White screen on game start

Issue: white screen on gamestart
Crash (y/n): n
Platform (Windows/Mac/Linux): windows
Description: on launching the game in windowed mode all i get is a white screen. the game doesn not crash and does not seem to do much else.

Thanks for reporting, yxxxx! Can you remind me what video card/GPU chipset you’re using?

I may have a special build for you to try, later in the day, to try to diagnose what’s going wrong.

I’m on a laptop that has both a Intel and nvidia card. The game is forced to run in theory using the nvidia graphic card.

Okay. First thing to test; go into your settings (inside your user directory, inside “AppData/Roaming/VectorStorm/MMORPG Tycoon 2/”, and open the file “MMORPG Tycoon.prefs” in a text editor.

In that file, there will probably be two lines:

Shadows 1 0 1
ShadowResolution 2048 0 4096

(If the ‘Shadows’ and ‘ShadowResolution’ lines don’t contain exactly those values, please let me know what values they have! If those lines don’t exist in the file at all, please add them. It doesn’t matter where in the file they go.)

(Those values, incidentally, are expressed as “current value, minimum value, maximum value”; it’s really only the first of the three values that actually matters; the others are just there to assist with debugging)

It would be interesting to try again with the ShadowResolution line reduced to 1024 0 4096 or 512 0 4096, just to see if those lower shadow map resolutions work for you. If not, try again with the Shadows line changed to 0 0 1 to disable shadows entirely, and see if that works for you.

EDIT: Also, can you verify whether you still get sound at the white screen? Need to verify whether the game is actually running and you’re just not getting any visuals, or whether the game actually isn’t running at all. Similarly, does it close itself down if you press ‘escape’?

ok after todays update i still have the same problem.

The Files upon checking does not have those two lines. I’ll add them to see if that makes a diffrence in a second,
Sound is playing in the background.

on adding those lines i get

That sound is playing tells us that it’s just a video problem; it’s not a case of the software dying entirely.

Have you tried turning shadows off entirely? (Using Shadows 0 0 1) Am very interested in tracking down where the issue is coming from.

Side-note; I’ve also had some reports (now confirmed) that there are shadow problems on AMD cards. Seems surprisingly consistant, too; it’s across all platforms, even OSX where they use seem to use custom drivers. I’m wondering whether I might not be doing something a single thing subtly wrong which my desktop NVidia cards are letting me get away with, but which your laptop card and some other folks’ AMD cards are kicking up a fuss about. Am still investigating.

Further update; I now have a fix for the AMD shadow problem (not yet live on Steam). It won’t fix this issue, though; this must be entirely unrelated to that.

Any update on whether things work for you with shadows entirely disabled?

i seem to have broken the MMORPG Tycoon pref file as when I try to run the game i get a new error. Still with a white screen though.

Weird! Can you send me a copy of that file?

Then go ahead and delete it; it’ll recreate a new preferences file with default values the next time you run the game. I’m going to arrange a special build to help us track down the white-screen issue on your machine. Will let you know once that’s ready to go! (Won’t be until later today, or maybe tomorrow)

I have sent over the files. running with shadows off still leads to a white screen

Thanks! I’ve got the same error messages using those files; let me figure out what’s going wrong.

Initial suspicion is that it’s going to be something to do with the difference between DOS and Unix-style text files, but I don’t remember that having been a problem in the past. Will track down that bit of it first and then move on to thinking about how you can be winding up with no video.

Update:

Found the bug with preference files. It’s a cross-platform issue that I’ve never seen before; my code for reading text files just assumes that the last character of the last line of any text file will be a newline, and so ignores it.

In your case, the final line was ShadowResolution 2048 0 4096, with no carriage return at the end, and it was reading that as ShadowResolution 2048 0 409. And 2048 is higher than 409, so it was waving its hands in the air complaining.

I’ve never noticed the problem before because I typically edit text files in vim, and vim (like most programmers’ text editors) automatically adds a newline to the end of the final line in a file (for technical reasons, it’s important. But I shan’t bore you with a book about that today! ;D ). The important thing is that there do exist other text editors (like Windows’ ubiquitous Notepad.exe) which don’t have that helpful behaviour.

