Thing are getting serious and we are entering the more recent gaming world. Soulcalibur is a great fighting game and great graphics even by today’s standard. It’s a shame that I didn’t get to play the Sega Dreamcast more in the past, it was a great console, it was even able to run Linux ! Unfortunately, the opposite is not true, there is no way to run Sega Dreamcast games natively on Linux. You might correct me and say that lxdream exists but doesn’t provide a good gaming experience, and Lutris is all about the best gaming experience I can bring ! Nevertheless, Lxdream is making progress and when the speed and sound issues get fixed, I’m sure it will find its place as the main Dreamcast emulator in Lutris. Meanwhile, we’re going to run nullDC, a windows emulator, through Wine. I have a good and a bad news concerning nullDC. The good news is that nullDC is now Open Source ! The bad news is that the Open Source version uses Visual C++ 2010 libraries and it’s currently not compatible with wine … I can only hope that lxdream developers will have a look at nullDC’s code and merge both to bring a kick ass emulator. (Sadly, emulator developers are known for forking, not for merging.)
With an incompatible 1.0.4 version, we’ll have to stick to the 1.0.3 version which runs quite well with Wine. It’s still a pain to get all the right dlls and configuration. I’ve decided to be nice and provide my own copy of nullDC 1.0.3. This archive contains the binaries, the aditionnal dlls needed to run the program and a good config file but I’ve deleted every BIOS files so you’ll have to get them yourselves.
Now that you all have the emulator, let’s talk about lutris. The work that I’ve done in the past few days has been *very* helpful for the nulldc runner. Steam is also a wine-based runner so a few lines of codes were directly taken from it. The compiz fullscreen option is *really* helpful because the emulator’s fullscreen just doesn’t work (type ‘nullDC’ in the option’s field). The only new thing I’ve added in Lutris for nullDC is joy2key support. nullDC doesn’t support joysticks and nodody would want to play Soulcalibur on a keyboard, right ?
The joy2key works out of the box (as long as you’ve installed it before hand, I’ll mark it as a dependency in the next .deb package). I’ve hardcoded the keys because I’ve yet to write a GUI interface to configure joypads but it works fine on my USB converted Sony Dual Shock.
The fullscreen mode is not perfect. You either can launch wine without a virtual desktop and hide gnome-panel and you have a 25px space below the window or you can activate the virtual desktop and you get Windows’ window border. In both case you still have nullDC’s menu bar which is quite annoying.
The sound isn’t perfect either. If you launch nullDC and the sound stutters and cracks, I advise you to check the Reset Pulseaudio option and restart the emulator (this will mess up your currently running apps that use audio, like Rhythmbox and Flash Player in Firefox). Most of the time I’ve found the sound to be quite smooth and good quality.
Yes, running nullDC is quite complicated if you try it by yourself but fortunately, Lutris helps a lot here. It’s nice to have Soulcalibur a double click away and have it fullscreen, with good sound and joypad support. Oh, and before someone asks, no, there has been nothing done to support multiplayer in any runner on Lutris. The upcoming version 0.33 is for loners only but don’t worry, social gaming will arrive soon