Leadwerks Software founder Josh Klint forgoes the hype in laying out the goal for his Kickstarter campaign to develop a native Linux-based game engine. There’s no customary intro montage set to music to kick off his Kickstarter video. There could have been, since he has prototype game footage. The video starts with Klint posed awkwardly against a simple blue backdrop with a Leadwerks logo mounted to the wall with thumbtacks. He spells it out with little fanfare immediately as the video starts to roll.
“Linux is a solid and secure operating system that’s perfect for games,” Klint says in the video. “It’s not enough to export games to Linux, we want to put the game development process on Linux so you can build and play games without ever leaving the Linux operating system.”
Leadwerks has more than doubled its Kickstarter goal with just hours to go, raising more than $40,000 at the time of this writing to develop Leadwerks for Linux, a game engine that Klint says can be used to create all types of games from platformers to 3D shooters. The developer says it will integrate the engine with Steam Workshop, Valve’s PC game development tool and asset library. In fact, Leadwerks’ Kickstarter points to Valve’s own progress with Linux development, where it launched an internal Linux for Steam team last year, calling it a sign that the operating system is destined to become bigger part of PC gaming. If their campaign can reach its first stretch goal and raise $46,000 before it ends later today, Leadwerks will add Android and OUYA support.
“The Linux community is pretty intelligent, and they have a lot of good programmers. We think by putting the appropriate tools in their hands, it will enable them to make great Linux games,” says Klint.
LeadwerksÂ had the usual goodie packages as rewards for lower tier backers but offered engine licenses and tech support for pledges of $50 or more. Their backers are split almost right down the middle between those who pledged to get the license and those who just supported the campaign. That means they managed to mobilize a fair number of people who are only interested to see what a Linux game engine and a mob of developers who get to have at it can produce.
Leadwerks has been around since 2006 and is the creator of 3D World Studio, a popular game engine among indie developers. If Leadwerks’ ultimate goal with their Linux engine is now world domination, they’re hiding it well. They say they want to help developers build a portfolio of games for Linux including plenty of exclusive titles. They do seem keen on the exclusive part. Their Kickstarter page points out that you, the developer, can decide to make your Leadwerks for Linux game code compatible for Windows and Mac gamers only “if you feel like sharing.”