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The broken particle odyssey.

Discussion in CS:S Zombie Escape started by enviolinador, Feb 1, 2013

  1. May 31, 2012
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    For quite a long time now, servers have been having problems related to particles dying and showing red crosses instead. I have been spending a bit of time trying to find a reason of this and, at the same time, a fix for it.

    Today, Syoudous and I had an idea after a discovery I made yesterday which involved all maps that crash particles having a line in their respectives mapname_particle.txt files. They all contained a line, blood_impact.pcf related, which I linked to the problems in paranoid regarding red-cross particles on big monster items. It seemed that this line, or a set of lines that were default particles, had been sitting on the files for long, and, due to the fact that the maps were telling the engine to reload the particle systems more than one, it blew up. Other maps, namely Paranoid and Minas, were even worse on this and loaded a clusterfuck of senseless particles that either were not included in the map, default particles or particles taken from games from a different engine branch. It seemed logical, however, that this line(s) was/were causing problems, so I -as I knew that default particles are automatically loaded by the particles_manifest included in the game files- suggested as many mappers as I could to stay away from them.

    The idea which we hope will fix or avoid the particle crashing is simple: uploading different .txt files to be read by the servers instead of the ones included in the map. We have tested it on Syoudous' private server with ze_parking_v3_1, a map that DOES break particles. Using those .txt files seemed to avoid the particle crash, but then again we can't be sure that it will always -maybe it was luck after all?- avoid it. However, I believe it is worth a try.

    This is a pack of txt replacements Syoudous built taking the original files out of the respective maps and cleaning them up. If used, the files should go on /cstrike/maps.

    http://www.mediafire.com/?8s9v6pv5m8za362

    I don't know if admins (management?) will be OK with testing this, but I think it could be worth a try. From what I understand as a mapper that uses particles, it should cause no harm to the maps -but mappers should, when possible, do this themselves to avoid servers having the need to install 3rd party files-.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention that there is one map, ze_destruction_of_exorath that doesn't follow the 'norm': it has no more lines on the .txt than the one that loads the particles it uses. However, it is Exorath the map that seems to crash particles to an even worse point of crashness. I believe it is caused by either the overemissive particles, a corrupted particle file or something within the map, but I have nothing to really say about it. The .txt files would, if they do work, avoid the crashing on those maps, but not on Exorath.

    EDIT 2: Syoudous told me to write that it would be a server side fix, not a client side fix (I believe it was already clear?), and that the txt files should be in the maps folder.

    EDIT 3: Updated the link with the files missing (LeGrem's maps)

    EDIT 4: I just saw particles break in ze_bastion_72. Same line was found in the particles.txt file. Syoudous has updated the pack again... Updated the link.
    • Wizard! x 5
    • Like x 2
    • Zing! x 1
    • Good Idea x 1
    • Useful x 1
    • Artistic x 1
      enviolinador, Feb 1, 2013 Last edited by enviolinador, Feb 4, 2013
    • Apr 12, 2012
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      I take back everything bad I ever said about syoudous.

      No, I'm kidding, I don't say anything bad about him :wink:

      Good fucking work you two.
    • May 31, 2012
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      Well, the only thing is that we are not sure it works, but it seems to be a step in the right direction; at least to us.
    • Apr 12, 2012
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      Progress is progress xD
    • May 25, 2012
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      I would like to see if this affects anything in the server. I've tested in my own little server many of times changing maps with 5 people and it seems solid, Where as... It would sometimes crash particles with only 2 people. I have high hopes in this. The map makers are the ones that really need to change this as they're the ones that are causing this loading unnecessary junk.

      @Kyle or @Brian, Is there any way to have this uploaded if this has any effect in the Zombie Escape server? It's quite an issue that I hope will be resolved temporarily for now until mappers do an update on their maps.
    • Nov 11, 2011
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      Seems solid (and logically makes sense), although I really want @Luffaren 's input on this. :worship: Good job syd and env. :thumbsup:
    • Feb 21, 2007
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      if @Kyle or @Brian give the green light on this, then i'd be willing to move forth on this.

      EDIT: sry for the double tag ^^
      • Artistic Artistic x 1
        retslag1, Feb 1, 2013 Last edited by retslag1, Feb 1, 2013
      • Apr 9, 2007
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        I think they're just clientside.
        no problem!
        • Wizard! Wizard! x 2
        • Like Like x 1
          Kyle, Feb 1, 2013 Last edited by Kyle, Feb 1, 2013
        • May 25, 2012
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          Er, No. Server side.
        • Apr 9, 2007
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          So you dumped the string tables and saw particles not load on your client from this?
          • Useful Useful x 1
          • Apr 1, 2012
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            nooooo!!! no hopes for exorath?? damnit Michelle!!
          • Apr 12, 2012
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            I think they edited server side .txt config files to remove certain default particles. These default particles were broken somehow and were also not even used in the map.. and they somehow were causing the particles that were used in the map to break.
          • May 31, 2012
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            I believe that this is the issue, or at least an aproximation. Then again, we can't be sure, but it seemed to work on the test server, and I think it is logical to try to tell the server something in the vein of 'there are things broken that will cause problems if you try to load them or if you reload them after being loaded, don't do it!'.

            Thinking about it, this could also serve as a clientside fix with a different purpose: for us who use custom clientside particles -such as my modified fire particles, for instance-, this should avoid the problem of paranoid overwritting our custom particles with the default ones -since Hannibal, for some absurd reason, packed every particle ever in the universe, even the default ones, and loaded more than once in the same txt file-.

            In conclusion, it is a serverside fix. It could have some effect on the client if used, but the main idea is to tell the server not to load X particle files that simply break things.

            EDIT: As a small note, those string tables are packed within the maps. Syo and I extracted them and edited them, and then uploaded them to the test server of Syo's. The server and the client use the same tables in theory, but using different ones doesn't seem to create errors (just as using different particle system files does not cause errors either, just as seen with the low-emitting systems I did a while ago to get higher fps on some maps).
          • Mar 26, 2012
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            If they try it, I hope it works. Thank you two for your efforts. I hate broken particles.
          • Jan 12, 2012
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            Why not '-'
          • Mar 20, 2012
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            Ok

            lets test particles on minas tirth...ok?

            I hope this is really the real problem and not just a sympton.

            Mappers have to make new versions if it works.
          • May 31, 2012
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            We can test on any of the maps included in the pack. The best idea would be to upload it, and try parking/paranoid -> other map since those two seem to break things quite often.
          • Feb 12, 2012
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            Good job.
            You can also test it on Portal, because it's speed gel (orange) particles are broken every time I play it (at least for me).
          • May 31, 2012
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            No, one thing is broken due to other maps crashing the particles (almost every map if not all maps that use particles will suffer from this) and another thing is crashing the particles as so (done by the maps in that pack). I will check your txt anyway, to see if there's something weird.

            EDIT: Nah, it's all good sub.
          • Feb 21, 2007
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            since its server sided, I wanted kyle's "ok"....