Worst framerate i have ever seen

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Psycho-Warrior
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Worst framerate i have ever seen

Postby Psycho-Warrior » Mon Feb 13, 2006 6:05 pm

I bought the game, installed it without problems and began playing the first level. No problems. The framerate was smooth 30-70 fps. Then, however, i got to the second level. Suddenly my framerate drops to 1-10 and the game becomes unplayable.

I quit the game and went to the launcher. I tried playing the game at the 640x860 resolution and with the lowest detail settings. Still my framerate stayed at 1-10 fps.

I also tried pressing Alt+Tab during the game as said in the manual, but it didn't help at all.

My computer meets the recommed system requirements, in fact, it's more powerful than recommed.

2.93 Ghz Intel P4 CPU
1024mb ram
ATI X700 pro 256mb videocard (also overclocked for gaming)
with latest Catalyst drivers (v.6.5)
SB Audigy 4 soundcard

I closed all background programs including firewalls with ctrl+alt+del, but it didn't help.

Please help...i hate playing with this low framerates :P

Edit: The movies and the main menu lag really much too.
Last edited by Psycho-Warrior on Sun Jun 04, 2006 4:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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fb_jpk
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Postby fb_jpk » Mon Feb 13, 2006 9:45 pm

If the movies in main menu are "laggy", try disabling the sound (uncheck the "sounds enabled" in launcher).

If this causes a significant rise in main menu framerate, then the problem may be related to your integrated sound chip drivers. If this is the case, please check if your motherboard manufacturer is offering updates to your sound drivers.

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Postby NikkyD » Tue Feb 14, 2006 8:33 am

try to reboot and start the game with loading mission 2.

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Postby Psycho-Warrior » Tue Feb 14, 2006 4:12 pm

Thanks, i'll try those.

Edit: After disabling the sound my fps went to 70 and the game run very smoothly at all places. I doubt updating the sound drivers will work, (it's a crappy integrated audio system anyway) so i think i'll need to buy a good soundcard soon.

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Postby Psycho-Warrior » Thu Mar 02, 2006 6:43 pm

*BUMP*

I bought a new soundcard, SoundBlaster Audigy SE (it's better than that AC97 anyway) and i still get this problem. Now it seems to happen any time there are enemies on the screen. I tried searching for new drivers from Creative's website but i found none. Disabling EAX and setting the mixing rate to lower doesn't help either. Only disabling the sound completely fixes this...but i don't want to play without sound. It dramatically decreases your playing experience.
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Postby Mr. ShadowStealer » Thu Mar 02, 2006 8:19 pm

Well sometimes when there are multiple enemies to be shown shortly in that place where I'm there may occure some bad fps lag for sometime and that will slowly fade away if I turn my camera to other direction than where the fps dropped.

When all the enemies what will show there are loaded up the fps comes back to its normal values.

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Postby Psycho-Warrior » Sat Mar 04, 2006 8:53 pm

But my fps goes to 1, and it doesn't rise even though i would look elsewhere. Only after the enemies are gone it seems to return to normal, but i usually end up killed because of the framerate.
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Postby Mr. ShadowStealer » Sun Mar 05, 2006 3:25 pm

Well...





PATCH! PAAATTCH COME HERE BOY! =P

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Postby Psycho-Warrior » Tue Mar 07, 2006 11:03 pm

*still bumping*

Help please. I feel like i wasted my money now since i can't return the game to the store anymore. It's really weird- i bought a new soundcard plus new speakers, and they together costed about 140€, and i still cannot play the freakin' game! It appears that creative has NO NEW DRIVERS for SB Audigy SE at their site, so it pisses me off even more.

I tried lowering hardware accleration from dxdiag, but the framerate still goes to 1 when there are enemies on the screen. Only turning off the sound helps, but i wonder why- my speaker settings are alright, the soundcard is installed on a correct PCI slot, it uses the drivers provided with the software, but i still have this same problem all over again.

