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ZenMastaT

Sky Flickering Graphical Error

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ZenMastaT

Hello internet,

 

I've just installed GTA:VC on my new PC for a bit of nostalgia but seem to have run into a problem. The sky flickers and flashes constantly in the game, whether moving or not, with long diagonal lines. I attempted to capture a screenshot of it but regrettably they seem not to show up. Needless to say its distracting to the point that I can't really play the game for fear of a seizure.

 

I'm running Windows XP, SP2 with the newest video drivers and version of Direct X available. The computer itself is brand new with generally top of the line components so I don't think its a hardware issue - lest its one of compatability. The sound card is a Creative XFi Gamer with the newest drivers as well. The system can handle any other game I've thrown at it without a single issue so this seems to me like a Vice City problem.

 

I tried Patch 1.1, that didn't do anything, I tried different resolutions, no result and I tried running in compatibility mode for Windows 98 and that didn't solve the problem either.

 

I seem to vaguely recall having this problem on an older machine which I was able to solve with a driver roll back, but this is a new machine with an entirely different video card and I'm not sure what to roll back to.

 

CPU: Intel C2D e6400 2ghz

Video Card: Nvidia 8800GTS

Motherboard: Abit AB9 Pro

RAM: Corsair DDR2 566mhz

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omega_c

Never had anyone call me internet, but hey.

 

Just to be sure, this isn't the contrails from the different planes, right?

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ZenMastaT

I'd just like to give a little update: I experience the same problem in GTA3 but not in GTA San Andreas on this machine.

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GamerShotgun

Have u tried reinstalling ur Video drivers? Maybe somthing went wrong and thats what ur problem is...

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ZenMastaT

I have not as yet tried reinstalling the video drivers since none of my other games are having issues - not even GTA:SA. My guess right now is that the newest drivers have broken something with the older GTAs, though I'm hoping this isn't the case.

 

As far as the contrails go, its not them - the sky flickers and fractures every other second or so constantly, whether moving or not. I just noticed that the menus flicker and fracture in distinctly the same way - though no other graphical element seems effected (cars, people, buildings, UI, etc)

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woolyh

Hey, i have a 8800 GTS and had this same problem.

 

A solution to fix it is to simply switch the resolution to one that has a 16BIT colour depth, this will 100% fix all graphical errors e.g. sky flickering.

 

If you ever find out how to run the game in 32BIT without the errors i'd really like to know.

 

Thanks and hope this helps

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omega_c

Try to roll back the drivers.

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12Gauge

Maybe ur video card isnt all that great compatible with VC. Tryin getting another card maybe? or change resolution to 16bit

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agent17

I had the same problem, To fix this, before starting a game, on the main menu there is an options menu, then graphics options change it too somthing like 1280 x 1024 x 32bit

 

anything 32 bit will fix it.

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Urban Legend

I got the same problem as well. The v1.1 patch didnt work and now my VC doesnt work at all really...

 

It's running on Windows Vista though... it sucks. I'll post a video when I'm not a school.

 

f*ckin a suicidal.gif

 

-----------------------

 

http://download.yousendit.com/50427895167A6510

 

Thats straight from the game, ( which doesnt work anymore ) I got the v1.1 patch to install once but I lost my "play" cd. Maybe a clean exe would help me? Cause I just wanna play evenm if it is like this.

 

thank you, - UL.

Edited by Urban Legend

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Ring_of_Fire

Were you using any form of mods before ZenMastaT? That looks to be what the cause of your problem is. Uninstall them if you have any mods. Better yet, uninstall the game completely from Add/Remove Programs and then reinstall the game again to perform a fresh installation. Always remember though that your problem could be because of the [.set] file; delete it from the 'My Documents' folder before launching your game as it is possibly "remembering" your configuration settings from your older computer.

 

Advices:

  • Try setting the affinity of your Core2 Duo to single core for the 'gta-vc' process to see if that helps. (Under the Processes tab in Windows Task Manager.)

     

     

  • Turn ON Frame Limiter and set the game's resolution to the same resolution as your monitor's (inspect the settings in 'Display Properties' too). Make sure to set it to 32-bit color as well. Also, make sure that VSync and the proper refresh rate settings are set appropriately -- this may help to reduce tearing or "sky flickering".

     

     

  • Update the monitor drivers and the monitor color profile; reset your monitor to the factory defaults and do an auto-adjustment.

