Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21

Thread: RPGCast - Episode 280: "RPGamerOS"

  1. #1
    Man vs. Slime, the fourth type of conflict Administrator sabin1001's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,037

    RPGCast - Episode 280: "RPGamerOS"

    RPGCast - Episode 280: "RPGamerOS"

    Mikel and Chris narrow down the important parts of RPGamer's newest Linux distribution. Obviously, Steam will be bundled in. Getting the GUI to launch will require passing a test (including picking the correct text editor between vim and emacs). Also, pay no attention to the bundled bitcoin miner clients. Those are just a necessary part of the graphics drivers. The more CPU they use, the better games will play.

    You can find the links to all our stories on delicious: http://delicious.com/rpgamer/280

    RPGCast streams live on Saturday at Noon Eastern / 9 AM Pacific.

    Leave your feedback in the following ways!
    Post in this thread.
    Email us at podcast@rpgamer.com
    Leave us a voicemail at (608) 729-4098
    Email us an mp3 or m4a voicemail at podcast@rpgamer.com

    Download the show: "RPGamerOS"
    Subscribe to the feed: http://feeds2.feedburner.com/Rpgcast
    Subscribe in iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/M...t?id=264306390
    Subscribe your Zune: Zune Player Link

  2. #2
    複線ドリフト!! RPGamer Staff Quin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    1,299


    Star Citizen certainly does look pretty.

    befriend (v.): to use mecha-class beam weaponry to inflict grievous bodily harm on a target in the process of proving the validity of your belief system.

  3. #3
    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Bed
    Posts
    8,727
    What IS Star Citizen anyway? Is it an EVE clone? Does it have a meaningful single-player campaign... what?

    ~~~~~~

    I'm not surprised that the Steam worshippers (Manny, Chris) defended the Steam Machines while the console gamers (Anna, Mikel) were actually trying to piece together what the endgame is.

    The biggest thing that I think will keep the Steam Machines from ever reaching anyone but the die-hard Steam zealots is hardware price. Since hardware manufacturers cannot rely on software royalties like Sony, MS and Nintendo can, there will be no subsidies on hardware, and we all know what happened last time that approach was tried. People who don't already have PCs aren't going to buy $1000 hardware and $200 yearly upgrades for the privilege of being locked to a single vendor and losing all the portability and control they enjoy on consoles. Make no mistake, this will not make any inroads to anyone not already invested in Steam. It's nothing more than a damned loyalty tax. Hopefully Valve has tempered their expectations appropriately.

    Oh, and I can see getting a keyboard for a tablet, if you just wanna do some word processing or what have you at the local starbucks. That said, wouldn't a bluetooth keyboard be good enough?

    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
    -Rico Valasquez, showing off why no one likes him.

  4. #4
    Veteran RPGamer watcher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    2,102
    I'm fairly certain the Steam Machines are going to have to come in 2 varieties if they want to be successful; the cheap version that can play most things on steam, and the premium that can play anything. I think if they try please everyone they'll either lose money on each box or not sell enough boxes to make up for the expense of producing them.

    Now, though SteamOS and Steam Machines really didn't interest me, their controller has my attention.

  5. #5
    複線ドリフト!! RPGamer Staff Quin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    1,299
    Quote Originally Posted by MasterChief View Post
    What IS Star Citizen anyway? Is it an EVE clone? Does it have a meaningful single-player campaign... what?
    Star Citizen would be best described as a spiritual sequel to the Wing Commander main series, Wing Commander: Privateer and the later Starlancer/Freelancer games. As I am lead to understand, it will have a single player component, a campaign in the style of the old Wing Commander games named Squadron 42, and a persistent online multiplayer universe named Star Citizen. In addition, it seems as though CIG will release the multiplayer server software as a download for those who want to run private universes, making it a little bit like Freelancer in that regard.

    The persistent multiplayer portion does seem to have shades of EVE Online (And Chris Roberts makes reference to it when discussing character death), but with less spreadsheets, hopefully. Obviously, since the game is still in what they call 'pre-alpha', actual solid proof that they can deliver on this is still not going to be had for quite a long period of time. Star Citizen itself isn't scheduled for release until 2015 at the earliest.

    I'm on the hype train a little because I adored Freelancer, despite it's myriad faults and poor execution in places, and it's been a long time since we've seen a proper space sim on PC.

    befriend (v.): to use mecha-class beam weaponry to inflict grievous bodily harm on a target in the process of proving the validity of your belief system.

