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Unity 4 Adds Linux Support

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the welcome-to-the-club dept.

Graphics 150

dartttt writes "After more than 14,000 votes by Linux users and efforts by Brian Fargo, Unity has added Linux support to their popular 3D game engine. Starting with Unity 4.0, Linux will be supported as a publishing platform allowing Unity games to be played natively on Linux. Only standalone desktop games will be supported initially. From the article: 'Unity Technologies, maker of a widely used video-game engine, today announced that its fourth-generation product will introduce new animation technology and extend its support for Adobe Systems' Flash Player, Linux, and Microsoft's DirectX 11.'"

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150 comments

No source? (5, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#40362659)

How about a kickstarter to liberate the source of Unity?

Re:No source? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40362721)

penis

Re:No source? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40363055)

or vagina

Re:No source? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40363911)

vagina

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8thD74s-OYI

Re:No source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40362839)

Never gonna happen. They license the source out for like $10,000.

Re:No source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40362841)

you'd need a pretty darn big kickstarter since these guys are bathing in money.

Re:No source? (5, Informative)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#40362949)

Um.... do you have any concept of what that would cost? You'd have to be offering a huge pile of money. Right now they can commercially licence their engine for all sorts of projects. Even if those projects don't make money Unity can.

Have a look at their people page, they have probably 110 employees. That's probably 12-13 million a year in revenue alone. Are you going to try and get a kickstarter for 100 million dollars to effectively shut them down, or to guarantee them income to keep working indefinitely?

Don't get me wrong, there need to be more open source game tools (no matter how many you point me to there can always be more). As someone on the teaching side of things in trying to train game developers it's a real problem to know what tools you want to use, because the emphasis shouldn't be on the tools, but fighting with tools puts the emphasis on them. But Unity is pretty good about giving away a free trial, and being a good example of the sort of experience you'll have in industry, with some stuff opened up to you. That's about all we can hope for. Asking for a commercial engine that costs millions of dollars to make and maintain to just give up that kind of money is a pipe dream at best.

Now, trying to get them to pull an id software and release old versions of the engine as open source (say release 2.0 or 3.0 when 4.0 goes live) might be a more realistic goal and would still be awesome.

And by the way, you can negotiate your way into source code for Unity3D. I've never worked with anyone that thought it important enough to try until today, though. I literally advised a company this morning that Unity is probably their best bet for an engine given what they want to do, and they were wondering about source licences, which is the only reason I know that at all. Given that, it wouldn't be a huge shock to see old versions end up open sourced, if nothing else because you can't keep something bottled up indefinitely.

Re:No source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40363131)

Since you have industry experience, I have to ask, how much better can unity3d really be than say idtech3? Can't Linux Secs just use that? Doom3 still looks fantastic to me.

Re:No source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40363343)

I don't an industry experience, but I would imagine that it's not so much about the game engine as it is about the development environment, 3d designer and the whole toolchain...

Why Unity Is Used (4, Informative)

joetainment (891917) | about 2 years ago | (#40363703)

As response to the above I can confirm that Unity is very much used because of the development environment, ease of use for 3D artists, and an incredibly simple tool chain that lets you target many platforms with one codebase. Art assets can be shared between platforms as well, or specified per platform.

For these reasons, Unity is used a lot at small studios, particularly where gameplay is the main focus and the technology doesn't have to be cutting edge. Systems like Unreal and CryEngine are more powerful from a technology and graphics standpoint, but are not nearly as easy to use for small teams of developers.

In particular, Unity's documentation, specifically its scripting documentation, is outstanding. The documentation for other systems is extremely rough by comparison.

I have no affiliation with Unity3D, other than the fact that I've used the software in the past and like it. I know the facts I mention above because I've done consulting and training for many local game studios, many of which have used or are using Unity3D. Also, hundreds of my students currently work in the game industry (many in Vancouver BC) so I often hear about what's going on in local studios.

