Open Letter To LGP

A few days ago my friends compiledkernel aka CK one of the LxGC — Linux Gamers Codex staff members and UbuntuForums moderator, Liam Dawe aka ELD the Gaming On Linux website admin, and myself had a discussion on UbuntuForums about Linux Game Publishing.

CK was wondering about those old games Disciples 2: Dark Prophecy and Bandits: Phoenix Rising that were announced by LGP about 7 years ago at 2003.

ELD had expressed his frustration about LGP :
Your not the only one who gets stupidly frustrated at LGP. Bandits is another game that has been in “early beta” for as long as i knew it existed.

I really struggle to understand why LGP keeps everyone in the dark about their ports. It makes actual business sense to announce them to get people interested, to get the community worked up over, it will bring more people to LGP and could easily generate interest in older games too, seriously LGP needs to get their act together if they are to survive as a business.

I mean there’s not even teaser screen shots, no updates other than “we are working on them at the moment”, great well a little screen shot won’t hurt, we are not the only ones either, the LGP blog is full of them, I’ve called them out on it a few times and they cant seem to give me a straight answer other than the usual “we are working on it”, I’ve seen multiple posts from multiple people on this forum too asking about it and we seem to get left in the dark.

I mean it’s not like they are creating a new game, they are “simply” porting it to Linux. Please note the quote marks before a certain someone jumps on me saying it isn’t an easy task, i know it isn’t always easy but god a few years for one port from a business who’s business it is to port…something’s up.

I’ve wrote :
Maybe they got stuck at some point and decided to port other games ? (that what basically happened, the port was announced at 2003, meanwhile they released a few games).

Anyways, the thing is that I basically agree with all the other points.
I also think that LGP should be more involved in the community and not leave us ion the dark.
I also think they they need to update us with their porting process, considering the fact that some people did preorder those games.
I also think that LGP should in some way discuss with the community on what games they want to be ported (maybe not specific games, but genres).

CK also added :
Root issue here — Doesn’t Simms take viable responsibility for what his vested interest in the Linux gaming world is? ie when he says something does he, and or his company as a whole, deliver? Invariably this has been a gray area discussion, because while delivery of whatever it is (Sacred for example), it took quite a bit longer than was previously assumed it would take, it “eventually” saw the light of day. This could easily be coincided with LGP’s community involvement (which the blog aside is absolute zero, and no, I don’t count a person spewing a few lines in an irc channel either), A clearer road map on current projects (Also totally non-existent), and a general consensus from the player community about suggested ports (as of now, its really only what Michael Simms decides should be ported, not what users want).

ELD Responded:
After some more research i would like to again point out the fact that they are sitting on their thumbs.
MaximB you constantly say they are working on their ports as they tell all of us, but there is no proof.
Also this:

Maybe they got stuck at some point and decided to port other games ? (that what basically happened, the port was announced at 2003, meanwhile they released a few games).

You realize out of all they games LGP has “released” since they announced those two “ports” that 8 of them they didn’t do any work on to port, they merely “publish” them. So i would like to point out again that they have been sitting by and as far as we can all see, doing nothing.

CK said:
ELD, are you pointing at the releases of Postal 2, Candy Cruncher, ShadowGrounds, Gorky17, ColdWar, and JetsNGuns? Because as far as I can tell (I know for a fact that Gordon ported Postal 2) no work on those games was actually ever done by Simms himself.
That’s a pretty sad state when the games that keep you afloat aren’t actually games that your company ported itself?
Total dreck.

After our discussion ELD decided to send an email to LGP about the topic and even got a replay which he posted on his Gaming On Linux website :

For those of you not familiar with the matter Linux Game Publishing (or LGP for ease) is a company who specialize in porting and publishing others ports of games to the Linux platform. They have gained a rather bad reputation for being unreasonably silent with their customer base on ports being done.

To give you examples “Disciples 2” and “Bandits” are 7 years, yes 7 years into “Porting” with no signs of ever being released.

So after finding a member of LGP who is signed up on Ubuntu Forums I decided to ask a few questions to which I actually got a response.

The community deserves answers certainly, but as has been (somewhat colorfully) pointed out in the thread, there are still the cases of Bandits and Disciples. We want to avoid another story like those, however unlikely that might be.

That said, we are working on several projects at the moment, and I’m hoping we can announce something soon, and I’m talking to our project teams to see when I might be able to pass something on to the community, and as soon as I get a go for that I’ll get it out there.

Until that though, there’s not much that can be done. I will be running another giveaway soon (prepping a blogpost about it, just checking some things internally first) to try to keep up some level of public activity.

What I’m writing here though is pretty much the same as has already been said before, and in an already inflamed forum thread, it might not help at all.

There you have it folks, pretty much the usual response “we are working”, but again no evidence, no nothing, only the usual.

Also the two long overdue ports had a very small mention:

They are going to be released. Neither of them is getting dropped and we have people working on them, and they are making progress. I have no time-frame however, but I am hopeful we might be able to provide one in not too long.

It’s a shame because I used to support LGP big time and think they could do wonders for the Linux gaming scene, if they only got their act together and upped their communication a bit.

What the future holds for LGP ?
I and many others hope that LGP will change and be more open and involved in the community.
GNU/Linux is FOSS, freedom and openness was always part of the community, it’s still holds at some point with closed source/not free games.
The OS is the heart and the community is the soul.
A company that wants to success with us needs to respect it and understand it.

We embraced LGP when it was founded and because of us it’s still exists in 2010.
We support the indies who support us and donate more then anyone else.
All we ask is be mutual respect and openness.

We will hate to see a company that we once prayed for, disappear like it happened with Loki (no matter the reasons).
We understand that LGP apart from the business issue wants to bring more games to Linux, and we want to help her achieve it even by waking her up to the real world, the our community, to the heart of the matter.

LGP, be more involved with us, speak your mind and listen – the IRC channel is almost always dead, you not always replay to emails and getting in touch with Michael could take ages.

We want the best for you, please help us to help you.

Read Michael Simms Deep And Detailed Answer At

The Bottom Of The Page !

GOL Article/Email About LGP
Gaming On Linux
LxGC — Linux Gamers Codex
Ubuntu Forums Thread About This Topic
Linux Game Publishing
Disciples 2: Dark Prophecy
Bandits: Phoenix Rising

Read More
10 May