Chromebooks Gaming howto

Play Thief-like game ‘The Dark Mod’ on a Chromebook

When the original Thief game appeared back in 1998, it first seemed like simply another RPG type game with some uncommon twists.

Nevertheless the ground-breaking stealth gameplay and manufacturing high quality soon captured gamers into the rich environment of the Thief world – hovering cathedrals, pagan creatures, underworld gangs, metropolis guards, opulent manors and mystical sects.


The popularity of the original Thief game (also called “Thief – The Dark Project”) spawned a number of sequels and a plethora of third social gathering missions. While nearly all of these fan missions required one of the unique Thief video games to play, a undertaking referred to as “The Dark Mod” determined to recreate the Thief universe with an alternate, newer 3d engine, with improved gameplay, physics and lighting effects.

The Dark Mod turned a standalone game in 2013, and consists of Home windows and Linux versions. There are approx. 100 missions out there, all free to play.

Here we’ll show you how one can install a working model of The Dark Mod on a Chromebook.

The process is a little more concerned in comparison with a typical Windows or Mac desktop game set up, nevertheless it’s not too troublesome – we’ve executed a lot of the heavy-lifting for you.

Although not absolutely vital, it might be useful when you have some expertise with primary Linux instructions and concepts.

I don’t know this game, what’s it like?

The Dark Mod is just not so much a single game, but a large variety of missions (some of them campaign type) that share a medieval/semi-industrial/magical setting.

Although some individuals won’t like the fact that there isn’t an general storyline between missions as in the unique game, in reality this is hardly a problem; every mission has it’s personal distinctive character, setting and gameplay type (Mansion break-ins, Bank heists, Rival gangs, Supernatural, Jail breaks, Exploration) but the general world is surprisingly coherent.

Additionally, there are also a variety of collection following the adventures of a sure protagonist (Thomas Porter, William Steele ..) and a few single maps in themselves could be very giant (e.g. Requiem).

We propose wanting on the Dark Mod fan missions discussion board to get an concept of the type of missions out there, there’s additionally a number of Let’s Play movies on YouTube, but naturally they include extra mission spoilers.

Click on the screenshots under for bigger variations.

System Requirements

  • You’ll need a pretty new or powerful Chromebook:
    • Any Intel “Core” CPU models ought to work nicely, e.g. Core i3, Core i5
    • Broadwell Celeron models, e.g. 3205U, 3215U can work fairly OK
    • Celeron “N” collection CPUs, e.g. N2840 is probably not playable until at very low resolutions
    • ARM based mostly Chromebooks – extremely unlikely to work
    See our Chromebook performance comparability for a detailed record of Chromebook CPU fashions
  • The Dark Mod itself (with two preliminary missions) requires about 2.7GB of disk area.
  • We’ll present you how one can set up Crouton with a view to run Linux purposes outdoors of ChromeOS.

    This requires about Four-5GB of disk area. So in complete, you’ll need no less than 9GB of free area, which is just about feasible on a 16GB Chromebook SSD with out a lot else saved on native storage. With a 32GB (or larger) SSD, it shouldn’t be a drawback.

    You possibly can see how a lot free area you at present have by opening the Information app, clicking on “Downloads” after which choosing the top-right dropdown menu icon.

  • You’ll additionally have to put your Chromebook into Developer mode in an effort to set up Crouton. That is simple on newer Chromebooks.
  • An external mouse makes it far more fulfilling to play

Step 1 – Install Crouton on your Chromebook

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If you already have Crouton put in on your Chromebook (otherwise you boot into another Linux distribution, e.g. GalliumOS), then you’ll be able to skip this and go proper forward to Step 2.


Crouton is just a script that permits you to run one other Linux setting (on this case Ubuntu) aspect by aspect together with your normal ChromeOS.

You’ll first have to put your Chromebook into “Developer mode”.

We advocate wanting at the steps within the guide by Voltron00x here, nevertheless we’ve found that the newer “vivid” works principally advantageous as an alternative of the older “trusty”, and xfce as an alternative of Unity seems to be a neater choice, even when you’ve got a Core model Chromebook.

