It seems the Linux port of Banished isn't dead, far from it in fact. The developer just so happens to be working on other stuff at the same time.
QuoteWay back in June, I was working on getting the game code running on Mac and Linux. And while the game runs on those platforms, there are still a bunch of details to implement for a final product, plus testing. But I’ve been itching to work on new games, so I’ve been working on new things more than working on Mac and Linux versions of Banished.
You can see all the details in the new blog post here.
Way back last year the developer of Banished was posting his thoughts on porting the game to both Linux & Mac. There has been silence for many months, but it appears he has been insanely busy.
The developer has been working on a new game and they say they want to have it cross-platform all at once. This is really great news, but it has required plenty of effort on their part.
They've moved to make their entire tool-set cross-platform for starters:
QuoteOn Mac and Linux, I only ported the game code, and none of the toolset. So the workflow goes:
– Make sure PC build works.
– Compile all resource and generate a pack file.
– Put the pack file somewhere accessible by the Mac and Linux machines.
– Make sure Mac and Linux compile.
– Run Mac or Linux build.
This is fine until I need to change data to debug a problem. If I’m working under Linux and want to do something simple like view the terrain in wireframe mode, this requires a data change (yes, all my render state is data), which requires a pack file recompile on Windows, etc, etc. Additionally when I travel, I prefer a light and small laptop, such as my MacBook, but if I can’t edit data on it, then there’s a limit to the kind of things I can work on.
And so I was motivated to make the entire toolset work cross platform. Yikes. All that Windows specific code had to go!! So I ended up having to rework the engine by using cross platform code for fonts, image loading, dxt block compression, audio decoding, and a few other things. Thankfully the FBX format works on OSX and Linux, so I didn’t have to change model formats.
They mention they can't compile DirectX shaders on Linux, but that's not an issue until they want to actually release, so they can just do that on Windows when needed. The point is that they can work on all builds, on any platform.
They have merged their OpenGL paths together, so they no longer have OpenGL for Windows and then the Linux/Mac version, it's just all one now. I imagine that will make things a lot simpler for sure. They also state they may look at Metal and Vulkan in future.
The amount of effort going into the Linux port of Banished and their next game has made me massively respect this developer.
Banished itself is mentioned briefly at the end again, as a few changes for Mods are being worked on.
Great to see they are still alive and still working.