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Here's a bit of interesting industry news for you on this fine Monday afternoon. Alen Ladavac, who helped to co-found the Serious Sam and Talos Principle developer Croteam has moved onto game streaming.

Announcing their change on Twitter, which links to a post on LinkedIn, Ladavac wrote about how they were making games since the age of the Floppy disk but they're moving on:

[…] With a heavy heart, I've parted ways with my dear friends and colleagues at Croteam. I love you all, guys and girls, and I will never forget all the beautiful years I spent with you and fantastic things we've created. I'm super excited to announce that I'm starting at Google München, joining the awesome Stadia team to work on finally bringing gaming into the cloud. What was once deemed impossible, now is the reality - and I'm grateful for a chance to contribute to this landmark undertaking.

Considering their experience shipping games, along with helping to get games updated with Vulkan it's not a hugely surprising move. Probably a bit of a blow to Croteam though, as they're working on Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass which has no current release date set.

In other related Stadia news, Red Dead Redemption 2 has been confirmed at launch now as well. This is a huge bit of news, as it was previously only speculated that it was coming to PC but it's now confirmed for Stadia (as well as Steam for Windows).

Stadia is set to launch in November 2019, for those who put some cash up front to get the Stadia Founder's Edition. However, this edition is sold out in certain regions, with it being replaced with a Premier Edition which includes a plain White gamepad instead of the special Night Blue version.

It will be interesting to see how Stadia can capture the market. Especially since the software stack is using Debian Linux, the Vulkan API and it will work on any computer that can access a Chrome browser. Compared to other solutions which require another dedicated application, the barrier for entry at least when talking software is low. This will open up a lot more AAA gaming to be played on Linux, which is why we're keeping a close eye on it.

A hot topic though, considering how it's basically the ultimate form of gaming DRM. You don't technically own anything, the game never really touches your PC and you need to be online to play anything. Input latency and bandwidth use are big issues for some too. We've secured a copy of the Stadia Founder's Edition to cover sometime around the release for GamingOnLinux, let's wait and see if it can win us over.

Will you be trying it out? We've also opened a new dedicated forum for all game streaming topics including Stadia, Steam Remote Play and anything else.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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50 comments
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Shmerl 7 October 2019 at 12:44 pm UTC
Another detail was clarified, Stadia is using amdvlk.

I don't plan to use it, but I'm interested in how developers who release for Stadia view their options to release their games for regular desktop Linux in result, since Stadia will bear the heavy lifting of the porting work. Interviewing some developers about this could provide interesting insights.

We can probably dismiss legacy publishers right away. Even with above, they simply don't care about Linux users so I don't expect any of them to change their nasty stance because of Stadia to which they run for Google's money. However other developers (for example Paradox) can be more Linux friendly, and since their concern was expenses (rather than greed for more profits), Stadia can provide them the justification to release for Linux proper.


Last edited by Shmerl on 7 October 2019 at 12:50 pm UTC
Shmerl 7 October 2019 at 12:50 pm UTC
For example, someone like Larian should be able to do it. Feel free to comment here, and voice your interest in the proper Linux release of Baldur's Gate 3.


Last edited by Shmerl on 7 October 2019 at 12:52 pm UTC
Leopard 7 October 2019 at 12:52 pm UTC
Stadia means nothing for Linux since all of those games will have VLK renderers tailored specifially for AMDVLK with no intent to run them on desktop platforms which is dominated by Nvidia hardware. These games will be in the stores with D3D.
JoneK 7 October 2019 at 1:10 pm UTC
... DRM is the correct word here.. They won't allow the Linux versions to leak to the public, I mean Doom has an Linux executable somewhere inside ID, they didn't release it...

I think it's the same kind of pipe dream that Streaming games from Finland to Sweden and then back to Finland, makes for great low latency experience.. Only way to bring ping down is to actually fast track route all Stadia packets and get rid of bad last mile dsl cable and 4g, even 5g is slow. 9ms on last mile is too much. oh and +40ms for the packet to travel from Finland to Sweden and then back to Finland.

Yes all Google Hamina Data center traffic travels this way... Well.. maybe they will make the game data centers to Sweden..
Eike 7 October 2019 at 1:07 pm UTC
I imagined Stadia would produce Linux game programming experienced developers - now it consumes them... :-(
Well, I guess in the end it might be both.
Zlopez 7 October 2019 at 1:08 pm UTC
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LeopardStadia means nothing for Linux since all of those games will have VLK renderers tailored specifially for AMDVLK with no intent to run them on desktop platforms which is dominated by Nvidia hardware. These games will be in the stores with D3D.

I think this situation is slowly changing after AMD started to officially support Open Source drivers.
I was a NVIDIA guy a few years back, but now I'm pretty happy with AMD Radeon RX 590 :-)
eldaking 7 October 2019 at 1:11 pm UTC
ShmerlAnother detail was clarified, Stadia is using amdvlk.

I don't plan to use it, but I'm interested in how developers who release for Stadia view their options to release their games for regular desktop Linux in result, since Stadia will bear the heavy lifting of the porting work. Interviewing some developers about this could provide interesting insights.

We can probably dismiss legacy publishers right away. Even with above, they simply don't care about Linux users so I don't expect any of them to change their nasty stance because of Stadia to which they run for Google's money. However other developers (for example Paradox) can be more Linux friendly, and since their concern was expenses (rather than greed for more profits), Stadia can provide them the justification to release for Linux proper.

I think there is a small group of developers that stand in the intersection between "it isn't worth it to port our engine to Linux or move away from D3D" and "we would be willing to support a desktop version of the game for the small Linux user base". Oh, and of course, also those that make heavy enough games to justify using Stadia.

For those that already use Unity or Unreal and still don't release for Linux, this won't matter.

For those that don't release on Linux because the support costs are too big, this won't matter either.

Frankly, I expect that more people are going to just say "if you use Linux, just play on Stadia instead of buying the game" than releasing for Linux. Which is stupid, as there are way too many reasons to not use Stadia, not everyone will have a good enough connection and it won't even be available in every country.
mphuZ 7 October 2019 at 1:20 pm UTC
ShmerlAnother detail was clarified, Stadia is using amdvlk.

Source?
Shmerl 7 October 2019 at 1:22 pm UTC
I think "just use Stadia" will come from legacy publishers who don't care as I said. Or from those who think that even with Stadia, they can't afford even a small effort of supporting desktop release. But as you pointed out, there are some in between, who are more willing to do it.

Those with custom engines will cover expenses of porting them to Linux+Vulkan because of Stadia release, and those who use commodity engines will have Stadia covering the major part of Linux testing for them. So those groups of developers get additional arguments to release for Linux - it's going to be a smaller effort than today.

Those who don't even care about the size of the effort and only want "moar $$$", won't ever release anything.


Last edited by Shmerl on 7 October 2019 at 1:33 pm UTC
Shmerl 7 October 2019 at 1:30 pm UTC
There is another benefit of Staida though, which is less apparent.

Now the main holdouts of lock-in in graphics APIs are Xbox, PlayStation and Apple's "i" systems. Stadia is a potential heavyweight to tip the balance to Vulkan adoption. I.e. it's finally a huge enough target for gaming to make developers start considering why do they need to bother with other lock-in, and pressure MS, Sony and Apple to start supporting Vulkan proper.

I.e. as the first outcome, we might see more developers using Vulkan on Windows due to them already using it for Stadia.
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