Archive for May, 2007


Linux Games

May 21, 2007


I promised an entry about my adventures with games and Linux, so I figured I should get on it.  I have had some interesting times.


Just to recap, I was attempting to use Crossover Office to port some of my games to a machine running Mepis 6.06.  My 30 day trial ran out and I wish I had something positive to report.  Age of Empires never did get running or even installed. 


A suggestion was made to quit whining about trying to run Windows games and try running games more native to Linux.  What a wonderful idea!


So I went looking for some Linux games that I might like.  Glest 2.0 looked very promising, but I never found a binary for it.  If you’re going to ask me to compile code, you should first have me perform exploratory brain surgery on you.  It would be just as painless.  I actually did find a somewhat fun RTS game called Bos wars.  And it is fun and runs very nicely…on Windows.


Somehow I got turned on to a game called Stepmania, and am looking forward to gaming myself into better shape.  This game has actually been pretty cool to play…in Windows.


In both of the above cases, the downfall is the installation process.  You simply can not install a game or program as easily in Linux as you can in Windows.  When you load a program into windows, you click the executable and it works.  When clicking it in Linux, that is not necessarily true.  I did consult various boards and support forums, and found lots of other people were asking about how to get Stepmania working and they either didn’t get answers or they were not answered in proper English.  Not that my Linux system would run it anyway, since there’s some problem with the video driver not rendering in 3D or something.


The trick seems to be to find something in a distro repository and then letting the package manager handle the installation.  And this is how I found an inferior substitute for Stepmania called Pydance.  I’ll give it a try, but it simply is not as rich as its other open source cousin.  However it does work and the Stepmania song library will work with some amount of effort.


So this makes me wonder: are there any games that would work better in Linux than Windows? 


One major attraction of a Linux system is that it seems to use less resources than the Windows counterpart.  I don’t need 256 mb RAM to have a decent system for surfing on the internet, doing email or writing a letter or two and listening to some podcasts.  I’m trying to figure out why the games are so lame. 


With more and more games being done online, this whole issue may become moot, anyway as those seem to be more willing to indulge different platforms.


In the meantime, I won’t be giving up my Windows machine any time soon.  At the same time, I do want to move a Linux machine in just to see if I can find enough uses for having one around to save an old crate from a landfill.