You can sign up to get a daily email of our articles, see the Mailing List page!
Support us on Patreon to keep GamingOnLinux alive. This ensures we have no timed articles and no paywalls. Just good, fresh content! Alternatively, you can support us on Paypal and Liberapay!

The technical director for Electronic Art’s SEED division who works on the engine has stated that it’s capable of running on Linux. While very cool, this isn’t a reason to get your hopes up when it comes to future AAA ports just yet.

The Frostbite game engine has been used a lot in the past few years for powering many of the games created by EA-affiliated developers. Titles like Battlefield 1, Star Wars Battlefront II and various Need for Speed all run on Frostbite.

Johan Andersson, long time developer of the engine and current technical director tweeted this out earlier today:

the Frostbite dedicated servers do run on Linux for MP games, and we've had the client up also but not fully or officially supported

— Johan Andersson (@repi) September 7, 2017

 

This was after tweeting about how the Frostbite engine has about as much code as the Linux kernel.

While it’s exciting to learn that dedicated servers run on Linux, what’s more interesting is that they’ve also done work in getting a client up and running. It’s no secret that DICE, the studio that originally created the engine, and the people who have gone on to develop it since have been positive about wanting to bring their games to Linux for years. Still, a few years ago, Andersson dispelled any notion that it’s likely to happen anytime soon, saying that the Linux market share is too small to support.

We’ve come a long way as a gaming platform in the last few years, but I think that it’s still reasonable for publishers to be skeptical of making the financial commitment necessary to support Linux. Even if the engine already sort of works you need to hire dedicated QAs, allocate resources for platform-specific technical issues and to keep the port functional and up-to-date. Even massively popular and well-used engines like Unity or Unreal have many issues that any Linux user here can likely attest to the sometimes bumpy experience. This also doesn't take into account that EA has its own distribution platform, Origin, which would also need a port and would also incurr QA and technically-related costs to operate.

These aren't insurmountable challenges but it can be part of things that we gamers sometimes overlook when it comes to wanting games on our platform. Big publicly-traded companies like EA are accountable to investors who often wish to maximize profit. This occasionally means they’re a little shy to enter new, untested markets. Valve, being privately owned, had some more leeway in making these decisions when it decided to bring Steam and its game catalogue to Linux.

I’m cautiously optimistic that this is still an overall good sign. The Frostbite engine adopted AMD’s Mantle a few years ago and it wouldn’t surprise me if it adopted its kinda-successor-API Vulkan in the near future. That could further lower the barriers and convince the people who ultimately make these kinds of decisions that investing in Linux is worth the risk. For the meantime, I think it’s important to politely remind publishers and developers from time to time that we’re a receptive and understanding bunch and would be open to any ventures they made in our little market space.

20 Likes, Who?
Comments
Page: «6/6
  Go to:

etonbears 11 September 2017 at 4:17 pm UTC
pb
razing32
etonbearsIt is notable that any "philosophical advantage" of open development does not yet seem to have produced a significant body of high-quality games.

If I may , wouldn't this have more to do with lack of other professions joining in also ?
Sure we have coders who can script a great game.
But without artists , musicians , composers , art directors , voice actors and so on , how far can we truly get towards a great game.
Just my two cents.

It's easy to contribute code under permissive licence, because it's usually only useful in that one place anyway. Artists can have a bigger dilemma, because once they create a sprite or a tune for an open-source game, they're likely to see it floating around the web, reused 100 times without as much as attribution.

Not sure I quite understand. You are either giving stuff away for the public good, or you are not. It doesn't really matter whether it is code, images, video or audio. To my mind, the only properly permissive open source "licence" is Public Domain. By contrast BSD and MIT are permissive with attribution, and GPL is ideologically restrictive.
etonbears 11 September 2017 at 5:01 pm UTC
Purple Library GuyI think mostly what annoys people about Stallman is that, while his actual analysis and positions are cogent, consistent and rigorous, he goes around insisting on actually taking them seriously even when it's inconvenient, and suggesting that other people should do the same. It makes us uncomfortable since most of us have no intention of giving up any convenience in the pursuit of liberty or any other ethical good, whether in the arena of computing or any other.

Richard was a very important catalyst in the 1980s in getting people to think differently, and in kick-starting the platforms we prefer to use today.

However, the FSF view is essentially that ALL software, without exception, should be available as source, gratis, and removing all rights of the software author to determine financial beneficiaries.

To many people in the software industry, FSF dogma was/is not much better than the being controlled by the dominant companies. By failing to balance interests among all producers and consumers, the FSF view becomes not so much uncomfortable, but impractical.

