Wild Beasts – Underbelly (2nd part loop)

Posted: March 2nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Media, Music
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Here’s a clean loop that I made of the 2nd part of ‘underbelly’, enjoy.

Also, the reversed version sounds neat.

Last Modified: August 4th, 2015

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Cities in Motion (and possibly other OpenGL games) Startup Crash Fix For ATI/AMD Cards

Posted: February 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Hardware, Tips/Tutorials
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UPDATE: I was curious as to what this FAQ item was for Atom Zombie Smasher, so I tried the demo. Nothing appears, just the exe starts up. Seems the same atigktxx.dll trick does the job for this game as well, it loads up just fine now.

Looks like Cities in Motion is an OpenGL game with the exact same issue that The Polynomial had for a few months. On drivers after Catalyst 10.4, it appears crossfire is breaking the game from working, and there is no way to disable it on a 4870×2 like myself. Some single gpu cards may be affected, so you might as well try this, too.

The simple fix should be placing 10.4’s atigktxx.dll into the game folder. Here’s an alternative fix that may or may not work for you if you have tried this atigktxx trick.

Do note that the file is from the 64-bit Vista/7 drivers, I’m not sure what the effect will be on 32-bit, XP, or on the latest 6 series cards. If you have crashes or freezes that happen after the game menu has loaded, then you might have a different problem unrelated to this. The beta, demo, and final release all should act the same. If the demo worked before (on drivers after 10.4) while the final does not, then you probably have a different issue.

Last Modified: September 15th, 2011

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RailWorks Tram Test 2

Posted: January 17th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Media
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Now that I’ve got the track rules working, it’s time to have proper overhead tram wires. Most trams around the world are just a single overhead wire, so here it is.

RailWorks Tram Test 1 – Track Rules
RailWorks Tram Test 2 – Overhead Wires
(this post)

Last Modified: August 4th, 2015

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RailWorks Tram Test 1

Posted: January 15th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Media
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Why are there less than 5 known existing tram mods for Railworks? A couple aren’t even released. Maybe it’s because it’s so confusing to mod the game…

Well I’m hoping to get some sort of base working, maybe release it as a pack for others to create content with it. First, I’m trying to make a track with a small curve radius, attempting to mimic an existing track (Oxford Concrete Clean), though I couldn’t get anything to appear in the editor, even just a track rule. In this video, I ended up modifying the track rule for ‘MainLine’, but modifying existing game files is way too sloppy.

UPDATE: I got custom track rules working.

RailWorks Tram Test 1 – Track Rules (this post)
RailWorks Tram Test 2 – Overhead Wires

Last Modified: August 4th, 2015

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Games For Windows Live Stuck On “Signing In”?

Posted: January 9th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Software, Tips/Tutorials
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Recently I was having trouble getting any GFWL game to work. The store client itself was always fine, but every game was unusable. I tried uninstalling and reinstalling the latest client, and even installing an older one from the redist folder of Blacklight Tango Down. I know UPnP works on my router and this computer, so how can that be it, right?

I found this post that mentions resetting the TCP stack and Winsock. This method seems to be mentioned occasionally, but much less than the usual reset router, restart this, reinstall that.

So what you do is open a command prompt (as Administrator if needed), type ‘netsh int ip reset c:\resetlog.txt‘ and the status of each item should say ‘OK’. That user post says to type in the winsock reset command, but I couldn’t do anything further in that window once it completed, so I opened up a second one and typed ‘netsh winsock reset‘.

Now I had 2 cmd windows open, they wouldn’t close, the restart button in the start menu didn’t work, and well, I hit the reset button on my case. Seemed a little sloppy, but my GFWL games are now loading fine! Don’t disable the Windows Live ID Sign-In Assistant service, it appears to be needed.

Last Modified: March 30th, 2011

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Unreal Development Kit – It’s Alive!

Posted: January 5th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Media
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I finally got a standalone UDK game working. I’ll make some kind of a tutorial, at least about the flash resolution buttons.

The main point was to get all of the custom stuff functional and out of the way. Now I can focus on content. Here are the ‘features’:

-standalone packaged installer
-custom splash screen
-custom intro movie
-custom menu background level with matinee camera loop
-custom menu in flash with resolution changer
-custom gametype in 3rd person
-custom map
-custom AO/post process chain
-custom sounds

Last Modified: August 4th, 2015

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Lunar Eclipse – 12/21/2010

Posted: December 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Media
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I took some pics of the lunar eclipse. They’re all handheld, no tripod. Too bad the telescope isn’t home either.

Last Modified: December 22nd, 2010

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Some Indie/Non-Mainstream Games To Check Out On PC

Posted: December 12th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Software
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UPDATE: This list is ridiculously out of date, I have to add tons of other games to it…

I made a list of some interesting or lesser known games that deserve a look. All of them I’ve personally tried and are owned by me on Steam. There are obvious ones like Super Meat Boy, Shattered Horizon, or Braid, but hopefully you find some new ones you’ve never heard of. Check out my list on GiantBomb since the site has so many features tailored to managing and browsing a database or encyclopedia of games.

