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Crash to Desktop

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RTW and M2TW on the Modding Portal

You will commonly see the abbreviation CTD used in the modding forums (and elsewhere) it means Crash to Desktop.

The Total War games load files in a pre-set order, so for loading crashes exactly when the CTD occurs can give a clue to what is wrong with your game.

Some CTD's give an error message if you are using the -show_err system in RTW/BI.

Some error would give its cause of ctd by center the map at the cause of problem while freezing if player choosing follow ai movement option.

For some common causes of errors in RTW/BI see the modder's guide to errors at TWC and the modder's guide to CTD's at the .Org

Rome: Total War Possible Causes of Error

Possible Causes of Error in Rome: Total War (may also valid with Medieval II: Total War)

My hope is to generate a long list of exactly what can cause errors throughout all of RTW. I would love to be able to compile and update this list. I hope we continue to have participation, even if only adding a few here and there.

Report cause of errors:


EDB = /data/export_descr_buildings.txt

EDU = /data/export_descr_unit.txt

DMB = /data/descr_model_battle.txt

At Splash screen:

Game stop without message:

- Missing building description which exist in export_descr_buildings.txt but not in export_buildings.txt

CTD with generic message:

- Building has ownership in export_descr_buildings.txt but does not have UI assigned to it either in UI folder or descr_ui_buildings.txt

- Mismatch between descr_names.txt and names.txt

Loading Screen Slowdowns:

- campaign_descriptions.txt must have less than 1000 characters per line and less than 20 lines per faction, or file load time is increased by 85%

At Faction selection screen:

Crash with generic message:

- Lack of campaign descriptions.

At Campaign Map Loading:

See also: Campaign Map Not Loading: RTW

Kick to Main Menu:

- Typographical error in descr_strat.txt

- Overwriting rather than deleting and then copying an update of map tga files

- Resource not defined in EDB

KTM's with message on exit: 'Script error in .../descr_strat.txt, at line xxx, column x. Expected faction - must add at least two factions to the world'

- Most varieties of typing error above the level of the second faction in descr_strat.txt - the game stops reading the descr_strat file when it meets an error so doesn't get as far as reading second faction. If error message gives line number look it up using 'edit' 'go to' function in Notepad.

- Having the win_conditions section from a v 1.2 descr_strat file at the top of a descr_strat.txt file you are trying to run under v 1.5 also gives this error.

KTM's with message on exit: 'Script error in .../descr_strat.txt, at line xxx, column x. could not create settlement at script line xxx'

- Mis-match between colour on map_regions.tga and colour listed in descr_regions.txt for affected settlement.

- Using identical colour for two different regions.

KTM's without message (CTD when you try to have a message error):

- Typo or other problem in building capabilities in EDB

KTM's with message on exit: 'Script error in .../descr_strat.txt, at line xxx, column x. You have chosen an invalid tile(0,0)for the settlement of':

If line xxx is the bottom of the descr_strat file and the settlement name is not specified:

- Pixels on map_regions.tga of a colour that do not belong to any region colour specified in descr_regions.txt - watch out for merged colours when editing map_regions.tga as that is usual cause.

If settlement is named and line xxx is it's listing in descr_strat.txt:

- Settlement is actually placed on invalid terrain. This may include being over river location, over impassable forest, or mountain ground types, or being over area marked as sea in map_heights.tga. The last includes areas of 'land' which are true black RGB 0,0,0 as the game takes them as sea unless a map_heights.hgt is created.

- Settlement's black pixel isn't RGB 0,0,0.

KTM's with message on exit: 'Script error in .../descr_strat.txt, at line xxx, column x. You are trying to place zzzz in this region(yyyy), but it already has a settlement(zzzz):

- Using an almost black pixel for the effected cities location on the map_regions.tga - the pixel must be RGB 0,0,0

KTM's with message on exit: 'Script error in .../descr_strat.txt, at line xxx, column x. region zzz(x:y) does not match up to region name(zzz):

- Using a preplaced watchtower or fort and placing it in the wrong region.

CTD's with generic message when arrow is clicked to start campaign - no map.rwm generated:

- 'Landmass Crash' - actually caused by having too large an individual sea area (more than 50% of map area)(apply to RTW/BI/ALX only).

- Too large an area of impassable terrain - actually same bug as above (if area doesn't work as sea it won't work as mountain or dense forest either)(apply to RTW/BI/ALX only).

- Rivers incorrectly drawn in map_features.tga. Possibly also river without ford completely dividing a region.

- Rivers flow in loop

- Incorrect height or width listed in descr_terrain.txt - dimensions must match map_regions.tga

- Attempting to have more that 200 total 'regions'. Note that regions include different colours used for individual seas, so you can have 199 land regions and 1 sea, or 198 land regions and 2 different coloured seas in map_regions.tga etc...

