PFO for Linux


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Goblin Squad Member

Jazzlvraz wrote:
... silence is also an answer.

Indeed.

Goblinworks has declined to officially commit to Linux Support. I expect the posts I linked early in this thread still represent Goblinworks' thinking. In short, the goal is to focus on "what we can get funded, what we think we can build, and what we think customers will pay for".

Goblin Squad Member

Goblinworks and Paizo (considering Paizo web developers built the fulfilment system for Goblins) could not figure out to have a simple survey question on one of the fulfilment pages asking for preferred OS. A ridiculous simple easy feature to implement, only requiring an additional column on a database table, and some html code for the drop down selection box of possible OSes, and little addition to back end script to write the value into the database. Something any web developer can do in their sleep.

With such simple easily obtainable OS data from the Kickstarter backers, one would easily determine the OS usage. And if a Linux version gets implement years later, be able to pull a list of all the Kickstarter Linux users.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
DarkOne the Drow wrote:

Goblinworks and Paizo (considering Paizo web developers built the fulfilment system for Goblins) could not figure out to have a simple survey question on one of the fulfilment pages asking for preferred OS. A ridiculous simple easy feature to implement, only requiring an additional column on a database table, and some html code for the drop down selection box of possible OSes, and little addition to back end script to write the value into the database. Something any web developer can do in their sleep.

With such simple easily obtainable OS data from the Kickstarter backers, one would easily determine the OS usage. And if a Linux version gets implement years later, be able to pull a list of all the Kickstarter Linux users.

Marketing wise there is absolutely no reason to put out such a survey question, unless you had any intention to say yes. Ryan Dancey, flawed though he is, KNOWS the gaming market. There is no such thing as a unified Linux platform. The differences between the various platforms of Linux are far more severe in the user experience than there is between XP, Vista to Windows 8, despite the recent rhetoric. Linux has not, nor will likely ever be a consumer gaming OS, because quite frankly the Linux community itself doesn't seem to put any real priority on making it so. I have used Linux myself on various platforms from Mac PPC, Amiga, and of ocurse, Intel/AMD. I do PC help desk as a living. The last thing I would want to contemplate is to try to guide a newbie OVER the phone of Linux installation and hardware issues. It would be the height of corporate irresponsibility to put up a vote for some kind of Linux support unless they felt prepared for a YES.

If this thread is some lame attempt to try to shame them into putting for Linux support, I would remind the posters here that businesses aren't run by sentimentality. It comes down to dollars and sense, which is dammed important for a game that's running on the Free To Play model. Again if Blizzard itself the classic example of a top tier gaming company saw no plan, or profit for Linux support for a game on the scale THEY run, there simply is no money for it to a small outfit like Goblinwerks.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

PFO will be supported on Linux the same way that hardware is supported on Linux: If you want it to work, make it work or find someone else who made it work and figure out their dependencies.

For the record, that's also my policy on support for my PC, but only because I run my hardware out-of-spec (clock settings and some voltages) because I can. Linux doesn't have supported specs for hardware, it only has defaults, and those aren't always the right settings.

Paizo Employee CEO

We have been very clear about this from the get go. Nothing has changed. Pathfinder Online will support Windows and Mac IoS. Once we get closer to launch, we could very well offer support for other platforms, but we can't COMMIT to that at this early stage. it is just too far away for us to know what we will and won't support other than the first two platforms I mentioned. I don't want to promise something that we might not be able to deliver. That is not my style.

Now, the use of Unity gives us a lot more flexibility to support other platforms, so I will not say we will never support LInux. However, I can't say we will either. If and when we add other platforms, we will let everyone know. But for now, it is just the big two of Windows and Mac.

-Lisa

Goblin Squad Member

Thank you Lisa for your honest reply.

Even if a Linux version comes out, all the Linux Kickstarter backer loose out on the Kickstarter only addons if ever there is a Linux version, as end of June has come and gone to add Kickstarter only addons.

Lisa, is it not possible to take a list of the Linux players that have replied in this thread before the cut off date of 30th June, and to allow them to get the Kistarter only addons if the Linux version comes out. Seeing from this thread, there is only a handful of real enthusiastic determined Linux players to help out with the Kickstarter addons.

Goblin Squad Member

This might interest: Gabe Newell at LinuxCon 2013 9/16/2013

Goblin Squad Member

As long as we've resurrected this thread can anyone from GW verify if the plan for the Mac version is for day 1 of EE or sometime during EE? (Lisa seems to have alluded it will be there for OE).