Edit: Oh yes, i forgot to mention# the AC97 (including it's drivers) are completely removed, so that shouldn't cause problems either.
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Postby fb_joel » Wed Mar 08, 2006 1:52 pm

Ok, so does this happen with every monster? As a quick fix we can probably create a small package that removes monster sounds, and see if that helps.
// Joel, Frozenbyte team

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Postby fb_jpk » Wed Mar 08, 2006 4:58 pm

I doubt that the sound problem would be related to monster sounds only... It's probably something else, so removing the sounds for the monsters alone is unlikely to help...

First, are you sure the fps drop is caused by sounds? Have you tried disabling the sounds and running the game that way more than once? If you have, and every time you have disabled the sounds, you have no problems, then it is most probably the sounds...

Now, why exactly do the sounds cause that bug..

A few things that might be worth trying:
First, change the sound acceleration back to normal from your directx/audio settings.

Open the "Config/options.txt" (under shadowgrounds directory), make sure that you are NOT running the shadowgrounds game or launcher at the same time.

Under the "Video" options group:
- Change the "high_quality_video" value to 0
- Change the "menu_logo_video_enabled" value to 0
- Change the "menu_video_enabled" value to 0
- Change the "video_enabled" value to 0 (to make sure the video codecs are not somehow conflicting with the sounds)

Under the "Sounds" options group:
- Change the "sound_max_hardware_channels" value to 6
- Change the "sound_required_hardware_channels" value to 4
- Change the "sound_software_channels" value to 6
- Change the "sound_speaker_type" value to stereo
- Change the "sound_mixrate" value to 22050
- Change the "sound_use_eax" value to 0
- Finally change "sound_use_hardware" value to 0... now, it should use the software 3D sounds and limit the maximum used sound channels to 6.
- If that does not work, try to set the "sound_use_hardware" back to 1. (So that you'll have hardware accelerated sounds, but limited amount of sound channels.)

If none of the above seem to help, it might be worth a shot to download some alternate versions of the the "fmod.dll" (the sound library used in shadowgrounds) and copy those to shadowgrounds folder (naturally, first making a backup of the original fmod.dll).
Some versions worth a try might be the latest fmod (3.75) as well as versions 3.71 - 3.73. (The version that comes with shadowgrounds is 3.74 if I remember correctly.) Using the other versions of fmod may have no effect whatsoever, but it may be worth the try.

I'll be taking a quick look into the shadowground's sound system within the couple of days to see if I could find out something that might be causing the problem, but I can't guarantee anything.

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Postby Mr. ShadowStealer » Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:52 pm

Have you unchecked the Use EAX box? That might help too. And try to use different speaker type setups though I think that won't change a thing.

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Postby Psycho-Warrior » Thu Mar 09, 2006 8:42 pm

Again, thanks for the help. I'll try those.
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Postby Psycho-Warrior » Thu Mar 09, 2006 9:32 pm

After editing the options.txt, it worked a little better. The framerate no longer dropped to 1, but instead it was 10-20 depending on the amount of enemies on the screen/the amount of sounds used. However, firing with assault rifle dropped my framerate really badly, and when fighting against big enemies the framerate went down to 1 again.

When i was ordered to look out for the APC in the weather station level, the framerate dropped to 1 during the road scene and i couldn't progress further, and i'm sure it wasn't my computer either because i tried to play with minium graphic settings too.

I'll be getting Audigy 4 next week, so we'll see if it could run Shadowgrounds...
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Postby fb_joel » Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:35 pm

Did Audigy4 help? I'm out of ideas. :?
// Joel, Frozenbyte team

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Postby Psycho-Warrior » Tue Apr 04, 2006 8:40 pm

Okaay, sorry for not visiting the forums for a long time, but I've been busy.

Sadly, the Audigy 4 didn't help. I'm pretty sure now that the problem isn't the hardware I'm using. Pretty strange that the sounds seem to cause this.

