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Just bought the game for PC. Can't play it. Major issues.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:43 am
by DaveKap
Okay there is 1 issue that is keeping me from playing and another issue that's keeping me from testing fixes.

Major issue: The rendering is just plain broken. Something strange is happening where giant chunks of the playfield just won't render. It's like something is in front of my screen blocking the vision of certain pieces, but in giant chunks. If I move my mouse from the left to the right really fast, I can catch my cursor (ship/whatever) for about a second before the camera re-aligns to put the cursor in the center of the screen which, unfortunately, where the "blocking" render breakage is at. Thus, most of the time I can't even see my ship, let alone what to shoot. The best way to describe this is via a screenshot. BTW, I had to take these by launching the game through Steam because if I didn't, it turns out print screen won't take a picture of the game.

The title screen probably isn't supposed to look this bare.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/f ... d=95429629
Should be obvious there's more that's supposed to be on the screen here.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/f ... d=95429623
Managed to snag the cursor for this shot.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/f ... d=95429613
And one more for good measure.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/f ... d=95429609

See what I'm getting at here? Really strange.

Testing issue: I can't skip the introduction of the game. I don't know why you guys are doing this when you're an indie company but please, make the entrance of this game skippable. Gamers (who you should know better than non-indie devs) do not want to see 3 company names before they are able to play their game. This is especially true of PC gamers. Unless it actually takes this long to load up the game, I see no reason for me to sit around for 30 seconds watching the names of companies crawl across my screen. Just let me get to the menu so I can play the game please! Also a problem, I can't play in anything but fullscreen. No options for window mode? What's up with that? Can't really test graphics stuff very easily without a windowed mode.

I'm running on an i7 CPU and a Radeon HD 7850 over Win7 x64.

Re: Just bought the game for PC. Can't play it. Major issues

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:39 pm
by alloplastic
I'm sorry to hear that you're having troubles... and that they're happening on a new/modern PC. I would say that you'd be entitled to a refund if a driver update doesn't fix the issue. Send mail to general@newlifeinteractive.com if you have trouble getting one.

Not to dodge the issue, but my guess is that there might be some subtle incompatibility between your video card and the "HiDef" profile of XNA. I posted a similar issue to the Microsoft App Hub forums, and Shawn Hargreaves ultimately chimed in and said the issue was probably with the video card on the test machine.

It would be interesting to know whether you can run other "HiDef Profile" games on your system. Unfortunately, searching the Web I wasn't able to find a simple test or diagnostic HiDef application -- leastways, not one you wouldn't have to compile yourself.

As for the unskippable title credits... yeah, we've gotten a lot of flak for them. The loading does actually take quite a while (building millions of objects on the heap), so *some* of that time is needed. On the Xbox, even more time is needed and therefore the credits are slowed down even more. And Xbox players are even more angry...

We knew the long credit sequence wasn't ideal, but being an indie effort we were under enough strain just getting the game out that there didn't seem to be the time to do special-case coding for fast PCs. (Though, believe it or not, quite a bit of optimization went into the loading.) Unskippable credits felt like a pretty small issue compared to crashes and gameplay bugs, of which there were many to address. The same could be said for windowed mode. And remapping controls, something else we would have liked to get to.

The word "indie" has many positive connotations, but it also means "strapped for time" to my mind.

So... a post full of excuses. However, if you uncover any more information on the rendering issue, please follow up.

p.s., I hope the reference to "Steam" was a typo. The game isn't supposed to be on Steam. :-)

Thanks again for taking the time to report the issue.

Re: Just bought the game for PC. Can't play it. Major issues

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:57 am
by DaveKap
You say a post full of excuses but I see a very thoughtful, thoroughly informative post! :D Thank you for the reply.

I'll look into the HiDef thing and it's rather funny that something HiDef doesn't work for a modern system. Typical XNA/Microsoft bullshit as usual, I'm not surprised. They're support for PC gaming has always been shady at best. (Just ask anyone who has used GFWL.) I would request a refund sometime later this month if I couldn't get the game working... but I got this via the Gamersgate Indiefort bundle! AKA: I technically got the game for $1. I honestly don't want you to refund $1. ;) Keep it man, more power to the indies and whatnot.

As for the title cards and loading, my only suggestion (since you'd have to leave them in anyway) is that you put a little "loading..." animated whatever in the corner. At least then people would understand that the game is loading and not just uselessly showing off company names. And hey, if you could manage to have the loading complete before the titles were done, that would be a good time to allow skipping the title!

No, Steam isn't a typo. You can actually add whatever programs you want onto the Steam interface. Then, when you launch via Steam, you're given all the features a Steam interface would normally give: access to the in-game interface, screenshot capabilities, friend list stuff, etc. The screenshot functionality is actually fantastic as it not only allows consecutive picture taking but it also allows you to upload the shots to your account's cloud. That's what I was basically linking to here. Your game doesn't need to sell through Steam to take advantage of Steam's features! :)

Anyway, I'll stick around the forum in case you manage to find any ways for me to further test this. Otherwise, I'll just play the game on my laptop. Hey, another reason I shouldn't get a refund. ;) Good luck finding the fix for this problem!

Re: Just bought the game for PC. Can't play it. Major issues

PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:52 pm
by DaveKap
Spam posts aside, I wanted you to know that the latest ATi/AMD drivers fix this issue and I've been enjoying the game!

Re: Just bought the game for PC. Can't play it. Major issues

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:45 pm
by alloplastic
Thanks for following up... I think I've reclaimed the board from the spam-bots, for the moment at least. It's good to hear some validation of our theories/hopes around the HiDef profile, and to have some useful information on the forums.

Thanks again for checking out the game.