How To Install TorchCraft and Setup a Programming Environment on Linux

TorchCraft is a BWAPI module that sends StarCraft data out over a ZMQ connection. This lets you parse game data and interact with BWAPI.

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Python is an interpreted, high-level, general-purpose programming language with strengths in automation, data analysis and machine learning.

This tutorial will walk you through installing Python 3 and setting up a programming environment on Debian 10.

Step 0 - Update and Upgrade

Logged into your system as root, first update and upgrade to ensure your shipped version of Python 3 is up-to-date.

apt update
apt upgrade

Confirm upgrade when prompted to do so.

Step 1 - Check Version of Python

Check your version of Python 3 installed by typing:

python3 --version

You'll receive output similar to the following.

Python 3.7.3

Step 2 - Install pip

To manage software packages for Python, install pip, the standard package installer for Python. You can use pip to install things from the official package index and other indexes.

apt install -y python3-pip

Python packages can be installed by typing:

pip3 install schematics 

Here, schematics can refer to any Python package, such as tornado for backend development or NumPy for scientific computing.

Step 3 - Install Additional Tools

There are a few more packages and development tools to install to ensure that we have a robust set-up for our StarCraft: Brood War Python TorchCraft bots programming environment:

apt -y install --install-recommends vim git apt-transport-https\
 gnupg2 wget software-properties-common curl build-essential\
 gfortran sudo pkg-config make cmake libyaml-0-2 libyaml-dev
dpkg --add-architecture i386
apt-add-repository contrib 
apt -y install --install-recommends libgnutls30:i386 libldap-2.4-2:i386\
 libgpg-error0:i386 libxml2:i386 libasound2-plugins:i386 libsdl2-2.0-0:i386\
 libfreetype6:i386 libdbus-1-3:i386 libsqlite3-0:i386 libgl1-mesa-glx:i386\
 libgl1-mesa-dri:i386 libsdl2-2.0-0 libstb0 libstb0:i386 mesa-vulkan-drivers

Step 4 - Add the WineHQ Debian repository

Get and install the repository key.

wget -nc && apt-key add winehq.key
apt-add-repository 'deb buster main'
apt update && rm winehq.key

Step 5 - Install libfaudio0 and Wine

Starting on Wine >= 4.5, libfaudio0 is required by the staging packages provided by WineHQ but is not included in the Wine HQ packages, which means you are responsible for making libfaudio0 available prior to installing Wine. This explains how to obtain libfaudio0 for Debian 10.

wget -nc
wget -nc
dpkg -i libfaudio0_20.01-0~buster_amd64.deb
dpkg -i libfaudio0_20.01-0~buster_i386.deb
apt -y install --install-recommends winehq-staging winetricks

Step 6 - Configuring WINE

Many programs work under WINE with absolutely no configuration.. unfortunately, this isn't always the case.

(default) using your own non-root user

The following commands MUST be executed as a normal non-root user, if you already have an existing wine setup, you can REMOVE it and start clean with rm -rf ~/.wine/

$ WINEARCH=win32; wineboot
$ winetricks -q vcrun2012
$ winetricks -q vcrun2013
$ winetricks -q vcrun2015

(optional) using a separate wine user

adduser --disabled-login --gecos "" --shell /forbid/login wine
usermod --append --groups audio wine
chown wine:wine -R /home/wine
sudo -u wine env HOME=/home/wine USER=wine USERNAME=wine LOGNAME=wine WINEARCH=win32 wineboot
sudo -u wine env HOME=/home/wine USER=wine USERNAME=wine LOGNAME=wine winetricks -q vcrun2012
sudo -u wine env HOME=/home/wine USER=wine USERNAME=wine LOGNAME=wine winetricks -q vcrun2013
sudo -u wine env HOME=/home/wine USER=wine USERNAME=wine LOGNAME=wine winetricks -q vcrun2015

Step 7 - StarCraft: Brood War 1.16.1

At the moment StarCraft: Remastered is NOT yet supported, the only working version is 1.16.1.

git clone /usr/src/starcraft-sif

In this tutorial we have StarCraft installed in /opt/StarCraft/

cat /usr/src/starcraft-sif/include/core/core* > /opt/StarCraft.tar.gz
tar -zxvf /opt/StarCraft.tar.gz -C /opt/

Installing the provided Python examples

This will install Tornado, PyTorch, PyZMQ, NumPy and SciPy!

pip3 install -r /usr/src/starcraft-sif/examples/blueberry/requirements.txt

Installing TorchCraft

git clone /usr/src/TorchCraft --recursive
pip3 install /usr/src/TorchCraft

Step 8 - Coding & Building

Lets continue this tutorial with the ambitious goal of create a small Terran bot with a single timing attack, but first.. check that everything is installed correctly and that we can run the original examples.

python3 /usr/src/TorchCraft/examples/py/ -t

if you follow the steps your output read hopefully:

CTRL-C to stop

You are ready to start a new Brood War bot using Python on Linux, we hope this tutorial provide a good start, after this short success.. learn how to run the game and gather resources growing a Terran economy.