Are professional Game Companies planning/starting to use SDL? Are they using it?

Hello,

SDL has so many advantages when it comes to cross-plattform development
but the following two question stays:

  1. Are there any professional commercial Game Companies starting or
    planning to use SDL (+OpenGL) (probably instead of DirectX)?

  2. Are professional and comercial Game Companies currently make use of
    the SDL library? Are they using it?

  3. How much are they interested in using it? And how much are they
    interseted in cross plattform development at all?

I know, Loki Games did, but what are with other Game Software houses and
Companies?

bye,
Oliver C.

Hello,

SDL has so many advantages when it comes to cross-plattform development
but the following two question stays:

  1. Are there any professional commercial Game Companies starting or
    planning to use SDL (+OpenGL) (probably instead of DirectX)?

Dunno. At least, OpenGL is rather popular (most Quake I/II/II engine
based titles, and some others, prefer OpenGL, or support only OpenGL),
and I can’t really see a reason not to use SDL to set up the display,
handle input etc.

I’d say there are latency issues with SDL audio, though, at least on
Win32. Can’t seem to get below some 150 ms reliably on any system, in my
experience, while less than 50 ms usually works pretty well on Linux…
Unfortunately, there’s no easy fix. It’s Windoze’ fault, and you have to
use shared memory “zero latency mixing” (hairy stuff) to reduce latency.

  1. Are professional and comercial Game Companies currently make use of
    the SDL library? Are they using it?

Many (most?) Linux and Mac OS ports seem to use SDL, often with
OpenGL, but I don’t know how common it is on Win32.

  1. How much are they interested in using it? And how much are they
    interseted in cross plattform development at all?

I can’t speak for them, but it seems rather obvious to me that most
companies will be primarily interested in going where the $$$ is - or;
where the gamers hang around. There seems to be several times more gamers
on Windows than all other platforms together, so it’s quite obvious what
most companies will focus on.

I know, Loki Games did, but what are with other Game Software houses
and Companies?

Well, considering that Loki going down was (AFAIK) not because there
is’t a market for Linux games, there would have to be a few companies
trying to get their share. After all, if you’re (more or less) the only
player, any market can be lucrative. Either you can compete with the
established giants in the main field, or you can find your own niche.

//David Olofson — Programmer, Reologica Instruments AB

.- M A I A -------------------------------------------------.
| Multimedia Application Integration Architecture |
| A Free/Open Source Plugin API for Professional Multimedia |
----------------------------> http://www.linuxdj.com/maia -' .- David Olofson -------------------------------------------. | Audio Hacker - Open Source Advocate - Singer - Songwriter |-------------------------------------> http://olofson.net -'On Saturday 06 April 2002 05:30, Oliver C. wrote:

David Olofson wrote:

I know, Loki Games did, but what are with other Game Software houses
and Companies?

Well, considering that Loki going down was (AFAIK) not because there
is’t a market for Linux games, there would have to be a few companies
trying to get their share. After all, if you’re (more or less) the only
player, any market can be lucrative. Either you can compete with the
established giants in the main field, or you can find your own niche.

This is an excellent comment that needs to be repeated. I keep hearing
that the death of Loki marks the death of Linux gaming. This is simply
not true and I believe it just plays into the hands of the anti-linux
FUDmiesters. There is a lot of money to be made in the Linux and Max
game markets. You just have to go out and get it.

Another point to ponder, Windows is AFAIK the largest market for games.
It is not the most lucrative market for game developers because there
are so many companies chasing the same dollars. If you want to make
money go where there is an unfilled demand, that’s just business 101.

		Bob Pendleton> 

//David Olofson — Programmer, Reologica Instruments AB

.- M A I A -------------------------------------------------.
| Multimedia Application Integration Architecture |
| A Free/Open Source Plugin API for Professional Multimedia |
----------------------------> http://www.linuxdj.com/maia -' .- David Olofson -------------------------------------------. | Audio Hacker - Open Source Advocate - Singer - Songwriter |-------------------------------------> http://olofson.net -’


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±-----------------------------------------+

  • Bob Pendleton, an experienced C/C++/Java +
  • UNIX/Linux programmer, researcher, and +
  • system architect, is seeking full time, +
  • consulting, or contract employment. +
  • Resume: http://www.jump.net/~bobp +
  • Email: @Bob_Pendleton +
    ±-----------------------------------------+

| >Well, considering that Loki going down was (AFAIK) not because there
| >is’t a market for Linux games, there would have to be a few companies
|
| This is an excellent comment that needs to be repeated. I keep hearing
| that the death of Loki marks the death of Linux gaming. This is simply
| not true and I believe it just plays into the hands of the anti-linux
| FUDmiesters. There is a lot of money to be made in the Linux and Max
| game markets. You just have to go out and get it.

