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jlibster

Remarks on Linux Development made by Staff

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Folks, I just read some interesting twitter remarks via pcgamer.com made by Brandon Adler. In particular the remark "I don't think it was worthwhile developing for Linux,". I (and probably many others) feel it was not only a slap in the face for those like myself who purchased Pillars of Eternity to play ON LINUX. So you can argue the 1.5% but if I didn't happen I would not have supported the project since so many are offering the Linux.

 

Not only is that kind of remark offensive to some, and potentially destructive  to those were are considering making games compatible with Linux, it is short sighted. Linux gained recognition (including with grade school students who are getting sick of stability issues, vulnerabilites, bad interface changes), for more stability, lower cost and security. With the Windows 10 reports of spyware integrated into it's core to send virtually all user data to Microsoft servers (and US government agencies) the privacy concerns will escalate rapidly. Many gamers don't like the idea of sharing their personal data with government agencies. Apple computers often have inferior gaming hardware compared to custom build PC's in addition to being very expensive for what you get (Linux in fact can do more than MacOS in the right hands) and so that would make Linux (Debian based particularly) the only viable alternative for gamers wanting to use top hardware. who want to preserve their basic privacy, and there will likely be a backlash in Europe and Asia as well as the meaning of this news starts to hit home.

 

As someone who was once a fan (not as much as used to be thanks to Mr. Adler), I would suggest that your staff be more careful with their remarks and remember that being ahead of the curve is a vital part of business, Microsoft has repeatedly failed to learn in the Web browser market ("Edge" is trying to be Firefox), the mobile phone industry (they are basically out of that market) and their latest PR/interface flops with Windows 8 and I expect Windows 10 as well.  (People actually paid me to get Windows 8 to act like Windows 7/XP..come on...) Linux has been consider by more and more gaming groups to be a legitimate investment and it's showing. I won't mention the numerous and growing competitors doing Linux gaming development, but Steam would be one big one. Hopefully this message gets through to someone upstairs. I'm not for censorship, but I do think responsible conduct with remark in the public is every employee's reponsibility for the good the company as well as their own individual reputation.

 

Jonah A. Libster

Kickstarter Support

Previous Obsidian fan

Edited by jlibster

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I'm sorry, but IMO if you think a statement of opinion as benign as Adler's is "offensive" your "offensive meter" might be too sensitive. You also seem to think the statement is some sort of broad statement about Linux being "bad" as you subsequently spend much effort defending why it is "good".  But it isn't a statement about Linux being good or bad.

 

You also claim to be "not for censorship", but want the company to squash an employee's opinion because you don't like it which kind of is the opposite of "not for censorship".

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Yes, I would suggest he was likely speaking in business terms; the budget cost required for the port vs. the eventual market size.

 

For those to whom Linux is a religion though, it's probably tantamount to heresy. :aiee: :aiee: :aiee::p


"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Hey, guys. I probably could have chosen my words better than I did. I wasn't trying to upset any of our Linux supporters and I didn't mean to belittle their support. I love all of our backers and I appreciate all of their help.

 

We basically had to build our Linux infrastructure from scratch on our side. It wasn't something we were used to. It was also painful for us to develop in Linux because the Unity tools didn't support Linux at the time. This meant that we were unable to debug on the platform.

 

Now that we have gone through the process of creating these builds it is something that will be much easier for us in the future. Pair that with SteamOS, Steam Controller, and Steam Machine and I think Linux's future is good with PoE games.

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/81598-devs-thanks-for-the-linux-support/?p=1726009


Free games updated 3/6/19

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Relax.  BAdler was speaking in matter of fact terms and the business reality is that developing for Linux is generally not profitable, particularly before Steam Machines come out (whether that drives up Linux market share or not remains to be seen) and particularly when it's the first time a company does a Linux port and they have to learn a new engine and/or port tools over to Linux.  Every subsequent Linux port thereafter will be easier and should cost less to produce, thus making it potentially more profitable, because the company now has experience developing for Linux and they have tools in place that support Linux.  That first time is always going to be the worst.  All that aside, BAdler was asked a question and he answered honestly.  Would you rather he told you the truth or what you wanted to hear?  I'd rather he tell me the truth, even if the truth hurts a bit.

