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We have more interesting news to share this morning about updates surrounding Google Stadia, the game streaming service.

Firstly, engineer Justin Uberti who helped to create WebRTC and Google Duo has announced they've moved onto leading the Google Stadia engineering team. Google certainly need all the help they can get building their gaming platform, after such a rough launch. Uberti also mentioned that they will be hiring for Stadia in Seattle/Kirkland (USA) so get in touch if working on cloud gaming sounds like your thing.

Google have also finally put the Stadia store online in the browser, it's no longer totally locked to the mobile app. This was one of the pain points of the early launch, although you likely still need to actually have a Stadia account and a Chromium-based browser to even access it.


As you can see from the above shot Darksiders Genesis is also a brand new release, which came with same-day Stadia support so anyone who is currently in can play Darksiders Genesis on Linux with Stadia.

However, curiously, Darksiders Genesis actually costs more on Stadia than it does on other stores like Steam. On Stadia it's £34.99, on Steam it's £26.99. This highlights another big problem Stadia has, the pricing is already not competitive with other leading stores. Considering you get no local copy, it feels thoroughly wrong that it costs more.

On the brighter side of game news, the complete Destiny 2 pack is going to remain on Stadia Pro "for the foreseeable future" and it sounds like there's no current plan to remove it. Meaning anyone signing up to Stadia Pro next year when it's open to everyone, should be able to grab the whole bundle. Additionally, those who opt for Destiny 2 on Stadia will get quite literally everything (all seasons, raids, campaigns and so on) released for it through Summer 2020. Confirmed here under "Accessing Destiny 2".

If you're interested in seeing how Stadia runs on Linux, we have a YouTube VOD up on our channel from a recent livestream. You can also see my own initial impressions here. We've yet to face any major problems with it. Our livestreamer is certainly enjoying the experience of being able to play even more top games on Linux.

Lastly, if you wish to try out Stadia, Google have announced they're doing a few pop-up locations for people to come along and try it in: Los Angeles USA (Dec 11), London UK (Dec 11) and Paris France (Dec 13), more info on that here.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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37 comments
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Phlebiac 7 December 2019 at 6:10 am UTC
damarrinDo you see any Darksiders game out for Linux anywhere?

I see only failure:
https://www.gamingonlinux.com/articles/darksiders-2-confirmed-for-linux.4154
danniello 7 December 2019 at 1:42 pm UTC
Sadly my concerns about Google Stadia and it's Linux influence confirmed: no good influence at all. Not only Stadia games has not been ported elsewhere to Linux, they even not working via Steam Proton...

* Destiny 2 - not working and even threaten that users that will try start game outside official supported platforms will be banned...
* RDR2 - not working
* Mortal Kombat 11 - not working

Even Vulkan do not received much... Only RDR2 officially has Vulkan support outside Stadia...
F.Ultra 7 December 2019 at 5:45 pm UTC
dannielloSadly my concerns about Google Stadia and it's Linux influence confirmed: no good influence at all. Not only Stadia games has not been ported elsewhere to Linux, they even not working via Steam Proton...

* Destiny 2 - not working and even threaten that users that will try start game outside official supported platforms will be banned...
* RDR2 - not working
* Mortal Kombat 11 - not working

Even Vulkan do not received much... Only RDR2 officially has Vulkan support outside Stadia...

It's way to early to make any forms of determination regarding whether or not Stadia will have any influence for Linux gaming or uptake of Vulkan. These things will take months and years, not milliseconds.
grumpytoad 8 December 2019 at 11:24 am UTC
We don't really know what Google are doing behind the scenes - they might have their own shader conversion technology to vulkan at the server level. I assume that at this early stage, the working relationship between a game development studio and Google's developers probably does not give much control over the codebase to the game development studio.

I could imagine a forked codebase, or something entirely maintained by Google's developers. It makes sense because a lot of games on their catalogue are older, and are not receiving so many patches anymore. Of course, I'm only making a hypothesis and can be off the mark.

But at any rate, IMO we can't assume the game development studio even sees the linux code, or has anything to do with it.
mirv 8 December 2019 at 12:45 pm UTC
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grumpytoadWe don't really know what Google are doing behind the scenes - they might have their own shader conversion technology to vulkan at the server level. I assume that at this early stage, the working relationship between a game development studio and Google's developers probably does not give much control over the codebase to the game development studio.

I could imagine a forked codebase, or something entirely maintained by Google's developers. It makes sense because a lot of games on their catalogue are older, and are not receiving so many patches anymore. Of course, I'm only making a hypothesis and can be off the mark.

But at any rate, IMO we can't assume the game development studio even sees the linux code, or has anything to do with it.

Actually multiple game studios have talked about their Stadia development experience. The "shader conversion" is compiling HLSL to SPIR-V (Google is involved in this, and when Stadia was announced it became clear why).

