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  #51  
Old March 16th, 2008, 03:09 PM

Campeador Campeador is offline
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Default Re: Multiverse Mod

For three weeks now I have been trying to fix my pc. At last I was successful!

The problem was a repeatable one. The problem was happening on the “x-wing vs tie fighter “areas.

It goes like this: I land on the sector and fighters are engaging each other. It is going well until I get close then most of them freeze except like one or two. All the beams, bolts, missiles, smoke effects are frozen in space, yet the Rebel Cruiser is moving and my ship also…
I played the same scenario on three different PC’s and it runs fine in all of them except on mine…

A little background: A few months ago something happened on my pc and the monitor died. I replaced the monitor but as the months pass I was having some freezes and crashes until finally like 3-4 weeks ago my pc died. A new motherboard later I was running again. Played the game confident that that may have fixed the game bug, but the bug was still present.

My system:
AMD Athlon XP 3000+, 1G (2x512) of ram. ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128M of ram on an AGP slot. 300W ATX power. Previous an Asus motherboard now a PC Chips.
Possible causes: an AMD vs AGP incompatibility, a processor going bad, bad ram, insufficient power, and bad video card.

I did a memtest on the ram overnight, not a single error. I played with all possible settings on the motherboard and video card, nada. I went to all the pertinent websites for drivers, and forums looking for advice. Nothing works… Went to the ATI forums and everyone seems to be having some time of graphic trouble with artifacts, freezes, crashes etc. A lot of people were jumping boat and swearing that they will never buy another ATI product and so forth. Time to go shopping.

I bought a NVIDIA 7600GT with 512M of ram, and a 500W power supply. Installed and this for sure will solve my problem… wrong again, the same bug... I played with all possible settings on the motherboard and video card, nada. I went to all the pertinent websites for drivers, and forums looking for advice, again. Nothing works… Went to the NVIDIA forums and everyone seems to be having some time of graphic trouble with artifacts, freezes, crashes etc. A lot of people were jumping boat and swearing that they will never buy another NVIDIA product and so forth. Déjà Vu … I am done shopping.

The only thing I have not changed is the RAM and the processor… The ram was tested and it is good. Luckily I found my previous processor, a 2000+. Slower than the 3000+ but it should work. The problem persists. By the way all the other programs work fine even other games like Oblivion runs fine, all but this one. OK, downloaded “3dMark06” and did a test. It passes, even thought that in some parts the frame rate were down almost to ‘0’ (still using the 2000+ processor), shoppy, slow, but did not crash or freeze. What the heck? On my game while the fighters are freezing the frame rates were from 20 to 30…
I decide to decrease the enemy fighters from 30 to 3… still happen! I went to a friendly rebel base, no battle any ware, but when the rebel fighters were nearby, my ship freezes then moves and then freezes again as they fly close to me. On the middle of the battle there was a lot of noise from weapons and explosions, but now I do recall not hearing the annoying noise of the Tie engines… Time to play with the sound. The sound on my motherboard is integrated an “onboard AC97 audio controller”, so was on my previous motherboard.

I replaced on the scenario the Ties for Illumidas fighters, but the problem persist (I did forgot to replace the x-wings). I replaced the engine sounds from the empire and rebel fighters to standard “Earth fighter engines” and THE BUG WAS GONE!!!

Anyway I decided to investigate what makes those SW sounds caused problems while the stock sounds do not. It turns out that the stock sounds are 16bit with a frequency of 44100 while the SW sounds that I was using were 8bit with a frequency of 8000 to 11025. Now how come it works fine in other three different pc’s – 2 pentiums and one an AMD laptop? Also none of the people playing have reported this issue other than slowdowns? Obviously I have a sound driver/hardware conflict or something. Special note: I aded the different sounds on the game after all the scenarios were made. At the time I was ussing my laptop to finish the mods since my regular pc was acting up and it was running fine on the laptop.

Instead of going again into another quest to solve the sound I went the easy sure way to fix this: I converted the sounds into “16bit with a frequency of 44100” just like the stock sounds and problem solved! So for the benefit of those who may have this problem I will have the “fixed “sounds included on Multiverse 3.

I am sure that after reading this a smart *** is going to tell me how simple it was to diagnose…
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  #52  
Old March 16th, 2008, 04:18 PM

rstaats10 rstaats10 is offline
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Default Re: Multiverse Mod

Wow I never would have guessed the Wav files were to blame. I believe that sound drivers are usually updated from your pc manufacturer website. Did you update that as well? I notice my problems with slowdowns occur when I have too many ships or too many weapons effects firing. I always thought it was a game engine "overload" problem. If I had the source code for SF my brother said he would look into helping me improving the SF exe files. I don't think I would be able to get the source code for that game.

My pc has the nvidia 7600 Gt as well and it plays oblivion just fine as well as other games. I will check my sound files as you have mentioned above Campeador. Thanks for the insight on this.

On another topic Campeador: Have you used Doga before? I have a fighter attachment to show you what I made. it's easy and quick. It took a few minutes to make this one.
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File Type: bmp 588885-Render of F-302 doga6.BMP (225.1 KB, 103 views)
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  #53  
Old March 17th, 2008, 02:42 PM
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Default Re: Multiverse Mod

Campeador I had this sound problem too.
But for me the fix was to download and replace the campaign files again. Did you change the sound files in the Multiverse campaign 2 now?
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  #54  
Old March 17th, 2008, 03:54 PM

Campeador Campeador is offline
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Default Re: Multiverse Mod

Q, there are no sound files on Multiverse 2 but music files, and nothing was change on the music. The music files are not a problem. The issue for me was the sounds on the 'Sound' folder inside the 'Music' folder of 'Multiverse_Music-1'. 'Multiverse_Music-2' only contains music.
But for Multiverse 2 you were supposed to use the music and sounds of 'Multiverse_Music-1'and 'Multiverse_Music-2'.
On Multiverse 3 you will use all of them in addition of 'Multiverse_Music-3' (not yet released).

