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ARK: Survival Evolved Released For Linux, Here's An Early Look & Thoughts

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We have been waiting with a keen eye for ARK: Survival Evolved to arrive on Linux. It’s a very popular survival game with dinosaurs that is constantly in the top-10 on Steam, so how is it?

About the game (Official)
As a man or woman stranded naked, freezing and starving on the shores of a mysterious island called ARK, you must hunt, harvest resources, craft items, grow crops, research technologies, and build shelters to withstand the elements. Use your cunning and resources to kill or tame the leviathan dinosaurs and other primeval creatures roaming the land, and team up with or prey on hundreds of other players to survive, dominate... and escape!

Warning: This game is Early Access, and the Linux version has only just arrived.

My initial thoughts
Performance
Be aware that I am testing this on an Nvidia 970 and a decent Intel i5 4670K, so your mileage will vary.

It’s...pretty terrible. On High settings it dips below 10FPS at times, and looking around the world is mainly around 20-25FPS, but it will hit ~55FPS when looking at the coastline.

I’ve had to turn the settings to Medium to get even a remotely playable framerate, and it doesn’t look very pleasing on the eyes.

Graphics
They are good when you turn the settings up for sure, but that's only playable for super insane machines right now, so I took a look at Medium to make it somewhat playable.

Medium settings aren't too terrible, but it is ruined by the constant graphics glitching, and general sluggish performance. Medium settings are still better than most indie games around, so I'm not too bothered by how it looks, it just badly needs the glitches sorted.

Gameplay
I’ve never been a massive fan of many survival games, as most are ugly, or boring as hell. It’s also pretty hard to judge the game when it’s in such a state as this, but I tried it as much as I could to report back.

I have to say, I might actually enjoy this one more than other survival games like it. It already gave me a fright (and death) when trying to get some wood. I was minding my own business, casually pooping and gathering wood, and I peered around a tree to see some sort of raptor making a line for me, and death quickly came after I saw it.

Your character randomly poops (really, fart noise and all), and you can pick it up to use it later. That’s highly amusing, and totally gross, but realistic at least.

Later on I sat around my newly crafted campfire to cook up some meat, I was in a nice little rocky cove for safety, but as I looked above I saw a massive tail swinging around... think I might stay here for a while.

Bugs
Character creation is impossible, since the character generated is invisible, you can only see your character when in-game:
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You also fall through the world, a lot, I keep spawning with the legs in the ground too, although in this case my foot seems to be beside my hip:
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I sent it onto the developers, and they tweeted back that it’s being looked into, so maybe a quick patch could solve those issues.

I later found more issues, like seeing through a hill:
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These rocks seem to have never heard of gravity either:
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I kept seeing shadows in mid-air too, so shadows are a little off as well.

And quite a few more, looks like it will take a few patches to get a playable game for Linux gamers.

Final thoughts: You might want to wait quite a while, seriously. I was going to do a livestream of it tonight, but it’s too buggy, too sluggish and just not good right now, but I’m sure it will get quickly patched up.

Check out ARK: Survival Evolved on Steam now if you dare. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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43 comments
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ElectricPrism 2 July 2015 at 1:49 am UTC
I get 35 - 40 FPS on Epic on my GTX 970 - on High I get 20 - 30.

I noticed that particle effects play a big part in the dips to 10FPS suchas the particle effects from your arm implant on the Inventory Screen, and the Particle Fountains in the distance.

I started a thread numbering bugs on Linux to help the developers get things squared away
http://steamcommunity.com/app/346110/discussions/0/523890681405297150/
SuperTux 2 July 2015 at 2:00 am UTC
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Might be my system with a potential hardware issue, but have been getting NVRM: GPU at 0000:01:00.0 has fallen off the bus errors when running this game for some reason, and then system went unstable.

Updated mainboard BIOS to the latest (z87 asrock) and moved some memory around (mcelog had shown bank 3 being an issue, not seen that in awhile), just successfully ran Unigine valley benchmark at extreme_hd. So far so good, but quite leery about running Ark again yet lol.

When I did run it with the Nvidia 960 FPS was around 15 on High settings, for me it was OK, but I know others want 30 FPS +
SuperTux 2 July 2015 at 2:13 am UTC
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liberodark 2 July 2015 at 2:25 am UTC
Work Great on SteamOS Update 161
No have any bugs but have 15 - 45 FPS on Epic, High or Medium
ricki42 2 July 2015 at 2:43 am UTC
Runs OK. I started with settings on high, but then lowered them to medium. Frame rates above 50fps (1080p) for the most part; I actually stopped checking the frame rate, it was running smoothly enough for me to forget about it. Though with my hardware I would expect more, I'm running a 4790k at 4.6 GHz, and a GTX 980ti (at about 1400 MHz), plus 16 GB of RAM. The game doesn't look that great, I would have expected to play it with most settings on high and still get smooth frame rates. I might play around with some of the settings tomorrow.
zimplex1 2 July 2015 at 3:45 am UTC
To be fair they have stated they are working on adding content rather than non-game breaking bugs, good animations, and game optimization. Though I'm still going to hold off until they do an officially complete release of the game.
slaapliedje 2 July 2015 at 5:09 am UTC
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Nice, apparently on my system it was causing out of memory issues, but that may have been when I was attempting to run it in 2560x1080 with my other two screens on (it did not like that at all, finally disabled the other two (I wasn't using it stretched) ran fine after). I also run it on epic, I will try it out again with the fps counter on.

I have a 980GTX, with AMD 8120 and 8GB of RAM., so motherboard/cpu is kind of slow, though I do have a fast GPU.
ky0 2 July 2015 at 6:18 am UTC
I've been following the game for a bit now and I must say that the dev team behind ARK works so so hard. Bugs are reported and within a few days they are fixed.
I know why the linux version is a bit buggy... they made a promise to release it on the 25th, pushed the date back, pushed the date back again... did a random selection public testing and then HAD to release it since people were shouting and screaming.

Do note, the game is in early access and this is the first version of their linux alpha. How was Storms United when it first came out for linux?

I have no doubt in my mind that once the development stabilizes out - they will optimize the game so that it will run much nicer. This is also not related to the linux client as people on windows are also complaining about performance.

Even at 25-30 fps on medium the game is enjoyable
musojon74 2 July 2015 at 7:07 am UTC
I'm quite pleased with it. Can have fun despite the frame rate. I really wanted to jump in to show I'll put my money where my mouth is on Linux support. If I could get elite dangerous and rogue system on Linux I could probably remove my windows install.
sigz 2 July 2015 at 7:35 am UTC
Most of bugs have been fixed with some patches on release day, the devs were very reactive. The main character is not invisible anymore on game creation and I don't see any previous terrain bugs now ( well in my end game is now really stable ). The only last bad point is the framerate which is still low when looking at forests.
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