Re:Why Unity Is Used (4, Informative)

Canazza (1428553) | about 2 years ago | (#40363897)

I'm on a small team who uses Unity for... well, they're not games in the strictest sense, more interactive flythroughs, and when I say small team, I mean there's me, a 3D modeller and an Interface Artist, and the Interface Artist rarely actually loads up Unity. He just passes me the graphics and I build the GUI.

It's fantastically simple to use, if you're programming for it the hardest thing you'll probably need is a working knowledge of Vectors and Quaternions (and even then there's code samples out there for 90% of the stuff you'll want to do). Although the standard 2D GUI script is awful, but, again, there's code out there that bypass it entirely and can do UI's that can rival what Scaleform can do (there were actually rumours of Scaleform partnering with them to include it in the engine, don't know what happened with that tbh)

You don't have much access to anything below game logic and file systems. For programming, you can use C# or a variant of Ecmascript to code on top of the Unity engine API and Mono (basically .NET 2.0), but you don't get access to the graphics pipeline. The closest you get is the shader language.
You can use the same scripts to modify the Editor to do stuff too. As such there's loads of 3rd party assets in the store, from Scripts, to models, even entire editing suites (one of my favourites is the Strumpy Shader Editor that, as you can guess, gives you a graphical interface for building shaders). Some are pay-for (for which Unity gets a cut) and some are free (like Strumpy) and if you pay for enough cash and buy enough plugins you can probably forgoe actually coding anything at all. It turns the whole thing into a glorified map maker.

It also uses a fair amount of middleware (like PhsyX and FMOD), which is why you'll never see it open source.

Re:No source? (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#40363429)

Depends on what you're trying to do.

idtech3 gets you basically nothing on mobile, and it's content creation tools are... uh.... well lets be polite. They're mostly for a first person or 3rd person game. Which, to be fair, is a huge swath of the gaming business, but it's certainly not all of it. Trying to do a RTS is idtech3 would be harder than unity.

A game engine is a LOT bigger than just the graphics engine, at least these days. You have AI, pathfinding (which may be a part of AI), building targets to different platforms, asset management, asset pipeline, collaborative build tools, world editing, level editing (if that's separate from the 'world'), and then support for platforms. And 7 years is an eternity in this business, so technology has plodded along. Even then, id probably used some either custom in house or purchased collaborative software management tools, which aren't really part of the 'game engine' but are the kind of thing that comes with most modern game engines. So sure, they have AI, and graphics and so on, but the whole toolchain, not as much, and not as diverse as unity.

Unity is great for students because they can build a mobile project on their own phones. When they go to a job interview you whip out your phone and say "I made this" and pass it around.

Don't get me wrong, it's nice to have idtech3 in the wild, but the tools are only really useful for solving the problem of building a first person shooter or similar, and it doesn't include support for a lot of the newer collaboration and world editing stuff that a newer engine would use.

Then obviously are just the improvements in technology over the years (ambient occlusion, volumetric shadows, etc.).

Re:No source? (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 2 years ago | (#40363851)

Trying to do a RTS is idtech3 would be harder than unity.

I'm not sure how it is hard at all. The game dll module is meant to be replaced... many modify it, but it doesn't need to be you, the single player, on a team, or vs. everyone else in a many player arena. The model/texture loading, collision detection, physics, camera manipulation, etc. should make it more than possible to do such. To me, that is most of the hard work.

Valve? (1)

pipy (1873024) | about 2 years ago | (#40363563)

It makes perfect sense for Valve to buy and opensource Unity to get more games for their upcoming Linux-based game console.

