Strange crashes when preloading is used.

DirectDoggo

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Hi, I'm developing a visual novel in RPG Maker MV, rn, version 1.6.2.

I'm having a weird issue, so i'll describe it in detail: Essentially, I have a few audio cutscenes set up in my game, and as such, i have to use a preloader bc rpg maker mv tends to load audio fairly sluggishly, even on good machines and this makes syncing difficult.

I've tried Irina's and most recently, Aetherflow's. 4 users came to me when i tried Irina's, all were getting reproducible crashes at the same moment every time (it was when an audio track was loaded, which was ofc being loaded by the preloader) and removing the preloader from the plugin list eliminated this for the user every time. With the preloader, crash every time, without the preloader, no crashes. But, again, only for 4 users.

I tried adding aetherflow's and without even enabling it on maps, one of the same users from before is getting infinite loading screens, again, reproducible (for this user), and always at the same moment. Cutting the new preloader from the plugin list solved this, again every time. But, the preloader seems to work well for most users and it's strange that with a discord server of 650 for the game and a few thousand players thus far, only 4 have reported the bug. Every other player i've spoken to outside of the 4 were able to get through the scene with no crashes every time.

I tried getting them to rename the nws directory in the package file in case a js file there was corrupt, asking if they had an antivirus (some did, some didn't), checking windows version (all 10, same as me), and seemingly no correlation in cpu/gpu, with many having better specs than me! It's definitely machine specific but i have no idea what it could be and why certain machines can crash when preloading is used, especially when i'm testing out different preloading plugins. I'm at a loss.

is there some way to ensure the audio is preloaded for the cutscene without using a preloader plugin and is this worth my while? should i go ahead and use it, even with the 4 reports and hope more users don't crop up? what could possibly be causing this? One of the four users is also willing to help out further/follow instructions in diagnosing this bug if you have any suggestions for questions to ask or suggestions to try. Thank you.
 

caethyril

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As I understand it, preloading involves reading the file ahead of time and storing the result (often larger than the file size on disk) in RAM. So maybe these 4 players were running low on RAM for some reason (e.g. background processes) and this audio file is particularly large?

Just a wild guess, I have no idea otherwise. :kaoswt2:
 

gstv87

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what were the system specs of those particular four?
 

DirectDoggo

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what were the system specs of those particular four?
Some of these were from a few months ago, so the details I have are partially incomplete, but I have most of the main specs for 3 of the 4 users: One user had latest windows 10 update, Ryzen 2700x and a GTX 1070, didn't mention ram. Another had an i5 (don't have the model written down, sadly) and a RX850, also on Windows 10, also no mention of ram. So, no consistency between CPU/GPU manufacturers. I don't have additional specs, sadly for these users. I believe one user also said they used Norton's antivirus, another said they just use Windows Defender, because I checked both to see if there was interference, ofc.

I asked the fourth user for specs just now and he gave me the main ones:
CPU: Intel Core i5-6500 @ c.32GHz 3.19 GHz
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950
Motherboard: MSI H110M PRO-VH (MS-7996)
Ram: 16Gb

He's got more ram than I do, so I don't think it's that. The crash is also reproducible and happens every time for these users. It's just baffling me that it seems so... machine specific, especially given the specs of these users are all around as good as mine or even exceeding mine. And this crash/hanging happens exclusively when using EITHER preloading plugin (irina or aetherflow), but never without for these 4.
 

DirectDoggo

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As I understand it, preloading involves reading the file ahead of time and storing the result (often larger than the file size on disk) in RAM. So maybe these 4 players were running low on RAM for some reason (e.g. background processes) and this audio file is particularly large?

Just a wild guess, I have no idea otherwise. :kaoswt2:
Audio files in question during both reproducible crashes are music files, both less than 10mb.
Second user has more ram than I do, so I don't think it's that. This bug is also consistent across testing sessions on the same machine. I'll double check with user 4 to check how much ram is free while they're testing just to be safe.
 

Andar

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which preloader are you using (link) and how are you using it?

preloading can be extremely tricky, and an automated preloader can cause more problems than it solves.

The first problem comes if you do not load early enough. If the engine needs the file before the preload is complete, then at one side the preloader doesn't work correctly and on the other side (depending on how it is programmed) it can cause a double file access with its own problems.

The second problem comes if the file is preloaded too early. There is an automated garbage collector that deletes unused older files if they are in RAM too long, and if you load a file too early that will be removed before it is needed by the engine. And that may cause problems depending on the code of the preloader.

The third problem comes if the preloader changes the garbage collector to take control of when each file is deleted. Again this depends on the exact code.


and lastly, all those limits depend on the available RAM on the computer - which is NOT the same as the physically installed RAM. It can be lower (if RAM is assigned to background programs and if the used browser has a small temporary cache limit) or higher (if there is a lot of HDD for virtual memory)
 

DirectDoggo

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which preloader are you using (link) and how are you using it?
Two. First one is Irina Anti-Audio Delay. It searches X amount of lines ahead in the code (I believe i had it set to 10, it's configurable) and preloads up to X tracks (5 for me, but again, configurable) before flushing as it goes. The only peculiarity I've noticed in it that I meant to get around to commissioning someone to fix is that when you select play bgm: none as a way to cease music without fadeout, the track tries to load a blank named ogg file ".ogg", which i fixed by including a file with this name with the game. Sadly, the m4a equivalent didn't seem to load right? Answer would be a conditional check for that, ofc.

But, anyhoo, aside from that, performance was good for users, audio loaded when it was meant to, absolutely no issues, aside from those 4 users reporting crashes at the same moment each game where an audio track played in a cutscene. Every time. Eliminating the preloader fixed this for the user every time, so ofc, I decided to try another preloader, one more up to date. The crash in this case is a Crash to Desktop btw, no error message, instant.

Second preloader was Aetherflow's. Essentially, you can configure it to preload files from game start, or when a map is loaded. There's pics on the page I linked showing the database options. I have the plugin included in my current bundle of the game, but it is NOT configured to load any files at the start of the game NOR on any maps yet (those are left blank) so why the game would crash with the mere presence of a preloader plugin is what's confusing me. Again, it crashes at a single point reliably for this user (but not others) and the crash in this case is the loading screen not going away and the map never loading. The plugin is also made for 1.6.1 or greater, so it shouldn't be an incompatibility afaik and again, works fine on any machine aside from these 4 that have come to me with reports, tmk.

EDIT: Asked the fourth user to check in task manager, only 8 of the 16gb of ram he has are/were being used by the system before running the game, so I'm sure it can't be that, right?
 
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DirectDoggo

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bump

(whoops. realized i bumped 45 mins too early. no delete button, so... just, apologies. that's on me.)
 

Dungeonmind

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I've had issues with those other ones you mentioned, so why not try using sumrnmddes preloader, it has a loading bar that will make you wait until all resources that you have set are loaded. I use this preloader without any issues so far.

preloader-core
 
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