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For those of you interested in seeing The Witness [Official Site] on Linux, it seems Jonathan Blow mentioned it again recently in a livestream in response to a viewer question. It's hard to argue with what he's saying.

You can see the video here, skip to 27:10.

I took some time to listen and note down what he said if you don't want to/can't watch it. He starts off by explaining the rough time they had when it came out on Windows and then moves into talking about Linux directly:
QuoteOn Linux, the situation is way worse. Few people will buy the game, we know that because we've sold games on Linux before. The percentage of people who have support problems is gonna go way up, relevant to any other platform. So basically, we're just inviting misery to ourselves for people to complain about problems, and for us to the fix the problems. It's not worth it for this game. Braid we got away with it as it has a much simpler rendering engine. Porting that to Linux, we still had some issues, but for the most part is was alright. Maybe someday in the future if we have a Vulkan renderer and if Vulkan runs well on Linux, and if Vulkan doesn't destroy itself with driver shenanigans then in that kind of case me might be open to doing it, but an OpenGL version forget it.


Myself and Jon had a bit of a falling out a while back over something trivial, so he still has our @gamingonlinux account blocked on Twitter. I fully respect him though and I won't argue against his points here, as I think he's mostly right.

We are still a small market, growing yes, but still small and not worth the time for everyone just yet.

Our drivers are certainly better than they were a year or two ago, but they still have ways to go. Remember, I do speak to developers regularly about the issues they face, and OpenGL bugs or low performance issues are always top of their lists. Thankfully, with more high profile ports arriving on Linux like Deus Ex, Mad Max, Tomb Raider and more, driver developers have more demanding Linux ports to test their games against.

It is really interesting to hear that he's interested in Vulkan, so it's a really nice surprise. He's not saying they will do it, but it's possible if they do get a Vulkan rendering engine in future.

Thanks for sending me the link, Till! Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Editorial, Vulkan
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Shmerl 26 Jan, 2017
They are using their own engine?
Smilex 26 Jan, 2017
Quoting: ShmerlThey are using their own engine?

Yes. Jonathan Blow as explained in detail why they did, in one of his many videos. I can't remember what the reason was exactly, and I can't remember which video. I'm pretty sure he advocates that small teams always roll with their own engine.
Shmerl 26 Jan, 2017
Quoting: Smilex
Quoting: ShmerlThey are using their own engine?

Yes. Jonathan Blow as explained in detail why they did, in one of his many videos. I can't remember what the reason was exactly, and I can't remember which video. I'm pretty sure he advocates that small teams always roll with their own engine.

That's good, I like when developers make their own engines. But it sounds like they don't use Vulkan yet.


Last edited by Shmerl on 26 January 2017 at 10:18 pm UTC
drmoth 26 Jan, 2017
That's great news, I was sadly looking at that game recently, mourning the fact it never came to Linux.
sub 26 Jan, 2017
Quoting: drmothThat's great news, I was sadly looking at that game recently, mourning the fact it never came to Linux.

Don't hold your breath.

They don't have a Vulkan renderer yet and he did not imply that it is on its way.
scaine 26 Jan, 2017
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We might be small, but there's a reason that so many indies support Linux - 1% of 14M active users is still a bloody huge number. It might not make sense for the Ubisoft's and EA's of this world, but for an indie, opening the door to a market of an additional 10k+ gamers, many of whom will rate you higher because there's no EA or Ubisoft... that's usually good sense.

Blow's comment about Linux gamers not buying his products is bizarre and annoying, considering his one title, Braid, was not only part of a Humble Indie Bundle (the first?) which had a huge number of Linux gamers participating, but it also pre-dates Steam on Linux, so he'd hardly be in a position to say "Linux users don't buy our games".

I can honestly say I've spent more (waaaay more) on games since moving to Linux and solely buying Linux games than I did as a Windows gamer. I hunted for bargains as a Windows gamer, but commonly pay full price as a Linux gamer - Deus Ex, Stellaris, Tomb Raider and many others. I've had bargains of course, but I don't hunt them down anymore.

Loved Braid though and despite his dramatics about the state of Linux, I'd still support him if he ever changes his mind.
opera 26 Jan, 2017
QuoteMaybe someday in the future if we have a Vulkan renderer and if Vulkan runs well on Linux, and if Vulkan doesn't destroy itself with driver shenanigans then in that kind of case me might be open to doing it
"Maybe someday in the future" followed by three "ifs". Better not get your hopes high on this one.
hardpenguin 26 Jan, 2017
Not sure why he cares so much because surely it won't be him doing the port (Knockout Games was hired to port The Witness to Xbox One).

Of course I realise that offering technical and monetary support for the potential Linux port for years to come might be somewhat problematic.

I respect Jonathan Blow and his work a lot so obviously if one day he will decide to release his latest game to Linux, I will be glad to buy it!
winate 27 Jan, 2017
QuoteMyself and Jon had a bit of a falling out a while back over something trivial, so he still has our @gamingonlinux account blocked on Twitter.

That's completely reasonable. Jonathan Blow is up there with Gary Newman in terms of being a total ass, especially in regards to Linux.
Alm888 27 Jan, 2017
Maybe someday in the future if they port the game and if the port is good and if there will be a huge discount on the old (by then) title and if I actually like the game, then maybe I will buy it.

;-D
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