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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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13. Re: John Carmack On Linux Gaming Support Feb 6, 2013, 10:41 Orogogus
 
wtf_man wrote on Feb 6, 2013, 10:32:
Well... I find it interesting that Timothee actually said:
"They simply lost interest towards the PC in general during the idTech5 cycle"

And Carmack is focusing on the Linux comments.

As far as I can tell Carmack took it entirely in context. Timothee was in fact talking about why id isn't supporting Linux, his whole post was talking about Linux, and it was on a Linux gaming Reddit. The entire quoted sentence was actually:

"They simply lost interest towards the PC in general during the idTech5 cycle, and they don't have anyone there with Linux chops anymore."

...which was his analysis of why id doesn't do Linux. It's kind of just Blue and probably the rest of the Internet fixating on what was an observation about id rather than an accusation.
 
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12. Re: John Carmack On Linux Gaming Support Feb 6, 2013, 10:38 InBlack
 
I think someone needs to bring Carmack up to speed, as he is obviously totally unaware of what Valve's plans are. Its obvious that he wrote this post as a quick response to Besset's post without taking the time to look at what Valve is actually doing.

Also as far as I know Valve has no plans of emulating Linux support, they wants to build a "console" which would basically be a special PC running on a version of Linux.

If they push this "console" aggresively and get some large software developers aboard you can bet your fucking ASS Zenimax is going to want a piece of that.

An obvious side benefit of a console that uses Linux as an OS is that PCs would be able to run the same games natively without any porting whatsoever.

So Carmack while usually well informed, managed to look pretty bad with this shit.


 
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11. Re: John Carmack On Linux Gaming Support Feb 6, 2013, 10:32 wtf_man
 
Well... I find it interesting that Timothee actually said:
"They simply lost interest towards the PC in general during the idTech5 cycle"

And Carmack is focusing on the Linux comments.

It is real apparent that he first lost interest in OpenGL in favor of DirectX, and he was a huge proponent of OpenGL... and now it's apparent that he (and the rest of id) has (have) lost interest in the PC in favor of Consoles.

So, he'll probably retire after idTech6... but then again, I always thought 5 was going to be his last effort.
 
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10. Re: John Carmack On Linux Gaming Support Feb 6, 2013, 10:11 Panickd
 
Quake III Arena came out in 1999. That would be well before Linux had caught on with anyone outside of the zealot and admin crowds. And I would bet there are a huge number of people who never heard about Quake Live because it never got any real marketing push. So your "honest tries" were one where you were (well) ahead of the adoption curve and another where you didn't really even let people know it was out there. I'm not faulting the attempts, just the logic.

But yeah, trying to sell executives focused on profit on a port without a solid business foundation for it is foolhardy. And the source releases are far more important for those who can make use of them.
 
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9. Re: John Carmack On Linux Gaming Support Feb 6, 2013, 10:07 Darks
 
I know many people bash on John Romero, but at least the guy still has passion for making PC games. Too bad he left Id, I think had he stayed Id would be a better company and they would still be making PC games.  
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8. Re: John Carmack On Linux Gaming Support Feb 6, 2013, 09:58 Orphic Resonance
 
thats what im saying... who gives a fuck? its not the 90s anymore man

go home, build some rockets or whatever.. smoke a bowl and chill the fuck out because id SUCKS DONKEY DICK these days
 
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7. Re: John Carmack On Linux Gaming Support Feb 6, 2013, 09:57 Cutter
 
Why does Carmack even bother staying in gaming? He clearly doesn't need the dough. And whatever passion he had for it seems to have evaporated long ago. It's more like just doing it because it's routine. He only seems to be stoked about space related stuff so why doesn't he focus on that?
 
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6. Re: John Carmack On Linux Gaming Support Feb 6, 2013, 09:51 nin
 
wtf_man wrote on Feb 6, 2013, 09:49:
Ozmodan wrote on Feb 6, 2013, 09:39:
With it so easy to duel boot or use emulators I just do not see the need for a game to support Linux.

So when they duel, which OS wins?


"There can be only one!"

 
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5. Re: John Carmack On Linux Gaming Support Feb 6, 2013, 09:49 wtf_man
 
Ozmodan wrote on Feb 6, 2013, 09:39:
With it so easy to duel boot or use emulators I just do not see the need for a game to support Linux.

So when they duel, which OS wins?
 
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4. Re: John Carmack On Linux Gaming Support Feb 6, 2013, 09:39 Ozmodan
 
With it so easy to duel boot or use emulators I just do not see the need for a game to support Linux.

People are just whining because they have to buy windows.
 
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3. Re: John Carmack On Linux Gaming Support Feb 6, 2013, 09:31 Verno
 
You have to build out the platform and obviously id is not the company to do that, they were arguably ahead of the times though. I find it more a shame that they essentially abandoned their original platform which is now thriving.  
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2. Re: John Carmack On Linux Gaming Support Feb 6, 2013, 09:28 SirKnight
 
Yeah. It's sad to see id become Zenimax's bitch. It's bad enough they no longer give a crap about PC any more.

id used to be my fav developer by far, now I barely even care. For me, that position is now Valve.
 
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1. Re: John Carmack On Linux Gaming Support Feb 6, 2013, 09:20 nin
 
With selling and now deferring to Zenimax, I think it's safe to say the id era is over. One could say it has been for awhile...

We'll always have Paris Doom.

 
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