Goblin Squad Member

In the interest of "underpromise and overdeliver", there's a very good reason for them not to say a Mac Client will be available day 1 of EE, even if they think they have a good shot of making that happen.

Goblin Squad Member

For all we know they are making this thing on MacOS and will then port it to Windows. So maybe they do know. Doesn't hurt to ask.

CEO, Goblinworks

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Right now there's no reason to think that the Mac and Windows client won't be ready on the same day.

Goblin Squad Member

The main thing I'm interested in as a question, rather than when/if linux development is intended. Is can the development team say with any rough degree of accuracy. Is there any knowledge of whether the client is going to be using any technologies that are known to not work with wine. IE many games fail to launch due to a launcher made based on a .net framework, or gameguard equivelants etc... (even those I do aknowledge there's a good portion of them that do work in wine... based on the fact that WoW does, despite their warden software)

I do fully aknowledge that even if nothing you use is known for incompatibilities with wine that isn't a certainty, and I also am aknowledging that what you are planning on developing with, may change many times over the course of development, but it still would be nice to get a vague gauge of the possibility

CEO, Goblinworks

1 person marked this as a favorite.

There's no plan to do a Linux version. That doesn't mean we won't do one, that means there's no plan to do one.

Just doing the Mac version scares the bejeezus out of me. There's so many things that could cause us expensive, long term problems, or lead to compromises that have long term negative consequences.

Linux is a 10x worse problem than OSX, at 1/100th the market proposition.

If we were doing a game that was something I expected people to play on a console, that might be different because I suspect there will be Linux console options that may be interesting and have multi-million unit installs in the reasonably near term.

But desktop Linux is not something I want to spend time, money or effort developing for.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Ryan Dancey wrote:

There's no plan to do a Linux version. That doesn't mean we won't do one, that means there's no plan to do one.

Just doing the Mac version scares the bejeezus out of me. There's so many things that could cause us expensive, long term problems, or lead to compromises that have long term negative consequences.

Have you considered consulting Blizzard? They've been very adept at simultaneous Mac/Windows releases since the days of Diablo 2. And that was when Mac OS was System 7, not the relatively easy to develop for OS X.

If you've ever seen an install of the latest blizzard games, the only difference is in the application itself which is a tiny part of the package. In fact, I once copied a windows install onto a mac and just put in the the Mac OS game application. Ran without a hitch. Saved me hours of download/install time.

Goblin Squad Member

Valve CEO: Why Linux is the future of gaming

CEO, Goblinworks

We all watched that presentation here at the office.

Here's my takeaway:

(tl;dr - "no")

SteamBox won't be materially better than a PS4 or an XBone. It won't have close to the library of games either of those consoles will have at launch.

Unless Valve subsidizes every unit, it will cost more than a PS4 or an XBone.

As a platform for Valve to put Steam in my living room, and a platform for Valve to sell me software without a middleman (all of which are good for Valve, not demonstrably better for me), what's the upside FOR ME?

More games? Unlikely.

Better games? Unlikely.

Platform exclusive games? Maybe from Valve, unlikely from anyone else.

Cheaper games? Maybe. But will Call of Duty Steambox be priced less than Call of Duty PS4/Xbone? Unlikely.

I just don't get it.

Goblin Squad Member

I guess I didn't pick up on the fact that he was mostly talking about a console. I've never been into consoles, or Steam, or Linux, or single-player games...

I just saw the article and immediately thought of this thread :)

CEO, Goblinworks

1 person marked this as a favorite.

One big point Newell undersells is that building a game for Linux is not simply a question of a recompile. Most modern games are built with many modules from many vendors, and ALL of those modules have to be recompiled for Linux. Many of those modules were written using Microsoft's toolchain which makes many different assumptions and uses many different parameters than the standard gcc/clang Linux toolchain. So the odds that a major software project could be ported to Linux easily are close to nil. He's not just talking about game developers doing Linux ports, he's talking about a huge ecosystem of middleware also doing Linux ports - ports for which they currently have virtually zero economic reason to perform.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

When enough vendors of middle support Linux that developers can support Linux installs, the remaining vendors suddenly have a big reason to also support Linux.

The ones who agree with me are already working on it. "Working on it" should be invisible to me at this stage.

Shadow Lodge Goblin Squad Member

For those of you willing to dig a bit, the Limit Theory Dev Logs offer some great insights into cross-platform support of games.

