I agree

Story: Too Many Shoot 'Em Up GamesTotal Replies: 28
Author Content

Dec 12, 2010
6:28 PM EDT
There are too many Too Many Shoot 'Em Up Games on Linux. In fact most of the most polished games seem to be one or another type of shoot em up game, be it First person Shooter (like Quake and Duke Nukem), which this author is complaining about, or "more tactical games, like UrbanTerror, True Combat, Battlefield, Call of Duty", which this author appears to prefer.

The fact is most of the types of games that most people like to play are not your first person shooters, they are not your tactile Urban Terror, they are not Quake. They are instead games like "Bookworm, Bejewelled (http://www.popcap.com/). Crosword puzles, Jigsaw puzzles. Professor Fizzwizzle, My Tribe (http://grubbygames.com/games.php). Games based on popular TV shows like CSI , and hundreds of other titles that have absolutely nothing what so ever to do with shooting people.

We see no effort on the part of those people capable of doing so to port such games to Linux either via WINE (go to the Wine compatibility lists and all you see are carnage games, FPS s and the like), or by any other means. When people complain there are no, or not enough games for Linux, they are not referring to the kill people games.

Yes we do have the odd non violent game or two, but by and large the huge library of games that most people play are missing.

Dec 12, 2010
8:50 PM EDT
Some reasons:

The engines aren't the hard part, the media is. FPS games often involve a lot of custom maps but modders rely on existing textures for the most part.

The open-sourcing of the Id tech engines greatly promotes the FPS genre as they already had a large contributor base before then.

It takes a large group of dedicated contributors to move a new game from concept to full release + add-ons. This tends to favor multiplayer games which most FPS are.

A large number of developers are needed to achieve any level of sophistication. RPGs are really difficult with large engine, network, graphics, sounds, and storyline requirements. If you try out some of the add-ons to popular ones like Baldur's Gate Trilogy or Diablo II with Median XL, you encounter a lot of bugs as they are difficult to find and fix. Even the originals had a lot of them and required constant updates. Like any other project it takes a lot of dedicated developers to fix them. FPS are a lot simpler.

Small games are primarily simple single-person projects with niche interest. There aren't that many hermits with the required skills.

These are what drives games like Battle for Wesnoth - easy modding, multiplayer, and critical mass.

There are a few non-FPS open-source games in development. 0 A. D. for example.

Dec 12, 2010
9:33 PM EDT
Are you saying the simpler games like "Bookworm, Bejewelled, Crosword puzles, Jigsaw puzzles. Professor Fizzwizzle, My Tribe etc don't get developed on Linux because they are too small? And that developers would rather work on complicated high resource games because they are complicated and High resource?

Dec 12, 2010
10:47 PM EDT
Hmm. Looking in my (Gentoo) games repository, I see that the overwhelming majority of games seem to fall outside the area of FPS. Most of them are arcade, platformers, puzzlers, simulation, etc. I don't play many games on the computer, preferring consoles for that, but some of my favorite games in general do include frozen bubble, fish fillets, and lbreakout-2. Penumbra, which was also mentioned in the article is a first person 3D problem solving game that I actually paid for-- the only computer game I have ever purchased since the 8-bit Atari days;)

I cannot speak from the perspective of a windows gamer, as I have never used that platform, but it does seem, that there are 100's of games outside the 'killing people genre' available for Linux.

# find /usr/portage/games-*/ -maxdepth 1 | grep -Ev "fps|util|mud" | wc -l # 727

(only a naive broad indicator...)

Dec 12, 2010
11:04 PM EDT
@Set I disagree, I've tried getting new Linux users interested in some of those games, and many of them are really substandard compared to what's available for that other platform or even the M platform.

I will admit there are some nice jigsaw puzzles available now, which is nice cos I like that sort of puzzle game, and that are a few of the Bejewelled type Fish fillits is interesting but limited and frozen bubble is great. Breakout is break out on any platform. I still haven't found a decent crossword style of game on Linux, although I can get bookworm working just fine, under WINE.

Do some searches and you will see a plethora of simple puzzle style games that most people, who are not Gamers, play, most of which are not available for Linux, and only a small percentage of which will work properly under WINE.

Dec 12, 2010
11:49 PM EDT
These light games are a big deal. Actually from my experience you have to pay to play many games in Windows so I still believe linux large free offering are decent, compared to plethora of sharewares in Windows. And many of these games are cross platform on the web as well.

Some high quality 'small' games from scanning Ubuntu software center: frozen bubble, extreme tux racer, super tux kart, ltris, numpty physic, pokerth, secret maryo, pingus, neverball/neverputt. As for the Ubuntu default games, they just need better graphic.

Valve haven't admit it, but once they have Steam for linux it will open room for many gamers to linux. I already can play Day of Deat Source (Half Life 2 mod) exclusively on linux with a decent graphic card through Wine.