The primary steps are:

  • First backup anything you need on your Chromebook native storage
  • Enable developer mode, and reboot into ChromeOS
  • Download Crouton – merely click on the hyperlink https://goo.gl/fd3zc
  • Enter a shell on ChromeOS (press Ctrl-Alt-T, then sort shell).

    Make sure that the shell browser tab zoom is at 100%, in any other case chances are you’ll not see text that scrolls off the underside of the web page through the install.

  • Begin Crouton install with most popular options.

    For this example, we’re utilizing the command “sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -r vivid -t xfce”

    crosh1

  • Notice that the keyboard and/or trackpad might develop into unresponsive through the install.

    You might want to attach an exterior USB keyboard and/or mouse as a way to complete this half, which asks for a default username and password.

    Nevertheless, there’s a approach around this when you have a working mouse or trackpad however not a keyboard – Go to the ChromeOS settings panel within the bottom-right of the display, click on “Settings” and then scroll right down to “Show advanced settings”.

    You can now click on the “Enable on-screen keyboard” field to offer you a software program keyboard as an alternative, which can be used to finish the Crouton installation.


Once the Crouton set up is completed, you’ll be able to launch Ubuntu with the command “sudo startxfce4” inside the ChromeOS shell immediate:

crosh2

You’ll be able to then change forwards and backwards between Ubuntu and Chromeos using Ctrl-Alt-Shift with the left and proper arrow keys (the arrows on the top-left of the keyboard).

You’ll have to re-start Crouton using the command above any time you reboot your Chromebook.

Default keyboard format

One of many first belongings you may have to do in a recent Crouton install is to set the right keyboard format, when you’re utilizing a non-US keyboard.

This shall be obvious in the event you open a Terminal window and the pipe (|) or quote (“) characters come out incorrect.

Inside Crouton, you’ll have to go to Software->Settings->Keyboard->Format and uncheck the “Use system defaults” field, and add the suitable format.

Mouse cursor glitches

You may notice some corruption of the mouse cursor graphic in the Ubuntu desktop.

This can be prevented by pressing the Esc button whereas nonetheless in ChromeOS (simply before switching to Crouton every time).

Step 2 – Install required packages

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You’ll most probably need to install some further packages first for The Dark Mod to work.

These are principally associated to 32-bit compatibility, sound and graphics.

You’ll have to open a terminal window in Crouton to enter any instructions listed under – click on on Purposes and then Terminal Emulator.

Update Crouton show drivers

To begin with, for those who’re using Crouton you need to update the graphics drivers as detailed within the “Step 6: Update your Intel drivers” section of the Voltron00x Crouton set up information (customers of GalliumOS or different Linux installs should skip this half) – nevertheless – Since we’re utilizing vivid (15.04) as an alternative of trusty (14.04), the commands must be as follows:

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common python-software-properties
sudo add-apt-repository https://download.01.org/gfx/ubuntu/15.04/main
wget https://download.01.org/gfx/RPM-GPG-KEY-ilg -O – | sudo apt-key add –
wget https://download.01.org/gfx/RPM-GPG-KEY-ilg-2 -O – | sudo apt-key add –
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade


This is steered to fix some graphical glitches and in addition offer you barely newer 3d drivers, although we discovered that the graphical corruption of the mouse cursor tended to persist, until prevented through the use of the Esc key technique.

At this stage, chances are you’ll need to set up a higher net browser in Crouton to be able to copy and paste instructions, because the default “Netsurf” package deal is just not ultimate at displaying some website text.

You possibly can install Firefox for instance, using the next terminal command:

sudo apt-get install firefox

Now you possibly can examine the prevailing model of your OpenGL graphics drivers by putting in the mesa-utils package deal. Install using:

sudo apt-get install mesa-utils

You’ll be able to then see the version by typing:

glxinfo|grep “OpenGL version”

On a new install of Ubuntu Vivid, we obtained the outcome “3.0 Mesa 10.5.9”.

After following the steps to update the drivers, this went to “3.0 Mesa 10.6.0” (With Trusty, chances are you’ll be stuck at an older 10.3.0 model after updating).

You’ll probably have to shutdown Ubuntu at this stage and begin it up again in ChromeOS with a purpose to see the modifications (shutting down Ubuntu brings you again to the ChromeOS desktop and ends the Crouton script).

