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Seems no hope for Insurgency: Sandstorm on Steam Deck / Linux

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Sadly it seems like Insurgency: Sandstorm is not one you'll be enjoying on the Linux desktop or Valve's Steam Deck any time soon, even with Epic Games supporting Easy Anti-Cheat with Wine / Proton.

A game that originally planned Linux support, which New World Interactive decided not to do while also cancelling the planned story campaign back in 2019. The last hope was Steam Play Proton but it appears the developer will not be enabling support for it in EAC.

Writing in their recent patch notes, the developer said this:

The Linux Situation

Hello penguin pals, this message is being written for you by someone who has in their lifetime been a self-described Linux-head. Yes, we are very much aware that EAC announced Proton and Wine compatibility. Please understand however that we would still need to do quite a bit of development work to properly support Linux, and at this point in time we do not have that capacity. Thank you for your understanding!

Perhaps they, like we expect others to, may change their mind once the Steam Deck is out and they might see more players asking them to support it. That, or people just go elsewhere and find a different game. I'm sure there will eventually be no shortage of first-person shooters that you will be able to play online.

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scaine Dec 17, 2021
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Quoting: EduardoMedinaFrom years ago I think that developers don't want Linux because of GPL license. Too many power for the user, and the most of big corporations and many developers don't want to give power to users, they want to use users while they take user's money.

Porting to Mac is much more expensive than adapt to Proton, but many developers prefer to port to Mac instead of supporting Linux through Proton. This is not an economic question, it's a political question.

Eh, naw. I don't agree with that. It's all money - Mac has about four or five times our market share. Simple as that. And the GPL has nothing to do with releasing a proprietary game on Steam, a proprietary platform.
pb Dec 17, 2021
Quoting: GuestI knew the whole "just flip a switch, it'll just work" thing would be shown to be nonsense, and it is. Why should we expect small teams to go through all the effort to support a game for a tiny fraction of the market? It's just selfish.

That's ok, browsing the store on Steam Deck will only show supported games by default, so users won't even know what they're "missing". Plenty to choose from anyway.
riusma Dec 17, 2021
If anyone is looking for a (bit) more "tactical" multiplayer (coop or PvP, and in the future PvPvE) FPS (it's true first person, the game uses the same models in first person view that it would uses in third) than Insurgency (2014 or Sandstorm) and don't mind playing an Early Access game with Proton (the dev will investigate native Linux, but it's a very small team so I would not hold my breath for that), you should have a look at GROUND BRANCH!

GROUND BRANCH as no anticheat (for now) and the dev will try their best to have a solution that is compatible with Linux / Proton (part of their historical early build testing community is under Linux, and Kris Rigby the lead programmer has Linux installed on all of its PC outside the one where he develops the game), and even if the game ended with a problematic anticheat solution you can always host your own game (or setup your own server obviously) and invite a few friends (max 8 players but you will have probably better performances with just a few friends, the game is heavy on the CPU). It's a very tiny team (head of the studio is John Sonedecker who was lead artists in the original Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon series) so expect slow development but they are very dedicated to their vision to bring a tactical FPS with modern military setting (the game is more about special operations than Insurgency). It offers good characters and guns customization (you can basically place any attachment where you want on your weapon if that position is "realistic"), a good selection of weapons (it's not Escape from Tarkov on that front but it's decent enough) and maps, with no class or point system for your loadout (you can grab what you want, but weight has a cost). Spacial 3D audio is fine (with headsets) even if more work is needed on that front. At that time the game hasn't that much game mods to offer outside terrorist hunt and intel retrieval (searching and extracting a laptop from the map) in coop, but more is planned on the roadmap. The next upcoming update (v1032, in testing in their Community Test Environment that you can try if you have the game in your library) has a very nice in depth rework of all (mainly) guns animation (they look fantastic), new character assets (also fantastic) and two new maps (one well known location in Pakistan and an oil rig). Next two updates should bring better OPFOR AI (much needed) and assets, some improvements on animations with prone, functional bi-pods and ability to rest weapons on surface (needed for sniping especially, for now arm strength tend to lead to painful sniping session), female characters (that will look "as professional as their male counterparts" from the dev own words, again the setting is "realist"), a few new weapons etc. It's not a cheap game (25€ / 30$ I think), it's in an alpha state early access, but with the upcoming v1032 body awareness is now fine (at least for me, before the game was a bit too "clunky" for enjoying the gunfights) and you can really enjoy it with a few friends (solo isn't bad but as with any tactical slow paced FPS it's difficult to control all directions... friendly AI that you can command are also on the roadmap).

