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Frozenbyte being the developer behind titles like the Trine series, Shadwen, Has-Been Heroes and the upcoming Starbase talks a little about Proton and future native Linux support. If you're not clear on what Proton and Steam Play are, be sure to check out our constantly updated dedicated page. It's a special compatibility layer for running Windows games and apps from Steam on Linux.

If you're not aware, Frozenbyte did previously have their games ported over to Linux but they eventually stopped after the release of Shadwen in 2016. The latest Trine 4 and their other titles don't have Linux version. With Starbase that's due to release tomorrow (July 29, 2021), there's a post on the Steam forum from a user asking about Linux support and Frozenbyte developer Jukka Larja (JLarja) replied on July 27 to explain it's not a priority:

With Proton being as good as it is, native support is not very high on our list. In fact (without actually trying the native versions on modern Linux distro) I would recommend Proton emulation over native versions for all the previous games we've released. Changes are you'll get better graphics quality, likely less trouble getting the game running and input working, and possible better performance too. For low-on-resources port Proton is simply superior.

If Linux gaming takes off (for example, because Steam Deck becomes a huge success), then we'll have a reason to consider not-so-low-on-resources port, which may (and probably does) change the picture somewhat. At the moment we have Xbox Series X/S higher on our porting targets list though (not for Starbase currently, but for other future projects).

I imagine there will be plenty more of this, especially for older ports where performance wasn't top and some that might have other issues. Proton isn't just something that's good to ensure Linux gamers and Steam Deck users get to play the latest games, it's also (as even porter Ethan Lee has pointed out), good for being an "essential preservation project" for older Windows games to keep them working nicely.

What is interesting to see is a mention of it being possibility if the Steam Deck is a success. People will argue on one side about there not being a point if Proton gets to the stage where Windows games can just run out of the box on Linux with Proton, but there is the other side that a native Linux build gives developers more control and flexibility on their games compared with handing it all over to Valve. Either way, that and more depends on how the Steam Deck goes.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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97 comments
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Zlopez 12 Aug
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: bepop
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: bepopProton is better than half-assed ports. I'm looking at you Total War Warhammer II :<

Curious, what do you find so bad about that port?

Performance is worse than running it with Proton and WAY worse than running it on Windows (3900x + 1080ti). Delayed patches and no multiplayer with Windows. It's a joke

Hm, I didn't saw any performance issues on my AMD RX 590. The multiplayer itself should be fixed in newer Feral ports, let's hope that the fixes from Total War: Rome Remastered get in the TW: Warhammer 3.

About the patches and DLC, I heard from few that they are running the game in Proton especially because of this, but I'm not kind of guy, who needs everything ASAP, so it's OK for me to wait a few more months. I would say that in this case the issue will be most likely on CA side, they probably don't give Feral much till released for windows version.
bepop 22 Aug
Quoting: Zlopez
Quoting: bepop
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: bepopProton is better than half-assed ports. I'm looking at you Total War Warhammer II :<

Curious, what do you find so bad about that port?

Performance is worse than running it with Proton and WAY worse than running it on Windows (3900x + 1080ti). Delayed patches and no multiplayer with Windows. It's a joke

Hm, I didn't saw any performance issues on my AMD RX 590. The multiplayer itself should be fixed in newer Feral ports, let's hope that the fixes from Total War: Rome Remastered get in the TW: Warhammer 3.

About the patches and DLC, I heard from few that they are running the game in Proton especially because of this, but I'm not kind of guy, who needs everything ASAP, so it's OK for me to wait a few more months. I would say that in this case the issue will be most likely on CA side, they probably don't give Feral much till released for windows version.
If you don't have a point of reference (Windows version running on Windows) you may think that there are no performance issues...
Eike 22 Aug
Quoting: bepopIf you don't have a point of reference (Windows version running on Windows) you may think that there are no performance issues...

I don't own the game in question, but my reference is "How is it running natively on my Linux PC?".
(No, I can't judge porting with that, but it's the one thing I care about.)


Last edited by Eike on 22 August 2021 at 5:27 pm UTC
mirv 22 Aug
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: bepop
Quoting: Zlopez
Quoting: bepop
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: bepopProton is better than half-assed ports. I'm looking at you Total War Warhammer II :<

Curious, what do you find so bad about that port?

Performance is worse than running it with Proton and WAY worse than running it on Windows (3900x + 1080ti). Delayed patches and no multiplayer with Windows. It's a joke

Hm, I didn't saw any performance issues on my AMD RX 590. The multiplayer itself should be fixed in newer Feral ports, let's hope that the fixes from Total War: Rome Remastered get in the TW: Warhammer 3.

About the patches and DLC, I heard from few that they are running the game in Proton especially because of this, but I'm not kind of guy, who needs everything ASAP, so it's OK for me to wait a few more months. I would say that in this case the issue will be most likely on CA side, they probably don't give Feral much till released for windows version.
If you don't have a point of reference (Windows version running on Windows) you may think that there are no performance issues...

That's really the crux of the matter: if someone is enjoying the game, and there are no performance issues that they feel impact that enjoyment, then does it really matter if the numbers game shows Windows as "better"?

