There have been rumors since last year that Valve may be serious about porting Source games to Linux after Valve Software began seeking a senior software engineer with the responsibility of porting Windows-based games to the Linux platform. Valve Software has yet to officially announce Linux clients for any of its software, but Phoronix has received information confirming that Valve is indeed porting its very popular Source engine to the Linux platform.
This game engine, which first premiered in 2004 but continues to receive routine updates, is used for Valve’s own popular titles and is licensed by other game studios. Among the Valve Source titles are Counter-Strike: Source, Half-Life 2, Day of Defeat: Source, Portal, and Team Fortress 2. Other Source-based games include The Crossing, Garry’s Mod, Salvation, and The Kill Point: Game. This advanced game engine right now supports Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 platforms, but no support for either Mac OS X or Linux.
Currently, the Source Engine uses Microsoft’s DirectX API (support for version 8.1, 9.0, and 10.0 with Source Engine 2007). Though the Source engine’s predecessor, GoldSrc, which in turn was based on the original Quake engine, was able to render both OpenGL and Direct3D. The Source Engine is designed to be highly modular, and this is hopefully how the OpenGL support will be introduced, which is needed for any Linux or Mac OS X support. The Source Engine does contain technological enhancements such as High Dynamic Range (HDR) rendering, a soft-particle system, an advanced AI system, and its physics capabilities originate from Havok 2.
Valve Software’s other major component that they use for their own games and over time has been opened up to its licensees is Steam. Steam is Valve’s digital distribution platform. The Steam client — which right now is only available on Windows — allows gamers to purchase games from Valve and to electronically (and securely) download the game to their PC. This platform has also been extended to provide anti-cheat detections and other technologies. Furthermore, Valve has built a social network around Steam with Steam Community, which gives each gamer a profile page and allows friends to talk using an integrated instant messaging utility. With the Source Engine being ported to Linux, it would be logical that Steam for Linux will accompany the first batch of Source-powered Linux titles.
Read the rest of the article @ Phoronix