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Through the Woods no longer coming to Linux due to platform-specific technology

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This is really annoying. 'Through the Woods' [Official Site], a very promising psychological horror is no longer coming to Linux and was only announced two weeks before release due to platform-specific technology.

Oh look, another Kickstarter where the developer has not only failed to deliver a Linux version, but they have only notified Kickstarter backers only two weeks before the full release of the game.

They have not said this publicly on their Kickstarter in an update, this was only sent in a private email to their backers which was shared with me today:
QuoteAntagonist says:
Hello, backers!
We have something to say here which we've been meaning to for a while and might disappoint a couple of you.

When we created this Kickstarter, we had the most noble intention of making a Mac and Linux version of Through the Woods. We managed to put together a Mac and Linux demo which we released, and everyone was very happy with it!

Sadly, as time went on, it became clear that if the game kept getting bigger, prettier and more demanding and complex as it was, that the Mac and Linux versions were going to suffer. Getting the game to run has become a major problem and as we've used new, platform-specific technology we can't directly port it over anymore like we've done in the past. It would mean sacrificing some of our most visible graphical features which has become a staple of our art style. Even without those features there are a million platform specific bugs for each version. We have two programmers who are already stretched to breaking getting the Windows build out the door by the 27th.

After release when we've seen how the game fares in the wild, we are looking at porting the game to different devices, consoles, etc. Hopefully we'll get you guys on Mac and Linux the rock solid build you deserve, but we can not make any promises.

For those of you who, understandably, feel that this becomes an issue, please email us at hello@antagonist.no with the subject 'Mac and Linux Build' and we'll see what we can do for you.
Thanks again for all your support, and our apologies for the disappointingly late news.
The boys at Antagonist


This is ridiculous, you cannot promise a Linux version on both Greenlight (promised here after initially being a maybe) and Kickstarter and then purposefully lock yourself into platform-specific technology that prevents a Linux version. This has really irked me. I know it listed Linux on the Kickstarter (including a link to the Linux demo), but sadly they changed the page when the game got funded and no platforms are even mentioned now.

It's worth noting, they did tell people this last month in a Steam post, but you wouldn't have seen that unless you were actually going looking for it (like I just did). I wonder why it took over a month from that Steam post, to actually notifying the people that funded them, that's a terrible effort at communication.

Yet another reminder of the trouble when it comes to backing crowdfunding.
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47 comments
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Luke_Nukem 13 October 2016 at 8:35 am UTC
QuoteHow not to be a good studio;
- Promise/guarantee cross-platform support.
- Take peoples money based on the above.
- Use middleware/libraries/plugins that lock you to one platform.
- Don't tell anyone until the last minute.
Guppy 13 October 2016 at 9:34 am UTC
This happens way to often with smaller indie titles, saying "Linux support" gets you a lot of free publicity and you can all ways shit can said support at a later time once your KS campaign has enjoyed the publicity.

I don't quite understand what goes through somebody's head when they think they support a new platform that they have no experience with and just keep doing things the way they always done.

I've seen one developer "fixing" his inconsistent use of capitalization in paths and files by doing the equivalent of "find -i" in code and then complaining that Linux was very slow at loading textures and that he was considering dropping Linux support entirely due to the many bugs cropping vs the number of users -.-'
Sgt.Romeo9 13 October 2016 at 11:50 am UTC
This is quickly becoming the new default go to excuse to not launch a game on Linux since all the others have been debunked and just plainly proven false, and that is: "sorry my Middleware I'm using doesn't support Linux."

Now the funny thing is this is also pretty false with most Middelware companies actually having support for Linux whether officially on their website and a simple download or checkout button away or unofficially through the use of an email from you to them with a pretty please in there somewhere.

With this in mind it is also easy to see why a company claiming no Middleware support will either A: never reveal to you what Middleware they are using or B: picked their Middleware so precisely as to pick somehting actually not having Linux support intentionally.

Either way it's bad sportmanship, if you didn't wanna support Linux and platform x then just say so. No need to resort to such low tactics. Your supporters and fans are smarter than that and deserve better than that.
Nanobang 13 October 2016 at 12:00 pm UTC
It always seems to boil down to one or more of the following possibilities:

A. They are souless grifters who never intended Mac/Linux Releases.

B. They are ignorant, semi-competent amateurs with no sense of shame or honor.

C. They were ensnared and contractually silenced by Microsoft to drop Mac/Linux.
skry 13 October 2016 at 12:09 pm UTC
Ehvis
KimyrielleThe amount of devs using Windows-only middleware to develop a game with and still expect it to magically compile in Mac and Linux down the road is really mindblowing.

It doesn't actually say it is middleware. The term used is actually so vague that it screams bullshit bingo at me. Sounds more like an excuse to not have to build and test another two builds during development and wonder about whatever happens afterwards.

I asked. They're using DirectX for all the new bling. They also said something about problems with their Unity version but it all sounded more like excuses than real reasons.

emphyTBH, I am more interested in how they treat the people who take them up on the offer mentioned in the mail. Will they give a refund to the mac/linux users?

They offered me a refund. Still, I'm really, really disappointed but let them keep that 15USD just because the game itself deserves it.
Hyperdrive 13 October 2016 at 12:42 pm UTC
Maybe Gamingonlinux could help coordinate a legal action against people who take advantage of this scheme? After all it's unlawful in Europe to behave this way and it might be in the US too. If you market an intention and collect money based on this marketing you need to keep your promises. However, if noone is prepared to uphold the law it won't matter. I deem it likely that these clever people will be forced to produce the copy or pay what ever the cusomters think the damages were from this scheme. Marketing laws are in fact extremely strict.
Mountain Man 13 October 2016 at 2:47 pm UTC
HyperdriveMaybe Gamingonlinux could help coordinate a legal action against people who take advantage of this scheme?
I doubt it. Kickstarter only requires that a "good faith effort" is made to complete a project as described. It's basically a risk-free source of free money.

"Kickstarter's Terms of Use require creators to fulfill all rewards of their project or refund any backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill. (This is what creators see before they launch.) We crafted these terms to create a legal requirement for creators to follow through on their projects, and to give backers a recourse if they don't. We hope that backers will consider using this provision only in cases where they feel that a creator has not made a good faith effort to complete the project and fulfill."

https://www.kickstarter.com/blog/accountability-on-kickstarter
Perkeleen_Vittupää 13 October 2016 at 4:00 pm UTC
My comment about piracy and Wine was censored off.
Kimyrielle 13 October 2016 at 5:10 pm UTC
Mountain Man
HyperdriveMaybe Gamingonlinux could help coordinate a legal action against people who take advantage of this scheme?
I doubt it. Kickstarter only requires that a "good faith effort" is made to complete a project as described. It's basically a risk-free source of free money.

"Kickstarter's Terms of Use require creators to fulfill all rewards of their project or refund any backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill. (This is what creators see before they launch.) We crafted these terms to create a legal requirement for creators to follow through on their projects, and to give backers a recourse if they don't. We hope that backers will consider using this provision only in cases where they feel that a creator has not made a good faith effort to complete the project and fulfill."

https://www.kickstarter.com/blog/accountability-on-kickstarter

I would actually argue that -deliberately- choosing tools that they had to know would prevent them from fulfilling their promise, when there -are- tools available that would have allowed them to keep it, DOES constitute a breach of good faith. It's quite clear that they didn't make their best effort to keep their promises.
BdMdesigN 13 October 2016 at 5:36 pm UTC
PerkeleenVittupMy comment about piracy and Wine was censored off.

Yea my Suomi Friend, piracy is the wrong way.
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