Dark Messiah was created a few years after Ubisoft acquired the Might and Magic franchise when 3DO went bankrupt in 2002. This game is a first person action game with rpg elements. The whole game is like a huge playground with physics elements and breakable objects. The combat system make the game hugely entertaining, and replay value is also good because of the different skills available.
The guide will explain how to setup Steam in PlayOnLinux so that you can install and play the game in steam.
Tips & Specs
To learn more about PlayOnLinux and Wine configuration, see the online manual: PlayOnLinux explained
Arch Linux 64-bit
Launch PlayOnLinux and select 'Tools' and 'Manage Wine versions'
In the new window that appears, scroll through the 'Available Wine versions' box to find '1.6.2' and click on the right pointing arrow to install it, afterwards it will appear on the right side under 'Installed Wine versions'
If you have a 64-bits system, make sure you have selected the 'Wine versions (x86)' tab above, although it works well on 64-bit as well to my experience, I just will not cover it in this guide
Just close the window. Back at the main PlayOnLinux window, select 'Install'
Click on 'Install a non-listed program'
Select 'Install a program in a new virtual drive'
Name the virtual drive "dark_messiah"
On the next window, select 'Use another version of Wine', 'Configure wine' and 'Install some libraries'
On the wine selection window, select the 1.6.2 version and click 'Next'. Make sure you select '32-bits window installation' if you are on a 64-bit system, although as mentioned earlier, it should also work using a 64-bit virtual drive if so desired.
When the wine configuration window appear, select the 'Graphics' tab, and click the checkbox for all four options. Make sure that you set the resolution to your desktop resolution. My desktop is at 1920 x 1080, so I set that for the wine virtual desktop resolution.
Note: Even though the language is Norwegian in my screenshot, the layout will look the same for you
Next we will do a workaround for an issue with the Steam overlay. For some people it appears to be fixed, but there are still people reporting it as an issue on WineHQ, so it is best to disable the Steam overlay.
Now select the 'Libraries' tab, and under 'New override for library:' type in "gameoverlayrenderer" and click 'Add'
Now find and select it on the list below, then click on 'Edit'
In the new window that appears, select 'Disable', then simply click OK to close the wine config window.
When you come to the selection of libraries, select POL_Install_steam
Then click Next
You have to go through the Steam install process manually. I always prefer to install Steam by using this library in PlayOnLinux since it takes care of the missing font issue in Steam, while also installing the corefonts library so it looks better than just a manual Steam install.
Just click Next
This install process is pretty straightforward. Click to agree to the EULA, then just click Next through the next few screen, until you can click Install.
When the Steam installation is finished, make sure you uncheck the box for starting Steam, we do not want to start Steam at this point.
After you have unchecked the box for starting Steam, you can click on Finished
When it asks you for the install file to run, click on 'Cancel'
The virtual drive has already been set up by this point and there is no need to run any install file. Now back at the main PlayOnLinux window, click on 'Configure', it does not matter what game shortcut is selected when you click 'Configure' so don't worry about that.
On the left side, find the virtual drive you just set up, it will be listed with the same name you typed in during set-up. Look for 'dark_messiah', when you find it make sure to select it. After you have selected it, click on 'Make a new shortcut from this virtual drive'
Check the screenshot above for reference. It is very important that you select the virtual drive you just set up before making further changes.
Select Steam.exe and click next. You can name the shortcut "Steam - Dark Messiah" then click 'I don't want to make another shortcut' and click next.
Now click on the 'Display' tab on the top. Change 'Video memory size' to reflect your GPU memory.
At this point you can close the PlayOnLinix configuration window and start Steam from the Shortcut in the main PlayOnLinux window. First Steam will update
Once this update is finished, you may encounter this error message
This can be safely ignored, just click Next and then continue by logging in to Steam
Now just find the game in your game library, and click Install
Make sure you select the "Dark Messiah of Might & Magic Single Player"
After installation is complete, the game is ready to play!
Note on crashes
This game has a tendency to crash rather frequently, and I have as of yet been unable to find a way to make the game run without crashing. However, as long as you save often (the game also makes frequent auto saves) then you should be okay.
Make sure to DISABLE vertical sync under Advanced Video options from the game menu. This seemed to make a big difference for me. Also lowering certain graphical settings such as GFX Detail and Filtering mode make the game run more stable.