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Old 11-26-2008, 02:11 PM   #1
OneSeventeen
 
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Default GCA In Linux

I recently had a really hard time tracking down the steps required to get GCA working in Wine on Linux, so I thought I'd document what I found a the top of a thread and make it easier to find.

Know that I'm running Ubuntu's Hardy Heron distribution and using Wine to emulate Windows XP. I have XP dual booted on the same machine, as well. In order for this to be legally solid, you should probably have the same dual-boot setup.

1. On your Windows machine, go to C:\\Windows\System32\ and copy riched20.dll and oleaut32.dll. This will be called something like 123.4 GB Volume in Ubuntu and you can navigate from there.

2. On your Linux box, go to ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/system32/ and rename riched20.dll and oleaut32.dll to whatever you want, then paste in the versions you grabbed from your Windows partition. Note that .wine indicates a hidden directory, so you'll have to reveal those.

3. Run Wine's config app and add gca4.exe to the Application Settings. Select it, go to the Libraries tab and tell it to run those two DLLs are "native then built-in". While you're there, make sure Wine is set to emulate the same version of Windows as is installed on your Windows partition.

That should do it. Most helpful single post I found (though I read a lot and many were helpful) was this one. I hope (re)posting this helps save someone else the pain of wading through page after page of discussions to find this information spread about.

Legality note: You should only do this if you have a valid Windows license and are copying it from that install. If the install is on a different machine, that's probably bad mojo. If you copy these and then uninstall so the license is not in use anywhere, I couldn't speculate. Best bet is to have both installed on the same machine.


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Last edited by OneSeventeen; 11-26-2008 at 04:48 PM. Reason: Added legality thoughts that hadn't occured to me until Eric pointed them out.
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:29 PM   #2
Armin
 
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Default Re: GCA In Linux

Thanks! I've thrown a quick link to this post on the GCA Wiki, and hopefully we'll get that fleshed out a bit, so maybe it'll be less troublesome for others to find this info in the future.

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Old 11-26-2008, 03:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: GCA In Linux

Quote:
Originally Posted by OneSeventeen
1. On your Windows machine, go to C:\\Windows\System32\ and copy riched20.dll and oleaut32.dll to a thumb drive or email them to yourself. Make sure the version of Windows you're copying from is the same version you intend to emulate via Wine.
Note that this part is legally a bit of a gray area, as you're copying files Microsoft has licensed for use in Windows off of your Windows install. However, if you have a legitimate copy of Windows for the computer you're also running Linux on, you're probably within your rights to copy those files to the Linux partition. Copying from one computer onto another which you don't have a Windows license for is likely not allowed under the license.
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Last edited by ericbsmith; 11-29-2008 at 07:27 AM.
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Old 11-26-2008, 05:09 PM   #4
BrollyFerret
 
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Default Re: GCA In Linux

I have been able to get GCA working when just installing the download from the e23 servers but once I run the two latest updates it no longer works loading all the books and starting up only to give an error window

GCA
modForms:BuildSmardBar: Error 30002: Picture is invalid
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Old 11-26-2008, 10:18 PM   #5
BrollyFerret
 
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Default Re: GCA In Linux

Note I got a marked improvement in performance once I put the GCA in wineconfig>Graphics in its own emulated desktop and had its windows not be managed by the window manager.
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Old 11-26-2008, 10:56 PM   #6
Noven
 
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Default Re: GCA In Linux

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrollyFerret
I have been able to get GCA working when just installing the download from the e23 servers but once I run the two latest updates it no longer works loading all the books and starting up only to give an error window

GCA
modForms:BuildSmardBar: Error 30002: Picture is invalid
That was happening to me until I put riched20.dll and oleaut32.dll in the wineconf as native. I have it working with wine-1.1.9 on Debian Testing.
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Old 11-28-2008, 08:55 AM   #7
BrollyFerret
 
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Default Re: GCA In Linux

I do have it working now. However it still is very slow, much slower than I'd expect such a program to be and it has a tendency to hang up.

I really wish SJgames would open source the engine and sell the datasets as well as provide development support to the oss engine.
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Old 11-28-2008, 12:49 PM   #8
tmedwards
 
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Default Re: GCA In Linux

On GCA slowness in Wine:
I don't have time to search the forums now, but I recall several posts about how to make GCA much faster in Wine, not as fast as native, but much faster than the default Wine setup. I think it had to do with the OS emulation setting or something. Searching the other GCA+Linux threads might help you out.

