Linked by boldingd on Tue 29th Jan 2013 23:12 UTC
Games It seems to have so far escaped OSNews' notice (if the top few hits for a site-search for 'Steam' is any indication) that Steam for Linux is now in Open Beta; you can get the Linux steam client from steampowered.com. So far, they appear to only be making an Ubuntu .deb available, and the client will require closed-source GPU drivers in order to work.
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RE: Comment by Wafflez
by WorknMan on Tue 29th Jan 2013 23:30 UTC in reply to "Comment by Wafflez"
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

Bahaha! Looks like this is closed source everything, so I'm sure the FOSS crowd isn't going to be happy.

Which begs the question... how does the FOSS crowd suppose that game developers can be profitable releasing source code for their games? Well, if the games are as much of a pain in the ass to get running under Linux as it sounds, I guess they could charge for support ;) LMAO

Reply Parent Score: -7

RE[2]: Comment by Wafflez
by ssokolow on Wed 30th Jan 2013 00:33 in reply to "RE: Comment by Wafflez"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

Bahaha! Looks like this is closed source everything, so I'm sure the FOSS crowd isn't going to be happy.

Which begs the question... how does the FOSS crowd suppose that game developers can be profitable releasing source code for their games? Well, if the games are as much of a pain in the ass to get running under Linux as it sounds, I guess they could charge for support ;) LMAO


I'm feel almost as strongly about keeping an open-source system as Stallman but I'm also pragmatic enough to make an exception for games because I recognize that games fall squarely in the area current open-source development models and communities are weakest at.

(There's still a lot of work to be done to enable and encourage participants who artistic without also being technically-skilled, Game engines are significantly harder to architect such that you can incrementally improve them over the course of a decade, etc.)

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[3]: Comment by Wafflez
by lucas_maximus on Wed 30th Jan 2013 08:03 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Wafflez"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

The problem is with games is that while there are large amounts of people involved, the collaborative model doesn't really work with something that is at it very core creative and more like art than something technical.

The games the are open source, while some of them are very good are usually knock-offs of popular 90s games (Nexuiz/Xonotic - Q3/UT) being a good examples.


Indie games are quite popular these days because they were given an audience through things like the humble bundle, steam and whatever they call Xbox Live Arcade.

Edited 2013-01-30 08:07 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Wafflez
by drcouzelis on Wed 30th Jan 2013 14:52 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Wafflez"
drcouzelis Member since:
2010-01-11

I feel almost as strongly about keeping an open-source system as Stallman

Just a quick correction: Richard Stallman does not feel strongly about open source software. Instead, Stallman feels strongly about free software.

Also, a person who feels (almost) as strongly about free software as Stallman would not be interested in making a compromise for non-free software, because it goes against the principles of the Free Software foundation.

In that sense, it kind of sounds like you are more of a proponent of open source software, and not free software.

I realize this may seem like a nitpick, but one Stallman's primary points is to emphasize the difference between the Free Software movement and the Open Source initiative.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Wafflez
by Valhalla on Wed 30th Jan 2013 01:20 in reply to "RE: Comment by Wafflez"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

I guess I would count as part of the 'foss crowd' as I vastly prefer (f)oss and run a Linux based distribution pretty much fulltime (with some time logged in Haiku).

That doesn't mean I think everything has to be (f)oss, in fact the main important thing for me is that everything I need to operate my system is (f)oss, and that everything I need to store/archive/retrieve my personal data is (f)oss.

Depending on it's nature, I also require applications through which I generate data to be (f)oss, but that's a somewhat more fuzzy deal, as the most important part here is that there are simple ways of exporting the data to open formats with all the information intact.

Games are none of that, they are pure consumption. I will never need a game in order to use my computer or get my work done.

As such I have no problem using proprietary games (and as stated above, I have no problem using proprietary software as long as I am not subject to vendor lock-in, as I would never entrust my own data to a proprietary format).

