0.7.1 Preview r792, r797 (Release Candidates 1 and 2)

Archived development update discussion from past versions
Archived development updates.
Posts: 12435

Post by Nicholas » 05-19-10 3:32 am

PREVIEW r792 - 0.7.1 Release Candidate 1
Download from the pink box above.

If you guys don't find any problems in this build (highly unlikely :D ) it will become the official 0.7.1 release.

Changes in r792 since r766:
  • IMPORTANT: Synthesia is now built against the February-2010 version of DirectX! SEE NOTE BELOW TO HELP WITH TESTING!
  • Improved Sheet Display: Staff Detection, from the feature voting page. See the known issue below.
  • Sustain pedal will now hold notes 'open' while held. This still doesn't technically affect scoring, but only because you aren't scored on how long you hold things right now.
  • The "Fixed Do Note Names" are now referred to as "'Do Re Mi' Note Names" for clarity.
  • New advanced option under OS X to remove leading NULL bytes from MIDI input. This may improve compatibility with certain keyboards/adapters.
  • Show text even when Trebuchet MS isn't installed (in Windows).
  • Song length was being calculated incorrectly in some rare cases. This led to the game stopping before the final notes were finished sounding. (Thanks Coldmiser)
  • Scores above one million points will no longer show in scientific notation on the scoreboard screen. ;)
  • Fixed some artifacting that could happen with ATI cards while using DirectX.
  • Fixed in the installer: The "View in Synthesia" right click shortcut now sets percussion tracks to "Played But Hidden" like it should have.
Unless you recently installed the latest version of DirectX, you might be able to help! Here is how:
  1. Download the preview.
  2. Try to run Synthesia.exe
  3. If you get an error about missing d3dx9_42.dll, you can help! Otherwise, you can carry on with testing the rest of it and pay no more attention to this.
  4. Extract the directx_redist folder from the preview zip.
  5. Run the DXSETUP.exe in there... NOT the downloadable installer from Microsoft.
  6. Follow the instructions and install the update.
  7. Does the game work now?
  8. Be sure you're set to DirectX mode... it says which you're using on the title screen.
  9. Does it still work?
The reason this is important is because that version of the redistributable is the exact same one that will be going out with the installer that non-forum folk use. The idea is it should be able to take them from not being able to play to being able to play totally transparently. Please let me know if DXSETUP.exe takes the game from not-playable to playable. Thank you! :)

It would also be helpful to know about anything else quirky you notice that has changed while using DirectX mode. For example, I think the forced v-sync got removed, so you might notice a relative speed-up from before. The newer DirectX files are bound to perform a little nicer, too, hopefully. Let me know anything interesting you find!

Better Staff Selection
This is a pretty subtle one. It still can't be perfect in all cases (think songs with hand-over-hand parts or crazy huge ranges). But, it should be MUCH better at placing notes on the "correct" staff.

ATI Glitchyness
If anyone was curious what it used to look like, you shouldn't see anything like this anymore:
AtiProblem.png (34.82 KiB) Viewed 13873 times
Known Issue with Ledger Lines
Flatted notes that are below a staff may sometimes have an extra ledger line. I will fix this in the future. Again, if you're curious, it's because I calculate how many ledger lines are required before I determine the note "spelling". At the time of calculation, I am assuming sharps. When it updates it to a flat after the spelling calculation, it doesn't know to take away a bottom ledger line. This has always been a bug. I just found it though. ;)
KnownIssueWithFlats.png (8.08 KiB) Viewed 13873 times

Posts: 12435

Post by Nicholas » 05-19-10 3:53 am

In addition to newly discovered bugs, here is the checklist before release. It's short!
  • Add a new option to the installer to create a "Send to Synthesia Music..." item in the "Send To" section of the right-click Windows Explorer context menu.
  • Include the last few remaining split "harder" G Major songs (mentioned in this post).
  • Lots of testing. I still haven't seen the game run on an Nvidia card since I added the artifact fix... I hope I didn't break anything. I also want to get some more time in with the staff selection stuff. Hopefully run a good portion of the G Major songs with sheet enabled to see what happens.
  • Wait at least a week to see if anything crops up from your testing.

Posts: 32

Post by kamborambo » 05-19-10 12:36 pm

Ah so this is the RC for 0.7.1? How far are you planning to go before you go for full release?

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Post by Nicholas » 05-19-10 1:41 pm

You mean before 1.0? I was hoping to knock out the majority of the items on the Feature Voting page. Once we get to the point where no one really has strong feelings about the items on the top of the list, it will probably be a good time to call it 1.0.

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Post by aria1121 » 05-19-10 3:50 pm


Hello, everyone. I tried this version, (dev r792 for Win) (I am using Win Vista, Proccessor Core 2 Duo E8400, @ 3 Ghz, 2 GB Ram, 320 MB Video Card (I think from Intel) and have 1680 x 1050 Screen Resoloution (It's HD!!!) and played the midi Circus Galop (from Marc Andre Hamelin) and... yeah, it is HORRIBLE.
At the beginning i've got the error, then I updated it with the update as you said, then it finished, and then i played the song and it just sounds HORRIBLE. Dev r766 (for Win) sounds much better, for some reason.

r766 Is better.

Posts: 1505

Post by aria1121 » 05-19-10 3:51 pm

(sorry clicked submit, instead preview)
It goes very slow, and skips a lot of notes. With Sheets, it just gets worser.