  6. #6
    Releaser of Heavy Metal LegendaryZoltan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Niigata City, Japan
    Posts
    422
    On the question of who the Steambox is aimed at, here is another possible audience which I happen to fall into. That is the people who like console games and realize that there are tons of great games on Steam but only like playing games on the couch and with a controller. Is that a possible Steambox audience? I am kind of scared of that controller. It doesn't sound very easy to use in, say, a stright-up action game like Mega Man.
    Like RPGs? Then you will like my RPG comedy show. Watch free RIGHT HERE!

    FaceBook | Twitter | Website

  7. #7
    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Bed
    Posts
    8,727
    Quote Originally Posted by LegendaryZoltan View Post
    On the question of who the Steambox is aimed at, here is another possible audience which I happen to fall into. That is the people who like console games and realize that there are tons of great games on Steam but only like playing games on the couch and with a controller. Is that a possible Steambox audience? I am kind of scared of that controller. It doesn't sound very easy to use in, say, a stright-up action game like Mega Man.
    As Anna noted, if you're invested in Steam, you likely know how to get your PC working on the television, which also has the bonus of allowing you to play games from anywhere, not just Steam. Secondly, how many games - particularly games that wouldn't be godawful on any kind of controller (for example, RTS) - don't come to consoles anymore? To hear PC gamers tell it, much of what comes out on PC nowadays is console ports, outside of a few indie outliers and Valve (Blizzard releases maybe one game a decade, so that's not going to be enough to push people who aren't already in the PC space.

    Then there's the controller. It took years for the Xbox 360 controller to become the standard pad for controller-based PC games, and that only happened because it was easy to slot that in from the 360 version of said game. How does Valve get everyone on board to support that monstrous controller? Do they deny games permission to come out on Steam at all unless they support that thing? That's really the only power they have, but AAA PC games don't sell enough for companies to not just say "oh well" and just do console games, and PC-exclusive publishers are (contrary to what the media would tell you) not hurting for choices on where to put their games. If every game has to be configured by mapping keyboard functions to the controller, good luck getting anyone outside of Steam's true believers to buy in.
    Last edited by MasterChief; 09-29-2013 at 10:31 PM.

  8. #8
    Gunclaws and Meow. Administrator Paws's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    7,740
    That's not even counting the Humble Store, and I know a few indies that are tired of Desura and moving onto HS, or the Mac App Store.

  9. #9
    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Bed
    Posts
    8,727
    Quote Originally Posted by Paws View Post
    That's not even counting the Humble Store, and I know a few indies that are tired of Desura and moving onto HS, or the Mac App Store.
    There's also IndieGameStand, Bundle in a Box, and Indie Royale.

    And what's up with Desura? I've not heard anything about them, especially compared to this increasingly common narrative with Steam.

    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
    -Rico Valasquez, showing off why no one likes him.

  10. #10
    I think part of their audience is existing steam gamers who want to also play on the TV sometimes. That's what they're bootstrapping with at least given their Stream-from-the-PC feature of Steam Machine. From there, once they have a solid stable of games that are supported by it, they'll probably try and market it to the broader console gaming audience.

    The downfall to this sort of thing, as the 3DO illustrated, is that there's no one manufacturer that is willing to sell these at a loss to promote the platform so for performance parity between these and the high end consoles, the price will be higher. The benefit to this is the same thing that both Microsoft ended up with on Windows and Dos, and what Google ended up with on Android. They're the gatekeeper for a large ecosystem of hardware they don't produce themselves, and they'll have lots of interested parties producing, marketing, and selling these. The other benefit with the model is that in 2016-2017, the prices for PC hardware will drop to the point where they can be competitive with the PS4/Xbox One in performance for similar price, and they can keep pushing higher end hardware from then on out to the PS5's release.

    Given what I've heard, I think this is partially an effort for Nvidia to get in on the higher end console market that is currently dominated by AMD. Nvidia has been completely cut out this generation aside from the Ouya and Project Shield.

  11. #11
    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Bed
    Posts
    8,727
    The problem with comparing this to Wondows/DOS or Android is that those are open platforms where you don't need to go through MS or Google to publish (BTW, get your Humble Widget for Android phones). While we don't know much about SteamOS, I can't imagine Valve is going through the trouble of separating itself from the Ubuntu community (and Canonical) just to make a Linux fork that can play games regardless of being on Steam. For that, as Mikel said, they could have helped the Ubuntu community better integrate controller support into Ubuntu proper. It's worth remembering that Canonical is working on remote control integration for Ubuntu TV, so I can't imagine it would take that much to substitute a gamepad over a TV remote. Thus, I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that stock, straight-from-Valve SteamOS will only be able to work with Steam games, and those wishing to play games outside the ecosystem are going to have to get technical and install either a fork of SteamOS or another OS entirely.

