The old Timeshift demo does not start

Getting old Windows games working.

The old Timeshift demo does not start

Postby Kerr Avon » 2013-10-22 @ 20:55

First I should point out that I'm trying to run a demo, not the full game. I already have the full game (Timeshift, 2007, Saber Interactive, Sierra Entertainment), but I recently heard that the original demo was very different from the finished game. The finished game is a so-so but could have been great first person shooter (when it's good it's very good, but it has uneven level design, tedious sections, and just feels rushed and overall it is disappointing, but the game's USP (it's time control features) are very good), but apparently the game started out very differently, then a demo was made available, then the game was delayed and a lot of it was changed, some of it for the worse, apparently. Another demo, and then the full game, were released, but I want to try the old demo. So I've downloaded the older, original demo (http://megagames.com/download/254752/0), and installed it, but when I run it (on my Windows 7 PC), I get the error message

"gsVideoInit() failed"

Can anyone advise me on how to get the demo running, please.
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Re: The old Timeshift demo does not start

Postby Davros » 2013-10-22 @ 22:06

I do know the actual game works in win 7
wild guess backup your user.ini
and try mine
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Re: The old Timeshift demo does not start

Postby Kerr Avon » 2013-10-23 @ 11:22

Davros wrote:I do know the actual game works in win 7
wild guess backup your user.ini
and try mine


That was a good idea, thanks, but it didn't work, sadly. So I re-installed the full game, hoping either it would do something to the registry/graphics driver (since I know the full version works) or that I could copy the full versions user.ini (and controls.ini) to the demo version, but again the demo just gives me the same error, although the full version is fine.
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Re: The old Timeshift demo does not start

Postby Davros » 2013-10-23 @ 22:06

have you tried all the compatiblity modes win98 ect
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Re: The old Timeshift demo does not start

Postby Davros » 2013-10-23 @ 22:07

have you tried swiftshader ?
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Re: The old Timeshift demo does not start

Postby Kerr Avon » 2013-10-24 @ 12:07

Davros wrote:have you tried all the compatiblity modes win98 ect


Yes, but with no success. To be fair, it was a demo, so maybe they didn't go all out to make sure it ran on all systems, though of course that's no excuse.


Davros wrote:have you tried swiftshader ?


No, because I've never heard of it before! Do you mean this:

http://transgaming.com/swiftshader

? If so, then I'll download it when I get home and try it, and post the results here.
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Re: The old Timeshift demo does not start

Postby Kerr Avon » 2013-10-24 @ 17:51

No, I've tried swiftshader and the Timeshift demo still gives the same error, sadly.
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Re: The old Timeshift demo does not start

Postby peterferrie » 2013-10-25 @ 18:48

Perhaps something specific to nVidia video drivers? I see the error on my non-nVidia system but not on my nVidia system.
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Re: The old Timeshift demo does not start

Postby Kerr Avon » 2013-10-25 @ 21:20

peterferrie wrote:Perhaps something specific to nVidia video drivers? I see the error on my non-nVidia system but not on my nVidia system.


Maybe, but every other game is working fine on the PC, so I'm reluctant to change anything to get the Timeshift demo working in case I stop others from working, so I'll probably just give up on the demo, unless there is anything specific you can suggest I try?

I wish there was a sort of DOSBox type program that, instead of a clean and working DOS environment, booted quickly into a clean and working Windows environment. I know DOSBox can sort of use Windows (or you can use Bosch), but I suppose it won't really be practical until PCs are much faster.
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Re: The old Timeshift demo does not start

Postby Jorpho » 2013-10-25 @ 22:23

Do you recall if the demo works in Windows XP? You can run hardware-accelerated 3D games in Windows XP using VMware.
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Re: The old Timeshift demo does not start

Postby Kerr Avon » 2013-10-26 @ 17:48

Jorpho wrote:Do you recall if the demo works in Windows XP? You can run hardware-accelerated 3D games in Windows XP using VMware.


I've never tried the demo before, so I don't know, but since it's a 2600 demo I assume XP was it's target OS. I didn't know VMWare used 3D cards (I'm so ignorant :blush: ) which is handy to know, so I'll probably give that a try (I'm away from home again ATM).

Thanks for the information, mate.

Edit: I mean the year 2006, not 2600, of course. Though I'd be very impressed with this PC if it could run games from the year 2600!
Last edited by Kerr Avon on 2013-10-30 @ 01:50, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The old Timeshift demo does not start

Postby peterferrie » 2013-10-28 @ 20:32

perhaps CPU speed? It seems to require a 1500MHz CPU. If your CPU reports a smaller value then the demo won't load.
It's a shame that the debug interface was disabled in the demo code, otherwise you could get a meaningful message about where exactly the failure is occurring.
I might try to re-enable it and then make it available to you at some point...
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Re: The old Timeshift demo does not start

Postby Kerr Avon » 2013-10-30 @ 01:51

OK mate, thanks.
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Re: The old Timeshift demo does not start

Postby peterferrie » 2013-10-31 @ 19:13

actually, it is still present - in steamwars.ini, change the "WriteLog = No" to "WriteLog = Yes" and then run.
you'll get a chronos.log file created in the bin directory, hopefully with a message describing what went wrong.
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Re: The old Timeshift demo does not start

Postby Kerr Avon » 2013-11-01 @ 07:35

OK, I did as you said, and it created a file called

TimeShift_ALT_TAB.log

containing the single line

WM_ACTIVATEAPP: Yes gsAppState = 0x00008408

does that shed any light on the problem, please?
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Re: The old Timeshift demo does not start

Postby Jorpho » 2013-11-01 @ 12:28

Perhaps the APITrace tool demonstrated in viewtopic.php?f=8&t=37048&p=324802 would be useful?
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Re: The old Timeshift demo does not start

Postby peterferrie » 2013-11-01 @ 18:17

Kerr Avon wrote:OK, I did as you said, and it created a file called

TimeShift_ALT_TAB.log


Please try again:
open steamwars.ini in a text editor
find the line that says "WriteLog = No"
change that line to say "WriteLog = Yes"
start the demo
it will create a file called "chronos.log"
post the contents of that chronos.log
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Re: The old Timeshift demo does not start

Postby Kerr Avon » 2013-11-01 @ 18:56

Jorpho wrote:Perhaps the APITrace tool demonstrated in viewtopic.php?f=8&t=37048&p=324802 would be useful?


Thanks, but it just gives me the error message "Could not determine Time_Shift.trace compression type", though maybe I was doing something wrong. If you know how to use this program, and what needs to be done with it, then please could you talk me thought it?
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Re: The old Timeshift demo does not start

Postby Jorpho » 2013-11-01 @ 19:04

I had never heard of it before until I saw it in that thread.
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Re: The old Timeshift demo does not start

Postby Kerr Avon » 2013-11-01 @ 19:08

OK mate, thanks.
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