Temporarily Out of Business

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Offline Bullethead

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Temporarily Out of Business
« on: December 03, 2018, 06:25 AM »
Since 1.9 came out, I haven't been able to play PC.  What happens about 90% of the time is that my screen goes totally black (like my monitor is turned off) within a few minutes of opening an existing or starting a new park.  When this happens, the only recourse is a hard reboot.   I've updated my vid driver twice since 1.9 came out and it hasn't helped.  I only have this problem with PC, none of my other graphics-intensive games.

Anyway, after going through this about a dozen times, I've given up until the next update.  I've posted this problem in bug reports, in tech support, and have started a ticket directly at Frontier.  Ain't heard anything about it yet, so I'm dubious the next update will help.  But I'll try it anyway.  However, until this is resolved, I'm out of the PC business.
-Bullethead
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Offline Salad Fries

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Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2018, 07:04 AM »
Oh man, Im sorry to hear :( Hopefully they fix the bug soon! I've seen a few people mention issues with the update

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Offline Nemmie

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Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2018, 11:29 AM »
Sorry to hear that buddy.
Let's hope the devs get to the bottom of it soon. In the meantime............beer!

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Offline shyguy

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Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2018, 03:46 PM »
This really infuriates me with today's business structure. Companies release an unfinished game, get lots our our hard-earned money, and then continue to add to it and eventually break it to the point that it's barely playable any more. And the fact that I haven't heard anyone from Frontier acknowledge this problem, makes things so much worse. Many of us have 1000s of hours devoted to our "dream parks", just to discover that they are now all broken and unplayable. This is simply an example of a company that is only interested in making as much money as they can and as quickly as possible. Frontier's quality control and testing department is pathetic, as it's so obvious that each update is released without enough testing. Every update should go through a battery of tests, using empty maps, small, medium, and especially large parks to make sure all works well under all conditions. I find this all unacceptable, and I will not invest another penny in this game until they fix this mess. Yes, I can still build small parks with little problem, and I can break up my big parks into smaller maps, but that just brings back memories of all the problems with RCT3, and for a modern game like Planet Coaster, I expect more.
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Offline SHADOW

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Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2018, 04:14 PM »
This really infuriates me with today's business structure. Companies release an unfinished game, get lots our our hard-earned money, and then continue to add to it and eventually break it to the point that it's barely playable any more. And the fact that I haven't heard anyone from Frontier acknowledge this problem, makes things so much worse. Many of us have 1000s of hours devoted to our "dream parks", just to discover that they are now all broken and unplayable. This is simply an example of a company that is only interested in making as much money as they can and as quickly as possible. Frontier's quality control and testing department is pathetic, as it's so obvious that each update is released without enough testing. Every update should go through a battery of tests, using empty maps, small, medium, and especially large parks to make sure all works well under all conditions. I find this all unacceptable, and I will not invest another penny in this game until they fix this mess. Yes, I can still build small parks with little problem, and I can break up my big parks into smaller maps, but that just brings back memories of all the problems with RCT3, and for a modern game like Planet Coaster, I expect more.

I've been saying this for months and all I got was labeled as a troll by most all of the community...
« Last Edit: December 03, 2018, 04:17 PM by SHADOW »
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Offline Redhair

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Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2018, 04:47 PM »
Though I have other frustrations, I consider this game also unplayable in this state (send all bug reports, so Frontier should know). As a "die-hard" fan this is a real serious issue, hopefully all fixes come soon. But it is alreay taking much longer than expected... Glad my park still has 20 - 30 FPS (we all know the problem) but before the update it was 50 - 60...
Frontier has to fix a lot of damage this update. For now, I wait (as stated in more posts) cause it's consuming my patience and gives frustration, instead of relaxation...

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Offline Fisherman

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Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2018, 07:35 PM »
Well... Sam just answered Shadow on Twitter a while ago acknowledging that they are working on it. Sooo... I'm just hoping they don't break it worse or break something else.