But you also need to overcome the average Linux user’s expectation that
everthing should be free* (as in beer). In the UK, Loki games were
selling for ?10 more than the same windows game and weren’t available
from many “big” outlets - you had to get them online which added
Amazon’s postage to the price. ?40-?45 is just too much to pay for a game when
the same version for windows costs ?30 and is widely available.

But no, there is definately a demand for Linux games. I want to play
all those flashy new games, but I’m not paying Microsoft for the
privilage of doing so.

    • And I understand you can’t give away games like SC3000 and Quake
      for nothing. I write commercial software for a living, it beats
      sleeping on the streets :slight_smile:

[Incase it doesn’t print, the ‘?’ is a UK pound sign, not some Martian
currancy :-)]On Wed, Apr 10, 2002 at 01:14:15PM -0500, Bob Pendleton wrote:


I will not send lard through the mail

6AD6 865A BF6E 76BB 1FC2 | www.piku.org.uk/public-key.asc
E4C4 DEEA 7D08 D511 E149 | www.piku.org.uk wnzrf at cvxh.bet.hx (rot13’d)

James wrote:

|
| This is an excellent comment that needs to be repeated. I keep hearing
| that the death of Loki marks the death of Linux gaming. This is simply
| not true and I believe it just plays into the hands of the anti-linux
| FUDmiesters. There is a lot of money to be made in the Linux and Max
| game markets. You just have to go out and get it.

But you also need to overcome the average Linux user’s expectation that
everthing should be free* (as in beer).

This is a problem. I think it can be overcome. At least I’m going to try.

In the UK, Loki games were
selling for ?10 more than the same windows game and weren’t available
from many “big” outlets - you had to get them online which added
Amazon’s postage to the price. ?40-?45 is just too much to pay for a game when
the same version for windows costs ?30 and is widely available.

Loki severly screwed up their marketing and regularly ordered
unrealistic quantities of games. This lead to large losses. To put it
bluntly the only lesson to learn from Loki is that lawyers with zero
experience in the software business, the game business, or business at
all, shouldn’t try to run a game software business.

(What I’ve said about Loki is based on what I’ve read in the press and
on my own experience as a part owner of a company that ported
DOS/Windows games to the Mac.)

But no, there is definately a demand for Linux games. I want to play
all those flashy new games, but I’m not paying Microsoft for the
privilage of doing so.

    • And I understand you can’t give away games like SC3000 and Quake
      for nothing. I write commercial software for a living, it beats
      sleeping on the streets :slight_smile:

I have looked long and hard at business models for making money form
purely open source games and I can’t see it. You can make money off of
infrastructer code such as the kernal and maybe even X. But there are no
server revenues available from games. That is to say, I agree with you
completely.

	Bob Pendleton> 

[Incase it doesn’t print, the ‘?’ is a UK pound sign, not some Martian
currancy :-)]


±-----------------------------------------+

  • Bob Pendleton, an experienced C/C++/Java +
  • UNIX/Linux programmer, researcher, and +
  • system architect, is seeking full time, +
  • consulting, or contract employment. +
  • Resume: http://www.jump.net/~bobp +
  • Email: @Bob_Pendleton +
    ±-----------------------------------------+

| >Well, considering that Loki going down was (AFAIK) not because
| > there is’t a market for Linux games, there would have to be a few
| > companies
|
| This is an excellent comment that needs to be repeated. I keep
| hearing that the death of Loki marks the death of Linux gaming. This
| is simply not true and I believe it just plays into the hands of the
| anti-linux FUDmiesters. There is a lot of money to be made in the
| Linux and Max game markets. You just have to go out and get it.

But you also need to overcome the average Linux user’s expectation that
everthing should be free* (as in beer). In the UK, Loki games were
selling for ?10 more than the same windows game and weren’t available
from many “big” outlets - you had to get them online which added
Amazon’s postage to the price. ?40-?45 is just too much to pay for a
game when the same version for windows costs ?30 and is widely
available.

