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Thread: Certain downloadable content may be unstable in game: semitrailer traincars

  1. #1
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    Default Certain downloadable content may be unstable in game: semitrailer traincars

    About a week ago, I stared adding semi truck traincar routes to my existing model layout. Before I did that, I saved the increment of my route to CDP before this addition.

    I'm glad I did. Strange happenings have been occurring on my route since the truck traincars have been under construction in Surveyor. I have been doing this in TS12. During this semi truck route phase of my layout development there was a radical shift in land topology. See the picture of my farm next to the forested plateau. About half this farm's grain field's shifted elevation. The forest to the left is 12 m high. About half of the crop fields rose to the level of the forested plateau mysteriously. This may have happened after using 25 Undos in a row. I had discovered this shortly after resuming construction of the route following many runtime shutdown issues. I had to revert back to an earlier increment and lost about 24 man hours of development work. John Citron once told me this can happen after using too many Undos in a row. But this is my own route I have built from scratch: not a mod of another person's route where I have had such trouble in the past.

    Another mishap of this particular increment with the farm land top displaced was that this increment was shutting down a lot during game play. The message about 'runtime' and Microsoft Visual C++ kept popping up. Reinstalling TS12, updating Windows 7 and updating the MS V C++ redistributables didn't fix this. Reverting back to an earlier increment of this layout did.

    This is a model route of mine and is about 25 train boards in size. It is relatively small and easy to control in quality in case something goes awry.

    Another strange happening is unwanted artifacts randomly placed on the ground at all different parts of the layout. These are the bodies of several traincar semitrailers I have recently downloaded. For some strange reason, the bodies of these would be placed all over the route. I discovered two on the ground close to where I had been working with the semitrailer content then found one in my pine forest by accident while doing something else. i then decide to put the layout into wire-frame view and scan the entire layout with a birdseye view. This makes things easy on the ground to spot as it thins out the trees. Using the Object tab and Delete tool easily removes the artifacts, thankfully. I found one more on the ground while scanning the landscape with the Surveyor camera from overhead.

    I suggest you make an increment backup of your route before developing with the semi truck traincar content. I would use this content only on a very small route as a model train layout: this content may be buggy and corrupt the route. A small route is easier to fix.

    Another thing I did to the content was mod it locally. I changed the parameters to not allow the bogies to rotate. Trailer tandem axles should not turn.

    Here are the traincar content whose bodies have been randomly scattered over my route:

    Hay2-trailer,<kuid2:41426:15421:1> by boweval
    Lindsay2-trailer,<kuid2:41426:15423:1> by boweval

    I have a couple more trailers by by boweaval but have not yet seen them randomly placed.

    I don't know if my modding the bogies has corrupted his content.

    I have also modded the MFM traincar truck trailers by bombers and the Kenworth traincar truck tractors
    by willem2 so the drive axles and tandems don't rotate or side-play on turns.



    Last edited by JonMyrlennBailey; October 6th, 2019 at 03:48 PM.
    TANE SP2 Build 90945, downloaded Dec. 2017, TS12 Build 61388, downloaded Feb. 2018, American citizen, Lawton, OK

  2. #2
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    Usually corrupted content, or content in general, won't cause this kind of problem. It could very well be you have multiple issues going on at the same time as indicated by the fact you needed to reinstall the program its self, but that's hard to tell. I doubt it was the config file changes, however, this could have been related to a corrupted asset such as a bad texture or mesh. I have seen really, really high-poly count assets tank everything as well as a corrupted asset do weird things. The corrupted assets are the most difficult to troubleshoot because finding them among others makes that impossible. In these situations it's a matter sometimes of deleting the baseboard with hopes of never coming across the critter again. I ran into this a few times. The first time was back in TRS2004. I used an old lighthouse for my shoreline. The problem was every time the sound played, the program would crash to the desktop. With TRS2004 there was little warnings of corruption or bad scripts, missing textures, etc., and that surprise could happen at any time. The lighthouse, by the way, became my first foray into asset fixing. I went in and removed the sound-container, and the lighthouse worked fine afterwards.

    In other cases, it was a station script that was corrupted. I used one of Andi06's stations and when the trains pulled into that station, the program disappeared quickly. I spent days deleting, replacing, and rebuilding the route until I came across the culprit. And finally a most recent issue came up a few years ago when transferring routes to T:ANE. The issue actually occurred before, but I finally found the problem at that point. I have a rather large-sized route, a merger of routes actually, and there was one section that would stutter awful in TS12 if I aimed the camera a certain way, or worse if I kept the camera in that direction, the program would crash. I spent hours looking over that section to no avail and I was then ready to ditch everything and forget it when T:ANE came along. As I converted from Pofig and McGuirel trees to flipboards for transfer into T:ANE, I had a Mcguirel tree disappear in front of me and my route crashed to the desktop. Finally after multiple tries, I was able to replace this, otherwise, fine looking tree with something else and everything worked.

