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GemRB, a fine example of an open source game engine reimplementation for the Infinity Engine that powered the classic RPGs including Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment games celebrates two big things.

The first, is that they have put up a new official release with GemRB 0.8.7 which is technically minor but still brings in some fun sounding goodies including:

  • New features:
    • new smarter pathfinder with bumping support
    • animal taming, iwd2 hardcoded saving throw bonuses
    • vcpkg and out-of-the box msvc support
    • non-ascii data filename support
  • Improved features:
  • disk reading speedups, ease of setup
  • iwd chargen, pst spell timing, hardcoded overlays, iwd2 casting ai
  • better actor speeds & walk sounds
  • audio, pst ini handling, savegame compatibility, morale handling
  • effects, projectiles, actions, range calculations
  • bugfixes

Additionally, they mentioned work is ongoing on their rewrite of  "drawing and GUI handling" which is currently their main priority.

The second major thing is that they're celebrating a huge milestone. As a free and open source project, it's now been going for 20 years which is pretty incredible.

Work on GemRB was originally started on August 21st, 20 years ago, as project creator Daniele Colantoni went to SourceForge to try and gather a team to work on it, "I missed playing D&D with my friends so much /…/ I wanted to create my game to play via internet. So I started my personal reverse engineering process on the base files from Baldur’s Gate.". Many years later, it's now capable of playing through the full Baldur’s Gate saga, the first Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment (still needs polishing) and with Icewind Dale 2 having the first two chapters playable. Note: GemRB appears to not support the Enhanced Editions of the classics.

As GemRB marks its 20th anniversary, Jaka Kranjc, the current maintainer, is optimistic about the project’s future. "Our work is not finished, but this sort of thing is like an ultramarathon — for most of the run the goal is not within reach. Companies come and go, but FLOSS persists!"

You can grab GemRB from the official site.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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9 comments

amatai 24 Aug
I remember playing the first two Baldur's Gate on Linux on it back then when they were only a handfull games on Linux.
Salvatos 24 Aug
I had no idea this project existed! I would love to play Icewind Dale 2 someday, I never got around to it before switching to Linux :)
slaapliedje 24 Aug
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So outside of Icewind Dale 2 (which seemingly will never have an Enhanced Edtion released by Beamdog, as apparently the sources were lost), is there a list of features of GemRB vs Enhanced Edition releases?

I mean GemRB was fantastic when it was first started, as it was a way to play these fantastic games on Linux, and other platforms besides Windows. But at this point the EE versions have been ported to everything under the sun.

Oh, let me rephrase that. It's been ported to all modern operating systems.
GemRB still allows us to play the games on things like the Amiga.
https://www.generationamiga.com/2020/06/14/new-release-of-gemrb-play-baldurs-gate-icewind-dale-series-planescape/
(thought someone did a release for Atari TOS/MiNT, but can't seem to find it at the moment).
redman 24 Aug
Hi does anybody knows how to compile it on Ubuntu 18.04 ?

Downloading the latest compiled gives this:
 
~/games/gemrb-0.8.7$ ./gemrb 
./gemrb: error while loading shared libraries: libpng12.so.0: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory


Regards
slaapliedje 24 Aug
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  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: redmanHi does anybody knows how to compile it on Ubuntu 18.04 ?

Downloading the latest compiled gives this:
 
~/games/gemrb-0.8.7$ ./gemrb 
./gemrb: error while loading shared libraries: libpng12.so.0: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory


Regards
 
sudo apt install apt-file
sudo apt-file update
apt-file search libpng12.so.0

if it finds it, install that package, if not then yeah you'll need to compile it.
Lightkey 24 Aug
Quoting: slaapliedjeSo outside of Icewind Dale 2 (which seemingly will never have an Enhanced Edtion released by Beamdog, as apparently the sources were lost), is there a list of features of GemRB vs Enhanced Edition releases?

I mean GemRB was fantastic when it was first started, as it was a way to play these fantastic games on Linux, and other platforms besides Windows. But at this point the EE versions have been ported to everything under the sun.

Oh, let me rephrase that. It's been ported to all modern operating systems.
GemRB still allows us to play the games on things like the Amiga.
https://www.generationamiga.com/2020/06/14/new-release-of-gemrb-play-baldurs-gate-icewind-dale-series-planescape/
(thought someone did a release for Atari TOS/MiNT, but can't seem to find it at the moment).

Even before the Enhanced Editions came out, I recommended WINE. GemRB only got bumping path-finding now! Meaning if NPCs stood in the door, you simply could not advance before. But you are missing one thing, the Enhanced Editions may be available for Linux but only on x86 or Android on ARM. There are plenty of new devices coming out with Linux on ARM that benefit from GemRB (Pinebook Pro, Soon™ the DragonBox Pyra..).

Edit: The highest upvote for the news on Reddit is in the PlayStation Vita subreddit, funnily enough.


Last edited by Lightkey on 24 August 2020 at 8:17 pm UTC
redman 24 Aug
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: redmanHi does anybody knows how to compile it on Ubuntu 18.04 ?

Downloading the latest compiled gives this:
 
~/games/gemrb-0.8.7$ ./gemrb 
./gemrb: error while loading shared libraries: libpng12.so.0: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory


Regards
 
sudo apt install apt-file
sudo apt-file update
apt-file search libpng12.so.0

if it finds it, install that package, if not then yeah you'll need to compile it.

Try it and is empty...
Lightkey 24 Aug
Quoting: redman
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: redmanHi does anybody knows how to compile it on Ubuntu 18.04 ?

Downloading the latest compiled gives this:
 
~/games/gemrb-0.8.7$ ./gemrb 
./gemrb: error while loading shared libraries: libpng12.so.0: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory


Regards
 
sudo apt install apt-file
sudo apt-file update
apt-file search libpng12.so.0

if it finds it, install that package, if not then yeah you'll need to compile it.

Try it and is empty...

Same here.. don't know what apt-file's problem is but the package is called libpng12-0.
redman 25 Aug
Quoting: Lightkey
Quoting: redman
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: redmanHi does anybody knows how to compile it on Ubuntu 18.04 ?

Downloading the latest compiled gives this:
 
~/games/gemrb-0.8.7$ ./gemrb 
./gemrb: error while loading shared libraries: libpng12.so.0: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory


Regards
 
sudo apt install apt-file
sudo apt-file update
apt-file search libpng12.so.0

if it finds it, install that package, if not then yeah you'll need to compile it.

Try it and is empty...

Same here.. don't know what apt-file's problem is but the package is called libpng12-0.

I have only this package:

 
sudo apt search libpng12*
i   libpng16-16                                                                  - PNG library - runtime (version 1.6)                                                   
i A libpng16-16:i386                                                             - PNG library - runtime (version 1.6) 

Don't know if it is the same.

I open this issue trying to get help: https://github.com/gemrb/gemrb/issues/914

And I finish installing this:
 
 sudo apt install cmake     libpython2.7     zlib1g     zlib1g-dev     libsdl1.2debian     libsdl1.2-dev     libopenal1     libopenal-dev     libsdl-mixer1.2     libsdl-mixer1.2-dev     libfreetype6     libfreetype6-dev     libvlc-dev     libvlccore-dev      libpng-dev      libvorbis0a     libvorbis-dev     openssh-client    python-dev 

And know I can run the build.
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