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Serious question: Why isn't there a fix for the save bug?

posted by QMOW on - last edited - Viewed by 582 users

Like just about all of you, I've experienced the save bug where either my saves were not recognized, or they were recognized and the choices were scrambled. Many of the workarounds had not worked for me except for finding the "right" pref.props file in one of three different locations on my hard drive.

I haven't written off this game yet and I want to play it very badly, but I want it to be an enjoyable experience. I don't want to go on a wild goose chase every time I finish an episode looking for the right save and choices files.

I have spent over four hours troubleshooting TWD and completed episode one twice and I did eventually get my save back. But we shouldn't have to do that! Especially when these save game problems could be patched so easily!

I want to know why does TWD read and write to >>THREE DIFFERENT<< locations? I think we can all agree that if the game were forced to save and load from one designated location, most of these problems would disappear and the rest of us can enjoy Telltale's Game of the Year, right?

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  • No one knows for sure, but my guess is the following:

    They are indeed working on it. Multiple patches have already been included with the game, but these were mainly for fixing the downloading issues I'm guessing.
    But the main problem is probably that it isn't ALL people with savegame issues. If this was the case, the bug would be easier to find. The fact that the game was released by TTG means they didn't find these bugs while testing the game. Now they are receiving multiple complaints about bugs by people with all kinds of different systems and operating systems. Ofcourse they are looking for problems in their game and / or code when receiving these complaints. But then they read that other users with the EXACT same system (eg. Macbook pros) don't have any problems at all. If you were a developer, what would go through your mind at that point? I know I'd be thinking: Well, see, it's not a problem with the game, because this other guy is running the game just fine.
    Now I'm not a developer or high-tech computer user, but I still believe it's become near to impossible to find this savegame bug. Even though they are working on it, who says fixing one that won't destroy the other user's ability to play or save the game?

    Yes, it sucks; yes, it's unforgiveable that the issue won't be publicly announced (yet again, it's about money, as usual), but maybe I'm too sceptical, but I don't see a fix coming soon or even possible.

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    MattP Telltale Staff

    We are indeed looking into this issue, but the number of users who have reported this issue is very small, and the information given is so varied that it's hard to pinpoint any one cause for the issue. Our QA team is actively trying to reproduce this issue based on user feedback, but to this point has been unable to do so.

  • A friend gifted me this game talking about how great it is, i play last night for a couple hours and then find today that my save is gone. I don't know why they are having an issue that very few games are having. It seems like it would be as simple as "Put save files in x location" and then it just loads the save file.

    Windows 7 Enterprise 64bit
    RAM 16GB
    AMD Phenom II X6 3.5Ghz
    Main Drive is a SSD
    2 other drives are Disk HardDrives

  • @MattP said: We are indeed looking into this issue, but the number of users who have reported this issue is very small, and the information given is so varied that it's hard to pinpoint any one cause for the issue. Our QA team is actively trying to reproduce this issue based on user feedback, but to this point has been unable to do so.

    Matt, thank you for taking the time to respond. I'm sure you and your team are pretty busy with future dealings, so I really want to express my gratitude for at least taking the time to respond to one of your customers and a fan. (Btw, I've been a fan since Bone!)

    First, I just want to point out that your response here is the first I've seen of anyone looking into the save issue and I've been been hanging around these parts of the forums for about three months. Granted, the forum moderator has replied to nearly all of the topics on the issue, it's the typical copy and paste every single time, which is a little frustrating because it feels like that's the best we're going to get--a cut and paste response that may or may not work.

    So perhaps this is indeed a small issue for Telltale Games, but for the users who want to play TWD and can't, it's a rather large issue. I can tell TWD is a fabulously crafted game, but marred by gamebreaking bugs. I say gamebreaking because if I can't advance from episode 1 to 2 with my choices, then I don't want to continue, because... what's the point?

    From my perspective, the number of users who have reported issues with saving, choices carrying over episode to episode and problems linked to the prefs.prop files, seems like a very large number reporting the issue on the forums here. It seems like at least half of all posts here are about said bug(s). I don't know the sales figures on the TWD, so I imagine in comparison, X number of users here complaining of save issues versus total sales must be incredibly minute and I sincerely hope that isn't the reason it's taking so long to work out.

    There have been many posts regarding save game problems, so I would think that should suffice. Or am I off here? Is there a formal way that Telltale Games would prefer we submit bug reports? As far as I can tell there is no report bug feature within the game and nothing that I can see on the website. If it means that I can help you help us, the players/consumers/fans, please tell us exactly what information you need to adequately address this issue.

    I know nothing about programming, but having spent nearly five hours trouble shooting my save game problems, I would suspect the problem lies somewhere with the fact that TWD saves and loads from multiple locations on the hard drive. Is it possible to force it to save and load from one location?

    Thanks for your time and restoring my faith in Telltale Games. Help us Matt, you are our only hope!

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    DjNDB Moderator

    Summary for TL;DR users:
    1. I don't use templates only
    2.
    - Please copy and paste the full path to your game installation folder.
    - PC Users: Please state your Windows Version and if you run on an Admin account or Limited Account.
    - Please state if you use any compatibility settings or use the "run as admin" option on TWD

    End Summary

    @QMOW said: Granted, the forum moderator has replied to nearly all of the topics on the issue, it's the typical copy and paste every single time, which is a little frustrating because it feels like that's the best we're going to get--a cut and paste response that may or may not work.

