LINUXGAMES

TransGaming Helps Bring SpyHunter to ‘PC’

May 16th, 2003 by jvm

Those of you following the E3 cavalcade this year might have noticed the announcement by Aspyr and TransGaming that they’ve jointly ported SpyHunter, an update of the arcade classic from Midway. The key bit is that this game has been ported from the Sony PlayStation 2 version to “Mac and PC”. The requirements, stated on Aspyr’s pages, indicate that the game will require MacOS X or Windows 2000 or Windows XP to be played, and no mention is made of a Linux version.

However, on the TransGaming forums there is a post by Gavriel State (TransGaming’s co-CEO and CTO) which says:

SpyHunter won’t work out of the box on Linux, but we are working on the details of how to get it running in conjunction with future versions of WineX. The underlying game engine runs fine in Linux under WineX (some of the initial development work was actually done in Linux).

There are a few complications that we still have to work through – for example, the installer technology that SpyHunter uses is Java based, and won’t run directly in WineX. SpyHunter also makes direct use of several Apple specific OpenGL extensions for some speed critical areas.

We have no ETA yet for a Linux version, but rest assured that it is definitely on our radar.

So a Linux version is still possible, but not promised.

Commentary: My questions, if I were a loyal TransGaming customer, would be as follows: Is this is the best use of TransGaming subscription money? Where is the benefit to Linux gamers if TransGaming is so busy working on Mac and Windows games that they can’t even get a native version of the game ready for their main customers? After all, the press release points out specifically how easy the port was with the TransGaming technology; shouldn’t a Linux port be just as easy? And, while there could well be other issues, the problem with the installer seems questionable because we already have loki_setup which has handled installing commercial games just fine for years now.

24 Responses to “TransGaming Helps Bring SpyHunter to ‘PC’”

  1. Alkini Says:

    So, is he saying that they’re going to still try to use the existing installer indirectly in WineX? What would that mean? That we’d be running the installer in a JVM, running through some other unknown layer, then through WineX, and finally some files will make their way to our Linux system? Yeesh!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    This version of Spyhunter is I think like their port of the Sims based on WineX. The Mac version is based on their (unreleased) Mac version of WineX which uses special binary translation software made by Transitive.

    Aspyr Media asked them to help them with the port.
    This all helped improving WineX’s direct3d 8 support.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    As a news poster to this site you ought to know that TG doesn’t make it money solely from transcriptions. They have other areas of occupation as well and if they get paid to do a Mac port than it’s their business, not yours… get real, man.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    What an ugly hack. If they have access to the source, why don’t they do a proper native port rather than try to jury-rig the game with compatibility libraries and other assorted tricks?

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I agree it makes Transgaming look bad, but they need every source of revenue they can get. It’s still a few years yet before the Linux desktop dollars start coming in. I wouldn’t be surprised if WineX 3.1 has support for Spy Hunter.

  6. StarTux Says:

    Unfortunately I really believe that most of the people using Winex are only doing so for a few games and pay $5 for the privilidge.

    To provide counter arguments you have to view it like this:

    Transgaming offer to take care of the port by providing most of the porting overhead through something like Winex, therefore the company with the code does not have to do much. If you’re shipping CD’s you don’t ahve to have multiple installers/data taking up space.

    Not surprised by this news though…

    StarTux

  7. Dougst3r Says:

    I have “regular Wine” which I periodically build from CVS and I currently use it to play Half-Life, WarcraftII-BNE, and Fallout1/2. The one game that still makes me boot into Windows is Baldur’s Gate II – SoA / ToB. I just love that Baldur’s Gate, and it doesn’t work real well in Wine. According to the latest deal, SoA works (4), but ToB is (0). Bummer dude. Still, looks like they are making progress.[br]
    SoA[br]
    http://www.transgaming.com/gamepage.php?gameid=7br
    ToB[br]
    http://www.transgaming.com/gamepage.php?gameid=555br
    If and when they get this working, I promise to subscribe to TransGaming for 6 months. Otherwise I really have no reason to do so. I like Baldur’s Gate II enough that it is worth it to me.[br]
    For games like Warcraft and Fallout2, I run Wine as a secondary Xserver on something like vt10. This gives me the advantage of tweaking a screen mode for X in a custom XF86Config-game, it totally resolves any DGA mouse issues (can be annoying when your game slides away and then sticks), and its just pretty cool. Here is how it is done, make a script for your game something like this:[br]
    #!/bin/bash[br]
    cd ~/winedoze/Program\ Files/Warcraft\ II\ BNE[br]
    xinit /usr/bin/wine Warcraft\ II\ BNE.exe — :1 vt10 -xf86config XF86Config-Fallout2[br]
    [br]And in XF86Config-Fallout2 I have defined a optimal 16bpp 640×480 special screen mode which I tweaked with xvidtune. Try it… its cool! Just log in on vt2 and run this sucker and it will load the game on vt10! You can switch back to your normal X session on vt7 whenever you want.[br]
    Here is my special modeline (for my monitor):[br]
    Modeline “640×480″ 36.00 640 660 716 780 480 481 484 493 -hsync -vsync[br]
    …Dougster out (for now)

  8. Anonymous Says:

    why do we still think we are so desperate to play ‘windows only’ games thus the need for winex when other similarly ‘good’ games are getting native ports?

    what do you want linux folks:?

