Folk Tale > Questions & Answers > Topic Details
Games Foundry  [developer] Jun 15, 2013 @ 5:03pm
Linux Consultation
Hello Linux community members.

I've spent the morning revisiting the Linux build and wanted to raise some of my concerns and discuss them openly with you all.

I'm using a clean build of Linux Mint on a dual-boot Macbook Pro with Intel integrated chipset. I haven't installed or updated any drivers. Running Folk Tale it's obvious the graphics don't match those on the OSX version on the same laptop. There are also many red dots corrupting the screen. This is almost certainly a driver issue, and that's not a big problem, but it does raise a wider concern I have.

With the current state of AMD drivers and the general lack of OEM GPU driver support for Linux, I'm concerned that launching a Linux version at this moment would lead to a deluge of support incidents that would be a major distraction at a time when we need to be focused on developing the sandbox. Assuming we can fix the remaining glitches ( like the hardware mouse not hiding the system mouse and the camera not panning with the mouse at the edge of the screen ) we'd have to make the minimum supported specification NVIDIA cards only.

I welcome your thoughts and advice on the matter. Nothing is written in stone. This is an open consultation to try to decide on the best course of action.

Simon Dean
Project Lead, Folk Tale
Last edited by Games Foundry; Jun 15, 2013 @ 5:04pm
Showing 1-15 of 88 comments
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d10sfan Jun 15, 2013 @ 8:13pm 
The graphic corruption could be related to not having the correct drivers. I'm not sure the best drivers to use for an Intel integrated card, but something like this may help: http://www.webupd8.org/2013/04/intel-linux-graphics-installer-fixed.html#comment-855274497

That's instructions on the official intel drivers, to install the intel driver installer. It may help with the graphic corruption you're seeing, since no drivers are installed sounds like.

I have an nvidia card with the official drivers and it's been working great for the games I've tried so far. Don't have any experience with other graphics card companies.

Would a possible plan be to support nvidia cards officially first, and then move onto working on the other types, such as intel and others?

In terms of testing, I'd be happy to help test with the game on Linux however I can. There may also be people with intel and/or amd cards who could do the same.

Also, thanks for looking into this, glad to see more developers supporting Linux :)
Last edited by d10sfan; Jun 15, 2013 @ 8:28pm
Acco 🌠 Jun 15, 2013 @ 11:54pm 
I think aiming to support a small set of graphics cards from one vendor at first is a good plan. Setting a minimum required gpu would also be a good plan too.

And the nice thing with Linux users - they tend to be much more tech savvy, so they understand what alpha means. ;)

Though, I think it'd be more worthwhile focusing on getting sandbox ready - it's the mode I'm waiting for before I buy.
Cavalier Jun 16, 2013 @ 8:14pm 
I'm waiting on both sandbox mode and a Linux build before purchase.

Personally I've always had an nvidia card in Linux machines that would be doing gaming, their official drivers have generally provided the most pain-free experience. It wouldn't be unreasonable to operate under such a minimum requirement.
Games Foundry  [developer] Jun 19, 2013 @ 4:07pm 
We've been talking with other game developers on Steam who have Linux versions available, who have shared "comparable" sales data with us ( which means not actual figures, but figures relative to say Mac sales ). These talks suggest that it might be prudent at this stage in development given our small team size to postpone Linux support because of the volume of potential support incidents vs. actual sales. That would require a disproportionate amount of time taken away from development of the main game, of with 95% are on PC.

What we might end up doing is creating a small Linux focus group to test the Linux build at various stages throughout development to monitor the state. During this time we expect Linux support in the Unity engine to continue to improve, and for gpu OEM driver support to improve.
d10sfan Jun 19, 2013 @ 4:22pm 
Would that focus group be developers, or would you want users to help test as well? Or are you going to wait to release it to everyone when you feel it's ready?

Are you planning on releasing Linux along with the official release of the game?
Games Foundry  [developer] Jun 19, 2013 @ 4:41pm 
It's going to be a selection of community players who have contributed the most ( quality of posts rather than quantity ) to this ongoing consultation. There's no application, invites will be extended privately some time in July.
d10sfan Jun 19, 2013 @ 4:52pm 
Originally posted by Games Foundry:
It's going to be a selection of community players who have contributed the most ( quality of posts rather than quantity ) to this ongoing consultation. There's no application, invites will be extended privately some time in July.
Ah ok thanks for the information
Apocryphus Jul 6, 2013 @ 11:00pm 
Translation: Linux isn't a viable market. :-(

While I understand that releasing a buggy game isn't the right course of action, especially for a particular port; I think direct user-involvement from those who use Linux (like myself) should help the developers in testing the game. It's understandable that a Linux port would be postponed until later after the release of a game, and I think patience may be key among us Linux users in awaiting for such a port.
Liam Jul 8, 2013 @ 8:41am 
What version of Mint have you installed? Intel drivers aren't really up to scratch compared with AMD/NVIDIA. It would also be an idea to update your Intel drivers to double check as well.

