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Valve fixed up Dead Space on Steam Deck

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For those of you waiting for news on Dead Space becoming more playable on Steam Deck — Valve have already delivered.

In my original article and video, it was an example of just how bad some brand new releases can be, especially when they don't have a shader cache built up for it. Thankfully, Valve apparently continue burning the midnight oil on weekends to get Proton fixed up.

Not only have they put up an initial shader cache now, they've also updated Proton Hotfix to work around the map crashing the game and even included a little performance fix too. The result of all of that together is quite amazing compared with how it was at release.

Check it out below:

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Don't go expecting perfection though just yet of course, it’s a brand new big budget title and there may be some lingering issues as Valve is reacting quickly as the problems appear but their dedication to it is truly admirable. Shows how much they care about their players having a good experience, even for titles that haven't been through Deck Verified.

Great work Valve. Hopefully one day we won't have to wait around for shaders to get sorted. Developers using the Vulkan API would be a good start.

Be sure to follow me on YouTube for more videos.

For Linux desktop players curious on how it runs: after allowing Steam time to sort shader pre-caching (which took quite a while — and froze Steam completely at one point). Running it on Fedora Linux 37 with an NVIDIA 2080Ti and an AMD Ryzen 5800X, it does work out of the box.

It still needed about 1 minute for the in-game shader loading before the intro logo screens. From there, it also gave the freezing issue on the loading screens the Steam Deck originally saw but after about 30 seconds that went to the menu just fine. 

Performance can be problematic though even on desktop, as there's plenty of shader stuttering and the intro scene in the ship had at least one full freeze for a good few seconds still. So while the shader system works great for the Steam Deck, desktop Linux is obviously a whole range of hardware combinations so it's not as easy for Valve to sort. Thankfully, desktops generally have a lot more power to push through the shader spikes but even so, repeatedly stuttering and multi-second freezing when it loads new sections in is not great. Hopefully Valve have more VKD3D-Proton performance improvements coming for desktop.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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About the author -
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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. Find me on Mastodon.
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24 comments
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Quoting: enigmaxg2Playing the catch-up game again... as more games become DX12-only this only will get worse
I don't see any evidence that it will only get worse. The whole trajectory thus far, certainly ever since the beginning of DXVK and probably for a while before that, if more slowly, has been towards this kind of thing getting better. Even a year ago, an equivalently problematic game would have not worked at all at launch and then taken weeks to be fixed.

Really, it seems like in the taillight-chasing game we are now in a situation where at worst, we're seriously tailgating, into that point where what we're chasing is going "Holy shit, what happens if I brake? We're gonna crash!!!", and for most games we have now actually merged with the car "ahead".

The one holdout is anti-cheat, and even that isn't a complete shut-out.


Last edited by Purple Library Guy on 29 January 2023 at 6:16 pm UTC
Kimyrielle Jan 29
Quoting: mr-victory
Quoting: enigmaxg2but I hope Valve eventually makes native Vulkan mandatory for games to become Deck-verified.
Not verified but if Valve introduced another compatibility level like "optimized" which guarantees the developer is well aware of Steam Deck and QAs updates for it before releasing, mandatory Vulkan would be a good requirement.

I would love to see them introducing another compatibility tier for games that run -really- well on Deck and have the devs actively supporting Deck (e.g. by using Vulcan instead of DX12 and testing their game on Deck), too. Even in the current Verified tier, you still find games that while run smoothly, still don't feel as if they were "made" for Deck. My most common complaint with some Verified games is that Valve seems to have a fairly loose definition of "legible" fonts...
Klaas Jan 29
Quoting: KimyrielleMy most common complaint with some Verified games is that Valve seems to have a fairly loose definition of "legible" fonts...
I want every game to have customizable font sizes. Too small is bad and too large is bad as well.

I remember the time I played F.E.A.R. after buying a new monitor. That should be horrible on the Steam Deck.
Thetargos Jan 29
The message Valve sends with these actions, besides their commitment to the Deck as a platform, and Linux as the vehicle to consolidate it, is also their commitment to make any and every game as well supported as possible, which is much more than the likes of Epic or GoG are doing. So they are actually showing where that 30% revenue cut is going to.
Squirrlz Jan 29
Quoting: Moss49Hi, there, I've selected the hotfix on my deck, but Dead space refuses to launch what should I do to resolve this?

First thing I'd do is search your Deck's library to find Proton Hotfix, hit A to pull it up, and check if it gives you the option to update it. If it does, update and try to launch the game again. If not, read on.

Second thing I'd do is validate the game files through the config wheel menu and again try to launch it. Third, delete the shader cache and Proton compat data using zShaderCacheKiller. Not sure of the policy on external links here so just Google it. There are instructions on how to use it on the scripts github readme. After this step it will probably say you have to update the game. Do so and try to play again.

Last resort: uninstall the game entirely. Then before you install it again make sure you're forcing compatibility to the Proton Hotfix first.
Lefl Jan 30
Quoting: TermyBut as some are insane enough to not boycott 3rd party launchers, it is nice to see it being tweaked either way. Valve is really putting in the effort.

Launchers suck, yes. But they're not going to stop me from playing a game I want to play.
Termy Jan 30
Quoting: LeflLaunchers suck, yes. But they're not going to stop me from playing a game I want to play.

That's something everybody has to decide for themselves. I hope, you are saying this with a parrot on your shoulder though ;)
Lefl Jan 31
Quoting: Termy
Quoting: LeflLaunchers suck, yes. But they're not going to stop me from playing a game I want to play.

That's something everybody has to decide for themselves. I hope, you are saying this with a parrot on your shoulder though ;)

No, I just buy the game anyway. A launcher only shows up at worst twice. Before the game is started and maybe after it closes.

What really sucks though is games using their launchers to update instead of pushing the updates to steam.

But that still beats pirating games.
Termy Feb 1
Quoting: LeflA launcher only shows up at worst twice.

No, at worst, the launcher doesn't show up at all while being needed without justification.
Case in Point:
https://www.gamingonlinux.com/2023/02/ubisoft-broke-their-games-on-linux-desktop-and-steam-deck/
Lefl Feb 2
Quoting: Termy
Quoting: LeflA launcher only shows up at worst twice.

No, at worst, the launcher doesn't show up at all while being needed without justification.
Case in Point:
https://www.gamingonlinux.com/2023/02/ubisoft-broke-their-games-on-linux-desktop-and-steam-deck/

Sure, but then the game does not work and I don't buy the game. With things like protondb I can just check beforehand.

If i would just straight up boycott every game that has a launcher I would never have played some of my favourite games.

I'm not arguing for launchers, I'm arguing against boycotts.


Last edited by Lefl on 2 February 2023 at 2:29 pm UTC
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