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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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mirv 21 January 2018 at 11:14 am UTC
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GuestAlso here's where he stated D3D is now better. Note as well this is 7 years ago.. D3D has moved on a lot in 7 years, and GL very little in comparison:

http://www.bit-tech.net/news/gaming/pc/carmack-directx-better-opengl/

Note that the one important thing he states that holds GL back is the backward compatibility. This is pretty much what many state is the problem with GL... the problem is there is so much legacy cruft in there, it is not obvious what the "fast path" is, moreover it can actually differ between drivers as it's all down to the driver.

One reason Direct3D 10/11 is significantly different than 9 is because MS realised that, in order to make the API support threaded use better, they had to significantly restructure it. Also they took the opportunity to get rid of some things that are now completely obsolete e.g. fixed function pipeline. GL has over 20 years of crap stuck in it.

Personally though i'd say by far GL's biggest problem now, is lack of support for multithreading - and no, I do not mean things like nvidia or MESA's background threads.. i mean support for being driven from multiple threads by an app itself. GL just simply does not support this, and it majorly holds back performance.

(link didn't work, seems to need a 1 on the end)
https://www.bit-tech.net/news/gaming/pc/carmack-directx-better-opengl/1/

Yeah, OpenGL, while having gone for a remarkably long time with backwards compat and few structural changes from version to version (I'd say the biggest was from immediate mode to VBOs), is still a state machine at heart. It no longer matches modern GPU (or even CPU) architectures, and the lack of multithreading definitely hurts it the most now.
So basically a driver has to map from some incredibly complex architecture into an OpenGL state view, and then on top of that somehow optimise things. As if that wasn't enough, compatibility profiles were basically a requirement for a long time (and still are in cases).

I have nothing against OpenGL per-se, but it _is_ time to move on to something else. It was time to move on some time ago really. GL4.5 is what GL3.0 should have been, and that was a long time for (game) developers to lose interest, and while a fair bit of threading will basically just work with DSA and memory mapping, it's not officially an API level supported feature.

As general comments for everyone to explain my own views (for those that don't already know):
A dedicated developer _can_ get good performance from GL still, but it most definitely requires a bit more effort compared to D3D, and anyone with legacy GL code will need to update just about all of it. It's not desirable to do that, and is normally why more simple indie gaming has an easier time - there's less impact of rewriting sections, and I daresay the code is much simpler to work with (not necessarily less complex, just easier for the team/person to make changes that don't mess with everyone else's work).
Obviously there are alternatives: get someone else to do the heavy lifting for you. Porting house (source based), VP (with eON), wine. People with experience in getting a game to run under GNU/Linux (and necessarily working with GL).

None of which changes that GL, as an API itself, really should be considered "dated". There are a lot of games using it, amazing work can be done with it, and it would be nice if a game could (or could have) considered it early in development if they wanted GNU/Linux support. Just can't really stick with OpenGL going forward.
(Yes, Vulkan, duh, but that really isn't a simple thing to learn, and even if it's being adopted comparatively quickly, it's still going to take time to see widespread usage in day-to-day gaming).

Wow I've waffled on.
tuubi 21 January 2018 at 11:32 am UTC
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Whitewolfe80Yeah but Carmack is not exactly Linux friendly since he has gone on record to say releasing quake 3 on linux was a giant waste of resources

omer666So that's not what one would call "a giant waste of ressources" even for a troll like Carmack

I am becoming more and more convinced that Linux is a cult, where if you mention any flaws, you get attacked. Jeeze.
Says the man who attacks any negative comment against a developer or porter, deserved or not.

We have no way of policing the actions and words of everyone who chooses to use Linux, and we're often very publicly in disagreement, and those facts alone prove we're nothing like a cult.
mirv 21 January 2018 at 11:44 am UTC
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tuubi
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Whitewolfe80Yeah but Carmack is not exactly Linux friendly since he has gone on record to say releasing quake 3 on linux was a giant waste of resources

omer666So that's not what one would call "a giant waste of ressources" even for a troll like Carmack

I am becoming more and more convinced that Linux is a cult, where if you mention any flaws, you get attacked. Jeeze.
Says the man who attacks any negative comment against a developer or porter, deserved or not.

We have no way of policing the actions and words of everyone who chooses to use Linux, and we're often very publicly in disagreement, and those facts alone prove we're nothing like a cult.

Hmm...hmm....hmmmm.....in this particular case, calling Carmack a troll was probably initiating things a bit. He did (and does) have a fair bit of experience and reasoning to backup his claims, and we should probably discourage calling that being a "troll".

