Most interested parties have noticed by now that DirectX 11 support is not included in CrossOver 15. In July, James Ramey, our company President opened up about CodeWeavers dedication to DirectX 11 in an interview with Boiling Steam, after alluding to future support of DirectX11 in his June 2015 blog post.
It's best said that Wine is hard but this is tough to make tangible, it's hard to understand how a program that runs on Windows won't just run on Linux or Mac. It seems like a simple concept, I run Microsoft Word here, why can't I run Microsoft Word there? I run Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor here, why can't I run it there? It's explaining the concepts of it all that get lost. It takes being burned a few times to really understand the joy that Wine and CrossOver bring to people. It's a simple concept; I get to choose what I run and where. It's a harsh reality; No, no I don't.
Being raised in a Microsoft culture, I had the benefit of Microsoft Word always running and only the occasional burn that the hardware at home wasn't capable of running whatever piece of software I was interested in. I didn't have the problem that my operating system of choice wouldn't run the program I wanted to run.
Today, that is a reality I face. Trying to explain what that means to our customers and those internally who don't have a deep relationship with is a constant struggle. When our Marketing Manager can come out and say she had to face that Wine is hard, I see that as a win. Not because I want her stressed that Wine is hard, because I want to somehow convey how special it is that Word 2013 can work with Wine and therefore, CrossOver. I want her to realize that the hard work Wine developers do is amazing and I would like the rest of the world to understand that too.
That isn't how it actually works.
Our community is much more interested in their program working. They empathize with development being difficult but the best news to them is when their favorite game works. They sit on the edge of their seats waiting for us to proclaim support for Office 2013, not knowing that all the pieces that go into that are a struggle for every developer who contributes. They write to us daily dying for us to say "DirectX 11 is in perfect condition, go forth and play the games!"
And we can't say that. If we say that, they will come back and report that it doesn't work. Maybe they will come back with a vengeance... and pitchforks...
Much like the drink; Wine is a slow process. The truth is, programs will gradually start to work. They will start by launching instead of crashing with a failure. They will start by giving a horrible arrangement of magenta instead of drawing words. They will start by a teasing launch that looks successful followed by a hang so terrible the system has to be restarted.
And then they will begin to work.
It's a taste.
Suddenly typing into Quicken 2016 doesn't fall apart.
Suddenly Word 2013 is happy to twist words in WordArt the way older versions do.
Suddenly, everyone wants to know how DirectX 11 is doing.
I figured that is what you were actually here for.
It's coming along rather nicely in my opinion. But I have watched many pieces be built by our developers over the years, lovingly crafted into something worthy of daily use. MSI, the DIB engine, gdiplus, msxml, and now dwrite and direct2d. I can see the potential growing and I have proof that DirectX 11 games run now. Not just one, two. They are not the most extreme games, we have to take baby steps.
Let's start with the news of some of the applications we've tried. Note that this work is not in CrossOver 15 because we do not believe it is ready for prime time.
Gauntlet fails to launch. This is a high improvement over it not launching because it no longer states that the system cannot handle the game.
Bioshock Infinite hangs on launch, same deal, it doesn't say the system is not capable, so it's progress.
Trials Fusion flags an error on launch, it needs a few more pieces put in place.
GRID Autosport is a tease. It launches, puts its splash across the screen and then hangs.
Toybox Turbos launches to a black screen and hangs.
Final Fantasy XIV launches its patcher and begins to patch but the patcher does not get drawn so we have no idea how good of news this actually is.
And we'll try more because we're as anxious for DirectX 11 to happen; despite the warning that most titles will have the above results. After those titles failed along with a few others, we really want some focus on what does work.
The first is a game that is full of satire, starting from the title. Divekick is a fighting game that literally has two moves to bring the characters into the fight. Your character can dive and kick, that's it. The good news, your opponent's character can dive and kick, that's it. At first it seems a bit of a kludge to move around but after working through the key combinations the game quickly becomes addictive. We start up this title, set up our keys and the next thing we know, we've been playing... testing for long enough to know that DirectX 11 is solid. In fact, a person wouldn't even know they are running a DirectX 11 title except for the D3D11 displayed on the title bar.
Karma. Incarnation 1 is a 2D point and click game where you slowly evolve based on what you, Pip, eat. You walk through the world and talk to objects and get ideas about how to continue based on what's around you. It's problem solving and evolution to fight the evil or become it. It's charming and simple so you don't drown in unskippable dialog or fumble for the first hour trying to understand the controls.
And it too runs so well a person wouldn't even know DirectX 11 is at play.
This blog entry and videos herein are a proof of concept. DirectX 11 is not ready for regular use and most of the games we tried don't work YET.
You should also know...
This worked for us on Nvidia hardware, we're running a GeForce GTX 760 with Nvidia binary drivers (version 346.96) on Ubuntu 14.04.3. This also worked in development with the Nouveau drivers.
When we tried it on OS X, it failed miserably. When we tried it on Linux with AMD hardware and drivers, it could not yet get off the ground. It isn't that we are ignoring these pieces, it's that it will take time to get them working.
And now for me... Back to Work!
About Caron Wills
Caron has been working in the computer software industry for over 10 years. She joined
CodeWeavers in 2008 and became the Quality Assurance Manager for CodeWeavers in 2009. Contact Caron at firstname.lastname@example.org and learn more about her professional accomplishments on LinkedIn.