Discussion- open source games in a collapsed game industry

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by FAST6191, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. FAST6191
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    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    We have had a few threads in recent times along the lines of what if the games industry collapses and where I can see the 5d and RED camera crowds taking over for films/TV style video, audio has long had a serious garage mentality and the written word even longer the idea of what would happen if at least a handful of the big game companies collapse a la the atari collapse (today it would probably be everybody with a proper conference at e3 and valve at least slowing their output to nearly nothing) and leave a big void would warrant being pondered. Were it to happen in most aspects of business and general software there would probably be a focus of security for the legacy stuff, migration and maybe a bit of reverse engineering and it would suck but there are enough almost drop in replacements to make it happen but games seem somewhat more precarious to my mind. I agree in some regards it is a pointlessly abstract question* and the void would be filled eventually but that would take a bit of time and those couple of years could or perhaps should bring about some changes.



    *it almost certainly would not happen but then again "too big to fail" does not really exist and who remembers RKO, DEC, Acclaim? (in order a film studio at one time up there with fox, warner brothers, paramount and MGM, a massive electronics company that made VAX and PDP aka the systems that gave us the C programming language and somewhat more recent acclaim were are fairly noted publisher of games).

    Questions worth pondering, there are many more but just a handful to consider.

    Would open source gaming take off? As it stands there is a serious modding crowd versed in both map/mod making with games/engines often being improved immeasurably by their efforts and those able to deal in engines such as they might be able to be separated (see all the doom, quake and similar engine releases and what has happened there). Now there are open source games/engines and such like but where linux and BSD (ignoring their unix roots) punch at the same level as anything else I do not see anything like it for games with most of the really good stuff is games/engines that subsequently have been open sourced and by the nature of how that works it is somewhat behind the times (doom3 was probably the last truly big release of an engine and that game was 2004).



    We saw it with homebrew and to a slightly lesser extent with micro price games on mobile phones and similarly closed devices (not sure if I quite want to throw in the download options of consoles into that) but would there be a possible shift to some of the less financially tenable games? Space sim games to return, RTS not quite on life support.....



    Would the rolling release type model become viable? As it stands a game is still something of a singular entity and even episodic games are still somewhat singular where at least in open source a program/suite is for want of a better term a rolling service of a sort with updates not being all that different to general maintenance. I would argue we have seen something like it in the mobile phone world minimum functional releases happen and then get updated for a long time after and in some ways Valve have done this with their half life 2 assets idea (although not monetised it in such a way that it is easy to see). This might even bring up the secondary issue as people seem to quite like games to be balanced and/or somewhat fixed where I very much want my office program moving forward all the time. Or indeed is moving forward in a game simply making it more stable and correcting for any unforeseen strategies rather than adding features to the core game?



    The modern world is very IP centric, some might even say IP savvy, and with a collapsing games industry being big enough to merit serious bankruptcy proceedings. With that there is a not unreasonable chance of something resembling an IP firesale and I dare say with a bit of effort maybe even a serious public domain injection (crowdfunding?- it was done for Blender after all). Would then semi forgotten classics return in some fashion?



    Along with general IP and unlike most other creative industries where would that leave the likes of directX and to a lesser extent openGL? Both those have serious trade/working groups and foundations that go between device makers, game makers and operating system makers.



    Speaking of trade groups many open source projects have serious backing in one form of another? Could such an arrangement exist there or are games just a waste of time and so not warrant such backing? Personally I would look at some of the things afforded to the mod makers by various companies and say quite possibly but that is still quite different to the sorts of arrangements in the likes of the openoffice/libreoffice, WINE/cider and linux based operating system world (Red hat, debian, ubuntu, slackware... all have interesting structures for their projects).

     
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  2. FireGrey

    Member FireGrey Undercover Admin

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    I seem to have missed something.
    The Game Industry is collapsing?
     
  3. Clydefrosch

    Member Clydefrosch GBAtemp Psycho!

