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Update: 31st March - code is up.

In a rather helpful move for developers, Valve is about to open source 'GameNetworkingSockets' and it won't require Steam.

You can see the source here on GitHub, including the fact that it will use a the 3-Clause BSD license. What's interesting is that since it won't require Steam (they're pretty clear on that), this could possibly help with developers who need multiplayer functionality and end up not doing Linux builds outside of Steam. Given this quote:

The intention is that on PC you can use the Steamworks version, and on other platforms, you can use this version.

It's entirely possible that's exactly what they're hinting at. This is something we've seen lately, with GOG games not having a Linux version due to this very reason like Serious Sam's Bogus Detour and Heroes of Hammerwatch as two quick examples of this, so it's quite exciting to hear about.

Here's what it will feature:

  • Connection-oriented protocol (like TCP)
  • ... but message-oriented instead of stream-oriented.
  • Mix of reliable and unreliable messages
  • Messages can be larger than underlying MTU, the protocol performs fragmentation and reassembly, and retransmission for reliable
  • Bandwidth estimation based on TFP-friendly rate control (RFC 5348)
  • Encryption.
  • Tools for simulating loss and detailed stats measurement

From what they say on it currently, it's "Coming soon" with the actual GitHub repo being mostly empty for now (insert a joke here about ValveTime). Great to see Valve continue to put more out in the open—good stuff!

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31 comments
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Shmerl 27 March 2018 at 12:21 pm UTC
Quoteand it won't require Steam

That's very good for a change! Nice for Valve to unlock such things.


Last edited by Shmerl at 27 March 2018 at 12:21 pm UTC
MayeulC 27 March 2018 at 12:25 pm UTC
Wow, that's nice. I could see that used a lot, even in open source games, and the license should allow for external contributions without signing a CLA.


Last edited by MayeulC at 27 March 2018 at 12:26 pm UTC
Leopard 27 March 2018 at 12:35 pm UTC
That move is purely for removing the multiplayer side effect of GOG Galaxy lack on Linux.

I still can't believe so much hostility towards Valve.

Kudos to Valve!
Shmerl 27 March 2018 at 12:37 pm UTC
LeopardI still can't believe so much hostility towards Valve.

Until they did that, Steamworks was a very practical lock-in. Why would you expect anyone praise such things?
NotSoQT 27 March 2018 at 12:51 pm UTC
So... you guys think we can expect already released games to be updated to be DRM free or this will mostly affect only games in development?
Leopard 27 March 2018 at 12:51 pm UTC
Shmerl
LeopardI still can't believe so much hostility towards Valve.

Until they did that, Steamworks was a very practical lock-in. Why would you expect anyone praise such things?

Because until GOG left out Linux users in the cold with that GOG client , there was no need for that.

Valve saw it and fixed it.

They're literally helping to a competitor for the benefit of Linux users.

They want users to buy from GOG without doubts of multiplayer lack.

I doubt if GOG or others would do the same though.
STiAT 27 March 2018 at 1:00 pm UTC
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That was the reason for Northgard too if I'm not mistaken for not providing a GOG Version.

Pretty cool move, I certainly like that.
mirv 27 March 2018 at 1:25 pm UTC
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I'll have to dig later and see what this might offer over, say, enet (enet.bespin.org).
Shmerl 27 March 2018 at 1:25 pm UTC
LeopardBecause until GOG left out Linux users in the cold with that GOG client , there was no need for that.

You didn't answer the question. You claimed Valve couldn't be criticized for lock-in. That's simply wrong. Now that Valve released this library, you can say they aren't interested in such lock-in. But until this happened, there was not reason to say so.


Last edited by Shmerl at 27 March 2018 at 1:26 pm UTC
Leopard 27 March 2018 at 1:31 pm UTC
Shmerl
LeopardBecause until GOG left out Linux users in the cold with that GOG client , there was no need for that.

You didn't answer the question. You claimed Valve couldn't be criticized for lock-in. That's simply wrong. Now that Valve released this library, you can say they aren't interested in such lock-in. But until this happened, there was not reason to say so.

They're companies and they're always looking for lock-ins. That is a fact.

But you gotta admit , Valve is one of the least lock-in addict companies if you think how big they are.

No reason to say so until now?

Hmm , after all that open source driver ( AMD ) work Valve contributed , work on X.org and such stuff.

You're being unfair here.


Last edited by Leopard at 27 March 2018 at 1:32 pm UTC
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