Community project: Ubuntu Budgie Gaming

Hello wonderful people of Ubuntu Budgie,

Since I joined the team, I have been busy helping out behind the scene and getting familiar. One of the things I have been doing, is keep an eye on discourse posts. I saw there have been frequent discussions around gaming.

Then I saw a nice project on github regarding gaming on Ubuntu Budgie Welcome and I thought, why not get the community involved and have fun together?

So this is the idea:

  1. See if we can revive the wonderful idea to add a gaming menu to Ubuntu Budgie Welcome. https://github.com/UbuntuBudgie/budgie-welcome/pull/260 . I am going to reach out to original author, but if someone else in the community wants to pick it up or create a new one from scratch, that would work too.

  2. Once we can get that finished and added to Ubuntu Budgie, we would have a very nice and fun foundation for more fun. What we can do with it depends a bit on how this menu/app shapes up.

  3. Fun community events can then start. Create some polls and get the community involved to submit and vote on entries for games or gaming related software we could add to this and make our Ubuntu Budgie tailored gaming list. Make a nice battle of the games, post or stream about it (depends on involvement) and see which ones make it to the top.

I will be very happy to hear what you guys think. Don’t be shy! Share thoughts and ideas.

Testing

If you want to help us testing latest features, please switch to edge version of our Ubuntu Budgie Welcome

snap refresh --edge ubuntu-budgie-welcome

Status updates

Game Clients

  • Steam installer issue not reporting correct status was fixed in version 0.16.10. See post 56 of this thread for more details. New method of installing Steam seems to be faster opening Steam client, and works great on new installs. On systems that have Steam pre-installed with other methods, I recommend to follow steps in post 56 of this thread to clean up the system.
  • Lutris added and working correctly.
  • RetroArch added and working correctly.
  • MiniGalaxy added and working correctly. Due to package not being backported to 20.04, this app is hidden for 20.04.

Games List

  • As of version 0.16.9 “Games” tab is renamed to “Games List” tab and moved to third tab in the list. This makes for great consistency. More work to be done on the “Games List” later on.
  • Initial list of recommended games is solid, we are looking at updating it with more variety, but this is a stretch goal for now, as we are focusing on core features to be refined, we are trying to get this package stable for 22.04 release.
  • As of version 0.16.11 @HellBringer419 released new features in “Games List” :
    • games installed from Ubuntu Repositories have our classic green “install” icon, which turns into a red “remove” if the game is installed. Next to it, a grey “watch” icon that launches a video intro to the game.
    • Steam games, if welcome detects that Steam Client is not installed, display a grey “Install Steam” Icon, which brings the user back to “Gaming Clients” Tab. Next to “Install Steam” Icon, there is another grey “Watch” Icon which launches a video trailer of the game via default browser"
    • Steam games, if welcome detect that Steam Client is installed, display a green “Launch on Steam” icon. If game is not in user’s library, Steam Store page of the game will open. If game is in user’s library but not installed, Steam Library will open and initiate installation of the game. If game is in user’s library and installed, Steam will launch the game directly.
  • As of version 0.17, watch icons are moved to the left side for both steam games and games from Ubuntu repositories. The goal was to have more consistent and visually appealing interface. More about this on post 58 of this thread.

Initial idea about this on post 45 of this thread.
Further updates on this topic on posts 55 and post 56 of this thread.

Gaming Tools

  • All gaming tools are working perfectly for me.
  • OpenRazer+Polychromatic as of version 0.16.9 work great including install and removal of all needed components. Also, thanks to @fossfreedom for his magic coding, post script install tasks will automatically add user to plugdev group. Removing the package also removes user from plugdev group. This is a required action to get OpenRazer+Polychromatic to work. It’s awesome to get it automated for our users. See post 55 of this thread for more details.
  • As of version 0.17, we removed last sentence from Polychromatic & OpenRazer, as it was unnecessary for end users and could have been source of confusion. More on this on post 58 of this thread.
  • CoreCTRL. As of version 0.16.10, this item now informs users that they are adding a PPA that also has updated graphics drivers and packages. Initial testing report on Post 38 of this thread.

