Classic RPGs, thanks to gog and wine

I’m happier than a pig in mud today, after getting copies of three of my favorite games off gog.com, and finding that they all work flawlessly in Arch Linux and wine.

I’ve mentioned my unnatural affection for Neverwinter Nights, and I have an original boxed copy of the Platinum edition. I even “maintain” (if I can call it that) a quick step-through for a script that installs it.

The Baldur’s Gate series though, is probably the strongest true role-playing game ever written (in my humble and slightly biased opinion), and I’m afraid my experiences with most “modern” RPGs still don’t stand up to that one.

It’s the Icewind Dale pair that I’m really thrilled about now though. gog.com’s installer works perfectly in wine, and both of those games run in fullscreen at their best resolution, without a hitch.

Thus far, of course. For me to playtest the entire game would take … a very long time. I am willing to do it though, if the public demands it. :D

Neverwinter Nights in wine seems to be an unnecessary redundancy, but if you want the shortest route to getting it to work, that might be the solution though.

I have tried the aforementioned script in Arch, and got nothing, and I’ve tried the PKGBUILD from AUR and got nothing. In wine it works like a champ.

With a few small shortcomings. For one thing, as you can see, IceWM leaves its taskbar onscreen while the game is running, which makes it look like the root window is the game.

The easy and obvious way to fix that, without any Googling or terrifying text file editing, is just to set TaskBarAutoHide to 1 in .icewm/preferences, and restart IceWM from the program menu.

Not the most graceful fix, but it solves the problem in a jiffy.

Graphics are good, but I get a wicked slowdown during automated cutscenes or while there are heavy graphic effects underway. I expect that though, since it’s effectively translating the graphics between the two systems.

And it would probably disappear if I would use the established Linux client, rather than running the Windows version through wine. Wine is not an emulator, you know.

I have already found a few pages that give hints on how to make that work; if I can reliably get it going properly, I’ll explain how.

But for now I’m a little obsessed with a few of the games I have enjoyed off and on over the past decade or so. Behind on the times? Yes, I am.

But it’s either that or continue to tinker with Pentium laptops. What’s worse, 10-year-old games or 15-year-old computers? :mrgreen:

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16 Responses to “Classic RPGs, thanks to gog and wine”


  1. 1 TME520 2011/01/06 at 7:20 PM

    Funny you talk about GOG now, I just discovered it three weeks ago and felt in love with it : good games at a cheap price with neat installation wizards, thumb up !

  2. 2 anon 2011/01/06 at 9:23 PM

    I’d actually prefer the original executables instead of a wrapper or a patched version that only runs on XP so I can run them natively on my original copy of Windows 98 kthx

  3. 3 ScannerDarkly 2011/01/07 at 3:13 AM

    As of recent times it’s nice to see more Indie games, but also Linux builds on offer. You mentioned this earlier what with the Humble Indie bundle at such.

    Whilst these games from indie devs and from GOG aren’t open source, at least they are DRM free, and multi-platform, or at least ‘wine-friendly’. I’ve seen some indie developers are releasing their source code once the game has sold a certain amount of copies, but again they have to be exposed to OSS and there has to be a market for doing so.

    Anyway I’ve been working on both https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Games
    and https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Netbook_Games which I’ll merge soon (not much experience with wiki) but if you (or anyone else!) could either drop some info on gog stuff, NWN, etc, onto the commercial/native section that’d be great

  4. 4 seidos 2011/01/07 at 11:57 AM

    you have a great taste in games, sir. what characters did you choose when you played these games? you fancy me as the spell caster type. or perhaps a dual class.

  5. 5 revenant 2011/01/07 at 7:19 PM

    Doesn’t the sort of official NWN Linux client installation guide work anymore in Arch?

    http://nwn.bioware.com/forums/viewtopic.html?topic=656261&forum=72

    A few months ago I successfully installed NWN on Arch following this guide. So, unless new upgrades have broken something (though that’s quite doubtful, when talking about Arch), it should work.

    And yes, the Infinity Engine games (that is, Baldur’s gates, Icewind dales and Planescape: Torment) are probably the best products of the computer game industry of all time. If you like an RPG with an emphasis on story and PC-NPC non-combat interaction, I would strongly suggest to try out the last one.

