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A contender to Unity for Linux appears, enter Leadwerks

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Josh Klint of Leadwerks emailed me to ask me to shout out his new Kickstarter aimed at bringing Leadwerks over to Linux, unlike Unity3D the editor itself from Leadwerks will be on Linux as well enabled you to make games on Linux for Linux!

I am not personally up to scratch on Leadwerks but the more I look into it the more I think it will be useful to have!


QuoteWe have a complete visual editor that handles all aspects of the game development process, and we’re porting it to run natively on Linux. We’re using GTK for the user interface, so our editor will look and feel like a native Linux application.


It notes that you will be able to compile your code to work on Windows and Mac as well so you can push anything you make with it to all 3 of the major desktop Operating Systems, sounds even better!

He is looking to raise a total of $20,000 so it's not even a very high target in comparison.

Some games that have been made with Leadwerks:

You need to fork out at least $100 to get yourself a copy, to put things into comparison a Unity license is $1,500. The only drawback I can see is you have to pay $200 to get a copy for Linux, Mac and Windows but again still far far cheaper than Unity so in comparison still good value.

I may be comparing it too much to Unity but comparing it to the competition is the best way to see how it all stacks up, so far the fact that it's far cheaper is a big tick in my book.

They are a proven company too since their products have already been out for some time now, it's not like backing something brand new that might not come out.

Certainly seems like a complete no brainer to me, includes everything you need to make a game!

It's also needing Greenlight votes if you like the look of it!

What do you all make of it?
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Mike Frett 17 June 2013 at 9:37 am UTC
Personally I like Unigine (Oil Rush) It's a little more expensive than Unity but it runs great and looks wonderful even on older machines. From my experience, Unity takes quite a toll on machines. Games like Kerbal and Verdun which use Unity, don't run very good even on hardware only a few years old.

I just built my computer last year yet games like those two run like molasses even on low. Of course this is from my observations of my few computers in house. This engine looks really nice though and I am grateful that we have more choice for developers. And no matter the cost of all these engines, I have heard of Indie devs being able to negotiate the price of Unigine and Unity.

Let's not forget about Ogre too, it's free and doesn't look that bad; Torchlight for example. Incidentally, Torchlight 2 I think uses Ogre, I wish we had a native port of that. I had a blast playing Torchlight.
zikzak 17 June 2013 at 10:06 am UTC
I agree with Mike Frett.
Unigine is already an impressive concurrent to Unity, and the latter runs slow even for title like broforce.
On the other hand, Torchlight uses 90% of opensource libraries and although the devs said the game will be released under GNU/Linux we had to wait for HiB owns employees to do the port. Using an opensource engine doesn't mean they have to play it fair and smart.
mirv 17 June 2013 at 10:23 am UTC
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The real news here isn't the engine; the news is the editor. Engines are one thing, but are ultimately useless without the editor to create and import content.
Cheeseness 17 June 2013 at 11:04 am UTC
mirvThe real news here isn't the engine; the news is the editor. Engines are one thing, but are ultimately useless without the editor to create and import content.
QFT

It's tricky to compare this one to Unity as Unity's editor doesn't support Linux - you need to fire it up in Mac OS or Windows to make/build a game for Linux.

As for Unigine, I've heard rumours that its toolset is not as easy to work with as say, Unity or UDK, making it less attractive to developers (writing your own tools isn't a big deal, but it costs dev time, and since these things are targeting people who don't want to/can't invest time in writing their own engine, needing to write/tweak tools and workflows detracts from the appeal).

Definitely something I'm going to be keeping an eye on though. There seems to be a bunch of documentation and info on their site (which is linked to in the article above) which are probably worth having a look over.
Kristian 17 June 2013 at 11:32 am UTC
"Personally I like Unigine (Oil Rush) It's a little more expensive than Unity but it runs great and looks wonderful even on older machines."

A little more expensive? Doesn't it cost $1000s, IIRC a source code license is something like $50000!
Sabun 17 June 2013 at 11:42 am UTC
I have to agree with Mirv on the importance of the Editor itself coming to Linux. I hope Leadwerks succeed.
By the way, whatever happened to Torque3d? Looks like they're interest in bringing their editor to the Linux platform was just fluff... which is depressing. Their Github shows last commit as being a month ago for Linux, unless I'm looking in the wrong place.
Cheeseness 17 June 2013 at 11:47 am UTC
Kristian"Personally I like Unigine (Oil Rush) It's a little more expensive than Unity but it runs great and looks wonderful even on older machines."

A little more expensive? Doesn't it cost $1000s, IIRC a source code license is something like $50000!
What's a source licence for Unity worth though? It's probably worth noting that the Leadwerks source licence appears to be separate from what's included in the pledge rewards.
Mike Frett 17 June 2013 at 12:30 pm UTC
I should have included it in my comment, but I wrote it while standing and was in a rush. Yes, totally true the real story is the editor, but what's the point if the games created run badly and make customers angry?. Apparently a Unity pro license is $1500 for all platforms and a Unigine license is something like $30,000 but as I said, I read about Indie devs being able to negotiate the price down to around $2000.

Of course none of this is helpful to Indie devs just starting out with little to no money. Which is why I noted Ogre. The more the merrier I say, right?.
mirv 17 June 2013 at 12:56 pm UTC
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Ogre is just the rendering engine. It doesn't include networking, audio, gui (menu) systems, game logic, etc etc etc, and of course making content.
There's also only so much that companies such as Leadwerks can do to promote something and have it run smoothly - there's often quite a bit of work that goes into level design to have it run smoothly (such as manually added visibility portals, cutting up geometry, etc). That's where good documentation and tutorials come in - I haven't really gone through theirs to know its quality, but it's at least on their site. The kickstarter page also mentions that during their Linux development they fully expect to run into driver bugs. So at the least they don't sound like they're flying blind.
Long term, I'm hoping this will be successful enough that it will convince other companies to start porting their own editors to Linux as well. More competition is good - lower license pricing, better engines, more incentive for graphics vendors to increase driver quality and performance.
Basically, this is darned good news.
liamdawe 17 June 2013 at 12:57 pm UTC
mirvThe real news here isn't the engine; the news is the editor. Engines are one thing, but are ultimately useless without the editor to create and import content.
This exactly.

Unity's editor doesn't support Linux but the Engine does. So this gives Leadwerks a bit in it's favour!

I have also heard Unigine isn't easy to work with and it's high price tag as well is probably why next to one in the indie scene uses it!
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