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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
Page: «12/13»
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3qET7rL9Bd 12 November 2018 at 2:50 pm UTC
dubigrasuSteamOS is not and never was based on Ubuntu, and is not essentially a customized Ubuntu just because they have Debian at their root.

When SteamOS was released many were surprised it was based on Debian instead of Ubuntu because apparently it was first advertised by Vavle as being based on Ubuntu.

https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTU2Mjc
QuoteLast month when SteamOS was publicly made available in beta form there were many surprised that Valve based their Linux distribution off Debian rather than Ubuntu, which they had been heavily promoting up to this point for Linux gaming.

https://www.linux.com/news/review-steamos-beta-linux-experts
QuoteWith previous releases of Steam for Linux, Valve had shown a preference for Ubuntu as a platform; it was therefore a bit of a surprise when SteamOS was revealed to be a direct derivative of Debian rather than Ubuntu.

I'm just saying that "SteamOS is not and never was based on Ubuntu" might not be 100% correct
dubigrasu 12 November 2018 at 5:34 pm UTC
3qET7rL9Bd
dubigrasuSteamOS is not and never was based on Ubuntu, and is not essentially a customized Ubuntu just because they have Debian at their root.

When SteamOS was released many were surprised it was based on Debian instead of Ubuntu because apparently it was first advertised by Vavle as being based on Ubuntu.

https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTU2Mjc
QuoteLast month when SteamOS was publicly made available in beta form there were many surprised that Valve based their Linux distribution off Debian rather than Ubuntu, which they had been heavily promoting up to this point for Linux gaming.

https://www.linux.com/news/review-steamos-beta-linux-experts
QuoteWith previous releases of Steam for Linux, Valve had shown a preference for Ubuntu as a platform; it was therefore a bit of a surprise when SteamOS was revealed to be a direct derivative of Debian rather than Ubuntu.

I'm just saying that "SteamOS is not and never was based on Ubuntu" might not be 100% correct
If you push back in time before SteamOS was ever released for public, then you are correct.
Valve did started building SteamOS with Ubuntu as a base and it was planned to be used as such (felt the right choice at the time for various reasons) but the first ever SteamOS "Alchemist" released in 2013, was Debian based and still is to this day. Valve wanted to use Ubuntu as a base, but they didn't because of legal issues.
Scoopta 12 November 2018 at 7:51 pm UTC
GustyGhost
ScooptaI'm trying to make out what your profile picture says. Is convenience the left stand?

Yup. I had to whip that up in a rush since my last masterpiece of an avatar got nanny-state'd by the resident snowflakes. Maybe I should reframe the shot for readability.
I'm now curious as to what your old avatar was lol.
Scoopta 12 November 2018 at 7:54 pm UTC
PJSad news - as an Xcom fan I've been looking forward to this one.

ScooptaI think the real solution to this problem is making steam behave more like flatpak.

+1 . Atm I'm using Steam through Flatpak and all the issues I've had because of Steam runtime / different libraries etc are gone. Smoothest Steam experience I've had. IMO if Steam would back it up officially and embraced this form of packaging we would be in far better shape (not only in terms of gaming).
I actually meant have steam run all games in it's own containerized environment although getting rid of the debian package and replacing it with a flatpak would also fix issues.
Zlopez 13 November 2018 at 4:19 pm UTC
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PJSad news - as an Xcom fan I've been looking forward to this one.

ScooptaI think the real solution to this problem is making steam behave more like flatpak.

+1 . Atm I'm using Steam through Flatpak and all the issues I've had because of Steam runtime / different libraries etc are gone. Smoothest Steam experience I've had. IMO if Steam would back it up officially and embraced this form of packaging we would be in far better shape (not only in terms of gaming).

