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It's Official: Valve Releasing Steam, Source Engine For Linux!

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  • Originally posted by Remco View Post
    1. A Linux version of Steamworks and the Source engine reduces the time and money required for porting, which makes it more likely for Linux ports to be made.
    2. It's a well-known distribution channel. Where do your customers go to buy the latest Linux games?
    Incorrect, together with the rest here. The engine running on Linux doesn't make a game more portable than otherwise. The engine is one part of the puzzle but there is a lot around which is a show stopper:
    - including patching for multiple game versions
    - operating specific problems (source is not as solid as somebody here thinks because it is a c++ mess/hell, I know from experience)
    - operating specific 3rd party tools
    - "special hacks" (source games are full of them) which often don't translate well across OSes
    - support problems (you have to support more OS which can put quite a damper on your reputation if you can't handle it like Windows)

    The UEngine as somebody mentioned it here is a lot more portable than this mess called Source Engine. As mentioned, the problem for the games itself is supporting "another" OS and that's the real problem that steam does not solve. It makes it "at best" "slightly" less troublesome but if you are Sisyphus then it doesn't matter if one less little pebble is on your way as there are still hundred others.

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    • Originally posted by Dodger View Post
      First of all, Source is a solid, proven Engine to build games on - not state-of-the-art in all respects, but solid. And no, porting is still not a magic snap-your-fingers process, but having something like Source (or Unreal, in its time) makes this process tremendously easier. If file handling and asset management, scripting, rendering, networking, etc., are all done by the engine in a platform agnostic manner, porting becomes a *much* simpler matter.
      As for Steam itself, it's a solid, proven distribution platform with currently over 25M users. It's *the* digital distribution platform for PC games. Publishers know its DRM works (not getting into the debate, but it is important to them so it's important for the platform). Users know its DRM is reasonably unintrusive. Developers know it's easy to get games set up for it, tie it in with their achievement and stats tracking systems, and maintenance in terms of patches, updates and DLC is a snap. Steam is a big deal - as I said, it's in no small part responsible for a number of big studios and publishers picking up the PC business again that had almost completely abandoned it.
      I'm thinking linux is a very viable platform. Windows 7 seems to have broken a lot of compatibility with older games. Games that even worked on windows vista... Gaming on linux is new grounds to many of these studios so they probably don't see any gain from it. Hell even at university they teach that linux is only 3% vs 80% (or more) windows.. So people think 3% money vs 80% money.... Remember though that all statistics are a lie. Heh.

      Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
      Well...I guess you've never seen iD or (until recently...we won't get into the recent debacle as it's becoming clear what happened there...) Epic, then.
      Interesting? I don't know actually... I know epic has changed their business, but id?

      Originally posted by Dragonlord View Post
      Incorrect, together with the rest here. The engine running on Linux doesn't make a game more portable than otherwise. The engine is one part of the puzzle but there is a lot around which is a show stopper:
      - including patching for multiple game versions
      - operating specific problems (source is not as solid as somebody here thinks because it is a c++ mess/hell, I know from experience)
      - operating specific 3rd party tools
      - "special hacks" (source games are full of them) which often don't translate well across OSes
      - support problems (you have to support more OS which can put quite a damper on your reputation if you can't handle it like Windows)

      The UEngine as somebody mentioned it here is a lot more portable than this mess called Source Engine. As mentioned, the problem for the games itself is supporting "another" OS and that's the real problem that steam does not solve. It makes it "at best" "slightly" less troublesome but if you are Sisyphus then it doesn't matter if one less little pebble is on your way as there are still hundred others.
      Hmm I still believe most of the art work and audio is superficial compared to the source code. I believe the problem with Linux is actually the fact that it's so sparse. Making a game that will easily fit on many distributions is the nightmare. The support problems will be the major issue. I think this is why it's far easier to port a Linux engine back to windows than Win to Linux.

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      • Originally posted by b15hop View Post
        Hmm I still believe most of the art work and audio is superficial compared to the source code. I believe the problem with Linux is actually the fact that it's so sparse. Making a game that will easily fit on many distributions is the nightmare. The support problems will be the major issue. I think this is why it's far easier to port a Linux engine back to windows than Win to Linux.
        If you do it the right way cross-platform is a no-brainer. Problem is only that nobody did it right so far ( besides other reasons to keep this crappy licensing business model of theirs alive <.=.< )... and Source did not even tries to begin with :P

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        • Originally posted by Dragonlord View Post
          If you do it the right way cross-platform is a no-brainer. Problem is only that nobody did it right so far ( besides other reasons to keep this crappy licensing business model of theirs alive <.=.< )... and Source did not even tries to begin with :P
          Source and all Valve games run on a Unix-like system called Mac OS X. Please provide citations from the source code to back up your claims that it isn't portable.

