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Kaive

Common Grounds 1.4

February 6, 2013
in Common Grounds, Games

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Common Grounds has been updated to version 1.4!

If you’ve purchased the game, you should have received an email from us, (if not, please let us know!) We hope this will be the last version and everything works for everyone forever. Thanks for your support 🙂

Side note:
We have to manually reactivate download links and send emails, so it might take some time for us to send them.

If you don’t receive download links in a timely fashion, (like in a day or so, no more than a week,) please let us know and we’ll try again!

Feb 12, UPDATE:
Okay, so here’s where we’re at…

We have a working update for Windows Vista, 7, and 8. This update cannot display graphics in Windows XP. (No more splash screen, by the way!)

What we’ve decided to do is include a separate exe file just for XP users, which will not be the default one that runs at the end of the installer or optionally installed onto the desktop. It will be included in the install and optional start menu directories.

Everyone who purchased the game should receive an email sometime soon with the update announcement. While we only recommend this update to those who have experienced errors or glitches, everyone else is welcome to it. You will have to let us know if you’d like it though, as we don’t want to spam everyone’s inbox with new download links.

One last update left, just waiting on some compiles and uploads~

Feb 9, UPDATE:
Tested and works in every version of Windows after XP. Graphics aren’t loading in XP — just need to correctly define the working directory. And the manual needs updating. Looks like this is going to take at least another day…

On the positive side, let me list everything that has been fixed!

Addressed Issues

  • New installers for both full game and demo
  • Installers should no longer trigger certain anti-virus software
  • Demo and full-game install into separate directories, no more file conflicts
  • Default install directory is under your Windows user name, no more ‘error loading external function’
  • Closing the game no longer triggers a once-off error (certain Windows configurations)
  • Scale option removed
  • Save files no longer encrypted…
  • Sex animation glitches fixed
  • Sex idle->thrust->back to idle sequences adjusted
  • Windows 8 compatibility
  • A host of minor adjustments and tweaks for maximum/future compatibility

Feb 8, UPDATE:
Just need to test the installer a couple more times, and do one more play-through. Should have it ready sometime tomorrow (Sunday).

(Technically it’s Sunday morning, but this is a report of a full day’s progress.)

Often when fixing errors and tweaking existing code, new issues will arise because of it. So having to fix anything on a play-through means I have to start from the beginning, not stopping until I make it through the game without any error.

Feb 7, UPDATE:
It would appear we don’t have to remove support for dll’s, hurray!

Have completed a host of minor updates to fix errors some users have reported having, the main one being to default installation into “%Profile” (the user’s directory) so the game will always have read/write privilege to its own files.

Now for the long process of testing changes…

We’re switching gears for a short while to update Common Grounds to better work with Windows Vista, 7, and 8.

This means House of Tail will be delayed until we finish. It shouldn’t take longer than a week, hopefully just another day or two.

Goals:

  • Store files into the appdata folder (no more “can’t find the file” errors due to Windows not giving the game permission to access it)
  • Recode the sound, so it no longer requires a dll file
  • Remove the need for the other dlls
  • Create new installers
  • A few cosmetic upgrades (maybe)

Will edit this entry with updates as they happen!

*Comments (23)

  1. I find that opening the .OGG music files with VLC x64 was somewhat slow and delayed, even with a dual-core processor. Would the music happen to be one of those items to be recoded? Not that I can complain about .OGG, since it has relatively higher quality across the board.

      1. Personally, I like the music, especially the longer pieces, which I sometimes play in the background as I do other things such as my own college assignments. It makes for nice ambient music and is quite relaxing.

        There are some free OGG to MP3 converter programs out there, but I would definitely keep the original OGG files, since conversion to MP3 causes loss in quality. The only things better than OGG would be WAV, FLAC, and WMA Lossless, however converting to a higher bitrate doesn’t add any more quality to what is already there.

        1. Well………………….

          We’ve been thinking about creating a “donations” page, and putting songs, documents, a House of Tail windows installer on there, but in all honesty, we’re leaning against it. Nothing against asking for donations, but it’s not the kind of company we want to be.

          So to answer your question, will probably update the website to include mp3’s among other things at some point (possibly when House of Tail is finished and I have time to fiddle with the website more.)

