Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

This is a discussion on Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Does anyone else have this game? For the entire game I've had the shaders at max and using hardware shadow ...

  1. #1
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

    Does anyone else have this game?

    For the entire game I've had the shaders at max and using hardware shadow mapping. Now on one level when it says caching shaders, it doesn't CTD, it doesn't crash, it reboots my computer. Yes, it REBOOTS my computer midway.

    I cannot think of anything in shader code that would cause a system to reboot much less C/C++ code. The only thing that will cause a reboot is a triple fault in the CPU which, to me, is a major game killing bug and possibly OS killing bug that the folks that coded the game would not allow through.

    My specs:
    AMD 3200 XP+ 2.3 GHz
    1GB Corsair RAM
    3 drives - total of 340 GB of storage
    BFG Tech GeForce 7800 GS AGP 256MB

    Even the configuration util that comes with the game says I should have no issues and recommends the max settings.

    Any ideas?

    I'm in the process of updating the game but none of the update readme's say anything about this issue.

  2. #2
    Deathray Engineer MacGyver's Avatar
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    Are your your video drivers up to date? Are you overclocking your video card at all? Could it be overheating? Does the game log file mention anything?

    Is this for singleplayer, or are you playing multiplayer with Punkbuster?

    (Sorry, I don't have the game.)

  3. #3
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Are your your video drivers up to date? Are you overclocking your video card at all? Could it be overheating? Does the game log file mention anything?

    Is this for singleplayer, or are you playing multiplayer with Punkbuster?
    Yes.
    It is overclocked out of the box from BFG Tech, so no since it is standard on this chipset.
    No it's not overheating.
    No game log.
    Single player.

    But for you 'update your drivers' crowd I have news for you. Quite simply if it is not broken then don't attempt to fix it. Many driver updates will break something else. So I would not buy into this line of bs propogated by the brain dead tech support idiots at the game companies. Updating drivers to get one game to work may break 10 more.

  4. #4
    Supermassive black hole cboard_member's Avatar
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    Funnily enough (or not) I was thinking about playing this today - I have exactly the same problem, well almost, so I didn't bother.

    With the same settings as you (SM3.0, hardware shadow mapping - basically everything jacked up) it performs top notch, but, usually starting with the korean maps, it causes a bluescreen - some problem with nv4_disp.dll (or something along those lines). Up until this point I have no problems, except I whisper "please-please-please" under my breath as it's caching

    My box:

    1GB Kingston RAM
    BFG Tech Geforce 7800 GS 256MB - Same as yours? Factory overclocked.
    P4 3.0GHz
    160GB HDD

    Mine's not overheating either, well almost certainly not. Good airflow plus I only recently (last Saturday) excavated half a tonne of dust from the GPU & CPU fans. Damn dog hair and coal-dust Welsh atmosphere.

    Single player also. As far as I'm aware I'm using the 98.something drivers - haven't bothered looking for updates lately. As Bubba says, t'ain't broken.
    Good class architecture is not like a Swiss Army Knife; it should be more like a well balanced throwing knife.

    - Mike McShaffry

  5. #5
    Deathray Engineer MacGyver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    But for you 'update your drivers' crowd I have news for you. Quite simply if it is not broken then don't attempt to fix it. Many driver updates will break something else. So I would not buy into this line of bs propogated by the brain dead tech support idiots at the game companies. Updating drivers to get one game to work may break 10 more.
    Obviously it's broken. So fix it.

    On a serious note, though, personally, I don't usually update my video drivers often, but I usually do when experiencing issues since it's a well known fact that game companies are writing for later graphics cards and later versions of DirectX, which then require later drivers. It's all a matter of how badly you want the current game (and probably newer ones) to work.

    It's easy to just blame the coding for the game (which I do all the time), but heck, in this day and age, you can even roll back your drivers if it doesn't work....
    Last edited by MacGyver; 05-06-2007 at 03:06 PM.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Heh. Must be a compat. issue with our card Ahluka. I cannot find anything on the forums about it.

    Mine started with the missile site mission. It works fine without SM 3.0, but as soon as it attempts to cache the shaders it gets to about 75% to 80% (from what I can tell from the progress bar) and the system either hardlocks or reboots. Cannot believe they released this with this type of error. Locking is one thing but rebooting is 100% unaccpetable and can cause data loss to the OS.

