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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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renegat0x0 27 Jan, 2017
@shmerl
QuoteThat's good, I like when developers make their own engines. But it sounds like they don't use Vulkan yet.

I disagree. I don't like when people are reinventing the wheel. He could have used existing engine. He could have used engine that simply supports linux. That is the price of having your own engine. You have to do everyhing yourselve.
Shmerl 27 Jan, 2017
Quoting: renegat0x0@shmerl
QuoteThat's good, I like when developers make their own engines. But it sounds like they don't use Vulkan yet.

I disagree. I don't like when people are reinventing the wheel.

Having your own engine, you can do whatever you want, and design it however you want. Doing it yourself is a good price to pay, if you want to have full control over it.
JudasIscariot 27 Jan, 2017
Quoting: Shmerl
Quoting: renegat0x0@shmerl
QuoteThat's good, I like when developers make their own engines. But it sounds like they don't use Vulkan yet.

I disagree. I don't like when people are reinventing the wheel.

Having your own engine, you can do whatever you want, and design it however you want. Doing it yourself is a good price to pay, if you want to have full control over it.

And you don't have to pay licensing costs on top of that :)
scaine 27 Jan, 2017
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Quoting: winate
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.

That's pretty harsh. Blow often speaks negatively about Linux, but I've rarely if ever heard him be insultingly disrespectful. Newman on the other hand is a proper muppet, who appears to enjoy trolling.
silmeth 27 Jan, 2017
Quoting: scaineWe 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...

Also quite a few indies just use Linux as their own main OS, so they actually better support it than Windows. ’Cause, StackOverflow indicates, Linux is a primary OS for (at least) work for over ~20 % of programmers out there. And a lot of indies are just some of those programmers who, at one point, decide to start writing game. ;-)
STiAT 27 Jan, 2017
Quoteand if Vulkan doesn't destroy itself with driver shenanigans

We just can hope and wait ...
Nanobang 27 Jan, 2017
On the bright side (for me), I doubt I would have purchased it anyway ... just not the sort of game that interests me. On the very, very bright side, I won't have to feel guilty that I don't want to buy someone's Linux port.

And can we start calling him Johnathan Blows,now? Too easy?
renegat0x0 27 Jan, 2017
Quoting: Shmerl
Quoting: renegat0x0@shmerl
QuoteThat's good, I like when developers make their own engines. But it sounds like they don't use Vulkan yet.

I disagree. I don't like when people are reinventing the wheel.

Having your own engine, you can do whatever you want, and design it however you want. Doing it yourself is a good price to pay, if you want to have full control over it.

@JudasIscariot
It is a funny thing when somebody mentions cost of a gaming engine. Engine developers do not eat dirt. It costs to develop an engine (and to add more features). If you write your own engine it will costs you also to develop your own engine, and during this process you may end up with a bad product if you do not know what you're doing.
You could even pay more for your own engine if you are not careful.
I heard that game engines do not have to pricey. I heard you have to pay for some engines when your game exceeds some earning level. I see nothing wrong in paying for an engine if the price is right.

@Shmerl
I understand when high-end games use their own engines (for example witcher 3). Triple A game requirements are high. If game engine was not optimized for the game, the performance would be poor. However there is no need for control for simple games, or games that use simple mechanics. Even though I have not played the witness I suspect there is nothing it that cannot be realized using an existing engine. I find no necessity for control here. That is why I find the witness author complaints completely missed.

Sorry for the long post and my bad English.
Shmerl 27 Jan, 2017
Quoting: renegat0x0I understand when high-end games use their own engines (for example witcher 3). Triple A game requirements are high. If game engine was not optimized for the game, the performance would be poor. However there is no need for control for simple games, or games that use simple mechanics. Even though I have not played the witness I suspect there is nothing it that cannot be realized using an existing engine. I find no necessity for control here. That is why I find the witness author complaints completely missed.

There can be multiple reasons to make your own engine. Educational for instance. Making your own engine helps getting experience in graphics programming. If you just use others' engines, you don't really learn it in depth.


Last edited by Shmerl on 27 January 2017 at 5:04 pm UTC
JudasIscariot 27 Jan, 2017
Quoting: renegat0x0
Quoting: Shmerl
Quoting: renegat0x0@shmerl
QuoteThat's good, I like when developers make their own engines. But it sounds like they don't use Vulkan yet.

I disagree. I don't like when people are reinventing the wheel.

Having your own engine, you can do whatever you want, and design it however you want. Doing it yourself is a good price to pay, if you want to have full control over it.

@JudasIscariot
It is a funny thing when somebody mentions cost of a gaming engine. Engine developers do not eat dirt. It costs to develop an engine (and to add more features). If you write your own engine it will costs you also to develop your own engine, and during this process you may end up with a bad product if you do not know what you're doing.
You could even pay more for your own engine if you are not careful.
I heard that game engines do not have to pricey. I heard you have to pay for some engines when your game exceeds some earning level. I see nothing wrong in paying for an engine if the price is right.



Sorry for the long post and my bad English.

There's nothing wrong with developing your own engine either :) I only raised the money issue because it can be a factor when deciding whether to make your own engine or use what is already out there :)
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