Black Screen during invasions

Posted on Sunday, May 3, 2015

We are working on reports of the screen going black during invasions. Players have submitted ticket son it, which we definitely appreciate. But the game isn't actually crashing, the video driver is getting messed up, which means that the crash file that we get (which is usually from forcing the game to shut down) isn't very useful.

We have saves, but none of them are able to reproduce the issue for us. I know those sending them in had mentioned that it fails intermittently for them too. This post is to let you know that we are working on the issue, and please post here if you have any additional information to share on it. If you get a save that reproduces it I would love to see it. If you notice a pattern for when it works or doesn't work I would love to hear it.

Also, some of the invasion issues we have seen aren't black screen issues. They are hangs (the screen doesn't go black, you just can't do anything). We do have a fix for one fo those because of the case that was submitted that is coming in todays patch update.

Thanks for your help.


*** UPDATE #1 *** (5/7/2015)

We figured out at least one major cause of it.

It's from hitting Escape when you are in the invasion screen. Doing this closes the window but doesn't re-render the main game and you end up with nothing but a black screen. We will fix it, but not in tonights patch. In the meantime please be careful not to hit Escape on the invasion screen, and please let us know if this fixes you issues or not.


*** UPDATE #2 *** (5/9/2015)

The hardest part about fixing a bug is figuring out what specifically is broken. After that the fix is typically easy (outside of architecture issues which are the opposite).

We figured that out for the black screen issue, its a problem rendering engine trails in two scenes. Be that in the main map and battle viewer or the main map and the old invasion scene (that transport picture is an actual 3d model, so it has engine trails hooked up to it even if the ship isn't moving). We can fix the issue entirely by just not rendering engine trails anyplace except the main map. But now that the developers know the cause they will have a real fix shortly.

Thank you for everyone for reporting this issue in its myriad forms, and especially those that submitted bugs, error logs and save games. Those were invaluable. The issue was very inconsistent. A producer who had the issue 100% of the time at home brought his computer in only to find out that when his computer was in the studio it never happened. A few golden saves that would reproduce the issue 30-50% of the time were the secret that allowed us to isolate the issue.

Thanks again, and we look forward to having the fix in your hands shortly.


*** UPDATE #3 *** (5/9/2015)

 We have been unable to reproduce the issue with engine trails turned off. One thing you can do, if you are running into the issue where your video driver dies starting a battle (causing the entire game to go black) is disable engine trails.

 If this issue has been effecting you, please let us know if this resolves it for you.