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View Full Version : Irregular run/walk speed - anyone else have this?



Vanguard
10th Oct 2002, 04:17
I don't know when it started, but for awhile now when playing Thief Gold OMs or FMs, the speed at which Garrett walks or runs will fluctuate. It's as though he takes short doses of speed potion. With the run key held down, he will run normally, then scoot along faster, slow to a normal run, scoot, run, scoot, and so on. The duration of how long he scoots along faster is variable and you cannot plan when he will start moving faster. The same occurs when walking; it's just less noticable since he is moving slower. This makes it tougher to plan, for example, jumps because when you fail he might've been moving regularly but then the next time you try and adjust yourself then he is moving faster and the timing gets all screwed up. You might think the faster run speed would help Garrett but then all AIs are moving faster and obviously I'm not controlling their walk/run speed with the keys. So it doesn't look to be a keyboard problem but more on why Thief Gold is fluctuating on its rate of processing a mission. The speedup is faster than Garrett should be walking or running, so it doesn't appear to be an occasional slowdown but rather an occasional speedup.

This only happens when playing Thief Gold. This irregular pace speed change does not occur in Thief 2. It also doesn't occur when the same keys are held down in other applications, like a word processor. I have tried a fresh install of Thief Gold but the same problem crops up.

I'm running on Windows 2000 which uses preemptive multitasking (i.e., the dispatcher remains in control of the time slices), not cooperative multitasking like in Windows 9x/ME (where you hope the applications are "nice" in relinquishing their control). I suppose it could be something running in background so my next test is to disable all the startup programs in the Startup group and in the registry to have as minimal a load on the system as possible.

Peter_Smith
10th Oct 2002, 04:38
I never heard of that one before, Vanguard. I am running in Windows 2000 with all kinds of other tasks going, and I see no increases in speed. Sometimes, like during an e-mail download, it will slow momentarily, but it is barely noticable. Of course, you may have a program that slows it down continually and then the program pauses, effectively giving you a speedup. I don't.

Vanguard
10th Oct 2002, 22:28
Yet if it were a background program or NT service that was sporadically slowing and speeding the keyboard and/or CPU then the effect would be exhibited in other applications than Thief Gold. I'd see it in a word processor, when browsing, or even when playing Thief 2 - but I don't. This irregular movement speed only occurs in Thief Gold. And the speed change is dramatic, fluctuating from normal speed to something close to 3 times normal speed.

howie
11th Oct 2002, 13:54
It may be the result of custom scripting included in one of the FM's you have played in the past. I've had some problems with customized FM's myself, for example, one of SilentSleep's FMs made all the AI move at Flash Gordon like speed, and one of Apaches where a dead body was crushed into a big pile. When I had problems I would go into the thief file myself and just delete the folders that I knew where wrong, as custom stuff gets jammed in the thief folder occasionally. The zip file darkloader_backup is suppose make everything the way it was before you installed the new fm (least thats the way I understand it) but sometimes it doesn't work properly and it leave custom items in your thief folder screwing up your new install. If you haven't done it already, you may want to upgrade to the newest darkloader to avoid any conflicts with the older DL versions and newest fms. I have the newest and haven't had a problem with it yet.

Howard

Vanguard
11th Oct 2002, 16:38
Except that, as noted in my opening post, I already tried a fresh install of Thief Gold. And the first FM that I played was not the previous one where I experienced the speed flux. I even deleted Darkloader.ini in the Darkloader directory to force it to "optimize" the Thief Gold install again.

Many of the later FMs that I've played were T2 FMs. The speed flux in T1 OMs and FMs has become somewhat expected for me, so I suspect this is a symptom that has long plagued me with TG. I'm wondering if TG just can't handle a fast system in which keyboard input is getting buffered faster than it extracts the key codes. Guess I'll try reducing the keyboard repeat rate to see if that helps.

LeatherMan
11th Oct 2002, 23:32
E-D-I-T :o :o

My only suggestion would be to reinstall DirectX and/or graphics and sound card drivers. Worst case, uninstall DirectX (info here (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=6316)) and go back to an older version.

DJC
12th Oct 2002, 19:31
Your CPU and GPU combination is too fast for Thief as it doesn't have any limiting in place. It was developed on P133/166s and processors are so much more powerful today.

