Game visuals stop working

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Game visuals stop working

Post by ja233599 on Sun 23 Sep 2012, 20:57

Hi,

Sorry for the nondescript title, but I'm not sure "freezing" or "crashing" are the appropriate terms for what happens to me.

Basically, from time to time, the game will no longer update anything visual other than the mouse pointer. I can click HUD buttons or press "P" and hear the right sound effects, but the screen is totally frozen. I've heard other people say they have problems where certain animations like the "Zzzz" keep going but the Sims freeze; but even those animations stop for me. I can't pan the camera or do anything (I guess--maybe things are actually going on and I'm just playing blindly, I don't know). The game does not appear to recover from this no matter how long I wait, so I kill it in Task Manager when it happens.

This has about a 50% chance of happening when I enter/exit map view without pausing, so I've learned to avoid that. But now it's getting more and more frequent and I can barely play the game at all. I managed to move my household to a new lot, and it was seemingly alright for a short time, but now it's happening again.

This may be a coincidence, but I have noticed it seems to ALWAYS trigger when I see the icon for the "Watch a wild horse" wish. One of my Sims is asking for it at the moment, and whenever I select him, I'm doomed. In the past, he wanted that wish, but it wasn't displayed in the box. Whenever I clicked the arrows to scroll through the wishes, getting to that one would cause the issue. So I'm pretty convinced that wish is problematic. Figuring out a way to dismiss that wish without looking at it (maybe a console command?) would be nice... but it wouldn't solve the problem entirely, as it happens at other times, too.

I'm using all the expansions and stuff packs from the G4TW torrents, and used the installation guides and ultimate fix on these forums. No custom content. I installed a few mods to try to help, but I was experiencing the problem before then. I'm playing in the world called Appaloosa Plains.

My computer is:
2.8 GHz Pentium D
GeForce 7600 GT
3 GB of RAM
Windows XP

Not that beefy, I know... but the game doesn't really tax my system at all. Even while I'm experiencing the problem, the rest of my computer is completely fine.

I play with almost all the graphics at the lowest settings normally, at 1024x768 window mode. Turning the remaining few (mainly texture/sim details) down to the lowest setting doesn't help. Overwatch/Register mods don't help. Deleting the cache files doesn't help. The "resetSim *" command doesn't help (But I'm not sure it's actually being typed in or not when I try it while "frozen". It sounds like it is, but I can't see anything, of course). I can't figure out how to download Gamebooster (the download links just ask you to sign up for the beta, and they'll let you know if you get in, but there's no actual download link) or I'd have tried that. But since the game doesn't actually hang up my PC, that probably won't help. Anything else I can do, or is it just not compatible?

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Re: Game visuals stop working

Post by Adwomin on Sun 23 Sep 2012, 22:28

Hello,

I assume it's not a laptop?
If not, please download and apply this GPU update: http://www.nvidia.co.uk/object/winxp-306.23-whql-driver-uk.html
If possible, choose Custom" and "Clean installation" during the installation wizard.
After it finished patching, restart your PC and test the game.

Good luck!

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Re: Game visuals stop working

Post by ja233599 on Sun 23 Sep 2012, 22:58

Thank you, Admin.

I installed that driver and so far, at least, it's not doing that anymore. Granted, I only played for a minute, but looking at that wish isn't locking it up, at least.

Something weird though is that when I click on that NVIDIA Settings program in my system tray (which existed before, but seems to have been updated now), my monitor turns off and back on in order to display the associated menus. I don't care about that, per se, but it worries me that there's something wrong that might cause other problems...

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Re: Game visuals stop working

Post by Adwomin on Mon 24 Sep 2012, 18:39

Hello,

No, I don't think that kind of issues are harmful!
For example, your screen usually goes black for a few seconds when installing a graphic card driver, because it needs to block access to the graphic card components, so they can be updated.

Nothing to worry about though.
What about the original problem? Everything solved now?

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Re: Game visuals stop working

Post by ja233599 on Tue 25 Sep 2012, 02:59

Yes, I have been playing more since last posting, and haven't seen the original problem once (or any other equally serious). So, it looks like that was solved. Thanks for that!

For some reason updating the driver caused some minor annoyances that weren't there before, but the game is playable now, so I'll just live with them. Thanks again for helping me, and of course thanks for the making the game available and everything.

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Re: Game visuals stop working

Post by DeeDee47 on Tue 25 Sep 2012, 03:34

What are the minor annoyances? We could probably help with those, too Smile

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Re: Game visuals stop working

Post by ☠ ~ Aɳɳ ~ ☠ on Tue 25 Sep 2012, 10:57

Hello,

Indeed, they may be easily solved.

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Re: Game visuals stop working

Post by ja233599 on Tue 25 Sep 2012, 20:31

Okay, well, there are two things, since you asked.

1) The game takes longer than before to load up and save, and also runs a little more poorly. It'll hang up for a few seconds to "catch up" every now and then. Pausing the game helps it along. Note that I am aware the game reset all my settings when I installed the new drivers. It isn't that I forgot to return them to the low settings. It's quite playable, I have nothing to complain about. And now that the game never screws up like I posted about, saving often isn't that urgent.

