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The developer of Streets of Rogue recently commented about supporting Linux

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With Streets of Rogue having left Early Access recently, I'm sure plenty were wondering how it's done on Linux. Turns out the developer, Matt Dabrowski, actually made some interesting comments about it.

Curiously, the comment from Dabrowski turned up at a place I didn't quite expect. A dubious website offering free download links to various games, where it seems Dabrowski turned up to warn people away from it and instead try the older version on itch.io to get a feel for it.

I won't link directly to the website in question, since I firmly believe you should support developers. However, you can see all their comments on their Disqus profile. Here's what they said:

Heya, porting to Linux basically involved telling Unity "make Linux build". Simple as it gets. There have been some Linux specific bugs that needed fixing, but nothing super major. Also more tech support involved, Linux users tend to have a lot more uncommon hardware/software configurations than Windows users do, which can sometimes have their own sets of issues with the game. I'm not sure what I would have done if I wasn't using Unity since I don't know how other engines handle things, but honestly I probably wouldn't have made a major effort toward it due to low sales (currently less than 0.5% of sales actually), unfortunately it just wouldn't have been cost effective. So yeah, convenience was definitely a big factor. Though I did always want Linux users to get to play the game if I had the opportunity to do so, and fortunately it worked out.

I like the honesty there. We really only got Linux support with Streets of Rogue because Unity made it easy enough to do so. This is important, since the lower the barrier the more likely a developer is to put up a Linux version. Thankfully Unity makes it simple most of the time if developers regularly test and ensure any plugins they go for support Linux too.

It's no secret I love this game, having livestreamed it on our Twitch Channel as well as writing about various updates to it since 2016, it's a game that's stuck with over a long period that not many others are able to (apart from Rocket League…).

You can grab Streets of Rogue on Humble Store and Steam. I highly recommend it, an absolutely fantastic time, a true riot to play with friends and just as hilarious by yourself. A game and developer worth your support for sure.

Hat tip to gutigone.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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20 comments
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Chronarius 16 July 2019 at 12:42 pm UTC
Once again, how does he get his numbers? Which sales count for Linux? Which for Windows?


Last edited by Chronarius at 16 July 2019 at 12:42 pm UTC
scaine 16 July 2019 at 12:45 pm UTC
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ChronariusOnce again, how does he get his numbers? Which sales count for Linux? Which for Windows?

Steam gives you those figures. Whatever platform the game is played on attributes the sale. If there's no playtime in the first two weeks, the platform of sale is used for attribution, I think? Need to be careful with that one though, as the default sale platform for attribution is "Windows", so if the game is bought on Android or Steam Play, then not played, I think you end up counting as a Windows sale.
mirv 16 July 2019 at 12:52 pm UTC
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So I'll preface this comment with appreciation for the dev being open and giving an honest assessment from their own experience. Just a nice, simple, "this is what I see".

Questions that spring to my mind are:
  • If GNU/Linux users have more varied hardware in general, how many of the issues fixed there (assuming they were fixed) helped the Windows users too?

  • GNU/Linux users are noted to be more tech savvy in general as well - so how much help were those users? Again, I wonder if fixes there might be applied to Windows as well, and if that might have made Windows support easier.


And actually I'm expecting "not much" in the GNU/Linux support helping Windows for Unity, but it's probably higher for something that shares more of the codebase (I don't use Unity, but I would expect it to use a D3D rendering backend for Windows, limiting the overlap).
scaine 16 July 2019 at 5:45 pm UTC
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Yeah, Mirv, that second question would be interesting. I'm extremely "tech-savvy" generally but not really all that tech-savvy about Linux, so I'd challenge that assumption, "all/most Linux users are techies".

Conversely, I use Ubuntu (the "official" platform for running games on Steam) and have only filed bug reports for two games in my nearly 6 years of Linux-only gaming, both recently. One two months ago filed with Chronicon, where the dev didn't know why it doesn't launch on Ubuntu 16.04, but noted that they only support 18.04, and that was that (in that support thread, in fact, Liam helped by noting that it ran on 18.10). And one for a Lime error I was experiencing in Dicey Dungeons, which the dev suspected was an easy fix... and it was. It's now perfect again.

Based on my own experience then, I suspect that the vast, vast majority of support issues are logged by Linux users who are using any distro that isn't Ubuntu. Because, honestly, what else can it be??

Or am I somehow magically blessed with this near-perfect experience?
mirv 16 July 2019 at 5:56 pm UTC
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scaineYeah, Mirv, that second question would be interesting. I'm extremely "tech-savvy" generally but not really all that tech-savvy about Linux, so I'd challenge that assumption, "all/most Linux users are techies".

