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Thread: Jack Keane on Linux ?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    Heh... After over a decade of giving them all feedback the way you guys keep talking to, do you think they're at all listening to you?

    I don't- because the situation's not changing all that much.
    And that would be a shortcoming of your business model. What would happen if we applied your theory to other items. Without bug reports, fixes take a long time to be fixed if ever. You take a look at any of the million surveys that marketing does there is always a "If not, why?" option to a question.

    Take a look at the Playstation 3, it was beat to the market by the 360 and the 360 pounded the PS3 into near oblivion until Sony woke up and looked and listened to it's market wants. They did not see any value in a $700 gaming machine when they could get a system at a far cheaper price that was competitive with it's offereings. It wasn't until the PS3 started coming down into a reasonable price that it started making some headway. Once Sony adjusted to the markets demands, only then was it able to launch a full scale attack on it's competitors and become a profitable market for their product. That had a waterfall effect as then the game publishers started actually putting out some material for the PS3 and it also allowed them to smite HD-DVD into the dust.

    You have to listen to your market, good and bad, or be stuck with the white elephant.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by marakaid View Post
    I understand that you are saving Euros because you don't need to buy Windows to run the game, but, what if you want to play with 3 or 4 games whose Linux versions cost so much as Jack Keane one? You lose all the supposed saving if you plan to get more than 1 game with premium price.
    I can tell you why this ends up being the case. Perhaps you can get a clearer picture (as will deanjo... ) of what I've been trying to tell people off and on in the forums.

    Unless the studio and publisher take it upon themselves to make a Linux version (Id, until recently Epic, perhaps Valve (which might change things if they do come our way...)) you have to find a publisher that is willing to allow a port to be done for a given title. Not all publishers do this (see: Atari...) and when they DO allow it, they're interested in a royalty up-front and then one for producing a production run of SKUs for the new version. The production one is due for each production pass and MUST be paid before you can legally sell the game in question. The right to port royalty, the one that you pay to even get a sniff of the game's source code, is typically anywhere from $10-250k per title, paid up-front. The average that LGP pays is on the order of 10-15k, half down, half upon completion, in preparation for mastering. Sometimes this is more, sometimes this is less. When you wonder why we don't have more AAA titles, it's because they want 50k and up just to see the code- and this doesn't get into what they want out of you per unit.

    Now... You're down 20k on a "good" title already. On what would be considered a 'sane' mastering run for Linux, this translates into an immediate $7 per copy charge up-front for the FIRST batch of 3000. You can eat a bit of this by making a larger run, but at 10k units (which is insane...) it's still $2 per copy.

    At 3000 units, the mastering costs, including packaging, will most likely run you $1-2 per disc, box, and manual, if you're frugal on the packaging. Let's presume you choose the packaging like what the big-boys use. $2.

    Now... Development costs. If the studio does the work, it's typically nothing on that part. If you have to have a port team or a consultant (like Ryan Gordon or myself...) do it it'll cost money. Me, I work for a little less than Ryan does because it's not my main calling right at the moment (not for wont of trying, mind...). Doesn't make it any less work, etc. If you use the typical effort and costs, this translates into $2 or so per unit sold in costs.

    Right now, we're at $11 for an older, but nice title- not a new one of B grade or higher. And we've not got into the royalties owed and that it needs to at least show enough of a profit to carry it forward. Typically, they want $3-5 per unit, sometimes as high as $10 per unit at this level of sales.

    At this point we're hovering close or past that threshold you're talking to for Jack Keene. For something a bit older than this title. If you want something like Rage from Id this way...heh...the price goes substantively higher.

    When you all compare the stuff you do, you're neglecting the detail that you're not buying a Linux SKU specifically made by a seperate publishing interest or one working specifically in concert with the mainline publisher (which would be the case with most of the more modern MacOS titles...), you're buying a Windows SKU, built and published for Windows with an installer thrown in as an afterthought for Linux or pulled from off the 'net in the same manner.

    When you run that way, you're not voting Linux either, really. But they're supporting us all the same (well...until recently, that is...) so it's sort of okay because they're using other metrics to justify their support. Other studios, on the other hand, don't use "installed base"- they go strictly for what they think will make them money. Windows. Until they see that they can make money doing Linux SKUs, even if it's unofficial and hackery-pokery'd like Id's stuff, you're not going to get any better than what you're seeing right now for some time to come.

    The only way to do this is to buy what IS available so that places like Runesoft and LGP can hand sales numbers to studios and publishers to get simultaneous deals like the MacOS crowd have now. The main reason why they have those sorts of deals is because they have the sales numbers on titles to get the attention of publishers and studios- to give the OS a serious look at least. All we have right now is people begging, hat in hand.

