On Not Being Defeated

No, it's fine, I can do this

Almost the first thing I did when our family bought a PC was to break it. I can’t remember quite what I did, but I was probably attempting to customise something to be more to my liking or to speed something up, and as a result I mangled the Windows 3.1 installation on the very day that this 25MHz 486 SX arrived. The next thing I did was to fix it. Pre-internet, this meant hours of research, and still more hours of trial and error to establish what I’d done and how to undo it. I edited .bat files, I backed things up, I retrieved missing files from compressed directories, I tried and tried and I won. Oh, the perseverance of youth.

As well as this being what made me a PC gamer – I’m able to take most technical complexities in my stride, whereas my friends who grew up with consoles tend to freak out if they have to do anything more than put a disc in a drive – it also made me stubborn as all hell. If a game doesn’t work, or something displays wrong, or there’s a performance issue, I cannot even countenance the idea of giving up. I will spend hours and sometimes days trying to resolve the issue myself, even at times when it’s blindingly obvious that the fault lies with the game, and the game needs an update. I will not be defeated. I will not rely on anybody else to fix things for me. Well, other than anonymous people on forums who I never actually communicate with.

GTA V’s a good case in point. I didn’t even particularly want to play it again, having bounced hard off its uninspired obnoxiousness and mid-life crisis (and do I mean the characters of the developers? Oh ho, I’m not saying) machismo when playing it on console, but I did want to see how Los Santos looked on at 1440p with proper anti-aliasing and all that nerdly good stuff. I was distraught when the damn thing wouldn’t load. I didn’t intend to spend more than half an hour with it, but that half an hour had to be right now and I just could not believe that I couldn’t have that.

I’ve never read so many pages on the Steam forum in my life. I tried so many suggestions: manual installation of the resoundingly pointless Rockstar Social Club, any number of driver reinstallations and scrubber programs, safe mode, creating new Administrator accounts, disabling my graphics card in Device Manager, and redownloading 30-something gigabytes of GTA V three times over. Nothing worked. It was clear that nothing would work until Rockstar patched the damn thing. But I couldn’t give up. I checked the forum again and again, I retried solutions which had already failed again and again, I alt-tabbed to Steam dozens of times over the course of the day to see if there’d been a patch. I had wasted so much time, and all for a game I didn’t even especially want to play. But I couldn’t give up.

I got there in the end. It turned out that the damnable Rockstar Social Club didn’t like Mactype, an application which makes fonts look a little less horrendous in Windows. It’s not a particularly well-know problem, so frankly it’s a miracle that someone else ran into the same issue and that said someone thought to uninstall a program which has, to the best of my knowledge, never caused an issue with any other game. (I recommend it highly, in fact, though I’ve yet to reinstall it and see if the GTA problem is fixed).

After so many hours and so many attempted fixes, GTA damn well worked because I removed that one little font program, and I doubt any human was as overjoyed as I was to see the needless drek that is the Social Club app appear on their screen. I didn’t care about playing the game. I only played it for a couple of minutes to check it worked. What I cared about was that I could play the game, and that I had not been defeated.

This is not an isolated incident. Similar has happened again and again, and I have wasted hundreds of hours on trying to make games work. The solutions have been absurd at times – disable some of my CPU cores to play Risen 3, having to change the sample rate of my sound card to launch Skyrim… PC games, why you gotta be so weird? Sometimes my desperation to fix the problem as soon as possible, even when a patch is clearly en route, has even lead to spending money: I bought a new graphics card to play Rage, just because it didn’t play nice with AMD cards at launch. Time, energy, money – so much of it gone, because I can’t wait and I won’t be defeated. Every time I’ve found a fix, it’s been worth it. Every time I’ve failed, I’ve been an inconsolable grump.

It’s stupid. It’s a disease. I have so many games I could or should play, but it’s only ever the one which I can’t that I want to.

80 Comments

  1. FurryLippedSquid says:

    Cheers for that, enjoyed it, I too began on an SX 25.

    Shame on you for the GTA thing, though, a clean boot should always be first port of call!

    • RaoulDuke says:

      I’ve read EVERY post in this thread – link to neogaf.com – been following it since the day GTA V came out and I still don’t know why some things happen, like shadow errors, unexplained performance gains from alt-tabbing [Prob broken triple buffering] etc.

