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GOG.com Announces Linux Support

Soulskill posted about 3 months ago | from the year-of-linux-on-the-gamebox dept.

Classic Games (Games) 81

For years, Good Old Games has made a business out of selling classic PC game titles completely free of DRM. Today they announced that their platform now supports Linux. They said, We've put much time and effort into this project and now we've found ourselves with over 50 titles, classic and new, prepared for distribution, site infrastructure ready, support team trained and standing by ... We're still aiming to have at least 100 Linux games in the coming months, but we've decided not to delay the launch just for the sake of having a nice-looking number to show off to the press. ... Note that we've got many classic titles coming officially to Linux for the very first time, thanks to the custom builds prepared by our dedicated team of penguin tamers. ... For both native Linux versions, as well as special builds prepared by our team, GOG.com will provide distro-independent tar.gz archives and support convenient DEB installers for the two most popular Linux distributions: Ubuntu and Mint, in their current and future LTS editions.

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LOL! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47522865)

Oh god! I stuck my dick up my own ass and creampied myself.

Re:LOL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47522957)

It's true! I seen it!

Re:LOL! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47523219)

That's actually quite impressive, given that your head was already it there.

GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (0, Flamebait)

Culture20 (968837) | about 3 months ago | (#47522909)

Or maybe they discovered wine or crossover.

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47522919)

One thing is for certain: Linux users are still douchenozzles.

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 3 months ago | (#47523241)

One thing is for certain: Linux users are still douchenozzles.

Well, if you're going to be involved in that process, you may as well be where the action is...

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47524561)

I'm a Linux-user, and I'm so glad to have found you, because what good is a douchenozzle if you don't have a douchebag?

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (5, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 3 months ago | (#47522925)

They do use dosbox, and I've even taken their assets and loaded them on an Android tablet... so at least some of their games have worked on Linux for some time now.

That said, there is a big difference between "probably works on" and "is supported and tested on".

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (4, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#47522947)

It's a little more complicated than that.

They have big all-in-one installer .exes that setup a full environment for the games.

A great many are run through dosbox, but others are old win95 games or whatever.

We're talking about a month-long project for a couple developers to convert the low hanging fruit that have an easy deployment target like that. And working out details with more modern indie game studios that natively target linux.

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (2)

Tapewolf (1639955) | about 3 months ago | (#47523933)

It's a little more complicated than that.

They have big all-in-one installer .exes that setup a full environment for the games.

This. I bought the Kyrandia series about a month ago, and after faffing around with WINE to extract the games - which was not fun because it only drew half the installer and I had to guess what it was trying to tell me - I found that they didn't actually include the bloody game program at all, just the data files and a scummvm installation of unknown provenance.

Yes, it does make it easier for someone without a DOS background to get the games up and running, I can't fault them for that. But I would much preferred to have had the option to get just the bare installation files so that I could play the actual game on the platform of my choosing. After all, I had assumed I was buying the original game, rather than some weird, dicked-about version of it :P

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (4, Informative)

cbhacking (979169) | about 3 months ago | (#47525439)

No offense, but that's a kind of dumb assumption. They explicitly state that they make the games compatible with modern systems. With a large portion of their catalog being 16-bit, and 64-bit OSes not able to load 16-bit apps, they *need* to be wrapping the games in emulators or the like.

Yes, the original game files - or very close, minimally-patched versions - are in there. However, the vast majority of their customer base wouldn't be able to do anything with those game files. Even if they were, it wouldn't be the simple and user-friendly experience that it is today.

Now, as a Linux user trying to run Windows software, you're pretty much writing off "simple and user-friendly" from the get-go (I've been gaming in Wine since 2006; it's better than it was but it's got a long way to go and the goalposts keep moving). Given that, maybe it would have been nice for the small portion of users who care if they'd provided a "here's the files and instructions you need for setting this up in ScummVM on the platform of your choice" option... but that's not their target market, and frankly it might actually be harmful to their goals (never underestimate the cost of support calls from idiots who think they know what they're doing).

Hence, while many of their games have been *able* to run on Linux since GOG released them, the really core portion of the service - the dead-simple installers and updates - didn't. That is what they're now changing.