It's only confusing that it used to be better prior to the update. It's possibly just a coincidence because I added those mods not long before getting the new driver. Is there a big difference between having no mods, and having just a couple? If so, just forget about it, it's probably the mods.

2) Pets are messed up. I don't own one myself, so I only see them when strays wander over, or something. Therefore I don't really care about this too much. But their bodies are extremely distorted, with parts of the model stretching out to the edges of the screen. I think it only applies to cats and dogs (at least, I've seen some wild animals like deer that looked okay). When I started my household, I had made a dog (which ended up getting neglected and taken away--oops). That dog looked fine, so I'm pretty sure there wasn't a problem before.

I think I read about pet problems with certain video cards on the official forums. I'm not sure if it's the same problem as they were talking about, but if so, it probably can't be helped without buying a new video card. I definitely don't care about it enough to do that.

This picture will give you some idea of what it looks like:
simsvip.com/?p=3393
I haven't seen a horse since I updated my driver, so I don't know for certain if horses are affected for me, but it's similar to that. I did see a horse wandering around prior to the update and it didn't look distorted, so...

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Re: Game visuals stop working

Post by Adwomin on Tue 25 Sep 2012, 21:16

@ja233599 wrote:Okay, well, there are two things, since you asked.

1) The game takes longer than before to load up and save, and also runs a little more poorly. It'll hang up for a few seconds to "catch up" every now and then. Pausing the game helps it along. Note that I am aware the game reset all my settings when I installed the new drivers. It isn't that I forgot to return them to the low settings. It's quite playable, I have nothing to complain about. And now that the game never screws up like I posted about, saving often isn't that urgent.

It's only confusing that it used to be better prior to the update. It's possibly just a coincidence because I added those mods not long before getting the new driver. Is there a big difference between having no mods, and having just a couple? If so, just forget about it, it's probably the mods.

2) Pets are messed up. I don't own one myself, so I only see them when strays wander over, or something. Therefore I don't really care about this too much. But their bodies are extremely distorted, with parts of the model stretching out to the edges of the screen. I think it only applies to cats and dogs (at least, I've seen some wild animals like deer that looked okay). When I started my household, I had made a dog (which ended up getting neglected and taken away--oops). That dog looked fine, so I'm pretty sure there wasn't a problem before.

I think I read about pet problems with certain video cards on the official forums. I'm not sure if it's the same problem as they were talking about, but if so, it probably can't be helped without buying a new video card. I definitely don't care about it enough to do that.

This picture will give you some idea of what it looks like:
simsvip.com/?p=3393
I haven't seen a horse since I updated my driver, so I don't know for certain if horses are affected for me, but it's similar to that. I did see a horse wandering around prior to the update and it didn't look distorted, so...
Hello,

As for the Mods, yes, they definitely (can) make a difference in performance! First try playing the game with the "Mods" folder completely removed. (Keep a backup of it, of course) Let us know the result after that.

AS for the deformed pets, I think it's the GPU indeed. More information here: http://games4theworld.bestgoo.com/t2488-the-sims-3-pets-graphical-issues

I really don't know about the horses, so I'll leave that one for someone else to answer.

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Re: Game visuals stop working

Post by ja233599 on Tue 25 Sep 2012, 22:13

After removing the mods folder, it certainly loaded a lot faster. We'll say that was the reason. I will keep the mods, though. They seem to be doing useful work (lots of messages about stuck cars being fixed, etc), and waiting an extra few minutes to load the game isn't a problem.

As for the pets thing, it looks like it can't really be solved. As I said before, I'll just live with it.

Admin wrote:I really don't know about the horses, so I'll leave that one for someone else to answer.
Oh, there isn't any separate problem with the horses. If you thought I meant they disappeared since the driver patch, that's not what I meant. I just haven't seen any, so I couldn't compare what they looked like before and after the driver change. The one I saw before was not distorted. If it's indeed true that the pets displayed correctly with the old drivers, then it's strange, but I prefer having the distortion issue, rather than the one I made the thread for.

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Re: Game visuals stop working

Post by DeeDee47 on Tue 25 Sep 2012, 22:51

Oh, you have Overwatch mod? What's ironic about the mod is that it's supposed to make things run faster by clearing cars, sims, stuck aging, etc., that would normally make the game hang, but my game hangs every time it gives me a notification about what it fixed. I eventually just removed the mod, because it wasn't fixing all the sims that were stuck, and I ended up getting 5 second freezes every couple of sim minutes. (ResetSim *), which resets every sim in the town, eliminates the freezing. Maybe something to think about!

Also, do you have NRAAS Story Progression mod? That can slow down your game immensely.

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Re: Game visuals stop working

Post by polygon on Wed 26 Sep 2012, 03:19

My problem is like that. i cannot find my GPU update

Mine is
GeForce 9500 GT

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Re: Game visuals stop working

Post by ☠ ~ Aɳɳ ~ ☠ on Wed 26 Sep 2012, 10:53

Hello,

Your graphicscard should be supported though, to play Pets. Did you do a clean, custom install of the drivers?

I'm not experiencing any problems with Overwatch or Storyprogression at all. My PC is old. Perhaps you could consider uninstalling some packs. My game performance increased significantly by just uninstalling the stuffs. And it's not that the stuffpacks add that much to the Sims 3 experience, in my opinion.

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