    As to price dropping, I can't imagine that, by 2016-2017, we haven't seen at least one price drop for the PS4 (and probably more for the Xbone), meaning those boxes will be cheaper and have wider libraries of games by the time Steam Machines reach parity with them. Constant price disadvantage isn't a good thing for a competing platform, especially when you consider the lack of hard specs mean you'll likely have to upgrade often anyway since developers can't optimize to one build and thus need more power for the same quality as the consoles.

    Then there's price and ownership of software. While PC gamers have, by and large, sold their souls to The Holy Valve, the mainstream market isn't going to spend $60 on titles they don't feel they own. One need only look at the drubbing MS has taken following their May reveal to see that. Steam has plenty of sales to alleviate that, sure, but we're never going to get to the point where $0.99-$5.00, or even $5-$15, is the norm for new release AAA titles. Activision would laugh Valve reps out of their offices at the mere suggestion of devaluing the massive Call of Duty money machine that way, especially as they can just make a network based off Battle.net to get away from any Valve mandate. Hell, EA took years of crap for getting away from Valve so they wouldn't have people on their ***** quite as often to sell their games super-cheap.

    All this of course ignores the likely fact that these things will almost certainly not be heavily promoted by GameStop or Best Buy, both of whom have very lucrative pre-owned programs they won't put in jeapordy. Good luck selling a box with no mainstream appeal at Wal-Mart, especially with mostly-disinterested hardware partners who aren't going to make a massive push without software compensation.

    You know, now that I mention EA, there's the fact that neither the premier soccer game (FIFA) nor the only football game (Madden) will be available on any Steam Machine ever, at least not running stock Steam OS. That's a massive mark against a system for millions of people outside of the traditional PC gaming demographic. There will also be no Battlefield, which, while not as big as Call of Duty, is a huge franchise as well. All this atop of the usual AAA windows exclusivity.

    There's just no way to get around the fact that people who are into PC are into PC, and probably want an in-between mutant hybrid of PC and console about as much as they want a console. Even the streaming solution isn't that appealing unless you have a powerful Windows gaming PC elsewhere, and if you have one of those, you're a PC gamer who probably has no issue with either moving your box, running a cable, or building a proper Windows PC for living room use.

    Oh, one more thing. The terminal. Since 2004, Canonical has tried desperately to make Ubuntu a casual-user-friendly operating system, and they still haven't dodged the fact that you have to get into the terminal for installation of many programs. To expect Valve to completely excise the terminal from general use in the span of two years, something Canonical hasn't done in nine, is foolish. Again, unless the stock OS is unable to install and load non-Steam apps and games, which defeats the whole purpose of an open platform and ensures that the community will not contribute to your OS at all, other than to make forks that are more in line with the open source community's wants and needs... Forks that you would need a modicum of technical know-how to put onto your Steam Machine.

    Honestly, Gabe would have been better served getting over his hissy fit and diverting the resources from this fool's errand so we can get a big picture mode that actually works. Seriously, you don't see EA going paranoid and making an Origin Box...

    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
    -Rico Valasquez, showing off why no one likes him.

  12. #12
    - Fancy Title - RPGamer Staff risingsun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Ca, USA
    Posts
    587
    Quote Originally Posted by MasterChief View Post
    What IS Star Citizen anyway? Is it an EVE clone? Does it have a meaningful single-player campaign... what?

    ~~~~~~

    I'm not surprised that the Steam worshippers (Manny, Chris) defended the Steam Machines while the console gamers (Anna, Mikel) were actually trying to piece together what the endgame is.
    haha, me a steam worshiper? If anything I'm all about the Humble Indie store, and just using steam as an archive for cross platform needs. But if everything goes digital in the future and gets locked down by account for each platform, I'll straight up say that I trust Valve in the long run a lot more than I trust Sony. Microsoft I trust some where in the middle between Valve and Sony.

