I'm Very Pleased with Initial Testing of "A Weekend in Puzzleburg" on Steam Deck
Roughly three months ago, I wrote a blog post about how I thought that A Weekend in Puzzleburg would be a great fit for the Steam Deck. This was before I got my hands on a Steam Deck and was pure speculation on my part based on what I knew about my game and what I knew at the time about the Steam Deck. Recently, I was able to test out the demo for A Weekend in Puzzleburg on a Steam Deck, and I am pleased with the results so far! Here is what I saw - bearing in mind that this is on a fresh-out-of-the-box Steam Deck with no modifications to the Deck or to A Weekend in Puzzleburg.
Lesson 1 - How to download a demo in the first place
I wanted to test out the performance of the demo for A Weekend in Puzzleburg so that I would have the exact same experience that players are having with the demo right now, not the experience I would be having with the private build of the game. As such, I went to open up the demo only to find that it wasn't showing up in my library. That brought me to lesson 1 - the Steam Deck is not great at surfacing demos, even if they are already in your library. To get a demo on your Steam Deck, you have to search for the game and download the demo off the Steam store (basically, what you would do if you didn't already have the demo in your library). Here's what the store page looks like on Steam - notice the big green "download demo" button on the right-hand side:
Lesson 2 - The full controller support already in the demo works great on the Steam Deck
When playing on the Steam Deck, the controls work exactly the same as what I have been experiencing while playing on desktop with an Xbox One controller. From a gameplay experience, it controls exactly the same, which I expected but is still great to see. This even extends to the options in configuring the gamepad button mapping. When playing on desktop, you will see an extra option in the menu for "Gamepad Config" if you have a controller connected and have pressed any button on it all (note that simply having the controller plugged in is not enough to have the "Gamepad Config" option show up - you need to have actually pressed something on it to get the configure options for it). This same exact gamepad button mapping option comes up when using the Steam Deck, so the controller support is as I hoped it would be.
Here is the options menu on desktop when using a controller (notice "Gamepad Config" is there):
And here is the options menu on Steam Deck (notice "Gamepad Config" is here as well):
Lesson 3 - The text is not as well-aligned to the width of the picture on Deck, but it's still quite functional
As you might notice in the two images above, the width is a bit different and the font is a bit different on the Steam Deck (e.g. look at how the first option of "Always Dash" extends past the chair in the background on desktop but stops before the end of the chair on Steam Deck or look at how "30%" is written between the two images - Steam Deck has a line through the zero that desktop does not). Here is a more concrete example of how that manifests during gameplay
This is a line of dialog from the hotel concierge as seen on desktop:
And this is that same line of dialog on Steam Deck:
From these two images, we can see that the dialog on Steam Deck is scrunched together a bit and not as neatly aligned to the edges of the playing area as on desktop. However, it is still readable and should not get in the way of functionally playing the game. In fact, if you only ever play on Steam Deck, I think you might not even think twice about it. But you can also zoom in with the "Steam" button + L1 (+ right-stick to maneuver to the part of the screen you want magnified). Here is how that looks once you set it up once:
All told, I'm very encouraged by the out-of-the-box performance of A Weekend in Puzzleburg on the Steam Deck. I don't know if the game will receive an official "verified" or "playable" status from Valve, but I think the game will play quite well on the Steam Deck, and I fully expect you'll be able to enjoy the game on the Steam Deck when the game releases on February 17, 2023 (in the meantime, you can play the demo on the device to try it out for yourself).
Here is a link to the Steam page where you can wishlist and download the demo.