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GOL Cast: Avoiding Zombies, Bugs And DMCA Claims In Dying Light

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So... Dying Light. A triple A day one Linux port. Now that would sound awesome but sadly releasing games in a horrible state is trendy and Techland seems to have wanted a piece of that cake. Let's list the problems, shall we?

Dying Light is an open world zombie survival game where you are sent to a zombie infested city of Harran to fetch a stolen file that contains a recipe for an experimental cure for the infection. An ex-politician in the city is threatening to release the said document to all of the world. The catch? That medicine in its experimental state would be poisonous and releasing it to the world would only cause pain and suffering. So, you need to blend in to the world of survivors and attempt to find the target and get it back.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXgOAG8iShI

You probably have already noticed that I'm not too happy about the state of this game. Before we found our own little tweaks, the game was absolutely unplayable. It was so bad that it couldn't even be called cinematic because the framerate often dipped down well beyond 24 frames per second, something that even Hollywood wouldn't accept. And this was accompanied by a boat-load of bugs, including the lips not moving when NPCs talked, inability to secure safe zones, frequent freezes, co-op not working properly and graphical glitches. Many people were ready to excuse these issues because ”it's a AAA, they always have problems at launch”. Well I don't think that's an excuse. If you release a full game I expect a full game. If you have a high budget you should have enough money to afford quality assurance. But apparently that was not a case, considering the state of the Linux port.

Luckily some of these issues have been addressed and it seems lips are now moving when NPCs are talking. However, it's still an extremely buggy game. And it's also extremely heavy. Even with everything cranked down to low it uses around 8GB of RAM. Yes, you read that right. When I play this game on my Intel i5-2500k, GTX 760, 8GB RAM setup I constantly go onto swap. After about an hour of gameplay, I'm certain that I have around 1 GB of swap space in use. And that's when I only have Steam and Dying Light running. The game also still suffers from the inability to secure safe zones, which is vital for your sanity because without them you have to walk long distances after dying and especially during nights you might get into big trouble due to the lack of safe zones in your area.

I guess I should also talk a bit about the game and not just the issues I'm having with it. In theory the game isn't bad. The gameplay is well thought out and the map is fun to roam around in. The parkour elements also tie into the game very nicely. The combat also requires some tactical thinking because your combat stamina will run out after just a couple of swings with your improvised hammer or lead pipe. Combined with some of the moves you unlock later on, like the dash that allows you to jump out of the way of enemy attacks, the combat is very enjoyable and also somewhat difficult. You won't be just mowing through hordes of zombies. In fact, avoiding combat by staying on rooftops and cars is extremely important for your survival.

The day and night cycle is a nice addition to the game as well. During day you will mostly encounter normal virals with a couple of special infected thrown into the mix for some extra difficulty but at night the streets become infested with nightmarish creatures known as volatiles. They are virtually immortal, extremely fast and they will hunt you down and absolutely murder you if they catch you. But at night your rewards also get bigger. Rival factions won't be touching any air drops that fall around the map and you get an experience boost to your power and agility levels. Some of the missions in the game also require you to stay out at night to complete the objectives.

I have to say, I have enjoyed Dying Light but I absolutely can't recommend it. Especially with all of the shady stuff that's happening around the game at the moment. The review keys were sent out to the gaming press extremely late and the preview versions of the game apparently didn't have as many problems as the full release. And it seems that Techland is focusing more on cracking down on modders than actually fixing their game, sending DMCA claims at modders who, for example, created a mod that removed the film grain from the game. I guess their artistic vision of the game is more important that having gamers enjoy their game. Why would modding even affect this game in any bad way? Sure, hacking is not okay but this is mainly a singleplayer/co-op game, so who cares? If I wanted to make myself immortal and run through the game without a care, why would you stop me? And these mods in question only removed artsy fluff like the film grain. Hell, even we might get a DMCA claim for spreading around a tweak that effectively doubles your performance by disabling some shadow related features.

