Saturday, July 14, 2012

Supreme Commander on Ubuntu 12.04

This is a game that's been sitting around for years in my collection. The AMD 780G's IGP (HD 3200) simply isn't up to the challenge.

Here's a more successful attempt with the HD 7750.

Supreme Commander installation in progress
System specification

Here's my system's specs, again:

Processor: AMD Athlon II X4 620 2.6GHz
Memory: 2.5GB DDR2 SDRAM
Graphics: Sapphire Radeon HD 7750 1GB with Catalyst 12.4
Operating system: Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit
Wine version: 1.4

Installation

Installing the 3220 update
Installing Supreme Commander is a relatively straightforward process. You'll want to install at least the 3220 update patch to remove the DRM.

~$ wine '/media/SupCom1EFIS/autorun.exe'
~$ wine supcom_patch_3189_to_3220.exe

After installing Supreme Commander, you'll want to install the Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable Package using winetricks. It's listed as vcrun2005, if you didn't know. Without this the game just doesn't launch.

That's it really. Simple, no?

Playing the game

The game generally runs fine. I spent about 1h 30m playing the first mission of the UEF campaign and didn't notice any obvious problems. The game does lag a little but I'm putting that down to a few possible causes:

  • CPU's not good enough. Games those days don't do multicore well. More clock speed would've probably helped
  • Memory not high enough. SupCom is a massive game. Massive games tend to love massive amounts of memory.
  • Wine's overhead. I'm not running native Windows so there's bound to be some amount of performance overhead somewhere.

It could be one or more of those reasons causing a lag in the game but it's not a big issue unless the action gets really intense. You'll probably not want to multiplay like this depending on how things turn out on your particular setup.