Any Linux-only gamers? Share your experience!
Where do you guys buy games from? I like the fact that Valve's been pushing Linux recently but I just feel wrong for buying games that need a client to be played, so I stick with GOG, even though there are no plans to bring GOG Galaxy to Linux any time soon. Thoughts?
Linux gamers should absolutely follow https://www.gamingonlinux.com whose owner is extremely dedicated to reviewing Linux games, focusing on port quality and such, and also keeping up with Linux gaming technologies in general like Wine, Vulkan, DXVK, etc. Also good for keeping up with Linux-specific sales.
I subscribe to their RSS feed and it has a good volume of posts, not too much and not too little.
As a bonus, the site is open source, ad-free and donation supported.
Personally, I just use Lutris to configure Windows games on my system. In general I get fairly great performance.
I have never head of Lutris before but it seems promising. Might try it out on my linux laptop tonight.
It worked nicer than PlayOnLinux (which I could never get working, albeit that's probably my fault) for me by far.
Lutris is a great program. I have used it to play some Windows games I had on Steam, like Fallout 3. It ran perfectly, but I'm just trying to avoid these because I think it's too much work, I'm the lazy type hehe.
Also got Witcher 2 from GOG, it's such a great game. Give it a try when you have the time, it runs great too.
Yeah, personally I don't really care for GOG Galaxy, since I don't want anything to do with clients and also don't have any multiplayer games.
I have a question about games on linux:
Or is it more? hardware manufacturers like nvidia might be more inclined to make better linux drivers when more games support it, but in principle the drivers exist.
There are dependencies (like DirectX and so on) of course, but you can recompile those too. Then it should run fine right? What is keeping developers from pressing the button? Are they afraid of gamers dumping windows entirely?
As I understand it: yes, some of it is that, but some of it is that there is often a lot of OS-specific code (for example, window management must be significantly different on Windows and macOS, so I assume Linux would need its own code there too), and often developers are scared off by the multitudes of different configurations of Linux systems; they feel like they have to support them all in order to be able to say "we support Linux", so they don't support Linux at all.
One of the things I like about the Unity gaming development environment is that it offers cross platform compilation.
From what I understand, if you as a company make a Linux version available you're expected to give support to it, test that version of the game, fix Linux specific bugs
I am not a developer myself so I don't know how much additional time and money would be required for it, but it's always a factor to consider. It's never something as simple as "pressing the compile for Linux button"
Still, it'd be nice if they always pressed that button whenever they could
Exactly this. Obviously, the root cause is OS-specific differences (window management, filesystem access, drivers, etc), but it's really the maintenance cost/benefit for Linux that prevents published Linux versions of a game. You really need a bunch of extra time and testing to ensure a smooth release on another platform. I'm not a game developer, but things like: do all the fonts look right? does saving/loading work? does networking work? are there any graphical or performance issues? does it work with a variety of common graphics cards? does it work on different Linux distros?
Games are released with tons of bugs. They need to receive updates and you have to ensure that fixing one bug doesn't break any existing stuff. So now every update requires more work due to all the additional testing needed.
And of course, they see that like 2% of gamers are on Linux (pulling a number out of the air) and decide it's not worth the effort.
I think that the number of people gaming on linux would skyrocket if all games were supported on linux.
Sure, but that isn't much incentive for game companies to support Linux. It's easier for them when they don't have to support extra platform(s).
If you are targeting Linux then your graphics code must use OpenGL, DirectX is a Windows library made by Microsoft for Windows, you can't "recompile" it for Linux because it's not open source and its code is not compatible with Linux.
So to support Windows and Linux at the same time developers have to write twice the code for graphics (DirectX and OpenGL), file handling (C:/Users/someone, /home/someone), managing windows (the Windows API and Xorg), location of user directories (SHGetFolderPathW, XDG with fallback to env vars and guessing). Basically anything that is not game logic has to be rewritten for each operating system you want to support.
Fortunately many of those problems have been solved by platforms such as Unity, but many big companies use their in-house engines with tons of legacy code and porting those to Linux is not easy. So when you see a port to a different platform it's sometimes of lower quality or a completely rewritten version of it. An example is Minecraft, Java on PC (Windows, Linux, Mac), C++ on the PS4, Android and iOS but each one using each platform's native libraries.
CIV 5 on Steam, baby!
I got Steam on my media PC, and I play using an old xbox 360 controller from a friend. It's working pretty good, considering the hardware in that machine.
I used to get my games through the Humble Bundle, but they've completely forgotten their roots in the last couple of years. As such, I haven't really bought any new games at all. Most "new" games nowadays are just rehashes of old games anyway, so I don't feel like I'm missing much.
I get what you're saying, I used to love Humble Bundle but nowadays most of the stuff they sell are linked to Steam, which is a shame. Used to be such a great store.
Not just the mandatory Steam link, my main concern is that they don't really have any games that can run on any platform. It's just another Windows game store nowadays, selling mostly old games in packs. I liked it because the games sold in the bundles used to be playable on every platform, including GNU+Linux, natively.
I've got a few games on GOG, but mostly I use Steam, just because Valve's support for Linux has been so much better than GOG's – it's hard to take GOG seriously when they still have no plans to release Galaxy for Linux.
I also use Wine and ScummVM to play a couple of older Windows-only games; they mostly work pretty well, although Wine is a bit hit-and-miss.
Wine is getting very powerful these days. With DXVK you can play almost all Direct3D 11 games including recent releases (GTA V, The Witcher 3). Performance isn't perfect but it's pretty close to native Windows. Vulkan games are don't require DXVK as it's a cross-platform API: DOOM (2016).
Um, where did you get a windows image?
If you're specifically asking for VM images, then here's an official source.
Ehh kind of. I am a Linux first if at all possible, kind of guy. I still have an SSD that I keep Windows on for some select games.
Otherwise lately I have been enjoying GTA V again thanks to the DXVK project. The Tomb Raider ports that Feral puts out are pretty decent too.
My two computers are far, far too weak (Atom N2500 / Rock64 ARM SBC) to emulate anything modern. I do play Dwarf Fortress, sometimes, but mostly it's old adventure games in Dosbox or ScummVM, or old console games in an emulator. But Android is really better for the latter, honestly, with apps like DraStic.
I tried but there are just too many AAA titles I want to play that aren't supported by linux. That said when Dota2 was my primary game I went without Windows for two years, then Overwatch broke me, the variety of FPS shooters in Linux is pretty limited to UT/Quake style arena and Tactical Arma/CSGO. That said over 55% of my games library on steam (109/189) is supported by Linux and I try to support games that release on the platform by purchasing and playing them on Linux when I can.
I nuked my Windows partition by accident and have been running Linux exclusively for about a year now. Lutris and Wine/DXVK works surprisingly well for most Windows games I want to play. Eventually, I'm thinking of setting up a Steam stream box so I won't need to bother with Wine at all. I know the picture quality isn't the best, but it might be good enough for me. That said, I'm starting to transition to consoles for generic gaming anyway, and Switch/PS4 cover a lot of great exclusives and indies already.
Don't think I'm going back to Windows at this point :)
The options are really great these days for gaming on linux. I long ago gave up on staying up with the current crop of new games, so I don't mind browsing gog / humble bundle or the open source options.
I regularly play:
Kerbal Space Program
Not sure if I count as a "gamer", but I only use Linux and occasionally play open source games like Freeciv and Jedi Academy.
I get the source code and build it myself. (There's quite a few options to buy the Jedi Academy data.)
I mostly play valve games(csgo, tf2, portal 2) so Linux is not a problem. The only game I dual boot window with is overwatch(yes I know it works through wine