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Linux, the Numbers

A little over a month ago we released the Linux port of Osmos, promising statistics on our sales and downloads. We wanted to find out – from a financial perspective, for our studio – “is it worth porting games to Linux?”

The short, simple answer… is “yes.”

Did we get rich off it? No. But the time we invested was repaid, with room for margin of error, and possibly with a little extra at the end. Allow me to break it down:

Costs

It took Dave six weeks to do the port, including time spent testing across multiple flavours of Linux, and running the beta from start to end. Personally, I’m really impressed with what a solid job he did, and how quickly he did it. I doubt an experienced Linux programmer could have done it much faster, especially since Dave was already intimately familiar with the codebase. In fact, it’s hard to imagine porting any game to Linux much more quickly. (Excluding games built in Flash and engines that already support it of course.) The code was engineered to be cross-platform from the start, built on libraries like OpenGL, OpenAL, libogg/libvorbis, freetype, etc. In addition, Aaron had already done a great job on the Mac port, ironing out any remaining gcc/abstraction details. All this to say that Osmos was primed and ready for Linux-porting, and all work done on that front was specific to Linux.

We spent an additional week or two on miscellaneous tasks, including some additions to our e-commerce/delivery system, support, community, PR time, etc.

So… let’s call it an even 2 man-months across the board for our studio. A big question is, what’s a man-month worth? All I can say is, if your answer is the industry consulting standard of $10k/month — you’ve way overbid, and put the Linux port of Osmos into the financial-loss category. However, as independent developers with a passion for what we do, our goals and desires are considerably lower than that (i.e. less than half).

Revenue

Unfortunately, this isn’t so simple for us to measure. We’re selling Osmos under a pay-once-for-all-platforms philosophy — for $10 you get the Windows, Mac and Linux versions. So the numbers are fuzzy. What we can determine though, is how many times each person downloaded each version. We can also look at our sales graph over time, where there is a clear and obvious spike associated with the release on each platform.


Sales per day. (Pardon the ugly graph. Also note that the regions are very roughly drawn,
and do not reflect exactly how numbers were estimated.)
sales_graph2

On first glance, one very cool stat emerges: our best sales day ever (by 29%) was right after the Linux release, similar to what 2dboy experienced with World of Goo. That said, the spike is also somewhat narrower than what it was for the Windows or Mac releases. In any case, if we measure the area above the “background noise” for the Linux release (based on the previous month’s sales), this gives us a conservative lower bound on sales. I say lower bound for several reasons. 1) As many Linux folk have pointed out, some purchased Osmos prior to the Linux release in support of our studio and on the promise that we would deliver the port. 2) There may still be some Linux mini-spikes to come, and future “background noise” will of course include Linux customers. That said, based solely on these numbers, Linux accounts for roughly 15% of our sales to date.

download_percentages We can also determine an upper bound based on client downloads. Here we see that 21% of all our customers have at least clicked on the Linux download link.

You may notice that the percentages add up to more than 100; this is because customers can download on multiple platforms. In any case, it’s safe to call this an optimistic upper bound, as I know for a fact that some customers click on every download link just to test it out. Also, it’s impossible to know if some of those people would have made the purchase based solely on the Linux version.



So as a bottom line, Linux accounts for between 15% and 21% of our sales, with the “real” number being somewhere in between.

Profit

When we say “yes, it was worth porting Osmos to Linux”, we’re basing it on the lower bound. If the reality is closer to the upper bound: that’s “gravy”. The tail: more gravy. (Though it does cost us time and money to support and maintain the site).

It’s also important to note that this analysis applies only to sales from the Hemisphere Games website. The majority of Osmos sales come from portals — in particular, Steam. (Steam’s recent addition of Mac support has had a huge effect on our Mac numbers.) If we were to include portals in this analysis, the percentages would look very different. So in the bigger picture, the lack of a strong Linux portal makes it a much less “competitive” OS for commercial development. Of course, if Steam or another successful digital distribution portal decides to support Linux, that’d be major! Like… extra gravy. With stuffing. Mmmmm… stuffing…

A few more stats…

As any Linux user or developer knows, there’s more than one way to skin a distribution on Linux. Dave created four different packages: .deb, .tar.gz, a 32-bit .rpm, and a 64-bit .rpm. Here are download stats by distro.

