An Update! An Update!

Hi everyone,

First of all I’d like to say thanks for the many kind comments, emails, Facebook messages and so on. I appreciate your kindness and interest a great deal, and it’s made this situation a lot easier.

As a lot of people suggested, I took a day off. In fact I was going to work, but then I realized I was close to finishing Borderlands and decided to do that instead. It was fun. What an excellent game – but more about that another time.

I feel a little more relaxed than before. For a while, I was starting to behave as if every creative project of mine somehow depended on Phenomenon 32. But they don’t. Yes, I want the game out of the way before launching Commentarium.net, relaunching Bob the Spider (into space), editing my film or writing my book. But then, the game is finished; it’s not like I need to make levels or record more audio.

So what now? Well, today I did figure out a way of redoing the save system so it isn’t affected by the crashes (which I can’t fix). It’s not as simple as using Construct’s built-in system, but it can be done. And I will begin implementing it tomorrow. Then I’ll release the game – probably as version 0.9, as Evan suggested.

And then I will get back to telling stories and creating fun things. I hope that, in the end, the stories are what people enjoy about my work; and that those who enjoy my computer games will also enjoy the other stories I have to tell. There’s so much that’s been building up in the last year that I’d love to get out: short stories, podcasts, videos, essays…

Despite a hellish January, I hope 2010 will be a hugely creative year – for all of us.

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9 Comments

  1. Old Man Bill

     /  February 3, 2010

    I’m glad you’re feeling better. It’s almost worth having nearly broken my hand. Ow ow ow ow ow.

    In some form or other, I’d love to see what’s become of the desert wanderer I sent off to Oneiropolis. I’m sure there’s something special about him. If anyone can resist the influence of Urizen, it’ll be him.

  2. Dojutrek

     /  February 3, 2010

    Well, that is good news. The save system update will be pretty helpful.

    Another point of good news, I’ve been toying with the compatibility settings and I think I’ve found a way to fix the crash problems. My initial testing with the “Windows 2000” compatibility increased the stability somewhat, but it tipped me off that something with Windows must be causing the crashes.

    I quickly started testing various other compatibility settings and have found “Windows NT (Service Pack 5)” to be the most stable. I quickly tested this and breezed through the starting areas with no crashes at all, but it might just be dumb luck. So I’ll keep you apprised on the testing.

  3. Dojutrek

     /  February 3, 2010

    Alright, it seems changing the Compatibility to the above actually did some good. I watched the entire “Opening Data Burst” and was able to start a new game without any problems. I’m still on the fence about if it will work through the entire game, but it’s definitely more stable then before.

    I did notice some other game-breaking bugs however. The “Workshop III” has some issues when applying upgrades, as it shoots up from 1/5th to 4/5ths with a single upgrade and if it goes beyond the counter resets it to base level. This goes for the initial two upgrades, but I don’t know about the rest as I haven’t acquired them yet.

    Also the “Main menu” Load screen doesn’t work at all. That isn’t as bad as it seems, as one can start a new game and go load from there.

    Otherwise, it seems the Crashing issue has been reduced on my machine. I hope this has helped anyone else having the same problems.

  4. I E-mailed you about this, but I get an unresponsive screen when the intro finishes. I think it’s a map but it responds to no keypresses or mouse input other than displaying the rotating, square cursor.

    It mocks me.

  5. NT mode doesn’t help, in my case.

  6. Dojutrek

     /  February 3, 2010

    What OS are you running? Personally, I’m running Windows XP (SP2) and the Compatibility swap is quite effective.

  7. Glad to see you’re feeling better, Jonas. Rest from work does a man good.

    Dojutrek seems to be on to something. I myself am running Vista, and I haven’t had a terrible number of problems; just runs a bit slow when loading the cutscenes, and for some reason nothing really appears on the map, though if I click in just the right spot, I can go to the next area. I’ve also had two instances of spawning inside terrain and thus having to leave the game.

  8. Dojutrek

     /  February 3, 2010

    Wolfgang, that sounds like a Graphical issue. Like the game itself isn’t being allowed to process fully. What Graphics Card are you running?

    Also, Vista is notorious for it’s issues. Consider disabling UAC (User Account Control), it sometimes blocks various programs and access rights. You can do this from MSConfig, I’ll post the access to it below.

    Start > Run > MSConfig > Tools > Disable UAC

    Now I don’t know if it will work, but I know that having UAC active causes issues with some games.

    (Sorry, if I sound rather harsh or vague. I’m not as familiar with Windows Vista as XP, but I do know several work-arounds for common issues.)

  9. I myself am running Vista, and I haven’t had a terrible number of problems; just runs a bit slow when loading the cutscenes, and for some reason nothing really appears on the map, though if I click in just the right spot, I can go to the next area. I’ve also had two instances of spawning inside terrain and thus having to leave the game.

    Does your user have admin privileges?
    I’m wondering if Vista is somehow preventing Ph32 from creating new files. That would explain the absence of icons on the map.

    I did notice some other game-breaking bugs however. The “Workshop III” has some issues when applying upgrades, as it shoots up from 1/5th to 4/5ths with a single upgrade and if it goes beyond the counter resets it to base level. This goes for the initial two upgrades, but I don’t know about the rest as I haven’t acquired them yet.

    That is bizarre, especially since there’s no code that should tell it to reset – but I’ll have a look at it. It’s probably something very tiny that accidentally changed before the game was released. I know that the upgrades used to work fine for me.

    Also the “Main menu” Load screen doesn’t work at all. That isn’t as bad as it seems, as one can start a new game and go load from there.

    Now that is VERY strange, but it doesn’t really matter, since the code will be rewritten completely for the new save/load system.