The community can only do so much, but it ultimately comes down to these game companies embracing linux, which they mostly don't.

Dec 13, 2010
12:15 AM EDT
Quoting:The community can do so much, but it ultimately come down to these game companies embracing linux, which they mostly don't.


Dec 13, 2010
6:00 AM EDT
For what it is worth Tracyanne..........just for fun (Okay, I confess here and now, it was *very* much to see if I could out of simple curiousity) I went and had a look at Kyodai Mahjong this evening...........I think this particular package is one of the most beautiful versions of simple tile matching Mahjongs that exist (it's my impression anyhow.....complete with background music etc. and incredible choices of playing situations). My wife plays it on WinXP in a dual boot laptop, but I wondered if it would also run in Linux and after reference to the site I found that indeed it would run on Wine in Linux: Versions up to 10 will do so........So, I downloaded it, installed it in Wine and it would definitely run and very nicely indeed.......But it was messy to start via a terminal..........So...........Since I also use Crossover Office, I installed it under that system and there it was.......perfect, and with the appropriate links in the KDE4 menu under Windows programs........Rather nice........and running perfectly. It now has the appropriate icon link on the desktop. So there is another rather delightful Windows based game running perfectly in Linux.

Dec 13, 2010
7:17 AM EDT
World of Goo! That's the best example of a non-shooty type game that did very well on Linux. I can name a few others too, but overall I actually agree that there are too many shooty-killy type games.

This is true for other platforms too, but they have more choice in other areas, and in most of the cases there, the aforementioned shooter games tend to be more story/narrative based than the competitive type FOSS ones.

On a side note: The MMO Ryzom have recently open sourced their game client. I don't have figures yet, but I have seen loads of people running around the game's starter area that seem to be Linux users, so this move seems to have revitalised their game.

The fact that you can win a netbook from ZAReason might be a contributing factor too. :P

Dec 13, 2010
9:37 AM EDT
I'm more into space sims. There Linux has the Freespace engine ones, also OoLite (not just the default Ubuntu repository's OLD version, but mod-able versions) as well as the VegaStrike engine games. Plus, with X2 & X3-Reunion, ported by (the defunct?!?!) LGP, there are some good titles out there. And some of the old Lawrence Holland Star Wars X-wing games run under Wine (but are obviously showing their age).

Dec 13, 2010
9:51 AM EDT
> Yes we do have the odd non violent game or two

TA, there is a whole class of casual games, mostly written in Python AFAICT, which are run on all three major platforms (Windows. Mac, Linux). Many of them are good.

I'm at work now, and most game sites are blocked, so it's hard for me to give examples. However, the small independent game market seems to Understand that they can't survive on Windows sales alone.

Dec 13, 2010
11:13 PM EDT
Back when we were mainly dual-booting, my kids got me into SRB2, Sonic Robo-Blast, which is a Sonic fan-game bult on the Doom engine. It's effectively an over-the-shoulder shooter but with glides and spindashes instead of firearms, and not-so-cute lil' bots for targets instead of anything at all homonid. Lately I've noticed it in the Debian repos, but the build I run is one I chased down by following links from the forums on the homesite. There's a bunch of add-on level wads, some of them quite elaborate (I'm still working my way through mysticrealm). I'm not a gamer, really (my kids are but the last thing I bought was Katamari), but I'll play a level or three when I need something to stir up the blood.


Dec 15, 2010
10:21 PM EDT
OK, here are a few companies offer at least some (though in most cases, not all) of their games for Linux:

http://www.winterwolves.com/ http://mygamecompany.com/ http://www.hanakogames.com/ http://www.anawiki.com/

I'm sure this is only the tip of the iceberg, but it's what I could find with a quick search.

Dec 15, 2010
11:04 PM EDT
Thanks I'll follow those up.

Dec 16, 2010
9:33 AM EDT
Like I said TA, they're casual games, not in the same class as the top end games most gamers concentrate on, but they're a very important segment of the games market, especially for independent developers. Things like Diner Dash and the like are big sellers after all.

Many of these seem to use the Ren'py engine ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren'Py ), and are loosely based on Japanese ren'ai ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren'ai ) game styles, but mygamecompany.com doesn't seem to be, and is more oriented toward children's games.

Dec 16, 2010
10:51 AM EDT
And don't forget Humble indie Bundle 2 ... http://www.humblebundle.com ... it contains Braid - award winning platform puzzle game, and Machinarium - likely the most charming puzzle adventure game you will ever find, and Osmos - trippier than a a trippy thing on a trip puzzle game.

No shooting in either.

Also contains Cortex Command and Revenge of the Titans - both very shooty-killy, but also both rather silly fun. :)


Dec 16, 2010
12:05 PM EDT
> Humble indie Bundle 2

And, of course, the Humble Indie Bundle 1 games are still available as individual games.

