Gaming on Linux

For the next month I’m trying to daily drive a Linux desktop environment, but playing PC games is something that might keep me running Windows on my primary desktop computer after this trial.

However, I’m impressed by the number of well supported AAA titles listed on ProtonDB.com and by how relatively easy it was to run Windows games from a Steam library on Linux using Proton.

And I’m hopeful that the launch of the Steam Deck will push game publishers to put proper effort in to Linux compatibility.

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Pre-ordering the Steam Deck

I’m super excited about the Steam Deck, Valves new hand-held gaming PC that runs AAA games on Linux.

Pre-ordering were crashing the reservation system, and I had issues for 40 minutes trying to get it to accept my credit card. But eventually got an email confirmation. Though, I missed the 2021 shipping window.

The specs seem pretty good for running current games and previous generation games. but there will eventually be newer games that will push it a bit. Even newer current generation games might.

I wonder publishers end up considering its support like they do for consoles, or if Valve revs the specs in a shorter window than consoles.

But maybe Valve doesn’t even need to worry about the specs for future games. Game streaming could be the future of this form-factor. Xbox Cloud seems like a possibility on the Steam Deck since you can install Windows, and you will probably be able to stream games to it from you local PC like you can from other Steam clients.

Maybe Valve will even launch an Xbox Cloud competitor which could prolong the hardware’s life.

GTA Online. Infamous for its slow loading times. Having picked up the game again to finish some of the newer heists I was shocked (/s) to discover that it still loads just as slow as the day it was released 7 years ago.

It’s parsing something. Parsing what? Untangling the disassembly would take forever so I decided to dump some samples from the running process using x64dbg. Some debug-stepping later it turns out it’s… JSON! They’re parsing JSON. A whopping 10 megabytes worth of JSON with some 63k item entries.

It’s surprising that this issue had never been considered worth it to be fixed by Rockstar. I do think 63,000 items loaded via JSON is excessive, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable given the size and scope of GTA online.