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Thanks to a Twitter tip, I've watched over the video of id Software talking about Doom, Vulkan, Linux and Google's Stadia and it's really quite interesting. For those who don't know what Stadia is, you can see this previous article. In short, it's Google's game streaming platform powered by Linux and Vulkan.

The thing is, id Software actually talked about having a Linux version of DOOM back at GDC last year that was never released, at least now we know why.

You can see the video below, it's currently an unlisted on YouTube and towards the end it does have some footage of the new DOOM Eternal. Some quick thoughts and info below if you can't watch it.

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They go over lots of technical details, which I'm sure some of our readers here will appreciate.

I did particularly enjoy the "Why Linux?" slide with an answer of "It's not Windows" which seemed to give the crowd (and me) a little chuckle. The developer then also touched on how Linux outside of servers has been largely ignored, with a joke of articles talking about how "Linux gaming doesn't suck now, very convincing…and even that small portion is subdivided along different distributions, so it's really no wonder that no one pays attention to poor Linux".

I won't get into a long debate about how Linux gaming doesn't actually suck, but I will most likely be preaching to the choir. Linux gaming certainly isn't perfect but it doesn't suck and that's about as far as I want to get into that directly right now. It's also a shame that multiple distributions is still a hassle and common problem for developers. Anyway…

As for the software stack on Stadia, that was also talked about. Apart from the game and Google's own "libGGP" everything else seems open. It's using Pulse Audio, Vulkan, libc++, glibc and of course the Linux Kernel. They're doing this in the hopes it speeds up adoption, since getting a game onto Stadia would involve prototyping it on a normal Linux distribution like Ubuntu (which is what id Software did) and then you're mostly done by the looks of it.

As for their own software, for idTech7 their latest game engine, they said "everything uses Vulkan now and by that I do mean everything—the engine, idStudio, even our helper tools". At least for future games released normally, they should perform well when using Steam Play.

I'm still torn on Stadia for the reasons I gave before. I personally still consider Stadia to be Linux gaming, to me basically anything done on a Linux box is Linux gaming. After all, if I'm playing on my Ubuntu PC, with Stadia which is also powered by Linux, what about that isn't Linux gaming? I'm sure some of you will have interesting answers to that in the comments (and feel free to debate it—politely please!).

However, there's tons of issues it has to overcome for me. There's a lack of ownership of the games so they could be taken away at any time, latency which even people checking out the demo at GDC this year said was an issue (PC Gamer: "latency is clearly present", "the delayed input to screen loop is very noticeable" and so on - many others said the same and worse), likely no modding support, massive bandwidth use and so on.

What are you current thoughts on Stadia streaming platform? Will you be using it?

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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84 comments
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Beamboom 13 May 2019 at 7:23 pm UTC
Streamed game is not gaming on that pc - it's gaming on a remote pc. If I use Steam Link and play on my Android phone - that is not really android gaming. My phone is just the screen, sort to speak.

So no, I would not categorise streamed gaming as gaming on the client platform - its something else: It's streaming. I think we should make a distinction there.

But if the game is streamed from a Linux cluster I don't see why it couldn't run on a regular Linux workstation?
Shmerl 13 May 2019 at 7:31 pm UTC
QuoteApart from the game and Google's own "libGGP" everything else seems open.

They should have opened it as well, to allow making some SDL drop-in plugins that replace it.
liamdawe 13 May 2019 at 7:40 pm UTC
Shmerl
QuoteApart from the game and Google's own "libGGP" everything else seems open.

They should have opened it as well, to allow making some SDL drop-in plugins that replace it.
We have now idea what this point what libGGP is though, probably not something they can just open up, as it's likely hooking into their Stadia API. I imagine that's what it would be for anyway.
mirv 13 May 2019 at 7:43 pm UTC
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Only about halfway through the talk at the moment, but it really is quite interesting. I like how the case for Stadia is not a technical one, but a commercial one - why invest a lot of time & money in moving a legacy engine that works fine to use Vulkan? Answer is broader consumer market access.

Stadia has problems, sure, typically from latency I would imagine. But it's already helped iD move forward more with Vulkan, and it convinced Ubisoft to port their work to Vulkan. Whatever else, moving to Vulkan and getting games ready for Stadia will help desktop consumers - hopefully we might see more native games one day as a result, but if nothing else then wine can plug in a few gaps.

...back to watching...
fedotix 13 May 2019 at 7:56 pm UTC
According to you, what will be the price for a month membership for stadia ??
liamdawe 13 May 2019 at 7:57 pm UTC
fedotixAccording to you, what will be the price for a month membership for stadia ??
They have yet to announce this.

Also, something I only really thought of until just now replying to HP on Twitter:

Not only does it lower the barrier to entry for Linux desktop gaming, since it's mostly the same. I do wonder if it becomes massive, how it might influence Linux adoption? You wouldn't need to pay for a Windows license so pick up a cheapo Linux laptop -> Stadia gaming -> more Linux users?
fedotix 13 May 2019 at 8:08 pm UTC
mirvStadia has problems, sure, typically from latency I would imagine.

...back to watching...

Of course, if you want to take advantage of stadia, you should have optical fiber or cable.
mirv 13 May 2019 at 8:10 pm UTC
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liamdawe
fedotixAccording to you, what will be the price for a month membership for stadia ??
They have yet to announce this.

Also, something I only really thought of until just now replying to HP on Twitter:

Not only does it lower the barrier to entry for Linux desktop gaming, since it's mostly the same. I do wonder if it becomes massive, how it might influence Linux adoption? You wouldn't need to pay for a Windows license so pick up a cheapo Linux laptop -> Stadia gaming -> more Linux users?

If it could run through a raspberry pi, now that would be something! I suspect the pi can actually handle the video decoders, but it might need a customised application rather than running it through Chrome (which I suspect is not exactly high on Google's list of priorities).
Shmerl 13 May 2019 at 8:10 pm UTC
liamdaweWe have now idea what this point what libGGP is though, probably not something they can just open up, as it's likely hooking into their Stadia API. I imagine that's what it would be for anyway.

Still, I see no point in keeping it closed. I.e. for developers to develop for it quickly, SDL can make some shim that emulates Stadia API locally. That's the whole point. It can also allow porting games from Stadia to normal Linux easier.


Last edited by Shmerl at 13 May 2019 at 8:11 pm UTC
Mohandevir 13 May 2019 at 8:11 pm UTC
Did they actually explained why they did not release the Linux version on Steam?

Couldn't find the answer, unless the answer is: "Because of Stadia." It sounds incomplete to me and it's still quite weird, considering the fact that the Windows version is on Steam.

idSoftware Stadia test machine:
CPU: 8 threads Intel;
GPU: AMD Vega with 8GB VRAM;
Mem: 8-16GB RAM;
Ubuntu 18.04.

It'all standard desktop parts.
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