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Driver problems? Complain to your graphics card vendor

by Ashley | 14th, May 2012

We've blogged about graphics card drivers before (here and here). However it continues to cause us pain. A constant rate of a few users a week experience problems in Construct 2 caused by poor quality graphics card drivers. This makes it look like Construct 2 is crashing or has glitches, but it's not our fault. Often these problems are caused by the graphics card driver, which is made by your graphics card vendor (e.g. nVidia, AMD or Intel). It's impossible for us to fix their drivers for them, so the only course of action is to update your driver and hope that a newer one works. If that doesn't work, there's nothing you can do.

There are two of us here at Scirra, and we've worked very hard for a long time to make high quality software we're extremely proud of. We aim to create software above and beyond the quality of anything else on the market. Inspired by the words of an appreciative customer, we aim to be conspicuous in our quality.

It is very frustrating for us to experience crashes and glitches in Construct 2 caused by big corporations who cannot write a driver that works for their own graphics card. This tarnishes our hard work, and of course the user assumes it's a problem in our software. It also wastes our time - we're keen to get going with new features in our software, but it feels like we are always busy helping customers with driver problems.

The major graphics card vendors - nVidia, AMD and Intel - are probably oblivious to the woes they are causing us. So I think it is vital to tell them. If updating your graphics card driver fixes a problem in Construct 2, contact your graphics card vendor. Send a support email, file a support ticket, or phone them up. Tell them their drivers do not work with modern software, and it concerns you. Tell them they're not doing good enough and you don't expect to have to update your driver to get a modern, well-written piece of software to work.

If any time in the past you've had to update your or someone else's driver to fix issues with Construct 2, it would be helpful to get in touch anyway to help let them know there is a problem.

The most common problems caused by poor quality graphics drivers are:

  • Crash clicking 'New project' or opening another project
  • Objects appear as empty rectangles
  • Display glitches, like diagonal lines across sprites

If updating your driver fixes the problem, you can be certain the driver caused it. So get in touch. Demand the same level of quality from your graphics card vendor as you expect from Scirra!

Often your computer or laptop manufacturer is part of the problem. However, there are hundreds of manufacturers. The best thing to do is contact the graphics card vendors themselves since there are only three of them, and then hopefully they will pressure their partner companies in to doing better as well. Here are some helpful links:

nVidia submit feedback
AMD email form
Intel email form

Let's hope this isn't a problem forever!

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delgado 38.6k rep

This is Helpful!

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 2:33:43 PM
Tokinsom 19.2k rep

I'd just like to say that I have a refurbished $40 videocard and C2 works perfectly fine with it. Just get the right one(s)!! More expensive doesn't always mean better.

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 2:56:51 PM
Ashley 199.7k rep

@Tokinsom Modern cards tend to be fine, but there are still a huge number of users out there with old hardware :-\

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 2:57:39 PM
Tokinsom 19.2k rep

@Ashley Before this refurbished one I mentioned, I used an Nvidia 9600GT..Isn't that like 5 years old? No telling how old my current one is. I don't even know what it's called ^^;

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 2:59:08 PM
Ashley 199.7k rep

@Tokinsom well, I suppose if you have an up-to-date driver it would still be fine... also, gamer-grade cards tend to have better drivers and support, even if they're old - low-end cards like Intel's office-use intended integrated graphics chips tend to be a lot worse...

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 3:07:04 PM
Bigheti 17.3k rep

Good Ashley! I have a PC (Dual Core, 2Mb RAM) with a graphics card (GeForce 5100) that does not run HTML5 and, even living in Brazil, never thought to contact the manufacturer of the graphics card. Thanks for the tip! I do this and then post the result here. This post demonstrates the quality of C2 and the seriousness of the work of Scirra.

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 3:09:17 PM
Anonymous1 3,311 rep

@Ashley this is a great statement for the ones who believe that your software was at fault. Drivers are the first place any developer should really go here.

That said I run on a multitude of machines ranging from a Pentium 4 A-Class (the first releases) to my i7 machine at home. I am able to run Construct on all of them with the latest drivers (one is using the 845 chipset... the most PITA driver set intel has). The older systems have trouble running a compiled game, but that bottle neck is on the system hardware and I know it.

@Bigheti Your system should have absolutely no issues running HTML5 content. With all of your drivers up to date you should be fine. Also if Construct works fine, but you are unable to play the HTML5 games then you may simply have an out dated browser. You should be using IE8 , Chrome, Firefox, Opera, or Safari. All but IE8 will automatically install the newest one and I recommend installing IE9 over IE8 for the greater HTML5 support. If you're using Windows XP install Chrome (this is my recommendation not the only solution).

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 3:37:14 PM
Ashley 199.7k rep

@rdephillip - IE8 doesn't support HTML5 games at all. Only IE9 and above have support, but it's not available for XP, so install Chrome there.

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 3:49:57 PM
Yoghurt 1,917 rep

On my (very old) laptop with an onboard VIA/S3G UniChrome Pro IGP videocard, I couldn't even start and use Construct 2.

On Windows 7, going to: Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Display > Screen Resolution. Then choose "Advanced settings" > tab "Troubleshoot" and "Change settings"-button.

After changing the slider for Hardware acceleration to "Disable all but basic accelerations. Use this setting to correct more severe problems.", I can start and use Construct 2 without any severe problems ;-)

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 3:56:42 PM
joeyespo 1,082 rep

Is there any proactive effort going on? For example, every time a crash happens, send an anonymous report containing basic debugging information with the name of the driver.

That way, with enough data points, you can see which drivers are causing common problems, advising users to update their driver if they have a specific version or brand.

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 4:04:02 PM
Ashley 199.7k rep

@joeyespo - a full proper reporting system is a lot of effort and only gives us a list of users who have experienced crashes. We also don't really have the resources to spend more time on the driver problem, so we just advise that *everyone* updates their drivers.

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 4:14:21 PM
Zeus 6,106 rep

I agree with what you are saying Ashley, your time would be much better spent on developing your own software. It must be frustrating but at the end of the day matters like this are down to the end user, some users are just not willing to keep their drivers up to date and there isn`t really much you can do about it unfortunately.

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 5:42:20 PM
ludodesign 30.7k rep

Big companies crashing little companies.

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 5:52:21 PM
Ashley 199.7k rep

@Zeus - I personally would place the blame with the graphics card vendors rather than the users - users shouldn't have to go and find driver updates, they should be auto-installed via Windows Update.

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 6:01:17 PM
TheJanMan 4,470 rep

At some point, Updating Windows helps improve compatibility with the drivers and the OS. I tried installing my AMD graphics card driver but still had problems but when I tried updating windows 7, it somewhat helped improve the performance of my laptop.

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 7:00:01 PM

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