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Valve Continues Recruiting Top Linux Talent 167

Posted by Soulskill
from the year-of-linux-on-the-gametop dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Valve Software, in their Linux Steam / Source Engine effort, plus the rumored Steam Box, is continuing to hire top Linux developers. So far they have poached the lead developers of the DarkPlaces open-source engine used by Nexuiz/Xonotic, the founder of Battle for Wesnoth, and just yesterday they hired Sam latinga, creator of Simple DirectMedia Layer. According to Michael Larabel, they are still trying to hire more Linux kernel developers, driver experts, and other 'extremely talented Linux developers.'"
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Valve Continues Recruiting Top Linux Talent

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  • by masternerdguy (2468142) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @06:00PM (#40651335)
    Hope they port all those -games- to linux. A Linux Steam client isn't enough.
    • Re:Vale Linux (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Shikaku (1129753) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @06:05PM (#40651367)

      First party (Valve) games are a given since they all support OpenGL to work on the Mac.

      It's up to the game developer to support Linux however.

      • Re:Vale Linux (Score:5, Interesting)

        by miknix (1047580) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @06:19PM (#40651455) Homepage

        I repeat what I said before in another post:

        Not only that but if you think on it, Valve can actually create a dedicated gaming platform using Linux (with dedicated hardware or not). Steam on Linux might just be the entry point for it.

        http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2896153&cid=40218485 [slashdot.org]

        This increasing interest of Valve on hiring Linux based platform developers seems to be going in that way.. : )

        • by Sark666 (756464)

          The only motive where this makes sense to me is because of a dedicated platform using linux. Valve's a great company, but I don't think they'd port to linux just cause 'it's a good thing' to quote John Carmack on his motives for having linux versions of past games. Sadly, even id doesn't do that anymore. What other motive could there be? it's not like the linux market share is growing.

          What might make more sense is port steam and these games to android and sell them on the market, but that goes against

          • Re:Vale Linux (Score:5, Insightful)

            by SurfsUp (11523) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @12:32AM (#40653319)

            I don't think they'd port to linux just cause 'it's a good thing' to quote John Carmack on his motives for having linux versions of past games. Sadly, even id doesn't do that anymore.

            John played his part admirably, both in providing the open community with several lovely, pragmatic examples of high performance 3D engine design and in preventing Microsoft from killing off OpenGL as a gaming platform. I think that's enough. We ought to be able to take it from here.

          • by DingerX (847589) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @05:27AM (#40654327) Journal
            Let's face it, there are three things keeping Microsoft's OS in business: the Office ecosystem, games and people who spent their whole lives learning one way of doing thing, and don't want to change. Everything else not only can be done better by someone else, but is being done better by someone else.

            With every new OS release, Microsoft themselves screw the people who fear change. Office is still the cash cow, but between LibreOffice and the Googlighting Stranger, their desktop suite is only a few years ahead. I can't comment on Sharepoint and Exchange, so I'll concede they probably play a major role in many businesses, and that many of those same businesses have no interest in Windows 8 Metro. Finally, there's games. Games, and DirectX games, was the reason to buy Windows. Hell, it's the reason I run it. But, in the heavily politicized corporate environment of Microsoft, games have a problem, and that problem is spelled XBOX. So we get abominations like MS GameZone, Games For Windows Live and Games for Windows Marketplace, or whatever they're calling it now. The Xbox people can't have windows cannibalize their games. This is how Microsoft lost to Linux in the HTPC battle: an Xbox belongs in the living room, not a Windows Box. Things have gotten so bad, the other players in the industry have their own Microsoft-Free [pcgamingalliance.org] group to promote gaming.

            So Valve brings on board a developer with demonstrated skills in making cross-platform gaming tools. If they were able to produce a set of tools that allowed games to be developed and easily ported between the various full flavors of Linux, Mac, PC and Android, worked on Chrome OS, and connected to the largest online game delivery platform in business, well, wouldn't that be cool?

