Adventures in Faerun with an Apple Mac

Neverwinter NightsAppleI finally got Neverwinternights running on my Mac using WINE. It is clear from the old Bioware forums that to get it working on recent i.e. Intel based Macs needs virtualisation technology. There are choices here, but I chose WINE since it seems to leave the game’s code ‘closer to the metal’ than alternatives. I also wanted it to be legally free.

There have been some rat holes in this project, but I started at http://winehq.org. This has lots of great resources including some “How To…” pages and a forum. The best advice at  the time I started was to install from source, so I got introduced to git. I came to the conclusion, after being advised, that macports was a better way of installing and maintaining WINE on the MAC. (I also downloaded Porticus which is a GUI front end for macport and I had to upgrade my version of the Xcode developer package.) This conclusion was aided by the fact the game now works.

An article at arstecnica, called “Neverwinter Nights WINE Tutorial” states that the installer won’t work under WINE and my early experiments had found this to be true. The article suggests copying a good windows installation which I did via a DVD. The compressed folders are between 3.4 & 3.7 Gb, depending on how many saved games and add-on modules are in the folders.  The ars article also recommends copying some of the Microsoft DLLs, but they used a W98 build as their source, I am using XP. I have not copied any of the DLLs onto my Mac.

It seems to be working OK.

In summary its a three step process,

  1. Install macports and porticus
  2. Install WINE
  3. Copy the NWN folder from a Windows Machine

The first comment is by me, and discusses how I got doh123’s Wineskin to work. DFL 22 April 2011.

2 Comments.

  1. I reported my success at the wine forums and James and doh123 point me to Wineskin, which I had played with but failed to get to work. They recommend it because it uses Xquartz, a better version of X-Windows. I re-read the manual and,

    1. Downloaded Winery.app
    2. Used Winery to download the most recent engine
    3. Created a Wrapper
    4. Copied a good folder into ../drive_c
    5. Set the startup program to nwn/nwn.exe
    6. Open the .app and set the screen resolution

    It works well, with full screen and great sound. There’s a couple of oddities, but I hope to iron these out in the next day or so. I may even get to play the game soon.

    I also need to work out how to create an icon for the wrapper.

  2. To make the Icon, I used pngfactory as the source, they have several.

    I used img2icns to convert the icon to an appropriate format for the Mac. Wineskin has a feature that allows one to associate a .icns file with the wrapper.