Saturday, January 22, 2011

Playing Black & White 2 on Ubuntu 10.10 with Wine

Installing an old game like Black & White 2 (B&W 2) is straightforward. For a long while now, most installations work flawlessly with Wine. There's exceptions, of course, but B&W 2 isn't one of them. Be sure you download the latest patches from the official site. Currently there's two: Patch v1.1 & v1.2. You'll need them both. Next, up is the actual installation.

~$ wine /media/cdrom0/setup.exe
~$ cd Downloads
~/Downloads$ wine BW2Patch1_1.exe
~/Downloads$ wine BW2Patch1_2.exe

Install the patches in sequence. They've made it really simple. If v1.1 isn't installed, then the v1.2 installer will abort will a message telling you to install v1.1 first. No worries about making a mistake here.

B&W 2, unfortunately, employs copy protection which Wine currently doesn't support. The only way to get things up and running is to make use of a no CD/DVD crack, which you'll need to find, download and apply before playing.

Black & White 2 running using Wine 1.3.11
Black & White 2 running using Wine 1.3.11

Fixing the black textures issue

If you're using the stable release of Wine, then you'll notice the land is all black in the game. There's a fix out already for this but you'll need to be running the development release of Wine. If you haven't already then add the Wine PPA into your software repositories and install Wine 1.3.

~$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa
~$ sudo apt-get update
~$ sudo apt-get install wine1.3

With Wine 1.3, the land textures are no longer black but the proper intended texture.

Known issues

Despite how old this game is, there's still some issues that make gameplay a little annoying at times. There's the mouse lag issue and (for me) the occasional sound stutter. It doesn't prevent you from playing but the mouse lag can really get in the way when you need to deal with the things happening in-game in timely fashion.

Your desktop also gets "corrupted" when you exit B&W2. The colors all get screwed up so that your desktop looks like a photo negative. This'll happen regardless no matter if you're running the game in windowed or full screen mode. Log out then re-login to fix it. A simple reboot works, too.

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Diablo II on Ubuntu
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StarCraft on Ubuntu