Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I know this is a bit early and I should just be ecstatic that they are rolling a *nix version, but any thougths on compiling PE for the arm architecture?

 

My laptop is starting to go out, and ive been looking at some arm options for replacing it, but Qemu aside, they won't play x86 games.

I also have no doubt that by the time PE is out there will be fully pc capable android touchpads out, which will likely be able to have their memory flashed for full *nix distro's on them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whoa, whoa! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy! We're still trying to work out how to distribute the regular old linux game from what I understand. And I don't think this is a question about the game running on an ARM, but of it running on an OS running on an ARM, and that is more a question for Unity than Obsidian I should think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, Unity does run on Arm with its mobile flavour, and I know that android supports a physical keyboard/mouse out of the box + hooking up to an HDMI capable display.

 

That said, I don't think it'd be that simple. Although the industry is definitely shifting towards ARM for lower and mid ranged devices, it's a bit too early to say with confidence that they'd be able to ship for it down the road, let alone make it as a part of their roadmap.

 

Linux/Mac/Windows at least share the same set of libraries and general capabilities (i.e. the PC). When you start getting to ARM based devices, you have to begin designing for the lowest common denominator. They're still vastly inferior in specs, input options, and more importantly the libraries which make things like 3d graphics possible (ex: mobile devices generally use OpenGL ES, not the full directx/opengl like the desktop.)

 

It may be possible for simpler programs like Angry Birds or w/e, but it'd probably take too much out of the game and their resources to target ARM on their budget.

Edited by Carmelle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ARM is not going to be close to x86 any time soon. Obsidian would have to tweak the real-time rendered content so it works with OpenGL ES or DirectX Mobile. Input options are mouse and keyboard the same as any other computer. The newest ARM based hardware is impressive in what it can do even now, Unreal Engine 3 looks great on Tegra 3 based devices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Linux/Mac/Windows at least share the same set of libraries and general capabilities (i.e. the PC). When you start getting to ARM based devices [...]

 

Keep in mind that the Linux kernel also compiles on ARM, and many distributions offer full ARM support as well, including all (FLOSS) libraries and capabilities. As long as you're mindful of some architectural differences (like endianness, but those are things you normally encapsulate away early anyway), it doesn't matter on what of the dozens of architectures Linux works your program runs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately you can't just "Compile to ARM" like you can with x86.

 

Besides OS concerns, Intel makes a large deal with x86 of always ensuring compatibility. Meaning that old 1988 DOS game will still run on that brand new Core i7. ARM does no such thing. The ecosystem for Android and how many different versions popular games are asked to support is described by people I know as something of a nightmare. The only reason iOS is any better is it's tightly controlled by Apple with tiny fraction of the SKU's used compared with Android.

 

I suggest, for your own sake, that you ditch any plans of going with only an ARM device right now if you really want to play games on anything like a regular basis and want to have the most choice available to you. A PC is definitively where the most games are available right now, and while Microsoft is succeeding in actively sabatoging this it's still going to be true in the near future.

 

That being said, Unity does have great crossplatform support. It would take work but Android support (for stock or mostly stock Android OS's of the right version) and iOS support are definitely possibilities. Though I take it from the devs that they are possibilties for after the Windows/OSX/Linux desktop versions are out. Maybe even Windows RT support. But a lot of game devs are absolutely balking at Windows RT and I wouldn't be surprised if Obsidian was among them.

Edited by Frenetic Pony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In practice compiling to ARM is trivial, it's not a problem even if it is harder than x86, that's a really small problem compared to the other issues of multi-platform. It doesn't matter for game developers making a game today that a game they made in the 80's wouldn't run on new hardware without being tweaked and recompiled. Compiling or ARM has nothing to do with the problems developing for Android, it's the differences in implementations, the differences in hardware, but if you look at x86, the same issues are there and developers manage. Developers moaned constantly that developing for the PC is harder than developing for a console.

 

Obsidian don't have to target all Android devices, only the newer and higher performance ones that will likely be used in laptops and low power desktops, Project Eternity isn't like Plants Vs Zombies or Angry Birds where it has to be on every single device, Project Eternity is going to be made for keyboard and mouse, for longer play sessions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Linux/Mac/Windows at least share the same set of libraries and general capabilities (i.e. the PC). When you start getting to ARM based devices [...]