Conversely, I use Ubuntu (the "official" platform for running games on Steam) and have only filed bug reports for two games in my nearly 6 years of Linux-only gaming, both recently. One two months ago filed with Chronicon, where the dev didn't know why it doesn't launch on Ubuntu 16.04, but noted that they only support 18.04, and that was that (in that support thread, in fact, Liam helped by noting that it ran on 18.10). And one for a Lime error I was experiencing in Dicey Dungeons, which the dev suspected was an easy fix... and it was. It's now perfect again.

Based on my own experience then, I suspect that the vast, vast majority of support issues are logged by Linux users who are using any distro that isn't Ubuntu. Because, honestly, what else can it be??

Or am I somehow magically blessed with this near-perfect experience?

Well, I did try to use words that don't mean every GNU/Linux user is going to be able to help them - I only meant that I've heard many devs mention they like the help that comes from GNU/Linux users because it's "better" (more helpful) than from Windows users. That won't of course be universal - and if GNU/Linux desktop usage increases, I would entirely expect it to be less & less the case.

What I'm really driving at though, is wondering (and to be clear, I'm just wondering - no idea if this is the case, if I did have an idea I wouldn't be just wondering) if there are indirect benefits to the developer for supporting GNU/Linux, and how beneficial that might be.
Chronarius 16 July 2019 at 10:39 pm UTC
scaine
ChronariusOnce again, how does he get his numbers? Which sales count for Linux? Which for Windows?

Steam gives you those figures. Whatever platform the game is played on attributes the sale. If there's no playtime in the first two weeks, the platform of sale is used for attribution, I think? Need to be careful with that one though, as the default sale platform for attribution is "Windows", so if the game is bought on Android or Steam Play, then not played, I think you end up counting as a Windows sale.

Yes, I know. That is what we speculate from some comments of game developers. As we know the algorithm how Valve's creates these numbers from Steam is flawed. As far I know Humble Bundle counts also towards Windows. Wasn't there a statement from Aspyr/Feral about this? What about other stores? Sorry, but there is still more then enough room for wrong numbers.
Chronarius 16 July 2019 at 10:52 pm UTC
scaineBased on my own experience then, I suspect that the vast, vast majority of support issues are logged by Linux users who are using any distro that isn't Ubuntu. Because, honestly, what else can it be??

Or am I somehow magically blessed with this near-perfect experience?

Exactly! This is my experience as well. Ubuntu has become the standard for gaming on Linux.
Purple Library Guy 16 July 2019 at 11:52 pm UTC
Chronarius
scaine
ChronariusOnce again, how does he get his numbers? Which sales count for Linux? Which for Windows?

Steam gives you those figures. Whatever platform the game is played on attributes the sale. If there's no playtime in the first two weeks, the platform of sale is used for attribution, I think? Need to be careful with that one though, as the default sale platform for attribution is "Windows", so if the game is bought on Android or Steam Play, then not played, I think you end up counting as a Windows sale.

Yes, I know. That is what we speculate from some comments of game developers. As we know the algorithm how Valve's creates these numbers from Steam is flawed.
The numbers that developers get about the sales of their own games are not the same as the numbers we get from the Steam hardware survey. The latter has unknown methodology which, by occasionally having a flaw publicly fixed, has shown us that flaws existed. But the numbers developers get about their game sales are pretty solid because that's about the dollars and cents and nobody would tolerate fudging. There may be a few edge cases where some misleading figure slips in, but who buys on Windows and doesn't play the game and then expects it to count as a Linux sale? True, those figures only tell you about Steam sales, but I don't think there's a pretense otherwise. Effects from other platforms and Steam keys are I suppose a problem, and one which will tend to reduce apparent Linux sales, but it's surely a fairly minor effect.
Purple Library Guy 16 July 2019 at 11:53 pm UTC
Chronarius
scaineBased on my own experience then, I suspect that the vast, vast majority of support issues are logged by Linux users who are using any distro that isn't Ubuntu. Because, honestly, what else can it be??

Or am I somehow magically blessed with this near-perfect experience?

Exactly! This is my experience as well. Ubuntu has become the standard for gaming on Linux.
Very true. Pity they decided to bugger it up with the 32-bit library mess.
scaine 16 July 2019 at 11:56 pm UTC
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Purple Library Guy
Chronarius
scaineBased on my own experience then, I suspect that the vast, vast majority of support issues are logged by Linux users who are using any distro that isn't Ubuntu. Because, honestly, what else can it be??

Or am I somehow magically blessed with this near-perfect experience?

Exactly! This is my experience as well. Ubuntu has become the standard for gaming on Linux.
Very true. Pity they decided to bugger it up with the 32-bit library mess.

And then un-bugger it. And I'm not bothered anyway, as I'll use Ubuntu Mate 18.04 (or possibly 20.04) as the base until 2023/25 and hopefully we'll have a better solution by then. That whole thing is a storm-in-a-teacup as far as I'm concerned.
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