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big_nkrumah

Strange, Chronic CTD Issue

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It seems that after a certain (undefined) period of time, my game decides that I can no longer terraform in my cities. When this first started to develop it would just take forever for a simple act of terraforming to register in the game, but now I cannot change anything. I can load the city I am working on just fine, but if I try to edit the terrain at all, even just dragging a road over a hill, the game will crash. My current frustration is not being able to start work on a new tile because the game wants to suggest that I align the edges and it auto-crashes at the thought.

I have already tried (numerous times) to edit my plugins folder. After simply removing my plugins folder whenever I wanted to terraform and putting it back when I wanted to build, I got fed up and tracked down the files that seemed to be causing the problem. Everything was fine for a few days, until I downloaded some new stuff and the problem returned. I then removed all of the things I had recently downloaded (kept in their own separate folder so as to not get lost among my trusted plugins). This worked, but only for a day or so before the problem came back again. Obviously this indicates that more than one file is causing a problem, but I don't understand how they seem to be selectively crashing my game and not consistently crashing my game.

Could this be a problem that is unrelated to my plugins folder? Is there any precedent for plugins/mods to only affect terraforming? If so, is there a fix? I would like to be able to play my game without having to juggle plugins constantly.

I'm on a Mac if that's relevant, but I don't think it would be for this issue. Also, I use a PC to install all .exe plugins/dependencies and just thumb drive them over to my computer. I would attach pictures, but I can't see how that would help at all.

Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions!

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Are you saying altering the terrain in a brand new city that has never been used and no plugins also causes crashes? The only time I have experienced crashes while terraforming was when a tree mod was removed before removing all the trees plopped with the mod instaled. Although, if I'm understanding correctly, this doesn't exactly match your situation.

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did you try going into the "play options" menu and click off "auto-edge reconciliation" that might solve one CTD issue.

but i think its relevant to know what kind of terrain mod (if any) you are using and which terrain plugins you have (such a cliff/rock mod, water mod etc) sometimes they can conflict and cause CTDs.

also are you using a slope mod?

lastly, have you tried holding (Ctrl) + (Alt) + (Shift) and clicking "God Mode" to regain access to the 'god-mode terraforming tools' ? they disappear once you start a city.

most likely though its a conflict between a terrain mod and a terrain plugin. hope this helped.

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  • Original Poster
  • @ CaptCity

    Yes, it is a brand new city that has never been used, but no, it only crashes if I do have the plugins installed. However, I've been able to eliminate "problem plugins" before and have rid myself of the problem, but it always seems to come back after an unknown period of time.

    @avrelivs

    Well first of all, I should mention that when I say "terraform," I am mostly referring to using the hole digging lots and 1x1 road tiles to edit the landscape. For the most part I use pre-made maps to work with and I don't usually terraform in God mode very much, if at all. However, I did run a series of tests:

    Fresh tile still shuts off if "auto=edge reconciliation" is turned off. Reverting to God Mode also failed (I tried both using 1x1 road tiles and simply flattening a hill) and they both shut down the game). Yes, I am using terrain, water, and slope mods. Terrain is Columbus, slope mod is ENN, and water mod is Hawaiian Holiday by Pegasus. Are there any known problems with these mods? I'm going to do some research on them after I post this but I wanted to get it up in case anyone else had any input.

    Thanks for your help so far!

    Edit/Update: So while turning auto-reconciliation off didn't help with the new tile, it did seem to have an effect on the tile I can get to load. When it didn't work with the new tile I turned it back on again, but I decided to try using God mode with it on and it worked! I can now edit the terrain in any way I wish (for the time being). I still don't understand how this bug seems to be so selective, though.

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    ..i see what your saying...i mean, i could recommend a different slope mod/hole-digger lot, but i think the real problem is the "columbus terrain mod" you might

    (a) be missing a C.P. dependency file...or, (CPT No3/4 terrain textures)

    (b) forgot to remove 2 of the 3 selections (dealing with snow cap levels)

    © unknowingly removed a 'rock' or 'cliff' mod file. (which is why you cannot alter the terrain, because flatting creates cliffs?)

    try upgrading to the "meadowshire terrain mod" its C.P.'s latest work...i think, make sure to get all the dependencies.

    i had a similar problem, in the past, that you are having now. i switched the cliff mod that came with "meadowshire" with a generic rock mod, and it caused CTDs for any tiles that had cliffs (referring to pre-made maps) some tiles (the flatter ones) worked fine but other (hills and mountains) crashed. hope this helped.

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    A large plugin set with incompatibilities could be your problem, but it could also be your hardware set up, especially if you have a large set of plugins.

    Which O/S are you on?

    Are you using the Aspyr version or running the standard version under wine?

