Game crashes on startup (Windows 10)

Windows support forum for Eschalon: Book III
Malpercian
Pledge
Posts: 2
Joined: October 19th, 2017, 10:30 pm

Game crashes on startup (Windows 10)

Post by Malpercian » October 19th, 2017, 10:46 pm

When I open the program, a small window appears for a fraction of a second and disappears; nothing else happens. I've tried different compatibility modes, but it makes no difference. I'm using Steam by the way. I was able to play books 1 and 2 after changing the compatibility mode to Windows XP SP3, but no such luck with book 3.

User avatar
BasiliskWrangler
Site Admin
Posts: 3758
Joined: July 6th, 2006, 10:31 am
Location: The Grid
Contact:

Re: Game crashes on startup (Windows 10)

Post by BasiliskWrangler » October 20th, 2017, 6:49 am

Book 3's engine is essentially identical to Book 2, so I don't think it is a compatibility issue.

I wonder if you could find where Steam installed the game, and run the .exe as "Administrator". It may be having a problem building the save-game folders or creating the initial .ini file.

If you can find where there game is saved (usually Users/YourName/AppData, I think), maybe it's already made an .ini file, in which case you could manually edit that file to try using OpenGL or a different sound driver on startup. Maybe it's choking on the default driver selection.
See my ramblings and keep up with the latest news on Twitter & Facebook.

User avatar
CrazyBernie
Captain Magnate
Captain Magnate
Posts: 1427
Joined: November 29th, 2007, 1:11 pm

Re: Game crashes on startup (Windows 10)

Post by CrazyBernie » October 20th, 2017, 5:25 pm

FWIW, I'm having the same/similar problem on two seperate Windows 10 machines.

Here's what happens:

1. Install through Steam.
2. Launch Game (I set it to Windowed, everything else default, though I did play with the settings to no avail).
3. Create character (Lewis the Fighter, of course), use "house rules."
4. Watch/Don't watch intro
5. Walk around.
6. Quicksave.
7. Quickload- game crashes.
8. Any further attemp to launch crashes (the launcher loads but the game borks).
9. Reboot computer.
10. Launch game.
11. Load game.
12. Walk around.
13. Save game to slot 2
14. Load game from slot 2 - crash!
15. All further attempts to launch causes the game to crash until a reboot is performed.

I noticed that the crash leaves behind a "tmp" folder in the savegame directory that's inaccessable and disappears upon reboot. I also tried relocating the saves to the eschalon game folder but yeilded the same results. Using admin credentials makes no difference to the issue, and if I keep playing around with deleting the config and reloading I eventually get an access violation error when launching the game.

This is running Windows 10 build 16299 aka the Fall Creators Update... yay!

User avatar
BasiliskWrangler
Site Admin
Posts: 3758
Joined: July 6th, 2006, 10:31 am
Location: The Grid
Contact:

Re: Game crashes on startup (Windows 10)

Post by BasiliskWrangler » October 20th, 2017, 9:43 pm

Hmmm...Bernie, can you run the .exe. as Adminstrator, see if that fixes it? (EDIT) Oh, sorry I misses the part where you said you tried it.

Honestly, I do not have a Windows 10 machine in the office! :oops: I run Windows 8.1 and a Linux distro for all my development. I will probably get a copy of Windows 10 to test the new game on, sometime soon.

I could offer a standard, non-Steam version if someone wants to give it a try on Windows 10.
See my ramblings and keep up with the latest news on Twitter & Facebook.

Malpercian
Pledge
Posts: 2
Joined: October 19th, 2017, 10:30 pm

Re: Game crashes on startup (Windows 10)

Post by Malpercian » October 21st, 2017, 7:44 am

I know where the files were installed. I tried running the .exe file as administrator, but nothing changed. I don't think an .ini file was created. Is there another way to switch to openGL?

