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Another Steam Client Beta is out, adds the ability to force Steam Play

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Valve are working fast to improve the Steam client this year, with another beta now available including an option that was highly requested.

Firstly, Steam Input gained support for the HORI Battle Pad and HORI Wireless Switch Pad. Additionally, Big Picture mode had two bugs fixed. The usual stuff there and nothing major, that is until you get to the Linux section of the beta changelog.

Users have been asking Valve pretty much since Steam Play arrived, to add a method to force a native game to use Steam Play instead. So now, if you've opted into the Steam beta client you will see this on the properties of a game (the bottom option):

Why is that so interesting and important? Well, honestly, some Linux ports get left behind for months and years and some really just aren't good. Additionally, some Linux games have multiplayer that's not cross-platform, this could also help with that. Not to downplay the effort a lot of developers put in, it's just how it is. The ability for users to control between the version from the developer and running it through Steam Play is a nice to have option.

Linux changes:

  • Added the ability to force-enable Steam Play in per-title properties, including for native games
  • Fixed incorrect scroll offset in the in-game overlay
  • Reworked global Steam Play enable settings to only override the Proton version used by unsupported games
  • Fixed a bug where the global Steam Play enable setting wouldn't prompt for a Steam client restart

See the announcement here.

While not noted, the Steam client now actually shows what version of Proton is used for each title. Here's Into the Breach for example:


I would have played more but fullscreen is broken for me and it's a whitelisted title…

One of the next big stages for Steam Play, will be actually showing it for whitelisted titles on store pages. I'm still very curious to see how Valve will be handling that. Valve might also want to update the Steam support page too, it's rather outdated.

44 Likes, Who?
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151 comments
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Eike 18 January 2019 at 3:26 pm UTC
NeptNutz
Eike(*) It's a shame that the English language doesn't have a decent word for the German "Feierabend". "Feierabend" ("Feier" being celebration/party and "Abend" the evening time) has a connotation of finally, work is done and we can do what we want. (Probably the opposite of what we Germans are know for. )

Happy Hour?

Doesn't that have a heavy connotation of booze?
Imants 18 January 2019 at 3:28 pm UTC
mirv
Eike
mirvSorry, but I didn't see many giving actual reasons. Some gave "reasons" of something that was already possible, in my experience, which was why I asked: why be excited when it could already be done? TheDaftRick pointed out much I hadn't thought of, and liamdawe had a couple things too.

As I'm wondering if you seen it, I'll repost mine:

EikeWhile I got more concerns than being excited about Proton (and neither use WINE nor Proton for gaming), Proton..
* is easier to use,
* makes games count as Linux sale and
* offers Valve's support for the whitelisted games.

Those particulars got lost in the text. Takes me time on this phone to reply too.

While I might debate easier to use (just my opinion), and I do wonder how big of an impact the other points make, they are indeed worth considering.
If Valve refund for a whitelisted game not working, or what they do if a game stops working, remains to be seen - especially if there's a native version that's not playable, or only barely functional by comparison. Too early to tell. But, indeed, something to consider beyond just technically running a game via wine.

Do not forget that many people (including me) just hate wine as brand it self. And I can totally relate with that. Because when I hear word wine I shrug and remember all those times when I tried to fiddle with it and nothing worked at all and I just gave up. Now my experience with proton was much more better and it is not associated in my mind with something bad. That is why hearing abount new wine version I feel nothing but hearing about proton updates I feel joy.
mirv 18 January 2019 at 3:42 pm UTC
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Imants
mirv
Eike
mirvSorry, but I didn't see many giving actual reasons. Some gave "reasons" of something that was already possible, in my experience, which was why I asked: why be excited when it could already be done? TheDaftRick pointed out much I hadn't thought of, and liamdawe had a couple things too.

As I'm wondering if you seen it, I'll repost mine:

EikeWhile I got more concerns than being excited about Proton (and neither use WINE nor Proton for gaming), Proton..
* is easier to use,
* makes games count as Linux sale and
* offers Valve's support for the whitelisted games.

Those particulars got lost in the text. Takes me time on this phone to reply too.

While I might debate easier to use (just my opinion), and I do wonder how big of an impact the other points make, they are indeed worth considering.
If Valve refund for a whitelisted game not working, or what they do if a game stops working, remains to be seen - especially if there's a native version that's not playable, or only barely functional by comparison. Too early to tell. But, indeed, something to consider beyond just technically running a game via wine.

Do not forget that many people (including me) just hate wine as brand it self. And I can totally relate with that. Because when I hear word wine I shrug and remember all those times when I tried to fiddle with it and nothing worked at all and I just gave up. Now my experience with proton was much more better and it is not associated in my mind with something bad. That is why hearing abount new wine version I feel nothing but hearing about proton updates I feel joy.