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (2)

Tapewolf (1639955) | about 3 months ago | (#47525953)

No offense, but that's a kind of dumb assumption. They explicitly state that they make the games compatible with modern systems. With a large portion of their catalog being 16-bit, and 64-bit OSes not able to load 16-bit apps, they *need* to be wrapping the games in emulators or the like.

Yes, the original game files - or very close, minimally-patched versions - are in there. However, the vast majority of their customer base wouldn't be able to do anything with those game files. Even if they were, it wouldn't be the simple and user-friendly experience that it is today.

Yeah, I appreciate that but I think you may have missed something in my post. I know exactly why they've done what they did and for the majority of cases it's a very good idea. But if you want to play the game in its original format, you are SOL.

Right now, you buy a game - you get a choice of downloading a Windows version or a Mac version. Would it have killed them to have had a third option to download the DOS version of the game? It would be a damn sight smaller than the bloaty thing I had to download.

I think what really pissed me off was the fact that they had deleted the original EXE files instead of just leaving them around for people who needed them.

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 3 months ago | (#47526791)

I think you missed his point, his point is the old DOS game is wrapped in a Windows installer that often won't run on the platform he is using and there is NO way to just download the original files WITHOUT the installer which would allow him to trivially get it running in Linux.

While I have never been a fan of Linux I agree that is stupid for multiple reasons, not only does it make his ability to buy and use these games much harder (thus making it more likely he and those on his platform won't buy, thus hurting sales) but there are also plenty of DOS fans that use integrated launchers like D-Fend that could also use the raw files so they can just drop them into their custom DOSBox and call it a day. Considering you get the files AFTER running the Windows installer i see no reason in not just offering the option to download the game installer free.

This reminds me of the stupid 2K Humble Bundle I bought last week, the whole reason i bought it was "yay they have a GFWL DRM free version of Bioshock 1, no more needing a pirate version of a game I bought or dealing with GFWL removal crap, yay!" only to find that while yes their version was 100% DRM free it did NOT support torrenting, ONLY a direct download that was glitchy as hell and which wouldn't work with download managers....argh! I finally had to fire up 32bit IE of all things as that was the only browser that seemed to play nice with their download. If its already DRM free why not give me the choice of torrent?

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (1)

Bugamn (1769722) | about 3 months ago | (#47527727)

Look, this isn't exactly the bare files, but I think it's as good as it's going to get without their intervention:

http://constexpr.org/innoextra... [constexpr.org]

I used it to unpack "I have no mouth and I must scream".

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (5, Interesting)

praxis (19962) | about 3 months ago | (#47522971)

Your snide comment aside: what they discovered is a desire to test the market for circa five dollar legitimate copies of good games with tested and updated DOSBox and/or Wine configurations so that users do not have to Google, tweak and retweak things to get a game to run only to find out three-quarters of the way through the game that it crashes.

I would much rather pay a reasonable amount for that rather than spend my gaming time tinkering; that's good value for me. If I liked tinkering, I wouldn't be their target market though and I might be making snide comments on Slashdot with my time.

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (5, Interesting)

neilo_1701D (2765337) | about 3 months ago | (#47523023)

Tinkering is all well and good; and many times quite relaxing and enjoyable in it's own right.

If I've got time for a game, though, I'd rather be blasting Nazi's (or whatever floats your boat) than tinkering to get there. I still remember when I upgraded my video card to a Savage S4 and Half Life broke, requiring much tinkering, downloading, reconfiguring, rebooting, some more tweaking and finally a reboot to get back into the game. Then it isn't relaxing or fun; it's stopping me from the fun.

So a couple of bucks to GOG for their efforts to make thing run is a great investment, IMO. Plus it great to be able to get all the old titles again, long after the disks have been lost and the patches much harder to find...

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (4, Insightful)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 3 months ago | (#47523075)

I think it's also important that they're finding a market of Linux users who are willing to pay for games. One of the big complaints that modern publishers have about releasing their games on Linux is that they can't do the same things with DRM on Linux that they can with Windows, therefore no one will pay for their games and everyone will pirate instead. This is one of the obstacles Valve ran into with the Steam Box (which will run Linux) and they fought that perception by encouraging developers to release games as "Steam Play" that work on MacOS and Linux as well as Windows. Getting publishers to make their games Linux-compatible would mean that the PC gaming audience could finally run Linux without having to worry about having Windows for games.

