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I'll be honest, I'm not too bothered about Project Contingency [Official Site] deciding not to support Linux because I've only just heard of it, it's still in the early stages and Installation 01 [Official Site] will support Linux.

I'm highlighting this, due to what the developers of Project Contingency said in a recent news post about why they aren't going to support Linux.

There are a few issues with Linux. For one, there are an absurdly small amount of people that actually game on Linux. Because of this, the amount of work that we would need to put into developing for Linux would not be worth it.

The amount of people actually using Linux for gaming is always a difficult topic to address. If you're comparing it with Windows, sure, Linux gaming is a lot smaller. I don't think there's a real reliable way to actually check how many people are gaming on Linux. I just don't think it's worth arguing over and considering this is a fan-made project done in their spare time—fair enough.

But there are other issues as well. Writing a reliable anti-cheat for Linux is not easy and cannot be enforced. What with Linux being open sourced, it's extremely difficult to write an anti-cheat for that platform because anybody can make any changes they want to the OS. That means easily tricking an anti-cheat into thinking it's working when it's actually just counting time and taking up memory.

This is one I'm personally not too sure about. I've read a lot of mixed feelings about anti-cheat on Linux, I'm sure plenty of you will be able to clear that up in the comments with your thoughts. It might be harder, it might not be, I think it all comes down to how well you know the system, like everything else doesn't it? BattlEye came out with Linux support, so it can't be impossible to do.

Aside from anti-cheat, there aren't any clear options for a graphics API. Windows has support for both DX12 and Vulkan. To my knowledge, at this time, neither of the developers for those API's have released official implementations for either and using unofficial wrappers, emulators, etc.. could end up leading to weird and unfortunate bugs that we wouldn't have any control over.

This is the bit that really got me. To me, this shows their inexperience with graphical APIs and it really sounds like they don't quite understand what they're talking about. Not that I claim to understand all that goes into making games, however I feel like I have a reasonable grasp on things now to at least say this: Unreal Engine 4 supports OpenGL and Vulkan on Linux (they didn't even mention OpenGL at all), it has issues for sure that we've seen, but it is getting better and there's a few good games out there using UE4 on Linux that work reasonably well like: Everspace, Helium Rain, Astrokill, All Walls Must Fall, >observer_ and more. The way they've written that is very strange indeed.

As far as I'm concerned, nothing to see here, moving along!

Thanks for the tip Sasa.

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Tags: Editorial, FPS
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33 comments
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SpaceAce 29 Mar, 2018
Quoting: R93_SniperHi there everyone! I am one of the leads on the project and just stumbled upon this thread earlier today and thought maybe I should clear up a few misunderstandings due to our admittedly rather unfortunately worded article.

Firstly, at this point we are quite aware of how flimsy some of the excuses we’ve given for not supporting Linux (and by extension, Mac) are. However, at the time of that article’s posting we weren’t fully aware of the validity of all the claims made in it. The post was written by one of our members who's known as an ex-cheat author for Xbox and, with those credentials to his name, we gave him the reigns to make a few decisions regarding our anti-cheat systems as we were under the impression that he would know the subject better than the rest of us.
This decision-making freedom ended up spilling over into other areas such as platform support due to him also being the one spearheading our game’s launcher. Our programming lead was unavailable at the time and as such, these decisions were taken at face value and made it into the article.

There was never an argument against cross-platform support that involved any graphics APIs, so that bit of misinformation isn't representative of the entire team's understanding. Additionally, after fully reading the article and the explanations provided within and our programming lead returning to position, we've retracted our statement as the change to support Linux is indeed not exactly difficult.
Most of us develop on Windows, with two exceptions developing on Mac and Linux respectively, so our primary focus is on getting the windows version of the game sorted out before we move on to support the other platforms.

Personally, I've always been a massive proponent for cross-platform play and multiplatform support, so at the very least you'll have my internal pushing for multiplatform support.

I did see a few posts that I'd like to comment on though.

Spoiler, click me

Quoting: mirvAnd btw, yes I read their actual post, and right above their statement of ineptitude they say that MacOS support is not out of the question.

...not really sure who they are trying to kid.

Oh, and for extra gold, this is an FAQ in their forum:
Will you support OSX/Linux?
If our engine natively does

Yes, your engine natively does.

That entire FAQ is unfortunately extremely old and outdated, dating way back to when we were in CryEngine. I never bothered updating it, though its a helpful reminder to do so now!

Spoiler, click me

Quoting: SpaceAce
Quoting: Dunc
Quoting: mirvWow, they basically just put out a post saying that they don't know what they're doing.
Yeah, I think we're better off without this one, to be honest. I'm not saying I wouldn't like a fan-made Halo remake, but it's hardly GTA or Skyrim, and you can see where this would lead. Their Linux support would be terrible, the community would get angry, the developers would become disillusioned, and ultimately the bad publicity would stick to the Linux community, not them, simply because there are more people not using Linux - who'll be receptive to their side of the story - than are.

What bothers me the most about it isn't that we're missing out on a game, but that these uneducated and simply false statements could be easily read by those who have also convinced themselves that Linux support isn't worthwile; and used to spread more fud about our platform. Most of the things I hear gamers say about Linux is the same parroted crap I've heard before, I don't want this to add to the pile. My only hope is that these developers can prove their statements false with their own incompetence, and that people notice.

