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Slime Rancher is a damn cute game, it's high on my list to play hours of when it has some fleshed out content to it. It has hit over 300K sales so I caught up with the developer on the Linux side of it.

I spoke to Nick, the main developer behind Slime Rancher with two simple, but interesting questions I wanted to know.

GOL: How easy was it for you to support Linux with Slime Rancher?

Nick: "Since we’re using Unity, supporting linux basically ‘just works,’ or at least it works enough for us to get a great start on it. Had we built our own 3d engine (and as a two person team, this would have been insane) it would have been far more difficult. With Unity, it has mostly been a matter of resolving graphical issues. Fortunately the linux audience seems to expect these things and they’ve been very patient and helpful when these issues arise."

GOL: Have the sales for the Linux version been enough for you to be happy with it?

Nick: "This is where we’re a bit more conflicted. Linux sales represent a tiny fraction of Slime Rancher sales, less than 0.5% overall (for reference, Mac sales are about 10%). So it’s difficult to say if it has been worth the trouble. Given that Slime Rancher has been very successful for us, 0.5% of all the revenue we’ve generated is a nice figure, but had we instead spent those resources improving the game as a whole; would we have made more revenue as a result? It’s a tough call."

You can find Slime Rancher on GOG, Steam or buy it directly.

I think it's a very cool game, you can see my previous failure in it here.

The Mac->Linux difference is sales is probably one of the biggest differences I've ever seen from talking to developers. I wonder why that is?

Thanks for speaking to me Nick!

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aldy 4 Aug, 2016
Maybe linux users don't have the habit of buying unfinished games.
InverseTelecine 4 Aug, 2016
Urgh! That's not good to hear. I'd like to speculate on other reasons why it might not be getting as good Linux sales as other games, but maybe we just didn't buy it! I didn't, but not because I didn't want to! :(

I think it looks like a great game, and I'd love to play it, but the price is a bit high for me (even though it's not high), especially for an Early Access game.
Luke_Nukem 4 Aug, 2016
1. I wasn't aware it was available on Linux.

2. Our small base combined with the small niche audience they target would be a contributing factor (it doesn't look like my cup of tea).
zimplex1 4 Aug, 2016
Indeed... I won't buy the game till it's done. I think it's a bit more risky for us Linux users to buy early access games or even preorder games due to some developers either retracting their support or breaking the game during early access and not fixing them for months.
Even if these issues get resolved (or never happen) I still think buy early access games or preordering is bad consumer practice.
EndeavourAccuracy 4 Aug, 2016
Quoting: aldyMaybe linux users don't have the habit of buying unfinished games.

Usually, as soon as I see "Early Access Game" on a game's Steam page, I close the tab. I don't even take the time to look at the discount percentage or review scores. Unless I'm mistaken I've only once bought an Early Access game, from the Don't Starve series. I just don't want to play unfinished games. Plus, I'm trying to make sure I don't miss out on getting any fun Steam Achievements; sometimes (some of) these are added closer to the launch date. I've seen Jim Sterling play Slime Rancher, the game didn't appeal to me. That 0.5% is disappointing. Not that far away from our 0.8% market share on Steam though. Sometimes it's difficult to stay optimistic for us Linux gamers.
GustyGhost 4 Aug, 2016
QuoteLinux sales represent...less than 0.5% overall. So it’s difficult to say if it has been worth the trouble.

Of course, it isn't officially released yet and I am sure I'm not the only Linux user who is waiting for the game to be completed.
dmantione 4 Aug, 2016
One reason I can think of why Mac users buy games like this is that they have poor generally poor gaming hardware, unable to run run games of any serious graphical weight. Those are usually the more expensive games. The result is, that Mac gamers need to spend their money over a much smaller amount of games, and they end up with Indy games like this, which run on about anything.

Another reason I can think of is that on Mac there are a higher number of users who are not technical at all, and own their Mac mainly for their profession. In their spare time, they would not go for games with deep learning curves, but for more for the casual stuff.
I'll put this on the wishlist and scoop it up at $10 or less on Steam sale. I probably won't ever play it because I kind of need story motivated progress but if/when I get my steam machine up in the living room I have some family members that would probably love this.
ElectricPrism 4 Aug, 2016
Interesting... I recall almost buying it on the Steam Sale but the discount wasn't enough to get me to pull the trigger.

While I'm sure $20 is fair to the developers, I'm also a bit more choosie when it comes to indie games at that price point.

I wouldn't be surprised if Linux Gamers simply have purchased 100's of games and can't justify buying yet until either its on a good sale or they play through their catalog more.
Nyamiou 4 Aug, 2016
Quoting: aldyMaybe linux users don't have the habit of buying unfinished games.

For me it's exactly that. It's on my wishlist and I'm only going to buy it when it's out of Early Access. It's not that I have something against Early Access but I hate playing unfinished games and also the review are often too much optimistic when the game is in EA and they only go back to reality when the game actually come out.
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