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Games Linux

Portal 2 Beta Released For Linux 99

Posted by Soulskill
from the now-you're-thinking-with-betaportals dept.
jones_supa writes "Yesterday Portal 2, a Source-based game that has been missing a Linux version, got a public beta release. The Steam game product page doesn't yet say the game supports Linux. To access the beta for Linux, right-click the game in Steam, select Properties and go to the Betas tab. Valve hasn't published the Linux system requirements for Portal 2 yet, but WebUpd8 tested it using Intel HD 3000 graphics under Ubuntu and it worked pretty well."
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Portal 2 Beta Released For Linux

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  • Linux.. (Score:4, Funny)

    by TechyImmigrant (175943) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @05:00PM (#46350397) Journal

    >The_Cake
    False

  • The curse of low-end systems.

  • by tom229 (1640685) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @05:24PM (#46350639)
    I wonder if they're finding it difficult to port their titles to Linux. I've been steadily watching my Linux games section of Steam for months now (since the announcement of SteamOS) and I have to say it is still pretty much just as pitiful as it ever was in comparison to the Windows list. Studios don't seem to be jumping on board... yet.
    • I doubt it's a fundamental difficulty. They ported the engine. If I had to guess, it's a few of the specific assets, like shaders, that they weren't bothering with.

      Seeing as their console they're releasing is fundamentally just a linux computer, they're almost certainly planning all future major releases to target linux.

    • by dstyle5 (702493)
      Steam Boxes will have to be out in the wild for a while to get a sizable user base before alot of devs would create Linux ports I would guess. The current SteamOS Linux user numbers are so low it wouldn't be financially viable for a big company to make a Linux version, unless they plan on supporting SteamOS and are willing eat the dev cost losses until the user numbers grow. Valve has the $ and incentive to do alot of devs don't have that luxury.
    • by thue (121682)

      There are lots of Linux titles, but they are mostly indie games. Indie games don't seem to have any problem posting to Linux.

      Go buy some Humble Bundles - most games in those have Linux support (and Steam keys).

      • by AvitarX (172628)

        I've found that a lot of my Humble Bundle game that support Linux (Binding of Isaac being the example off the top of my head), don't support Linux in Steam.

    • Sound and load times (Score:5, Informative)

      by phorm (591458) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @06:22PM (#46351357) Journal

      The bigger issues I've found in linux are
      a) Sound. Using DOTA2 for an example, you get one option for the sound card, without any pulse/alsa channel or device selections. My system has a soundcard, HDMI audio, and USB headset. Switching outputs is easier in 'nix than windows (in the same area as volume control, you can redirect a playback stream: NICE), but getting the Microphone input to work consistently can be very frustrating.

      b) Load times in Linux seem longer. For whatever reason, the assets also appear to be larger which is probably a contributing factor. Perhaps there's some licensing issues between how assets are compress between the two OS's, leading Linux to be a bit bigger.

      That said, once the game is going DOTA2 and L4D2 are just as good in 'nix as windows. In fact, the window-switching is better/smoother so you can alt-tab without killing your game or dealing with annoying stutters.

    • by ledow (319597)

      It's not difficult to port to Linux, it just takes time on old titles that were never designed with Linux in mind.

      That said, my Steam account has 126 Linux games from 627 games total. That's not a bad ratio considering that I've never bought a Steam game just because it has a Linux version, and that in any non-Steam count, the ratio of Linux games I own would be much, much, much, much less.

      I don't know about Mac - it seems hard to find out how many Mac games I would have on Steam if I was to load it up on

      • I don't know about Mac - it seems hard to find out how many Mac games I would have on Steam if I was to load it up on there - but I imagine it's the same at best, and much less at worst.

        I haven't done any formal analsys but browsing the steam store I can't remember seeing any games listed as windows+linux, it's either windows only, windows+mac or all three.

        • by preflex (1840068)
          There's a few Windows + Linux only titles, but they typically don't stay that way for long. It usually just means the Mac port is still in development. For example Cannons Lasers Rockets [steampowered.com] is Win+Linux only right now, but it's an "early access" game.
      • by EvanED (569694)

        That said, my Steam account has 126 Linux games from 627 games total.