As people have already done in these comments, most of their statements can be picked apart. The particular one that stands out to me is that they still have their sights set on mac support. Mac support seems like an oddball to me for a couple reasons. Mac suffers from a low gaming userbase (which they state as a reason to not develop for Linux). The Apple platform is hardware restricted, meaning most mac users don't have hardware capable of playing games or playing games well (further exacerbating the problem with userbase size). Of the two graphics APIs they list ( DX12 and Vulkan ) MacOS supports neither; meaning that they would have to either develop in openGL ( which they neglected to mention as an option, and would support Linux as well as windows ), or Apple's Metal ( which still means they have to develop with 2 different APIs for 2 different platforms.) In my opinion, as an outsider to game development, MacOS seems more difficult than linux to support.

Lets just hope the devs for installation 01 don't back out too, fingers crossed.

A larger reason as to why the decision ended up being something in the vein of "linux support insn't worthwhile" in the first place was less of bias and more of us treading some waters. We posted out a poll in a few areas about what platform people play on. The amount of people who responded with any form of linux provided was roughly 1% or roughly 9 people if memory serves me correctly. That was one of the larger arguments against linux support but after the announcement, many other people decided to call up and say that they're linux users, so that decision was quickly overruled.

Spoiler, click me
Quoting: x_wingIs the guy a developer? If it is, my theory is that he has only develop on Windows. I mean, it's clear that He only knows how to use Windows dev tools & technology, so when he has to think out of the his sandbox he simply can't (and my statement applies for many devs out there, not only this one).

I think that one of the biggest problem of all gaming/applications projects is that they always start with the multiplatform idea (you know, it sells!), but they just start programming using Windows development tools not even thinking nor testing if what you're doing can crosscompile. So, in essence, I'm convinced that all this guys/enterprise that starts a project and promise multiplatfom support simply think that they can pospone other platform support to a final stage of development, when it MUST be parallel work.

Yes he is a developer, though you're completly correct that most/all of his stuff is on windows based platforms. Its funny you say this as I remarked earlier about how we're doing stuff, but for us I can assure you that we've been having tests to see how easily things begin to cross compile and how they run on other Operating systems. So far the results are promising!

Spoiler, click me
Quoting: devnullCannot believe they actually used anti-cheat as a reason. Whose going to write their Windows code for it because I highly doubt they have the technical ability to do so. Did they even approach anyone like Valve?

Not to throw any future devs under a bus but as mentioned above, it's little things like this that will be quoted later by people as if it were fact. I mean, their "meet the team" page is amusing considering more then one of them claim to be experts using Unreal. I'd hope that wasn't just downloading assets...

Our page doesn't actually make the claim that any of us are experts in Unreal, and I doubt that most of us would make that claim either. Some of us have been using the engine for years, others are more new to the engine, while there's even a few who author stuff on the marketplace. You can't exactly claim to be an expert of the engine and just download assets though? At least I wouldn't assume so.

As for the Anti-Cheat part, it's going to be a huge endeavor for us in the end and unfortunately we're still sorting that part out. Initially the one who wrote the post was going to do the anti-cheat writing himself, but that's likely to change.

If there's anything you'd like to comment on, please do reach out to us or join us on our discord for a chat. I'm usually around and able to speak to anyone who has questions about the game overall

Thanks for clarifying these few things. It's promising to see that you're cross compiling at this stage. My follow-up remark would be that; I understand the decision to skip the linux platform, as a small team you have to pick your battles. My issue was with the excuses that were inconsistant with reality, the better alternative would've just been to mention the poll statistics and be done with it. However, by using Unreal, multiplatform might support might be a reasonable undertaking. If you do choose to bring it to linux, we'll be happy to have it.
crt0mega 29 Mar, 2018
Quoting: R93_Sniper(...)

That's unexpected. Thanks for clearing this up! I also appreciate that.
x_wing 9 Apr, 2018
Quoting: R93_Sniper
Quoting: x_wingIs the guy a developer? If it is, my theory is that he has only develop on Windows. I mean, it's clear that He only knows how to use Windows dev tools & technology, so when he has to think out of the his sandbox he simply can't (and my statement applies for many devs out there, not only this one).

I think that one of the biggest problem of all gaming/applications projects is that they always start with the multiplatform idea (you know, it sells!), but they just start programming using Windows development tools not even thinking nor testing if what you're doing can crosscompile. So, in essence, I'm convinced that all this guys/enterprise that starts a project and promise multiplatfom support simply think that they can pospone other platform support to a final stage of development, when it MUST be parallel work.

Yes he is a developer, though you're completly correct that most/all of his stuff is on windows based platforms. Its funny you say this as I remarked earlier about how we're doing stuff, but for us I can assure you that we've been having tests to see how easily things begin to cross compile and how they run on other Operating systems. So far the results are promising! [/spoiler]

My apologies for this too late answer (I was on a travel, shitty internet, no time... you know). To be fair, I don't follow your project nor read any other article out of the one Liam quoted in this article. That said, I would appreciate that you share with us any other post that show us your development process so I can understand your answer.

But now, going back to the "crossplatform" commitment, I see as very slim possibility that your project will ever get to our OS having a programmer that makes this statements (In fact, he has already made a technology decision that will affect the portability of your launcher). So, I think that would very important that, if you want to keep your multiplatform commitment, every developer in your team starts getting some experience programming on a Linux environment, because in your current status I believe that the cost of making the changes to get your game to our platform (and even to OSX) won't payback the effort.
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