Gaming Tools

  • As of version 0.16.09 “Game tools” tab is now called “Gaming Tools”, and moved to second tab in the list.
  • As of version 0.17, we added trailing dots at the end of each item in Gaming Tools, to match the standard on other Budgie Welcome pages.

Automatic detection and recommendations

  • As outlined in post number 41 of this thread, we are going to work on an automated system to improve user experience related to all things gaming. This is currently in the initial stages of discussion, documentation of required logic and needed checks, actions, and packages.
3 Likes

Hi All,

I have a quick update on this topic. I have reached out to @HellBringer419 , the original creator of this app and who started this all. He graciously accepted to continue his work on this. :star_struck:

So… now what? :thinking:

  • If you are a developer: Please reach out and offer your help to review the code, make changes, etc.
  • If you are not a developer but a gamer and a member of our community: Check this thread, offer ideas, vote on the polls that we want to make about this. Offer to test when this app reaches the daily applet PPA. There is a lot that a non-developer can do to help out.

I am going to kick things off by bringing some update on what was previously discussed, and also adding some thoughts from the Ubuntu Budgie team.

#General idea
We believe that a gaming app within the Ubuntu Budgie Welcome is a great idea. It makes the distribution easy and pleasant to use, especially for new Linux users.

Things to avoid

I would like to avoid adding automated tools or instructions to have the users easily get kernel, mesa, and drivers that are not officially supported in current release. I know that hardware enablement on Ubuntu can be a bit of a pain nowadays, given the super fast hardware release cadence.
However, users that go outside of the standard stack are likely to encounter issues, and then our team would be forced to tell them we cannot help because they are using non-standard components. That sounds like a less than ideal situation.
Having said that, if many vote for this feature and against me, maybe we can consider with @HellBringer419 and our Ubuntu Budgie team, if it makes sense to either add some instructions on how to jump to development branch, or to provide those kernel/mesa/drivers updates, behind some disclaimers or hidden in some kind of “advanced mode”.
As you can see, it is a lot of work only to talk about this, so I’d leave it for future discussion, after everything else about this app is working fine.

Things we can add

I have 3 main categories of gaming related applications we can add to Ubuntu Budgie Welcome - Gaming.

Game clients and stores

Game clients: Steam, Lutris, come to mind. Is there any other popular one that is Linux native and widely used?
Game web stores: GoG and Humble Bundle don’t have a linux client but some of the games they sell are available for linux. Would it make sense to have links to those stores?

Gaming tools

This category would include those gaming-related tools that are widely supported, available for Ubuntu, and good quality. For now only 2 come to mind, but I am sure there are many more:

  1. OpenRGB (Generic RGB management tool for linux, updated and well respected afaik)
  2. OpenRazer and Polychromatic Awesome projects that bring linux support to Razer devices. I purchased a few just to test it out, and I can personally confirm it is up-to-date, works great, GUI is most likely the best I have seen for gaming hardware on linux in a long time
  3. CPU frequency scaler app is already bundled with Ubuntu Budgie, but maybe a link here could help gamers learn about it.

Games!

This would be super fun for a future release, after most important core aspects are handled. Have the community vote for some game recommendations. Say a top 10 we can use polls to vote and review once every release or so. Those games should be only from Ubuntu Repositories and Snaps, so that developers won’t need to work too much and our distros won’t end up with hundreds of PPAs.

@ilvipero This is great idea, looking forward to seeing this flesh out.

One idea I thought might be helpful is a link from the welcome app to a web page for ‘more information’ on gaming on linux? Like tips and tricks that can make the gaming experience better. You could also have links to gaming news sites like Gaming on Linux and Boiling Steam.

Maybe add the CrossOver client to the list from the Welcome app?

Doug

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I did suggest adding similar articles. The design principle is to not overwhelm the user.
Adding on to this … too many game clients could give Analysis Paralysis to the user too.

