Linux Gaming News

Garry Newman and the future of Linux support for Facepunch Studios

The #developer behind the Garry’s Mod (rank 12 in Most Played Games on Steam) and Rust (rank 17 in Most Played Games on Steam) games, Garry Newman, made some #comments this week about the future of their #games on Linux. While these titles have been ported natively to Linux, it looks like the future titles out of his Facepunch Studios will not see native ports.

These views came as a reply to an initial post from mestermagyar on Reddit:

Everyone knows that rust developer Garry Newman looks down on linux clearly stating it in his twitter post. On the other side I see that they indeed have a “working” linux port of all their games! Now here comes the interesting part I will be excited about: Will he/they develop it further than the total garbage there is now? It is clear that the linux version may enter into release state without ever getting polished/optimised, rendering it impossible to play for linux players natively as intended. By the way to just have an idea, I lowered every possible settings and it was unplayable in its current form with i5 and an HD7850 on open source drivers (which runs every moderately demanding native games I tried, almost perfectly)

They have to first come to the realisation that a supported platform, which they already sold copies of their games to, is not just a throwaway. You cant just start developing a support-needy multiplayer game on linux and then say one day that “Meh, linux sukz! Byebye linux gamers!”, as it is literally a scam.

In the end they either be good boys/girls and get it right till release as much as the windows verison, or refund everyone who ever used steam-linux, on full price despite their play stats. I wont tolerate less than that, because you dont pay for a given gaming time, but you pay for a game to play at almost anytime.

Newman commented on Reddit:

Something to keep in mind regarding Linux support. We don’t make the engine, Unity do. So there’s only so much we can do. Any problems that come up we try to fix. The only times problems aren’t fixed is if fixing something for Linux would break something on Windows. That’s where the quote in twitter comes from.

The hard truth is, from our point of view, that linux isn’t financially worth us developing for. We develop for linux because it’s the right thing to do. That said, we’re obviously doing a shitty job supporting linux though, so it seems like we’d be better off not supporting it at all than supporting it half assed. This is something we have to consider when deciding whether to release games for Linux in the future. At the moment I’m leaning towards not releasing Linux versions of our future games.

One of the main points that should be noted here, is Unity. While the cross-platform game engine has dominated the market place in the past couple of years for indie titles, this still poses an issue, there are some grey areas. We are referring to functionality that needs to be improved in order to help streamline the porting process. Which is an obvious challenge, considering how each operating system is structured and the manner in which a game is ported, then expected to function 150% on that OS.

That being said, Linux Game News come across a few Unity based issues. Titles that do not start, to others that need to include “-show-screen-selector” in the Launch Option’s on Steam due to the game launching on the wrong monitor. And recently, a couple of other games that needed a library path command in the Launch Option’s to launch. What!? Yes it’s true. Followed by emails to the developers eager to find a solution.

However, up to this point Unity has been the one major game engine providing the most support for Linux, and one of the earliest.
So it really comes down to Newmans comment, “we’re obviously doing a shitty job supporting linux”.

Well Garry Newman, then it’s time to start doing a much better job supporting Linux.

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