Set up packages

We’re going to listing the packages you want to set up to get The Dark Mod working when using the Ubuntu Vivid set up described above.

In case you have a totally different Linux distro or Crouton installation, or have installed one thing like Steam, you might already have a few of these libraries. In that case, it gained’t trigger any hurt utilizing the commands under, it’s going to simply inform you that they have already been installed.

In a terminal window, set up the following packages:

sudo apt-get install libpng12-0:i386
sudo apt-get install libx11-6:i386
sudo apt-get set up libxext6:i386
sudo apt-get set up libxxf86vm1:i386
sudo apt-get set up libgl1-mesa-glx:i386
sudo apt-get set up libasound2-plugins:i386


Step three – Obtain and install the game

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Now we will install the game itself. Open a terminal window in Crouton and use the next instructions to create a directory, download and run the Dark Mod updater:

mkdir darkmod
cd darkmod
wget “http://www.fidcal.com/darkuser/tdm_update_linux.zip”
unzip tdm_update_linux.zip
chmod +x tdm_update.linux
./tdm_update.linux

The updater will now take some time because it downloads the game binaries, model/texture/sound packages, the Coaching mission and a starter mission “Saint Lucia”.

If the downloads stall (e.g. as a consequence of a break in WiFi connection), you’ll be able to press Ctrl-C, then shut the terminal window (if crucial) and check out operating it once more. It should decide up the place it left off with the downloading.

After it’s complete, you possibly can create a small script to run the game and keep away from show decision points when returning to the desktop:

echo “./thedarkmod.x86; xrandr -s 0” > tdm.sh
chmod +x tdm.sh

Now you can start the game itself:

The game ought to start and convey you to the primary title display.

tdm-title1

In case you can’t begin the game in any respect, your setup may be missing the 32-bit compatibility libraries.

For instance, on GalliumOS (and different Ubuntu variants), you’ll be able to add these as follows:

sudo dpkg –add-architecture i386
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install libc6:i386 libncurses5:i386 libstdc++6:i386


Show resolution altering after exiting the game

Whenever you give up the game, if haven’t began it utilizing the “xrandr -s 0” script above, you might notice that your desktop is stored on the game resolution.

This may be a drawback if it’s set to a low or strange resolution. On this case you’ll be able to either situation the “xrand -s 0” command by itself to return to the default decision, or change it utilizing the menu on the prime, underneath Purposes->Settings->Show.

Failure to mechanically restart

Typically, the game might inform you it’s restarting (e.g. after putting in a new mission), however it doesn’t truly do this after exiting back to the desktop. You’ll be able to merely start it once more utilizing ./tdm.sh on this case and more often than not it ought to work positive.

Framerate and in-game resolution

One of many first belongings you may need to do after putting in is change the game decision (the default is 640×480).

Nevertheless this may be problematic when utilizing the in-game settings, since some resolutions, particularly widescreen ones, produce black borders, or could also be offset badly from the middle.

Some resolutions that we have now found work without major points on a 1920×1080 16:9 display measurement Chromebook are:

  • 640×480
  • 800×600
  • 1024×768
  • 1152×864
  • 1280×1024
  • 1360×768 *
  • 1920×1080

For the decision marked with a *, we advocate setting this manually within the configuration file Darkmod.cfg.

You’ll be able to edit this using a command line editor reminiscent of nano – install it with “sudo apt-get install nano”.

Now launch nano to edit the file: “nano Darkmod.cfg” ..and use Ctrl-W to seek out the strains r_customWidth or r_customHeight.

darkmod-cfg2

You can now edit the resolution values right here. Additionally, verify that the “r_mode” value is about to -1.

Now press Ctrl-O to save lots of the file, then Ctrl-X to exit back to the terminal.

Framerate

You possibly can show the FPS within the game by first opening the game console (press the `  key, on the top-left of the keyboard under Esc, or Ctrl-`).

Change the FPS counter on and off using the command com_showfps 1 or com_showfps Zero

tdm-showfps

When you have a 1080p Celeron Chromebook with a 3205U or 3215U CPU (some models of the Dell Chromebook 13 and Toshiba Chromebook 2), we advocate setting the decision to 1360×768 within the configuration file (not 1366×768).

