Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

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S0L  [developer] Feb 1, 2013 @ 7:41am
Hello from SUMO (Developer) - Updated 12th Feb (See 1st post)

So first, a quick apology that some of you are experiencing issues playing the game. We've worked closely with SEGA and we've had a HUGE amount of testing, but it seems a few things have come to light now we've got so many more players and so many more PC configurations being used!

The first thing I would suggest if you're having any problems is to make sure you're up to date with your video card drivers. We've extensively tested the game on current drivers for many kinds of Nvidia, ATI, Intel devices and more, so generally, if you're having strange visual problems this should sort it out.

In the meantime, we're looking into the following with a view to getting them solved as quickly as possible.

Multiplayer 'Match No Longer Available' when playing over multiple regions.
Missing objects on older cards that don't support INTZ.
Older DirectInput pads causing pointer drift in launcher.
Vsync and 120Hz related weirdness.
Steam Voice chat - option to shut it up :P
Instability on certain hardware.

I've already got the team looking into all of the above, so rest assured we're aiming to correct these for you as soon as possible.

I know there have also been questions on if the Metal Sonic + OutRun DLC will be made available. I spoke to SEGA about this earlier today and this will be made available shortly, I'll let them pick that one up once it's out!

Again, apologies if you're experiencing problems, hopefully we can get all the above sorted out quickly and an update pushed to Steam in the very near future.


Update - 4th Feb 2013

Hello again, rather than post this into the thread (where the comments may be lost...) I thought I'd answer a few of the common questions raised with an update to this first post.

Before I start, I'd like to thank everyone for their support, thanks for your patience whilst we investigate and address the issues that some of you are experiencing.

Here we go...

1. Can we have a confirmed timeline?

This is difficult as it's not entirely under our control. Once we believe we've fixed the issues, we need to provide an update to SEGA for them to QA it. In testing it they might find that it's not fully fixed some of the issues you're experiencing or indeed we've introduced something new. That's the nature of software development, you can knock one peg in, which knocks another peg out. We have had people working on the issues in the original post since Friday, including work over the weekend. So we're doing our best to resolve these as soon as possible. We believe we can address the majority of issues this week, but we'll update as we go.

2. Why weren't these issues found during testing!

Ah the wonders of PC development. If PC's were the same as consoles, with a simple small set of configurations, that would certainly have made life easier. But they're not. Every PC is unique in some way. There are variations in processor (Intel, AMD and more), variations in GPU (Nvidia, AMD, Intel and more), variations in OS (Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 - in 32 and 64 bit varations), variations in service packs installed, driver versions, revisions of DirectX and more. That's before we add variations of display and controller to the equation and before we take into consideration of what's available in any given part of the world...

We've done our best to test the software on as many configurations as are possible, but it's simply impossible to test every possible combination of hardware out there. So sadly, that has meant issues coming to light post release. Again, now we're aware of these issues, we're doing our best to resolve them as soon as possible.

3. Can we have VAC support to prevent cheating?

This is something we're looking at, but only after we've corrected the 'Game Not Found' behaviour, we'll worry about keeping out the cheaters once we know everyone can enjoy the game as we intended it!

4. Will you add character X as DLC?

As much as we'd love to add more characters, this is really a question you need to go to SEGA with. The only confirmed DLC coming for the PC version right now is the Metal Sonic + OutRun track pack. Before the holidays we did start talking to the fans and got a shortlist of characters that fans would love to see in the game, and this has been something we're discussing with SEGA, but there isn't much I can add on this point... yet :P

As we go through this week, I'll update as we put the known issues to rest.


Update 5th Feb

So we've had a good day here, and we've got fixes well into progress for most of the issues now. All going well we'll drop a version with SEGA tomorrow so they can confirm we've corrected them...errr...correctly :P Expect this to take a couple of days for them to review and OK, if they're happy, we can then push the update live to everyone via Steam.

One question I've probably not answered yet is what is the INTZ issue...

So why doesn't the game doesn't work on a Radeon HD3xxx series card, or a GeForce 7800 card... At the moment that is!

The game uses a deferred renderer, which lets us do all manner of cool and interesting lighting effects. To be able to do this, we need a feature on the video card (or GPU) that let's us read depth information from the video card and then use this to work out where the lights, shadows and other effects fall.

This relies on a GPU feature called INTZ. On most GPU's from about 2006-2008 onwards this is a standard feature, basically anything after around the GeForce 7 series, Intel G45 series and Radeon 4xxx series (though there are some notable exclusions, some 4600 cards don't support INTZ for example).