            Don't worry, they'll probably do something less ambitious and more profitable.
      • Yes but if game developers start supporting Linux what reason will there be for Microsoft and Apple's software division?

      • Aye; I know that Stardock (Sins of a Solar Empire) doesn't have any Linux plans at this point.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 14, 2012 @06:06PM (#40651375)

      See, I just enjoy Steam for the community. The games are really secondary to what is a top notch social network and built in chat program.

    • by symbolset (646467) *
      Well, what about a Valve console? Something like Tegra Wayne 4 cores @2GHz, plus 16 GPU cores with XBMC or Android. Would we buy that?
      • by Guspaz (556486)

        That's more or less what Ouya is already trying to do, although scaled down a bit.

        • by Junta (36770)

          Actually, the likelihood would be that Valve would do an x86 based solution with a higher end graphics solution. It will cost more, but it will accomodate the market segment of high end games from big name studios and such that Tegra won't compete with (due to power envelope).

          Ouya would aim for cheap and high commonality with tablets and cell phones, which have much tighter power and cost constraints. You'll likely see more interesting independent works on Ouya.

          • by Guspaz (556486)

            Ouya is definitely aiming for something smaller, sure. People underestimate what you can do with that sort of hardware when it's a fixed platform (the thing has almost as much power as a 360), but it's never going to be considered high-end hardware.

            That's not to say that you can't do higher end similar hardware. You throw an eight-core Cortex A15 with an eight-core Mali-T658 at a problem, and you're going to have some decent performance. It'll use an unprecedented amount of power for an ARM SoC, but it's wi

          • Also, if Valve wants to include an Android environment and make a Valve section of Android games, guess what, it's easier to run ARM transcoding on x86 by miles than it is to try AAA titles on ARM even with 16 Tegra grade GPUs.

            Part of me really hopes Intel will see the light and open source libhoudini and related libraries for ARM transcoding on x86.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        If it's not tivoised and there's nothing stopping me from removing Steam from it, and it comes at a good price, and it does indeed run XBMC on Android or on Linux itself, then sure, I would buy that. It sounds like a very attractive package. Steam poops on First Sale, though, so poop on Steam.

    • Re:Vale Linux (Score:5, Interesting)

      by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Saturday July 14, 2012 @08:50PM (#40652401) Journal

      A MUCH smarter move would be to back some of that giant Valve money truck over to the ReactOS guys. Lets face it folks DirectX won years ago because the kronos group cared more about CAD than they did 3D gaming, but if Valve can get a stable Dx11 running on Linux then they can just do an end run around MSFT, and the ReactOS idea is a good one.

      Imagine a gaming Linux that was "clicky clicky" simple when it came to things like drivers without being beholden to MSFT and their retarded dreams of being Apple? Hell if MSFT would have given XP X64 the support they should have most folks would have probably been happy to stay on XP, as RAM limits was the thing that pushed many over and now that they are gonna try to ram a stupid appstore down everyone's throat having an OS that'll run DirectX that valve can control would be a smart move.

      Like it or not folks OpenGL just isn't as good as DirectX, its too hacky with all the extensions and its just not been given the love like it had in the late 90s when it looked like it had a shot at the title. if you were to suggest getting rid of kronos and focusing on gaming again? I'd be ALL for it, but it looks like OpenGL is gonna be for the CAD guys more than the gamers. If you really want decent gaming support you'r either gonna have to get both GPU manufacturers to focus a hell of a lot more on OpenGL or you're gonna need DirectX support, simple as that.

      • Erm... why, exactly, is OpenGL not up to the task? TF2 in DX9 mode on Wine looked* the same as it did on in Windows with native DirectX, though slightly slower... which is understandable due to the realtime translation being done.

        (*Until the Pyromania update broke that feature)

        • by Nemyst (1383049)

          Need it be pointed out that DX9 is getting rather long in the tooth and should thus not be considered as a basis for a future platform?

          In order to work, it'd have to support DX11, otherwise it won't be future-proofed enough and would fall apart with the next console generation just around the corner.

