Will Aspyr release Civilization VI for Linux?

Also in today's open source roundup: Apple's secret mockups of iMessage for Android, and how to benchmark your Linux system

Civilization VI for Linux

Civilization VI has been released for Windows and MacOS, but there is still no Linux version available. Linux gamers should not give up hope, however. A recent report at Boiling Steam indicates that Aspyr is still considering the release of a Linux port of Civilization VI.

Linux gamers even went so far as to order a big batch of cookies for the Aspyr developers, in the hopes of encouraging them to make a Linux port of Civilization VI.

Ekianjo reports for Boiling Steam:

Aspyr is the official porter of Civilization 6 for Mac (already released together with the Windows version) and sadly Linux gamers who were eagerly waiting for a Day 1 release are a little bit left to dry. It seems that the Mac port uses Metal, and the Windows version DirectX12 – so a Linux port would have to use either OpenGL (the most likely option for compatibility reasons) or Vulkan.

Apparently Aspyr is still working to consider the feasibility (i.e. the performance aspect) of a Linux port.

Wanted to address a section of our fans that may feel left out recently. Dear Linux users, we haven’t forgotten you! CivVI is still possible

- Aspyr Media (@AspyrMedia) October 24, 2016

…folks got together to order a delivery of delicious cookies to motivate Aspyr to support Linux’s Civ6 port. They come from Tiff’s Treats in Austin, in case you want to make sure you get excellent cookies if you pass by the area.

So… this came in the mail this morning. Thank you, you lovely Linux people you. The guilt trip has been accepted. ;D #NomNomNom pic.twitter.com/c4VaOOIXWJ

- Aspyr Media (@AspyrMedia) October 25, 2016

More at Boiling Steam

The cookie conspiracy to bribe…er…encourage Aspyr’s developers to make a Linux version took form in a thread on the Linux Gaming subreddit, and was apparently encouraged by one of Aspyr’s developers:

Aspyr_Blair: “There is a place called Tiff’s Treats in Austin. Unbelievable cookies delivered to you hot out of the oven. Just sayin…”

The_s_d: “We could do a large cookie tray out of Tiff’s for ~$100 (set for Austin, TX; ZIP code 78746) very easily if multiple people chipped in.

Though, knowing the internet, more likely one person (whomever placed the order) would get stuck with $80 on their credit card, a $10 donation from someone in Europe, and the rest in $1–2 donations split between PayPal and Bitcoin… :-P”

Beefsack: “6 dozen on their way for Thursday just before midday :) Hope I got the address right!

Edit: got the day of the week wrong, oops! Arrived Tuesday US time I believe.”

Aspyr_Blair: “Well…first batch of cookies just arrived, and I made sure the Linux team got first dibs.

I swear, you guys are the BEST community in the world. The only problem is everyone in the office trying to lose weight is blaming me for these shenanigans ;)”

JGLion: “I just want to know if it’s on the table (which now I know) and what kind of timeframe are we thinking? Days? Weeks? Months? etc. I’m a software engineer so I know that sometimes these things get extremely hard to estimate, but usually when they’re extremely hard to estimate at this point, it’s not a good sign at all.”

Aspyr_Blair: “We are still in a research state at this point. Bottom line, we need to prove to ourselves and our partners that a Linux version can perform to our standards. What I can say in earnest is, we are actively pursuing that viability standard.”

JGLion: “And I totally appreciate the hard work. And the feeling that you cannot release something that does not perform to standards. You can understand why at this point it’s kind of disconcerting :(”

Voyager2102: “The current situation is really bad for the linux side since a lot of us really want to play this game and I can see a considerable amount of potential buyers just opting for the Windows version and running it either on dual boot, VM or wine especially since all we get from you guys is “still a possibility” which is not very encouraging or to quote the great Yoda “Do or do not, there is no try” so your potential customer base is dwindling by the day as long as the uncertainty remains.”

Rhavenn: “I find it funny that you guys are still in a “research state” at this point. Firaxis / 2k had it very prominently displayed that a Linux version would be available over 9 months ago. As it turns out that was the marketing team lying through its teeth. Not that I expect anything different from a marketing team, but it’s still annoying and stupid.

One would have thought that after a few years of SteamOS availability you’d be working with developers throughout the development cycle to at least be dropping some hints of “yeah, can you do X, Y and not Z to help us out?”. It looks more like Firaxis / 2k did whatever they wanted and then handed you guys a gold master and said “here..figure something out if you can”.

I’m not blaming you guys and I love your Civ V port. I purchased Civ:BE just to support Linux and the Borderlands2:GOTY edition even though I’m not a big shooter fan. So, I definitely have $60 in my pocket to buy Civ VI when it comes. However, I won’t use Microsoft products and even supporting them indirectly via Wine is out of the question. So, good luck in the porting and hope I get to play some Civ VI at some point. For now, I’m off to support Paradox by playing Stellaris, EU4, Hearts of Iron IV, Cities:Skylines and Pillars of Eternity as well as looking forward to Tyranny.”

More at Reddit

Here’s the official Civilization VI launch trailer:

Apple’s secret mockups of iMessage for Android

Daring Fireball is one of the most popular and best known blogs about Apple. A recent post on DF noted that Apple may have mockups already done of iMessage for Android. This tidbit has many people wondering if Apple is planning to release iMessage for Android at some point in the near future.

John Gruber reports for Daring Fireball:

I’ve heard from little birdies that mockups of iMessage for Android have circulated within the company, with varying UI styles ranging from looking like the iOS Messages app to pure Material Design.1 iMessage for Android may never see the light of day, but the existence of detailed mockups strongly suggests that there’s no “of course not” to it.

As an iOS/MacOS exclusive, iMessage is a glue that “keeps people stuck to their iPhones and Macs”, not the glue. iMessage for Android would surely lead some number of iPhone users to switch to Android, but I think that number is small enough to be a rounding error for Apple. Apple wins by creating devices and experiences that people want to use, not that they have to use. Apple creates desire, not obligation. If the iPhone isn’t thriving simply by being the best, then Apple is already in deep trouble. I would argue that in some ways Apple might be better off releasing iMessage for Android, simply to remove a crutch.2

More at Daring Fireball

How to benchmark your Linux system

Benchmarking can be a useful way to find out how well your Linux computer is running, and to discover ways you can improve its performance. PCWorld has a helpful article that will get you started with Linux benchmarking.

Alex Campbell reports for PCWorld:

In the world of consumer electronics, benchmarks are everything. More than specs, or anecdotal accounts, and certainly more than marketing materials, benchmarks give you meaningful information about the capabilities of a given piece of hardware, be it a single subsystem—like a PC’s GPU—or several subsystems in concert.

Unfortunately, many common benchmarks (especially those built into games) only run in Windows. Cinebench, PCMark, 3DMark, and CrystalDiskMark are popular Windows tests, but have no Linux equivalent.

If you go out looking for PC benchmark results, there’s a very strong chance the tests won’t perfectly translate to performance under Linux, since they were likely run in Windows. This is particularly true if certain hardware has limited support in the Linux kernel. However, there are still plenty of tests you can run in Linux, and the vast majority of them are free.

More at PCWorld

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