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Snapshot Games have cancelled the Linux version of Phoenix Point

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Some news that I'm not particularly happy about. Snapshot Games, which includes X-COM creator Julian Gollop, have announced they've cancelled the Linux version of Phoenix Point.

As a reminder: After having a succesful Fig campaign last year, where they raised well over $750K which went up to over $780K after it finished, Snapshot Games also gained over $1.2 million in pre-orders from their own store. Linux was a platform advertised during their crowdfunding campaign along with it being clearly listed as a platform on their official website's FAQ. They went on to release two backer builds, both of which had Linux support and ran quite well. After spending quite a number of hours in their second backer beta, I was extremely keen for the third build which was expanding the feature-set quite a lot.

I ended up speaking to Snapshot Games, who gave me the news ahead of time so I've had a little time to think about this. Even so, I'm really not happy with the situation.

They put up a dedicated page to talk briefly about it, after I told them not to leave the reasons why up to people's imaginations. Citing reasons like Linux requiring "specialised graphics programming" as it uses OpenGL and not DirectX, they also mentioned that Linux drivers are "not as comprehensive as for Windows and Mac" requiring them to make "adaptations to graphical shaders" to get them working. Additionally, they mentioned the issue of Linux having many distributions, Linux-specific Unity bugs like "not being able to correctly render the video player" and input issues. I won't comment much on those points, since I am not a game developer and so I've no idea how Unity handles different APIs and everything else Unity does. It's clear Unity has had plenty of Linux issues in the past year though.

I consider myself a big fan of Gollop's work, after discovering UFO: Enemy Unknown/X-COM: UFO Defense when I was younger on the Amiga. So when Phoenix Point was announced, I was incredibly excited. I actually put my own money down for their "Luxury Digital Edition" without using their discount code (not exactly cheap) as I wanted to support them. So for me, this stings quite badly.

Hopefully they will properly reconsider this in time. In the grand scheme of things, it's only one game. We do have a lot of strategy games as well, so it's not like it was serving Linux gamers something we have a complete lack of. A very unfinished game too, but it's still not great to have news like this. Disappointing is a wild understatement.

Anyone who backed it for a Linux build, should contact them to seek an immediate refund. I already have and that's not me being malicious, but if they're not currently doing what you paid for, that money should be put to better use. If they do support Linux properly in future, I will likely be the first in line to pick up a copy.

Obviously, it's a reminder that during development anything can happen. When you support crowdfunding, Early Access and so on developers priorities can and very often do change. Although, that can happen after you release a game too like with Human: Fall Flat so it's not something that happens only here. It's also a reminder about being realistic. Sadly, with our current market share developers find it all too easy at times to leave Linux in the dust. There's not a whole lot that actually treat Linux as a first-class citizen outside of dedicated porting studios and individuals. This has happened around 8 times this year now, hopefully next year things will improve. I could argue that 8 games out of well over 1,100 released for Linux this year isn't a lot, but it's still 8 too many for my liking.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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125 comments
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Nevertheless 11 November 2018 at 12:31 am UTC
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NeverthelessExcept for the ones who'd try to implant their native libraries into the Flatpak version...

not sure I understand this comment.
If you mean end user tweaking libraries - it is possible (but not recommended ), just navigate to folder of a given flatpak and have a go .
If you mean devs providing custom libraries with their app then it is even easier - bundle those with a flatpak or make them a separate runtime pack. Which is one of the reasons I think Flatpak are the best choice atm I know of for distribution of proprietary apps - it gives the devs an easy option to separate closed and open source parts required to run the application (and thus avoid licensing issues).

Yeah, it was just a joke about the guys complaining about the stone old libs in the Steam runtime, then tweaking them and having all sorts of compatibility problems with it...
beko 11 November 2018 at 1:08 am UTC
g000hThere seem to be a number of overly-upset Linux gamers on here, with respect to this game's change of position.

It has been mentioned in comments numerous times on GOL website about the problems of making payments supporting kickstarter developments. You support a kickstarter, you are risking your money that you won't get what was offered.
We are overly upset because it's always the same gorram story.

This is the reason I stopped Pre-Ordering.
This is the reason I do not support any kickstarter.
This is the reason I leave games on my wishlist until someone else bit the lemmon of another lame port.

Exceptions occur. There are some I trust kinda blind to date. Feral Interactive e.g. and a small bunch of Indies. That number is dwindling tho.

"Beeing in the gaming industry" my ass. I'm in LINUX GAMING _and_ programming fer almost two decades by now. How often do you think a person can be fooled with the same lame arguments? There are hundrets of qualified LINUX programmers out there that know probably way more about cross platform development than other programmers. How's that? I tell you: Most devs simply don't give a f*ck whether their stuff could also run on a toaster or a potato. They only care for _one_ thing or niche. Where is this idea coming from that you need a "specific" programmer "only" for Linux? You think that programmer can't do anything else but Linux related work???

And don't tell me there are no resources for this when there are obviously other programmers on that team that can deal with let's say _only one_ platform? Especially if we follow the path of "they lost their one Linux guy so they stopped support"? If there's a free position put someone else on that job. If this is no longer possible you're in deep trouble already. This is a sign of failed planning and management.

Yes, overly upset.
Whitewolfe80 11 November 2018 at 11:09 am UTC
Oh god damn it that was the game i was looking forward too the most oh well at least have xcom 1 and 2 (reboots) native that will ahve to do dissapointing but even with proton counting as a linux sale after two weeks nah you promised a linux version and went back on it. I dont have the same problem with buying a bethesda/zenimax game like Ids and arcane games because they are never natively coming to linux so have zero problems buying them and letting it convert to a linux sale.
g000h 11 November 2018 at 12:43 pm UTC
For the miniscule amount of losses, instead see the gains...

https://www.statista.com/statistics/761434/number-linux-games-steam/

Meanwhile, I have worked in a technical role in the games industry for 10 years - Indie and massive corporation.