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          Sadly, despite the delusional nature of many in the FOSS community, if you look up the history of OpenGL it has been crippled for the better part of a decade by mismanagement by the Kronos group and is far FAR behind DirectX, which DX9 is 2 versions behind friend compared to the much better DX10 and DX11.

          You see everything that is bad about FOSS? Cranked to 11 by Kronos. You see they get their funding from the CAD companies who HATE change so the base features have been left at DX7 levels (which is where it

      • Re:Vale Linux (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SurfsUp (11523) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @12:48AM (#40653373)

        Lets face it folks DirectX won years ago because the kronos group cared more about CAD than they did 3D gaming

        Let's face it, you're a trolling FUDster. In case you haven't noticed, OpenGL rules the world at the moment, except for exactly one segment that Microsoft runs as a walled garden (an $8 billion vanity project) and the PC gaming segment from which Microsoft failed to completely evict OpenGL, not for want of trying or lack of expenditure. Every other platform is OpenGL, and those platforms are growing far faster than Microsoft's DirectX segment.

        On top of that, DirectX has gone back to being the crappy API. Sure, it was first to move on some necessary improvements to the 3D rendering pipeline and for a time it held a technical lead over OpenGL in some ways. But that is history. OpenGL 4+ is to DirectX as... an Arabian stallion is to a Camel? Sure, Microsoft's Camel can race, but it still smells like a camel.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by cheesybagel (670288)
          All smartphones support some form of hardware OpenGL ES acceleration by now and I am not seeing them changing to DirectX any time soon. Considering that there is a huge market in mobile gaming there is plenty of room there. Not to mention that there are more consoles around than the Xbox.
          • by SurfsUp (11523)

            All smartphones support some form of hardware OpenGL ES acceleration by now and I am not seeing them changing to DirectX any time soon. Considering that there is a huge market in mobile gaming there is plenty of room there. Not to mention that there are more consoles around than the Xbox.

            Of course, there is always the chance that Nokia might rise from the dead and infect us all with DirectX Lumia phones. <shudder>

      • Hell if MSFT would have given XP X64 the support they should have most folks would have probably been happy to stay on XP

        IE6 would still be alive and massively deployed. Good riddance! Not to kick it while it's down, but see XP & the rise of botnets. I'm glad it wasn't adopted. Not to mention the improved display driver model [wikipedia.org] first in Vista and also in Windows 7.

        and now that they are gonna try to ram a stupid appstore down everyone's throat having an OS that'll run DirectX that valve can control would be a smart move.

        I'm glad you mentioned this. I'd like to counter this point by saying that this appears to be what the masses want judged by the success of the Android market place (now Google Play) and the App Store. Joe Sixpack accesses the store from his phone/device, selects

        • Re:Vale Linux (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Bert64 (520050) <bert&slashdot,firenzee,com> on Sunday July 15, 2012 @05:22AM (#40654303) Homepage

          For years you heard the "people wont like linux because they cant go down the store and buy software for it"... As the appstore proves, people actually do love the convenience of the repository model... Now if only all those linux based netbooks had come with a proper distro, a usable repository and a graphical interface to it, instead of the gimped distros they had.

    • Are you sure about that?

      Java games aren't ported to LInux. But, I play those Java games, all the same. Java applications aren't ported to Linux, but I can use any that I care to use. The wife makes extensive use of Java applications on Linux.

  • by Junta (36770) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @06:27PM (#40651501)

    Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo may be in for an interesting landscape in 2013.

    It's reasonable to assume Valve isn't doing this for the Linux desktop (though they may be doing things in such a way that Linux desktop is covered 'for free'), but likely related to the other rumors of a Steam branded game console.

    If Steam gives a console-equivalent experience in a manner similar to their PC platform, it's likely to be as capable as Sony and MS platforms but a lot more approachable. The 'big studios' are likely to be very enthusiastic about it. So the 'AAA' games will likely hit a Valve platform and probably with a bit more aggressive pricing (at first) compared to Sony and MS.

    On the low end, Ouya may stir things up significantly.

