Is it worth Developing for Linux?

Discussion in 'Commercial Games Discussion' started by CleanWater, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. CleanWater

    CleanWater Independent Developer Veteran

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    What do you think about this matter?

    Any success stories?
     
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  2. Poryg

    Poryg Pixie of the Emvee kingdom, Ham of a Hamster Veteran

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    Speaking by numbers, not really. Linux users don't account for even 10% of gaming customers, but what they do account for are unexpected problems.
    Currently there are three major kernels. Debian, Ubuntu and Arch. From these kernels all sorts of different linux systems have been made, which makes it quite hard to support, because what's a problem in Ubuntu may not be a problem in its child Mint and vice versa. It's not nearly as bad as supporting Android, but not 100% pleasant either.
    Arch architecture is even harder to support due to the fact that it's still quite new and therefore full of bugs. And its webgl support is so far pretty much experimental, so you may be forced to account for users using slow Canvas.
     
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  3. Helladen

    Helladen Deviant Designer Veteran

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    Yes, develop for Linux. Valve is releasing a Wine/DXVK which will run most games over Vulkan. Linux is going to get bigger soon, Windows 10 is a diaster.

    I run WIndows 10 Pro on my Desktop for now, but my laptop already runs Linux.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
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  4. LTN Games

    LTN Games Veteran Veteran

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    Yea I'd develop for Linux since it's an available option and easy to accomplish, you'd be surprised how many people will play it, Linux users love games. I personally think since it's MV develop for browser first, browser targets all platforms and you don't need to worry about executables. I think Progressive web apps are the future since you don't need to waste HDD space and it's as simple as visiting a link and saving to to a home screen/desktop. But it's also worth creating executables for people without decent internet connection.

    P.S calling out Windows 10 for being a disaster and then think Linux is a better alternative, absolutely kills me. I use both OSs for years now(9) and both have their own problems and I tend to favor windows for it's stability and multi monitors support. With Linux you have to always Jump through hoops to figure things out. I love Linux don't get me wrong, as a developer it's a great OS but it has it's own large set of problems as well. To me there is no debate on what's better, I use both because both are powerful and shine in their own ways.
     
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  5. Andar

    Andar Veteran Veteran

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    Depends on which maker you're using.

    If the maker is MV (which has an export option for Linux) then yes, it doesn't cost you more than half an hour for export and setup.

    If the maker doesn't have that option but you'll have to use a windows-wrapper to get an older maker game to run on linux - questionable, depending on how much additional work that is.
    Because developing exclusively for Linux limits your customer base too much...
     
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  6. Geoff Moore

    Geoff Moore Composer for Hire Veteran

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    Linux users are kinda starved for games, so even though it's a small userbase they can be a lot more engaged than other players from what I've heard.
     
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  7. woootbm

    woootbm Super Sand Legend Veteran

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    It also costs you a Linux machine, one way or another, so that you can test the thing and make sure everything works. At least, I would hope you'd want to make sure there isn't some kind of unexpected issue with a paid product.

    I had a user share with me that since MV is html based, you can drag the index.html file into an internet browser and play it that way. So a resourceful Linux user can still play the Windows version!
     
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  8. Maple

    Maple Adventure hard! Veteran

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    Well, from my own personal experience having a title on sale for just 8 weeks, I have had 1000:1 ratio of wishlist requests from Windows users to Linux and Mac combined, meaning that out of every 1000 additions, only 1 on average is requested by Linux and/or Mac user. This is not good data for you overall as Linux and Mac users may often tune their search to omit Windows products by default. But something to consider is that many Linux users already use tools like Crossover to run Windows programs, and there are many more. My game was made using VX Ace, so Linux users can still run it so far without any issues using Wine/Crossover and/or other tools. I would join/search a Linux user group on Steam and Discord to read what's up overall, but I believe with the current apps/tools available, Linux users can run already rpgmaker games easily.

    As mentioned already by Andar above, if you're using MV, then it's easy to do and you may as well.
     
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  9. CleanWater

    CleanWater Independent Developer Veteran

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    Even through Steam?

    My whole point actually is about choosing between MV and XP for my next project.

    MV is a bit bugged (IMO) and also there's the fact I didn't mastered it yet.
    XP is kinda new for me too, but already got the hang of it (even the scripting language).
    It also have a much lower Minimum Requirements for games (which is my main goal).

    If I can't benefit from porting to Linux, I probably will stick with XP this time.
    However, if porting to Linux can make a difference in the near future, I'll strive to deal with MV.
     
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  10. woootbm

    woootbm Super Sand Legend Veteran

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    This is certainly something to consider. I have a 2008 laptop that had a lot of trouble running my MV game. I guess its coding uses lots of new software? I realize that machine is now 10 years old, but still; I expected RPG maker games to run on a toaster.

    XP will likely run like that (no real experience with it, just know that the software is old as hell and the engine is even older). The problem with XP might be the opposite, though. It might have issues working on Win 10. I don't personally know that either, but that's something to research.
     
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  11. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Just for info - XP games do run on Windows 10.
     
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  12. Maple

    Maple Adventure hard! Veteran

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    Hi. For XP to run on Linux through Steam you would need to build a wrapper for the files in your content folder, or the end user can simply use Valve's own Steam Play tool (beta), which includes Proton, to run many Windows games. You'd have to research known issues with particular libraries of certain games, but it looks like XP would be compatible. I will likely use this tool myself soon, just to have an option out there for anyone who uses Linux. You can read more about it here, plus Steam has a developer forum dedicated to Steam Play as well.

    https://www.engadget.com/2018/08/22/steam-play-linux-windows-games-compatible/

    Regarding which engine to choose, the clearest benefit that MV has over its predecessors is that you can package your game for linux, mac, html5 etc and run it in nearly any browser, which is a great way to get your game out to more people early on for easy testing and building enthusiasm before launch with no download or install required. With XP, each player will have to download their individual copy and then you will have to run patches (easy enough to do through Steam). Also, jscript is really simple to learn, and there are countless plugins already available which you can build on for your own needs. Anyway, if you're undecided, then make a list of the your own personal pros and cons, and decide who your potential audience is.

    Personally I enjoyed working with the older engine VX Ace to make The Warriorlock because I learned rgss3, and there was a ton of content and data out there already for it, so it made it easier to push that little engine into places it wasn't really designed to go. Now I'm working with MV for my next project, and it's awesome! Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
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