    GDC was a sobering experience for me. They thought we were laughable. They still do, actually, for the most part. A fringe of people that insist upon using that "server" OS.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by deanjo View Post
    And that would be a shortcoming of your business model.
    It's not MY business model, but the one that the whole rest of the Game Industry applies. You're trying to insist on the "customer is always right" (Which you won't have me arguing...) and coming up to someone proportionately as big as EA is to an indie and saying "Make me games or else"- which is what you're intrinsically doing. They're going to tell you to go eff yourself, if you get my drift- which is intrinsically what happened to us with Atari. Even though their online metrics told them that over half of the players were Linux users on NWN. Now, with those metrics, why do you suppose they acted the way they did? It was partly due to them chasing MS, yes. It was also a goodly portion of the very thing I keep trying to tell people is going on and part of what will help things in the long run if we're going to play the game their way. To them, right at the moment, we're NOT their market- the Windows and console space largely is.

    Got a workable answer for this mess? I'd love to hear it- might even help you do it. Done right, it'd break out the company(ies) that did it and make them big players in the whole economy.
    Last edited by Svartalf; 05-08-2008 at 05:35 PM.

  4. #24
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    Your barking up the wrong tree when your telling customer's that if they stop b*tching about things like prices. What linux gaming needs is a sugardaddy with some money to burn, to survive the tough times until the market potential is shown to the rest of the industry. This porting of one or two old games a year stategy does not work.

    What linux gaming needs is someone like Mark Shuttleworth to lay a chunk of cash on the table saying "we want to publish your game too for linux" on grade "a" titles. Linux gaming also needs a simple quickfix for porting like what Cedega has done with Cider for Mac titles until the market is proven itself.

    Then there is also the stupid ass ongoing wars between linux developers that drive away commercial endevours because they would have to try to find a working solution that hits all solutions like:

    QT vs GTK
    ALSA vs OSS
    <insert your favorite sound server> vs <any of the other sound servers>
    Deb vs RPM vs <insert any other package method>
    etc

    While freedom of choice is nice it does come at a P.I.T.A. price. This doesn't only apply to games but any commercial software. Maybe Valve with their money can make some of this happen. Everybody start emailing Mark, Novell, Redhat, etc expressing that, we, the consumer, want such a endevour and that's what it's going to take to complete the transition to linux. Put some big money behind porting endevors and the landscape of gaming on linux could start to change.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by deanjo View Post
    Your barking up the wrong tree when your telling customer's that if they stop b*tching about things like prices. What linux gaming needs is a sugardaddy with some money to burn, to survive the tough times until the market potential is shown to the rest of the industry. This porting of one or two old games a year stategy does not work.
    And, you've no better an answer than anyone else...

    Shame.

    I'd hoped for something more akin to the response I got regarding Falcon 4.0

    [edit- I rethought what I wanted to say to you... It came out much more harsh than I wanted...I'm on your side, I
    just don't see things quite your way from being on the battle front for years now...]

    I don't think you'll find that sugardaddy. We've been looking for that for years now. It's not happened now, I don't think it'll happen the way you envision any time soon.

    It'll take tens of millions of dollars to get it un-screwed-up the way you propose. Valve coming our way may be something that shifts that bad offset; but unless we have something like that, where we can actually have Linux SKUs without any "cost" past developing it, it's going to be a tough proposition. Because of the numbers I quoted to this thread. They're for-real, and anyone funding the production of a title will have to face this for each one you take up the old way, which is still what you're doing, just throwing a lot more money at it that may or may not see a return ever for the person putting the money into it.

    Think Shuttleworth ought to do that sort of thing? When pushing 10 million into Ubuntu will do more than siphoning 10 million into what most people will see as a lark? That's the kind of money it'll take to do this for a single year- doing what you propose. With a lowered production cost overhead (i.e. being able to download and to be able to afford to make smaller runs, it takes some of that financial barrier away. Valve possibly coming to Linux would be a boon- it wouldn't remove the problem, but it'd make it easier to get stuff done.
    Last edited by Svartalf; 05-09-2008 at 12:35 AM.

  6. #26
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    According to IxSoft, other titles should follow Jack Keane. I hope it will be 8th wonder, Kult, Europa Universalis and Hearts of Iron 2.

    Ankh 3 should also be ported before then end of the year

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by duglambier View Post
    Ankh 3 should also be ported before then end of the year
    That makes me very happy.

  8. #28
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    I know that the Ankh series is incredibly funny... I have one question though: Can I purchase either (or both) online and DOWNLOAD them, or should I order them in the traditional way of purchase + shipping of a CD/DVD?

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thetargos View Post
    I know that the Ankh series is incredibly funny... I have one question though: Can I purchase either (or both) online and DOWNLOAD them, or should I order them in the traditional way of purchase + shipping of a CD/DVD?
    When I looked I only found boxed versions, but I didn't spend much time trying to find a download version as I tend to go for the boxed versions and with tuxgames being in the UK its nice and easy to get boxed linux games.
    Last edited by Aradreth; 05-19-2008 at 07:25 PM. Reason: missing word....

  10. #30
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    My only complaint about TuxGames (I really, really like their store!) is that they take too long to get packages down to Mexico But now that I think of it, it would be great to have the games in boxed versions. I think I'll buy them boxed.

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