Last week, a friend of mine from Italy (who is an aficionado of indie games) introduced to me Linux Tycoon, a Linux distro building simulator game. And being a fan of Linux myself, Im obviously very interested. Yesterday, I decided to pay $4 to get this game and have spent more than an hour playing it since then. The game is actually still in beta and after the final version got released, the price will go up to $5. Linux Tycoon is available for both Linux, MacOS and Windows so you dont need to be a real Linux user to play that game and although the game is about building Linux distro, it doesnt require any actual programming at all. For Ubuntu and other Debian based distro, there are .deb packages ( 32 and 64 bit) so it's very easy to install and play.
In Linux Tycoon, players will build a Linux distro with some packages and try to make it become the most successful distro around. You will have to compete with 20 other distros whose names are parodies of popular Linux distros like Ooboontoo, Plebian, CuteLittleDoggy, OpenSnuggle ... The trick to win the game is to choose the right packages to put into your distro, keep the size of the distro as small as possible and reduce the bugs. There are 5 factors for you to consider when choosing a package:
- OpenSource: the packages you choose should be opensource or you will be called some bad name by the opensource community
- NerdCred: the more NerdCred you can accumulate in your distro, the more likely the volunteers will come to help you. And you can use these workers to fix bugs.
- Popularity: Each package has its own score for popularity, the more popularity points you have, the more users your distro will appeal.
- Size: the size of the package, you should try to keep you distro as small as possible
- Bugs: each package will contain a number of bugs and the total bugs of your distro will increase over time. So you need to assign workers to fix bugs and release new versions more often. There are two types of workers, the paid workers, harder to get but more efficient in work and the volunteers, easy to get but not as efficient as paid workers.
And after you pick the packages, just hit the "release version" button and a message like this will appear
And each time after a new version got released, you will have the feedback in the middle column of the game window. It's usually a review from some Linux magazines ( including Linux action show where Lunduke works IRL) which either gives your distro a thumb up or compares it with stinky cheese. It also gives you hints about how to improve your distro in the next releases. You can know how well your distro is doing by observing the stats in the left column, which shows you the hype, the amount of bugs, the size of the distro and the number of paid workers and volunteers you can use to fix bugs. And to release a new version, just click on "Edit packages" then hit " Release Version" again and watch the new version of your Linux distro rollilng.
The idea behind Linux Tycoon is really unique, as Lunduke said in his site " probably the only Linux distro building simulation game in the universe". However, to make the game more interesting , in my opinion there should be more packages to choose and more other factors to decide the success of the distro. Beside I wish it is possible to change the font, theme and size of the window. Hopefully this game will be really better in the final version. All in all, if you are a real Linux fan, you should check this unique game. Click here to go to the homepage of Linux Tycoon