One of the most underestimated gaming platform is Linux. In this post I'm going to show you some statistics and tell about my experience for the last 10 years of gaming.
# The story
I've moved to Linux in approx. 2008 year. As I've been to computer games since my childhood, I never decided to stop gaming, but rather to play a little bit less. On that year there were some linux games, but not really much. But later it changed.
# What I am playing and was playing
I never understand why people play massive multiplayer games without any option of ending the game. Some games like Dota, World of Warcraft, etc. For me, they are totally unplayable. I love games with immersive, wide, long story, games with it's own world (like the old game "MYST" from 1990's). I like indie games with not-so-classic gameplay (let's remember Firewatch). I understand strategy games like Red Alert or Tiberian Sun (the old C&C world). But I totally dislike MMORPGS or real-life simulating shooters like Counter-Strike (you'd better go with hardball/painball/softball for that IRL). I like Half-Life 2, and Unreal, and similar futuristic games. And I really don't like much popular games like shooter or war games, but rather shooters with unusual gameplay, more like Unreal Tournament 1 with its modes or more classic Quake or Warsow or Red Eclipse...
This is important because AAA+++ class games are often not ported or written for Linux (let's say, GTA), but I've never been to like any of these. I think you can understand me for now. I also think that when you develop a game, you should pick a framework, where you could develop once, but publish everywhere (one if such frameworks example is Unity, the other is LOVE, there are 50+ other options for modern development!).
# Linux growth
One of the important factor of growing linux as a casual gaming platform is, of course, Steam. Yes, there are (or was) several other gaming software/management software, similar to Steam: Desura, GOG, HumbleBundle, Itch.io, Lutris and others appeared everywhere. But none of this platforms gone as far as Steam is: they have world's largest game store for at least 3 platforms, they have their own certified hardware and even own operating system. Thanks to Steam, linux gathered momentum for gamers, but it's still **largely underestimated** by gaming community.
Linux can make your hardware faster, clearer, and Linux can give you back 100% control of the hardware. It is modern and comfortable for everyday use (I would say, after year 2010 approx.). Linux deserves wider Desktop usage (the fun thing that it gathered even more momentum on Mobile Phones, thanks to Android, but it was never developed from scratch for them!). Let's look what's out there on the market.
# Linux statistics
Statistic shows here available game growth from several hundred Linux games available in 2013 to more than 5 thousand games available in 2018. That's more than 25x growth in just 5 years!
Yet still, we have 8 thousand games available for mac and 26 thousand games for windows. But I believe, that Mac+Linux will cover 50% of available games on year 2020.
# Further steps of Valve
Gabe Newell also said that he hates Windows 8 for gaming and the direction that Microsoft goes, and Valve started developing SteamOS from that moment. Not being currently nothing special but a Debian fork, SteamOS is anyway one of the most popular **special** operating systems for gaming.
Talking about myself, I prefer two Linux platforms: Ubuntu and Manjaro. Manjaro is faster and Archlinux-based, which mades it a bit harder for newbies, but far more suitable for development.
Let's hope for the better future of Linux gaming and development together. Did you tried do play something on Steam? Did you run classic, native Linux games like Warsow or Nexiuz? Did you tried Wine? Are you using linux in your daily work or relax?
Please comment. I would like to hear your story!
Den Ivanov aka sxiii from Random City