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  1. Location
    Norfolk, England
    Posts
    74

    Linux Web Player?

    Given that OTEE are strongly emphasising the possibilities for using Unity to create web based games, can we expect support for a web based player for Linux in the near future?

    Thesedays there seems to be more and more demand for PCs to be pre-installed with Linux, and whilst there may still be a low demand for a desktop based Unity player for Linux, I think a web based player would be popular.

    I am only interested in creating games that are truly cross-platform and the lack of a Linux player would, at the moment, stop me from using Unity.

  2. Unity Product Evangelist
    Location
    San Francisco CA USA
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    6,186

    Re: Linux Web Player?

    Quote Originally Posted by adshead
    Given that OTEE are strongly emphasising the possibilities for using Unity to create web based games, can we expect support for a web based player for Linux in the near future?
    Near future? No, not likely... That's not to say you won't ever see a Linux player but you definitely won't see any such thing in the near future in particular. Obviously continued platform expansion is in our interest and Linux in particular seems to be the next desktop platform in line for consideration. But even without a Linux player we still see huge possibilities for web based games creation targeting Mac and Windows users as those are far and away the dominant platforms in use by online/casual game consumers.


    Quote Originally Posted by adshead
    Thesedays there seems to be more and more demand for PCs to be pre-installed with Linux, and whilst there may still be a low demand for a desktop based Unity player for Linux, I think a web based player would be popular.

    I am only interested in creating games that are truly cross-platform and the lack of a Linux player would, at the moment, stop me from using Unity.
    While it's true that the Linux user-base continues to grow I'm honestly a bit puzzled as to why you'd opt to ignore Unity for that reason alone. Unity is so powerful and robust and it lets you target the _vast_ majority of users (Mac/Win) that it seems odd (to me, your mileage may vary) that you'd choose to bypass everything it does for what is arguably the smallest game consumer segment out there*. If you don't mind sharing more of your thoughts I'd appreciate hearing why you are inclined to take such a strong stance in this situation.


    *Smallest doesn't imply it's not growing, it's just that as of today it's nowhere near as large as the Mac/Win user base for games.
    Tom Higgins - Product Evangelist at Unity Technologies ApS
    unity3d.com | answers | blogs | feedback


  3. Location
    NE Ohio, USA
    Posts
    7,173
    It seems to me that Linux is the only OS not headed by arrogant jerks. I like it for several reasons, but I could never use it myself given the current state of things. I do hope that more decent people, like the OTEE guys, create things that work with Linux, so I can eventually make the switch.


  4. Posts
    5,283
    There must be a connection between *heads and linux. "adshead" asked for it like "madhead", ... i'm sure i missed some heads.
    Attached Images  


  5. Location
    Huntington Beach, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,057
    I think an easy way to pose the issue of Linux support is, do you want to use Unity in lieu of Shockwave3D or Flash?

    I proposed a Unity-based project to a friend of mine who runs a web site - he liked Unity's capabilities (and I used to work with him on high-end CG tools), but the first time he tried to run my web demos was with Linux, and currently he is inclined to play it safe with Flash's cross-platform reach (Linux, and maybe mobile devices) and the fact that Flash isn't going away anytime soon. In particular, he's intrigued by Flash 3D possibilities such as:

    http://osflash.org/papervision3d

    From my perspective, I would love to try building an entire web site experience in Unity as people do with Flash, but with just Mac and Windows support, I just can't leave Linux users with a blank page. So I limit my projects to the type of embedded 3D web players that I would have used Shockwave for a few years ago, trying to make use of the physics engine and hardware-accelerated graphics that you don't get with Flash.


  6. Location
    Norfolk, England
    Posts
    74
    I'm not particularly a fan of Linux (I use windows by day and OS X at home) but if I am building things for the web then I just think it should be accessible by anyone using the web regardless of what operating system they use - particularly if I am accessing something in a browser that runs across all platforms (eg Firefox)

    And, if market size dictates the platforms supported I'm a bit puzzled why OTEE developed the Unity tool for OS X rather than windows? In doing so they have alienated the biggest market of game developers out there.

