Technolust save file

I have been playing VR games and decided to take a plunge into Technolust.  Some of the reviews were hit or miss, but if you actually explore around the game and appreciate all the options and content, you may enjoy it nearly as much as I have and continue to do.  I wanted to start noting how much I enjoy it, as this is why I jumped into repairing a save issue I had.

You can save in the game but I had an issue where each time I loaded the game back up, it looped me to the intro portion, instead of the MURC teleport menu you should see, after having saved your game.  I shared some of this info on the Oculus forums and Steam once I got a fresh file to work with saving.  Quoted below.

Quote

Checking my save file, located at:

C:\Users\[username]\AppData\LocalLow\IRIS VIRTUAL REALITY\Technolust 0_9_9_9
I was seeing my save file has a modified date last from Tuesday the 15th, despite my playing later in the week and saving at payphones (and seeing it say saved on the map screen).
In the “save.txt”. Viewing it seems to be largely plain-text. I’ll move it and see if the game making a new copy resolves the save issue.

The contents of my save file look accurate with areas I have been, but I’m confused why it fails to load. It’s almost like there is a borked character in the save file or something. Here is line 01:
ý~Hilltop Score string

Also of note (but not related to the crash) there are some registry values too. These appear to match from my game play.
Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\IRIS VIRTUAL REALITY\Technolust 0.9.9.9

I moved the flat save file and let the game make a new one.  New file does not have the ý at the start of file.  In-game saving also worked after doing this.  Registry still has my high scores from the arcade.  Game loads to teleport MURC menu instead of intro now.

In this case, I moved a copy of my stuck save file, as it was not working due to that 1st character of ‘ý’ in the save.txt.  Using various text editors showed me varied results in the save.txt.  ConText editor showed me mostly blank space and some of the item strings; Notepad seemed to show everything, but without formatting, and Notepad++ showed me a dump of each parameter and their set flags.
Here are some screen caps from each editor showing the same file, along with the registry keys.

ConText Editor
00-ContextSave.png

Notepad (Windows standard text editor)
01-NotepadSave.png

Notepad++ 02-NotepadPlusSave.png

Registry Keys
03-RegKeys.png

Most all of this information is overkill, since I was only a couple of hours in.  To resolve the save issue I copied the broken save file to another folder and deleted it from the save folder.  Once the game made a new file, I was able to save without issue onward.  I had fun checking the save file for stuff I missed but didn’t successfully change any flags for stuff I did not find in-game.  For conversations sake, the registry values match my arcade high scores.  When my new save file was made, simply playing the games I won again, without beating my prior high score, toggled back to my high score, once I interacted with them on the fresh save.
You can migrate your save.txt and registry info to another machine, as I did on my laptop to test that I got all the save data.

If there is any take away from the thread, be sure to check files in multiple editors.  I also messaged the gave dev to say thanks for a rad game.  He noted that encrypting the save file seemed like it would have been contrary to the concept of the game.  Thanks for not doing that, because it was also fun to splunk through the save data and see how it applied to in-game content I encountered.  I’ll recap the start of the thread by saying I really enjoy this game.  Hell it was so good, I was concerned enough to figure out the intro looping issue.  Hopefully you don’t have the same issue, but if you do, it’s relatively easy to fix.

VorpX and Non-native VR games

This thread is very preliminary as I only have an hour or 2 of using VorpX.  Starting this off, you can buy this addon software for $40 from VorpX website.  Once you pay, you will run the installer and get a software key.  Send an email by the form that comes up with your name and email address you paid with, and you will get the activation code to use the full software.

VorpX will play games in a living room emulated screen couch enviroment, or by pressing ‘Delete’ in the supported games list, you can play Fallout 4 and other games in a 3D and VR presented environment.  You will need to change your game configuration to have it be a playable experience and the #1 change to make is increasing the FOV (Field of Vision) for any game you are trying to play in stereoscopic 3D via VorpX.  Search for config guides, however setting a FOV to 120 or higher is the most relevant setting you will want to apply.

Playing Fallout 4 in my case was cool, but weird.  Keep in mind you will see a performance hit, considering you are then rendering 2 screens (each eye @ 45 FPS) to your Rift (or HTC Hive).  Playing was intense but the weird part was transparent objects around some objects.  Disabling Ambient Occlusion can help smooth this out, but I have not fully done the re-tweak for the sake of VorpX in 3D.  After playing maybe half an hour, my head felt a little weird.  I am guessing the combination of moving in VR and doing the shooting is a large factor to that, in addition to some dropped frames, as I was playing the game @ 1080P with most all of the graphical ice improvements on.

