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Valve's L4D2 Is Faster On Linux Than Windows

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  • AJSB
    replied
    The issue here is not only if Valve is one big publisher or not (sure, is not as big as EA or ACTIVISION but they are getting bigger) or if it has AAA games (they have and working in more AAA titles), the issue is that they have a service with witch they have a LOT of partners (including ACTIVISION)...if they convince a good enough percentage of those partners to make AAA games ports to Linux, that will have a very important impact....i dare say a decisive impact.

    Hell, if Valve port DOTA2, CSGO, TF2, P2, HL3 and L4D2 to Linux that alone will have a HUGE impact and all them are in their respective categories AAA games.

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  • Scali
    replied
    Originally posted by Hamish Wilson View Post
    Okay, from a technical perspective, I agree with you on that - Source is not a very modern engine.

    It is just that the argument I was referring to has come up altogether too much whenever someone tries to do something for Linux gaming - but it is not game X, or it is not a racing game but just another shooter, or it is a racing game but not the racing game I want, etc... and therefore Linux can never become a good gaming platform.
    Well, I was merely trying to answer the hypothesis that was brought up, about Valve changing the gaming world.
    I don't see that happening.

    Having said that, I think:
    1) It's nice to see a large developer standing up for alternative platforms
    2) It's nice to see that their port is actually going to perform well, and have the same visuals as the Windows version, rather than some watered down Wine-wrapped attempt.
    3) It's nice that linux and OS X are getting a larger selection of games to choose from, even if it is only a handful of games from the Valve portfolio at this point.
    4) It's a shame that FreeBSD is still completely ignored.
    5) It's a shame that Gabe Newell had to do all that unfounded mudslinging towards Windows 8. Why not focus on the strengths of linux/OpenGL instead?
    Last edited by Scali; 08-03-2012, 02:22 PM. Reason: Forgot point 5)

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  • Hamish Wilson
    replied
    Originally posted by Scali View Post
    I guess you missed my point, which is:
    Valve's efforts don't show parity with cutting-edge Windows games. The Source engine is based on 10+-year old technology (which is why they are getting 300+ fps in the first place, it does not really stress a modern system).
    Okay, from a technical perspective, I agree with you on that - Source is not a very modern engine.

    It is just that the argument I was referring to has come up altogether too much whenever someone tries to do something for Linux gaming - but it is not game X, or it is not a racing game but just another shooter, or it is a racing game but not the racing game I want, etc... and therefore Linux can never become a good gaming platform.

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  • entropy
    replied
    Originally posted by Hamish Wilson View Post
    I would have thought Valve would be AAA enough (another vague qualifier, but anyway) to appease most of these kind of people, but I guess I was wrong. Now we are getting that we need to get game "X" or "Y" instead.
    I'd even go that far to claim that Valve is one of the very few big companies that also deliver AAA content besides AAA technology and an AAA budget.

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  • Scali
    replied
    Originally posted by Hamish Wilson View Post
    When it comes to this though, I am getting kind of sick of the argument that "it is only game A we are getting, and not game B, which is the only one that can really change things". Where are these arbitrary ratings and standards of what makes an important game coming from? I would have thought Valve would be AAA enough (another vague qualifier, but anyway) to appease most of these kind of people, but I guess I was wrong. Now we are getting that we need to get game "X" or "Y" instead.
    I guess you missed my point, which is:
    Valve's efforts don't show parity with cutting-edge Windows games. The Source engine is based on 10+-year old technology (which is why they are getting 300+ fps in the first place, it does not really stress a modern system).
    It would be more interesting if a full DX11+ whizzbang engine/game (Crysis 3 and Battlefield 4 being metaphors of that, note that these are imaginary future game titles, not current games) were ported to linux (not for me, don't get me wrong. I'm not even a gamer... but those are the kind of games surrounded with the most hype, and those generally get sold on their technical merits, even when they're not actually all that fun to play. They'd give linux gaming more of a boost).
    Last edited by Scali; 08-03-2012, 02:11 PM.

