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Headlander, the new game from Double Fine Productions will not come to Linux

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This is very sad to see from a previously very Linux friendly developer. Headlander from Double Fine Productions will not come to Linux due to their choice of graphics API.

The developer posted this on the Steam forum to clarify it:
QuotePlease excuse me if this isn't the best explanation, i'm not the most technical of folks here, but this is how i understand it:

Previously we've been using Direct X 9 for the windows version of our games, and deriving an opengl version from that to make a mac and linux port.

For Headlander we wanted to push the visuals as much as possible, and so are using the more up to date Direct X 11. Building an opengl version from that would require a rewrite of the whole system we use, and we just don't have the time / money / resources to do that.

Headlander is the last game that we will (probably) ever make on our internal Buddah engine as we are moving to Unreal from now onwards. So even if we did have the time and money etc, it doesn't make much sense to invest lots of work into this engine that we won't ever use again.

The good thing about using Unreal is that is has greater compatibility across win / mac / linux, so we should be able to better support Linux again in our future games - We've already confirmed that Psychonauts 2 will be on Linux.

Also: To make the Mac version, we're using Metal, which has no compatibility with Linux. Where we'd usually be able to make both of those versions together, this time we can't.

We're really sorry guys, we do try our hardest to support everyone, but it's not always possible!


Considering how cool the game looks, I am pretty sad about it myself.

I am more sad that they decided to lock themselves into DirectX and Metal, but not look at a higher OpenGL version to support what they needed which would have worked on all platforms (Vulkan probably came along too far into development for them).

So Metal is part of the issue here, and I fear this won't be the last time a Linux game is missed due to previously being easy to do from a Mac port. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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GustyGhost 27 July 2016 at 7:28 pm UTC
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darkszluf 27 July 2016 at 7:44 pm UTC
that's what happens when devs go Me(n)tal
veccher 27 July 2016 at 7:45 pm UTC
Sad, but what they said makes sense, hope they keep supporting linux in unreal, talking about it, don't know how much you guys know about unreal, but i'm really hoping for a video tutorial about how to create the "cross-compiling-toolchain" for linux in unreal, their documentation about it sucks.
Aryvandaar 27 July 2016 at 8:17 pm UTC
What about using Vulkan?
Zelox 27 July 2016 at 8:24 pm UTC
AryvandaarWhat about using Vulkan?
Well the good thing is, Vulkan works on both windows and linux.
But Mac still needs there Metal.
And I also think, like Liam is saying in the article, vulkan probably came out when the game was far in development.
Schattenspiegel 27 July 2016 at 8:30 pm UTC

+1 for communication, though.
-20 for Apple cooking their own soup.
Ehvis 27 July 2016 at 9:11 pm UTC
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Actually, it wouldn't be so bad if Metal just put in Vulkan in addition. I can understand the need for a stable slowly evolving API to run their GUI system on, but then it would all the more sense to let the games have the Vulkan driver directly from the GPU manufacturer.
Avehicle7887 27 July 2016 at 9:11 pm UTC
"For Headlander we wanted to push the visuals as much as possible" and "Also: To make the Mac version, we're using Metal" = Errm....ok Double Fine, I'd say they've lost their mind here.

What I think:

Most Macs are Sh**, having an integrated GPU or a middle-range one (unless you have money to burn), plus the majority of Mac owners don't have a very high end GPU. Linux on the other hand has access to almost anything Windows does and it's becoming increasingly more popular, in a couple of years time it might even reach or surpass Mac.
Tinche 27 July 2016 at 9:43 pm UTC
I'm afraid this is exactly the point of single-platform APIs, like DirectX and Metal.
Tinche 27 July 2016 at 9:55 pm UTC
Wait a minute, isn't Headlander out on PS4 as well? IIUC the PS4 uses OpenGL?
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