HardCore Gamer in Linux? Why Not?

You know Linux will handle all your web browsing needs, your e-mail, your office apps. But when it comes to gaming, what do you do?
If you’re a hard-core gamer are you stuck in a Windows world, or the netherworld of dual-booting?
Fear not: Linux can play hard and here’s how to get going.

Firstly, by “gaming” we’re talking about shoot-em-up, space-sim, fun bleeding-edge action and adventure. Forget Solitaire, Freecell and Purble Place: there’s no end of card games and even cutesy Kill Bill (Gates) amusements. Linux users are well catered for herein that regard. Spare a thought for the person who has committed to switching platform. They fire up Ubuntu and then think “What now?”

Not to worry! Linux is happy to oblige, with several options. The best route is out-and-out straight Linux versions of games. Other options are virtualisation and emulation.

Linux ports

Some vendors are more Linux-friendly than others: id Software has long been known for its Linux leanings. You can easily download a wealth of Linux engines for timeless classics like Doom straight from id’s FTP server.

This isn’t restricted to titles that date back to DOS days; Doom III, Quake 4, and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars are all available, and id provides FAQs to help you get them working with a minimum of fuss.

Similarly, Epic Games have released Linux variants of many of its popular Unreal titles. You can find downloads for the original Unreal, as well as Unreal Tournaments 2003 and 2004. Search for files here. In addition, Epic Games have announced that imminent title Unreal Tournament 3 will also be coming to Linux.

Not to be outdone, our allied pals, the U.S. military, have brought their defence force-sponsored army sim, America’s Army, to Linux. The full download is available and completely up-to-date with its Windows sibling.

That’s three major providers of quality, modern and popular franchises. Likewise, other vendors have ported their games to Linux. However, it’s important to note there are generally several caveats.

Firstly, support is almost always limited. Activision explicitly states they will not provide any support for the Linux versions of their games. For the most part this is no big deal; fortunately, Linux has long enjoyed a robust community where assistance is never far away.

Secondly, you mostly always need to have purchased the Windows version. America’s Army is an obvious exception, being free on Windows as well as in Linux, but what id Software provides, for example, is a run-time engine – which they give away for free – but the actual game content is still copyright, and is still commercial, and without this the engine will do very little.

Thirdly, the Linux release of Enemy Territory: Quake Wars did lag behind the Windows release. Perhaps in time, Linux and Windows games will have simultaneous releases but for now it has to be accepted that gaming companies will be focusing more heavily on the lucrative Windows market.

Source: David M Williams, More info about this article read his post here.


Delicious Digg Technorati Reddit Furl BlinkList Yahoo! NewsVine Netscape Google Live Bookmark Netvouz Squidoo StumbleUpon Magnolia.png