Testing Times

My posts in the last month have been somewhat sporadic. Some of them were pre-planned while others just happened. My regular response to Cee’s B&W Challenge dried up despite having some images that I intended to use for them. The reason for this hiatus is a change in my personal status. I finally took the decision in mid-May to retire from work and handed in my notice. My last day will be 31st August. This has not been an easy decision with over 40 year’s continuous employment behind me. In fact it’s probably the most stressful thing I’ve ever done. Anyway, the die is now cast and I can move forwards.

Truck simulator has been a stabilising factor during this period of stress. Firing up the engine and watching the scenery drift by whilst looking out for other vehicles doing silly things is a surprisingly engaging activity. In American Truck I have been looking to expand my fleet further with some more free mods from the internet. I’ve also upgraded the ai traffic vehicles by loading the latest versions of JazzyCat’s various mods (clearing an annoying textures issue in the process) and added in some new trailers.

The Kenworth K100 has made a return to the fleet and is painted in a ‘Red Baron’ colorscheme. Understandably she has received the name ‘Richthofen’. This is Cyrus the Virus’ updated version and he does seem to have ironed out a number of the truck’s issues – coupling to trailers now works correctly for example. The Mack Ultraliner finally got a name too – ‘Canis Majoris’ – fitting given that Mack’s emblem is a Bulldog. I sometimes refer to her as ‘The Dog’s Wotsits’ because she is so much fun to drive.Richthofen

The Freightliner Cascadia has also returned and sports a dark green metallic paintjob. She has picked up the name ‘Diana’ after the Green Goddess of breakfast TV workouts in the 1980’s. This is another truck that Cyrus’ has been updating – though I see the dash lights are still not working. But she drives well and adds a modern truck to the fleet. I’ll have to do a review at some point. There were four other trucks I wanted to add to the game. The Mack Pinnacle, Freightliner Argosy, Peterbilt 387 and Peterbilt 357. I will do a post about my experience with these soon.

However, all was not quite right with my game. I was experiencing freezes of 2–3 seconds from time to time. I expect a slight frame-rate drop when there are a lot of textures or a lot of ai to render but not freezes like these. An investigation was in order. Advice in the community is to check the game log file (not the crash log) for errors. Sure enough, an investigation revealed a number of errors. One batch was for the mirrors on the International 9900 – I had noticed a tendency to glitch-out. There were a number of others which are apparently minor and I was able to confirm that they were not causing the freezing issue. As a test I sold my International and deleted the mod from the game. The errors disappeared but the freezing issue did not. Cue some head-scratching. Then I looked closely at the Warnings in the log. Finally I spotted one for Buffer Overflow. It seemed that whenever the game needed to load a specific trailer skin for an ai vehicle the buffer was too small for the size of the skin. Other skins by the same mod maker for this trailer did not have the same issue – I guess they forgot to resize the file? I disabled the particular skin and hey-presto! The freezing issue was gone. Below – Rolled Gold hauls the offending ‘Amoco’ tanker on the intersection of I5 and I10 in Los Angeles…
Rolled Gold


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