Posts: 12435

Post by Nicholas » 05-19-10 4:17 pm

If you press F6 at any time while you're in the game, a little FPS counter should pop up at the top-left corner of the screen.

Are you getting significantly less FPS in the new version?

It also might be handy if you could post or email a log file after running r792. If you go to Start->Run and type "shell:AppData\Synthesia" (without quotes), there should be a log.txt file.

The code that picks the best video mode changed pretty substantially and it might be choosing something sub-par now (like 16-bit or 24-bit color instead of 32.) 24-bit can explain a LOT of slow down. The log mentions the video mode that is eventually picked (I think, er... maybe).

Posts: 32

Post by kamborambo » 05-20-10 1:01 am

I didnt notice any performance change with circus gallop. (consistent 60 fps)

Q6600 @ 3.0ghz + 9600gt + 4gb ram on win7 64

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Post by aria1121 » 05-20-10 1:38 am

Circus Galop as I described:
avg. 16 or 17 FPS in r792
and about 23 FPS in r766.

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Post by Nicholas » 05-20-10 2:11 am

Oh, aria, are you running on the laptop you mentioned over in this post? That might explain it. I guess you did mention different system specs above... but if it's really using Intel graphics, that 320 MB of video ram is probably shared with the system. I don't think Intel makes a discrete GPU. That's probably what's killing the performance. Also, 23 down to 17 isn't a huge difference... 23 just isn't very high to begin with.

To give you an idea, "normal" speed is 60 fps. Now that v-sync is turned off and that's allowed to go higher, I hit the 130's. You might want to try a lower desktop resolution and see if that improves.

That was the right log file, but, hmm... I guess I wasn't writing out all the info I thought I was. Still, I'm reasonably convinced now that nothing huge has changed. That amount of slow-down can be explained simply by additional stuff Microsoft has added to DirectX over the last 4 years. Given that I can no longer use the old version of DirectX I was using (it doesn't install on my new 64-bit dev machine), it's kind of out of my hands.

Especially with a song as high-intensity as Circus Galop (this one, right?)... how does it run with something simpler? Say, one of the "Harder" songs that Synthesia comes with.

Also, thanks for the report kamborambo. It's also good to hear something about an Nvidia card. You're not seeing anything wacky or artifacty like that screenshot I posted above, right?

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Post by kamborambo » 05-20-10 6:11 am

None of the sort.

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Post by aria1121 » 05-20-10 4:06 pm

To Nicholas
I was using the computer (with Win Vista, Proccessor Core 2 Duo E8400, @ 3 Ghz, 2 GB Ram, 320 MB Video Card) So yeah, i think that... well... is that Microsoft added some stuff to DirectX. Well furthermore, everything is fine, no bugs discoverd, just fine. Just disapp'd about Microsoft. (And when I play Hare Hare Yukai, it sounds really like a failed song. :( I like the previous version more... )

Well, it seems this is Solved. Thanks, Nicholas and Kamborambo!
Hare Hare Yukai.mid
The Original Version
(152.47 KiB) Downloaded 240 times

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Post by Nicholas » 05-20-10 4:56 pm

Just out of curiosity, since you're running Vista and also because the rest of your system specs are very high, do you know what score your computer gets for "Gaming Graphics" in your "Windows Experience Index" rating?

To check:
- click Start.
- Right-click Computer.
- Select "Properties"
- In the system section, click "Windows Experience Index"

It should be there. If not, click the "Update my score" link.

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Post by aria1121 » 05-21-10 1:28 am

Yes, the ratings are:

Processor 5,6
Memory (RAM) 5,9
Graphics 1,0 :(
Gaming graphics 1,0 :(
Primary Hard Disk 5,9

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Post by Nicholas » 05-21-10 4:51 am

You can usually get something really cheap ($30 to $50 USD or so) from either Nvidia or ATI that will bump both graphics categories up to the 3 to 4 range. (Something like this looks like it gets a 3.5 or so.) And for just a little more you can go beyond 5.

A discrete graphics card would make the problem go away completely and make any other games run much, much more smoothly.

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Post by Coldmiser » 05-21-10 9:16 pm

OK, I hate to complain because I love the software, but as you can see in this image the accidential (flat in this case) on the right side of the screen goes with the 'B' on the left side of the screen.
Plus, the 'B' is 1/2 faded out because of the way it is drawn. I have seen notes that almost don't show up at all.

Hopefully this is something that can be fixed easily?

Screen shot 2010-05-21 at 7.59.50 PM.png
0.7.1 Preview r792
Screen shot 2010-05-21 at 7.59.50 PM.png (121.57 KiB) Viewed 13736 times

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Post by Nicholas » 05-21-10 11:29 pm

Don't every worry about complaining, that's one of the ways things get better. :)

That's a long-standing problem that I've never really had a good solution for. I suppose I was going to (maybe) have to tackle it for the multi-line notation that is (presumably) coming up next on the voting list.

I'll take a look to see if there are any quick things I can do about it. So far though, the results are looking positive everywhere else -- or at least it seems like I can infer they are. Did you have any trouble with DirectX? Does everything else look OK?

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Post by fulvio » 05-21-10 11:51 pm

Dear Nicholas,

I just followed the instructions given by you regarding the d3dx9_42.dll and everything went well. It was set to DirectX mode.

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Post by Nicholas » 05-22-10 1:03 am

Excellent to hear. Thanks!