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Thread: A Year Later, Linux Game Publishing Is Still Irrelevant

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by frign View Post
    Concerning Steam, the case is a little bit more complicated than you tried to explain it: Buying a game of steam just gives you the limited (for the time of Steam's existence), exclusive and non-shareable permission to play their games.
    This is a common misconception. Many game devs CHOOSE to do this, but valve does not MAKE them. Some game devs choose for their games to not have any drm on steam, valve merely offers the game devs the freedom to choose whether or not they use steams drm. So by your logic, it is the GAME DEVS who are evil and attempting to take away our freedom.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by KameZero View Post
    This is a common misconception. Many game devs CHOOSE to do this, but valve does not MAKE them. Some game devs choose for their games to not have any drm on steam, valve merely offers the game devs the freedom to choose whether or not they use steams drm. So by your logic, it is the GAME DEVS who are evil and attempting to take away our freedom.
    I accuse neither Steam nor the developers, because I don't know how sources are handled. The case is clear, though, what I mean by free software. It is not only the non-existence of DRM, it is the existence of free-use, which implies a public source.
    Coming to your last statement, I have no idea why you are so naive to believe game-devs just had good things in mind. Especially big publishers want to control their customers, or do you really believe they are just happy when you are having fun with your just-purchased game? No! They want you to buy another one of theirs!

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by frign View Post
    I would definitely ask the question who really cared about GNU/Linux-Gaming, if it currently wasn't about losing our freedom.
    Steam and other proprietary gaming-platforms are deliberately opposing software-freedom and thus might be even more damaging to GNU/Linux-Gaming, if it existed, than the "lack" of real software-titles.
    We really should think about the motives for Steampowered to port their platform and if it is worth it; I don't think they do this in a non-self-serving way and thus rather in the interest of making the GNU/Linux-Users solely dependent on commercial interests when it comes to games.
    I don't know what you think, but I am not begging them to steal our freedom as many people in the GNU/Linux-community (including Michael) sadly do.

    You might call me purist, but going the other way is not that different from Microsoft's and especially Apple's direction concerning respecting the users' freedom.
    +1 (finally?), as a "Linux gamer" that supports FOSS gaming (no, I do not think proprietary software is "evil". DRM however is, as its only use is to sell more copies of something in "evil" ways).

    "what we say" versus "what we do" again. Gabe Newell once said he was against DRM, yet Steam and some games made by Valve use DRM.
    Last edited by Calinou; 01-27-2013 at 03:45 PM.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by frign View Post
    I would definitely ask the question who really cared about GNU/Linux-Gaming, if it currently wasn't about losing our freedom.
    Steam and other proprietary gaming-platforms are deliberately opposing software-freedom and thus might be even more damaging to GNU/Linux-Gaming, if it existed, than the "lack" of real software-titles.
    We really should think about the motives for Steampowered to port their platform and if it is worth it; I don't think they do this in a non-self-serving way and thus rather in the interest of making the GNU/Linux-Users solely dependent on commercial interests when it comes to games.
    I don't know what you think, but I am not begging them to steal our freedom as many people in the GNU/Linux-community (including Michael) sadly do.

    You might call me purist, but going the other way is not that different from Microsoft's and especially Apple's direction concerning respecting the users' freedom.
    My view on this issue is less severe. As a matter of fact, so is the view of the FSF. You are right that Steam is definitely not something that promotes the ideals of the FSF, is restrictive and is a time bomb. But nobody is forcing us to use it. As a matter of fact, we probably are not even allowed to use it - I can't accept their license agreement, therefore I can't install Steam to begin with. But others don't mind it. They don't care about it as deeply. And that works for the best. For all that Steam does wrong, the fact that it's available on GNU/Linux is a good thing overall. That allows more people to ditch Windows, and that's already a good step. It also shifts the popularity. More people using Linux means more corporate interest in Linux. It means that it gets more commercially viable. And attention attracts additional attention. People who did not even consider porting their games to GNU/Linux may start considering it. With more people, even non-gaming companies may start porting their applications, or developing new ones cross-platform. And that is all positive feedback, it accelerates the move.

    More people using GNU/Linux and more people developing for Linux means more people who may become interested in free software, too. Perhaps the subset of people who do won't be as large as it would be otherwise, but the potential is there. With enough attention, new software may even become developed on GNU/Linux first, rather than on Windows, and it may be free or at least partially free software. Plus, people who care about software freedom are not going away, they will be there to inform others.

    In the end, we don't need to use Steam, but it does its job. It might be evil, but it's a good tool. A tool that may very well start the whole cycle. For now, it's a bit early to tell if it is going to work out or not, but again, the potential is there.

    The advice that RMS gave is overall good - those who care about software freedom should not promote Steam, and do point out its flaws, but let's not be too critical of those who do use it.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatEmerald View Post
    For all that Steam does wrong, the fact that it's available on GNU/Linux is a good thing overall. That allows more people to ditch Windows, and that's already a good step.
    Agreed. I'm a gamer/Steam user and with the release of the Linux client and a TF2 port I was able to completely ditch Windows months ago and haven't looked back (plus the extra freed up hard drive space was nice ).

