Osmos, the game that couples particle physics-based, absorption gameplay with a beautiful soundtrack (available in near-entirety here on CDM for free), continues its march to new platforms. iPhone and iPod touch users will soon get a handheld version, and a free port to Linux means you can play the desktop game on all three desktop operating systems. (There’s even multitouch support on Windows via Games for Windows Live, though I don’t currently have a machine that I can use for that myself.)
It’s just a preview, but the iPhone (and iPod touch) runs Osmos’ complex, mote-filled screen with aplomb – proving just how much is possible with mobile architectures. See the video at top. Hemisphere have posted a preview, and promise the final release soon.
Osmos is also now available on Linux, DRM-free and with some fairly modest requirements – meaning you could even take Osmos on a netbook and work on beating those harder levels.
While Apple’s CEO continues to knock cross-platform libraries in general, some of them work quite well, thank you, particularly when it comes to games and immersive experiences. (I think the issue here is misunderstanding the difference between something like Adobe’s AIR and something like OpenGL, OpenAL, and the likes.) I’m not trying to score cheap points, but it’s worth saying: these tools are what allow us to share creative experiences on different platforms, period. As Eddy from Hemisphere notes about the Linux port:
Hooray for cross-platform libraries like OpenGL, OpenAL, libogg/vorbis, etc. and well abstracted code!
That said, I have no illusions. As Computer Science Barbie would say if she had my brain inside her head, programming is HARD. So I look forward to hearing more about how the Linux port went, what’s awesome and what’s lame about doing Linux development, and what the realities are in terms of delivering a commercial game on that platform. It’s impossible to advocate for free and commercial development on Linux in music without also considering some of the challenges.