Thanks to the wonders of crowd funding, gamers now have a special opportunity to support what they believe in with cash. It also gives companies the ability to go down risky or interesting avenues without losing any money. GarageGames is looking for funding for their popular Torque 3D game engine to Linux. Not just the ability to play those games on Linux… but the ability to actually build your game in Linux too. In the game engine Unity, you can make a game for Linux, but you are still creating the game in Mac OS or Windows, then exporting a build of the game to play on a Linux machine. Torque 3D is currently an open source engine, under the MIT license that allows you to build games in Windows. GarageGames says they have been getting a lot of requests to allow developers to build and work in Linux, but they said to do that, they need a budget. In order to fund this project, you can support them via Indiegogo, a crowd funding platform similar to Kickstarter. Torque 3D has been used in commercial games including Tribes and by companies inlcuding Ubisoft and Capcom.
If you’re concerned about forking over your money to an active developer rather than an indie studio, it looks GarageGames is determined to do well by the gamers AND the developer of the port. As their Indiegogo page states…
“The project will pay $45 an hour for roughly 3 months worth of work from a single developer (a team can be hired to increase productivity, but there will be a finite amount of money from the campaign to pay them). Of course, IndieGoGo will get 4% off the top for hosting the service. The payment providers (credit cards, PayPal, etc) will get roughly 3-4% depending on international fees, etc. Then, the prize tiers will be fulfilled, shirts and such bought and shipped! The remainder of the money will go towards the development team porting Torque 3D to Linux.”
With companies like Valve looking to make Linux a serious gaming operating system via their Steam software and hardware, and the general disdain of Windows 8 by gamers, there is a spotlight on the future of Linux for game developers. There are only 5 days left for this project to get funded but the funding is only about 30% complete… if you want to expand the toolset for Linux game development, then this might just be a good place to start.