Indie dev finds that Linux users generate more, better bug reports

A spaceship dodges an asteroid while firing its thrusters, viewed from top down, from game Delta V: Rings of Saturn
(Image credit: Kodera Software)

An indie developer has found an interesting observation: Though only 5.8% of his game's buyers were playing on Linux, they generated over 38% of the bug reports. Not because the Linux platform was buggier, either. Only 3 of the roughly 400 bug reports submitted by Linux users were platform specific, that is, would only happen on Linux.

The developer, posting as Koderski for developer Kodera Software on Reddit, makes indie game ΔV: Rings of Saturn—that's Delta V, or DV, for the non-rocket-science-literate. It's a hard science, physics-based space mining and piracy game that I quite like, personally, for its blend of playability that still honors the basics of spaceflight. If you quite like the space combat of, say, The Expanse, DV is a sim that might be for you.

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

"I got 1040 bug reports in total, out of which roughly 400 are made by Linux players," says Koderski's post. "That’s one report per 11.5 users on average, and one report per 1.75 Linux players. That’s right, an average Linux player will get you 650% more bug reports." Koderski's numbers are a limited sample size drawn from one person's experience, but tell a compelling story.

Koderski also says that very few of those bugs were specific to Linux, being clear that "This 5.8% of players found 38% of all the bugs that affected everyone." The bug reports themselves were also pretty high quality, he said, including software and OS versions, logs, and steps for replication.

Multiple commenters on the post chalked this up to the kind of people who use Linux: Software professionals, IT employees, and engineers who would already be familiar with official bug reporting processes. It's a strong theory as to why this might be, though the sheer passion that the gaming on Linux community has for anyone who supports their favorite hobby may be another.

despite_having_just_58_sales_over_38_of_bug from r/gamedev

You can find ΔV: Rings of Saturn on and on Steam, where it's in Early Access development. There's an unlimited runtime free demo with saves, and you can port those saves to the finished version, though you can't load progress within the demo itself. 

You can read Koderski's full post on Reddit's gamedev board.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.