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (5, Insightful)

Tough Love (215404) | about 3 months ago | (#47524197)

One of the big complaints that modern publishers have about releasing their games on Linux is that they can't do the same things with DRM on Linux that they can with Windows, therefore no one will pay for their games and everyone will pirate instead.

Which just demonstrates how clueless and out of touch modern game publishers really are. DRM does not stop piracy on Windows or even slow it down. As a rule, Windows game DRM is cracked and DRM-free copies are widely available for download within hours of release, sometimes even before release.

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 3 months ago | (#47524603)

The amazing thing is that it isn't modern game publishers. It is game publishers from all time. There has never been a time when copy protection has worked.

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (2)

Carnildo (712617) | about 3 months ago | (#47525699)

There was a brief period (roughly 1993 to 1995) when copy protection worked to stop small-scale piracy: around the time when CD-ROM drives first became popular. If you could stuff a CD full of game files, you had a game that could not be economically pirated, because copying the CD required either a dedicated hard drive to store the data (hundreds to thousands of dollars), a hugely expensive CD recorder (tens of thousands of dollars), or a CD stamping facility (millions of dollars).

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47527627)

Yeah, it really makes me wonder why they fuck they ever released games on generic consumer-writable media.

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | about 3 months ago | (#47542271)

Small scale piracy, yes, but not large scale. The scene dudes at that time just compressed the audio assets using lossy compression and/or removed the videos entirely. They then wrote their own installers to decompress the assets. Maybe 5 games or more on a CD-R using this technique. I used to buy them in Romania for about 5-10 USD a piece from street vendors.

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528011)

There's nothing on Linux that prevents DRM. If your DRM requires modifications on some other software, like the kernel, you fucked up.
Besides, that bullshit DRM excuse could be used for not providing a Linux port on the release date. After the few hours (at most) it takes for someone to crack the game, it's game over, the DRM is completely useless against pirates and can't be used as an excuse. They're not required to port to Linux, but pretending it's because of DRM is insulting to anyone's intelligence.

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about 3 months ago | (#47523269)

so that users do not have to Google, tweak and retweak things to get a game to run

Minus Google, that was three quarters of the game back in the 90's!

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47523865)

No for most people they gave up long before that.

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (4, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | about 3 months ago | (#47524001)

The HIMEM.SYS is a lie!

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47523343)

Your snide comment aside: what they discovered is a desire to test the market for circa five dollar legitimate copies of good games with tested and updated DOSBox and/or Wine configurations so that users do not have to Google, tweak and retweak things to get a game to run only to find out three-quarters of the way through the game that it crashes.

So, you're saying GoG is guaranteeing the games won't crash three-quarters of the way through? Because as I see it, that isn't the sort of thing that's being promised any more than GoG guarantees the sort of thing for DOSBox on Windows. And as for Wine, I can see this as an actual useful thing. DOSBox requires virtually no tweaks--games almost always work or don't and tweaking won't help. Yet, it bothers me that they might just be making a custom patch of Wine instead of contributing to the Wine project so less of these tweaks have to go in in the first place.

I would much rather pay a reasonable amount for that rather than spend my gaming time tinkering; that's good value for me. If I liked tinkering, I wouldn't be their target market though and I might be making snide comments on Slashdot with my time.

True. More bothersome to me is how many games have native Linux versions and yet you can't buy those--Steam seems especially guilty of this. Hopefully GoG will do a better job in that area.

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47524123)

Well, look at you. Deciding what's snide and what's not. Get over yourself! As for getting a game working, you overstate the difficulties uncounted when running software under DOSBox. Out of the 20 games I got from Home of the Underdogs [homeoftheunderdogs.net] , exactly none needed any kind of special tweaking to get running and keep running. Back in the old days on real hardware, yes, it could be a pain in the ass at times, but not anymore.

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528031)

The issues isn't getting it to run on one or two computers, the issue is getting a license and then getting it to run on a broad array of computers.

The thing that was holding them up was the relatively small size of the Linux userbase combined with the added testing they need to perform to make sure there isn't a Linux related bug that causes something that was working on Mac or Windows to not work on Linux.

And as for modern hardware, good luck getting older games to work with nVidia hardware. Damn near all the problems I was having with games not running went away when I ditched the nVidia gear for AMD gear.

