Saturday, December 29, 2007

At Least My Character Didn't Burst Into Flames: Part 1

Kendra's post about her Sims experience reminded me of some problems I once had with a computer game.

Several years ago, I bought a Star Trek game (which I can't even see right now... I'm sure it's here somewhere) because it had a virtual reality "walk through" of the starship Voyager as an included "extra." I loved Voyager so I bought the game for a few dollars on Ebay. The VR wasn't really true to Voyager but it didn't cost me that much so I decided to try it out.

It took me all of about 3 minutes to start having problems with the simulation. After I "left my quarters" the game crashed a few times on my computer, but seemed to be ok when I relaunched it, so I continued to walk around the ship. There was just one problem... Every time I tried to return to my quarters I couldn't get in. Why? Because 7 of 9 was blocking my way. She was standing outside my room, facing the door and staring at it like she was waiting for it to open.

I tried tapping her (since she was at my quarters and I figured she was looking for me!) but she ignored me. I tried pushing her aside so I could go into my room, but she wouldn't budge. I decided to walk around the ship a bit more, hoping she'd be gone when I returned, but every time I came back she was still there, staring at my door, not moving, and ignoring me when I tried to talk to her.

Finally I figured out that the earlier game crashes had corrupted a file somewhere, and 7 of 9's character thought we were back at the beginning of the simulation. So she was doing what she does at the start of the game, which is to ring the doorbell to my quarters and wait for me to open the door for her... from the inside. And I would have been happy to oblige, except that I couldn't get back inside the room to do that for her because she wouldn't let me in! I tried tapping her again (so she could see I was outside the room with her!), bumping into her so she'd move... shoving her aside... shouting at her... I may have even tried to shoot her... I don't remember... but she wouldn't budge. Her character was programmed to do one thing at the start of the game: stand at that door and ring the bell until I let her in. There was no "what if the person is already outside the room due to a corrupted game file" contingency! So there I was outside my room, with a borg blocking my way, insistently ringing the bell, and I was never going to be able to get back into my quarters to open the door for her so we could continue the simulation!

I looked around the internet for a solution, found a forum full of people who played this game, and presented them with my problem. One person told me how to bring up a hack window so I could enter a code that would allow my character to walk through walls. This would enable me to get back into my room so I could then answer the door from the inside like 7 of 9 expected me to, and continue the game. -This was unreal to me! But I said "Ok thanks!" did exactly what he told me to do, and by using the cheat code I was able to walk right through the borg AND the door and back into my room! Piece of cake! Then I re-solidified myself and tried to answer the door to let 7 of 9 in -but I found that I couldn't get to it. Why? Because I couldn't get my character to move. Nothing was in my way, but I couldn't get my character to walk in any direction. All I could do was wave my arms and my head around and shoot things.

I re-contacted the guy who'd helped me with the "walk through walls" code and he told me to check to see if when I'd removed the hack and become "solid" again, I'd re-materialized myself with my feet embedded in the floor! I checked and darned if he wasn't right! So I made myself "un-solid" again, moved up a little, re-materialized a few inches above the floor this time, and everything worked fine again. (Imagine that.)

But my problems didn't end there! Check back tomorrow for my adventures in Engineering ;)



Kendra said...

Oh...My...Gosh!!! Roflmao. You made me laugh when I saw the title...and I just kept laughing. You're more persistant than I am though. I would have just junked it. 'feet embedded in the floor!"...hahahahahha...I didn't even know that was possible. Thank God for gaming nerds (I can say that, my husband is

Melissa said...

You should have known me at that time. I was sending people emails saying "WTF???" Yes... "Thank God for gaming nerds!"

-Wait 'till you see what happened to me Engineering!

Grandy said...

Um...that's a lot of work for a game. I'm so scared to venture into that world. I bought my son Sims and I don't get the point. I'm so technically challenged, I keep IT people in biz.

Mac and Cheese said...

That game would have immediately become a frizbee over at my house. I'm looking forward to reading about the rest of your glitches.

MP said...

GREAT post...looking forward to part 2...up there...
I played this game (or a simiar TNG game.. when it first came out. My friend had it in his basement on their computer..he and I spent an entire DAY and EVENING playing..his wonderful wife brought us soda and sandwhiches..thank god their were no glitches..
Personally I hate PC games, I'd much rather play XBOX 360 or DS (I have a pink DS...I know you are jealous)

Melissa said...

I'm really not a big gamer. I do like virtual environments and have some experience in that area, but I'm not really into war games. Running around while being shot at and chased is generally not my idea of fun.

Alternate realities, puzzle solving (like the early Myst games), and interactive VR environments do interest me. I don't want to get killed. I just want to walk around!

-Unless there's a VR helmet involved... if you put a VR helmet on me with 360 game play, especially with a partner in a 2nd helmet, I'll shoot whatever the heck you want! Lol!

Melissa said...

MP: I just realized you wrote that you have a Pink DS.

Yeah... I might have to play that if I saw it just so I could say that I did ;)