So .deb is more in demand than all other packages combined, while the 32- and 64-bit flavours of .rpm are rather low. A question I have for the Linux community is: could we have skipped the .rpm packages? That is – to be completely materialistic about it – how many sales would we have lost as a result? (Just curious…)
distros



Another point of interest for us was referring web traffic, and we were surprised to see where much of it came from. Here are the sites that generated the most traffic for the Linux port:

  1. linux.org.ru
  2. linuxgames.com
  3. habrahabr.ru
  4. hup.hu
  5. planet.ubuntuusers.de
  6. linuxtoday.com
  7. happypenguin.org
  8. root.cz
  9. linuxlock.blogspot.com
  10. planet.ubuntu.com
  11. linuxfr.org
  12. linux-gamers.net
  13. linuxjuegos.com
  14. and a special mention goes out to Liam Dawe of gamingonlinux.info, who helped spread the word to a number of those sites! :)

While we expected/hoped to see traffic from sites like linuxgames and happypenguin, we were very surprised to see the amount of interest from Russia and Eastern Europe. Apparently Linux gaming is alive and strong in that part of the world!

“I am not a number — I’m a free (as in speech) man!”

People are interested in numbers, and we’ve provided them, but that’s just one dimension of the story. As independent developers, there are other more altruistic factors that are important to us.

Before I go on, I must admit that I’m spoiled. Dave did all the hard work on this port, and all I did was some website work: extending our digital delivery system, etc. So I’ve experienced nothing but the happy glow of the release, and from my perspective the Linux community has been awesome and generous. We’ve received a heap of positive and encouraging feedback, which is always nice to hear. Support emails for Linux are night-and-day-different from Windows or Mac — they include the log, version numbers, stack info, troubleshooting schemes already attempted, etc. Sometimes they even include the solution to the problem — just letting us know. And Linux users are vocal — there have been some amazing people in the community that have helped spread the word. We simply could not have done this ourselves; we wouldn’t have known half the places to approach, and even if we had we would have come across as fish-out-of-water. So once again, thank you.

That’s it for now on sales. We’ll probably follow up with some additional stats on the Linux tail in a month or two; but in the meantime, if you have any questions or comments, fire away!

79 Comments on “Linux, the Numbers”

  1. #1 Will
    on Jun 23rd, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    From what I understand, Steam _is_ coming to Linux. It appears to be confirmed, though I’m not sure on the exact time line for release.

    http://www.examiner.com/x-46269-Chicago-Video-Game-Examiner~y2010m5d12-Valve-confirms-Steam-support-for-Linux

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=valve_steam_announcement&num=1

  2. #2 anon
    on Jun 23rd, 2010 at 9:46 pm
  3. #3 Cyber Killer
    on Jun 24th, 2010 at 1:41 am

    I also hope that you’ll add the Linux version on Steam when it launches in the Penguin land ;-) .

  4. #4 eddybox
    on Jun 24th, 2010 at 2:16 am

    Awesome! All I can say is: the day Steam supports Linux, we’ll be very happy to jump on board. :)

  5. #5 Robert
    on Jun 24th, 2010 at 3:26 am

    Please don’t drop rpm support. Major (KDE) distros like opensuse or fedora/redhat are using it. Maybe you can ask Steam if there would setup an “opensuse build service” (OBS) derivate when opening the doors to the linux world.

    OBS provides cross distribution package creation.

    Best Regards,
    Robert

  6. #6 lefty.crupps
    on Jun 24th, 2010 at 7:30 am

    @Robert: Major distros may be using .rpm but that doesn’t define them as KDE distros. I use KDE on Debian which is pretty common I believe, since the Kubuntu distro isn’t so great.

    I certainly do hope the .deb packages are tested with Debian Testing/Sid, as the *buntus like to take this package format and break its compatibility. I downloaded the Humble Indie Bundle recently and I’ve yet to get the apps working on my Debian setup (granted, I only tried briefly before an airplane flight, and was very saddened when they didn’t work immediately).

  7. #7 anonymous geek
    on Jun 24th, 2010 at 10:00 am

    lefty.crupps: I couldn’t get Aquaria or Penumbra to run properly on my testing/sid system, but the others all seemed to run just fine. (Aquaria runs, albeit EXTREMELY slowly, and I’ve tested it on a couple of my systems, including the one I just built in November. So I have no idea. And Penumbra dies during the intro.)

  8. #8 Linux Gaming News » Blog Archive » Osmos Sales In Detail
    on Jun 24th, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    [...] developers of Osmos, Hemisphere Games have finally revealed the GNU/Linux sales in detail, while there are no hard numbers, sales percentage is still an indicator. So enjoy the good read [...]

  9. #9 Liam Dawe
    on Jun 24th, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Have put up a post for you on gamingonlinux (after dave emailed me…oops).

