Switching to Linux Day 3: Gaming

posted in: Tech, Video Games | 0


This morning I played a full game (one-on-one, vs. AI) of Civilization IV.  It ran awesomely. The graphics and sound both looked/sounded terrific. There was a small glitch with one of my save files (WINe claimed responsibility), but I didn’t have any problems with the save files after that.

Last night, I got Virtualbox Guest Additions working, which include “seamless” mode. Seamless mode is crazy — the programs running in the virtualbox are no longer constrained by a smaller microcosmic window — meaning the virtualized windows are indistinguishable (functionally) from non-virtualized windows. It’s kind of surreal.

I also got Doom 3 installed, with a nice surprise: id Software (the creators of Doom 3) have written native linux software to run Doom 3! No emulation necessary! I found some simple installation instructions online (it’s really not hard, you just download the archive, run it, and then copy the super-big .pk4 files from the Doom 3 disc). Using some command-line parameters, I was able to get Doom 3 to run at full resolution: 1600 x 1050 — it runs REALLY well; very fluidly. I don’t have all the graphics settings on highest detail, but they’re above average.

I also loaded Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion — this was the only game so far that I had to scale back the graphics to get smooth play; and by “scale back” I mean “1280 x 1024”. Nice. Oblivion is running in WINe, and since I jumped through all of those DirectX hoops (see the previous entry), installing it was as simple as typing “wine setup.exe”. I didn’t play it beyond loading it and running around in the starting room, just to see how the framerate is. It *may* need to be backed down a little more (1024 x 768) when I get outdoors / get in combat – we’ll see.

In the last post, I mentioned that Firefox was a little sluggish in Wordperss — I’ve determined that it’s specifically WordPress — other websites work much faster. I think it might be the autosave feature — hard to say.

As a quasi-solution, I’m using Prism for WordPress. Prism is a neat little application that is a web browser tied to a single website, which allows you to treat the webpage itself as an application. It’s really handy for things like Facebook, Twitter, my Blog, Google Docs, Google analytics, etc. It’s a lot less bloated than Firefox, so the speed is a little better. Still some lag on backspacing, but it’s tolerable at least.

In other good news, Flash is now working. I’m not sure what happened, perhaps I only needed to restart or run an update or something, but I definitely just watched the new Autotune the News video on my laptop this morning. (embedded below, enjoy)