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Developers - let us know if you need help with Steam Deck testing

By - | Views: 26,601

Valve's new handheld PC the Steam Deck is starting to ship out but there's going to be a long wait for some, and others might not be able to get one at all for various reasons - I'm here to help.

Now that any embargo is up and I can do whatever Steam Deck content I like, I had a thought. I know a lot about Linux, and since I have a Steam Deck why not help out those who need it? So that's exactly what I'm announcing: a free Steam Deck testing service for developers.

"You must be crazy doing it free", probably but the Steam Deck is important for Linux as a whole and I personally want to see it succeed. The more games that can get tweaked and fixed before many thousands end up in the hands of regular consumers, the better it will be for everyone. Valve of course have Deck Verified but it's going to take a long time to get through the tens of thousands on Steam and more releasing every day. It's also difficult to test on something you don't have, patches might need re-testing and so on you get the idea I'm sure.

How will it work? Developers just need to send an email and it will go into a queue. Be sure to include one single Steam key in case I don't already own it, and notes on any Beta I might need to opt into (don't forget a password if it needs one). If there's any performance concerns, a save game ready to check would be helpful.

While I won't take any payment at all for it, as I will be doing it because I want to, I do accept any no-strings donations and regular support via Patreon, see more on the Support Us page.

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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21 comments
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Anza Feb 27, 2022
Quoting: elmapul
Quoting: mr-victory
Quoting: elmapulyou need an comparision point... eg: test it on windows too.
i saw a lot of reports on protonDB from people who never played an particular game saying it run flawless on linux, then you open the game and... where are the cutscenes? where is the video behind the title screen?
If they didn’t notice something is wrong, then Proton did its job nicely
sigh, nope, they never tried the game on windows so they dont know they are missing some features.
some people may not care about missing features, but a lot of people do, especially those who know those features supose to be there.
if we dont fix it, they will go back to windows.

Cutscenes is bit more of an licensing issue. Linux could play them, but Valve can't include the codec because it would eat their profits.

What Valve is doing is that they automatically re-encode the videos into free format. And at least these days there's hint that there's a missing video.
elmapul Feb 28, 2022
Quoting: Anza
Quoting: elmapul
Quoting: mr-victory
Quoting: elmapulyou need an comparision point... eg: test it on windows too.
i saw a lot of reports on protonDB from people who never played an particular game saying it run flawless on linux, then you open the game and... where are the cutscenes? where is the video behind the title screen?
If they didn’t notice something is wrong, then Proton did its job nicely
sigh, nope, they never tried the game on windows so they dont know they are missing some features.
some people may not care about missing features, but a lot of people do, especially those who know those features supose to be there.
if we dont fix it, they will go back to windows.

Cutscenes is bit more of an licensing issue. Linux could play them, but Valve can't include the codec because it would eat their profits.

What Valve is doing is that they automatically re-encode the videos into free format. And at least these days there's hint that there's a missing video.


sigh, that is not the issue, end users dont want to know the reason, they want things to "just work", or at least to know that something isnt supported.

this conversation has being going forever.
"why i cant play mp3,wmv, xyz on linux?"
oh, thos proprieatary formats are evil, you should save your file format in an libre format instead!
fine... but i already downloaded this music... plus the free codec to compact video is crap!

"why i cant play on linux"
"oh, because those games are proprietary and evil ! and made to be windows exclusive!"

^then we solve those issues:
why the cutscenes on this game dont work?
"oh because..."
sigh.

no one want "excuses" people want solutions, now, i know why the cutscnes dont work, i just wish people could be informed that they will be missing part of the content by playing on linux so they can make the informed decision of if they care or not about the cut content.
if we cant fix it now, at least let people know that they are playing without the story of the game, so they dont spoil the experience, ask then to wait until this problem is solved and let then know when its fixed.
Liam Dawe Feb 28, 2022
Quoting: elmapulyou need an comparision point... eg: test it on windows too.
i saw a lot of reports on protonDB from people who never played an particular game saying it run flawless on linux, then you open the game and... where are the cutscenes? where is the video behind the title screen?
Thanks for the note but I know what I'm doing :)
Appelsin Feb 28, 2022
Quoting: denyasis
Quoting: mr-victory
Quoting: elmapulyou need an comparision point... eg: test it on windows too.
i saw a lot of reports on protonDB from people who never played an particular game saying it run flawless on linux, then you open the game and... where are the cutscenes? where is the video behind the title screen?
If they didn’t notice something is wrong, then Proton did its job nicely

Lol, until the players review bomb the devs because the story "was too confusing" and the ending was "abrupt". J/K.

