It's Official: Skullgirls Arrives on Linux/SteamOS


Finally, after more than two years since the Linux port was announced, Skullgirls is one of the first actual fighters to mark its territory not only on Linux but on Mac as well. It was once available on Humble Indie Bundle 15.

I first got into Skullgirls a few years back when it was free to play for a weekend. Since then I haven’t had much interest in the game up until around April of 2015 where I read that it was going to get Linux support.

I don’t think I’m the first to admit that I like to play as the female in any video game. This game is all about that, and in addition to the beautifully hand-drawn, lewd characters, the mechanics are just fantastic and spot-on. It is a combo-heavy fighting game, unlike Street Fighter. It plays very similarly to Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, being able to use teams of up to three players, though the more players you have on your team, the more damage they’ll take. You can use these team members to call assists in battle, or to add further pain to your rival by using a delayed hyper combo (DHC). Personally, Parasoul‘s my favorite character (gawd I love red-heads), though she’s not my main.

Regarding the scene behind the Linux port, there’s this huge thread on the Steam discussion board of users requesting the Linux port since around August of 2013. Apparently there was a Kickstarter fund going on at that time where a backer would get PC and Linux access. Let’s just say I’m glad I wasn’t one of those backers who have waited over two years to get my hands on a Linux port – some of the backers are raged for what they paid for, being upset for the mistakes the developers made, and arguing back and forth to those who support the PS4/PS Vita release first.

But I guess I have to give the developers a bit of slack. The port was created on a voluntary basis. To go from not having characters on-screen to having characters on-screen is a huge jump. Also, Skullgirls uses a custom fighting engine. I’d imagine that’s a lot of work just to port the engine. But, now that the engine has been ported, any new titles that use it should have Mac and Linux support right from the get-go.

There was a closed beta period that went from late July to early August. I don’t know how in heck it happened, but out of the some twenty (which was later extended to roughly fifty) testers, I was hand-picked.

“Great!” one of the developers sent me in an email. “I’ve added you to the list. Expect instructions on Monday on how to get set up.” Maybe it was because I was quick enough to email him; I don’t know. I even admitted that I have little testing expertise. I’ve barely participated in any of the game’s discussions on Steam.

Runs Smoothly on Ubuntu 15.04 Runs Smoothly on Ubuntu 15.04

I kept a little diary detailing what each update did to the game. But right from the start it was a very decent port, with little to no problems. Everything worked fine – the gameplay, training mode, online multiplayer between different operating systems, story mode, graphics, character animations. I’ve had a few issues with my Xbox controller in the sense that the Guide button served as the Start button, and sometimes the controller will be stuck thinking that the D-pad or the left analogue stick is being held down. That was easily fixed by reconnecting the controller or restarting the game. Additionally, a lot of users have reported that the Steam overlay will not go away once it’s activated – you can’t navigate any in-game menus because Steam thinks you’re still using the overlay. The only way I know to get rid of the overlay is to kill the game. Then there were a couple of missing sound effects. Finally, some Mac and Linux users have reported screen tearing issues. Not so with me. All of these issues were patched, though. Except the one where text isn’t displayed upon selecting a replay, which I reluctantly didn’t reveal until the last minute.

One nice thing the port also supports is cross-platform saving with Steam Cloud. However, one thing I will warn is that if you make any progress on the Linux version, you will lose it if you go back to Windows. If you switch back and forth between these operating systems, I recommend copying your Linux save to the save folder in Windows until this issue is resolved (Edit 4/13/2016: this issue still has not been resolved and likely will not ever be. Might be a good idea to disable cloud support).

pic2 No text displayed in Replay Theater

It was over a month since the beta testing period was over. The reason why the port wasn’t made official any earlier wasn’t revealed until today. Here’s what one of the developers wrote:

The basic reasoning is that when something gets announced ahead of time for Humble Bundle, people stop buying things from HB in anticipation of an upcoming bundle and that negatively affects HB’s sales. That’s why we couldn’t say who or when.

But now it’s here and that’s all I care about.

Now I’ll be able to whoop all you Windows rear-ends with my Li-knucks buttocks.

Edited on 4/13/2016 for minor grammar mistakes and adding a description of what the game is actually about