Linux and Indie Games

Kartoffelkn├╝lch - Linux Games for Children
Image by Udo Herzog via Flickr

Indie game creators often shy away from putting out versions of their games that support Linux platforms. Indie game creators make it easy for the Linux system users to obtain driver downloads. They do this because they do not realize how big the Linux market is. In fact, the Linux market is growing daily.

Windows has long been the top dog when it comes to operating systems and having game designers support their platform. Slowly but surely, more have begun supporting Apple as well. Linux, however, has been left behind until very recently. More game developers need to support Linux Operating Software.

First of all, while the Indie developers create the games for their enjoyment, many of them create them to make money. Because Linux is open source software, they assume that Linux users won’t pay for a game. Actually, Linux users are more likely to pay for games that they enjoy than young Windows users who are likely to attempt to obtain pirated software.

Also, for an Indie developer to make money, he has to make a name for himself. People have to know who he is to get a gaming review site to even glance at his games. Because so few developers give Linux games a second look, there are reviewers who focus on Linux alone. A game that gains only moderate popularity in Windows can become huge on Linux, thus exposing itself to people who use both platforms and actually promoting the games in Windows further. To put it in the words of the game developers from Wolfire, “A lot of people heard about and supported Lugaru simply because we had a Linux build”

Lastly, if you develop correctly, there is no extra cost or time involved in making your games Linux compatible. There are many frameworks that support Windows, Mac, and Linux at the same time. So choosing one that only supports one type of operating software doesn’t make sense. Pygame, Ogre3D, and Bullet are all examples of cross-platform frameworks.

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