Google is working on a “Stadia Porting Toolkit,” which aims to make it easier for developers to bring their games from Windows to the cloud.

Right now, it would be almost an understatement to say that Windows is dominating the PC gaming space. While there has been significant push from companies like Valve and Google to support gaming on Linux — particularly by using Vulkan to handle graphics rather than Windows’ DirectX — many PC games are currently only being released for Windows.

In a sense, games for Stadia are a lot like PC games, but unlike Amazon Luna, which uses Windows-based servers, Stadia uses Linux and Vulkan. For many studios, this means that to bring their game to Stadia, they need to port their game and its engine to properly support Linux.

During the Google for Games Developer Summit, there was a talk centered on the latest ways Google is optimizing Stadia game creation, including new optimizations for Unity and Unreal, two game engines that already support Stadia. In the session, Robert Adelmann, one of Stadia’s Product Managers, also shared about the “Stadia Porting Toolkit,” which has a bold end goal.

A slide reading:
"Goal: Greatly reduce time to first light. No need to change most APIs in Windows game. Specifically no need to transition from DirectX to Vulkan."

The first key aspect of the Stadia Porting Toolkit is a suite of “translation libraries” that automatically bridge the gap between a Windows game’s calls to DirectX into calls to Vulkan. These libraries are available to Stadia developers now in early access, and more are in development.

The idea is that it can keep your game, your Windows game, as much as possible, and you do not have to develop against new APIs, but you can just link against new libraries and most things would just work out of the box.

Google is also actively working on source code analyzers and other tools to help game studios make the jump from Windows to Linux. One notable callout is a tool to help convert from 32 bit to 64 bit, suggesting that there could be interest from developers of older, 32-bit games to bring their titles to Stadia, but that’s merely speculation at this point.

Considering the wealth of games that have been released for Windows over the years, it’s good to see Google making an effort to try and bring more of those titles into the cloud. Part of Stadia’s appeal is that it can bring in people who may not have ever had a PC good enough for gaming, meaning those Windows games were inaccessible to them.

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About the Author

Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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