    We all have our platforms of choice - but I prefer to let the user decide their platform rather than my game dictating that to them.

    But I don't want to get into a flame war - I just wanted to know the answer to my original question, which I now have


  7. Posts
    5,283
    Reality bites you here...

    Flash in comparison is easy to port as there is simply no hardware acceleration. Linux and 3d is horrible (drivers, distributions, ...) if you're not only after some basic stuff. The time you have to invest to get this done right isn't worth the effort at this point. There are far more important things to be done first.

    But if you're after some kickass crossplatform engine (win, osx, ps3, Xbox360) you might want to check out some of these videos www.gametrailers.com/player/23179.html although you need some extra $ ;O)

  8. Unity Product Evangelist
    Location
    San Francisco CA USA
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    6,186
    Quote Originally Posted by adshead
    And, if market size dictates the platforms supported I'm a bit puzzled why OTEE developed the Unity tool for OS X rather than windows? In doing so they have alienated the biggest market of game developers out there.
    Historical reasons. OTEE was born a game company and the guys all preferred to use Macs, so the tool grew from there. Going forward we are most definitely interested in adding Windows authoring into the mix, we have a job listing posted on our site for a Windows GUI developer:

    Jobs at OTEE


    Believe me, I understand the desire to have the platform support be as broad as possible but Linux is still a finicky beast. As Taumel indicated, things 3D-related aren't quite so stable and clear and all times and it is still far and away the smallest user base (so the cost to benefit ratio isn't there just yet). But no matter what, as I said above, we are keen on exploring new platforms and so we'll keep Linux on the radar as part of our future plans if/when it becomes an appropriate move for us.
    Tom Higgins - Product Evangelist at Unity Technologies ApS
    unity3d.com | answers | blogs | feedback


  9. Posts
    5,283
    I wonder why this position (Windows GUI programmer) hasn't filled out already as it has been around for quite some time now...


  10. Location
    NE Ohio, USA
    Posts
    7,173
    Quote Originally Posted by taumel
    I wonder why this position (Windows GUI programmer) hasn't filled out already as it has been around for quite some time now...
    Obviously, nobody who uses Windows cares about having a decent GUI.

  11. Unity Product Evangelist
    Location
    San Francisco CA USA
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    6,186
    We've been too held up with Unity 2.0 to do much about this, but we have some excellent candidates lined up.
    Tom Higgins - Product Evangelist at Unity Technologies ApS
    unity3d.com | answers | blogs | feedback


  12. Posts
    890
    Quote Originally Posted by HiggyB
    Quote Originally Posted by adshead
    And, if market size dictates the platforms supported I'm a bit puzzled why OTEE developed the Unity tool for OS X rather than windows? In doing so they have alienated the biggest market of game developers out there.
    Historical reasons. OTEE was born a game company and the guys all preferred to use Macs, so the tool grew from there.
    Didn't Joachim start the engine on his own in highschool? I'm guessing he was on a Mac when he started. That probably influenced why OTEE chose Macs as well.

  13. Administrator
    Location
    Unity San Francisco
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    1,093
    We chose Macs because we loved them, and then Unity was heavily influenced by the Mac philosophy of making things useful in as nice way as possible.

    Things go in circles like that

    d.


  14. Posts
    2
    Hi, I happen to be a Linux user. Web games are pretty much the only games I play, but I do play them quite often between compiles. They're really addicting.
    Flash luckily supports Linux, so virtually all web games are playable to me.
    Why doesn't Unity follow that trend?

    I sincerely hope that one day you will.

    And if this is taken one step further and the player gets made open source, the games will suddenly become playable on almost every platform to which someone is willing to compile it to, such as cellphones, PDA, handheld gaming consoles, .....