    Cheers for the shout out guys, pleasure as always!

  10. #10 Brooko
    on Jun 24th, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    @lefty.crupps
    I’m using MEPIS – debian stable base. All of the games from the bundle work perfectly. No problems with speed on two systems – Q6600 / GTX260 or Pentium D2.8 / 9600GT.

    And to the people @ Hemisphere and the others building or porting games for Linux – please keep it up. Our numbers ARE growing – and I know a lot of us are more than prepared to pay up for some quality entertainment. Go you good people!

  11. #11 Magyar Csanád
    on Jun 24th, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Thank you guys!
    ;___; <— manly tears

  12. #12 Ryan Jung
    on Jun 24th, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    Getting rid of the RPM probably would not cost you many sales, since the tar.gz release should work on pretty much any distro. That said, Fedora is one of the most popular Linux OSes out there, and I’m sure the RPM does not go unappreciated by those users. The package managers make the installation of the game a lot faster and simpler than extracting files, moving them about, and possibly creating symlinks or editing environment variables.

  13. #13 Martin Owens
    on Jun 24th, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    It’s a shame that the method of release necessitates restrictive licensing. Otherwise you could have just released the tar.gz and lean on the community for packaging support.

  14. #14 Patric Conant
    on Jun 24th, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Social gaming is the real question, when you open up a realm of sales, you open up the circle of influence of your new customer base. People play games socially, so it doesn’t surprise me that you saw your highest sales right after you were no longer leaving any major group out, if there’s five us who game socailly, we’re much more likely to stick with games we can all play, even to the point of the Windows users being willing to buy any game that the one or two Linux users are able to play.

  15. #15 Eddward
    on Jun 24th, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    I kind of agree with Martin. If you could come up with a licensing scheme that would allow distros to package it. Martin might not agree with what I’m about to suggest and it might have problems I don’t forsee at this time of night.

    If a company can produce a ‘demo’ that becomes the full game with a bought activation code and package it in a .tar.gz with terms that allow it to be repackaged as long as it isn’t packaged with someone’s code then the distros could take care of the packaging. Some wouldn’t but I would guess most would put it something like debian’s non-free repo.

    In this scheme, it would still be a binary only package, so the developer is still on the hook to test and maintain runtime compatibility. If you let distro packagers into the beta, you might get some help there too.

  16. #16 moop
    on Jun 25th, 2010 at 2:30 am

    Since .deb is so popular, we can guess that the majority of users downloading the game use *buntu.

    I understand Canonical has set up a new package manager called Software Center that ships with the newer versions of the OS (I’m still using Jaunty, which is a bit older). Iirc, through that they are also starting to do software and mp3 sales.

    It may be worth trying to get your products on there!

    Also, as far as more obscure Linux package formats are concerned, is there a chance you could crowdsource that part? That is, you could provide the necessary files and let volunteers do the packaging — Linux style. Just a thought.

  17. #17 r_a_trip
    on Jun 25th, 2010 at 3:58 am

    Using the community for distro packaging would be a boon for any gaming company. The problem lies in balancing the commercial need for restrictive licensing with the need of the community to have code they can legally alter and distribute to fit a particular distro.

    One possible avenue would be to release the gaming engine as LGPL and provide a mechanism to download the gaming artwork after paying. With artwork I mean the graphics, the story and gameplay. The artwork ultimately dictates what the game is like.

    With a free gaming engine, designed to pull in the defining bits from the web, you can leverage the community to do the packaging of the engine and rely on your own protected servers to deliver the for pay content.

    The biggest snag is giving up the exclusive right to the engine. The question here is what is more valuable. The investment in the engine or a near certainty of widespread distribution of the engine and the potential of selling the game bits everywhere. Also, can you stand competition based on your engine?

    Maybe the development of a versatile, common gaming engine by and for the independent gaming outfits, with the above mentioned characteristics, could provide a new gaming platform…

  18. #18 moop
    on Jun 25th, 2010 at 4:33 am

    I like the idea of a common OSS gaming platform, and I would definitely support with my wallet the companies involved in such an initiative.

    Another (less Cwf + Rtb, but perhaps easier to realise in the short term) possibility is to release the engine as OSS, but retain control of the SDK (script/resource compilers etc).

  19. #19 Ulrik Mikaelsson
    on Jun 25th, 2010 at 4:41 am

    Solid cross-distro packaging was the swaying factor for me.

