Author Topic: Text Flickering Issue  (Read 2883 times)

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Hi folks

I'm using the latest FSO and Knossos.

A number of Mods give me the "text flickering" issues that I believe others have had in the past but I've not seen any specific fix for it.

All the text flickers and is generally unreadable and produces diagonal line streaks across the screen.

In game the text is also garbled.

This only happens with certain mods.

I have played Blue Planet and Wing Commander Mods without any issues, both excellent.
Also played Storm Front and Sync with no issues.

However currently trying Between The Ashes and it has the flicker issue which makes it unplayable.

Doesn't matter what screen resolution I choose.

On another website where someone had posted about the same issues they said they fixed it by enabling a specific setting called "Fix Font Distortion Problem"

I don't see this setting anywhere in Knossos

Anyone know where it is or have any other ideas?

Cheers




 
Please post your fs2_open.log file.  Instructions on how to do this can be found in this post.

 

Offline Novachen

  • 28
  • The one and only capella supernova
Most likely the TrueType Font Error that occurs with ATI Cards.

AFAIK there is no fix for that right now.
Female FreeSpace 2 pilot since 1999.
Global moderator in the German FreeSpace Galaxy Forum.

Responsible for the german translation project FreiRaum - FreeSpace auf Deutsch.
Also responsible for the Nova Upgrade Project, which upgrades and fix older campaigns to make them play- and solveable again with current builds and MediaVPs.

Release List:
German Translations:
Between the Ashes 1, FreeSpace Port, Silent Threat: Reborn, The Destiny of Peace, Awakenings, Deneb III & FreeSpace 2 (in development)

Nova Upgrades:
A Walk in the Sun, Into the Halls of Valhalla, Luyten Civil War, Renegade Resurgence, Rogues!, Storm Front Saga, The Deuterium Connection & Venice Mirror.

 
Hi chaps

Thanks for the help

Log file here:
https://fsnebula.org/log/5c759f60cb0d3350aa7569bf

I see plenty of errors in there.   Nevertheless, the game runs, the voice sounds are ok, its just that the text is all garbled and unreadable.

Running on a Lenovo laptop

Intel Core i5-4200M CPU @ 2.50Ghz
Intel HD Graphics 4600
8GB RAM

This machine copes just fine with most other mods, no performance issues, no lag etc.

 

Offline ngld

  • Administrator
  • 29
  • Knossos dev
Can you post a screenshot? Also, can you play the most recent MediaVPs (3.8.x)?

On another website where someone had posted about the same issues they said they fixed it by enabling a specific setting called "Fix Font Distortion Problem"
If you hover over the BtA tile on your home screen, you shoukd notice a little arrow in the bottom-right corner. Click on that and select FSO Settings. There you can tweak the commandline flags for this mod. The option you mentioned is most likely in the Troubleshooting category.

According to the log you're using an Intel GPU so that's most likely not the same issue as the AMD problems we've seen recently. Most of the errors in the log you uploaded can be ignored ("known incorrect sRGB profile" is an error caused by PNGs with an incorrect ICC profile which at worst would cause those images to be displayed with slightly shifted colors).

BtA seems to use the new libRocket UI so the issue either lies in that implementation or in the TTF rendering code. The latter is also used in the recent MVPs so knowing if they display text correctly should help is figure out where the problem lies.

 
1.  Unable to take a screenshot.  The PtrSc button when used in game always just takes a shot of the Knossos screen which is hiding in the background behind the game screen.  Is there some special way to take a screen shot of the actual game?

2.  The "Fix Font Distortion Problem" setting, if it truly ever existed, is not found anywhere in Knossos.  Been through every drop down option, Graphics, Gameplay, Hud, Audio, Troubleshooting etc etc.  No dice.

3.  The Media VPs 3.8 work just fine

More info to note.

a) In the FSO Settings for the BTA mod, I HAVE to select "Mod Default" for the FSO Build.   If I try to select the "FSO 3.8.0" build that is in the drop down list I get the error message "Error: Strings.tbl is in Unicode/UTF format and can not be read by Freespace Open.  Please convert it to ASCII/ANSI"

b)  I have the Wings Of Dawn mod downloaded.  I get exactly the same garbled text and flickering issue with this that I get with BTA.

c)  I have Fall Of Epsilon Pegasi downloaded.  I can not run this at all. I get the error message:

"Error: game_settings.tbl(line 2):
"Error: Missing required token: [#END]. Found [$Target Version:] instead."

