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  • Valve's Source Engine Coming To Linux

    Phoronix: Valve's Source Engine Coming To Linux

    There have been rumors since last year that Valve may be serious about porting Source games to Linux after Valve Software began seeking a senior software engineer with the responsibility of porting Windows-based games to the Linux platform. Valve Software has yet to officially announce Linux clients for any of its software, but at Phoronix we have received information confirming that Valve is indeed porting its very popular Source engine to the Linux platform.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=12330

  • #2
    Still way too speculative. Valve already releases their dedicated servers for linux. They might just be looking for someone else to help with this. It seems you have another source for the client being ported than just the job posting, but until I hear more about who or what this source is, I'm go to remain skeptical. Even if they are working on a linux port, there's no guarantee it will be finished. It's not like their business depends on porting the game to linux, so if the project runs into any bumps it'll be the first to be dumped.

    Still, it would be nice if steam and the source engine was fully ported to linux. I'm just really skeptical that it'll happen.

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    • #3
      If everything pans out, Linux could quickly become the superior gaming platform.
      Well there are a few things that first have to be worked out before that happens.

      a ) Ease of installation (no more things like "it asks for disk two but I can't eject the disk" for example)

      b ) Khronos has to get off their *ss and give us an openGL API that can exploit the modern hardware.

      c ) Things like surround sound should be easily configured without having to run hacks or involve manually creating or editting config files.

      d ) Linux version release dates have to be unified with other platform releases.

      e ) Game developers have to stop using closed source non-free media formats in their games (ie mp3, bink)

      f ) the ports have to be done in a way that a update to the os doesn't break the game (I'm looking at you Loki releases)

      g ) ports have to support the modern defacto standards of linux (non of this supporting OSS and/or ALSA through OSS emulation BS

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      • #4
        The title to this article is very misleading and deceitful. There is no proof or confirmation, just 'inside information' which can be either made up or another stretch of truth. Are you that hungry for visitors?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by deanjo
          b ) Khronos has to get off their *ss and give us an openGL API that can exploit the modern hardware.
          What's wrong with OpenGL 2?

          Originally posted by deanjo
          e ) Game developers have to stop using closed source non-free media formats in their games (ie mp3, bink)
          As long as they ship the decoding libraries with the game, I don't see how this is a practical problem. It shouldn't really be any different from the formats used by the game for anything else (models, textures, level data, etc.)

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          • #6
            a) Well, they were talking about Steam so I imagine installation will just be as easy as in Windows. Once you've installed Steam you shouldn't have any problems.

            b + c) Although you are right about this, for the moment I would be deleriously happy to have native ports of the Valve games even without all the latest Shader N effects and 33.5 channel surround sound.

            d) Mostly agreed. I bought Unreal Tournament 3 because I was convinced Epic would pring out the Linux client soon enough. Wish I could give it back telling them that I don't want it until they bring out their damn Linux client.

            e) I'm not sure about that. Why? Some will oblige you, but I think most won't even think about making it easy for you to get at their "source material", why should they? Although it's not the FLOSS way if people are willing to pay for closed-source games, let them. Demanding free media will only make it difficult for Linux to become a popular gaming platform. (Hey, would be great if I was proven wrong though)

            f) Well some Windows upgrades break games as well, I imagine you can never guarantee this. But again, if Valve would be serious about supporting Linux any updates to the game code would automatically be distributed to all their customers.

            g) Agreed

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            • #7
              Originally posted by deanjo View Post
              ...
              a) This does need to be improved although one would hope that with a native installer it would behave properly.

              b) I thought opengl could provide most of the features that DX10 provides; but yeah it would be nice to see opengl3 API finished so it can start to be implemented and tested.

              c) Agreed, sound under linux still needs a fair bit of work.

              d) Can't argue with that, it's exactly the same with console ports to windows.

              e) So long as they media format is supported under linux and they purchase the licence this point is moot; although using open formats would mean it's easier for a develop to break even on ports to linux (no licencing fee's).

              f) With steam this isn't a problem as they can just release a patch to fix it.