      PC game optimization is hard sometimes, but its sooo worth it when you finally get it all going properly, part of the fun/hatred.

      I’m sad you don’t enjoy GTA V, re-playing the missions and getting gold medals is some of the most fun I’ve had with a game in years. It was amazing in RDR too, better here tho, more variety and the “grinds” in MP3 scratched the same itch.

      I don’t think the story in GeeTav is amazing or anything, but I truly LOVE the activities/missions/strangers in rockstar games and thats what makes them good, not schlong jokes. They are funny too though.

    • RaoulDuke says:

      Sorry FurryLippedSquid, reply fail

    • Flopper says:

      I can’t remember any gamebreaking performance problem on any game in years. The system I have now is an i7 2600k, EVGA GTX 970, 16GB RAM.

      Before that it was the same processor w/ 2 EVGA GTX 580’s in SLI.

      Before that it was an AMD phenom quad core with a GTX 280.

      Never have I had a game refuse to load. I guess I’m just lucky.

      I’ve been playing GTA V since launch night with not a single game breaking problem. I’ve had a D3D driver failure twice maybe three times but I probably have over 100 hours played already so I haven’t really sweated it.

      GTA V is an amazing creation.

      • FurryLippedSquid says:

        “I can’t remember any gamebreaking performance problem on any game in years”

        And there goes someone who has never played DayZ.

        ;)

  2. OscarWilde1854 says:

    “uninspired obnoxiousness and mid-life crisis machismo” – Someone’s bitter… as someone who now owns (and has 100% completed) GTA V on all three versions (last gen, current gen, pc) I can’t help but think this makes you seem a little narrow minded.

    I’m not saying it’s the greatest game ever or anything, but calling it uninspired is just silly… 97% on metacritic.. Over 45 Million units sold, 2 Billion in sales. You can call people “sheep” if you want, but not all of the people who bought and adored the game are sheep. The game is fantastic and if you are unable to find something enjoyable in it’s vastness then that speaks more about you than the game itself.

    Cue angry anti-gta rabble:

    • John O says:

      He didn’t say the game itself was uninspired. But I’d agree that there’s an obnoxious streak running through most of the storyline. The game is clearly an accomplishment, given the size, detail and complexity of the world it simulates. It’s just a shame that the whole thing revolves around a crime story from a 90s movie. I’m 33, i don’t enjoy going to strip clubs and playing a character who kills a guy buy stomping on his head repeatedly.

      • Orija says:

        i don’t enjoy going to strip clubs and playing a character who kills a guy buy stomping on his head repeatedly.
        You must think The Sporanos is for juveniles then.

        • John O says:

          That’s not the point. I’m not saying GTA V has a badly written story, far from it. It’s just not one that I can enjoy given how much it tries to communicate that violence is fun. Violence is plenty fun in Brutal Doom, but GTA V just makes it all look a bit too real.

        • Kempston Wiggler says:

          I pretty much do, yeah. All that high-testosterone machismo crap just leaves me cold. In fact the whole gangsters/mobsters genre is over-blown, one-note nonsense.

      • Chaoslord AJ says:

        Well I’m 36 now and don’t have to stomp on heads in a game and yeah rl or even internet beats the strip club but it’s nice to have it in-game as an option anyway. I take the game for the mindless diversion it is not hoping it should make me a better person or educate the kids and it’s no use bashing the game for not being an intellectual challenge. Still waiting for Planescape:Torment 2 or Sandman – the video game though.

        BTW the game is pretty good, love the detail, love the dialogue, love the people standing around in crowds and everything looks so real but I understand the uninspired part. It’s GTA just bigger and better, the story is really cliche compared to TV series. The game tries hard to be cliche but that doesn’t make it clever. In 20 years it will be the GTA between GTA4 and GTA6 we’ll be plying GTA 10 in augented reality then and noone will look back.

    • Orija says:

      I’ve only just started playing the game, and it’s easily one of the best written games I’ve played in the past few years. Some of its sarcasm is all too obvious and in your face, but on the whole it’s miles ahead most AAA titles out there.