On SJG open-sourcing GCA:
  1. SJG doesn't own GCA, Armin does, they just sell it. They couldn't OSS it if they wanted to.
  2. Armin makes a trickle, AFAIK, of money off of the sale of GCA. Moving to a model where anyone could distribute copies of GCA for free could very well shoot that revenue in the head, so to speak. Only Armin could say if that would really affect him, but even a tiny trickle of revenue is money in the bank, and he may not want to risk that income.
  3. I'm not sure GCA would benefit from open-sourcing. It's written in Visual Basic 6 (yes, VB6, not even VB.NET, GCA wasn't written yesterday) and the codebase comes with some baggage. Any project to open-source and clean up the codebase would probably be far better served by just starting from scratch and emulating the GCA functionality while not having to deal with decades of encumbered VB6 code. I know Armin has given that some thought to migrating the codebase to VB.NET, and it could very well make sense for him to do so, but once you start adding extra developers who aren't familiar with the code, starting from scratch would likely become far more attractive. Maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt it.
  4. Anyone who would like to contribute source to an open-source GCA-compatible character program can do so right now by starting their own project. It won't actually be GCA, but does that matter. I also think you're overestimating the number of developers who'd contribute to such a project, because if they exist you'd think that there would already be OSS GCA-like projects, and there aren't -- no, GCS doesn't count.
I'm not trying to say that GCA would absolutely not benefit from going OSS, it might. I just think that most people who invariably chime in, from time to time, with "GCA should be OSS" or "you should rewrite GCA in {insert favored language}" are not really thinking about the ramifications of what they're saying. It's not fair to people like Eric, Bruno, and numerous others who've spent real manhours working to support GCA, because warts and all it's the best tool we've got, and it's certainly not fair to Armin who spends time working to improve GCA, for free, and then gives those improvements away, again, for free.

I apologize if that came off overly rant'ish and/or harsh, that wasn't my intention as I started, but I think it got away from me. I just tire of the spiral of GCA bashing that seems to flow without thought through here sometimes. Again, my apologies if I've come across poorly.
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Old 11-29-2008, 03:43 AM   #9
BrollyFerret
 
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Default Re: GCA In Linux

no tm you were not harsh. I infact didn't know that about the GCA. I assumed that it was SJGames proprietary and a more recent codebase at that.

Still I think it might be better to start working on doing/supporting/funding an OSS version, perhaps one where companies can sell datasets for a small fee.

To me it seems like a logical next step in pdf online publishing. Adding software tools to enhance gameplay. Since so many games are similar in their character generation routines it figures that a decent bit of software could be devised and a standard be made for rpg mechanics material.
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Old 11-29-2008, 04:01 AM   #10
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Default Re: GCA In Linux

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrollyFerret
no tm you were not harsh. I infact didn't know that about the GCA. I assumed that it was SJGames proprietary and a more recent codebase at that.

Still I think it might be better to start working on doing/supporting/funding an OSS version, perhaps one where companies can sell datasets for a small fee.

To me it seems like a logical next step in pdf online publishing. Adding software tools to enhance gameplay. Since so many games are similar in their character generation routines it figures that a decent bit of software could be devised and a standard be made for rpg mechanics material.
PCGen has that as its goal, but it currently only supports D20 systems. It's open source, written in Java. It comes with datasets for the System Reference Document (SRD) and Revised SRD (basically, D&D 3.0 & 3.5), and a bunch of non-WOTC datasets (whose publishers agreed to make freely available). They're working on coding the 4th Ed. equivalent now, for use with the next release. Unfortunately, WOTC decided to stop licensing their own datasets, so the only legal way to get any other WOTC material into the program is to code it yourself (previously, you could buy the datasets from Code Monkey Publishing, although I seem to recall they were rather expensive).

If you thought GCA was slow, you ain't seen nothing! Takes almost 5 minutes just to open my D&D characters, and about 15 seconds to respond when I change tabs. This is on a 3.2 GHz P4 laptop with 1 GB RAM....

And believe me, it's not a simple task to add support for a completely different system (e.g., GURPS)! There's a huge amount of code that would need to be modified.

Apologies for getting off-topic.
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