Also, Proton seems to be doing quite well especially with steam deck around the corner.
I think those two options cover most games.

But yeah, feedback on “not overwhelming” the user are welcome.

1 Like

Agree on this. Steam is the easiest one to get a lot of games working on linux, and last I had a look, Lutris can manage also GOG and Humble Bundle games.

Please check my recommendations above, I think if you can manage to split into 3 categories, users won’t have sensor overload when they load the app, and can go to the category they want, only see relevant entries. Makes sense?

  • Game Clients (Lutris, Steam)
  • Gaming Tools (openrazer+polychromatic, openrgb, others?)
  • Suggested Games (community voted short list of 5 or 10 games we can fetch from Ubuntu repos)

Hey @ilvipero I like that idea … three section one.
Let’s present this to core team too.

Also, maybe a poll on the Suggested games would be great.

2 Likes

I am fine with whatever yourself and @ilvipero agree with. As usual … KISS principles apply

3 Likes

@HellBringer419 @fossfreedom I am super happy you guys agree. This is going to be super fun.
And yes absolutely community polls on which games to add to the list sounds super fun.

Once there is a first release making it into either dev.branch or current release, please do let me know, so I will write a blog post and promote it on social media.

Thank you guys, Ubuntu Budgie community is awesome! :heart_eyes: :star_struck: :partying_face:

I agree, Proton should most likely be pushed the hardest. The recent announcement of EAC and Battle Eye supporting linux via Proton is pretty huge.

https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Easy-Anti-Cheat-Linux

https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=BattlEye-Proton-Steam-Deck

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0.16.2 of budgie-welcome is now out - it should be refreshing on your installs over the next few days.

(force refresh via snap refresh)

The new gaming page is available.

Looking forward to seeing this develop.

Quick update. @HellBringer419 created a first version of Ubuntu Budgie Gaming. It is looking great already, and I am sure it will keep improving over time. Thanks @HellBringer419 for the great work and @fossfreedom for helping out.

Please keep the comments coming, constructive criticism is always welcome.

( off-topic a bit )

Sorry am not a gamer - but I love that idea of « pre-tested » offers on a specific topic.

Wish there had a kind of « Ubuntu Budgie get-your-job-done » section including tips an tricks and app’s for :
⋅ management of plannings, calendars, tasks, contacts, mails, messaging services accross all app’s and whole system,
⋅ sharing of data through devices with the help of samba, nfs, syncthing or else, with clear self teaching UI,
⋅ easier app’ configuration. Here read : snap + flatpak + appimage do not solve any problem, they just add more things to watch out while you are in a production / business context ; they are the opposite of helpers, they are time eater and nothing else.

Don’t misread, I am a very happy user of UBudgie at home and at work but there is no distro out there that target « workers » who are not dev’ - just « workers » in any random place where a computer is needed to do things fast, easy and reliably.

I totally understand the interest in gaming, both for fun and technological improvements.
I wish the same kind of commitment towards non-dev’ / non-gamer / but-still-worker users.

( end of half off-topic )

More than happy for such things you have highlighted to be pursued and acted upon.

Just need someone with the vision to lead on this. I will support such a person with the relevant technical background so that person can successfully implement.

And I’d happily share my years long experience as a ×buntu user at home AND work :wink:

Else I wouldn’t have dared such a suggestion.

Pick something smallish - raise a topic (here or github) and outline the proposal. Then we can discuss possible implementation strategies.

e.g. this sort of detail and discussion add a gaming section to budgie-welcome · Issue #151 · UbuntuBudgie/budgie-welcome · GitHub

All - test snap now available - please do try

snap refresh --edge  ubuntu-budgie-welcome 

Then look at the gaming page

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Hey EVERYONE,
The designs are finalised and merged.

Please use the above snap command and test it out.

To access the gaming page, open Ubuntu budgie welcome and click on “Install Software”.
Next, select gaming and install your game clients.
Don’t forget to check out the tools section to see cool stuff.

Ofc, this will be expanded on by community feedback.

1 Like