Good news everyone! (1)

Linktwo (2653953) | about 2 years ago | (#40362669)

now devs and companies just have to click a few buttons and we got some games... hopefully

Re:Good news everyone! (1)

Zrako (1306145) | about 2 years ago | (#40362951)

now devs and companies just have to click a few buttons and we got some games... hopefully

After you pay for the second copy :(

Re:Good news everyone! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40363127)

I've done one extended game jam with unity now. It started as a weekend project which was polished up afterwards. So about 16 hours of coding and design and another 24 odd hours of polishing between two people. I'd show you the game but the flash version is being auctioned off right now. Sorry. :)

Overall I would say that it was remarkably easy. Though I would not attribute that to just being able to push buttons. There was a non significant amount of coding involved. And by that I mean, of the total of 80 hours (divided by two persons) available I spend 30 minutes in paint doing the art work. The remainder was code.
What made it easy was the component model used by unity for it's game objects. It allows to easily prototype, create and reuse game objects. The IDE is setup with this in mind. And it really gets most of the crap out of the way. The major downside of Unity is the use of C# and MonoDevelop. In terms of usability they are just not up to scratch. Another downside is that for games above a certain profit margin, there is a Unity tax.

Re:Good news everyone! (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about 2 years ago | (#40363699)

Yeah, it continues to bug me that MonoDevelop lags so far behind it's Windows origin, SharpDevelop, when one of the selling points of .NET is cross-platform code - surely you should just be able to build SharpDevelop for Linux...

Fuck yeah! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40362673)

OMG! OMG! OMG! More proprietary software is coming to Linux!!! Fuck yeah!!!

Re:Fuck yeah! (5, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#40362755)

Given the choice between having a proprietary option and having no options, I'll take the option to have proprietary software available every time.

Re:Fuck yeah! (5, Funny)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 2 years ago | (#40362811)

You just made baby RMS cry.

Re:Fuck yeah! (3, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#40362921)

Well then he can weep, despite it moving one step closer to his goal. Actually, didn't he acknowledge that proprietary software on a Free platform was better than proprietary software on a proprietary platform?

Re:Fuck yeah! (2, Funny)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about 2 years ago | (#40363299)

A hand job and a kick in the balls is better than two kicks in the balls.

GameMaker for Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40363439)

Can we get some GameMaker up in here?

How to develop games with 0 nut shots? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#40364561)

So how do you recommend funding the development and publishing of a professional-quality video game with zero kicks in the gonads?

Re:How to develop games with 0 nut shots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40364735)

Don't develop it for Linux. Duh.

Re:Fuck yeah! (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 2 years ago | (#40363505)

Quick Internet search nets me a wikiquote page for him: (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Richard_Stallman)

Some GNU/Linux operating system distributions add proprietary packages to the basic free system, and they invite users to consider this an advantage, rather than a step backwards from freedom.

Whether this is before or after something else he may have said is unknown.

Lesser of two evils (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#40364581)

I believe Microlith was referring to RMS's statement linked from this story [slashdot.org], which might be taken to mean that non-free games on a free platform are the lesser of two evils: "At least you avoid the harm to your freedom that Windows would do." He goes on to say something to the effect "instead of actually playing games, support these vaporware projects".

Re:Fuck yeah! (4, Insightful)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#40362785)

If you want Linux to ever be a remotely viable third choice on the desktop then proprietary software will be a given. If Android eschewed the presence of closed source apps it would be a non starter. Personally I don't have a problem with proprietary applications as long as the underlying operating system is Free. If the open source community isn't delivering for a particular niche then let the closed source people step in and first class games is a perfect example of this dynamic. If the community then steps up like has happened in so many other areas of software then even better but until that happens, I'll happily use unity on my Linux box right alongside my nvidia driver.

Re:Fuck yeah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40363225)

If you want Linux to ever be a remotely viable third choice on the desktop then proprietary software will be a given.

Proprietary software will get things there faster, but they will get there without it. Closed-source isn't some magic keystone to viability. 90% of the population could probably make do with open sores software, right now - I have been, for years.
Having said that, if some program/app I want is proprietary, well made, works well on my system, doesn't coerce me into an income-protection model, and doesn't cost an arm and a leg up front, I don't mind paying for & running it. I've played UT/Doom/Quake until I'm sick of them, under Linux. I don't want to hear a whine, though, if/when an open sores project delivers a similar experience for customer-determined-value/donation/kickstarter.