        I was curious so I thought I'd see it for my library even though I figured won't be gaming on Linux any time soon. And even though that latter thing is still true, I was surprised; several titles that I thought were not available for Linux have been added, like Mark of the Ninja.

        For me, 25 of 84 titles in my library (I have a much smaller collection than you, apparently :-)) are available on Linux. That's actually a higher percentage (30%

  • Awesome (Score:4, Informative)

    by Idou (572394) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @05:27PM (#46350685) Journal
    I have spent more money on games since Steam was released on Linux than I have my entire life.

    It is like having and eating my cake, too (but, this time, the cake is not a lie).
  • by Ynot_82 (1023749) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @05:31PM (#46350731)

    I have to say, I loved Portal 1
    So when Portal 2 was released in beta for Linux, I downloaded and played it immediately.

    Having not played it before (last time I used windows was 1998)
    I had no idea what the game should have been like.

    Portal 1 was fairly sparse on the dialog front
    "We regret to inform you that.....eeee...." lights flicker
    So I didn't think much of it when Portal 2 was light on dialog

    Played through to chapter 4 before I realised that there haven't been any dialog
    Bug report here (no apparently fixed)
    https://github.com/ValveSoftwa... [github.com]

    The curse of the Linux-only gamer....

    Ps. I've enjoyed the game so far, even sans vocals

    • It didn't occur to you that the bobbing up and down sphere making elaborate series of facial expressions during the intro was supposed to be talking?

      • by Ynot_82 (1023749)

        I don't know, really.
        I've played stuff before (point & click adventure games) where you're dropped into a world with no knowledge of anything and expected to get a certain way through before any kind of plot exposition.

        and it's not like the game was silent - I had everything except the vocals.

        anyway...

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          and it's not like the game was silent - I had everything except the vocals.

          Did you not turn on subtitles?

          That's the thing with modern games I like - they all have subtitling options which I promptly set to "always on"

          That said, there are still evil games out there that have dialog and no option to have subtitles at all. Naturally there's always a point where a poorly mixed piece of audio overwhelms the dialog and you miss some key story plot or something.

          • by EvanED (569694)

            Did you not turn on subtitles?

            I'm not the OP, but I hate subtitles. Especially for a game like Portal, so much of the humor is in the delivery of the lines that I feel that seeing the subtitles appear and reading ahead (which is essentially impossible to avoid, at least for me) spoils the experience a lot. I also feel like it takes me out of the experience a bit.

            If the games had an option to "show me subtitles but only display the subtitle for a line after the line is complete" I'd probably use it a lot mor

    • Portal 1 was fairly sparse on the dialog front

      Portal was fairly sparse overall. It was an extra thrown in with the orange box and the production values reflected that.

      Portal 2 was clearly a much higher budget game.

    • Definitely replay it from the beginning. The dialog you've missed is pretty awesome and sets up one of the important characters in the game.

  • I'm on Slackware 14...

    And I sort of stopped after 10-14 dependency issues, and by then...I've not even managed to get STEAM installed. Heh....the Open Source software BLENDER 3D (which in my case, use the Nvidia Drivers on my system), installed...and compiled from source like a DREAM... why can't these Valve people learn from that? I'm a long time Linux user (14 years or so), but I'm not a genius by a long shot, just an average Linux user I guess.
    • by ledow (319597) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @06:16PM (#46351279) Homepage

      Despite being a Slackware fan, it has to be said the package dependency issues are ALWAYS going to plague Slackware. It just doesn't have automated dependency resolution compared to just about every other distro on the planet.

      That's both a wonderful thing (compiling from source is much nicer and only uses the things it needs to rather than everything under the sun) and a nightmare (when you want to just install a closed-source Linux binary that integrates a lot of libraries for every possible gaming-related library under the sun in order to run "Big Picture" mode).

      • by Anonymous Coward

        That's not the issue at all. The problem is Valve releases their shit dynamically linked to very particular versions of things like glibc... the versions, specifically, that ship in the latest ubuntu. They could just as easily build it against older, still-secure versions of librares to make it more portable. Or they could do the sane thing and release static binaries, since the bulk of any game download is assents and not executable code.

        Basically, the problem isn't with Slackware (or Gentoo, or Arch, o

        • by MindPrison (864299) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @06:46PM (#46351619) Journal
          Exactly.

