TheTechnician Jul 16, 2013 @ 3:12am
Clicking on Shops or Scenery causes freezing/pausing/lag
Not sure why, but the game recently freezes/pauses (for about 8-9 seconds, sound still plays in background) when placing a shop or clicking on one (vanilla or expansion levels). I say recently, because I played this game years ago and it did not do it at that time. Has there been a bad patch or something?

Windows7 is updated
Videocard driver is updated
Mainboard drivers are updated
Game files have been verified
Game was reinstalled
Game has been updated
Steam is reinstalled
Steam is updated
System has been restarted

All other games run fine that I have purchased on Steam...
Last edited by TheTechnician; Jul 20, 2013 @ 4:14am
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TheTechnician Jul 17, 2013 @ 12:12am 
Update to the above:

Did a fresh format/reinstall of Windows7 and installed only the Mainboard drivers and Videocard drivers, installing the oldest AMD/ATi vidcard drivers I had on hand, 10-04 (Oct.2010). The game worked perfectly.

Updated only the videocard driver to the latest at the time of this post, 13-04 (Apr.2013) and the game freezes/pauses for about 8 seconds when clicking on a shop or scenery like a tree.

Rolled back the system to a restore point that was created before any discrete videocard drivers were installed and installed AMD/ATi driver 11-11 (Nov.2011) and the game works perfectly.

So, somewhere between the 10-10 and 13-04 drivers, there is something that glitches out RCT3, at least with this combination of hardware (AMD CPU, AMD GPU, Gigabyte MB, Patriot RAM), causing this specific problem.

Others have talked about it a couple of gaming forums, including Frontier's Official Forum here:
http://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=2485
Even a Senior Producer didn't know how to fix it. Perhaps it is not even something on their end, but something with a certain combination of hardware and drivers...

Will continue to test to see what driver begins this problem, to help figure out what may alleviate it, as time permits.

(I suppose I should feel lucky, as many people here can't even get the game to run at all)

Update of driver tests:
11-11 works
12-3 works
12-8 works
TheTechnician Jul 20, 2013 @ 3:45am 
Well, I finally figured out what the problem was...

After days of testing, total format/reinstall of Windows (more than once), testing installation of possible conflicting applications, verifying after each one that the game worked or not, it came down to something extremely simple (or silly, if you wish):

If you have too many items within the MyDocuments and MyPictures folder, it creates a short 'infinite loop' (no pun intended), as the game has to check through everything twice (in my case, I had 10,000+ items in both folders combined). Let me explain...

Prior to Windows Vista, the MyPictures folder was located inside the MyDocuments folder. RCT3 was created in 2004, before Vista was released, and when the game starts up, it creates a MyPictures folder inside the MyDocuments folder if one isn't there, with a subfolder of "RCT3", where you can place your pictures to be used for Custom Shops and Custom Scenery (hence why those objects are affected by this 'bug').

Technically it's not a bug, merely a misfortune of development, as when Vista and Win7 and now Win8 churned out, they relocated the MyDocuments and MyPictures folders into their own areas. While this is actually beneficial, the change makes RCT3 shoot itself in the foot, as it creates a MyPictures folder inside the MyDocuments folder in these Operating Systems since there isn't one present.

The result? RCT3 will blindly check these folders for Resources for the game, but since these folders are all added to Windows' "Libraries" in these more modern OS's, the game is now double (quintuple?) checking EVERYTHING as it collects Resources from these now-nested folders and everytime you click on scenery or a shop, it gets those folders' items ready - resulting in a 5-9 second 'pause' of the game (lag, sound is still heard) - well, if you have 10,000+ items in these folders... That also explains why such a small number of people (myself and maybe three other forum members elsewhere) have this 'bug'. Perhaps we should start deleting things...

Anyway, I hope that this helps anyone who was having this wierd little problem. I'm off to add it to the Frontier Forums, maybe it'll help them put out a patch for it (they'll probably just tell us to delete things hah), at least it might help other people that have run into this.

Have fun
pizzaanybody Jul 20, 2013 @ 10:59pm 
When i click a stall, or a ride I don't get any lag.It's probaly because I play on windows 7.
TheTechnician Jul 21, 2013 @ 4:48am 
Originally posted by pizzaanybody:
When i click a stall, or a ride I don't get any lag.It's probaly because I play on windows 7.