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Well, it's certainly good to see people are reading this. Was nice to get a reponse from "the man" himself.

 

For those of you who "hate my guts" for my coments here. I am fully aware it was in a business context. Also note I didn't say I myself was offended, but I know some were and I know what these kinds of headlines can do. It was acknowledged (thanks. Mr. Adler), that choice of words could have been tweaked a bit to better reinforce context (tools not available at the time that were avilable later)  Even in a purely business context it gives a certain impression based on short term observation. (1.5% now and challenges with bug fixes) Not everyone is going to stop and think that far or about the timing of the Unity Linux tools being available only after Obsidian had gotten started as Mr. Adler here clarifies. Many developers may stop short of making their product Linux compatible just from reading the remark of a high profile producer. Mr. Adler didn't intend the headline below (although the tweet tone felt a touch bitter) nevertheless here it is:

 

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2978279/software-games/supporting-linux-wasnt-worthwhile-says-creator-of-one-of-2015s-best-pc-games.html

 

Comes up on google and DuckDuckGo with little effort. Of course Mr. Adler didn't intended to say "developing for Linux is a waste of time" in general, but that is what the headline suggests (diliberatly out of context so as to appear inflamatory and sell more copy/hits).  Let's face it, the media doesn't generally take a responsible approach if it means selling less advertising/copy. (welcome to human greed). So I stand by my position: When we are the spotlight we need to be careful and responsible to avoid going unintended harm to their organization, the industry or themselves. To be clear, I had never suggest a company keep a "leash" on it's employees' expression of opinions as a matter of policy (although I had a debate with a lawyer once who demonstrated legally they can and often do). My suggestion was that employees should be responsible in expressing themselves in the media.Not about being untruthful (like Microsoft often is in their ommissions, see Windws 10 and their "important" updates as examples), but being sure you say what you mean and only what you mean.

 

Mr. Adler, again, thanks for the clarification. Hopefully the public keeps a relatively short term memory. I'll be watching developments on Obsidian.

Edited by jlibster

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I think the context of his remarks has been exagerated. As one of many Linux only users who backed I felt that he was more expressing his frustrations within his sphere of responsibilities, not representing Obsidian's views as a whole. And I think it can be completely legitimate to feel like getting pillars up and running on Linux when the tool you're using to make the game won't even run on the platform yet is one worthless slog. Fortunately the negative aspects of that experience seem like they're not likely to be a recurring problem.

 

One thing I am curious about, based on Humble Bundle revenue splits, is whether Linux Kickstarter campaign donors were worth more combined overall than Mac ones.

Edited by khango

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Sounds like that was a personal opinion that didn't affect what was actually delivered. You find that offensive? Also, I didn't see any "hate your guts" comments despite you responding to them as if they existed. I think you take Linux far too personally, it's just an OS.

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The sky had never seemed so sky, the world had never seemed so world.

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Well, it's certainly good to see people are reading this. Was nice to get a reponse from "the man" himself.

What. He posted that 3 days before your tantrum! Other people reacted to the news even before that! How the hell can you be so behind the curve?

 

 

Mr. Adler didn't intend the headline below (although the tweet tone felt a touch bitter) nevertheless here it is:

 

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2978279/software-games/supporting-linux-wasnt-worthwhile-says-creator-of-one-of-2015s-best-pc-games.html

What tweet? Brandon apparently hasn't twitted since March 29th.

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For those of you who "hate my guts" for my coments here.

 

If we don't hate Mr. Adler for his comments, why would we hate you for yours?

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A little insecurity can go a long way.... :cat:


"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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I appriciate that Linux version was released after all, even if it wasn't 100% profitable. If see this differently than jilibster - if someone said, that releasing a game on Linux was not profitable, but he releases it nevertheless, it's 100% generous and 0% offensive. Thank you Obsidian! I've got Linux version and because of Linux support policy I've convinced a bunch of friends to buy Pillars of Eternity - most of them use it on Windows.

 

I really hope, that future Obsidian productions will also be released on Linux - I'll then buy them ASAP. Otherwise you won't get my soul :)

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 I think you take Linux far too personally, it's just an OS.