    • by sd4f (1891894)
      I think the main thing is, valve is probably looking at tech such as OnLive as a potential threat, so it appears that releasing their own steam box is probably the best way to fend of competing technologies. Steams livelihood depends on it being the only serious attempt at digital distribution, the landscape is somewhat like the mp3 player days when the ipod came out, ie, big companies were too busy suiting themselves rather than consumers *ahem*sony*cough*. Steam is in a similar situation, where it has the
    • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Saturday July 14, 2012 @09:06PM (#40652479) Journal

      Sadly more likely the studios other than Valve (EA and Activision, cough cough) will expect, nay DEMAND that the SteamBox be as high or higher than the assrape prices they charge on consoles and will thus screw the whole deal.

      Lets face it folks, they sell PC games cheaper because they know the PC gamer can always pirate if they get too damned greedy for too long. Valve has shown with their Steam Sales the way you catch more flies is with honey and the other publishers look at the giant money truck valve gets every Steam sale and want a piece of the pie.

      That is the exact opposite of a console, where thanks to being "DRM...in a box" they know Joe Average isn't gonna be able to pirate squat without breaking out a soldering iron and developing some skills, so they can keep the price jacked up longer. it won't matter to the game houses that it is basically a PC, so are the other consoles but the second you put it in a living room they start rubbing their hands together and figuring to the cent how much they can squeeze.

      So while i personally would love the hell out of it if Valve pulls it off, as long as they don't abandon us PC Steam users of course, i'd wait until we saw what the other major publishers do. Having Valve games on a SteamBox is all well and good, but if ALL you get is Valve games its not gonna go anywhere.

      • I suspect Android casual games could also be a big factor, here.

        The big guys will come along eventually, but the existence of tons of Linux games these days on Android--and presumeably easily portable to the new platform--will gaurantee some level of success in the shorter term, too, I think.
      • by RyoShin (610051)

        There are a metric ton of games that are not from EA/Activision that would still be available on such a Steam console. This would, of course, require a lot of devs to port their game to Linux, but Valve would probably offer some sort of motivation (likely a bigger chunk of sales for a certain period of time); I highly doubt EA and Activision care to port in any case, Steam console or not.

        And even if they threatened to take all their stuff off Steam (EA has done so in part, anyway), Gabe would just laugh at

  • a Linux-powered Steam Box in the works? Probably not, given the technical challenges of getting Steam's huge library of DirectX-based games to run reliably on Linux, but it's an intriguing possibility.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      I think it's still the most likely suggestion that's been raised so far. Another possibility is arcade machines, I know that industry is kind of whimpering in the corner right now but it's still feasible. Or given the hardware work they've done maybe they're imagining Linux-powered AR gaming? Who knows.

      Source engine games will be easy ports, at least.

    • by Guspaz (556486)

      Because nobody ever ported a game between the XBox 360 (which uses a variant of DirectX) and the PS3 (whose PSGL graphics API is a variant of OpenGL ES) before, right? Many games these days are already running on multiplatform engines that get you the other platforms for free anyhow. Source has already been shown running on Linux, which means any Source game should be an easy port. Unreal runs on anything, and that seems to power most games. Any engine that runs on OS X can probably be adapted relatively ea

      • also playstation runs a variation on bsd so any playstation games could in theory be ported to linux without much hassle

        to lazy to look up the wikipedia article i read about it to site.

      • by Bert64 (520050)

        Unfortunately, a lot of mac games published since apple went to x86 have just been the windows versions, wrapped in a custom version of wine... Very little in the way of actual porting.

    • 1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallium3D [wikipedia.org] - Look near the end of the "Current Status" section.
      2. Ever heard of Unreal Tournament 2004? How about a little company called Id Software? Perhaps you've heard of some games that are offered on both XBox and PS3?