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Offline Bullethead

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Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2018, 08:21 PM »
@Shyguy:  As a recovering game-dev, I don't consider PC "unfinished" in the technical sense.  Now, if you want to add to or endorse my own list of thing I wish it had, I probably wouldn't disagree.  Still, up until the 1.9 update, I had no complaints (although a few gripes that I could mostly work around).  But now, I simply can't play it due to the risk to my system.   This is a different sort of problem than most are having so I'm sure it's on my end somewhere.  And FWIW, since I opened a ticket at the Frontier support site, I've been getting responses.  No resolution yet but at least I know they're working on it.

@Shadow:  You've said many other things, too, and your "labeling" is much deserved IMHO.  But I forget, I'm on your "ignore list" for pointing out this obvious fact so you can't see this anyway.  Oh well, cutting off your nose to spite your face is your whole raison d'être so keep at it and see what it gets you.

@Redhair:  What's unplayable about 20-30 FPS?  That's still faster than the human eye can notice.  I used to play a DOS online MMO combat flightsim (Air Warrior) over a 2400 baud dial-up connection in the early 90s and we didn't complain until we got below 10 FPS, which is the point where low FPS becomes noticeable enough that you can't shoot down somebody else in a realtime dogfight when both planes are doing 300 knots.

@Fisherman:  Strange that Shadow isn't on Sam's "ignore list".
-Bullethead
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Offline Fisherman

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Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2018, 08:42 PM »
How did this turn into a Shadow-bashing thing? We're all on the same side with this, aren't we?  >:(

We all want the game fixed regardless of differing opinions on other things

In any case, the devs replied to you on the forums, Bullethead.  So let's hope for the best.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2018, 08:45 PM by Fisherman »

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Offline shyguy

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Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2018, 09:59 PM »
Bullethead,
As long as Frontier continues to implement new features, the game is unfinished. The big problem I see here is that they added many things later into the game that they initially didn't plan for. This has resulted time and time again in breaking parts of the game (which yes, many have been fixed) but more severe, has degraded the playability of the game, making it more and more sluggish. This last update created a MAJOR problem this time. Yes, they are working on fixing it, and with hope, they will, or at least make it better than it is now. But for many people, the game is unplayable, and it was approaching that status for many even before this latest update. Planet Coaster should still be labeled a beta until ALL the features have been added and are all working well. If people want to buy a beta, then they do at their own risk and know what they are getting into. But Planet Coaster was launched as "finished" two years ago, when it was not anywhere near finished. It was still a Beta as far as I am concerned, and instead of spending time creating a dozen DLC packs, they should have spent their time optimizing, adding all the final features, and making it as bug free as possible. At that point, call it finished, and THEN, release the DLC packs, which should only be assets that can't do any harm to the core engine.

Instead, what we have is a game that many, many people have bought, plus they've bought all the add-ons, and now find this game too broken to play, or too taxing on their computers, even if this latest bug gets squashed. It may not be a huge deal to those who just just play the campaigns, or just build ride blueprints, or small parks that take them a month or two to finish. But some of us have parks that we've spent years building, and now find impossible to finish.

When the game works, it's a joy to behold. But when it doesn't, the frustrations it causes are beyond aggravating.
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Offline Redhair

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Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2018, 11:44 PM »
@Bullethead; meant the part about the fps like: "glad I'm not having that issue also" :)

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Offline corkscrewloop

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Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2018, 05:43 AM »
Since 1.9 came out, I haven't been able to play PC.  What happens about 90% of the time is that my screen goes totally black (like my monitor is turned off) within a few minutes of opening an existing or starting a new park.  When this happens, the only recourse is a hard reboot.   I've updated my vid driver twice since 1.9 came out and it hasn't ...

Dont know if it helps, but maybe check your Ram. The problem you mention could happen when addressing a section in ram which is defective. There are tools which can scan the ram during boot process without crashing and generating a report. Dont know if its the reason, but at least its worth a try?
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Offline Bullethead

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Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2018, 08:21 AM »
As long as Frontier continues to implement new features, the game is unfinished. The big problem I see here is that they added many things later into the game that they initially didn't plan for. This has resulted time and time again in breaking parts of the game (which yes, many have been fixed) but more severe, has degraded the playability of the game, making it more and more sluggish.

