Tex Murphy: Tesla Effect May Not Come To Linux


If you are a fan of the Tex Murphy adventure games like me, since the 90s (starting from Mean Streets, Martian Memorandum, and of course Under a Killing Moon), you may have been looking forward to the latest episode in the series, The Tesla Effect. It was supposed to come for our platform in the first place, but the video codecs situation has apparently prevented the devs from making progress.

And now, the situation seems worse than ever, with no resolution in sight for this port, at least for the moment:

Hi all. Tesla project Dev here. I know it has been a LONG time since any news on the Linux version has surfaced. I do not speak for the rest of Big Finish games, but can offer my own perspective about the Linux port of the game.

As was stated earlier in this thread: the main reason why Linux support is not available (and STILL is not available) is due to the Bink 2 video codec used in the game to decode the Full Motion Video portion. I have it on good authority that the programming and design team worked EXTREMELY hard to try and get RAD Video Tools (the developers of Bink) to work with us on getting Linux support for their codec. But ultimately, the response from them was as follows:

A) They considered Big Finish Games not “big” enough to devote any more time and resources into working out a Linux solution for our game. And… B) They do not really consider Linux support of their codec a priority, period.

Now, from what I have heard, they have spent a lot of time working directly with Triple A developers to continue to improve and enhance the codec for their needs, and specifically consoles (which is their larger market). This has unfortunately left the indie developers (like Big Finish Games) and those who develop on Unity a bit stranded. This has resulted in many of us heaving to appear to have broken one of our promises, when really, our hand was forced to do so.

Let me be clear: Big Finish Games worked tirelessly to get you the game on Linux, and aside from the video Codec, it is a Linux-Ready game. Big Finish Games was basically turned out to the wolves and was left abandoned by RAD Video tools with no way to getting the videos sequences working on Linux machines.

That said: Unity has made some nice developments in how it handles video. At the time of Tesla’s release, OGV was the ONLY option for Unity, which was a vastly inferior codec, and not suited to the game’s needs. That has changed. I cannot promise anything, but perhaps the new options available for Full Motion Video in newer versions of Unity may offer an alternative to our reliance on Bink 2 for Tesla’s Video.

Unfortunately it sounds a lot like the devs are giving up the Linux port at this stage. There are some follow-up comments in the thread but it does not sound very positive. So I’d consider this port in Limbo for now until we hear otherwise.


That’s really, really a shame, especially since you can play all the older Tex Murphy games on Steam for Linux.