Ryan "icculus" Gordon Says Linux Viable Gaming Platform

by Ostatic Staff - Sep. 28, 2013

In an interview Friday Ryan Gordon talked with Kris Graft of www.gamasutra.com about Linux gaming development. With so many notable quotes available, it's difficult to pick just one for the teaser. The central theme of Gordon's responses is that Linux is a viable platform for gaming - more now than ever.

Graft asked the famed developer what it would take for Linux to become a more viable gaming platform for players and developers and Gordon responded, "You're seeing it happen right now." He said three major events have converged to create the perfect opportunity for Linux to advance. He said:

* Humble Bundle keeps proving that Linux users exist and will throw hard-earned money down for games.

* Unity3D made it possible to target Linux pretty trivially, even for developers that don't know much (or anything) about Linux, so really interesting games are showing up without much engineering overhead.

* Valve shipped a Steam Linux client, and games are slowing trickling in...and that trickle has been accelerating. It'll be interesting to see what happens now with SteamOS.

In response to another question Gordon said it's easier to port to Linux from Mac than Windows because a lot of the "heaving lifting" is already done with the "working OpenGL renderer." He said Linux is a draw for folks because one doesn't (usually) "get trapped in a paradigm shift like, say, what happened when moving from Windows 7 to Windows 8." But a lot of conversation revolved around Steam.

Gordon thinks Valve's release of the Steam Client for Linux was probably the boost in the arm Linux gaming needed. With that came the two necessary ingredients and that is "money and games." Gordon is even expecting more porting work as a result. See the full interview for more.