Sid Meier's Railroads!

posted by Sylpher @ 8:38pm, Monday 11 August 2008.

I recently picked up Sid Meier's Railroads! as I enjoy the occasional strategy or simulation game. After playing the game for around half an hour it would drop dead with a generic error message and kick me back to the desktop.

I did as any person would do and try to figure out what the heck was wrong. A couple Google's and forum lurkings later I discovered that the game has a memory issue that it runs into constantly with Vista due to its high resource demands. I tried all suggestions to remedy this such as turning off Aero and sacrificing cute animals to the old ones.

They were not pleased.

I ran into similar issues in Vista with Deus Ex and Thief 3 and ultimately had to face that Ion Storm is gone and any hopes of an update is close enough to squat that I might as well not do any holding of my breath/bathroom breaks. Railroads is different, though. This is a game that came out in late 2006, just months before Vista was rolled out by a company very much alive and healthy.

Let us also not forget that it is built on Gamebryo, the same engine Civilization 4 is built on -- made by the same company for you not following -- which I have not had a single issue with in Vista. I might as well throw in that Civ4 was released a year prior to Railroads just for the heck of it.

All this considered I figured things can't be as hopeless as Ion Storm's games, so I sent off an email to 2k Games as that is what the Firaxis site says to do (OR ELSE! maybe... ) asking about the issue. After waiting the past week I finally received my heartfelt response:


It appears you are running the game in Windows Vista, which unfortunately is incompatible with Railroads.

Well. Screw that noise. I setup a small partition on my drive and installed XP so now I am able to play Railroads and Ion Storm's games again, and probably others I haven't tried yet in Vista. Happy as I am that I am able to play I still feel the scorn from Firaxis/2k Games. Don't think I will forget this Mr. Meiers! You win this round.

Next round Buddhism is out!

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Vista seems to throw turds into the work flow of a lot of things. I was running Vista on my DELL laptop (a mistake in itself to ever buy a DELL) before it crashed and it seemed to run fine for the most part except when running programs that needed a lot of memory and processor. I noticed that Vista seemed to hog quite a bit of memory in its flashyness and GUI goodies. Not sure if my laptop just had terrible cooling issues or what but anytime I would run Maya or HalfLife2, my laptop would over heat and start slowing down and I would have to actually blow on the bottom where some vents were and it seemed to remedy the situation. I haven't had any issues at all with slow down since having a Mac though hee hee!

monomusica - 10:41am, Tuesday 19 August 2008.

Vista does have its fair share of issues, but I put the blame in this particular case on the developer. And yes, I saw that you are now a Mac user. As long as you don't get smug at anything PC related then we shall be able to live in peace. Sounds like there could have been a number of issues with your Dell from a poor or broken fan, to the machine not having a beefy enough GPU to handle that kind of load. I got an XPS a few months back, but I was stubborn and upgraded the GPU to make it way more of a gaming beast than a laptop is meant to be. While I was at it I upped the CPU and memory and it runs anything I can throw at it.

Sylpher - 8:48pm, Friday 22 August 2008.

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