Bink Coming For Linux; Official NWN Cut-Scenes?

June 30th, 2003 by Alkini

The last we heard about cut-scenes in the Linux Neverwinter Nights client was that Tux Games is shipping a version of the client with a stand-alone video player that willplay the appropriate video based on your location in the game. That was following information stating that there was going to be no native support forthe video because the Bink codec was being used for the videos and no Linux port of it existed contraryto previous statements. So, going on a tip from Matthew Johnson, Iemailed Mitch Soule at RAD Game Tools, the developers of Bink, and Mitch had this to say about a Linux version ofBink:

Yes we are working on it now and is should be shipping in the next couple weeks.

The cost will be the same at PC which is $5,000 for a one game license.

So, with a Linux version finally shipping, I wrote to a developer at Bioware to see if they had plans to include native support for playing cut-scenes, butI haven’t heard back from him yet. What do you think? If Bioware has to pay $5k to license Bink, do you think it’s worth it at this point?

24 Responses to “Bink Coming For Linux; Official NWN Cut-Scenes?”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    There is no way Bioware could recoup spending $5k on the linux port of NWN. The only reason they could afford to do the port at all is because it costs them nothing to license the game.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Why do they pay $5k if it’s possible for free? See for a Makefile that converts the bink files to XViD/Vorbis files.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    they had OpenAL almost done and they ripped all of that out and put in Miles, which cost them $4k, so the $5k would be an easy piece of work, really… No code to rip out.

    sure, they’ll never make that $9k back, but they might do it anyhow… I mean, it’s BioWare… think about it.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Anyone pretty familiar with bash should be able to do the same thing, the save files are obvious (Chapter One.sav, etc. or something like that) and make a little script that checks what the latest one is then run the desired movie (requiring the user of course to convert them themselfs) if anyone experianced wants to try, i’d be more than interested to see the script posted somewhere.

  5. upgrdman Says:

    ok, im not a fan of the this type of game (nor am i against it…just not my type) but why use the Bink codecs? why not mpeg4/divx, or some other royalty-free codec? does Bink have some sort of advantage? faster decoding? better quality? what??


    farrell farahbod

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Does this mean they’ll release a free movie player for native linux such as is available on their website for windows?
    I’d much rather have that available for all games than a $5k built-in one for NWN only.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    I downloaded the linux client, the 1.30 upgrade and the 1.2 gig data files from BioWare. I then proceded to astalavista and found me a key generator. I have played through up to the Beggars Nest, and I consider this fair as there is no Demo of NWN for Linux. At this point I can say that NWN would be worth buying if it had cutscenes, because hell I dont need to buy it to play the campain.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    spend the 5k on paying management for the time needed to read about standards and open source so their next game will be ready out of the box for almost any platform and cost less in licenses.
    It is nice though to see Blink considering a Linux port even though there are only 2 linux game players right?

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Actually the Windows and OS X version of Bink Video players are available for free download from the site.

    If Radgametools decided to release Linux player as a free download too, then I think the Linux community can fairly support themselves.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    No they shouldn’t buy it.
    The movies don’t add anything to the game play itself, only in a limited way to the story line.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    I doubt any developer will shell out any additional money for a Linux version of Bink. The only reason any of them do ports now is because it costs them nothing but time and very little money. Let alone coughing up another $5000 for a game that is a year old.

    And BTW, good will and a paper bag is worth the bag.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    If Bioware won’t license the blink for linux, then this was the one and only linux game they will be involved in.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    If Bioware provides instructions on how to use the free Linux Bink player (that will presumably be released) with the NWN movies, that would be enough for me. No, it’s not quite as good as playing the movies in-game, but it’s close enough.

    Of course, $5k is peanuts compared to what they spent on the game total, too, so I’m not totally convinced they wouldn’t license the player. Either way, I shall soon be a happy, cutscene-viewing man.


  14. Anonymous Says:

    not worth it, the videos aren’t interesting and I’d rather they spend the 5k on linux development for their next game.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    I waited for the first Beta version of NWN to come out for Linux, as I use Linux as my primary OS (I have Winblows installed but don’t ever use it, it was there for some reason I can’t remember now), I think that Bioware have done good for us Linux users, the thing where people say it costs them nothing to do a port, that is bullcrap because as a developer I know how much it costs to write even a small application, lets say it is a month, thats £1800 now multiply that by 6, thats £10800, now if they had two developers working on it, (using my salary as a reference) thats over £21600, thats: US$34+, so be greatful that they did a port at all, be happy because if they port a new game I will be even happier, I already promised them a beer if they came to an expo or something here in the UK and I will buy them another to show how greatful I am that they supported Linux in the first place!! :)

  16. Anonymous Says:

    As i recall we were promised via advertising that there would be a linux version. Surely that meant an equivalent to the windows version.