How much effort is needed by the developer now? (3, Insightful)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#40362693)

Now that the engine is ported, how much additional effort is required by the developer to make their game run on Linux? A lot? A little? I'm readily curious.

Re:How much effort is needed by the developer now? (3, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 years ago | (#40362819)

Depends. I've never used Unity, but I have used UnrealEngine, Source and idTech, and I've done some light reading on it before.

The most common scenario will probably be "needs some shaders re-written to work with Linux's outdated drivers", assuming, of course, that they'd already written GL shaders (and not just D3D). Best-case, all they need to do is check the "Export for Linux" box right next to the "Export for Android" and "Export for XBLA" boxes.

However, it should be *possible* to make a Unity game that requires a ton of work to port. Either because you actively tried, or because you didn't use the engine to it's full potential and instead re-implemented half the functionality in system-specific ways. Think of Android - you *can* write native apps that don't run on non-ARM (or even only specific ARM) processors, but that's not exactly common.

Of course, engine support historically hasn't translated into game support. UnrealEngine 2 supported Linux (think 3 does as well), as did several idTechs (even before being open-sourced), and yet we only rarely see games using those released for Linux. Although it may be a matter of how *good* the Linux support is - many of those may have required far more work than more modern engines.

Re:How much effort is needed by the developer now? (4, Informative)

evil_Tak (964978) | about 2 years ago | (#40363047)

Actually, Unity's surface shaders are more or less 3d-system-agnostic. Some features will of course degrade when the underlying system doesn't support them, and some, although supported, will be too intense for the hardware (e.g. fog on mobiles).

It is of course possible to create a platform-dependent game: in fact, it's as easy as File.ReadAllText("C:/Windows/blah").
However, the majority of real content that has been tried has run out of the box with no major issues.

Re:How much effort is needed by the developer now? (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#40362847)

They mention that this is coming straight out of their labs so I would guess a lot of effort will be needed.

No ship date at this time so there is still time for them to drop that feature.

Re:How much effort is needed by the developer now? (2)

nschubach (922175) | about 2 years ago | (#40363547)

Considering Wasteland 2 was promised to Linux users that backed it... and that they were working with the Unity team to permit Linux support... I'd say it's probably a fair conclusion to say that it will ship. If they decided not to ship it, there would be quite a few upset people on the whole Kickstarter process, inExile, and everyone involved.

Re:How much effort is needed by the developer now? (1)

tigeba (208671) | about 2 years ago | (#40363237)

When you are talking about switching between "like" platforms, for example Windows Standalone -vs- OSX Standalone -vs- Soon-to-be-Linux standalone the changes can be very minimal or almost nothing. My experience with the Windows/OSX standalone builds is that you can sometimes deploy with zero changes. The most common issues that seem to crop up are related to custom shaders.

I maintain a bunch of games and demos that we use as examples for our networking middleware, and they basically never need platform customizations for Windows/OSX. The Linux client isn't available yet but I would assume that it would be quite similar.

Re:How much effort is needed by the developer now? (1)

dubbreak (623656) | about 2 years ago | (#40364231)

I'd second the minimal or almost nothing. I tend to target Android (and am extremely excited to target Linux, as we may move some embedded stuff to it) and have 0 problems targeting Win/Mac desktop or even web for testing. With a different screen aspect ratio I may have to tweak things a little (as we have stuff set up for the android tablet aspect) but other than that stuff just works.

Re:How much effort is needed by the developer now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40363745)

Now that the engine is ported, how much additional effort is required by the developer to make their game run on Linux? A lot? A little? I'm readily curious.

It really depends on the game. The Unity engine does a pretty good job of abstracting away platform differences but obviously that doesn't apply to absolutely everything. It's certainly possible to make stuff that is tied to specific platforms in Unity, like e.g. integrating with OS native libraries. That said, most of the games we've tested with the Linux player so far (none of which were designed with Linux in mind), generally, just work.

So the short answer is: Probably little to none.