  13. #13
    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Bed
    Posts
    8,727
    Quote Originally Posted by risingsun View Post
    haha, me a steam worshiper? If anything I'm all about the Humble Indie store, and just using steam as an archive for cross platform needs. But if everything goes digital in the future and gets locked down by account for each platform, I'll straight up say that I trust Valve in the long run a lot more than I trust Sony. Microsoft I trust some where in the middle between Valve and Sony.
    I don't trust anyone, which is why I don't buy games with any online check at all, but if I had to rate them, MS would be at the absolute bottom of the list after their stunt with the Xbone. That said, with Steve Ballmer stepping down at the end of the year, I have more hope than ever that the next CEO will see MS' complete failure in going after the Apple crowd and choose instead to work within the company's core competencies, thereby leaving PC gaming alone and preserving non-DRM options. Windows 8.2 might even have a proper start menu...

    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
    -Rico Valasquez, showing off why no one likes him.

  14. #14
    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Bed
    Posts
    8,727
    Wow, didn't expect this thread to die so fast. Here's some food for thought to revive it.

    First off, the requirements for the PC version of Watch Dogs has been released, further casting doubt as to the Steam Machine's chances in the market.

    Quote Originally Posted by GameSpot (emphasis mine)
    The game's minimum specifications require a DirectX 11 graphics card with 1GB RAM, a quad-core CPU, and 4GB of system RAM. The recommended specs are a DX11 GPU with 2GB of RAM, an eight-core CPU, and 8GB of system RAM.
    For all Valve's talk about how terrible MS is, it seems at least Ubisoft isn't listening. You don't make your hottest game of the year require a DirectX 11 GPU at minimum if you think MS is going to try to lock you out. Between this and EA's commitment to Origin, Valve will be unable to produce a box that can natively play several of the industry's most important releases, and I don't see this changing any time soon.

    Moving on from talk of Valve, as trying to push against the Reality Distortion Field tends to depress me after a while, I thought I'd shed some light as to why Activision is trying to split from Vivendi, and why it does indeed affect business as usual. Vivendi, due to several poor choices over the years, is looking down the barrell of a $17.3 billion debt that it's looking to offload. As part of their plan to get their house in order, there's apparently been talk of Vivendi forcing a $3 billion dividend payout from Activision. Clearly there are those in Activision who think this would be a frequent thing, especially if Vivendi can't turn its other operations around. Bobby Kotick and Brian Kelly are looking to save their company from being sucked dry by their irresponsible "benefactors," which is why they came up with this deal. In exchange for a one-time drain of $8 billion, Activision is protected from having to deal with forced dividend payouts every few years, while Vivendi gets a larger lump sum, which brings them closer to the goal of paying down their debt quickly. If anything, Bobby and Brian should be praised for long-term thinking in this world of short-sighted Wall Street gamblers caring only for their golden parachutes, not cockblocked by said gamblers.
    Last edited by MasterChief; 10-05-2013 at 05:21 PM. Reason: Sometimes when you edit something, traces of the previous version are left behind... Lo, the work of making things legible...

    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
    -Rico Valasquez, showing off why no one likes him.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by MasterChief View Post
    Wow, didn't expect this thread to die so fast. Here's some food for thought to revive it.

    First off, the requirements for the PC version of Watch Dogs has been released, further casting doubt as to the Steam Machine's chances in the market.

    For all Valve's talk about how terrible MS is, it seems at least Ubisoft isn't listening. You don't make your hottest game of the year require a DirectX 11 GPU at minimum if you think MS is going to try to lock you out. Between this and EA's commitment to Origin, Valve will be unable to produce a box that can natively play several of the industry's most important releases, and I don't see this changing any time soon.
    A DirectX 11 GPU doesn't mean you're necessarily going to require DirectX to play it. DX11 has come to be used as a shorthand for a gpu with certain attributes, like tesselation. Those same features can be used in other ways than DX11, such as OpenGL and AMD's new Mantle API. That watchdogs is coming out for the PS4 should be enough example that it won't be exclusive to DirectX.

    I wouldn't count steam machines out at all. Nvidia's putting their backing behind the initiative, after all. I bet they're going to put a fair bit of their weight behind the Steam Machines given that they've mostly been shut out of the Mobile Phone market, and they've now been shut out of Consoles aside from Ouya, which isn't doing well.

    In other news, those spec requirements look an awful lot like the PS4 and XboxOne. Looks like my intuitions about the new consoles nudging PC development towards 64 bit OSes and higher ram requirements were correct.