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  • Hamish Wilson
    replied
    Originally posted by Scali View Post
    It seems you just have a strange idea that porting an application would in any way imply that the code has to be in any way portable at all. That is not the case, as you can see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porting

    As for the triviality, I beg to differ. Firstly, games were developed by much smaller teams as well, back then (usually just one or two programmers). Secondly, where Windows and linux run on identical hardware, these older platforms often had quite different hardware characteristics, and it would sometimes require signifcant effort to reinvent the same graphics on a completely different platform.
    I suggest you read this blog, to get an idea: http://popc64.blogspot.com

    My point being: it's pretty sad that developers don't put in any effort anymore to support other platforms, or even different OSes on the same platform, where one day they would bother porting games to many different platforms, even if it meant rewriting the code from scratch, and even recreating the content (the original version of Prince of Persia was on Apple II, later versions such as MS-DOS and Amiga had updated graphics and sound effects).
    On this I fully agree.

    Originally posted by Scali View Post
    I doubt that Valve has enough of an influence to move the gaming world from Windows to linux to be honest, so I'd say 'wishful thinking', yes.
    I mean, after all is said and done, it's still just an old DirectX 9 game that is being ported. Now if something like Crysis 3 or Battlefield 4 were announced for linux, it's slightly different, but I don't think Valve's engine and games have 'killer app' status at this point.
    When it comes to this though, I am getting kind of sick of the argument that "it is only game A we are getting, and not game B, which is the only one that can really change things". Where are these arbitrary ratings and standards of what makes an important game coming from? I would have thought Valve would be AAA enough (another vague qualifier, but anyway) to appease most of these kind of people, but I guess I was wrong. Now we are getting that we need to get game "X" or "Y" instead.

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  • Scali
    replied
    Originally posted by AJSB View Post
    Am i wrong or they "simply" add an abstraction layer that translates Dx - > OGL ?
    When they released the OS X version, they were quick to point out that they weren't using any kind of translation/wrapper/emulation, but wrote native OpenGL code...
    Which is what I'd expect.
    Direct3D is very lowlevel, so you'd normally write a layer of code around that, to manage all your resources, content etc. If you then take OpenGL and do the same, and make sure the layers are mostly compatible, then the rest of the engine can make use of it without a lot of modifications.
    That is how I do it anyway.
    It's also what they mention in the blog: "The second category would include reducing overhead in calling OpenGL, and extending our renderer with new interfaces for better encapsulation of OpenGL and Direct3D."
    They have a layer that encapsulates OpenGL and Direct3D (at the same level, not encapsulating OpenGL in a Direct3D wrapper, which then is encapsulated in the higher level layer).

    I think that's what they meant to say, but somehow it came out wrong.
    Last edited by Scali; 08-03-2012, 01:57 PM.

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  • kwahoo
    replied
    Originally posted by Scali View Post
    Now if something like Crysis 3 or Battlefield 4 were announced for linux, it's slightly different, but I don't think Valve's engine and games have 'killer app' status at this point.
    Forget about Crysis 3 and Battlefield 4, we all are waiting for Half-Life 3
    Source-based games are still very popular and Dota 2 (while still beta) is the most popular game at Steam.

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  • elanthis
    replied
    Originally posted by jrch2k8 View Post
    if valve adopt let say Qt or GTK/ISO C++[x revision]/opengl/webkit/etc you can maintain 99% of your codebase plataform agnostic that will greatly reduce support cost and will help to implement fixes a freaking lot faster
    It would be cross platform between three PC OSes, two of which are close to inconsequential. There are no magic set of libraries to be portable to the platforms that game companies care about. Yet.

    Portability is a bigger thing today than it ever has been. The target platforms just aren't PC. They're consoles, mobile phones, the Web, etc.

    If you really care about maximum portability, you're either writing everything in HTML5 or using a tool that compiles to HTML5.

    On a side note, Valve already has adopted most of the tech you listed. Not Qt or GTK+, but I have a feeling those are on their way out anyway. The world seems to be moving towards a more HTML like UI (which Valve has ready done) rather than using the rigid strict widget libraries of years past. The rest of what GTK and Qt do are better done in smaller, more focused libraries.

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  • AJSB
    replied
    I don't think Valve rewrote Source Engine from Dx to OpenGL....and i quote:

    ---------------------------------------------
    Valve Linux team says:
    August 2, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    We use a modified abstraction layer (based on the original Mac OS X work) that translates Direct3D calls to the proper OpenGL calls. This layer has received the most work but changes have also been made above this layer that resulted in improved performance.
    Reply
    ---------------------------------------------


    Am i wrong or they "simply" add an abstraction layer that translates Dx - > OGL ?

    If it is so, *that* makes even more impressive their results because any abstration layer increases always , even for a small amount, the time it takes to calculate and transmit to the GPU....or i'm just saying silly things here ?

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