17 Jan

running Thief in Wine


WOOT! Finally got Thief: The Dark Project running in Linux

One of the reasons I finally removed my Windows partition was that it had become absolutely useless to me.

The only reasons I’ve used Windows at all in the last few years are to play games or to test something in IE. Absolutely nothing else. And these days, most of the games I like to play simply do not work on Windows anymore. Vista, for example, refused to play Thief 2, and I haven’t been able to play Thief 1 since XP. For IE, I have another machine in the office in work, so there’s absolutely no reason for me to run Windows.

So anyway, I removed the partition with the reasoning that if Windows can’t play the games, and Wine can, then Wine is better. Ironic, really.

Thief is one of those game series that is just so brilliant that you need to buy it a few times, because you keep lending your copy to someone else and forgetting exactly who (and they like it so much they simply “forget” to give it back). Dungeon Keeper is another brilliant series like that.

Thief finally works in Wine 1.1.12, which was freshly released via Yum on the Fedora network just today. This is great news! The game did not work in Wine 1.1.11, when I tested last week. This week it’s perfect.

I fired up my previously failing installation, and after a few changes, was able to get it running.

Christos, in the bug tracker, says he re-installed the game and codecs to get it working. I didn’t have to reinstall anything. The only changes I had to make are:

  • use winecfg to change the emulation to Win98, and the graphics to use a virtual desktop. My laptop is widescreen, and Thief starts in 640×480 mode – for some stupid reason, x.org chops off the bottom of the screen when you request 640×480, and makes it 640×400. This makes Thief unplayable, so you need to use a virtual desktop.
  • write a small script to run the game in single-CPU mode – I created a file bin/thief containing this:
    cd ~/.wine/drive_c/Games/Thief/
    schedtool -a 0x2 -e wine THIEF.EXE

That was it – when I run thief from the console I get to play the game in full glory. It’s even better than the first time because this time my machine vastly beats the minimum requirements!