Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Icewind Dale I. - 1st post

Currently I'm playing this title. It's one of those famous Black Isle games. Beautiful painted 2D graphics with AD&D set of rules in the Forgotten Realms.

I've stumbled upon it in a hypermarket's PC game shelf in the form of a 3 in 1 game set of Icewind Dale / Heart of Winter expansion and Icewind Dale 2 for about $12 which I counted as a bargain for such a cool combo. I jumped in and pushed the box between two packs of mineral water.

I was counting on it to work under Linux as previously I had messed with Baldur's Gate and wine some years ago. And I was right. It installed flawlessly with latest vanilla wine 0.9.52, I had to run not even winecfg. Of small importance but a bonus was that the base game was recorded in 1 DVD format. Symlinking the automounted /media/ICEWIND directory under dos devices of ~/.wine directory was a key thing to run it.

There's a small configuration tool sitting in the game's directory which gives many possibilities of configuration regarding game play and graphics too. One advice I can give you is to experiment with the resolution (I set it to 1024x768) and try to find out which gives the nicest interface experience. In some of the higher resolutions you may get magnified buttons and such. Look at my screenshot, it looks good I think. :-) The 1280 resolution had bigger buttons and not so nice UI compared to the 1024x768, although the higher resolution the bigger part of the levels you'll see. My compromise is to use 1024x768 on my 1280x1024 19" monitor. (I've added a screen shot with the "too big buttons" mode.)

If you have Heart of Winter expansion and patch set installed you'll have an option to use OpenGL rendering mode. It results in a much nicer fog of view effect yet I experienced crashes when quick saving rooting in the GL libraries of nvidia driver. So I go with normal engine settings.

So far the game is rather enjoyable. I have to root out some evil presence around Ten Towns and the Spine of The World. I set up a party of 3. Two multi class fighters (dwarf cleric, elven thief) and a gnome illusionist. They are around raw level 6-7 now. I'm deep in the game and experienced no crash at all after I found the right settings. There seems to be some minor lags with the sound system as far as I can tell it. When speaking with people sometimes the loading of the dialog takes some seconds.

All in all I much enjoy playing the game. You can have it for a few coins maybe around your location and the 2D graphics made in 2000 are just really nicely done. This game got nice reviews around the net, e.g. gamespot.com gave it a score of 8.6. If I'll finally finish it with no Linux related problems I'll recommend it for sure for the Linux gamers.

10 comments:

roger said...

Interesting. I will try Fallout 2 under Wine to see what happens. I have Baldurs Gate also, but my home partition is just 2Gb, not enough space to copy it.

Paul said...

You may copy your .wine directory to another partition and symlink it back. Should work, I did this with cedega previously. Hope you'll succeed. I've BG/BG2 too and will play'em after my Icewind Dale session.

Charlie said...

Were you going to try using GemRB to play this?

Paul said...

Thanks for the tip. I'll store it in one corner of my mind to remember to try it! :-)

roger said...

Is GemRB mature enoguh to provide a good gameplay?

nath said...

There are also reimplementations of Icewind Dale as NWN modules. You should try those, they are nice.

Paul said...

Thanks for the tip, Nath!

Eduardo Alvarez said...

Lucky man. I haven't been able to get it to work (wine 0.9.54). Even tried deleting the .wine directory and starting over. I don't suppose there's a way you could let me see your config, is there?

Paul said...

if you post a way I can send it to you, I will send you my config files. What's the error you get?

Otto said...

Hi. I got this error when I tried to run the game: wine: Unhandled page fault on read access to 0xff000062 at address 0x8e86a0 (thr
ead 0009), starting debugger...
Unhandled exception: page fault on read access to 0xff000062 in 32-bit code (0x0
08e86a0).

And then a lot of output. I've uploaded the full log to http://myjavaserver.com/~otto/error_icewind.txt

If you can take a look...
Thanks