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Stealthy platformer Kiyo in need of Linux testers

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Developer Pixel Rats emailed in about their stealthy platformer that now has a Playtest available on Steam, and they're requesting backup from Linux players to see how it runs across different systems.

More about it: "Sneak, fight and sabotage an evil bunny corporation in this stealthy platformer. Join a resistance group of animals trying to get their home planet back from the paws of evil rabbits. Master stealth, swing with ninja ropes, crack tricky puzzles and enjoy satirical humour!"

The developer mentioned they wrote their game engine from scratch, so it's vital they get as many people as possible to give it a go to ensure the eventual release works well. Check out the trailer showcase below:

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Game Features (from Steam):

  • Semi-open overworld.
  • A complex story with a narrative alluding to real-life societal issues.
  • Stealth gameplay.
  • Dynamic lights and shadows that influence the gameplay.
  • Enemy AI that responds to visual, audio and environmental inputs (important while sneaking).
  • Physics-based ninja rope and archery.
  • Original synthwave soundtrack and immersive audio design.
  • Proprietary engine.
  • Pole dancing.

You can join the Playtest on Steam. Just scroll down to the banner when logged in to request access.

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69 comments
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ShabbyX Feb 26
Has a Mark of the Ninja vibe, which is a good thing, though the game art looks a little basic.

I love how they consider this a feature:

> Proprietary engine.
CatKiller Feb 26
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Quoting: ShabbyXI love how they consider this a feature:

> Proprietary engine.

It's different word usage from people who aren't familiar with open source. For us, "proprietary" is specifically contrasted with "open source," and rings all sorts of alarm bells. For people outside our ecosystem, "proprietary" just means "comes from the manufacturer themselves," like a screen wash or a paint primer or similar.

It is, obviously, a really bad choice of word when the thing you're intending to describe as "not a repackage of someone else's thing" does touch on the open source community... for example if you wish users of an open source operating system to test your game.


Last edited by CatKiller on 26 February 2024 at 2:18 pm UTC
tfk Feb 26
So, are we going to participate? They do support native Linux...
mitridas Feb 26
Hi everbody,
I'm one of the developers of Kiyo.

Quoting: ShabbyXI love how they consider this a feature:

> Proprietary engine.

It is a feature worth mentioning, in an age where 99% of the developers use Unreal, Unity, GameMaker, etc...
It allows us to support a bunch of innovative features, while Unity games tend to look all alike.

Quoting: CatKillerIt is, obviously, a really bad choice of word when the thing you're intending to describe as "not a repackage of someone else's thing" does touch on the open source community... for example if you wish users of an open source operating system to test your game.

I don't get your point. Do you mean that every game developer who releases on Linux should make their games open source? If you go down that route, then I can guarantee you there will be no professionally-made games on Linux at all.
"Proprietary engine" is a pretty precise choice of words, because we designed and wrote it from scratch. It doesn't even depend on SDL, but yeah, it's not open source ATM (but I'm open to the idea).
Liam Dawe Feb 26
I think it's more that just saying it's a "Proprietary engine" by itself isn't really a selling point, it doesn't really explain anything and to most people it won't really mean anything.

And no, no one expects games or the game engine to be open source at all.


Last edited by Liam Dawe on 26 February 2024 at 3:07 pm UTC
mitridas Feb 26
Quoting: Liam DaweI think it's more that just saying it's a "Proprietary engine" by itself isn't really a selling point, it doesn't really explain anything and to most people it won't really mean anything.

And no, no one expects games or the game engine to be open source at all.

Yeah, I guess it's true that to most people it wouldn't mean anything, but to other gamedev nerds like me it will :)
We might reword it to "Custom engine", and move it to a different section of the description to make it clearer.

I'll take this opportunity to mention a couple of details about the current version:

1) Intel video cards below IRIS (min spec on Steam) will probably have trouble running the game
2) Joypad support is not there for Linux yet, but we are working on it

Thanks to everybody who'll give it a go, it means a lot to us and all the info we gather will help improve the game.
Eike Feb 26
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Quoting: mitridasIt is a feature worth mentioning, in an age where 99% of the developers use Unreal, Unity, GameMaker, etc...

[...]

I don't get your point. Do you mean that every game developer who releases on Linux should make their games open source? If you go down that route, then I can guarantee you there will be no professionally-made games on Linux at all.
"Proprietary engine" is a pretty precise choice of words, because we designed and wrote it from scratch. It doesn't even depend on SDL, but yeah, it's not open source ATM (but I'm open to the idea).

The point is, that there's different interpretations of "proprietary".

In my understanding, Unity is proprietary, too. It is owned. (I don't know by whom, probably some Unit Inc.? Ah, ok, "Unity Technologies".)

Other people, especially those caring for open source, take "proprietary" as the counterpart to open source. If you take that interpretation, it's not saying you should open-source your engine. But it wouldn't be some advantage of the game saying "... and it's not open source!"

I'm no native English speaker and don't have a cool better proposal, but "proprietary" to me doesn't express what you want to express. "Self-made" probably would, but it doesn't sound very cool to me (although it absolutely is!).

In the end, it's great you support Linux, and it's great you have made your own engine, and all is fine with not open-sourcing it. This is just about about the optimal wording.
tfk Feb 26
I don't really pay too much attention to this. About 99.9 percent of my games are closed source, my AMD 6800XT and two Steam Decks are running an open source driver, but I believe the firmware is still closed source. And my NVIDIA 4060ti runs on a totally closed source driver.

More interesting I find the question what exactly needs testing?

I'm a developer and I can always appreciate precise parameters so I can focus on the important bits.

One thing I would want to test myself is how the game behaves on Fedora Linux.

Great BTW that you guys choose to support Linux.

Edit: Other than testing the game on both the LCD and Oled Steam Deck, maybe it's worthwhile to test remote play too.


Last edited by tfk on 26 February 2024 at 3:28 pm UTC
mitridas Feb 26
Quoting: tfk...
More interesting I find the question what exactly needs testing?

I'm a developer and I can always appreciate precise parameters so I can focus on the important bits.

One thing I would want to test myself is how the game behaves on Fedora Linux.
...

I'm glad you asked!
We're interested in the following:
1) Issues that seem OS-related. For this reason, just validating the basic functionality (if the game even starts at all) on as many distros as possible, especially anything that's not Manjaro or Ubuntu (used during dev). So Fedora would be great.
2) Issues that could be graphic drivers related. We did a good amount of testing on different GPU vendors and model for Windows, but not on Linux.
4) Trying on Steam Deck would be also very interesting, as we don't have one at the studio. But I foresee input problems with that one for the time being
3) In addition to that, any feedback about any aspect of the game itself will be very useful :)

A good way to report something, or simply tell us whether you like the game or not, is the Feedback page integrated in the game's main menu. Otherwise you can post something here, or contact us at "support at pixelrats.com"


Last edited by mitridas on 26 February 2024 at 3:38 pm UTC
CatKiller Feb 26
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Quoting: mitridasI don't get your point.


No, you really don't.

QuoteDo you mean that every game developer who releases on Linux should make their games open source?


Of course not. What a ridiculous thing to ask.

What you should do is avoid the use of the word "proprietary," since that has a specific (different to the one you're thinking of) meaning in an open source context. Just like other words in common usage have a different specific meaning in a scientific context, or a legal context. Unless you are specifically intending to convey "ha, ha, you can only play our game how we want, not how you want," of course, which is what that word says in the open source context.

Quoting: mitridasWe might reword it to "Custom engine", and move it to a different section of the description to make it clearer.

That would be a much better choice.


Last edited by CatKiller on 26 February 2024 at 4:11 pm UTC
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