    So it did not come of, fair enough, that can be forgiven so long as they learn from it and next time around do it right.


  17. Anonymous Says:

    Some of you are claming “they lied” and “bink isn’t worth $5k” and “we don’t need no stinking movies” and “just use tech xyz.”

    Everyone says Bioware lied to everyone about their status of the port. My life didn’t rely on their testimony and neither did they release statments in their Commercial Liability. Outside of Old Testament, I do declare that whoever that is without sin may cast the first stone.

    Bink and Miles technology was chosen for some sort of technical merit over open standards for a reason. I do not know why it was chosen because I do not use them (yet). Why not let them deliver gameplay? If the game is entertaining without the movies or some media xyz, then goal #1 has been accomplished. Perhaps it did not occur to anybody that Bioware was trying to deliver a complete game, and although the game already was ported from the beginning, they perhaps were too afraid to let anyone know that the ever-needed sound system was kicking their ass in trying to port to Linux. Some lies are around for a reason; such as your wife or husband may be the fattest people on earth and we have the desire to nickname them “Slim” or “Mini” or “Princess”. I would say, “Hey Slim Queen wife, how’s the cholesterol level today?”. And she’ll respond to me, “Aback thy ugly non-nerd toad,” although the exact opposite is true (I am a handsome geek of the family [i]Trollificus[/i]). Ok, I’m a liar and am not handsome at all–I’m a lifeform with less purpose than a Worm, but you get my point…

    Some of you say we don’t need a technology inherently holding back Bioware’s development process (movies, other refined media). I agree with you, but I can’t stop short of the agreement; read the fine print… We haven’t played Never Winter Nights in ASCII text mode! Those Bioware slaves better create the ASCII text mode renderer into their game or I’ll boycott them to Bargain-Bin Hell! I’m a liar, again…

    And last, why didn’t Bioware use technology XYZ? I’ll tell you why… The same reason God created parasites and put them on the same planet as hosts: everything Good plays together, not at first somtimes, yet with effort it all has a purpose. Maybe someday, Bink and Miles will be the most affordable toilette paper around.

    Kudos, and enjoy the trollific comments!


    -Art Bell Troll

  18. Anonymous Says:

    Has anyone considered the fact that the Bink development kit is licensed PER GAME. Technically speaking, Neverwinter Nights has already had the development cost paid for as far as Bink is concerned. Once the Player is ported to linux, all Bioware would have to do is make a call to it through the game to play the videos. Since they already coughed up the 5,000 to use Bink with Neverwinter Nights, would they really have to pay it again to use it with Neverwinter Nights?

  19. msimms Says:

    Whoops, what a slip of the fingers. It looks like, when we developed the installer for Undrentide, we may have accidentally slipped and left in support for playing the NWN main game movies too.
    However did that happen, what a terrible accident, and after we replicated a years worth of Undrentide CDs too, I guess we’ll just have to ship with the main game movies support with the expansion.

    What a tragedy. Im so upset.


    Enjoy, folks {:-)

  20. Anonymous Says:

    But does Bioware have to pay the full $5000? They already bought a license for the game, do they really have to buy the same license again? I don’t think you promote your product very well if people have to buy a license for every platform they want to make their game run on….

  21. Hohlraum Says:

    NWN for windows, linux and mac are all still the same game. I paid full price for my copy of NWN I would hope that I get a fully functioning version of the game at some point.

  22. Anonymous Says:

    Bink it! Smack it!

  23. Anonymous Says:

    bah, movieplayback.

    no way should they take the price – they (the Bink devs) can work out a deal on multiplatform licensing, or bioware could just ignore them.

  24. Anonymous Says:

    Why would they Buy it? Because they don’t want the hassle of you having to recode the movies that are on the Game-CDs. Not having to redistribute new movies in a different format (via download) saves them alot of hassle and money! (for the bandwidth and server space)

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