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              • #8
                Phoronix was always the best source when it comes to exclusive Linux/FOSS-News. Like Michael stated, it was the same with the fglrx/AMD/opensourcing thing when it was all a rumour but Michael just seemed to not be able to confirm it officially, because of NDA or whatever. If it doesn't come, alright, but I am 99% sure it will happen

                Oh, and the Source engine has already an OpenGL render... did you really thought the Playstation 3 supports DirectX?
                Last edited by d2kx; 05-07-2008, 12:04 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                  Well there are a few things that first have to be worked out before that happens.

                  a ) Ease of installation (no more things like "it asks for disk two but I can't eject the disk" for example)
                  That has been a non-issue since recent 2.6.18+ kernel based distributions. I think hald is especially what has permited mounting/unmounting of CD drives.

                  Originally posted by deanjo
                  b ) Khronos has to get off their *ss and give us an openGL API that can exploit the modern hardware.
                  What exactly do you mean here? If you mean SM 4.x support, I thought OpenGL 2.1 had just that (and OpenGL 2.0 had SM 2.x and 3 support). Though I believe they're holding the release of OpenGL 3.0, is that it?

                  Originally posted by deanjo
                  c ) Things like surround sound should be easily configured without having to run hacks or involve manually creating or editting config files.
                  This should be easier to achieve with the new OpenAL-soft (which has a new and written from scratch Sample Implementation). Even though Linux has been one of the early adopters of OpenAL, the API seemed to stagnate on the platform. I agree, though that Linux has to have a better sound backend acting as infrasctructure for the whole system (think Core-Audio in Mac) and what has that possiblity of becoming the piece of middleware to help alleviate many of the sound issues in Linux is PulseAudio (still not as mature as I would like, but much better an alternative to aRTs and ESD).

                  Originally posted by deanjo
                  d ) Linux version release dates have to be unified with other platform releases.
                  I don't think that's much of an issue for many users, but it would be nice if we can have same-day releases

                  Originally posted by deanjo
                  e ) Game developers have to stop using closed source non-free media formats in their games (ie mp3, bink)
                  Which was one of the things I liked the most with Epic since Unreal and Unreal Tournament were released. They used widely supported formats. At least for the music in UE1, they used mod files (.s3m) inside the .umx pakages, for UT2K* they used .ogg (Vorbis) for the music, which was nice and refreshing... Oddly enough, if you own Halo PC (I'm not sure about Halo 2, though), they also used Ogg-Vorbis for sound and music in that particular game (ironic as it is).

                  Originally posted by deanjo
                  f ) the ports have to be done in a way that a update to the os doesn't break the game (I'm looking at you Loki releases)
                  This would actually be a bit difficult to attain, as glibC is a moving target and even though it may be backwards compatible, some apps do brake. Still I have been able to run glibc 2.0 applications with glibc 2.3 and above.

                  Originally posted by deanjo
                  g ) ports have to support the modern defacto standards of linux (non of this supporting OSS and/or ALSA through OSS emulation BS
                  See my comment above about OpenAL and Pulse Audio, if indeed the Linux community adopts Pulse to become the "X server for sound" the underlying driver architecture can be whatever the user wants to run, but still have a common interface for sound programming and ensuring that it would "Just Work", regardless of the hardware drivers. That's why I hope Pulse would really become the Windows Sound System or Core Audio equivalents from Windows and Mac (respectively) in Linux (and probably other operating systems such as BSD, Solaris, etc).
                  Last edited by Thetargos; 05-07-2008, 12:10 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ex-Cyber View Post
                    What's wrong with OpenGL 2?
                    openGL 2 does not support many features that are found in DX 10. openGL 3 will support instance rendering, streaming vertex data to a buffer, texture buffer objects, new texture formats and more. To become the ultimate gaming OS you have to not only meet your competitors but exceed their offerings. Also openGL 3 is supposed to get down more to the "bare metal" then the current offerings.
                    Last edited by deanjo; 05-07-2008, 12:17 PM.

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