The Steam from Flatpak is running really smoothly. Didn't had any issue with it.
freerunnerlive 13 November 2018 at 4:55 pm UTC
I request a refund and buy it only when it runs with Proton PLatinum. OpenGL Bitsch


Last edited by freerunnerlive at 13 November 2018 at 4:56 pm UTC
orochi_kyo 15 November 2018 at 6:38 pm UTC
LOL, its funny to see people happy or fine with a dev lying straight to their faces.
"At least they didnt hide", you say. So lying is any better?
So they didnt know Linux has many distros before promising a linux version?
Its obvious they use the linux thing to get more crowdfunding money, when they have to deal with reality, they just leave the boat as the rats they are.
Devs should only support Ubuntu, yeah it sound elitist, but its better so devs stop bullshitting to their backers with the "too many distros" pretext. Also having two linux distros on your computer isnt rocket science.
I recommend linux backers to ask for a refund, take that money to a more serious developer.
Scoopta 15 November 2018 at 6:43 pm UTC
orochi_kyoLOL, its funny to see people happy or fine with a dev lying straight to their faces.
"At least they didnt hide", you say. So lying is any better?
So they didnt know Linux has many distros before promising a linux version?
Its obvious they use the linux thing to get more crowdfunding money, when they have to deal with reality, they just leave the boat as the rats they are.
Devs should only support Ubuntu, yeah it sound elitist, but its better so devs stop bullshitting to their backers with the "too many distros" pretext. Also having two linux distros on your computer isnt rocket science.
I recommend linux backers to ask for a refund, take that money to a more serious developer.
I agree that devs should pick one distro and not worry about the rest however I think the real solution should be making the steam runtime a full container environment so nothing but the kernel from the underlying system is used. That would fix all of these issues as devs could target that container.
Whitewolfe80 15 November 2018 at 7:46 pm UTC
Scoopta
orochi_kyoLOL, its funny to see people happy or fine with a dev lying straight to their faces.
"At least they didnt hide", you say. So lying is any better?
So they didnt know Linux has many distros before promising a linux version?
Its obvious they use the linux thing to get more crowdfunding money, when they have to deal with reality, they just leave the boat as the rats they are.
Devs should only support Ubuntu, yeah it sound elitist, but its better so devs stop bullshitting to their backers with the "too many distros" pretext. Also having two linux distros on your computer isnt rocket science.
I recommend linux backers to ask for a refund, take that money to a more serious developer.
I agree that devs should pick one distro and not worry about the rest however I think the real solution should be making the steam runtime a full container environment so nothing but the kernel from the underlying system is used. That would fix all of these issues as devs could target that container.

Dont they already do that though pretty much every linux dev says just target steam run time libaries then it run on everything linux, Back on topic here though am fairly certain it will run on proton no problem given its using stock engine with custom art assets. I was looking forward to it but broken port promise means ill never buy it.


Last edited by Whitewolfe80 at 15 November 2018 at 7:50 pm UTC
Scoopta 15 November 2018 at 8:37 pm UTC
Whitewolfe80
Scoopta
orochi_kyoLOL, its funny to see people happy or fine with a dev lying straight to their faces.
"At least they didnt hide", you say. So lying is any better?
So they didnt know Linux has many distros before promising a linux version?
Its obvious they use the linux thing to get more crowdfunding money, when they have to deal with reality, they just leave the boat as the rats they are.
Devs should only support Ubuntu, yeah it sound elitist, but its better so devs stop bullshitting to their backers with the "too many distros" pretext. Also having two linux distros on your computer isnt rocket science.
I recommend linux backers to ask for a refund, take that money to a more serious developer.
I agree that devs should pick one distro and not worry about the rest however I think the real solution should be making the steam runtime a full container environment so nothing but the kernel from the underlying system is used. That would fix all of these issues as devs could target that container.

Dont they already do that though pretty much every linux dev says just target steam run time libaries then it run on everything linux, Back on topic here though am fairly certain it will run on proton no problem given its using stock engine with custom art assets. I was looking forward to it but broken port promise means ill never buy it.
Steam adds a whole bunch of libraries into the LD_LIBRARY_PATH but devs can opt to use system libraries and any libraries not included in steam end up provided by the system anyway. I think moving steam to flatpak or containerizing steam games would fix the issues. It would also make steam larger as it would have to include every dependency a game needed but it's the only way to fix some of these issues.
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