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Humble Bundle Devs Talk Gaming on Linux

The hands behind the Humble Bundle have spoken about gaming on Linux as part of a Q&A session to celebrate the ir latest offering becoming the biggest selling ever – despite the fact that it’s only 2 days in!

Below we’ve pasted some of the Linux-related questions. For the full session jump on over to Reddit. Additional URLs and emphasis below are ours.

How did the Humble Indie Bundle influence your decisions to port your games to Linux?

Tim Schafer, Psychonauts:

Linux was like a party that sounded fun [but] we were afraid to go to because we didn’t think we’d know anybody there, and the HiB guys were like your socially fearless friend who says, “Don’t worry, we’ll go together.”

When he gets to your house he says: “Is that what you’re wearing?” and you say, “uh…” and he says, “Don’t worry. I know a guy.” And he lends you a cool leather jacket and you go to the party and when you walk in there’s a needle scratch and everybody turns to look at you and your friend gives a cool nod and then everybody goes back to the party.

So kind of like a John Hughes film. Hope that helps explain things. That’s about as technical as I can go. I just hope I don’t accidentally knock over a beer can pyramid that some tough guys are building.

Oh and also, if you want to be cool at the party, stay away from wine. (haha! Linux joke!)

Will you be porting other Double Fine games to Mac and Linux now?

TS: The HiB guys [made us decide to do a Linux port] and now that we’ve dipped our toes in, we hope to do more in the future.

It gave us the confidence to promise a Linux version of the Double Fine Kickstarter Adventure, for example.

Why was Limbo allowed into the bundle when it uses Wine for the linux “port”?

Jeffrey Rosen, Humble Bundle co-founder:

The LIMBO Linux build was created by CodeWeavers who basically take a custom version of Wine and tune the game to make sure it runs flawlessly.

This is our first experiment with CodeWeavers and we are watching carefully.

If there are any bugs with the game, I don’t want people to think “oh well, it uses Wine” – these ought to be sent to CodeWeavers who should do their best to fix them.

Richard Esguerra, Humble Bundle:

We typically help organize porting for the games in the bundle, and it’s usually the toughest part! But we’re rabid about trying to provide the best experience possible, and native ports usually do that.

But in the case of LIMBO, our porting friends said there was some audio middleware that’s not easily supported on Linux, we decided to see if we could experiment with another solution that could provide a rock-solid Linux gaming experience.

Limbo the game

CodeWeavers took it on—they do highly customized Linux wrappers to optimize specific pieces of software—and the prototypes worked incredibly well. They spent a lot of time tweaking and optimizing, and it passed their QA and our QA (and seemed to perform more consistently than even some of the native ports we’ve seen).

But we get that software is hard, and so we’ll try to keep an eye out for any showstoppers. Hit up contact@humblebundle.com with any issues and we’ll make sure CodeWeavers hears about any LIMBO bugs that need fixing.

Will the quality of Linux ports be better in future bundles?

JR: Yes, we have about 30 Linux testers who we added after HIB 4. We are always working on improving this. I know Ryan is working on some Super Meat Boy fixes.

RE: We do the best QA we can, but it’s a wide-wide world of Linux out there, so it has been really hard to squash all the bugs before they’re encountered in the wild.

If anyone super-trustworthy is willing to help us iron out Linux issues, we could always use a few more knowledgable folks!

Email tux@humblebundle.com with a bit about your Linux background.