An Arch game machine

A long time ago I saw a screenshot where an enterprising Linux user had stranded three icons, via iDesk, smack in the center of the screen, with nothing else around and no particular wallpaper in place. I don’t recall much else in the way of the arrangement, but the icons were for his/her favorite games — the idea being, the machine was dedicated to just playing those three games, and everything else was on the periphery.

Not one to be outdone, I kind of put together the same thing on an Arch machine yesterday, using a few of the games I prefer within wbar, for an animated punch-and-run effect.

The wallpaper is the most “playful” I have on hand. Maybe next time something a little more sinister. :twisted:

Originally this was arranged with Openbox as the window manager, but I don’t think it’s actually necessary. If you trigger wbar from your .xinitrc file and let it run until killed, you should be able to pop most of these applications open without the need for a window manager. (P.S.: It works, although it’s a little … creaky at times. Windowed games — like FreeCiv — don’t behave right without a window manager. Just so you know. …)

So why do this? Well, I guess the most obvious reason is an offline machine for solo-play games. Things like Wormux or Warzone2100 could reside on a dedicated gaming machine, and not be used for anything else (like browsing or e-mail).

And most Linux games I come across are well within the reach of a 1Ghz machine with a 64Mb graphics card, even when running at full resolution. Something in the Pentium 4 range with a proper video card would be a rock star.

This is such a blatant and pitifully obvious application for an outdated computer that I’m tempted to call it a “case in point.” But at the same time it’s such a blatant and pitifully obvious application for an outdated computer that it’s hardly instructive. Sad to think that it takes me so long to actually do these things though. ;)

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11 Responses to “An Arch game machine”

  1. 1 thealphanerd 2009/03/29 at 8:09 PM

    I seem to have a real good addiction to Wormux, just killing the cute animals with weapons held by other cute animals = win. Have you tried Frozen Bubble and the games in my big list: Hitori, The GNOME and/or KDE games, Gweled, (requires GNOME, blech) and the mandatory Doom? And you should have a web browser and flash so you can get entrapped in those Flash games.

    Oh, and where can I get the wallpaper you have? May I suggeest FVWM has a bare-minimum window manager? Matt at has a RC file for it to get a toolbar like wbar in it.

    Phew, that was a mouthful!

  2. 2 armornick 2009/03/29 at 8:40 PM

    I don’t know how of a gamer you are, but perhaps you can help me with something. I’m looking for the best text-based games, and since you’re the guru of lightweight apps, I thought I’d ask you.

    • 3 thealphanerd 2009/03/29 at 8:44 PM

      Nethack, Dwarf Fortress and the BSD games. EPIC WIN.

      • 4 K.Mandla 2009/03/30 at 8:14 AM

        Wait, is there a text-only Linux version for Dwarf Fortress? I thought the only version was that SDL-ized one? I’d love one that didn’t rely on X, and in turn rely on SDL.

        • 5 thealphanerd 2009/03/31 at 4:02 AM

          It was SDL? It looks text-based to me.

          • 6 K.Mandla 2009/03/31 at 8:40 AM

            The version I’ve been playing required SDL for a prototype 3D-mapping aid that helped visualize some of the tunnels and structures. I don’t know if it’s possible to build it without that requirement; let me know if it is.

  3. 7 Timmy 2009/03/29 at 11:13 PM

    My personal highlight of that screenshot was the terminal icon lurking in the left of wbar…so much for KMandla going soft :)

  4. 9 Sertse 2009/03/29 at 11:56 PM

    Oh that desktop is soooo cute! Wbar just adds to the effect of a fun, playful thing.

    Yes, wallpaper please.

  5. 11 Daenyth 2009/04/11 at 9:56 AM

    I’d just like to plug the Arch Linux Gaming Repository Project. We host binaries of a ton of games so you don’t have to compile them, and we have a channel open for general gaming discussion as well. Click the website link for more info.

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Visit the Wiki!

Some recent desktops

May 6, 2011
Musca 0.9.24 on Crux Linux
150Mhz Pentium 96Mb 8Gb CF

May 14, 2011
IceWM 1.2.37 and Arch Linux
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

Some recent games

Apr. 21, 2011
Oolite on Xubuntu 11.04
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

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