    1) hacky slower buggier ports from winex and the hope and prayer than m$ doesn’t keep changing things to make future games that much harder to ‘port’ ?

    2) native games that run faster and more stable than their windows counterpart thus bringing linux into the arena of a well established respected gaming and otherwise OS..

    for me #1 is a clear pick..its just not a hard decision DOH!!!

    -===

  9. Anonymous Says:

    First, http://www.transgaming.com/about.php states: ‘x86 Linux was our [Transgaming's] initial target platform’. But that doesn’t mean they pledge allegiance to the Linux users that are too busy wondering if the next Windows game will run in Wine. Support someone good at porting, like some of the icculus folk, and encourage the ORIGINAL game developers to consider either an in-house Linux port or to contract a porter and get the job done, so that you can enjoy their game.

    Secondly, as a few others have pointed out, WHY AREN’T YOU PLAYING LINUX GAMES? There are so many great games out there for Linux. Some of them are perhaps not quite as polished as a storebought game, but *they’re still fun* and they’re probably even free.

    Lastly, I hate to have to complain about this, but I wish my Linux game would get this much press if I didn’t port it to an OS or something, even though I don’t really have to worry about that. I mean, people write really cool games for Linux, and they get mentioned in urandom, which happens maybe once every week or two, and then some company mentions that they won’t port a game to Linux, or something miniscule, and they get enough news coverage to cover half my mozilla window.

    I used to really look up to LinuxGames as a leading source, and I don’t want to stop doing so, but it would be nice to hear about Linux Games (after all, isn’t that what this website is called?) more often, and less about which games run (or even better, don’t) under wine. I mean, there is a compatibility database after all.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Why not just load a C64 emulator and play the C64 version of spyhunter?

  11. Anonymous Says:

    I would just like to point out that even though the more I find out about Transgaming and WineX, the less I like it (just like Lindows) you can still get WineX for free through CVS, and it has all the features (D3D etc.) that the paid version does.

  12. rafaMEX Says:

    I just have a question… why… why in the 9 hells AND in the name of the lower planes of Abisal and Bator, IF they have the f*ing SOURCE CODE in their nose, why they aren’t just coding the fraggin stupid port?

  13. Anonymous Says:

    I’ve gotten enough from transgaming – warcraft 3 and a number of other games. If I need more I’ll just re-install windows temporarily or live without. I think I’ll cancel my membership after the next update (may as well).

    I hope Gentoo Games does well :)

  14. Anonymous Says:

    So I had a chance to go by the Apple booth at E3 and check out SpyHunter there. I had a peek inside their application package, and guess what I saw? SDL and smpeg, plus all this libwine shit!!! WTF?

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Majesty Gold sales manage to pass terminus at tuxgames, Majesty now is at possition 14.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Hey why don’t you winex haters stop bitching and start codeing some game ports. Wait a minuite all you can do is bitch and moan ah thats a shame…..

  17. bdove Says:

    Emulator is an emulator even when you cook it with butter.. (or call it with other name)

    Gamehouses that do not support native linux wont c a dime from me. period

  18. Anonymous Says:

    I rented Spy Hunter for the PS2 and was very pleased with it. Then I got laid off, so I haven’t had the cash to buy the thing. Perhaps I’ll wait for a Linux port. ;^) Of all the 3D remakes of early 80s games, Spy Hunter is one of the best I’ve seen so far!

    -bill!

  19. Anonymous Says:

    Transgaming charged us subscription with the promise of bringing more games to Linux.

    Looks like that shafted all their loyal user at the first chance they got. Do you think I should trust them anymore!!

  20. Anonymous Says:

    How can you leave Linux out of your port. I know much about the PS-II internals.
    What is your main customer base, Windows-XP users, MAC users??. I dont think so. Did you not expect to piss a lot of your paying customers off??. Oh you want US to buy the Windows-XP version and then pay you subscription so we can play it.
    So long and thanks for all the fish

  21. Anonymous Says:

    How can you leave Linux out of your port. I know much about the PS-II internals.
    What is your main customer base, Windows-XP users, MAC users??. I dont think so. Did you not expect to piss a lot of your paying customers off??. Oh you want US to buy the Windows-XP version and then pay you subscription so we can play it.
    So long and thanks for all the fish

  22. Anonymous Says:

    How can you leave Linux out of your port. I know much about the PS-II internals.
    What is your main customer base, Windows-XP users, MAC users??. I dont think so. Did you not expect to piss a lot of your paying customers off??. Oh you want US to buy the Windows-XP version and then pay you subscription so we can play it.
    So long and thanks for all the fish

  23. Anonymous Says:

    How can you leave Linux out of your port. I know much about the PS-II internals.
    What is your main customer base, Windows-XP users, MAC users??. I dont think so. Did you not expect to piss a lot of your paying customers off??. Oh you want US to buy the Windows-XP version and then pay you subscription so we can play it.
    So long and thanks for all the fish

  24. PaulY2k02 Says:

    I have just cancelled my subscription to transgaming because of this and I have told them why. I never use it anyway, The best commercial linux games (UT2003, RTCW, NWN, & Quake III) all have native installers so transgamings winex can go fly.

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