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Games Software Entertainment Linux

Valve Looking to Port Games to Linux? 129

Posted by Zonk
from the crazy-day-in-my-neighborhood dept.
Martin Bozic writes "Valve is apparently looking for senior engineers to port games to Linux. They have an ad up on the official site looking for a Senior Software Engineer with experience in 'systems engineering designing and developing communications software and hardware solutions including resolving problems surrounding real-time and non real time PC- based systems using C++ and network programming algorithms and their interaction with physical devices.' One of the lines under the job description is the simple statement: 'Port Windows-based games to the Linux platform.'" No reason to get excited about this before they make an official announcement; while this may eventually mean Half-Life 2 running under Linux, they may just want penguin-based folks to play Peggle.
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Valve Looking to Port Games to Linux?

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    They've already ported it to the PS3, so why not port it to another, more successful gaming platform? I mean, it's not like it can be any harder than the PS3 port, and it's likely to pull in more sales anyway.

    I wonder if this means Steam under Linux?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AmaDaden (794446)
      God I hope so. I'm sick of dual booting and Cedega is a pain. I for one welcome our new Linux gaming overloards.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by SausageOfDoom (930370)
        Now all I need is for Microsoft to release Office for linux, and I can ditch Windows for good! Oh, right.

        Adobe CS3 wouldn't go amiss either, but I doubt we'll see that happening any time soon.
  • The man's a porting machine, from the old Loki days up to a lot of the current Linux compatible titles. http://www.icculus.org/~icculus/ [icculus.org]
    • It's a much better use of Ryan's precious time to work on porting games to the open source OLPC platform [laptop.org] which will bring new educational games to millions of kids, instead of working on closed source software like Valve which will only bring old violent games to a few thousand hard core Linux fanatics.

      -Don

      • by g051051 (71145)
        I agree that the OLPC stuff is an excellent cause, worthy of the attentions of a talented porting guru like the esteemed Mr. Gordon.

        Personal observation: You're the most famous person who's ever replied to one of my posts!
  • by Cius (918707) on Friday September 14, 2007 @09:37AM (#20602343)
    I'll be all over it in a hearbeat. That game and CS:S are the only reasons I give windows any hard drive space at all.
    • by flitty (981864)
      Marketer#1: Hey, we've hit every group out there to promote the orange box, except the /. crowd. How do we promote this to them....

      Marketer#2: Hey, I've got it! Mention Linux!
    • by gfxguy (98788)
      I'm right there with you... I can muddle along making home movies with something in Linux if I can get Steam games on it.
    • by AlexMax2742 (602517) on Friday September 14, 2007 @11:32AM (#20603703)
      Half Life 2 and its ilk already run reasonably well in Wine these days. All you have to do is have the Taholma font installed in ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/fonts and Steam ought to work great, and from there CS:Source works great too. I notice maybe a 10fps difference between Windows and Linux, and I have a shitty throwaway Geforce FX.
    • ...is much better than CS:S. At least in my opinion (and many of my gamer friends as well), the gameplay is superior to any version of counter strike, and it is free and available for Linux NATIVELY. Give it a shot, and if you like it, free up that windows drive. I'll see you on there.... :)
  • Nice move. (Score:4, Funny)

