Super Pole Riders, Hokra, and Baribariball are shown in this #promotional #image, but #JohannSebastianJoust is not, assumedly to ease the pains of Windows gamers.
On Tuesday, the makers of indie couch-gaming collection Sportsfriends announced that the title, which launched on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 earlier this year, finally had a home-computer release date. This Friday, shoppers at Steam and Humble Store will be able to purchase the four-game collection for $14.99 on Linux, Mac, and Windows PC – December 19th.
According to the game’s Kickstarter site, the computer build of Sportsfriends has been delayed by efforts to add computer compatibility to the motion-sensitive PlayStation Move wands used to control the game. The team reported “hairy Bluetooth technical issues” on all three platforms in a September update, which acknowledged progress on Linux and Mac builds thanks to workarounds, but much less progress in the Windows version.
At that time, the team reported that getting Windows PC’s to reliably recognize Bluetooth-enabled PS Move wands was “extremely spotty” and pointed to Move’s “somewhat non-standard Bluetooth communication protocol.” The Joust team acknowledged using open-source resources like psmoveapi (though it didn’t mention the similar moveonpc project), then reached out with a job opportunity for a programmer to solve the Windows pairing issues.
In the end, Joust‘s makers couldn’t pull it off, and the team’s Tuesday Kickstarter update quoted a Microsoft engineer’s response when the devs sought help directly from the Windows maker: “This is NOT possible in any way, shape, or form.”
“Some people in [the psmoveapi] community have been tinkering with Move on Windows, but nobody has the controller pairing in a reliable, consumer-friendly way,” developer Douglas Wilson told Ars in an e-mail interview. “Bluetooth on Windows is a mess.” He suggested that “possibly if you could write your own low-level filter driver, you could get [Move wand] pairing to work robustly [in Windows], but that was way beyond our skill, and we weren’t even able to find someone who we could hire to do it.”
As such, Windows users who pledged for a working copy of Joust on their platform will remain out of luck for the foreseeable future (though they can still download a copy for another OS, if they’d like). The developers said they may release a “custom Linux Joust distro that you can boot into from your Windows machine by USB stick” for shoppers currently left in the cold. Joust‘s creators have also pledged to release the game’s code as an open source project. “The game was built on top of open source projects, and we feel some responsibility to give back to the community,” the team wrote.
When asked about development on Mac and Linux, Wilson admitted to just as many issues in making Sony’s controllers work on other OSes. “In my old prototype, you’d have to restart the entire program if you wanted to connect new or disconnected controllers,” Wilson wrote. “We now support ‘live’ connects on Linux and OSX, but that was hard won, and took our main programmer Jonathan several months.” Wilson also clarified that Move support in OSX is run “as a separate process” that can be killed and restarted on the fly as needed—”a pretty epic kludge,” in his words.
Linux and Mac fans will get a particularly useful new “custom playlist” option in Joust‘s retail version, meaning they can better control the music that plays as friends weave and dodge each other while holding PS Move wands and playing a favoured game of 2014.
Reblogged from: arstechnica