Playing in fullscreen turns monitor off

For any technical or performance issues
Leskado24
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Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:44 am

Playing in fullscreen turns monitor off

Postby Leskado24 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:11 am

I managed to find the issue at last. I can play the game in window mode but as soon as I turn on fullscreen mode (ini file) then my monitor turns off or goes into some standby mode (completely black, not just grey-black).

The technical support FAQ said that in this case I should update my drivers which I'll do later to see if it makes a difference but if it doesn't what could possibly cause this? This has never happened before with any computer with any kind of game for me.

Here's my dxdiag: DxDiag Dropbox

Keith
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Postby Keith » Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:23 am

From the looks of things, you should not be having a problem. Your graphics card looks to be plenty capable, the drivers are new enough but if NVidia has a newer one you may want to try it. Sometimes drivers are buggy...both old and new. Make sure you follow the correct procedure for uninstalling and reinstalling your graphic drivers. Don't just install over the old one.

Try a different desktop and window resolution and see what happens. 1920x1080 might be too much for your graphics card for some reason. Not sure why it would be though.

Have you tried using the Windows Program Compatability Troubleshooter? Maybe the problem isn't related to the settings.

I am running CotN myself on Windows 8, via STEAM and haven't had a problem like yours. I've used PCT on several games I have installed. Just had to used it again to get Sid Meier's Railroads running. It may or many not help, but it won't hurt to try it. Windows 7 has PCT.

I've been looking at some reports elsewhere about monitors going into standby mode and one cured his problem when he found his video card was running hot and that fan was being blocked by a tube used for the water cooling system on his computer. He wire-tied the tube out of the way, the fan ran and that fixed his particular problem.

Another discussion elsewhere suggests that heat is also the problem. Have you cleaned the dust out of your computer lately? It can create a layer of insulation that will cause things to heat up. If the inside of the computer is full of dust unplug it, open it and used a can of compressed air to blow out the dust on the all the components. It's a good idea to do this a couple of times a year anyway.

Also, check the power options at Start Menu>Settings>Control Panel>PowerOptions

Make sure they are set to NEVER or ALWAYS ON.

Another thing to check is that if you have a LCD or LED monitor, they like to default to 59Hz as a refresh rate. Try changing it to 60Hz.

Check all the connections between the computer and monitor. Make sure the graphics card is properly seated and locked into the slot.

You can try a different monitor if you have one and if the problem doesn't occur, you may have a bad monitor or a bad cable.

Are you overclocking your graphics card? If so you may want to dial it back to its original settings.

Try having a fan blow on the inside of your computer while it is running, a house fan will do with the computer case open. If it doesn't go into standby mode then you may have a graphics card that is heating up and possibly on verge of failure.

Some graphics cards have the ability to report what temp at which it is running. If you have that feature, turn it on and see what it says.

That's all I've got for you at this point. Good luck.

Leskado24
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Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:44 am

Postby Leskado24 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:51 am

I seem to have solved it, sort of.

I run it in window mode then I use Game Companion to force borderless window, it still makes fonts and possibly mouse cursor position weird in the main menu but once I'm in a mission everything seems to be normal, even at 1920x1080.

I also notice, according to MSI AfterBurner, that my GPU is being used about 5-10%. I read some threads on the net while searching about this game that early on people had issues because the game was barely utilizing their graphics card, that may be while it's working correctly. I've all the rest of the eye candy at full details including sound quality.

I still find it very odd that the game wants to put my monitor into stand by but I suspect that isn't the most rare issue out there, just rare for me.

Keith
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Postby Keith » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:58 am

Well, that is good to hear. Your card should be able to run at high settings as you have pointed out it does.

From the things I looked at, the Standby Mode problem can occur with just about any game and graphics card. The solution to the problem seem to vary.

If you really want to find out what the cause it you can always ask the tech people at NVidia.

I ran CotN in the window mode on my previous XP computer. I had it sized to fill the screen. I ran it that way, because it made it easier to switch back and forth from he game to the desktop for various purposes while I played the game. The game had a tendency to crash if switched while in the normal full screen mode.