Linux is a very different market to Mac and Windows, generally you get a lot of help in debugging and sorting out issues.

Have you thought about speaking to an outside porter to help with the work?

This bit confused me:
With the current state of AMD drivers and the general lack of OEM GPU driver support for Linux
What OEM GPU's are you talking about? Intel, Nvidia and AMD are the only ones that matter all of which have drivers readily installable on Linux.
Last edited by Liam; Jul 8, 2013 @ 9:49am
d10sfan Jul 8, 2013 @ 9:06am 
Not sure what they meant by OEM GPU, but making sure that the drivers are updated may help matters. In my experience with my Nvidia card, the built-in drivers don't cut it for games, similar to how it works on WIndows.

The idea of having a small group of community testers that are given access to a Linux build may work, since it would help decrease the amount of support issues possibly at first. I would guess that it would happen where each update would also get a private Linux version as well? And then once the Linux version is stable, then it could available to all?

Considering the Unity games that have been released successfully for Linux recently, such as Aoen Command, LivaLink, Zigfrak, Legends of Aethereus (game currently in beta), I'd imagine it should be possible for a Linux port.
Last edited by d10sfan; Jul 8, 2013 @ 9:07am
Footissimo Jul 8, 2013 @ 9:18am 
Originally posted by =(eG)= d10sfan:
Considering the Unity games that have been released successfully for Linux recently, such as Aoen Command, LivaLink, Zigfrak, Legends of Aethereus (game currently in beta), I'd imagine it should be possible for a Linux port.

Guns of Icarus Online
Kentucky Route Zero
Hairy Tales

..off the top of my head.

..and if there's one thing that's good about penguin people, they're damned good at reporting bugs and suggesting solutions (according to game devs I've spoken to).
Mike Frett Jul 8, 2013 @ 10:30am 
The last time I saw 'red dots' was in Windows with a failing GF6800 Card, you really should re-check that. But, there are no OEM Drivers, proprietary GPU drivers are made directly available from the Chip manufacturer and supplied to various Distros. I own an AMD 6670, which gives me exactly zero issues with any of my Games in Linux. Using the 12.11 drivers in Xubuntu/Ubuntu 12.04.2.

And just so you know, I use AMD cards in Linux now because Nvidia cards have given me too many problems. It just depends on the Model of card, generally newer cards are more problematic. Incidentally, AMD's Open Source driver is miles better than Nvidia's, but we are talking about proprietary drivers. AMD's 6000 series cards are the sweet spot for Linux. I think you really need to read up on things before you start blaming Linux. Phoronix is a good place to start. How can developers build Games, when they know little about the Platform they build on.

Since the LTS (Long Term Support) version of Ubuntu (12.04) is the base of Steam Box and derivatives like Mint, it should be the minimum requirement. Drivers are available in 12.04 via 'Additional Drivers' in the Settings menu (in Xubuntu). You should also turn compositing off, it causes trouble sometimes, hence why I use Xubuntu, an official Ubuntu Distro.

You must be doing something wrong if Unity isn't functioning for you, Linux support in Unity is top notch, as you can see from the many games on Linux based on Unity. In fact, you should probably be asking these questions on the Unity forums.

As far as profitability, apparently Valve begs to differ with their Steam Box. The folks at Humble Bundle would digress also. Extra money is extra money. And why anyone would use Windows in light of the NSA fiasco is beyond me, it's not logical to use Microsoft products anymore, unless people actually LIKE to be spied on.

TL;DR: You should really ask Graphics questions related to Unity, in the Unity forums for practical solutions. And I want to buy your Game.
dulBIRAKAN [Linux] Jul 8, 2013 @ 10:33am 
This was one of the games I was looking forward to...
gnarbarian Jul 8, 2013 @ 12:52pm 
I don't see a problem with restricting it to Nvidia cards. Most Linux users doing 3d stuff already use Nvidia because the AMD drivers are awful and Intel cards don't have great performance for games. This has always been the case.

Linux users are pretty used to things not working perfectly because of a quirk in their configuration. Most of us buy hardware with this in mind and we are aware of the issues regarding graphics drivers.

You should update your drivers. Most games wont even work IN WINDOWS without updating your drivers. Rather than following the intel instructions I recommend finding a PPA to make it easier.

https://launchpad.net/~intel-gfx-testing/+archive/ppa

Release it as a beta and warn people about the hardware that's required. if it doesn't work in Linux they can always play it from Windows. This at least gives us a chance to try it.

Last edited by gnarbarian; Jul 8, 2013 @ 12:52pm
Nell Jul 8, 2013 @ 4:23pm 
Assuming they're using Mint 15, it's very nearly the newest Intel Linux drivers (newest a wide variety of users can expected to install) and there's quite a few rendering issues for a variety of applications on those drivers.

A few other Steam games are restricted to Nvidia only due to driver bugs, I think that's a fine compromise to start with and avoid support issues for a small dev team.
Last edited by Nell; Jul 8, 2013 @ 4:24pm
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