Verdict: don't get this game. There are plenty of other zombie games to play while you wait. And voting with your wallet is the most effective way to get all of this crap fixed. Yeah, I know that we need to support games for Linux gaming to grow but supporting broken games will only get us more broken games. And finally, DON'T PRE-ORDER ANYTHING. Dying Light showcased very well why companies push this pre-order culture on us. Get your games when they are actually out and make sure you know what you are buying into. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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21 comments
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metcard 1 February 2015 at 10:29 am UTC
I'm getting good performance by disabling sun shadows and cloud shadows. I have vsync in kwin enabled so no tearing and I'm getting 30fps+ most of the time (some parts it has dipped to 22fps). I haven't encountered the bug where you can't secure safe zones. Every safe zone I've reached I've been able to make safe.
I'm running at 3440X1440. Maxing out everything doesn't seem to have much of a performance hit. I have textures set to medium though as I was getting flashing clouds at max, and draw distance set to minimum.
I do hope they do improve performance, as it is a very good game. I didn't much like Dead Island but, this is a whole different game with better everything.
That blur when running also needs to go, it's just terrible.
Issues I have apart from performance;
Swap being utilised - not sure if it's a problem.
Random textures pop into view - eg. I've had full trees just flash infront of me for a brief second, even though no tree is supposed to be there, walls too.
GTX770 4gb/Xeon 1231V3/8gigarams.
z1lt0id 1 February 2015 at 10:35 am UTC
metcardI'm getting good performance by disabling sun shadows and cloud shadows. I have vsync in kwin enabled so no tearing and I'm getting 30fps+ most of the time (some parts it has dipped to 22fps). I haven't encountered the bug where you can't secure safe zones. Every safe zone I've reached I've been able to make safe.
I'm running at 3440X1440. Maxing out everything doesn't seem to have much of a performance hit. I have textures set to medium though as I was getting flashing clouds at max, and draw distance set to minimum.
I do hope they do improve performance, as it is a very good game. I didn't much like Dead Island but, this is a whole different game with better everything.
That blur when running also needs to go, it's just terrible.
Issues I have apart from performance;
Swap being utilised - not sure if it's a problem.
Random textures pop into view - eg. I've had full trees just flash infront of me for a brief second, even though no tree is supposed to be there, walls too.
GTX770 4gb/Xeon 1231V3/8gigarams.

Disabling the shadowing as much as it may improve performance makes the game look like utter crap unfortunately and really removes the mood of the game.
Smashley 1 February 2015 at 10:36 am UTC
I am really keen to buy this game, but have been waiting for the performance issues to be fixed up.

I have GTX680 at current and should be upgrading within a year.

People who do own this game, could you please keep us updated?

Thanks,

Smash.
kwahoo 1 February 2015 at 10:40 am UTC
http://youtu.be/vXgOAG8iShI?t=2m18s
Ambient occlusion does slightly darker places near objects.

Edit:
AO explained by Carmack http://youtu.be/IyUgHPs86XM?t=1h7m22s
Segata Sanshiro 1 February 2015 at 12:36 pm UTC
QuoteThe review keys were sent out to the gaming press extremely late

That's never a good sign...
eschter 1 February 2015 at 1:09 pm UTC
Quote"Verdict: don't get this game."

Seriously? Why so hostile? How about "Wait until the developer fixes it, unless you want to participate in bug hunting".?

Sometimes things are broken on linux because you don't earn enough money by supporting linux.

Quote"supporting broken games will only get us more broken games"

This is techlands first linux release, so of course it is going to be buggy (especially considering its state on other platforms).
Be not confused by the shining knights at aspyr and feral, those guys are exceptional.
The guys at Techland are swiftly reacting to bug reports and releasing new patches, so why not give them a chance? Things will surely get better as their experience with linux (bad management decisions and public relations) improves.

A prominent linux gaming site telling people not to buy a AAA-game with a day one release without even giving those developers some time for bug-squashing is ridiculous and will not help anyone.
sub 1 February 2015 at 1:13 pm UTC
[quote=eschter]
Quote
Quote"supporting broken games will only get us more broken games"

This is techlands first linux release, so of course it is going to be buggy (especially considering its state on other platforms).
Be not confused by the shining knights at aspyr and feral, those guys are exceptional.

Neither is Aspyr a shining knight nor is Dying Light Techland's first Linux game (see Dead Island).
eschter 1 February 2015 at 1:20 pm UTC
Quotenor is Dying Light Techland's first Linux game (see Dead Island)

Aaah true that! Shame on me for telling such blatant lies.
Their games are not available in my country so i totally forgot about those. Ha ha.
Samsai 1 February 2015 at 1:33 pm UTC
Maybe I might be a bit hostile, yes, but this is how I'm going to fight against games that are broken at launch like this. AAAs don't have to be broken at launch and it's not acceptable if they are, so I won't pretend it is. And as you can see in my article, it's not just the game that seems to be broken but also the attitude of the devs/publisher.
Maelrane 1 February 2015 at 2:06 pm UTC
Basically it's just "okay" for many, because they're used to it. Many of the younger audience don't know a difference, because for them there is none. When DSL and highspeed internet with pretty much unlimited bandwidth took over, so did "banana software" that matures at the customer.

It's stupid, yes, but the easy way of distributing patches won't help. Wasn't it like Sony and Microsoft charged a lot for patches on XBox 360 and PS3? (Like 10.000$ for a patch?) Has that changed? It's really a shame, but it's the same in the whole software-business.

I mean, I'm not a game-developer but a software-engineer myself and it's like that everywhere
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