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Clockwork Empires Still Pushing Towards A Linux Version, Suffering Delays

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Clockwork Empires is the new strategy game from the developers of Dungeons of Dredmor, and sadly it has seen a number of delays in coming to Linux.

In their latest newsletter they gave us the lowdown:
QuoteWe are still working on Linux support, which (as always) is waiting on us to fix a million references in the code base to case-sensitive filenames, as well as setting up the build machine to correctly dispatch Linux builds of the game (which have to be built with a special, hacked-together compiler) to Steam. Your patience continues to be appreciated.

Sit tight folks, as we are eagerly awaiting sinking our mouse into this one. It's sad to see such issues like file sensitivity still being a problem for developers.

About the game
Take on the role of a Junior Bureaucrat (Colonial Grade), sent forth to seek fame, promotions, and natural resources to feed the ravenous maw of Imperial Industry & Commerce. Build a prosperous colony, fill it with magnificent factories worked by oppressed labourers, and harness the awesome power of steam through fearsome machines invented by determined men and women of Science! History is yours to seize for fame and fortune, for Science, and for the Queen and the glory of the Clockwork Empires! Article taken from
Tags: Steam, Strategy
About the author -
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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Skarjak Dec 22, 2014
*Sigh* Why don't they adopt good programming practices and just assume from the start that filenames should be case sensitive?
Lapinopl Dec 22, 2014
Well, I will definitely enjoy this one. I love games like that.

Quotet's sad to see such issues like file sensitivity still being a problem for developers.

1mHfoksd1Z Dec 22, 2014
So they have problems with case-sensitive filenames... That's quite the programming skills there... Jesus, I used to be careful at filenames even back when I developed under Windows and that dosen't matter on that (chaotic) OS but I still did it... It;s like an unwritten rule that every programmer should follow no matter what OS they are developing on...
Teodosio Dec 22, 2014
case-insensitive filenames in the code ROFL
Maelrane 8 years Dec 22, 2014
Quote"which (as always) is waiting on us to fix a million references in the code base to case-sensitive filename"

This is so stupid. NTFS and Windows would support case-sensitive filenames, but by default it's disabled in the Win32 subsystem. I guess the only reason for this is compatibility.

Still, I don't see why a decent programmer references files in lower-cased way (if their names are not lower-case) just because one system allows you to do so -.-

"hacked together compiler" doesn't sound too good either. Not yet sure if I do want this game or will pass.

I mean, I'm not paying good money to be a second class citizen.
This showed up on my Twitterfeed this morning, so to give you guys a little more info:

The hacked-together compiler: the issue is that we use a number of C++11 features that gcc simply doesn't handle without exploding. Some of the network and threading code uses a certain amount of template metaprogramming to force certain things to be resolved at compile-time, rather than run-time, for speed and performance issues. Consequently, we've been forced to switch to clang. Furthermore, the standard clang that comes with Ubuntu ... er, whatever the current Ubuntu is... doesn't work either, so the clang revision that we have is currently pulled from the head of their development repository. (For whatever reason, the OS X version of clang works fine.) The main issue here is not the hacked together compiler, it's actually updating our build machine to get this working. The person who works for us as a contractor running our build systems has been very busy recently, so it's only now that the holidays are starting that he can get stuff done (predictably.) We're still not sure how we actually distribute executables on Linux built with this thing; the Linux port is a joint effort between myself and Ryan C. Gordon (better known to the development community as icculus), who works for us part-time when he's not doing a million other things; both of us have done a number of Linux ports (I got my start in the business working for Loki Software back in 2000, which gives you some idea how long I've been committed to Linux development) and neither one of us have an idea what will happen when binaries made with this hit the real world. Really, I'm kind of shocked that gcc can't handle compiling our stuff, but frankly I cannot wait for clang to be at a state where gcc can just eat its dust. :)

(The tradition of porting games using hacked-together compilers is not new. One of my earliest memories of game development on Linux was Michael Vance at Loki, now at Activision, building the Tribes 2 source tree using *multiple* compilers, pulled from gcc's development branches at various stages of development, in order to get various different files with various sorts of template shenanigans to work. That was in 2000; you would think things would have changed since then...)

A small problem that's not in this list: std::regex is just hilariously broken on Linux. Which is ironic.

File system shenanigans: admittedly, yes, I should have nipped this one in the bud earlier rather than later. The reality of game development is that you get it working on Windows first, and get the game done; then you worry about the niceties of porting. We had very similar issues on OS X, where we had to basically rewrite the entire OpenGL renderer in order to make it run on Apple's OpenGL driver stack. That was... not fun. The correct move for the file system stuff is to move all our file access to PhysFS, which is what we're doing. :)

Anyhow, we're grinding away on it as best we can. For further updates, please check our company forums where we have an OS X and Linux thread.

-- Nicholas @ Gaslamp Games
edqe Dec 23, 2014
@Nicholas Vining (Gaslamp Games):

Very interesting read, thanks for the information.

It would be interesting to know a bit more detailed how templates are broken in GCC and an example how std::regex fails. I'm quite sure quite many of GOL users would be interested to follow bug trackers to see how fixing these things goes forward.

I have been eagerly awaiting this game for Linux, I hope they can sort all their issues...Clockwork Empires looks fairly good for being in the alpha stage, a project that I can get behind if a Linux version comes out. I still play Dungeons of Dredmor, one of their first games as Gaslamp Studios such an amazing Dungeon Crawling, random game!
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