Reply Parent Score: 12

v RE[2]: Comment by Wafflez
by Yoko_T on Wed 30th Jan 2013 01:39 in reply to "RE: Comment by Wafflez"
RE[3]: Comment by Wafflez
by Licaon_Kter on Wed 30th Jan 2013 01:48 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Wafflez"
Licaon_Kter Member since:
2010-03-19

If I'm going to dedicate OVER FIVE GIGABYTES of my harddrive space to something, it sure as hell isn't *THIS*
What are you talking about?
licaon@:~/Steam/ > du -sh
534M .

Oh I get it, the Ubuntu Wiki (erroneusly) says 5G when the Steam site just says 1G.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Wafflez
by lucas_maximus on Wed 30th Jan 2013 08:11 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Wafflez"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Steam included the game files, 5G is probably what you want if you downloaded a few smaller games.

I recently bought Farcry 3 and the install footprint of that was 16GB

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Wafflez
by robco74 on Wed 30th Jan 2013 02:57 in reply to "RE: Comment by Wafflez"
robco74 Member since:
2009-10-22

If I understand correctly, game developers could release the game source code, but keep the creative aspects (art, music, story, etc) proprietary. So you could build your own game using the source code, but would need to provide your own creative elements. I would imagine there's more concern over the Steam DRM.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Wafflez
by Valhalla on Wed 30th Jan 2013 03:12 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Wafflez"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

Yes this is pretty much the way that it's done with all commercial games which has later been open sourced.

The code is released under GPLv2/GPLv3, meanwhile (non-copyleft) copyright is retained on the game 'assets'.

This means that you can port the game to just about any platform and run it there, but you need to 'own' a copy of the graphics/sound/etc data, which in practical terms mean that you need to own the original game if you want to play the game as 'intended'.

Obviously releasing the source code opens up lots of possibilities for 'modding' and other ventures which doesn't rely on the original game data.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by Wafflez
by ssokolow on Wed 30th Jan 2013 03:18 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Wafflez"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

If I understand correctly, game developers could release the game source code, but keep the creative aspects (art, music, story, etc) proprietary. So you could build your own game using the source code, but would need to provide your own creative elements. I would imagine there's more concern over the Steam DRM.


Yeah. It's a common way for companies to open-source the engines for games like DOOM and Arx Fatalis.

It's also how free games like Sauerbraten and Frogatto and Friends are done. The engines are open-source and you're encouraged to reuse them but the default assets bundle is merely freely redistributable with no derivatives allowed.

(Frogatto and Friends was actually written specifically to encourage more 2D indie platformers by providing a good free engine and an example of what it can do and how it's used)

The inverse is also popular with indie games. (Using things like music and art assets under licenses like CC-BY-SA)

GPLed code doesn't affect assets unless they're compiled right into the executable binary because there's no code linking going on and Creative Commons assets don't affect code for the same reason.

(Copyleft licenses cover derivation, not aggregation)

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Wafflez
by Ravyne on Wed 30th Jan 2013 03:38 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Wafflez"
Ravyne Member since:
2006-01-08

That's the way things go when people (i.e. iD) go down that route, however there are other issues with releasing the source to AAA games.

Firstly, the industry competes fiercely on technology, and licenses their engines and tooling for 10s of thousands, or even millions of dollars.

Secondly, any major AAA game engine also supports consoles, and there's a legal liability if they expose any portion of the SDK. They could do a lot of work factoring out and removing #ifdef XBOX's, maybe even treating the cleaned source code as another build target, but that's rather a lot of work for little gain. More so to retrofit it. You might have to not include any version-control history either, lest comments reveal secrets.

Then there's the overhead of accepting upstream patches, and telling contributors that, no, we can't take your patch because it doesn't work well with the secret stuff we can't disclose to you, and we can't provide any more than the vaguest of hints to redirect you, because you could then infer super-secret stuff we can't tell you and Legal will have our asses.

Honestly, a better approach is to go the other way around -- begin the project entirely open source, and then treat yourselves as a third party using the code-base. However, you still have problems forcing the codebase to be console-friendly without maintaining a whole lot of private code replacing things whole-cloth, or just branching entirely.

Really, the whole thing idea falls apart when you touch closed platforms (which is not a rebuke of consoles, just an observation.)

You can't even really point to iD's releases as a model, as iD itself isn't really actively looking to FOSS contributors to provide iD with upstream patches. Their source code releases are essentially gifts to the community and insurance that their games will remain playable into the future.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Wafflez
by shmerl on Wed 30th Jan 2013 03:22 in reply to "RE: Comment by Wafflez"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

DRM there is more annoying than "closed-sourceness". I wish GOG already would start competing in the same field but with DRM free approach.

Edited 2013-01-30 03:22 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Wafflez
by ssokolow on Wed 30th Jan 2013 03:38 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Wafflez"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

DRM there is more annoying than "closed-sourceness". I wish GOG already would start competing in the same field but with DRM free approach.


Definitely. I buy all my indie games via either Humble Bundles or Desura and limit my GOG use to stuff too old and/or mainstream to have any significant chance of a native Linux port.

Heck, on the rare occasions when I can't wait for an indie game, I make sure to buy it through the Humble Store because that ensures I don't have to re-buy if it shows up in a future bundle.

If GOG started offering Linux versions of games not ported as part of a Humble Bundle, they'd command an even higher portion of my entertainment budget.

The only reason I care about Steam on Linux at all is because my brothers use it and, as a side-effect, it's pushing improvements in the nVidia binary drivers.

Edited 2013-01-30 03:39 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Wafflez
by Soulbender on Wed 30th Jan 2013 03:40 in reply to "RE: Comment by Wafflez"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

so I'm sure the FOSS crowd isn't going to be happy.


FOSS != Stallman's attidude.

how does the FOSS crowd suppose that game developers can be profitable releasing source code for their games?


I dunno, by making good games that people want to pay for?
Besides, if what we're told about how rampant piracy is on closed-source platforms is true would open sourcing your game really make things worse?

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: Comment by Wafflez
by mistersoft on Wed 30th Jan 2013 15:10 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Wafflez"
mistersoft Member since:
2011-01-05

Good point. Assuming a particular game has already been cracked (if cracking is required) - then surely pirating said cracked or leaked game binary is much easier than compiling the 'free'(ly available) source code.

As been has said a million times, copyright would still protect others from reselling your title. and (presuming the game /physics engines employed by the original developer were actually developed and release by a 3rd or 4th party anyway) and they were just releasing the extra code for their models, level design, textures etc.. then, yeah, I see no (Big, Real) reason while games couldn't still be release, and sold, and be profitable whilst also being open source.

Obviously that is containing the caveat of having an available free to use game engine available.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Wafflez
by Neolander on Wed 30th Jan 2013 06:18 in reply to "RE: Comment by Wafflez"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Bahaha! Looks like this is closed source everything, so I'm sure the FOSS crowd isn't going to be happy.

Which begs the question... how does the FOSS crowd suppose that game developers can be profitable releasing source code for their games? Well, if the games are as much of a pain in the ass to get running under Linux as it sounds, I guess they could charge for support ;) LMAO

I was recently working on an OSS license project whose terms were basically "you do whatever you want the source at home and with other licensees, but if you start to spread it around without following our redistribution conditions, our lawyer pack can sue the hell out of you".

The redistribution conditions were initially set to "you must redistribute the source along with derivatives you publish", and then individual projects could add or remove extra terms as long as they do not contradict this basic principle. Point was to decouple the core open-source principle that users should have access to the source of the software they legally acquired, from software distribution conditions themselves, so as to allow for commercial software development.

Discussions with the OSI to have it lawyer-approved had come to a stall though, I'd have to start working on that again one of these days...

Edited 2013-01-30 06:36 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Wafflez
by zima on Tue 5th Feb 2013 19:13 in reply to "RE: Comment by Wafflez"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Which begs the question...

No, it doesn't (seriously, google/wiki what "begging the question" is :p )

Reply Parent Score: 2