X.org, distributors, and proprietary modules
Posted Aug 16, 2006 20:34 UTC (Wed) by piman
In reply to: X.org, distributors, and proprietary modules
Parent article: X.org, distributors, and proprietary modules
> GPL'd Quake3 not good enough for you?
No, it's not. Quake 3 is seven years old. The proprietary gaming industry has surpassed almost every bit of technology in it, from AI to graphics to networking.
> I remember back when Quake2 was popular it was easy to make models for it.
A model is not a game.
> Ogr3d and CrystalSpace as well as a couple other game engines..
A 3D engine is not a game.
> Lots of programmers would love to make decent games.
But they can't. From the software end alone: We have reasonably good 3D engines, and now we're getting okay modelling tools (but most game development studios have customized tools). Where's the generic AI libraries, or network prediction? Things like MMOs, with gigabytes of data and beefy server requirements, are totally beyond us right now. Things like Xbox Live are years away (if anyone's even working on them).
Writing games is hard. It requires a unified vision between everyone involved, it requires varied skill sets in writing, programming, and art, and then also game design is a field on its own. Free games are lagging behind proprietary games by years. And as long as we're basing new games on the Doom (1!) engine, or even the Quake 3 engine, they're going to remain laughably behind. Look at the press around Wesnoth; it's a best-of-breed free game, and it really is amazing what they've achieved. It's also not going to impress gamers unless they've been asleep for a decade.
> You need to make it easy for artists and sound people who want to play around to make stuff and they will. It happens all the time.
This might be the biggest misconception around free gaming. If you have enough programmers pounding out code for what they need, yes, you'll get lots of useful things. But if you want something cohesive, like a game, you can't rely on that. You need programmers talking to artists talking to designers, and you need to keep this up for the whole project. You won't get an excellent game by throwing random art, music, and code into a blender and looking at what comes out.
Besides that, unlike a word processor, where you're trying to accomplish a task and can use different software to get there, a game is a world unto itself. If your friends are playing Doom 3, and you want to play with them, it doesn't matter how good your free game is.
Quality free games aren't impossible. But they're very, very hard, and they need to develop their own communities.
(Or maybe you're speaking from experience, and I'm just ignorant of some segment of free software gaming. What have you worked on?)
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