Last month the company behind the very advanced Unigine Engine launched a Linux game development competition
whereby they would give away a free license to the game development team that came up with the best game idea and would provide a native Linux game client. Submissions for this contest ended on Friday.
A week ago we reported on the Linux game proposals
that were submitted to Unigine Corp up to that point, which totalled up to ten. There were proposals for one Unigine MMORPG, a puzzle/platform game, a first person shooter, and the seven others were not described in great detail. The day before the competition was set to end, I was told by Denis Shergin, the Unigine CEO, that they would be announcing the winner the next day as they were fairly sure of the best proposal.
But two days have passed and there's still no winning news... What happened? Well, I've just found out that at the last minute there was an up-tick in the number of submissions to this Linux game development competition. These weren't just shoddy, procrastinated proposals, but evidently the last minute submissions carry some weight that its making it tougher for the Unigine developers to decide on the winning submission. A final meeting to discuss the entries is set for tomorrow once the developers get back into their Russian office.
The good news though coming out of all these submissions and it no longer being a clear, easy winner, Unigine Corp has decided to give away free engine licenses to the three best teams. Originally they had just planned to give away a free Windows/Linux engine license to the best team and then for the second and third place teams offer them a substantial licensing discount if they wished to pursue their game ideas. Now though the top three teams will be granted Unigine licenses!
Not only that, but I've also learned that one of Unigine's clients is interested in partnering with the winning team to provide high-quality 3D game content/artwork.
It looks like next year will be great for the Linux gaming scene while this year has not really experienced any ground-breaking AAA-title game releases (though Heroes of Newerth on Linux was a success
. In 2011 we already have to look forward to the Unigine OilRush game
and now potentially up to three more titles running under Linux with this visually-advanced engine. And yes, there's also Valve's Steam / Source Engine coming to Linux.