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Wine and Proton have a 'Curious Case of Phasmophobia'

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Want to play Phasmophobia on a Linux desktop or Steam Deck? Well, it still doesn't yet work fully as the voice recognition isn't there but support for it is coming thanks to the Wine team.

On Steam you would use Proton (which is built from Wine) since it's a Windows game, but the problem is that Phasmophobia uses Windows-specific voice recognition which you can't replicate right now. Recently though, Wine development version 7.4 was released and the changelog noted some additions for speech recognition.

To give more info, World Wine News issue 414 went up titled "The Curious Case of Phasmophobia" and as it turns out, the work involved is to directly help this game (and as a bonus of course bring speech recognition to Wine / Proton) as it's a good popular game to test with.

With the work spearheaded by developer Bernhard Kölbl (with help from others), they've created the start of an implementation of the windows.media.speech libraries. To even get there though, many other parts of Wine needed improving or some things missing entirely like adding in new "boilerplate code" for the likes of the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) and Windows Runtime (WinRT). After that, they needed some speech recognition software, as it would be crazy to write their own, so they ended up with Vosk and got it working with Wine.

This is only the beginning they say so more patches and work is yet to come. Still, it might not be too long before the ghosts will hear your screams.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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10 comments

elmapul Mar 21, 2022
omg, i just posted this news in a forum (facebook comunity) then i update the GOL tab and here it is...
i quoted direct from WineHQ, if is saw that you posted this before i would put this news instead.
Supay Mar 21, 2022
I wonder if this would assist the various voice control packages for Elite as well. I think you can bodge them in under Proton currently but I've never been able to get it to work correctly. They are all written for the Windows speech system anyway, so I assume this would make that easier and more reliable.
monyarm Mar 21, 2022
So does this mean that Wine will support the `Windows Speech Recognition Engine`? If so that would be great, as it would mean i could use the Dovahkiin Speaks Naturally mod.
BielFPs Mar 21, 2022
I remember that I've asked here if anyone knew how they workaround Cortana in this game and had no answer, but it seems that it wasn't the case yet as I suspected.

I really curious about how they intend to solve this one, since voice recognition is part of windows itself rather than a package that comes with the game. They might have to thrown those calls in another voice recognition API because they can't just use Cortana outside windows for legal reasons, and as far as I know, they also can't just translate the calls through wine because the game itself is just using a windows component instead of distributing it.

Long time ago, I've asked on their proton issue on Github if would be possible to redirect the calls to an open API like MycroftAI, but no answers on that either.

In my opinion the easiest way would be helping the original game developers to support a more independent voice API recognition (or rather Valve develop that API as part of "steam works" package), because I can't imagine the immense amount of work it would take wine developers to re implement Microsoft voice recognition, and I think there aren't universal standards on those kind of software yet.
Liam Dawe Mar 21, 2022
Quoting: BielFPsI really curious about how they intend to solve this one, since voice recognition is part of windows itself rather than a package that comes with the game. They might have to thrown those calls in another voice recognition API because they can't just use Cortana outside windows for legal reasons, and as far as I know, they also can't just translate the calls through wine because the game itself is just using a windows component instead of distributing it.
It's noted right in the article, and in their post. They will use Vosk. Doesn't really matter if something is part of Windows, if Wine has its API updated to forward the calls once it has an implementation done - like everything it does.
BielFPs Mar 21, 2022
Quoting: Liam DaweIt's noted right in the article, and in their post. They will use Vosk.
Missed that part of Vosk, problems of reading while doing other things at same time
Quoting: Liam DaweDoesn't really matter if something is part of Windows, if Wine has its API updated to forward the calls once it has an implementation done - like everything it does.
Yep, I've stated that in case of an attempt to use Cortana itself like some cases with media foundation codecs for example (where users include the missing libraries, not wine). Fortunately since they choose the sane option of directing the api calls to an already open source alternative (rather than develop an wine version of it), now it's a matter of how well it will performs in practice and how much time it'll be ready since it's still a lot of work to do something like this.

Also Proton might gain a few extra megabytes if Valve opt to include whatever Vosk lib they need as a dependency (judging by a scenario where more games could depend on it besides Phasmophobia).


Last edited by BielFPs on 21 March 2022 at 5:15 pm UTC
Purple Library Guy Mar 21, 2022
Potentially good news for the Vosk project itself, which presumably will see increased interest hopefully translating into more developers. I mean, it may well be very good already, but I'm sure it still has places it wants to go.
b_kuhns Mar 22, 2022
Quoting: Guestit's high-time Valve start advocating for native games.

Valve tried that already in the era of Steam Machines. The industry didn't listen, so Valve pivoted to Proton.
TheRiddick Mar 22, 2022
I always thought these games just ask windows voice recog to translate it to text or something. Seems like a more open-source friendly speech recognition software could be mapped instead to do the work?

Would be neat if that was possible. Kind of silly for games to rely on MS Speech-to-Text or Cortana to do the work.


Last edited by TheRiddick on 22 March 2022 at 9:21 pm UTC
nenoro Mar 23, 2022
i complained about it when i started to play, couldn't talk about the ghosts it was really a handicap when i play with people but i played the game then i decided to insult the ghosts just to see a reaction and from time to time i had a reaction.

Very fun game but i understand if the dev who works alone takes his time and prefers to release more maps and ghosts than adding a solution for linux right now
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