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Old 03-29-2018, 12:23 AM   #1
schlechter pfennig
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Default Possible explanation for CTD when loading a previously saved game

I believe I have discovered a principle cause, if not the primary cause, for the CTD when loading a previously saved game problem. Because of the complexity of the issue, and the lengthy game-loading times required testing this, as well as my inexperience with modeling structures in files, I could really use some help here, both in testing and in teaching.

First, some back story.

I picked up last month on my depth charge noise mod, where I’d left off several years ago. Back then I’d had the mechanics of it working just fine, but the visuals (notably keeping the underwater visible explosion effect coupled with the ‘bubbles’ of the disruption) kept eluding me. I could get one to work but not the other, or vice versa. This time, however, I took a slightly different approach and, much to my surprise (and delight) it worked!

After seeing the forum discussion regarding another modders parallel development, and the problems associated with that (notably CTD loading a saved game) I did multiple tests under multiple scenarios, and was quite pleased to not get a CTD during loading, running or save-and-loading. However . . .

However, I was soon seeing posts stating that others were getting a CTD, and the circumstances behind that. Repeating those circumstances, I was chagrined to encounter the same CTD issue being reported: the game could be saved and loaded without issue . . . as long as no depth charge had been deployed and exploded.

That just didn’t make sense to me. I tore the files apart, restructured them, re-ID-ed them, made multiple paths . . . and nothing worked. I was about to give up, when I happened to (literally) stumble across something: when I’d created, and built, the particles_dc.dat file, I’d basically imported quite a few chunks exported from other files, notably the node and model of the Bold decoys. The node has a linked 3D model, along with a material ID.

The material was still listed under ‘Material Id’, but . . . it was grayed out, and had no name in the name section. I hadn’t exported the actual material/texture (in this case, decoys.tga). I hadn’t thought I’d needed to, assuming (wrongly, as it appears) that as long as a material/texture was defined elsewhere, it just needed to be called up from any other location.

I exported, then imported, the material, made sure the node now showed it properly, then saved it. Enabling the modified version I then ran a test mission (one that had repetitively CTD when loading a saved game after being depth charged), saved it, then reloaded it . . . successfully.

That got me wondering if something similar could be the cause behind other saved games that CTD upon loading, so I started examining GWX Gold (which I’d stopped playing due to the loading saved games CTD issues; I must strongly note that I have no reason to suspect GWX Gold itself, because I play it with a lot of mods) along with the mods I use with that. And I’ve been discovering a lot of .dat files with material issues.

This is where I need help. First off, I really don’t have any experience or knowledge regarding .dat file structures. I can manipulate them to some degree, yes, but I don’t have a great deal of knowledge about them. For instance, I have Rubini’s “LifeBoat&Debris” mod enabled. Examining the LifeBoat&Debris.dat file, I find that chunks (nodes) #33, 50, 65, 107, 124, 138, 155, 171, 187, 203, and 219 have a (greyed-out) Model ID with no material ID associated. Granted, those nodes are also named “Dummy”, but then again they are also ticked as ‘visible’ but with no node positioning given. So is this a problem?

Examining the “GWX 3 Wilhemshafen,St Naz,Schluese and xtra ships V7” rboot’s .dat file, chunks (nodes) #25 and 92 have linked 3D models with greyed-out material ID, because that material is not present in the file. This is the same thing that caused the CTD with the earlier versions of my depth charge noise mod, but does this cause a CTD on loading a saved game, too?

Secondly, it is hugely time-intensive experimenting with variables. It often takes me 6-10 minutes to load a mission, so testing out things can take a long time (for example: creating a mission with a single ship that appears ‘clean’ requires a minimum of three runs --one left alone, one attacked, one attacked and sunk—with each one saved then reloaded). So if more people were willing to concurrently test things out, we might get answers much quicker.

Honestly, I have no idea if I’m just barking up a tree or not, which is why I decided to post this and ask.
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Old 03-29-2018, 01:04 AM   #2
J0313
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Join Date: Nov 2010
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Tell me what you want me to do and I would be glad to help.
I will be recovering from hernia surgery so I will have extra time on my hands.
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Old 03-29-2018, 05:39 AM   #3
HanSolo78
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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For testing units just use blank campaign files and activate them with JSGME.
Then loading takes only a few seconds!
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