Linux was 20% of issues, but 0.1% of sales


A man month of time to get ‘basically’ familiar is kind of a big deal. And I assume you know as well as I do that troubleshooting on a platform has a lot to do with ‘soaked in’ comfort with that platform, where you know where to look for things without doing a bunch of research every time you want to find something out.

Taking a month to get LINUX familiarity for our current project, from my perspective as a business owner and developer, would be pretty much impossible to justify. shrug
And when we shipped, I’d be on the hook to support it, communicating with users who know considerably more about the platform than I do (and from all online communications I’ve seen, generally do not suffer fools gladly, to put it mildly)


Anyway, I don’t want to belabor all this, but maybe I’ve made my case well enough for why not shipping on LINUX isn’t a moral lapse on my part, as far as I’m concerned :)


I was expecting far more vitriol, dammit…I can’t believe how patient you were for what is a clearly crackpot position. Well done, I guess. :-)


And it’s not like people are fleeing Windows in droves because it costs $2k or whatever. Obtaining a copy of Windows is a pretty low barrier to entry.


No, but when you’re making claims about how easy something is, it helps to have done it yourself, preferably repeatedly - and not just something that’s kinda similar if you squint. Game development has different needs and parameters from other kinds of software, and different scales of game development are different from one another.


Or, put in more direct terms, around $10,000-20,000 just to get familiar at all with Linux.


You didn’t clarify, gaming related? As tbaldree said, graphics alone are a complete mess because hardware makers don’t care to make things stable and reliable at all. Sure, the small indie games on Unity are a lot easier, but they only have one programmer who has to learn everything, so it still doesn’t happen despite supporting the nonsense that is OSX, which plenty claim is barely worth it.

I don’t think Wine is a bad idea either, but, realistically, it’s a very complex project that needs very specialized knowledge that you can often only get with a lot of money. It would be easier to make the modular infrastructure better, but that isn’t sexy and we get the proliferation of standards (see above).

You’d think, but no, Linux gamers are like every other group of gamers - there’s a very vocal annoying segment who think they can get anywhere by demanding everything (my not successful “reality distortion field” joke callback).

Thank you for caring, anyway. I’m sure I’ll eventually get to play it on Wine.

It’s a mandatory hidden purchase that almost no one thinks about, with all the good and bad things that implies.


Yep, same here. I could have ported a few of my games to Linux, but honestly…just seems in terms of money, a waste of time. The segment there just seems to be fringe users who want lots of stuff for free/little cost, and with all the distros and varying levels of glitchiness in them, a real pain to deal with.

I do support Mac with a few of my games with little headache, at least in my case. Sales are maybe 2-3% of Windows, but… it is what it is. :-)




Oh, for the sake of… sigh
Please get that idea out of your head that supporting Linux (in case of distributing games on Steam, specifically) means having to support anything except Ubuntu.
Now, if you think that supporting even one Linux distro is still too much trouble, fine, but please stop spreading those claims that are only shared by those looking for excuses.

That’s really not my experience, and I’m watching (and/or participate) in a number of Linux communities.
People on, for example, Arch know very well that IF a game developer will support Linux, it will in all likelyhood be specifically Ubuntu and that the dev cannot be expected to have machines or even VMs to test on all the distros. They’ll still report bugs, sure, but that’s just something Linux users seem to be more keen on doing.

You don’t land on something like Arch or SUSE by accident ;)
Actually, users there even seem to be rather keen on finding workarounds to “make” Ubuntu releases work for them just as well.
Which as a Linux user myself, would just be way too much trouble. But I guess Arch users are the kings of tinkering amongst the group of tinkerers.

The “demands” I’ve seen from Linux users are usually the likes of “no tux, no bux” (which makes sense, really, if you don’t support my platform, I won’t likely buy your game) or “fix this Linux bug” (for example, Pathfinder: Kingmaker released with save games not working on any Linux, and quickly fixed that).
If those seem outrageous demands to anyone, then I don’t know what they expect. There’s no difference between those demands and demanding a release on Switch - other than the likelihood of being heard, that is.


Screw Linux! I want Rockstar to port Red Dead Redemption 2 to my Tiger Electronic. Any chances?


