Yes, really! I was having a look around over on the Power Developer Forums and saw this topic:
New PPC Linux Game - Please Test!
OK, so I’m a bit late — the original post is dated Jul 29, 2006. Better late than never, though.
The game is “Robin Hood : The Legend of Sherwood,” a strategy game based on the popular legend. What surprises me is that not only do they have a Linux version — it’s also available for PowerPC Linux. And even better — it is easily installed and seems to run perfectly on Yellowdog Linux 6.1 for the Playstation 3.
Demo version download and installation info is here:
I simply followed the directions there and the demo version started with no problems on my PS3 with YDL 6.1. It loaded at 800×600 in full screen mode on my 720p (1280×720) display, complete with sound and music. The highest resolution available on the options screen was 1024×768 — a little too much for my screen — but 800×600 looked great anyway.
Here’s a screen shot:
Quoting Gunnar von Boehn (gunnar) from the Power Developer forum:
If you like this game (or if you like to have games for PowerPC linux at all)
then please express this loudly!
The reality is that Linux games are no big cash cows.
The Linux game market is small. Few companies regard PPC Linux a worthwile market.
Genesi is helping here and works on getting more games ported to the PPC platform.
But at the end of the day, companies need to see that customers want PPC titles. If you like this game or any game on PPC then express this and contact the companies.
Not long after that post, Sony released the Playstation 3 with the ability to install PPC Linux. As most know, there are some limitations — we don’t have direct access to the RSX for accelerated 2D/3D video, and we don’t have 2 GB of RAM to play with — just around 256 MB, a portion of which is used by the frame buffer. We also have to deal with a limited hard drive partitioning scheme — 10 GB to the Game OS and the rest to the Other OS (Linux), or vice versa.
Fortunately, even using only 10 GB of your hard drive space for Linux, this doesn’t prevent you from using your PS3 for general computing purposes or playing many of the great Linux games and emulators available. And thanks to the latest release of YDL 6.1 (and other distros such as OpenSUSE) it’s now easy to use the video RAM for additional swap space — greatly improving performance under heavy loads.
I can see where Sony would be concerned that gamers might purchase the PS3 and use only Linux, not buying any PS3 games (where I presume the “real money” is), but I don’t think this is usually the case. Anyone reading my blog or forum posts can see I have an interest in running Linux games and emulators on my PS3, but this hasn’t stopped me from buying all the latest releases of PS3 games when I can afford it.
As I see it, the ability to use Linux on the PS3 with no “hacking” required is a great addition to the console. I still play Warhawk, Little Big Planet, Saint’s Row 2, Grand Theft Auto, jump on Home occasionally for a chat, but also enjoy switching over to Linux for a change. I regularly use my PS3 with YDL 6.1 installed to browse the web with Firefox, check emails, use the instant messenger, play Linux games and emulators, watch movies and listen to music, and enjoy “hobbyist” programming with Python + Pygame.
So I’d love to see more games for PowerPC Linux that run well on the PS3, and I don’t believe Sony or game developers stand to lose. Robin Hood : The Legend of Sherwood is a prime example of what can be done even on the limited resources of PS3 Linux. And it wasn’t even tailored to run specifically on the PS3 — it makes no use of the Cell Broadband Engine’s SPEs and doesn’t make use of wide-screen resolutions like 720p.
I haven’t spent much time with the demo version of Robin Hood yet, but from what I’ve seen so far it’s something I’d consider buying. The full version of the game is available for purchase at www.rune-soft.com.
EDIT: After playing with the demo a bit more, I decided to try running at 640×480 instead of 800×600. It will run fine at 800×600 or 1024×768 but seems a bit sluggish. I also increased my screen resolution for YDL to 1280×1024 (I’m using a projector) and ran the game scaled 2x using the SPE scaler tool. The result — great speed and an almost full screen mode at 1280×960 on a 1280×1024 display.
I modified the startup script for the game to automatically start/kill the scaler so it’s all automated like this:
#!/bin/sh cd "/home/bill/robinhood_demo" scaler -s 2 -t 10000 & ./robin_demo killall scaler