This offers you a affordable widescreen resolution and playable framerate for many missions – averaging between 20-30 for the outside elements of the St.Lucia mission, and anyplace from 20-50 for indoor elements.

When you’ve got a Core i3 or i5 Chromebook, you’ll be able to attempt the complete 1920×1080 if your display helps it.

In fact, some missions are a little heavier on graphics processing than others (e.g. Lords and Legacy, Glenham Tower), so it’s value making an allowance for in the event you attempt a mission and discover it very sluggish.

Based on Dark Mod forum posters, usually if the St.Lucia mission works okay, then you must be capable of play most missions without a drawback.

Bikerdude, one of many developers and mission creators, means that wanting down the archery range in the Coaching mission could also be a useful means of measuring fps across totally different techniques.

At this location, we received about 15 fps @ 1360×768 fullscreen on a Celeron 3205U processor using GalliumOS, and 11fps @ 1920×1080. On Core i3/i5 techniques, you may get one thing like a 50% improve on these framerates – tell us your leads to the feedback under!

Although this seems low, it’s one of many extra graphically complicated scenes, and occasional framerate dips to 15 fps are nearly at the degree of playability, contemplating the game type (most areas of the Coaching mission degree common 20-40 fps).

When enjoying underneath Crouton, we did notice a few fps drop at this location in comparison with GalliumOS, even with comparable graphics driver versions. We’re not totally positive if this is simply because of the overhead of ChromeOS within Crouton, or if there are some other elements involved.

We advise turning off the FPS counter when enjoying a mission, since it could turn out to be distracting.

Get again to the desktop whereas enjoying

You will get again to your desktop surroundings while enjoying, however it only appears to work in windowed mode (when “r_fullscreen” is about to Zero in Darkmod.cfg).

Merely deliver up the game console utilizing ` or Ctrl+` – this can then unencumber the mouse cursor to maneuver over the desktop, or you should use alt-tab to modify between purposes.

This may be helpful for leaving a number of mission downloads working within the background when utilizing slower Internet connections.

Download extra missions!

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Now that you simply’ve tried a number of the pre-installed missions, the enjoyable half is selecting more missions to download and play.

These range from small to very giant missions, some are part of a collection or campaign, some are classical stealth missions whereas others may be extra targeted on exploration or preventing.

We advise searching via the Dark Mod fan missions forum, or just decide a few from the in-game downloader at random.

A full mission listing is accessible right here, and in addition on the wiki web page.

Using Crouton vs a dual-boot Linux set up

In case you’ve researched using Linux on Chromebooks a little, you might have observed that Crouton is a simple strategy to get a Linux desktop on your Chromebook, however that it comes with some restrictions.

Free memory

One of many most important points for gaming inside Crouton seems to be the quantity of obtainable memory. This is particularly relevant in case you have a 2GB RAM Chromebook.

What occurs when Crouton is operating, is that ChromeOS also continues to run in the background.

The simplest solution to see that is to open a terminal shell in Crouton, and use the “top” command to see what processes are using CPU and memory.

top-screenshot

You’ll notice that the “Chrome” course of is current, despite the fact that you won’t be utilizing the Chrome browser in Crouton.

This is merely Chrome from ChromeOS operating within the background, and when you have a lot of tabs open and so forth., it might be using a lot of reminiscence.

So in case you are enjoying games within Crouton, you could have to just remember to don’t have too many further purposes open, because you’re already operating on lowered memory from the ChromeOS overhead (the reverse can also be true – plenty of activity within the background in Crouton might have an effect on ChromeOS efficiency).

Older software program variations

Another challenge with a Crouton setup as an alternative of a dedicated Linux set up (reminiscent of GalliumOS), is that you simply’re largely stuck with the releases that Crouton helps, which for Ubuntu is just officially 14.04 (Trusty).

Having stated that, we’ve been using 15.04 (Vivid) without vital issues (although see “Installing more games” under for a problem relating to the Ubuntu software enter), and there are some stories of individuals successfully installing 15.10 (Wily).

The older distributions come with extra dated graphics drivers, though it in all probability gained’t make a large distinction to in-game framerates (maybe a few fps distinction).