     

     

  • Use Windows Update.

     

     

  • Finally, download the Realtek High Definition Audio Driver and the INTEL Chipset Driver (available here). Go here to download the 8800 series drivers!

* Nah, you don't need to update the Realtek sound drivers since you stated before you already own a Creative SB X-Fi discrete solution. Just get only the Intel chipset and the new GeForce 8800 drivers. If you don't mind, there's a BIOS update in the link but I wouldn't recommend flashing your BIOS since I am not really sure if it would help out your graphics card to render the Vice City scenery properly. Most likely resetting the settings of the BIOS to their defaults or tweaking it a bit should help. If it doesn't, then it is definitely a compatibility problem with the game and your graphics card perhaps. But don't attempt to mess around intensively inside the BIOS though.

Edited by Ring_of_Fire

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stinney

I've got the same problem 8800GTS, and horrendous sky flickering.

 

The rest of the game looks fabulous, but the lower portion of the sky changes colour and flickers in big "chunks" through the main primary colours.

It really is aweful.

 

I've tried all of the above but nothing fixes it.

 

Any other ideas?

 

Also the grey background on the game menu flickers, but only after I've started playing and come out. Before I start playing its fine.

 

I had a play with the draw distance too, but that doesn't seem to make a difference.

Edited by stinney

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Ring_of_Fire

What OS are you using? But I don't think it would matter. People have ran Vice City flawlessly on Windows Vista. Normally this is a problem with the software drivers, graphics hardware, or the game's configuration files. If you are using Windows XP, try compatibility mode and install the 1.1 patch. If you are using Windows Vista, still try using compatibility mode and install 1.1 patch. As always, you have to delete the [.set] file before launching the game in a case like this. And I don't think this problem is a conflict with DirectX10 and DirectX9 games, they are supposed to be backward compatible. Either your hardware drivers are messed up or your graphics card is damaged. Most likely you don't have a problem running San Andreas, correct?

 

If you think downgrading your drivers will help, you better know that the Patch 1.1 allows the same effect to take place with your current updated drivers; it's been released for a purpose. Try downloading the patch Here, it should work.

 

 

Also the grey background on the game menu flickers, but only after I've started playing and come out. Before I start playing its fine.

You mean something like this...? http://updit.com/view/image/2566/gta.jpg Make sure you get updated drivers at nVidia's website and don't end up downloading the wrong one. You can try uninstalling the drivers, downgrading it, and/or using Windows generic drivers. If all else fails, the last resort would be:

 

 

 

Lower the hardware acceleration level of your display hardware from 'Full' to something else lower. I think that is located in either dxdiag or display properties. Note that some graphics drivers come with a control panel/center for additional tweaking as well.

 

 

 

Right click the game icon and go to 'Properties'. Select the 'Compatibility' tab and disable visual themes. Apply and OK. Launch the game and test the graphics. moto_whistle.gif

 

 

A list of possible solutions:

 

 

Hey, i have a 8800 GTS and had this same problem.

 

A solution to fix it is to simply switch the resolution to one that has a 16BIT colour depth, this will 100% fix all graphical errors e.g. sky flickering.

Interesting... mercie_blink.gif

 

 

I had the same problem, To fix this, before starting a game, on the main menu there is an options menu, then graphics options change it too somthing like 1280 x 1024 x 32bit

 

anything 32 bit will fix it.

You sure about what you just said there? I thought...rolleyes.gif

 

 

It's weird as to how a lot of GeForce 8800gts cards and Intel GMA chipsets have this problem when using Windows Vista. If you can't get the game to work (cause I listed almost everything that could have possibly worked), get a graphics card from ATi's Radeon X1950 series. They have stable drivers for it, but I am pretty sure nVidia would have perfectly stable GeForce 8800 Windows Vista/XP drivers by now. Another thing to note is that the thread starter ZenMastaT is running Windows XP SP2 so it's definitely not Windows Vista's fault. Most likely it's the fault of the graphics hardware/drivers or in-game incompatibility issues which may be doubtful.

 

 

Do the following in this order and you shouldn't have any problems with sky flickering in Vice City. Just do the entire thing and don't miss out on a step! R* wouldn't be foolish to let some PC machines not supporting the game properly:

 

 

Uninstall the game fully via Add/Remove Programs, as well as mods or any leftover files in the game's main folder.