Reasserting the fact that it was hard to find high-calibre staff with these credentials: Lead Unity programmer, DevOps/Server programmer, Business Intelligence/Data Scientist expert. Many people interviewed were not suitable candidates, due to inexperience or lack of ability (i.e. Couldn't complete the on-boarding tests). Ever tried applying to Google? ;)
Whitewolfe80 11 November 2018 at 4:03 pm UTC
g000hFor the miniscule amount of losses, instead see the gains...

https://www.statista.com/statistics/761434/number-linux-games-steam/

Meanwhile, I have worked in a technical role in the games industry for 10 years - Indie and massive corporation.

Reasserting the fact that it was hard to find high-calibre staff with these credentials: Lead Unity programmer, DevOps/Server programmer, Business Intelligence/Data Scientist expert. Many people interviewed were not suitable candidates, due to inexperience or lack of ability (i.e. Couldn't complete the on-boarding tests). Ever tried applying to Google? ;)

Yes but 3000 thousand of those games are shovel ware shit people that spam asset flips every week hell i could put up three linux games today using unity they would all be based on unit z but hey 3 new linux games. It is not the qty coming to linux we need the top tier games for every shovel knight or hollow knight there are 100 boring bland asset flips with zero bug testing or quality control. Maybe it's just me having a narrow view of games but no having 4000 thousand games doesnt mean anything if only 1/4 are worth playing.


Last edited by Whitewolfe80 at 11 November 2018 at 4:05 pm UTC
stretch611 11 November 2018 at 6:34 pm UTC
Whitewolfe80Yes but 3000 thousand of those games are shovel ware shit people that spam asset flips every week hell i could put up three linux games today using unity they would all be based on unit z but hey 3 new linux games. It is not the qty coming to linux we need the top tier games for every shovel knight or hollow knight there are 100 boring bland asset flips with zero bug testing or quality control. Maybe it's just me having a narrow view of games but no having 4000 thousand games doesnt mean anything if only 1/4 are worth playing.

That is not a linux problem. It is indicative of every gaming platform... and actually software in general, not just games.

I remember back when smart phones were brand new, Apple and Android bragged over who had more games in their respective software stores... who cares when 99.9% are crapware? Needless to say, no one cares how many titles there are.

If anything, this proves that linux is a viable platform. If there was no money to be made, even these asset flipping game authors wouldn't waste their time. It takes the promise of money being made for even the crapware to exist.
qptain Nemo 11 November 2018 at 7:10 pm UTC
CybolicThe way this was handled was just terrible; it's a "thanks for your money, promotion and feedback, but we don't want to deal with you anymore".
Exactly, I've been rather enthusiastically spreading the word in large part because I thought I knew it was coming to Linux. This move made me feel used, exploited.

g000hFor the miniscule amount of losses, instead see the gains...

https://www.statista.com/statistics/761434/number-linux-games-steam/
Sure, that's great, but some of us are fans of X-COM and Gollop so it's kinda a personal backstab for us that is hard to get over and just take comfort in "oh there are other Linux games". I was delighted Gollop had our back. Also fanbase feelings aside, Gollop is an accomplished designer, X-COM is an acclaimed series, so it kinda is an objectively big deal game which is a huge shame to see drop off the wagon.


Last edited by qptain Nemo at 11 November 2018 at 7:17 pm UTC
Whitewolfe80 11 November 2018 at 8:18 pm UTC
stretch611
Whitewolfe80Yes but 3000 thousand of those games are shovel ware shit people that spam asset flips every week hell i could put up three linux games today using unity they would all be based on unit z but hey 3 new linux games. It is not the qty coming to linux we need the top tier games for every shovel knight or hollow knight there are 100 boring bland asset flips with zero bug testing or quality control. Maybe it's just me having a narrow view of games but no having 4000 thousand games doesnt mean anything if only 1/4 are worth playing.

That is not a linux problem. It is indicative of every gaming platform... and actually software in general, not just games.

I remember back when smart phones were brand new, Apple and Android bragged over who had more games in their respective software stores... who cares when 99.9% are crapware? Needless to say, no one cares how many titles there are.

If anything, this proves that linux is a viable platform. If there was no money to be made, even these asset flipping game authors wouldn't waste their time. It takes the promise of money being made for even the crapware to exist.

I never said it was a linux problem I was merely responding to the people posting graphs showing there being 4000 games on linux so nothing wrong yeah there is most of them are shit
crt0mega 11 November 2018 at 10:46 pm UTC
Quotehttps://phoenixpoint.info/linux
image


Last edited by crt0mega at 11 November 2018 at 10:47 pm UTC
beko 12 November 2018 at 1:06 am UTC
g000hReasserting the fact that it was hard to find high-calibre staff with these credentials: Lead Unity programmer, DevOps/Server programmer, Business Intelligence/Data Scientist expert. Many people interviewed were not suitable candidates, due to inexperience or lack of ability (i.e. Couldn't complete the on-boarding tests).

That means nothing to me.

Mayhap you're sitting on some isle?
Mayhap you pay peanuts?
Mayhap you required unpayed overtime?
Mayhap people with experience don't feel like working in a startup / basement to get burnt?
Mayhap you should search for _three_ different people for your 3 different jobs?
Mayhap you should _train_ your staff to _become_ high-calibre?
Mayhap ...
Mayhap your argument is simply unsuited for the discussion at hand: We got backstabbed once more - and in a genre that has a tight fan base after all.
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