Developer display at bootup

It’s not a large drawback, nevertheless when you could have your Chromebook in Developer mode, you’ll get a warning display every time you bootup, and when you (or someone utilizing your Chromebook) presses Area here as an alternative of Ctrl-D, it may well wipe your complete Crouton set up.

Should you determine to go dual-boot with ChromeOS and one other Linux distro, this Area bar drawback will solely have an effect on your ChromeOS half, so something put in on your different Linux boot surroundings is protected.

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Alternatively, the boot display may be skipped when you’ve disabled the hardware write-protect change on your Chromebook.

You possibly can then change the “boot flags” which management the developer display behaviour.

On a Chromebook with just ChromeOS put in, you possibly can allow developer mode with a brief boot display delay with the following:

sudo /usr/share/vboot/bin/set_gbb_flags.sh 0x9

When you’re dual-booting, you are able to do the same however with a default boot into your “Legacy” (other OS) boot with the next:

sudo /usr/share/vboot/bin/set_gbb_flags.sh 0x489

More particulars can be found right here.

Notice: For brevity, we’re using “Linux” to imply a Linux desktop setting based mostly on a typical Linux distribution reminiscent of Ubuntu. ChromeOS itself additionally uses a branch of the Linux kernel to function, nevertheless it hides away the extra functionality needed for operating most desktop Linux apps and video games.

Utilizing WINE to play the Windows version

When it comes to performance, the WINE Windows compatibility package deal works nicely with the Dark Mod Windows model and it seems to be completely playable. This is perhaps an choice in case you’re having a lot of problem with the Linux version.

You’ll have to first set up WINE, and then download and run the Dark Mod Home windows installer. Notice that saved game information between the Windows and Linux variations are apparently not suitable.

Putting in more games

After you have efficiently arrange either Crouton or a normal Linux distribution on your Chromebook, there are a whole lot of other games obtainable.

Aside from Chrome net store games, you may as well attempt the GOG Linux games or Featured Linux Video games on Steam.

To being with, on a recent Crouton set up, you possibly can add the Ubuntu Software Middle package deal to be able to more easily add video games and other purposes:

sudo apt-get set up software-center

At present, there appears to be an authentication associated challenge when installing software by way of the Software program Middle on Vivid beneath Crouton.

Chances are you’ll get an “Authentication error” message when making an attempt to install packages in case you begin Ubuntu Software Middle from the drop-down menu.

As an alternative, open a terminal window and use “gksudo software-center” to start out it. You’ll be able to then set up packages as normal.

Should you’re in search of Minecraft, you’ll be able to install it from their download page here (you might have to also install OpenJDK from the Software Middle or Synaptic package deal supervisor).

Moreover there are a extensive number of older Windows titles that can be played using WINE.

Design your personal missions

Fancy a spot of stealthy degree design? DarkRadiant is the Dark Mod’s degree editor, and it really works on Linux too.

Troubleshooting

  • I tousled putting in packages in Crouton, help! – Don’t fear about not getting the Crouton install proper the primary time. So long as you don’t have anything in it that you simply particularly need to hold, you’ll be able to merely delete the set up and start again.

    To do this, go into the Ctrl-Alt-T “[email protected]” shell in ChromeOS, and use the command “sudo delete-chroot vivid” (assuming you adopted the instructions above and installed Crouton with the ‘Vivid’ version of Ubuntu).

    Now you can re-install Crouton together with your most popular command line choices.

  • I have already got a “trusty” Crouton put in, I tried to install “vivid” however it goes again to the previous one – You can start your vivid set up from ChromeOS shell through the use of “sudo startxfce4 -n vivid”.
  • I’m using GalliumOS or one other Linux distro and I’m getting uneven or popping sound in the game – You possibly can attempt altering the sound driver line in Darkmod.cfg “seta s_driver” from “best” to “oss”. You might need to put in a package deal reminiscent of osspd-pulseaudio.

    Also examine that the  seta s_dsp “/dev/dsp” config line reflects your setup – chances are you’ll need to vary it to /dev/dsp1 for instance.

  • My exterior/USB mouse isn’t working – Attempt plugging it out, and re-plugging it in while in Crouton, as an alternative of ChromeOS.