Yeah, so a lot of people are emailing me about this news.
It’s actually true.
The Army used to pay me for the Linux and Mac OS X server and clients. I was brought on originally to do just the Linux server, because at the time one of the ArmyGame project’s new game hosting facilities insisted on having a Linux server and recommended me…also, you can make a strong argument that having a Linux server available to the public adds longevity to a title and increases play options for the user looking for an online game to join, both of which are more important to America’s Army than the average multiplayer FPS.
Within a few months, the Army (and SCI, in one case) added some more bullet points to my resume: soon, a Linux client was shipping to the public, a 64-bit Linux version was demo’d at the Athlon64 launch event, and a Mac OS X client was running on some shiny Apple Cinema Displays in the Army’s floorspace at E3.
Literally years have passed since that heyday. I’m now paid for just the Linux server. The Mac and Linux clients were cancelled several versions ago. Let’s say it happened when GameSpy jacked their prices, but the port wasn’t actually cancelled because of the GameSpy fiasco; while it definitely didn’t help, the two events just happened to coincide. I asked that I be permitted to keep shipping the Mac and Linux versions if I wanted to, and was allowed, so long as I understood that it was going to be pro bono work.
I’m never one to shrink from a challenge. I ripped out the GameSpy code, built my own Master Server out of car tires and chicken wire, and shipped another Mac build. The Linux client kept chugging along, too. I like to keep at least one free project going at any time, because sometimes the project is more important than the paycheck. At one point it was Postal 2, or Serious Sam, or Lugaru, but at this moment it sort of became ArmyOps out of necessity, since I didn’t want this game to dry up.
The problem, though, is that I’m a busy, busy guy. There are paying clients that are waiting for me to give them my attention, and my TODO list is continuing to grow. There are clients I work for, too many pro bono ports that I think are important, personal projects and experiments, open source stuff that needs love and care…I really do try to make everyone happy, and spend almost every waking hour in a debugger to do so, but as all the people still emailing me for UTPG updates can tell you, sometimes things just get flat out dropped. There are only so many hours in the day, even when I use each at maximum efficiency.
Sadly, the ArmyGame project is about to teeter into this category.
2.7 is coming soon, and I’m still fighting with the 2.6 clients. Future versions of the game will be adding more middleware that I can’t keep up with and for which no one will be footing the bill. The Army, I think, probably sees these freebie ports as a nuisance, since they’re almost always late, and all they see are complaints from the Mac and Linux users about delays in a project they thought they axed several releases ago.
To be clear, there aren’t plans to abandon the Linux server at this point, but at this time, the non-Windows clients are basically gone.
What you can do: nothing. Please don’t email anyone about this, don’t offer to send money. It’s just how this goes for now. The client may resurface at some point, but don’t hold your breath at this time. 2.6 might still make it out the door, 2.7 probably won’t.
Apple’s Boot Camp had nothing to do with this, either, as some forum people have apparently decided. That being said, lucky you if you have an Intel Mac: you can boot to Windows to keep playing. Linux users can try their luck with Wine, Cedega, or Windows itself.
It’s been a good run, and I thank everyone for their support and passion that made this such a great game for the without-Windows crowd.
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