Join us on our own very special Reddit: /r/Linuxers
Here's your utterly weird news of the day. Some time ago Xenonauts was ported to Linux by Knockout Games. The official website now claims it's not actually supported and is only meant for whatever the heck they mean by 'legacy customers'. Thanks to reddit for originally pointing it out.

Despite the Linux version being sold on GOG, Steam & Humble, I find it rather anti-consumer to claim on the official site that the Linux & Mac versions aren't actually supported. With regards to 'legacy customers', essentially, it's only meant for people who purchased it originally. If that's truly the case, having it advertised for sale across those stores is pretty bad practice.

This is taken right from the official site purchase page:
QuoteLinux and Mac versions of the game are available on both platforms but are not officially supported; they were created for legacy customers and no technical support will be provided for those platforms!

On Steam, they still say this:
QuotePlease note that the native Mac / Linux versions of the game are still in beta, however older WINE-wrapped "ports" are available and known to be stable whilst development of the native ports is still ongoing.

That's obviously outdated information then.

The GOG & Humble store copies don't mention anything in relation to this at all.

It's actually another game that was ported natively to Linux to be included in a Humble Bundle (HIB 15 specifically). Games ported to be included in those bundles don't always get the best support.

Notice I said "natively" above, well, it was actually a goal on the original Kickstarter to do a Linux version. They eventually did a Wine-port and then the native port for the Humble Indie Bundle 15.

So, taking all that into account, why is it suddenly being claimed it's only for legacy customers? It just doesn't add up and I don't like it.

Considering the developer has moved on to making the sequel, which might support Linux, this will seriously impact my decision to support them.

I've sent an email to the developer to see if we can get this cleared up, as I never like to outright not support a small developer, but nothing sounds good here right now. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Editorial
6 Likes , Who?
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG and Humble Store. See more here.
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
See more from me
The comments on this article are closed.
19 comments
Page: 1/2»
  Go to:

Tchey 12 May, 2017
QuoteConsidering the developer has moved on to making the sequel, which might support Linux, this will seriously impact my decision to support them.

Yeah, and they have a kind of tech demo for Xeno2 only via Galaxy GoG, one more reason to be prudent.
lagh 12 May, 2017
Wow... I own the game and follow the development of X2, but I didn't know this
and it comes as a shock for me. To see this kind of bad practise from Goldhawk
is horrible and makes me quite sad.

@liam: Have you actually been in contact with the developers?
How do they justify this behaviour?

Best regards,

lagh
Liam Dawe 12 May, 2017
Quoting: lagh@liam: Have you actually been in contact with the developers?
How do they justify this behaviour?
As noted:
QuoteI've sent an email to the developer to see if we can get this cleared up, as I never like to outright not support a small developer, but nothing sounds good here right now.
dmantione 12 May, 2017
If anything, Windows is a legacy operating system...
BabaoWhisky 12 May, 2017
Hopefully, there will be Phoenix Point for us !!!
lagh 12 May, 2017
Quoting: liamdawe
Quoting: lagh@liam: Have you actually been in contact with the developers?
How do they justify this behaviour?
As noted:
QuoteI've sent an email to the developer to see if we can get this cleared up, as I never like to outright not support a small developer, but nothing sounds good here right now.

Sorry liam.
I missed the last sentence. Please let us know what they answer.
Cybolic 12 May, 2017
No matter what the case ends up being right now, this is not the way to handle it. What should have been done was to make an announcement explaining any cuts in support, what is and isn't considered supported anymore and why. Cutting down on support for one's last game to focus on a new one makes sense, but selling a game and then stating it's not supported (in a different place than the store no less), is absolutely not okay.
If they really want to go down this route, they should at least put a sticker on the Steam / GOG page explaining that they don't have the manpower (or whatever) to support the Linux version at this time and offer it at half price in exchange - for existing Linux users, maybe offer Xenonauts 2 for free or at half price as an apology.

For what it's worth, I backed their original Kickstarter precisely because they promised a Linux version (right after they posted "We’ll also be putting female soldiers into the game, and providing a Mac and Linux version of the game too." )


Last edited by Cybolic on 12 May 2017 at 9:16 pm UTC
rea987 12 May, 2017
As it is a single player game, my expectation and explanation as follows:

Thanks to stubborn and weird release cycle of the most popular GNU/Linux distro, Ubuntu, developers need to update and adapt their titles for every LTS release. When SteamOS and Steam client updates are added to this equation, some developers simply stop sopporting the games after certain LTS release. Most of the games should still work fine anyway, but in time, outdated dependencies might prevent those games to function properly or even launch. This won't be an issue for now but after half decade, you will wonder for what reason certain games do not work any longer... Does any one remember icculus' Medal of Honor Allied Assault beta port which is literally impossible to natively run on modern distros currently? That is why having "source code" matters...


Last edited by rea987 on 13 May 2017 at 12:03 am UTC
GustyGhost 13 May, 2017
Quoting: Guest
Spoiler, click me
You are right in that the ABI unstable nature of Linux makes it difficult to support well. However, it is not impossible, but it does require knowledge and skills that your average developer will not have unless they are already very familiar with the platform.

Steam's runtime was a good attempt to alleviate this, however it creates problems of its own. We used the steam-runtime SDK at VP simply because it gave a nice consistent set of libraries to build against. However, it quickly became a problem that they were too old, and the toolchain used to build against them (gcc 4.5) was also getting too old.

Valve did work on a newer steam-runtime, but it was only usable from inside a chroot. This is no good when you are using an IDE or some other application which wants to call those tools - you either have to run said IDE/app inside the chroot (which can be a dependancy nightmare) or live with a relatively slow invocation of the chroot enviroment for every file compiled.

Yes I know this is where the fanboys start screaming "use makefiles!" but this not what game devs are used to on other platforms, and quite frankly, they are cumbersome.

I did actually start to assemble a custom "SDK" for VP's Linux stuff, based around GCC 4.8 (which was still fairly current at the time).. but other things stopped me getting it finished off. Building your own toolchain with crosstool-ng or the likes is certainly not what your average dev will be used to dealing with!

edit: I should also say that expecting a developer to recompile the game when there's ABI breakage is not an acceptable solution. You really cannot expect a a developer to support something forever, and "just release the source code" is not a viable solution. More work needs to be put into ABI stability on Linux, for it's own good.

Am I reading this right? VP as in Virtual Programming?
lucinos 13 May, 2017
Quoting: GuestYou are right in that the ABI unstable nature of Linux makes it difficult to support well.

The Linux as a kernel has never break ABI. The problem is always other dependencies. It is not Linux fault. So the solution is not to "fix" Linux but to "fix" development for Linux as a platform so the developers would do the right thing by default without even thinking about it.
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Patreon, Liberapay or PayPal Donation.

This ensures all of our main content remains totally free for everyone with no article paywalls. We also don't have tons of adverts, there's also no tracking and we respect your privacy. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
The comments on this article are closed.
Livestreams & Videos
Community Livestreams
Latest Forum Posts