UNIGINE is a global company located in Tomsk, Russia (Western Siberia) that focuses on real-time 3D technologies. The company was established in 2005 and currently has a team of more than 50 highly experienced professionals of all kinds: programmers, 3D artists, QA engineers, technical writers, project managers, and support engineers. They became well-known among PC enthusiasts through their extremely popular Heaven benchmark software which is the first GPU benchmarking software to support DirectX 11 Tessellation feature. Their GPU benchmarking softwares such as Superposition, Heaven, and Valley all support Linux and Windows.
We requested for a quick interview regarding their current stance on Linux support and, fortunately, they granted our request.
Back2Gaming: Do your sales figures coincide or agree with the Linux market share being reported by Steam Survey? May we know the Linux percentage of your sales?
Andrey Bayun: According to our benchmarks stats – we have about 8-9% Linux users (Basic edition) and even less that purchased something (<1% maybe).
Back2Gaming: Many game developers do not support Linux because of its relatively tiny market share and the usual argument is that the Linux sales won’t be able to cover the expenses of supporting Linux. What made Unigine consider a Linux version for Superposition, Heaven, and Valley?
Andrey Bayun: UNIGINE Engine was always Linux-friendly. And since engine is Linux-compatible, it pretty much costs nothing to release Linux builds alongside Windows. We also don’t use any HLSL->GLSL translators for shaders and basically we have the same GLSL code under Linux and Windows, that speed-up the development a little.
Back2Gaming: Given the current Linux sales of Superposition, would you still consider to support Linux in your future GPU benchmarking softwares? Why?
Andrey Bayun: I believe all the future products that we will release will have both Windows / Linux versions since UNIGINE Engine is allowing us to do that. It’s not related to the Superposition Linux sales (which are pretty much close to 0).
Back2Gaming: Do you think Vulkan will help in making porting games to Linux easier?
Andrey Bayun: If your app or game natively supports OpenGL, it should not be that hard to port it under Linux already since OpenGL is cross-platform out of the box. The same thing should apply to Vulkan API as well. Maybe for the some developers that don’t have native Vulkan or OpenGL implementations, it would be easier since there are already some translators from HLSL to SPIR-V available.
Back2Gaming: Will Superposition be updated to support Vulkan? If yes, may we get a tentative date?
Andrey Bayun: Yes. Vulkan support is planned, but I can’t give you the exact ETA, sorry.
What Do Game Developers Think of Supporting Linux (Part 1, Part 2)
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For those who are interested in the Advanced Edition of Superposition, it can be had at a great discount until August 1, 2018. For about $13, a buyer gets an Up Your Game set of 6 applications from Humble Store. More details here.