    by aadvancedGIR (959466) on Friday September 14, 2007 @09:38AM (#20602357)
    Linux is already known to have a few rootkits available, so they will save on recoding.
  • by torrija (993870) on Friday September 14, 2007 @09:50AM (#20602485)
    Server software may run under Linux and the games under Windows.
    • Probably right (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Prien715 (251944)
      While the description talks about algorithms and real-time, not a word is mentioned of OpenGL or similar graphics background. All the more reason to think Linux is being used backend somehow.
      • by GooberToo (74388)
        I picked up on that too. This to me says their goal has nothing to do with ports but rather back end server development. Given the references to real time I assume this is for some MMORPG where they want to ensure timely player packet processing and perhaps predictive means of accounting for network lag.
        • by Prien715 (251944)
          Since HL1, they've used Linux for player run servers. Since it's an FPS, you can imagine you're much more sensitive to lag than in any MMO (especially counter-strike with its 1 shot kills with many weapons (headshot with most any rifle)). I seriously doubt Valve is sticking its foot in that door or you'd see some mention of cluster-based computing or distributed networks (both of which a key to MMO design).
      • And you can already run steam dedicated servers on linux. They could be expanding their existing team or replacing someone who's leaving, this seems like more of the same to me.
    • by iainl (136759)
      That makes good sense. My first thought was that getting Steam to a reasonably difficult to fool status would be a nightmare on such an open platform, but if you're only running servers who cares?
    • by AmaDaden (794446)
      Yes but with all the people making moves to Linux lately it makes more sense that they are looking in to it. Plus porting from windows to Linux is allot like to porting from windows to OS X. I had a "programing C in Unix" class that focused on porting from one *nix distro to another. OS X was one of the *nixes we ported to. I bet this is an effort to port to OS X and Linux.
      • by plague3106 (71849)
        Yes but with all the people making moves to Linux lately

        I keep seeing this comment floated here, I don't see any evidence presented though.
        • by AmaDaden (794446)
          I was referring mostly to Dell, HP and IBM. They have all made an effort to start selling Linux with their computers. Also, ATI just opened their specs. I don't think this would have happened if not for Linux people being pissed that there were no good ATI drivers for Linux. I guess I should have said "with all the companies..." but the way I look at it companies only move if people have moved.
    • by WilyCoder (736280)
      No, its already possible to run a dedicated steam server in linux.

      I've done it.
    • It specifically says:

      Port Windows-based games to the Linux platform.
      Not server software, GAMES. Besides they already have perfectly good server software on Linux.
    • I run two Counter Strike servers and one Counter Strike: Source server on Linux. I seriously doubt that they need help writing server software for Linux; therefore it seems reasonable to assume that they are porting actual game client/s to Linux.

      As always, reality will be what reality is regardless of our assumptions.

      strike
  • Now that we will have way better open source video drivers for ATI (which we all know valve LOVES ATI), I think that the day has come for having real games on linux. This just makes sense.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tolan-b (230077)
      There are already real games on Linux. Just not so many. All the Quake games and most of the major Quake / Doom3 engine games are on Linux (ET: Quake Wars is coming soon for example). Same for the UT series.
    • Having better drivers will ease game development for sure. But it ultimately comes down to market. Regardless of how well your games *can* run on Linux and how easy you *can* write for the platform, it still costs money to produce, market and distribute. If the customers aren't there then it's not worth it to the company. There's no profit.

      People boast about better drives all the time and as a Linux user I want to see better drivers as well. I also want to see the games. Back in 1998 / 1999 I went to Electr
  • Peggle? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    The article omitted a link to Peggle, so here's a link: http://www.popcap.com/games/peggle [popcap.com]

    Maybe it'll work with wine?
  • My friend and I both have Dell XPS Gen 2 laptops. With mine running Windows and his running Wine Ubuntu, he can get into a game slightly faster than I can.
  • Or, it could just mean that they're making a network game/MMO and want to use Linux to power the servers that talk to Windows clients. This could easily be explained if they already have a good portion of the Windows networking code working for the game (thus porting from Windows to Linux for the server.) It could be they started development with the idea of using Windows Server, but then decided to switch to Linux or add a Linux option.
  • For all new games so it is easier to port them.
    • by TeknoHog (164938)
      Ignoring the difference between D3D and DX for a while, it's weird that a company should decide to write games for a mere majority of platforms, when they could have practically all platforms instead. It's not like GL doesn't work in Windows. Also the Playstations use GL, so there's a huge unnecessary duplication effort for some games. One problem could be the Xboxes that only accept DX, though of course there's no technical reason for not using GL as well.
  • That's the best news I've heard all day. Especially seeing as if they port Source and Steam, we probably won't be paying twice.

Prototype designs always work. -- Don Vonada

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