I understand what you mean but I really think Frontier had nearly all the current feature list in the initial master plan before they really started work.  There are a few exceptions that have come along due to popular demand but otherwise, it was all on the list.  It seems to me more like PC suffers badly from spaghetti code.  Because the code is all tangled up, changes in 1 area have unintended consequences in another area which are hard to track down, and fixing them causes more spaghetti.

I think the spaghetti originated from a major design change somewhere back in the very early days.  My prime suspect is the grid system, which has continued to evolve since release.

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This last update created a MAJOR problem this time.

Tell me about it  >:(

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Planet Coaster should still be labeled a beta until ALL the features have been added and are all working well. If people want to buy a beta, then they do at their own risk and know what they are getting into. But Planet Coaster was launched as "finished" two years ago, when it was not anywhere near finished. It was still a Beta as far as I am concerned, and instead of spending time creating a dozen DLC packs, they should have spent their time optimizing, adding all the final features, and making it as bug free as possible. At that point, call it finished, and THEN, release the DLC packs, which should only be assets that can't do any harm to the core engine.

While this would certainly seem like the way to do things, the dynamics of the software industry pretty much prevent it.  Developing a game requires a huge amount of sunk cost for a few years up front:  getting the engine going, designing the gameplay mechanics, making all the assets, writing all the music, etc.  You have to pay all the people who do that out of your pocket before you can release something and start getting some of that money back.  The bigger the project, the more people you need, so the faster you burn through your savings, but the longer it takes to get everything done.  Usually, you run out of money before you run out of things to do. 

So, what respectable publishers do is break the whole project into chunks and map out their sequential releases, so you can make an initial release of a functional base game, then add the rest of the planned features over time, complete with long-term support.  What evil publishers do is dump non-functional junk on the market, make a quick buck, and abandon the mess.  I think Frontier is in the respectable category.  However, this whole method relies on a non-spaghetti core engine, which means sticking to the original design.  It seems to me that once Frontier got going, they realized they could make the game more awesome than they originally thought and went that way.  All this in an attempt to make us, the customers, even happier.  But it left its scars on the game's bones.
 
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When the game works, it's a joy to behold. But when it doesn't, the frustrations it causes are beyond aggravating.

Well, I can't play at all right now, not even to build a ride blueprint.  And real life is not good at present and I've come to rely on PC to be my "happy place".  So yeah, it's quite annoying, even depressing.  But I try to keep in mind that I only have PC because other folks went to a lot of trouble and expense to make it for me, and it's been a lot of fun when it's worked.  So on the balance I'm better off for PC.  But all good things come to an end.  If that's what's happened this time, oh well. 
-Bullethead
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Offline CoasterCad

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Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2018, 11:21 AM »
I am sad to hear about all this technical problems. I'll hope they fix it soon. I haven't updated my graphics driver in a while, and most of the time PC runs pretty smooth on my system. I am very reserved about updating my graphic driver, scared it will give me technical problems as well. So i'll patiently wait updating it till PC is fixed. (this is probably not the cause, but why risk breaking a smooth system right?) 

@Bullethead,

I hope you still find some motivation to hang around here and brighten us with your presence. I really hope you can play again soon.


 
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Offline Bullethead

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Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2018, 01:44 PM »
I hope you still find some motivation to hang around here and brighten us with your presence. I really hope you can play again soon.

Oh, you can't get rid of me that easily.  I'm still thinking looking at this as a temporary problem.  I'm exchanging daily emails with Frontier's techs so at least something's happening.  Just might take a while.
-Bullethead
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Offline Bullethead

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Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2018, 01:48 PM »
Dont know if it helps, but maybe check your Ram. The problem you mention could happen when addressing a section in ram which is defective. There are tools which can scan the ram during boot process without crashing and generating a report. Dont know if its the reason, but at least its worth a try?

Thanks for the tip.  I have been getting the odd MEMORY_MANAGEMENT BSOD lately for no good reason, even when not playing PC.

