Darwinia + Steam + Vista SP1 strangeness

Problems with the Windows version of Darwinia

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Powerlord
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Darwinia + Steam + Vista SP1 strangeness

Postby Powerlord » Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:36 am

OK, first of all, I'm going to note that the Darwinia forum over on the Steam site is fairly... dead.

I'll also note that I'm running Vista SP1 with UAC enabled (which is the default).

After installing Darwinia from Steam, the game runs great. Except that the game doesn't save when I leave Leave Location or Leave Area.

That's not the only strangeness, either. I saw some mention of preferences.txt by other users to fix other problems. I figured maybe the problem was in there... only to find out that there is no preferences.txt anywhere on my system. And I do mean anywhere; there is no file of that name on either drive.

My C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\[steam user]\darwinia folder only contains the following:
d3dx9_32.dll
darwinia.exe
language.dat
main.dat
patch.dat
sounds.dat
xinput1_3.dll

I've seen others point to various locations for Darwinia files. However...
C:\Users\[windows user]\Saved Games\ only contains a Microsoft Games folder.
C:\Users\[windows user]\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\ does not contain a Darwinia or Steam folder.

I tried using Process Explorer to see what files Darwinia was trying to open, but it didn't list any.

I've also tried reinstalling it from Steam, with the same results.

Manually creating C:\Users\[username]\Saved Games\Darwinia did not fix the problem.
Manually creating C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\[steam user]\darwinia did not fix the problem.

Anyone have any other suggestions?
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KingAl
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Postby KingAl » Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:47 am

Sounds like it's a user permissions issue - try right clicking Darwinia.exe and choosing 'Run as Administrator'.
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Postby Powerlord » Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:28 am

KingAl wrote:Sounds like it's a user permissions issue - try right clicking Darwinia.exe and choosing 'Run as Administrator'.


I probably should have mentioned: This is exactly what I was trying to avoid.

Also, Vista is supposed to redirect files to to the VirtualStore directory if they try writing to their Program Files directory. However, Steam appears to have bypassed this, most likely by changing the permissions on the Steam directory so that everyone has write access to it and its subdirectories.

Edit: I just checked, the Users groups has Full Control, Modify, and Write to the Steam directory; presumably the installer added that on installation. This is inherited all the way to the darwinia folder.

What I'm wondering is why this hasn't been reported by any other Vista users with the Steam version.
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Postby KingAl » Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:59 am

Not being familiar with Vista myself, perhaps they've bypassed its bizarre permissions system by running as administrator all the time?
Chances are you can specify certain permissions in the file's Properties, if that's preferable, but it's clearly related to the game's inability to create the files or folders that it needs to, even if it ought to have these permissions already.
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Postby Powerlord » Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:19 pm

I broke down and ran it as Administrator... with the same results. I also tried reinstalling it while Steam was running as Administrator then running the game as Administrator... same results.
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Re: Darwinia + Steam + Vista SP1 strangeness

Postby frenchfrog » Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:44 pm

Powerlord wrote:C:\Users\[username]\Saved Games\Darwinia


Sound right.


Isn't there a way to convert a Steam version to a regular version? Something like copying the file from Steam and installing the patch over it.

If you do so, please don't put the directory in Programs Files.
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Postby Jazz Ad » Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:18 pm

Powerlord wrote:What I'm wondering is why this hasn't been reported by any other Vista users with the Steam version.
Because most people run as administrators, which is perfectly logical if you're a home user, despite what Microsoft tells you.
A regular (non admin) system user doesn't install applications. Homeusers do it all the time.
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Postby Entharion » Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:06 pm

Yeeeaahh... I have the same bug :S

After playing 4 hours straight on, I noticed that I couldn't place an engineer anywhere, so I restarted the game to find it didn't save my game/profile/settings.
It would seem that the game isn't even installed, since there's only 9 files in the folder, and not a single config file (game.txt)

(I tried to use cheats to get back to where I was, but those don't work either)

Running Darwinia - Steam edition on Windows Vista Ultimate X64 SP1
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Re: Darwinia + Steam + Vista SP1 strangeness

Postby Powerlord » Thu Sep 04, 2008 12:14 am

frenchfrog wrote:
Powerlord wrote:C:\Users\[username]\Saved Games\Darwinia


Sound right.


