Thursday, February 19, 2009

Game Testing Job for a Free Software Person

O_o is how I feel right now

So I was browsing the FSF homepage because I wanted to dig up some info on their PDF priority project - but never mind that - and then I think "Let's check out them job listing!" and I do and then BAM! Game Test Analysts, (Santa Monica, CA). So I think to myself "Yeah, right! This has a logical explanation to it! Game theory I bet! So I click it and BAM! O_o! It's a real job offering for beta testing video games and it's posted on the Free Software Foundation's home page!

So it's probably not a commercial open source game project that this is about, but apparently one will test the game on the GNU/Linux platform and most likely use open source tools for bug reporting.

Nothing *really* spectacular, the pay is 10 Dollars per hour, but together with World of Goo being released for Linux, I certainly do get the impression that the penguin becomes relevant for selling games faster.

Sometimes I catch myself trying to figure out whether to support, oppose or ignore this pro-commercial-games-on-Linux development and try to figure out whether it is something good or bad. But then I come to my senses: it's nor good nor bad, it is natural evolution of the gaming market expanding to where money is. The only thing we'll loose is a billion of project that start merely for being able to play a commercial game natively on Linux. ^^ What we do earn is publicity for Linux. A lower transition barrier ("games is the only reason I use windows!"). In the end, a bigger audience (because open source games often are in GNU/Linux distro's repositories.)


Kevin said...

Would it be nice if companies made commercial grade, free software games? Yes, but I have yet to see any kind of realistic business model to stay in business doing that. The dilemma is not between closed source source and open source commercial Linux games. It's between having closed source commercial Linux games, and not. I agree with you that having more commercial games on Linux will bring some practical benefits, such fewer barriers to new users, development of support projects and utilities, and more pressure to make X11 and video drivers work for games.

Triplefox said...

But I think the solution is rather simple. Remove the ability to sell the software, and games become a service-based business. This is the way web games have gone, the way MMOs are trending, and it is an option gaining increasing interest from the major publishers.

From there you can follow a multitude of open-source models, but all in some way involve growing a community that buys your services - vs. the retailer's model of ship-SKU/forget. Both the industry and the consumers are transitioning, so the processes are mostly uncharted, but market movement towards downloadable games is an important first step, and interest in Linux may be another. Getting your game into a package manager can be construed as good, cheap marketing.

nicfer said...

I think that multiplatform commercial games are OK, users have the choice to install them or not, it's not a critical program like a kernel patch.

What they should also do is release the source code of their graphic/game engines, at least of the older ones, and sell instead the media packages. id Software is going that way and they are well received. And for really old games like TTD or Doom itself, which are nearly unprofittable, the media files could also be published, at least freeware. Heh, if we all go that way, even M$ could be releasing the source code of windows 95 or 98. But most of them don't like it because it's 'useless' and a 'waste of time'. But for old projects it makes sense, remember that obtaining a legal copy of TTD or windows 95 nowadays is pretty impossible, releasing them for free at least (with source code available recommendable) would help to control abandonware and the legal issues.

TheAncientGoat said...

Heh, it makes me think of this /. post (

So funny XD

Sslaxx said...

Yeah, that does describe how I feel about it too. Awfully bizarre that. So, which developer has managed to get the FSF to do something like that?

Andrew said...

This is something that annoys me greatly. I'm posting this for anyone that writes news articles on Linux or free software...

- Begin Rant -

First, "OMG Steam client on Linux!!11oneone" and now this. Why do you people always jump to conclusions based on almost no information at all?!

It's pretty damn obvious that the games being tested are commercial and non-linux. Listing "Linux" as a BONUS SKILL means nothing. Companies do this all the time, it doesn't mean they're making a game on Linux, in fact anyone taking the job most likely won't be working on linux at all.

The FSF has made a big mistake listing that job..

The same thing for the whole Linux Steam Client news. Just because they list "Linux experience as a plus" on a valve job listing doesn't mean they're working on a Linux port of their games which was big news a while ago.

I've been job hunting a lot lately. One job description for programming said "an interest in sports" as a requirement for a non sport related company. Does that suddenly mean I'm going to be playing football as part of my job? No!

Please stop these delusional reports based on job descriptions and realise that the reasons people tack this junk on is to sort out which candidates are better and/or because the boss has a personal thing for the subject (IE, sports) and no one in the office wants to talk to him about it.

Now I've said that, lets look at this job specifically because it's obvious you haven't read the job description properly.

It's not on Linux. Linux is a bonus skill and like I said earlier, that means nothing.

It's a crappy HR recruiting company, the same kind of company that puts "30 years PHP experience" as a requirement.

The job is clearly a games testing job, which means you sit there playing the same level for 4 weeks and get almost nothing for doing it.

I'd suggest completely editing this blog entry because the last thing we need is another nonsensical rumour about a game company making Linux games.

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