Leskado24
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Postby Leskado24 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:01 am

Yes, the borderless window proved useful in that way the game is rather slow and while I enjoy looking at my growing civilization sometimes I drift away so it's easy to go check on the web or something then jump in straight away especially if I hear some sound about a new building being built.

Keith
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Postby Keith » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:06 am

CotN does start to get unstable if you let it run for a very long time and build a large city with many pyramids.

Leskado24
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Postby Leskado24 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:16 am

"Keith" wrote:CotN does start to get unstable if you let it run for a very long time and build a large city with many pyramids.


Good to know.

A pyramid is a monument right? Any advantage to use more than a few?

I'm in tutorial 2 at the moment so I haven't reached that part of the game yet.

Keith
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Postby Keith » Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:19 pm

No advantage in more than one pyramid.

The game will usually only require you to build one, in most cases, in the mission goals of scenarios that require one. They take a lot of two kinds of limestone to build and a very long time to construct. A great pyramid, the largest, can take up to 20 game years to complete or longer depending on how many overseers and laborers you put on the job.

In the city I was fooling around with, I had built 7 pyramids of various sizes, great, large, medium, small and very small. My city was a pretty good size and I had used up all the available local villagers on the map as my workforce, and shop owners, etc. The game got very very slow and it was difficult to pan around the map. Eventually the game started crashing and I had to restart from a save file. I had autosave set to run every minute at that point.

This was on my old XP Intel Pentium 4 computer with 1GB of RAM. I have not attempted anything like that on my new Windows 8 64-bit Intel Core i7 computer with 32GB of RAM.

Leskado24
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Postby Leskado24 » Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:37 am

I've a quad core 2.8GHz, 4GB RAM and a GTX470 so I should be able to handle a little more than what your older computer had. I've noticed even this early (tutorials) if I zoom out I don't have optimal performance but then again I prefer to play it closer so I can see what happens on small scale (it's awesome to see the people working or just going into the small houses).

Just for the sake of it you should try and build as much as you can with your new computer and see if how much it takes for it to start crashing? It seems like a good way to test if your computer are stable on its own hehe.

Keith
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Postby Keith » Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:27 am

I've thought about giving a go on my new computer, but haven't gotten around to it. The only other thing that used to make CotN unstable was editing the speed up to more than 5 in the ini file, when the game first came out. I got lucky and was able to use "7". TM eventually limited the speed with hard coding so that it won't run faster than 2.5 now. The game really flew at 7. :)

So far the only game I have that displayed a problem on the new computer was Sid Meier's Railroads. That was because the game was hard coded to use just so much memory and no more. So when the map got full of towns and with lots of trains and tracks, etc., it would begin crashing. This made it hard to finish some of the normal campaign game scenarios because they had large maps and lots of cities. I looked around on various SMR community forums and found a replacement exe file which removed the memory restriction from the code.

Normally, I'm not one to try strange executables, but it had been around and in use now for at least 3 years or more by the time I found it and everyone using it reported it fixed the problem for them. So I bit my lip and placed the new exe in the game folder (after virus scanning) and fired it up. The problem was gone and the game runs smoothly without crashing now. SMR is a old game from 2006 so it is not surprising it was coded to restrict memory usage.

Right now I only have CotN/Alexandria (STEAM), Caesar IV, World in Conflict, and SM's Railroads installed. Taking it slow adding things to the computer.

I did just install a couple of demo games, Tropico 4 and Cities in Motion, to try out.

By the way, World in Conflict, was developed by Massive Entertainment, Sweden, maybe you have heard of them. It was originally published by Sierra, but when they went belly up, UbiSoft picked it up.

Leskado24
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Postby Leskado24 » Sat Oct 12, 2013 6:06 am

I've been thinking of trying World in Conflict ever since its release but I haven't had the mood or time to do it. Company of Heroes was another strategy game that I also have put off because the last couple of years I've been having harder to get into strategy games for some reason. Fortunately I've been getting into them again and it was then I found COTN (GOG).

The problem is that that strategy games, awesome once you get into them, they suck up an amazing amount of time and I just joined university, I'll have to focus one at a time so I just don't float between them never getting anywhere.

