Linux is a solid and secure operating system that’s perfect for gaming, but at this time Windows remains the lead platform for PC games. We want to change that by putting the game development process right on Linux, with Leadwerks for Linux. This will allow you to build and play games without ever leaving the Linux operating system.
Leadwerks is a visual tool for building any kind of 3D game, including dungeon crawlers, first-person shooters, and side-scrollers. Our campaign has three goals:
Linux Game Development. On Linux.
It’s not enough just to export games to Linux. We want to put the game development process on Linux, so you can build and play games, without ever leaving the Linux operating system. We have a complete visual editor that handles all aspects of the game development process, and we’re porting it to run natively on Linux. We’re using GTK for the user interface, so our editor will look and feel like a native Linux application.
We're targeting Ubuntu 13.04 to start with, and will support other distros as we make progress. You'll also be able to compile your game's code on Windows and Mac...if you feel like sharing.
Expand the Linux Library of Games
Our second goal is to facilitate expansion of the Linux library of games, and encourage the production of Linux-exclusive titles. The Linux community is pretty intelligent, and they have a lot of good programmers. We think by putting the appropriate tools in their hands, it will enable them to make great Linux games.
Native AAA Graphics on Linux
Leadwerks is known for having great graphics. We want to push Linux graphics beyond anything that’s ever been done. Linux is the perfect platform for triple-A graphics, because it has OpenGL performance faster than Windows or Mac. We’re taking advantage of this performance with deferred lighting, hardware tessellation, and up to 32x multisample antialiasing. And you don't have to use an emulator.
When Valve announced Steam was coming to Linux, that was a clear sign to us that Linux is ready for PC gaming. We’re working to integrate Leadwerks with Steam and take advantage of new features Steam offers for developers.
We’re hooking into the Steam Workshop to deliver game assets. This includes models, textures, scripts, and maps, so you can get everything you need to make games. When you find an object in the Steam Workshop you want to use in your game, just hit the “Subscribe” button and it will show up right away, ready to use in Leadwerks. We’re also adding support for Valve’s asset formats, so you can access lots of great content from the rest of the Steam Workshop, and add it to your game.
Export for Steam
We’re working with the Steam SDK to make it easier to submit Linux games to Greenlight. Just press a button, and your game files will be packaged up, ready to send to Steam.
Leadwerks is a powerful yet easy to use game engine with thousands of users worldwide. Here are just a few of the main reasons we think Linux users will love Leadwerks.
Programming with Leadwerks is a breeze. Underneath our visual editor lies a powerful yet easy to use programming API that can be accessed in C++, Lua, and other languages. With documentation and examples for every single command, you’ve got everything you need to make any kind of game.
For scripting, we use the Lua script language, just like in Crysis, World of Warcraft, and hundreds of other games. We’ve got a built-in script editor, so you don’t have to switch back and forth between Leadwerks and an external editor. It’s even got a built-in debugger so you can step through your script and see everything that’s going on in the game. The flowgraph editor is used to connect scripted objects and make gameplay happen. This lets map designers set up sequences of events and complex gameplay, with no programming required.
Constructive Solid Geometry
Finally, we use a level editor based on constructive solid geometry. This lets everyone make game levels, without having to be an expert. If you’re familiar with Valve’s Hammer Editor, you’ll feel right at home in Leadwerks.
We plan to deliver a visual editor that handles every aspect of the game development process, a powerful yet easy to use programming API, with triple-A graphics, all running natively in Linux. By working with Steam and the Linux community, our goal is to make Linux the number one platform for PC gaming. Thank you for helping us take Linux gaming to the next level.
$26,000 - Android + Ouya for All : We will provide all backers who pledged $100 or more with Android support. We’ll also add support for OUYA, the Android-based open game console. This will let you build games for Android and OUYA, without ever leaving the Linux operating system.
$30,000 - Blender integration: We want to integrate Leadwerks with the free 3D modeling package Blender. We’ll start with a Blender exporter that saves a model and all materials ready-to-use in Leadwerks, and look for other Blender features we can put to work in our engine.
$35,000 - 64-bit Builds: We’ll provide 64-bit builds of the Leadwerks engine library, along with the 32-bit library. (We decided to provide this for Linux by default. The stretch goal is for 64-bit builds on Windows and Mac.)
$45,000 - Visual GUI Editor: We want to build a fully integrated GUI editor right into Leadwerks. This will let you create game menus with buttons, sliders, switches, and more, in a fully skinnable GUI system. GUI elements will even integrate with our flowgraph system, so you can visually attach GUI elements to scripted events and C++ callbacks. You can read more about our design plans for this feature here.
$55,000 - Oculus Rift + Omni in Linux: We want to integrate the great virtual reality headset Oculus Rift with Leadwerks, all running natively in Linux. We’ll even include support for the Omni VR treadmill, so Linux developers can create the full VR experience.
$85,000 - Broaden Your World: We’ll implement full 64-bit floating point math and streaming terrain data to create worlds beyond the limits of 32-bit floating point precision. Want to create detailed worlds ten times bigger than Crysis maps? We can make it happen.
$150,000 - Choose Two Flavors of Linux: Variety is the spice of life, and Linux is baked with plenty of it! We’ll work with the top two distros backers choose to provide full Leadwerks integration and ongoing support for two years.
$200,000 - Plugin-Free 3D Web Games: We’ll work with asm.js to compile Leadwerks in web-ready format so you can distribute 3D web games for supported browsers, with no proprietary plugins required.
$250,000 - Ubuntu Mobile: We’ll deliver Leadwerks for Ubuntu mobile, compiled for the ARM architecture with OpenGLES rendering, so you can build 3D mobile games for your UbuntuEdge and other Ubuntu-powered smart phones.
The One Thousand Backer Challenge: If we reach one thousand backers, choosing any reward, then all backers, at all levels, will receive the full-size version of the image below. With a resolution of 6000x2435 pixels, this image can be printed to make a 20" wide picture with a resolution of 300 DPI (typically used for professional printing).
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Risks and challenges
We expect to encounter some graphics driver bugs. This is always the case when you are pushing advanced graphics. Fortunately, we have good relationships with the major graphics hardware vendors, and have been able to get driver bugs fixed on other platforms in the past. Valve Software has done some of the heavy lifting for us here, by prompting the graphics hardware vendors to get their drivers in good shape.
Our GUI has a GTK implementation for Linux, but we expect to encounter some problems that have to be overcome. Our GTK Scintilla implementation (for the code editor) has not been written, and it's a complex library.
Since the Linux file system is case-sensitive, we expect to have to modify some code to work properly on Linux.
We're implementing a new method for terrain layers using virtual texturing. We do not anticipate any problems here, but it is one of the few features we haven't fully prototyped.
Leadwerks has now been Greenlit on Steam, which ensures we can integrate Steam features right into our game engine, and eliminates one source of risk.
Although building Leadwerks for Linux will undoubtedly present some difficult problems, our team has a lot of experience with multi-platform development and I'm confident we can deal with all issues we encounter.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)