 

I like the creative number interpretation that's going on. Sure Microsoft has lost some ground recently and Windows Phone has a hard time on the market (which I personally find rather sad because after having used iOS, Android and Windows Phone I can definitely say I like WP the most) there is absolutely no data to indicate that there is any large scale migration towards Linux going on. In spite of all the privacy issues, Windows 10 has, a mere month after it's release, three times the desktop market share that Linux has. Just let that sink in for a spell.

 

If anything, casual users tend to use their tablets or smartphones intead of PCs these days, but none of those are likely to actually care for games that much. Aside Angry Birds and Candy Crush Saga, obviously.

 

So perhaps Steam OS will shake things up a bit, but honestly, it's not the opinion of Brandon holding Linux gaming back, it's the lackluster support of certain companies regarding drivers that will REALLY be a problem (or already is one) - even for Valve and Steam OS. Can't quite shake that much up if half the graphics card market decides that they don't want to play ball.

 

But yeah, whatever. ;)

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*Recalls nostalgically over the good old days of the early 90's when we were clamoring for more Windows games over DOS...


"Things are funny...are comedic, because they mix the real with the absurd." - Buzz Aldrin.

"P-O-T-A-T-O-E" - Dan Quayle

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The Commodore Amiga was the superior computer, better hardware, better games and an operating system that was light years ahead of anything Microsoft had (took them 15 years to catch up to that level of sophistication, only NeXTSTEP was comparable). Yet sadly, they also had the worst imaginable management in the parent company, which is why the world is stuck with Windows SE (Spyware Edition) today.


“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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 I think you take Linux far too personally, it's just an OS.

 

I like the creative number interpretation that's going on. Sure Microsoft has lost some ground recently and Windows Phone has a hard time on the market (which I personally find rather sad because after having used iOS, Android and Windows Phone I can definitely say I like WP the most) there is absolutely no data to indicate that there is any large scale migration towards Linux going on. In spite of all the privacy issues, Windows 10 has, a mere month after it's release, three times the desktop market share that Linux has. Just let that sink in for a spell.

 

If anything, casual users tend to use their tablets or smartphones intead of PCs these days, but none of those are likely to actually care for games that much. Aside Angry Birds and Candy Crush Saga, obviously.

 

So perhaps Steam OS will shake things up a bit, but honestly, it's not the opinion of Brandon holding Linux gaming back, it's the lackluster support of certain companies regarding drivers that will REALLY be a problem (or already is one) - even for Valve and Steam OS. Can't quite shake that much up if half the graphics card market decides that they don't want to play ball.

 

But yeah, whatever. ;)

 

In the other hand it is good to keep in mind that Linux is brand new in gaming business and it will definitely take some time to catch up. Microsoft has been there around 30 years already :). Naturally Microsoft will do everything to keep Windows as the PC gaming OS. I don't expect Linux gaming to be big still for many years. Vulkan drivers and development tools has to mature and the developers requires much more experience - I guess most them has heavy MS DOS/Windows/DX background.

 

I personally think Linux/SteamOS is very good addition for PC gaming; more choices and more control for PC gamers.

 

Microsoft uses hundreds of millions to marketing Windows and they have all the OEM contracts. Linux has the community, so it requires a bit of pushing ;)

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I personally think Linux/SteamOS is very good addition for PC gaming; more choices and more control for PC gamers.

 

Microsoft uses hundreds of millions to marketing Windows and they have all the OEM contracts. Linux has the community, so it requires a bit of pushing ;)

 

Oh, I'm all for diversity and choices, please don't get me wrong there and I would love to see Linux succeed as a viable alternative in gaming - if only because it means that the current chokehold on game development is broken up a bit. Look at how Vulkan made Microsoft streamline DirectX for the first time in ages - DX12 is so much better than the past decades of improvements they made.

 

I just don't share the opinion that Brandon Adler's comments are harmful towards Linux gaming or that there is any major migration going on - and even if SteamOS succeeds on the market, it might just be used in the way consoles are these days with the remainder of its capabilities as fully formed Linux distribution lying fallow.

 

Time will tell, but it is really far too early to play a requiem for Microsoft. ;)

Edited by majestic
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In the other hand it is good to keep in mind that Linux is brand new in gaming business and it will definitely take some time to catch up. Microsoft has been there around 30 years already original.gif. Naturally Microsoft will do everything to keep Windows as the PC gaming OS. I don't expect Linux gaming to be big still for many years. Vulkan drivers and development tools has to mature and the developers requires much more experience - I guess most them has heavy MS DOS/Windows/DX background.