- 'map_regions error' - missing black pixel in a region area. Also, incorrect drawing of pixel (more than 1x1 pixel square).

Game Freezes after arrow is clicked to start campaign - new map.rwm is generated but loading bar is not reached:

- Problems with large areas of impassable ground type in conjunction with lack of land area on a large complex map (map.rwm size approx 13MB)

- One or more pixels in map_features.tga has a wrong RGB value (map.rwm size considerably smaller than expected)

CTD's with generic message shortly after arrow is clicked to start campaign - new map.rwm is generated:

- Width or height of map exceeds maximum. (Maximum = 510pixels map_regions, 1021pixels map_heights size.

- Misspelt character name in descr_strat.txt, or use of name which doesn't belong to faction you have assigned it to - check in data/descr_names.txt for faction specific names.

- An elephant or chariot unit which is included in the descr_strat.txt file has an 'officer' assigned to it in export_descr_unit.txt. Those types of units cannot have an officer and unlike other unit related bugs this one causes CTD on trying to load campaign - (thanks to Dol Guldur for reporting).

- One or more pixels in map_regions.tga have a wrong RGB value.

- Attempting to place more than one wonder in the same region.

- Try to give more than 24000 population to a city (perhaps RTW run done but perhaps no).

- The wife of a character must be less old, it could be cause CTD or KTM without show_err message.

CTD's with generic message about 3/4's way through campaign loading bar:

- Having a radar_map1.tga which is too large, the radar_maps should be in same proportions as map_regions.tga to avoid a stretched effect, but making them same size as the map_regions.tga for a larger map causes crash.

CTD's with no message at the end of the campaign loading bar:

- Using a rebel type in descr_regions.txt that does not have proper entries in data/descr_rebel_factions.txt and data/text/rebel_faction_descr.txt

- When you have an faction in descr_strat.txt associated to playable / nonplayable but not used in this section of the descr_strat.txt "start of factions section"

CTD with generic message:

- A named character has an invalid name in descr_strat.

- Have faction romano_british in descr_strat.txt but descr_regions.txt does not contain region name Britannia_Superior (BI only)

- Script file reference at descr_strat.txt not exist

- Script file load at the start of campaign trigger before all content in campaign map is properly generated (mostly add_money command problem), this could be avoid by add wait time command in script to make sure all crucial content in campaign has already loaded before command is executed.

- The game is loaded but the screen is centered onto a buggy region (see the campaign map scrolling CTDs).

In Campaign Mode:

During play/AI turn:

CTD with generic message:

- A family member being generated without a general_unit for the faction.

- A new character is generated and not given a valid name.

- Some building bonuses in the same building level as certain unit recruitment strings (this will happen both during AI turn and when the building is right-clicked).

- Units able to be recruited in EDB but no faction "ownership" for a faction in EDU. (except unit exist for slave faction)

- Units added to descr_rebel_factions.txt but no slave faction ownership in EDU.

- Units added to descr_mercenaries.txt but no mercenary_unit in EDU.

- Bad defined type of unit for army spawned via script file

- Mismatch between export_desc_character_traits.txt and export_VnVs.txt entries causes CTD when viewing the portrait of a named character with epithet or open character panel.

- Trait/Retinue/Advice problem would create crash with generic message at moment traits/retinue/advice triggered at event they assigned to.

--> anti-trait with wrong names reference or more than 20
--> wrong text localization location
--> wrong defined attribute
--> trigger trait that no exist

- Have more than 32 active bonus or active recruitment option at the same time in single building in a settlement would cause CTD

- Settlement Revolt CTD here. In short, active recruit unit line for specific faction (loyalist rovolt) or slave (peasant revolt) coincide with available mercenary in the pool to pull to rebel side, garrison has 0 or more than 2 units

- Port Upgrade CTD. Caused when a port is upgraded and a ship is being built at the same time where that ship has an XP upgrade. This happened at the end of turn when unit and building queue resolved.

- Cloned-Character CTD. Occurs later on in a campaign when a named character in DS was unassigned to the faction's family (i.e. they should all show up in your family scroll in-campaign). However, could be workarounded by using the sub_faction element.

- If skeleton missing animation for crucial action of character or agent, ctd would happened right before action is trigger.

- If designated senate faction of superfaction is destroyed and that faction has loyalty setting couple with its role as senate, ctd would occur at the start of that faction's turn due to its turn queue does not removed properly. If this senate faction is destroyed in player's turn, this ctd could be skipped by saved after faction is destroyed and then reloaded for engine to rearrange turn queue. But maybe gamebreaking if faction is destroyedd in AI's turns before reached its turn (this could be avoid by make sure that designate senate start their turn before the others by put this faction on as first faction in settlements and character-defining part of descr_strat.txt) This would happen only in the first time it is dead as if faction reemerged for what ever reason, this faction would nolonger have senate status anymore.

