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linux

With WINE, Buying Unsupported (?) Games on Steam

Interesting news that Valve has developed and integrated a WINE fork called Proton into the Linux version of their game launcher. The consideration now becomes whether to buy games that work through this compatibility layer but don’t otherwise support Linux.

There are always a lot of people on forums that speak of dual-booting, and that class will mostly buy games regardless of Linux support. For them, lack of Linux support was never a deal breaker, even if they would have liked to have support. Game access comes first, and they’ll be happy to keep buying the games they want, playing them in a Linux environment when they can.

There are people that have used WINE or similar layers all along from Linux, and they would buy whatever games they liked that they could verify would work via the WINE database (plus natively supported games). For this group, access via Linux, by any means, comes first. But they’ll still happily keep doing their thing.

There are also plenty who will want first-class Linux support, and that group is harder to judge now. If a game’s support is via WINE/Proton, does that count as first class? Especially if they are willing to fix bugs that arise, either by contributing to Proton or by changing their own game. One issue there is that updating games for Windows to fix bugs for Linux seems weird. It’ll be up to Valve and developers to decide whether having a “Windows-WINE” flavored repository makes sense for developers that use that approach.

But I digress. Some of the purist camp will not want to play games via compatibility, but if the developers signal they support Linux through WINE/Proton, others will consider support support.

The main long-term benefit of adding a compatibility layer may actually be bigger than Linux gaming. Due to WINE’s potential for portability, there may be places that Windows games end up working in the distant future that nobody planned on.


I installed and tried the old Katamari Damacy clone, The Wonderful End of the World (Dejoban Games). It worked just fine. There were only one or two models without rendered textures (black instead), and only one occasion where mouse-capture was partially lost (alt-tabbing out and in fixed that).

When I get a chance, I’ll try some other games I haven’t played in the years since I left Windows. I suspect most of them will mostly work.

Whether I’ll buy games that work through “Steam Play,” I haven’t decided just yet. I’ll certainly consider it, though.

Categories
linux

Valve’s Left4Dead: DirectX Curse

Valve Software has released their latest game, Left4Dead.  This is a zombie thriller game and I’d like to give it a try.  I love Valve games and I love zombies, so this should be my favorite game of the year, right?

Well I won’t find out, possibly for years to come.  I play Valve’s games under  Linux (unsupported) via WINE.  WINE’s DirectX support is pretty solid through DirectX 8 and I can play Team Fortress 2, Portal, Counter-Strike: Source, HL2 + Episodes, etc.  They run just fine on my system and I have fun.

As of Left4Dead, Valve has dropped DirectX 8 support.  I look at the game on the WINE AppDB and the word is it runs fine, but slow as a dog.  So I don’t buy it.

This is an example of sales prevention.  Valve already chooses not to support Linux as a gaming platform; their choice.  But now they are cutting off the ability to play their new games via WINE.  Also their choice, but a choice which means that I won’t be giving them my money until I read on the WINE AppDB that things have improved.

And for the record I’ve bought pretty much every Valve game since Half-Life.  I would love to continue to do so.