Personally I don't think Valve will be port their games to Linux they just want to get Steam on it. There have been a few games released to Steam and Linux(if you bought the boxed Windows version). They might want to support Linux just for Steam so they could bring in more revenue from that and encourage any game maker who wants their games available on Steam to know that what ever platform they want to support Steam will support it as well.
The other thought is that Valve might have lost some deals selling the Half-Life 2 engine for use in the other games(id software and Epic make most of their money though licensing their engines to other companies) because their engine only supports Windows and finally realize that its in their best interest to support as many platforms as possible.
Porting only Steam (a means to deliver... and run) doesn't make much sense to me, without actual content. Of course it could send a message to companies making Linux games that they could deliver their games through/with Steam for Linux too, become a Linux game publisher. Again that doesn't make much sense without actual content to back that up, so they must have something up their sleeve...
As mentioned earlier, porting Hal-Life 1 would be the easiest starting point, as the game already runs in OpenGL, and they could do it using SDL instead of DirectDraw for the window and audio functions, the could theoretically do it fast (a few months) and with relative ease... Start harvesting the "Linux farm" with this (and I do believe that there would be more than a handful of users willing to buy HL1 if finally ported over to Linux, even if it is through Steam, me included), and then really focus to the harder port of the Source Engine.
Remember the Source Engine and HL2 leak of a few years ago? Many that reviewed the code, said that the infrastructure to make the game multiplatform and multirenderer was already in place, and much of the engine had already been ported (since the servers are basically game clients without the graphics), and preliminary OpenGL rendering path was there... Maybe they stalled the OpenGL renderer, but if all else is true (and that is a BIG FAT if) about the multiplatform support and server and a preliminary OpenGL renderer, it might not be such a hard thing to do... It might even be slimmer, if they only had to deliver one set of textures instead of the three sets HL2 currently has (DX7, DX8 and DX9 specific textures), instead releasing only one or at most two sets of S3TC textures and normal "ugly-low-res-uncompressed" textures.
It is still nonetheless an interesting finding, and here we are, speculating all over it.
Wow! For me, the only reason to have windows is to run CS:S, if they really port it to linux I can finally remove win from my box. This would be great!
steam is already ported to linux.Quote:
Porting only Steam (a means to deliver... and run) doesn't make much sense to me, without actual content.
( http://gentoo-portage.com/games-server/halflife-steam ; take it as a proof )
some steam games come with linux dedicated server software (e.g. HL2 has linux server binary, but no game executables are ported)
maybe that's what they mean - they want an extra developer to develop dedicated server software for linux, as usual?
People want to see this in Linux:
Before everyone goes off into too much of enthusiasm, there are some things to consider:
There will definatly be no results of this within one or two weeks. No idea when this job offer was posted, but it is at least two weeks ago because google cache version is dated august 28th. Until anyone is employed it will probably at least take two or three month from the date the offer was put online. Until any real results will emerge from this I would say it takes another three to four months because the "new one" has to get used to any code he gets. There will be no "oh, here is the code" - "give me one hour and you will have the HL2 Linux binary". Stuff like this will take quite some time. I don't expect any real results of this job offer before next spring/summer.
Looking at the job offer steam *will* be part of it at least for distribution. I don't think they will do something like "Half Life 1 - Linux Edition" since I could imagine that quite many users would be upset about this if they had to pay additionally for a game they already bought as Windows version (probably many of us do have it as such...).
It is more likely that they will try to get their engine itself working better on multiplatform. In short: If something works on Linux it is not too far from working in general on gaming consoles because you at least tend to have a rather working interface and adding different backends is a lot easier as if you are using hardcoded DirectX-only stuff.
Once an opengl render path is implemented not too many additions have to be made to have the engine work nicely on MacOSX/Linux/PS3/... and especially Mac and Linux are gaining quite a market share in the last months. Linux thanks to big companies like Dell and Lenovo who do/will offer Linux preinstalled (not to forget many people not liking Vista and looking for other ways to get eyecandy without having to use Vista...) and MacOSX due to the switch to Intel, their massive promotion and "ease of use" (OSX "just works" and has quite many of the tools that I learned to love from Linux though it really lacks a package manager...).
If Valve will really offer their own games as Linux version (this will be needed to make other Studios believe that the engine is really multi-platform) it will probably give gaming on Linux a really nice boost. Maybe eventually Blizzard will support Linux with a native version *dream*...
I do agree with you about it being a large boost, companies will see that there is indeed a market. Why will they see that? Well, theres a good ol thing called the Steam Survey where it takes all the information of your system and uploads it. This will show statistics of how many steam users are actually using Linux, meaning, there will be some actual evidence of how big or small the Linux market really is.
Heres the steam survey as it is now:
Could be interesting to see Linux on there. Hehe.
90.33 % of users are running Windows XP
7.99 % are running Vista
Heh... There's very likely to be some very nice things on the horizon for Linux Gaming within the next 6 months or so. I can't say what (NDAs...always fun with what you can/can't say...) but if the deals close, there should be at least a few happy campers.