Last edited by riusma on 17 December 2021 at 2:11 pm UTC
EduardoMedina Dec 17, 2021
Quoting: scaineEh, naw. I don't agree with that. It's all money - Mac has about four or five times our market share. Simple as that. And the GPL has nothing to do with releasing a proprietary game on Steam, a proprietary platform.
You said it, it's all money. A little trick (supporting Proton) versus porting the whole game. Today it's not difficult to make a game that runs on Linux, even you can use Windows binaries. Valve has made it easier than ever, but many developers still prefer to port the whole game to Mac reprogramming the DirectX thing to Metal and now you have to chose between support x86 and ARM or just ARM.

I don't think that DualSense market for Linux is bigger than any very known game and you have an official driver in Linux for DualSense.
14 Dec 17, 2021
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Quoting: scaineI've been waiting to buy this for... what... two/three years? Loved the first game and I think there were hints/hopes that they'd provide a native build. Now they can't even commit to the simplest change Valve can ask them to make, so I guess it's coming off my wishlist. Really sad. The first game had really fun PvE.
I actually bought it a few weeks ago because Proton reports were saying it was working, even on regular servers. And you know what? It did work for me, for a week or two. I played on the official servers, too. But then I started getting kicked for the anti-cheat client not running. Quite frustrating. So, now, I turn one of the other computers in the house into a temporary, dedicated server when my friends and I want to play. It works... but I didn't want to put that level of effort into it and I'm kinda ticked that it worked just great for a little while.
Corben Dec 17, 2021
I would have understood, if they had said, it would take more testing etc. which needs time they don't have. But in a comment one of their team said:
QuoteMy understanding is that even if EAC supports Linux, Sandstorm does not, and that would take development time that we cannot currently spare.
And this sounds to me that they think they have to have a native Linux game for EAC support as in native Linux EAC support.
But that's not the case. They'd "just" (might involve some effort too, I know) update the EAC SDK in the Windows game, and enable the Wine/Proton support (and the testing then).
Maybe it's a misunderstanding from their side, or a misunderstanding from my side with how they phrased it in that comment.

Insurgency Sandstorm works pretty well with Proton, if you play on community servers that don't have EAC enabled.

Last edited by Corben on 17 December 2021 at 2:33 pm UTC
Alm888 Dec 17, 2021
Quoting: libgradev
QuotePlease understand however that we would still need to do quite a bit of development work to properly support Linux

Not that I care for this game personally but what development work?! Isn't the whole point that devs don't have to do the heavy lifting Proton does... or are they just saying they cannot be bothered to toggle EAC support on

There is a difference between "Works Great With Proton"™ and actual full-fledged support. Providing support means training tech support staff, accepting bug reports, ensuring all future development will not break compatibility (testing patches for Windows and Linux -- double testing of a single product!), offering refunds in case Proton™ compatibility breaks, accepting negative reviews mentioning Linux-specific issues as valid ones and so on.

And now, the question: if providing Proton™ support means so much hassle and a hypothetical developer actually wills to jump into Linux world, shouldn't it be better to just provide a native Linux build in the first place?

And on the other hand, avoiding Proton™ can be actually more beneficial than giving false promises the developer can not hope to fulfill.
ridge Dec 17, 2021
A bummer, but I understand their situation; and respect it. Love Insurgency to bits and hope that they will have this capacity in the future somehow
Jollt Dec 17, 2021
I just play Ground Branch these days, works amazing online on Proton, much, much better overall for tactics.
libgradev Dec 17, 2021
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: libgradevNot that I care for this game personally but what development work?! Isn't the whole point that devs don't have to do the heavy lifting Proton does... or are they just saying they cannot be bothered to toggle EAC support on
This has been discussed before, and it's just like telling developers to "export to Linux" without doing any testing, it's not going to be great. For EAC, developers first need to go and upgrade the Epic SDK used, which means it also then needs testing again on their main platform. Then it needs testing on Linux, to make sure it works and continues working with Proton.

Things are rarely a button to hit and be done with it.

To fully support it on Linux sure but they don't have to take it that far. I was referring to the article:
Quotethe developer will not be enabling support for it in EAC.

Surely allowing EAC and then leaving the rest to Proton is an option akin to all the other Windows games that aren't blocked due to anticheat. By not taking the EAC step they're blocking it outright.
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