Interstellar Marines gets some offical answers.

Well Linux gamers Phyrefli from the PR team at Zero Point Software spoke today to let Linux gamers know what is going on with this Kickstarted title and how far along the Linux Client is. Still no offical solid date but he says that it will be early this year.

Absolutely. We’ve mentioned this a few times in this thread, we’re planning on releasing a Linux version during the first half of this year. We’re still on track for doing that, so everything is going according to plan from that point of view. If it looks like we’ll slip on that we’ll let the community know ASAP, but at the moment it’s looking good. So that’s the “official” response.

Now let me tell you what’s been going on behind the scenes.

First of all there’s a few things I’d like to make clear. We want linux support in as soon as possible. Why? Because it makes you guys happy, it stops Bozar and myself nagging the dev team to get it done and because it will also increase sales. Since we’re not in the habit of shooting ourselves in the foot (Indiegala not withstanding), it’s easy to figure out we would need to have some pretty compelling reasons for not having linux in right now. So anyone who thinks we’re holding linux support back just for the heck of it is, well, lets say uninformed and leave it at that.

So why’s it not in?

Before I start this let me specify I’m not a dev, so I’m relaying info here. Originally there were two reasons we didn’t have linux support in. The first was uLink, the network library we use, was not linux compatible. The second was we had no support system in place to support linux. uLink is now linux compatible, so that’s removed that blockage. That left no support system in place for linux.

To put this into context, we currently support PCs and Macs. Whenever we get a tech support ticket in I’m the person who responds to it. Now if I see a PC bug I can quickly jump in game and test it, and over the past months I’ve collected a list of PC bug fixes I can recommend to users that fix about 99% of problems. If there’s something I can’t handle I pass it up to the devs.

The situation is different with Macs. I do not have a Mac here (I’m based in Spain out of a home office) but the guys have some Macs in the office in Denmark. So if we get a Mac-specific tech support issue in, and it’s not one of the ones we have a workaround for, I have to immediately send it to the devs. They can test it and fix it. They’ve also been working with Macs for some time so they have experience of how to handle them.

Now for linux we have none of that. None of us are too familiar with it, we have no linux boxes either here or in Denmark to test on. If we release a linux version we need to make sure we have the ability to test and support it. You can imagine what would happen if we released a linux version of Interstellar Marines with no tech support available to fix bugs…..

So a few weeks ago I suggested I buy a linux box here, get familiar with it and then we have at least a basic linux tech support available. The idea being that would allow us to release a linux version, and if it did encounter any serious issues the devs in Denmark could VPN into my box and use that for testing (or just simply get their own). That’s when I learned that the wrapper we use for Steamworks is not currently linux compatible. It would have to be re-written to work with linux. To say I groaned would be an understatement.

The good news

Is that we had quite a talk about linux when I was up in Denmark last week and it’s something we all agree would help us. It will not be in the next update, but there is a definite push internally to get it done when possible. I know that doesn’t necessarily help you guys in terms of giving a specific date, which is why right at the start of this post I said we’re still on track for the first half of this year.

Anyway, I hope that lifts the lid a bit on what happens inside ZPS 🙂

/ Phyrefli
Community & PR Team

When NoXPhasma mentions that there are alot of seasoned Linux users who can help speed up testing for Linux. Here is how Phyrefli responded.

Thanks, and we will 🙂 Eventually Bozar wants to get a dedicated playtesting group together from the community some time in the future, so that’s something we’ll also be looking to you guys to help on as well 🙂

I definitely want to get in on some testing as I like seeing how a product is progressing on Linux but that is me.
Now it is up to you if you want to pick up a early copy but I am going to wait until a actual release date is set for the Linux release. Game On.

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