The FSF view remains a radical outlier, which is useful to have for comparison. However, much of the important open source software is developed by paid-for developers working on behalf of producers that collaborate on mutually useful code that they probably could not justify individually. Still open source, but not free in the hard-core GNU sense.
Plintslîcho 11 September 2017 at 9:13 pm UTC
jensTo make it short: games are not all, Linux is still the much better platform, despite some shortcomings. That said, my focus is on getting things done, not on fighting for freedom.

Fair enough.

I understand why many Linux users defend the freedom this platform is providing. I may not always share their opinion. But I can often see where they are coming from. Are there some zealots among them? Sure there are, just as there are people that don't care, at all. I haven't spotted any zealots in this thread though. Just many people voicing their dislike of Electronic Arts, and frankly, you find enough of those in other forums as well. Has nothing to do with the operating system.
Purple Library Guy 12 September 2017 at 4:03 am UTC
etonbears
Purple Library GuyI think mostly what annoys people about Stallman is that, while his actual analysis and positions are cogent, consistent and rigorous, he goes around insisting on actually taking them seriously even when it's inconvenient, and suggesting that other people should do the same. It makes us uncomfortable since most of us have no intention of giving up any convenience in the pursuit of liberty or any other ethical good, whether in the arena of computing or any other.

Richard was a very important catalyst in the 1980s in getting people to think differently, and in kick-starting the platforms we prefer to use today.

However, the FSF view is essentially that ALL software, without exception, should be available as source, gratis, and removing all rights of the software author to determine financial beneficiaries.

To many people in the software industry, FSF dogma was/is not much better than the being controlled by the dominant companies. By failing to balance interests among all producers and consumers, the FSF view becomes not so much uncomfortable, but impractical.

The FSF view remains a radical outlier, which is useful to have for comparison. However, much of the important open source software is developed by paid-for developers working on behalf of producers that collaborate on mutually useful code that they probably could not justify individually. Still open source, but not free in the hard-core GNU sense.
I don't think Stallman cares much about the software industry. His position as I understand it is more or less that by far the majority of people connected to software are end-users and, given the freedom to share and improve, a large enough proportion of them will contribute that ultimately a separate paid industry is superfluous (and, if superfluous, then also parasitic). So the GPL-oriented position is more that what matters is all the other industries and activities, not the software industry, and that all those other industries and activities would be better off controlling their own software.
Now indeed, this may be impractical. And it's certainly not something that people in the software industry should be expected to be happy about. But if you conclude that it is practicable, the objections of the software industry are kind of like the objections of guys collecting tolls on a toll road that if you get rid of the toll they'll lose their jobs--nobody else has a reason to care.

Again, games are somewhat different for a number of reasons, and even Stallman is on record saying this is so.
Purple Library Guy 12 September 2017 at 4:14 am UTC
etonbears
razing32
etonbearsIt is notable that any "philosophical advantage" of open development does not yet seem to have produced a significant body of high-quality games.

If I may , wouldn't this have more to do with lack of other professions joining in also ?
Sure we have coders who can script a great game.
But without artists , musicians , composers , art directors , voice actors and so on , how far can we truly get towards a great game.
Just my two cents.

Yes, that's true. For the type of game you have in mind the artistic personnel greatly outnumber the coding team ( if you assume coding is not artisic ). However, it is entirely possible to produce high quality games where most or all game assets are created procedurally by the coding team.

The real reason there are few significant open source games is simply the cost in time to organise and create them. Doing it for free in your spare time becomes a never-ending slog which, if it ever does complete, produces something that is generally out-of-date. Many people start games, but few are finished.

Indeed, aside from issues around art and so on, games are an odd combination of big project, ephemeral, and subject to rapid obsolescence. Open source projects tend to have a sort of "slow and steady wins the race" thing going. Commercial products are normally made with a big push to ship followed by some bugfixing and then relative quiescence unless they decide to release a new version, at which point they'll do a big-ish push again. With open source--sure, there will be spurts and slow periods, but basically they do well by gradual development over a number of years, starting out crappy but after a long enough time putting in a feature here and an improvement there, eventually becoming on a par with or even better than proprietary alternatives.
But with games, by the time an open source project starts to reach the "not crappy" stage, it's obsolete, either technologically or because nobody cares about that kind of game any more. The few open source games with some success tend to be in categories that are unusually stable and not very graphics-heavy.