The movies and menus lag too. :(
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Postby fb_joel » Thu Apr 06, 2006 2:26 pm

We're going to include a new version of the sound library with the Editor/patch. I could send it to you via email before that, so if you want it asap, private message me and I'll send it.

I don't know if it fixes this but it's worth a try.
// Joel, Frozenbyte team

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Postby escapedturkey » Thu Apr 20, 2006 7:29 am

Overclocking your card? Sounds like you might be pushing it too hard or it's over-heating. OC'ing doesn't work great with all games, especially the new games that already push the tech to the limit. Try clocking everything to normal # you might be pushing your hardware beyond spec and the game appears to be designed to play within spec.

After you clock it down to spec, if that doesn't help, try moving your sound card to different slots. Some motherboards are touchy.

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Postby Psycho-Warrior » Sun Jun 04, 2006 4:40 pm

*Bumpy- bump- massive bump*

Yeah, today I noticed that there was a new SG patch released. I installed and happily started the game, but....

....

........IT STILL HAS THE SAME PROBLEM! Enemies on the screen= Framerate goes to 2-5.

...Oh well. Guess I'll have to put the game back to desk once more, and wait for an another patch to come in a year or so...

@ escapedturkey: No, no. Overclocking isn't the problem. No new game has caused me problems because of overclocking. For example, I can run Oblivion at 1280x1024 resolution and all settings maxed out (except view distance and AA) all nicey, without any overheating issues. Oblivion is, so far, the most power-consuming game I have ever played, and yet it doesn't lag even on my mid-range videocard.
The tempature inside the card stays at 40-60 C when playing.

I've tried running SG with the default clock settings as well, but it didn't help either.

And yes, I have the latest drivers for everything (including the soundcard).
Did my money go to waste? :(
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Postby fb_joel » Mon Jun 05, 2006 11:37 am

Damn, I had hoped this problem had gone away...

Well, there are a few things we can try.

First, we must make sure what exactly is the problem. Since this is not a crash, we can't use (afaik) any debug files to identify the problem.

So what we'll do is that you should install the Level Editor and play around with it, like this:

1. Export the template map and play it
2. Add non-shooting enemies to the template map and play it
3. Delete non-shooting enemies and add Brutes to the map and play it
4. Delete Brutes and add Arachnoids to the map and play it.

Take note of the fps in all these (you can write "show_fps" and press TAB and then 1 to enable the counter), and of course let me know how the general experience is.

If the fps drops dramatically with the shooting enemies (both of those types, or only one?), then we know where to look... (Still going to be hard, but at least it's concrete evidence.)

(I sent the Beta Level Editor to you.)
// Joel, Frozenbyte team

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Postby Psycho-Warrior » Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:24 pm

Ooh! Thank you sir. I'll try it out.

I've got Ati Tray Tools installed, so it shows the fps always at the right corner of the screen.
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Postby fb_joel » Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:45 pm

Psycho-Warrior wrote:I've got Ati Tray Tools installed, so it shows the fps always at the right corner of the screen.

After you've tested the things I suggested earlier, you should also test the problematic version _without_ the Ati Tray Tools. It's unlikely that it has any effect but who knows.
// Joel, Frozenbyte team

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Postby Psycho-Warrior » Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:47 pm

Yeah, I've tried it before without having it installed, but it didn't affect the framerate.

How do you test your levels in the editor?
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Postby fb_joel » Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:49 pm

Ok.

Hmm, seems like the current documentation doesn't say a word about exporting maps. Will be fixed within a few days.

For now, load a map and save it, and then use the "Export to game" option under the File menu in the Editor. This pops up a list of missions - choose "mymission1". It is the default mission. Then exit the Editor, launch the Launcher, and activate the mod (it should already be activated). Then just launch the game and choose New Game. It should now load the new mission.
// Joel, Frozenbyte team

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Postby Psycho-Warrior » Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:39 am

Yep, my own mission ran at smooth 40-100 fps even with enemies on the screen.

I also tried the other sample missions that came with the editor, and they ran with no problems as well.

So this only happens in the official campaign of the game.
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