Torchlight, Wine, and the Case of the Missing Audio

torchlight steam linux wine audio

Sun Jan 17 20:01:24 -0800 2010

There was an innocuous-seeming update to Wine a few days ago, and upon attempting to play the one game I have installed via Wine, Runic Games’ astonishingly awesome dungeon-crawler, Torchlight, I found it suddenly mute. Which is not really how I like to play it. So I was perturbed.

After a few minutes of rechecking all of my audio mixer settings to make sure nothing had put them in disarray while I wasn’t looking, I turned to Google. There was the usual collection of outdated forum entries and unrelated flotsam, but one of the hits prompted me to visit the Wine App DB.

Lo and behold, there was a new addition to Torchlight's entry, leading to this bug report, #21248 "No sound in Torchlight, needs mmdevapi implemented".

I’m not familiar with how Wine development generally works, but I’m disturbed by the contents of that report. The audio is apparently silent because only partially implemented code has been put in place that (I assume) diverts the game’s audio to subsystems that don’t exist yet. It seems bizarre to me that incomplete code would not be checked into a parallel branch of development until it’s complete, but again, I’m not familiar with the Wine development traditions; maybe there’s a good reason.

In any case, after seeing a workaround described in the bug report, “Try adding the mmdevapi = none override in winecfg?”, I set out to discover exactly how one does that. Back in the day that was done in a configuration file, but now it’s in the GUI.

So the exact steps to fix it are:

  1. Open Winecfg

  2. Go to Libraries tab

  3. Enter “mmdevapi” and click Add

  4. Select the new mmdevapi entry and click Edit

  5. Select “disable”, then OK both windows.

  6. Upon restarting Wine, Torchlight should now be its awesome, atmospheric self again.

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