So, I poked around and it turns out I do indeed have some bad RAM.  Fortunately, that's relatively cheap and easy to deal with, so I've got some on order, the same amount but a bit faster than my old stuff, which should be here by the end of the week.  That should at least fix these BSODs even if it does nothing for PC.

Again, thanks!

================================

Meanwhile, my daily emails with Frontier's techs have so far cleaned up my system to some extent (finding and fixing corrupt system and driver files), but attempts to run PC after these fixes still results in the screen going black 1-2 minutes after opening a park.  IOW, nothing that's solved the real problem, even if the effort has done some good in other respects.  Maybe the new RAM will help, but OTOH, why is it that even with bad RAM, it's only PC that's giving me this problem?  Games using the Unity and Unreal engines run no problem.

Oh well, I can't fault Frontier's efforts here.  They're working on it and keeping in touch :)
-Bullethead
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Offline Fisherman

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Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2018, 02:18 PM »
So frustrating!  Sorry it's gotten so bad for you.  :no:

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Offline Bullethead

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Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2018, 04:54 PM »
So frustrating!  Sorry it's gotten so bad for you.  :no:

Well, strange to say, after following today's batch of instructions from Frontier, PC DID NOT CRASH MY GPU!!!!!

Naturally, I don't trust it yet but I'll thrash it a few times and see if it kicks back.  Also, there's still the unresolved RAM issue I found thanks to CSL's suggestion, which won't be fixed until late Friday or early Saturday.  But in the meantime, I'll see how far I can get with this coaster I've been trying to build for Rug the last week or so.

BTW, one of the things Frontier told me to do today was turn down the number of cores PC can use.  It seems the Cobra engine only likes a max of 4 and my CPU has 8 (see my rant about that coming up in the next paragraph).  So I learned how to turn down the number of cores any particular app uses.  Even if you're not having my problem, this might improve your performance.  Here's how to do it:

1.  Start the game and let it go to the main menu.
2.  Open Task Manager (LCTRL + LSHF + ESC is more elegant than the classic 3-finger salute).
3.  Right-click on PC's name on the apps list and select  "View Process".
4.  On the processes screen, right-click again on PC and select "Details".
5.  On the next menu, select "Affinities".
6.  This brings up a list of all your cores.  Uncheck core boxes starting at the bottom of the list and working up until you only have 4 left (numbered 0-3).

OK, now for a rant....  My CPU has 8 cores.  It's also 8 FRIGGIN' YEARS OLD!!!!!  PC is only 2 years old, yet only likes 4 cores at most and gets confused if there are more available.  WTF?!?!?!?!?!?!?  This tells me a few things:

A.  Engine development for PC started at least 8, more like 10 years ago, when 4 cores was the latest and greatest.  Then it got put on the shelf for many years while Frontier did other things.  Eventually Frontier committed to developing PC say 3 years ago.  Instead of starting over, they just modified the original prototype engine to incorporate ideas they'd had in the meantime.  It's axiomatic amongst programmers that any given program, when running, is obsolete, but this is taking things a bit far IMHO.

B.  This explains the apparent major change in direction when it comes to grids.  And also why PC is apparently such spaghetti code that simply allowing the game to use new parts that weren't built by Frontier has caused things like massive FPS losses, massive increase in editor load times, and my GPU crashes.

C.  Given that the core engine is WAY obsolete, there is absolutely no hope for any major revisions to the game short of starting over with PC2.  I've suspected this for a long time and consider it confirmed now.

HOWEVER, all that said, I still have to hand it to Frontier for squeezing as much as they have out of such an ancient piece of code.  They're obviously doing this because they're dedicated to this genre, even if upper management saddled them with a lame horse to start with.  I just hope PC has been successful enough that PC2 is already in the works.  After all, PC itself is already up to 1.9 so 2.0 comes next.
-Bullethead
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Offline shyguy

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Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2018, 05:50 PM »
Woah. My computer has 12 cores. That's a lot of cores I need top shut down. I'll give it a try to see if I notice any difference.