- If horde faction also coupling with senate status, ctd when click horde icon.

CTD generic message in the middle of character/agent movement during player/ai turn frame freezing at character/agent in the middle of screen:

- Character/Agents which move pass through cause other characters or agents (especially something hidden like spy or assassin) to sidestep but no free coordinate exist within their movement range or free coordinate is sea tile (other impassible tile may causing this too but much less likely) this could be prevented by put river/river source feature on it.

CTD generic message immediately after pressing end turn button for first time:

- Having a faction included in descr_strat.txt which has 'shadowed' line in descr_sm_factions.txt and not also including the corresponding shadowing faction. (There is some exception to the rule)

- Setting too high a starting number of movement points (eg 300) in descr_character.txt (the same could also happen in later phase of gameplay if movement point get buffed by traits and retinues gone above threshold as well)

- Having a faction as faction-creator in descr_regions.txt and not having it in descr_strat.txt. (if it lets you get that far - this can give a KTM with message instead)

- Bad character name file. To check for this, try saving before End Turn. If it crashes then it is the bad name file as it creates an error during creation of a saved game and End Turn is (on default) auto-saved.

- Too many units assigned to a rebel faction in descr_rebel_factions.txt. Will CTD when rebel faction is created on map, though this does not always happen in first turn. Shows show_err message during normal shutdown if CTD isn't reached.

CTD in ai turn with generic message freeze with settlement at the center of the screen:

- Settlement Revolt CTD (see above)

- Agents has been expelled from settlement but no free coordinate exist within their movement range or free coordinate is sea tile (see sidestep ctd above)

CTD with generic message at the start of turn

- error trigger trait or retinue with mismatch with its localization or or other error while character creation (adoption/coming of age).

Scrolling over campaign map:

CTD with generic message:

- Not enough province/settlements on a too large map (fix : add provinces on the map/may be fixed with BI) causes CTD while scrolling the map.

- Error with the rebel faction/settlement owner and or creator (when you scroll over a given settlement)

- Some hidden resources can cause CTDs when you scroll over the region.

- Building in settlement has wrong faction_creator which does not contain description or usable UI for that faction/culture can cause CTDs when you scroll over the region.

- Building in settlement trigger religious conversion bonus with building as part of trigger condition can cause CTDs when you scroll over the region.

- Have recruitment option with building as requirement and bonus line in the same building

- Building in settlement trigger recruitment with buildings as condition but not hide display line in building browser (either by using condition with "not" or by using big UI push off-screen) can cause CTDs when you scroll over the region.

CTD when trying to view a settlement on the battle map without a message: - Having more than 26 lines of buildings in a 'group' in descr_settlement_plan.

Custom Battle Menu Selection:

CTD with generic message:

- If you forgot to put in the second (or first) skeleton to units with secondary attacks in EDU.txt, the game CTDs the moment your mouse arrow reaches that unit in the menu.

- Does not have folder /world/maps/campaign/battlefields and its contents would cause ctd if run with .exe from Rome: Total War - Alexander

At Battle Loading:

CTD with generic message:

- A unit with the attribute mercenary_unit in EDU that has no texture line for "merc" in the soldier, officer, and other related models found in DMB.

- A non-mercenary_unit in EDU that has no texture line in DMB for any faction given ownership of the unit in EDU, for the soldier, officer, and other related models.

- A sprite defined in DMB with no distance value.

CTD with specified message:

- Distance of level of detail model in DMB is lower or equal to previous level of detail.

- error: "Generic error: insufficient memory to load requested texture set" indicated texture to be non-standard dimension (dimension must always be 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024,....) or wrong dds format

In Battle Mode:

CTD with generic message:

- Bad defined formations for Human Player (i.e. mainly changing names of formations in "descr_formations.txt" file)

- If skeleton missing animation for crucial action of units, ctd would happened right before action is trigger.

BI specific:

- A reference to spawn event in descr_sm_factions and have modded the game to include those factions at the start date will CTD on AI's turn.

Medieval II: Total War Possible Causes of Error

In addition to many of the causes listed above Medieval II has some specific issues, e.g. around mod-folder handling.

At Campaign Map Loading:

CTD's with no message at the end of the campaign loading bar:

- Having strat .cas (e.g. resource) in mod-folder without all the textures named in the .cas also being correctly located in the mod-folder, even if they are present in the main data folder.

Page still incomplete, please add any more error reports found.

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