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 3 months ago | (#47525067)

Sometimes all that crashing happens anyway. Try to play IWAR [gog.com] on anything build in the last 10 years... good luck! If you manage it, do let me know because I REALLY would love to play that.

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 3 months ago | (#47525425)

I should retract that. After finding my old forum post about this, I realized that it's been quite some time. I've since got new hardware, moved on to Windows 8, etc... and possibly they have updated their build too.

In any case, the freaking thing ran fine out of the box. I am absurdly happy right now!

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (1)

perlith (1133671) | about 3 months ago | (#47528015)

I would much rather pay a reasonable amount for that rather than spend my gaming time tinkering; that's good value for me.

THIS. I legally own many DOS games. I have repurchased most of them on GOG.com for the very reason of NOT having to tinker with DosBox settings on a per game basis. No more scouring internet forums to figure out the right clock speeds, irq channels, etc. Just double-click, install and go. AND, in the event you do find a legitimate issue (as I did with Planescape Torment on large HDDs), they have support forums to report bugs and get them fixed.

Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 3 months ago | (#47525287)

The problem isn't just the ability to have the game run under Linux, but to set up the support system, set up the cross-distribution system, test each game, update the web sites, etc. DOSBOX is nice, but you can't just throw the binaries and a copy of dosbox and hope that the customer will know what to do. Just like most real products, once the product is done there's still a ton of work before it gets to a real customer.

Android? (0)

iamacat (583406) | about 3 months ago | (#47522935)

That would be a much bigger install base, including users in developing countries that missed these games first time around and could use inexpensive ones from GOG. Most games could be controlled with a single row of soft keys at the bottom of the screen.

Re:Android? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47522995)

Patience. One thing at a time....

Re:Android? (2)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 3 months ago | (#47523089)

Playing these games with no mouse and a virtual keyboard half an inch tall doesn't sound like very much fun. Even if it's technically possible.

Virtual trackpad and USB or Bluetooth keyboard (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#47523345)

Mouse
A virtual trackpad at the corner of a touch screen replicates a laptop trackpad just fine. I know of at least one Android device (Archos 43 Internet Tablet) that uses the trackpad abstraction when docked to an external display. And if that's not good enough, Android supports USB mice through an OTG cable.
Keyboard
I agree that some games are best with a keyboard because a flat sheet of glass provides no tactile feedback to line up the thumb over on-screen controls. But that's why Android supports USB keyboards through an OTG cable, Bluetooth keyboards, and clip-on Bluetooth gaming keyboards (or "gamepads" as you might call them).

Re:Virtual trackpad and USB or Bluetooth keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47524147)

But nobody would ever use a trackpad to play a game. Again, it's technically possible, but doesn't really add to the fun factor...

And using a bluetooth keyboard and USB mouse to play on your Android phone is a goofy idea. Who wants to do that? How many games in the android play market are set up that way?

Re:Virtual trackpad and USB or Bluetooth keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47526653)

This. To most people, having to lug around peripherals defeats the purpose of gaming on your phone/tablet.

If you're going to carry extra hardware you might as well get something like the 3DS or PS Vita instead.

Re:Virtual trackpad and USB or Bluetooth keyboard (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#47527121)

If you're going to carry extra hardware you might as well get something like the 3DS or PS Vita instead.

Provided that the games you want to play are available for it.

Metroid Prime Hunters (2)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#47527143)

But nobody would ever use a trackpad to play a game.

Games that use the mouse to point and click, such as any RTS, would translate more directly to touch input. I was referring to the control method that things like shmups and first-person shooters might use. For example, Metroid Prime Hunters and other first-person shooters for the Nintendo DS use the touch screen like a trackpad.

Some Android games support the keyboard (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#47527157)

And using a bluetooth keyboard and USB mouse to play on your Android phone is a goofy idea. Who wants to do that? How many games in the android play market are set up that way?

I haven't done any sort of controlled sample, but I do know that the free version of Pixeline and the Jungle Treasure handles a lot better with a Bluetooth keyboard than with the virtual gamepad. It's almost as if it were made for phones with slider keyboards.

Re:Virtual trackpad and USB or Bluetooth keyboard (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 3 months ago | (#47525447)

These aren't baby games that can be run from a trackpad. Ok, some might be. But a lot of these were very serious games for their day that require fine mouse control and fast typing of keys. Sure you could probably do a point-and-click ScummVM game this way but I wouldn't want to attempt some of the GOG games I have this way (Thief, Gothic 2, BG2).

