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Roberta, a new Steam Play compatibility tool to play games with a native ScummVM

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Following on from the Boxtron tool to run Steam games through a native Linux version of DOSBox, the same developer has now put out Roberta to do the same for ScummVM.

What does it do exactly? It means you can run pretty much any game on Steam that uses ScummVM, through your native version of ScummVM, even if those games don't have a Linux build up. Instead of trying to run them through Steam Play's Proton.

To use Roberta, you need a native install of ScummVM and the easiest way to install Roberta is to download the pre-made package available from the releases page on GitHub.

Like other unofficial Steam Play compatibility tools, you need to have a folder set up ready for it like "~/.local/share/Steam/compatibilitytools.d/".

Simply extract the download into that folder, restart Steam and you will then be able to choose it as your specific tool. To do that, right click on a game in your Steam library, go to Properties and see this at the bottom:

See more about it on the GitHub page.

Really awesome to see more tools like this being made!

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30 comments
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HadBabits 24 August 2019 at 2:16 pm UTC
I'm no expert in old point-and-click adventures, but I'm guessing the name's a cute reference
slaapliedje 24 August 2019 at 2:46 pm UTC
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HadBabitsI'm no expert in old point-and-click adventures, but I'm guessing the name's a cute reference
Ha, yeah she was one of the most famous developers. Al Lowe doesn't get as much respect, but his games were fantastic as well.
eldaking 24 August 2019 at 3:03 pm UTC
I think it is really crazy that the Steam client can now support "compatibility tools" in general. Sure, Proton is the biggest and most important... but we can also have DOSBox and ScummVM, apparently. What next? Emulators for old-ish consoles? Some Android compatibility layer to play mobile games? WSL2 so we can run Linux games on Windows?

If GOG Galaxy 2 makes any progress on their proposal of interoperability between launchers/stores/platforms and Steam goes far enough in this, plus Microsoft bringing their stuff to other stores and Sony being more open to non-exclusives and also platforms like Lutris ever improving... we could be looking at some really exciting developments for gaming. Going on the opposite direction from "streaming" and exclusivity and other restrictive policies that prevent people from running software as they want.
slaapliedje 24 August 2019 at 3:09 pm UTC
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Just as an aside to this, I've been working on seeing how many things I can pipe through my Roland SC-88 Pro or Roland MT-32 (I have the older model that lacks headphone jacks). ScummVM sounds wonderful using them (depending of course if the game supports MIDI output).

I highly recommend one, though I think I like the SC88-pro better. Also works with DosBox, though I haven't tried that many through Boxtron, I will say Doom + MIDI sounds AMAZING!
slaapliedje 24 August 2019 at 3:19 pm UTC
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eldakingI think it is really crazy that the Steam client can now support "compatibility tools" in general. Sure, Proton is the biggest and most important... but we can also have DOSBox and ScummVM, apparently. What next? Emulators for old-ish consoles? Some Android compatibility layer to play mobile games? WSL2 so we can run Linux games on Windows?

If GOG Galaxy 2 makes any progress on their proposal of interoperability between launchers/stores/platforms and Steam goes far enough in this, plus Microsoft bringing their stuff to other stores and Sony being more open to non-exclusives and also platforms like Lutris ever improving... we could be looking at some really exciting developments for gaming. Going on the opposite direction from "streaming" and exclusivity and other restrictive policies that prevent people from running software as they want.

What I think would be interesting, if we had the sort of idea to going old-school again in the way games were launched. If you think about from the 8bit computers up to before hard drives were common, we didn't need to bother with the OS at all, and just put in a floppy/cartridge, and the game launched. Let's say we did the same thing with VMs (basically how ScummVM works, it's a native interpreter for the engine, sort of like how java is a virtual machine for executing code.) If a game were just a VM, you could have a universal binary of sorts (most hypervisor tech at this point has some sort of compatibility between them). Granted this would eliminate macOS because Apple still hasn't made available to end users their virtualization bits.
Dunc 24 August 2019 at 3:53 pm UTC
slaapliedjeJust as an aside to this, I've been working on seeing how many things I can pipe through my Roland SC-88 Pro or Roland MT-32 (I have the older model that lacks headphone jacks). ScummVM sounds wonderful using them (depending of course if the game supports MIDI output).

