Android device doesn’t show up in Windows device manager

posted in: Problems solved | 0

I recently had the following problem with my Moto X Play (XT1562), but it probably could’ve been any Android device.

I wanted to connect the device to use the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) to push and debug an app I was working on.

Normally you would select the device in the Windows device manager and install the Google USB drivers from the Android SDK for it.

I plugged the device into my PC via my trusty USB cable, that I’ve been regularly using to charge my Android phones for years. The device showed that it was charging, but it wasn’t listed in any form in the Windows device manager, though (no “Other devices”, no “Android phone”), so it wasn’t possible to install the other driver.

After wasting an hour by googling I tried another USB cable and finally the phone connected. Turns out, that my usual cable was apparently only good for charging – either because of a defect or maybe it was engineered that way(?)… I have no clue.

In case of the Moto X Play, no installation of the Google USB driver was required. As soon as I activated USB-Debugging, the device was listed as “Motorola ADB Interface” under “Android Device” in the device manager and “adb devices” listed the device.

The history of Depri-Horst: Part 4

posted in: Depri-Horst | 0

Stuff I wanted to do right that bugged me about mobile games at this point:

  • Quit button -> I wanted to be sure that a game is dead. I don’t want to enter the drawer or whatever and swipe the app to death but to actually just quit to the menu and say “Be gone” to the app.
  • No on screen buttons to control the character.

Solved: Jagged Alliance 2 – Wildfire won’t run on Windows 8 64bit

posted in: Problems solved | 0

Okay. So  apparently I bought or was gifted “Jagged Alliance 2 – Wildfire” some weeks or months ago on Steam. I didn’t remember that but I stumbled upon it on a boring evening and decided to play it. So I installed it on my Windows8 (64bits) and when I started it, the game immediately “has stopped working”, as Windows puts it so nicely.

Wow. It’s too late to ask for a refund now, I guess. And I actually want to play it. So my good buddy Google lead me to this thread on the Steam community, where I found a solution.

Here’s what I needed to do, to get JA2WF working:

Download WineD3D v1.1.37. Grab the .exe file (!) from here (and: Yes, this is not the most recent version. I tried the most recent version first, and it was missing a file, so use this one).

Download 7-Zip and install it, if you haven’t already (even my grandma has 7-Zip installed).

Now right click on the WineD3D .exe file, go to the 7-Zip submenu and extract the contents (sorry for the ugly German words on the following screenshot, just extract it anywhere).

ja2wf_1

You’ll find three folders in the extracted contents. Go to the $SYSDIR folder, and copy all files within

ja2wf_2

…and paste them into the root of your “Jagged Alliance 2 – Wildfire” folder. If your Steam library is in the default location, it will be “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\ja2_wildfire”, but this path depends on your Steam settings.

ja2wf_3

Allright. That’s it. Try to start the game by double clicking the WF6.exe.

Solved: Installing Windows 8.1 fails with error 0x80300024

posted in: Problems solved | 16

I recently had to install Windows 8.1 when I build a new workstation. After moving all my drives from my old PC to the new system (new motherboard, CPU, ATX and case) and formatted my previous Windows 7 partition (I wanted a new start so I chose not to upgrade) I chose in the Win8 setup that it should install the new OS on there.

It didn’t work. Instead I was told that Windows couldn’t be installed on this drive. Error code: 0x80300024.

As always: The error code was the most useful thing of the message, as it lead me to a forum were possible solutions for Windows 7 were posted – and one of them worked for my Windows 8.1 installation. I guess it should work for Windows 8, too.

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Solution:

Apparently something about my other drives was bugging the installer and I had to unplug all drives except the one I wanted to install Windows 8 on (an SSD drive, by the way). After the install I plugged the other drives back in and everything went fine.

TL;DR: Unplug all drives except the one you want to install on if you encounter error 0x80300024.

The history of Depri-Horst: Part 3

posted in: Depri-Horst | 0

It’s time to tell the world more about the history of Depri-Horst. Make sure to read part 1 and part 2 first, though.

One prototype to bore them all

Back in 2012 I made a little game prototype called “Gemütsverdunklung” (meaning “darkening of the mind”) featuring Depri-Horst.

It uses the Blender Game Engine and tried to make the game look like the comic book – hand drawn and black and white.

It’s better to show it to you and explain on the way so I made a little video. It’s pretty raw and extensive but it’s meant to document, not necessarily to entertain.

Blender Game Engine?

I made shitty little game-like thingies with the Blender Game Engine (BGE) before that – it was the best choice for me as I practically lived in Blender at that time. Blender’s game engine works pretty well and writing Python scripts was fun, although the documentation of the BGE’s modules wasn’t very good back then. Better game engines existed but I just wanted to get a feel for game development so I didn’t really do much research.

Depri-Horst Prototype in Blender Game Engine (very early during development)
This is how working with the Blender Game Engine looks like. This is a screenshot I took VERY EARLY during development of Gemütsverdunklung.

This was the first time I made something that was worthy to be released so I actually put this thing on my website for people to download. It’s not available any more, though.

Here are two more very early screenshots:

After working on it for some weeks it looked like this and I was pretty happy:

I think it looks horrible now. I can tolerate the bird and cat drawings but all other assets in the game make me sick.

After the release

After the prototype went public a handful of people played it and gave me mixed feedback. Apparently it was über hard but today I think the game play just wasn’t rewarding enough for them to tolerate the difficulty.

A bigger and more awesome Depri-Horst game continued to occupy my head but I had some other things to take care of so nothing much happened until 2013 when I started to build a new game with the Unity3D engine. But I’ll write about that in the next part of “The history of Depri-Horst”.

Solved: Airline Tycoon runs very slowly on Windows 8.1

posted in: Problems solved | 2

A game I loved back when I bought my first Windows PC recently popped up on Steam: Airline Tycoon (Deluxe).

But once I started it on my notebook with Windows 8.1, I noticed, that everything in the main hall is running extremely slowly – almost like in slow-motion. Since this is a game released in 1998 running on modern hardware, I was suspecting compatibility issues. I also knew how the game was supposed to run, because I played it 1 1/2 years ago on the same machine, but on Windows 7.

By the way: The game is hard coded to run on 20 frames per second – it’s pretty ancient technology and will never be able run “smoothly” by today’s definition. But the game was running with 3-5 FPS.

But, thanks to a reply in the Steam user’s forums I can finally play the game like it’s meant to be. The problem was, that the game was using the integrated graphics card of my notebook instead of the additional “High-performance NVIDIA processor”.

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If you’re having the same problem, give this a try:

  1. Open your NVIDIA control panel (I usually right click on my desktop and select “NVIDIA control panel” in the context menu).
  2. Navigate to “Manage 3D settings”
  3. Click on the tab “Program Settings”
  4. (Add the Airline Tycoon executable at.exe to your programs if it’s not in the list)
  5. Choose “High-performance NVIDIA processor” as the preferred graphics processor for this application

Airline Tycon Win8.1 low framerate fix

And yes: I think the game should be able to run without problems on my integrated graphics card (and it did on Win7), because even that thing is way faster than what I had in my PC in 1998, which was a Geforce 2. This is still bugging me as playing it with the integrated card would probably require less power…

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