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Games Linux

Shadowrun Comes To Linux, MMO Planned 51

New submitter junkrig writes "After a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, Jordan Weisman, creator of Shadowrun, has returned to bring the series back to the screen as Shadowrun Returns; an old-school, turn-based tactical RPG. Their successful initial fundraising (over $1.8 million) allowed them to commit to developing a native Linux version of the game. A second team, working closely with Weisman, now hopes to bring a similar, turn-based Shadowrun game to life: Shadowrun Online. To be built with the Unity 4 engine, Shadowrun Online will be massively multiplayer and have native Linux support from the start — assuming, of course, they manage to fund their project. Both games are expected for release in 2013."
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Shadowrun Comes To Linux, MMO Planned

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  • Re:cookie cutter (Score:5, Interesting)

    by VortexCortex ( 1117377 ) <VortexCortex.project-retrograde@com> on Sunday August 05, 2012 @10:27AM (#40886063)

    Cookie cutter just because it's made with Unity? That's like saying Unreal engine games are cookie cutter. Or any game made with any full featured third party engine is cookie cutter.

    I remember an age just before hardware accelerated graphics -- Those game devs who wrote their own (3D) engine had games that looked very different than the others who licensed the Wolf3D, Doom or Quake engine. After hardware accelerated graphics everything sort of looked the same for a while until GPUs had more features to select from -- The fixed function pipeline "look" is easily recognisable. Vertex & pixel shaders have given us back almost all of the flexibility and diversity that software rasterizers have, enabling Homogeneous computing could get us the rest of the way...

    Unfortunately, the diversity gained in modern GPUs has been diminished a great deal by the prolific use of just a few 3D engines. Even when the game tries to be visually different I can usually tell at a glance what engine the game's using: It's a running joke among my friends & colleagues, we show a vid and guess the engine. Most games are all too easy. Very few have us scratching our heads, and of those even fewer used a dominant engine like Unity, Unreal, etc. Eg: I can look at a game like Borderlands and say, Ah yep, it's the same engine as Gears. The slow texture streaming on level load is a dead give-away, but there are many other similarities too... It's sameness that otherwise wouldn't exist if not for the re-use of an engine.

    Prolific use of only a few physics engines, like Havok, also reduce variety in gameplay a great deal.

    I'm not saying reusing software is bad, writing engines is hard work, but it's really not THAT hard (far easier than writing software rasterizers)... I think we need A LOT more engines out there to stave off the sameness we currently have.

    I know this is Slashdot, but one thing I've learned is to have an open mind and consider the other side of an argument: Why does someone feel this way? Is there merit to their point of view? Argument is worth less than discussion, IMO.

    You've taken the GP's comment to an extreme -- Every game that uses the same engine is not cookie-cutter just because they use the same engines, but the complaint is valid. There is a certain samey look to the Unity, IDTech, Unreal engine, etc. engines, and it takes a fair amount of effort to actually make a game look different while using these engines -- Many gamedevs don't make the effort.

    Publishers don't want to hear, "We're making our own engine" -- That's risky, they'd rather you license a popular engine -- Until the indie game resurgence it was very difficult to get into the game industry if you wrote your own engine -- This is why there is so much graphics sameness among AAA titles, IMO. Differentiation comes at a price, and publishers don't want to take the risk.

    There would be much more diversity if we used a more diverse selection of game engines. This is why I support the idea of writing a new engine. Even if you don't personally recognize the similarities, can you not believe that some do? I put it to you that more engine diversity naturally begets more diverse games.

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.