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Odd CTD

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  14:28:15  14 September 2010
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{imperialreign}
Звуковой Шаман
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 10/29/2008
Messages: 3075
S'all good - soon as I had removed the addons from the SWO3 install (the mutant/AI/level reskins; installed wpn skins; level details; level musics; etc.) and got it down to "bare-bones" the problem simply disappeared.

I guess simply because of the amount of AI activity in stancia1/sarcophagus, coupled with everything else, the engine just hit a wall.

Kinda amazing, IMHO - we're over 3 years into modding the crap out of SoC, and we're still defining the engine's limitations . . .


. . . then we define how to work around it

Don't get me wrong - my testing isn't stopping . . . now that I've got a solid idea of what's causing the problem, my goal is to figure out some workaround or a means to "patch" the combined mod installs.
  01:10:08  19 January 2013
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Decane
Senior Resident
 

 
On forum: 04/04/2007
Messages: 1705
{imperialreign},

Did you ever discover a fix for this crash? I am getting it in exactly the manner described in this thread: in stancia1 and in the sarcophagus, at random intervals, using SWO 3.1.1 and AAO 1.8.2. If I use only one or the other, the problem disappears. I have tried so many diagnostics that I am close to ripping my hair out.

What kind of system memory stats did your log contain with this crash? I ask because the engine should probably be pumping out some dirty statistics if it is running out of memory. Mine look like this (taken from crash log):

* [win32]: free[2683676 K], reserved[149252 K], committed[1361312 K]
* [ D3D ]: textures[730668 K]
* [x-ray]: crt heap[238896 K], process heap[9116 K], game lua[17285 K], engine lua[326 K], render[0 K]
* [x-ray]: economy: strings[5662 K], smem[28221 K]
* MEMORY USAGE: 250553 K
stack trace:

0023:0040BBD5 XR_3DA.exe, CEnvAmbient::get_rnd_sound_time()
0023:7566206C msvcrt.dll
0023:06239000 xrGame.dll
  00:45:24  9 February 2013
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NatVac
Senior Resident
 

 
On forum: 06/15/2007
Messages: 4286
The game is crashing during CEnvAmbient::get_rnd_sound_time(). It sounds like there is no ambient sound at the time or its parameters are wonky.
  03:12:33  18 March 2013
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{imperialreign}
Звуковой Шаман
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 10/29/2008
Messages: 3075
NatVac - such was my initial assumption, too... though, I thoroughly scoured all the ambient configs I had written out for AAO/DW/SWO3, and could not pin down anything in particular... my next thought was that perhaps a weather section was being called that conflicted with the declared ambient... but I couldn't find anything there, either...
... so, I preceded to process of elimination - SWO3 by itself, without AAO... no problems... vanilla + AAO, no problems... DW + AAO, no problems... SWO3 + AAO and no other addons, no issues again... if I went back to SWO3 + AAO + addons, the problem re-appeared. More often in stancia1/2, but it would occasionally happen anywhere else. Use of -noprecache did reduce the frequency of the CTD, but didn't eliminate it...

The only thing I could pin it down to was an audio-engine error cause by lacked of memory available... SoC runs the ambient audio a little differently than CS/CoP, and *all* the sounds for ambient weather sections are pre-cached (as best I can tell). Where-as in X-Ray 1.5+, the engine will only load weather sounds when each weather section is pulled into memory/rendering.

Suffice it to say, but, I think in combination of the extensive weather builds of SWO3, along with the extensive ambient audio builds for each individual map and weather pattern with AAO1.8, along with all the additional texturing and particle and post-processing effects introduced... I think it's simply a matter of running into a brick-wall within XR engine itself... another "limitation" we've finally hit, lol.
  03:15:56  18 March 2013
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{imperialreign}
Звуковой Шаман
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 10/29/2008
Messages: 3075
Decane - I simply don't remember, man, and I don't have the old crash logs available... it's been quite a while since I've done any stalker modding myself - life has gotten crazy... move across country, and I'm about to move back again...

But, anyhow, I never did figure out a "fix" for the issue... not without possibly re-writing the engine libraries, or modifying the executable to allow for more than just 4GB MEM access. Even then, I'm not 100% sure that would fix the problem. The only thing I can think of is to lighten the load of the mod comibinations, and remove un-necessary, or non-critical mods...
  00:24:49  9 April 2013
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NatVac
Senior Resident
 

 
On forum: 06/15/2007
Messages: 4286
Yeah, it could be a memory issue. The specific form of the error could mean a localized limit, like a fixed maximum number of ambient sounds. Exceeding that doesn't report the error until it tries to get attributes like CEnvAmbient::get_rnd_sound_time(). Or that's just a percentage happenstance, the way the odds on some secrets are higher than on others so you are more likely to get them.

But that's speculation. For now, maybe you can just "stop [...] sending men into that part of the forest to find out what's killing them! You don't need to go there!" For now.
  19:28:56  19 April 2013
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{imperialreign}
Звуковой Шаман
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 10/29/2008
Messages: 3075
Thanks for the further input NatVac, and I agree, too, regarding *avoiding the CNPP for obvious reasons* - which is partly why this "bug" has taken a back-seat... it tends to only occur in the regions of the "end-game," (though with SWO3 installed, I have occasionally run into this on other maps, though rare).

