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BTTF Episode 1: Unable to play offline & forced to play German version

posted by mostlyharmless on - last edited - Viewed by 453 users

I recently downloaded the free first episode of Back to the Future and while I found the game itself quite good, I had 2 issues with it that prevented me from buying it straight away:

1. I can't play it offline. When I first started it, I entered my login and password and assumed that would activate the game and make it available for offline play (like it was with the Sam & Max games). Apparently though that was not the case, as the game still tries to connect to the internet each time it starts and if there is no connection the launcher won't continue to load and I can't play the game. Is this a bug or is it intentional?

2. There is no language selection, neither during installation or afterwards. I have a German Windows version and so the game set itself to German by default, which I find *horrible*. I don't like translations at all. Luckily I found a fix for setting the language to English in this thread: http://www.telltalegames.com/forums/showpost.php?p=428234&postcount=30, but still, editing the registry is not really something I like to do, if it's not absolutely necessary, and so I was hoping for a simpler way to select the language in the full game.

Now, I would very much like to buy the whole season pack, but before I do that, I wanted to know if the full version has proper language selection and whether or not it can be played without an internet connection once it has been activated?

Thanks in advance for any help!
M.

10 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
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    DjNDB Moderator

    Normally you should be able to play offline, once you activated an Episode. Some people run into problems with the Launcher though, and that seems to be happening to you too. That's definitely a bug.

    As for the language, starting with Episode 2 you can choose the language during installation, and change it in the game menu.

  • Thank you for your quick and helpful reply! :)

    That's good news regarding the language selection.

    Once I'm back at home, I will try if can get the launcher to work with the suggestion in the thread you linked to. Hopefully that will fix it, but assuming it doesn't, I considered buying the season pack via Steam, as I assume Steam's DRM will replace the Launcher. Or does the version sold on Steam also require the Telltale Launcher and activation via a Telltale account?

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    DjNDB Moderator

    @mostlyharmless said: Hopefully that will fix it, but assuming it doesn't, I considered buying the season pack via Steam, as I assume Steam's DRM will replace the Launcher. Or does the version sold on Steam also require the Telltale Launcher and activation via a Telltale account?

    I can't say much about Steam, because i don't use it, but i think it has it's own DRM.

  • Hm, after trying this trick suggested by Amy Lukima from Telltale, the problem still persists: The launcher always tries to connect to the Telltale website on startup and when it can't, it won't load.

    Although, as I just found out, when I deactivate my LAN connection completely, then the launcher seems to switch into some kind of offline mode and I can play. Not sure if this works every time though, or if this was just a random coincidence.

    It almost seems to me like the launcher is first trying to detect if there is an active internet connection, and if there is, it won't load unless it can connect to the website. If this is indeed true, I don't really see the need for this behaviour after the game is activated.

    Is there any chance that this issue will be adressed and the launcher will simply switch to offline mode, if a connection can't be established?

    I would really like to buy the game directly from Telltale, but this uncertainty whether or not I will be able to play the game at any given time is putting me off a little. :\

  • P.S.:

    By doing some more testing, I discovered 2 different variants of the launcher problem:

    1. When the Telltale site is "down", i.e. when have an open internet connection but can't reach the Telltale website (happende about 15-30 min ago, which was ~11.00 central european time zone, summer time) the launcher will simply display a blank black background without any text.

    2. When I have an open internet connection but set my firewall to block, the screnn will also be black but a "Loading..." message will appear on the top left corner of the launcher and you can see the telltale logo behind it.

    In both cases the launcher won't continue to load and you can't play the game.

  • User Avatar Image
    DjNDB Moderator

    @mostlyharmless said: By doing some more testing, I discovered 2 different variants of the launcher problem

    I analyzed the launchers behavior in Wireshark today.
    It basically fails to display properly, when it can DNS resolve www.telltalegames.com, but can't load content from there via HTTP.
    If DNS resolving fails, it goes to offline mode.

    In your initial case, if your router is disconnected from the internet, it might still have www.telltalegames.com in its DNS cache for a while. In consequence DNS resolving succeeds anyway, and the launcher tries to load its content in vain.

    It looks like the problem is, that it doesn't fall back to offline mode, if it can't actually load the proper content from www.telltalegames.com.

  • This looks like it's exactly the problem I'm having. maybe clearing dns cache will help?

  • So, if I understood all this correctly, when the launcher "thinks" he should be able to connect to the Telltale website, but - for whatever reason - can't actually establish the connection, the game won't start because the launcher will never stop trying to connect.

    I assume this could only be fixed by Telltale with a pach that either changes this behaviour of the launcher (by making it switch to offline mode when a connection can't be established) or allowing the user to switch to offline mode manually. Is this something we can expect to happen? :confused:

    @McThreepwood: The only solution to play offline that I found was to disable my internet connection completely by deactivating the LAN connection in the windows control panel. I assume unplugging the cable should work in the same way. Maybe this works for you as well?

  • Yeah, going offline at least gives me a chance to play it, but I'd really like it to be able to work online as well.

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