LINUXGAMES

Terminus Update

September 3rd, 1999 by Crusader

Vicarious Visions’ Chuck Homic sent in a status report on the Linux port of the space combat game Terminus:

Last week, I made one of the biggest mistakes that someone in this industry can make. I said that something was not possible in Linux.

After poring over various documents dealing with the Linux OSS sound driver, many of them way out of date, I came to the conclusion that Linux wasn’t ready for full-duplex audio, and by extension real-time voice communication.

The dozen or so emails that were shotgunned to me and the rest of the team were my first clue that I may have been hasty in coming to that conclusion. And I had never heard of the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) before, probably because I had spent too long behind closed Windows.

A couple of emails pointed us in the right direction and Dave, our lead-coder-of-the-day, decided to educate himself on OSS and ALSA, and went to work. By the end of the day, full duplex was up and running. We decided to support OSS for now. Despite ALSA’s more robust design, OSS provided the functionality we need, and is very standard right now. Perhaps when ALSA is more mature, we will release a patch that supports it.

Kudos to the Linux community for showing me the error of my ways. The Linux version of Terminus is now coming close to feature-complete.

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