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Snapshot Games have cancelled the Linux version of Phoenix Point

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Some news that I'm not particularly happy about. Snapshot Games, which includes X-COM creator Julian Gollop, have announced they've cancelled the Linux version of Phoenix Point.

As a reminder: After having a succesful Fig campaign last year, where they raised well over $750K which went up to over $780K after it finished, Snapshot Games also gained over $1.2 million in pre-orders from their own store. Linux was a platform advertised during their crowdfunding campaign along with it being clearly listed as a platform on their official website's FAQ. They went on to release two backer builds, both of which had Linux support and ran quite well. After spending quite a number of hours in their second backer beta, I was extremely keen for the third build which was expanding the feature-set quite a lot.

I ended up speaking to Snapshot Games, who gave me the news ahead of time so I've had a little time to think about this. Even so, I'm really not happy with the situation.

They put up a dedicated page to talk briefly about it, after I told them not to leave the reasons why up to people's imaginations. Citing reasons like Linux requiring "specialised graphics programming" as it uses OpenGL and not DirectX, they also mentioned that Linux drivers are "not as comprehensive as for Windows and Mac" requiring them to make "adaptations to graphical shaders" to get them working. Additionally, they mentioned the issue of Linux having many distributions, Linux-specific Unity bugs like "not being able to correctly render the video player" and input issues. I won't comment much on those points, since I am not a game developer and so I've no idea how Unity handles different APIs and everything else Unity does. It's clear Unity has had plenty of Linux issues in the past year though.

I consider myself a big fan of Gollop's work, after discovering UFO: Enemy Unknown/X-COM: UFO Defense when I was younger on the Amiga. So when Phoenix Point was announced, I was incredibly excited. I actually put my own money down for their "Luxury Digital Edition" without using their discount code (not exactly cheap) as I wanted to support them. So for me, this stings quite badly.

Hopefully they will properly reconsider this in time. In the grand scheme of things, it's only one game. We do have a lot of strategy games as well, so it's not like it was serving Linux gamers something we have a complete lack of. A very unfinished game too, but it's still not great to have news like this. Disappointing is a wild understatement.

Anyone who backed it for a Linux build, should contact them to seek an immediate refund. I already have and that's not me being malicious, but if they're not currently doing what you paid for, that money should be put to better use. If they do support Linux properly in future, I will likely be the first in line to pick up a copy.

Obviously, it's a reminder that during development anything can happen. When you support crowdfunding, Early Access and so on developers priorities can and very often do change. Although, that can happen after you release a game too like with Human: Fall Flat so it's not something that happens only here. It's also a reminder about being realistic. Sadly, with our current market share developers find it all too easy at times to leave Linux in the dust. There's not a whole lot that actually treat Linux as a first-class citizen outside of dedicated porting studios and individuals. This has happened around 8 times this year now, hopefully next year things will improve. I could argue that 8 games out of well over 1,100 released for Linux this year isn't a lot, but it's still 8 too many for my liking.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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119 comments
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PlayX 9 Nov, 2018
Quoting: Guest
Quoting: PlayX
Quoting: Patola..or SteamOS which is essentially a customized Ubuntu.

SteamOS has nothing to do with Ubuntu

They are both Debian based. And SteamOS is based on exactly the same versions UbuntuLTS is based on. I am pretty sure SteamOS is more or less Ubuntu for all intends and purposes... Well it does not have the same desktop theme, i give you that...

wait. Ubuntu is Debian based, SteamOS is Debian based, and because of this SteamOS is Ubuntu based
Liam Dawe 9 Nov, 2018
Quoting: Guest
Quoting: PlayX
Quoting: Patola..or SteamOS which is essentially a customized Ubuntu.

SteamOS has nothing to do with Ubuntu

They are both Debian based. And SteamOS is based on exactly the same versions UbuntuLTS is based on. I am pretty sure SteamOS is more or less Ubuntu for all intends and purposes... Well it does not have the same desktop theme, i give you that...
No, just no. SteamOS is SteamOS, Ubuntu is Ubuntu. They're actually quite different beasts.
Leopard 9 Nov, 2018
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: ScooptaSpecialized graphics programming? Just use OpenGL everywhere. It's not like it's Linux only.

But it is deprecated on Mac.

Yet , that was deprecated for a long time.

Problem is , they don't need expertise if they are using Unity. On any graphics api. Unity already does shader conversion for you afaik.

They simply didn't want to support Linux because that is somewhat certain game will work on Proton.

I bet ; if Proton was also available on Mac they would also won't support Mac natively.
Avehicle7887 9 Nov, 2018
I've been going up and down about pre-ordering this, it was looked quite promising and it was the closest thing to X-COM that I could buy as a GOG user. A shame really, I was really looking forward to it and I definitely won't buy it to play in Wine either.

It all strikes me weird though how they decided to drop it (and from the looks of it cause of OpenGL), their previous game Chaos Reborn was released more than 3 years ago and still works great on any system I've thrown it at.
Scoopta 9 Nov, 2018
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: ScooptaSpecialized graphics programming? Just use OpenGL everywhere. It's not like it's Linux only.

But it is deprecated on Mac.
This is why it's best to just pretend that macOS doesn't exist =D.
dpanter 9 Nov, 2018
While I don't dislike the article in itself, I don't like the situation that prompted its creation. Another dev bites the Linux bullet because reasons... :(

Maybe we should have another reaction button to "sadly agree" with articles? I feel the "like" heart isn't really working in this situation. Something like a crying Tux...? Dangit, I'm making myself sad here.
Scoopta 9 Nov, 2018
Quoting: PlayX
Quoting: Guest
Quoting: PlayX
Quoting: Patola..or SteamOS which is essentially a customized Ubuntu.

SteamOS has nothing to do with Ubuntu

They are both Debian based. And SteamOS is based on exactly the same versions UbuntuLTS is based on. I am pretty sure SteamOS is more or less Ubuntu for all intends and purposes... Well it does not have the same desktop theme, i give you that...

wait. Ubuntu is Debian based, SteamOS is Debian based, and because of this SteamOS is Ubuntu based
Ubuntu really isn't Debian based. It does indeed use the Debian .deb package format and the apt package manager but the repos are entirely different. SteamOS is not based on Ubuntu at all but rather straight Debian.
x_wing 9 Nov, 2018
Quote... Linux requiring "specialised graphics programming" as it uses OpenGL and not DirectX ...

Let me understand this...

1. A developer wants to make a multiplatform game
2. Having a graphic API that is multiplatform he decides to use different one on each OS he will support
3. Finally he states that he cannot support Linux because he needs "specialised graphics programming" because he can't use Dx on Linux due that it's an specialised graphics API of Windows.
4. Sounds... logic :|


Last edited by x_wing on 9 November 2018 at 9:05 pm UTC
mcphail 9 Nov, 2018
Being punched in the gut by one of my heroes hurts a little bit more.
Liam Dawe 9 Nov, 2018
Basically me since I've known for a few days:



Last edited by Liam Dawe on 9 November 2018 at 9:18 pm UTC
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