Low-spec laptops can't play MZ games?

Parallax Panda

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So, I've mentioned this before in the launch thread(s) but my old laptop can't play MZ games. Whenever I try to test play a project or play a game someone else has deployed (like those Japanese demo games for example), I'm greeted with this error message:

MZ_error.png

And just for reference, here's my specs:

Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4210U CPU @ 1.70GHz 2.40GHz
Graphics: Intel(R) HD Graphics Family <--- Probably the problem!
Memory:
8GB
Storage: 125GB SSD
Operating system: Windows 8.1 Pro

Frankly speaking, this is a pretty old laptop that was built for the purpose of mundane office work like excel and such. Because of this, it really has no *real* graphics card, and I "know" this is the problem. Even the error message hints at the problem being something to do with the graphics.

Here's some more info from the console (what's shown when you press F12 after the error message shows up:

MZ_error2.png

I know MZ has seen some updates under the hood, and I'm no programmer so I can't talk about exactly what those changes are or how much have changed. What I can talk about is the end-user experience. Looking at MV and MZ, not that much seems to have changed. The games look the same, play the same... mostly.
The ONLY thing that I can think of that would justify higher requirements is the new animations system. If that's the cause (and I'm almost certain it is, it has to be), then I guess I'd like to throw out a general question to anyone who has at least a little bit of understanding of programming and can read the engine code.

Would it be technically possible to write a plugin that not only uses MV's sprite sheets for animations but also completely ignores the (I assume effekser) code that makes MZ games unplayable on mediocre laptops? Is it possible or is it impossible?

Just to clarify, I have no problems playing MV games and the only time I've had any lag in the previous engine was when I tried Khas dynamic lightning plugin. Although, even that allowed me to run the game (but with terrible lag spikes). With MZ games I'm not even allowed to start them up apparently.

Also, this has very little to do with me (specifically) not being able to play MZ games. That's a trival issue since I'm an adult and can afford a new computer in a few months if I want to. The problem for me is that as much as I'd want to use MZ, I'm a bit hesitant to make games with it without knowing how large percentage of my potential player-base that might be on a similar mediocre laptop as the one I'm currently using. Even if it's as little as 5-10%, that would be very disheartening.

Oh well, I don't really expect any solutions to come from me posting this, but I'll post it anyway. Maybe there is a workaround to make MZ games run on lower spec computers, maybe there isn't. If nothing else than maybe others who also can't run MZ games can share their experiences and we can see if this is a an issue affecting many, a few or only me (if it's only me, then that would be good to know too).
 

Beregon

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Would it be technically possible to write a plugin that not only uses MV's sprite sheets for animations but also completely ignores the (I assume effekser) code that makes MZ games unplayable on mediocre laptops? Is it possible or is it impossible?
There's a plugin in the DLC folder of RPG Maker MZ called AnimationMv or something like that. It should allow you to use the MV style sprite animations. Read the help text for that plugin for instructions and try it. Might help if it's indeed the 3D animations causing issues.

If you also check the "Is MZ faster or more stable on mobile?" thread, someone posted a pluigin there that throttles the graphics rendering to 30 FPS, which apparently greatly helped the performace on certain mobile devices. You could also try that.
 
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Poryg

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RMMZ now requires WebGL compliant graphics cards. Without WebGL you're not going to playtest anything.
Currently about 90% of the PCs in use worldwide support WebGL though, so your playerbase should not be too affected.
 

Parallax Panda

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OpenGL, gah! I've had problems with that before.
I guess if they've fundamentally changed how they draw sprites and stuff and now everything about the graphics (and not just the animations) need OpenGL, then I guess that's that.

My personal opinion is that it probably would've been best for RM not to require OpenGL yet. Just because your typical RM game doesn't look very flashy and your average consumer would probably look at the screenshots and say "This games looks like something from the PS1 era. I bet I can play that on grandma's old computer even!" - and they they'll be disappointed when they can't. :kaoswt2:
It's also my assumption that a lot of people who enjoy RM games isn't your typical gamer with a good PC and might be playing games on hardware similar to mine.