This guy is 21 (and admittedly a genius) and is building a space game from scratch, and its gorgeous AND runs on all three operating systems.

What it all boils down to is standards compliance. Some compilers and systems let you get away with bad programming, while others do not. AMD's drivers are sticklers for the rules, nVidia will silently fix your standards violations for you.

mbuild will compile despite failure to comply to the ANSI Standard, gcc will allow far fewer, and clang allows none.

There was also some trouble with the order in which parameters are evaluated in a method, which caused problems with worldGen(rand->Next(), rand->Next()) creating different worlds depending on what your OS is...

I'm a programmer paying his dues working in QA, not a games developer, so my opinion is... less valuable. I just think it might be less hard than is being stated here.

But if the time and money aren't there, that's all there is to it. Goblinworks is a business and as much as we might like to think they are making PFO for the public good, their purpose is to make money.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Greetings -

I am a "Johnny-Come-Lately" to this thread, but wanted to throw my thoughts into the mix, especially since this thread still has a shard of life left in it. I myself am a Linux user, and I use Ubuntu on my laptop as part of the consultant business I work in. I'd *love* to see a major MMORPG generate a dedicated Linux version, and I know many others would, if for no other reason than to finally be seen as a real share of the gaming market.

I find it interesting that every major MMORPG I've seen deals with the same thread: "Will there be a Linux port?" The answers are always a flavor of a lack of compensation for time and efforts to generate and maintain it. What I find exciting about this discussion thread is that there is no aversion to a Linux version of the game** - there's just not enough of a perceived market to justify an investment into one. So, if there *was* evidence of a return on investment, then GW would generate a Linux client for the game - this is my impression of the discussion here.

It sounds like GW has estimated a dollar value to add a native Linux port to the game, and estimates that the return from the release will not pay off that investment. I assume this would include a capital budget for dedicated computers to work up the Linux client (along with estimated cost for utilities, renting space, etc), along with paying the salaries for the developers, as well as paying for the technical staff and a fraction of the cost to run the servers post-release (say ~5% of the total cost by percentage of the gaming population?).

I'd like to propose a solution to this conundrum:

Begin a dedicated Kickstarter project - PFO for Linux - and post the estimated cost (including, say, 1 year post-release support) to bring PFO to the Linux platform. Give it 30 days, and advertise this as a "Put Up or Shut Up" to the Linux community.

If we can raise the funds, then we can expect a native Linux release, free to download (but pay the same subscription fee, of course) at the official game release date. Within a year, there should be enough subscriptions to continue to fund the game's updates, technical support, and so on. The Linux community will rejoice, and all will be well in the world... :)

If the funds don't materialize, GW will have proof-positive of the very argument they've had: there's no viable market. At that point, no one can criticize GW for not catering to the Linux people. Those that *still* want to play PFO in Linux will try to run it under WINE, which is what everyone here is expecting to do anyways, but without all the griping over a lack of interest in pursuing the Linux gaming market.

I'll even throw this in: I'm willing to put $100 down if the Kickstarter Project is started. I figure this would be the cost I would pay to buy the game along with some game time if I were to buy the game at the store. If 10,000 Linux gamers, including myself, did this then that would be $1M raised - plenty to generate a stand-alone Linux version of PFO and a right to play as equals on the game servers (as well as a little profit on top).

Does this sound like an idea worth pursuing? I think putting it to the Linux community will decisively settle the issue, either way it goes.

Thanks for reading, and I hope this idea is worth considering and not too late to include Linux in time for the game's initial release.

- Vibishan

**Edit: Well, I take that back. Selective memory made me forget this statement from the CEO:

Quote:

Just doing the Mac version scares the bejeezus out of me. There's so many things that could cause us expensive, long term problems, or lead to compromises that have long term negative consequences.

Linux is a 10x worse problem than OSX, at 1/100th the market proposition.

Goblin Squad Member

Vibishan started a thought. but let's examine what the business case may be.

As I see, these are the concerns that have been expressed.

1) Expected sales. If this can be addressed with no costs to GoblinWorks, .... OK not no cost, because there will be costs as special help desk needs to address LINUX specific issues; but, still if these could be reduced by use of free support outside GW, then ....

2) LINUX is not a unique description of H/W and S/W. .... So a survey of Kickstartes wrt OS (Red Hat, Fedora, Unbuntu, ....)

3) Many of the tools used to develop do not have LINUX versions (let alone which LINUX of whether they are X windows based).