I highly recommend one, though I think I like the SC88-pro better. Also works with DosBox, though I haven't tried that many through Boxtron, I will say Doom + MIDI sounds AMAZING!
I don't have anything like that myself, but my brother has a collection of hardware synths (which he normally sequences on an Amiga 1200, believe it or not*), and I've often been tempted to try out some DOS games with it. With some tweaking of patches and routing through his effects boxes, it could probably sound absolutely insane.

*And I really need to get around to helping him with some sort of backup solution, because he's still running it off my old 2.5" hard drive from 20 years ago. Yes, I know, believe me. It gives me nightmares.
dreamer_ 24 August 2019 at 5:52 pm UTC
HadBabitsI'm no expert in old point-and-click adventures, but I'm guessing the name's a cute reference



eldakingI think it is really crazy that the Steam client can now support "compatibility tools" in general. Sure, Proton is the biggest and most important... but we can also have DOSBox and ScummVM, apparently. What next?

Luxtorpeda, for native Linux ports of games It's in a pre-release state, but you can already test it.

eldakingEmulators for old-ish consoles?

I think RetroArch will take care of that, once it will be released on Steam in few months or so…

eldakingSome Android compatibility layer to play mobile games?

I don't know if there are any games on Steam that could use such kind of emulation. If you know any, please list them on https://github.com/dreamer/luxtorpeda/wiki/Game-engines

eldakingWSL2 so we can run Linux games on Windows?

Compatibility tools are Linux-only thing now. In this way, Linux as a gaming platform is already better than Windows or OSX ;).

slaapliedjeI highly recommend one, though I think I like the SC88-pro better. Also works with DosBox, though I haven't tried that many through Boxtron, I will say Doom + MIDI sounds AMAZING!

Boxtron caters to this use-case by automatically detecting hardware configuration (so you don't need to manually edit DOSBox config to update Alsa sequencer port number), pre-configurig known games to use MIDI instead of SoundBlaster emulation (so there's no need to hunt programs like SETSOUND.EXE) and running software MIDI synthesiser if there's no hardware option. Hopefully, HW auto-detection will work for your MIDI setup - but if it won't, then ping me!
randomgamerguy1997 24 August 2019 at 6:00 pm UTC
I'm going to have to try this with my copy of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis on my laptop (which is the only computer I have with Linux on it).
slaapliedje 24 August 2019 at 6:41 pm UTC
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Dunc
slaapliedjeJust as an aside to this, I've been working on seeing how many things I can pipe through my Roland SC-88 Pro or Roland MT-32 (I have the older model that lacks headphone jacks). ScummVM sounds wonderful using them (depending of course if the game supports MIDI output).

I highly recommend one, though I think I like the SC88-pro better. Also works with DosBox, though I haven't tried that many through Boxtron, I will say Doom + MIDI sounds AMAZING!
I don't have anything like that myself, but my brother has a collection of hardware synths (which he normally sequences on an Amiga 1200, believe it or not*), and I've often been tempted to try out some DOS games with it. With some tweaking of patches and routing through his effects boxes, it could probably sound absolutely insane.

*And I really need to get around to helping him with some sort of backup solution, because he's still running it off my old 2.5" hard drive from 20 years ago. Yes, I know, believe me. It gives me nightmares.
Ha, friend of mine was saying he just got a ide->microSD adapter for his A1200. Was going to help him out with it one of these weekends, as his previous hard drive died and I have all the things for my A4000 / A500+ with Vampire.

I started getting some MIDI recording devices, but haven't gotten everything yet. I will say if you're going to hook it up to a modern computer, get a Roland brand USB->MIDI. I got some clone, and it caused all sorts of weird noise on my USB bus.
thelimeydragon 24 August 2019 at 7:40 pm UTC
Will there be one called Ken for native ResidualVM ?
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