Unreal Engine 4.1 Coming This Month, Adds SteamOS and Linux Support

Unreal Engine 4.1 Coming This Month, Adds SteamOS and Linux Support

Unreal Engine 4 Linux SteamOS 310x

Epic's next big engine update is all about Linux.

Epic Games will push out a major update for Unreal Engine 4 later this month. UE 4.1 will, among other improvements, bring SteamOS and Linux support to the engine.

"Folks have been asking about our early Linux efforts and support for Valve's SteamOS and Steam Machines," said Technical Director Mike Fricker in an Unreal Engine blog post. "We have good news for you! The 4.1 source code has initial support for running and packaging games for Linux and SteamOS. We love Linux!"

Updates, including more fleshed out support for Linux and SteamOS, will be hitting on a regular (hopefully monthly) basis, thanks to the new UE4 subscription plan.

The other big news coming from the UE4 update: The "Elemental" demo that first appeared in 2012 will now be made available to Unreal Engine 4 users. Assets, etc. from the demo can now be used in whatever your project might be.

Other additions include "Flying and Rolling Project Templates," Scene Outliner Folder System, Asset Deletion Assistant, Undo History Window, and a host of other improvements, additions, and fixes (check out the blog post for a full list).

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The unfortunate reality of Linux gaming is that however many new and awesome games come to the platform, many people will stick to the 'standard' Windows PC simply because their backlogs of games only work there. Having two PCs or dual-booting completely defeats the purpose of not having to pay $100 to install an OS.

I'm rooting for SteamOS or any other form of open gaming system, but I feel like the reality is that this is something that we're really just building for our kids. Even then, we won't be able to pass down our collections because they won't be backwards compatible. Gee, that sounds really familiar...

TiberiusEsuriens:
I'm rooting for SteamOS or any other form of open gaming system, but I feel like the reality is that this is something that we're really just building for our kids. Even then, we won't be able to pass down our collections because they won't be backwards compatible. Gee, that sounds really familiar...

You know, just like how we had to abandon DOS classics when Windows became a standard and stopped supporting DOS.

Oh, wait.

"Backwards compatibility" on PCs has always included virtual machines, and Linux will be no different.

OT: Excellent, looks like Obduction will see a Linux release after all. :D

lacktheknack:

TiberiusEsuriens:
snip

You know, just like how we had to abandon DOS classics when Windows became a standard and stopped supporting DOS.

"Backwards compatibility" on PCs has always included virtual machines, and Linux will be no different.

We might get there some day, but DOS is a lot easier to simulate than the triple headed beast that is Windows operating system. Mac already has Windows virtual computers, but virtual machines are only allotted a tiny fraction of the memory that their natural counterparts require. Gaming on a Windows virtual machine as it is today is a pipe dream. Some day we may have super computers that can pull it off, but again that won't be until our kids are adults and we're all 10 feet under.

Again, this is something that can happen, but we won't be enjoying it. Another thing that we're really just building for our kids. That's not even getting into the fact that in their generation there could just as easily be another OS or Kernel that claims to revolutionize everything, if only people start over again by switching to them.

This is great news. Perhaps not for the AAA devs, but for indies, surely, it is awesome news.

TiberiusEsuriens:
Having two PCs or dual-booting completely defeats the purpose of not having to pay $100 to install an OS.

True. However, there is more to Open Source Software (such as Linux) than that. Anyone can fix bugs, anyone can audit the code and check for backdoors (of which there pretty much aren't any). Auditing proprietary software is much harder. Also, when the company developing your Open Source app goes out of business, the software might live on.
I think that that is worth more than $100.

lacktheknack:

"Backwards compatibility" on PCs has always included virtual machines, and Linux will be no different.

When you look at what compatibility layers like WINE can do, you will find that virtualization might be overkill.
Those guys have already done a lot of groundwork.

TiberiusEsuriens:

lacktheknack:

TiberiusEsuriens:
snip

You know, just like how we had to abandon DOS classics when Windows became a standard and stopped supporting DOS.

"Backwards compatibility" on PCs has always included virtual machines, and Linux will be no different.

