Indie developers are finding that Linux users generate more and better bug reports

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One indie developer made an interesting observation: even though only 5.8% of the buyers of his game played on Linux, they generated over 38% of bug reports. Not even because the Linux platform was flawed. Only 3 of the 400 or so bug reports submitted by Linux users were platform-specific, meaning that they would only occur on Linux.

The developer, who posts as Koderski for the developer Kodera Software on Reddit, makes the indie game ΔV: Rings of Saturn – that’s Delta V or DV for non-rocket scientists. It’s a tough science, physics-based space mining, and piracy game that I personally really like for its mix of playability that still honors the fundamentals of space travel. If you like the space combat from The Expanse, for example, DV is a simulation that might be for you.

Koderski says he sold a little over 12,000 copies of his game, and about 700 of those were bought by Linux gamers.

“I received a total of 1040 bug reports, about 400 of which were from Linux gamers,” said Koderski’s post. “That’s on average one report per 11.5 users and one report per 1.75 Linux players. That’s right, the average Linux player gets 650% more bug reports.” Koderski’s numbers are a limited sample of a person’s experience but tell a compelling story.

Koderski also says that very few of these bugs were Linux specific, and that “those 5.8% of gamers found 38% of all bugs that affected everyone.” The error reports themselves are also of fairly high quality, including software and operating system versions, logs, and steps for replication.

Several commentators on the post attributed this to the type of people who use Linux: software professionals, IT staff, and engineers who would already be familiar with official bug reporting processes. It’s a strong theory as to why this could be so, although the sheer passion of the Gaming-on-Linux community for anyone who supports their favorite hobby is different.

despite_having_just_58_sales_over_38_of_bug by r / gamedev

You can find ΔV: Rings of Saturn on itch.io and on Steam, where it’s in Early Access development. There is a free demo with unlimited duration and saved games, and you can port these saved games to the finished version, although you cannot load the progression into the demo itself.

You can read Koderski’s full post on Reddit’s Gamedev board.


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