Re:How much effort is needed by the developer now? (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#40364939)

Now that the engine is ported, how much additional effort is required by the developer to make their game run on Linux? A lot? A little? I'm readily curious.

That depends on whether it really is native or just another Wine port. The latter isn't much effort, but also isn't Linux.

next: steam for linux (1)

tracius01 (2541214) | about 2 years ago | (#40362695)

cool more game for Linux! it seems that some companies in the game industry take notice of Linux and it's market

Re:next: steam for linux (2)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 2 years ago | (#40362729)

cool more game for Linux! it seems that some companies in the game industry take notice of Linux and it's market

Was that an accidental typo or very clever satire?

Re:next: steam for linux (3, Interesting)

robmv (855035) | about 2 years ago | (#40363349)

I think this trend is being forced by proprietary OS vendors, Valve should be threatened by the Windows 8 Market that is locked (for Metro applications only, for now) and the prospect of a locked down OS X. If that future of entirely lock down stores arrive, Steam will be dead soon. That is the only reason they are looking for an exit on the Linux market.

Re:next: steam for linux (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#40363523)

It would be especially funny if Linux got a boost from software producers being worried about platform lock-in rather than users, but I think these businesses can see the future a bit more clearly than the average user who seems to think walled gardens are wonderful things. Of course, the users don't see where that extra 30% of their money is going.

Ubuntu Unity GUI finally works on Linux? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40362717)

Pics or GTFO!

Re:Ubuntu Unity GUI finally works on Linux? (1)

TheCRAIGGERS (909877) | about 2 years ago | (#40362979)

Pics or GTFO!

It said nothing of the GUI working on Linux, only that the games would.

Re:Ubuntu Unity GUI finally works on Linux? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40363651)

To clarify: The Unity Editor (the application you develop games with) will not be supported on Linux with this release.
The engine's GUI system (the feature you use to make in-game GUIs) will, of course, be supported on Linux.

Re:Ubuntu Unity GUI finally works on Linux? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40363233)

Pics or GTFO!

or vagina!

Question (1)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#40362825)

Since games like shadow gun run on Android and make use if the unity engine, want unity essentially 'ported' to Linux anyway? I mean I'm sure it is native code on Android and not just Java.

Re:Question (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 2 years ago | (#40362861)

It's not the kernel that matters. It's the userspace part. So, no, it wasn't ported to X11 desktop Linux anyway.

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40364127)

Giving fuel to RMS' arguement that it should be called GNU/Linux. Linux is a kernel, not an OS

X11/Linux (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#40364607)

X.Org X11 Server is not part of the GNU project, and in fact, a GNU system need not be running any sort of window system at all. Some comments to other Slashdot stories have convinced me that if the sense is "GUI Linux but not Android", the term "X11/Linux" is probably more accurate.

Re:Question (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#40362895)

The problem are the APIs used on Android generally don't line up to anything you normally find on non-Android Linux platforms. The entire JNI setup, for instance, isn't necessary on non-Andorid platforms. Instead you need to work through Xorg (X11) and deal with the standard *nix user space and not whatever Android supplies instead.

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40363149)

Most serious games on Android, don't use JNI except for callbacks into the Android framework. And given the state of the NDK for Android, few games require callbacks/upcalls, if any, back into the Android framework. Meaning, most of it is native C/C++ code and libraries, basically running natively on top of Linux, whereby Android simply becomes a fancy launcher.

Re:Question (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 2 years ago | (#40363201)

Ignoring the complete different graphics and audio layers and APIs that Android has versus a desktop Linux? The game code won't care but the OS-specific code that Unity uses to target the platform is not just transferable between Android and a desktop Linux.

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40363795)

Seemingly, millions of lines of code, which was formerly running on Macs and Linux, imply you don't know anything about the subject matter.

Any properly written code will abstract away most things. The things which are classicaly non-portable are things which require input and output. Most everything else is portable and is basically using Linux/POSIX.

Control doesn't always translate perfectly (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#40364635)

The things which are classicaly non-portable are things which require input and output.

