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Old 16 June 2005, 15:22   #1
benkid77
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Total Chaos

Hello all forum members,

I've been using WinUAE for several years now, and have configurations that allow me to play all of my Amiga games more or less perfectly, except for one game "Total Chaos".

For those who are unfamiliar with Total Chaos, it is different from most other Amiga Games in that it requires a very powerful Amiga to run. The game can be downloaded from the web. I believe it is in the public domain now.

The main problem I have is that although the game loads OK, and runs seemingly perfectly for a while. The game eventually crashes back to the workbench desktop with a fatal sound related error, or a "Guru Meditation" type software failure error. This usually happens after a few minutes or so of play, but seems completely random.

Here is my system:
Windows XP SP2 plus latest drivers and updates,
Athlon 64 3500+, (Totally Prime 95 stable), 1GB RAM, ATI X800 PCI-E gfx, Creative Audigy 2 ZS

My WinUAE Configuration:
WinUAE version 1.0 (The latest - downloaded yesterday)
Emulated HDD (Windows directory - not a hardfile)
CPU: 68040, JIT Enabled, Fastest Speed Possible, Default Advanced JIT Settings
Chipset: AGA
ROM: Kickstart 3.1
RAM: 2MB Chip, 8MB Fast, 1MB Slow, 32MB Z3-Fast, 32MB RTG
Workbench 3.1
Picasso 96, Latest "graphics.rtg"

These are extreme settings, but if JIT is turned off, the game is way too slow under emulation. If RAM is lessened the game fails with "insuficcient memory" errors during load.

So, I have solved those problems by using the above configuration, and now just the stability/crashing issue still remains.

Has anyone else had this problem, or have any advice on how to make the game stable under WinUAE,

Thanks, benkid77
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Old 16 June 2005, 16:38   #2
Toni Wilen
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and the exact error messages are? ("sound related error" does not help much..)
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Old 16 June 2005, 17:05   #3
benkid77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toni Wilen
and the exact error messages are? ("sound related error" does not help much..)
Hi, Yes sorry I didn't have the exact message to hand when I made the post.

I have just reproduced the error, and it is as follows (in a dialog box on the workbench desktop)

------------------------------------
Software Failure
------------------------------------

ChaosDigitalSoundSubProcess

Program Failed (error #80000008)

wait for disk activity to finish

-------- ------
suspend reboot
-------------------------------------

I should say though that this is not always the error, sometimes it gives different (seemingly random selection of) error messages which I can't remember, but the above message is by far the most common. Also it sometimes gives a Guru type error and does not return to the WB desktop. So it does not seem consistently repeatable in every instance unfortunately.

I have my suspiscions that it may be something to do with (needed) JIT option. But it's really too slow on my system to do a control test by waiting for the game to crash with JIT turned off.

Thanks, benkid77
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Old 16 June 2005, 17:12   #4
Toni Wilen
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Maybe stack overflow? Open shell and set stack to something really large like "stack 1000000" before running the game executable.
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Old 16 June 2005, 17:53   #5
benkid77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toni Wilen
Maybe stack overflow? Open shell and set stack to something really large like "stack 1000000" before running the game executable.
Yes, thanks for your answer. I followed your suggestion. I've just played the game now for 30 minutes, and no crashes so far. (It was crashing after around 5 minutes earlier) Fingers crossed that has totally solved it. I'll see how it goes, but it's looking really optimistic that you've found the correct solution.

Now, I should admit, I've never actually owned a real Amiga, but I did legitamately buy some Amiga Emulation software from a high street shop. This did contain ROM files and Workbench ADF images, so my WinUAE setup should be legal. To tell you the truth I owned an Atari STE 1040 for many years (I'm from the "dark side", please don't kill me ), but I've always been interested in the Amiga, because many of my friends had one. My knowledge of Amiga screenmodes and AmigaDOS is really lacking. So, I have two further questions if you can please help me.


1. Does AmigaDOS or Workbench have the equivalent of AUTOEXEC.BAT?
If so, I would like to place the stack command in such a file, so I don't have to type it every time I play game.

2. The game runs in what looks like a hardware interlaced mode. this is fine, but the de-interlacing can give a 'venetian blind' effect when there's lots of fast movement on the screen. Is there a way for me to change the screenmode to a non-interlaced mode on the emulated Amiga, or would the mode be 'hard-coded' into the game itself?