 

 

Delete the [.set] file in the 'My Documents' folder.

 

 

Download the latest graphics card drivers for your current OS and your graphics card series.

 

 

Uninstall your old one and restart the machine.

 

 

Install the newer one you had downloaded before in Step 3 and restart the machine.

 

 

Reinstall Vice City using the disc. Use a 'Typical/Express' installation.

 

 

Download the 1.1 patch.

 

 

Set the properties of the game like disabling visual themes and using Windows 98 compatibility mode.

 

 

Try tweaking around in 'dxdiag' via the Display tab, or in 'Display Properties': Settings tab -> Advanced button -> Troubleshoot tab. You should make sure that the resolution and color quality in Windows are set correctly before launching the game. The color quality should always be set to 32-bit.

 

 

Launch the game, configure the display settings, and test the graphics.

 

 

Edited by Ring_of_Fire

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stinney

 

Also the grey background on the game menu flickers' date=' but only after I've started playing and come out. Before I start playing its fine.[/quote']

You mean something like this...? http://updit.com/view/image/2566/gta.jpg Make sure you get updated drivers at nVidia's website and don't end up downloading the wrong one. You can try uninstalling the drivers, downgrading it, and/or using Windows generic drivers. If all else fails, the last resort would be:

 

 

No my screen doesnt look like that. It looks fine, but just the 2 tone grey camo part flashes randomly and very often in the same way as the lower half of the sky does in game.

 

It happens too fast to capture and i can handle it on the menu but its too distracting in game. I'll try to capture an in game pic.

 

I'm running XP and tried to run it in 98/ME compatability with no success.

 

Many thanks for your support and patience smile.gif I really appreciate it.

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stinney

Ok this isnt a great pic but you might be able to see what i'm talking about:

 

http://updit.com/download/image/2715/glitch.JPG

 

The diagonal grey band across te sky.

It doesnt look very distracting in a still but in game where it flashes different colours constantly, it gets very tiring very quick.

 

 

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stinney

OK guys you are not going to believe this.

 

I was trying to get a screenshot of the worst glitch and all I was getting was the grey, so I thought I'd record my gameplay with FRAPS so I downloaded the free trial and set about recording me play the game.

 

Guess what? With FRAPS recording the glitch disappears!!!!!!

As soon as I stop recording the fault comes back!

 

The only downsides are you get the FPS counter in the top right hand corner, and if you play for a long time you will build up a large file but I guess if you record at low FPS and half size, the worst that will happen will be you have to delete that file every so often.

 

Hope that works for you guys as a workaround and helps further diagnose the exact problem.

 

However I dont think NVIDIA are going to re-write their drivers for a game thats 4 years old, and I doubt Rockstar are interested in patching a game thats 4 years old.

 

*EDIT*

A quick update. The free trial of Fraps will only record for 30 seconds at a time, so after that it turns off recording and the glitch returns.

Also I have found you can turn off the frame rate counter so it doesnt display it.

 

There is a small overhead with Fraps so for lower end systems this may be a problem. However This only seems to be affecting 8800GTS's and if you have one of those, your machine is likely to cope with it flawlessly.

 

So I guess what we need is someone to figure out what it is about fraps that sorts the problem out and find a friendly programmer to replicate it so (a) we dont have to pay for fraps and (b) we dont fill up our hard disks with videos.

 

Anyone?

Edited by stinney

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Ring_of_Fire

Which graphics card do you have now? Unless the video card you are using doesn't support T&L, then that would probably be why the sky flickers. If not, then you'll benefit from reinstalling DirectX 9 if you have XP or DirectX 10 if you have Vista. I don't know why FRAPS made the game to work, but I think what FRAPS did was to limit the framerate. So were you playing with the frame limiter off and was the resolution set to either 16/32bit? I am thinking as well that this also have something to do with VSync and the Refresh Rate. They all contribute to tearing such as sky flickering.

 

I see that all Vice City texture rendering problems have something to do with IGP chipsets such as Intel GMA and GPUs like the GeForce 8800. These two hardwares are troublesome and I can bet you stinney that you don't have a video card along the lines of "ATi Radeon"! moto_whistle.gif With all due respect, updating the display drivers and Patch 1.1 is the way to go. But if you can't get the game to work with all the advices already given out, ATI makes this best video cards with no driver instability issues on their part so I really suggest getting one of the Radeons seriously.