3a, X windows while usefule for generic UI, is not good for generic graphics.

So (Nowfor)

Consider a team of CrowdForgers, with LINUX development experience.

0) A determination of a base OS and hardware support is determined, agreed to. THis is driven by the programmers available, the market case for OS and the tool producers. ( or WINE or ....)

1) They sign NDA with the tool developers. (the tool developers need to sign on).

2) They create ports of the tools (on their time and money , unless tool developers want to pay extra for it -- GW is not liable for these ports). The big issue here is if these ports have bugs. How is this revealed, who tests, who fixes.

3) Using these ported tools the product are tested. This is fuzzy. WHo does this and who pays for it?

4) if it works (miracle) you have a limited LINUX release. To support other platforms, 1,2,3 are repeated by advocates.

In a sense this supports GW decision to not support LINUX out the door; but it also calls out what needs to be done by resources outside GE and the level of agreements needed. I suspect that tool makers would have some interest, but minor as LINUX is not yet sen as gamers platform, yet if it could happen with their tools,....

LINUX developers should understand and agree to this discussion. It moves from DO IT or NOT, to how will advocates expend time and effort to address this. LINUX market may be there; but not yet, and not easily defined.

Lam

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Vibishan wrote:

Greetings -

I am a "Johnny-Come-Lately" to this thread, but wanted to throw my thoughts into the mix, especially since this thread still has a shard of life left in it. I myself am a Linux user, and I use Ubuntu on my laptop as part of the consultant business I work in. I'd *love* to see a major MMORPG generate a dedicated Linux version, and I know many others would, if for no other reason than to finally be seen as a real share of the gaming market.

The thread doesn't have any life into it. It's a dead horse constantly being beaten on by those vocal few that think that Desktop Linux is a viable commercial gaming platform, while denying the absolute reality that it is a terribly fragmented OS with no semblance of a truly united platform that would be nothing less than an absolute nightmare to provide technical support for.

Goblin Squad Member

Instead of arresting that it is a dead platform, I tried to indicate a route by which those who think it is viable can spend persons resources to demonstrate otherwise. You can say it wont work and they can say it will. I chose to demonstrate what proponents can attempt. If they fail, your point is proven, mostly.

Choose: arguments based upon opinion or those based upon results?

Lam

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Lam wrote:

Instead of arresting that it is a dead platform, I tried to indicate a route by which those who think it is viable can spend persons resources to demonstrate otherwise. You can say it wont work and they can say it will. I chose to demonstrate what proponents can attempt. If they fail, your point is proven, mostly.

Choose: arguments based upon opinion or those based upon results?

Lam

When a Big Hairy Company like Blizzard who's been putting out simultaneous releases of Mac and Windows versions of it's games for decades, a company that's historically famous for chasing down every single dollar it can, says that developing a Linux version of it's moneymaker isn't a viable option, that's result right there.

Quite frankly, in order for someone to seriously consider Linux to become a viable gaming platform, it first has to be come a unified one. Because there isn't... There isn't even a unified standard for drawing windows on the screen. You've got Gnome, you've got KDE, you've got Unity, Enlightenment, you don't have Linux you've got a smorgasboard of operating systems that have "Linux" inside them.

I've never said that Linux is a "dead" platform. What it is... what gearheads have always kept it as is a mixed toolbox for computer experts to build dedicated servers for customised purposes. The Linux community has never made any truly serious effort to make it a Home OS for non-gearheads the way Apple did with UNIX in creating OS X.

Goblin Squad Member

OK, there are a lot of little platforms, but there are the big three and at this level they are not that different. More the problem is how to handle H/W interfaces.

It is beyond Blizzard. It is not beyond interested programmers, provided they sign NDA and they are personally interested and competent enough. I will grant you that such a confluence does not exist. I sill not assert that is so because I do know so superior programmers and software engineers how have excellent UNIX OS capabilities (e.g. worked the Solaris port to Intel). It can not be done is different from there is no business case for US doing it.

It is not a big business case. The company that allows it to be done will gain market share outside of LINUX. But they must retain control!

Lam

Goblin Squad Member

Wow - I checked the forum this morning and I was surprised to find responses already.

To address the questions raised, as well as clarify my proposal, let me state the following points:

1) The crux of the argument is leveraging the investment in technical work of porting the code (not creating an entire game from scratch) with the return on investment through purchases & subscriptions (i.e. getting a profit). My proposal was to ask the Linux community to put forth the money UP FRONT, to minimize the risk to GW and fund the necessary work to produce a Linux version of PFO.

