Limbo On Linux Incites Humble Bundle Petition
Over a hundred Linux gamers have signed a petition against the inclusion of non-native games in the popular Humble Bundle compilation in response to the appearance of LIMBO in the fifth such bundle. In its past four iterations, the bundle has offered gamers a collection of games for Linux, Windows, and Mac with a “pay-what-you-want” philosophy – but the latest compilation includes a version of LIMBO which has not been natively ported to Linux.
In a thread on Reddit, bundle organiser Richard Esguerra explained the reasoning behind the move and urged those experiencing issues to contact their support desk: “In the case of LIMBO, our porting friends said there was some audio middleware that’s not easily supported on Linux, [so] we decided to see if we could experiment with another solution that could offer a rock-solid Linux gaming experience.”
“CodeWeavers took it on – they do highly customized [sic] Linux wrappers to optimize [sic] specific pieces of software – and the prototypes worked incredibly well. They spent a lot of time tweaking and optimizing [sic], and it passed their QA and our QA (and seemed to perform more consistently than even some of the native ports we’ve seen).”
Despite that, the online petition argues that including non-native editions of Linux games sets a “horrible precedent for the future, encouraging developers to merely put out unoptimized Windows binaries of their games […] merely to con Linux users out of their money”. Its strong, argumentative text is marred however by its low target of 100 signatories.
Smartty on 3rd June 2012, 05:16 PM
Did you seriously put [sic] after American English spellings?
Dumbly on 3rd June 2012, 07:06 PM
No, it was put there ironically; notice the American usage of the word, not the Queen’s own.
Garry on 3rd June 2012, 10:31 PM
It’s worse than you think - neither of those are actually American spellings. In UK English using ‘z’ in words such as customize is actually the preferred spelling in dictionaries (it reflects the Greek ‘zeta’ root), but a popular misconception has grown that they’re American because Americans, sensibly, don’t allow alternative spellings quite so often as us Brits.
zConnection’s style guidelines clearly specify preferred spellings for the sake of consistency, and indicate that [sic] should be used following spellings defying those style guidelines.
Hello on 4th June 2012, 08:01 AM
Then the style guide should be changed. Do you think readers enjoy being interrupted by [sic] every 5 words when an American writer is quoted?
trlkly on 8th June 2012, 07:16 AM
And, as already pointed out, those aren’t uncommon spellings. Plus, if you really wanted to follow the policy to the letter, it would be non-American spellings that would need the [sic], as more people use American than non-American English nowadays.
Paul on 3rd June 2012, 06:23 PM
native port would make it better playing, guys
Mattias on 28th June 2012, 11:52 AM
Dan Kegel on 3rd June 2012, 07:20 PM
Yeah, native is best - but as Mr. Esguerra said, LIMBO would have been hard to port without Wine. Would you rather not have LIMBO in the bundle?
I strongly disagree with the petition - if LIMBO runs well on Linux, it shouldn’t matter whether it’s native or ported with Wine. I’ve started a petition to encourage the Humble Bundle guys to continue using Wine as appropriate, it’s at
DaVince on 3rd June 2012, 07:48 PM
Last time I checked, lazy ports exist between Windows and console versions of games, too. It’s up to the developer to make a good port, and in the Humble Bundle’s case, so far, it’s had a pretty good track record.
I haven’t tried Limbo yet (downloading it now), but depending on how well it works, this might become more or less of an issue (since non-native ports tend not to work as well as a proper port).
ernest on 3rd June 2012, 08:00 PM
The general issue has been discussed a hundred time before on wine lists and forums, some people argued, that they’d prefer linux ports of common software, in that sense wine would be an obstacle to better linux support. Most people just wanted to run their windows software right now on linux, they don’t want to wait for years, until companies change their minds and technical problems are solved like converting apps from DX to opengl. It’s understood, that the wine approach isn’t perfect, some windows apps run easily, some never worked and probably won’t for years, some (anti-cheat, copy protection, drivers related) probably never will (I’d call them problematic). But in a certain way, wine has become better and better, I’d expect to see almost all non-problematic apps (Windows XP & before) to work.
