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Small interview with SCS Software, makers of Euro Truck Simulator 2!

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Well here are a few questions that Petr Sebor of SCS Software answered about Linux and Euro Truck Simulator 2 a game that will be coming to Linux soon via Steam, hope you enjoy it!

> First of all please introduce yourself and your company.

My name is Petr Sebor and I am a co-founder and co-owner of SCS Software,
a Czech Republic based company, which officially went on the path of game
and tech development in 1997. We have founded the company together with my
brother Pavel and Martin Cesky with the primary vision to serve as a technology
supplier and contractor with distant dream that we may, in the future, become
fully independent and start creating our own games.

> What got you interested in porting to Linux?

Probably the fun in doing so. We have been playing with Linux almost from
the beginning and having the code cross-compiled on the GCC/DJGPP stack even when
there were no graphical results from that. We had the DOS/Windows graphical client,
but the resource conversion pipeline was multi platform even at that time
as we had our map crunching tool available on Linux and even Sun/Sparc
(since we were in need of spare cycles to crunch on the 3D assets and

we had access to such hardware).

> What technical obsticles did you encounter on the porting to Linux?

I can't say there were any remarkable to point out. Sure, every platform has
its specifics, but it is typically nothing major. If there is anything,
it is the absence of comfortable debugger in Linux distros.
But in the end, I am very glad even for the allmighty debugger, GDB,
which simply makes the job done, at a cost.

> Why did they localise their game in the Silesian language? AFAIK it's the first and still only game in existence supporting Silesian, which would also make it the first Linux game in Silesian.

We are crowd sourcing the game localization and many people have voluntarily
contributed translations into many languages you don't find very often in
games - Turkish, Ukrainian, Catalan... Having Silesian translation is another
testament of the power of fan community support, though in this particular
case it is also an idea supported by our Polish distributor as they have roots in Silesia.

> How do you look on Free (as in freedom) and Open Source software? Why did you decide to make your game available to Linux platforms? Do you plan to ever release the source code?

If we did not have to pay taxes, feed the families and pay the employees, I wouldn't have problem
to develop the game, say, on GIThub.  But since this is our primary and only source of
the income, we're not that open to the idea of releasing the entire codebase into the
wild. However, we are looking into releasing our resource format
specifications, this might make the life of the modding community easier.

For me, the Open Source software tools are the ones I am using every day and have
to confess that my life would be a lot more painful without those. So I am
actually very thankful for the armies of all those nice people who are behind the

Open Source movement.

Having our games running on Linux was a fun project for me until now and I would do
it even if I should be the only one playing them. I have no doubt that in the future
the fun in Linux development will still be there for me, but it would be nice so see
the userbase of Linux gamers playing our games grow into much bigger figures.

> Will you be updating any games for Steam's big picture mode and for the Steam Box/Steam Consoles?

The Big Picture, as an alternative to console gaming, is really interesting and
we are looking in that direction with all platforms we're developing on,
at least with ETS2. It is a question however if we're going to fit the Steam Box,
since ETS2 is quite resource hungry, but we're open to the opportunity
if it is going to be the right match.

> Do you plan to port more games to Linux? - Asked by lots of people

Actually, every single game we have ever created in the past was developed
on Linux in parallel, so there is nothing much to "port". In principle it is mostly a problem

of polishing the rough edges.

> There have been quite a few comments on your Linux blog post from Windows users saying Linux is a waste of time, what did you think to those comments?

The effort was never a waste of time, as it has actually saved us a fair portion of time.
Developing on several systems and compiler environments in parallel typically helps to
uncover hidden issues that normally do not immediately show on the other platform.
Exploiting the code to MSVC, GCC and Clang/LLVM compilers have helped us to produce
nice, portable and conformant code and using tools like Valgrind and similar ones on
Windows have helped a ton with memory overruns and using bits of uninitialized memory.
We're not bitter about such comments, not everybody can appreciate what is going on
behind the scenes. We just hope the Linux version will find
its fans as well now and the work will be justified in the eys the players.

> Do they plan to sell licenses of Prism3D for developers?

Definitely not on massive scale at the moment. We have even turned down several
requests recently, because we really do not have the resources to provide support
to our codebase to third parties.

> Will the in-game editor for modding work on Linux?

The editor is unfortunatelly bound to the Windows API at the moment, but I cannot say
it is not going to happen in the future. This probably depends on the amount of
interest in the Linux modding community. The more people will demand the support,

the sooner we're going to more forward.

> How is the process of getting the licenses from the truck companies?

It is extremely hard to get the right people from the truck companies to listen,
but when you finally reach the right contacts, it goes quite smoothly from
that point onwards. The first contact is usually the hardest nut to crack.

> Are the graphical details going to be same on opengl compared to directx? (and what version of opengl does the port use)

We had been using OpenGL up until recently as a primary and only renderer on all
platforms, so from that standpoint, we have actually ported the game to DirectX and not vice versa.
We have  decided to use the DirectX renderer as default one on Windows
only thanks to widespread availability and slighly more stable and tested
drivers to somehow ease down the burden on our tech support, but we're still
keeping both renderers on par, so there is actually not going to be any difference
in visuals on any of the supported platforms, be it Linux, Mac or Windows.

They are hoping to release a BETA version in the next few weeks they said on twitter.

Thank you Petr for the great answers, really interesting, can't wait to see your games on Linux!
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The comments on this article are closed.
fan 23 January 2013 at 5:07 pm UTC
why nobody actually asked when is the release date?
liamdawe 23 January 2013 at 5:12 pm UTC
QuoteThey are hoping to release a BETA version in the next few weeks they said on twitter.
tweakedenigma 23 January 2013 at 5:24 pm UTC
The Second this is available on Steam for Linux, I will be buying it
Yulike 23 January 2013 at 5:35 pm UTC
He didn't answer "Do you plan to port more games to Linux?" very specifically, do you think that was a yes, maybe or a way of avoiding letting people down? Good interview though.
Xpander 23 January 2013 at 5:36 pm UTC
woot woot.
nice interview.
cant wait for the game
aaannz 23 January 2013 at 8:28 pm UTC
Can't wait for this. Even though I don't usually play truck sims.
Very positive interview!
eldersnake 23 January 2013 at 9:13 pm UTC
if only more game companies were like SCS! They've developed Linux versions in parallel from the start, even if they weren't released. Much respect.
MaximB 24 January 2013 at 6:41 am UTC
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Good interview, shame their game is pricey at the moment (even with 10% discount).
MPXLBS 24 January 2013 at 9:10 am UTC
I tried the demo in Windows. I said on another forum that I had no interest in the first game until a friend of mine recommended it to me. After having tried it for an hour, I can certainly say I was hooked! Euro Truck Simulator 2 has also gotten me hooked and I can not wait for the Linux version of it. Once it comes out, I'll buy it! It's a very good game and I don't think the price is steep at all. There's hours upon hours of gametime in it, lots of upgrades, leveling up and jobs to do. It's a good game.
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