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Shiva and Linux today : what's the status?

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Shiva and Linux today : what's the status?

Postby diegoleao » 27 Jan 2010, 02:34

Hi, I am about to close a deal with a Brasilian government contractor to make educational 3D games for schools. The problem is that all schools use Linux as operating system.

Because of that I need to know if Shiva is working normally on most Linux distributions, and what problems does it faces. Is 3D graphics card absolutelly required? What kind of graphics card?

If the software only works in one specific Linux distribution I also need to know.

Thanks!

PS: this is very urgent...
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Re:Shiva and Linux today : what's the status?

Postby NiCoX » 27 Jan 2010, 11:30

Hi diegoleao,

I understand well, but don't worry, if there are problems we will always be able to find solutions, and we won't let you alone facing them :)

Now there is a fact : there a many Linux distributions, many kernel versions, many window managers, many graphic card drivers... and all are not compatible with our engine, and not even between them : just for the story, my Linux box is a Ubuntu. Every month there is a kernel automatic update, and I have to re install (re compile) my nVidia drivers by hand each time... but once well setup it works like a charm.

So, back to your worries/questions :

- Ubuntu 32bits is currently the better supported platform (though it has been reported to work also on other distros)
- A graphic card is required if you want 3D rendering acceleration (and we recommend nVidia ones, because they provide better official drivers)
- Some things are not currently supported like Wiimote support, and Unicode keyboard input

We really have plans to increase Linux compatibility, but the truth is that we have to put as high priority paid support (which consumes *a lot* of time) and new features development. I really don't want to sell you something, it's not my job, but if the deal you are making is a quite "big" deal (both important and well paid), you could consider taking what we call a "gold membership", so that we can ensure you a full compatibility with your customer's computers, and that in a short time frame. What I wanna say is, again, to not worry a lot about compatibility : we can help you.

That said, you have to be aware that we'll have some difficulties to make a game like "The Hunt" working on an Pentium 2 / Slackware 1.0 with no graphic card. But if the hardware is compliant (and graphic drivers working), we will be able to make the engine work (if not already the case).

:)
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Re:Shiva and Linux today : what's the status?

Postby diegoleao » 27 Jan 2010, 13:28

Ok NiCoX, but what are the absolute minimum requirements for a PC with Ubuntu to actually run a Shiva game with playable framerates?

You said that a graphic card is required, but what is the minimum? The graphic card will most likelly be onboard on most PCs, but with 3d support.
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Re:Shiva and Linux today : what's the status?

Postby broozar » 27 Jan 2010, 14:55

i guess it mostly depends on the complexity of your game. just to give you some figures, i had The Hunt running on a 1.6GHz centrino with 512 megs of ram and a radeon 9600 with ~13fps in the starter scene and much lower in the actual game, more like ~8fps, zenwalk/slackware, for a few moments, then the ram (or whatever it was) was full and the game dropped below 1 frame every 15 seconds, i assume it had to use the swap partition on my fairly slow hard drive. and it's been slackware, so keep in mind, if your machine runs ubuntu, the 512 megs or the gig of ram is probably full just after the system has booted up.

since you are aiming for the educational market anyway, i guess you don't need extensive effects like shadow mapping, post processing effects or other shader magic, so you can design your game for a much lower spec machine, like the iphone. i cannot tell you the exact minimum requirements. just one thing, because i read "onboard graphics" - beware of intel onboard chips. not only are they extremely weak, even in a windows environment, and not suitable for 3d gaming, but they use the MESA stack for 3d rendering in linux, which would give you nothing but tears and headaches. shiva would probably fall back into software rendering mode and be virtually unusuable.
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Re:Shiva and Linux today : what's the status?

Postby diegoleao » 27 Jan 2010, 17:51

Since Shiva work on iPhone I assumed I could make an "iPhone-like-quality" game and make it work on a low spec PC. Is it correct to assume that even if I don't use any fancy effects it will be hard for a low quality onboard PC (think all kinds of Intel integrated graphic cards) to render the game on playable framerates?
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Re:Shiva and Linux today : what's the status?

Postby NiCoX » 27 Jan 2010, 21:00

Hi,

The iPhone has a PowerVR GPU ("similar" to the Sega Dreamcast), and the screen resolution is small (320x480). So a PC with no GPU (or no accelerated driver), and a big screen resolution (minimum 1024x768) will run 3D apps far slowler than the same app on iPhone. Really, new-gen smartphones (iPhone 3GS, Droid, Nexus One...) are "war machines".

So, concerning your problem, could you get at least the specs of one of the target machines ? Because really, if there is no 3D acceleration support at all on those computers, as broozar wrote, there will unfortunately be no way to do "playable" 3D games...
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Re:Shiva and Linux today : what's the status?

Postby diegoleao » 27 Jan 2010, 23:35

I'll try to get those specs, then ;) Probably in the next two days I'll be posting back. If not (I'm going to travel soon), then next week.
Thanks!
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Re:Shiva and Linux today : what's the status?

Postby diegoleao » 11 Feb 2010, 22:02

I haven't been able to discover the specs, I think I'll need to take a field trip or something :)

I have another question: how can I test Shiva on Linux without paying for it? I have to know if it does work on my target platform, even if I have to go there and try it. I wont pay for it before knowing that... I have been fooled by game engine promisses before, I wont do it again...
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Re:Shiva and Linux today : what's the status?

Postby broozar » 11 Feb 2010, 22:35

you can run one of the many examples on linux free of charge, sure.

start with something very simple like: http://www.trisymphony.com/media/shiva/trontux.php
if it glows, shaders are supported, if not, your gpu is probably lacking proper drivers.

then, as some sort of middle class demo, i'd suggest the car on rooftop demo (on of the older demos, i could not find em anywhere on the website, so i uploaded it once again: http://broozar.someserver.de/pack.stk

and of course there is theHunt which you can download for linux, but given your low budget target platform, i suppose it won't run well. get it here: http://www.stonetrip.com/download/TechD ... .5.tar.bz2

if you want to test selfmade packs, you will have to buy shiva.
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Re:Shiva and Linux today : what's the status?

Postby diegoleao » 18 Feb 2010, 13:06

I was able to run every demo on a Dual Core, 2GB, GeForce 8400 GS. The only demo that strugled at full screen was "The Hunt". I tried running it on a smaller window and it almost got 30 fps. The technology seems very decent, normally linux demos are very limited and buggy.

Unfortunatelly our linux installation crashed on a simpler PC, but we'll try again soon.

EDIT: I mean, the Linux OS installation itself crashed. This problem has nothing to do with Shiva.
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Re:Shiva and Linux today : what's the status?

Postby broozar » 18 Feb 2010, 17:55

what do you mean by crash, did the machine freeze, did a kernel panic occur, did you get a segfault or didn't the gametest start up?
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Re:Shiva and Linux today : what's the status?

Postby diegoleao » 18 Feb 2010, 18:24

The linux OS installation _itself_ crashed, not the game installation :) I never got the chance to test the game...
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