I think is good for devs to support more than one OS’s. I don’t care what two OS’s. So they become aware of what parts of their code depend too much on the platform.

This may lead to better programming, and software that can run on the current OS version + 1. Too many Windows games don’t work on Windows anymore, because enough things changed.


This is untrue, as others upthread have said. As a dev, you can stamp “This distro only!” in bold 100pt font on your store page, and you will still get Linux users running their own version complaining because their version is close enough, or some other reason. Acting like the dev has final say over what their users do - especially in an environment like Linux which is even more Wild West than other PC dev - is naive. Especially since porting a title over to Linux is generally seen as a “good will” thing; telling most of those with issues to go suck an egg because you said just Ubuntu is a non starter.

Generally, when I’ve worked on Linux ports, we’ve tried to support at least three or four major distros. They were more trouble than they were worth, but I’m sure we made at least seven people happy somewhere.

And as for this glorious idea of a completely cross compatible engine that requires almost no porting - again, not really realistic. The closest the industry has are probably the big power house engines like Unity, UE; those are made to try to take some of the sting out of cross platform development. Guess what - they don’t make it “free” as you seem to believe. You can only make so many things truly generic; at some point you’re working with the platform.

EDIT- To clarify my last point - you’re generally working with the platform at some of the stuff Linux is bound to be weakest with. Audio, rendering, etc. I’d throw networking on the pile, but what I really mean is a single suite of behind the scenes multiplayer stuff. We all know Linux is fine at networking, heh. There are new middleware options for the latter (Amazon is doing stuff here), but that means you’re footing the bill for a lot of stuff that other platforms may give you for free. If you’re on Steam, you should be fine.


Many console game devs link physics to framerate. This create problems when porting things to something like Windows, that is the Wild West, and you can have a machine with x10 times more horsepower than other.


I’m not saying that devs can control what users do.
But I do say that if you do make it clear the game features Ubuntu and nothing else, and you still have some hotheads complain - explain and/or ignore them. It’s just not reasonable in the current situation to expect anyone to maintain more than one linux distro.

Then again, I never followed the mantra of treating customers like kings.
Treating customers like grown up people capable of thought is more my line of thinking. And a grown up person capable of thought would understand the paragraph above.

I fully disagree with that. Especially if you already show “good will” by offering the major Linux distro, you don’t have to feature more.
Everything else would be “you showed good will, NOW SHOW EVEN MORE”. Not saying there aren’t some people like that, but those should be ignored.

I wonder, though how many Linux issues are actually tied to specific distributions in game development? Most bugs I encountered in Linux versions when developing (not games but 3D software) were either specific to Nvida vs AMD (and then mostly tied to the library used, so the dev couldn’t actually do anything about it at that point) or just affected all distros.


Heh; this is the crux of the matter. You’re talking about some idealized form of consumer behavior and relationship between buyer and seller. This does not exist in the real world, and does not reflect how the gaming community interacts with companies. You can’t handwave this away; it’s an important part of the math that’s used to determine whether ports like this are worth it.

You’re right in that if you make a fairly generic engine, porting isn’t too bad. It’s not simple, and for any dev that’s small, I’d never really recommend it. But the potential downstream cost is high.

Your next point about many of the bugs being related to third party hardware illustrates this again. A gamer doesn’t give a fuck if the problem comes from the hardware; they just care that there’s a problem to begin with, and the point of entry for their ire is the dev.


Well, there are those who lie down and follow the status quo, and those who grow a pair and strive to improve it.
Quite honestly, I would never back down from my position on this, no matter if it cost me customers or not. But then again, even if that would mean my game dev “carreer” was over, I could always go back to “just” being a well-paid programmer.
So, I realize that I do have the luxury of being able to actually show some backbone, even if it would cost me. Not everyone might have that luxury.


And here I thought for a moment we were having a rational discussion. Guess we’re done here.


Ah, as soon as some uncomfortable facts like the own lack of backbone come to the surface, the discussion is quit.
Why, I’ve never seen that one before. Well, I won’t force anyone to keep discussing ;)


Or maybe it’s just that you seem like an arrogant douchebag and nobody wants to talk to you? It’s kindof been a common theme across your posts.