You can sign up to get a daily email of our articles, see the Mailing List page!

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.
28 Likes
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG and Humble Store. See more here.
About the author -
author picture
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.
See more from me
97 comments
Page: «2/10»
  Go to:

kuhpunkt 28 Jul
Quoting: KuJo
Quoting: kuhpunktI mean Trine 4 didn't even get a native release, so there's no reason to complain. It could't have gotten worse.
Actually, they shouldn't be that far away from a native Linux version ... because the game was released for/on Stadia in March:
-> https://www.frozenbyte.com/2021/03/trine-4-the-nightmare-prince-now-out-on-stadia/

And Stadia runs with Linux ... apart from the framework adaptations that are required for Stadia. But well ... there is probably already a bigger gaming market under Stadia than for Linux ... or Google added a few bucks for the port ...

But the Stadia version doesn't change the fact that Trine 4 never got a Linux port on Steam. Nobody lost anything here.
Leopard 28 Jul
Quoting: mirvActually their statement is worse in my opinion: native or not, no support at all for running their games on GNU/Linux by any means. I doubt anyone can take a platform seriously if there's no support for it.
A depressing statement. Not that Trine3 ever ran (at all) for me, but Trine and Trine2 were great.

What makes this even worse is that Trine 4 is on Stadia.

They stated they are using a translation layer on Stadia build, so it is not native Vulkan there.

https://steamcommunity.com/app/690640/discussions/0/1842440600620771518/?ctp=2#c4768721849830898948

Likely DXVK but they didn't disclose it.

So far games that are confirmed to be using DXVK on Stadia:

-YS8 ( Confirmed by Durante on Reddit )
-Metro Exodus ( DXVK is mentioned in credits screen, game is native Vulkan on Steam Linux build. It has raytracing on Steam Linux build also)


Google also said they will include translation layers in their SDK to ease porting process, for DX9/10/11.

That is also likely DXVK.


Last edited by Leopard on 28 July 2021 at 2:06 pm UTC
KuJo 28 Jul
Quoting: kuhpunktBut the Stadia version doesn't change the fact that Trine 4 never got a Linux port on Steam. Nobody lost anything here.
That is correct. I also didn't say that there would be a native Steam variant soon or at all due to the Stadia variant.

I was just expressing that they have very much done Linux work on Trine 4 and a native version might not be that far away, if only they wanted to ... yes, if they only wanted to. That's the crux of the story.
CatKiller 28 Jul
They haven't said that they'll bother testing it in Proton themselves, nor fix their game if it doesn't work in Proton, so that's still the 10% tier of the sliding scale - assuming it ever works at all.
Zlopez 28 Jul
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: CatKillerThey haven't said that they'll bother testing it in Proton themselves, nor fix their game if it doesn't work in Proton, so that's still the 10% tier of the sliding scale - assuming it ever works at all.

I would say that if this isn't issue in Proton and it's reported against Proton it will be passed by Valve to developer. Which means it will have a much bigger weight than just complains from few users on Linux. Especially with Steam Deck being a thing.
CatKiller 28 Jul
Quoting: Zlopez
Quoting: CatKillerThey haven't said that they'll bother testing it in Proton themselves, nor fix their game if it doesn't work in Proton, so that's still the 10% tier of the sliding scale - assuming it ever works at all.

I would say that if this isn't issue in Proton and it's reported against Proton it will be passed by Valve to developer. Which means it will have a much bigger weight than just complains from few users on Linux. Especially with Steam Deck being a thing.

IF someone reports the bug to Valve, and IF Valve go through the effort of determining the cause, and IF they can persuade the developers to fix their game... eventually they might provide a fix

compared to

Before release a dev sees that an update doesn't work on one of their test targets and fixes it

One of these things is much more valuable than the other.
Zlopez 28 Jul
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: Zlopez
Quoting: CatKillerThey haven't said that they'll bother testing it in Proton themselves, nor fix their game if it doesn't work in Proton, so that's still the 10% tier of the sliding scale - assuming it ever works at all.

I would say that if this isn't issue in Proton and it's reported against Proton it will be passed by Valve to developer. Which means it will have a much bigger weight than just complains from few users on Linux. Especially with Steam Deck being a thing.

IF someone reports the bug to Valve, and IF Valve go through the effort of determining the cause, and IF they can persuade the developers to fix their game... eventually they might provide a fix

compared to

Before release a dev sees that an update doesn't work on one of their test targets and fixes it

One of these things is much more valuable than the other.

I definitely agree that this should be a responsibility of the developer.
Mohandevir 28 Jul
I don't know if Valve could go to the extent of asking for minimal Proton compatibility in Steam's "SDK"?

Probably not, as it would probably anger some developers, but that could make Linux 100% compatible. Who knows, it might come to this if the Steam Deck becomes a big deal?
sub 28 Jul
Rich chimes in

https://twitter.com/richgel999/status/1420132297353932804

(This time I don't even disagree completely)


Last edited by sub on 28 July 2021 at 2:46 pm UTC
vector 28 Jul
QuoteIf Linux gaming takes off (for example, because Steam Deck becomes a huge success)
Too nebulous a comment for me to put much stock in it. What is a ballpark numerical target for "huge success"? In the same thread it is mentioned that currently they don't test against Proton, don't plan on doing so upon the Steam Deck's release, and don't provide or plan on providing support for Linux gamers in the event any encounter issues. The only thing that will change that is "if Linux gaming community gets significant".

Frozenbyte hasn't provided macOS ports of Nine Parchments or Trine 4 either. Starbase does not appear to be getting a macOS port either: "Suffice it to say here that the size of Mac gaming market is not large enough."

I'm assuming Linux would need to approach near double digits in terms of percentage of Steam users, and even that, while historic, might be deemed insufficient.


Last edited by vector on 28 July 2021 at 6:18 pm UTC
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Patreon, Liberapay or PayPal Donation.

This ensures all of our main content remains totally free for everyone with no article paywalls. We also don't have tons of adverts, there's also no tracking and we respect your privacy. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
Login / Register

Or login with...
Sign in with Steam Sign in with Twitter Sign in with Google
Social logins require cookies to stay logged in.

Livestreams & Videos
None currently, submit yours here!