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Warlords - Bad memory allocation

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Bug Reports' started by McRoos, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. seady

    seady Prince

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    Considering file sizes for games, and hard disk space to save them on, will only increase with time, i don't think 600 megabyte saves are unreasonable.

    However, if there's an upper limit on what Civ4 can handle (don't know why, since other programs can work with files gigabytes larger) then if they posted something officially, then that would be that.

    What maddens me is they won't confess to it. Deny, deny, deny. Hey, it worked for OJ.
     
  2. seady

    seady Prince

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    To put this in perspective, back in 1995 i was working with 100 megabyte bitmaps. We had to save them to an optical disk and use sneakernet. Now, it's nearly 2007 and civ4 can't cope with saving 600 meg files? Something stinks.
     
  3. DaviddesJ

    DaviddesJ Deity

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    Well, I think it's completely absurd. I have a hundred or so Civ4 saves lying around. The biggest are only a few hundred kilobytes. If they were hundreds of megabytes (1000 times larger!), they would fill up my whole disk, by themselves. Saving and loading would take a minute or more.

    I don't know what your mod is putting into those save files, but I think it's totally unreasonable to expect to put 600 megabytes into a save file and expect the game to still work.
     
  4. seady

    seady Prince

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    And it's completely unreasonable to use more than 640K of ram. Or have more than 10 computers in the world. Or use email for anything other than text.

    Think ahead. It's a big world out there. Just because you personally don't need more than a 1200 bit/s acoustic coupled modem, a PDP/11 and a box of punch cards doesn't mean it's unreasonable for others to want more.
     
  5. DaviddesJ

    DaviddesJ Deity

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    OK, I can think ahead. In the year 2016, when Firaxis ships Civ6, perhaps they will need to be able to handle much larger savefiles. (Although I'm still not sure that the nature of Civ-like games requires that---the savefiles for normal Civ4 aren't so much bigger than previous versions.) But this has nothing to do with berating them for building a moddable game and yet not anticipating or supporting some "mod" that stores much, much, much more data in every save file, than they do.
     
  6. ERLoft

    ERLoft San Diegan

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    I've hit the wall in my current game. Sadly, the good savefiles are only 880kb or so. I'm using the Visa modpack on a large map w/16 civs and I've just discovered gunpowder & banking, yet I'm already getting MAF crashes. And no, I doubt it's system related, my rig was built for BF2 & has FAR more than enough computing power to handle anything Civ can throw at it.

    I sincerely hope they fix this issue...
     
  7. seady

    seady Prince

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    Even if you make only small changes, like making larger maps than the one provided with the game, or making more civs playable at a time, then you are bulking out the save files... yet these two are the most popular, most requested changes.

    If firaxis announces an upper limit on the save files (because they use a compression routine that simply can't deal with it or whatever) then, fine, everyone will have to accept it's limitations. Instead, there's a catch-22 here.

    Customer

    My games are crashing in a predictable way, and so are the games of many others in our community


    Firaxis

    post the save game


    Customer

    I can't, it's larger than the maximum post size allowed


    Firaxis

    No game produced with unmodded civ will exceed that size


    Customer

    but this a modding community! if it was a problem with our mod code then that's fair enough but anyone who makes a large mod will hit this problem!


    Firaxis

    Modding is not supported. Thank you and have a nice day


    Customer

    But modding is one of the things you advertised as being special to this product and you have never documented a limit to file sizes?


    Firaxis

    The EULA means we aren't responsible for the product doing what we say it does. In any case, modding is not supported. Thank you and have a nice day



    ................


    To put all of this in context, email (pop/smtp) was developed to transfer short text files, little more than todays SMS. FTP was for anything larger. Immediately, people started sending large files through email. As a tech, I was outraged... use the right tool for the job, I'd say.

    The reality is, the customer is always right... email is the right tool and needed to be adjusted so that large files could be transferred safely. It never happened and customers still experience the same problems with attachments as they did 9 years ago, when i started tech support.

    If customers are doing something Firaxis didn't expect (large mods) then that's to be coped with, either by saying why it's can't work, or patching the code so it can. Currently we just have denial.
     
  8. DaviddesJ

    DaviddesJ Deity

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    1000 times larger than a normal save file? Come on.
     
  9. seady

    seady Prince

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    My visa folder, which is bloated as i backup sections or add my own stuff, is
    Spoiler :


    As you can see that's big, but why are the saved files so huge? I'd expect a lot of the saved info is actually redundant, and with a bit of tweaking, saved games could be much smaller. However, modders have no access to the "save game" functions. That's Firaxis' baby, and they aren't sharing.