    One thing about Direct3D. They still need to find a way for it to gracefully die or crash. Many of my games will not let me back to the desktop. I'm not sure if this is just a programming issue that the companies just don't want to address, or it's something in Direct3D.

    To date, none of my personal Direct3D projects using shader model 3.0 have ever made it impossible to return to the desktop. I'm not sure why anyone else's would. I saw one post on the forums from a UBI staff member that said keep in mind these games were not coded for the newer cards so that is the problem. This is a huge line of bull because if the game was coded using Shader Model 1.1, then a card supporting Shader Model 3.0 should have no issues using 1.1. Quite simply if you aren't using the assembly instructions because they were not available at the time then running the same code on a modern card should work perfect. Now having a modern game not run on an old card is understandable, but not vice versa. Where do they find these people?

    At one time I thought that game code was some of the best but now I'm starting to see that most of it is hacked together and rushed out the door. Several of my retail games simply fail if you turn on the error reporting and validation in your DirectX control panel that comes with the SDK. Sims 2 absolutely will not start when you set Break on all Errors, and several other games will fail with validation on.

    So how is it than none of my projects fail in debug mode or release mode but many of my retail games will not start in debug mode using the debug DLLs? It really is amazing how many errors Direct3D will allow and yet still run flawlessly. But, for me, I'd rather my precious CPU and GPU cylces be used on executing code instead of ignoring it because it's wrong.

    Areas that DirectX is not friendly on are:

    • Sound
    • Shaders
    • Various input devices
    • Force feedback
    • Communications (ports)
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 05-06-2007 at 05:34 PM.

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    Couple minutes on wiki and I think we have the problem: StarForce. And if that's not the cause, its most certainly an even bigger problem than the one you had before. System instability, hidden drivers, potential optical drive damage... some of these issues proven, some mere rumours, but none worth jeopardizing your system for (especially if its just for Splinter Cell). Although it says Ubisoft has dropped the use of StarForce in its games as of 2006 as a result of a recent lawsuit against it, I think Chaos theory just missed this deadline. I'd recommend immediately uninstalling StarForce (even if it means unistalling the game).

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    well, if you are getting a BSOD, First thing you should look at is the dump file. Which will give you the driver giving the issue.

    Even the stop error message would help pinpoint the error.. 0x00 (0x00, 0x00, 0x00)

  9. #9
    Supermassive black hole cboard_member's Avatar
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    >> Mine started with the missile site mission...

    Same here.

    I've downloaded the removal tool and I'm about to have a play with it.
    Good class architecture is not like a Swiss Army Knife; it should be more like a well balanced throwing knife.

    - Mike McShaffry

  10. #10
    Supermassive black hole cboard_member's Avatar
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    Hurrah. Apparent success.
    It loaded the "Battery" map with every setting maxed (SM3.0) successfully. I was going to play it then realised that I can't remember the controls plus it's a pretty late map, so I'd just mess it up anyway.

    Since this load may have been a fluke, I'll try some later maps a couple of times later on this evening - got to drop my brother off in town.

    Hopefully we'll be able to enjoy the last few maps in their full 1280x960 HDR goodness

    EDIT: I might even re-install Double Agent and see if I've also fixed the CTD problem(s) with that too. I was really enjoying that for a while.
    Good class architecture is not like a Swiss Army Knife; it should be more like a well balanced throwing knife.

    - Mike McShaffry

  11. #11
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    I don't consider Wiki an authority on anything so I don't normally bother looking there.

    Starforce has been an issue before but never on my system so this is news to me and I own many, many, many Ubisoft games.

    But it does stand to reason that some missions would work and some would not if copy protection schemes interfered with the data at different places on the DVD. None of my hardware is the issue as I keep it all in tip top shape and my drivers are as updated as I'm willing to go w/o possibly breaking something else.

  12. #12
    Supermassive black hole cboard_member's Avatar
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    >> Starforce has been an issue before but never on my system so this is news to me and I own many, many, many Ubisoft games.

    Same here. I'm about to try playing some more later maps (sorry, I know I said I'd do it yesterday) to test if this "fix" really has worked for me.
    Good class architecture is not like a Swiss Army Knife; it should be more like a well balanced throwing knife.

    - Mike McShaffry

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