When this feature is missing from the GPU, the depth read fails and the game can't render anything that relies on it. So only elements that don't use it get rendered. These elements use a forward render pass.

Now... You can force the game to render everything with the forward renderer, but... It doesn't look very nice. You can do this by adding the command line -ForwardRender. This is an unsupported feature at the moment, if you'll try it you'll see why...

When we set off to make the game, we agreed with SEGA that we'd support as many video cards and as we can, that's why the required spec is so low. Most DX9 cards with SM3.0 support INTZ... Usually.

We assumed that most gamers would be on fairly recent cards, after all, surely you're all about the framerate and performance, you're PC gamers! So however incorrectly we assumed that most gamers would be on at least a GeForce 8 series card, a Radeon 5xxx series card and an Intel 3000HD card or above. We based this on a number of factors, not least the Steam Hardware survey you can see here:

...basically 94% of all systems that took part in the survey had a DX10 card or better.

But... It turns that quite a few of you are on older cards!

So we're looking into how we can either bring the Forward Renderer up to date so it supports the features it currently doesn't (i.e. lighting, shadows, actually rendering the movies and more) or finding an alternate solution to INTZ (creating our own depth texture and a full set of shaders for every effect in the game...). Neither of these are easy solutions, but we're working at it.

What I will say, is even once we do solve this, and whilst we've optimised the game heavily, you may not get the best performance out of those older cards. So even once we've corrected it, you will likely need to drop settings to get an acceptable framerate.

If you ever needed a reason to upgrade... :P

In the meantime, we're working on a solution. But I thought this might be of interest to those affected so they at least know why it does what it does currently.


Update 6th Feb

Hello again!

So as planned, we've literally just pushed an update to SEGA for them to check out corrections for the following issues...

Multiplayer 'Match No Longer Available' when playing over multiple regions.
Older DirectInput pads causing pointer drift in launcher.
Vsync and 120Hz related weirdness.
Steam Voice chat - option to shut it up :P
Instability on certain hardware.

Which leaves us with...

Missing objects on older cards that don't support INTZ.

...which is going to take some more time, just due to the complexity involved.

In case you're interested, and since it's a visual thing I can actually show in screenshot, the revised audio options now look like this...

So we're close to getting this out to you. I can't put a timeline on this yet, as SEGA will want to check it thoroughly and that includes a full and complete playthrough. But we hope it should take a couple of days.

I've been keeping an eye on questions in the thread as always, so here are some quick Q+A answers...

1. Can you alter other elements of the game?

For example, I've seen requests to add online play for the Career Modes, remove AI players from Custom Game, basically adjust elements of the game around. Sadly, this isn't something that's going to be possible. Changes like these would require changes to the UI, the underlying game code, would require new translated text and in some cases, would require significant testing and game balancing.

We've bent the rules slightly of course by looking at improvements to the Steam Chat and looking into VAC, but these are relatively contained changes that don't need significant hours of testing (they either work - or don't!).

2. INTZ (again!)

Genuinely, we're surprised at how many of you this has affected. But we are working on it. Whenever you develop a game you set what you believe the base hardware to be and we set it at DX9 support with SM3.0 as we fully believed this would work on all hardware that fell into that bracket. As we now know from research, INTZ appears on many DX9 cards, but transpires to be a DX10 feature. As we've put the specs out there though, we will address this. It was something we never saw coming - but then you can't always predict what's going to catch you out. We live and learn and we're putting this right.

Though that said, I'm pretty sure I've never used the phrase 'LOL BUY A NEW CARD LOSER' - just so we're all clear :P

3. Friend Requests

Since I've started posting here - I suddenly have a lot more friend requests! Right now I can't really add you as we're running different code, so even if I wanted to play a race or two with you, I can't. Once we get all this ironed out, I'll see if I can clear a day to do some races. Apologies in the meantime!

4. Disable videos.

We actually could disable the videos, but as we load elements of the game behind them, you'd not gain a significant amount of boot up time back. You can skip the full introduction FMV shortly after the 'SEGGGGAAAHHHH' as that's when the backgrounds loads finish. We even have to sit through it here too :P

Hopefully, we'll get this update out soon for the intial batch of issues, and we'll get the INTZ fix out very shortly after.


Update 8th Feb


Apologies for lack of update yesterday, I actually had to leave on time. Sometimes we do go home!

We've had a chat with SEGA and they want to do some further testing, plus we did have to do a bug fix due to new issue with the revised audio option screen. We've heard the feedback by the way and we will default the Push to Talk option to ON. If you prefer to have open mic, you can of course change this to OFF, but don't shout at us if you get complaints from other players!

