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Civilization VI was recently updated to give Windows and Mac players cross-platform multiplayer, sadly the Linux version was left out. We spoke to Aspyr to confirm what's happening.

It's not just cross-platform multiplayer that we're missing, as the Linux version hasn't recieved the Spring 2018 Update yet which was released for Windows back in May. Sadly, this type of wait has become common when a third party ports a game to Linux and it's understandably hard for some to have to wait—especially if it's a game you're particularly fond of and one that can be enjoyed in a multiplayer environment.

The good news, is that Aspyr Media are obviously well aware of this. Here's what they told us today:

We are very close to getting both the update and cross platform play out on Linux. If all goes well, we should see both in the next couple of weeks.

Aspyr Media

If interested, you can grab a copy of Civilization VI for Linux from: Humble Store and Steam.

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scaine 20 July 2018 at 7:53 pm UTC
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Wow, that's pretty huge, isn't it? Cross-platform play has been an issue with ports for...ever. I was led to understand that it's basically impossible (for a ported title). I wonder how they overcame it?
GustyGhost 20 July 2018 at 7:54 pm UTC
In my personal experience, one of the biggest factors driving away newcomers to adopting Linux gaming is high profile games which divide online play between users of Linux and Windows. I understand there are technical hurdles but it makes us look really bad.

i.e. newcomers who aren't well versed in the subject matter simply use that to assume that all other Linux games are cordoned off into their own little multiplayer ghettos.


Last edited by GustyGhost at 20 July 2018 at 7:56 pm UTC
CanadianBlueBeer 20 July 2018 at 7:57 pm UTC
Cross platform has been a thorn for ages. Yammered about extensively in the linux threads on steam for the game/platform.

I'm just glad this means we're finally getting the latest patch. yay!
Joeyboots80 20 July 2018 at 8:02 pm UTC
Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!
Kristian 20 July 2018 at 8:05 pm UTC
scaineWow, that's pretty huge, isn't it? Cross-platform play has been an issue with ports for...ever. I was led to understand that it's basically impossible (for a ported title). I wonder how they overcame it?

Why would it be basically impossible? I was under the impression that several titles have cross-platform play?
Anza 20 July 2018 at 8:38 pm UTC
Kristian
scaineWow, that's pretty huge, isn't it? Cross-platform play has been an issue with ports for...ever. I was led to understand that it's basically impossible (for a ported title). I wonder how they overcame it?

Why would it be basically impossible? I was under the impression that several titles have cross-platform play?

As far as Aspyr has revealed about Civillization VI porting, at least one of the big issues has been third party floating point math library and trying to behave exactly same way in all cases.

Computers are not very good at accurate floating point math, so covering all the corner cases in same way is not that trivial.

That has caused random desyncs. Which means that public release of the cross platform has been delayed quite many times.

I guess with multiplayer code difficulty varies. With clean network code platform doesn't really matter (if that wouldn't be possible, we wouldn't have Internet). But in worst case communication is done with some odd binary protocol that one of the games DLL:s just spews out.

That's something that Samba had to deal with it until Microsoft agreed to meet them half way and make things work bit more like real network protocol.
Kristian 20 July 2018 at 8:45 pm UTC
Okay, so you are talking specific issues with particular games? I mean I get that crossplatform-play presents challenges, but the wording "practically impossible" made me think it was almost unheard of and a major breakthrough by Aspyr.

Edit:

I mean breakthrough in general, not breakthrough with this particular port.


Last edited by Kristian at 20 July 2018 at 8:57 pm UTC
14 20 July 2018 at 9:31 pm UTC
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This is one of the games that doesn't get on my wish list because I have too many games. I bought Civ V earlier this year I think and have yet to play it. If Civ VI had cross-platform MP on launch day, I might have bought & played it for hype reasons. Hype is like a prioritization sledgehammer.

Instead, my friends and I clocked 100 hours of Stellaris.


Last edited by 14 at 20 July 2018 at 9:32 pm UTC. Edited 2 times.
Anza 20 July 2018 at 9:38 pm UTC
KristianOkay, so you are talking specific issues with particular games? I mean I get that crossplatform-play presents challenges, but the wording "practically impossible" made me think it was almost unheard of and a major breakthrough by Aspyr.

Edit:

I mean breakthrough in general, not breakthrough with this particular port.

I was talking about things in general, I was just using Civilization VI as an example. I would suppose what Aspyr has done helps only Aspyr as form of experience. So if they run into same kind of problems, they have better idea of how to tackle them.

But main point was that if with some games cross platform multiplayer is there right from the start, game itself might have implemented accidentally things in portable way. Unless all the supported platforms have been taken into account during the game development, which is rare.

And if cross platform multiplayer takes forever to implement, there might be good reasons for that.

Aspyr didn't give up though, which is why we might get actually cross platform multiplayer.
scaine 20 July 2018 at 9:43 pm UTC
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KristianOkay, so you are talking specific issues with particular games? I mean I get that crossplatform-play presents challenges, but the wording "practically impossible" made me think it was almost unheard of and a major breakthrough by Aspyr.

It is a major breakthrough. Ports rarely have cross-platform multiplayer unless the port was planned for the beginning. Lots of games have cross-platform multiplayer, but very few (third party) ports do, because they're often done after the original was released, so the original game has been designed with no thought as to how other platforms might perform. I think Anza explains it pretty well.
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