    But I will say this... Backups of data is a given no matter whether it's Trainz or just plain user data from other programs, documents, photos, music, sheet music, and only god knows what else is on a hard disk. Over the years as an IT network and system administrator (now retired), I was responsible for backing up terabytes of data nightly. In my decade at one company, I did 3 restores from tapes that had to be recalled from offsite storage. I would never say that the backups were a waste because just like insurance that works, they were there when we needed them. While I wouldn't go as far as offsite storage for Trainz content, making backups to an external device, or the cloud, is something to consider. Given the amount of data with Trainz, I would be more inclined to backup the program its self plus the complete User-data folder more than periodically to an external hard drive such as those by Seagate and Western Digital.

    Backups are fine and work well when used, however, most important is establishing a backup routine. There are different methodologies to backup procedures whether a full backup is done 100% of the time, or only incremental changes are done with periodic full backups. This can be discussed in detail elsewhere, and there's plenty of online discussions on this. Whatever methodology you choose, to whatever backup media chosen, needs to be done consistently. There's nothing worse than suffering from some kind of system failure only to find that the last real backup was done months before and all more recent data has been lost. While this may serve as a go-to in the end, it's not ideal. Sure you may lose the absolutely most recent data but the bulk will remain intact.

    As has been said here many times... Programs are relatively easy to reinstall, and given the nature of online downloads today, they are rarely lost. However, and that however is most important, data is something to be cherished and guarded carefully because data is irreplaceable when lost.

    The mantra is backups, backups, and backups.

    In your case your backup saved your trains route. Having a complete backup of the program too along with the route could have meant restoring everything all at once and saved you the time of reinstalling.
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
    Trainz User ID: 124863
    T:ANE Build: 94829
    TRS2019: 98592

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    John:

    I now know the runtime crashes were related to a certain increment of the route. Even reinstalling the game didn't fix this. Only the previous increment of the route got rid of the crashing and the risen cornfield on my farm. A lot of successive Undos may have upset the topo (ground) of the layout.

    I'm still finding an occasional stray willem2 traincar semitrailer here and there no matter what increment of the route is used. If I find them really troublesome, I can just forgo using them and delete them from the game. Farmer Boone will just have to grow his own hay for his own animals and not have a willem2 hay truck deliver the bales to his barn.
    Last edited by JonMyrlennBailey; October 7th, 2019 at 05:47 PM.
    TANE SP2 Build 90945, downloaded Dec. 2017, TS12 Build 61388, downloaded Feb. 2018, American citizen, Lawton, OK

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    Be very, very careful, or as said by a very famous actor from Warner Brothers. Be vewy, vewy carefo of using Undo and redo's in TS12. Once in awhile is fine, but doing too many can cause the weird things you just described with assets losing their position, among other things.

    You also may very well have just had a glitch with the route and by going back to a previous version you were able to recover from it. I've had that occur in the past. While disheartening, especially if a lot of work has been done, but then again you were able to more or less start from a point where you could go forward rather than lose everything. I had that with a route I was working on years ago, and again in TS12. I finished off editing one night, waited for everything to stop processing and shut the computer down for the night. The next day I dove back in with both feet first and found my world completely scrambled as if someone used a giant eggbeater and whipped up the world. Trees were floating, track was missing, textures were squares, everything was trashed. I went to my recent backups from the previous day and restored that, but even that was trashed. I then went to a backup from a few days before and I was able to start from there.
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
    Trainz User ID: 124863
    T:ANE Build: 94829
    TRS2019: 98592

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonMyrlennBailey View Post
    Another strange happening is unwanted artifacts randomly placed on the ground at all different parts of the layout. These are the bodies of several traincar semitrailers I have recently downloaded. For some strange reason, the bodies of these would be placed all over the route.
    Traincars at random locations in the route is the result of some procedure that removed the track or industry they were attached to. It is nothing to do with the traincars themselves. Undo actions can get out of sequence if some assets get joined together. For instance, track attached to an industry might get deleted if the industry is deleted. There have been a few assets that could corrupt a route, but they are very rare and have mostly been fixed.

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