If I am right, then when the less complex areas of a level are on screen then Garrett will gallop along, however move into a detailed area and he will resume walking at a normal pace.
Ways to combat this:
<li>Run at a higher reolution
<li>Turn on Anti-Aliasing
<li>Turn on Ansiotropic Filtering
<li>Turn V-Sync on, and limit the game to a FPS that matches your refresh rate. If you have a mid-quality monitor this may be 75hz @ 1280x1024 (what I play at).


You may have to mix and match the above options to get Garrett to slow the heck down ;)

I use a combination of 2xAA, 4xAF and Vsync on at 1280x1024 @ 75hz on an Athlon 1700XP, 512mb DDR and a Gf3 ti200.

RicknMel
13th Oct 2002, 00:29
I dunno Vanguard....
....there's some days when I move slower than normal.
I always figured it was proportional to the amount of Bud Light the night before.
:D

Peter_Smith
14th Oct 2002, 01:19
DJC's suggestions sound plausible. They may have hope to fix it. However, I should note that I have played Thief on CPU's ranging from 400 MHz to 1.2 GHz, along with greatly varying speeds of video cards, with no observable difference in playing speed. So there must be some speed limiting timer in the program. Besides, Vanguard was talking about a fluctuating problem, not a steady one. This does not preclude some piece of hardware breaking the program, like the keyboard rep rate. I still wonder why that would be fluctuating.

DJC
14th Oct 2002, 05:59
Number of polygons on the screen at any moment causes the fluctuation.

For example, in the ballroom in Running Interfereance Garrett's walking speed is normal, however take a walk into one of the corridors to the side of the ballroom and Garrett gallops along. The scene here is less complex.

This "bug" only manifests itself (or so I have seen) with new architecture AMD Athlon XP series and the faster (+2GHz) Pentium 4's coupled with a fast graphics card (Geforce 3 or greater).

A fast CPU and a "sloe" graphics card like a Voodoo3, or a TNT2 should not reproduce this problem. nor should a "slow" cpu like a 700mhz P3/AMD with a fast grapics card like a Geforce3

Vanguard
14th Oct 2002, 16:22
My system is mostly over 3 years old. While I'd get up to a 17% speed boost by replacing the mobo, video, and such, it's just not worth the money to me yet. My specs are:

800MHz Pentium3
640MB PC-100 system RAM
ATI Radeon 64MB VIVO
(2) 40GB WD IDE UDMA100 Hard Drives 7400 RPM (using an IDE daughtercard controller for UDMA100 support; mobo only supports UDMA33)

So my system isn't fast by todays standards. I keep looking at a better motherboard, drives, video, and memory but I just won't get the bang for the buck that would qualify spending all the extra money and spending the time to build a new system. I only play Thief. Maybe when T3 comes out or someday another game catches my fancy then maybe I'll get prodded to upgrade. Rather than buy the latest and most expensive hardware and operating system, I select the applications first and those dictate any need for better hardware or OS; i.e., the applications should drive the need for hardware and the OS, not the other way around. I have nothing that pushes my system that hard. That's why the Intel and Microsoft are culling the game developers because they need something to spur their lagging sales.

Maybe someday I'll do another disk image of all drives and do a fresh install of Windows 2000 (and necessary drivers) followed by just Thief Gold to see if the defect still occurs. Or I'll just endure being irregular in TG.

Vanguard
22nd Oct 2002, 06:05
It looks like DJC may have had the answer. After some further testing to see if there was something common when my movement speed increased dramatically, I noticed it was when the layout got simpler. If, for example, I was at the end of a long hallway with lots of objects that my walk speed was normal. But as I neared the end when many of the objects were behind me and all I could see were simple walls then my walk speed got boosted about 3 times. If I was inside a chapel with all the windows, pews, altar, and other design, my move speed was normal, but once I stepped outside into a plain area with same-texture walls then my speed increased, and as I approached a niche where you couldn't see the outlines of wall tops and just saw simplistic side and front walls then my move speed increased even more. This was highly reproducible.

So now I have to figure out how to slow down my video card's processing.

Peter_Smith
23rd Oct 2002, 03:37
I don't know about the ATI radeon, but nVidia cards have an overclocking procedure that can also be used to underclock.

But that doesn't seem like the answer to me. The answer might to bump up the refresh rate and resolution and then enable vsynch. Keeping the card busy synching the frames may give it less idle time to speed up the game. I dunno - that is only speculation.