I've given thought to getting back in touch with nandersen regarding the dynamic weather engine, and seeing if there's any way to reduce the amount of pre-loading that goes on with his script; but, I get the feeling this is more a limitation of the engine and it's mechanics, which means there's no "real" fix aside from cutting back (drastically) the number of ambient sound calls used.
  04:49:52  27 April 2013
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NatVac
Senior Resident
 

 
On forum: 06/15/2007
Messages: 4286
Well, I didn't really mean to avoid the CNPP (although that sounds like a good idea in general!), but rather what you indicated with your statement, 'there's no "real" fix aside from cutting back (drastically) the number of ambient sound calls used'.

There's seemingly some maximum exceeded with the current number of sounds. Rather than playing with the current setup and waiting for a crash ("going there" into a known crash risk area), I was thinking more along the lines of reducing the number of ambient sounds to that found in the combination of mods that do work, and slowly increasing from there until you get the crash again.

Then lower the ambient sound count and try again. If it is the likely memory limit rather than a configuration situation, the crashes should stop.

One thought I had: Does the user.ltx sound-related buffers (snd_cache_size, snd_targets) have any influence on this limit?
  16:52:09  5 May 2013
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{imperialreign}
Звуковой Шаман
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 10/29/2008
Messages: 3075
Not that I'm aware of. If I've deduced the audio engine properly, those user accessible values should affect the OAL calls used by the engine - which are actually few and far between, to the best of my knowledge. As well, those shouldn't be too much of a problem with modern hardware, even onboard audio solutions (built into the motherboard). 32 voices (targets, per X-Ray terminology) is standard hardware implementation... cache_size might have some sway on things, but increasing or decreasing this number has never seemed to make any difference in terms of loading time or audio handling by the engine. The engine still attempts to cache sounds at load up (which is why we can run into a CTD if a sound path in any .ltx does not match the actual sound file path in the directory).

From my testing off and on, it's a frustrating CTD to trace down as, aside from a few select locations (i.e. Stancia 1/2), the crash is random and could happen at any time - more often with SWO3 + AAO1.8 as compared to DW + AAO 1.8 or vanilla + AAO ... I've often wondered if the number of NPCs involved on those maps, plus the system playback sounds called per script/config, plus the static level sounds, plus the addition of the weather ambient per the dynamic weather engine is what causes the overload.

I'm still continuing to look further into it, though. If other modders will continue to use my work, along with addition of more scripts calls, larger numbers of NPCs, etc. we'll start seeing the crash more often. It's a shame I can't get into the engine libraries and re-write the OAL calls used to make better use of the open source library. There's a lot available within OAL and EAX that can curb such nonsense and produce a more efficient audio stream through the engine. Besides, if the engine could actually make use of more than just 3-4GB of system memory, we wouldn't have as many out-of-memory errors as we do.

Basically, this is a CTD that just takes some time to readily, consistently reproduce and find a "fix" for. I would personally prefer a real fix instead of a hack&slash work-around. Though, if anyone else runs across a readily reproducible means of encountering this CTD, by all means please inform!!!
  10:17:42  7 October 2013
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Storm Shadow
A machine, a Shadow Machine.
(Resident)

 

 
On forum: 11/14/2007
 

Message edited by:
Storm Shadow
10/07/2013 10:22:29
Messages: 1430
Imp, buddy, pretty much the same thing is happening to me in Reb, which as you know uses both AAO18 and SWO311.
0023:0040D025 XR_3DA.exe, CEnvAmbient::get_rnd_sound_time()
0023:7566206C urlmon.dll
0023:078C1D30 xrGame.dll

I get this error, or errors like it in Stancia, once the blowout timer starts, usaully between 10sec - 2min approx once it starts. Also, I get it after 18sec into the Sarcofag too. I havn't got as far as testing Stancia2.

I have managed to eliminate it from Sarcofag with the following (in weather_indoor.ltx):
[npp_weather_00]:indoor_weather_00
;env_ambient    = ambient_env_NPP
env_ambient    = ambient_env_monolith

You can see that this is not a fix, as such, but it is a working workaround. the Sarcofag looses it's unique sound theme in favour of the Monolith Control Room's sound theme.

I have managed to reduce (but not eliminate) it in Stancia with the following (in stancia_env_ambient.ltx):
[ambient_env_pre_storm_st1]:ambient_env_pre_storm		;pre storm ambient
sound_period			= 5, 10 
sound_dist			= 40, 55
sounds				= ambient\tuman\fog_ambient_gunfire_1;,ambient\tuman\fog_ambient_gunfire_2
effect_period			= 10, 25
effects				= ae0_effect_0;,ae0_effect_1,ae0_effect_6,ae0_effect_7,ae0_effect_9,ae0_effect_11

in this fashion for all ambient_env sections. This severally chokes the sound theme, and still dosn't eliminate the problem.*

Neither of these are ideal solutions, but it's the best I've got so far. I've tried all manor of upgraded binaries, trying to alloc more addressable RAM to the engine, thinking this might be the problem, but no success. I've updated to v1.0006, which initially reduced the problem, but that may've been a fluke, as it's not repeatable.

What else have you come up with bro?

Shad

* for the sake of berivity, I cut off the end of this code after the 1st example of the comment. It effectively reduces it from 83 avail sounds down to 1, and from 6 effects down to 1.
 
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