User avatar
BasiliskWrangler
Site Admin
Posts: 3758
Joined: July 6th, 2006, 10:31 am
Location: The Grid
Contact:

Re: Game crashes on startup (Windows 10)

Post by BasiliskWrangler » October 21st, 2017, 2:09 pm

Malpercian wrote:
October 21st, 2017, 7:44 am
I know where the files were installed. I tried running the .exe file as administrator, but nothing changed. I don't think an .ini file was created. Is there another way to switch to openGL?
Um, no it's going to default for DirectX on a Windows machine unless it finds a OpenGL flag in the .ini, but I honestly don't think that is the problem. It just sounds like it could be some kind of Windows 10 security issue- like Windows 10 is preventing this "unauthorized" program from writing files. Our best bet would be to somehow request that Windows 10 not police the Eschalon binary so strictly.

< scratches head >

For those of you late to the party, the problem with fixing this internally is: Eschalon was written in BlitzMax, which was abandoned by the developer a few years ago. Actually it is open source now, but the only updates to it have been very minor bug fixes. Furthermore, Eschalon uses a few 3rd party code tidbits, which may be impossible to locate anymore (which means re-writing some functions from scratch to get it to compile). We now use Unity exclusively in the studio, and no longer have any machine with a proper BlitzMax installation on it.

From here on out, we may be looking at just getting these games to hobble along with band-aids. Yes, I acknowledge the calls to open source Eschalon but that is another long conversation with some legal twists, and I am not ready to address that yet.
See my ramblings and keep up with the latest news on Twitter & Facebook.

User avatar
CrazyBernie
Captain Magnate
Captain Magnate
Posts: 1427
Joined: November 29th, 2007, 1:11 pm

Re: Game crashes on startup (Windows 10)

Post by CrazyBernie » October 21st, 2017, 2:40 pm

You should look at virtualization... build a single machine and pass your video cards through. One workstation to rule them all... :twisted:

You can always sign up for the Windows 10 insider program to get the latest builds for free. There's also that workaround for upgrading by using the accessibility option... I'm sure it would even be legit based on development reasons.

The eb3.cfg gets dumped into the %APPDATA%\Basilisk Games\Book 3 Saved Games\ folder along with the save slots. If you delete it it'll act like a new install but that tmp folder seems to prevent it from doing anything else.

I'd be happy to test out a non-Steam version. I was actually looking at the GOG version, since I have GOG account as well.

But maybe recompiling it on a Win10 machine would make a difference? Not really sure how that older engine would handle it. *edit* I guess not, if you have to rewrite code.

User avatar
BasiliskWrangler
Site Admin
Posts: 3758
Joined: July 6th, 2006, 10:31 am
Location: The Grid
Contact:

Re: Game crashes on startup (Windows 10)

Post by BasiliskWrangler » October 21st, 2017, 3:25 pm

CrazyBernie wrote:
October 21st, 2017, 2:40 pm
The eb3.cfg gets dumped into the %APPDATA%\Basilisk Games\Book 3 Saved Games\ folder along with the save slots. If you delete it it'll act like a new install but that tmp folder seems to prevent it from doing anything else.
So the way it works is, when you play your game, Eschalon writes all map & quest changes into the temp folder...that folder becomes your current play data, and then the contents of /temp gets copied over into the "slots" folders when you ask for a formal save.

The tmp folder should AWAYS be empty when the game starts. Or, it shouldn't be there at all.

If Eschalon finds an existing temp folder at start-up, it will attempt to nuke it, then remake it, to ensure it's empty. Games are loaded by copying the selected slot back over to the temp folder, which is used until the player requests that it is saved back into a "permanent" slot.

If it's having read/write issues with the temp folder, then yes, the game is going to have functionality issues.
CrazyBernie wrote:I noticed that the crash leaves behind a "tmp" folder in the savegame directory that's inaccessible and disappears upon reboot.
This is definitely our problem.
See my ramblings and keep up with the latest news on Twitter & Facebook.

