My Interests This Week podcast – episode 7

This week (for the week ended November 7, 2020), I squash some bugs in my indie game, try to get Diablo 2 to run on my old, dinky laptop, and be amazed at how Diablo was made.

Show notes

1. Progress on game
  • Refactored some code, made some of the animations better.
  • Changed the code for weapons. Made them “drop-in” capable.

2. Getting Diablo 2 to run on my laptop.

  • Tried Lutris in getting it installed. When I started the game, it went to a black screen.
  • Checked the logs, thought there was a problem with it.
  • Talked to the developer of Lutris and, just like a typical Frenchman, said that the errors I was receiving weren’t errors.
  • Talked to another guy who had the game. This time, he told me to install the official v1.14 patch.
  • after installing that, the game started.
  • The game surprisingly runs on my low end, old laptop (even though the laptop is about five years old, has a dual core CPU, an SSD, and 8GB of RAM).
  • Installing Diablo 2 from the original CDs.
    1. Get Lutris, i.e. install it.
    2. Install from CD via Lutris’s interface.
    3. Go through the entire install of the game. If the “auto test” doesn’t work, that’s fine.
    4. When the game has installed, go into the configuration for the game (Configure -> Runner options -> Windowed (virtual desktop)) and turn on “Windowed” mode. This is to ensure that, if the game crashes, you aren’t stuck in a 640×480 ratio.
    5. Download the v1.14 patch from Blizzard.
    6. Select the game from the list of games (if it hasn’t already been selected) and click Run EXE inside wine prefix. Allow the patch to install.
    7. Pop the game into your DVD drive (or a place where you have the disc ISO mounted), and again select Run EXE inside wine prefix. With the v1.14 patch version you can probably place these files into the “diablo 2” directory of the wine prefix directory.
    8. Navigate to the directory with the “playd2.exe” file and select that.

Depending on your computer setup, the game should launch and run within a few minutes.

3. Diablo postmortem video from David Brevik.

  • David tells the story of developing Diablo (albeit in a broken way).
  • I knew the game was named after Mt. Diablo.
  • Interesting that David programmed in assembly before programming Diablo in C.
  • Amazed at how Diablo is considered a Rogue-like.
  • The lighting and atmosphere was easily programmed (multiplied shades of gray by the pixels in the dungeon art).
  • Diablo was one of the first games to utilize the “client-to-client” approach (one user hosts a game for the other players) of online multiplayer gaming (it was only on one server).
    • Mike O’Brien was the genius behind the networking implementation.
  • In the Q&A section of the video, one guy gushes over how he pirated the game and played it for days on end. The guy then paid David the money for Diablo because he had been guilty all this time for pirating the game.

Podcast theme by Kevin Hartnell under the CC 4.0 license.
Source

Jason Anderson

Jason Anderson has been hacking up computers for nearly 20 years, has been using Linux for over 15 years, and has studying and practicing IT security for over 3 years. Among that, he has a BBA in Accounting, an A+ certification, and a Linux+ certification. Look him up on Twitter at @FakeJasonA and on Mastodon on @ertain@mast.linuxgamecast.com

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