Google do have their own interface library, but from what I hear that's very minimal code - and mostly a surface for Vulkan to render to I think. Google also have Stadia development boxes, with remote debugging access, that they lend to developers and provide support for. They mostly run GNU/Linux (a variant of Debian I'm pretty sure), but probably some tweaks to a kernel, and likely proprietary drivers from AMD (at the very least it would be amdvlk, maybe modified to the specifics rendering for streaming).

So the game developers are building a native GNU/Linux version of their games, but the target hardware platform is controlled by, and supported by, Google. Kind of like what Valve tried to do with their Steam Machines, but with less hardware variation and more direct developer support (kind of like a console in that regard).


Last edited by mirv on 8 December 2019 at 1:00 pm UTC
etonbears 8 December 2019 at 5:25 pm UTC
mirv
grumpytoadWe don't really know what Google are doing behind the scenes - they might have their own shader conversion technology to vulkan at the server level. I assume that at this early stage, the working relationship between a game development studio and Google's developers probably does not give much control over the codebase to the game development studio.

I could imagine a forked codebase, or something entirely maintained by Google's developers. It makes sense because a lot of games on their catalogue are older, and are not receiving so many patches anymore. Of course, I'm only making a hypothesis and can be off the mark.

But at any rate, IMO we can't assume the game development studio even sees the linux code, or has anything to do with it.

Actually multiple game studios have talked about their Stadia development experience. The "shader conversion" is compiling HLSL to SPIR-V (Google is involved in this, and when Stadia was announced it became clear why).

Google do have their own interface library, but from what I hear that's very minimal code - and mostly a surface for Vulkan to render to I think. Google also have Stadia development boxes, with remote debugging access, that they lend to developers and provide support for. They mostly run GNU/Linux (a variant of Debian I'm pretty sure), but probably some tweaks to a kernel, and likely proprietary drivers from AMD (at the very least it would be amdvlk, maybe modified to the specifics rendering for streaming).

So the game developers are building a native GNU/Linux version of their games, but the target hardware platform is controlled by, and supported by, Google. Kind of like what Valve tried to do with their Steam Machines, but with less hardware variation and more direct developer support (kind of like a console in that regard).

That's also my understanding from reading the information available. Google recognise that most developers use Visual Studio on Windows, writing their shaders in HLSL, and target their tools to help those developers.

If Stadia llasts long term, I'm sure their API and development model support will expand.

I don't actually expect many native Linux releases to derive from Stadia, but am hopeful for Vulkan shader support for Windows games that we can run with Wine.
mirv 8 December 2019 at 8:40 pm UTC
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Developing on/for Stadia:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nph6cHZXPR8

Watch to about 8:19 and you can see Debian, LLVM, Clang, Vulkan, SPIR-V, PulseAudio. It's not a case of just upload and Google magically make a Windows game run - it really is an entire platform that must be developed for.
Shmerl 8 December 2019 at 8:49 pm UTC
If it's such a standard stack, then releasing proper desktop version after all the Stadia work should be trivial.

I partially blame Google, for being "the best friend and the worst enemy" of Linux, like Aaron Seigo put it a while ago about Android. Same applies here. Google could do a lot more to help Linux gaming through Stadia, but they don't care.


Last edited by Shmerl on 8 December 2019 at 8:53 pm UTC
mirv 8 December 2019 at 9:05 pm UTC
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ShmerlIf it's such a standard stack, then releasing proper desktop version after all the Stadia work should be trivial.

I partially blame Google, for being "the best friend and the worst enemy" of Linux, like Aaron Seigo put it a while ago about Android. Same applies here. Google could do a lot more to help Linux gaming through Stadia, but they don't care.

It's _never_ been about pure technical challenges, as has been well covered before.

And of course Google don't care. They've never been altruistic, and without a monetisation mechanism, why would Google help GNU/Linux desktop gaming? The only reason Google have ever even gone with FOSS is to help adoption, so they can benefit from data gathering. Hello Stadia.
I don't see this as morally right, but if anything is to change then the situation needs to be honestly assessed.
Shmerl 8 December 2019 at 9:18 pm UTC
I don't think anyone assesses it wrongly. It's just another annoying thing from Google, who do this every time they deal with Linux. From Android (hello Surface flinger + bionic, where is Wayland + glibc?), to ChromeOS (hello some weird hybrid, where is normal desktop Linux stack?).

Now Stadia can be added to the list. I.e. hello backend targeted Linux releases, where is the benefit for proper desktop ones?

It's as if Google have this motto: "use Linux for our projects, but make sure to screw Linux users while doing it".


Last edited by Shmerl on 8 December 2019 at 9:22 pm UTC
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