          No matter how much Linus Torvalds hate Nvidia, they are still the only company that I know of that has...the last 7 years ... gotten that part right. They've made an install script that basically works on every blend of Linux on the planet, and I really mean that...It really just WORKS. All you have to do is to download it, and sh Nvidia....blah blah. and it does the rest for you, 3d support - right there, no fiddling with a gazillion dependencies, and you don't even need a repository or package installer.

          Learn from that, Valve!
          • Really? I guess YMMV; I deliberately sought out a laptop with an Intel GPU because Intel's drivers are open source, and as such are already shipped with any OS. Nvidia's installer "script" requires you go google for it and download it manually, it subverts your package manager, breaks every OS update, has frequent problems with xorg.conf, required tinkering with nvidia-xconfig... once I even had to manually remove the script part of the file and untar it manually because of some incompatibility... It coul
            • I don't google for it, I go to nvidia's website and quickly find it from there. The script can be invoked with --help, then you can find out how to rebuild the kernel module instead of reinstalling everything (useful for a kernel update or booting an older kernel in grub). You can enable forced anti-aliasing and/or anistropic filtering, just like under Windows. Your distro may or may not provide a version that you can install by clicking a couple things. There's actual documentation in /usr/share/doc.

              That s

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Despite being a Slackware fan, it has to be said the package dependency issues are ALWAYS going to plague Slackware. It just doesn't have automated dependency resolution compared to just about every other distro on the planet.

        That's both a wonderful thing (compiling from source is much nicer and only uses the things it needs to rather than everything under the sun) and a nightmare (when you want to just install a closed-source Linux binary that integrates a lot of libraries for every possible gaming-related library under the sun in order to run "Big Picture" mode).

        OR, you take the best of both worlds: dependency resolution with compile-time feature selection and customization/optimization. It's called Gentoo.

    • by ppz003 (797487)

      In case you or someone else doesn't already know, one of the main contributors to Slackware has already done most of the hard work.

      http://www.slackware.com/~alie... [slackware.com]

      You can build it yourself or just download the package. Available for 14.0, 14.1 or current.

  • Been waiting for this for a longe time.

  • It's a great game. My then 8 year old and I had a great time playing it when it came out.

    And if you don't, I'll burn your house down ... with a lemon!

  • Strange, I thought all Source engine games were pretty much the only games in existence ported to Linux...
    • by preflex (1840068)
      This is obviously wrong as there are over 800 titles available for linux, but Valve hasn't published 800 source-engine games. Even limiting the scope to big-publisher FPS stuff you're still wrong on two fronts. CS:GO is still missing. Metro: Last Light (using the 4A engine) has been available since November.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Does this mean 2014 is the year of linux on the desktop??

  • This is the game I was waiting to show up on linux. The vanilla single player and coop campaigns are far from the best aspect of Portal 2 now. The custom maps are where it's at and the ingame custom maps browser, downloader, rating system, and "series subscription" functionality remove all of the pains of hunting for the perfect maps. I highly recommend people check out the custom maps if they're fans of puzzles--there are some extremely challenging ones that will test both your mind and your agility. A
    • by blackpaw (240313)

      Do you know if the custom maps/mods for Portal 2 work on linux? I had no luck with them for Portal 1.

      • by rabbin (2700077)
        Haven't been able to try it out yet (poor internet), but according to the following link "...users have access to the Workshop and can download any custom map they choose". http://news.softpedia.com/news... [softpedia.com]
        • by blackpaw (240313)

          I feel your pain :) 19 hour download for me as well - Thanks Turnball! I was scheduled for fibre last year.

          The user generated maps seem to work well under linux. Overall the experience has been flawless, despite being a beta. It downloaded, it worked, simple as that. Well done Valve!

          This should keep me entertained for a while.

          • by rabbin (2700077)
            Nice! I should have mine setup today (I can't actually download it because the single DL is much larger than my monthly bandwidth allotment, so I need to *drive* to an ssh server I've setup... 'mericuh internet). I'm trying to remember what collections are especially good because I haven't played in a while (should change now that it's available on linux), so assuming my memory is still good:

            Designed For Danger Collection http://steamcommunity.com/work... [steamcommunity.com]

            12 Angry Tests Collection http://steamcommuni [steamcommunity.com]

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