Thanks Again,
benkid77
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Old 16 June 2005, 19:52   #6
benkid77
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OK, I've just solved problem number 1.
I first tried editing the user startup sequence, but I couldn't get that working.
Then I learnt the better method of single clicking on the game icon under workbench, and then viewing the icon's properties via the WB menu.
I've just learnt that method allows you to set the stacksize for individual apps.
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Old 16 June 2005, 20:19   #7
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The stacksize fix has obviously worked, as the game lasted all the way to 18 turns without crashing.
After 18 turns, it gives a message asking the player to register to get the full version. Its around 35$/35€ to register. That'd be tempting if I actually owned a real Amiga, but I don't think running the game under WinUAE is officially supported by the game authors.
I thought it was freeware (because the game had always previously crashed before getting as far as the registration message), but now I know it is shareware, so I'm not too bothered about fixing the other interlaced issue. Cheers Anyway
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Old 26 June 2005, 07:44   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benkid77
1. Does AmigaDOS or Workbench have the equivalent of AUTOEXEC.BAT?
If so, I would like to place the stack command in such a file, so I don't have to type it every time I play game.
There is no need to type shell commands to run the game.
And no need to make any scripts. Trust me, I know.
I have been playing Total Chaos AGA for years without any problems.

If you double click the game's icon
it executes a script
which sets the stack to 50000 automagically


Quote:
Originally Posted by benkid77
2. The game runs in what looks like a hardware interlaced mode. this is fine, but the de-interlacing can give a 'venetian blind' effect when there's lots of fast movement on the screen. Is there a way for me to change the screenmode to a non-interlaced mode on the emulated Amiga, or would the mode be 'hard-coded' into the game itself?

Thanks Again,
benkid77
I have never seen nor heard of any venetian blind effect.

Sounds like a very strange UAE problem.

I have played the game many times in interlace
and other times with a flickerfixer on my pc monitor.
I never saw any venetian blind effect.

I did some tests and found out there is doublepal option!
Since you are good with a shell you could try typing
chaos -d
to run the game in DoublePal mode.
Or you can edit the Start_Chaos script to do it.

I donno why that would help UAE,
but u can try anyway.



What resolution is your win desktop in?
800x600 I presume?

Are you running UAE into a window or are you running it
in fullscreen mode?

Last edited by StrategyGamer; 26 June 2005 at 10:54. Reason: I found the DoublePAL option
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Old 26 June 2005, 16:15   #9
benkid77
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Thanks for the info, StrategyGamer.

I'll try Chaos -d, and see if it makes any difference
My guess is that the crashing as per the above posts may possibly be an emulation glitch? When you say you've been playing total chaos for years, have you succesfully played it under WinUAE, or on a real Amiga? If WinUAE, then could you please let me know your configuration, Thanks.

I'm running WinUAE in fullscreen mode, at a resolution of 800x600.

Cheers, benkid77
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Old 26 June 2005, 18:02   #10
LocalH
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I don't think WinUAE supports anything higher than standard 15KHz modes (even in superhires you only get every other column of pixels, which is actually the same behavior seen on the A3000). If the game runs in interlace mode, the only options are either to deal with the 'mice teeth' or set WinUAE to lores and normal line mode (instead of doubled). This will not be optimal if the game runs in hires, as the lores option omits half of the pixels on each line (in a similar fashion to the superhires behavior mentioned above).

Basically, if the game runs in hires interlace, you'll just have to deal with the mice teeth, since WinUAE currently has no way to bob the image and basically 'emulate' interlacing.
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Old 26 June 2005, 18:03   #11
benkid77
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OK, I've now edited the Start_Chaos script to run the Chaos executable with the '-d' option. The game doesn't start, and I just get an orange coloured error message at the top of the screen "Couldn't open window or screen".

I've since removed the '-d' option., and it runs again, as before.
I can only guess either that I have the wrong WinUAE configuration settings for that hardware screen mode, or maybe it is unsupported by WinUAE?

By the way, I did notice the 'stack 50000' command in the script, so it's still a mystery as to why the game sometimes crashes under WinUAE.

Last edited by benkid77; 26 June 2005 at 18:04. Reason: corrected typo and grammar
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Old 26 June 2005, 18:42   #12
StrategyGamer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benkid77
OK, I've now edited the Start_Chaos script to run the Chaos executable with the '-d' option. The game doesn't start, and I just get an orange coloured error message at the top of the screen "Couldn't open window or screen".
Your workbench needs a DblPAL monitor driver in
SYS: devs/Monitors/

It is hiding out in
SYS:Storage/Monitors/

Just copy it over
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Old 26 June 2005, 18:54   #13
StrategyGamer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LocalH
I don't think WinUAE supports anything higher than standard 15KHz modes
640x512 PAL interlaced -is- a standard 15Khz mode. So WinUAE -should- work with that mode as it did in the past.
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Old 26 June 2005, 19:05   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benkid77
Thanks for the info,
My guess is that the crashing as per the above posts may possibly be an emulation glitch? When you say you've been playing total chaos for years, have you succesfully played it under WinUAE, or on a real Amiga?
I play it all the time on my real Amiga. It seems to be rock solid. And its waaaaaaay fun!

Many people on IRC swear they are playing it every day on their WinUAE. They say it works great, is fast, and things of that nature.