      • derbefrier says:

        Yeah it was a pleasant surprise to me.i had never thought much of the gta series. I bought the last one for my xbone on a whim and found myself really enjoying it. Then i bought the pc version so i couldhave mouse controls for first person view and to play online with friends and am having a blast. Its also a pretty good port being able to switch between controller for driving and Mouse and keyboard for shooting is great. Its a fantastic game and deserves the praise it gets.

      • Synesthesia says:

        I think that speaks rather poorly of the writing quality of AAA games, rather than making GTAV’s shine.

        • derbefrier says:

          Ehh thats true for aout 99% of all video games not just AAA. Thats why i dont usually buy games for the story but for the gameplay above all else. The story is usually treated as a means to an end in video game land( so whats a good reason for our protaganist to murder hundreds of people?). So they are almost always lacking, or silly, or dont make a lot of sense. GTA 5 has high production value, a silly and over the top story( good or bad depends on you, i liked it). Some pretty decent mission variation and a nice big world to run around in.

          I just think writing a whole game off because the strory is less than perfect is a bad way to judge a game because ther is so much more to them than the story itself.

    • Alec Meer says:

      I mean its conscious obnoxiousness is uninspired, not that it’s uninspired.

      • JimThePea says:

        I thought its uninspiredness was conscious, I mean it’s as self-aware as it gets, unfortunately the only thing it never satirises is it’s own satire.

    • Dale Winton says:

      I bought it and it sure looks pretty. However the game is basically drive here watch sequence, drive to other place kill some guys and repeat
      It’s still vice city with pretty graphics

    • joa says:

      I think it is a sign of immaturity of the medium that some people aren’t comfortable with gaming ‘pulp’. There is a place for the high-minded, but you need the low-minded too to balance it out.

      • Dale Winton says:

        I don’t know it just seems kind of boring to me now

        • Nogo says:

          I see a lot of these totally edgy puns around Los Santos and just imagine a meeting room full of writers wondering why they still have to do this.

    • MikhailG says:

      Its just funny how you demand from someone to understand that so many people like this game ergo everyone should realise how good it is, but you don’t someone to not like it. Just pointing out, I am not making any point here.

    • Hedgeclipper says:

      Oh no! Someone criticized my precious [i] on the internet! [/i]

    • rabbit says:

      so wait – he (a professional critic) is not allowed to have his critical opinion but you – someone who in the same sentence admitted to having dropped probably £150 on multiple versions of the same game and played fully thru every single one – you *are* allowed a critical opinion?

      right okay just checking.

  3. Laurentius says:

    I loved that, I mean the thrill of overcoming these problems, making game works, absolutely loved it. It ended though, now I am massively annoyed by it, I know that I can still do it, with Interent around is actually easier then ever but I’d rather not to, before i took it as a challange. Still I dive into this from time to time, like trying to make Shadows of the Empire to work on Win7 or Starlancer using 32bit T&L of modern Radeons.

    • Tacroy says:

      I actually had more fun troubleshooting a weird error I had with Stalker than I had playing the game (it wasn’t my cup of tea). For some reason Stalker thought it would be a good idea to set in monitor’s refresh rate to a very silly number.

      • GrimMeteor says:

        Oh man, Stalker. The bugs I came across….

        It’s one of the more notable adventures of bug squashing I remember because I wanted to play the game, but on release it was just a mass of bugs and glitches. The threat of important NPCs dying wasn’t a problem, there was a system implemented to curve past that issue, but if the NPC outright DISAPPEARED then crap would get flung. The NPC would disappear in a multitude of ways, whether being stuck inside the terrain or just… being in a place but at a different plane of existence. Good times!

        But yeah, after tinkering with computers for a long while I believe it builds a certain stubbornness, and it’s kind of a normal day to enhance a game or fix bugs when a game or piece of software’s being unruly. It’s kind of like when I charge at the hotkey settings in a new game: sometimes I have to edit a crapton of keys to my liking, other times some of the keys are acceptable to my playstyle and it’s fine. Whatever the case, it all feels pretty normal.

  4. Orija says:

    I can empathise with this. The only time when I was utterly defeated was a game breaking bug in Vampire The Masquerade near the end of the story.

    On a different note, is it at all possible to have the comment box at rps not red-line UK spellings of words?

