After 5 years of work I've finally modded Skyrim to the degree I want it. I can step back and say there is nothing left to take away from this masterpiece (Well, maybe some better billboards). Come away with me.
Yes we're on a sound bender. I had a problem in Skyrim and maybe you have too. As you walk past an NPC they begin talking, but then as you pass them the audio would cut out for a brief second, then return. This wasn't a game engine problem as the NPCs weren't pausing their speech. It was something to do with the positional audio. Experimentation showed it to happen mostly when they were at your 5 or 7 o'clock.
There's a number of posts which let me know I'm not the only one who suffered this. It's something to do with the interplay of Realtek Audio Drivers with Skyrim. Skyrim acts as if you have a full set of front, rear and subwoofer and Realtek outputs the audio to speakers that don't exist.
There's a number of possible fixes available.
1. Switch on Virtual Surround in audio options
2. Switch to 5.1 Speakers and turn off the extra speakers
3. Uninstall Realtek Audio Drivers and use default/other manufacturer
In my case no. 3 worked with no loss in the Audio quality. That annoying bug is gone for good!
If you're adding prerecorded wavs to the Creation Kit you may notice them stuttering, distorting or playing too fast. This is a fairly simple problem to fix but might take you a while to realise. Sound files being added to Skyrim must have the following attributes as its internal player has rigid expectations.
In my case the wav files were recorded at a lower sample rate, 22050. I was able to open them with Audacity then export them at the higher sample rate with no loss in quality. Sample rate is at the lower left of the screen in Audacity by the way.
You know I wrote a whole bunch of Skyrim posts and then never posted them on the old blog. Perhaps it was shame, or laziness.
Well the title for this post is a dead giveaway. I've been trying out Skyrim on Linux. Even though I've completed the game I couldn't resist the urge to raise it from the dead and try a bit of modding. Now let us recount the epic saga of the Linuxborn.
Surprisingly installation of the game works flawlessly now. I remember the last time I tried about a year ago the script broke. Now however the playonlinux script runs flawlessly. With thanks to its creator GNU_Raziel.
So installed a-ok. Check graphics settings, it auto-detects on high, that's cool. Run. Huh huh huh! Menu screen. Looks like we're all good. Start a new game and... fraaames! Moving your view is like watching a stop motion play. It looks like while Skyrim runs it's not getting best optimization out of the linux drivers. So I ducked out, killed the graphics to their lowest. Coming back in the load times were improved and the frame rate went above five but still not great. Indoors standing still I could make 30 frames. Anything else and it started suffering. At its worst it was like playing on a typewriter.
So, not great but still possibly usable. Of course quitting is a hassle as well as when you click quit it simply freezes the screen, necessitating a task manager process kill. Still, onward and upward. I switched over to the real meat of the game, the modding tools.
And here's where I ran into real problems. The Creation Kit, Bethesda's ornery tool for editing Skyrim has some serious issues running in WINE. To make things worse the various 3rd party tools that you'd use for controlling mods like BOSS and Mod Organizer tend to be heavily reliant on .Net or other windows libraries. I was able to get BOSS working through the command line. Luckily Wrye Bash has no problems.
All in all the experiment's looking wonky. Such is life with Linux, on some people's systems it will work fine, some can't even install it. I don't know whether it's worth continuing for what was only a casual interest. It's too bad but I won't place the blame entirely on Linux, there are plenty of games that run on it perfectly well.