 

Keep in mind that the Linux kernel also compiles on ARM, and many distributions offer full ARM support as well, including all (FLOSS) libraries and capabilities. As long as you're mindful of some architectural differences (like endianness, but those are things you normally encapsulate away early anyway), it doesn't matter on what of the dozens of architectures Linux works your program runs.

 

I suppose that works fine for most things (basic libraries or utilities, maybe even things like SDL or what have you) but the main differentiator is still the graphics hardware. PC -> opengl/directx, ARM/Mobile -> opengl es/directx mobile.

 

There's definitely game engines out there that work on both (I think Unity is one of them), but the game would have to be built with the mobile graphics hardware in mind, and with mobile hardware constraints in mind (memory, cpu, whatever).

 

Plus at the end of the day, it's yet an entirely 'nother platform to do tests, validation, etc... for. And one where, unless touch-friendly controls were added, the vast majority of users wouldn't be able to take advantage of right now anyways. And then adding touch controls would likely either 1) gimp the controls for the PC version, or 2) Add on to the list of things that need to be entirely separately tested and such on the new platform.

 

All in all, it's still a lot more difficult to go PC -> ARM, than it is to move between different PC operating systems or different Mobile operating systems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In practice compiling to ARM is trivial, it's not a problem even if it is harder than x86, that's a really small problem compared to the other issues of multi-platform. It doesn't matter for game developers making a game today that a game they made in the 80's wouldn't run on new hardware without being tweaked and recompiled. Compiling or ARM has nothing to do with the problems developing for Android, it's the differences in implementations, the differences in hardware, but if you look at x86, the same issues are there and developers manage. Developers moaned constantly that developing for the PC is harder than developing for a console.

 

Obsidian don't have to target all Android devices, only the newer and higher performance ones that will likely be used in laptops and low power desktops, Project Eternity isn't like Plants Vs Zombies or Angry Birds where it has to be on every single device, Project Eternity is going to be made for keyboard and mouse, for longer play sessions.

 

That was kind of my point, not that ARM is terrible versus x86 in and of itself, but that there's a ton of implementations of hardware and Android. It's not just "click and done!" But a lot of just, annoying gruntwork, and you have to make sure there's no bugs when recompiling, and etc. The PC groaning comes not from x86, which is just fine, but far more from different video cards and making sure they're certified with NVIDIA and ATI, and having to keep everything generic instead of being able to pull specific hardware tricks like you can with consoles.

 

So no, it's not the end of the world to just compile it to, say, Android 4.0 and above, fire and forget and if it doesn't work on your device... I don't know. Make a test app that you download before buying? But it is work. It is money an banging your head on things most devs probably don't even want to deal with. It's why iOS gets the most Apps. You CAN just throw it onto an iOS device and it will work, albiet there are other stringencies such as having to update for resolution and aspect ratio every time a device comes out that changes that.

Edited by Frenetic Pony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just get an x86 tablet, Surface Pro or similar.

 

Power consumption and price.

 

Price... not really. Power consumption? Just as good as ARM. Intel is rockin it in the mobile world as of this year. They might surpass ARM by next year if what they're promising comes to fruition. A full on Core i5 power in a friggen tablet isn't going to be beatable by any model of ARM based processors if they can pull it off like they're hoping (not a guarantee of course).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just get an x86 tablet, Surface Pro or similar.

 

Power consumption and price.

 

Price... not really. Power consumption? Just as good as ARM. Intel is rockin it in the mobile world as of this year. They might surpass ARM by next year if what they're promising comes to fruition. A full on Core i5 power in a friggen tablet isn't going to be beatable by any model of ARM based processors if they can pull it off like they're hoping (not a guarantee of course).

 

Do we know the price yet? It wouldn't surprise me if it's $800-900. Power consumption is going to be terrible. It's obviously not going to be as good as ARM. We know how good ARM is, we know how bad the i5 is, the hardware is out for all to see already.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just get an x86 tablet, Surface Pro or similar.

 

Power consumption and price.

 

Price... not really. Power consumption? Just as good as ARM. Intel is rockin it in the mobile world as of this year. They might surpass ARM by next year if what they're promising comes to fruition. A full on Core i5 power in a friggen tablet isn't going to be beatable by any model of ARM based processors if they can pull it off like they're hoping (not a guarantee of course).