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    no. to everything.

    there just doesnt seem to be many good games coming from open source, and that is complete games. not just minnor mods or something.
    i'd rather go back to ball on a string attached to a cup, instead of relying on open source to give me good games.


    also, the gameing industry wont collapse. why would it?
     
  4. FAST6191
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    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    I am not saying the industry is collapsing/will collapse/is all that likely to even end up seriously hurt barring a universal level of extreme stupidity which is equally unlikely* but the pondering how a theoretical collapse would play out is something I thought worthy of a bit of discussion. The thought started when I read http://gbatemp.net/topic/329587-game-gaming-industry-to-crash-tomorrow/ and thought much like if Microsoft up and collapsed tomorrow I would have troubles with printers and a few bits of legacy nonsense here and there but the switch to linux or something similar would not be that painful and by similar token the switch away from the console and commercial PC game model would be the same for games. However on further thought and as Clydefrosch seemed to be getting at where open source and alternative operating systems are mature enough to make the switch the open source/modded games world is not so mature/viable as far as a direct replacement goes; in some ways it is about as easy to make a game as it is to make a film, bit of music and to a lesser extent write a book but where there are fantastic low/micro/no budget examples in the others games do not have so much I can show there.

    *many see a change coming however so things could get interesting if the games industry pulls a music industry on us and tries to follow obsolete models but that is tangential to this discussion at best. I will note however that there have been seriously hard times in many big creative and not so creative industries so the discussion itself is not along the lines of "who would you save"/impossible so why bother.

    Clydefrosch I agree separating the wheat from the chaff of game mods is hard but between the likes of Nehrim for oblivion (to say nothing of how much nicer mods make the elder scrolls games) or even things like some of the counterstrike and team fortress stuff spinning off from other games and how far reaching both modding tools and general engines are becoming I am not inclined to dismiss mods in the slightest.
     
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  5. dimmidice

    Member dimmidice GBAtemp Maniac

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    nah, even if it totally collapsed today and 0 games were released we'd probably just end up playing all the games that came out already for a few decades. by which time the gaming industry would've recovered. at most we'd play more source games, but i don't think they'd completely take over.

    unless ofcourse open source games would get a lot bigger and started making games with similar quality.

    mods however would probably become huge.
     
  6. Taleweaver

    Member Taleweaver Storywriter

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    Hmm...there is certainly no "too big to fail"-sort of thing. But on the other hand: if something fails, there is a reason behind it. The franchise (or IP) market is one of them. Why does pretty much any game with decent sales get a sequel? Because people buy will it. And that's probably the main hindrance for open source gaming: people stick to what they know (and like).

    Which is most likely why most of the talent goes to modding communities: some games give the tools to easily make maps, models or even completely different modifications. I don't see that change soon. That Ouya console may prove me wrong, but I doubt it. "just" having proper tools to program isn't enough if you don't have the motivation of "money" to keep you going. Community appreciation is one of them...but in order to have a community, you need something that already draws their attention (which is where the ouya fails. I can't see people buy it, put it next to their TV and hope someone else codes a killer app for them).

    You're not serious about this, right? Engines are still made made left and right. I'm not sure how you define "truly big release", but by no matter what standards, you can't deny that (at the very least) the Unreal Engine is one of those.
     
  7. FAST6191
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    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Sorry that was not so clear Wever- I meant the last big open sourcing of an engine (late last year) and that engine was 2004 vintage.


    Anyway interesting thoughts from people; personally I would have said I expect things would take off in a big way and we would see incremental engine releases not unlike those of the unreal engine (probably milestone driven for forking/development purposes or LTS style) which would be different but certainly not complete stall and just mods.
     
  8. chains_of_androm

    Member chains_of_androm GBAtemp Regular

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    Open source would probably take off, and those at the top of those organizations will probably try to monitize things after awhile, leading to creation of new companies..
     

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