Last edited by Purple Library Guy at 12 September 2017 at 4:17 am UTC
Arthur 12 September 2017 at 9:43 am UTC
From helping a little bit with a FLOSS game I can tell you the main issue is there are not enough people willing to put in the effort needed for something most consider unnecessary. When even RMS doesn't care much you know you're in the tiniest of niches.

Other Free and open source projects get people because they need the software to solve an issue. Games don't get the same treatment, and as you've already pointed out getting artists can be a huge problem. We have one person that's been with the project for years doing a lot of the art but frankly we could use at least ten people like him.

We get other art contributions as well, including having someone creating music for a while, but most of it are one-off contributions making it very difficult to get consistent art. Even the aforementioned long-time artist doing the bulk of the important art has grown as an artist and changed styles a couple times. And we don't have the luxury where we can demand he keeps to one style because if he goes away, there will most likely be almost no new or improved art for the foreseeable future.

I could go on but not sure how interesting people would find it anyway. Because it's a fact, games aren't as important as productivity software. But I do really wish more people would care about and especially contribute to open source games.
jens 12 September 2017 at 4:57 pm UTC
PlintslîchoJust many people voicing their dislike of Electronic Arts, and frankly, you find enough of those in other forums as well. Has nothing to do with the operating system.

It depends on what you want to achieve. Are you happy with the status quo, 2% market share, every 6 month an AAA game? Sure, treat Linux like every other platform, voice your feelings and I guess that the current situation won't change.

If you want to bring Linux to the mass then you will need players like EA on board. The mass of people want to open their legacy documents, listen to their music in proprietary formats and play their favorite EA games. Once Linux has reached a significant market share you have a voice that counts and are able to influence the industry, but not before and not the other way around.

To word it differently:
I would prefer to swallow the evilness now with a bigger goal in the long run


Last edited by jens at 12 September 2017 at 6:09 pm UTC. Edited 2 times.
jens 12 September 2017 at 9:02 pm UTC
PlintslîchoI haven't spotted any zealots in this thread though.
Agree. Sometimes heated, but still a civilized discussion.
Purple Library Guy 13 September 2017 at 3:02 am UTC
jens
PlintslîchoJust many people voicing their dislike of Electronic Arts, and frankly, you find enough of those in other forums as well. Has nothing to do with the operating system.

It depends on what you want to achieve. Are you happy with the status quo, 2% market share, every 6 month an AAA game? Sure, treat Linux like every other platform, voice your feelings and I guess that the current situation won't change.

If you want to bring Linux to the mass then you will need players like EA on board. The mass of people want to open their legacy documents, listen to their music in proprietary formats and play their favorite EA games. Once Linux has reached a significant market share you have a voice that counts and are able to influence the industry, but not before and not the other way around.

To word it differently:
I would prefer to swallow the evilness now with a bigger goal in the long run

I can see people being of the opinion that big companies such as EA building their games with Linux as one of the platforms is important for the future of Linux gaming and possibly even Linux on the desktop period.

I don't see why that means anyone should shut up about their contrary opinions. Indie developers sometimes pay attention to the things Linux gaming enthusiasts say online. But I am 100% certain that executives at Electronic Arts who exist anywhere near that mythical thing called a "decision" never, ever do. So no matter what any Linux gamer may say to diss EA on GamingonLinux, it will have precisely zero impact on whatever EA might or might not plan relating to Linux. Zero point zero zero zero repeating. So people should say what they want.


Last edited by Purple Library Guy at 13 September 2017 at 3:03 am UTC. Edited 2 times.
jens 13 September 2017 at 5:10 am UTC
Purple Library GuyBut I am 100% certain that executives at Electronic Arts who exist anywhere near that mythical thing called a "decision" never, ever do. So no matter what any Linux gamer may say to diss EA on GamingonLinux, it will have precisely zero impact on whatever EA might or might not plan relating to Linux. Zero point zero zero zero repeating.

Yes, agree. Though I think technical people that did the actual work the original article is about might be familiar with sites this like. That aside, I didn't meant literally "voicing" only. Let's say EA publishes a single title on Linux as an experiment and it's received similar to the news of this thread, I guess then there won't be any titles ever again.

But let's stop this, I guess everything has been said, much is theoretical and every voice is valid of course.


Last edited by jens at 18 September 2017 at 6:31 pm UTC
  Go to:
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on Patreon or Liberapay. We have no adverts, no paywalls, no timed exclusive articles. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

We also accept Paypal donations and subscriptions! If you already are, thank you!

Due to spam you need to Register and Login to comment.


Or login with...

Livestreams & Videos
Community Livestreams
See more!
Popular this week
View by Category
Contact
Latest Forum Posts
Facebook