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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 15 November 2018 at 10:00 pm UTC
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Scoopta
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.

Steam is on Flathub and it's working great!
Scoopta 16 November 2018 at 12:22 am UTC
Nevertheless
Scoopta
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.

Steam is on Flathub and it's working great!
Someone else mentioned this...I might actually have to try the flatpak.


Last edited by Scoopta at 16 November 2018 at 12:25 am UTC
Nevertheless 16 November 2018 at 2:04 am UTC
View PC info
  • Supporter
Scoopta
Nevertheless
Scoopta
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.

Steam is on Flathub and it's working great!
Someone else mentioned this...I might actually have to try the flatpak.

Yes, some way up! Only things you have to know:
Your steam libraries have to be (or have to have mountpoints) inside the flatpak dir. The Flathub Steam flatpak cannot access your filesystem. For more or other access rights you'd have to build your own flatpak container.
As far as I know you cannot provide command line parameters to the steam binary inside the flatpak.
All your savegames are stored inside the Steam flatpak dir, not in your home folder.
All flatpak dirs are stored inside ~/.var/app/
They do not always provide runtimes for all latest Nvidia drivers (about AMD I don't know). Latest driver working atm is 410.73.


Last edited by Nevertheless at 16 November 2018 at 2:06 am UTC
Scoopta 16 November 2018 at 9:01 am UTC
Nevertheless
Scoopta
Nevertheless
Scoopta
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.

Steam is on Flathub and it's working great!
Someone else mentioned this...I might actually have to try the flatpak.

Yes, some way up! Only things you have to know:
Your steam libraries have to be (or have to have mountpoints) inside the flatpak dir. The Flathub Steam flatpak cannot access your filesystem. For more or other access rights you'd have to build your own flatpak container.
As far as I know you cannot provide command line parameters to the steam binary inside the flatpak.
All your savegames are stored inside the Steam flatpak dir, not in your home folder.
All flatpak dirs are stored inside ~/.var/app/
They do not always provide runtimes for all latest Nvidia drivers (about AMD I don't know). Latest driver working atm is 410.73.
They provide mesa for AMD although I didn't check the version. Also flatpak should pass arguments to the program if you provide them after the package name. I.e flatpak run com.valvesoftware.Steam [args]. I ended up trying the flatpak in an attempt to fix an issue caused by the Debian build of RADV but unfortunately the flatpak runtime also builds RADV against LLVM 6 which causes hangs in Vulkan and DXVK games. I was really hoping I could fix my issues but unfortunately it seems both the flatpak and Debian use LLVM 6.
Nevertheless 16 November 2018 at 12:07 pm UTC
View PC info
  • Supporter
Scoopta
Nevertheless
Scoopta
Nevertheless
Scoopta
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.

Steam is on Flathub and it's working great!
Someone else mentioned this...I might actually have to try the flatpak.

Yes, some way up! Only things you have to know:
Your steam libraries have to be (or have to have mountpoints) inside the flatpak dir. The Flathub Steam flatpak cannot access your filesystem. For more or other access rights you'd have to build your own flatpak container.
As far as I know you cannot provide command line parameters to the steam binary inside the flatpak.
All your savegames are stored inside the Steam flatpak dir, not in your home folder.
All flatpak dirs are stored inside ~/.var/app/
They do not always provide runtimes for all latest Nvidia drivers (about AMD I don't know). Latest driver working atm is 410.73.
They provide mesa for AMD although I didn't check the version. Also flatpak should pass arguments to the program if you provide them after the package name. I.e flatpak run com.valvesoftware.Steam [args]. I ended up trying the flatpak in an attempt to fix an issue caused by the Debian build of RADV but unfortunately the flatpak runtime also builds RADV against LLVM 6 which causes hangs in Vulkan and DXVK games. I was really hoping I could fix my issues but unfortunately it seems both the flatpak and Debian use LLVM 6.

Thats a shame! I guess time will iron that out...
I tried to open Steam console via args, which didn't work at the time
.. I'll check again!
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