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Leadwerks for Linux: 30% reached in first 48 hours
by Josh Klint on 06/19/13 10:34:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

I'm writing this as we're a few dollars away from the mythic 30% target that has been claimed to be a "tipping point" past which Kickstarter campaigns reach critical mass.  I'm not going to go into any detail about that because I don't want to jinx it, but so far I am blown away by the response.  We put this up Sunday in advance of contacting bloggers, so nobody really knew about it the first day.  It's Tuesday morning and we're presently at 29%.

I've heard a number of people point out that putting Leadwerks on Linux would be the last tool they need to ditch Windows completely and move over to Linux.  I myself am sort of platform-agnostic, and don't really get into the politics of different operating systems.  However, the response we're getting with this campaign is making me realize something new.

It's arguable that Microsoft has been a poor custodian of PC gaming.  They haven't done much to support OpenGL, instead trying to push everyone into their own proprietary graphics API, DirectX.  The problem with DirectX is it only runs on Windows and XBox, and it completely changes every few years, so developers have to rewrite all their rendering code.  OpenGL has all the same functionality, it's stable, and it runs on everything (except XBox and Surface).

The second problem with PC gaming on Windows is that Microsoft has a fundamental conflict of interest because they own a closed gaming platform, the XBox.  Closed platforms are bad for developers because it can be expensive to push out game patches.  The creator of Fez famously declared they would not be patching a known bug, because it would have cost an amount rumored to be around $40,000.  It's bad for consumers because they don't get access to the same range of indie titles an open platform like Linux or the upcoming SteamBox can get.  In addition, recent restrictions for the new XBox One have been announced that threaten the ability to lend games and may make the system "un-future-proof" (is there a real word for that?).

Given these problems, it seems logical to us that PC gaming on Linux would grow quickly.  Linux has faster OpenGL performance than Windows or Mac, and there's none of the "dueling APIs" issues and conflicts of interest Windows has.  Thanks in part to Valve, the graphics drivers are now really solid.  We have an optional distribution system through Steam.  It's really got everything we need.  So I am very optimistic about the future of PC gaming on Linux, and am really happy to be a part of this movement.

The next step is for us to keep spreading the word and reaching out to publications so that we can make sure the target goal is met.  Your help is appreciated.  You guys are making quite a buzz on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook!

To all our backers, thank you so much for sharing our vision for Linux gaming.  I'm really excited to be working on this and glad I can deliver something the PC gaming community really needs right now. 


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