  2. Argh, the damn wait is killing me. xD

    But am glad to see you’re still updating the older game with some improvements and such. I still do play the game sometimes after all. :>

    -Keto

    1. By email~

      Because this update involves obeying (new to me) Windows’ privilege standards of putting things into the user’s directory, it’s not something easily patched. Save files from previous versions will also not transfer over.

  3. Kaive, I just downloaded the new version and installed it. I think I should bring it to your attention that the avast! Antivirus Auto Sandbox security feature does not recognize the launcher’s .exe as a safe file. I know for a fact that the file is indeed safe and no threat to me.

    The Auto Sandbox can be told not to run on the .exe, but if it does run, it will not allow any changes to be made to the computer or files by the game itself, (Auto Sandbox is a virtualization system that isolates programs from the real system in case they may be a threat), this means that those who have avast! Antivirus might not be able to save their game unless they tell it that the file is safe.

    For those with avast! Antivirus, to avoid this, they should first click the avast! icon in their notification area to show the user interface, then they need to navigate to “Additional Protection.” Make sure you are at the “AutoSandbox” tab, click “Settings,” then set “AutoSandbox mode” to “Ask” (instead of “Auto”). Next time you run the game’s launcher, the notification will pop up and let you choose an action, choose the option that allows it to always run normally.

    I hope this helps you out, Kaive!

    1. Will add that to the troubleshooting faq, thanks!

      The funny thing is, the game is completely sandboxed… it only reads from its place in the users directory and writes to whatever app data folder windows tells it to, not even to its own install directory.

      I guess the installer didn’t throw any flags? This digital signing business is so frustrating.

      1. Looking into it again, it’s such a racket. You have to pay yearly rates, only 2 companies seem authorized to do it (microsoft doesn’t even offer it themselves), so it’s like pay a bunch of money to prove you’re not malicious?! No thanks, can’t support this digital sig stuff as it stands.

        1. Kaive, I understand your frustration, it must be very annoying for you. All antivirus acts differently, but luckily most have whitelist features to mark a file exclusively as being safe. Digital signing is a very money-driven business indeed.

      2. Correct, the installer did not throw any flags. I usually run all my installers with adminstrator rights just to be safe, but I just ran it without and it ran without issues. I have to admit you did pull an interesting move by installing to the user directory, I’ve only seen that done a few times before with other programs, but a good idea nonetheless since it requires no admin rights.

        My guess is that the installer threw no flags because avast! scanned it and found no threat, but once the launcher was placed in the user directory, it does throw flags. It understandably wouldn’t scan every single .exe file you have installed on your computer for viruses, doing that would be very resource intensive, instead it has a database of familiar and common binary file names, and compares a running program to that list to see if it matches anything, AutoSandboxing if there’s no matches.

        True, the game is sandboxed, but avast! will sandbox any unidentified binary file, regardless of location. It could be in your Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, Downloads, etc. Anywhere, and it’ll treat it all the same, unless it happens to be under a trusted Windows directory.

        1. I’m pretty sure installing into the user directory is the new standard, seems to be becoming more common. Especially given neat ‘place holder’ tricks and Windows UAC guidelines.

          For example, try pasting “%USERPROFILE%” or “%LOCALAPPDATA%” (doesn’t work in XP) into the address bar, it’s how you let Windows tell the installer where it’s okay to put things. (hey, it’s new to me!! haha)

          An application’s designated-by-Windows ‘appdata’ folder should be a trusted and okay thing. We have been told Norton also has the same behavior, and it too strongly emphasizes the digital signing. I really do think it’s just that, the more I read up on it. (I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some connection between ‘free antivirus’ software and strong-arming software developers for dough. Just a hunch.)

        2. Forgot to add…

          The installer (in theory) should be digitally signed since we’ve licensed it with the game engine, but the game itself is not.

          And that I really really appreciate your feedback, thanks ^^

          1. No problem pal, I’m glad to help out with this. If I had the money and wasn’t such a poor college guy, I would donate in a heartbeat. >.<

  4. EDIT: Don’t bother checking the settings, if the notification pops up and automatically puts the launcher into Sandbox, then click on “Terminate Now.” After it terminates, the notification will change and ask if you want to run the program anyway, click “Run Anyway” (or whatever it says).

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