Now obviously that's extremely subjective and is going to depend on personal experiences and expectations. For example, I would rather a game that is always running at 30fps compared to a game that is 90% of the time running 60fps, but dips below 20fps for the remaining. I also cannot compare to Windows because I don't run it, at all. If it ran at a constant 60fps on Windows, then I still wouldn't play it; it literally doesn't matter how well it run on Windows because I won't play it there. What matters is how well it plays on GNU/Linux, and how much fun I have with the game.
Zlopez 23 Aug
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: bepop
Quoting: Zlopez
Quoting: bepop
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: bepopProton is better than half-assed ports. I'm looking at you Total War Warhammer II :<

Curious, what do you find so bad about that port?

Performance is worse than running it with Proton and WAY worse than running it on Windows (3900x + 1080ti). Delayed patches and no multiplayer with Windows. It's a joke

Hm, I didn't saw any performance issues on my AMD RX 590. The multiplayer itself should be fixed in newer Feral ports, let's hope that the fixes from Total War: Rome Remastered get in the TW: Warhammer 3.

About the patches and DLC, I heard from few that they are running the game in Proton especially because of this, but I'm not kind of guy, who needs everything ASAP, so it's OK for me to wait a few more months. I would say that in this case the issue will be most likely on CA side, they probably don't give Feral much till released for windows version.
If you don't have a point of reference (Windows version running on Windows) you may think that there are no performance issues...

Let me rephrase it, I didn't noticed any performance issues on Linux, maybe looking at the Windows version side by side beside the Linux native version I would notice something. But for me it's playable and I have fun with it. Not much else matters to me.
bepop 24 Aug
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: bepop
Quoting: Zlopez
Quoting: bepop
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: bepopProton is better than half-assed ports. I'm looking at you Total War Warhammer II :<

Curious, what do you find so bad about that port?

Performance is worse than running it with Proton and WAY worse than running it on Windows (3900x + 1080ti). Delayed patches and no multiplayer with Windows. It's a joke

Hm, I didn't saw any performance issues on my AMD RX 590. The multiplayer itself should be fixed in newer Feral ports, let's hope that the fixes from Total War: Rome Remastered get in the TW: Warhammer 3.

About the patches and DLC, I heard from few that they are running the game in Proton especially because of this, but I'm not kind of guy, who needs everything ASAP, so it's OK for me to wait a few more months. I would say that in this case the issue will be most likely on CA side, they probably don't give Feral much till released for windows version.
If you don't have a point of reference (Windows version running on Windows) you may think that there are no performance issues...

That's really the crux of the matter: if someone is enjoying the game, and there are no performance issues that they feel impact that enjoyment, then does it really matter if the numbers game shows Windows as "better"?

Now obviously that's extremely subjective and is going to depend on personal experiences and expectations. For example, I would rather a game that is always running at 30fps compared to a game that is 90% of the time running 60fps, but dips below 20fps for the remaining. I also cannot compare to Windows because I don't run it, at all. If it ran at a constant 60fps on Windows, then I still wouldn't play it; it literally doesn't matter how well it run on Windows because I won't play it there. What matters is how well it plays on GNU/Linux, and how much fun I have with the game.

Great for you that you are satisfied with subpar experience. Game still objectively runs way worse on Linux than it does on Windows, Proton version still runs better than "native" port. Being on Linux doesn't lower my standards and expectations one bit and thus my disappointment. IMHO instead of spending money making "native" Linux port they should invest money into OpenGL, or better yet Vulkan, renderer. Game would run identical to or better than Windows version.
mirv 24 Aug
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: bepop
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: bepop
Quoting: Zlopez
Quoting: bepop
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: bepopProton is better than half-assed ports. I'm looking at you Total War Warhammer II :<

Curious, what do you find so bad about that port?

Performance is worse than running it with Proton and WAY worse than running it on Windows (3900x + 1080ti). Delayed patches and no multiplayer with Windows. It's a joke

Hm, I didn't saw any performance issues on my AMD RX 590. The multiplayer itself should be fixed in newer Feral ports, let's hope that the fixes from Total War: Rome Remastered get in the TW: Warhammer 3.

About the patches and DLC, I heard from few that they are running the game in Proton especially because of this, but I'm not kind of guy, who needs everything ASAP, so it's OK for me to wait a few more months. I would say that in this case the issue will be most likely on CA side, they probably don't give Feral much till released for windows version.
If you don't have a point of reference (Windows version running on Windows) you may think that there are no performance issues...

That's really the crux of the matter: if someone is enjoying the game, and there are no performance issues that they feel impact that enjoyment, then does it really matter if the numbers game shows Windows as "better"?

Now obviously that's extremely subjective and is going to depend on personal experiences and expectations. For example, I would rather a game that is always running at 30fps compared to a game that is 90% of the time running 60fps, but dips below 20fps for the remaining. I also cannot compare to Windows because I don't run it, at all. If it ran at a constant 60fps on Windows, then I still wouldn't play it; it literally doesn't matter how well it run on Windows because I won't play it there. What matters is how well it plays on GNU/Linux, and how much fun I have with the game.

Great for you that you are satisfied with subpar experience. Game still objectively runs way worse on Linux than it does on Windows, Proton version still runs better than "native" port. Being on Linux doesn't lower my standards and expectations one bit and thus my disappointment. IMHO instead of spending money making "native" Linux port they should invest money into OpenGL, or better yet Vulkan, renderer. Game would run identical to or better than Windows version.

I see you completely decided to ignore everything that everyone has written and try to continue beating your own drum.

Unfortunately, you've shown your ignorance in the matter with that last line. Total War: Warhammer II has a Vulkan renderer in the GNU/Linux native version. Perhaps you're getting confused with the previous game, which was released before Vulkan was an option and so uses OpenGL instead for the native version.
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