    • John O says:

      Hahah, u funneh

    • joa says:

      Not sure if you’re kidding, but it’s your browser that does the spell-checking, not the RPS comments form. Try right-clicking and looking for an option to change the dictionary.

    • MikhailG says:

      I remember this bug. I was SO pissed off at it. I was too young to figure out back then what the hell was causing it.

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        If we’re all thinking of the same bug here I uh… I never fixed it. Whoops. Guess I’ll just go.

  5. James says:

    Pfft, you don’t know the awesomeness of improbable victory until you have tamed 106 Skyrim mods and gotten it to run on a PC that struggles to get 60fps on the base game.

    Now THAT was satisfying – I got some beautiful screenshots and the satisfaction of telling Skyrim who’s in charge.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      106? Pffft. How about 300 of which some had to be re-scripted or otherwise cleaned up in the CS?

  6. Thurgret says:

    I’ve been defeated by trying to get Warhammer: Dark Omen to work on a modern machine on three separate occasions. There comes a point where there just seems to be no viable solution to a problem. Although perhaps I need to see if my four month old desktop can cope.

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      With those hopeless not-DOS, Windows 95 games your best bet is probably Wine. I’m using the front-end PlayOnLinux in Ubuntu and it hasn’t failed yet. The CD-Rom version of Colonization and Dark Forces 2 worked on pretty much first try (although not the cdrom music). It’s sandboxed so you get total control of what drivers and OS stuff is used and if it fails you can just delete the virtual disk and try again.

    • airmikee says:

      No retreat, no surrender!

      link to forum.dark-omen.org

      Except on Homeworld:Cataclysm, I still haven’t found a way to get that working. The original Homeworld, Alpha Centauri (prior to GOG’s release of the expansion) and MechWarrior 3 weren’t too difficult to get running again. I can get Emperor:Battle for Dune running, but it’s apparently built to run on cycles, not time, so the AI has built its entire army and squashed me in less than a second after I start the game.

      • fuggles says:

        With which os? I recently played through cataclysm on win 7 with minor patching from googling.

  7. Sinomatic says:

    I remember spending days, trawling all sorts of forums, trying out various fixes, only to eventually (after 4 days) find some obscure audio driver problem that hardly anyone else had encountered. Shame all that effort was to get Call of Duty: World at War working. If I’d only known how horrible it was…

  8. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    A childhood of trying to make games work on my Amiga ended up many years later with me having a job fixing computers, and making things work on them, which is not an outcome I saw coming back then.
    I still need to have another go at getting Far Cry 2 working again…

  9. Chaoslord AJ says:

    My first PC was a 486dx2 66Mhz a killer machine then. I saw it all – the ultima underworld boot disks, the savegame-corrupting Daggerfall CTDs (which required me to leave the game once in a while and copy the saves then load it up again for 10 minutes). For System Shock I had to call the helpline and their obscure hints actually worked. Skip 10+ years and tried to get Fable 3 with add-ons provided by Games for Windows – live to work on their then new Windows 8 64 bit, the problems never end apparently.
    Well, got me a job in IT then where I can watch guys all day who can’t tell the telephone cable from the LAN or plug it to the power connector.
    Was only defeated by a retail “Freedom Force” which apparently doesn’t run on Windows 7 64 bit and a retail Gothic 2, (works on a virtualized XP though) but then I bought the steam version, really good game actually, so much for DVDs.

  10. Darkheart says:

    A good while ago I wanted to replay KotOR with the restored content mod. I knew there was a problem with launching the game on newer machines and I also knew I got it worked out with some shenanigan before. But for the life of me I couldn’t remember how I did it. Intenet was no help, so I gave up after an hour.

    Oh, the perseverance of youth… when did I loose you?

    • shoefish says:

      I don’t want to be that guy, but it’s LOSE. I don’t know why or how everyone decided to get so loose with the spelling of that on the internet but it seems to be more and more common, and just sounds silly.

      • Press X to Gary Busey says:

        Your rite.

      • airmikee says:

        Ever notice that anytime someone says they don’t want to do something, or be something, or sound like something, they end up doing it anyway?

        “I don’t want to sound racist, but *racism*.”
        “I don’t want to be that guy, but *proceeds to be that guy*.”

