Everything mostly works in the default configuration.
Switching off the nGlide-wrapped 3DFx renderer to OpenGL yields much better performance but there are some artifacts, namely some glows and other objects appearing through walls when nearby. This may or may not be related to bugs in Mesa as Wine's OpenGL implementation is more or less a straight pass-through.
Direct3D rendering requires you use the -nocompress option unless your Wine/Mesa installation supports texture compression.
Joystick play works well (recommended for this game).
What does not
The OpenGL renderer could use a little love and the Direct3D renderer is almost useless if your system does not support compressed textures (patent issues).
What was not tested
Multiplayer, nor the level editor. It appears you can at least start hosting a local multiplayer game but I did not have a second client to test.
If the OpenGL and D3D renderer did not have their flaws, this title could be considered platinum.
|Operating system||Test date||Wine version||Installs?||Runs?||Used|
|Show||Fedora 27 x86_64||Nov 26 2018||3.18||N/A||Yes||No||Silver||Christopher Thielen|
|Current||Fedora 23 x86_64||Nov 29 2015||1.9.3||Yes||Yes||Gold||Christopher Thielen|
|Show||Fedora 22 x86_64||Sep 13 2015||1.7.49||Yes||Yes||Gold||Christopher Thielen|
|Show||Mac OS X 10.10 "Yosemite"||Jun 09 2015||1.7.44||Yes||Yes||Gold||an anonymous user|
|Show||Fedora 20 x86_64||Jan 02 2014||1.7.5||Yes||Yes||Gold||an anonymous user|
Descent 3 is rather close to working perfectly but is not quite there. While joystick control, movie playback, and other typically "finicky" features work great in Descent 3 under Wine, there are some configuration options which work better than others.
Renderer: Like many games in the late 90s, Descent 3 supported multiple renderers, in this case, Direct3D, OpenGL, and Glide.
The GOG.com version comes with Glide pre-configured and the "nGlide" wrapper, which translates the Glide API into Direct3D calls. This configuration works perfectly but may be rather slow.
You can try the OpenGL renderer but that has exhibited artifacts in many user configurations (namely, certain polygons appearing through walls).
Direct3D is a good option to try but may render textures entirely black (possibly as a result of S3 patented texture compression but this has not been confirmed). Direct3D _does_ work well however if you launch Descent 3 directly (launch main.exe) and give it the option "-nocompress". Note that main.exe will complain you cannot launch it directly -- it's meant to be called from the Descent 3 launch program. To get around this, call it with "-launched", e.g. "wine MAIN.EXE -nocompress -launched".