Linux

12 posts / 0 new
Last post
I use Linux. There, I've said it, it's out in the open and now everyone knows.

Bearing that fact in mind, I'm concerned that the upcoming 4e rules have close tie-ins with software (the DM's toolkit, D&D insider and the like). Like many people on the forums, I get the impression from press releases that the game won't be quite the same without these software tools, despite assurances that they are not necessary. And like the many Mac users who have posted, I'm concerned about compatibility with my chosen platform.

Now, I know that in the USA (and Wizards of the Coast is an American company after all), Linux doesn't have much market share on the desktop. The Mac probably has enough to worry about a little, but not Linux. However, here in the UK, Linux has a presence similar to that of the Mac, and across mainland Europe Linux is more common. I'm hoping that the numbers will add up to enough to persuade Wizards to adopt at least the easy option from those outlined below...

Here's what I'd like to see from Wizards of the Coast, from least to most work:

There's a piece of software called wine which aims to re-implement the windows APIs in terms of X, OpenGL and unix calls. This is partially, but usefully complete and can run quite a lot of windows programs well (I've heard that world of warcraft runs ). Incidentally, wine is available on MacOS as well, though I haven't used it there and can't vouch for it.

  • I'd expect, at the least, that Wizards of the Coast should not interfere with or try to block any attempts to get their software to run under wine.

  • I'd like it if Wizards of the Coast was officially friendly with any project to get their software running with wine.

  • It would be better if Wizards of the Coast could lend some effort or other resource to any such project.

  • It would be best if there was a native port, or if the software were somehow platform agnostic (some have speculated that it may be a set of web based applications).


I'm not holding my breath for option 4 - I realise this entails quite a bit of effort that probably isn't worthwhile for WotC - but I do think that at least stance 1 or 2 can be asked for and expected. Given this, I'd like to ask for option 3 (lending some help to a wine project), which I think is reasonable. I leave it up to WotC to decide how much effort, if any, constitutes a reasonable return for their investment.
There's been murmurs that the biggest issue with the software being locked to Windows is that it's being built with DirectX hooks.

I'm pretty sure Wine handles those well (I've experimented with Linux once. . . in college, but it wasn't for me in the end [what? YOU started the innuendos!] so I can't say for sure).

I *do* wish they'd looked to cross platform from the start, but I've heard that comes with its own special breed of headaches, as well as additional time needed to code and test, so I can't really *blame* them.

Still, I too prefer software that's flexible. Microsoft could get hit by the DOJ for who-knows-what tomorrow. Cross-platform software could survive the fall of even that monolithic giant.
WolfStar76 Community Advocate (SVCL) for D&D Organized Play, Avalon Hill, and the DCI/WPN LFR Community Manager DDi Guide

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

There's been murmurs that the biggest issue with the software being locked to Windows is that it's being built with DirectX hooks.

I'm pretty sure Wine handles those well

Yes, quite a lot of DirectX has been implemented, I think largely due to contributions from transgaming, who sell a special gaming version of wine, as well as taking commissions from companies wishing to "port" their windows games to other platforms.

I anticipated there would be a lot of Direct3D going on - almost everything in the commercial leisure software category is awash with 3D these days - which is why I suggested wine, rather than a virtual machine like VMWare. Last time I checked, virtual machines didn't handle 3D acceleration well.

I used to think wine would never get anywhere, but recently it seems to run quite a lot of my game collection without any problems. I think that with just a little official support from WotC, it should be easy to get running. Who knows, it might even run out of the box, and then all WotC needs to do is not legally squish people who do it.
I use Linux too, and I'm sure others do.

I'm praying that their solution is platform-independent, given that it seems to be a web app, it probably will be.

Here's hoping.
Hell yes, my Asus EEE PC is just begging to run these applications regardless of where I happen to be.

Do you have any idea how easy it would be to explain the concept of tabletop RPG's with visuals I happen to carry with me at all times?
Shortly after I heard of the fact that D&Di was planned as Windows only, I wrote a detailed letter to Wizards on the subject of WINE, and I even added that if they went the extra mile to actually compile D&Di using WINElib, Linux gamers everywhere would rejoice.

And, to be truthful, the demographics overlap. You can't quote some statistic about Linux usage and say it's the same for gamers - it will be higher.