 

If by "brand new" you mean "since 1998"1 then yes, they are "brand new". :p

 

That said the turning point is really going to be installed user base.  That goes up you're going to see more parallel development for Linux and other OSes, and I think Steam's efforts are going to make an impact there.

 

1I understand the first game ported was actually in 1994, but I believe 1998 is when Loki Software started, and I think that's considered to be the turning point in Linux game development

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I personally think Linux/SteamOS is very good addition for PC gaming; more choices and more control for PC gamers.

 

Microsoft uses hundreds of millions to marketing Windows and they have all the OEM contracts. Linux has the community, so it requires a bit of pushing ;)

 

Oh, I'm all for diversity and choices, please don't get me wrong there and I would love to see Linux succeed as a viable alternative in gaming - if only because it means that the current chokehold on game development is broken up a bit. Look at how Vulkan made Microsoft streamline DirectX for the first time in ages - DX12 is so much better than the past decades of improvements they made.

 

I just don't share the opinion that Brandon Adler's comments are harmful towards Linux gaming or that there is any major migration going on - and even if SteamOS succeeds on the market, it might just be used in the way consoles are these days with the remainder of its capabilities as fully formed Linux distribution lying fallow.

 

Time will tell, but it is really far too early to play a requiem for Microsoft. ;)

To me Adler's comment doesn't sound harmful either but I have to say PC Gamers article wasn't very strong. There were never further explanation or reasoning added to article to explain better about the situation. Unfortunately the article left quite bad taste.

 

Other thing I'm a bit concerned is that gaming sites are not ready for Linux/SteamOS. PC Gamer has all kind of Windows articles all the time but there hasn't been even a single article about Linux. I doubt they know much about Linux and that can lead in nasty articles in the future.

 

I don't know much about graphics APIs. As far as I know Vulkan works on Windows XP to Windows 10 and has all the advantages that DX12 has (plus more because of extensions).

 

I personally think PC is at its best when there are choices for users - Windows included. No, I don't like Windows at all and I have my concerns about Microsoft as well. I hope the gaming on PC would be open in terms of operating system and standards that are being used and to me Windows doesn't represent either of them.

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The first thing I played on Linux was Quake (not counting the solitaire-like games that came with every window manager), but that was a long while ago, almost 20 years now. Not sure Loki was a turning point - when they went belly-up in 2002 it almost turned out to be the nail in the coffin of AAA games running on Linux.

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In the other hand it is good to keep in mind that Linux is brand new in gaming business and it will definitely take some time to catch up. Microsoft has been there around 30 years already original.gif. Naturally Microsoft will do everything to keep Windows as the PC gaming OS. I don't expect Linux gaming to be big still for many years. Vulkan drivers and development tools has to mature and the developers requires much more experience - I guess most them has heavy MS DOS/Windows/DX background.

 

If by "brand new" you mean "since 1998"1 then yes, they are "brand new". :p

 

That said the turning point is really going to be installed user base.  That goes up you're going to see more parallel development for Linux and other OSes, and I think Steam's efforts are going to make an impact there.

 

1I understand the first game ported was actually in 1994, but I believe 1998 is when Loki Software started, and I think that's considered to be the turning point in Linux game development

Heh, OK. Sure there has been games for a "long" time but I think one could start seriously think Linux as a gaming OS since Valve started to support it. Loki did great work and still continues in form of icculus ;). And of course not to forget xbill, nethack, etc...

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My understanding was they were a turning point in terms of first developer who targeted Linux.  It didn't work, but it led the way to other companies.  I'm not as cognizant on Linux development (other than knowing I've been hearing about it for around 20 years, with a lot of it similar to being "why isn't this out on Mac/Linux/etc")

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The Commodore Amiga was the superior computer, better hardware, better games and an operating system that was light years ahead of anything Microsoft had (took them 15 years to catch up to that level of sophistication, only NeXTSTEP was comparable). Yet sadly, they also had the worst imaginable management in the parent company, which is why the world is stuck with Windows SE (Spyware Edition) today.

Oh god how i remember those fights where games are better. Amiga or PC :D

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