  15. Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    79
    I received a user complaint on a website I was working on a while back, which sent me straight to my server logs. It would be great to say that I could justify the additional planning, development and testing to accommodate the bloke, but it wasn't viable given time and testing budget constraints.

    Unless they are so 733t they are sliping by undetected, they have not been interested in anything my clients sell in any quantity that could be considered a target ("paying") market. This does match the available market research which indicates that Linux users have no dress sense, smell funny and always wear unfashionable glasses.

    In closing, if they're so tight they won't fork out for a more fashionable operating system, there's little sense in trying to sell them shiny bl1ng ;


  16. Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    984
    @Proto: only, he was discussing web-based games which are often ad-supported. Plus, Linux is flashier every day. At this time, however, I don't really support spreading out the support further.
    "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." - Wizard of Oz


  17. Posts
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by Proto
    I received a user complaint on a website I was working on a while back, which sent me straight to my server logs. It would be great to say that I could justify the additional planning, development and testing to accommodate the bloke, but it wasn't viable given time and testing budget constraints.

    Unless they are so 733t they are sliping by undetected, they have not been interested in anything my clients sell in any quantity that could be considered a target ("paying") market. This does match the available market research which indicates that Linux users have no dress sense, smell funny and always wear unfashionable glasses.

    In closing, if they're so tight they won't fork out for a more fashionable operating system, there's little sense in trying to sell them shiny bl1ng ;
    What is Unity then for you: you speak about nothing but sales. Is Unity a tool that allows gamers to play games in their browser, or is it a thing meant to make money so that linux is excluded because it makes no money in your opinion? In the first case, would be nice to support the Linux gamers. In the last case: I hope that your money bringers will prove Linux to be a viable target. More Linux gamers in browser = more ad revenues.


  18. Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    79
    I try to impose limitations on technology targets that are weighed against expected return for the client. As an example of what I mean: if a particular client has no business requirement for developing a Linux market for their site then Linux planning, dev and *especially* Linux testing become low priorities. For web projects server logs help ballpark the expected return (could be measured in customer goodwill, traffic generated ad revenue, sales etc) of a particular market subgroup. I find that comparing cost of implementation with expected return helps me be objective and decide whether I should be supporting customer choice of platform and browser. I also find it helps me cost and scope projects more effectively.

    Actually while I'm on the subject of platform testing vs cost I have a question for Unity web game devs... Will your test plans be identical for Windows and Mac with Unity browser-based games? To what extent can you assume common interpretation in the Unity Player and does this reduce your testing requirements?


  19. Posts
    1

    need it like a hole in the head

    As a long time GNU/Linux user, I think Unity is a very “pretty” platform. Though outside of my mild disappointment in not being able to play “a” (one) game that requires Unity...I'd say it's impact is of little to no consequence to the GNU/Linux community. Support for GNU/Linux or not, ultimately Unity is just one more platform in an already crowded market. I'll wait to see which platforms win wider adoption before I start crying about lackluster GNU/Linux support. I do have a question in the mean time; At which point do you see end users becoming fed up with having an infinite number of plug-ins and players installed on their system just to get access to content? Has that possibility even entered into calculations regarding the long term sustainability of your application?

  20. Keyboard operator

    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    2,929

    Re: need it like a hole in the head

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPopper
    As a long time GNU/Linux user, I think Unity is a very “pretty” platform. Though outside of my mild disappointment in not being able to play “a” (one) game that requires Unity...I'd say it's impact is of little to no consequence to the GNU/Linux community. Support for GNU/Linux or not, ultimately Unity is just one more platform in an already crowded market. I'll wait to see which platforms win wider adoption before I start crying about lackluster GNU/Linux support. I do have a question in the mean time; At which point do you see end users becoming fed up with having an infinite number of plug-ins and players installed on their system just to get access to content? Has that possibility even entered into calculations regarding the long term sustainability of your application?
    Cheerful. Do you have anything constructive to add?
    Emil "AngryAnt" Johansen

    Game developer, AI specialist, Unity expert
    Freelancer, ex Unity Technologies

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