Over time it has only been very apparent that Microsoft has taken over as the gaming champion, leaving other operating systems behind. Apple’s ecosystem does afford some gaming potential but the less popular ones like Linux have not been known for gaming at all. In fact, Linux is known more as the programmer’s favorite as it gives the user a variety of applications useful for programming with the Linux terminal superior to Windows. But hopefully, all of that will change soon.
Linux has steadily been improving its graphics driver support and is introducing new games in an effort to give the operating system some gaming potential. With the same goal in mind, GamePad, a new digital distribution system was seen on the Kickstarter website with a crowdfunding campaign. It hopes to create a gaming platform for Linux, much like Steam is to Windows, that is “DRM free, open, respects users privacy and caters to the needs and desires of the Linux community.”
However, GamePad is not here as a competitor to Steam or any other gaming platforms. Instead, all GamePad seeks to do is to act as a conduit between game developers and the users, in an effort to bring out the best in the lesser-known operating system. While many games are made for and with Windows users in mind, support for Linux is included as an option. The bugs and hangs that follow a Linux user trying a Windows game only leads to dejection, making that user switch over to Windows in order to play compatible games.
GamePad seeks to target and eliminate such troubleshooting phase and aims to include only those games that are put through their paces with an actual person playing them instead of algorithms figuring out the compatibility. In addition to this, GamePad wants the platform to be as accessible as possible, which made the developers decide to have the source code for the client and the supporting libraries be released under a FOSS license, as well as have it available as an open API. Further, GamePad also plans to provide a patch in order for the platform to integrate with other gaming platforms. Alternatively, a user can also launch GamePad through WINE or the Flatpak package manager.
However, do not celebrate just yet as this project is still in its Kickstarter phase, with the tentative worldwide availability estimated to be around February of 2022. The Kickstarter campaign will last until March of 2020, so if you want to see the GamePad project see the light of the day, do not forget to contribute to the funding campaign. The Kickstarter page for the campaign has the details of what the funding would be spent on. Certain tiers have confirmed rewards depending on what a person is willing to pay.
This might just be the next biggest thing happening to Linux on the gaming front and it has all the makings of awesome.