Basically most of these games being offered are offered as-is, except with Wine wrapper on top. That means that they can't modify the UI.

Mint is the future. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47522967)

Soon, every desktop in the world will be running it!

Re:Mint is the future. (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 3 months ago | (#47524189)

Soon, every desktop in the world will be running it!

Next year, actually.

I would switch to linux if the fonts (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47523007)

didn't always looks so shitty compared to windows.

Re:I would switch to linux if the fonts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47523039)

Just stop using point-and-grunt interfaces, you fucking noob. Real men only use CLI.

Re:I would switch to linux if the fonts (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47523057)

didn't always looks so shitty compared to windows.

"Only gay people care about fonts."

- Ronald Reagan

Re:I would switch to linux if the fonts (2)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#47523363)

Due diligence in case you're not trolling:

What looks inferior about fonts in modern X11? I haven't found any deficiencies in font rendering over the five and a half years that I've been using Ubuntu on my primary laptop. If it's the selection of fonts, then the same fonts you buy in Windows will work if you install them in GNU/Linux.

Re:I would switch to linux if the fonts (1)

Zedrick (764028) | about 3 months ago | (#47523853)

sudo apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer

Done.

Re:I would switch to linux if the fonts (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 3 months ago | (#47524139)

Fedora encourages use of the installed-by-default Liberation fonts instead, though you can find a prebuilt package out there.

Re:I would switch to linux if the fonts (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 3 months ago | (#47524109)

Did you set up your Desktop's appearance, including anti-aliasing and hinting suggestions properly?

Re:I would switch to linux if the fonts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47525155)

yeah, you probably should just stay where you're at.

Games with known linux ports? (2)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 3 months ago | (#47523123)

There are a few GoG games that have known Linux ports already, like Unreal Tournament 2004. Personally, I hope we see a modernized Alpha Centauri Linux port on GoG soon. The Icclus one doesn't seem to fare to well on modern systems.

Re:Games with known linux ports? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47523195)

Personally, I hope we see a modernized Alpha Centauri Linux port on GoG soon. The Icclus one doesn't seem to fare to well on modern systems.

Fully-patched AlphaC ain't exactly stable on Windows, either. It seems to crash more when some kinds of automation are used than others, which makes me suspect code that's probably similar (if not identical) between platforms.

Re:Games with known linux ports? (1)

bytestorm (1296659) | about 3 months ago | (#47523491)

They probably have regression test cases to make sure bugs in the source are preserved. Wouldn't want to spoil the original experience...

Re:Games with known linux ports? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 3 months ago | (#47523805)

One of the things about Civ V that quickly stuck me was how much less crash prone the Linux version is when compared to the Windows version. I had co-op players constantly going offline because their version was crashing all the time.

Re:Games with known linux ports? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47525449)

Play Civ V all the time on Windows co-op with not a single crash. Likely they had buggy systems.

Re:Games with known linux ports? (1)

fatp (1171151) | about 3 months ago | (#47529695)

Tried the tutorial in Civ 5 Linux version... Linux crashed (and rebooted) just when I saw (but before getting contact with) the first NPC

Re:Games with known linux ports? (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 3 months ago | (#47523867)

I should have been more clear. I don't remember all of the particulars, but I couldn't even get the port of Alpha Centauri running on Kubuntu 12.04.

Re:Games with known linux ports? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47542441)

Updated installer: http://liflg.org/?catid=7&gameid=90

Does this work?

Great! Now when are they going to get them free'd. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47523201)

It's a great move, but we're not done yet. ID Software released (at one time) the source to older titles. Why can't GOG do/push for that too? Or are they?

The market here isn't about cost. It's about ease of use and simplicity. The code being available doesn't really change that. Somebody still has to package it up and that is exactly what they do. So why not get other companies to release the source and make the games all that much more valuable?

I'm not about to compromise my machine my running proprietary software on it. I don't care if it's Adobe Flash or GOG's titles.

Assets and third-party libraries are non-free (4, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#47523477)

ID Software released (at one time) the source to older titles. Why can't GOG do/push for that too?