    I saw the release note, thought “cool, but of course still a poorly-polished tarball, or even worse, installer-file, as always with linux; not interested”. Then just to verify my suspicion, I went ahead and checked, and was happily surprised by a plethora of ready packages available.

    Add the demo to that (out of principle I hardly ever buy a game that doesn’t let me try first), and the fact that Osmos is very addictive, and I was sold.

    But, my purchase probably would probably not have happened, if not for the visible cross-distro-support, (even though I myself use Ubuntu).

    Thanks for a fun game, and a high-quality Linux-release.

  20. #20 Games « Moving to Open Source Software in Schools
    on Jun 25th, 2010 at 8:20 am

    [...] Do you applaud when you read a blog post like this next one? http://www.hemispheregames.com/2010/06/23/linux-the-numbers/ [...]

  21. #21 Conrad
    on Jun 25th, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    +1 for moop’s idea to put games on the Ubuntu “app store”. That will probably stretch out the tail of the sales graph as new users find the software in the store without having to know about the web sites you mention above.

  22. #22 John Schneiderman
    on Jun 25th, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    I for one run a distribution that uses RPMs. I am a lot more inclined to purchase something if it has an RPM. I do a lot packaging of software as well. The best approach is to create an RPM that is LSB compliant. All major distributions have the ability to be LSB compliant.

  23. #23 Hemisphere Games Reveals Osmos Linux Sales Numbers | JetLib News
    on Jun 25th, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    [...] by WP Greet Box WordPress PluginAn anonymous reader writes “Hemisphere Games analyzes the sales numbers for their Linux port of Osmos and ask themselves: ‘is it worth porting games to Linux?’ The short, simple answer is [...]

  24. #24 jzacsh
    on Jun 25th, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    I’m not a big gamer, but I’m a linux user and happily downloaded the game :)

    Thanks a bunch.

  25. #25 Eric Wolfe
    on Jun 25th, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Since you asked for feedback on packaging formats, here our my thoughts.

    As John mentioned above, there are packaging guidelines that conform to something called the Linux Standard Base, or LSB, (http://www.linuxfoundation.org/collaborate/workgroups/lsb). The RPM format is, for better or worse, the official LSB package format.

    The seasoned Linux veterans aren’t going to get hung up on the format provided. The fact that there is a native Linux version of the game is far easier than installing and using a Windows game running on a Wine/Cedega/CXGames stack.

    Given the page hit ranking at DistroWatch, Fedora/OpenSUSE/Mandriva (RPM-based) account for 46% of the top 10 distros in the last 12 months, and Debian/Ubuntu/Mint (Debian based) account for 54%, a marginal difference. Given the popularity and recent growth rate of Ubuntu, however, a new or inexperienced Linux user is most likely using Ubuntu.

    There are options to simplify the packaging for the distributor, or the end-user. One reasonable option is alien (http://kitenet.net/~joey/code/alien/) which can convert an rpm, to a deb/tgz, and vice-versa. Another popular option, especially among game developers and used for other binary-only installers is makeself. The makeself (http://megastep.org/makeself) packager can roll up a directory into a self-extracting tarball, and optional hooks can be switched on to call a setup/install script after extraction. Anyone who has installed a native Linux port from icculus.org would be familiar with this format.

    It probably doesn’t matter to most Linux users what format you choose. If it were me packaging the game, I would probably go with the makeself, because its easy for the packager and end-user. The RPM and Deb files are just gravy, as you would put it.

  26. #26 Beavis
    on Jun 25th, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Uhhm. Why the difference between “Linux” and “PC” in the graph?
    Don’ t you mean “Linux” and “Windows” ?
    Both can be run on the “PC”
    To make it more difficult. Linux can also be run on non PC or on Mac platforms. :-)

  27. #27 cde
    on Jun 25th, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    I bought before the Mac or Linux version were out, largely due to the promise of a .deb – getting all platforms and free music is excellent! Imagine if EA said “thanks for buying that, we’ll let you download it on your PS3/Xbox when that version is ready too.”

    Honestly I think everything about how this was organised was perfect. No spam mails, promises fulfilled, no weirdness (I’m looking at you, Machinarium, with your game saves as Flash shared objects)…

    I wouldn’t even ask for this game in the software centre – it could end up full of demos asking for payment after level 3, undermining the FREE part of Linux a bit, and wouldn’t build this kind of community relationship.

    We’re not fanboys, we’re just very happy customers. A lot of major companies could learn from this, regardless of the financial bottom line.

