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Big Ambitions drops Native Linux support shortly after the Steam release

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After being in Beta for a while for pre-orders, Big Ambitions, a role-playing business sim from Hovgaard Games (who previously developed Startup Company) launched in Early Access on Steam and then dropped Native Linux support.

It entered Early Access on March 10th, with an announcement made in their Steam forum noting they "no longer offer native Linux support for Big Ambitions" but they will "continue supporting and testing against Proton" and they plan to get Steam Deck Verified too.

For players who don't see Proton as an option, they said Steam will give refunds.

As for why? They saw a "very high amount of non-gameplay-related bugs (random crashing, high VRAM usage, file access issues, etc.)" and noted the low amount of players on Linux so they didn't think it was "fair to the rest of our player base" to spend more time on it.

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It's a shame when this happens but thanks to the Steam Play Proton translation layer, it does still mean Linux players will be able to run it and in this case the developer will support it there. Unless developers have Linux expertise and extra time for the currently smaller amount of users, Proton can often just work better, because it's constantly upgraded and optimized by Valve developers.

They're not the first by a long stretch to do this, and they won't be the last.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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dpanter Mar 21, 2023
Smaller ambitions.
Maki Mar 21, 2023
You know how Linux is a community effort? The devs could've reached out to the community and gotten together with a few techies on a private feedback environment (privated Discord channel, whatever) and gotten help from people who play the game on Linux who might know exactly what the bugs are and how to fix them.
Even if the players in question don't know immediately how to fix it, there are enough helpful Linux users who can link to stackexchange or other sites where similar problems have occured to steer the devs onto the right path.
By fixing cross-platform bugs, the whole codebase should be more stable overall and potential for future gamebreaking bugs are mitigated.

I'll be ignoring that title myself.
Seegras Mar 21, 2023
Porting always increases code quality.

But in the end, if you're not developing all platforms together, in the same codebase, with continuous testing, you'll end up with diverging code and a mess that is difficult to fix.
Termy Mar 21, 2023
Not great - but as the explicitly said they will make sure it is tested on proton, i'm halfway fine with that. A properly supported proton is better than a half-assed, barely working native port imho.
Whitewolfe80 Mar 21, 2023
The thing is most of us have said this from proton inception,it's far cheaper to let valve and the codeweavers team do the heavy lifting and just support fixes on proton. It's not what we wanted but it is understandable.

Last edited by Whitewolfe80 on 21 March 2023 at 11:37 am UTC
StoneColdSpider Mar 21, 2023
Sounds like they bit off more than they could chew....... Thats the problem when you have BIG AMBITIONS........
ssj17vegeta Mar 21, 2023
Publishers who do this should be banned from Steam.
Uberkeyser Mar 21, 2023
Not so big ambitions afterall. Not that native Linux support is still necessary nowa(Proton)days. But it surely demonstrates a good and clean code base. The fact that the developers cannot live up to the (promised?) Linux version does not necessarily show ignorance for Linux, but it shows low ambitions in respect of their own code base.
(needsledd to say I wont buy a game if I already know that the developers have low ambitions for their code base, neither for Windows(!) not for Linux, unless the game is already known to be good despite its bad code base).
StalePopcorn Mar 21, 2023
Quoting: TermyNot great - but as the explicitly said they will make sure it is tested on proton, i'm halfway fine with that. A properly supported proton is better than a half-assed, barely working native port imho.
I'm fine with this as well. I'd rather a title I know works via Proton than a native port that doesn't work at all, and I've a few of those.
ExpandingMan Mar 21, 2023
I hate to say it, but I don't yet think we are at the point in history when it's fair to lambaste developers over this.

For one thing, I find that often developers who do have native linux support don't know what they're doing. For example, I've recently been playing the fun and relaxing board-game-like "Terraformers". It has native linux support, but they put their game data directly in `$HOME`, which is, of course, infuriating. I have posted in steam forums requesting they fix it, and it seems the developers do not even know about XDG directories.

Another (yes, very frustrating) thing to consider is that, while I assume most of us on this forum probably consider linux to be the only sensible operating system for software development, this is true of just about everything except games. If a developer has any intention to sell their games, they have to support windows, I'm sure there are even reasonable arguments that it would be crazy of a game developer to have a primary development environment other than windows. As a maintainer of open source projects, sometimes people complain to me about windows-specific issues, and my response is basically "good luck with that". It's hard to blame windows developers for taking the same approach.

Modern wine/proton works so well that I don't think it's such a bad thing that we lean heavily on it. My main worry is that I fear proton development is now irrevocably tied to the commercial success of the steamdeck, which is definitely not a great situation.
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