All the latest information on the newest glitches and crashes making your game a little more entertaining, along with articles about how to do various semi-game related things to help you or your neighbours.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Playing Frontierville on a Lower-Spec PC

When Frontierville was born it was a little thing, pretty much trouble free and, although it needed a lot of attention and feeding, it could be carried around by anyone.

But, like any child, it's grown up in the last year or so and got a bit chunky (it's been spoilt...)

Although many online games can be played on any machine Frontierville is an intensive game and PC performance means GAMING performance will vary wildly.

Therefore, we've decided to write a little guide on what you can do to help with loading errors and other performance based issues that may stem from PC performance on lower spec machines.

1) Shiny Bling...

Use Google Chrome. It's more streamlined in general and more set up with Flash, it's worth the change, especially if you're still, for some inexplicable reason, in IE.

2) Cache me if you can.

Always clear your browser cache and Flash caches regularly. We have guides here;

How To Clear Your Browser Cache
How To Clear Your Flash Cache

That clears out old information and opens up space for the new stuff.

3) Go minimalist.

Every time the game loads it has to individually load everything on your homestead. Each asset takes a few steps to appear...

Identify asset - register asset placement - load asset image. Or in more simple terms...

Recognise it's a chicken. Find out where it's supposed to be. Draw chicken.

The more assets you have, the longer this process takes. Help the game out by minimalist your homestead as much as you can. Store away the more useless decorations, especially ones that are animated. Sell or store animals and make sure you don't have a field of them, especially small ones like chickens. Even massive areas of crops can slow the game down as it needs to register growth state, ditto fruit trees.

If you're really pushing it, try deleting something like the Detectives Office (PLEASE NOTE: we cannot be certain it wont be needed again) as that will clear an animated building asset AND an NPC (Non Player Character) which both take time to load.

Think of your game screen as an artist's painting. The more detail and the more content the painting has, the longer the artist needs to paint it. (The only exception here is nudes, which may have less tiny detail than a landscape but still need an inordinately large time of having your model lying there in the buff... Go figure.)

Think about ways to unload the pack mule...

4) The one and only.

Just have Frontierville running, no other windows, especially other windows with memory hungry Flash like YouTube.

Not only does that make the game as quick to load as possible but it also lessens the chances of a Flash conflict.

5) Reuse and recycle.

Clear out your Recycle bin and make sure to have some hard drive space free. Your computer uses the hard drive as overflow space when it needs to, like a few extra bits of RAM. Make sure your main hard drive isn't almost full.


Check what's running in the background. On a PC use Ctrl-Alt-Delete and open the Task Manager.

If you're good with PCs, check the running processes and stop any you don't need. If you're NOT good with PCs, maybe grab someone who has good knowledge of the inner workings of PCs (these days any small child should do) and get them to have a look.

Again, it's just about lessening the amount of strain on the PC.

Really it's just all about making sure the PC isn't being overworked, sometimes just a few simple steps may make your game run smoother and load quicker.