  • Really, but unfortunately, it would be only a wish. Except if Christmas exists of course.
  • by goruka (1721094) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @06:49PM (#40651703)
    Given that it seems all Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony will be going with AMD for their next-gen graphics hardware, nVidia will likely be the one to supply graphics hardware for the Steam box (as their Linux drivers are by far the most mature).
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Given that it seems all Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony will be going with AMD for their next-gen graphics hardware, nVidia will likely be the one to supply graphics hardware for the Steam box (as their Linux drivers are by far the most mature).

      As long as you aren't using an Optimus card. Then nVidia's driver support can best be described as "#$%* you!"

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm interested to see if this means that these newly hired valve devs will be put to improving the now lackluster Linux graphics drivers. In addition, with pressure or cooperation from valve, nvidia or and may also be more likely to improve on their open source / Linux drivers as well. Either way, this is probably gonna be a win win for the Linux / Linux gaming community.

  • Poaching? (Score:5, Funny)

    by trout007 (975317) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @07:14PM (#40651869)

    Poaching is the act of taking another persons livestock. The use of the word in this context means the author considers people the equivalent of livestock to the corporate ranchers.

  • by humanrev (2606607) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @09:38PM (#40652649)

    It's times like this I'm sad when we've got a completely non-DRM store like GOG which is completely overshadowed by something like Steam, where the access to your games are entirely in the hands of Valve and if something fucks up, you can't play. We've now got a generation who believe this is OK, rather than someone older like me who's seen enough issues with such a system to be extremely weary of it.

    I guess the only good part is that the number of people who've been fucked by Steam restrictions are probably far and few between, but given the little time most of us have to play games, I don't see why we can't just be fickle and go to non-DRM stores when purchasing games to feed what is ultimately a waste-of-time hobby.

    • by jensen404 (717086)
      I have more issues with DRM when it restricts my hardware choices, such as DRM for audio, video and books. That DRM limits which devices the media can be used with, such as when iTunes music was limited to iPods and Mac/Windows. On the other hand, I can run Steam on any device that can run the game. For me, the advantages of Steam outweigh the disadvantages of its DRM, except when it comes to the one movie on the service. I won't be buying Indiegame the Movie on Steam, because it restricts my viewing opti
      • by humanrev (2606607)

        Fair enough. I shall admit that a good portion of not wanting to use Steam is also because I don't have the discipline to avoid those fucking AWESOME sales they keep having (such as now). I have in the past ended up with a significant backlog of games I simply don't have enough time to play, and often were purchased simply because of a good daily deal, even though they end up not being my type of game anyway.

        In any case, I guess I feel concern for those gamers who are adamant of ONLY using Steam for all the

    • It seems that users feel that Steam works so well (and it does!) that the concerns about DRM are forgotten.
      • by humanrev (2606607)

        Guess I think about the long-term and what-if's too much then. Oh well.

        • I actually think that it is still an important topic to keep under discussion -- and a good reason why GOG.com should be favored instead.
  • Linux has been the go to desktop for people in the know. I know have used Linux as my professional desktop for 20 years.

    How ever getting Linux people does not imply any change to the game clients. For Valve to work, and it does, one has to assume it runs on Unix and and in this day Linux is the #1 Unix. So getting Linux developers to make the Valve servers better is a no brainier.
    • by Tapewolf (1639955)

      How ever getting Linux people does not imply any change to the game clients.
      For Valve to work, and it does, one has to assume it runs on Unix and and in this day Linux is the #1 Unix. So getting Linux developers to make the Valve servers better is a no brainier.

      Yeah, but going by the summary, they've just hired game engine and graphics toolkit developers.

  • I'm always all for more games in linux and better gaming platforms for linux to ease in development of games, both of which i see Steam bringing. I'm curious if they will keep with the general spirit of the linux community and contribute back. Im hoping that them hiring plenty of linux talent isnt taking them away from too many open projects that attracted steam to them in the first place. Steam could probably contribute some good improvements back to the linux community in the forms of kernel patchs,
  • If valve does make a linux (or anything) based steam box console, to drive sales they can release it with exclusive versions of Half-Life 3 and Left For Dead 3.
    They could then release versions for other systems and PC later. Wouldn't be a bad way to get a foothold in the market.

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