We might get there some day, but DOS is a lot easier to simulate than the triple headed beast that is Windows operating system. Mac already has Windows virtual computers, but virtual machines are only allotted a tiny fraction of the memory that their natural counterparts require. Gaming on a Windows virtual machine as it is today is a pipe dream. Some day we may have super computers that can pull it off, but again that won't be until our kids are adults and we're all 10 feet under.

Again, this is something that can happen, but we won't be enjoying it. Another thing that we're really just building for our kids. That's not even getting into the fact that in their generation there could just as easily be another OS or Kernel that claims to revolutionize everything, if only people start over again by switching to them.

Well, you're certainly Mr. Doom and Gloom, aren't you?

You're also entirely wrong. Windows XP already simulates like a dream... on laptops, no less. Window 7 emulation also works already, but it's slightly clunky. It's certainly not a "pipe dream" by any sane standard.

VMs are allotted as much memory as you allow them to have in the emulator settings window. Try "VirtualBox", it's pretty dang good. Or use the Linux counterpart that already exists (WINE), which uses wrappers and doesn't need the full emulation for a lot of functions.

Also, Windows 7 only needs a gigabyte or two of RAM, and my current rig has 16GB. I have literally no idea where you came up with your statements, because they're all silly. O ye of little faith...

senkus:

TiberiusEsuriens:
Having two PCs or dual-booting completely defeats the purpose of not having to pay $100 to install an OS.

True. However, there is more to Open Source Software (such as Linux) than that. Anyone can fix bugs, anyone can audit the code and check for backdoors (of which there pretty much aren't any). Auditing proprietary software is much harder. Also, when the company developing your Open Source app goes out of business, the software might live on.
I think that that is worth more than $100.

lacktheknack:

"Backwards compatibility" on PCs has always included virtual machines, and Linux will be no different.

When you look at what compatibility layers like WINE can do, you will find that virtualization might be overkill.
Those guys have already done a lot of groundwork.

I agree. There's more to Linux than it being free. I've only started using it heavily heavily a few months ago but there's definitely a lot pros compared to Windows. Freedom of choice, themes, quick updates, easy to install, efficient builds, good pre-installed software, and you don't have to fiddle with Windows copyright protection. And while wine might not be enough to play a lot of games that came out in the last few years, the fact that my celeron netbook can run most of GoG's early 2000's games just fine shows that it won't be impossible to do the same with today's games someday

I made the jump to a windows free desktop computer last year and WINE has indeed saved me from the loss of my backlog. Admittedly, the newest game I've played with it is Civilization V and it isn't particularly resource intensive. The very oldest, 16-bit, windows games entirely failed to run in Vista
even with the compatibility tools, but WINE ran them without a hitch.

For now there is some tinkering required for newer games,
but tools like winetricks help a lot. Besides, as long as the basic technical
solutions exist, this kind of polish could be provided with reasonable effort,
like GOG does for DOS games.

The main Problem for Gaming under virtualization isn't actually the system overhead, it's that no one bothers to write a decent enough virtual 3D graphics driver. And even without those, OpenGL games run ok(-ish) in Virtualbox. It's once again Direct X that's the problem.

Also: The 3D Graphics problem won't EVER be solved completely, as long as Microsoft doesn't open up their kernel, which they would be suicidal to do. Look at paravirtualization stuff like Xen that grants a VM direct access to the hardware: full 3D support possible. Only thing you'd have to do: The Guest kernel has to modified to work with the host kernel. And Microsoft won't do that. Simple as that.

That being said, quite a lot of stuff works under virtualization or under hardware abstraction layers like WINE. I even got The Secret World running under Linux (20FPS stable, a few shader glitches, compared to 40-60 FPS on native windows, but still. It works. It just doesn't work as good as the windows counterpart...).

And as we're seeing with the Unreal Engine, and with all the talks from the Steam Dev Days this year, the Industry is moving fast towards OpenGL, thus making their games more easily portable. Legacy will be a problem for some time, but a small enough problem that it won't matter in say 5 years.