Yeah, that’s a problem… heh

Maybe the ShareWare deal would be much better? (Used to worked for Id
Software once upon a time… :slight_smile: It seem to me that this would work
better for a market that doesn’t already have a "traditional"
distribution infrastructure in place.

But no, there is definately a demand for Linux games. I want to play
all those flashy new games, but I’m not paying Microsoft for the
privilage of doing so.

Same here, although my girlfriend is still on Windoze most of the time…

    • And I understand you can’t give away games like SC3000 and Quake
      for nothing. I write commercial software for a living, it beats
      sleeping on the streets :slight_smile:

Right - but you don’t have to give things away just because you can’t
sell them through the traditional channels! :wink:

[Incase it doesn’t print, the ‘?’ is a UK pound sign, not some Martian
currancy :-)]

Looks fine here.

//David Olofson — Programmer, Reologica Instruments AB

.- M A I A -------------------------------------------------.
| Multimedia Application Integration Architecture |
| A Free/Open Source Plugin API for Professional Multimedia |
----------------------------> http://www.linuxdj.com/maia -' .- David Olofson -------------------------------------------. | Audio Hacker - Open Source Advocate - Singer - Songwriter |-------------------------------------> http://olofson.net -'On Wednesday 10 April 2002 23:18, James wrote:

On Wed, Apr 10, 2002 at 01:14:15PM -0500, Bob Pendleton wrote:

[…]

    • And I understand you can’t give away games like SC3000 and Quake
      for nothing. I write commercial software for a living, it beats
      sleeping on the streets :slight_smile:

I have looked long and hard at business models for making money form
purely open source games and I can’t see it. You can make money off of
infrastructer code such as the kernal and maybe even X. But there are
no server revenues available from games. That is to say, I agree with
you completely.

But, there’s a difference between code and data, right…?

If the code is LGPLed, what prevents you from using a different license
for the game data?

AFAIK, some of Id’s old engines are now fully GPLed - but that doesn’t
affect the game data, which is still proprietary.

//David Olofson — Programmer, Reologica Instruments AB

.- M A I A -------------------------------------------------.
| Multimedia Application Integration Architecture |
| A Free/Open Source Plugin API for Professional Multimedia |
----------------------------> http://www.linuxdj.com/maia -' .- David Olofson -------------------------------------------. | Audio Hacker - Open Source Advocate - Singer - Songwriter |-------------------------------------> http://olofson.net -'On Thursday 11 April 2002 00:24, Bob Pendleton wrote:

[snip]

I have looked long and hard at business models for making money form
purely open source games and I can’t see it. You can make money off of
infrastructer code such as the kernal and maybe even X. But there are no
server revenues available from games. That is to say, I agree with you
completely.

What about let the gamers pay for access to multiplayer servers? This
is already used by some games. I don’t know if they get any
significant revenues from it though.

/ FredrikOn Wed, Apr 10, 2002 at 05:24:36PM -0500, Bob Pendleton wrote:

Could work for multiplayer games - but it’s not like single player is
dead or anything. A solution that covers single player games is needed as
well.

Some form of ShareWare would be my suggestion. Doesn’t offer a strong
copy protection - but frankly, I don’t think copy protection is worth
much anyway, considering that the games will be cracked and available
on-line before they hit the shelves. Only client/server protection models
can be “safe”, and those obviously work only for on-line only games.

//David Olofson — Programmer, Reologica Instruments AB

.- M A I A -------------------------------------------------.
| Multimedia Application Integration Architecture |
| A Free/Open Source Plugin API for Professional Multimedia |
----------------------------> http://www.linuxdj.com/maia -' .- David Olofson -------------------------------------------. | Audio Hacker - Open Source Advocate - Singer - Songwriter |-------------------------------------> http://olofson.net -'On Thursday 11 April 2002 01:29, Fredrik Kuivinen wrote:

On Wed, Apr 10, 2002 at 05:24:36PM -0500, Bob Pendleton wrote:

[snip]

I have looked long and hard at business models for making money form
purely open source games and I can’t see it. You can make money off
of infrastructer code such as the kernal and maybe even X. But there
are no server revenues available from games. That is to say, I agree
with you completely.

What about let the gamers pay for access to multiplayer servers? This
is already used by some games. I don’t know if they get any
significant revenues from it though.

