I've got some thoughts I'd like to express, so I'll start with a quote from the indefatigable Raze. By the way, Raze, I have to ask do you play games on a Linux distro?
[quote=Raze] Kickstarter is not a pre-order system. It is not immune to the normal development process. If you are not willing to accept the normal development process, you should not back anything on kickstarter. [/quote]
Certainly not a pre-order system, understood. It does however reflect upon the developer the "promises" delivered and not delivered. If developers think that they can just promise things that the community wants, get funded and then put major things like Linux support on the back burner, fine. I don't think Larians next community funding campaign will work so well next time. Maybe Larian execs think that their success will propel their funding for their next project despite how they treat the community, that seems like an unfortunate attitude, regardless.
I did not get on the kickstarter for this game as I missed the campaign, but I bought a couple copies on Steam during a sale knowing that there was already a delay. I have played many of my favorite games through wine, but fortunately a lot of great developers have made real ports of their games reality or have had Linux support from pre-release. Notable examples are Portal 2, Torchlight I and II, Borderlands II, Tiny Keep, Fight the Dragon, Mount and Blade II, Planet Explorers and Planetary Annihilation. I've not had much luck running D:OS from wine unfortunately. It seems that it's certainly not impossible to make a good port of a game to Linux given the 1000+ games, Indie and AAA available already. Many of these games did not make promises of Linux support during their development and some made a port long after release. I think this is a far better way to go than make a statement about supporting an entire and growing platform and then releasing on Windows while the promised ports are just pushed aside. I think it's a very clear indication on Larians priorities to see their Linux port still unreleased. Choosing a middleware without clear Linux support indicates that Larian had little regard for for the Linux port from the beginning. Would they even consider choosing a middleware with questionable Windows support and then use that as an excuse for delaying the release on that platform!?
As Larian has stated:
[quote]The Linux version was being built on an old branch but ran out of synch with the new branch where plenty of improvements were happening and so we decided to stop integrating it in the old branch and instead focus on the new branch only.[/quote]
At that point it looks like Linux support abandoned, because:
[quote]If we wouldn't do that, then Linux would only have been supported on the old branch, and that didn't make a lot of sense going forward, especially since we wanted it to be part of our core engine. Supporting both branches wouldn't have worked since our Linux team is small. [/quote] Ok the Linux team is small and they stop working on the old branch, what about this "new" branch?
[quote]All this wouldn't have been such a big problem if not for us starting to doing something *cool* on the new branch that quickly ran out of hand because we really liked it. So much work ended up being done that the new branch became a lot bigger than we'd anticipated and so it's all taking longer than we thought. [/quote]
So how was their small Linux team involved in this "*cool*" (so cool that it breaks other platforms is OK?) thing in the new branch? Seems like not at all, until the community starts asking questions.
[quote]The long Linux delay is unfortunate but we think a lot of players are going to be really surprised and happy with what we're working on, and hopefully we'll be able to continue to support Linux over different games as a result of the effort it's taking now.[/quote]
Larian thinks "a lot of players are going to be really surprised and happy with what we're working on". Do they really think a lot of players run Linux and are worth the effort they now say they are putting in? If so, then why the back-burner, afterthought development? If not, who are they talking to, happy Windows users who are playing right now? I think the only surprise thus far is the unfortunate lack of a Linux release that is counter to all that Larian as promised.
Divinity is just a game for me, fortunately, and nothing I or anyone else really needs to have a happy life, oh except for maybe those who work for Larian. They already have my money, good for them. For my money, the only value so far seems to be in posting this rant, I did not really need to buy the game to post this anyways.
Now that Larian has made an yet another example of itself about how a studio can make big promises to get money, the community gets some value out of Larian to solidly reference when Larian tries to start a new project. Maybe Larian will get some additional press about being the new [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_Nukem_Forever]Duke Nukem Forever[/url], Though 15 years is a tough record to break, should the Linux port of Divinity Original Sin ever be released.