I had first started writing for LG in 2000.
The editor-in-chief, Dustin, and I happened to be in the IRC channel for Loki, where the developers behind the biggest success story in Linux gaming would dole out beta access and generally carouse with anyone interested in their games. That’s where I hounded Dustin to let me write for LG, and eventually got the job. I don’t really recall what my intentions toward writing were. Just that I enjoyed doing it and reading the output of other gaming sites like Blues News, sCary’s Shuga Shack, and loonygames. I guess that I needed to find a niche to excel and channel some creative output in.
If you had told me then that Valve would eventually be on Linux through a digital distribution platform of their own creation I would have asked you what a digital distribution platform was and wondered what it might look like. That it would take 13 years to get there seems even more ridiculous.
Loki’s idea of jumping the gun straight to boxed copies of games that were released much later than their Windows counterparts wasn’t long lived. They were pretty much the first and last to do it with the community behind them, despite the best efforts of Linux Game Publishing.
There were a few ethical mistakes at the time that I regret. Being both press and an unpaid beta tester for Loki. Although I was able to separate out the difference in attitude and style when writing reviews, and to my recollection none of the readers ever questioned it. I can’t help but feel It would have produced a better article if I had gone in fresh, and when Loki got weirder during their downfall I felt really creeped out by having to justify my requests for review copies to them. My e-mail archives don’t go back far enough to let me know if I guaranteed a “good review” but what I can remember was not cool. As the only site for coverage on the topic it seems even more ridiculous in retrospect that those discussions had to happen at all.
Beta testing at Loki lead directly to my career in Quality Assurance (at Microsoft of all places) and creating a site called Game QA Blog where some friends and I wrote about QA in gaming for a while.
Writing for Linux Games got me a role as a technical reviewer on Linux Game Programming. That book only seemed to exist to compete with another book called Programming Linux Games. We beat them to the punch on the better title, but they had far superior content.
At one point we had a podcast going, but it was short lived due to conflicting schedules. I helped transition the site from an aging custom content management system to WordPress. Pushing for the site to modernize made me stop waiting for anyone else to do it and make twitter and Facebook accounts.
Once my career got off the ground I started writing less and less for LinuxGames but I attribute most of my success to that site and the friends I made through it.
As an aside, I now host loonygames’ archived site on my DreamHost account after Jason Bergman, the titular “loonyboi,” put out a request for help in the past year or so. Jason wrote about it on his tumblog.
With all of the success Linux gaming has had recently it is great to be back at LinuxGames. Even if most of my posts today are written on my Mac 😉