Every video game requires input and output. If your gameplay is finely tuned for a keyboard or joystick, then adapting it to a completely flat touch screen isn't necessarily a trivial matter. An on-screen gamepad isn't enough because the player can't feel where the buttons are without looking, a problem known since the Intellivision [wikipedia.org]. For example, how would you adapt Super Mario Bros. to touch control? I tried playing the official Tetris® game for iPhone once, and I couldn't get even half the TPM (play speed) on it that I could get on Tetris DS.

Re:Question (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#40363829)

Graphics is the most involved and expensive part of a game engine by far. OpenGL-everywhere is huge.

Also note: it's actually OpenGL ES 2 on Android which in general a subset of OpenGL 3 rather than classic OpenGL. In short, stick to DrawArrays and friends and you're good, which you should do anyway for performance reasons.

Re:Question (4, Informative)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 years ago | (#40363017)

It's not the kernel, it's the libraries. That's really all a game engine does - it takes all the libraries and presents a simple interface to them, while integrating the asset tools (ie. model file formats, etc.)

On Windows, almost everything you need is in DirectX. Same for the XBox - it's pretty much the same library. Graphics, audio, networking, input, it's all there except a basic AI library and physics simulation.

On OS X, there's a bunch of less integrated APIs. OpenGL for the graphics, some proprietary library for input, and so on. iOS uses mostly the same libraries.

Android also uses OpenGL, but has it's own, different libraries for pretty much everything else. The same is true for the non-Microsoft consoles - either OpenGL or the OpenGL ES, and custom proprietary crap for everything else.

Linux, again, uses OpenGL. But that's about it as far as "common code". Want to tell if Mouse3 has been pressed? Need new code. Want to play a sound? New code.

Now, it's not quite as bad as it seems - most of the engine is, in fact, the "turn basic libraries into something that does all the work for you", and the renderer *is* the biggest library bit, but it's still quite a bit of work to go from Android to Linux.

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40363533)

Your post is largely incorrect.

Thanks to the availability of Android's NDK, you can develop applications which basically run directly on top of Linux. As such, most any native Linux C/C++ application and/or game which leverages OpenGL can be made to run on Android. Generally all that is involved is some glue code to allow Android to launch the application. And since the NDK has progressed nicely, for those applications which want the functionality and don't care about Dalvik/Android portability, you can basically run right on top of Linux - with some limitations.

Re:Question (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#40364785)

Thanks to the availability of Android's NDK, you can develop applications which basically run directly on top of Linux. As such, most any native Linux C/C++ application and/or game which leverages OpenGL can be made to run on Android.

He specifically pointed out that OpenGL is exposed directly. But there are other things in a game - sound, input etc - and all those have their own platform-specific APIs in Android, even with the NDK.

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40363661)

Guess what? There's common libraries that you can use, like OpenAL and SDL, that takes a lot of burden off of porting code. You can even use OpenGL code on Windows.

Re:Question (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40363679)

Nonsense. There are a lot of generic libraries for other things. First of all:
Like... you know... POSIX!!! That alone already does the whole basic OS feature range.
Like SDL for input and (simple) sound. And OpenAL for (a bit better) sound. (And the only better sound is Creative’s proprietary EAX anyway, so they can fuck themselves.)

Other than File access, graphics, sound and input, what else do you need?
Maybe OpenCL. but that's also already platform-independent.
Maybe location APIs. But those only make sense on mobile devices, and there is no dominant standard anyway, except maybe if you use Java.

So what exactly is the problem... except for wilful ignorance?

Re:Question (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 2 years ago | (#40363717)

So what exactly is the problem...

Microsoft removing all that easy cross-platform stuff in the next version of Windows :)

Re:Question (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 years ago | (#40364643)

Input. Input is the big one, because, as far as I can tell, EVERY operating system does it differently. Sure, for stuff like a web browser or text editor, you might be able to rely on relatively common stuff, but for low-latency and especially for gamepad/joystick input, there's really no good way.

Linux has SDL. Which is a bit crap, actually, so you don't use it for big-name games unless you have no better option.