While I say it in jest, I do remember seeing a post a long time ago where a Linux user "discovered" the opening cutscenes for Witcher 3, having never known it was missing.

Had this issue with Journey to the Savage Planet. The video messages didn’t play. At first I was like “well, that was strange. Well, maybe it’s a joke, that they [the space company] said they’d send you updates and stuff, but then didn’t because it cost them money and/or their tech was made so cheap that shit broke” until I did a bit of OCD research and, yep, video was broken in proton 😄
Anza Feb 28, 2022
Quoting: AnzaWhat Valve is doing is that they automatically re-encode the videos into free format. And at least these days there's hint that there's a missing video.

Quoting: elmapulno one want "excuses" people want solutions, now, i know why the cutscnes dont work, i just wish people could be informed that they will be missing part of the content by playing on linux so they can make the informed decision of if they care or not about the cut content.
if we cant fix it now, at least let people know that they are playing without the story of the game, so they dont spoil the experience, ask then to wait until this problem is solved and let then know when its fixed.

Too bad that's not how things work. Solutions take time and meantime there will be lot of confused players. Making people aware that that they should care about the cutscenes is not instantly solved. Lot of the reporters don't have interest testing with Windows, only people who are in position to know if something working wrong are the dualbooters. Or people who watch let's plays before playing.

Or at least if the problem is in anything else than the videos. If people know what the placeholder video means, they have chance to to notice that there should have been cutscene or some other kind of video. Placeholder video just won't tell if that video is essential not. I have been just guessing based on the video length (though I'm not totally sure if the placeholder video is displayed as long as the original video would play).

Sometimes the best solution could be that you show good example. That could slowly get people to copy what you are doing, especially if the understand the issue just by seeing your example. In this case, just stating that the videos have been tested might just be enough as long as the testing is simple enough. Maybe little hint how the testing was done also helps.

PS: native games could still have problems with videos and situation might not be as good. I don't think they have the placeholder video so in worst case we're back in square one and would have to pay for Windows license to do the testing properly.
areamanplaysgame Feb 28, 2022
Quoting: elmapul"why i cant play on linux"
"oh, because those games are proprietary and evil ! and made to be windows exclusive!"

It's not because they're proprietary and evil. It's because they are developed to run on one operating system and not another. What Proton does is very quickly approaching magical. Even console gamers understand you can't put an Xbox disc into a Playstation and expect it to work.
elmapul Feb 28, 2022
Quoting: areamanplaysgame
Quoting: elmapul"why i cant play on linux"
"oh, because those games are proprietary and evil ! and made to be windows exclusive!"

It's not because they're proprietary and evil. It's because they are developed to run on one operating system and not another. What Proton does is very quickly approaching magical. Even console gamers understand you can't put an Xbox disc into a Playstation and expect it to work.

do you know what "quotes" mean?
Philadelphus Mar 1, 2022
Just wanted to say good on ya Liam for offering to help out like this for free. I hope this proves really helpful for devs.
Ari El Uno Mar 1, 2022
Quoting: jpDevelopers - let us know if you need help with Steam Deck testing.
Let them know — let they make native games.
Competent builds and ports.
... and proper supports, too.
areamanplaysgame Mar 2, 2022
Quoting: elmapul
Quoting: areamanplaysgame
Quoting: elmapul"why i cant play on linux"
"oh, because those games are proprietary and evil ! and made to be windows exclusive!"

It's not because they're proprietary and evil. It's because they are developed to run on one operating system and not another. What Proton does is very quickly approaching magical. Even console gamers understand you can't put an Xbox disc into a Playstation and expect it to work.

do you know what "quotes" mean?

Yes. Your post was alleging that "they're proprietary and evil, and windows exclusive" is an "excuse" that Linux people use for incompatibility.

It's not. It's a straw man you made up, and in reality, people are aware that different platforms usually run different software.
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