    I'm not a programmer but I suspect the saved files are saving things they don't need to... an example from another game back in DOS days was that is screenshotted the game and saved the bitmap as well as the data, which bloated the file. That's unlikely to be happening here but some equivalent wouldn't surprise me. The C++ programmers might have better examples like excessively large arrays.

    I don't trust Take2 support; when i passed on to them the bug with sound that was in their original code (caused a spike at maximum volume), all i got was "we do not support modding" even though it was in the unmodded code. 6 months later, they patched it.

    That particular bug was one of the rare ways someone could actually have been injured by a computer; max volume spikes are documented as causing hearing loss in some cases, and can certainly blow your speakers if you have everything set for the volume you get for the rest of the game. It was not something that would have taken long to fix (one line of code, recompile, add to patch folder so that game autoupdates) and shouldn't have been put on the backburner.

    I expect, at some future time, either a patch will be released to fix it or the next version of civ will have better save game techniques. I'd buy an expansion that was specifically for modders and addressed this issue (and others, like a quick and dirty unit/tech/building etc editor that acted like the civ3 one) and i expect others would as well. To cover distribution costs, you could pre-sign people and get them to download it, paying with credit card.
     
  10. seady

    seady Prince

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    My genetic era latest save is 416 kB. I'm playing a large map, no sea cities or anything like that. Gen era is about 61.3 MB (i mod it a little more than normal). Yet if i play the same number of cities and units in an unmodded game, the saved file is much much smaller.

    To me, that's a problem with the efficiency of the save technique. I can't tell, because it looks like some sort of compression is used (examining the saved file in a hex editor doesn't revel much except my name and the path), but I am fairly certain this could be tweaked, and i can't think of a business reason to keep most of this secret (maybe the actual compression coding but otherwise the way variables are handled here isn't going to give a competitor any conceivable advantage).

    Maybe we can lobby to have this section at least partially opened up, as part of the SDK, if it doesn't violate company practices? If the modders had to tweak the code to make the saves work, it's not costing firaxis anything.
     
  11. DaviddesJ

    DaviddesJ Deity

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    I don't understand what this means. Why is the latter 150 times bigger than the former?
     
  12. seady

    seady Prince

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    Not sure what you are asking? Do you mean why is the gen era mod creating relatively smaller saves than ViSa? If it is (and i don't have a save here to compare) then i'd guess that Gen era's main work is in the SDK, rather than in creating unique units and especially in the movies and music that comes bundles with ViSa. Visa has 158 mB of art for example. Gen era: 41.4 MB . Thats on top of the base of 268 MB for warlords (don't know if it uses the vanilla 460 MB as well).

    Vanilla has 12.8 MB of xml, Visa approx 27.4 MB for example.
     
  13. seady

    seady Prince

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    The crash point for MAF is complicated by several factors.

    Alondin
    says

     
  14. ncjharris

    ncjharris Chieftain

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    Hi.

    Come across this awesome forum searching for a solution to the MAF too. One thing I note, that may or may not have been touched on, is that there are refs that the MAF occurs during mod'd games.
    I get the memory problem, yet am not playing with a mod'd version and with computer specs comparable to those above.
    Don't know if this makes a difference?
     
  15. pay-t

    pay-t Lazy historian

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    To me it only happens with the 1590 AD autosave file, and when I look into the save game map it's only like 2kb, so, if theire is a way to shut of autosave, I think everyone will be doing just fine;) or the other possibility is to win the game before the point of the error:D
     
  16. drkodos

    drkodos Emperor

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    Thanks for shaing your fantasies.
     
  17. seady

    seady Prince

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    It does in that Firaxis will only troubleshoot an unmodded save game; so please send those to them to alexman .
     
  18. mrgenie

    mrgenie King

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    DELETED by request because of bad language
     
  19. mrgenie

    mrgenie King

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    DELETED by request because of bad language
     
  20. taketounwanted

    taketounwanted Warlord

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    this statement is doing as if you never heard of this problem before..kinda wierd where ten tousands of people(unfortunatly only a few report it online) experience this bug and report it here online even back in december 2005..kinda wierd to recieve such an answer from you Gyathaar..you know it's there..the bug is there...it's somewhere...why do you civfanatics people act as if the problem doesn't exist? Tell firaxis of this problem!!! because take2(who is doing the support) is telling:"we don't give support, it's your own problem" someone must inform firaxis

    I think we just have to go back to civ3, for those who want to play epic games :( firaxis is loosing all their programmers, take2 is non functioning at the moment, at least their support isn't, and in civ3 you at least could play endlessly :)
     

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