    How much RAM do you have as user space after everything is loaded, no programs running?

    How much VRAM (virtual space, swap file space) have you allocated?

    Which graphics processor are you running?  If it has settings for various things, they should all be set to program selected or equivalent.

    As a suggestion, try turning off vicarious loads in the graphics: Cloud, waves, etc.  Set your shadows to medium.

    This is a legacy game, and it is not in love with modern machines.  Sometimes you have to do some coersion.

    Do you have a background anti-visus running, and if so, which one.  Some have been known to snooker this program.

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  • Original Poster
  • @ avrelivs

    I just checked and double checked that I have the terrain mod installed correctly, and I do. I actually don't like Meadowshire in comparison. At any rate, I did switch up the rock texture just in case that was the problem, and I still cannot load a fresh tile without a CTD. However, I have been able to consistently terraform after I go into God mode (and even after I exit God mode). That seems to work until I save the game. After I save, if I don't redo the God mode cheat I will encounter CTD.

    @ A Nonny Moose

    I'm on OSX.5.8 with 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, Intel GMA X3100 with 144MB of VRAM. I have not changed anything hardware related to my computer since I bought it. I'm not one to mess around with any of that. Whatever comes out of the box with the cheapest MacBook circa 2008 is what I've got. I'm running the Aspyr version, don't have any partitions for other operating systems, and am not running anti-virus software.

    I switched all of the graphics settings to what you suggested, and although the game is running smoother than it ever has, I'm still having the issues lined out above. Could it simply be the hardware?

    Thanks for all of your help!

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    Well, your VRAM at 144MB is more than a little on the small side.  Mine, on Linux, is 10GB.  If you have lots of disk, I would consider setting your VRAM up to 4GB at least.  With a lot of plugins, the game will page, and it needs elbow room.  You've probably been getting memory denials.

    With a dual processor, you are a little short on RAM, too.  I prefer 2GB per processor.  I am running an AMD Athlon II X2 dual core, and I upgraded to 4GB for two reasons.  As an old O/S type, I feel that 2GB per processor is required, and with this particular mobo, it I dual my memory, I get a 128-bit fetch which speeds up my operation somewhat.

    My machine is a desk top.  I have visual problems and the tiny screens on most laptops are illegible for me.  I am using a 20-inch LCD monitor.

    I urge you to up your VRAM.  This may alleviate many of your problems.

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  • Original Poster
  • Apparently my VRAM will modify itself if necessary, but there's nothing I can do to increase it manually without purchasing an upgraded card or computer (see: http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1493564).

    I'll continue to play around with this (and see if using the datpacker on my plugins will help at all), but it looks like I'm just going to have to keep removing my plugins folder whenever I'd like to load a new tile or go into God mode whenever I'd like to terraform. I can live with that! But if anyone ever stumbles upon a solution for this, please let me know!

    Thank you very much for all of your help, everyone!

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    ..damn..i thought that would have solved it...my next move would be to take all of the plugins out and start an untouched map to see if its a game-file issue or a computer issue...also where did you get the 'columbus mod'?

    @ANonnyMoose - by VRAM you mean 'virtual memory' right? found in the 'performance options'? my knowledge of computer mechanics is not that great...but if it is, my VRAM is set at 1344MB ....so 144MB does seem pretty low.

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  • Original Poster
  • When I take all of the plugins out it does work, so it's not a gamefile issue. The mod came from the LEX, not any kind of third party site.

    I'm no mechanical genius, either, but from what I gathered in that link above, my VRAM will automatically increase when necessary? Either way, this is apparently something that I cannot change without buying an upgrade, which is not something I'm prepared to do if I can just remove the plugins folder and achieve the same result. :/.

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    Well, it is a plugin issue then.  You can do a binary search on your plugins, putting them in by halves until you find the plugin that is doing the dirty work.  Be on the alert for it being two of them that won't play nice with each other.

    I don't know your O/S but the size of your VRAM is controlled in software, not hardware.  There should be a way to set it to a permanent fixed amount and to turn off the O/S management of it.  Check your O/S documentation.  I've used a lot of operating systems in my time as a computer rat (about 50 years), and I've yet to see one that couldn't be coerced.

    The problem with system controlled VRAM is that most file systems will fragment it and have it scattered all over your disk.  This can slow down your systems general response time, and be really tough on a program that is heavily paged.

    I've done it in several versions of windows, and my current system, Linux, uses one or more small partitions for swap space, which can be set up either at installation time or later, at will.  The last time I had my hands in UNIX, it was the same.

    My system allows me to have multiple desk tops and I can switch between them on keyboard command without distrubing the one I am leaving in any way.  This allows me to run things like the system monitor to see what the other program is doing.  If you can do this on O/S X, you might consider taking a look at what happens to your swap file.

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