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Dying Light Is Almost Playable On Linux, If You Do Some Tinkering (Updated)

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Thanks to pointers from our community member xpander69, we have found that Dying Light can be played almost acceptably on Linux with some messing around with the files. I have personally tested this, but your performance will vary, and we accept no responsibility for breakage, do this at your own risk. You've been warned, but we hope no one manages to break anything. If you do, you can probably verify the cache on Steam to re-do the files officially.

Here's what we have found so far, if you unpack the Data0.pak in ~/.steam/steam/SteamApps/common/Dying Light/DW/ using your favourite file archive program and place it into the "/DW/out" folder, you then get access to the "varlist_performance.scr" file where you can turn certain features off like this:

QuoteVarFloat("f_lighting_range", 50.0)
VarInt("i_shadows_sun_on", 0)
VarInt("i_indoor_on", 1)
VarFloat("f_alpha_test_value", 0.0)
VarInt("i_clouds_shadows_on", 1)
VarInt("i_lighting_sun_on", 1)
VarInt("i_render_reflection_on", 1)
VarInt("i_out_buffer_on", 1)
VarInt("i_simple_shadows_on", 0)
VarInt("i_shadows_sun_hq_on", 0)


It seems having the files extracted, the game will use the extracted files over the .pak by default.

Setting it like that gave me a performance boost of around 20FPS, and it's extremely noticeable how smooth it now is. There isn't any fancy lighting from the sun, or any shadows, but it is slightly playable now.
It's still not completely acceptable, as we imagine there are other rendering issues, but it's a small find.

So it seems having "VarInt("i_shadows_sun_on", 1)" is what tanks the FPS on Linux.

We haven't yet found a way to turn off the sickly motion blurr yet, as the menu option doesn't work, but we will keep trying. It gave me a very bad headache last night, so I still can't play it with that permanently jacked up. We tried setting every blur option we could find in all files to zero, and it is still permanently turned on.

We have updated our support ticket with the developer in the hopes that it helps them track the issues down for Linux & Windows users, as it affects us all.

The only word we have out of them, is that Linux issues will be sorted in a "future" update.

Update
Techland requested some very detailed system specs from me including "printenv" and details from "hardinfo", looks like I got their attention.

Update #2
I've sent them even more details, and screenshots now too of our missing graphical options, and they replied with:
QuoteThank you for the screenshot. We're working on the performance issues.

They are being responsive, and the Linux "depot" on SteamDB has seen activity for a patch, so fingers crossed. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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27 comments
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Kallestofeles 29 January 2015 at 11:01 am UTC
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Hey,

Haven't gotten the game myself yet, but happened to see "port report" by TotalBiscuit yesterday on this title. Seems like Draw distance is pretty much useless feature which brings the system to its knees without actually providing any visual improvement. (well it does, but is minimal)
If the linux port has the same options, maybe it'd be a good start to tinker around with that as well...
Keyrock 29 January 2015 at 11:24 am UTC
Lowering draw distance does indeed help the framerate a lot and it has no impact on gameplay as the draw distance is still quite good even on minimum settings and it mostly affects things way off in the distance. I would imagine that if you break anything messing with these files that you can simply delete the data folder that you extract into ~/.steam/steam/SteamApps/common/Dying Light/DW/out with all the changes in it and the game will automatically go back to using the default values within the Data0.pak archive.

Now, if we could just get rid of the horrific chromatic aberration effect.
Xpander 29 January 2015 at 11:34 am UTC
what is chromatic aberation effect? that blur when you sprint? thatone is nasty as hell and makes my head hurt.


also the draw distance on linux doesnt really change much.. disabling the shadows from that file is the key.. rest of the stuff can be even on high.

View video on youtube.com
HadBabits 29 January 2015 at 11:42 am UTC
Yay, I can get 40+ minimum frames now But that blur sure is awful; hopefully some clever person figures it out.
Von 29 January 2015 at 11:46 am UTC
Chromatic aberration ruins this game for me. Not even blur is as bad.
Maelrane 29 January 2015 at 12:19 pm UTC
A rather "stupid" question, but does the filesystem you use change anything? For some games *I heard* it's bad to use anything but ext4. (Although I'm not sure how or why you would optimize stuff for a certain filesystem.)
I personally am running btrfs exclusively since a few months. May this be a problem with dying light?
z1lt0id 29 January 2015 at 12:49 pm UTC
I can't even get the game to get past the main menu, it's a garbled mess. I did post it in the Steam forum but yet to get any form of reply.
Nanobang 29 January 2015 at 12:50 pm UTC
For $60? I'll let the developers fix their own game and continue to wait for what I'm sure will be an amazing experience someday soon.
jakejw93 29 January 2015 at 1:04 pm UTC
Good find, although I'd rather not have to tinker with stuff like that for the game to run okay. If you get me....
Eike 29 January 2015 at 1:14 pm UTC
I didn't pay much attention to this, but it is a day one release on Linux, right? Cool stuff - even though not in my country.
Great to hear they are seeking for information to make it better on Linux!
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