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Gamers, Rejoice!

We already touched on gaming on Ubuntu in issue 17 of Ubuntu User , but so much has happened since then! It's not only that Valve continues to push forward, encouraging game developers to include Linux ports of their titles (which is also happening). It's more like everything about gaming on Linux is coming to a head.

Both of the biggest video card manufacturers, NVidia and ATI, are now releasing regularly native Linux drivers, tools, and APIs for their most modern and powerful cards, ready to cash in on the growing Linux gaming market. Nearly every indie developer, and many major labels, now release their titles for all three major platforms: Windows (of course), MacOS X, and Linux. And, finally, benchmarks prove that most multiplatform games have better performance on Linux than on any other operating system [1].

Back in the day, if you wanted to play games on Linux, you were limited to chess and similar board games (Go, Othello, etc.); solitaire, Tetris, Minesweep, and classic arcade clones; text adventures and RPGs; and that was about it. There was nothing wrong with that: Many developers cut their teeth implementing yet another version of Breakout. Then, along came id Software, which made classics such as Doom and Quake (and their engines [2]) available for all. Suddenly, there was a deluge of first person shooters that, although entertaining, ended up seeming to be copied from each other, with only slight aesthetic tweaks to tell them apart.

But now… Holy Moly! Hardly a day goes by without several popular titles heading to Linux. Just the very latest batch includes: Darksiders , Don't Starve , the Grim Fandango reboot, Roundabout , Tormentum , and many more. Many manufacturers are also releasing versions of their engines for Linux. Apart from the engines freed by id mentioned above, Unreal [3] and CryEngine [4] are now available for Linux, albeit under a proprietary license, which lets developers create even more games for the platform.

Jono Leaves the House

Jono Bacon [5] has left his post as Ubuntu's community manager and has moved on to a new post (which also involves a certain degree of community management) at the XPrize Foundation [6].

Jono joined Canonical and took on the community management responsibilities for Ubuntu in 2006. From very early on, he became, along with Mark Shuttleworth, one of the most recognizable faces in the Ubuntu community, giving talks, writing books, hosting webcasts and podcasts, and even playing the drums dressed as hotdog at Linux events.

At XPrize, a foundation that sets goals and rewards for scientific and technological developments that benefit humanity, Jono will be filling in as the Senior Director of Community, leading the community and development growth within the organization.

Even though Jono has left Canonical, he still remains committed to Ubuntu and is very active within the community. In this issue of Ubuntu User , for example, Jono explains how to build applications using the Ubuntu SDK, and in the next issue, he will explain how to set up and manage an Ubuntu LoCo team.

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