We are back with our third episode of our ongoing Podcast series. Following the previous ones with ProfessorKaos64 (SteamOS-Tools, episode 1), James Ramey (WINE/Crossover, episode 2) we now welcome Cybik who has worked on the Linux port of Skullgirls from LabZero as well as Indivisible (still ongoing development). Cybik is based in California and is a Build Engineer. It was the first time for him to be directly involved in porting games and while he did not see the whole porting effort through, he was one of the most active contributors when LabZero was looking for volunteers.
Cybik comes back on how he came to know and use Linux in the first place, his gaming habits, how he got involved into the Skullgirls port, and shares with us his outlook on the Linux gaming landscape. The podcast is just an hour long and you can either download it below, and use our RSS feed (that has the additional benefit of making it easy for you to get new episodes from now on):
And of course, there’s a lot more. Get your earphones plugged and listen in!
- 2:17 – cybik’s background, and when and how he discovered Linux
- 15:23 – cybik’s contact with Lab Zero and what he was able to do in regards to bringing Skullgirls and Indivisible to Linux
- 33:14 – cybik’s opinions on the Linux gaming market and various theories on Microsoft, DirectX, and Valve
- 47:04 – “We just got Life is Strange…which in itself for me is strange!”
And a Too Long; Didn’t Hear section:
- Cybik is a build engineer for a “big company” for Android applications
- His main Linux distribution is Gentoo and games exclusively on Linux; rarely does he run Windows
- While he was able to get a decent amount of porting done for Skullgirls on Linux, the developers at Humble Bundle later kicked in to optimize and finalize the rest of the codebase. Prior to this, he had no porting experience
- Bringing Indivisible to Linux was fairly easy since Humble had already optimized the Z-Engine (the engine that runs both Skullgirls and Indivisible) to run in OpenGL. Bringing the prototype to Mac was less work on the code and more work on the packaging
- Cybik’s efforts to port these games were voluntary. “Being involved in that game is its own reward. I do it for the love of the platform.“
- The Linux gaming market “has definitely been better” since the past two or three years. To further increase this market share, he thinks, is to increase the desktop usage, and by pro eSports teams endorsing Linux and them “owning ass” against Windows-only teams
- For games like Street Fighter V and Rocket League, Valve might be “biting a bit more than they can chew” what with all of the projects they’re involved in, or they might be optimizing the state of the tools so that they don’t get in trouble later on, or, simply, they could just be working in Valve time
- Cybik feels that the reason why developers have adopted APIs other than DirectX in just the past few years is because it has become more risky for developers to embrace DirectX exclusively (because of Microsoft “hush money“), what with everyone leaking information left and right (Facebook buying Oculus is an example)
That’s all for today. If you haven’t played the prototype of Indivisible you can download the Linux version from their Indiegogo page.
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Clear and easy to understand. It covered a lot of Linux porting and growth issues well. The point that SteamOS should be the developers one target for all Linux distributions was new to me, but well made. So thank you.
Honestly, having a Linux target to aim at that is just “the bare bones set / Golden Standard” helps a hell of a lot, and the rest of the work will be done without the companies even lifting a finger. Anything that will enable games compiled for a given Distribution on all distributions, will be done for free by the community and/or the distros themselves.
(Am I making sense?)
Yes, there needs to be a reference Linux distribution as a games target, so as to not split the Linux market (I use Mint 17). The current reference for many commercial games is the now old Ubuntu 12.0.4 64bit. However, SteamOS seems a better target, as most Linux games are and will be on Steam, even if they are also available from other distribution services. I suspect that SteamOS may be more stable than many other distributions, as we head towards the Xserver/Wayland/Mir and other distribution splits. I suppose the only other possibility is to use Snappy or similar systems,… Read more »
Great podcast. It was a pleasure to listen it.
Thanks, glad you enjoyed 🙂
The TL;DR section sums it up quite nicely.