Frequently Asked Questions


Q. When I start Outerworlds, or shortly thereafter, it crashes. How can I fix this?

A. There are many possible causes for this problem. You should first verify that your system meets the minimum requirements to run Outerworlds. If it does, we suggest trying the following steps in order. After each step, try to start Outerworlds again. If the problem is not solved, move on to the next step.

  • If you are trying to run in 3D accelerated mode (Direct3D or OpenGL) make sure that you have the latest drivers installed for your video card.

  • Try running Outerworlds in a different video mode.

  • Locate the folder called "cache" in your Outerworlds folder and delete it.

  • An old, partially deleted, or corrupted install of Internet Explorer may be present on your system. Downloading and installing the latest version of Internet Explorer from www.microsoft.com can fix this problem.

  • You may have a virus or disk problem on your PC. Try running a virus scan, and run the Windows ScanDisk utility to check your hard disk for problems. Also make sure that you have at least 100 megabytes free on your hard disk.

  • As a last resort, you can try un-installing and re-installing Outerworlds completely. Click here for more information.

Q. I can get Outerworlds to start in Direct3D or OpenGL mode, but I see a lot of strange rendering problems, or it crashes a lot. What can I do?

A. By far the most common cause for this sort of problem is an old video card driver. It is extremely important that you have the latest driver for your video card installed in order for Outerworlds to run well in 3D acclerated mode. Click here for more information.

Q. Why are there solid black (or white) boxes around some of my textures now?

A. Beginning with Outerworlds 3.0, the default behavior of the animate command was changed so that animations are assumed to be unmasked unless specified otherwise. This change was made to address a series of performance problems and bugs related to the fact that animations were assumed to use masked textures when in fact the vast majority of animations use unmasked textures. Animation behaviors using masked textures should be changed to use the new mask argument. See the animate command for details. Also, if your animation is only a single frame, consider using the new texture command instead, it is significantly more efficient that the animate command.

Q. On certain masked textures I can see a small row of pixels across the top edge. What causes this and how can I get rid of it?

A. Those pixels are an annoying side-effect of bilinear filtering. They are visible on masked textures that are placed on polygons with UV values of exactly 0 to 1. What is happening is that the filtering effect is "wrapping" around one edge of the texture to the other, causing the pixels on the opposite side of the texture to partially appear on both sides. This can be fixed by adding the command

textureaddressmode clamp

to the RWX script for the object. See the textureaddressmode command for more details.

Q. In 2.2 I used the animate command on some objects to make them a solid color. Now these objects look all screwed up. What's going on?

A. The problem here is that the objects in question (for example, many of the glass panels in OW world) did not have any UV texture coordinates specified for the vertices when they were created, since the original object used no textures. The 2.2 and the 3.0 rendering engines react differently when a texture is applied to polygons that have no UV coordinates specifed.

The first thing you should do is consider using the color command instead of the animate command if all you want to do is change the color of an object. Using the animate command simply to change the color of an object is actually very inefficient. However if you really want to simply preserve the effect of 2.2 without changing any actions, then you can edit the RWX script for the object in question and add "UV .5 .5" to the end of every vertex. This will cause the object to behave as it did in 2.2.

Q. Why does the lighting on my object look different now?

A. The most likely cause for this is that support for specular lighting was dropped beginning with Outerworlds 3.0. An object whose surface lighting depends largely on the specular component will appear much darker in 3.0 than in previous versions.

The reasons for lack of support for specular lighting are complicated, but in a nutshell they have to do with the fact that an optically accurate specular lighting component requires multi-pass rendering, something we don't currently support. We will be looking for ways to return support for specular lighting in future versions of Outerworlds.

Q. When I try to increase the size of my 3D window or change the layout of my browser, I get an error and the 3D window won't resize. Why is that?

A. This problem occurs most often while running in either Direct3D or OpenGL modes on video cards with low amounts of video memory (usually 4 megabytes or less.) The problem is that the screen buffer for the 3D window must be stored in the same memory on your video card where textures are also stored. If this memory fills up (which can easily happen in worlds with a lot of textures), the browser will be unable to allocate any more memory for a larger screen buffer, which in turn prevents the 3D window from being enlarged.

You can sometimes work around this problem by exiting Outerworlds and restarting. After the restart, try quickly resizing your 3D window to a larger size before many textures have time to load and fill up your video memory.

Also, consider upgrading to a video card with more memory. Video cards with 16 megabytes or more of memory won't normally have this problem.

Q. Why are my trees, plants, and other sprites solid now?

A. Sprite objects became solid beginning with Outerworlds 3.0. If you want your sprites to be non-solid you can either use the "create solid off" action on individual objects, or you can use the collision command in the RWX script for the sprite to make all instances of the sprite non-solid.

Q. What can I do to improve the performance of Outerworlds?

A. The single most effective way to improve performance in Outerworlds is to run in either Direct3D or OpenGL hardware accelerated mode. Both of these modes require a modern video card with 3D hardware acceleration, and can provide dramatic performance improvements over the default software rendering mode.

Other things you can do to improve performance are to close other applications while running Outerworlds, add more RAM to your system (especially if you currently have 64 megs or fewer), and to keep your minimum visibility set no higher than 40 meters at all times under the performance settings

Q. Whenever I try to send a file to another user it always fails. What's going wrong?

A. You are probably running behing a firewall or proxy server that is blocking inbound TCP connections. See firewalls for more information.

Q. The "Total Time Online" feature seems way off...I was only on for an hour or two today but it says I've been online for days. Whats up?

A. Your total time online displayed in the citizen attributes is the total amount of time you have spent in Outerworlds, for all login sessions, since December 1, 2000. It is not the time you have spent logged in just this one time. The time you have spent logged in each session will be added to your total time online when you log out.