2) The technical challenges CAN be met, and there is evidence of this:

2a) World of Warcraft has been able to run successfully on Linux (at least one flavor of it) through its Windows Emulator, WINE. So, a MMORPG can be implemented on Linux. See here.

2b) As was stated above (see theStormWreaver's comment) that the essence of cross-platform support comes from two things: standards compliance and intelligent coding. I can personally attest to this as well, since in my undergraduate days (way back in 1995) I was porting code from a Pentium (as in Pentium I) running Windows NT to run on a Silicon Graphics machine (an SGI PowerChallenge) running IRIX, the SGI version of UNIX. It came down to compartmentalizing all machine-specific calls into a generic procedure call to either the hardware or the interface from the core code engine. If something is incompatible, (say a variable is required in one and not the other, and was not passed from the main code through the generic procedure call) the porting team can request the core code programmers to amend their code to add that variable, and they in turn tell the other platform coders of the change. It can be done, if the programmers are worth their paychecks.

2c) Regarding the multiplicity of Linux's incarnations, that is a decision for the Linux porting team to tackle. Most likely, they will choose one platform to support (maybe Ubuntu due to its user-friendliness) and whatever else. As a point as well, there are a number of indie games that are available on Linux and can run on multiple platforms without issues, so if shoe-string budget companies can do it, surely GW can as well. See here.

3) As already stated, GW noted the challenges to porting the code to Linux. I simply argued that they must have an estimated cost in mind in order to make this decision. My suggestion was to put this cost to the community - whatever it was - and say "If you want it, speak now or forever hold your peace."

4) Finally, I think it should be noted that Blizzard made its decision to not pursue Linux years ago. Since then, the PC version can be run smoothly using an emulator, eliminating any need to even consider making a Linux port. This is 2013, and the Linux community is as big as its ever been - and Linux's implementations are not like they were in the early 2000s. All I'm saying is that there is ample cause to test the waters with a dedicated Kickstarter, and put the onus on the Linux community to meet the challenge.

I hope that clarifies some points. Thanks again for taking interest in my post.

- Vibishan

CEO, Goblinworks

There was a major MMO with a Linux version - EVE. I saw up close what it cost to maintain that port, and exactly how few people ever used it once, much less used it regularly. It just isn't worth it. The up-front costs are just the tip of the iceberg.

If/when someone builds a tool chain and all our middleware natively supports same that lets is make a Linux version with no variation from the Win/Mac platform, we'll consider it, but not before.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

I think a better solution would be for the open-source devotees to patch WINE or other non-emulators to run the Windows (or Mac?) PFO client. That requires nothing new, and leverages the same skills that will eventually be used to create versions of all of the middleware that work across breeds of OS.

CEO, Goblinworks

The EVE port was essentially running on WINE. It required a team of people working on the port to get it up to even basic playability, and even then the frame rate was crappy for most users.

The Mac version is done the same way, and the amount of work required is ridiculous. There are constant driver problems that require really deep code analysis and testing to find and fix. It wouldn't be worth doing except there's just enough people using the Mac client to make a noticable drop in the subscriber trend if it were cancelled, so CCP keeps funding it even though it's probably a money-loser because they don't want to take the sub hit for a game that likes to claim it's "always growing".

Goblin Squad Member

SteamOS

CEO, Goblinworks

SteamOS won't really help matters much, unfortunately. SteamBox might, but it has to get several million units installed before the market will be big enough to start creating distortions.

Think about this: There are MILLIONS of Macintoshes sold every year. And many people (most people?) who buy them exclusively use OSX. They don't have a 2nd Windows box that they "really use" for most of their home entertainment consumption (unlike Linux, where most people who use it in some capacity don't use it as their primary entertainment consumption OS).

And yet, despite MILLIONS of Macintoshes being sold for DECADES, and even after OSX which is Unix and thus very well supported in terms of development tools, there are still not Macintosh versions of lots and lots of middleware, nor is there a OSX version of Visual Studio.

So SteamOS/SteamBox has to generate ENORMOUS public interest before it is likely to have any effect on the game development world - an effect BIGGER than the Macintosh....

Goblin Squad Member

Will Pathfinder Online run on Half Life 3 OS?

Goblin Squad Member

The real question: Will PFO run in Emacs?

Goblin Squad Member

deisum wrote:
The real question: Will PFO run in Emacs?

^x-^c n

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