Steam in my Eyes and on my Slackware

Like most people who use Linux I have a dual boot system so when I get into the  occasional mood to play a game I boot up into Windows and satisfy the inner child with a game. This tends to get annoying for a multitude of reasons which I am to lazy to go into right now.

I have to admit, I have bought most of the Humble Bundles that have come out and have also bought a handful of other games for Linux and spent more time than is good for me in playing them but I always get dragged back to some of the games only available on Windows and which are a pain to run under Wine on Linux. This is a little ironic I suppose since my latest hankering for gaming has been Fallout 3 which I ended up running under Play on Linux (on my SLackware box) since it run more stable in that environment than under Windows 7.

I am rambling and getting off the point of this post. Like most Linux users who do some gaming on the side, I have been keeping an eye on Steam being released on Linux. Let me make one thing clear, if the game is available on Desura, I would rather get it from there due to it being DRM free etc but unfortunately, it will be harder to get A grade titles on Desura compared to Steam if they manage to get it to take off.

A little while after the Linux beta of Steam became available to the general public I decided to look into it some more. There was a rather large forum post on Linux Questions but at the time it all seemed a little to hard. I little more after that, I read that a package had been made for Linux Mint which I have been playing with on my laptop so I installed it on there. It all seemed to work OK but since a) I was not sure how long I would be keeping Linux Mint going for and b) It is my laptop and not my main machine, I decided against purchasing any titles.

The weekend past, I decided to again look into Steam for Slackware since it was now out of Beta and found that alienbob had a in one of his blog posts a link to stand alone Slackware package made for Slackware ready to go so I downloaded and installed it. With trepidation I found the icon and ran it, expecting all kinds of evil error messages being spewed at me. I was disappointed since it started up fine, let me log in and after ‘authorising’ the computer to run Steam I was in. Again it just worked except for the videos. It complained about my version of Flash. Another alienbob blog post came to the rescue and I grabbed his Flash packages and installed them and low and behold, Steam videos now worked.

I would just like to take this moment and whinge about this same problem in Desura. To this day I can not get video to play within Desura and it is annoying the hell out of me! Please please please Desura, make it easier for me to see why it does not work so I can fix it!

Back to Steam, so I purchased Half Life 1 as a test subject. Yes I own a copy but I think the media is scratched to hell and for about $3.00 I didn’t have to much to complain about. Once purchased I installed it and it worked. So I then went and purchased two other games since they are having a massive sale at the moment and they just installed and worked.

All in all, I have been very happy with the Steam experience on my Slackware64 box and I can also see that with the way things have been going, the next time I build a new personal home computer, that it will be Linux only.

After playing Half Life one for the last few hours, I am hoping they port Half Life 2 since it has by far, the better game play and from what I have read, there is a good chance of this happening. I wonder who else will jump on the Linux gaming bandwagon, I am seeing various companies alluding to it but until it happens, I will take what they say with a grain of salt. Still, things are looking up for Linux users as a whole.

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