Windows has DirectInput, which I believe is also used on the X360.

OS X is apparently a mess of small libraries; I wouldn't know myself, as I've had a royal bitch of a time just trying to get an IDE working on OS X.

Andoid has it's own system. iOS has it's own system. Every console has it's own, incompatible, system.

Oh, and if you're thinking the consoles give you a POSIX interface, I'd like to know what you're smoking and who your dealer is, because that must be some great stuff.

One last thing: OpenGL may *run* on Windows, but it doesn't run *well*. You generally get a 10% performance decrease just because the drivers are much worse at OpenGL than they are at Direct3D (mainly because far more games use the latter than the former (mainly because the drivers are much worse at OpenGL than they are at Direct3D (mainly because far more games use the latter than the former (ERROR: INFINITE RECURSION DETECTED)))).

Re:Question (2)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about 2 years ago | (#40364575)

Just to be clear there is a LOT that goes on under the hood beyond DX/OpenGL calls and AI.

A substantial part of an engine involves efficiently managing all of that data so only subsets of the data are getting streamed/updated at any given time.

Re:Question (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 years ago | (#40364769)

Yeah, I guess I did sort of misrepresent that. I was a bit rushed at the end there, boss was looking over my shoulder.

For an analogy /. would understand, think of a game engine as Webkit, except in full 3D, rendering millions of elements every frame (and if you EVER dip below 30FPS there will be hell to pay). Oh, and half the elements have to think for themselves, and you have to run on everything more powerful than a wristwatch, and you have to have an integrated IDE that handles large-scale level geometry, high-detail models, textures (diffuse, normal, and specular maps, for starters), and code.

And you'll need to rewrite it from scratch every 4-8 years because the new consoles came out.

For another analogy /. would enjoy, think of a game engine as being sort of like a car engine...

Article is misleading. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40362845)

At first, I, like many of you, thought, "What? It's not like Unity wasn't already on Linux and instead ran on Windows or Mac."

Then, I realized they were talking about Unity3D, an application suite and "programming" environment, not the Unity desktop environment. Can we clear that up?

Re:Article is misleading. (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#40363393)

It is not misleading, it is only misleading if you are a moron.

It should have taken you a whole 3/4 of a second to realize that it was not the Unity you expected and is instead a different Unity.

Re:Article is misleading. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40363669)

Can't tell if trolling or truly stupid...

Re:Article is misleading. (2)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#40364243)

Lets say that there is an article about Ford's term as Vice-President. Just because you thought about the motor company first that doesn't make the article misleading.

Re:Article is misleading. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40364665)

That's not the same at all.

The article used the name 'Unity,' not the title 'Unity 3D' (the official title of the software described in the article).

It is misleading.

Re:Article is misleading. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40364827)

No it's not. That's the name of their domain name. Their product is just "Unity" -- So no, it's not misleading.

Re:Article is misleading. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40363759)

And this is why the Ubuntu jerks named the product this way. They're trying to get respectability by riding on the coattails of a respectable company via customer confusion. This is the same reason rip-off companies that make counterfeit products always copy the packaging and look of the company they're trying to steal from. As always, it's the end user that suffers because of these scammers.

Gnome + Ubuntu (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40362877)

I thought this was another "gnome 3 is horrible" post. It's so horrible that after a few releases it NOW supports Linux.

This makes Unity more cross-platform than Flash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40362943)

nt

Unity compatibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40363181)

Is Unity compatible with Ubuntu Unity? Does one allow to kill the other?

haet those guys (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about 2 years ago | (#40363527)

The community needs to, err, unify Unity and Unity if we're ever going to advance the cause.
Except for UNITY. splitters !

Re:Unity compatibility (1)

Molt (116343) | about 2 years ago | (#40365079)

Recently I've been developing applications using the Unity game engine whilst working on the server back-end on an Ubuntu VMWare virtual machine, running Unity while having Unity via Unity did feel strange.