The plus side about COTN though is that you can basically multi-task something else, perhaps even another slow strategy games if I find one.

Regarding speed in COTN, how does that work? According to the ini file it says "game speed 1" and "game speed max 250", is the latter that 2.5x limit you mentioned? I thought you could change speed in-games (that would have been great). Pity they hard coded it, why do they ever hard code stuff like that? :(

Keith
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Postby Keith » Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:07 am

WiC is a 3rd person "god's eye" view real time strategy game. You can zoom in down to ground level if you want to see things from that perspective. Mostly you play from a overhead view directing your platoon from there.

The sides are NATO vs Soviet Union. The Cold War didn't end and the Soviet Union didn't collapse in 1989, instead they launch an invasion of Europe and the U.S. So the scenarios are spread out through those global areas of the world. Multiplayer has died down, but there are still people playing. It has a scripted single-player campaign game narrated by the American actor, Alec Baldwin. The storyline was written by techno thriller novelist Larry Bond.

You play through a series of 12-13 scenaios fending off or defeating the Soviet troops. Each one will require you to assume the role of infantry, air (helicopters), armor, or support (artillery, AA) or combinations of them. I've played through the single-player campaign over 60 times and it never gets old, because most missions have some critical time limit or mission goal. In MP play, you can assume either side and one of the four roles, infantry, air, armor, support.

You get spend points to start with, usually enough to buy 4-5 heavy or medium tanks, or 50 or six infantry, AT-infantry, and snipers, or artillery or AA, or Attack (Apache, Hind) or AA (cobra, Mil) helicopters and scout choppers. You get more points by killing enemy units, capturing control points, building fortifications, repairing units. You spend the points on replacements or calling in off map support like air srikes, various types of artillery barrages, or light tanks and paratroops (Spetznaz and Airborne). The biggie is the Tactical Nuke, which can ruin the other teams day.

The MP games are divided up between "Assault", "Tug-of-War" and "Domination maps. IN assault, one side defends his positions as best he can against the enemy onslaught. Then the other side has a go at defense. The on that held more positions wins. In TOW battles, the front line moves forward and back as teams capture control points, when one side effectively captures all the points and pushes the other side the battle is over. In domination, the battle is to slug it out and capture as many control points as you can. If you manage to do so and hold them for a period of time the battle ends. All battles have a ultimate timed length and the team ahead at that point is declared the winner.

You can even setup a LAN server and play with friends on linked systems, or you can setup a LOCAL LAN game and play against the computer ( I do this most of the time ). I kill about 30 mins per battle.

You can see more about WiC at http://www.massive.se/games/world-in-conflict/. It's available from STEAM too.

WiC will require full attention, so you would have to have the time to play. Citybuilders are good for casual play, and one reason I like them. You don't have to be on edge every second.

I've tried some First Person Shooters in the past. After A while I return to city building. I've got a number of FPS games here from years gone by like Half-Life, The Thing, SWAT 4, FEAR, Counter Strike Condition Zero, and the first three or four Call of Duty games. I've only every tried Half-Life, The Thing, SWAT 4 (got a mention of my name in the manual BTW), and Counter Strike Condition Zero.

One game I liked was Jurrasic Park Operation Genesis. Like Zoo Tycoon you build a theme park but with dinosaurs. I often built an island and just generated a ton of dinosaurs and let them roam about and interact. I wold hack the ini file so I could generate upto 1000 dinosaurs. Never played Zoo Tycoon myself but others here have. I prefer my dinos.

I also liked SimTower, by Maxis. Actually they just published it. The original author bought back the rights an sold it as "Zoot's Tower" after Maxis dropped it. Scheduling those elevators to keep all the people happy getting from the lobby to their offices, shops, and rooms was tricky. IT's another easy to play slow-paced time waster you may want to try if you can find it. It's an old gam though.

Yes, the "250" in the ini file corresponds to 2.5 speed in CotN. The reason they coded it was because people were pushing their systems beyond their capabilities and the would crash and they would complain. So to make the game more stable they limited the speed.


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