Tuesday August 21, 2018

Steam Play Evolves as Valve Adds Tools for Windows to Linux Compatibility

Valve has been hard at work funding the creation of open source tools to make Windows games compatible with the Linux operating system (OS). The end goal is to create a better more robust version of Steam Play.

The first tool called Proton is a version of Wine that is directly funded by Valve. It offers a plug-and-play experience for Linux gamers that wish to play Windows games within the Linux OS. Through the vkd3d tool, Direct3D 12 games are possible on Linux via Vulkan. Both OpenVR and SteamWorks are supported and there is even a patchset for multi-threaded performance improvements.

DXVK is also supported and funded by Valve and allows Direct3D 11 games to run on Linux via Vulkan also. They have enlisted the help of Khronos, Nvidia, Intel and AMD to add features and driver support. Support for Steam Play in macOS isn't planned, but it works fine with Wine and Proton. The Q&A section is truly enlightening to read as it addresses compatibility, DRM, developers seeking to meet compatibility standards, and more! Thanks @GNUse_the_force .

Our goal for this work is to let Linux Steam users enjoy easy access to a larger back catalog. We think it will also allow future developers to easily leverage their work from other platforms to target Linux. This would give them the option of focusing on areas that would make a meaningful experience difference for all users instead, such as supporting Vulkan[www.khronos.org].