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Here's something that's awesome! Thanks to the new features in the Linux Steam client that came with Steam Play, you can add in other compatibility tools to run games through and Boxtron is one such tool.

Boxtron enables you to use a native Linux build of DOSBox, to run games with just like you would with Steam Play's Proton. This does give a number of benefits, as the developer listed:

  • Lower input lag (compared to DOSBox inside Proton)
  • Steam features working as expected (e.g. Steam Cloud, Controller settings or recording of time played)
  • Better fullscreen support, especially on multi-monitor setups*
  • Steam Overlay working out of the box*
  • More configuration options and better defaults*
  • Automatic detection of MIDI hardware, with software synthesiser used as fallback
  • Automatic MIDI setup for supported titles (click Play and enjoy pre-configured MIDI music)

* - compared to vanilla DOSBox

You simply install it with the very simple instructions on the GitHub, which is simply creating the "compatibilitytools.d" folder (if it doesn't already exist) in "/.local/share/Steam/" and then stick in a Boxtron release into a folder named "boxtron".

This will then enable you to select it as your choice tool, like my example here with X-COM: UFO Defense, a game that doesn't have Linux support officially:

Then when you run it, all is great and it's using a properly up to date Linux version of DOSBox:

Valve actually responded (and agreed) to a feature request from the developer, to add in support for a system-wide location to install extra compatibility tools. The idea, is that Steam will look inside some extra system directories, so you could in future install extra compatibility tools from your package manager which opens things up quite a lot. It would also simplify the experience, allowing you to download a single package to install instead of messing with adding folders, unpacking compressed folders and installing dependencies which sounds awesome

Find Boxtron on GitHub.

Additionally, the developer of Boxtron is also working on Luxtorpeda, another compatibility tool aimed at running certain games through native Linux game engines. Examples of this would be OpenXcom for X-COM: UFO Defense, ioquake3 for Quake III Arena and so on. This project is currently a work in progress, but also very exciting.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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anarchist_tomato 1 Aug, 2019
Quoting: dreamer_
Quoting: anarchist_tomatoHey, the original Tomb Raider (not the horrendous reboot) might work now. Cool.

It works out-of-the-box, but by disabling hardware accelerated version :(. Software rendering gives me stable, locked 50fps on my old laptop, but the game suffers from input-related DOSBox bugs. We rated it Silver in our compatibility reports).

I just tried with Boxtron then, works with what appears to be full stability, though there is no "CD audio" (is it modified to run in the background by mp3 or something?). It's also running with original software rendering, and I still had to reduce the screensize 20+ years later! ;) My brother says it runs better through straight dosbox though. Maybe it's set to run like a 486 or early Pentium or something?
monyarm 1 Aug, 2019
This Luxtorpeda project looks interesting, when i get home from work today (assuming i remember to do so), i might make packages for it to add support for some games which are fully linux compatible (and infact if you install them and open their folder, you'll find either a jar, a html game, or a swf file), but are listed as windows only. Like for example Spiral Knights.

Also i wonder, will the dev be adding ScummVM support through Luxtorpeda, or would that be as seperate project.

And one last question i'm hoping someone could figure out, is there any way to add aditional games to the whitelist ? Maybe by editing some file ?
stud68 1 Aug, 2019
Quoting: anarchist_tomatoHey, the original Tomb Raider (not the horrendous reboot) might work now. Cool.

Now you've said it. I am going to have to play TR all from the beginning again with steam controller.

I wonder can I get it to run a tweaked Dosbox with Glide................
eldaking 1 Aug, 2019
I find this very intriguing, more than for Boxtron itself, because of the way Steam is integrating other functionality in a somewhat decentralized way. We have their own compatibility layer, that works without Steam if you want; you can use your own compatibility tools with their client; they use open standards and tools and services.
Next steps would be an API so that people can make their own clients to replace the official client, and possibly opening the client so people can fork it (because by now it is becoming seriously awesome). Seems like a tall order, but I don't doubt Valve is capable of anything anymore...
Eike 1 Aug, 2019
Quoting: dreamer_Anyway, with free-to-use tool, I couldn't recuperate the cost of publishing it.

What costs (how much) would that be?


Last edited by Eike on 1 August 2019 at 2:18 pm UTC
Maweki 1 Aug, 2019
So let's hope we get native ScummVM-support for some of the DOSbox and windows-scummvm distributed games.
elmapul 1 Aug, 2019
"which sounds awesome"
lol

"Additionally, the developer of Boxtron is also working on Luxtorpeda, another compatibility tool aimed at running certain games through native Linux game engines. Examples of this would be OpenXcom for X-COM: UFO Defense, ioquake3 for Quake III Arena and so on. This project is currently a work in progress, but also very exciting."

i had to do that to run an renpy game, i didnt knew about luxtorpeda but it was just a matter of realizing that the game was made on renpy and opening it as if its an project file.
the only other issue is that renpy from software center is old and broken, the developer didnt support this means of distribution so you had to download from their page instead.
rustybroomhandle 1 Aug, 2019
Quoting: GuestBut there is a Linux native port of scummvm already.

Yes. The idea here is that you choose e.g. "luxtorpeda" as your compatibility tool in Steam, and then it will use the native Linux ScummVM/whatever to run the game. There's no ScummVM support at the moment, but it already supports a bunch of things like doom and quake3.

And for people asking about AGS. I just tried making an AGS package for it, and it sort of worked. I could not get the ags steam plugin to work, but I'm not super good with this stuff. Anyhoo, I will leave it up to the pros. :P
dreamer_ 1 Aug, 2019
Quoting: anarchist_tomatoI just tried with Boxtron then, works with what appears to be full stability, though there is no "CD audio" (is it modified to run in the background by mp3 or something?). It's also running with original software rendering, and I still had to reduce the screensize 20+ years later! ;) My brother says it runs better through straight dosbox though. Maybe it's set to run like a 486 or early Pentium or something?

Steam version (PC version in general) was released without music - only PlayStation version had it :( There are ways to bring it back, documented on PCGW).

Re: performance - with Boxtron you *are* running it through straight DOSBox, maybe your brother was using one of many, many DOSBox forks that include OpenGLide patches (which were rejected upstream). Anyway, hop onto our Discord server and let's discuss the performance problem there :)

Quoting: stud68I wonder can I get it to run a tweaked Dosbox with Glide…

Yes, you can.

Quoting: EikeWhat costs (how much) would that be?
It might differ by region, I'm not sure - for my region it's 95USD which would be reimbursed after reaching 1000USD in sales. Somehow I was convinced it was 400USD until I checked just now.

Quoting: Maweki So let's hope we get native ScummVM-support for some of the DOSbox and windows-scummvm distributed games.

You can follow up on this feature request here :)
Eike 1 Aug, 2019
Quoting: dreamer_It might differ by region, I'm not sure - for my region it's 95USD which would be reimbursed after reaching 1000USD in sales. Somehow I was convinced it was 400USD until I checked just now.

If you manage to make all (currently available) Wadjet Eye games playable with this with some mouse clicks by the user, using native Linux binaries, I'd pay this fee.
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