogre development files to bind to.. so that means building everything from scratch.
Trying to do that on your own requires a LOT of RAM and probably 4-5 hours of work. I tried it a few times and never got it to work 100%.
Nowadays there are third party packages made for Ubuntu that provide a lot of stuff, but they are not going to be accessable to most people unless they go through the effort of getting them added to the default repositories.
So any effort to help package this stuff and getting it working is going to be worth it.
Plus Ubuntu works with Debian on some stuff so once stuff gets packaged in Ubuntu it'll eventually make it back to Debian.
The problem with Ubuntu is that it has a different cultural perspective from linux. Long story short, I personally use openSUSE, and in school this is how scenarios tend to work out: Scenario 1 Some Random Guy: What's that on your computer?
SRG: So what's that?
SRG: So you're a haxor? You break into networks and the US govt and stuff?
Me: No I just use it.
SRG: Lier are you gonna hack my computer?
Senario 2 SRG: What's that on your computer?
SRG: What's that?
Me: It's like Ubuntu.
SRG: Nice, but I couldn't really get into that.
If you promote linux you give people the wrong image. At best it'll just further confuse people, and more likely it'll go nowhere. But Ubuntu is already popular, and most people that just want things to work don't understand the technicalities of distros. At the end of the day, the Ubuntu Gaming Group can support and recieve support from other distros and things can work out nicely.
Take Linux audio, for example. Not pulse audio or drivers or anything like that... that's desktop stuff. I am talking about using Linux as a digital audio workstation and having good applications for doing studio recording and music creation.
For a very long time Linux had lots of capabilities in regards to audio creation and editing, but it was all very difficult to install and use. Stuff was distributed in source code form, there was no way to use it all together.
Then along came the Angula project. The Angula project was a initiative to try to produce audio specific Linux distributions based on Redhat/Fedora and Debian. The Redhat/Fedora side didn't really end up going anywere, but the Debian side was fairly successful and was called 'Demudi'.
What this did was to clean up a lot of the applications and ended up helping the standardization around JACK daemon. The Jack daemon allows for a very low-latency, high-performance method of routing uncompressed audio and midi signals from application to application and to and from external devices. So people can now easily install the software, and with a bit of work, develop their specific workflow using a mixture of hardware, software, and multiple audio applications, that rivals anything you can get out of Windows or OS X.
This lead to those packages from Demudi to being accepted as part of Debian proper and from that grew distributions like 64Studio*, which are used in real-world commercial DAWs and such things. (and UbuntuStudio, of course. But I like 64Studio a _lot_)
* 64Studio is a commercial Linux distribution that focuses on being 100% open source/free software. They make money by support and distribution customization. Very cool stuff.
I'm glad to see a group of people getting together to help advance gaming on Linux. Yes, they are part of Ubuntu but I hope this will spread to other distro's too.
Perhaps the gaming development community have had a long miss-understanding about Linux user's when it came to playing games. I'll be the first to say that I like to have fun once in a while when I'm on my Linux box, and welcome any means to improve it. Besides, I have a decent 3D card in my box that I like to get my monies worth out of once in awhile.
Some of that frustration in the gaming development community is how they can make money making games for Linux. This may be a sticking point, and I hope that this can be worked out with a little creative thinking and strong voices from Linux supporters.
that's the first I've heard of that. It looks nice, but it would be more useful for them to work on producing Deb and RPM packages and trying to get them accepted into Linux distros or at least setting up a third party repository.
Live cds are nice.. but people don't want to reboot their computer to play video games.
Since when did it become popular to bash Ubuntu? Please give that a rest, Ubuntu and the community it has established over the years has done a tremendous amount for Linux as a whole, and it is very much a part of the broader Linux community. Childish and immature comments about how the Ubuntu developers focus on Debian packaging (obviously) and how they try to make Ubuntu a better distribution over time are uncalled for, and they only potentially hurt the overall Linux community. Linux is a community full of various distributions, and just because Ubuntu is arguably more successful than some others in some ways doesn't mean Linux as a whole isn't being brought along with it.