    Moving on from talk of Valve, as trying to push against the Reality Distortion Field tends to depress me after a while, I thought I'd shed some light as to why Activision is trying to split from Vivendi, and why it does indeed affect business as usual. Vivendi, due to several poor choices over the years, is looking down the barrell of a $17.3 billion debt that it's looking to offload. As part of their plan to get their house in order, there's apparently been talk of Vivendi forcing a $3 billion divident payout from Activision. Clearly there are those in Activision who think this would be a frequent thing, especially if Vivendi can't turn its other operations around. Bobby Kotick and Brian Kelly are looking to save their company from being sucked dry by their irresponsible "benefactors," which is why they came up with this deal. In exchange for some a one-time drain of $8 billion, Activision is protected from having to deal with forced dividend payouts every few years, while Vivendi gets a larger lump sum, which brings them closer to the goal of paying down their debt quickly. If anything, Bobby and Brian should be praised for long-term thinking in this world of short-sighted Wall Street gamblers caring only for their golden parachutes, not cockblocked by said gamblers.
    Yeah, just like the guy trying to stop the Dell buyout, the people trying to stop the activision separation are basically trying to protect their short term profitability at the expense of the companies long term outlooks. I think it's a fairly smart move by Activision to try and escape that nightmare deathtrap...

  16. #16
    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Bed
    Posts
    8,727
    A DirectX 11 GPU doesn't mean you're necessarily going to require DirectX to play it. DX11 has come to be used as a shorthand for a gpu with certain attributes, like tesselation. Those same features can be used in other ways than DX11, such as OpenGL and AMD's new Mantle API. That watchdogs is coming out for the PS4 should be enough example that it won't be exclusive to DirectX.
    I wonder what tools Sony's given companies to port over directX-based games. I imagine there has to be some work in porting over, since there's no mention of what version of OpenGL your GPU needs to support, something that we'd need to know if the game supported OpenGL at all. That goes back to an early point of needing a beefy Win PC already for the Steam Machine to be a viable platform for anything but indies, as there is no Linux DirectX, and there likely never will be.

    I wouldn't count steam machines out at all. Nvidia's putting their backing behind the initiative, after all. I bet they're going to put a fair bit of their weight behind the Steam Machines given that they've mostly been shut out of the Mobile Phone market, and they've now been shut out of Consoles aside from Ouya, which isn't doing well.
    So is that really all there is? Desperation on nVidia's part to get a piece of a pie they pushed themselves away from in the mid-oughts (them and Intel basically bent MS over on component pricing for the original Xbox)? And honestly, as long as you still need Windows for 90% of AAA, a PC game box without Windows just isn't viable, especially at the prices we'll be talking about.

    In other news, those spec requirements look an awful lot like the PS4 and XboxOne. Looks like my intuitions about the new consoles nudging PC development towards 64 bit OSes and higher ram requirements were correct.
    The minimum or recommended? The closer you get to recommended, the further you get away from the price point of the PS4/Xbone, and the inability to optimize means PC users will need more powerful (expensive) parts to get the same performance. That brings me back to my earlier point, that the only way to get a console's value is to lock spec, and you can't do that on a PC. Valve can't even get releases for Linux as is, how are they going to force a spec on publishers?
    Last edited by MasterChief; 10-03-2013 at 07:23 PM.

    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
    -Rico Valasquez, showing off why no one likes him.

  17. #17
    複線ドリフト!! RPGamer Staff Quin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    1,299
    Quote Originally Posted by MasterChief View Post
    First off, the requirements for the PC version of Watch Dogs has been released, further casting doubt as to the Steam Machine's chances in the market.
    These aren't accurate, apparantly.

    befriend (v.): to use mecha-class beam weaponry to inflict grievous bodily harm on a target in the process of proving the validity of your belief system.

  18. #18
    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Bed
    Posts
    8,727
    Quote Originally Posted by Quin View Post
    Pretend for a moment we don't speak French here... What's that say?

    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
    -Rico Valasquez, showing off why no one likes him.

  19. #19
    The Gratitude Pokemon Shaymin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Dartmouth, New Sealand, Canada
    Posts
    880
    "Hello, those specs aren't official, the real specs are coming shortly and will be lower."
    "The flowers all over its body burst into bloom if it is lovingly hugged and senses gratitude."
    Twitter | A gaming podcast by grownups

  20. #20
    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Bed
    Posts
    8,727
    Quote Originally Posted by Shaymin View Post
    "Hello, those specs aren't official, the real specs are coming shortly and will be lower."
    Ah, there we are. Thanks.

    Anyway, no RPGCast this week?

    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
    -Rico Valasquez, showing off why no one likes him.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •