RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Platinum!

RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Platinum!

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Technician4774 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 Technician4774; Jul 20, 2013 @ 4:14am
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Showing 1-13 of 13 comments
Technician4774 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
Last edited by Technician4774; Jul 17, 2013 @ 2:35am
Technician4774 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
pizza 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.
Technician4774 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.
Last edited by RiO; Jul 22, 2013 @ 3:05pm
Technician4774 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
Last edited by Vitharr; Sep 24, 2013 @ 3:49pm
Technician4774 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
Last edited by Technician4774; Sep 28, 2013 @ 11:45am
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
Daphnir Mar 12, 2015 @ 3:48am 
Hi, I have also freeze/no responding during my game and i don't had that before i installed the game on my new SSD. I think that you have the issue and it's verry interesting. So, and you 'll help the huge french community of FRCT, where we have to install the game and where we have to create the folder My document and my pictures? Sorry for my bad english but I from Belgium and in speak french... =/ I'm on Windows 8.1. Thx for your help, and i know that this topic i 3 years ago. Daphnir
Technician4774 Mar 13, 2015 @ 7:23pm 
Originally posted by Daphnir:
Hi, I have also freeze/no responding during my game and i don't had that before i installed the game on my new SSD. I think that you have the issue and it's verry interesting. So, and you 'll help the huge french community of FRCT, where we have to install the game and where we have to create the folder My document and my pictures? Sorry for my bad english but I from Belgium and in speak french... =/ I'm on Windows 8.1. Thx for your help, and i know that this topic i 3 years ago. Daphnir

Hi Daphnir,

I don't mind that the topic is older, if it is still relevant to many – as long as the mods don't mind, heh... I'd be glad to try help.

I didn't change the default location of where RCT3 installs to, but that could help possibly (the idea was submitted above by RiO). What I did change, was the location of where “MyDocuments” and “MyPictures” points to, making Windows use some merely empty Folders. These are the steps I took:

- Create two empty folders (anywhere you want), call them the same names as the 'original' folders that are installed on a Windows system (in the case of Windows7, call them “My Documents” and “My Pictures” (there is a space in there), in Windows Vista, they were changed to simply “Documents” and “Pictures” and also use those names in Windows 10, but I digress..).

- Then, my directions from above can be applied: right-click on the shortcut (of for instance, MyDocuments) in the left pane of WindowsExplorer and choose Properties. Then, in the Location tab, click Move, and choose the newly-created folder that is empty (the ones you just made, called My Documents and My Pictures). If you are given a choice to move your 'old' items from their 'old' location, say “No” to this prompt.

- Now, you have made Windows 'talk to' these newly-created and empty Folders, with nothing in them, as your Pictures and Documents. You can of course, put your pictures and docs in them, it was just to create folders with nothing, so that the game doesn't have to look through a bunch of files when you click on a prop/item.

The steps above should help with the game not 'lagging out' when you choose items anymore. If it still does, there may be other things related to it (hardware issues, memory problems, power fluctuations), there could be a lot of things that could cause it, this was just one solution that I found… and I hope it works for you, too :)

Google Translate to the rescue! (An attempt at translation, if it helps):

Salut Daphnir,

Je ne me dérange pas que le sujet est plus âgé, car il est toujours pertinent pour beaucoup - aussi longtemps que les mods ne me dérange pas, heh. Je serais heureux d'essayer de l'aide.

Je ne ai pas changé l'emplacement par défaut où RCT3 installe, mais qui pourrait aider éventuellement (l'idée a été présentée ci-dessus par Rio). Ce que je ai fait le changement, était le lieu où "Mes documents" et "mypictures" points, Windows en utilisant certains dossiers simplement vides. Ce sont les étapes que je ai prises:

- Créer deux dossiers vides (où vous voulez), appeler les mêmes noms que les dossiers «originales» qui sont installés sur un système Windows (dans le cas de Windows7, les appeler «Mes Documents» et «Mes images» (il est un espace dans il), dans Windows Vista, ils ont changé de simplement «Documents» et «Photos» et également utiliser ces noms dans Windows 10, mais je me égare ..).

- Alors, mes instructions d'en haut peuvent être appliqués: un clic droit sur le raccourci (de, par exemple, Mes documents) dans le volet gauche de WindowsExplorer et choisissez Propriétés. Ensuite, dans l'onglet Emplacement, cliquez sur Déplacer, et choisissez le dossier nouvellement créé qui est vide (ceux que vous venez de faire, appelés Mes Documents et Mes Images). Si vous êtes donné un choix de déplacer vos «anciens» articles de leur emplacement «anciens», dire «non» à cette invite.

- Maintenant, vous avez fait de parler à la 'Windows, ces dossiers nouvellement créés et vides, sans rien en eux, comme vos photos et documents. Vous pouvez bien sûr, insérer vos photos et documents en eux, ce était juste pour créer des dossiers qui ne ont rien, de sorte que le jeu n'a pas à regarder à travers un tas de fichiers lorsque vous cliquez sur un accessoire / élément.

Les étapes ci-dessus devraient aider avec le jeu pas «à la traîne sur 'lorsque vous choisissez les articles plus. Si cela ne fonctionne toujours, il peut y avoir d'autres choses liées à elle (questions matérielles, problèmes de mémoire, les fluctuations de puissance), il pourrait y avoir beaucoup de choses qui pourraient causer il, ce était juste une solution que je ai trouvé ... et je espère que cela fonctionne pour vous, aussi :)
Last edited by Technician4774; Mar 13, 2015 @ 7:24pm
Daphnir Apr 23, 2015 @ 4:30am 
Thx for your message. I solved my problem, my cpu was overheat. thx again. Have a nice day.
SqueakySqueak123 Nov 27, 2015 @ 5:48am 
Originally posted by Technician4774:
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
10 Works
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