David Olofson wrote:> On Thursday 11 April 2002 00:24, Bob Pendleton wrote:

[…]

    • And I understand you can’t give away games like SC3000 and Quake
      for nothing. I write commercial software for a living, it beats
      sleeping on the streets :slight_smile:

I have looked long and hard at business models for making money from
purely open source games and I can’t see it. You can make money off of
infrastructer code such as the kernal and maybe even X. But there are
no service revenues available from games. That is to say, I agree with
you completely.

But, there’s a difference between code and data, right…?

If the code is LGPLed, what prevents you from using a different license
for the game data?

The key to that is that I said “purely open source”, to me that means
the whole game, including the data, not just the engine.

It makes sense to build LGPLed libraries and GPLed tools (infrastructure
code) that helps everyone build games. It is the final game that you
need to be able to charge for. It makes sense for everyone to help
create the tools and libraries because sharing that cost lowers the cost
for everyone. But, there is some level at which you need to be able to
differentiate your games from everyone elses. Part of that may be your
own layer of code or it may be entirely in the data.

This is no different from the reasoning that makes it worthwhuile for
everyone who uses a web server to help with Apache while they all use it
to build their own unique web sites.

Did we just rediscover why OpenSource works for infrastructure code? :slight_smile:

So, yes it makes sense to help build open tools libraries while keeping
some code and all your data closed.

	Bob Pendleton

Fredrik Kuivinen wrote:

[snip]

I have looked long and hard at business models for making money form
purely open source games and I can’t see it. You can make money off of
infrastructer code such as the kernal and maybe even X. But there are no
server revenues available from games. That is to say, I agree with you
completely.

What about let the gamers pay for access to multiplayer servers? This
is already used by some games. I don’t know if they get any
significant revenues from it though.

That was supposed to say “service revenues” not “server revenues” sorry
for thy typos.

But, the answer is that there are huge amounts of money being made by
charging for access to game servers. Several games charge $5 to $10 per
month and have 100,000+ customers. Think Ever Quest, Gemstone III,
Ultima Online…

		Bob Pendleton> On Wed, Apr 10, 2002 at 05:24:36PM -0500, Bob Pendleton wrote:

/ Fredrik


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±-----------------------------------------+

  • Bob Pendleton, an experienced C/C++/Java +
  • UNIX/Linux programmer, researcher, and +
  • system architect, is seeking full time, +
  • consulting, or contract employment. +
  • Resume: http://www.jump.net/~bobp +
  • Email: @Bob_Pendleton +
    ±-----------------------------------------+

[snip]

This is no different from the reasoning that makes it worthwhuile for
everyone who uses a web server to help with Apache while they all use it
to build their own unique web sites.

Sure there is. Simply put- your example of apache is a good one, to show
that free open source software works. However, there is an issue with open
source + commercial: Commercial groups desire no competition so there is
less drain of their profit share into other segments of the market. OSS
libraries that everyone contributed to would increace competition. Basically
a company would make it’s own additions, and keep them for itself. In
essence, they’d be leaches because they don’t want competition. Competition
is good because it improves products because they have to make something
better than their competitors, but too much eliminates profits and thus is
actually bad. (Note: to little would be the example of commercial x86
operating systems, too much would be games… too bad the game development
companies make one or two then bust, except a few.)

-Jim

David Olofson wrote:

[…]

    • And I understand you can’t give away games like SC3000 and Quake
      for nothing. I write commercial software for a living, it beats
      sleeping on the streets :slight_smile:

I have looked long and hard at business models for making money from
purely open source games and I can’t see it. You can make money off
of infrastructer code such as the kernal and maybe even X. But there
are no service revenues available from games. That is to say, I
agree with you completely.

But, there’s a difference between code and data, right…?

If the code is LGPLed, what prevents you from using a different
license for the game data?

The key to that is that I said “purely open source”, to me that means
the whole game, including the data, not just the engine.

Ah, ok! Personally, I’m not considering the Free/Open Source model viable
for game data and game specific code (physics “logic” of specific
objects, game logic, user interface stuff, …) of games in general.
There is a certain kind of “magic” that has to be created by a small
group of people, so there isn’t much point in trying to keep any of that
Free/Open - probably not even Open.

It makes sense to build LGPLed libraries and GPLed tools
(infrastructure code) that helps everyone build games. It is the final
game that you need to be able to charge for. It makes sense for
everyone to help create the tools and libraries because sharing that
cost lowers the cost for everyone. But, there is some level at which
you need to be able to differentiate your games from everyone elses.
Part of that may be your own layer of code or it may be entirely in the
data.

