Valve have literally just debuted the Valve Linux development blog. As you can tell from the title, it’s a devblog devoted entirely to discussing and explaining the Valve Linux team’s efforts to bring the Steam client, and the Valve game library, to the Linux operating system.
The opening post is titled “Steam’d Penguins”. It explains how and when the Valve Linux development team (which currently consists of 11 members, and is still growing) was first formed. There’s some detail on the team’s current goals:
Why Ubuntu? There are a couple of reasons for that. First, we’re just starting development and working with a single distribution is critical when you are experimenting, as we are. It reduces the variability of the testing space and makes early iteration easier and faster. Secondly, Ubuntu is a popular distribution and has recognition with the general gaming and developer communities. This doesn’t mean that Ubuntu will be the only distribution we support. Based on the success of our efforts around Ubuntu, we will look at supporting other distributions in the future.
After successfully porting Left 4 Dead 2 to Ubuntu, interest grew within Valve and, as a result, the team and projects we were working on also grew. Currently, our focus is on the following projects:
- getting the Steam client onto Linux with full functionality
- optimizing a version of L4D2 running at a high frame rate with OpenGL
- porting additional Valve titles
But apparently, they are “also investigating open source initiatives that could benefit the community and game developers“. They don’t go into a lot of details on what these other initiatives may be, though, but personally, I’m getting the idea that Valve’s Linux projects may represent something a lot more meaningful and interesting than we think they do. But let’s leave that for another time.
In any case, I’m glad to see that Valve is starting to be a lot more open with regards to Linux development. And let’s hope that, just like Mike Abrash’s “Ramblings in Valve Time” blog; and Yanis Varoufakis’ “Valve Economics” blog; this new Valve Linux blog becomes a very informative source for insightful and educative development commentary on working with the Linux platform.
Don’t forget to check out the full Steam’d Penguins blog post.