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Spellforce Platinum Guide

Discussion in 'Guides' started by Daerandin, Jan 27, 2015.

  • by Daerandin, Jan 27, 2015 at 7:14 PM
  • Daerandin

    Daerandin Active Member

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    sf_title00.jpg

    Spellforce is a blend of rpg and rts, and this game manages this blend masterfully. Most of the game is very heavy on real time strategy elements, but through the entire game you have your main character that will keep gaining experience, skills and equipment. The game is divided into maps, and almost every map have a lot of territory to explore and many side quests for those who enjoy such diversions. Some maps play more like traditional rpg games where you only have your main character and a party of heroes. On such maps, you either explore the wilderness or a huge city in traditional rpg style.

    sf_title01.jpg

    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
    PlayOnLinux 4.2.5
    Wine 1.7.35

    Setup PlayOnLinux

    Launch PlayOnLinux and select 'Tools' and 'Manage Wine versions'

    In the new window that appears, scroll through the 'Available Wine versions' box to find '1.7.35' 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

    sf_01.jpg

    Just close the window. Back at the main PlayOnLinux window, select 'Install'

    Click on 'Install a non-listed program'

    sf_02.jpg

    Select 'Install a program in a new virtual drive'

    sf_03.jpg

    Name the virtual drive "spellforce"

    sf_04.jpg

    On the next window, select 'Use another version of Wine', 'Configure wine' and 'Install some libraries'

    sf_05.jpg

    On the wine selection window, select the 1.7.35 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.

    sf_06.jpg

    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.

    sf_07.jpg

    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'

    sf_08.jpg

    Now find and select it on the list below, then click on 'Edit'

    sf_09.jpg

    In the new window that appears, select 'Disable', then simply click OK to close the wine config window.

    sf_10.jpg

    When you come to the selection of libraries, select POL_Install_steam

    sf_11.jpg

    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

    sf_12.jpg

    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

    sf_13.jpg

    When it asks you for the install file to run, click on 'Cancel'

    sf_14.jpg

    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.

    sf_15.jpg

    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 'spellforce', when you find it make sure to select it. Now click on the 'Display' tab on the top. Change 'Video memory size' to reflect your GPU memory.

    sf_16.jpg

    Check the screenshot above for reference. It is very important that you select the virtual drive you just set up before making further changes.

    Now click on the 'General' tab, then click 'Make a new shortcut from this virtual drive'

    sf_17.jpg

    Select Steam.exe and click next. You can name the shortcut "Steam - Spellforce" then click 'I don't want to make another shortcut' and click next.

    sf_18.jpg

    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

    sf_19.jpg

    Once this update is finished, you may encounter this error message

    sf_20.jpg

    This can be safely ignored, just click Next and then continue by logging in to Steam

    sf_21.jpg

    Now just find the game in your game library, and click Install

    sf_22.jpg

    The game is now ready to play. The first time you launch the game, it is going to install Gamespy arcade. This has a tendency to hang on the first time install. If you are unable to close the install window for gamespy, you can simply Alt-TAB to switch to the PlayOnLinux window. From here click on Tools from the top menu, then click on Close all PlayOnLinux Software. You can then start it again from the main PlayOnLinux window, and this time the game should run.

    Note on Resolution

    This game only support a select few screen resolutions. If you are happy with those available from the video options in the game, then I suggest sticking with it as it is the easiest way to play this game.

    Keep in mind that the following is all optional, you need only read through this if you want to set a custom resolution.