Most importantly, I want them to officially recognize Linux compatibility, because it means that if they release some update, they won't randomly break compatibility. It needs to remain compatible, or else I'm not putting my money in for the tools.
I think you hit the nail on the head in the first post. The press releases and coverage imply that the software tie-ins improve the game. I'm not shelling out $100+ to get rule books if I'm not able to get my full money's worth. It's essentially saying that you won't get the full value from the rulebooks or minis or any other part of 4e if you don't have Windows. "you won't get the full value" is a pretty compelling reason not to buy.
If I wanted to be snarky, I could point out that you still have the option of getting the full value and WotC isn't keeping it from you. It's your refusal to get a Windows box that's limiting you. Effectively YOU stopping YOU.

However, that's pretty snarky, even for me.

(and furthermore this post is made in jest - I don't believe a word of it. While I don't use Linux currently, I do think they'd be wise to do what they can to make the products more available).
WolfStar76 Community Advocate (SVCL) for D&D Organized Play, Avalon Hill, and the DCI/WPN LFR Community Manager DDi Guide

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

If I wanted to be snarky, I could point out that you still have the option of getting the full value and WotC isn't keeping it from you. It's your refusal to get a Windows box that's limiting you. Effectively YOU stopping YOU.

And had you said that, I would reply by saying that the $249 price tag on the most basic version of Windows available (I don't consider XP 'available'. Microsoft is trying their best to get it off the market, regardless of the fact that it is superior in many regards to Vista).

I'm not paying that much money to buy myself D&Di. Heck, I think that $15/mo is overpriced.

The question for most companies should not be "How much money can we get people to pay for this and still make a profit?", it should be "What's a price point where we make a profit, but it's still really accessible to everyone?". The former is a greedy, purely capitalistic approach, that will no doubt be susceptible to everyone trying to get around it (e.g. WoW, with the $15/mo fees, plus the massive account creation/expansion costs). The latter is an approach whereby you are making not as much money on any individual sale, but you get way more sales, and the people you sell to are happier (there aren't that many good examples left in our world, but go to a local farmer's market. You'll understand what I mean). D&D is about the community, and there's no better way to alienate that community than with an unfair price.

I already invest plenty of money on D&D books, and some of them aren't worth the $40, some are. But having to shell out an additional $10/mo to use it fully (and make no mistake, I know that I want and will use those tools) is still a bit absurd for me.

That's $120 bucks a year. Much better spent on a box of Magic, or perhaps two video games. At $15/mo, it becomes almost enough for two boxes, or three or four video games.

This post has probably moved off-topic, but the opinion still stands.
One thing I'm getting from the "A Technical Look at D&D Insider Applications" article is that only the D&D Game Table and D&D Character Creator use DirectX for graphics. So one would hope that the other programs (the ones which give you online access to various text things) really have no reason to not work in Wine. Still, as a Linux user (and a person who is actually contemplating the remote D&D thing), I'd really like to be able to use Game Table and Character Creator without dual-booting.
I use only linux, and as much as I love AD&D, I'm not changing (or dual booting) to get things working. I'm not overly enamored with graphics. If I can join an online game with my friends, I'm happy. I do hope (as mentioned above) that most of what needs to happen occurs server side, so I can connect with any machine running any OS and have no problems "seeing" or at least participating in the action!

Peace,
JimBass
Currently, in my house, I have a lot of computers. At least half of which are dual-boot machines (XP & Linux.) So while the lack of alternative OS support doesn't affect me, I too think it would have been wiser for WotC to have offered cross-OS compatibility with both Mac OSs and *nix OSs.

However, from personal experience, I don't see why the VTT and VCG wouldn't work in Wine. I've had very few problems running a variety of graphicly intense programs with Wine. I'll do a couple more tests over the next couple of days with programs that utilize Direct3D to see how well they work in Wine. I'll be happy to report my findings here for the Linux community of D&Ders. Now as to those who refuse to dual-boot, I can't blame you. Nor would I recommend using Virtual Machines, as others have mentioned, VM has issues running 3D acceleration, Wine is simple and requires the installation only of the Wine program its self (available in the repos) and then any Windows programs installed on the Linux machine can be automatically launched through Wine.