        Maybe your problem is that you keep trying to blame it on the internet, instead of accepting that people have had a hard time with certain words since certain words saw widespread use. Bad spelling stretches back through our history, the internet doesn’t create human behavior, it magnifies it. You notice bad spelling more online because you’re reading what’s being written by ordinary people, not text books, or edited novels, or words on the TV screen that were put there by people with jobs being paid to put words on a TV screen.

        I stopped caring about how others use our language many years ago, once I learned that “we find our necessaties are not such as to require an immediate transportation during the harvist” was how George Washington spelled. Winston Churchill’s report cards from his childhood all remarked that he was a terrific speaker, and the worst speller they had ever seen.

        Earnest Hemmingway, Agatha Christie, and Jane Austen were all atrocious spellers, and they ended up becoming some of the most well known writers in the western world.

        Leonardo Di Vinci once said, “You should prefer a good scientist without literary abilities than a literate one without scientific skills.” Even though he could paint and do math like few others in his time, he couldn’t spell to save his life.

        But I think ol’ Benjamin Franklin said it best:

        “You need not be concerned in writing to me about your bad spelling, for in my opinion as our alphabet now stands the bad spelling, or what is called so, is generally best, as conforming to the sound of the letters and of the words.”

        If you can understand a poor spellers meaning well enough to actually correct their mistakes, then you understood what they meant well enough to ignore their poor spelling.

        • Press X to Gary Busey says:

          Well said but you forgot all the dirty foreigners frequenting the English internet sphere!. :)
          I myself is a victim of non-native English classes for 9 years in public schools (with teachers of varying competence).
          Combine that with internet quick-fire commenting for some occasional (frequent) loose spelling and grammar.

        • Valkyr says:

          I only read your first sentences but for your information, it is a rhetorical device and it’s called apophasis. Please don’t generalize it with being racist.

    • JazzTap says:

      I recall having to grab a .dll corresponding to an older version of OpenGL to run KotOR 2, installed from disks & modded. That was the workaround the second time, anyways.

      DeadlyStream has a guide covering the known workarounds, if you haven’t seen it already.

      Did you receive (and google) an error message? I realize the ship’s probably sailed, but hey, the game’s worth playing.

  11. Smoof says:

    Screwing up my computers and troubleshooting games in my youth is absolutely why I have a career in IT now.

    When I encounter a problem that’s stopping me from what I want to be doing with my PC, it absolutely consumes me until I get the problem resolved. I guess that’s what makes me well equipped for my job.

    • jrodman says:

      Yeah, I’m a similar way with a reproducible problem. I want to plumb its depths and figure out what’s going on.

      However, I’m not at all perseverant with actually playing games. If I’m figuring out how they work I might be persistent, but if it’s a control skill challenge, I lose interest almost immediately.

  12. Prolar Bear says:

    Great article. I can definitely relate to that feeling – all my friends can’t do more than put a disc in a try, really. Thanks, gaming on a lousy PC.

  13. JayG says:

    I still do this. Spent ages trying to get Age of Wonders working on a tablet, and modding up loads of ancient games that I will probably never play just to get them working. And sometimes it’s actually more fun then the game itself.

  14. Philopoemen says:

    I remember teaching myself how to make a boot disk in order to play Syndicate when it came out – 4MB Ram was a big ask. I pulled out the DOS manual and autoexec.bat and made a floppy that let me play, and many hundred f hours were spent happy.

    Now I’m watching a youtube video about how to get Planescape: Torment to work properly in Windows 8.1

    • silentdan says:

      I played through about half of P:T last year, and it really holds up. Hang in there, it’s worth it! My only issue with how the game aged is the resolution of the art. When it’s Papers, Please!-style pixel art, my brain interprets everything symbolically, and it looks “good” to me. When it’s modern, super-high-res photo-realistic graphics, my brain interprets it all literally, and it looks “good” to me. Whatever by brain was doing to make 640×480 look “good” to me, it has forgotten how to do that. Still had a blast, though. :)

  15. Faxmachinen says:

    Well, you answered your own question, Alec. The reason you don’t have these problems on an XBox is because the XBox won’t let you install Mactype.

    However, a PC also allows you to dual boot.

