Some thoughts after working on game reviews
Below there are some thoughts that I want to share, that came to my mind while working on reviews of Ludum Dare games and on this site in general. They are listed in no particular order. Take a look, and share your thoughts about my thoughts!
Just to put things in some context, I may say that I am an old gamer and a new one. My first machine was C64, then NES clone (Pegasus), Amiga and finally PC. By the time I got to PC I kinda lost interest in games. This was mostly because I realized that the hardware I got is soon to be obsolete, and furthermore, the hardware race had just begun. Note that this was around 1996 so this is the time when GPUs started. So I realized that my parent's wallet can not compete with raging prices and I have to say goodbye to latest games and I turned into programming.
And long story short, I left gaming for more than 10 years, switched fully to Linux in the meantime which cemented my exclusion from gaming. But recently I noticed that things changed especially in the indie world. So without further ado here are my thoughts.
Ludum Dare is big!
My first contact with LD was around 2005 when I was developing some edutainment application with PyGame. On the page of that library, there was a mention about LuduDare and that some game developed in PyGame managed to score high ratings. So I visited the page, but it looked kinda rough and I was thinking that this is one of the things made by developers for other developers. It appeared to be more elitarian than egalitarian. But recently I have found out, that this event is huge, it gets attention from not only game devs but also from gamers who look for new and exciting experience and they are willing to ignore the fact that most games are far from polished, to say the least.
Also, LD is the forge of new titles, many well-known titles were prototyped at game jams (for example Nuclear Throne, not on LD though). So this is something that is certainly worth looking at.
Linux and Macs are no longer ignored
This is pretty much surprise for me. As far as I remember when it comes to gaming those OSes were pretty much ignored. There were some titles that were published on that platforms but you could count them on lumberjack's hand. But recently this has changed and we see more and more releases for those OSes. Heck, even AAA titles like I recently bought Witcher 2 for Linux.
But as it turns out even game jams developers seems to care about Mac and Linux. It's not uncommon to see binaries for those systems available for small releases. So that is a kinda huge change for me.
WINE works really well!
For those of you who don't know, WINE (Wine is not an emulator - that is the acronym) is a piece of software which allows you to run Windows programs on Linux or MacOS so it kinda is an emulator but it only emulates Windows API but not the whole machine. Not like for example Virtual Box.
My experience with WINE was full of hits and misses. And mostly misses, but recently I noticed it gotten better, like really better. Only about one-third of games that I reviewed that had not have Linux binaries was not able to run under WINE and I did not do any configuration tweaks, so this could be better. But what surprises me more I did some experiment and it turns out that sometimes game worked better via WINE than using native binary!
Closing notes aka Summary
It looks like we are facing kinda bright future in indie gaming. Game jams are producing more and more innovations. There are no more exclusions of people who have chosen different operating systems and WINE aged well. That's it for now, and if you stumbled here to leave a comment or if you like here to follow us on social media to get more of indi3 content!