Psychonauts crash on startup (error message)
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When running Psychonauts and there is a game crash (in my case a full computer shutdown because of a storm), there is a slight possibility that the game has corrupted the profile that you are using in game at that time. This is not verified by data, it is merely suggested by the working solution to my specific problem.
If, when you open Psychonauts, you are presented with the following error message:
(null), line -1
If you have VS.NET installed, you can try to attach the debugger
Otherwise, click OK
then you may have a corrupted/damaged game profile. I use "may" to imply that I have no comprehensive data on this game. (as a further note, I also use "may" because users in the current version of Wine will experience this error for different reasons.)
SOLUTION METHOD (AND NON-SOLUTION METHODS):
Reinstalling will not matter (if when uninstalling you elect to keep your preferences and savegames) because it does not touch the actual profile files. Deleting configurations (e.g. AudioSettings.ini, VideoSettings.ini) will not renew the game's functionality. Removing each of the "Profile #" folder(s) underneath the working directory, however, allows the game to function as before. As I am typing I am attempting to find a more specific solution...
Ironically enough, if you delete the first file located in the "Profile #" folder under the working directory, which is the file named "Profile #- NameofProfile", the game will actually start but when selecting the # profile in game will display that the "Profile is damaged" in game, with the option to overwrite it. At this point I attempted to recreate the error the ensure nothing else in the data had changed. Sure enough, if I restore the files in the profile to their original "corrupted" state, the game will fail to load and present the above error message again.
I then tried to identify if there was a specific gamesave involved in making the error, and attempted to delete the .ini to see if the settings were causing the crash for some reason (doubtful). Upon deleting "Profile #- ProfileName.ini", the game crashed to the error message. Upon deleting all files "SavedGame#" the game still crashed with the error message. (Later I discovered that all SavedGame# files are included with every profile, so this method is no longer an acceptable elimination of the possibility that one of the SavedGame# files is the culprit for the damaged profile.)
Then I decided to create a new profile using slot #1 (my original, now corrupted profile is slot #3) to examine the files in question and compare them. This is where I finally found some information. The game-breaking file, "Profile#- NameofProfile", is different from the one that was created by the game. The file in the corrupted profile looked like a bunch of spaces, or probably tab-separated fields, that were completely empty. The new file for the new profile created for the test shows the following line, instead of being empty spaces: " Raz A A A A ". Without enough knowledge in programming and decompiling or reading such things, I decided I'd try an easy way out and, since the profile I created was intentionally using the exact same name as the one that got corrupted, I copy-pasted this line directly into the corrupted profile and attempted to load the game again, just to see if there was a change.
Interesting results, that I believe brought me one step closer: The game could now load with the corrupted profile's files all physically in the directory. It still reported the files as being damaged in game, but one of two things allowed me to run the game: either, this new test profile I created allows the game to run without crashing regardless of other damaged profiles OR the change in the line indicated above allowed the game to now run. To test out the first option, I eliminated the test profile and tried again. Lo and behold, even without the test profile, the game can now run. Still shows as corrupted in-game, but still; the first problem is effectively fixed (simply getting the game to run again with the corrupted profile's files intact).
Now I decided to try and copy the savegame data over to the test profile and overwrite the saves in order to possibly salvage my savegame. To control variables as much as possible, I put the test profile files back in the profile folder and copies only ONE savegame ("SavedGame0") to the test profile, overwriting. Then I tried to load a savegame in-game. Game loading... selected the test profile...
TA-DA! Solution!! I successfully loaded a gamesave from the other corrupted profile by copying the associated savegame to a newly created profile. My conclusion lists the steps simply in order to save on reading, since understanding the issue isn't fully necessary, considering the solution I have arrived at.
Note that I have only been able to recover my autosave and first save with this method (I tried the same method with all of the save files, but it seems as though a corrupt savefile breaks most of them. I do not know which file or whether this affects gameplay later.
To fix the error message and allow the game to load:
1. Remove or Cut-Paste away the profile in question (most probably the one used most recently) under "Psychonauts\Profiles\Profile #"
2. Start the game and create a new profile.
To possibly recover a saved game:
1. In step 2 above, ensure that you have created a profile that has exactly the same name as the one from which you want to recover saves. I do not know if this is necessary, but it follows my method.
2. Copy/Paste all savegames from the lost profile to this new profile. HOPE that the game can read some of the data. If you still don't see savegames, or the test profile shows as damaged, systematically start with SavedGame0 and work through isolating each one to see if you can get data from any one of them while in the game. (IE: use only SavedGame0 from the old profile in the new profile, then ONLY SavedGame1, then ONLY SavedGame2, etc, then combinations, to recover as much data as possible). Post if this works, or if it doesn't.
3. Play. I got my autosave back and my first save (I had several saves after it, but it seems they are gone). I hope you have at least that much success!
4. Reconfigure yourself (or copy the .ini, but this is not tested).
5. Have fun!
Upon a wee more googling, I found the following link that points to a saved game that will restore some progress to you, though I know not how much/if it will be too much. Just posting to be comprehensive:
(edit) I am using Win7 (Build 7600), AMD Phenom X4, ATi Radeon HD4870. Psychonauts v220.127.116.11 (I do not believe the game version matters, as no patches address this problem). The latest version is 1.0.4. To me, irrelevant, since the problem is file corruption.
I hope this helps someone! I would have rather had a fast explanation then spending this long figuring it out! Post if you have had success with this.
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