User avatar
SpottedShroom
Captain Magnate
Captain Magnate
Posts: 1354
Joined: June 4th, 2010, 6:18 pm

Re: Game crashes on startup (Windows 10)

Post by SpottedShroom » October 21st, 2017, 5:42 pm

Yes, I acknowledge the calls to open source Eschalon but that is another long conversation with some legal twists, and I am not ready to address that yet.
Acknowledgement!

User avatar
blatherbeard
Officer [Silver Rank]
Officer [Silver Rank]
Posts: 346
Joined: July 20th, 2011, 5:35 pm

Re: Game crashes on startup (Windows 10)

Post by blatherbeard » October 22nd, 2017, 5:34 pm

Its always windows 10s fault.

im gonna sound like a win xp holdout here but ill be damned if they pry win 7 ultamate out of my cold. dead. hands.

ha ha
The armies joined in a bloody battle on this fine day, then storm clouds broke, and it rained.

So they all went home.---Story knots within blatherbeards Beard.

User avatar
CrazyBernie
Captain Magnate
Captain Magnate
Posts: 1427
Joined: November 29th, 2007, 1:11 pm

Re: Game crashes on startup (Windows 10)

Post by CrazyBernie » October 22nd, 2017, 7:12 pm

**** FURTHER TESTING ****

Soooo... I downloaded the full version demo thingy (that's a technical term, of course). Got the same results, but further tinkering yielded some interesting observations.

It does NOT appear to be a function of saving that locks out the tmp folder. I started the game up, and the tmp folder was created, and I was able to access the folder. I saved the game, as was still able to access the tmp folder. When I loaded the game, *thats* when the tmp folder gets locked out. Upon restarting, I loaded the game fine, but instead of saving I tried loading again - and *crash* *lockout* So something is hosing the directory when the game loads/accesses/changes the data in the tmp folder a second time.

Fun times, right?
blatherbeard wrote:
October 22nd, 2017, 5:34 pm
Its always windows 10s fault.

im gonna sound like a win xp holdout here but ill be damned if they pry win 7 ultamate out of my cold. dead. hands.

ha ha
I've got a Compaq Pentium 133 laptop floating around somewhere with a copy of DOS 7.1 (scraped out of Windows 98) running on it... I'll give you a good deal on it... it runs Magic Carpet like a champ. :mrgreen:

User avatar
BasiliskWrangler
Site Admin
Posts: 3758
Joined: July 6th, 2006, 10:31 am
Location: The Grid
Contact:

Re: Game crashes on startup (Windows 10)

Post by BasiliskWrangler » October 22nd, 2017, 7:32 pm

Well a quick Google search on "Windows 10 Steam read write error" reveals several recent posts:

Google search results


Anyone want to glance through these and see if any work?
See my ramblings and keep up with the latest news on Twitter & Facebook.

User avatar
SpottedShroom
Captain Magnate
Captain Magnate
Posts: 1354
Joined: June 4th, 2010, 6:18 pm

Re: Game crashes on startup (Windows 10)

Post by SpottedShroom » October 23rd, 2017, 2:57 pm

I've been trying to replicate this with the non-Steam stand-alone version and haven't been able to. I installed Book III, created a new character, saved the game, and exited. Then I restarted the game and loaded the save twice. No crashes or anything unusual. Am I missing something, or is this only affecting the Steam version?

User avatar
CrazyBernie
Captain Magnate
Captain Magnate
Posts: 1427
Joined: November 29th, 2007, 1:11 pm

Re: Game crashes on startup (Windows 10)

Post by CrazyBernie » October 24th, 2017, 11:30 am

Well, I got it to work when I installed it on my D: drive and pointed the saves to the game folder.... I'm still messing around with it though. It happens regardless of whether or not its the steam or non-steam version in my case.

User avatar
SpottedShroom
Captain Magnate
Captain Magnate
Posts: 1354
Joined: June 4th, 2010, 6:18 pm

Re: Game crashes on startup (Windows 10)

Post by SpottedShroom » October 24th, 2017, 12:10 pm

If someone can give me a step-by-step to replicate the issue with a non-Steam version, I can probably work out what's going wrong.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest