Author Topic: Steam version won't even install  (Read 4869 times)

Offline Tharrick

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Steam version won't even install
« on: September 11, 2010, 05:41:01 PM »
Hi, all,

I've just bought the Steam version of this game, but I'm having some problems with it. When I try to run it, I get the standard 'launching-for-first-time' dialog, wherein it assures me it's installing .net 3.5 and slimDX. It gets as far as installing slimDX and then dies horribly, and I get a bog-standard 'program has stopped working' dialog.
I've tried installing slimDX on its own, and it gets as far as installing directx runtime components.. and then dies horribly :P giving the message 'there is a problem with this windows installer package. A program run as aprt of the setup did not finish as expected. Contact your support personnel or package vendor''

I don't have any error files from the game files because the install never gets far enough to even think about creating them - I've looked in both possible locations. I'm running Vista Ultimate 32-bit, my .net 3.5 is up-to-date (uninstalled and reinstalled while trying to get this game to work)...

Any suggestions?

Cheers,

Tharrick

Offline x4000

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Re: Steam version won't even install
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2010, 06:42:17 PM »
Hmmm... that's a tough one, and a new one.  SlimDX does indeed install some Direct3DX extensions (provided every few months from Microsoft), but those have been pretty bulletproof so far that I've seen. 

I don't know if perhaps Steam downloaded a corrupt version of SlimDX to your machine or something, just some sort of transient download issue -- my first step would be to try running the SlimDX March 2009 SP1 installer that we link to in a stickied topic here.  Make sure and don't use a newer version, as the game needs that specific one.

If the copy we provide also errors out like that, then that's a new one on me; my guess would be some sort of windows issue.  To combat that sort of thing, I'd suggest doing all the critical windows updates if there are any outstanding, making sure you're spyware/virus free, that sort of thing.  We're pushing near 30k copies of AI War sold now, and this is literally the first time I've heard this one, so hopefully it's just a bad download or something; that's been happening a bit more with certain Steam files lately for AI War, we've noticed.  In those situations, just doing a Verify Local Cache for AI War via steam would cause steam to verify all those files and fix any that were messed up.

If none of that works, or if you're already up to date on windows updates anyway, then it would be helpful to have the error messages from your event log.  Those would be installer errors from the Direct3DX components, from the sound of it, not from AI War or even SlimDX directly.  You can look for that sort of thing inside Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Event Log.

Hopefully one of those things would fix it.  If not, then something must be really hosed with DirectX9 on your machine, would be my guess -- you could try uninstalling and reinstalling DirectX 9.0c, but with such a core part of windows you might just be wasting your time.  We've seen that before with folks with corrupt .NET installations where the only recourse was to reinstall the OS (not just because of AI War, but for any .NET program to then work right, of course).  I prefer never to suggest an OS reinstall, and certainly we're not nearly at this point here, but this is my thought process working from easiest/fastest-to-try over to the most-invasive-but-certain-to-work.

Also, on the bright side, even if nothing worked for you, we have a new version upcoming (free to all existing customers) that ports AI War to the Unity 3D platform, which is self-contained and doesn't even require DirectX to be working -- it can use that or OpenGL.  It also doesn't require the .NET framework or any other prerequisites, which we're really happy about.  Not that we've ever had someone who just couldn't use the game, it's always been resolvable, but these sorts of windows-related prerequisites issues are frustrating for all parties and we'll be happy to be shut of them, as I'm sure folks who run into something like what you've had will be, too.  Prerequisite problems with AI War are pretty rare, but because it's such core windows components they can be a pain, to say the least.


All that said: hopefully it's just that steam corrupted the SlimDx installer, and that's it. :)  But since I'm in and out at the moment (new baby at home), I wanted to go ahead and leave relatively complete instructions in case the simplest thing (or next-simplest thing) doesn't do it.

Hope that helps!
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Steam version won't even install
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2010, 06:44:07 PM »
(ninja'd, but I'll post what I had written)

Welcome to the forums :)

Sorry about the problems, here are a few things you can try:

1) If you really do have these exact prereqs:
Microsoft .NET Service Pack 3.5 SP1
DirectX 9.0c
SlimDX Runtime (March 2009 SP1)

Then you may be able to get it to work by disabling steam's attempts to install them using this trick from another thread:

Quote
By the way, a slightly simpler workaround (found on the steam forums for another game) is to find and rename the 40400_install.vdf file in the application directory. That'll be somewhere such as: Steam\SteamApps\common\ai war fleet command\

Then when you start up, it won't do any checks for first-time procedures.

2) If that doesn't work, you could try installing the non-steam version, a list of mirrors is here: http://www.arcengames.com/aiwar_buy.php .  Your license key will work to activate the game regardless of where it was downloaded from.  If you can get the non-steam version working we can then try to isolate why the steam version isn't working.

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Offline Tharrick

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Re: Steam version won't even install
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2010, 01:00:25 AM »
Sorry about the lateness of my reply - I'm on UK time, and it's been bedtime since I last posted! :P

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. Here's a rundown of how things have worked.

@x4000
 - I've tried using the slimDX installer from their website as well, same issue. Tried verifying my Steam files, uninstalling/redownloading the AI War files and installing again - same issue
 - I do all the critical updates as soon as they come out, and run regular (at least weekly) sweeps of my system with two malware scanners and a virus scanner, so I'm 80+% sure my computer's reasonably free from issues. When I get my laptop off the housemate I've lent it to, I'll try it on that and see if I get any different results
 - Yeah, not sure I'm so keen on a full OS re-install :( Not since I'm looking at replacing this computer at some point in the not-too-distant future, anyway
 - Congrats on the new baby!

@Keith
 - Thanks for the welcome :)
 - Unfortunately I don't have the exact prereqs - I have everything except for slimDX, so renaming the file and trying to get it to run unfortunately produces no results :(
 - I tried downloading the replacement installer from your site, but a similar thing happens when I try installing the game - the only difference is that I get a dialog box telling me about the prereqs, and confirming that the one that i don't have is slimDX (Which is helpful because that at least gives us a ball-park firing solution on the problem :P). However, it then fails to install slimDX again.


I've dug through my event viewer, and I get the following eventdata:

 UserID]  S-1-5-21-991141451-944970198-3227639805-1000
 

- EventData

   Product: SlimDX Redistributable (March 2009) -- Error 1722. There is a problem with this Windows Installer package. A program run as part of the setup did not finish as expected. Contact your support personnel or package vendor. Action InstallDirectX, location: C:\Users\Tharrick\AppData\Local\Temp\DirectX Redist\DXSETUP.exe, command: /silent 
   (NULL)
   (NULL)
   (NULL)
   (NULL)
   
   
   7B44353339354535462D344434352D343636352D384630302D3233344641333336373841467D


From what I can see in my groggy, up-at-5.30am-to-go-to-work haze, the problems most definitely with slimDX. If you can think of a workaround, I'd be happy to hear it :)
If you can't, well, I've seen the slimDX support page and it doesn't look that helpful, looks a bit blood-out-of-a-stone... so I might just have to wait for the Unity platform version (which somewhat scuppers my plans for a LAN party on Tuesday, but there's always the good ol' fallback of Borderlands :P) - do you have an estimated release date for it?

Thanks again for the help and for your prompt replies!

- Tharrick

Offline x4000

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Re: Steam version won't even install
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2010, 10:48:13 AM »
Hmmm...

I would try running this file: C:\Users\Tharrick\AppData\Local\Temp\DirectX Redist\DXSETUP.exe

And then see what sort of error message it gives you, if any. That's the directx component that is failing -- it's from Microsoft, not even the SlimDX team, which makes it extra curious that this would be a problem. If you can at least get a better error from that, that will be helpful.

Potentially if that still fails but you seem to have the direct3dx extensions installed, we could post a zip with the slimdx files in them -- just dumping those in your ai war folder would let you get around the installer, as long as direct3dx is installed and working (only some games install that -- it's not part of the normal directx 9.0c redist that most people have.

Hopefully one of those would work, but it all comes down to whether direct3dx is already installed or if you can get it to install. If we do a workaround it would still report slimdx as not being installed, but Keith posted a workaround for that with steam (and with our installer, you just say ignore). But the cleanest solution would be to figure or what is up with direct3dx, and then get he slimdx installer working on top of it.

Hope that helps -- as far as the new unity version goes, we expect to hit public beta on that in 1-2 weeks, but it's going to be pretty rough right at the start. The goal is to collect a bunch of feedback and hav a bunch of people testing while we're finishing reimplementing the game there, to then have a full release in mid-October at the latest. That's the goal, anyway!
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Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Steam version won't even install
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2010, 11:14:27 AM »
That Issue is a pure SlimDX install issue

See here, for a fun topic ;)

http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=536680

Quote
I downloaded the "DirectX 9.0c Redistributable for Software Developers" from here:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/thankyou.aspx?familyId=9226a611-62fe-4f61-aba1-914185249413&displayLang=en&hash=p6fAz1hO0llopJBACzAJSsfhJzsfD4fKCDZKLJnZAPx4TV8J9lUUTEZ300LIzzJEkW8zrlwugrT8UnYPwkljPA%3d%3d

..and installed it into:

C:\Users\David\AppData\Local\Temp\DirectX Redist

Then I retried the SlimDX install and it worked.

Why did SlimDX expect this and how was I suppose to know to do this? There are no instructions about this on the SlimDX page, and I don't see why I should need to install a redistributable "for software developers" in order to just run a SlimDX based game. Is this a mistake by the AIWar developer? Should he have directly included the SlimDX components instead of pointing to the SlimDX installer?

As you can see, that Issue is not new and still unfixed ;)

I am guessing thats the best try to solve this - if all fails, delete everything in Temp, run the DX installer linked in the quote above, and then retry the steam installation procedure. It should work, but whether it really will work, that remains a mystery. As does the source of the problem.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2010, 11:19:12 AM by eRe4s3r »
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Offline x4000

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Re: Steam version won't even install
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2010, 11:25:20 AM »
Wow, that is a on of great info. Thanks! Looks like a solid, if obscure, workaround. Great find! :)
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Offline Tharrick

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Re: Steam version won't even install
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2010, 11:40:18 AM »
Hi all!

I'm finally back, and have had a chance to try out some of your suggestions (thanks very much!)

@x4000
 - Running that file causes no issues, problems or error messages.

@eRe4s3r
 - Thanks for linking me to that informative thread! I followed all of the instructions and unfortunately, no luck. All that's left is to try clearing out my temp folder and trying again

However, it *does* run on my laptop - I may just wait until you release the new one on Unity3D before taking a whirl on the main computer.

Thanks for the help :)

- Tharrick

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Steam version won't even install
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2010, 11:42:48 AM »
Wow, it sounds like you've got an impressively resilient computer there ;)  "Not gonna run it, wouldn't be prudent."

But glad it works on your laptop, so you can at least play the game.

The Unity3D version should definitely not have these problems.  Though I guess we'll see how it works out in practice; if a computer's DirectX is sufficiently hosed I guess just about any game could fail ;)
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Offline Tharrick

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Re: Steam version won't even install
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2010, 03:07:03 AM »
I built that desktop as a gaming rig and continue to use it as such. I'm hoping that DirectX isn't completely buggered... That said, almost every other game I've tried on it has worked nicely - even Bioshock 2, eventually, after they patched it to make it work on PCs ¬_¬ :P

Well, the LAN stuff begins today, looking forward to this :D May have to play the tutorials first though! Looking forward to the Unity version.. the desktop is much more comfortable to work at :P

- Tharrick

Offline x4000

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Re: Steam version won't even install
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2010, 10:40:55 AM »
I'd definitely make sure someone's done the tutorials, at least.  It's a really different game from most RTSes.  At the very least, I suggest this: http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=AI_War_-_Fast_Facts

And possibly: http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=AI_War_-_Starting_Out

Regarding DirectX, I doubt there is anything wrong with that -- most likely it's the Direct3DX extensions, which fewer games use (mostly smaller games -- certainly not graphical powerhouse AAA titles, anyway).  So you might run into that again outside of AI War, but not likely with most of the huge AAA titles.
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Offline Tharrick

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Re: Steam version won't even install
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2010, 03:07:21 PM »
Well the LAN stuff's going great-ish... we're about 7 hours in and just managed to weather the first big cross-planet attack. Probably not making as much progress as we were hoping for, and probably taking far too many systems for our own good...

Loving the game :D

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Steam version won't even install
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2010, 03:08:56 PM »
Glad to hear y'all are having fun :)
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Offline x4000

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Re: Steam version won't even install
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2010, 05:53:31 PM »
Indeed! :)
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Offline Spikey00

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Re: Steam version won't even install
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2010, 06:30:14 PM »
Glad to hear that you're enjoying the game--LAN is definitely great since you don't have to wait for that other person to come online.  ;)
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