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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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Beamboom 29 Jul
I see so many talk about Stadia this and Stadia that, like running on the Stadia servers requires a Linux build.

Where did that idea originate from? The way I see it it's exceptionally logical, to he borders of being guaranteed, that Stadia are running the games using a transitional layer, very likely Proton or a derivative therefrom? I mean, with "unlimited" processing powers of a data center there's next to no argument to NOT do do...?
CatKiller 29 Jul
Quoting: BeamboomI see so many talk about Stadia this and Stadia that, like running on the Stadia servers requires a Linux build.


It does. Stadia instances are running Debian with AMD graphics. They aren't running Windows.

QuoteWhere did that idea originate from? The way I see it it's exceptionally logical, to he borders of being guaranteed, that Stadia are running the games using a transitional layer, very likely Proton or a derivative therefrom? I mean, with "unlimited" processing powers of a data center there's next to no argument to NOT do do...?
Approximately 3 included DXVK with their Stadia build. Stadia have recently relaxed their stance on translation layers to allow more than that, and have started including tooling of their own for that purpose.
mirv 29 Jul
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Quoting: BeamboomI see so many talk about Stadia this and Stadia that, like running on the Stadia servers requires a Linux build.

Where did that idea originate from? The way I see it it's exceptionally logical, to he borders of being guaranteed, that Stadia are running the games using a transitional layer, very likely Proton or a derivative therefrom? I mean, with "unlimited" processing powers of a data center there's next to no argument to NOT do do...?

The info came from Google themselves. There's actually a lot of info out there about it - they use amdgpu, debian based, there are plenty of videos about companies porting to Stadia and some of the difficulties faced.

DXVK is included in some games, but that's a "native DXVK" (makes it easy to port a title to use Vulkan natively, it's basically a source-level translation layer instead of a runtime one).
Beamboom 29 Jul
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: BeamboomI see so many talk about Stadia this and Stadia that, like running on the Stadia servers requires a Linux build.


It does. Stadia instances are running Debian with AMD graphics. They aren't running Windows.

You didn't read my post correctly. I know it runs Linux, my point is that this fact do do NOT automatically mean that every game that runs on it is a Linux BUILD. Just like you and I run a lot of Windows games on our Linux rigs.

Even if a game is on Stadia, it does not logically mean there has to be a Linux build of it. Not when Proton is as good as it is and they are running on massive data centers that presumably can handle the little extra overhead required for Proton/Wine.


Last edited by Beamboom on 29 July 2021 at 10:43 am UTC
Beamboom 29 Jul
Quoting: mirvThe info came from Google themselves.

... The info that ALL games running on the Stadia service have to be native Linux builds? No wine/proton or equivalent layers in cases where no native build is available?

That begs the question, why?

I mean, sure, some devs are building native builds for Stadia. I know. And cool of them. But is that like a requirement, an absolute rule to be included in the Stadia library? Because technically I don't see why it should be like that at all! Sounds to me like an utterly artificial and quite illogical limitation.


Last edited by Beamboom on 29 July 2021 at 10:53 am UTC
Liam Dawe 29 Jul
Quoting: BeamboomThat begs the question, why?
Due to it being streaming, it's super sensitive to anything especially anything that might cause a bit more input lag. However, we know for a fact that multiple games on Stadia use DXVK-Native. However, the games themselves are Linux builds but they do still need Stadia specific adjustments for their SDK, input and so on.

Edit: oh, and of course Google has spent millions getting developers to port to it too.


Last edited by Liam Dawe on 29 July 2021 at 10:51 am UTC
Beamboom 29 Jul
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: BeamboomThat begs the question, why?
Due to it being streaming, it's super sensitive to anything especially anything that might cause a bit more input lag.

Not to be a nitpicker but just to be totally clear: Do we know this, as in that it is confirmed, or is this an assumption/possible explanation?

I mean, it's great if it's true, don't get me wrong, I just find it a bit hard to understand. The additional input lag on server side, with the powers to handle that additional overhead, should by my logic be barely possible to even measure?
sub 29 Jul
I'll leave this here.

German gaming news mag Gamestar has just updated an article with a direct response by Valve (PR),
which states that Steam Deck will support the entire Steam library (more or less).

Link to the article:

https://www.gamestar.de/artikel/valve-steam-deck-kompatible-spiele,3371994.html

The comment with the original statement in English

https://www.gamestar.de/artikel/valve-steam-deck-kompatible-spiele,3371994,kommentar5539666.html

Quoting: Kaci Aitchison Boyle (Valve PR)"Steam Deck is built to support the entire Steam Library. Some games may run better than others in the same ways in which some games play better with controllers than others. That said, many games won’t require added work from game developers to run well on Deck because of Proton, and we’re spending the time between now and launch working with devs on additional ways to optimize for Deck where needed."
ObsidianBlk 29 Jul
Quoting: Beamboom
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: BeamboomThat begs the question, why?
Due to it being streaming, it's super sensitive to anything especially anything that might cause a bit more input lag.

Not to be a nitpicker but just to be totally clear: Do we know this, as in that it is confirmed, or is this an assumption/possible explanation?

I mean, it's great if it's true, don't get me wrong, I just find it a bit hard to understand. The additional input lag on server side, with the powers to handle that additional overhead, should by my logic be barely possible to even measure?

Honestly, if you feel so adamant that there are games running on a runtime translation layer (Proton/Wine) on Stadia, look one up! Email the question to Google/Stadia directly or even a few of the developers who've ported their games to Stadia. If the feels are there for you that we don't know that there aren't any games on Stadia running through Proton (etc)... find one and sooth those feelings.
Beamboom 29 Jul
Quoting: ObsidianBlkHonestly, if you feel so adamant that there are games running on a runtime translation layer (Proton/Wine) on Stadia, look one up! Email the question to Google/Stadia directly or even a few of the developers who've ported their games to Stadia. If the feels are there for you that we don't know that there aren't any games on Stadia running through Proton (etc)... find one and sooth those feelings.

I'm not adamant, I just seek to separate facts from assumptions (as we all should, really!).
Like I say, I struggle to see the logic in it. But of course, that is nothing but an assumption on my behalf too, based on my limited insights.

So I simply ask, do we know this? Or do we assume this based on the little we do know? That's what I try to get to the bottom of here. Not to discredit anyone, but too often assumptions gets repeated and establish themselves as "truths" without anyone actually knowing.

But if none of us here actually knows this (and even have a link to support it!), then yeah it's a good idea to send an email to someone inside and ask, absolutely!
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