  28. #28 niick
    on Jun 25th, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    So the studio is happy, the linux users are happy, when is the next linux title coming out? More games more graphs. :)

  29. #29 mudfly
    on Jun 25th, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    I’ve come across software in the past that didn’t package specifically for a distro, and instead used their own shell scripts to install to /opt. I know the ability to handle install deps is nice in both deb and rpm worlds, but is there a possibility to hardlink to required libs and include them in the package?

    Thanks for porting Osmos to Linux!

  30. #30 kshade
    on Jun 25th, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Why did you only have 64bit RPMs? If I’d buy your game I’d want a .tgz for unpacking in ~/bin/

  31. #31 Jotunbane
    on Jun 26th, 2010 at 12:45 am

    .rpm is what the cool people use. (deb is just for noob’s or as we call’em “The Ubuntu Crowd” (its a joke… get over it)).

    Really nice game guys, absolutely LOVE the ambient music.

  32. #32 Karl
    on Jun 26th, 2010 at 1:36 am

    The fact that you provided RPMs did factor into my decision to buy Osmos (running 64-bit Fedora here). It told me you cared about supporting the Linux platform – in all of its chaotic glory – the ‘right’ way.

  33. #33 Dumitru
    on Jun 26th, 2010 at 1:44 am

    Very nice, I always believed that Linux games have a bright future. I’m waiting for new games for Linux from your guys ;-)

  34. #34 Justin
    on Jun 26th, 2010 at 4:08 am

    First off let me say that I’m an Ubuntu user and as such I don’t have such a big problem with dropping support for .rpm;

    I’ve always had the belief that games/application developers need standards and that this may have led to the lack of games on Linux. Each of the indie games released so far on Linux have noted the huge number of different variation which needed to be considered and tested! I understand that this isn’t great for those of us not using Ubuntu (sorry, I understand that those using other distribution are cursing me just now!) but if we could attract games development to Linux by adopting a standard platform I believe that it would benefit linux and by extension be a lot easier to add support for other distributions/libraries in the future.

  35. #35 John
    on Jun 26th, 2010 at 4:47 am

    phoronix is just a gossip mill, Valve have been poking at linux for years, the deciding factor will probably come down to the state of affairs with video drivers.

    I’ve been a linux user for about 12 years, I can’t say packaging is all that important to me, I’m happy to take a .tar.gz or even a copy of the windows version if it runs fine under Wine. Though of course, I’m in the minority here, there are many linux users who don’t understand how things work, in which case a package that installs automatically and provides a shortcut to start is much better.

  36. #36 Anon
    on Jun 26th, 2010 at 4:57 am

    I’ve come here via a Slashdot story – I have not heard of your game before now.

    It always fascinates me when I hear about Linux games turning a profit. Ever seen high profile disasters like Quake 3 and Loki, it has looked like the only way to make Linux videogames is as an altruistic endeavour that will lose money. The Braid incident even depicted a community with a weak fractured platform only too willing to tear apart developers who voice they have issues. The Autopackage and FatELF incidents suggested people would attack/shun anyone trying to change the status quo.

    With this in mind I downloaded your Osmos demo expecting that it would not run on my underpowered EeePC 900 (even Flash games can be too heavy for this machine). I was wrong – it ran great! I shall have to think seriously about buying this game in the next few weeks.

    As for packaging: if it really is eating into profits you could probably cut things right back and only distribute things as a tarball or mojosetup ( http://icculus.org/mojosetup/ ) file and be done with it. The killer will be dynamic libraries like OpenAL which slowly change over time making it more difficult to run the game on newer Linux platforms in a year’s time. Since you have a deb ready to go perhaps you can email Ubuntu’s Canonical have the demo added to the Canonical Partners area?

    At the end of the day though will you simply make more money making more games for more popular platforms (iPhone etc)? Whatever you do good luck!

    - Another Slashdot reader

  37. #37 Anon
    on Jun 26th, 2010 at 4:58 am

    (PS: Having a 32 and 64 bit version of binaries is great move though)

  38. #38 Teifion
    on Jun 26th, 2010 at 7:22 am

    - I read this article
    – I found there was a demo and gave it a whirl
    – I Saw it was on Steam
    – I bought it (on a Mac)

  39. #39 Daniel "NeoStrider" Monteiro
    on Jun 26th, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Got the word from slashdot and now I wonder what effect wlll it have on your sales…maybe you could update your stats as soon as the slashdot effect vanishes.

    Great to hear someone is making ends meet on penguin land. I work in a small game studio in Brazil and while most of us use Linux and Mac, we stll dont target Linux yet. Maybe this could represent a good shift on focus for us.