Glad to hear you got the game to run again. I hope it continues.
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Offline batmanslayer

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Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2018, 06:26 PM »
well seems for past day or so workshop content has been not downloading right. I cleared cache etc. i am thinking they did something that messed up the game to me. i am not able get this fixed at moment. i am hoping its just temporary as no access to  workshop content in game.

Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2018, 07:41 PM »
I will try this. Not sure if it helps at all, but what about setting the priority for PC higher than the default of normal?

Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2018, 08:16 PM »
I tried this, it made my game even slower.   If you're not having the actual game crashes that Bullethead was having, I would not recommend reducing the number of cores the game uses just yet. 

But BH, I'm glad you got back into the game.  Peony Park II needs more coasters.  :P


Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2018, 08:58 PM »
I tried this, it made my game even slower.   If you're not having the actual game crashes that Bullethead was having, I would not recommend reducing the number of cores the game uses just yet. 

But BH, I'm glad you got back into the game.  Peony Park II needs more coasters.  :P
Yep - slowed down for me as well

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Offline Bullethead

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Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2018, 09:13 PM »
I tried this, it made my game even slower.   If you're not having the actual game crashes that Bullethead was having, I would not recommend reducing the number of cores the game uses just yet.

Well, it was worth a try.  Sorry it didn't help.

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But BH, I'm glad you got back into the game.  Peony Park II needs more coasters.  :P

Well, you'll have to wait.  I promised one to Rug first ;).  But hey, the new update has Schwartzkopfs.  I smell a Jumbo Jet....... (if things work as I hope they do).
-Bullethead
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Offline AUS_Twisted

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Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2018, 09:53 PM »
@Redhair:  What's unplayable about 20-30 FPS?  That's still faster than the human eye can notice.  I used to play a DOS online MMO combat flightsim (Air Warrior) over a 2400 baud dial-up connection in the early 90s and we didn't complain until we got below 10 FPS, which is the point where low FPS becomes noticeable enough that you can't shoot down somebody else in a realtime dogfight when both planes are doing 300 knots.

There's a reason why 120, 144, and 165hz+ monitors exist and it's certainly not to play games at 20 - 30 FPS.

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Offline Bullethead

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Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #25 on: December 09, 2018, 09:40 AM »
OK, I seem to be up and running again.  No problems over several days.  Yay!  Frontier tech support was very helpful.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2018, 03:04 PM by Bullethead »
-Bullethead
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Offline The Grey

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Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #26 on: December 09, 2018, 12:37 PM »
Yay!! ;D
If it doesn't include either Roller coasters, Music or Hockey... count me out....

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Offline KickAir8P

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Offline Bullethead

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Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2019, 07:07 PM »
Howdy KickAir8P--
That was an interesting read.  I don't think it was the cause of my problem, though.  My own PC problems were caused by:

1.  Some corrupt video driver and key system files, which I fixed.
2.  Using virtual as opposed to real cores to run PC, which I fixed.
3.  Having some bad RAM, which I replaced.  Fixing the 2 things above made PC work fine and solved all my GPU-crash issues.  But I still had a number of BSODs.  Replacing my RAM solved that.  Since then, I've had no problems with PC.

#1 and #2 I fixed through Frontier tech support by opening a ticket and conversing with them daily via email.  #3 I would never have thought about if @Redhair hadn't suggested it.

Long story short, if you have surprisingly bad performance given your hardware, it probably means you should tweak something on your end.  Remember, my machine is 8 (soon to be 9) years old and PC now works fine for me.  The best way to resolve such inexplicable problems is to open a support ticket and get some 1-on-1 support to figure out what your specific problem is.  I have nothing but good things to say about Frontier's tech support after having gone through the ticket process several times.  This isn't "blaming the victim", it's reality.  Think of how what you're experiencing compares to all the folks going on without your problems.
-Bullethead
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Re: Temporarily Out of Business
« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2019, 08:50 PM »
How do you open a ticket. I believe I tried doing that and maybe a ticket was never opened? I have heard nothing from them.