Linux Tycoon lets players "manage" a Linux distribution
Bryan Lunduke, software developer and host of the Linux Action Show podcast, has announced the beta release of his game, Linux Tycoon. The game lets players manage the daily tasks involved in creating a popular Linux distribution. Players assign people and resources to development tasks and their distribution is rated by the number of users compared to its competitors.
The game mechanics are simple: the player picks the packages that make up the distribution and then assigns people to work on fixing bugs in the software. Software can be added and removed whenever the player wishes to release a new version of the distribution. Random events such as a new version of "Windews" being released or favourable (or less favourable) reviews in the press then influence the popularity of the player's distribution – a project ranking screen shows how well the player is doing compared to the computer players.
As the name suggests, this is quite a traditional take on business simulations like the old Atari program M.U.L.E., even the 8-bit look of the game seems designed to evoke such classics. While the game is quite limited in scope at the moment and the graphics are simple, it is a beta release and Lunduke is actively looking for feedback on the game mechanics.
The game is somewhat of an inside joke however and would most likely appeal only to people who are interested in the inner workings of Linux distributions and open source projects. Players who are interested in these topics might find the quirky humour quite rewarding, though.
Linux Tycoon 1.0 Beta is proprietary software and currently costs $4 (about £2.50). The game is completely DRM-free and runs on Linux and Mac OS X with a Windows version being promised "soon". It can be purchased directly from the developer's web site.