    Another suggestion I would make is to port it to mobile platforms, like Maemo (ARM Debian), Meego (Maemo evolution, this time, based on RPM) and Android. Then you could have some very clear sales numbers.

    Amazing game, btw!

  40. #40 Anoniem
    on Jun 26th, 2010 at 9:29 am

    @ mudfly: you could compile with -static, however then if there’s any update of the OpenAL, SDL etc. libraries (e.g. security update), you’ll miss it because your game executable will use the “baked-in” version instead.

    Good luck Hemisphere games! I’m glad the porting worked out for you.

    A tip: it is my belief that in the coming year, many Linux video drivers will be more or less broken at some point, as a big transition wave is passing through Linux-land to update all (=ATI, Nvidia and Intel) 3-D graphics drivers from “classic mesa” to “KMS-requiring Gallium3D-based drivers”. I think the OpenGL API won’t change so eventually all games will work again (hopefully faster and more stable!) but there may be a transition period where things crash or are dead slow. ATI Radeon R300-R500 is probably going to come out first out of that dark tunnel.

    To readers: “my Radeon HD 5870 crashes playing ” may be due to driver problems instead of shoddy game programming for a while.

    The pace of development of those revamped graphics drivers is seriously breathtaking, and I am confident we’ll have much more “game-ready” and competitive Linux distributions in a year or so from now. But it will take some time.

  41. #41 mudfly
    on Jun 26th, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Anoniem,

    Yep thats what I was talking about, I understand that static linking to libraries will cause you to miss updates to the core libraries, and I am all about keeping my system secure. I was just pondering if it would make sense to use an install method like this.

    Also what about BitRock, this seams like it is trying to help application developers support cross platform (including linux) installation routines.

    Thanks for the information about the revamped graphics drivers, this is the first I have heard of this effort and it sounds really exciting!

    Again, Hemisphere Games, thanks for porting such a great game to Linux!

  42. #42 awesome
    on Jun 26th, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Thanks you for the game and excellent linux support. I’m thinking about purchasing your game.

  43. #43 Jesse
    on Jun 26th, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    “. . . some purchased Osmos prior to the Linux release in support of our studio . . .”

    That includes me.

  44. #44 Matthew
    on Jun 26th, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    I got it the same day as the linux release. I doubt I would have bought it if they had not done a linux port.

  45. #45 Johnny
    on Jun 26th, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    First off, to Hemisphere Games – thank you for an outstanding game. I enjoy it greatly.

    Why is everyone complaining about packaging formats? This is GNU/Linux, not Windows. Which package format used should be of no concern to anyone. Distro packaging matters only on system files and libraries – things that _HAVE_ to be available to all users and primary/system applications. Everyone here should have a ~/usr directory tree (with the bin subdirectory in your path) where you put things like games and apps you compile/wright yourself. After that, comes the /usr/local tree for system wide things.

    You want a good package manager for games? Wrap it in a (ba)sh script or executable and default to install in ~/usr/games giving the user the option to change that during install. On multi user systems (most personal computers now days are single user or single account for multiple users) where you want to share the game, either have them su(do) run the installer or ask for the root password during install (either of which would be needed for distro package format anyway) and put it in /usr/local/games. Have libraries for your game engine used in multiple games? Put them in ~/usr/games/lib or /usr/local/games/lib and look for them there.

    rant mode on…

    All these package formats (yum, deb, rpm, whatever..) are just another thing software developers have to worry about, and still turn many off to porting over to Linux. READ THE MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS needed for the game and install the required libraries from your distro yourself. And game manufacturers, don’t use bleeding edge libraries in your games. If you do, provide them with the package and put them in the (~)/usr(/local)/games/lib directory.

    If you (Ulrik Mikaelsson, Karl) are choosing not to purchase/play a game because it’s not “natively” packaged for your distro, you need to be playing on a console where pop in and play gaming is standard. This is a computer, not a toaster. Some working knowledge is needed to use it.

    /rant

  46. #46 bod
    on Jun 26th, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    I’m off to buy now … partly because I really enjoyed the demo, and partly because of your attitude towards Linux. Kudos. Chalk me up as another Linux purchase.

  47. #47 Linux, the numbers
    on Jun 27th, 2010 at 5:49 am

    [...] Linux, the numbers  http://www.hemispheregames.com/2010/06/23/linux-the-numbers/&nbsp; por Guevara hace 2 segundos [...]

