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Early this morning Valve officially rolled out a big update to the Steam Play whitelist, which indicates Windows games that work well with Steam Play's Proton.

Having titles in the whitelist, also means you don't need to go into Steam's settings and tick any extra boxes as they will just show up for everyone with the ability to install and play on Linux.

Sending out a Twitter post to announced it, Valve's Pierre-Loup Griffais announced "Just pushed a Steam Play whitelist update to reflect current testing results" with a link to SteamDB which helps track it all down.

The list is reasonably long, some notable titles include:

  • Castle Crashers
  • The Witness
  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood
  • Overcooked
  • Guacamelee! 2

It's going to be interesting to see how Valve eventually show support for Steam Play directly on Steam store pages, that's the next step that I'm looking forward to.

A pretty exciting start to a weekend wouldn't you say?

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96 comments
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Purple Library Guy 8 October 2018 at 9:10 pm UTC
SalvatosThat was to be expected. If Valve don't have the workforce to vet every game that is added to the store in the first place, they certainly won't pay an army to retroactively test everything on even one "standard" Linux configuration. I'll be surprised if we get more than a handful of additions to the list per month. That's why I'm curious to know how they choose which games to vet first, and why I was surprised to see something like Commander Keen there.
But the thing is, for Proton to be a serious switching incentive and/or a strong asset to future Steam Machine-type things, the whitelist needs to be big. That suggests to me that with the best will in the world, their current process is not adequate to their own purposes (let alone ours). They need to come up with some way to leverage crowdsourcing. And I mean, the energy is clearly there, there's lots of people busily trying to establish lists of games that work or don't--the problem is that the results are not that useful to Valve. But if they could channel that in some way that gave them more usable results, it could at least take care of triage.

Like, say for every Steam user who does the thing they have to do to use non-whitelisted games in Proton, they sent a thing kind of like the hardware survey except it checked for all the Proton requirements like graphics driver version and stuff, and asked permission to use the info for improving Proton and expanding the whitelist. And then they gave those people some easy feedback methods for every game they play in Proton, like a "Does it work?" checkbox and a text entry for problems encountered and maybe a 1-10 slider rating for how well it ran, stuff like that.
Stuff all the info in a database and then they'd be able to set aside data from people with the wrong specs, sort out games that ran well for most people as whitelist candidates, spot patterns in games that ran for some but not others, like where a particular graphics driver was associated with problems and so on. Probably end up well worth the work of setting it up.

Edited to add: Const may be right that they're currently going slow on the whitelist because they're still getting the whole thing solidified. But I'd still say that because there are so many games, and so many players, it would be a good idea for them to come up with some way to outsource a lot of testing to those players.


Last edited by Purple Library Guy at 8 October 2018 at 9:16 pm UTC
Salvatos 8 October 2018 at 9:34 pm UTC
While I agree that a bigger list makes it more attractive, if Valve need to provide support themselves for any title they endorse through Proton, I understand that they want to be damn sure a game works before they add it. As for crowdsourcing, your post got me to think that they do already have some data points that they can leverage to guide their picks of which games to consider endorsing next: they know who plays what through Proton and for how long. Even without looking at SPCR's list themselves, they could very well see those numbers and think that if thousands of people have been playing a given game through Proton consistenly for the past 2 weeks for more than a few minutes at a time, that game is probably at least playable on a number of configurations. And those that get the most playtime are likely to be the most attractive to prospective Linux converts and therefore warrant the exposure and commitment of the whitelist.

(That said, I still can't imagine that something like that led to Commander Keen making it onto the list at this stage )
Asu 9 October 2018 at 5:53 am UTC
praise Lord Gaben!
wintermute 9 October 2018 at 5:27 pm UTC
EikeBut where is Valve showing these changes...?

In their internal repositories, details of which are accessible through APIs they provide. Websites can use these APIs to build third-party services based on Steam data, this is what SteamDB does.
Eike 9 October 2018 at 7:52 pm UTC
wintermute
EikeBut where is Valve showing these changes...?

In their internal repositories, details of which are accessible through APIs they provide. Websites can use these APIs to build third-party services based on Steam data, this is what SteamDB does.

Yes, I know, I was wondering where/if/why not they are showing the list themselves somewhere. Guess it's the beta status...
Nanobang 11 October 2018 at 12:29 pm UTC
wintermute
NanobangI mean, it's nice that they linked the steamdb changes, but why wouldn't they update their own list proper and just use that?

You have it backwards - SteamDB is merely reporting changes made in Steam/Valve repositories, it is not a repository in itself. In other words, SteamDb is showing the changes they made to "their own list proper", just in a more convenient format for the general public.

Hi wintermute! Thanks for the correction. When I wrote about "the steamdb changes" I guess I was being lazy, using a shorthand. I was thinking about how steamdb changes because the information it is reporting changes. Maybe it would have been better written as something like, "... it's nice that they linked their expanded whitelist as reflected in the steamdb ...."

I appreciate your jumping in to help me, it's these acts of kindness that make the Linux community a---capital "C"---Community.
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