Now that Steam has come to Linux — and with it, brought a handful of popular games, as well as a larger handful of less popular games — the platform is very slowly becoming viable for gaming. However, Linux games still tend to be ports — and we all know that while ports are better than nothing, they’re usually not as good as developing a game natively. Kickstarter project Leadwerks for Linux aims to do just that, and bring sophisticated game development to Linux.
Ironically, Leadwerks did not begin life as a Linux tool, and the development team will actually be porting it over to Linux. Do as it says, not as it does, we suppose. The software is touted as a visual tool for building “any kind of 3D game.” Though the software will run natively on Linux (Ubuntu 12.04 is the first target), it will mercifully allow you to port your game to Windows and OS X — considering all that hard work being limited to the comparatively small Linux audience wouldn’t be the best reward. Leadwerks also provides the capability for top-notch graphics, so while clever indie platformers with pixelated “retro” graphics seem to keep the masses happy, we won’t necessarily be inundated with more of them.
Now that Steam has come to Linux, Leadwerks will also connect to the Steam Workshop, so you can reap the benefit of all the wacky and not-so-wacky creations sitting on the service. Furthermore, Leadwerks will allow for a simple submission to Steam Greenlight through the press of a button.
The Kickstarter campaign already hit its funding goal of $20,000 with 21 days still remaining, but with most Kickstarter campaigns, there is still a stretch goal. Currently, if the funding hits $26,000, OUYA and Android support will be added to Leadwerks; other stretch goals have not yet been revealed, but the wording suggests there will be more added if the first one is reached.
If you’re interested in developing a game for Linux on Linux, or you just wish other people would, head on over to the campaign page and kick in a few bucks.