I dabbled with FFXIV in VR but this defaulted into the couch mode I mentioned.  I have seen other posts mention the locomotion sickness concerns before but I didn’t really experience this until I rolled Fallout 4 in VR.  I’m going to try some more tweaks to see how it goes.  The depth and head tilting is really wild though.  It’s fun to try but I am still tweaking to see if it’s a viable means to play, short of a demo configuration.

Reminder that I am currently playing on an Intel i7-7700k with a Nvidia 980 GTX (4 GB).  If you are rocking a Ti or 1080 Ti you may fair better with all the fancy graphics options turned on.  Crawl the supported games list for items to test.  I’m pretty interested in Alan Wake in VR.  I was playing with an Xbox One controller but the Touch controllers are supported and work as well.  I played Fallouts on a gamepad, so it’s hard to do otherwise, unless I’m sniping.

I am playing with version 17.2.3.  I also see the attached Game Settings Optimizer.  I will play with this and sadly also lower my resolution from 1080p and see how that goes for me.
Alt+f will show your FPS while playing.  If you are seeing below 45 FPS, scale down your graphic options or you will get ill.  This is what I was battling with Fallout 4 running @ 1080P.

VorpX_GameOps.png

So I loaded GTA V up last night… Fallout 4 is cool but GTA is pretty damn amazing. Downside is the framerate on a 980 GTX hits like 25 FPS at recommended settings via the VorpX config tool. I look forward to trying this on a faster graphics card.

Desktop mode is really nice, as I type this post on that now. Text is quite crisp. I also have my Supersampling at 1.5 on the presumption it applies to desktop mode as well.

Fallout 4 is more steady with a 1080 Ti, but for longer play and without drops or rendered flip frames, I would not advise trying to play longer that a concept demo of 10 minutes. YMMV of course but that is my observation compared to native VR content.

For any games you are trying to play in 3D / VR, all your other graphical options will remain the same, so you need to scale back all the candy quality features if you wish to try and land 45+ FPS steady. I have been sticking with native VR content, myself. Frame drop headaches are very real.

SMB levels and services

Especially over the last few months, the public face of SMBv1 and how it is quite vulnerable, has become a solid talking point.  If you have poked around on some Windows Servers and also some Nix file servers, you may have noticed these legacy-era protocols still running.  Even if you have a more recent Windows Server Deployment, they tend to have SMB 1 enabled by default.

Oh Lordy.  If you have done any nmap scans you may have also noticed there have been notifications about SMB1 for a loooong time.  Lucky for us, I would like to think by disabling SMB1, all your existing systems would work.  Please note the optimism, because that’s all it is if you do not confirm things still work, after having turned off SMBv1 or for that matter, any service.

Microsoft has a guide using powershell to manage these.  Before you go wild, do make sure to note that SMB 2 and 3 are related and enable relevant network features too.

If you still have XP devices connecting to servers (gods save you), you will lose communication when you turn off SMB v1.  Another fine reason to finally push and accomplish getting rid of those things.  I think cryptolockers scared non-security people enough this year, to give your pitch some viability.

Looking at the PowerShell syntax, Windows 8 and Server 2012 have some really clean powershell cmdlets.  On Windows 7, Server 2008, etc, you are essentially changing a registry key on the command line / by script.  If you are rolling an Active Directory domain, you can push the SMB 1 disable out over group policy.  Once again, pausing to make sure stuff works after you do this, and it would not hurt to test this in waves, as to not cause a huge problem in one fell swoop.

You can also have fun diving into some PCAPs to get a feel for SMB levels in use.  You can apply filters to weed out noise from your scan.  Keep good notes.  I don’t know about you, but when I tell people I’m doing security maintenance, some folks like to come up with some fantasy stories of things they say worked prior.  Typically stuff that never worked or something that way decommissioned months prior, not the week of your rollout.

Jolly August.  Fall is creeping up 🙂

Just bumping as a reminder that SMB 1 natively is enabled up to and including Server 2016 test builds.  Running the below may shock you in seeing that EnableSMB1Protocol is by default, set to True.

 Get-SmbServerConfiguration | Select EnableSMB1Protocol, EnableSMB2Protocol

On the Windows 2012 or greater machines, you don’t have to reboot after the change, unlike the older server and workstation machines.  To disable SMB1, do up the following, then re-run the check above to verify it’s off.

 Set-SmbServerConfiguration -EnableSMB1Protocol $false