Heavy Gear Assault is making headway and Stompy Bot are committed to a Linux port using the power of Unreal Engine 4
Here is the FULL update:
After years of working with Windows only games – we decided that enough is enough! Our team is fully devoted to supporting Linux with the release of Heavy Gear Assault. We realize that everyone is really interested in how we can accomplish this with Unreal Engine 4 and whether Epic will be providing direct support for Linux or not. While we cannot speak for Epic and their intentions, we can speak for ourselves, and we plan to fully support the latest in OpenGL rendering technologies. Unreal Engine 4 is being developed as a modular cross-platform-able/console/mobile ready engine which helps developers like us in our wish to support Linux. Premium players will also be provided access to our dedicated server console which will be released for Linux as well.
As one of the first games being developed with Linux support in mind, utilizing Unreal Engine 4, we plan to back port our work back to Epic for future Linux support. Our team plans to provide recent versions of our source code updates to Epic so the Linux Gaming community can benefit through our efforts. This way our revisions can be used by future developers of UE4 to also support Linux. We hope our Linux backers on Kickstarter will appreciate all the consideration we’ve put into our Linux build.
During our work with MechWarrior we worked directly with the WineHQ developers to support MechWarrior on Wine through DirectX emulation. Unfortunately the engine was developed by Microsoft and was a DirectX entangled mess and we could never get the engine running on OpenGL without some serious support to rewrite major portions of the game engine. But now, with Heavy Gear Assault, we are able to right this wrong, and support mech fans on Linux and OSX. But we do need your support to achieve this goal here on Kickstarter!
Unlike MechWarrior. The Heavy Gear franchise has supported Linux through its release of Heavy Gear 2 by Loki Games. We are working with some of the original developers from the Heavy Gear 2 project and we spend hours talking about low level optimization for various graphics platforms. The Heavy Gear franchise has already proven its dedication to supporting Linux Gamers and we plan to carry on this torch with HGA.
We’ve been working very hard behind the scenes to ensure our title supports every major feature of OpenGL on next-generation hardware. While support for Microsoft Windows was certain with Unreal Engine 4, thanks to Directx11 support, the faith of Linux support was a little bit more of a moving target so we got started right away examining how we can take our game built on Unreal Engine4 to the Linux gamers. Over the past few years, our team has been building its own engine technologies to support OpenGL on Linux and OSX. After two years we decided to license Unreal Engine 4 because we knew we could leverage the advances made by the Unreal Engine and also keep our goals in mind with HGA in supporting other platforms.
Engine technology that doesn’t have an abstract layer sitting between DirectX and the game are very difficult to add OpenGL support to. Luckily, Unreal Engine 4 has this layer. Internally, we refer to this as the Render System. The Render System is one of the most important Systems in the game when considering support for Linux and other platforms. DirectX supports Windows only and therefore every other system needs to use a different Sub-system, namely OpenGL (and in some rare cases even software rasterization).
To put it another way. OpenGL allows us to support everything with a few rare exceptions. So we plan to offer OpenGL support to the very best of our ability because we want Gamers from Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, Redhat, CentOS, Fedora, Gentoo, Slackware (yes… even Slackware), OpenBSD, etc… We will be supporting OpenGL 4.3+ on the latest next-generation hardware so if your OS supports the latest OpenGL and your next-generation video card has a driver and can handle it – we want you!
With renewed support for gaming on the Ubuntu platform we will be using Ubuntu as our primary development Linux OS.
In addition to the RenderSystem, a few other systems need attention including the Sound System and the Networking System. While these systems will require some work for optimal experiences in Linux – the majority of the focus will be on the Render System at first.
So with all that said, we will need quality Linux testers so we are offering alpha testing to our Linux backers – who also must send us a resume letting us know their technical knowledge and expertise with the Linux OS. We are looking for Linux Gamers, Professionals, Engineers, Developers, Kernel Developers (okay that might be scary). If you consider yourself a Linux expert and gamer and think you can help, please send an email to: [email protected]
As a former Linux OS developer myself, while working on Gentoo Linux Project, I can tell you that no one is more important to the development process of a new Linux application than the valuable feedback provided by the Linux community. This is an open invitation for the Linux Community to join us and help make Heavy Gear Assault great..
From the entire Engine Team to you! Thanks for your support!