Saturday, November 27, 2010

Possible Revelation?

Got my girls upgraded, back into the game, and running some new code that takes my previous "go find the player" starting package a step further.

Decided to give them some combat trials. We headed into Vault 11.

Performance was excellent; they swept and cleared the place in a manner that would've made any Delta Force operator proud.

It got interesting at the end, though. I had moved into the sacrificial chamber, and from the focus on the projector and the general shape of the room; I could smell what was coming, and had moved well out of the line of fire.

Needless to say, the firefight was fairly epic; and involved my expending several hundred caps worth of 40mm grenades.

Anyway. What caught my attention - and necessitated a post - was that about halfway through, I got the 'sound bug' for want of a better term; where firing, reloading, and other "item" sounds just stop playing.

At the end of the fight, both my companions were stuck.

Alas, ED-E had been ravaged like a narcoleptic cheerleader on prom night, so I couldn't see whether it had frozen as well.

Rather than use the wait key, I just left them standing there while I explored the new room. As I did, sounds played - albeit slowly and in a disjointed fashion, rather than the every saved up sound at once that it usually does.

When the sounds had finished catching up... the AI unfroze, and the girls put away their weapons and joined me.

I'd never seen this correlation before, but on deeper consideration, it's all coming together.

The AI freezing, the sounds stopping, the scripts that freeze at random.

Something in the game engine is hanging at random. Once it hangs, any new input it ignored. You can't activate affected NPCs, scripts don't fire, holstering of weapons doesn't work.

And, I'd wager, if it stays fucked long enough, that's when you get the crash. A memory request that goes unheeded or something.

Trouble is, because I lack the software to peep into the executable and see what in the holy hell is going on with the engine, this is all base supposition. Even if it wasn't, hacking the engine itself is way above my pay grade. So, even if I am right... what good does it do us?

Either way, it's good to have them back. Those lesser companions were beginning to cramp my style.


  1. I wonder if this is some sort of audio driver issue? So far I haven't noticed any problems with the sounds on my rig. I know it's boring, but have you tried playing with the music turned off? Since I've highly customized both my Oblivion and FO3 music folders, one of the first things I noticed about this game is that Obsidian has done the music files in a totally different setup.

  2. Well, as soon as I noticed the sound issues, I uninstalled my codecs, then downloaded and installed a current set; without any improvement.

    I suppose it's possible it's my Forceware drivers themselves... but the issue doesn't manifest with any other game - even other iterations of Gamebryo, so I'm really not heavily inclined to believe it's my system, here.

    As for the music, the first thing I do when I install a game is kill the music if at all possible. Game designers have shit taste in music. It's all intended to "heighten the drama" or whatever and is played at 3x the volume it should be. In most games it's so loud I can't hear the damned dialog over it.

    I don't even run the pip-boy radios much in FO3, or at all in NV. They massively increase the frequency of crashes.

  3. "Game designers have shit taste in music."

    For the most part, yes. That's why when possible I've compiled my own soundtracks using some music from other games that I've liked but mostly stuff from movies and my own mp3 collection. I think the music is important to help set the mood and atmosphere, but for that to work it has to be the right music. For FO3 I left the default music and added a lot, but for Oblivion I totally replaced everything because in my opinion that "highly acclaimed" soundtrack sucked to the point of making me want to take a nap. I haven't done much with the NV music yet simply because as I've said the file structure and how the game utilizes the mp3s is totally different this time around so I need to study it a bit more before attempting a full overhaul.

  4. Now that I've run the game for a minute, thought about it and looked at that file structure again, I'm inclined to believe that a lot of those trigger markers you mentioned before also have something to do with triggering different music tracks. Just a hunch.

  5. "I'm inclined to believe that a lot of those trigger markers you mentioned before also have something to do with triggering different music tracks"

    Entirely possible. As I said, when I looked through, a lot of them were tied to audio markers, and such - but truth be told I didn't bother to look and see exactly what sounds they were set to initiate.

  6. I wonder if this might help?:

  7. But I strongly recommend making the system restore point as it advises. It removed my game music entirely, but fortunately the batch file restore option worked so I wouldn't need to do the system restore.

  8. Maybe listening to my crazy ideas isn't always such a good idea.

  9. I would... but...

    "Currently windows XP Sp3 (32 and 64bit) and Windows 7 (32 and 64bit) are supported."

    Sort of excludes my Vista-using ass.

    Reading further, I'm just not convinced it's a codec issue. You'll notice he references directshow problems in other areas - media players and such. None of those, here. I use the directshow filter all the time when watching anime on my PC, and there's never a hitch one.

    It may be worth download a standalone filter; removing my codec pack, and trying it by itself... but I don't know. Even if that does solve the problem - am I really willing to sacrifice my media playing ability to get FONV to crash 5% less often?

  10. Listening to crazy ideas isn't an issue.

    I just refrain from following them - my own crazy ideas included - until I've researched a bit more.