    However, should you for example want a different resolution, then it is possible achieve that, but there are still limitations to this workaround. Right click on the game shortcut in PlayOnLinux and then click on "Open the application's directory"

    sf_custom01.jpg

    From here, navigate to:

    steamapps --> common --> Spellforce Platinum Edition

    sf_custom02.jpg

    Here you should find a file named "config.lua" Open this file with a text editor. There are several variables listed here, all with an array of settings. Within the one labeled Graphics, you should add two options at the end: WindowWidth and WindowHeight

    Here is the section from my file:

    Code:
    Graphic =
    {
        ShowHitInfo = 3,
        ScreenResolution = 7,
        AvoidExcessiveFrameBuffering = 0,
        VSync = 1,
        FlatShades = 1,
        EffectLightmap = 1,
        EnvironmentMapping = 1,
        AdornMode = 3,
        ObjectFadeDistance = 100,
        ShadowType = 1,
        TextureQuality = 4,
        Filtering = 4,
        WindowWidth = 1600,
        WindowHeight = 1050,
    }
    Note that the only change I made, was to add those two last entries. Here you can simply test several different numbers to fit your screen. The problem here is that the game will actually display incorrectly with certain numbers. Below is an example of incorrect display

    incorrect.jpg

    As can be seen, the in-game font is incorrect, and character portraits only display your mana, not your health. So you don't know how much health you have left by looking at your portrait, which will make the game extremely difficult. The incorrect font is also very difficult to read.

    In my experience, WindowWidth must be set to 1600 or lower. I do not know if WindowHeight have any limitations.

    Lastly, in order to make use of your custom defined resolution, you need to launch the game in window mode. In order to do this, you need to set launch options for the game within Steam. So run start Steam for this game from PlayOnLinux.
    1. Right-click on the game title under the Library in Steam and select Properties.
    2. Under the General tab click the Set launch options... button.
    3. Enter -window into the box for launch properties.
    4. Close the game's Properties window and launch the game.
    The game will not launch fullscreen, but will be a window within the wine virtual desktop. You change this virtual drive to run without a virtual desktop if you would prefer. Personally I prefer to keep the virtual desktop, but instead change the background color to black. The screenshot below display how I play the game

    sf_custom03.jpg

    Screenshots

    sf_sc01.jpg sf_sc02.jpg
    sf_sc03.jpg sf_sc04.jpg
    sf_sc05.jpg sf_sc06.jpg
    mrdeathjr28 likes this.
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Comments

Discussion in 'Guides' started by Daerandin, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. booman
    Nice Guide! Never played Spellforce, probably because of the RTS elements.
    Graphics are pretty nice... reminds me or Warcraft III.

    What is up with that Steam error? I just noticed it this morning playing Betrayer.
    Never got it before, now I see an error but Steam still works fine.
  2. Daerandin
    I don't really know what that error is, but everything seem to work perfectly so I doubt it is anything to worry about.

    The best way to know would be to install Steam, and then run it the first time with the debug option.

    As for this game series (will be doing the guides for the entire series of course), it is my second favorite game series, only surpassed by Might and Magic.

    A single map in this game can easily take up to 2-4 hours depending on your playing style. Taking it slow is also rewarding, as your main character gain experience when your army (or defense towers) kill an enemy unit. So you can usually gain a level extra by taking it slow.

    Furthermore, almost every map is so full of side quests and areas to explore that you really miss out on the game if you just follow the main quest blindly.
  3. booman
    Sounds really involved. I would probably love it if the game leaned more towards RPG with a little RTS elements.
    Can you do a video for us?
    I would love to see how the main character manages the troops, building and quests
  4. Daerandin
    I might get a video done this weekend. This game controls pretty much like most rts games, and your main character is controlled the same way. You have a top down view, that you can zoom in and rotate. However, you can also zoom in on your main character to go into 3rd person view and use the arrow keys to walk around. This is not ideal for controlling the army as you don't have much of an overview, but you still have full control over all your units while in 3rd person view.

    The game features six different races, humans, elves, dwarves, orcs, trolls and dark elves. Through the three campaigns (all are insanely huge requiring a lot of time) you get to control all six different races.

    There is also a lot of traveling back and forth between maps you previously visited, usually to visit the big cities in order to sell stuff and buy more expensive equipment.

    The second game in the series got much nicer graphics:

    http://i.nextmedia.com.au/DynamicImages/Product/spellforce2_1.jpg

    Although I actually prefer the gameplay of the first game, slightly.
  5. booman
    Wow, yeah... visuals much more detailed.
    Kinda like the difference between Sacred and Sacred 2.
  6. mrdeathjr28
    good game, good visuals and good guide as always

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