Michael Larabel (of Phoronix) met with Valve today; tweets "steam is coming to Linux"

#1
Update:

Valve was with their Steam business partners discussing Linux and why Valve is supporting it:

http://www.pressfire.no/spesialer/e3-2012/5345/Hva-er-det-Half-Life-sjefen-ler-av

An update:

One of the first people I recruited for Valve when they were looking for good Linux referrals was Forest Hale, or better known within Internet communities (including the Phoronix Forums and Phoronix IRC) as LordHavoc. He was the lead developer on the DarkPlaces engine, which is the Quake-derived engine that was used by the open-source Nexuiz game and is now used by Xonotic as well. As can be seen when firing up the old Nexuiz or when running Xonotic, DarkPlaces is both technologically and visually impressive, especially for being a non-commercial GPL-based engine. Under contract he additionally was the lead on the Mac OS X and Linux ports of Quake Live. He's also done other Linux contract work, but for the work on the open-source DarkPlaces engine is where he's arguably most known.

Now nearly one month ago he began work at Valve as part of the team/cabal working on the Linux version of Steam / Source Engine. There isn't anything new to announce today about their forthcoming Linux-native games and other initiatives, but the reason I'm mentioning this recruit publicly now is that Valve still should be looking at hiring more Linux developers.
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTExMDM



Here is his twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/michaellarabel

@Nedanfor
@michaellarabel Great! What about Steam?

@michaellarabel
@Nedanfor steam is coming to Linux...
@michaellarabel
#valve does have Linux games coming plus other very positive Linux plans... I'll briefly post some screenshots and such tonight.
Here is a log of the chat going on at Phoronix IRC:

[21:34:25] <birch> i'm interested to hear about the stuff besides just source/steam client
[21:35:23] <michaellarabel> birch: I think I'll resist commenting on that for now
[21:35:48] <wh1t3fang> how was your tour of valve?
[21:35:57] <birch> no problem, still interesting to hears other things are on the horizon, seems like rumors might actually be true
[21:36:06] <michaellarabel> tour? The tour took 5 minutes.... the Linux stuff took 6 hours.
[21:36:27] <michaellarabel> the 'rumors' for Linux on Valve are so tame compared to their grand plans
[21:37:03] <wh1t3fang> that is wonderful that they are really taking linux seriously
[21:37:23] <michaellarabel> it was amazing....
[21:37:44] <michaellarabel> Gabe was bashing Windows harder than I even do normally..... hell I'm trying out Windows 8 soon as I get back to my office as I want to see if it's as bad as he says
[21:38:38] <wh1t3fang> wow
[21:38:50] <wh1t3fang> that is pretty amazing
[21:38:56] Raff [~rafael@187.65.204.78] has quit IRC: Quit: Ex-Chat
[21:40:20] <wh1t3fang> will more information be coming later this week?
[21:42:33] <dashcloud> so did you read the employee handbook beforehand?
[21:46:05] <michaellarabel> I'm writing an article right now
[21:46:15] <wh1t3fang> oh ok
[21:54:08] <michaellarabel> it was really terrific, argh. having problems writing.
[21:54:36] <dashcloud> have some more beer!
[22:00:53] <michaellarabel> haha
[22:01:05] <michaellarabel> I had a lot of fun running the Linux client binaries, felt so refreshing.
[22:01:24] <michaellarabel> They let me run free on a developers' workstation as I was doing some driver testing and setting up some debugging stuff, etc.
[22:02:52] <dashcloud> so did you get to wheel a desk around?
[22:03:38] <michaellarabel> no, it was already setup
[22:06:04] <mikeplus64> sounds great
[22:10:15] <michaellarabel> I might actually have to wait until tomorrow morning to finish writing..... this was just so surprising with listening to Gabe about Linux.
[22:10:55] <birch> he's a former Microsoft employee though right?
[22:11:01] <michaellarabel> yes
[22:11:06] <birch> even funnier to hear then.
[22:11:45] <michaellarabel> A quote from my upcoming article already, " Listening to Gabe Newell talk about Linux for hours made me wonder whether he was a former ex-Microsoft employee (where he actually did work in his pre-Valve days...) or the director of the Linux Foundation. "
[22:11:54] <mikeplus64> take your time with the article, a well thought out article is always better than a rushed one
An article is to follow
 
#15
On second thought, needs more detail. As I understand it, "Gabe says" does not mean it happens.
No matter what whoever at valve says this is gonna come down to one question. Are devs willing to build opengl engines as advanced as their DX ones? Especially considering the limited demographics.
 
#17
No matter what whoever at valve says this is gonna come down to one question. Are devs willing to build opengl engines as advanced as their DX ones? Especially considering the limited demographics.
At least in the beginning, the catalog will be dominated by indie games of course, as those devs are far more likely to support multi-platform compared to AAA studios. Although, I do recall a major game (Unreal Tournament 2003/2004?) that came with both Windows and Linux installers on one DVD.
 