As such we can't push you an update out tonight, but as they're looking at the game over the weekend, we can push an update out once they're happy. They have had a solid day checking the multiplayer too and apparently the stability after 33 games is looking much improved.

Once we've got a timeline to push the update out, I'll let you know.

In the meantime a few Q+A's that have been asked...

1. Will you add an option to allow changing the screen aspect ratio (remove black borders on non 16:9 resolutions).

This is something that actually isn't straight-forward. We built and designed the whole UI for 16:9 screens and even on consoles we purposefully letter box the game when run on other resolutions. The only way we could solve the UI and HUD without creating individual 4:3/16:10 HUDS for each game mode (and both in single, two player and four player configurations) would be to stretch and pull it. That would mean all the nice clean round elements would become squashed, bitty oval versions.

We have tried this a few times in the past, but we believe a slightly reduced view at the cost of a nicer cleaner interface and additional peripheral vision is the right choice for the game. As such, apologies but this is something that we won't be altering.

2. Replays

The replays folder that the more inquisitive have found is actually a side effect of how we do all those nice promotional videos with funky angles. We have a specific debug mode which writes out the information that would normally be sent for network games and then we can replay this and move the camera around to create videos. However... As this is debug functionality it's actually stripped from the final exes. The controls are also basic at best and certainly aren't use friendly. It also has a number of interesting quirks you have to work around when capturing footage. So again, this isn't something we'd re-enable for end user use.

3. Custom Game Customisation.

A few of you have asked why it's not simple to add options to enable or disble the AI or to change the number of laps. The main reason is we'd need to add additional UI elements to set these options up, then we'd need to hook those options into the game. If you look at the custom game lobby, we were already using pretty much all the available buttons on an Xbox360 controller, so that's already a complex screen, adding more... not sure where we'd put them! So it'd need new screens and flow. All of which is new work.

Under the hood, the game expects to run three laps with a pre-set configuration and then the race to end, so if you added more laps, it would need changes to make sure the track transformations worked as expected. When you've got to make sure that works on all tracks, that's also a big testing job.

So sadly, they're not quick and simple changes and it's not something we can add to the game at this time.

4. Where are my TF2 hats! Why no TF2 promotion!

This one is a SEGA question really! We simply develop the software, they handle all the promotions and everything outside of the game. They also do all the public support...

...well normally :)


Update 11th Feb


Just a quick update, had a chat with SEGA today and all being well we'll have an initial update out for you tomorrow. The testing has proceeded well though a few minor issues have had to be corrected.

This will fix the majority of issues, but not the INTZ one. That's actually quite a major chunk of work that is now underway, but it needs testing on a number of affected devices and since it requires a special version of all the shaders in the game too, it's not a quick or simple job to test either.

Once we've addressed the INTZ issue here, I'll get some screens done showing the WIP and we'll give you an estimate of when it will hit too. I appreciate this is taking some time, but we'd rather do it right once, than rush it and do it not quite right a couple of times...!

I'll have a hunt through all the recent posts later and do some in-line Q+A's (this first post is getting a touch unwieldy!)


Update 12th Feb


So... Today we've had to fix a problem that SEGA spotted and whilst we've confirmed it's fixed here, they want to spend some time testing it down there. I had a good chat with our Producer on their end and we both agreed we still wanted to get the update out to you guys today, we really don't like to break promises we've made.

But... We also were wary that whilst we're happy it's fixed, we don't have the kind of test resource they do. The fix would usually take a day to test. Neither of us wanted to push an update out to everyone with such a small amount of testing on it.

Which put us in a weird spot...

Thankfully, she's much cleverer than me and already had a solution. We'd make it available as a Beta to people who already own the game and whilst we confirm it is fixed in the way we expect, you're also welcome to give it a test before it hits general release.

There is a catch (isn't there always!) - if you're using this Beta branch version, you won't be able to play players who are on the 'official' live version. We do this to ensure any testing ongoing doesn't affect anyone playing the game outside of us and SEGA. So if you want to play multiplayer it means you can only play people who have opted into the Beta...

'Stop all this babble!' I hear you cry 'Just tell me how I access the Beta!'

Fair enough...

1. Go to the Steam Library Page.
2. Find game in the list!
3. Right click on the game, and choose 'Properties' from the context menu.
4. Click on the BETAS tab.
5. Choose the 'Beta - Beta' branch.
6. It'll want a password. The password for now is 'GottaGoFast'.
7. Click close to exit the Properties page...
8. Watch the game update...!
9. Play game as normal :)

Note at any time you can opt out of the Beta and back in (well unless we change the password!) by following the above steps and choosing the 'NONE - Opt out of all Betas' option.

