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Linux Gaming

On Sat, Jun 01, 2002 at 12:26:48AM -0700, ben wrote:

> send me a list of what he'd need to do the same, and i'll work on enabling 
> the transition. 

At the time I did this, I was taking a PII 450 with a 15GB drive, 100MB
RealTek nic, and a nVidia GeForce2 AGP and 256MB of RAM.  More is better
on the processor, video card and RAM.  I would recommend at least a 1GHz
CPU, 384MB RAM, and any current nVidia card.  Pick a sound card that the
kernel itself can handle.  My ISA soundblaster 16 still rocks the house.

For a box primarily used for gaming, go with a base Debian install with
as few daemons as you can get away with.  Run the MTA from inetd.  Go
with sid so you always have the newest X; STAY AWAY from KDE and Gnome;
it'll slow down your machine dramatically and you're gonna have a bad
time.  Use the most minimalistic WM you can tolerate (though one Linux
gamer I know doesn't even have a wm installed on his LAN party box). 
It's not that all these things take up huge amounts of resources, it's
that you can squeek every last drop of power out for the game and
reclaiming a few CPU cycles and even a little bit of RAM gives the game
that much more power when you need it.  Especially considering if you're
at a LAN party, getting absurdly high frame rates at high resolutions
and deep color depths is where it's at (I never understood this part for
anything other than a DSW, if I play on a resolution higher than 800x600
or 1024x768, I start to lose the ability to orient myself quickly and
keep a razor-sharp aim at higher resolutions (past that, to me, the
picture starts to feel a bit too concave.  I'd rather have a narrow
range of vision and depend on audio in my headphones than try to aim
with the field of vision of an insect crammed into a 21" CRT.)

It has dramatically sped up the LAN party set up and take down process
when I've served DHCP, and it didn't take anything away from the game
that I noticed.

Selection is a little bit slim pickins, but out of the bigname stuff, we
have everything you can find on ftp.lokigames.com, and all idSoftware
games from Doom I to Wolfenstein 7: Return to Castle Wolfenstein. 
(Linux got Quake III before Windows did, id develops thier games on
Linux and backports to Windows, so id games run pretty damn well, and
thier most recent releases run flawlessly).  We have a Civilization
compatible clone, FreeCiv, in main, as well as Linux gamer classics like
xpilot and for the truly old-skool, the bsdgames.  I had a generic login
on my gaming box (since it only came up at LAN parties, I even installed
Debian on it at a LAN party to demonstrate it to friends) that had no
password so folks could log in and play hunt in putty from thier
machines when everybody else was playing WarCraft (cult hit among my
group, the rest of us hate the brutally slow gameplay, even if though
it's a nice change of pace late in the party).

> forgive the ignorance, but what's ut?

Unreal Tournament.

The good news is, for all the stuff Loki Games ported over and all id
Software's stuff, if you have the Windows version already, you can just
snag the Linux binaries off the appropriate website, the installer will
often copy the data files off the CD to the drive, and then you don't
have to carry around a box of CDs to deal with the anti-piracy BS the
Windows folks have to deal with on a lot of those games.

UT, Quake III and Return to Castle Wolfenstein is like crack, adrenaline
and caffine to me.  8:o)


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