Last Modified: November 22nd, 2012

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Fix For The Polynomial Startup Crash

Posted: November 26th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Hardware, Tips/Tutorials
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FINAL UPDATE: This post is a mess… this should not be a problem anymore for anyone. You should be on drivers newer than 11.2 or older than 10.5. This used to affect the BIT.TRIP games, but those run fine now as well. What has not yet been fixed in updated drivers is Cities in Motion.

FINAL FIX: Turns out you just need atigktxx.dll in the game folder! No mess, not even the main atioglxx.dll. Download the 10.4 dll here, place it where polynomial.exe is, done! I also noticed after installing Catalyst 11.2, the dll might not be needed anymore.

FIX ATTEMPT: I tried a brute force method, I put every driver file of 10.4 into the game folder. You can do this while still having whatever newer Catalyst you have installed, just run the 10.4 installer, cancel it, open a cmd prompt at C:\ATI\Support\10-4_vista64_win7_64_dd_ccc_wdm_enu\Packages\Drivers\ Display\W76A_INF\B_98282 or similar, then simply ‘expand -r *.* c:\pathtoyourgamefolder‘ and voila! I have not yet tried deleting any of the files 1 by 1 to see which ones are required to stop the BSOD so the game folder would look cleaner, but so far it works!

UPDATE2: mixed reports saying 10.12 is good, it’s almost a guarantee that it’s good for 5970 users that were stuttering, but it’s the same crash for me still on 10.12.

UPDATE: this might be affecting Bit.Trip Beat as well. Something to do with crossfire, but there are some reports of 5970s working fine.

So I finally attempted to try the demo of The Polynomial, but the driver is crashing on startup of the game (it’s in OpenGL). I’m trying this on a 4870×2, Catalyst 10.11 WHQL, latest CAP, Vista 64.

It might be something to do with crossfire, or at least in my case and this user. The developer is also active in that thread, and I’ll try to get some form of exposure to ATI/AMD, so we’ll see how this goes.

Workarounds

-The whole older driver package: refer to the working fix at the top of this page.

Current iD Tech games (with this side effect! depends on the visualizer options): doom3.exe, etqw.exe, prey.exe, quake4.exe, wolf2mp.exe

Riddick Butcher’s Bay profile looks like a bunch of detail is lost, and the bloom is lower resolution, yet the bright flashing lights are gone: sbzengine.exe

An older atioglxx.dll: I tried 10.2 and 10.4, the game launched without glitches, but has a BSOD soon after. This must be because crossfire changed at 10.5, as mixing dx10/11 dlls older than 10.5 would also BSOD in Shattered Horizon and Bad Company 2. If you’re ok with not having the latest drivers (if you don’t need the fixes in there), you may be able to get away with installing 10.4 and just the latest CAP.

RadeonPro recently added some OpenGL support, but the crossfire options are not functional just yet. I can’t think of any DX9 things to test if the ‘disable crossfire’ option is different from just disabling CatalystAI, but if it is, then this would end up a working solution once this app is updated.

Dark Athena, older Quakes, Unigine, FurMark, and a couple other profiles I attempted to launch act like the original game’s driver crash.

 

I will update this post if there’s a workaround better than the iD one, if there’s some combination of settings to try, or if either the drivers or game manage to fix it.

Last Modified: September 15th, 2011

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Mastering Tip: Don’t Clip

Posted: November 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Music, Tips/Tutorials
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I should get back to posting content, so here’s a quick tip if you’re making music, working on a voice track, or pretty much any audio you’re dealing with.

Digital audio has all kinds of fixed limits, one of which is amplitude or volume. If a sound is too loud, the wave will become ‘clipped‘, causing an obvious change in the sound that most people would identify as distortion.

The first thing I would do when I start a blank music or audio project is add a basic compressor to eliminate clipping as much as possible. As an example, this is what I stick on the master FX channel in FL Studio. It’s pretty much the default preset, but the attack and release are all the way down, and the ratio is up. When listening to any sound, quiet or loud, it seems to do the least modification while protecting from clipping. Any compressor should have about the same knobs or settings available for tweaking.

Later on if I’m going for a specific final sound, I could use a more powerful chain of compressors, equalizers, etc, but always have some kind of a compressor on the final master output. Let’s take a look at the difference this makes:

Here is a kick sample where I increased the volume way beyond the original. If left alone, you can see how it is clipping when the limits are hit. It almost looks like a square wave, which is quite a different sound from the original sine. With the compressor enabled, the wave does still change a bit, but it’s not as harsh and won’t be as obvious to the listener’s ears.

Now you may want to have a distorted sound like the drum track or a voice that sounds like it’s on a walkie-talkie. I would stick the distortion chain on a separate FX channel and still have a light compressor on the master channel. This leaves room for other sounds that need to be untouched.

Last Modified: March 30th, 2011

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