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Situation Comedy leaking memory

posted by wien on - last edited - Viewed by 785 users

Hi. I seem to have stumbled upon a problem with Situation Comedy leaking memory. (And lots of it.)

Hardware:
AMD Athlon XP 3000+ on a nForce 2 motherboard
1GB RAM
ATI Radeon 9800 128MB with Catalyst 6.11 drivers

Symptoms:
The game seems to start hogging memory from the minute you start playing, and it gets progressively worse and worse as you play. The game can start out using about 20MB of memory, and I've seen it end up at over 650MB, with my swap file pinned at over 1GB. (Which seems a little excessive for a game with a 256MB memory requirement :).) This of course leads to Windows starting to swap memory, and consequently jerky graphics in-game. Below are a couple of screenshot of the task-manager showing the game hogging memory. (I forgot to take a screenshot of the 650MB incident, but 370MB is still too much. The swap_file.gif shot shows the swap-file growing rapidly as the game is running.) Minimizing the game at any point seems to release all memory hogged by it, but as you start playing again, the problem returns.

How to reproduce:
Walk around any location from end to end over and over again, or travel through all of them a lot. (The problem seems more pronounced at locations with lots of textures.)

Possible cause:
Since locations with lots of textures amplify the leak, I have a hunch that it might be related to texture/vertex/shader memory not being released as it should. This would explain the minimizing behaviour too as that destroys any device contexts the game is using, and thus any buffers bound to that context. This could possibly be a driver problem, but it's hard to say. (Knowing ATI, it wouldn't surprise me if it was!) I'll have a go with the latest ATI drivers and report back if that solves it.

I hope you'll be able to look into this problem, as it would be quite serious on low-memory setups. (I was able to play through the game even with the bug here.)

Screenshots: http://www.wien-systems.no/situation_comedy_memory_leak/ (The forum seems to resize gifs attached, and in jpeg they were to lagre.)

EDIT: Just tested Catalyst 6.12 and nope, no dice. Started a new game and by the time I had gone trough all locations I could access it was at almost 600MB. (Screenshot up there with the others; more_memory.gif)

9 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • After reading the above post, I too noticed the memory usage leaking...

  • I have also noticed this problem. Situation: Comedy takes about 650 MB of RAM about 10 minutes after startup on my cumputer, which causes the game to lag at some points were lots of things happen at the same time.

    The strange thing is that I got 2 GB of RAM, but the game still has lag from time to time.

  • Yeah, I just have 1 GB and I crashed SOOoooo much, I had to reboot my computer maybe a dozen times just to finish the game... :(

    Say, who tests these games, anyway?

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    Kevin Telltale Staff

    I'm not saying that we don't use our fair share of memory, but task manager is not a reliable way to judge memory usage. Here is a pretty good article on what the task manager does (and doesn't) represent.

    http://shsc.info/WindowsMemoryManagement

    An interesting test is to simply minimize the game then look in the task manager. Suddenly we're not using so much memory! Instant patch!

  • Then why does my game crash so much, and always when it's reached about 350 MBs? If it's not because I'm low on RAM, what is it?

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    Kevin Telltale Staff

    That is a very good question, and we are looking at all the information we can to help us fix every bug we know about, including this one! We're trying to duplicate the bug on our test machines as we speak!

    Just thought I'd share the memory thing since it seemed relevant...

  • @Kevin said: I'm not saying that we don't use our fair share of memory, but task manager is not a reliable way to judge memory usage.

    Okay, fair enough. Could be I'm wrong about this being a problem (or at least the source of the problem), but the game was quite jerky for me, and it got worse and worse as I played so I started looking for reasons as to why. (The other Telltale games haven't had this issue for me.) The apparent memory usage jumped out at me when I fired up the task-manager, and minimizing it (thus decreasing the memory usage) seemed to help the jerking, so I thought I might be onto something. :)

  • I'm getting the same problem, but with Culture Shock. As I only have 512MB of RAM, it doesn't take long before the whole thing goes really slow and then crashes. Very annoying.

  • Minimizing the game (at least in episode 1) made my game crash FASTER.

    And in the interest of completion, I'd like to say that the sound always cut out right before it happened.

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