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Sad news, as it seems there's just no chance of Killing Floor 2 coming to Linux any more as Tripwire can't find a developer.

Going back to February of last year, Knockout Games sneaked out before that they were working on it, but not all contracts work out of course. I assumed they had parted ways, since later in August of last year Tripwire then said it wasn't in active development. I was hoping Knockout Games (or anyone) was just quietly working on it, but I guess not.

Here's what Tripwire have now said about it:

Currently all progress on a Linux Client is indefinitely on hold. While progress was made towards getting the game client to run on the platform, we have been unable to find a person or persons to finish the work needed to make a client.

The major bottleneck has been getting the rendering system up and running (the key part of the client) as the engine now works on platform (the server is the engine minus a client and loading assets it doesn't need to render/trigger). During Killing Floor 2's development a choice was made to rewrite the DirectX rendering system. This in turn means many of the "turn key" Unreal porting solutions that existed do not apply to Killing Floor 2, as they all assume that the game is using the default Unreal 3 rendering pipeline. 

So far the third parties we have talked to either do not want to undertake the creation of a new OpenGL rendering pipeline from the ground up (due to time and effort involved) or have quoted a price that makes it beyond consideration (the cost versus estimated return math does not come even close to making sense based on previous Killing Floor 1 Linux sales when charted against Killing Floor 2). 

If that changes, we will be happy to re-open development of a Linux client, but until that point it is on hold.

I was really looking forward to playing Killing Floor 2 one day, but it seems like it's not going to happen. Thankfully we have a lot of other great games, but it still stings a bit to hear this.

It's genuinely sad that a developer has again locked themselves into one single closed API. The annoying thing, is that they're using the sales of the original in their considerations of Linux being worth it or not for the new game. This is after previously confirming they will do it, multiple times. The problem I have with that, is Killing Floor was released for Windows in early 2009 and released for Linux in late 2012, that's well over three years after the original release when many people will have already owned it. Heck, even I already owned it, as I knew many people already did. This is part of the problem with Linux versions coming late—you will lose sales and then you will look at it like Linux sells even less than expected.

Thankfully, with game engines now having better support for OpenGL (and Vulkan support is slowly getting better), this is less of a problem for newer games—if they use an up to date version that is.

I still hope one day either someone like Ryan "Icculus" Gordon or another Linux porting champion can take another look, but considering how much work they've made for themselves, it doesn't sound likely.

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61 comments
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mirv 10 January 2018 at 9:39 pm UTC
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Yeah, them rewriting the directx backend and now saying that it's too complicated/expensive to use a 3rd party to do an OpenGL version basically means they never had any intention of porting it to GNU/Linux, or any other platform for that matter.

Thing with multiplayer games too is that if you don't join in when it's popular, chances are that a much later port won't hold as much gamer attention (people having possibly moved on to other games by then).

Blame is squarely on the developers for idiotic planning on this one, with extra serves of stupidity for trying to point the finger elsewhere.
PublicNuisance 10 January 2018 at 9:48 pm UTC
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Poor planning leads to poor results. I'd like to think that this is a mistake that Tripwire will learn from but time will tell.
nox 10 January 2018 at 9:59 pm UTC
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It's not necessarily a mistake though. I'm guessing it's a calculated choice.
Mblackwell 10 January 2018 at 10:02 pm UTC
They should have developed an in-house cross platform solution (potentially with the help of a porter) from the beginning if they wanted to use DirectX and also support more platforms.
gabber 10 January 2018 at 10:27 pm UTC
yellownotepadSerious bummer, one of my favs. What's the over/under on seeing this in 2018?
kalin
Faattori"During Killing Floor 2's development a choice was made to rewrite the DirectX rendering system. "

Well, the fault is completely on them for making the bad decisions.
Why do you think it's fault. I'm sure they have their reasons. No one just make decisions especially people who successfully run a business.

1. Broken Promise:
They did advertise Linux when in EA. You're correct: they did not "just make decisions". They knew choosing the route they took is going to mean problems with the port. Bad move for Linux users, we got screwed.

2. Ends do not justify the means.
They may run a successful company, but that's because of their games. Not because they choices in render engine. I like the concept of Killing Floor, I could care less about the engine.

3. 'They know what their doing'.
Just because something works does not mean all the choices along the way are good. Their choices may have led to a faster release on windows.
But I would be willing to bet: This will bite them in their behind down the road due to some update. They will either have to remove the rewritten part, update it or leave KF2 lagging behind in tech.
What is the point of taking a finished engine if you modify it so heavily?

They added microtransactions during EA.. also a good choice?
Baemir 10 January 2018 at 11:19 pm UTC
They really shot themselves in the foot by rewriting the DirectX rendering system. Had they avoided that, chances are the game would have been ported very easily, and possibly to more platforms too.
deathbuffer 10 January 2018 at 11:19 pm UTC
The game is on PS4, which does not speak DirectX, so it's definitely working with at least one additional graphics API. The Linux market is tiny compared to PlayStation, sure, but having OpenGL would be a large step towards Mac support, too. I'd love to know how much that quote was that made it seem "beyond consideration".
omer666 10 January 2018 at 11:27 pm UTC
I just don't trust those guys...
Code Artisan 11 January 2018 at 12:20 am UTC
From what i have read there and here, they were using Unreal engine 3 for their two previous games and found out that it was more interesting for them to (heavily) modify UE3 instead of buying UT4 and porting what was already done on KF2.
doomiebaby 11 January 2018 at 12:36 am UTC
Referencing poor KF1 sales? Maybe word had gotten out about its performance back then; I remember it being a horroble horrible port that wasn't consistently playable on overkill hardware. It should't have sold well, or even at all. (I just tested it again with my current machine, and the first objective level drops to 26fps often.)

With the way linux was mentioned for KF2, I'd hoped it was an actual intention this time, and that maybe they'd planned better and porting would be done well. I guess not. This news says to me that they were never very serious about a linux port to begin with. Another dev to ignore til they prove themselves, sadly.
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