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A developer on Tesla Effect details why the Linux port never arrived

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Tesla Effect was a pretty interesting looking game, but sadly the Linux release never happened and not because the developer didn't try. It's yet another case of middleware preventing a Linux version, which is a real shame.

QuoteAs was stated earlier in this thread: the main reason why Linux support is not available (and STILL is not available) is due to the Bink 2 video codec used in the game to decode the Full Motion Video portion. I have it on good authority that the programming and design team worked EXTREMELY hard to try and get RAD Video Tools (the developers of Bink) to work with us on getting Linux support for their codec. But ultimately, the response from them was as follows:

A) They considered Big Finish Games not "big" enough to devote any more time and resources into working out a Linux solution for our game. And...
B) They do not really consider Linux support of their codec a priority, period.

Now, from what I have heard, they have spent a lot of time working directly with Triple A developers to continue to improve and enhance the codec for their needs, and specifically consoles (which is their larger market). This has unfortunately left the indie developers (like Big Finish Games) and those who develop on Unity a bit stranded. This has resulted in many of us heaving to appear to have broken one of our promises, when really, our hand was forced to do so.

A real shame, I hope anyone considering doing a Linux version doesn't go with Bink.

QuoteLet me be clear: Big Finish Games worked tirelessly to get you the game on Linux, and aside from the video Codec, it is a Linux-Ready game. Big Finish Games was basically turned out to the wolves and was left abandoned by RAD Video tools with no way to getting the videos sequences working on Linux machines.

I wish more developers were as honest and open about this as they have now been.

You can see the full post here. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Editorial, Unity
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36 comments
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adolson 4 Dec, 2015
Quoting: TakBink is widely used because it's a more-or-less drop-in solution for "cross-platform" video. It's a shame that they don't support Linux any more, because they certainly used to - the between-chapter cutscenes in Neverwinter Nights used Bink.
Umm, what? Neverwinter Nights for Linux didn't support video cinematics. They literally just gave us transcripts of the cinematics to read between chapters...

That makes Bink video a problem for Linux gaming for close to 15 years! Why on Earth would ANY dev who wants to support Linux use it? (BioWare claimed NWN was designed to be cross-platform from the start... yet they used InstallShield and Miles and Bink.... Then we waited for like 9 months while they tried to figure out how to make the game work cross-platform...)
Shmerl 4 Dec, 2015
How hard is it to replace Bink with other codec, and and use corresponding decoder with ffmpeg for example? Or it's a problem with Unity not allowing such flexibility?
GNUzel 4 Dec, 2015
I'm just wondering, could they convert their videos to another codec?
Avehicle7887 4 Dec, 2015
Quoting: ShmerlHow hard is it to replace Bink with other codec, and and use corresponding decoder with ffmpeg for example? Or it's a problem with Unity not allowing such flexibility?

The dev on the Steam thread mentioned they tried Ogg Video but they had sync problems between the audio/video. My guess is that they tried other codecs too but were unsuccessful.

I find it a bit of a stupid move that RADVideoTools don't want to support Linux in general, this would have opened up not just 1 game to Linux, but any future projects that want to use the codec.
linux_gamer 4 Dec, 2015
Couldn't they just skip the cutscenes? If they are that important they could provide a description as text.
ripper 4 Dec, 2015
Well, if you intend to do a crossplatform game, pick crossplatform tools from the start. It's as simple as that. I feel sympathy with them, but it's still developers' fault, not middleware's fault.
Glog78 4 Dec, 2015
Hmm i know for sure that flibit has a working video solution for his fna framework. Here i would gladly invest money (patreon or so) in flibit to make a platform crossover replacment of bink sdk. But maybe we need to first contact flibit and the tesla guys if that would be a option :)
I mean once it works in teslagrad it could be opensourced. This would bring up some competition into the market and on the other side help all those "stranded" indie dev's.
GustyGhost 4 Dec, 2015
QuoteNow, from what I have heard, they have spent a lot of time working directly with Triple A developers to continue to improve and enhance the codec for their needs, and specifically consoles (which is their larger market).

Ah, consoles ruining everything... as usual.
Feist 4 Dec, 2015
Quoting: tuubiBink's Unity plugin has supported Linux since August this year, but I guess the support came too late. Here's the changelog for those interested.

This is really too bad. I guess the game will remain unplayed in my library for the foreseeable future.

Yeah, it's a damned shame. I finally have all the "Tex Murphy" games on steam now. (something that I have wished for during many years)
Unfortunatly, "Tesla Effect" & "Overseer" are the only two tex-games that I haven't played. Also, the only two that aren't avaliable on Linux, while the first four games are. :( :(

Just typical....


Last edited by Feist on 4 December 2015 at 10:20 pm UTC
Feist 4 Dec, 2015
Mis-post


Last edited by Feist on 4 December 2015 at 10:22 pm UTC
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