I'm not sure where Poryg got that 90% statistic from but I'd have to say that number doesn't seem right to me. If you'd have said 90% in the states, I could maybe believe it, but worldwide? I don't think so. Just as an example, my old laptop here is "only" ~5 years and it was a pretty average office laptop when I got it. I bet there's a lot of people out there who have just as bad, if not worse setups. Especially younger people who got their laptop handed down to them or people who live in less developed countries and economies where they might still run windows XP. Or maybe adults who has a laptop through work that they can bring home and they're not really a gamer but still plays occasionally.

Oh well, no more ranting from me. I guess I'll make my current game in MV then with the MZ material. At least the issue of MZ requiring OpenGL is a problem that will gradually become less and less problematic for every year that passes since tech continues to develop and people upgrade. 5-10 years from now, it's probably a non-issue.

Also thanks for letting me know what's up @Poryg.
 

ロリ先輩

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WebGL not being enable is a very specific problem due to performance. Most people will not run into this, but you can check to see if you keet this category where it won’t work: https://www.khronos.org/webgl/wiki/BlacklistsAndWhitelists

You can try to add these args to the nwjs manifest, and attempt running the executable:
JSON:
"chromium-args" : "--enable-webgl --ignore-gpu-blacklist",
 

Parallax Panda

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@ロリ先輩
I think I have an “Intel Mobile 945 Express family of chipsets” type of card. So that blacklist makes a whole lot of sense.
 

Poryg

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@Parallax Panda It's not MZ requiring WebGL, it's PIXI v5 requiring WebGL. I personally don't see a problem with it tbf. Even Samsung Galaxy S5, which was released in 2014, supports WebGL. Only experimentally, but it does. And frankly, when they made MZ only for 64bit systems etc., it would mean absolutely nothing if they still sticked to Canvas2d rendering.
 

ImaginaryVillain

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@Parallax Panda You can give PIXI5 canvas2d support by going to...
https://github.com/pixijs/pixi.js/releases
....And downloading pixi-legacy.js then renaming it to pixi.js and copying it into your game's /js/libs folder (it will ask to overwrite the old version). That being said, I have no clue if this will fix your problem. It would really depend on how pixi-legacy handles it. But hey, worth a try right?
 

duty

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RMMZ now requires WebGL compliant graphics cards
This was my first guess, too. Based on the specs, that looks like a Windows 8.1 era laptop (not a 7 era upgraded to 8). If so, it should be one of the first generations to support WebGL.

Just based on your processor, I'm guessing it's paired with the HD 4400 integrated graphics.

If it's really the WebGL support, then you probably want to update your drivers.
 

Parallax Panda

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Thanks for reminding me to update my "graphics card", apparently I hadn't done that. Even so, that didn't change anything. Still can't run MZ ames and still get the same error msg.

This error MSG:

rmmz_managers.js:2030 Error: Failed to initialize graphics.
at Function.SceneManager.initGraphics (rmmz_managers.js:1909)
at Function.SceneManager.initialize (rmmz_managers.js:1881)
at Function.SceneManager.run (rmmz_managers.js:1870)
at Main.onEffekseerLoad (main.js:141)
at Object._onRuntimeInitialized [as onRuntimeInitialized] (effekseer.min.js:33)
at doRun (effekseer.min.js:15)
at run (effekseer.min.js:15)
at runCaller (effekseer.min.js:15)
at removeRunDependency (effekseer.min.js:15)
at receiveInstance (effekseer.min.js:15)
SceneManager.catchNormalError @ rmmz_managers.js:2030
DevTools failed to parse SourceMap: chrome-extension://njgcanhfjdabfmnlmpmdedalocpafnhl/js/libs/pixi.js.map

What does the last line referring to Chrome do? Chrome is my default browser so is it using it to open the HTML5 stuff maybe?

EDIT: @ImaginaryVillain, Thanks for the suggestion. I tried it but unfortunally it didn't work.
 
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duty

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DevTools failed to parse SourceMap: chrome-extension://njgcanhfjdabfmnlmpmdedalocpafnhl/js/libs/pixi.js.map
This doesn't appear to be something to worry about. It seems to be a known Chrome bug, but it shouldn't prevent the project from playing.

It looks like your system is failing when it attempts to load up effekseer.

Haven't found anything that matches your details exactly, but I'm still putting money on it being a driver issue. Try running an entire driver scan from Intel. https://downloadcenter.intel.com/

There may be other general chipset updates you'll need beyond the integrated graphics.
 

