Author Topic: what is the lowest-end hardware that can run blockland?  (Read 873 times)

i have been having a certain curiosity for a few years. you can see instances of this in some of my old threads from a few years back:

(2014) CHALLENGE: Get Blockland to run on low specs
(2015) [CHALLENGE] Run Blockland on extremely low specs (this one actually generated some pretty good responses)

the ultimate question that ive been having for a while is: what is the absolute bare minimum hardware that blockland (including v0002 and the retail versions) can be run on (as in the game boots to the main menu and loads freebuild without crashing or throwing some fatal error)? im not looking for the game to be perfectly playable per se, hell i'd count it even if the game crashes when you go and try to put a single brick down.

over the past couple years ive gotten access to some toys (including a 20 year old pc and the ability to use new emulators such as 86box). here is what i have found:
- blockland v0002 and its derivatives (e.g. rtb v1.045) can run on ridiculously old hardware. i managed to get v0002 running on an emulated i486dx2 (a cpu from 1992!), 3dfx voodoo2, and windows 95. you can see the results in the images below (click to expand):



- as for retail versions of blockland, i have managed to get v21 r2001 to run in the past on a machine with an 800mhz celeron, 512mb of ram, and a voodoo3. see below image:


please note: the below text gets quite technical on the details of running retail blockland on old stuff. it's fine if you don't understand most of this
with retail blockland things get tricky:
* no retail version of blockland can run on windows 9x (95/98/me) as far as my testing has gone and according to statements from badspot. kernelex (an extension of the 9x kernel that allows for a few somewhat newer programs to run) doesnt work either so there isnt really a chance here.
* retail versions from v1 to v13 natively support windows 2000, later versions require the patching in of dll files in order for the game to run on 2k. see a guide a wrote a couple of years back
* blockland v21 versions later than r2001 require windows 7 at minimum as a different version of visual studio is used among other changes intended to protect against rce exploits
* every attempt i have made to run retail blockland under emulation has resulted in failure. i have tested cpus ranging from the 486 to the pentium 3 (using an 86box fork called pcbox that adds support for it) and i have also used windows 2000 as the os + a combination of blockland versions v1.03 and v13 however despite this i get the below error thrown at me every time.

investigation into event logs seems to suggest that either retail blockland is trying to use non-existent cpu instructions (maybe it requires mmx/sse?) or in the case where these instructions are present there are simply bugs in the 86box/pcbox emulators that cause bl to fail to load. as such if any of you somehow still happen to have old ass pc hardware lying around that would be preferable


i actually want to get the ps2 version of linux and see if i can get blockland to work on it

Code: [Select]
Intel Pentium M, ~600 Mhz
Total Ram: 511 MB

Wow, I am amazed the game works at all.  I just checked the master server and there are literally only 5 users that have ever logged in with a computer slower than this.  You have one of the slowest computers in all of Blockland. 
This could help your question

I got retail to run on a 1.8ghz pentium 4, 512mb of ram, and a 16mb Radeon 7500 (IBM Thinkpad T30)

It stuffs the bed if you load the demo house.


Also Blockland is capable of running on a Raspberry pi 4 (4gb model), though it's higher end than the thinkpad I just mentioned considering the game's actually fairly playable on lower resolutions. I even hosted a server for it on an old BL version for a couple of days. It should be capable of running both v21's client and server, but I can't get it to see steam's runtime so I can't auth on it.

reminds me of a time i tried running retail on my p4 optiplex, game would immediately crash after placing a single brick lol .id love to try v0002 with my 486, although that system is currently incomplete and tracking down the rest of the parts has proven rather difficult

did you try anything on real 486 hardware, or all just emulation?

i actually want to get the ps2 version of linux and see if i can get blockland to work on it
i dont think ps2 linux would be able to run blockland simply because the ps2's architecture is so different and as far as i can tell there isn't an x86 emulator that runs on it. even if one existed with support for the ps2's mips "emotion engine" the cpu/memory overhead would be too high
Also Blockland is capable of running on a Raspberry pi 4 (4gb model), though it's higher end than the thinkpad I just mentioned considering the game's actually fairly playable on lower resolutions. I even hosted a server for it on an old BL version for a couple of days. It should be capable of running both v21's client and server, but I can't get it to see steam's runtime so I can't auth on it.
i did try getting blockland to run on a 2gb pi 4 when i first became aware of 86box several months ago and i didnt find much success, if i remember the large issue was getting steam to run and it would get stuck while trying to load. from what ive heard its much more compatible with stuff now so i might consider revisiting it
reminds me of a time i tried running retail on my p4 optiplex, game would immediately crash after placing a single brick lol .id love to try v0002 with my 486, although that system is currently incomplete and tracking down the rest of the parts has proven rather difficult

did you try anything on real 486 hardware, or all just emulation?
i unfortunately dont own real 486 hardware, i'm no LGR, so i just used emulation for the large part. ive been considering getting some ebay parts and throwing one together at some point for fun tho
also in regards to the "game crashes when you place a brick", ive also seen this issue with a lot of other old systems including the celeron/voodoo3 setup i ran v21 on. the current working theory is that its soPhysician Prescribed Desoxyning to do the gpu drivers having old opengl implementations and that blockland when a brick is placed is trying to use some extension of opengl that either doesnt exist or is bugged
« Last Edit: January 22, 2022, 08:09:07 AM by Mr Queeba »

i did try getting blockland to run on a 2gb pi 4 when i first became aware of 86box several months ago and i didnt find much success, if i remember the large issue was getting steam to run and it would get stuck while trying to load. from what ive heard its much more compatible with stuff now so i might consider revisiting it

Yeah, I ran into that issue too. The standalone version of V21 runs fine, minus the authentication. Same if you just run the Blockland .EXE from your steam library folder. The steam installed version wouldn't launch from steam however due to some "Configuration error" or soPhysician Prescribed Desoxyning along those lines.

B4v21 seems to run just fine, thankfully, and it auths correctly. I should mention that I was running TwisterOS which has a bunch of stuff preconfigured.


* blockland v21 versions later than r2001 require windows 7 at minimum as a different version of visual studio is used among other changes intended to protect against rce exploits

Blockland can run on Windows Vista using the most recent supported version of Steam. I tried it before and it worked.

It was a long time ago though, but it was way after the whole RCE thing.

Blockland can run on Windows Vista using the most recent supported version of Steam. I tried it before and it worked.

It was a long time ago though, but it was way after the whole RCE thing.
earlier versions of v21 will run on xp and later by default. it's versions after r2001 that have issues as badspot did some changes that cause the game to no longer function on pre-7 versions of windows.

earlier versions of v21 will run on xp and later by default. it's versions after r2001 that have issues as badspot did some changes that cause the game to no longer function on pre-7 versions of windows.

I know, but it's still possible to open (and play) Blockland on Windows Vista using Steam.