Of 32-bit Linux games on itch.io
Throughout the decades game developers have been always leading the digital evolution - not holding it back. Even on the outdated platforms (8-bits, 16-bits), devs have been trying to use every last CPU cycle or hardware mod to max the games potential... So it really baffles me -- I just don't get it -- why do so many new "itch" games fail to execute because of "missing 32-bit library" - why would they intentionally crash because I'm not running an obsolete OS.
I don't, I just don't understand.
Why do the tiny indie teams go all the way to make their game start "out of the box" for two irritating x86 Linux users, while the remaining 99.9% have to deal with crashes and counter-intuitive rtfm?
Why do they believe that those two x86 Linux users are so much more important than the decisive majority of real audience - the key users that must be kept happy and clear of any entry barriers?
To build a 32-bit game, gamedev has to specifically set-up 32-bit dev/test environments. He has to either install obscure 32-bit distro or spend several hours preparing insane 32-bit multiarch sandbox, probably chrooting during the build process. Either way, he needs to invest extra time, money and effort to build 32-bit binary.
To play a 32-bit game, your regular user needs to (as well) run an obscure hard-to-find 32-bit distro, or -- preferably -- he's expected to be a tech-savvy geek willing to enable multiarch. He should be ready and willing to sacrifice extra disk space (and extra bandwidth for system updates) to execute your 100MB bedroom game.
I may, probably, consider myself to be an "experienced Linux user". Probably. I don't really care.
I didn't mind running (for example) 32-bit Steam on my old box for the first couple of years, while Steam was fresh and new.
But since than I had to eventually confess - why? Why would I do that? Fuck no. Fuck no. I'm not going to enable multiarch on my new "minimalist" Arch install for the very same reasons why I'm not going to connect floppy or dvd-drive or cassette player to play new games.
You can argue that enabling multiarch is a one-line fix (removing a single char from pacman conf) and I'm just a lazy prick.
I know it's an easy fix (for me, not so much for Windows gamers) and I'm truly a lazy prick.
But the stats say I'm far from an isolated case. Linux gamers used to peak at 2.5% on Steam. Today they are at 0.6%. "Those who know their OS" don't use Steam for Linux anymore and "those who don't" rather stick to Windows then fight the unintuitive OS settings.
So go figure.
If we (army of lazy pricks) dare to ignore the almighty Steam and its endless stream of games, imagine how intrigued are we to deal with your 50MB 32-bit itch game.