Okay, time to write up a bit more about my experience so far. (Once again, this post is being written from the Deck in Desktop Mode, with a crappy Bluetooth keyboard which often misses or repeats keystrokes. In other words, I may come back later to edit this post and make corrections or fill out more details from a better keyboard.)
I tried out another Deck Verified game, called Crash Drive 3. There wasn't really any question in my mind as to whether or not it would run decently since it's not a very demanding game. But it's noteworthy because I experienced a similar issue as Aperture Desk Job. Only this time the controls were broken from the very start. I used the Steam button to activate an OS menu and force-closed the game and restarted it (the game) at which point it worked perfectly. So it seems I should give Aperture Desk Job another go.
I've also found that the Deck becomes very sluggish and at times almost unresponsive when downloading/installing a game. If I try to queue up multiple games to download, it doesn't always work correctly. I don't know if that's due to the slowness of the eMMC in the 64 GB model, or maybe the microSD card I'm using isn't modern/fast enough, or if that's just how all Decks operate. I guess I'll find out soon enough when I get the 512 GB model.
Another thing I've heard from multiple sources is not to be afraid to try out games that aren't listed as Playable or Verified. I've heard that ProtonDB is a good source of info on how games run via Proton and by extension, on the Deck. I decided to try my luck getting Burnout Paradise Remastered, which is officially listed as Unsupported, to run, and ProtonDB seemed to indicate that after a bit of tinkering it was possible to get running. But I followed all the instructions from others who claim to have gotten it to work and it just doesn't work for me. Origin was an absolute pain to get running and configured but even after I finally got it running and configured as per instructions the game still just got stuck on a black screen almost immediately on startup.
Similarly, I checked ProtonDB for LEGO Lord of the Rings, which is also officially listed as Unsupported, and there were a couple of reports that the gme runs fine using a specific version of Proton-GE. So I installed it and configured it to use that specific version of Proton-GE and it just crashes immediately on startup. I tried various other versions of Proton and Proton-GE and nothing worked.
After two of two attempts getting an Unsupported game working by following info from ProtonDB failed to produce desirable results, I'm not really sure how useful ProtonDB is for the Deck after all. Maybe the advice to try out games was meant for the ones that are listed as "Unknown/Untested" rather than the "Unsupported" games.
And while I'm on a roll posting about negative stuff, now is as good a time as any to nitpick about the carrying case. It "feels" like it's upside down to me. It's designed so that when you are carrying it by the handle the logo is oriented properly. But when you unzip it while the logo is oriented properly, then it opens up to reveal an upside down Deck. If you orient the case so that it opens to an upside-up Deck, then the logo is upside down. I suppose it's like laptops that have a prominent branding logo on the backside of the screen. It appears upside down to the person using it so that when they open it up it's upside up to onlookers. But the case doesn't stay propped open like a laptop does. It's either closed or laying flat opened. I've also read others complain that the Deck sits in the case the wrong way as well, since the current orientation places the USB-C port of the Deck in the hinge rather than by the zipper, meaning you can't leave the Deck in the case with the zipper pulled back just far enough to sneak a charging cable in there. And one final preemptive nitpick about the case: The 512 GB model comes with a slightly different case, with a colored logo on the outside and I believe a light gray or tan coloring to the material inside. I personally prefer the black coloring of the case that came with the 64 GB model, but I also prefer the colored logo on the case that comes with the 512 GB model. It's all just aesthetics, so no big deal. Hence why I am calling these nitpicks.
In other, less negative news:
I played a bit of Hellpoint. But not for long. Everything appeared to be working perfectly. I just realized/remembered after I started playing it that I would really like to play it multiplayer with a friend who was not available to play at that time and that I didn't really want to get into it just solo at the time I was testing it out. But now that I have the Deck, it will be much easier to go have a "LAN" party with Hellpoint (or other games) instead of either being restricted to home with my desktop PC or having to unplug and haul it somewhere. So I'm still looking forward to more Hellpoint on the Deck.
I also went through my library, looking only at "Deck Verified" games, and installed a few smaller or somewhat esoteric or indie titles that I've never played so I can finally give them a shot. But a lot of them are multiplayer games that I'd want to play with others, and a handheld device with a 7" screen isn't really an ideal way to play shared/split-screen multiplayer games. So I'm really started to itch for a dock or hub that will allow me to connect the Deck to a larger screen. Not only that, but as I've mentioned, I'm considering the feasibility of using the Deck as a kind of Desktop PC replacement, so I'm trying to spend more time in Desktop Mode to get used to the kind of workflow that would entail. Hence my typing this post up from the Deck. But again, without a dock or hub, it's not an ideal experience, especially without a mouse or reliable (and full size!) keyboard.
I think I'll probably be getting a hub sooner than I thought even a couple days ago because so many of the things I imagined using the Deck for require connecting it to another display or having a keyboard and mouse combo connected that would be conducive to programming or whatever.
And for those who are curious, it has been a while since I posted about this. Check My Deck now says my library is:34% Playable+
- Verified: 120 games (13.07%)
- Playable: 188 games (20.48%)
- Unsupported: 93 games (10.13%)
- Unknown: 517 games (56.32%)