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Update: They changed their minds on this, they've put the native version back up. See here.

Original article below:

It seems Transhuman Design have removed the Linux version of BUTCHER after users reported issues, opting instead to ask Steam to add it as an approved Steam Play title.

Announcing it on Steam, they said this:

Sadly, BUTCHER spontaneously stopped working on Linux. The most likely cause seems to be some incompatibility between the old Unity 5.6 Linux builds and new GPU drivers.

Since moving the codebase to a newer Unity version is potentially a titanic task (including testing, debugging, and hair-pulling) and the sole programmer of the game is tightly involved in another project to keep him afloat, we decided to request the game to be whitelisted as fully compatible with the new Steam Play feature.

Before it's officially accepted, you can try it now yourself and hopefully enjoy your game working on Linux again!

After digging into the Steam forum, I came across this forum topic started in August, where four users mentioned trouble starting the game. That doesn't seem like a lot of people to make such a big decision, but it's understandable that with a tiny team and little time they're trying to make it so Linux gamers still have a good experience. Probably a good case for Valve to allow people to have a choice between native and Steam Play's Proton.

Obviously the problem with them doing this, is that it no longer shows up as a Linux game on Steam, that is until Valve decide what they're going to do about showing Steam Play on store pages (if anything).

I'm pretty curious to know what the actual issue is here. Is it Unity once again messing up in their older builds, is it a driver update that broke it? We know so little.

Worth noting this is only on Steam of course, the native Linux builds are still available from Humble Store, GOG and itch.io.

What do you think about such a move? Keen to see some thoughts on this.

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Nevertheless 21 September 2018 at 12:05 am UTC
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CheesenessI was speaking specifically to the case of Event[0], but it likely applies here too. How accurate is the developer's assessment that the problems are driver related? As Liam highlights in the article, there's not really enough information here to know for sure.

Reading through the thread that Liam linked, it has the hallmarks of a known issue that can cause garbage values to be used for screen/window resolution. I haven't dug into the specifics of the problem for a while, but IIRC, it was either an X or a xrandr update that caused the problem to manifest, and it became redundant when Unity switched to SDL for windowing.

Don't ask me if he's right.. However, the result will be the same either way. The developer will not fix the problems, and I guess it will not be easy to prove him wrong with his assessment, even for someone who knows better like maybe you..
Now, if the dev chooses to leave the native version online, as it is, and if the customers get the option to choose versions, who will support them? The dev for the native version or Valve for Steam Play? I think it's possible Valve won't support a game that has a native version, and the dev clearly states it's broken, so he won't either. And maybe that is one good reason he pulled it of the store. Still, who supports GOG and itch.io users now?
GeoGalvanic 21 September 2018 at 12:10 am UTC
SchattenspiegelDevelopers should not be allowed to pull native versions after selling them.
What we need is the ability to choose whether we want to install the native or foreign version in Steam.

If a developer is willing or forced by circumstances to take the reputation hit of recommending the non-native version over the busted native one - so be it, but the choice which version to use needs to stay with the customer.
SchattenspiegelDevelopers should not be allowed to pull native versions after selling them.
What we need is the ability to choose whether we want to install the native or foreign version in Steam.

If a developer is willing or forced by circumstances to take the reputation hit of recommending the non-native version over the busted native one - so be it, but the choice which version to use needs to stay with the customer.

I mostly agree with this.

For a couple of years now I've moved to only spending money or time investments in Native Linux games only. The reason for this being that my experience with Wine has shown it to be relatively unstable, especially with online games. If a developer were to implement a feature, such as anti-cheat, that breaks the compatibility, then there is no obligation for them to fix it meaning the game could be left unplayable indefinitely.

Granted, in this case it seems that developer is incapable of finding the issue with the linux version, however I shudder what to think if it becomes the norm for games to get rid of native linux support in favor of emulators, only to later abandon support for the emulator, with the claim that they don't support linux anyways. I think it just looks bad on the company.

I'm curious to see how developers and valve will end up handling games that work on steam play, and then suddenly stop working. It seem likely to me that neither will end up taking the appropriate measure to ensure the level of support that a native client should have (which should be refunded if it stops working imho).
Cheeseness 21 September 2018 at 12:23 am UTC
Nevertheless
CheesenessI was speaking specifically to the case of Event[0], but it likely applies here too. How accurate is the developer's assessment that the problems are driver related? As Liam highlights in the article, there's not really enough information here to know for sure.

Reading through the thread that Liam linked, it has the hallmarks of a known issue that can cause garbage values to be used for screen/window resolution. I haven't dug into the specifics of the problem for a while, but IIRC, it was either an X or a xrandr update that caused the problem to manifest, and it became redundant when Unity switched to SDL for windowing.

Don't ask me if he's right.. However, the result will be the same either way. The developer will not fix the problems, and I guess it will not be easy to prove him wrong with his assessment, even for someone who knows better like maybe you..
Now, if the dev chooses to leave the native version online, as it is, and if the customers get the option to choose versions, who will support them? The dev for the native version or Valve for Steam Play? I think it's possible Valve won't support a game that has a native version, and the dev clearly states it's broken, so he won't either. And maybe that is one good reason he pulled it of the store. Still, who supports GOG and itch.io users now?
A user in the thread has just mentioned they're able to run the demo after deleting their prefs file, which is in line with my suspicions, so it looks like the game was never "broken" per se, and there's a simple client-side workaround.