 

 

* This is not my kind of thing to do, but this problem seems very deep and interesting to me. I would like to have both of your [.set] file and [.b] save file, stinney. Who knows, probably this "sky flickering" problem must have affected the save file and the configuration settings itself.

Edited by Ring_of_Fire

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stinney

 

Which graphics card do you have now? Unless the video card you are using doesn't support T&L, then that would probably be why the sky flickers. If not, then you'll benefit from reinstalling DirectX 9 if you have XP or DirectX 10 if you have Vista. I don't know why FRAPS made the game to work, but I think what FRAPS did was to limit the framerate. So were you playing with the frame limiter off and was the resolution set to either 16/32bit? I am thinking as well that this also have something to do with VSync and the Refresh Rate. They all contribute to tearing such as sky flickering.

 

I see that all Vice City texture rendering problems have something to do with IGP chipsets such as Intel GMA and GPUs like the GeForce 8800. These two hardwares are troublesome and I can bet you stinney that you don't have a video card along the lines of "ATi Radeon"moto_whistle.gif With all due respect, updating the display drivers and Patch 1.1 is the way to go. But if you can't get the game to work with all the advices already given out, ATI makes this best video cards with no driver instability issues on their part so I really suggest getting one of the Radeons seriously.

 

 

* This is not my kind of thing to do, but this problem seems very deep and interesting to me. I would like to have both of your [.set] file and [.b] save file, stinney. Who knows, probably this "sky flickering" problem must have affected the save file and the configuration settings itself.

Hiya mate.

 

Thanks again for all the help.

 

- I've tried various combinations of frame rate limiter on/off, 16/32bit and monitor refresh rates (My 20" widescreen only does 59 and 60 Hz)

- I've tried different resolutions. The game recognises the 1600x1050 resolution which is optimum for the monitor.

- I've downloaded and installed the latest drivers from Nvidia for the 8800GTS

- I've applied the 1.1 patch

 

I havent tried:

- Re-installing DX9 (I'm using XP)

 

and LMAO at getting a Radeon! This is my first NON radeon in about 6 years!! (64MB DDR VIVO Radeon, 9200SE 128, 9600pro 128, 9600pro 256) Radeons are awesome but I thought I'd try Nvidia as everyone raves about them, and the XFX 8800 GTS XXX was the best value for money at the time. Typical! The second Nvidia card I ever buy and it gives me grief. sigh.gif

 

I'll probably switch back to ATI for the next one but theres no way I'm getting a new graphics card, just to play VC. It would be cheaper for me to buy a fraps licence! (Which I may end up doing).

 

If you still want the [.set] and [.b] files I'll pull them off tomorrow. How would you like me to get them to you?

 

Thanks again! smile.gif

Edited by stinney

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Ring_of_Fire

Don't bother then I guess... I am assuming now that you tried deleting the [.set] file and uninstalled/reinstalled the game already. Looks like this situation will cause me not to upgrade to any of the GeForce 8 series from now on, since you admit that you were running an 8800GTS to me. I am going for R600 or an X1950XTX! However, if I am having the nerve to buy a 8800GTS 320MB, I'll might just do that just so to see what "sky flickering" problems everyone else is having (although I wouldn't be happy at all that I tried it and didn't work). But if it works for me, then it can work for everybody.

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stinney

I think you are right. Fraps does change the FPS rate.

 

I set it to record at 10 FPS, and when its recording it changes the game FPS to 10.

 

When its not recording the game fps is 50-60 and I get the flickering.

 

So in theory, the frame limiter toggle should fix the problem. I'll have more of a play around with that.

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Ring_of_Fire

Why bother fixing graphical in-game problems with FRAPS? I think you are better off contacting Take 2 Interactive and tell them what your problem is, and if 8800GTS cards are having issues with Vice City. In the mean time, I would like to see if you or someone else can explain these two posts to me; looks like some people don't have problems with running Vice City on a GeForce 8800:

 

 

A solution to fix it is to simply switch the resolution to one that has a 16BIT colour depth, this will 100% fix all graphical errors e.g. sky flickering.