Doubt this is related to the text flickering issues though.

 
Could you update Intel graphic drivers?

 
I guess I could but TBH if I can play most Mods just fine but 2 or 3 are playing up then wouldn't that suggest it's a problem with the Mods?

  

Offline ngld

  • Administrator
  • 29
  • Knossos dev
1.  Unable to take a screenshot.  The PtrSc button when used in game always just takes a shot of the Knossos screen which is hiding in the background behind the game screen.  Is there some special way to take a screen shot of the actual game?
Click on the picture icon in Knossos (should be in the upper-right corner below the settings icon). If the game engine made any screenshots itself (which it should when you press the Print Screen key), they'll end up in that folder.

2.  The "Fix Font Distortion Problem" setting, if it truly ever existed, is not found anywhere in Knossos.  Been through every drop down option, Graphics, Gameplay, Hud, Audio, Troubleshooting etc etc.  No dice.
I just looked it up and apparently I misremembered and that setting indeed never existed. BTW, the options in the FSO settings section depend on the selected FSO version since each version can have different settings.

a) In the FSO Settings for the BTA mod, I HAVE to select "Mod Default" for the FSO Build.   If I try to select the "FSO 3.8.0" build that is in the drop down list I get the error message "Error: Strings.tbl is in Unicode/UTF format and can not be read by Freespace Open.  Please convert it to ASCII/ANSI"
That is to be expected since both BtA and the recent MediaVPs require a newer build than 3.8.0. The mod default is set to a recent nightly with which the mod works correctly.

b)  I have the Wings Of Dawn mod downloaded.  I get exactly the same garbled text and flickering issue with this that I get with BTA.
Wings Of Dawn uses TTF rendering and possibly other features which were added after FSO 3.8.0. So this is probably the same bug. Will have to double-check.

c)  I have Fall Of Epsilon Pegasi downloaded.  I can not run this at all. I get the error message:

"Error: game_settings.tbl(line 2):
"Error: Missing required token: [#END]. Found [$Target Version:] instead."
Same issue as BtA, tell Knossos to use a newer FSO version in your FSO settings and the mod should launch. If you can't select a newer version, go to your Knossos settings and switch your preferred stability to Nightly.

So... this sounds like an engine bug that a coder will need to fix. Still not sure if this is TTF rendering or libRocket causing issues.

I guess I could but TBH if I can play most Mods just fine but 2 or 3 are playing up then wouldn't that suggest it's a problem with the Mods?
The mods you're having problems with use newer engine features and thus different parts of the driver API. This is either a bug in the FSO engine (since it's a newer and less tested feature) or a driver bug (after all it works fine on other graphics cards). Either way, if it was an issue with the mod itself, it would affect more people.

 
Appreciate the continuing help and investigations

Here are a couple of URLs to screen shots I took with mobile phone camera

One a pic of the In Game base Options screen and the other the New room screen.

As you can see, a lot of text is garbled and there are diagonal streaks all over the screen.

If it helps the investigation, I just played the "Burning Heaven" mod missions and whilst all the text is just fine in that mod, the cockpit radar had diagonal streaks coming from it.

http://tinypic.com/r/2m2b7ex/9

http://tinypic.com/r/2d267q1/9

 

Offline ngld

  • Administrator
  • 29
  • Knossos dev
That looks almost certainly like a driver issue. Try updating your graphics drivers. (I'd suggest updating FSO but you already have the latest version).

 
Screenshots from Knossos itself

BTA Newsroom
http://tinypic.com/r/xe281j/9

BTA Options
http://tinypic.com/r/2ljpd04/9

WoD Profile Selection
http://tinypic.com/r/14bofa/9

WoD Options Screen
http://tinypic.com/r/qyi8fq/9

WoD Targetting Options Screen
http://tinypic.com/r/2f069w4/9

WoD Misc Options Screen
http://tinypic.com/r/16a7a4o/9

 
Graphics drivers were already up-to-date.   There are no further drivers being produced for this card/chip.

