GDC 2014 — If you’ve been following the news lately, it’ll come as no surprise that Crytek is working on a Linux port of its game engine. At GDC today, I had a first-hand look at CryEngine running on Linux, and I was able to get some extra details from the Crytek folks on the scene.
The demo was running on an Ubuntu 12 system with an Nvidia graphics card. The Crytek guys said the engine is currently running with the equivalent of a DirectX 10 feature set, "give or take," but they’re working on DirectX 11 features (including hardware tessellation) and hope to get those implemented "as fast as possible." Linux versions of Crytek’s developer tools are still in the works, as well. They weren’t on display at GDC.
What about performance? I was told that, if one were to run the same build of the engine on both Linux and Windows, one would see equivalent speed on both platforms.
Having a Linux version of CryEngine will no doubt be a boon to Valve’s Linux-based SteamOS platform, not to mention the Steam machines based on it. That said, the Crytek guys to whom I spoke seemed to downplay the SteamOS connection. From what I understand, the studio’s work on an OpenGL version of the engine is mainly about getting broader platform support—that means not just SteamOS, but also vanilla Linux, OS X, and iOS.
Finally, I asked if, going forward, Crytek would roll out future CryEngine releases in parallel for Windows and Linux. I wasn’t given an explicit answer, but as I understand it, that does seem to be the plan.