Dec 16, 2010
1:40 PM EDT
I have gotten completely stuck in Machinarium, on, what, screen 3?, by being unable to get into the city after falling down under the bridge.

Just cannot figure out how to get to the switch. Help is no help, since I know I have to get to the switch. Argh.

Anyway, thinking about it, the closest I have to a shoot-em-up game on my system here is Wesnoth. Maybe wands in Nethack qualify.

It's been a long time since I played Duke Nuke'em, with the BubbleGum Crists mod.

Dec 16, 2010
2:05 PM EDT
> Maybe wands in Nethack qualify.

Bows in Nethack definitely qualify.

Dec 16, 2010
5:46 PM EDT
Quoting:Just cannot figure out how to get to the switch. Help is no help, since I know I have to get to the switch. Argh.

What switch? You can reach the lever on the left by using/sliding the stair railing. To get to the control box/switch on the right, make yourself short (click-drag down on yourself).

Dec 17, 2010
7:25 AM EDT
Regarding Indie Bundle 2- Again, Linux makes up about 25% of the total revenue,a nd in general are donating on average twice as much as everyone else. Windows users are the cheapskaes in this case, even though their overall contribution is bigger.

Dec 17, 2010
3:05 PM EDT
> To get to the control box/switch on the right, make yourself short (click-drag down on yourself).

Oookay... I'll let you know.

Dec 18, 2010
2:22 PM EDT
Let's look at common breakout games. Not shooters exactly but entail coordinated interaction with the game field

they are fun, fairly simple and in a Windows environment...fairly cheap.

Linux offers breakout games such as Briquolo, circus linux and LBreakout2. These are fairly polished and well written...

But when you come from a Windows platform and compare it to offerings such as Magic Ball...they pale in comparison.

I guess it all comes down to what you are used to and what your expectations are but clearly, at least in this instance, the linux/open source offerings are cosmetically challenged.


Dec 18, 2010
10:36 PM EDT
I think TecnoballZ is one of the best arkanoid game on linux, unfortunately the menu is a bit messy and its full screen so not user friendly.

As for tetris, LTris to me is the best one, but again suffer from a bit messy menu.

Dec 19, 2010
12:00 AM EDT
Quoting:I think TecnoballZ is one of the best arkanoid game on linux.....

Actually that's another issue I have and I know newbies have with games on Linux. more often than not the game is described in terms of a) the programming language it's written in, b) the framework it's based on, c) the proprietary games it's based on. Not necessarily all at once, and for example, as I'm not a gamer, I have absolutely no idea what an "arkanoid game" is, and suspect a great many if not most of the people who are casual gamers also have no idea.

Rarely does one have any clue what in the hell the game is about, what the point of it is, or even what it might look like in play. For most people, the casual gamers like myself, there is no point of reference in the description given.

Dec 19, 2010
2:08 AM EDT
Quoting:...cosmetically challenged

helios, I agree with your whole point, but sometimes games like Minecraft come around that show graphics is not everything.

Actually, the newly open-sourced MMO Ryzom looks pretty darn good for a game that's 6 years old. And while I am still trying to get stats from the developers, it would seem that open-sourcing the game client has revived this nearly dead game.

Dec 19, 2010
7:07 AM EDT
@ tracyanne Well in that case, when I first used KDE I had troubles getting used to the apps because they all started with the letter K. I hate to brag about Ubuntu since its not popular here, but they made it easy with the names, sometimes even omitting the actual software name, ie Text Editor instead of "gedit". Hardcore users might not like this over abused.

I think the software center is pretty good with description and often include screenshots. Newbie should be able to download something with the games categorized in genre. The software center for 10.10 has a section for "what's new", "featured apps" and "paid apps", its just begging for commercial entities to embrace it. Maybe some casino suite by Hoyle and Encore would be welcomed, even Monopoly by Hasbro?

Dec 19, 2010
8:16 AM EDT
Quoting:I hate to brag about Ubuntu since its not popular here,

tmx, I'm an Ubuntu user. The Software Centre adds something, but I'm not sure it's the b eall and and end all you say, many of the games still lack screen shots, and there are still a large number of packages that aren't actually games, but are libraries, and frameworks, take those away and you'd be left with about 25% of the packages.

What I said above still applies in any case, the names and descriptions don't really help.

The best way to describe games is not. For example if there was a game like Bookworm.The description should not say "a Free Software clone of Bookworm", or "based on the Renpy framework", or written in C++ using the Open GL Frame work... these a pretty common ways to describe games ion Linux.

What it should say is something like "help the worm find the words and stop the library from burning down....." and include a few screen shots of various game scenarios, and include some additional explanatory text, go to almost any site that support Windows and Mac and see what I mean.

Dec 20, 2010
4:57 PM EDT
+1 on that, tracyanne

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