 

Do we know the price yet? It wouldn't surprise me if it's $800-900. Power consumption is going to be terrible. It's obviously not going to be as good as ARM. We know how good ARM is, we know how bad the i5 is, the hardware is out for all to see already.

 

Errr... no. The Core i-series gets updated every year. Next years update is called Haswell, and promises a Core i5 at a ten watt TDP, or thermal envelope. This is the max thermal energy put off by the chip, and essentially relates to what fans and how much room you need for a tablet. The higher the TDP, the bigger the tablet/laptop needs to be. Currently the TDP for Ivy Bridge,t his years and what my laptop is running, is 17 watts.

 

Regardless, the Haswell architecture is also highly tuned for battery life. It shouldn't be surprising to have an 7-8 hour battery life in a tablet only a little heavier than the current Ipad by next year. But yet, this model will be expensive. What won't be is next years update of Intel's Atom chips, the current revision is named Clovertrail (for tablets), and is decently competitive in price and power compared to ARM. Next years is codenamed Baytrail, and may well surpass the next generation of ARM chips, The Cortex-A15 cores, which scale much better in speed than ARMs current A9's but don't do terribly better in terms of power consumption so far.

 

Also... this got way off topic :geek: then again I suppose everything that needed to be covered was. Any ARM compilation is going to rely on the OS's it's being compiled for, which may be a problem depending, and either way will almost certainly wait until after the game comes out on PC/Linux/OSX/x86 first.

Edited by Frenetic Pony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just get an x86 tablet, Surface Pro or similar.

Power consumption and price.

 

I have an Acer Iconia Tab windows 7 tablet, battery life is fine, price was fine, the next generation will be better on both metrics. This is a PC game, it's supposed to run on real computers, not overgrown cellphones and stuff you got free with your breakfast cereal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Just get an x86 tablet, Surface Pro or similar.

 

Power consumption and price.

 

Price... not really. Power consumption? Just as good as ARM. Intel is rockin it in the mobile world as of this year. They might surpass ARM by next year if what they're promising comes to fruition. A full on Core i5 power in a friggen tablet isn't going to be beatable by any model of ARM based processors if they can pull it off like they're hoping (not a guarantee of course).

 

Do we know the price yet? It wouldn't surprise me if it's $800-900. Power consumption is going to be terrible. It's obviously not going to be as good as ARM. We know how good ARM is, we know how bad the i5 is, the hardware is out for all to see already.

 

Errr... no. The Core i-series gets updated every year. Next years update is called Haswell, and promises a Core i5 at a ten watt TDP, or thermal envelope. This is the max thermal energy put off by the chip, and essentially relates to what fans and how much room you need for a tablet. The higher the TDP, the bigger the tablet/laptop needs to be. Currently the TDP for Ivy Bridge,t his years and what my laptop is running, is 17 watts.

 

Surface Pro's release date is before Haswell's. Cortex A9's power consumption is 0.5-1.9 W. It also remains to be seen whether the Haswell 10w TDP chips will be up to the performance of the 17w TDP Ivy Bridge chips. Will the Surface Pro have fans? That's unfortunate.

 

Regardless, the Haswell architecture is also highly tuned for battery life. It shouldn't be surprising to have an 7-8 hour battery life in a tablet only a little heavier than the current Ipad by next year. But yet, this model will be expensive. What won't be is next years update of Intel's Atom chips, the current revision is named Clovertrail (for tablets), and is decently competitive in price and power compared to ARM. Next years is codenamed Baytrail, and may well surpass the next generation of ARM chips, The Cortex-A15 cores, which scale much better in speed than ARMs current A9's but don't do terribly better in terms of power consumption so far.

 

That's why Microsoft, Samsung, Google, Nvidia, and Apple are relying on ARM when it comes to low power tablets. Show me the reliable independent benchmarks of A15 vs Clovertrail on anything, until then we don't know whether Intel have finally caught up or not.

 

 

 

Just get an x86 tablet, Surface Pro or similar.

Power consumption and price.

 

 

I have an Acer Iconia Tab windows 7 tablet, battery life is fine, price was fine, the next generation will be better on both metrics. This is a PC game, it's supposed to run on real computers, not overgrown cellphones and stuff you got free with your breakfast cereal.

Same could be said for supporting any low power computer, including an Acer Iconia.

Edited by AwesomeOcelot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...