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Icculus's thoughts on Unreal Engine 3 games on Linux

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Well someone asked me to contact Ryan C. Gordon aka Icculus about the possibility of more Unreal Engine 3 games coming to Linux now that Dungeon Defenders is out and he has now sent me a reply and allowed me to publish his thoughts on the matter.

Ryan is the porter of rather a lot of titles to Linux so it's really great to get his view on this.

Ryan's thoughts
QuoteShort answer: yes.
Long answer: maybe.

Epic is now publishing monthly codedrops of UE3 for the high-end games, and the UDK for low-end games (which is more or less UE3 without C++ source code access), which means there are many, many versions of UE3 floating out there right now, through years of codedrops, all of them different by various degrees.

This was less of a problem for UE2, because it had all my Linux and Mac changes included in the codedrops as first-class citizens of the Engine, codedrops were less frequent, and more or less, every licensee started from UT2003 or UT2004 plus some hotfixes anyhow.

Dungeon Defenders for Linux was a mixture of some Mac work done by an external developer for Trendy Entertainment, Epic's Mac port (which appears to be a lot of my UT3 work, which was nice to see didn't go to waste), Epic's Android and iOS ports, a bunch of original code from me for SDL2 support etc, and some stuff I resurrected from my Unreal Tournament 3 port.

I think such a strange brew could be applied to other games, but all will need a lot of custom scrutiny and merging, depending on what codedrop they started with.

So, technically, this isn't the worst problem to have, but no existing UE3 title will be as straightforward to port as UE2 titles were. I suspect we'll see a few come to Linux, but I don't have anything in the pipeline at the moment in any case.



Very interesting and I would like to thank Ryan for the honest reply.

It is interesting that they are actually using his porting work on the UT3 client so it really wasn't a total waste after all for the hours he put into it.
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Comments on this article are now closed.
Vadi2 2 January 2013 at 9:22 pm UTC
God, why did Epic have to fuck this up so badly? If they just used the Linux port and used the Linux parts as well it would be much nicer for all of us, but of course, they had to first cancel all ports, then suddenly bring Mac on, and then even more of a mess. I bet that now they'll release the Linux support because of Steam, just like with Mac.

I just bloody hope they'll have cross-platform stuff in in UE4, to avoid such a mess...
Larian 2 January 2013 at 10:05 pm UTC
When something doesn't make sense at this level (UT3 for Linux), you can be assured that there's a lawyer involved.
Kristian 2 January 2013 at 11:38 pm UTC
Anyone here think that it is just a coincidence that Epic stopped supporting Linux after signing with Microsoft as a publisher?
Cheeseness 3 January 2013 at 1:01 am UTC
That's great to hear that some of icculus' prior work had found its way into the official Mac port. When UE3 Mac support was announced, he was under the impression that they'd started from scratch.

Since this didn't happen, it suggests that Epic still consider icculus' prior work to be a usable asset, potentially making a Linux port a more attractive solution (more attractive than starting from scratch) if they ever decided to make that happen.
Bumadar 3 January 2013 at 3:15 pm UTC
linux/mac/windows aside, why on earth would you as a publisher of an engine want to have 100 or more different version around, all depending if your client did or did not include all or some of a few of none of those code drops....... must be a nightmare to troubleshoot !
Cheeseness 3 January 2013 at 4:23 pm UTC
"Bumadar, post: 7480, member: 93"linux/mac/windows aside, why on earth would you as a publisher of an engine want to have 100 or more different version around, all depending if your client did or did not include all or some of a few of none of those code drops....... must be a nightmare to troubleshoot !


I can only guess, but I imagine that it'd be a combination of licencing (if you don't give people free access to all future engine versions, then there's a chance they'll re-licence to get updates), and then the fact that developers who have a published game are probably more interested in keeping their game stable than updating to the latest source drop (if there's nothing in it that's specifically useful to your project, then the value in upgrading is pretty low).
Bumadar 3 January 2013 at 4:57 pm UTC
"Cheeseness, post: 7482, member: 122"I can only guess, but I imagine that it'd be a combination of licencing (if you don't give people free access to all future engine versions, then there's a chance they'll re-licence to get updates), and then the fact that developers who have a published game are probably more interested in keeping their game stable than updating to the latest source drop (if there's nothing in it that's specifically useful to your project, then the value in upgrading is pretty low).


probably right, but still.... monthly codedrops ? just release a new build every 6-8 months or so with ALL functionality in it, which opens up depending on the license a user has......... so after 2 years you got 4 versions max
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