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Fragmented Development

Wine Gaming: Osmos

I picked up a copy of Osmos, an independent game from Hemisphere Games, a couple weeks ago. As is usually the case with independent games, Osmos takes a bit of a diversion from your classic 3D-Shooter or RPG genre restrictions, and invents it's own game type.

Osmos is a combination physics sandbox and strategic cell simulation game... I think. I like to think of them as cells, although the game refers to you as a "mote". The basic gist is that bigger motes absorb smaller motes, and you need to become the biggest by absorbing just about everybody. You move around by ejecting some of your mote-matter in one direction, which propels you in the opposite direction (hence, physics sandbox). This also makes you a bit smaller, however, which can put you at the wrong end of the bigger-eats-smaller equation. All of this is accented with soothing ambient music, which does very little to calm you down when a larger mote is trying to gobble you up.

This game really started to grow on me, which became a problem. I originally bought it through Steam and played through it on my Windows partition, but I'm never quite satisfied while I'm there. I wanted to see if I could bring it over to the side of righteousness.

After backing up all of my games from my Windows partition and re-installing them in Wine, I tried out Osmos - and it worked like a charm. I enabled a virtual 1024x768 desktop through my Wine Configuration, and that was it. Instant gaming, no slow down, no fiddling necessary. It does require OpenGL, so heads-up to those of you without hardware acceleration - I haven't tried it without.

Osmos, running under Wine

After quickly checking on the web site, I found out that even the simple Wine intermediary won't be necessary for long; if you buy the game from their web site, you will be able to download the Linux version (or Mac version) as soon as it's available. Also, the game itself is 100% DRM free, which should be a welcome revelation for the beardistas among us.

For only $10 US, Osmos seems like a sensible addition to any Linux gamer's collection. Download the demo, and give it a whirl if you'd like to see for yourself - just make sure to buy it direct from them if you're interested in the eventual Linux port. I'm really excited to see what else these guys put out!

Tags: linux gaming


<p>....I like Steam, I like games, and I like linux. It is reassuring to see that you've gotten a "Windows game" working without jumping through a number of hoops.</p>


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