Ok, jaycee may say comments that others find inflammatory (--edit: to be clear, I'm on his side in this case; the wording could have been more political, but this isn't international politics and the point is valid), but he also makes some very valid points about the state of things, whether we like it or not.

So can we all just try to keep calm, and talk about the pros and cons of opengl, how tripwire could have handled things better, and how gaming on a GNU/Linux system can be improved?


Last edited by mirv at 21 January 2018 at 11:59 am UTC
omer666 21 January 2018 at 4:24 pm UTC
mirv
tuubi
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Whitewolfe80Yeah but Carmack is not exactly Linux friendly since he has gone on record to say releasing quake 3 on linux was a giant waste of resources

omer666So that's not what one would call "a giant waste of ressources" even for a troll like Carmack

I am becoming more and more convinced that Linux is a cult, where if you mention any flaws, you get attacked. Jeeze.
Says the man who attacks any negative comment against a developer or porter, deserved or not.

We have no way of policing the actions and words of everyone who chooses to use Linux, and we're often very publicly in disagreement, and those facts alone prove we're nothing like a cult.

Hmm...hmm....hmmmm.....in this particular case, calling Carmack a troll was probably initiating things a bit. He did (and does) have a fair bit of experience and reasoning to backup his claims, and we should probably discourage calling that being a "troll".

Ok, jaycee may say comments that others find inflammatory (--edit: to be clear, I'm on his side in this case; the wording could have been more political, but this isn't international politics and the point is valid), but he also makes some very valid points about the state of things, whether we like it or not.

So can we all just try to keep calm, and talk about the pros and cons of opengl, how tripwire could have handled things better, and how gaming on a GNU/Linux system can be improved?

OK, beginning a flame-war was not my first intention, but now that it's here let's try to see what we can understand from it.

I didn't call Carmack a troll based on this particular story about Linux, but rather based on his general behavior. Which doesn't mean he's not a great developer - of this I am damn sure. But his views outside of the technical aspect of gaming can sometimes be biased. See for example how his former teammates see him. That's where I was calling him a troll, which in fact I didn't think was insulting. John, if you read me, I'm terribly sorry if I hurt you.

Jokes aside, I'm really not a sectarian or whatever. That's what's funny about the internet, you drop two words in there and they do your psychoanalysis with it.

So to be clear: I'm not calling people names because they don't like Linux, in fact most of my friends don't. If you felt bad about this jaycee, I apologize. And if you can check your facts next time, it will be even better. I don't want to be rude to anyone.

[Edit] So after seeing the reactions in there, I decided to have a look at what's up with the word "troll". It seems that some people take it as a harsh word, while some others don't. Again, I am sorry if I overlooked something here.


Last edited by omer666 at 21 January 2018 at 4:31 pm UTC
Whitewolfe80 21 January 2018 at 8:08 pm UTC
omer666
Whitewolfe80Yeah but Carmack is not exactly Linux friendly since he has gone on record to say releasing quake 3 on linux was a giant waste of resources
I don't think he actually said that, because 1) Quake 3 was ported by a single guy, TTimo aka Timothy Besset, and 2) Quake 3 was also officially ported to the Macintosh twice, first to Mac OS 9, and then to Mac OS X. The expertise gone into the Linux port certainly helped OMNI Group (responsible for the OS X port).

So that's not what one would call "a giant waste of ressources" even for a troll like Carmack. In fact he even said they could get a Linux build up and running in a week or two, it is official support which is harder to set up. The fact is that Zenimax is against "unofficial binaries", and that's what Linux versions of most id games were: unofficial and unsupported.

or he did John Carmack, the man behind some of the most influential video games of all time, caused a flurry of discussion over on Reddit last week when he expressed his opinions regarding native Linux ports of popular video games. Carmack's response on Reddit was an eloboration of a Twitter update he made on Feb. 4th where he stated that, "Improving Wine for Linux gaming seems like a better plan than lobbying individual game developers for native ports."

Carmack's logic is simple: There simply is not enough potential to monetize a native Linux port for game studios to invest the time, money and effort. So what if you started a company which ported popular games to Linux on behalf of a publisher? Carmack states that even if you were able to show a potential profit, it would need to be significant in order to recoup the high ancillary costs that most large publishers incur regardless of the size or scope of a port.
Code Artisan 21 January 2018 at 10:42 pm UTC
The Carmack comment on reddit (Feb 2013)

https://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/17x0sh/john_carmack_asks_why_wine_isnt_good_enough/c89sfto/


Last edited by Code Artisan at 21 January 2018 at 10:42 pm UTC
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