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Dedicated Server Billboards (Crash)


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Recently I was launching a dedicated server for testing of a mission and it failed with the following error message at the command line:

Format GFXDXT1 not supported with specified profile.
Format GFXFormatB8G8R8A8 not supported with specified profile.


Doing a little digging, I believe the issue is the dedicated server using the "GFXNullDevice" profile.

Right. So the dedicated server shouldn't need to render out any billboards, is there a way to disable the call to create those billboards on a dedicated build?

If any shapes using billboards are excluded, the dedicated server launches fine. Although those billboards are a lifesaver for client rendering! Any ideas?

Edited by TorqueFan
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Okay after much trial and error, I assumed it was the terrain...then I assumed it was a script error...then I was going to blame the billboards again...

It is the spawn position! If the spawn position is anything other than 0, 0 on x,y the dedicated server will crash! I'm not sure how this relates to the shapes in the scene (more testing is required). Perhaps different view angles/distances trigger certain billboards to show that otherwise would not?

@LukasPJ It's a stock feature. The source art uses the bb prefix for the LOD node to create billboards. You can see this in the defaulttree.DAE example model.

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I'm curious, can you replicate this in stock, with stock assets?


I just got back to look at this and, yes, as a matter of fact I did finally discover the real origin of the problem. Throw all of that above out the window, it matters not.

The problem originates if you open a .mis file with the Torque World Editor and then save the .mis file from within the editor.

To replicate it:

  1. Launch stock Torque3D 3.7 (64 bit build)
  2. Launch the 'Empty Terrain' mission (any mission should work).
  3. Once in the mission, hit F11 to go into the World Editor.
  4. Alter or change anything in the mission, and then click File -> Save Level.
  5. Exit Torque.
  6. Setup a .bat file to launch the executable with the -dedicated parameter and for the -mission parameter use the 'Empty Terrain.mis' file you just saved in the World Editor.
  7. The cmd window should give the error about not supporting the GFX formats (tested in Windows 8.1 and 7 so far).


So now we know the 'why' of what's causing it, now just to find the 'how' to fix it :)

I can take the same .mis file, open it with a text editor, alter any fields and save the file without the dedicated launch problem. So it does certainly appear that something in the World Editor's save function is presenting a problem.

That all being said, is there perhaps a 'best practice' for building dedicated builds to avoid any issues that could arise from the Editor tools? I mean, after all, when it's all said and done the tools wouldn't be included with the dedicated build of course.

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I haven't had time to dig deeper into the source to find out what's caused this dedicated server breakage when saving with the World Editor.

I do, however, have a couple updates:

  1. The issue isn't present in T3D 3.6.2.
  2. The issue doesn't occur if there is no terrain in the level being saved.


Currently I'm making alterations using the World Editor, saving the mission, then just copying the changes over with a text editor to a backup copy of the .mis file. As you can imagine, this is rather cumbersome but it gets the job done for now until the issue is sorted.

I hadn't been using terrain on these particular levels, although I am almost certain any terrain I am going to have to generate using a T3D build earlier than 3.7rc or else the resulting saved terrain will cause a problem when trying to launch a dedicated server.

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  • 4 months later...

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