OMG! Good Old Games has the amazing Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds available for a mere £3.99. That was the game which introduced me & my wife to collaborative gameplay, so I was incredibly excited to see it available again.
This is a brief guide to getting the game working on Linux – including multiplayer and widescreen.
I’m using Ubuntu 14.04 – but the steps should be broadly similar on any distro.
Install the latest version of WINE.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install wine1.7
Install the game as normal, the installer will probably crash at the end, ignore it. You can now run the basic version of SWGB without any fuss.
I found that on quitting the game, my desktop wouldn’t always revert back to to the correct resolution. To solve this, run SWGB in a Virtual Desktop :
wine explorer /desktop=name,1024x768 swgbg.exe
The virtual desktop will expand and shrink depending on the resolution of the game.
I did find that running the virtual desktop at a lower resolution occasionally gave graphical glitches like this :
A quick restart fixed it.
To get multiplayer working, I followed this advice and installed DirectPlay from Microsoft (you can ignore the stuff about disabling your network adapter).
On restarting the game, you should now be able to play across a LAN. Our two laptops communicated quite happily over WiFi.
Remember, Microsoft Zone doesn’t exist any more – so you’ll either have to play with people on a LAN, or ask for their external IP address. I’ve no idea which ports need forwarding.
This game was originally designed for a 4:3 screen. If you’ve got a laptop or modern monitor, you’ll probably want to make use of all that extra space.
There is a Wide Screen Patch available. Follow the instructions in the .zip file to apply the patch. Tell the game options that you want to play at 1280*1024 – this will switch it to widescreen.
I didn’t notice any graphical glitches – but this game is over a decade old, so the graphics are quite low resolution.
One thing to note, if you’re using the Virtual Desktop, you may find the game doesn’t take over the whole screen – leaving you unable to access the lower portions.
In which case, I recommend running without the Virtual Desktop.
It’s still just as good as I remembered! The music is epic, the voice acting is adequate, and the game mechanics are perfectly tuned.
Everything works well on Linux – even if it does take just a little bit of fiddling to get it right.
Totally worth a go for four quid. Buy it on GOG.com.