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Old 10-30-2008, 06:06 AM   #1
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Default Running Games under VMware

So, unless I am deeply confused, the Adventure Shop, Gamesplanet and Metaboli are all the same thing, right?

Well, I bought Syberia Pack, downloaded it and when I tried to run it - BAAM - it wouldn't let me because I am running it under VMware, which is exactly what I wanted to do as I am a Mac user. It's a bit frustrating because they didn't mention they had a restriction against virtual machines.

Is there anyone who runs this game under VMware? I emailed their support yesterday asking for a fix or, lacking that, a refund, but I didn't receive a reply yet.

(Just to make it clear: this is not an issue about game compatibility under VMware, it's that even before the game launches a dialog box says I should "turn off" my virtual machine or it won't let me run the game)
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Old 11-02-2008, 06:01 AM   #2
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Hi Guilherme,

The Adventure Shop, Gamesplanet and Metaboli is not the same.
Metaboli is just a platform provider for digital distribution.

About WMware Fusion and games they mention on their website that "VMware Fusion now has experimental support for DirectX 9.0 3-D graphics (without shader support) to enable more Microsoft Windows 3-D applications and games to run."

Syberia is using DX7 for 3D support.
This may explain the reason why Syberia does not run on your virtual machine. It will not run the same on Parallel Desktop. Have you tried to launch the game using Cross Over from codeweavers?
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Old 11-02-2008, 01:22 PM   #3
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Thanks for making the difference clear. The DRM system used by Metaboli won't let me run the game under VMware, and this is by design and undocumented. From what I researched, the game itself would have run just fine.

Anyway my complaint is misposted as I didn't buy it from the Adventure Shop, as I wasn't sure if I would be able to download the French version. I did find a direct link on the developer website and that's what I followed, and since all sites had Powered by Metaboli logos I wrongly assumed they were all the same thing, which isn't the case.

(And in the end I did install Syberia under "raw" unvirtualized Windows so that it would run - not what I wanted to do and I am still annoyed, but it worked. I am near the end of the second game and still haven't heard a word from those Metaboli people)
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Old 11-02-2008, 02:22 PM   #4
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To be fair the game is sold as a PC game (no matter where you get it from), and you can't really expect companies to support virtual machines. As far as I'm aware programs like VMWare, Parallels, etc. don't even fully support games in the first place so it's kind of at your own risk.
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Old 11-03-2008, 08:03 AM   #5
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There is a difference between stating that you are not sure if the game will work on a certain configuration and not even allowing you to try. I wouldn't complain if the game turned out to be buggy under VMware, the problem is that they won't even let the game run. Oh, and they won't let you know that before you give them money.

For example, many DirectX games only support Nvidia and ATI graphics but they won't lock you out if you try to use Intel graphics, it's just that you can't expect support with a non-standard configuration. That's fine by me.

Even now I am using it under a non-standard configuration: I'm still using a Mac, not a PC. It's just that Metaboli decided that I have to use my computer in a certain way and not another.

And again, this thread is off-topic (my bad, see above) and has nothing to do with the Adventure Shop, except for the information that if they use Metaboli for DRM, the games won't run under VMware, unfortunately.
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Old 11-03-2008, 01:38 PM   #6
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Hi Guilherme,

I am also a mac user (Macbook pro 2,2 Ghz), and I had the same problem as you trying to run games with parallel desktop which is not supporting at all DX.

This is why I suggested you to try to run the game with CrossOver Games from codeweavers. http://www.codeweavers.com/products/cxgames/

They are supposed to offer the best virtualization for DX games.

Another option, and you should not face any issue with any virtual machine is to run your game on Windows by booting your computer using boot camp.

One last think about your complaint... Metaboli is not responsible for the DRM used for wrapping the game. This decision belongs to the developer or the publisher.

In any case I don't know any PC publisher which will guarantee you a PC game to run on a virtual machine... unfortunately.
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Old 11-12-2008, 10:36 AM   #7
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Sigh. I guess people are not really understanding the original poster's point. The point is that the place he bought the game from is actively forbidding him through their code from even *trying* to run the game under a VM.

This is far from saying that the games are not supported. And let me also state, that I am successfully running many adventure games from the late 90s (Broken Sword, Blade Runner) under VMWare Fusion. When VMWare Fusion says it supports DirectX 9, remember that DirectX is a set of COM interfaces and is therefore always backwards compatible at least at the binary level. So those games that were written for DirectX 5 should at the very least succeed in their API calls to DirectX 5 interfaces, even running on a DirectX 9 card.

So yeah, to the OP, this is highly annoying and it's even worse that they failed to mention this. If I bought it on credit card I would have contested the purchase.

So now for the big question, does the AdventureGamer shop also have this restriction? It would be a true shame. I've had a lot of success running even DX 8 games under VMWare Fusion.
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Old 11-12-2008, 04:12 PM   #8
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As far as the Adventure Shop (or any download shop) having this restriction, I think you'll find the restriction is down to the individual game publishers, not the shop.

And to reiterate the point, a virtual machine, by definition, is not an actual machine. All the games in the shop come with specifications for a PC. Even if a virtual machine is intended to emulate a PC with a particular configuration it may not do so perfectly. This is really no different from buying a game where you have a PC that doesn't fit the specs. The buyer has chosen to take the risk that the game won't run at all by opting to run it on a machine that doesn't meet the specs in some way.

