What a remarkable weekend this has been. The Kickstarter went up at 2100 EDT on Saturday, and since then I’ve been awash in communications and interest from people all over the world. I intentionally reduced the copy on the Kickstarter page as much as I could to keep it from being overwhelming and to focus on the key points. Keeping it concise has worked well, and I got a lot of positive feedback about that so far, but I know a lot of people just want more detail about mechanics, gameplay, and what distinguishes STL in an increasingly crowded field.
This week I’m going to be focusing on one popular question each day, and answering it in depth. Today’s question is going to be about platform compatibility. I want to talk a bit about why I’m only advertising the game as a Windows game, and why I’m hesitant to say it is for Linux and OSX as well.
Slower Than Light is being developed on my Windows 7 workstation. The development language is C#, which makes it a .NET Runtime.
I have gone to considerable lengths to make STL Mono-friendly. Theoretically, it should run on Linux and Mac environments using Mono’s runtimes. That is not really the question I need to address.
My greater problem is support. I have a great deal of Windows experience, many machines to test on going all the way back to XP. I am confident in my ability to support Slower Than Light on Windows.
I am shakier on Linux. I have a few linux boxes at my disposal — a Debian box, an Ubuntu VM, and an ancient Slackware device. My confidence in being able to support users running the Linux version of Slower Than Light is not really high — I’m sure most of the users I’d be supporting would know more about their environment that I do. More to the point, while I could set up a server for each trouble ticket that came in, doing so would be prohibitively expensive from a time perspective; I simply wouldn’t have the time to work through many problems.
Mac is straight out — I don’t own a single OSX device, and I don’t have the budget to invest in a testing set. I would be completely unable to test on, let alone support an OSX version.
So that’s the real crux of the platform issue for me — STL probably runs just fine on Linux and OSX, but I’m not willing to charge people for software that I can’t or won’t support.