WINE Improvements Clear Wingnut Pilots for Launch (December 9, 2012)

Discussion in 'News Discussion' started by ChrisReid, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. ChrisReid

    ChrisReid Super Soaker Collector / Administrator Staff Member

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    Magamo has good news in regards to playing classic Wing Commanders on Linux platforms. Although DOSBox is the most popular method for getting old games running on modern computers, it's far from the only solution. Due to the different ways that each program emulates old environments, some methods may work better than others with different hardware/software combinations. It's been about six years since Prophecy and Secret Ops (and mods like Standoff) first became functional by using the WINE application, and compatibility has now been expanded to include most original Wing Commanders. Here's Magamo's report:

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    Original update published on December 9, 2012
  2. PopsiclePete

    PopsiclePete Mission programmer

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    I feel I should rectify that the OpenGL thing is mostly Pedro's work; my own work in it being mostly nagging him endlessly about new features and hacks I envisioned and implementing them onto the games. The graphic coding part, which is the bulk of the job, was all done by Pedro.
  3. Pedro

    Pedro Vice Admiral

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    To be fair the nagging is pretty essential - look what's happened since you've stopped.
  4. Magamo

    Magamo Captain

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    Since this has hit the front page, I suppose I should finally get around to reporting the status of the Vision Engine games, and Wing Commander Saga. These work just as well now as they did back in 2005 when I was originally talking about it, although I've noticed an interesting graphical oddity: Stars that are in the original engine's starfield will shine through models with my nVidia card under Wine, when using the OpenGL renderer, giving everything a very slight ghostly quality, which does not affect either stability, or playability.

    To install Prophecy and Secret Ops using their original installers (I do not use the new enhanced installers that have been released more recently, but they likely should not need this) you will have to have Wine running in Win98 mode or else the installers will erroneously report that you do not have enough free space. If you recieve any other unexplained crashes (I've had Standoff crash when transitioning from engine or movie, to gameflow) switch Wine back to Win98 mode.

    Prophecy, Secret Ops, and Standoff all work quite well. Unknown Enemy also works if one copies the OpenGL renderer's gl_00007.dll over the software renderer, gl_00006.dll, and selecting to use software in the launcher. Unlike back in 2005, the 1.2 version of the OpenGL renderer now lends its enhancements (including enhanced starfields) to UE as well.

    Standoff and UE need an appropriate version of the VisualBasic runtimes installed (vbrun5 for UE, vbrun6 for Standoff) and MFC42.dll installed, all three can be installed using 'winetricks' or 'PlayOnLinux/PlayOnMac'. Otherwise they will crash. You will be able to see that its missing libraries on the terminal, but likely will get no explanation if attempting to launch these games via any form of GUI.

    Wing Commander Saga just simply works under Wine with no modification, as I recall.

    One last thing I failed to mention with the WC1-4 support. Due to the fact that these games will switch X's resolution to lower modes (640x480), they may load slightly off screen using widescreen monitors, and have the potential to lose focus, when moving the mouse, and having the game scroll off screen. If this happens, simply use your mouse to scroll back until the game is recentered, and tick the 'Automatically capture the mouse in full screen windows' checkbox under the graphics tab of winecfg. That should help to alleviate those issues.
  5. Pedro

    Pedro Vice Admiral

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    Can you check the config file to ensure bloom isn't enabled? Prophecy never had it's artwork updated for the HDR effects, but with specular enabled the bloom served some purpose so it was left in the patch. If enabled it could result in the effect you describe.
  6. Magamo

    Magamo Captain

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    I am fairly certain that I do have bloom enabled. However, this graphical issue affects all four instances, including Standoff. (It's slightly eerie to see stars shining through the Lionheart during Bradford's log recording at the beginning of the prologue) Are you saying that I should be seeing this in WCP/SO/UE but not Standoff?

    I can play with this some after the evening commute.
  7. wcnut

    wcnut Commodore

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    Yes Vision engine games works in wine. The mac release package i made uses wine as it's core. The "stars" you see through the ships in standoff was in windows as well and I'm pretty sure it isn't stars but is the particles you see as you fly through space, only the camera and carrier is still so they appear stagnant.
  8. Pedro

    Pedro Vice Admiral

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    Any chance of the screenshot of the problem?
  9. HotJob

    HotJob 2nd Lieutenant

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    This article was exactly what I was looking for. Once I build my Star Citizen machine, I can convert my current XP system to Linux and still play Wing Commander on it!
  10. Magamo

    Magamo Captain

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    I fully intend to play Star Citizen under Linux myself, personally. Hoping that they release a native version. If not, I'll be trying to get it going under Wine.

    It looks as though wcnut was correct, and I've been mistaken, thrown off by the slow movement of ships in in-engine cutscenes. The 'stars' I'm seeing are in fact the usual particles one sees during spaceflight.
  11. Pedro

    Pedro Vice Admiral

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    Glad to hear it! :)
    If you do have any issues let me know. How is Wine's DX9 emulation btw? I had been experimenting with switching to DX9 due to the poor OpenGL support of many in-built video cards.
  12. Magamo

    Magamo Captain

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    The short answer is that the translation layer from DX to OpenGL is good, but not always 100% perfect, and usually comes at a small price in terms of performance. I believe DX9 is the most compatible version of DirectX in Wine at the moment, as it's one of the more widely used versions.

    I would expect that under Wine, using an onboard chipset will see even more of a hit if using DirectX than OpenGL due to the fact that many of those chipsets still rely on the CPU. If you do 'switch', I would personally hope that you keep the OpenGL renderer on feature parity with the DX9 renderer. (Yes, I know that may be an unrealistic request of one person, but it's still a hope.)
  13. Pedro

    Pedro Vice Admiral

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    Honestly I've so little time these days I'm thinking of abandoning the DirectX version due to lack of time. But I will work on improving the compatibility of the OGL with inbuilt cards (such as my own intel). If you wouldn't mind it might be useful to have someone running WINE to test it when I get around to that (which should be the final release).
  14. Magamo

    Magamo Captain

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    I am more than happy to test it with Wine for you folks. (Heck pretty ecstatic to see it working at all.)
  15. wcnut

    wcnut Commodore

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    Yes Standoff works on OSX via Wine, this is the very basis for the OSX release through Wineskin, a more mac appropriated version of wine.

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