 

 

To fix this, before starting a game, on the main menu there is an options menu, then graphics options change it too somthing like 1280 x 1024 x 32bit

biggrin.gif

 

I am going to give this another go: Stinney, what fps were you getting on your 8800GTS when frame limiter was turned on... 30fps? It seems that if you were to turn off frame limiter, Vice City would probably be running at 100+fps which may cause tearing or graphic corruptions. Also, what is your CPU? I think I am confusing character-map (text) interference with sky flickering. It seems outdated drivers cause "Character-map" interference, while 8800GTS or dual-cored processors causes "Sky flickering". So I am basically dealing with two totally different problems, although I should deal with only 1.

 

I need all these components as well. You might just need to update both the chipset & sound drivers, and the motherboard BIOS:

 

CPU

RAM

Motherboard

 

 

Update:

 

 

I'm getting all sorts of graphics glitches. I have a GeForce FX/8800GTS series card.

 

 

If you are experiencing severe graphical glitches when using a GeForce FX 5200 or other GeForce cards, please try the following:

 

--Change your in-game resolution to 1024 x 768 x 16-bit or lower. This frequently assists users who have inexplicable crashes once the game begins.

 

--Enter your Display Properties menu for your GeForce Card, and change the "Intellisample" settings to "Application." To do this:

 

1. Right-click on your Windows Desktop, and select "Properties" from the drop-down menu.

2. Click on the "settings" tab, found near the top of the Display Properties window, then click on the "Advanced" button.

3. Click on the GeForce FX tab near the top of the screen. This should open up a window displaying settings for your particular GeForce card. If a side-menu does not appear, click on the small green button on the left hand side of the window; a smaller window should appear on that side.

4. Click on "Performance & Quality Settings." You´ll see a slider bar for "Intellisample Settings" near the top of the screen, just below the NVidia graphics.

5. Change the slider bar setting to "Application" by clicking on it and dragging it to the left so it snaps over "Application." Click on the "OK" button to save the settings and close the window.

6. Delete from the "Grand Theft Auto Vice City/models" directory the files "TXD.DIR" and "TXD.IMG" (if they exist)

- delete from the "Grand Theft Auto Vice City/data" directory the file "CAPS.DAT"

- delete from the "Documents and Settings/Current logged-in User/My Documents/GTA Vice City User Files" directory the "GTA_VC.SET" file.

 

Run the game.

 

--If the above does not work for you, or you do not see the "Application" setting in your Intellisample slider, you may need to "roll back" to an older version of the GeForce drivers; this has also helped some other users. Download and install the "4345" drivers for your video card. This is most likely an older version of your current video card software, but some users have reported graphical problems with the use of "4351" or later drivers sets. After any changes to your devices or drivers, you should always delete the gta_vc.set file. See the above instructions for the location of this file.

 

--One other solution you may want to try is to download and install a patch that has been developed to assist users who have experienced several graphical problems. Visit the Patches section to download and install the proper patch for your system. Please note that this patch is UNSUPPORTED. It addresses only graphical glitch problems; no other aspects of the game have been changed or modified by this patch.

You should know what I edited in the above quote. Hope it helps... smile.gif

 

*Sources* -> Technical Help/Video heading

 

This is how important deleting the [.set] file is when you have installed new hardware/drivers. It avoids having to uninstall and reinstall the game.

 

 

* To all people having graphical corruption in Vice City, I will leave you off with one final advice. All GPU chipset manufacturers such as ATi and nVidia come with a tweaking companion (control panel/center). Normally you shouldn't touch it whatsoever, but if you are experiencing problems with other games, it's best to try and change it. I realize all ForceWare drivers are set to give instability issues in older games, but not ATi Catalyst because every single default setting works for all my games. Here is an Nvidia Forceware Tweak Guide. You would want all Direct3D settings to be set to "Application managed" and "High Performance", that way you have less performance bugs. I doubt switching back to Windows XP compatibility mode would work.

 

You guys weren't talking about the lighthouse light near the coast of Ocean Beach during the night, right? Anyway, the bugfix for this had been already updated in the VC troubleshooting forum for this specific "Sky Flickering" problem.

Edited by Ring_of_Fire

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ZenMastaT

I just wanted to add a final post to this thread - the problem I initially had has been solved. I can't attest directly to the cause since it has been some months since I last tried to play the game, but I'm going to assume it was new nVidia drivers that were released in the interim.

 

If you're running an 8800GTS and still suffering from this problem I'd suggest looking into a driver upgrade.

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