Isn't there a way to convert a Steam version to a regular version? Something like copying the file from Steam and installing the patch over it.

If you do so, please don't put the directory in Programs Files.


Well, it looks like the Steam version has a modified executable that makes it look for Steam:
"This application has failed to start because Steam.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem."

Incidentally, the Steam version of Darwinia is version win32-full-steam-1.5.10

I am running it on Windows Vista Home Premium (32-bit) SP1 on an HP Pavilion Elite M9150F with Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 processor.

I suppose the question I must now ask is this: Should I contact Valve's tech support or Introversion's tech support?

Edit: I filed a ticket on Valve's support site.
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Postby stampyourfoot » Tue Sep 16, 2008 10:20 pm

I'm having exactly the same problem. I'm running Vista and have Darwinia through Steam, however UAC is turned off. It won't save any of my profiles in the game, and when i quit it, everything is lost. It just takes me back to the Garden level. It's really bugging me now.
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Postby The GoldFish » Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:26 pm

I just tried the 1.5.10 steam version on whatever Vista version the PC downstairs has on it. I didn't have any issues creating a new profile, playing, exiting the game, starting it up again and then continuing where I left off.

I'm not sure how to reproduce the issues these people are experiencing.

If you want to "patch" the steam version to be the non-steam version, if you move all the files out of your steam darwinia directory to another (to prevent steam automatically "fixing" them, which it will probably do even with automatic updates turned off), and you should be able to install the 1.5.11 patch from the introversion website - the 1.5.11 patch is basically identical to the steam version you've been using; it uses the same directory locations that the steam version would be using, so this might not actually fix anything for you, although it might provide more information. The ability to apply patches should extend to the older 1.42 patch (although, it's a much simpler replacement binary, 1.5.X has an installer), which was designed for windows XP etc and doesn't use any of the directory rearrangements even when running vista, so all created files like preferences and your profiles should end up in the darwinia dir. This obviously can cause problems if it's run from a protected directory.
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Postby stampyourfoot » Wed Sep 17, 2008 7:06 pm

Oh thanks, but I just found out what was causing it. Darwinia was trying to save in "C://Users/[username]/Saved Games", but I had changed the default games folder to a different one. Just change the Games folder back to the default, and it should work. I wonder why it doesn't just save in the Steam folder. Anyhow, thanks for your help.
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Postby The GoldFish » Wed Sep 17, 2008 8:57 pm

It's because (I'm fairly sure) the default directories for steam and darwinia are in program files, which causes problems or something.

I guess it could be that Darwinia isn't correctly reading the "saved games" dir, and might just be assuming that it's users/name/save games/ ?
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Postby frenchfrog » Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:34 pm

stampyourfoot wrote:Oh thanks, but I just found out what was causing it. Darwinia was trying to save in "C://Users/[username]/Saved Games", but I had changed the default games folder to a different one. Just change the Games folder back to the default, and it should work.


Wow, nice find :D Do other people having this issue can confirm it solve the problem?


The GoldFish wrote:I guess it could be that Darwinia isn't correctly reading the "saved games" dir, and might just be assuming that it's users/name/save games/ ?


Darwinia is getting it from Windows API ...
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Postby Powerlord » Wed Sep 17, 2008 10:50 pm

frenchfrog wrote:
stampyourfoot wrote:Oh thanks, but I just found out what was causing it. Darwinia was trying to save in "C://Users/[username]/Saved Games", but I had changed the default games folder to a different one. Just change the Games folder back to the default, and it should work.


Wow, nice find :D Do other people having this issue can confirm it solve the problem?


I never moved my Saved Games or Games folders, they're in the default location. In fact, I'm not even sure how to move Saved Games without doing registry editing.

Edit:
As for moving it to a different directory then applying the 1.5.11 patch, no change. I created a new profile, left Darwinia, came back and got the same "NewUser" profile that it defaults to. The only difference is the version number in the options menu is win32-full-1.5.11 .

P.S. What files should the game have after installation? Mine only has 7 files.

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