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Thread: HTC VIVE Intermittently get a dim dark gloomy playfield upon starting any table.

  1. #1
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    Default HTC VIVE Intermittently get a dim dark gloomy playfield upon starting any table.

    I wonder if any of you are running into a similar problem:

    I'm intermittently getting a playfield that appears to be unlit upon starting any table in the game.

    Normally, the playfield is colorful and well lit, but intermittently (very often) the game starts up with
    the playfield seemingly quite dark. All of the lighting is working as normal, just the playfield image itself
    appears as though it's not getting any light, very gloomy, all the colors dim, as though you were playing
    pinball in a room with no lights on.

    I'm using the HTV VIVE with a single AMD RX 480 graphics card (latest driver) on
    an ASUS ROG X99 Strix motherboard with a i7-6850K processor, using Windows 10,
    and the Steam VR beta. I've tried both HDMI and DisplayPort cable for connecting
    the HTC VIVE, the same symptom happens with either cable.

    When this playfield lighting trouble happens, there appears to be a bit of a "stutter" in
    the rendering at just that moment, but after that the game plays perfectly smoothly as
    far as I can see, the only trouble is this intermittent "dark playfield" issue which persists
    between tables. If I re-launch the game, the problem sometimes goes away, sometimes not.

    I had the FX2 VR game running on another machine (running Windows 7) with two nVidia GTX Titan cards in SLI,
    and I never noticed this dark playfield issue on that system, so it may be something specific to this machine,
    but I'm reserving the nVidia-based machine for use with nVidia 3D Vision surround so that I can continue to
    enjoy your wonderful tables in 3D in non-VR too.

    Thanks for such amazing games, and for getting so many of the tables working in VR already.
    I wonder if you could get Ms. Splosion Man working some day? That table is such fun!

    By the way, it would be handy to be able to "save" the playing position somehow, as oftentimes
    to play sitting down, I need to do some quite weird crouching to get the preferred "low" position
    for playing the table (similar to the "View:3" position in the non-VR game), and just being able to
    save the position would be great.

    Also, if you could fix the aspect ratio to 1920x1080 for the menu system in the non-VR game when running
    in nVidia 3D Surround at resolution 5760x1080 that would be great, because currently the table selection is unusable as
    it goes off the screen (it is "huge") so none of the table icons are visible and I end up needing to
    print out the menu while running in 1920x1080 mode so that I can use blind navigation to select
    the proper table to play. But then if I buy your next table, all the table icons are shifted, and
    I have to print it out again, otherwise I'm once again lost. Anyway, I guess this is a problem
    that you'd only encounter on a three-screen setup, but it'd be great if you could fix it.

    Cheers,
    Ned.
    Last edited by Ned; 04-24-2017 at 05:05 PM. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    Community Manager McLovin's Avatar
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    Hi Ned!

    I submitted all your concers to our developers, this dark playfield is very curious. Do you remember anything else from when this happens?
    I'm enquiring about how it happens: you switch from one table to the other and the second one is dark. You just logged into the game and the first table you choose is dark. Maybe something you observed you usually do when the bug happens. Does the darkness go from table to table? So if one got dark and you switch to another, that one is dark too or does it's looking fine?

    About the other two, I'm gonna talk to our guys and see if there is a patch happening sometime where we could add these features.

    Glad that you're enjoying the game!

  3. #3
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    Hi McLovin,

    The dark playfield issue has become very non-intermittent now, I only managed to get
    the normal-brightness playfield once while I was playing last night. I restarted the entire
    game a few times and each time I entered a table the playfield was dark. After about four
    restarts, I eventually got into the Biolab table with the normal-brightness playfield, and
    played it normally, all working fine. I'm using the default settings for all the graphics options,
    by the way, in case it helps. Anyway, after exiting the table, I try going into it again, this
    time the playfield is dark. The difference is quite remarkable, it's like turning out the lights.
    Still playable and enjoyable, just you have to really watch for the ball as it's also quite dark.
    I tried entering other tables, they were also giving the dark playfield issue. So I think so far,
    the only way to get the symptom to go away is to do a fresh restart of the entire game, entering
    or exiting a table doesn't seem to affect the symptom.



    > I'm enquiring about how it happens: you switch from one table to the other and the second one is dark.

    Yes, this can happen, as I mentioned above. But earlier in the week, once I got one of the tables
    running with the bright playfield, all of them were working with the bright playfield. So I don't know
    if switching tables causes it, as in the last week I was able to switch tables and keep the bright playfield.

    > You just logged into the game and the first table you choose is dark.

    Yes, at the moment, that's what's the most common symptom for me.

    > Maybe something you observed you usually do when the bug happens.
    > Does the darkness go from table to table?
    > So if one got dark and you switch to another, that one is dark too or does it's looking fine?

    The dark playfield symptom seems to be something related to entering
    the very first table after a clean restart of the game. I haven't done system
    reboots in between restarting the game, perhaps I should give that a try,
    but I'd obviously prefer not to have to do that.


    > About the other two, I'm gonna talk to our guys and see if there is a patch
    > happening sometime where we could add these features.

    I'd really appreciate it. I did notice that TPA folks had revamped their menu
    system considerably, finally making it usable on a 3-monitor surround setup.

    > Glad that you're enjoying the game!

    It's just beautiful! I love the surround sound version you have on the Sony PS3
    too, I was wondering is there a higher resolution version on any of Sony's later
    consoles, or does it still run at 720p? Ideally, if you could get the surround sound
    implementation ported over to the PC platform that'd be heaven. It's amazing how
    much difference the sound makes in the overall enjoyment.

    Cheers,
    Ned.

  4. #4
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    Coding-squirrels have worked tirelessly and have found a delicious workaround for the dark playfield issue...

    It's remarkably simple: pressing F12 with both front paws after leaping through the air!
    F12 is the Steam shortcut to take a snapshot.

    The squirrels were unable to explain why this works, but to their delight,
    taking a snapshot of the game while the playfield is dark magically
    restores it to full brightness.

    Humans can also enjoy this workaround, even without leaping through the air,
    as long as they remember to not trip over the HTC Vive cable while reaching
    for F12 button on the keyboard (otherwise, leaping through the air becomes
    non-optional).

  5. #5
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    For those interested, here are some snapshots of the "dark playfield issue".
    Pressing F12 fixes the issue, but the snapshots themselves show it.
    The issue isn't as obvious on the Secrets of the Deep table, but on
    Earth Defense and especially on Biolab, it's very clear that something is amiss.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Ned; 05-16-2017 at 06:24 AM. Reason: explain a bit more on the symptom...

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