I guess I can understand that, but equally that very statement makes me sad. It's most certainly not right, but it is perhaps necessary to have running games via wine more accepted.
At least Valve are contributing (financially if nothing else, and financials are not to be sneezed at) back upstream.
NeptNutz 18 January 2019 at 3:50 pm UTC
Eike
NeptNutz
Eike(*) It's a shame that the English language doesn't have a decent word for the German "Feierabend". "Feierabend" ("Feier" being celebration/party and "Abend" the evening time) has a connotation of finally, work is done and we can do what we want. (Probably the opposite of what we Germans are know for. )

Happy Hour?

Doesn't that have a heavy connotation of booze?
Yes it does. And at a lower price for early adopters!

Well, I tried. You probably have a better grasp of English than most native speakers, but if that idiom comes to me, you will be the first to know.


Last edited by NeptNutz at 18 January 2019 at 3:50 pm UTC
mylka 18 January 2019 at 3:52 pm UTC
tonyrhProton is gonna be the end of native ports and companies like Feral. It will also confirm Windows as the only "true" gaming os on personal computers. Really sad.

even if its true, whats the problem with that?

do you want less native games, or more proton?
what do you think is best for linux market share? much more games with proton, or less native?

6 years steam client and only 0,8% linux users

linux needs MARKET SHARE! we wont get the gamers, if there are no/less games on linux

valve tried to make developers port games to steamOS... it failed, because of <0,8% market share

now they try a different way and proton is just the beginning
lets wait a few years. maybe developers make proton games, maybe more and more gamers switch to linux, because they can play 90% of the games with ONE CLICK om linux

after linux has enough market share developers will make native ports again. i am pretty sure about that, but you have to start somewhere and proton is a very good start

feral can still make ports of online games with anti cheat and games with nice graphics like tomb raider, because perfomance will be way better (as long as not everyone switches to vulkan and we have the same perfomance on linux)
raneon 18 January 2019 at 3:59 pm UTC
This is such a great change :-) The option to change to another proton build per game is welcome too! Thank you, Valve.

Now for the first time I can play Dying Light. The Linux version never worked for me even with workarounds. And there are enough other examples where the Linux version is broken/not updated. A one click switch to Steam Play is perfect! I'm sure we will see a lot side by side comparisons now.

And the best is that I can run now so many additional games on Vulkan via DXVK!
jardon 18 January 2019 at 4:02 pm UTC
mirvI guess I can understand that, but equally that very statement makes me sad. It's most certainly not right, but it is perhaps necessary to have running games via wine more accepted.
At least Valve are contributing (financially if nothing else, and financials are not to be sneezed at) back upstream.

Theres no reason to be sad about it. People are just different. Thats one of the reasons why I dont necessarily think peoples opinions (whether i agree with them or not) are wrong. Cause for everyone that has a specific opinion on something, theres probably many more that have the same opinion just like you do with wine. And although I may not agree, trying to understand their point of view will help me understand them. I think thats really important for community spaces and even commercially for understanding customers.

Do what works for you. I'll always encourage you to use proton instead since it counts for the statistics, but if youre happy with your setup then game on.
legluondunet 18 January 2019 at 4:12 pm UTC
For my point of view it doesn't matter if game is native, Winised, Protonised. And soon we could play cloud gaming too, playing game without to install it whatever the platform. The only thing matter: play game you want without to tweak it during hours.


Last edited by legluondunet at 18 January 2019 at 9:46 pm UTC
NeptNutz 18 January 2019 at 4:20 pm UTC
All this Proton stuff makes perfect sense as the end of Windows 7 looms large on the horizon and Windows 10 (now the majority version worldwide) will soon be under the grip of the "Microsoft Managed Desktop" not-yet-a-subscription service. Unless they have a full-retail Windows product key, most enthusiast-level PC users are quickly going to migrate to Linux once the ransom notices (or slowed-down updates) start popping up on their Windows desktops. Steam Play makes it easy to migrate, at will.

This is no different than making the original DOS version of DOOM compatible with Windows 95 all over again, only bigger! Not many cared how DOOM ran on Windows 95. It only just mattered that it did. Eventually, even the DOS faithful (bare-metal developers included) moved to the new center of gravity (Proton?) for desktops.


Last edited by NeptNutz at 18 January 2019 at 11:42 pm UTC
somebody1121 18 January 2019 at 4:24 pm UTC
wvstolzing
somebody1121I also tried Deus Ex MKD but doesn't start.

Could it be trying to start in dx12 mode?

I set to be windows 7 with winetricks so i don't think it's the case. Maybe a bug with dxvk, wine or radv...
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