    One argument I sometimes hear is that if I run something closed source like Steam and it's games I should just use Windows anyway. I'm not sure I like that argument, surely it's better that I be running a closed source application on a mostly FOSS operating system than running a closed application on a very closed OS

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatEmerald View Post
    My view on this issue is less severe. As a matter of fact, so is the view of the FSF. You are right that Steam is definitely not something that promotes the ideals of the FSF, is restrictive and is a time bomb. But nobody is forcing us to use it. As a matter of fact, we probably are not even allowed to use it - I can't accept their license agreement, therefore I can't install Steam to begin with. But others don't mind it. They don't care about it as deeply. And that works for the best. For all that Steam does wrong, the fact that it's available on GNU/Linux is a good thing overall. That allows more people to ditch Windows, and that's already a good step. It also shifts the popularity. More people using Linux means more corporate interest in Linux. It means that it gets more commercially viable. And attention attracts additional attention. People who did not even consider porting their games to GNU/Linux may start considering it. With more people, even non-gaming companies may start porting their applications, or developing new ones cross-platform. And that is all positive feedback, it accelerates the move.

    More people using GNU/Linux and more people developing for Linux means more people who may become interested in free software, too. Perhaps the subset of people who do won't be as large as it would be otherwise, but the potential is there. With enough attention, new software may even become developed on GNU/Linux first, rather than on Windows, and it may be free or at least partially free software. Plus, people who care about software freedom are not going away, they will be there to inform others.

    In the end, we don't need to use Steam, but it does its job. It might be evil, but it's a good tool. A tool that may very well start the whole cycle. For now, it's a bit early to tell if it is going to work out or not, but again, the potential is there.

    The advice that RMS gave is overall good - those who care about software freedom should not promote Steam, and do point out its flaws, but let's not be too critical of those who do use it.
    I like your point, but am concerned about the effects Steam might initiate.
    Nevertheless, a balanced view is definitely the most rational currently.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by frign View Post
    I like your point, but am concerned about the effects Steam might initiate.
    What do you mean by that, exactly? That more developers would choose to go Steam-exclusive? That would hardly happen, as it would limit the target audience, and even GNU/Linux has other distribution platforms - Desura, for one. That more developers would choose to integrate DRM into their games? In that context, Steam is hardly relevant. Developers that don't realise that DRM hinders their sales instead of helping them will have DRM on regardless, no matter if it comes from Steam or it is self-made. That more distribution platforms will come with DRM? Again hardly relevant, if EA decides to port Origin, it will have DRM regardless. As a matter of fact, the opposite may be true. Steam already fills the niche of the distribution platform that is locked down. And so alternatives to it can seem even more attractive to gamers now. There is more choice. That more developers will choose to develop closed-source games? They would do it regardless, and on Windows they wouldn't even think there was an alternative to begin with.

    Steam is hardly the only player in the field. Desura is its main competitor, and it does not use DRM. There is also the phenomenon of Kickstarter, and most titles there are by popular vote cross-platform and DRM free. In the future, we will most likely see GOG.com on Linux as well. With Steam here, the field just gets more competitive and attracts even more attention. And its flaws, compared to the competition, may be more visible now - there are no other such locked-down platforms on GNU/Linux, currently - thus giving the competition a boost, as people who don't want to support Steam may choose to support the alternatives just out of spite or enthusiasm.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by frign View Post
    I accuse neither Steam nor the developers, because I don't know how sources are handled. The case is clear, though, what I mean by free software. It is not only the non-existence of DRM, it is the existence of free-use, which implies a public source.
    Coming to your last statement, I have no idea why you are so naive to believe game-devs just had good things in mind. Especially big publishers want to control their customers, or do you really believe they are just happy when you are having fun with your just-purchased game? No! They want you to buy another one of theirs!
    Do you have the secret sauce AMD or Nvidia blob drivers installed? Ndiswrapper? Printer or scanner drivers? Video editing software? If yes to any of these your argument is invalid hypocrite.

    Not that it matters, if OSS gaming was worth a damn it would have actually produced something worth playing instead of just making carbon copies of games on engines that where given to them by the original closed source game dev hose. No amount of retrofitting has changed the core of the games. If it wasn't they'd have gotten a clue by now and made a kickstarter or community project to make a game that isn't an Quake clone and has some actual content. Ryzom should have been a good base for such a project, but what has become of it?

    So yes, while everything else on my Linux installs is OSS as far as I can take it, even the GPU drivers when I can get away with it, but I have no problem with closed source user space software, I'm looking forward to getting a few native games that can't be had any other way even more so awaiting more higher end media production software that is supposed to be coming since thats another massive failing of the OSS community.

  9. #19
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    Anyone else here see the excruciating irony of how half the posts on this topic are people being closed minded about open products? And the irony of how this news article was about LGP being irrelevant yet it's one of the lengthiest articles posted in a while? (not that I'm complaining, I just think its funny)

  10. #20
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    Very few devs publish games on Linux because there's so few users.

    There's few users gaming on Linux because there's so few games.

    Steam is the best possible vehicle to breaking this vicious circle, especially given it is head-and-shoulders above the other digital distribution platforms.

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