  48. #48 Pit
    on Jun 27th, 2010 at 6:44 am

    Hi,

    first, I have to admit I have not yet tried Osmos. I downloaded the demo, but have not yet found the time to install and try…

    Still, as an long-time Linux user (16 years, and I’m linux-only) I’d like to comment on the package format discussion. Personally, I am on an RPM based distro. Nevertheless, for games I normally prefer tarballs: The Linux package systems are rather intended for regularly updated packages. They contain dependency information, which can (will?) cause trouble once new versions of the distros come out but there’s no update of the package: Dependencies are not resolved, ignoring that can mess up the package manager, or you have to create ‘fake’ packages to satisfy those dependencies and manually install the missing stuff.

    Yes, you do have the dependency problem also with tarballs, but they normally give you much more freedom where you install (one of the reasons I prefer them), and also to install (e.g.) additional old libraries just in that game installation directory to have it running also on distros several years from now. Without the dangers of messing with the package manager database…

    My point? Even if you decide to drop RPM (though I cannot imagine that would give a huge benefit in saved effort), never drop the independent tar format. Despite tools like alien, it is often cumbersome to convert a .deb to .rpm and properly get it installed. At least for me the chances are high that I wouldn’t buy a game that is only offered as .deb

    my 2 cent,

    Pit

  49. #49 Taz
    on Jun 27th, 2010 at 6:51 am

    now we are waiting for it’s port to android platform =)

  50. #50 Liam Dawe
    on Jun 27th, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    I would happily buy a seperate copy from the android market if it was ported!

  51. #51 Is it worth porting games to Linux? « The-Source.com
    on Jun 28th, 2010 at 2:24 am

    [...] Hemisphere Games says: A little over a month ago we released the Linux port of Osmos, promising statistics on our sales and downloads. We wanted to find out – from a financial perspective, for our studio – “is it worth porting games to Linux?” [...]

  52. #52 ¿Merece la pena portar videojuegos a Linux? Los creadores de Osmos dicen “Sí” | Bitelia
    on Jun 28th, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    [...] Su precio es de $10 dóls. Desde la publicación de la versión para Linux, la empresa prometió estadísticas al respecto.“¿Merece la pena portar videojuegos a Linux? Sí.” Esto es lo primero que se [...]

  53. #53 Guest
    on Jun 30th, 2010 at 5:24 am

    Linux, Mac and PC? – But Linux is also a PC, and Mac is also a brand name PC…

    Should be: Linux – OSX – Windows

  54. #54 manny
    on Jun 30th, 2010 at 10:19 am

    oh this is awesome
    if the humble bundle guys create a “humble bundle 2″, i hope to see some of your multi-platform games in there :)

    also am hoping for linux steam this or next year

  55. #55 Leif Andersen
    on Jun 30th, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    And this, is why Canonical really needs to add the ability to sell software in the next version of the Ubuntu Software Center, as it will really help linux sells.

  56. #56 XMAN
    on Jun 30th, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    ANDROID = BIG BUCKS!!!!!! EVO 4G, Moto DroidX, HTC Aria, Droid Incredible, Samsung GalaxyS

    There are more Android users than iPhone. -Gizmodo

    Android Ships on 160,000 units a day. -Gizmodo

    I know the android games market is hungry for decent games, and I think this will hit the top spot fast if it gets ported there soon.

  57. #57 Hacer juegos para Linux vale la pena « Pixibuntu
    on Jun 30th, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    [...] Hemisphere Games Archivado en linux ← Android 3.0 [...]

  58. #58 Brian
    on Jul 2nd, 2010 at 1:26 am

    I use both sidux (.deb) and Fedora (.rpm). I always use .deb and .rpm packages, and I don’t like having to convert a tar to each format myself. Having them ready made makes me more likely to use the programme.

    .rpm still accounted for 13% of your downloads. I don’t know how long it took to make the .rpm’s but does the 13% of linux downloads make up for that time? You might find that Fedora, Redhat, openSUSE, CentOS people etc buy less copies of the game.

  59. #59 Jack
    on Jul 2nd, 2010 at 7:04 am

    I have to agree that from a numbers perspective, Android is going to be the next big platform

  60. #60 Yfrwlf
    on Jul 3rd, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Please support cross-distro installation packages and not distro-specific ones preventing users from changing distros, among other problems. Yes, you have your tarball, but it doesn’t add nice menu shortcuts and quite simply isn’t as user-friendly as users expect now days. The knee-jerk reaction is to say “tell DISTROS to support cross-distro installation packages”, I know, but companies putting pressure on them will help too, especially if you get behind a standardized solution to the problem.