As for whose responsibility it is to support users, people using Proton are Valve's problem to deal with, people using Linux-specific versions are the developer's problem to support. That's what was laid down in the Steam Play update/Proton announcement post, and I think it's fair to demand that that be adhered to.
g000h 21 September 2018 at 12:51 am UTC
I'm a buyer of Butcher, on Steam, and I'm not happy about the move. This move 'forces' me to play a game which I paid for the native Linux version as a Windows or Steam Play/Proton version. I probably wouldn't have bought the game, if I'd known this was going to be the outcome.

I feel that there are occasions when Linux gamers on other distributions/setups do experience different issues with games compared to me. Often I hear things like "RUST doesn't work for me" or "Dying Light doesn't work for me" - but they both work fine for *me*, and have done since day one. I suspect that this 'Butcher' game would have worked fine for me (like the person reporting that the GOG version is good for them) had *I* played it on Linux.

Meanwhile, I'm having issues with Steam Play. Again, due to all the different setups and distributions and graphics drivers, I find that some games are not working for me in Steam Play, but seem to work for others.

I think I'd prefer it if there was THIS option from the Butcher developer:

1) Steam Play / Proton is supported platform, and is the default (owing to time constraints and support difficulties).
2) The native Linux version is still available to play, maybe by going into game Properties and choosing a native version from the 'Beta' menu.

Hope this type of thing doesn't become commonplace! -> Dropping the native version.
Creak 21 September 2018 at 1:12 am UTC
liamdaweI'm pretty curious to know what the actual issue is here. Is it Unity once again messing up in their older builds, is it a driver update that broke it? We know so little.
I don't know what is the real reason, but if I had to guess, I would say that Unity 5.6 is quite old (released in late 2016) and the state of the graphics drivers then, although much better than 10 years ago, was way inferior to what it is today. While on the other hand, the graphics drivers on Windows are pretty stable since the last 2 years.

So I would not be surprised if games still running under Unity 5.6 would start to see some issues on latest Linux distributions.
dvd 21 September 2018 at 1:51 am UTC
Hopefully people who bought the game for linux can get a refund. A wine script is just not as good as a native game.
minaka14c 21 September 2018 at 1:59 am UTC
NeverthelessAs already said here, maybe one day we have unified gaming platform for all OSs. It could be based upon Win32 and Vulkan. Personally I have no problem with that. Still GOG and itch.io users won't like it, at least until those shops adopt a solution like Proton themselves.

What people who develop things outside of Steam? What if game doesn't "just work"? What about multiplayer? What about Proton specific bugs?

I like Proton a lot, but watching not only accept, but encourage this type of thing really burns me. I've seen people on reddit and talk about using Proton for games that developers had already planned native support and TELLING those devs to release with Proton.

Proton isn't a cancer. I genuinely believe that it's positive force for Linux. I've even given advice to another developer on how to get whitelisted. But the idea that you just can't wait or not holding individual devs to account for their actions(by not buying, by reviewing,or by refunding i.e. don't be abusive) is ludicrous.
Omnibus 21 September 2018 at 4:00 am UTC
I wish they would not pull the native version just because they can't make it work on someone's poorly maintained Ubuntu box stuck on some ancient trash version of libraries.

Who knows what they even tried? In this case I wish they'd have asked for help instead of just punting to Steam Play. I don't think that windows gamedevs are always particularly experienced with troubleshooting programs on Linux. I've had games that I had to run under strace to figure out why they wouldn't launch. If a build can be run at all: I will find a way. I don't think I'm unique in this regard either.
appetrosyan 21 September 2018 at 5:59 am UTC
Sad news, but it also shows why steam play is such a big thing.

It's not as simple as steam play = good, regardless of what happens. But in this case it's a positive driving force.

"They pulled a native game off steam and replaced it with an emulator, how on earth is this a good thing?". Simply put, it means that we can further reduce friction to consider Linux for gaming releases. The ROI is bigger, since with simply saying " white-list this game for SP" you get the same result as with a sizeable time,effort and money put in.

As is common, the main code base is for Windows, the Linux version is closed-source and only one game developer is eyeballing it. The end result is buggy, laggy and outwardly no better than Wine. SDL versions are even worse: it's the same kind of indirection, simply less flexible and far less maintainable. Why do we insist that a compiled closed-source POSIX executable is better than an interpreted foreign one?

I hute to see us Linux gamers being treated as second-grade citizens, but this could have been far worse. What if they kept a buggy port, and made it impossible to use Proton? what if they just pulled it, because it was more trouble than its worth?

This is a Steam Play success story, and a small uidony for the 'nix gaming community.
appetrosyan 21 September 2018 at 6:08 am UTC
dvdHopefully people who bought the game for linux can get a refund. A wine script is just not as good as a native game.

In my experience, a wine script can be objectively better than a half-arsed port. Just take Doom 3, Return to castle Wolfenstein and a few older native games.
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