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[GoL]Steam Play versus Linux Version, a little performance comparison and more thoughts

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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
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[GoL]Steam Play versus Linux Version, a little performance comparison and more thoughts

Steam Play versus Linux Version, a little performance comparison and more thoughts

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Before I begin, let's make something clear. I absolutely value the effort developers put into Linux games, I do think cross-platform development is incredibly important so we don't end up with more lock-in. However, let's be realistic for a moment. Technology moves on and it's not financially worth it to keep updating old games, they just don't sell as well as newer games (with exceptions of course). The intention with such comparisons is not to favour any developer or any method of gaming on Linux. It’s just to show what’s possible, what the differences are, what doesn’t work and so on. As the years go on, there will be more ways to run older games better and better, of that I've no doubt.

I'm not a zealot for any one particular method of gaming either and as a fan of all things gaming, software and technology, I thought it might be interesting and hopefully you do too. The tests were attempted on some games that have a Linux version, while also being games that are quite heavy on your system.
Coming soon to a Windows near you, WINE so that you can actually run your old games LOL.

Okay, seriously, this hi-lights the problems with ports. These are supposed to be running natively, but in a few cases running the Windows version via the compatibility layer was considerably better. That could just be down to the performance gap between OpenGL and Vulkan, since the Windows version is running DX11 which will be shoved through DXVK and out to your monitor. My experience with DOOM(2016) was that the menus hate, hate, HATE running in Vulkan, but the game itself was simply flawless. Keep coming back to the PS5 and the likelihood that it ends up running Vulkan. Vulkan simply doesn't matter to Windows people yet, but it's going to be a big deal in about two years when all the AAA ports show up running it.

I calculated the odds of this succeeding versus the odds I was doing something incredibly stupid... and I went ahead anyway.

If it's not coming out for the PC, it's dead to me.
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 12:24 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Jarhead View Post
Steam Play versus Linux Version, a little performance comparison and more thoughts



Coming soon to a Windows near you, WINE so that you can actually run your old games LOL.

Okay, seriously, this hi-lights the problems with ports. These are supposed to be running natively, but in a few cases running the Windows version via the compatibility layer was considerably better. That could just be down to the performance gap between OpenGL and Vulkan, since the Windows version is running DX11 which will be shoved through DXVK and out to your monitor. My experience with DOOM(2016) was that the menus hate, hate, HATE running in Vulkan, but the game itself was simply flawless. Keep coming back to the PS5 and the likelihood that it ends up running Vulkan. Vulkan simply doesn't matter to Windows people yet, but it's going to be a big deal in about two years when all the AAA ports show up running it.
Your missing something here when you start talking about consoles. Playstation 4 could use vulkan right now if there was any benefit to it, but consoles games will use an API like dx or Vulcan as little as possible. If API usage goes up for consoles, it would be a step backwards. APIs like this are good for PC because all PCs are a little different, but not with consoles.

As far as Windows goes, I've got nothing against it but I doubt it will see a high adoption rate. Devs can't rely on support for open source software like vulkan and its my understanding that its already lagging behind dx12 in terms of its capabilities. Vulkan is just mantel 2.0 and mantel didn't last long.

Also worth noting that this is only working for a less than 30 games. I have nothing against gaming on Linux, but valve needs to give it a rest already. Steam OS failed and now they're just beating a dead horse. If they're so scared of the windows store, why not just lower the cut they take from devs or offer a subscription service like Microsoft is already doing? They wont innovate but they think they can push people into using a different OS instead.. it's just sad to see valve making so many weird moves and not doing anything positive for gaming beyond maintaining steam and occasionally doing something weird for an extreme niche of the market, like this.

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Last edited by UltraMega; 01-23-2019 at 02:41 PM.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 03:00 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by UltraMega View Post
Your missing something here when you start talking about consoles. Playstation 4 could use vulkan right now if there was any benefit to it, but consoles games will use an API like dx or Vulcan as little as possible. If API usage goes up for consoles, it would be a step backwards. APIs like this are good for PC because all PCs are a little different, but not with consoles.

As far as Windows goes, I've got nothing against it but I doubt it will see a high adoption rate. Devs can't rely on support for open source software like vulkan and its my understanding that its already lagging behind dx12 in terms of its capabilities. Vulkan is just mantel 2.0 and mantel didn't last long.