To answer rstaats10, I did have the latest sound drivers from the motherboard manufacturer even thought their latest is an 05. Apart of my mod the slow downs on this game seems to be normal, I get the same in all pc's. For example every time there is a nebula or asteroids in front of you the game slows down a little. Naturally this is depending on the power of your pc, the stronger the pc the less noticeable. On my mod all this is far more pronounced since I am always pushing the boundaries of this game trying to create the biggest battles possible
About Doga, no I have not used it before. Your ships look cool, and if the polygons count is small then it will be ideal for this game. I will look into it as time permits.
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  #55  
Old March 18th, 2008, 03:25 AM

rstaats10 rstaats10 is offline
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Default Re: Multiverse Mod

Campeador I found something to help prevent slowdown when I have lots of fighters (about 20 or more fighters) firing their weps. I took the effects bitmap of a torpedo bitmap and reduced it by 50% to 128 x 128 with no real noticable game difference in quality. By doing this my wep effects were firing much better. There was no slowdown as there was previously when I had the effects file at 256 x 256. It was as if the fighters were on "steroids" or something.

Another thing I try to do is keep the texture images sizes down to 256 x 256 for fighters and most ships for the most part. I do have some higher 512 x 512 for ships and what not. I noticed a lot of the fighters in multiverse have texture size 512 x 512. Try it out and reduce it down to 256 x 256 and see what you think. It will save memory use in the game.

Something else I want to share with you that I stumbled upon is that you can use jpg instead of bitmap for landscapes and portrait images. Just reference the images in the files as jpg instead of bmp. Big-time savings on file sizes. You may not what to mess with this now since it would take too much time to convert but in the future it is good to know.
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  #56  
Old March 18th, 2008, 05:17 PM

Campeador Campeador is offline
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Default Re: Multiverse Mod

rstaats10, I am glad that you are finding new ways to increase performance on the game. Since you mention the jpg size the last time I have been experimenting with it and like you said no real noticeable game difference in quality. On the next mod the 512 x 512 skin textures of the ships will be reduced to 256 x 256 except for one or two that benefit from the higher resolution like the Arcadia (the main star of the story).
On my mod I do not mind changing anything but with the original game I try not to mess with what is already there since after all this time is well proven to work. But if reducing the effects bitmaps of the torpedoes improves the game so dramatically I will look into it.
I am not that concern about landscapes and portraits since the game stops when those are on the screen. My may concern is game play. I never thought about converting the bitmaps into jpg, I was pretty much following what was there on the original game, but you are right making this changes would have save a great deal of space on the hard drive, even thought the download will not be reduced more than what it is since both bmp and jpg graphic files do compress tremendously. You are also correct about making changes now in the middle of the series. It is an easy way to have a mess on my hands.
Changing ships skin size is easy and can be exchange in any of the campaigns on the fly without any problems since there are no changes on the code. The bitmap files is a different story since I have to change the graphic name calling from bmp to jpg and I want to use the same format from campaign one to the last and I do not want to go back and edit the first two campaigns. But on the next mod I will implement a few.

"It was as if the fighters were on "steroids" or something." mmm... that means that I can have even more fighters... I did have a scenario with over 100 capital ships but stretched over a long period of time, but so far my record is 66 fighters (not counting the ones on capital ships) appearing between 20 tics of time (that is that is like having all of them at once on the screen) on a scenario (Multiverse 2), ... mmm... Now if I can have more fighters than that run stable on my Athlon 2000+ (1.67GHz), mmm... the mayhem I can create!
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  #57  
Old March 19th, 2008, 04:48 PM

Baron Munchausen Baron Munchausen is offline
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Default Re: Multiverse Mod

That's exactly the problem I was having. Here I thought it was simply that my system was not powerful enough to handle so many fighters and bitmap effects at once. But it did work when I turned off the sound. Interesting that a 'mix' of 16-bit and 8-bit sound would have such a weird effect. I'll make sure to download the updated versions of all of the mods now.
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  #58  
Old March 19th, 2008, 09:58 PM

rstaats10 rstaats10 is offline
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Default Re: Multiverse Mod

I have converted the Multiverse sounds to 16 bit 1(mono) 44kHz PCM. That was the exact format for the sounds in SF stock game. I have provided an attachment so if you want to download you can. I hope you don't mind me providing this Campeador since I did it for myself and thought I should share it with all. I can't wait to try out the Multiverse Mod again.
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File Type: zip 589720-Multiverse Sounds Update to 16 bit.zip (442.8 KB, 72 views)
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  #59  
Old March 20th, 2008, 11:45 AM

Campeador Campeador is offline
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Default Re: Multiverse Mod

Thanks rstaats10, sorry for being so slow and not doing this sooner. Anyway I also posted the sounds on the Starfury: Data/Campaigns.
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  #60  
Old March 26th, 2008, 12:27 AM

Fizar Fizar is offline
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Default Re: Multiverse Mod

@Campeador,

I've been playing/modding SF for years. Mostly tweaking the original campaigns to my liking. I recently downloaded your mods and began playing them. I am now 3 missions into Multiverse1 and now I am inspired to create a more serious mod as opposed to just tweaking.

I haven't done more than small adjustments to the files, no adding of ships, no mission additions, groups, etc... Would you be up to answering some questions, providing a more indepth modding guide, or just advising on some of the pitfalls and inevitable mistakes I'm likely to run into?
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