I can appreciate it's annoying, especially for anyone that's had no problems running apparently similar spec games on a virtual machine in the past. I still think you'd struggle forcing a refund because a game you bought won't run on a machine it's not actually designed for. (though a good shop will attempt to help you do so, as Damon has done above). The only people you might have a valid argument with is the virtual machine programmers for creating a virtual machine that doesn't perfectly emulate the specs you need.
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Old 11-16-2008, 04:26 AM   #9
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But as the original poster said repeatedly, the game refuses to even try to start with the virtual machine running. We don't know how well would it emulate the PC in this case. This is a preventive measure which must have been consciously put there by someone (whether developer, publisher or retailer), so I don't suppose it's too much to ask to be told about it by the respective someone before you buy the game.

Moreover, I honestly don't see what does anyone benefit from such a restriction. A couple of years back, there was a small uproar with Sims 2 (?) refusing to work if the game detected a CD burning software installed. This was equally annoying, but at least you could see some sort of twisted logic in it on the publisher's side ("If someone insists on having a usable CD burner, they must be a pirate!"). But why would I want to forbid players with VMs to play my game? Honest question.

(A propos nothing, my computer has just crashed on me and when I restarted it, nothing I had written up to that point in the message box was lost. If it has something to do with a forum software update, cheers to everyone responsible. )
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Old 11-16-2008, 07:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFGNCAAP
But why would I want to forbid players with VMs to play my game? Honest question.
So they don't have to offer support for problems with emulation? Sure, they they could just say they won't offer support in such cases, but that wouldn't silence the outcry if and when problems arise and the publisher refused (or tried and failed). And anyone who believes the publisher wouldn't be held accountable doesn't know customers very well. So I guess some prefer the pre-emptive option to remove the possibility entirely.

Note that I'm not promoting this idea, simply answering the question. I can't imagine I'd do it myself. Still, I don't really have a problem with it. Expecting publishers to support areas totally outside of their expertise is unreasonable. And though certainly it'd be a welcome courtesy to mention it on the box/web page, system requirements either mean something or they don't. That's the difference from your CD burner example: those people had the very hardware specified, and a totally unspecified factor was the culprit. Here you have people using completely unsupported hardware and operating system.
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Old 11-16-2008, 08:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackal View Post
So they don't have to offer support for problems with emulation?
Okay, that's a valid point (although as we can see, customers do complain anyway ).

Quote:
And though certainly it'd be a welcome courtesy to mention it on the box/web page, system requirements either mean something or they don't. That's the difference from your CD burner example: those people had the very hardware specified, and a totally unspecified factor was the culprit. Here you have people using completely unsupported hardware and operating system.
But if they tried to, for whatever reason, run the game via VMWare on a supported hardware and OS, wouldn't they still get the same dialog box? The program seems to have issues with the emulator rather than unfulfilled system requirements as such. If so, isn't an unspecified factor a culprit here as well?
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Old 11-16-2008, 09:30 AM   #12
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Speaking of being beyond areas of technical expertise, we've now reached that point for me. You're right, if the game wouldn't play on supported hardware because of this restriction, that would be super lame. But is there a reason anyone would do that? (Also an honest question, though probably not a very relevant one.)
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damon View Post
I am also a mac user (Macbook pro 2,2 Ghz), and I had the same problem as you trying to run games with parallel desktop which is not supporting at all DX.

This is why I suggested you to try to run the game with CrossOver Games from codeweavers. http://www.codeweavers.com/products/cxgames/

They are supposed to offer the best virtualization for DX games.
I recently completed the original Syberia game (CD-ROM version) on my MacBook Pro, using CrossOver Games. There were some minor video and audio glitches, but overall the game was extremely stable and playable.

I've just purchased the Syberia Pack from the Adventure Shop, but the download manager (DLM.exe) doesn't seem to run under CrossOver Games. Has anyone managed to get this working, or is there an alternative way to download the game?

Cheers
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:48 AM   #14
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Syberia Pack:

I was able to download Syberia Pack (the Adventure Shop sent me some "unprotected" links) and it also seemed to install correctly. But both games terminate a few seconds after launch (possibly due to the copy protection).

Syberia 1 & 2 Collector's Edition DVD-ROM:

I've had more success with the collector's edition (purchased from Amazon.co.uk). I created a new "winxp" bottle, and chose the "Full install" option of Syberia's installer (so that the DVD-ROM isn't required to play).

Syberia 1 doesn't work in full-screen mode (unlike the CD-ROM version). I can hear the intro movie, but the screen is blank. The solution is to use Command-Option-R to restore the display, then Command-M to minimize the window, and finally restore the minimized window (by clicking its dock icon). I haven't fully tested this edition, so there may be other problems I haven't encountered.

Syberia 2 locks up whenever the in-game menu is displayed, and also when Colonel Emeliov enters the general store. The solution is to change the Detail Level to Low or Medium (in the options screen of the main menu). There are some other minor problems: a loud chugging noise in the main menu and end credits; the thumbnail images of the save/load slots are missing; and lip-syncing isn't working. I managed to complete Syberia 2 without any technical difficulties (but I did use http://www.uhs-hints.com/uhsweb/syberia2.php a few times).

I'm using CrossOver Games 7.1.1 and Mac OS X 10.5.6 on a 17-inch MacBook Pro (from July 2008) with a GeForce 8600M GT graphics processor. A different software or hardware configuration may give different results. A newer version of CrossOver Games may break compatibility with Syberia 1 & 2, because only the supported games (e.g. Half-Life 2) are likely to be tested.
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