How To Find GNU/Linux Games

Posted: 9th September 2009 by Maxim Bardin in Uncategorized
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Many people ask me how do I manage to find GNU/Linux games.
I say it’s luck and determination, however I also have some guidelines for you…

Sourceforge and Freshmeat got tons of FOSS gaming projects that have a GNU/Linux client in development by the nature of the FOSS community.
Most of those projects however are already known (those who are playable at least) and other are still in development and often need help from the community.
More info about FOSS games you can find at FREEGAMER – the expert on this issue.

One of the things I’ve learned is that indie game developers are much more friendly towards GNU/Linux then most big gaming companies.
So if you know of an indie game developing company you can try to ask them (by email or at their forums) about a GNU/Linux client.
If they hesitate you can show them the success stories of indies who do support GNU/Linux such as Frictional Games the developers of the Penumbra series or Basilisk Games.
You can also tell them about big companies who develop for GNU/Linux such as Running With Scissors and Deck13.
Unfortunately id software may not be the best example at this point.

In our GNU/Linux commercial gaming world we don’t have so many high quality games such as on Windows for example.
That’s why there is much less competition, and if one company makes an cRPG for GNU/Linux for example, there aren’t that many other cRPG’s to choose from.
That doesn’t necessary means that we are going to buy just ANY cRPG game, but this certainly rises the chances.
Most indies don’t sell as much as other big gaming companies, that’s why every sale counts – and by making your game available to more platforms you get more clients and sales.

The GNU/Linux community grows daily at rapid rate, and we certainly pay for good games.
Get interested – ask other indies who already made the move to support GNU/Linux what they think on this issue.

Ok, you got the basic idea (hopefully), so how do you find such indie companies ?
One of the best ways to do it is by searching for a cross platform engine such as Ogre3D, Unigine or Torque.
Once you found such engine search in their website for games that use (or in development) their engine or clients who licensed it. (most websites offer nice and detailed lists of such clients and games).
Then go to the game sites who uses a friendly engine and look at their forums if there are already threads about GNU/Linux, if not just create one or send them an email.

Some guidelines and notes :

1. Indies are more friendly towards GNU/Linux.
2. Look for a cross platform GNU/Linux friendly engine.
3 . If you see that the game uses DirectX only, there is no real chance of it being ported to GNU/Linux (unless it’s FOSS or LGP will buy the rights for the porting).
4. If you see that the game uses OpenGL – there is a higher chance for a GNU/Linux port by the company or external porter such as Icculus.
5. If you see a Mac client there is a chance for a GNU/Linux client.
6. Unfortunately if the game has a PS3, Wii or an Xbox360 clients it doesn’t say anything about the possibility of a GNU/Linux client.

Go ahead and hunt for GNU/Linux games my friends
And may the Tux be with you !

If you know of a game with a possible GNU/Linux client please comment below.

  1. Troy Hepfner says:

    My Game Company produces family-friendly commercial games with native Linux binaries, and we also sell other family-friendly games made by other companies that have a Linux client. Some of our games include:

    Dirk Dashing: Secret Agent! (a platformer)
    The Adventures of Rick Rocket (a 2D space shooter)
    Fashion Cents Deluxe (an original dress-up puzzle game)
    Fashion Cents Gents (a sequel to our popular dress-up game)

    I posted more information in the forums.

    Troy Hepfner
    My Game Company

  2. pc spiele says:

    I’ve bought Loki games in the past. I buy console games. I won’t buy a game that doesn’t explicitly support Linux. It’s worked out…well, I wouldn’t exactly say “well”, but at this point, I’ve been buying mostly just console games now. There are a few MMORPGs, and a lot of strategy games I’d love to be playing, but I just can’t bring myself to support them when they don’t support me.