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John Carmack On Linux Gaming Support

A comment on reddit by id Software co-founder John Carmack (thanks Develop) follows the theme of a recent post by former id programmer Timothee Besset indicating that id's once-strong support for Linux gaming has waned. The post basically confirms and explains that premise, discussing how he sees a plausible path for Linux gaming via emulation on Steam, if "properly evangalized," but expressing skepticism about commercial native Linux ports:

However, I don’t think that a good business case can be made for officially supporting Linux for mainstream games today, and Zenimax doesn’t have any policy of “unofficial binaries” like Id used to have. I have argued for their value (mostly in the context of experimental Windows features, but Linux would also benefit), but my forceful internal pushes have been for the continuation of Id Software’s open source code releases, which I feel have broader benefits than unsupported Linux binaries.

I can’t speak for the executives at Zenimax, but they don’t even publish Mac titles (they partner with Aspyr), so I would be stunned if they showed an interest in officially publishing and supporting a Linux title. A port could be up and running in a week or two, but there is so much work to do beyond that for official support. The conventional wisdom is that native Linux games are not a good market. Id Software tested the conventional wisdom twice, with Quake Arena and Quake Live. The conventional wisdom proved correct. Arguments can be made that neither one was an optimal test case, but they were honest tries.

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27. Re: John Carmack On Linux Gaming Support Feb 6, 2013, 11:13 yuastnav
 
Beamer wrote on Feb 6, 2013, 11:09:
yuastnav wrote on Feb 6, 2013, 11:04:
Beamer wrote on Feb 6, 2013, 11:01:
[...]
You understand that he writes the engines, not programs the games and missions, right?
That he has nothing to do with that?


I may be mistaken but didn't he say during a Q&A at Quakecon that he actually doesn't write the engines anymore because there are other people at his company who are just much, much more better at that than he is?
He may have been a good programmer in the 90s but that time is long gone.
If I think back to that Q&A in 2011 it seems more like he is a sort of designer who looks at how the gameplay and design decisions fit together and whether he likes it or not.

Though I have to admit that I could not really figure out what exactly his task was at that company besides being at the top.

He almost definitely does the Tim Sweeney model of doing graphics research. He's probably always working a generation of the engine out. It's other people actually taking his research and high level programming and turning it into something you can make games on.

In other words, he's doing the intellectual, fun, and hard work and others are doing the more gruntish and tedious work (not that it isn't hard and intellectual.) Carmack isn't writing networking code or physical inputs, but you'd better believe he's writing the insanely brilliant lighting algorithms, or at least the basis for them.

Okay. I actually never knew that he was such a good mathematician.
 
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