Valve's Lessons Learned: Porting Source Engine to Linux

Porting Source to Linux: Valve's Lessons Learned

Representatives from the team at Valve take a look at the difficulties they went through in porting the Source game engine to Linux. They discuss various tools they used to do the port, and how switching from DirectX to OpenGL was difficult but may be a hidden gem for game developers.

They state, unequivocally, that OpenGL has most if not all of the capabilities of the current versions of DirectX, and yet newer versions of OpenGL are fully functional on older computers- like the 38.73% of computers still running Windows XP. Someone running a newer GPU on an older OS would still be able to experience the benefits of a modern gaming engine, but wouldn't have to go through the trials and travails of upgrading their operating system and reinstalling all of their software in order to merely upgrade their game visuals. Using OpenGL instead of DirectX will also make it easier to port to other platforms (like OSX and Linux), and further down the road, porting to mobile.

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  • ryu750
    The only thing that keeps me using windows is my games.
  • Dreadteir
    I rather thought the interesting point here was that OpenGL has most of the features of modern versions of DirectX. If programming engines in OpenGL were to go mainstream, users would rarely, if ever, be held hostage by Microsoft's "You'll have to upgrade to the latest version of Windows if you want the newest version of DirectX" attitude.

    All the new shiny graphics, now available on Windows XP!! (For those of you who prefer it)
  • Other Comments
  • atavax
    what is the camera man doing?
  • edogawa
    I think people hype Linux to much, it's great, but it's terrible for normal consumer use and fragmented. I still see no benefit to using Linux over windows except for commercial uses.

    Gotta give Valve credit for their work though, it's a step in the right direction.
  • kentlowt
    LOL why not just turn off the video and make it just audio...

    This story really isn't about linux as it is making a product that is easier to port to different platforms and that is something the openGL gives them.