 
Re: Text Flickering Issue
That is to be expected since both BtA and the recent MediaVPs require a newer build than 3.8.0. The mod default is set to a recent nightly with which the mod works correctly.

I have switched Knossos to "nightly" setting but makes no difference.

Can you tell me which specific FSO Build  BtA requires please?


 

Offline Spoon

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  • ヾ(´︶`♡)ノ
Re: Text Flickering Issue
Now those are some interesting text issues  :lol:

For WoD, have you tried https://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=95368.msg1879261#msg1879261
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 
Re: Text Flickering Issue
Now those are some interesting text issues  :lol:

For WoD, have you tried https://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=95368.msg1879261#msg1879261

Hi cheers for the link

Tried that fonts file but didn't solve the problem.  :-(

Still stuck

 

Offline Spoon

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Re: Text Flickering Issue
Bugger :(

I'm afraid the only solution left then might just boil down to getting a new videocard.
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 
Re: Text Flickering Issue
Bugger :(

I'm afraid the only solution left then might just boil down to getting a new videocard.

Don't be daft !

Freespace itself runs absolutely perfectly
Wing Commander DD mod runs absolutely perfectly
Derelict mod runs perfectly
Blue Planet mod runs perfectly
Destiny Of Peace (Silent Threat etc) mod runs perfectly
Halls of Valhalla runs perfectly
Storm Front runs perfectly
Sync runs perfectly
Transcend runs perfectly

etc etc etc

Between The Ashes is however Daffy Ducked
As is Wings of Dawn

This clearly suggests that the developers of those mods have messed with something that they shouldn't have
That they have tweaked settings that are specific to certain hardware or software rather than leave things more generic
I'd like to play those mods, but FFS I'm not going to buy specific hardware to be able to, that's crazy. 
Even if I did, do they even know themselves what hardware is specifically needed? There's no recommended hardware that I know of.

If ALL mods were affected by this text garbage crap then yes, different hardware would be a reasonable suggestion.
Since most mods work perfectly then the problem lies very obviously with those 2 mods.  It's really up to the developers to fix it.






 

Offline niffiwan

  • 211
  • Eluder Class
Re: Text Flickering Issue
yeah... the issue is that a new text rendering feature with the FSO engine has issues on certain video cards. The feature is question is allowing the use of true-type fonts - which is a good thing as the old font handling was ugly and hard to work with. In any event it's certainly not the fault of the mod creators choosing to use that new feature. Throw stones at the SCP developers if you wish (yes, that includes me), equally I don't have access to an old Intel HD video card to even start trying to find & fix the issue.
Creating a fs2_open.log | Red Alert Bug = Hex Edit | MediaVPs 2014: Bigger HUD gauges | 32bit libs for 64bit Ubuntu
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Debian Packages (testing/unstable): Freespace2 | wxLauncher
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m|m: I think I'm suffering from Stockholm syndrome. Bmpman is starting to make sense and it's actually written reasonably well...

 
Re: Text Flickering Issue
The feature is question is allowing the use of true-type fonts - which is a good thing as the old font handling was ugly and hard to work with. .

Right, so by that reckoning it can be assumed that you think the much vaunted Blue Planet mod is "ugly" and Transcend, and Wing Commander DD and all the rest???

Call me Mr Picky but I thought all those mods were pretty stunning work and made for a thoroughly enjoyable gaming experience.  The quality of the font was frankly not on my mind at all as I was gunning down enemy ships.

So we have on the one hand, Mod developers who are/have successfully created brilliant Mods using the, how shall we call it? "basic" font rendering capabilities of FSO, and we have Mod Developers trying to use a newer FS feature which is clearly unsupported on some platforms and thus prevents a portion of the playing audience from experiencing the Mod.   Struggling, honestly struggling to see the logic and strategy there.

If they can make brilliant Mods like BP and WCDD work just fine then surely other developers can do the same.

And YES it clearly IS a Mod choice because the Mod developer is choosing to use either specific versions of FSO or specific features of FSO which cause issues with certain hardware platforms.  Why limit the playing audience just for the questionable benefit of true type fonts?