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Larian Rep Responds To Criticism Over The Linux Delay Of Divinity: Original Sin

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A fellow on the official Steam forum for Divinity: Original Sin has been commenting to Linux users criticising the delay, and it's an interesting read.

It's not clear if the fellow is a developer, or just a moderator, but either way he is a representative of Larian.

QuoteGiven that the primary development platform at Larian is Windows, the Mac and Linux versions must be done after Windows (ie there is additional time needed for porting).
Given that the console versions have an extra certification process and a manufacturing time that must be taken into account for a retail release, while the PC version is digital only, the console version must be done before the PC version.

Obviously, the actual game content (changes, additions, balancing, etc) must be first. Without being able to have separate teams devoted to each platform simultaneously, the only option is to initially focus on the console versions, since they have to be done first. Of course there is some overlap, and these are not all discrete steps, but once the console versions start the certification process, any remaining console issues are cleaned up for final submission, and then the remaining PC specific issue can be looked at (updated keyboard/mouse UI, etc) and the the Windows version finished and sent through QA, and then Mac and Linux.


This is the problem when you don't work on different versions together, and keep testing them. There will usually be some sort of delay. We see it all the time when Linux is an afterthought for developers, they come up against roadblocks and issues due to them not focusing on Linux at all during the actual development process.

So, basically, the console versions held up everything and Linux is the last thing to be worked on. That's not me putting a spin on it, as that's very clear here. It's not unusual to focus on the smallest platform last, but to see additional platforms come out before one already promised is annoying.

I really hope we don't see another delay in December, as it's been a silly amount of time already.

The developer does try to further clarify the situation:
QuoteThe alternatives:

- no console versions
When the Linux engine was finished being ported earlier this year, it could have been updated to the released version of the game, and been out however long it took after that.
However, that would mean it would have no features added for the EE. D:OS would remain essentially how it is on Windows and Mac, GOTY material, yet with issue which could have been fixed with more development.

- console version, Linux version updated to the released code branch, and then again for the EE
Not feasible.

- console version, Linux version updated just to the released code branch
Ya, that would go over worse that getting a Linux version of the EE but not the original release.

Having the console versions is best for the game, and updating the Linux engine to the EE will make it possible to port future games more easily.
Assuming the EE does well, that means more can be invested into the next games, which will benefit everyone who likes RPGs in the long run.


Honestly, I'm having a hard time reading that part of the post specifically, as it all reads like nonsense developer speak to get out of legitimate criticism. If they had simply worked on the Linux version in tandem with the Windows version, then it wouldn't have been an issue. You don't need to focus just on Windows. We all know how easy it is to setup a Linux box, or even dual boot so I just fail to see why they couldn't keep checking different builds on Linux as development went on, and fixed up issues as they arise.

Take the middleware issue for example, if they had checked into the middleware they wanted to use first they wouldn't have had such a big delay. It's another case of a developer not actually planning for a promised release platform. We already knew this was an issue way back in March though, but the rep mentioned it again.

If they had just outright said Linux was bottom of the list, but it will release much later on, then I doubt it would have been such a big issue for people. Sadly though, it is an issue, and a lot of people aren't happy.

If the Linux version does release in December, it will have been one year and five months+ since the original Windows version. Let that sink in for a moment.

Still, when it does finally arrive on Linux it will be a fantastic game to add to my list. I will give it an unbiased look for sure, since I didn't give them a penny of my money yet. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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26 comments
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Apopas 23 October 2015 at 6:04 pm UTC
QuoteGiven that the primary development platform at Larian is Windows, the Mac and Linux versions must be done after Windows

QuoteLarian Studios: We are planning release on all the platforms at the same time.

Yeah ok...
Pangachat 23 October 2015 at 6:11 pm UTC
"Without being able to have separate teams devoted to each platform simultaneously, the only option is to initially focus on the console versions, since they have to be done first...."
Because X1 and PS4 owners funded the original game aka they already paid for it.

kkthxbye

(Another DoS thread i love these )
Supay 23 October 2015 at 6:11 pm UTC
Excuse after excuse. They need to go speak to developers like Squad or Paradox to see how to actually do a cross platform game and manage fanbase expectations. I did not back this game as I forgot to and I am very glad now. Larian won't get a penny of my cash, I'd rather spend it buying a full cost copy of Kerbal for a friend than getting Divinity in the cheapest Steam sale.
Nyamiou 23 October 2015 at 6:51 pm UTC
So they've got 40 employees but they all have to work on the same thing at the same time? Wow! Then they probably had to stop the whole company from working just so they could answer a forum post!!!!! But I should be glad because when they will work on the Linux version, all the 40 employees will work on it, not just a guy in a corner, right?


Last edited by Nyamiou on 23 October 2015 at 6:54 pm UTC
sunbeam4 23 October 2015 at 7:23 pm UTC
if it's out by christmas, fine by me.
BillNyeTheBlackGuy 23 October 2015 at 7:24 pm UTC
GuestDivinity representative you say? Sorry I can't hear you among the load of wonderful Linux games with actual caring developers. Pillars of Eternity, Wasteland 2, Sword Coast Legends, Shadowrun, Serpent in the Stagnlands,Avadon the Black Fortress, Fallen A2P,... damn I'll even go and replay for the 50th time Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 natively before hearing anymore BS form Larian and his team.

It's crystal clear how they handle their promises and facts and I have plenty of games and releases to fill my time until Divinity gets bundled for 5 bucks along other games on some bundle store. My only hope is Humble Bundle handles it so I can sink all my purchase to charity and they don't get a dime from me.

Notice how most of the games you listed are using unity. Pretty trivial to port a game to Linux using unity.
Bladeforce 23 October 2015 at 8:07 pm UTC
The sooner the industry is based around openGL instead of this proprietary crap THE BETTER
Luke_Nukem 23 October 2015 at 8:47 pm UTC
Pffft...

Excuses. One after the other. They created an expectation, then failed to live up to it. They then made a series of poor choices, and took on too much work which then compounded it.

It sounds as if they have actual separate code forks for each platform, with a Windows code base being the main focus, and the other forks needing to be manually updated to that Windows branch. If this is the case.... Fuck me. They need to read a few books.

The proper, and should also be the *only* way to do it, is one freaking code base, with the platform code nicely compartmentalised so that the removal or addition of one absolutely does not affect the rest of the code.

Again and again, I see a heap of developers who seem to have just made seriously poor engine design choices, and don't know quite how to manage a multi-platform project. Do you know what other game has this exact same problem? Reflex, the Quake 3 style FPS. Promised Linux/OSX, focused on Windows + DirectX only. So fuck'em.
Xzyl 23 October 2015 at 9:08 pm UTC
BladeforceThe sooner the industry is based around openGL instead of this proprietary crap THE BETTER
Or vulkan sadly DX12 is getting its claws in already. A positive note is there is a possibility for DX12 using mesa, one can dream
Keyrock 23 October 2015 at 9:13 pm UTC
I don't care about excuses, I don't care if they're valid, it's been a ****ing year and a half. Larian can go **** themselves. I give zero ****s about that company or anything they make ever again because I wouldn't give them another penny if someone put a gun to my head.
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