This is no different from the reasoning that makes it worthwhuile for
everyone who uses a web server to help with Apache while they all use
it to build their own unique web sites.

Did we just rediscover why OpenSource works for infrastructure code?
:slight_smile:

So, yes it makes sense to help build open tools libraries while keeping
some code and all your data closed.

Right.

//David Olofson — Programmer, Reologica Instruments AB

.- M A I A -------------------------------------------------.
| Multimedia Application Integration Architecture |
| A Free/Open Source Plugin API for Professional Multimedia |
----------------------------> http://www.linuxdj.com/maia -' .- David Olofson -------------------------------------------. | Audio Hacker - Open Source Advocate - Singer - Songwriter |-------------------------------------> http://olofson.net -'On Thursday 11 April 2002 02:34, Bob Pendleton wrote:

On Thursday 11 April 2002 00:24, Bob Pendleton wrote:

[snip]

This is no different from the reasoning that makes it worthwhuile for
everyone who uses a web server to help with Apache while they all use
it to build their own unique web sites.

Sure there is. Simply put- your example of apache is a good one, to
show that free open source software works. However, there is an issue
with open source + commercial: Commercial groups desire no competition
so there is less drain of their profit share into other segments of the
market. OSS libraries that everyone contributed to would increace
competition.

Sure, but in that case, why do companies even consider licensing their
engines to others? Sure, they make good money from it - but remember that
they initially had to create their engines from scratch!

If you want to sell something, you have to create it first. If you grab
something Free/Open Source, you can’t sell it (the Free/Open Source part,
that is), but it doesn’t cost you much either.

Basically a company would make it’s own additions, and
keep them for itself. In essence, they’d be leaches because they don’t
want competition.

That would be illegal with any of the licences most of us consider truly
Free/Open Source. That’s the very point with these licenses, as opposed
to just putting things in the public domain.

Competition is good because it improves products
because they have to make something better than their competitors, but
too much eliminates profits and thus is actually bad. (Note: to little
would be the example of commercial x86 operating systems, too much
would be games… too bad the game development companies make one or
two then bust, except a few.)

Exactly! I’d say the quality of games in general would be much higher
if game companies didn’t have to spend most of the time and budget
reinventing the wheel…

Consider a Free/Open Source 3D engine in the Quake 3 league: Creating a
game, you’d spend only a fraction of the time working on the engine. The
rest of the time could be spent working on AI, physics/logic interaction
and other game specific stuff, not to mention level and character design.

As to competition; it’s not like Id Software is immune to competition
just because they have the hottest engine, is it? (At least, UT seems to
be rather popular, to say the least - and that’s not based on a Quake
engine AFAIK…) Competition would just shift towards the creative part
of game development, which would be a very good thing, IMHO.

//David Olofson — Programmer, Reologica Instruments AB

.- M A I A -------------------------------------------------.
| Multimedia Application Integration Architecture |
| A Free/Open Source Plugin API for Professional Multimedia |
----------------------------> http://www.linuxdj.com/maia -' .- David Olofson -------------------------------------------. | Audio Hacker - Open Source Advocate - Singer - Songwriter |-------------------------------------> http://olofson.net -'On Thursday 11 April 2002 03:03, Steven James Stapleton wrote:

Okay folks, please wrap this thread up.

Thanks,
-Sam Lantinga, Software Engineer, Blizzard Entertainment

This is quite simple IMO. We’re planning to build a commercial product
just as anyone else would. You pay your (probably close to) US$20 and you
get a nice DVD box with a manual, disc, etc. The disc just happens to
contain source code for the engine as well as a couple of binaries and
gamedata. You’re free to distribute the binaries and source code all you
like. Most of the gamedata is under a more restrictive license.On Thu, Apr 11, 2002 at 02:07:49AM +0200, David Olofson wrote:

[snip]

I have looked long and hard at business models for making money form
purely open source games and I can’t see it. You can make money off
of infrastructer code such as the kernal and maybe even X. But there
are no server revenues available from games. That is to say, I agree
with you completely.

What about let the gamers pay for access to multiplayer servers? This
is already used by some games. I don’t know if they get any
significant revenues from it though.

Could work for multiplayer games - but it’s not like single player is
dead or anything. A solution that covers single player games is needed as
well.


Joseph Carter Crazy in the coconut

damn, the autonomous mouse movement starts usually after I use a
mouse button
don’t use a mouse button then :slight_smile:
yeah, right :slight_smile:

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