Michael Simms (software developer)

Video game programmer

Michael Simms (born 8 May 1973) is the creator of the Tux Games website and the founder of Linux Game Publishing.

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  • I have a strongly held opinion about Transgaming and WineX. I feel that Transgaming is a company made up of good people with good intentions, but I believe that they are wrong. I feel that emulation will do far more harm than good in the long term for Linux. In the short-term it is a win; in the long term, I believe emulation is sacrificing the future for the present. Linux can stand on its own two feet. It is solid and strong, and does not need to cling to the leftovers of Windows.
  • I personally believe open source is most important is in the operating system and in file formats. As long as those two things remain open source you can never have a monopoly. No company can dominate by any means except a superior product, and that puts the choice back into the hands of the public.
  • The most popular games for Linux are evenly split. First person shooters such as Quake 3 and UT2K3 sell more copies to start with, but they trail off when the next graphics leap happens. Strategy games like Alpha Centauri still sell well for Linux, they dont sell as fast, but they last a whole lot longer. Kind of like the hare and the tortoise
  • Things like a spreadsheet and graphics package mean that people can use their computer for working. Games mean that people can ENJOY their computer. If all you have is productivity apps, then Linux will be a fine OS for work, but who is going to really want it around in the home if all they can do on it is work.
  • The biggest challenges, technically, are 3D graphics and Networking. Network interoperability between Linux and Windows will rarely happen, because companies often use the proprietary Directplay library which cannot be ported over to Linux. We have created a multiplatform alternative, called Grapple, and we hope that over time, some Windows developers may pick this up to use in their titles, allowing cross platform multiplayer.
  • If they come to us, we do all of the work and take all of the risk. They have no financial exposure. Making the client themselves is always risky. However you cannot look at it in terms of money only. When a game is ported to a second platform, it almost always exposes bugs and problems that would otherwise have been missed, as the developers have to re-work portions of the game. This will mean that creating a Linux version will increase the stability of the Windows version, and increase the quality of their core product, a fact that in itself may justify the cost of a Linux port.
  • I wasn't a fan of the gameplay in Postal 2, I loved the message that the company was trying to put out. Because you can play Postal 2 in the most violent and graphic way, but you can also play it without hurting a single person. I don't know anyone who's played it like that, but I like that the people who made Postal are saying you can get through this game without any violence.

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