Even many companies that distribute their old games' programs as free software keep a tight leash on the "assets" (parts of the game other than the program). Case in point: Id Software cease-and-desisted Mozilla [slashdot.org] for making an Emscripten-powered JavaScript port of Doom available to the public. One reason that a publisher might decline to distribute an old program as free software is that doing so might encourage unlawful copying of the assets into games that compete with the publisher's own products.

Another reason is that third-party libraries often aren't free software. For example, the big three console makers are known for banning copylefted software on their platforms [slashdot.org] . The original source release of Doom was silent because Id Software had licensed a non-free audio library from a third party. (Source ports ended up replacing it with a shim around Allegro or SDL.) Id had to rewrite the Doom 3 engine to eliminate a patented "depth fail" shadow volume processing technique invented by William Bilodeau and Michael Songy of Creative Labs before its source could be released.

I'm not about to compromise my machine my running proprietary software on it.

Then how does it connect to the Internet? All cellular radios and many WLAN radios contain a microcontroller running non-free software. And how does it boot? Most commodity PCs ship with a proprietary implementation of EFI and not coreboot.

Re:Assets and third-party libraries are non-free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47523777)

I posted the original comment. Your talking to someone who probably gets the difficulty more than anyone. I've worked to get companies to release bits of non-free code all over the place for the past several years. Just because some bits are licensed from third parties doesn't mean the code can't be released. It just means you've got more work to do. That's something GOG is likely in a position to do or enable others to do.

In any event it just so happens I DO have coreboot and utilize an Atheros wireless chipset. The firmware is released under a few different free software licenses. In any event that doesn't really make my system 100% free. It just reduces the in which one can hide nefarious bits.

And to respond to "most people" aspect I'm one of the people working toward getting coreboot (actually libreboot) running on modern x86 hardware (as opposed to crap hardware from Lenovo & Apple which is proprietary and/or digital restrictions encumbered, not to mention several years old).

What we really need though is a non-x86 system. One in which we can more easily free completely. Not that any architecture can provide the performance and freedom that would be desirable, but it's got to start somewhere and another architecture is more likely to be easier to completely free. It is a matter of financials to fund it though, demand, and other resources.

There is no doubt in my mind my system has components which I do not have the full source for. The more code that the community can't review the more opportunity to put in nefarious bits though. As the Replicant (free version of Android for phones) project showed the more you free the less opportunity (even in a situation where there are major parts that are non-free still, ie GSM modem firmware) to embed nefarious bits. If your unaware they discovered monitoring software that was shipped with what I believe was all Android phones (Android's outer layer is non-free even though much of the core is free, and phones usually or always have non-free bits of firmware for the wifi and GSM modem at a minimum). The non-free bit was not shipped with Replicant in any event.

Re:Assets and third-party libraries are non-free (1)

GNious (953874) | about 3 months ago | (#47523843)

An interesting setup could be selling the original version (and assets) under license, while including an "updated binary" option, compiled to work on more recent OSes, and possibly with some minor improvements.

Re:Assets and third-party libraries are non-free (1)

Dekonega (1606763) | about 3 months ago | (#47555739)

Id had to rewrite the Doom 3 engine to eliminate a patented "depth fail" shadow volume processing technique invented by William Bilodeau and Michael Songy of Creative Labs before its source could be released.

Those guys invented nothing. They were allowed to patent mathematics. Carmack's Reverse was independently discovered by John Carmack. He didn't know that the principles of his algorithm, the idea, had been patented. Besides he had an actual implementation of the thing. The version of z-fail in Creative's overly broadly worded patent isn't even a thing. Creative then used this as a leverage to blackmail id Software to include their EAX stuff into the game. This is a yet another good example why software patents need to die. Software patents are killing the economy and poisoning the academic circles. Copyright is sufficient protection.

Re:Great! Now when are they going to get them free (2)

Desler (1608317) | about 3 months ago | (#47523951)

It's a great move, but we're not done yet. ID Software released (at one time) the source to older titles. Why can't GOG do/push for that too? Or are they?

And what leverage do you think they hold over the game companies to make such a demand?

Great! Now when are they going to get them free'd. (1)

baka_toroi (1194359) | about 3 months ago | (#47524287)

I'm not about to compromise my machine my running proprietary software on it. I don't care if it's Adobe Flash or GOG's titles.

That's a sperglord statement if I've ever seen one.