AAA games ... for free! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40363227)

It's so nice to see the Linux community persuade the major game companies to port all their big titles over to Linux - and not charge any money for them either.

This will surely tip Linux desktop usage over the critical "1%" milestone. With Apple at 5% and Microsoft with perhaps even more market share, gaming has never been so diverse. I'm betting that Nintendo will cancel their new console so that they can focus on Linux exclusives - Mario Tux Racer FTW!

Re:AAA games ... for free! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40363477)

Humble Indie Bundle. Nuff said.

Re:AAA games ... for free! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40363507)

Apparently, Polyphony has just announced Gran Turismo as a Linux-only title - the preview is already up on Youtube: GT6 [youtube.com]

Fina-fuckin-ly! The year of Linux on the desktop. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40363569)

Which means Linux will be dead. (Because Joe Retard's idea of an ideal OS, which is an appliance that thinks for him, while he drools on the floor, is the complete opposite of a full computer with an efficient human-computer interface that is used for automating *your* work away.) Long live Linux!

DirectX takes one in the nads (-1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#40363737)

One more wall of fortress Microsoft crumbles. Game devs finally notice the way the wind is blowing, a DirextX-only strategy is suicide. OpenGL won and soon only the shrinking PC segment and money losing XBox will be left waving the DirectX flag. It's about time.

Re:DirectX takes one in the nads (2)

PerfectionLost (1004287) | about 2 years ago | (#40364339)

Honestly, I don't see how XBox could be losing money with the annual subscription. That said, I won't be renewing my subscription the second time around. I was really hoping windows media center would be a good thing for, you know, media. But as it turns out it blows, so I'm going to build a mini-atx computer to replace it.

Re:DirectX takes one in the nads (3, Insightful)

flimflammer (956759) | about 2 years ago | (#40364889)

Are you being serious? Studios will continue to not target Linux for the foreseeable future and generally remain DirectX only. Unity of all things isn't going to change this. A DirectX only strategy is not "suicide" when the broad majority of your target user base uses DirectX. But really, you were probably just trolling or seriously delusional anyway.

Re:DirectX takes one in the nads (1)

Molt (116343) | about 2 years ago | (#40365095)

Today Unity3D also announced that the next major release of the Unity game engine (Unity 4.0) will allow the developers to target DX11, I really don't think they're trying to affect DX/OpenGL so much as do what their customers want.

I knew it!! (3, Funny)

rikasa (1760376) | about 2 years ago | (#40364053)

I knew Linux could not be responsible for such a Desktop travesty! I wonder how much Shuttleworth was receiving to take the rap??

Yay, we can move to Linux! (1)

dubbreak (623656) | about 2 years ago | (#40364319)

We run Unity for an embedded gaming solution (electronic gaming, think slots and similar machines). When I approached Unity at G2E they said they had it working on Linux (I suspect IGT or another big player in class 3 asked for it) but it wasn't released to the general masses. Linux is so much easier to manage than the alternatives and is much more cost effective.

This also means you can run Unity games on the RaspberryPi or similar. Can't wait to make myself a Unity arcade cabinet based off the Pi or Rikomagic.

Re:Yay, we can move to Linux! (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#40364463)

This also means you can run Unity games on the RaspberryPi or similar.

When was the last time a closed source proprietary applicaiton was released for ARM Linux? You will get the architectures they deem profitable to support, no more, no less.

Great Day! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40364517)

How wonderful! All 30 of the people who play games on Teh Lunix will be overjoyed! Sadly, only 2 of them actually buy software. But hey, I'm sure those numbers are very compelling for software devs to support Teh Lunix!

Re:Great Day! (1)

Molt (116343) | about 2 years ago | (#40365099)

From reading the Unity forums it seems the customers are quite interested in the Linux support, they've seen the success of the Humble Bundle and want to see if they can manage anything similar themselves.

Kerbal Space Program (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40364569)

Hopefully this means we'll be seeing a nice flood of Unity games that have been waiting for the Linux support like Kerbal Space Program.

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