Also worth noting that this is only working for a less than 30 games. I have nothing against gaming on Linux, but valve needs to give it a rest already. Steam OS failed and now they're just beating a dead horse. If they're so scared of the windows store, why not just lower the cut they take from devs or offer a subscription service like Microsoft is already doing? They wont innovate but they think they can push people into using a different OS instead.. it's just sad to see valve making so many weird moves and not doing anything positive for gaming beyond maintaining steam and occasionally doing something weird for an extreme niche of the market, like this.
Mantel became Vulkan, it didn't fail.. I just don't understand the reasoning here.

You're entire post can be explained by the fact that M$ puts tons of Money into dev's pockets via direct deals, advanced tooling, and free support where Vulkan does not. Yes, shockingly the unlimited purse can buy teams over in the short term.

The fact of the matter is, if everything is running on Vulkan, and everything is starting to be able to do so, then the cost for paying for titles which don't natively port cross platform will become too high even for Microsoft to bear. Which by current example will likely mean they will become the Vulkan company, since they have already started pulling in Linux.


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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 03:12 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Avonosac View Post
Mantel became Vulkan, it didn't fail.. I just don't understand the reasoning here.

You're entire post can be explained by the fact that M$ puts tons of Money into dev's pockets via direct deals, advanced tooling, and free support where Vulkan does not. Yes, shockingly the unlimited purse can buy teams over in the short term.

The fact of the matter is, if everything is running on Vulkan, and everything is starting to be able to do so, then the cost for paying for titles which don't natively port cross platform will become too high even for Microsoft to bear. Which by current example will likely mean they will become the Vulkan company, since they have already started pulling in Linux.
There's really only two platforms here... xbox, which is tuned to work well with DX as an API so devs can just use DX with xbox and get good console results, so they don't have to do much to retune it for windows, if any... and that just leaves PlayStation which has it's own API that is superior to vulkan (for playstation at least). No dev would use vulkan on PS over the PS APIs that sony provides them. At this point its safe to assume that devs are pretty comfortable with the two APIs.


Again, nothing against vulkan for gaming on Linux, I just think it's a huge waste of time for valve to get so invested in gaming on Linux after their big steam OS push failed so hard. If devs that actually make games want to use it, I'm all for it though realistically I don't see it gaining a lot of traction. Vulkan will most likely remain a rarely used API. Unifying an API to work on so many different platforms is just not something I expect to see good results from with an open source team. I definitely appreciate the reasoning behind it, just don't see it working out. It's asking too much for a pro-bono API.

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 03:21 PM
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In other words you're better off running Windows or a Windows version over Wine etc. than straight up native Linux.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 04:16 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by UltraMega View Post
There's really only two platforms here... xbox, which is tuned to work well with DX as an API so devs can just use DX with xbox and get good console results, so they don't have to do much to retune it for windows, if any... and that just leaves PlayStation which has it's own API that is superior to vulkan (for playstation at least). No dev would use vulkan on PS over the PS APIs that sony provides them. At this point its safe to assume that devs are pretty comfortable with the two APIs.


Again, nothing against vulkan for gaming on Linux, I just think it's a huge waste of time for valve to get so invested in gaming on Linux after their big steam OS push failed so hard. If devs that actually make games want to use it, I'm all for it though realistically I don't see it gaining a lot of traction. Vulkan will most likely remain a rarely used API. Unifying an API to work on so many different platforms is just not something I expect to see good results from with an open source team. I definitely appreciate the reasoning behind it, just don't see it working out. It's asking too much for a pro-bono API.

There are 4 platforms. Xbox, Playstation, Switch and Android. Nintendo and Android use Vulkan and OpenGL. Switch was the most popular console of 2018 and Android gaming pulls a surprising amount of money for mobile games.



Valve's push on Linux is mostly a contingency against Microsoft and Windows Store. SteamOS was pretty much a random Linux distro+Big Picture Mode. Any inroads in Linux gaming softens the position of Windows being locked down. Vulkan may be a lesser used API in traditional gaming, but its not going anywhere. Especially now that its used in two relevant platforms.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 04:43 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Omega X View Post
There are 4 platforms. Xbox, Playstation, Switch and Android. Nintendo and Android use Vulkan and OpenGL. Switch was the most popular console of 2018 and Android gaming pulls a surprising amount of money for mobile games.



Valve's push on Linux is mostly a contingency against Microsoft and Windows Store. SteamOS was pretty much a random Linux distro+Big Picture Mode. Any inroads in Linux gaming softens the position of Windows being locked down. Vulkan may be a lesser used API in traditional gaming, but its not going anywhere. Especially now that its used in two relevant platforms.
Sure but when you're talking about cross platform, 90% of the time it's just playstation and xbox. Switch is so different from either console, its more similar to a phone.