  16. TigerWolfe says:

    This sounds a lot like me. I like to run mods on games, and often that’s all the “playing” I do. By this I mean, I decide I will play Skyrim today. But, Skyrim is Vanilla right now, that will not do! I then proceed to install scad loads of mods, break all the Skyrim, proceed to trouble shoot the Skyrim and all its mods. Sometimes find out that something on my computer got dorked up, fix that. Bash and TESEdit and all that to get the Skyrim working nicely, turn it on to check that all the mods are playing nice together, and call it a day. I then go about my business content to have “played” Skyrim for a while (sometimes it’s just a couple hours, although the last time I ran a bunch of mods it took me days to get it all working right), even though I never actually played anything at all.

    • fabulousfurrygingerfreakbrothers says:

      God, so much this. I’ve lost entire weekends ‘playing’ Skyrim.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      Imagine a world where modders would be cool with people remixing and combining their work in modpacks, and only a few generous people would lose their week-end (or two weeks of vacation) doing that, and the rest could just download the modpack and start playing.

      Well that world already exists for other games such as Civ and STALKER where huge modpacks are commonplace. But Oblivion mod authors are too concerned about control over their creation to allow that. Many even want their creation to “die with them”, forbidding anyone to fix bugs in their mods even when they’ve abandoned them.

      Bethesda should really force all these (talented) dicks to share their work. Put in the EULA that mods must be released under a CC-BY-NC-SA-like license. Done.

  17. silentdan says:

    I actually had to kind of skim over the part about the technical difficulties, because it reminded me of the pain. The GTA4 pain. When I got that game on its PC launch day, I spent the next weeks desperately trying to make it playable. The asphalt and concrete textures were absent. I could see the metal plumbing beneath the streets, but not the streets themselves. Or the concrete buildings that lined them. I tried everything, for a couple of weeks. I tried to play it in its awful condition, and was able to navigate outdoor environments passably well, but got stuck on a mission where someone went inside a building, and floated up some presumably concrete stairs that I couldn’t find the base of.

    So, yeah, I think I’ll go back and see if GTA4 works yet. If so, great. I heard it was pretty good. I’ll be sure to pick up GTA5 just as soon as GTA6 comes out. It might be ready by then.

  18. Licaon_Kter says:

    @Alec Meer: The problem is that MacType hooks itself to processes in order to replace the font renderer, hence anti-fraud systems see that and believe you are trying to cheat or something.

  19. thedosbox says:

    Rockstar Social Club is why I’ll never play another GTA game.

    After the horror show of GFWL, I’ve tried to avoid games that use third-party DRM/launchers. Made the mistake of taking a chance on Splinter Cell Blacklist. It turns out that Uplay needs administrator rights during installation – and again when you first login (i.e. two separate events). It doesn’t tell you this, but instead fails silently. You only discover there’s a problem after the game launches and doesn’t save settings.

    Don’t even get me started on games that wouldn’t launch without a specific version (i.e. not too old, not too new) of PhysX.

    • silentdan says:

      RSC is the worst. It’s mandatory in the legitimately-distributed version of the game. It’s unavailable in the other versions. I prefer it to be unavailable, and I’m clearly not alone.

      Dear Rockstar: you put your incentives on backwards; turn ’em around and zip ’em up, please.

    • airmikee says:

      I didn’t mind the Social Club when I played through LA Noire, but when it wouldn’t even let me get into GTA IV I wrote off Rockstar games completely. Haven’t touched one since.

  20. MikhailG says:

    Funnily, seems a lot of us did this in their youth. Personally, when my dad bought our first Pentium, I broke it in a matter of days. In the coming weeks, every time I wanted to run a game I had some issues. Sound drivers, graphics stuff, things I barely understood. And yet it was so satisfying to figure these things out. Well, not for my dad. He decided that I am disallowed from fiddling with the PC anymore, and bought me a separate machine at a later point just so that ‘I would stop breaking his PC’. Victory for me I guess.

    Nowadays I sometimes don’t bother with some games, I remember GTA4 acting up on PC (bad port amIrite?) and I just couldn’t care. But when the new X-Com came out and for some inexplicable reason I had really a bad framerate, I was so pissed that I spent a whole day opening the graphics code and altering things (mostly deleting unnecessary stuff bound to mobile phone stuff of all things!?) until it damn well worked cause I had easily more than the minimum requirements. Had smooth framerates afterwards, like a baby.