I have never personally ever seen WinUAE be 'fast' at emulating an AGA Amiga.
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Old 26 June 2005, 20:00   #15
benkid77
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OK, Thanks for the further info Strategy Gamer and LocalH. I'll try some of the other things you mentioned. It'd be nice to totally get it to play smoothly, even though I still only have the 18-turn unregistered version. If other people have got it working under winUAE perfectly, then I'm sure I'll eventually be able to. I've never owned a real Amiga, so I still have to learn more about the various configuration options etc...

As for other AGA games, well I do play many other AGA games, emulating an A1200 wih AGA under WinUAE, and they all seem to work really well, and fast. (This is on a AMD64 3500+) But Total Chaos is in a league of it's own when it comes to hardware requirements. Hopefully, I'll be able to turn JIT mode off to play this in a couple of years time, when wintel hardware is faster yet again. Maybe that'll help make it more stable.
Thanks again, benkid77
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Old 26 June 2005, 23:36   #16
LocalH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrategyGamer
640x512 PAL interlaced -is- a standard 15Khz mode. So WinUAE -should- work with that mode as it did in the past.
I said that to your reference to DblPal, since it is most definitely *not* 15KHz. And thus WinUAE won't be able to use it, just like it can't use Productivity, Euro36, Super72, A2024, or any other possible non-15KHz modes.
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Old 27 June 2005, 01:06   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benkid77
When you say you've been playing total chaos for years, have you succesfully played it under WinUAE, or on a real Amiga?
I have never played Total Chaos AGA successfully on any version of UAE.

If I turn JIT on then the sound and muzax goes naff.

If I turn JIT off then the emulation crawls slower than an unexpanded A500.

So I gave up and have been playing it on a Real Amiga(tm) ever since.


Quote:
If WinUAE, then could you please let me know your configuration, Thanks.

I'm running WinUAE in fullscreen mode, at a resolution of 800x600.

Cheers, benkid77
Its been years since I tried UAE.
But I do remember that my desktop was set to 800x600 and the game ran in a 640x512 window on the desktop.
And the puter was running Win2000 and there was no venetian blind effect.

Could you please post a screenshot of this 'venetian blind' effect?

It sounds positively dreadful
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Old 27 June 2005, 02:47   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benkid77
It'd be nice to totally get it to play smoothly,
I just had an idea how we can get you playing the game!

This is what we do -- we both write emails to the coder and ask him to add a -UAE switch to the game. If that switch is specified then the game would only redraw the screen oh say at 10fps instead of 50! That should release lots of cpu power for playing the game.

I chatted with the coder before and he told me he usually adds all features that more than 1 person wants.

I really think this idea could work!
And I need more Total Chaos friends to discuss tactics and strategy and secrets with.

The gameplay and strategy and fun would not be affected. Just all the animated critters would move in slow motion.

Quote:
As for other AGA games, well I do play many other AGA games, emulating an A1200 wih AGA under WinUAE, and they all seem to work really well, and fast. (This is on a AMD64 3500+) But Total Chaos is in a league of it's own when it comes to hardware requirements. Hopefully, I'll be able to turn JIT mode off to play this in a couple of years time, when wintel hardware is faster yet again. Maybe that'll help make it more stable.
Thanks again, benkid77
At first I couldn't get why all your AGA games work so well -EXCEPT- for Total Chaos AGA. Then I realized that all other AGA Strategy Games, shootemups, platform games, racing games, and so forth all run in 320x256 lores mode. Since Total Chaos AGA runs in 640x512 it must logically consume 400% more cpu power than any other AGA Amiga game!
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Old 27 June 2005, 04:05   #19
benkid77
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Well, this is the Prb.WinUAE forum, so it's reasonable to ask serious questions pertaining to running games purely under emulation yes?

Many of my other amiga A1200 AGA games also run under 800x600 directX fullscreen, and also play flawlessly.

If I was playing the game under a real Amiga, I would have posted my question In the correct forum relevant for that (obviously not this one).

It's OK though , I've come across this "hardcore" "real-hardware only" type of viewpoint before, it's not neccesarily a bad thing. Just sometimes can be a bit silly I think.
(After all I've owned a high-spec modified and souped up Atari ST myself, and seen it all before in "my camp", when people have legitimate emulation questions have been ridiculed, or shot down) But, it's all old hat to me now. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt as they say.
You're obviously passionate about real Amigas, and good for you, I salute you sir, you remain loyal to the brand. I do respect where you are coming from. Believe me I've had to be on your side of the argument in the past!

Alas, I can't be anymore a 16-bit crusader, for purely practical reasons mainly of needing to run windows and linux software that I just have use all the time (partly to do with my occupation). Plus I have a real lack of space, no room for extra computers. I hope you understand these problems, that some of us are faced with.

So, I'm really just after further help on how to get this running on a PC.
But truly though, thanks for the useful part of your help. I really do appreciate it.

Cheers, benkid77

Last edited by benkid77; 27 June 2005 at 04:20.
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Old 27 June 2005, 04:49   #20
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It's funny really how this thread is titled "Total Chaos", and no doubt it will end up as Total Chaos!! Oh well, suppose it's just a bit of typical forum banter eh?
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