Mattias on 28th June 2012, 11:52 AM
Actually when porting to wine, OpenGL is almost mandatory. 99% of performance problems in wine have nothing to do with wine itself but by sticking to DirectX.
Using OpenGL in wine should give you native performance unless you are doing something wrong. However if you do Direct X you may see huge performance loss, if you use DX shaders you WILL see huge performance loss.
The game we are actually discussing was PORTED to wine and OPTIMIZED for Linux using professionals from CodeWeavers.
It was not just a Windows app shipped with Wine as some seems to think. It is a Linux app that ships with a highly customized and optimized wine.
smacy on 4th June 2012, 02:46 AM
As a windows user I would have been really disappointed if Limbo wasn’t included just because it didn’t have “proper” Linux support. It seems like Humble Bundle reached a good compromise here, it should be more about if the game runs well or not, not how it does that.
David Breakey on 4th June 2012, 04:54 AM
By the same logic, we Linux zealots should refuse to “allow” games such as World of Warcraft, Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, simply because they’re not available as native Linux applications. How about Diablo? Civilization? Or any one of a hundred other titles I could name.
Have any of these idiots actually read the Wine project manifestos? Specifically the ones which refute the very logic they’re trying to invoke—that “allowing” the ability to run Windows binaries in a Linux environment will somehow “dilute” the motivation to support Linux?
I used to play World of Warcraft (exclusively on Linux) and I never had even a hint of trouble with it, despite it being an “unoptimized Windows title”.
Likewise, I routinely play Guild Wars, and my forays into the Guild Wars 2 beta have proven to be very promising so far. Neither one of these are Linux-native, nor are they likely to ever be, no matter how much I might prefer otherwise. And (so far) they’ve run flawlessly under Wine, even on a 64-bit system.
The only one of the Humble Indie bundle games that I’ve had any complaint about running in Linux is Botanicula, and that seems to be due to the horrible Adobe AIR platform support for Linux, more than anything else. Otherwise, they’ve all run without any issues, and I don’t care whether they are native ports, or whether they rely on a middleware like Wine.
The only thing that pushes my button is when the developers refuse to support the native packaging system of my distribution, but I don’t think we want to get into that here.
s.plisskin on 5th June 2012, 12:15 AM
GNU/Linux users should complain. Otherwise we will see even fewer ports because game companies will always say screw them, let them use wine. We pay the same money, why should we have to deal with sub standard performance? Being a push over is pretty weak sauce don’t you think?
David Breakey on 5th June 2012, 12:51 AM
And you haven’t noticed that many of them—the majority, in fact—are already saying this?
A company that invests the time to ensure the best experience they can for Linux users is far more likely to get my attention than one that simply says “Screw you.”
The simple reality is, porting a game like Limbo to such a radically different platform is a non-trivial process, especially if the company didn’t think to take the care to use development toolkits that would facilitate it.
A full port would likely take months, at best; using Wine likely radically accelerated the development effort turning it from a port (which would require significant investment of capital, with no rational business justification for it) to a wrapper (which likely required *drastically* less investment of capital, making it far more justifiable from a business standpoint.
Stand on your principles if you want; I’d rather play the game, and know that the company at least invested enough into it to ensure the wrapper should work properly.
That said, I will support a company that commits to proper cross-platform development far more agreeably than one that simply sees Linux as an afterthought, but I’m happy to support a company that at least was willing to invest time and money into making sure the wrapper works properly.
Mattias on 28th June 2012, 11:42 AM
“We pay the same money, why should we have to deal with sub standard performance? Being a push over is pretty weak sauce don’t you think?”
Naturally. But now we are talking about an optimized wine solution which do not have sub standard performance.
I wine support Linux audio better than SDL or Qt, then wine should be used for Linux audio. And that even if the game is only released for Linux.
Yeah wine is intened as a Win32 compatibility layer, but in some scenarios it performs far better then other libraries like SDL and Qt. And lets face it, no-one do direct calls to pulse-audio or opengl. Everyone uses wrappers like SDL, Qt or wine.
When i code for wine i always find it best to code on Linux and then port to Windows and not the other way around. What works in wine almost always works in Windows.