  6. 6 L4Linux 2011/01/08 at 5:08 PM

    Try Fallout 1 & 2, which are among the best rpgs ever. I haven’t played fallout 3 yet.

  7. 7 Mr_Robotic_Evil 2011/01/12 at 6:13 AM

    Icewind runs on linux without wine.Try gemrb it’s a rewrite of the Infinity engine.

  8. 8 Foz 2011/01/14 at 1:48 AM

    You disappoint me K.Mandla, with your stance on lightbox logins and yet a love to gog.com:

    http://kmandla.wordpress.com/2010/07/31/your-lightbox-effect-still-sucks/

    And I quote:
    “if you trap a login in that lightbox effect, I will officially never use your site, your service or your product, ever ever again, for as long as I live”

    Gog uses lightbox logins… what gives?!?

  9. 10 nytewraeth 2011/02/16 at 6:19 PM

    Always great to see another person (hopelessly?) addicted to these classic games, especially the Icewind Dale series which always seemed to click with me even more than the Baldur’s Gates. I think it was the freedom to create the entire party, in addition to the artwork and locations which quite frankly put BG to shame IMO. But I digress…

    I’m very curious of the system you are playing these games on, specifically what video card you have? My attempts to get these games running decently in WINE have failed, both on my old laptop (running Ubuntu 10.04) with a crappy Intel 915 integrated video card, and my iMac machine with an ATI HD 2600 (on which I have had issues both under Ubuntu and OSX WINE versions). Admittedly, OSX’s ATI drivers leave much to be desired with *any* kind of gaming, and on the Ubuntu side I have been using the open radeon drivers since I did not have good experience the last time I tried Catalyst.

    Secondly, did you encounter the flickering cursor problem in IWD2, and if so how did you manage to solve it?

    • 11 K.Mandla 2011/02/18 at 6:55 AM

      I’m using Arch on this machine, and I have zero problems with graphics or emulation. Very very rarely, the game will crash completely, but it really doesn’t happen often enough that I can tell what’s causing it or get it to happen again.

      No flickering cursor, no graphics issues … quite enjoyable, really. Can you try switching distros as a troubleshooting measure?

      • 12 nytewraeth 2011/02/18 at 6:17 PM

        Thanks for the info and feedback, I appreciate it.

        Yeah, I think it’s about time I try another distro on both my machines and see how it runs. To be perfectly honest, I’ve been considering trying something lightweight like Arch anyway as I really don’t like the direction that Ubuntu is heading, ignoring the fact that it really does have a lot of fluff that I don’t need. I only installed it out of laziness/ease of use, not because I felt it was perfect for me. :)

        My biggest problems with these games on both machines have been various graphic corruptions (both in 2D and 3D acceleration modes where available) in addition to slow performance on my laptop, which is very underpowered compared to yours in every way but the video card. On my ATI iMac, there is heavy aliasing in text, sprites, avatars, pretty much everything… it’s like when you zoom in on a jpeg image and it becomes pixelated. In contrast, on my laptop I don’t get the aliasing (yay Intel?) but I have performance issues under both 2/3D, and both machines give me cursor flicker in IWD2 to the point of being nauseating.

        To be honest I’d rather just get it working on my laptop since overall Linux seems rather finicky on Mac hardware, in addition to being able to drop my dual boot and just maintain separate machines instead.

        Thanks again, I’ll post back how it goes.


  1. 1 Links 8/1/2011: GIMP 2.8 Status Update, Ubuntu GNU/Linux Ported to Nook | Techrights Trackback on 2011/01/09 at 4:28 AM
  2. 2 A couple (or four) free games « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2011/01/09 at 8:02 AM
  3. 3 A heaping helping of Linux games « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2011/01/21 at 10:19 PM
  4. 4 Oh great, another addiction (that I could swear I have seen before) « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2011/02/17 at 1:04 PM

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Welcome!



Visit the Wiki!

Some recent desktops


May 6, 2011
Musca 0.9.24 on Crux Linux
150Mhz Pentium 96Mb 8Gb CF
 


May 14, 2011
IceWM 1.2.37 and Arch Linux
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

Some recent games


Apr. 21, 2011
Oolite on Xubuntu 11.04
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

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