    Thanks!

  61. #61 Thomas Løcke
    on Jul 13th, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Game bought, played and enjoyed.

    Thank you _very_ much for porting it to Linux. I got the tarball and it worked flawlessly on my Slackware 13.1 x86_64 setup.

    Flawlessly. You guys deserve a medal.

  62. #62 Is it worth the trouble of porting games to linux?
    on Jul 25th, 2010 at 11:38 am
  63. #63 William
    on Aug 5th, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Wow, what a pleasure it is to find a game that is a) awesome, and b) I can play on my primary machine. Thanks for taking the time! My paid copy is just downloading now, and I can’t wait.

  64. #64 Mikel
    on Aug 31st, 2010 at 4:54 am

    I would buy it on Android.

  65. #65 Kroy
    on Aug 31st, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    I’d be happy to spend another few quid on Osmos for Android. Having already purchased for windows via Steam on the strength of the demo, it’d be great on 3.7″ screen whilst commuting and so on… there just aren’t that many gaming type distractions on the android market and I’ll never own an ipad or iphone…

  66. #66 Don Marti
    on Sep 27th, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I didn’t have that much time to try the game, so if the RPM hadn’t been available I probably wouldn’t have played the demo and based on that, decided to spend the $10 for the full game.

  67. #67 Aaron Kynaston
    on Sep 30th, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Man, +1 for android – I”m about to get a Droid X, and would buy this as one of my first apps.

  68. #68 Joel
    on Oct 4th, 2010 at 11:24 am

    I would not have bought the game if there were no linux port, I currenty only have linux systems (all ubuntu)

    And since I saw it in the comments, I’d also get it for Android if it was on the market.

    I’d probably pay more for the Android version than the desktop version, but not much, maby 12-15 USD tops.

  69. #69 Göran Amredahl
    on Oct 5th, 2010 at 6:32 am

    Will Osmos be ported to the Android platform and if so, when is it planned to be launched?
    I think many Android users with me are longing for it.

  70. #70 بازی Osmos و آمار آن! « رایانه‌دوست
    on Oct 10th, 2010 at 3:26 am

    [...] وب‌سایت رسمی پروژه بازی Osmos [+] آمار و ارقام فروش و دانلود این بازی برای سیستم‌عامل‌ه

  71. #71 TuxPlay » Blog Archive » Osmos – kto chce być Plazmą?
    on Oct 22nd, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    [...] urządzeń. Oprócz tego posiada także wersję dla Mac OS X i Windows. Jednak deweloperzy bardzo pozytywnie wypowiadają się o sprzedaży tego tytułu wśród linuksowych graczy. Nie można tu oczywiście mówić o tym, [...]

  72. #72 Eric L
    on Oct 26th, 2010 at 7:53 am

    ++ for Android! HTC Legend here.

  73. #73 GNU/Linux: The Open Source vs. Commercial App War | Tech Wars
    on Oct 26th, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    [...] The fact is that there is already a number of proprietary commercial apps for Linux. One example I would like to use here is the game Osmos from Hemisphere Games. On the day that the Linux version was released was also the day that Osmos had its highest sales figures.http://www.hemispheregames.com/2010/06/23/linux-the-numbers/ [...]

  74. #74 N1
    on Nov 13th, 2010 at 9:25 am

    +1 for android port. I would definitely buy it.

  75. #75 John
    on Dec 8th, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Awesome work guys. It’s great that you write so openly.

    I can not wait to through 10 bucks at you from my android. :)

    BTW I play on the iphone on mute. Gasp. :)

  76. #76 asuhuw
    on Feb 1st, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Did you add desura to your stats?

  77. #77 -----
    on Apr 6th, 2013 at 3:41 am

    I was introduced to Osmos when I downloaded a pre-built gaming operating system that was made by some Germans. (The World of Goo sample game is in that distro too.) I wanted to download the full version for my ubuntu desktop, but it’s not in the repositories. Why not?

  78. #78 -----
    on Apr 6th, 2013 at 3:47 am

    Oh, by the way I would be interested in downloading an Osmos animated wallpaper for my desktop too. If not, how about a screen saver?

  79. #79 BoxCat Games » Useful Links for Starting an Indie Game Business
    on Oct 26th, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    [...] iPad Launch (2011 / 2dboy) The Long Tail. Rock Legend Game Sales Statistics (2010 / Positech Games) Osmos Sales Numbers (2010 / Hemisphere Games) Independent Games Sales: Stats 101 (2009 / GDC) How well can indie games [...]

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