I don't think vulkan is going to fade away or anything, but it's totally unrealistic to think it would ever replace directX and sony's APIs for their platforms. Any game that gets big enough to work on PS4, xbox, switch, and android would almost for sure also be big enough for it to be worth while for the dev to take the time to code it for the best API for each platform.


Linux as a back up plan for valve is just a really, really stupid back up plan and that was really my point. It's a waste of time for valve to keep beating this dead horse. If they are afriad of steam losing relavency, the right move is not to back yourself into a corner where its so hard to do anything that microsoft wont follow, rather than just innovate at all, in any meaningful way.


Microsoft has a smart long term plan. Buy up a bunch of devs, get a real first party line up of games going, make the xbox and PC exclusives that work on either platform, and then sell a subscription service to their game store. Valve is going to be the last digital store to adopt a subscrition model. They really want to drag their feet on this, and its going to hurt them in the long run. If they were smart they would get ahead of microsoft and start offering a great subscription service now, so people would sign up for that before microsoft gets a chance to do it on PC. The future of gaming is going to be more like netflix where you pay for access to a library of games and I am all for it. If game demos and video store rentals were still a thing, we wouldn't need a subscription service but there are so many more games that I would probably play if only I didn't have to buy them, or pirate them, just to try them out.

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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 05:19 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by UltraMega View Post
Sure but when you're talking about cross platform, 90% of the time it's just playstation and xbox. Switch is so different from either console, its more similar to a phone.


I don't think vulkan is going to fade away or anything, but it's totally unrealistic to think it would ever replace directX and sony's APIs for their platforms. Any game that gets big enough to work on PS4, xbox, switch, and android would almost for sure also be big enough for it to be worth while for the dev to take the time to code it for the best API for each platform.


Linux as a back up plan for valve is just a really, really stupid back up plan and that was really my point. It's a waste of time for valve to keep beating this dead horse. If they are afriad of steam losing relavency, the right move is not to back yourself into a corner where its so hard to do anything that microsoft wont follow, rather than just innovate at all, in any meaningful way.


Microsoft has a smart long term plan. Buy up a bunch of devs, get a real first party line up of games going, make the xbox and PC exclusives that work on either platform, and then sell a subscription service to their game store. Valve is going to be the last digital store to adopt a subscrition model. They really want to drag their feet on this, and its going to hurt them in the long run. If they were smart they would get ahead of microsoft and start offering a great subscription service now, so people would sign up for that before microsoft gets a chance to do it on PC. The future of gaming is going to be more like netflix where you pay for access to a library of games and I am all for it. If game demos and video store rentals were still a thing, we wouldn't need a subscription service but there are so many more games that I would probably play if only I didn't have to buy them, or pirate them, just to try them out.

I don't think they were afraid of relevancy until Epic Store and Discord Store started up. They were afraid of being locked out, anti-trust style. The Linux push believe it or not, was an opening that paid off for both Valve and consumers because it caused Microsoft to improve its PC Gaming stance and avoid hard Windows Store requirements . I wouldn't put it against them to do a subscription service however since Steam already does temporary licensing, but Valve is slow so we probably won't see this until late this year or the next depending on how well the other gaming subscription services perform.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 05:54 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Omega X View Post
I don't think they were afraid of relevancy until Epic Store and Discord Store started up. They were afraid of being locked out, anti-trust style. The Linux push believe it or not, was an opening that paid off for both Valve and consumers because it caused Microsoft to improve its PC Gaming stance and avoid hard Windows Store requirements . I wouldn't put it against them to do a subscription service however since Steam already does temporary licensing, but Valve is slow so we probably won't see this until late this year or the next depending on how well the other gaming subscription services perform.
Did Valves push for Linux really have ANY impact on Microsoft's decision making? I doubt it.

Microsoft IS doing a subscription model. They are already doing it for xbox and they are going to expand it to PC when they have more games in their PC store. That's why going forward, all of their exclusives will be available on xbox or PC, they want to unify the store so they can get more subscribers.

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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 06:00 PM
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as a some what related side note.

I found out ESO has a macintosh client the other day & realized how impressive that actually is, no matter what anyone thinks of the game itself. They've cemented themselves into a TINY list which will earn them money for many moons to come based on that little factor.
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