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          • Interesting, valve seems to have 403'd http://store.steampowered.com/public...m_client_linux

            So much for the public unreleased beta updates. :-/

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            • Any news?

              Sooooo... Any news from Valve on the subject?

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              • Originally posted by Dodger View Post
                Well...
                I'm not saying this doesn't happen, but it would have to be exceedingly rare. First of all, most studios don't consider Linux to be anywhere near a viable platform - hell, most studios are just now again seeing Windows as a viable platform, which is in no small part thanks to Valve and Steam.
                That is a nice generalization. Here is another nice generalization: A lot of studios don't care about fixing the bugs in their shipped product. See generalizing is fun! Who cares if it leads to false or misleading statements?

                Linux is somewhat widely used for things like video and audio editing and post processing, offline rendering, etc. As an actual target for game development (released or not), not so much, and I know this first-hand.
                Who said anything about Linux being a development target? Bug fixing is what is important, compiling your code on multiple platforms with multiple compilers will expose more bugs than one platform and one compiler. Some studios compile on linux simply to expose and fix bugs.

                This is why the possibility of Steam coming to the platform is such a big deal, and I happen to think it may well be very good for Valve to be the first.
                Its really just a rumor until Valve announces it.


                But I have yet to see a first or second tier studio that does PC development do hands-on Linux development of their titles as well.
                And you've worked at how many tier one and two studios?

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                • Originally posted by Remco View Post
                  Source and all Valve games run on a Unix-like system called Mac OS X. Please provide citations from the source code to back up your claims that it isn't portable.
                  Mac OS X is Unix. Linux and *BSD are Unix-like.

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                  • Originally posted by Yezu View Post
                    Sooooo... Any news from Valve on the subject?
                    Of course not. Phoronix calling something official means about as much as trusting random people on valve's forum. There's still a good chance it will happen but I wouldn't expect to hear anything in the next few weeks.

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                    • Originally posted by yogi_berra View Post
                      Mac OS X is Unix. Linux and *BSD are Unix-like.
                      Also not quite correct. Not that it matters, but since you're already being a smartass I'll be a smartass too :P: Mac OS X and *BSDs are Unix, and Linux is Unix-like.

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                      • Originally posted by Dragonlord View Post
                        They have to port it and porting equals to costs and time expenses (for business suits). You can not simply put your Windows game on Steam and "poof" it works on Linux.
                        No, but Steam's one of Elecorn's delivery platforms (the discussion forums for the game are over there in the Steam forums...) and there's a few other studios doing the same thing. Not that I'm for that- but the picture's a bit different than you're painting it.

                        You're right, however, in that Steam's not going to magically make games happen for Linux. All Steam and other plays like them do is take the bar for publishing down a couple of pegs. Now...Source coming to Linux makes for some games being a much easier port than previously, the ease being dependent on how badly they did their game code.

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                        • Originally posted by Dodger View Post
                          Touche. And you're right, of course, but they haven't done anything in what seems like ages. I know Rage is supposed to get Linux binaries, but that's also something that is, I would say, at least one to two years out. But, you are correct.
                          One shouldn't resort to that sort of hyperbole unless it's accurate...

                          My point, though, was simply that it's a rare thing. And studios developing for Linux to keep portability an option, and not releasing their Linux binaries, is even rarer.
                          I'd concur with the effort being done as a rarity.

                          I wouldn't know about the second, though. There's been a few examples of this in the past, with Blizzard being one of those notables doing it at least once in their past with WoW.

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                          • Originally posted by Dodger View Post
                            I know Rage is supposed to get Linux binaries, but that's also something that is, I would say, at least one to two years out.
                            Rage MAY get linux binaries. Given that EA is publishing it though I wouldn't bet on it. UT3 was supposed to get Mac/Linux ports and they even stated so but that never came to be.

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                            • TTimo has been very reliable, and I imagine that he would be the one doing the porting in this case too.

                              id obviously has a very different history when it comes to linux support than Epic.

                              The only question is whether EA would block the relase of Linux binaries, and I don't see a reason why they would do that.

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                              • Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
                                id obviously has a very different history when it comes to linux support than Epic.and I don't see a reason why they would do that.
                                Epic had a very different history than Epic up until ut3...

                                I know that's a silly statement, but my view of epic now is totally different than my view of epic before ut3 demo.

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