    Yes I work at IT and yes I fix computers for a living, is it much of a surprise?

  21. caff says:

    AUTOEXEC.BAT
    CONFIG.SYS

    HIMEM.EXE
    EMM386.EXE NOEMS

    SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 T3 H6

    Anyone who ever played with such commands to get Alone in the Dark running deserves street cred in my book.

    • Vicho says:

      hahah emm386 was a revelation when I discovered it, the payoff from hours of poring over DOS documentation

  22. Sin Vega says:

    I spent an entire year doing this back in my abandonware days. Hundreds of games I’d struggle to get working for days, then finally boot up and play for perhaps half an hour before starting again with another one. It’s a sickness.

  23. melnificent says:

    I remember making a boot floppy to play games on my dads Olivetti 286 with 1mb of ram when I was a kid.
    I spent weeks gathering drivers from other PCs (display models in stores and friends machines) just to tweak the autoexec.bat and config.sys to free up a little more of base memory to be able to play games.

    That floppy was then copied by my friends for the same reason :D

  24. Premium User Badge

    Dukey says:

    I remember the day I FINALLY got Ultima VII to run WITH SOUND on my dad’s 486.

  25. MellowKrogoth says:

    Looks like you’re ready for consoles :P

    … I’ll be on my way before the pitchfork mob catches up.

  26. fuggles says:

    Renegade ops. Refused to run at all, lots of similar problems on the internet, avalanche refuse to patch the damn game (they have got something of a free pass on this owing to the just cause series being popular, but they have no intention of helping ops players, which sucks).

    Systematically disabling every process and running it found the problem was some software that I’d once installed to download the dead island trailer so I could add the Hawaii 5-0 music (still available on demand). Never knew it was running in the background.

    Avalanche still don’t care and lots never played, but by becoming one of those forum posters, a couple more people got it working.

    Thanks for the great game avalanche, but your support was/is shameful.

    With a toddler I have no time for shenanigans, it works or I move on. I want my clawed back game time to be spent in-game.

  27. bonuswavepilot says:

    Yes! I know this stubborn perseverance in my bones. Taking computer problems personally was a major factor in putting me on the road of being an IT-guy, as well as a PC gamer…

    Not just spending hours getting a game working then losing interest in a few minutes once it did, either – this kind of bloody mindedness is pretty much required for debugging code. Hours of testing hypotheses about why something is misbehaving, then trying different approaches, reading esoteric implementation details, then eventually spotting the incorrect greater than sign instead of a less than, or missing semicolon…

  28. brulleks says:

    I had a sudden desire to play Prototype again a couple of months ago, but because I’d bought and downloaded it from Impulse many moons ago, before the company was subject to two separate takeovers, getting my serial key proved to be impossible on the site.

    I ended up playing merry hell with their customer support until finally someone relented and emailed me a new key. It’s still sitting in my inbox, unused. I’ve completely lost interest in playing it again since the day I first thought of it.

  29. Premium User Badge

    Don Reba says:

    Mactype, an application which makes fonts look a little less horrendous in Windows

    Actually, fonts look better in Windows. Though, I understand if you became used to Mac’s rendering.

    • colorlessness says:

      MacType also lets you tweak many aspects of font rendering that you just don’t get to tweak with the default Windows rendering.

  30. colorlessness says:

    I probably wouldn’t uninstall MacType in order to play GTA…

  31. TomA says:

    Had something similar myself, Football Manager 2012 of all things, I had (at the time) and absolute beast of a PC I’d custom built but for some reason Football Manger would intermittently crash my system completely and loop whatever sound effect was happening at the time. I was furious that my PC could run anything but not some little 3D chaps running up and down a field. Sometimes it would happen after 2 hours playing, sometimes after 5 minutes. The only solution was to turn it off and restart it. I browsed forums on SI for hours and found very few people with the same problem and no solutions. One day I was playing for ages with no crashes and only by chance worked out that my crossfire was turned off, the game just simply didn’t support it and would run fine when I had it disabled.

  32. Steed says:

    Must say Geforce Experience has made me lazy in terms of graphics tweaking, just download the profile and apply the settings…