When we push the update live to everyone tomorrow, if you're on the Beta, you'll already be up to date if you drop back to the live version. Steam is clever like that.

So what does this address... Pretty all the original issues but the INTZ one. We're making good progress with an INTZ update and now we have the Beta branch available, we will of course make an update available in a similar way to this one once it's ready. That won't be for at least a couple of days though.

I'll also create a new Discussion Topic for anyone using the Beta version for any discussion, just so we've got it all in the one place.

Oh... and one last word, whilst I've seen this in the comments, I've had confirmation from SEGA that the Metal Sonic & OutRun DLC will be made available on Friday. Somehow I forgot that last night!


Update 13th Feb

OK then, just a quick one this. I'm still waiting for the thumbs up from SEGA, but we saw a couple of tweaks we needed thanks to all the users who tried out the Beta Branch yesterday. We've just pushed an update there to see if it addresses these, if we're getting the thumbs up there too, then we'll push this live for everyone later tonight...

Fingers crossed...!

Last edited by S0L; Feb 13, 2013 @ 9:58am
Showing 1-15 of 480 comments
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necrosand Feb 1, 2013 @ 7:43am 
Thanks for keeping us updated.
Looking forward to picking this up ASAP.
AdvanceD Feb 1, 2013 @ 7:45am 
That's awesome :) Glad to hear from a dev.
{JYH} Doho Feb 1, 2013 @ 7:46am 
Yea thanks, porting to PC can be a drag sometimes. I'm glad to see you guys are on top of things. However I'm sure these things can be hard to pinpoint sometimes.
Nightshadefox Feb 1, 2013 @ 7:47am 
Thanks for working on this, I love this game and the idea I can play it anywhere was perfect for me. Will be waiting patiently for the problems to fix up.
Adol Feb 1, 2013 @ 7:48am 
"Multiplayer 'Match No Longer Available' when playing over multiple regions."
Glad to see this is being looked in to, gonna delete my topic about the region lock speculation, as this seems not to be the case now.
Thanks for the post.
Judgement Feb 1, 2013 @ 7:48am 
Thanks for letting us know your listening and bringing this awesome game to pc
I'm Jeremy Wade Feb 1, 2013 @ 7:52am 
Is it normal that i can NEVER find a lobby with other players in it and must always wait for it to make me host of my own to play? I have every single port open on my pc atm so it cant be that.
[悔しい] Jorkell Feb 1, 2013 @ 7:54am 
Top left joypad movement being forced needs a fix. Refer to and many other threads
eram Feb 1, 2013 @ 8:00am 
Thanks for the post. It's good to see some active devs on the community forum. :)
RH Inż. NBlast Feb 1, 2013 @ 8:03am 
There is also this problem with Analog Triggers. Thanks SUMO that you care about us :)
Zero129 Feb 1, 2013 @ 8:05am 
Thats great, thanks for keeping us up to date :-)
B_CANSIN Feb 1, 2013 @ 8:07am 
Thats good and need VAC secrutiy system for this game some hackers doing cheats on multiplayer and if you put VAC system on it all hackers can ban ( but please if you decide do that develoment be carefully because sometimes VAC can ban without reasons )And I think you can gift some new DLC for AMD users because of this AMD bug I am waiting this game from E3 2012 and when Game release(and I pre-ordered this) and I get this bug I really shocked and I get my max angry you can see my picture on the this game pictrue but it is bugged picture. I said "I pre-ordered that game to wacth the other guys playing?".Saying "We are sorry" not enough I think because I am furious and next time I am gona wait it when it going really cheap for that bug teach me that but if you gift some thing us maybe I can pre-order again your games Why am I typnig this because you broke the trusting rules of pre-ordering this isn't beta these is release final it must work.(I mean it can have small bugs but this is gaint bug I couldn't play the game now waiting for some we are sorry gift like thsi game new DLCs)
RabidBurp Feb 1, 2013 @ 8:08am 
Thanks for communicating with the playerbase so quickly! I am impressed.

I can't wait to race as Metal Sonic!
S0L  [developer] Feb 1, 2013 @ 8:09am 
Originally posted by Jorkell:
Top left joypad movement being forced needs a fix. Refer to and many other threads

Already on our list, it's the one about launcher drift with DirectInput pads :)

MarioandSonicPWN Feb 1, 2013 @ 8:13am 
any word on Metal Sonic yet? I know you guys are working on it.
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Date Posted: Feb 1, 2013 @ 7:41am
Posts: 480