Re:Great! Now when are they going to get them free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47524689)

Then you've never seen one.

Re:Great! Now when are they going to get them free (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 3 months ago | (#47524479)

I'm not about to compromise my machine my running proprietary software on it. I don't care if it's Adobe Flash or GOG's titles.

It is usually not dangerous to run proprietary software on your computer. It's not that every proprietary developer is automatically some kind of monster who wants to screw with your computer and steal all your data. Just pick your software with good taste and you will be completely fine.

Re:Great! Now when are they going to get them free (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 3 months ago | (#47525499)

GoG only offers games that they get legally. They can't offer source unless the current IP holder gives them the source. All GoG is doing is taking an existing game off of CD or DVD, patch it up to be current sometimes, and and then packaging it up with a newer installer that includes Wine or sometimes dosbox or other support layer. And then sell it DRM free which is way ahead of how Steam is doing things.

Needs more website support (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47523225)

You have to click each game to figure out if it has Linux support. It would be nice to let me filter (or make it obvious how to do so) or to just stick some icons by the boxes so I can see which platforms are supported in the list.

Re:Needs more website support (2)

Coreigh (185150) | about 3 months ago | (#47523289)

http://www.gog.com/games#%23sy... [gog.com]

There is a menu bar right next to the search box labeled "Filter"

Re:Needs more website support (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47524125)

Sorry, should have made it clear I was talking about my existing library.

Naturally, they made it easy to find games to buy

I want to find the games I already "own"

Re:Needs more website support (1)

zukakog (909670) | about 3 months ago | (#47524299)

I wish they'd make those same filters available in our downloads section. As is, I just go to "Browse All Games", filter for Linux, and CTRL+F for Owned. As a side note, http://www.enhancedsteam.com/ [enhancedsteam.com] has a plugin that adds a "Library" button to the Steam website, which allows you to sort your library by genre and category. For me, it only works in Chrome. Now if Steam would add this to the client library, I'd be happy.

I want... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47524447)

Can we has Zero Wing?

GOG Pirates (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47525069)

Looks like the folks choosing their screenshots have a sense of humor:

http://static01.gog.com/upload/images/2012/05/763f1b89e9284f1c0901405f47fb0cd987c96c99.jpg

PXE boot (1)

phorm (591458) | about 3 months ago | (#47525497)

One of the reasons these would be awesome on Linux:
* PXE boot game environments

There are a surprising number of people who enjoy playing nostalgia games. I have a PXE server which - through some custom scripts - loads the appropriate fglrx/nvidia driver and the loads a custom GUI with various games. There are some native linux games but most are loaded through wine and do a lot of trickery involving COW filesystems and a remote DB to get a unique (legit) serial key loaded on individual machines for net-play.
The linux-native games tend to be a lot easier to get up and running, and have less issues than the wine games. Thus far I've got BF1942, C&C3, UT4, DN3D, iWAR and various other "classics."
I'd love to see these games with native Linux support so I can avoid all the complications and bugs with wine. It would make "classic game night" so much more fun...

Tried it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47526527)

I tried downloading a couple of their games. I've got a Ubuntu 14.04 box (which they claim to support) and it has pretty good specs, especially considering many of their titles are old DOS games. Neither game worked. I tried contacting their support people and they required a hardware profile file to process my ticket. There is supposed to be a guide on how to gather the info they want on the GOG site, but the guide is blank.

So far my experience has been
1. Purchase "Linux" game, discover the installer is a Windows .exe
2. Discover game does not run on supported OS and hardware
3. Try to file report, which is rejected because no hardware profile is attached.
4. Read guide on creating hardware profile, discover guide is blank.
5. Contacted support requesting refund. Waiting to hear back.

It's been disappointing so far. I hope others have a better experience than I had.

Re:Tried it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47528111)

Type gog-system-report into the command line and it leaves an HTML file full of the necessary information. I had the same problem and was disappointed that they hadn't noticed the blank support document.

Active Linux Community (1)

hduff (570443) | about 3 months ago | (#47526753)

There has been an active Linux community for these games for quite some time. Many can run on DOSBox or WINE with alittle tweaking.

As well, a lot of theses games have hi-def visuals available as a substitute and other enhancements.

If GOG can package all tghis together as an easily insrtallable package (insted of requiring a HOWTO), it will be great.

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