Stunt GP #2: Timeless issues

When the game pauses for half second every 30 minutes it's acceptable. But every 7.5 minutes is annoying, so I've fixed it.

When I started playing Stunt GP on Windows 10 I immediately noticed there is an annoying half second freeze every 7 minutes 9.5 seconds, making the game way more annoying than on older PCs, where the problem seemed non-existent. After one and a half years I finally found the reason for that and fixed it 🙂

The problem

The game uses QueryPerformanceFrequency() and QueryPer-
functions to measure time. This first function returns frequency with which the counter will update. This frequency is different on each PC, but I’ll talk more about that later. Performance counter itself is 64bit, on even fastest PCs it would take 24 THOUSANDS years for the performance counter to fill up and overflow, resetting to 0 (assuming 24 MHz frequency). The problem is the game uses only 32 bits of this counter, meaning the counter will overflow after just 3 minutes in worst case scenario.

On older PCs the frequency of this timer oscillated (pun intended) around 2-3 MHz, so the counter would overflow after 23 to 36 minutes. In Windows 10 Microsoft decided to set the frequency of this counter to 10MHz, independent of the hardware, so the counter would fill up after exactly 7 minutes and 9.5 seconds. Users may force Windows to use hardware timer, but instead of seeing 2-3MHz clock speeds on newer PCs with High Precision Event Timer (HPET) this timer may as well have speed of 14 or 24MHz, filling the counter in 5 or even 3 minutes!

Now, the game very badly handles this overflow, simply freezing. The only reason the game unfreezes after 0.5s is code that detects if the game freezes for a half second, but the overflow itself isn’t handled when it happens.

The solution

Using StuntKit solution I was able to create a new module that on the game start replaces function that counts the time with one that detects overflow and resets internal game timers, removing 0.5s freezes.

Last updated on Oct 03, 2021 21:44 UTC
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