Fwd: [Ubuntu-gaming] identifying obstacles in ubuntu gaming and pushing it forwards

Rached ALEYA rached.aleya at gmail.com
Mer 17 Juin 11:28:35 BST 2009

Mouahed NAHALI , j'espère que ce mail te/nous donnera une idée sur le
travail d'ubuntu-gaming.
En fait j('invite tous les membres à s'inscrire à lusieurs projets et voir
de près comment ils travaillent : personellemnt j'ai appris beaucoup :)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Khalid Rashid <khalid.rashid at gmail.com>
Date: 2009/5/12
Subject: [Ubuntu-gaming] identifying obstacles in ubuntu gaming and pushing
it forwards
To: ubuntu-gaming at lists.launchpad.net

Greetings all! Be warned, large amount of incoming text :-]

The team Ubuntu Gaming, right now its only current goal is to
"activism/marketing effort to organize around and prioritize the biggest
issues with FOSS gaming and how to address them". But that goal is a hard
nut to crack, since FOSS gaming suffers from the symptom "having too much
that provides too little" - in other words its lacking focus. While
diversity is all good, problem is that we don't have a lot of focus that
brings cutting-edge awe, like compiz is doing!

First of all, we need to break down the current FOSS gaming into a few
issues that needs to be adressed.

1. Development issues.

This category is most relevant for the potential coders. Things such as what
language/which libraries to use,where to find free resources and how easy it
is to contribute to existing engines are questions that belongs here.
Can we choose an engine to cover one of each genre (FPS, RTS/TBS, RPG, etc)
that we promote and encourage contributions towards instead of letting
developers creating yet another engine? Unification among developers could
make existing FOSS engines on par with commercial ones. Do the existing
engines have good documentation thats written in human language thats
understandable by an outsider? Also, has anyone tried Blender3D after the
apricot project and tested its new game engine capabilities?

Regarding free resources, the freedesktop games team seems to have the free
resources covered: http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Games/Resources

2. Packaging & distrubution
Can backports be done quick enough to get new versions out? is not, what is
the obstacle? As an alternative, do we have a packager that can provide
latest versions through a PPA?

3. community movement
This area covers A. "multiplayer & clanship"  and B. "contributing artwork
and modding the game", and IMO the most critical part of these mentioned
issues. What good is a game engine without a community after all?

3A. This requires a clan movement, community servers and PPAs that provide
the latest version if missing from backports. Do we have a server running
24/7? do we have enough gamers in each area (FPS/RTS etc) to justify a
server for each game, or should the servers capacity be scheduled for
example a game per week which is decided by voting? Can we have a mumble
server so we can engage in VOIP coordination simultaniously? Another fun
thing to consider is to see if other distros have a gaming team and see if
they're interested in wars. What better could there be to fight for the
honour of your distro? ;-)  Also, can Also LAN parties arranged by LoCos
could be a fun way for gamers and indirectly a subtle way for people to get
introduced into ubuntu.

3B. There is a lot of artists, writers out there that are *assets* to us, if
we could just use make it easy for them! The most basic obstacle here is the
documentation - is the game well documented from the devs? can the community
fill in gaps or make the documentation easier to understand? Do the have the
tools to put their ideas into mods? This point can make a single-player game
infinitly more fun and a game so infinitly more varied (variety here is
good!). Just look at epic and how longlived unreal tournament 2004 was
thanks to modding - you could have melee battles with ChaosUT, you could be
a pirate on hot-air balloons with airbuccaneers and shoot aliens with
alienswarm. Its not necsecarly DirectX 10 effects that makes games fun, its
the playability. Just look at roguelikes or simple games like world of goo.

With a strong community, Ubuntu (and in turn, Linux and FOSS) with gain
momentum in order to push it further and will make it possible to reach the
goals of 4 and 5.

 4. (depends on #3)Using Gaming as marketing asset
Now this strongly depends on point 3, and for this we need shiny, fun games.
Maybe even linux exclusive games, if we're feeling evil. Here is where LoCo
arranged LAN parties can be of great help.

5.  (also dependent on #3) pushing the platform to get more games from
companies. We have awesome support from nvidia and ATI too with their
opensource drivers, we should companies that linux gaming is viable, and
they should base on Ubuntu. Also the possibilities where they distribute
demos or copies of their games on a CD which also acts as a LiveCD when
inserted at boot eliminated all problems with incompabilities in the OS. The
stronger the community is, the bigger the influence and weight our requests
have on commercial game developers.

Note that this point may not go with the teams pure FOSS philosophy. This
might need to be worked on it on the side independently from the group,
unless the group is ready to change its stand on that point.

Since I think with this teams goal, our focus is on 3 & 4 (and 5 for those
interested). Lets start with the basic stuff, do we have a community clan?
ubuntu clan existed and died a while ago. Considering timezones the most
sane idea would be having an american, european/african and asia/oceania
clan - if enough people in those areas are interested. We need official clan
leaders to step forward and gain a group to form a clan. Then the clan
should provide means to play existing FOSS games and not to stick to one
only. But to do that, there should be a server and means to install the
latest version of a game ;-) But that is a later problem,I think the first
step right now is to find willing clan leaders and clan members that will be
organized and dedicatd to the motherla-,err, brother&sisterhood of ubuntu!

Second is, what engines out there are easily modded? anyone with experience
on this field that could enlighten us?

What do you think people, does this sound like a feasible goal for the
ubuntu gaming team?

 *Khalid Rashid <khalid.rashid at gmail.com>* My PGP public key ID:

 *"In the middle of every difficulty
lies opportunity."* -Albert Einstein

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Rached ALEYA
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