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A small update on the status of BATTLETECH for Linux

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We've had a number of users get in touch about BATTLETECH [Official Site] and we have a small update for you in regards to the Linux version.

Back in June, Harebrained Schemes stated that they were making "good progress" with the Linux version. However, we haven't really heard from them since then and so it seems Linux gamers were starting to get a little worried.

We did reach out to the developer last week and they've now replied, here's what they said:

We are still working on Linux but it's proving to be more difficult than we expected. We should have another update on when we're targeting the release soon.

It's another game using the Unity game engine and it seems yet another developer having difficulty.

Hopefully it won't be much longer.

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23 comments
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Enverex 14 August 2018 at 4:23 pm UTC
You'd think that if it isn't really Unity causing problems and it's actually the middleware, Unity would step in because in reality it's pretty bad press for the Unity engine.
Purple Library Guy 14 August 2018 at 4:39 pm UTC
Thinking of reaching out, it's starting to seem like maybe somebody should be reaching out to the Unity people to find out what their plan is for improving the cross-platform usability of the engine, which seems to have been declining lately.
Zappor 14 August 2018 at 5:12 pm UTC
I don't think that Mono runtime in Unity gets very much love these days...
Swiftpaw 14 August 2018 at 5:32 pm UTC
Upgrade to Unity3D 2018.2, devs! That is the newest stable version of Unity3D, and it has finalized/stable Vulkan support, no longer experimental! It may take a bit of work to upgrade to it, but there are multiple areas in which performance has been improved by doing so, not just due to the Vulkan rendering.
wintermute 14 August 2018 at 5:53 pm UTC
FeistOn that note, I wonder what´s taking "Life Is Strange: BtS" so long. I´d expect that game shouldn´t be much different from the original title, which is already ported.

LiS was made with Unreal Engine, LiS:BtS was made with Unity.
ElectricPrism 14 August 2018 at 5:53 pm UTC
I personally dig this game, looks like a riot of fun, so hopefully they get their technical challenges sorted and we're on our way soon.
Feist 14 August 2018 at 6:18 pm UTC
wintermute
FeistOn that note, I wonder what´s taking "Life Is Strange: BtS" so long. I´d expect that game shouldn´t be much different from the original title, which is already ported.

LiS was made with Unreal Engine, LiS:BtS was made with Unity.

Oh...crap! I did not know that, I just took it for granted that it was a prequel that could be considered "Life is Strange 1.5". I didn´t expect that they´d change engine until possibly the sequel.
Liam Dawe 14 August 2018 at 9:13 pm UTC
BeamboomIn these cases it would always be interesting to hear why it's proven more difficult than expected. Make it an automated reply, Liam

But a core component of Unity is it being cross platform. Had this been just about any other engine I'd just file it under just another of them hassles that a new platform can provide, but Unity... It's more or less their entire business idea, isn't it?

So, the cause for this, and all other similar cases, would be interesting to know! Not to point fingers, but simply out of curiosity. Also it would work as a current state of affair in regards to how platform independent Untity really is at this stage.
Honestly, since it's using Unity do we really need to know? I mean, sure, technical points are nice to know, but my wider point is this...

As posted in another comment, there's now just too many game developers using Unity saying they're having issues with their Linux builds.

This is why I am choosing to cut them all some slack, something is obviously up with Unity lately.
Swiftpaw 14 August 2018 at 9:53 pm UTC
liamdawe
BeamboomIn these cases it would always be interesting to hear why it's proven more difficult than expected. Make it an automated reply, Liam

But a core component of Unity is it being cross platform. Had this been just about any other engine I'd just file it under just another of them hassles that a new platform can provide, but Unity... It's more or less their entire business idea, isn't it?

So, the cause for this, and all other similar cases, would be interesting to know! Not to point fingers, but simply out of curiosity. Also it would work as a current state of affair in regards to how platform independent Untity really is at this stage.
Honestly, since it's using Unity do we really need to know? I mean, sure, technical points are nice to know, but my wider point is this...

As posted in another comment, there's now just too many game developers using Unity saying they're having issues with their Linux builds.

This is why I am choosing to cut them all some slack, something is obviously up with Unity lately.

Wish they'd say more so we knew what was going on!
jonbitzen 15 August 2018 at 2:45 am UTC
I played with Unity 3D a few years back, and I wouldn't be surprised if there was an issue with an Engine/Editor plugin. I had a terrain generator plugin, and when I tried it on Linux, I found all sorts of issues with path strings used to refer to resources that had different case in different places. It was a sloppy practice, but not a problem on Windows (nor I assume OSX, which does not use a case-sensitive filesystem by default).

Although its just an example of a simple problem, its likely that more complex plugins have more complex platform-specific bugaboos like that.

I've also heard of issues with recent versions of Unity breaking Linux support. I believe that Rust recently stopped supporting Linux because of Unity issues. So, I'm with Liam - if it was easy for the devs to give us the Linux version (Unity behaved nicely, no plugin/middleware issues) they'd probably do it and take the nerd-cred.

UE4 has similar issues with Linux support- for example we're limited to 16 textures per material because of a limitation of OpenGL 4.3. I've had *very* many materials in content packs developed under Windows fail to work because D3D let's you multiplex your materials such that you can have something like 192 per material or somesuch. So it can be a lot of work to re-engineer a shader, and after doing so the results may still not look that good. And to reach a niche market, it's probably not that attractive for a small business.

As we all know Valve has an interest in Linux as an alternative to Microsoft closing up the Windows platform. The best thing Valve could do is *finally* finish up Source Engine 2 (and make it indie-friendly), offer it free with no strings attached (no Steam publishing requirement), and make sure it has absolutely bullet-proof compatibility for both Editor and Runtime on Linux.

If the engine could achieve greater market penetration by being excellent and free, and also have bullet-proof Linux compatibility, it'd increase all of our odds of getting high-quality games Unlike either Unity Technologies or Epic Games, Valve has a vested interest in the viability of their SteamOS / Linux platform to protect their business.

jonbitzen
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