Parallax Panda

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I did, and even though all drivers are now up to date I still can't run MZ games.

Well, it's not surprising since this computers has often proved to be incapable of running often the most simple indie games that you would expect it to run. Or, it would run them with weird graphical glitches.I think this might just be a very badly put together system and like I said, if it's just me, then it's okay. I was mostly worried about potential players not being able to play games made in MZ.

If I have to stick with MV for another half year or so, I guess I can live with that (MZ probably needs some fixes before it's stable anyway).

Thank you for all the help though. At least I got to update my video card drivers~. :kaohi:
 

Endafy

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Is that Windows 8.x by chance? WebGL crashes in Windows 8.x and IE11 and an update was never issued for it. Windows 10 does not have this issue (anymore). Chrome also has this issue on Windows 8. Go into Chrome, in the address bar chrome://gpu/ and add the line --disable-gpu-sandbox and see if that fixes it, there might be a script added or something to fix this. Might want to consider upgrading to Windows 10, or (dangerously downgrade to 7 warning not recommended).
 

Parallax Panda

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Yeah, like I wrote in the opening post. I’m using ”windows 8.1 Pro” so that could very well be it. I'd not downgrade to windows 7 though as that would be one step forward and three steps backwards. And upgrading to windows 10 would cost me more than I'd like to invest in this old laptop. Better just save up and buy a new computer all together.

But thanks for that information though. I didn't know.
 

Endafy

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Yeah, like I wrote in the opening post. I’m using ”windows 8.1 Pro” so that could very well be it. I'd not downgrade to windows 7 though as that would be one step forward and three steps backwards. And upgrading to windows 10 would cost me more than I'd like to invest in this old laptop. Better just save up and buy a new computer all together.

But thanks for that information though. I didn't know.
It still activates for free just download the windows 10 usb tool and it will read your 8 license and activate for free. As long as your license is legitimate it will activate. The only time Windows 10 costs anything is if your license is either Enterprise or nonexistant. Use this and update to Windows 10. I will stick to 7 for the time being because I like 7 but if you don't care Windows 10 is really good. They never ended the free upgrade for home customers.
 

Parallax Panda

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Really? Hm, well if that's true then I should at least try to update to win 10. MZ might still not work but being on win 10 would have other benefits that would make it worth the effort to try.

Thanks for the tip!
 

Endafy

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Really? Hm, well if that's true then I should at least try to update to win 10. MZ might still not work but being on win 10 would have other benefits that would make it worth the effort to try.

Thanks for the tip!
let me know how it works out for you.
 

Parallax Panda

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@Endafy
Hey, you know what. I did mange to update from Windows 8.1 Pro ---> Windows 10 Pro (Woohoo! Although now I have problem navigating since I'm not used it yet... ) :kaoswt2:

As for MZ, When I press test-play now I do get a 1 second load screen same as before, but instead of a crash it actually takes me to the games title screen(!!!!). "Wow!" I thought to myself and paused for a second before pressing "New Game"... and then got presented with a new error:

newError.png

I'm not sure what this here means but it seems to be more of a normal error in the game than something my laptop can't do? But who knows (not me).

So I pressed F12 and got presented with this:

newError2.png

And that's what I got. I'm super happy to have Win 10 running so whether I can get MZ to run or not, this is still a win but now I'm slightly optimistic/hopeful that *maybe* I can get MZ to run. Maybe.

[EDIT; After updating to Windows 10 Pro I can start and run the sample games made by Archeia and @Caz . For whatever reason, Caz's game has a huuuge frame drop as soon as it starts, we're talking 5-9 frames and it's unplayable. Maybe because of some fancy scripts/filters/effects she put in there? Archeia's game runs somewhat. I get 20-60+ frames depending on what's happening on screen. The effekser animations drops it to 20 for a moment otherwise it's usually around 30 when walking around.]
 
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duty

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Congrats on successfully upgrading to Windows 10.

If it's not too much of a pain, you may want to uninstall MZ. Run your chipset drivers again (new OS may use require different drivers than the ones you just updated). Restart the laptop. Then reinstall MZ.

That'll give you the cleanest, no weird legacy settings or issues on the software.

Hopefully this boils down to just software configurations and you can get a few more good years out of your laptop.
 

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