Jul 172012
 

Linux Tycoon is a management game set in the world of the Linux distributions. We will have to create our distribution with the goal of making it the most used and famous in the world.

An interesting thing of this game is the economical plan that its author Bryan Lunduke is “testing”, getting paid by the community for working on open source projects, the goal is to get 4.000 $ in donations every month. In the first month (June 2012) he reached the goal in just 1 week, and so he released this game and other projects he’s working on as GPL software, but sadly just the following month he made a sad post on his blog “Open Source Funded By Donations? Not So Much” where in short he wrote ;

Unfortunately things didn’t quite work out.

, in my point of view this is not a big surprise, I think that a model of recurring donations is not working at the moment, people prefer to spend a bit more just 1 time for a specific goal, than a bit every month.
So perhaps putting a higher goal, like 10/15K $ to release the game under the terms of GPL would be successful and the community would have gained the game as GPL forever, Blender did this and reached the target of 100K $.

So now the game is released as closed source, the good news is that you can have it for just 4 $, but now let’s take a look at the game.



The Game

When you start the game, you’ll see the following screen where you can give a name to your new distro.

linux tycoon start

And after that the screen where you can do one of the most important choice for your distribution, the software selection.
Do you want to have the latest Game, IDE or Video player ? From this screen you can choose which software include in your distribution, and don’t forget to keep an eye on the total size of the Image.

linux tycoon select packages

Each software that you can select for your distribution has some characteristics which decide how well your distro will go into the “real” world once released. These include Open Source (yes or no), Nerd Creed, Popularity and Bugs.
You could choose to use a popular and closed source software to quickly gain a large user base, but perhaps someone could then declare your GNU/Linux distribution “negative in freedom sense”, or perhaps you could explore the other way and use only Open Source software with, a thing that will make your popularity raise slowly.

With popularity your user base will growth and you’ll be able to hire Staff member and get volunteers, you’ll be able to assign these resource to softwares to improve them, a new version will be released after some time a number of staff and/or volunteer will work on it.

linux tycoon first volunteer

So in short what exactly can you do in a Linux Distro Building game?

  • Analyzing and selecting software packages.
  • Fixing Bugs.
  • Managing volunteers and paid staff.
  • Keeping the total size (in MB) of your Distro at a reasonable level.

Each time you release a version, it will be reviewed by The Linux Magazine and The Linux Action Show, which may either give you a thumbs up resulting in more users, or a thumbs down resulting in the opposite.

Conclusions

The game don’t has a real graphics, just some menu where you can move around and select things, it’s also repetitive over time, when you just have to relocate your staff to fix bugs on old and new software…but for any hard core Linux user is also a must play (at least once) game, I’ve spent some funny moment with it and so i suggest to give it a try.

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