LiquidMetal14

hide your water-based mammals
#19
How does Linux stack up compared to Windows these days? I would seriously consider building a new machine with that as a part of the OS footprint alongside Windows.
 
#22
No matter what whoever at valve says this is gonna come down to one question. Are devs willing to build opengl engines as advanced as their DX ones? Especially considering the limited demographics.
There are libraries like MojoShader to help with porting, and the demographic is not that limited when you consider every non-Windows platform.
 

dogmaan

Girl got arse pubes.
#24
No matter what whoever at valve says this is gonna come down to one question. Are devs willing to build opengl engines as advanced as their DX ones? Especially considering the limited demographics.
if the developers aren't abstracting their API usage they are doing it wrong


GameLibs->Render->SwapBuffers(){ if(DX)DXSwapBuffer(); if(GL)GLSwapBuffer(); }

In modern games the API is probably less than one percent of the codebase.

The hard part with OpenGL is not converting your program, it's taking into account all the different driver issues and GLSL versions.
 
#28
The Valve console could just be a liveCD you pop into any modern computer. Boot up, and you're in a completely Steam-focused system (meant to be used from a couch, perhaps?). Sure, you don't get any sort of hardware uniformity that devs enjoy from normal consoles, but I don't think that was going to happen anyway.

edit: Having a single distribution to target solves a ton of the problems that normally crop up with Linux development.
 
#29
So opengl games only right? And isn't opengl dead now or? Perhaps I'm mistaken.
OpenGL is far from dead, there's still decent enough number of games on PC/ Mac that support it. Mac OSx and Linux distro's all rely on it. And there are a lot of games/ apps on iOS and Android that use Open GL ES.

I'm definitely happy about the news. I don't expect Steam for Linux to get as much support as the Mac version (Haha, I know..), but it will certainly be nice.
 
#31
if the developers aren't abstracting their API usage they are doing it wrong


GameLibs->Render->SwapBuffers(){ if(DX)DXSwapBuffer(); if(GL)GLSwapBuffer(); }

In modern games the API is probably less than one percent of the codebase.

The hard part with OpenGL is not converting your program, it's taking into account all the different driver issues and GLSL versions.
I think thats over-simplifying it a bit. If you look at a game like crysis, I would say it relied heavily on D3D for example and it took them a good bit of time to get that up and running on different platforms. It may not be that much of an issue for current titles simply because most engines are already capable of using some form of OGL but what about next-gen stuff?

IIRC Unreal Engine 4 is heavily DX11 based and so is CE3. I don't think it would be simple at all to get something comparable to Windows Steam on a Linux setup. And I don't think publishers would want developers directing resources towards Linux either.
 

JaseC

gave away the keys to the kingdom.
#32
Phoronix has been saying this over and over since 2007. I no longer trust anything they say.
While true, it should be easy to verify that he did indeed:

A) Tour Valve, and
B) Speak to Gabe about plans for Steam on Linux

But what does this mean for the apple and valve game console?
There was no substance to the Apple+Valve rumours. Contrary to reports, Tim Cook wasn't touring Valve the other week and Gabe hasn't even met him. (Yes, it's a Kotaku article, but the actual source is this podcast.)
 
#33
So is this bad news for all the other digital game distribution platforms on Linux? most of them are exclusive to Linux with the exception of Desura.

Or will this help Linux in the long run for gaming and will all the others be able to benefit.
 
#36
So is this bad news for all the other digital game distribution platforms on Linux? most of them are exclusive to Linux with the exception of Desura.
There are dedicated game distribution platforms on Linux? I've been using Linux for five years now, and I can't think of any.

But really, Steam for Linux can only be a good thing. I can't think of any legitimate negatives.
 
#37
Source + id back catalog. I would be missing an rpg fix but it would be "getting there" to being feasible as a main OS. This has been teased so many times though that it is hard to be excited for.
 
#43
I won't believe it either until someone other than Phoronix confirms this.

To me this was inevitable. At one point Steam needs to go on Android OS. Android uses Linux. So its kill two birds with one stone affair.
Unfortunately a Linux port will do next to nothing towards a possible Android port. Both use the Linux kernel, but the important part for this is the graphics system, and that is totally different from Android.
 
#45
[21:37:44] <michaellarabel> Gabe was bashing Windows harder than I even do normally..... hell I'm trying out Windows 8 soon as I get back to my office as I want to see if it's as bad as he says
so Windows 8 is soooooooooooooooo bad, that even Gabe hates it?

what else does the world needs, than a warning from the almighty Gabe?
 
#50
There are dedicated game distribution platforms on Linux? I've been using Linux for five years now, and I can't think of any.

But really, Steam for Linux can only be a good thing. I can't think of any legitimate negatives.
How about games that are drm free on pc being exclusive to steam on linux? see witcher 2 for mac.