SO, I’ve fixed that now, and it should once again be safe to edit text files in Windows. Although I guess I’d recommend using one that understands unix-style line feeds, since that’s how they’re all formatted right now.

This fix won’t fix the white screen problem, sadly. So more debugging is in my near future! This fix for the preference files should be up in the Steam build within an hour or so.

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yxxxx2003, I’ve just set the game’s default branch on Steam to build 0.12.52; the build immediately before I enabled shadows.

Can you switch the gameback to “default” (on the “betas” tab of the game’s properties in Steam) and double-check that that build of the game still runs for you correctly, but the ‘test’ build still gives you this white screen?

Ok so I have done that and I am still getting the white display.
Just to rule it out I went back to the live version of steam as I generally run the beta and I know that sometimes the overlay can cause issues. This also however made no diffrence.

I should probably let you know that I am running a Insider version of windows as I guess that this too could potentially cause issues.

Thanks for testing that! Okay, what this tells me is that your issue isn’t anything to do with the new shadow stuff, since it’s happening for you even in versions of the game which don’t include shadows at all. If you still have any of the old pre-Steam milestone builds of MT2 hanging around, it might be interesting to run one of those and see whether they work for you.

But I guess the only other thing I can think of to try is to get you a version of the game which checks for OpenGL errors, and see if you’re getting an error that isn’t happening for me… but I don’t know what that could be.

My debug builds check for OpenGL errors continuously, but the release versions of the game which are up on Steam right now omit those tests, for speed reasons. I don’t know what would cause an error, but that’s pretty much all I can think of that might result in this “white screen” problem.

Doing some searching, I’ve found some similar issues reported in other games, some with suggested solutions that appear to have been successful for some players:

It sounds like the key point in common to the solutions in those threads is that the games are getting a white screen when they run in a window; they only work properly when running fullscreen. The standard solution seems to be to set the program to run on the integrated graphics chip, change the resolution and fullscreen, and then telling the program to run with the discrete GPU again.

Since we have a user-accessible preferences file, you don’t need to jump through those hoops and can just change those settings directly. I can see from the ‘Global.prefs’ file that you sent me that you’ve been trying to run the game in a window, at a 1024x768 resolution. Could you please change these three Global.prefs lines:

Fullscreen 1 0 1
ResolutionX 1920 0 1920
ResolutionY 1080 0 1080

(Switch both instances of ‘1920’ and ‘1080’ to whatever your desired resolution is). Crossing my fingers, and hoping that that might be all that’s required, here? Or at least,

Okay. With the new build (should be up on Steam by the time I finish typing this), I’d like to hear about what happens if you run with the following settings in your vectorstorm.prefs file:

Fullscreen 1
FullscreenWindow 0

And what if you run with:

Fullscreen 1
FullscreenWindow 1

(The first combination of preference values puts you into ‘Fullscreen’ mode, and the second puts you into ‘Fullscreen Window’ mode). The NVidia Optimus hardware might plausibly like true ‘Fullscreen’ mode more than ‘Fullscreen Window’, so it’s now possible to specify which screen mode you prefer. :slight_smile:

As usual, make sure that the ResolutionX 1920 and Resolution Y 1080 specify a reasonable resolution that your screen will like. (If you specify something unsupported, we try to pick something ourselves, but it’s better if you specify the desired resolution yourself).

ok tried that with unfortuanatly no affect. by which i mean it did what it was supposed to do but I still ended up with only sound and no graphics of any kind.

tried doing the same and setting bloom and vsync to 0 and ended up getting this error

Gah, that’s an embarrassing issue! It’s been there for about five months, and would happen whenever someone tried to run the game with bloom disabled.

Silly code bug; it’ll be fixed in the next build.

(edit, two days later: With that said, I don’t know whether I really need to support a “no bloom” version any more. Previously, I made it optional because bloom was a really expensive shader which some old Intel GPUs didn’t properly support and would drop back to software. The original Macbook Air would do that, for example. But since then, the shader has been dramatically improved and now works fine even on those old GPUs, while also looking better.)