    Just FYI, I do a lot more troubleshooting than copy and pasting one response. It might look that way superficially, but if you look closer you might see my process of narrowing down problems.
    Initially I tried to stay away from savegame threads for a while, but then I realized, that the multiple prefs.prop issue seems to be the cause of various problems for many users. That's IIRC the loading of wrong decisions, the game showing an earlier episode than last played, and the black screen.

    The reason i copy and paste a template i carefully crafted for the process is, that i want to minimize room for error. People read text very differently, and so i try to make it understandable.
    Initially I freely described the process each time, but that's very taxing on my nerves, being a non native English speaker, and I always fear I could forget something, that could ruin someones savegames for good.
    That's why I improve my templates every know and then based on new information I gather from people following it.

    That's way more than I wanted to say about it, but I hope you understand now why I use my templates if they contain what I would write anyway.

    @QMOW said:
    I know nothing about programming, but having spent nearly five hours trouble shooting my save game problems, I would suspect the problem lies somewhere with the fact that TWD saves and loads from multiple locations on the hard drive. Is it possible to force it to save and load from one location?

    I am a Master in Computer Science and know way too much about programming :)
    I don't have access to TTGs source code though, so i can only try to analyze problems using monitoring tools for the program behavior and network traffic.
    I do not know why the game looks for the prefs.prop in the install folder in the first place, and if it's just the way resources are handled by some framework that is used, or some extra code that does it explicitly.

    It is however unusual that it is created. I have not figured out why and when that happens. It never did on my systems, but i only played through the game once so far, so it could happen at some later point.

    Anyway, in theory the problem should not happen on systems with default Installations under normal circumstances. The TTG Version and Steam normally install to some variant of "c:\Program Files", which is write protected for most users. Therefore a second prefs.prop can't be created.
    That can change if e.g.
    - You run using "run as Admin"
    - You use certain compatibility modes
    - You installed to a non default location

    So here I am trying to find out more about the circumstances it happens in:
    - Please copy and paste the full path to your game installation folder.
    - PC Users: Please state your Windows Version and if you run on an Admin account or Limited Account.
    - Please state if you use any compatibility settings or use the "run as admin" option on TWD

    If i am right with my assumption, you should be able to prevent it from happening, by removing the write privileges to the install folder for the user running the game. This might have unexpected consequences I could have overseen and needs to be evaluated.

  • There may have been a very low number of users who have reported this fault, but there will be a much larger number who have read all the suggestions and either fixed it (for themselves) or given up, like me. I'm not going back to this game unless it gets patched. I have no intention of spending any more time trying to get this working on my pc, despite it being an absorbing interactive version of the story.

    I lost all progress from eps 1-3 whilst it was loading ep4.

    DjNDB - you mentioned (for pc users) about admin rights? Mine launches from Steam, so I don't imagine that will have much to do with my version? If so, how do I go about it?

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    DjNDB Moderator

    @jamroom said: I lost all progress from eps 1-3 whilst it was loading ep4.

    DjNDB - you mentioned (for pc users) about admin rights? Mine launches from Steam, so I don't imagine that will have much to do with my version? If so, how do I go about it?

    Every save game issue can be different, and yours sounds like something that might be solvable. I usually ask for a bunch of information to identify the problem first, to avoid risking the saves getting lost entirely.

    I just spent some time creating a really easy way of gathering information to check what's wrong with the savegames.

    Please download my new Support Tool.
    It's basically just a batch file that creates a dxiag file, searches for prefs.prop locations, and zips the information using an included zip tool.

    Unzip the "Support_Tool.zip", run "create_support_data.bat" and follow the instructions on the screen. A "File not found" error can show up, but that's usually the prefs.prop in the install folder, and that's a good thing.
    It will create a "support_data.zip". Please attach that file to a new reply to this thread.

  • Thanks for offering to help out. Attachment attached. Yes, it did say file not found. Clearly the one on my desktop was part of an attempt to fix this and wasn't dropped there by the game.

    @DjNDB said: Every save game issue can be different, and yours sounds like something that might be solvable. I usually ask for a bunch of information to identify the problem first, to avoid risking the saves getting lost entirely.

    I just spent some time creating a really easy way of gathering information to check what's wrong with the savegames.

    Please download my new Support Tool.
    It's basically just a batch file that creates a dxiag file, searches for prefs.prop locations, and zips the information using an included zip tool.

    Unzip the "Support_Tool.zip", run "create_support_data.bat" and follow the instructions on the screen. A "File not found" error can show up, but that's usually the prefs.prop in the install folder, and that's a good thing.
    It will create a "support_data.zip". Please attach that file to a new reply to this thread.

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    DjNDB Moderator

    The good news is, that you don't have any extra prefs.prop files in your Steam folder.
    These cause a bunch of trouble.

    It looks like your prefs.prop in
    C:\Users\jamroom\Documents\Telltale Games\The Walking Dead
    got reset, which causes your saves not being recognized. I assume the game crashed when you launched Episode 4. Crashes can sadly cause that.

    There's better news. This is fixable, if you can use the "restore previous version" feature (right click, "properties", "restore previous version") on the prefs.prop in that folder, and find a version before it got reset.

  • Thanks for the advice, unfortunately there wasn't a "previous version" from before the day of the crash (2nd Dec). However, the folder does have around 40 save files. I presume there is nothing that can be done to change the prefs.prop file to recognise one of the save files, given it reads like gobbledegook.

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