I use Windows7 as well, and I don't have lag anymore since I figured out what it was. Thanks for the suggestion though.
RiO Jul 22, 2013 @ 3:00pm 
Don't install the game to the "Program Files/" or "Program Files (x86)/" folders.

Anything installed into those folders will get some 'special' aliasing behavior attached for the "My [...]" user folders that Microsoft introduced in Vista and up to accommodate broken software that didn't follow Microsoft's code standards for accessing those special folders. The fact that RCT3 is accessing the aliased My Pictures folder from inside the aliased My Documents folder, which all are linked into the Libraries functionality can cause huge performance problems with directory and file enumeration.

(Quite frankly, the game's developers are a bunch of loons for not realizing that enumerating huge folders containing all the user's pictures and then even going so far as to generate thumbnails for all of them might not be the smartest thing to do on each and every user interaction with a particularly prominent set of world objects.)

Luckily, here we can (ab)use the fact that the original developers did not code to Microsoft's standards: install the game anywhere other than the "Program Files/" or "Program Files (x86)/" folder and then create a dummy "My Documents/My Pictures/" folder yourself before first launch. RCT3 should now only enumerate that one (fresh and empty) folder because it doesn't get's Microsoft's aliasing behavior attached.
TheTechnician Jul 22, 2013 @ 4:56pm 
Originally posted by RiO:
Don't install the game to the "Program Files/" or "Program Files (x86)/" folders.

Anything installed into those folders will get some 'special' aliasing behavior attached for the "My [...]" user folders that Microsoft introduced in Vista and up to accommodate broken software that didn't follow Microsoft's code standards for accessing those special folders. The fact that RCT3 is accessing the aliased My Pictures folder from inside the aliased My Documents folder, which all are linked into the Libraries functionality can cause huge performance problems with directory and file enumeration.

(Quite frankly, the game's developers are a bunch of loons for not realizing that enumerating huge folders containing all the user's pictures and then even going so far as to generate thumbnails for all of them might not be the smartest thing to do on each and every user interaction with a particularly prominent set of world objects.)

Luckily, here we can (ab)use the fact that the original developers did not code to Microsoft's standards: install the game anywhere other than the "Program Files/" or "Program Files (x86)/" folder and then create a dummy "My Documents/My Pictures/" folder yourself before first launch. RCT3 should now only enumerate that one (fresh and empty) folder because it doesn't get's Microsoft's aliasing behavior attached.

Hah, nice idea.
For now I 'relocated' the MyDocuments and MyPictures folders to separate directories, even after emptying out a lot of old items I don't need anymore, which seems to be working well.
Thanks for the great idea though
Vitharr Sep 24, 2013 @ 3:07pm 
I apologise for bringing this back from the grave, but how would one go about creating a dummy My Documents and whatnot? I don't want to have to move all the stuff in My Documents, and reverting my ATI drivers did not work, so I am left with that option, it seems. I just don't know how to go about doing it. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated! :D
TheTechnician Sep 27, 2013 @ 7:16pm 
Originally posted by Vitharr:
I apologise for bringing this back from the grave, but how would one go about creating a dummy My Documents and whatnot? I don't want to have to move all the stuff in My Documents, and reverting my ATI drivers did not work, so I am left with that option, it seems. I just don't know how to go about doing it. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated! :D

No problem, sorry for taking so long to get around to using Steam again.

To change where Windows 'using' MyDocuments/etc, right-click on the shortcut (of for instance, MyDocuments) in the left pane of WindowsExplorer and choose Properties. Then, in the Location tab, choose a newly-created folder that is empty. You will be given a choice to move your 'old' items from their 'old' location, so if you say No, then you will just be telling MyDocuments to use a nice empty directory. This helped me in my case, because I simply had far too many things in there! Good luck
Vitharr Sep 28, 2013 @ 2:04am 
Don't worry about, thank you for getting back at all! Your help is very much appreciated! Worked like a charm. Now, let's just hope I'm not too rusty with this game. It would be a shame if a park goer got impaled by a Rhino... :D
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