TiberiusEsuriens:
The unfortunate reality of Linux gaming is that however many new and awesome games come to the platform, many people will stick to the 'standard' Windows PC simply because their backlogs of games only work there. Having two PCs or dual-booting completely defeats the purpose of not having to pay $100 to install an OS.

I'm rooting for SteamOS or any other form of open gaming system, but I feel like the reality is that this is something that we're really just building for our kids. Even then, we won't be able to pass down our collections because they won't be backwards compatible. Gee, that sounds really familiar...

Will you boot into Linux to play "Super Awesome Game 4" if it runs slightly faster? If the answer is yes; then that's how Linux can win. You win by being slightly faster, slightly better, and by providing something the competition isn't. The nice thing about having a engine that works on Linux is mostly the fact that the developer costs won't be higher when porting to Linux - which eases the opportunity to switch over.

Eventually, the people with windows games get older, and the younger generation grows up with "most of their games running on linux anyways." Then, it'll simply be a case of "the few games that don't run Linux", which won't be an issue at all.

Ah, your not letting that engine die are you. I know, its entry level game engine thats easy to just take and use. of course its attractive to new game makers, but from a graphics perspective its severely outdated now. If only Crytek makde CryEngine more accessible for new programmers (i mean from a technical standpoint, they already covered the money point) we may end up with way better looking games with same ideas. Well, or Source 2 may be revolutionary, after all first one was.

lacktheknack:

You know, just like how we had to abandon DOS classics when Windows became a standard and stopped supporting DOS.

Oh, wait.

"Backwards compatibility" on PCs has always included virtual machines, and Linux will be no different.

OT: Excellent, looks like Obduction will see a Linux release after all. :D

except i can easily see Linux being the one in the dosbox. Especially considering windowsbox can only legally be made by microsoft to begin with, and im sure they wont share it for free. After all, the XP-simulator is only available to people who bought the more expensive version of 7.
Another thing defeating your argument is that Dos and windows uses same disc/file structure.
Linux use a different structure. Thats why it needs to ahve its own partition formatted for linux. they arent interchangable like dos and windows. that means that they will have to create a whole new file system in order to support the two, and its not something a person can do in his garage.

senkus:
When you look at what compatibility layers like WINE can do, you will find that virtualization might be overkill.
Those guys have already done a lot of groundwork.

if by a lot of groundwork you mean half functioning program support without any 3d graphic engine to speak of that only works if you use only the popular windows parts, then yes, they done a lot of groundwork. its around 5% functions of actual windows installation.

lacktheknack:

You're also entirely wrong. Windows XP already simulates like a dream... on laptops, no less. Window 7 emulation also works already, but it's slightly clunky. It's certainly not a "pipe dream" by any sane standard.

Ever tried to play a demanding game on that windows XP simulator? It emulates an S3 Trio card and does no sort of DirectX or OpenGL acceleration. You wont be playing games any time soon on that XP simulator. You may be ok with the VMware and so for games circa 90s, because they are very low in resource demand, but thats it.
As far as emulating windows with graphical support in reasonable resources - it is a pipe dream.

Mromson:

Will you boot into Linux to play "Super Awesome Game 4" if it runs slightly faster?

No. For the same reason i dont use windows 8 even if it runs my games faster.

Awesome! I picked up Unreal Engine 4 last week and it's pretty impressive.

Wow. So I guess Linux gaming will be a legitimate option for PC players within the next few years.

Good to know.

Now if Mechwarrior online and Battlefield 4 could be ported to Linux, then that would kill my last two reasons for even having a partition of Windows on any device.

I don't understand how people can be so negative or resistant to Linux becoming more widely accepted and supported. Having a free and open option is nothing but good for us. Between Microsoft making some idiotic changes that people complain incessantly about and Apple being a bunch of shady douche bags, having another option should be welcomed.

I should also say this, paraphrasing from someone on a different forum.

It's amazing how quick and petty people can be about the smallest problems involving Linux, and laud it as "terrible", but will consciously put up with any problem or annoyance with Windows and consider it "acceptable".

 

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