Shiny Days is slated to ship in two days, and download codes have been available for three. I’m sure many of you are eagerly awaiting the discs arriving at your doorstep, but the three days that the download edition has been available for has informed us of something: Shiny Days is a hot mess.
The unfortunate truth is that despite all the delays, the game is shipping out to customers laden with show-stopping bugs. Many people are being frustrated by crashes, freezes, saving issues, and more. While we can wait for a patch from JAST, there’s no telling how long that process can take. Instead of waiting for that to happen, let’s figure out together as much as we can about the various bugs Shiny Days faces and their workarounds.
- Problem 1) “Saving my game isn’t working!” JAST actually caught this one right before the codes went out. The game saves data to the install folder. That’s a big no-no these days in game development because the Program Files folders are read-only in modern versions of windows for security reasons. While we can blame 0verflow for releasing a game in 2012 with that oversight, JAST also forgot to configure their own installer to avoid the issue. The solution? Install the game somewhere else that isn’t read-only (I have a “visual novels” folder I made on my C: drive just for VNs because of this) or if you do install it to Program Files, right click the game shortcut and click “Run as Administrator” every time you wish to run it.
- Problem 2) “The game is randomly crashing on me!” Well, there are multiple crash issues! By far the biggest one is the fullscreen crash. For many people (but not everyone), playing the game in fullscreen mode causes crashes at random points. If this is happening to you, simply switch to windowed mode. The exact cause of this problem is still unknown. A JAST forums user has noted that enabling the “Disable display scaling on high DPI settings” compatibility setting (right click the shortcut and click on “Properties” in order to see that) has solved the problem for him, but others haven’t had any success with that. [UPDATE: A possible workaround has been found by a JAST forums user. He found that his crashing ceased when he used alt+enter to go into fullscreen mode as opposed to selecting the option in the system menu. Accessing the save menu causes the crashes to reappear]
- Problem 3) “The game sometimes crashes when I skip or move back through scenes!” This problem existed in School Days as well. As far as I know, there is no known solution to those kinds of crashes, nor are they likely to ever be fixed. The only advice I can give is to save before skipping. The good news is that they’re not too frequent. The game engine seems to allow you to skip several times before it becomes unstable.
- Problem 4) “The game pops up unusual error messages and crashes when I choose a costume for Setsuna!” The errors look like this. There is no definitive solution to this problem that we have found. It seems to also exist in the Japanese version. [UPDATE: This bug seems like it may be related your computer’s system registry. Bou in the comments section below posted a helpful tip for fixing this:
Problem 4 was caused for me because I have the Overflow’s original version of shiny days installed as well. Both Overflow’s version and JAST’s use the same registry keys, but both games require a different value for the same key.
The registry key in question: HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareOverflowSHINYDAYSInstallScript
Overflow’s Shiny Days requires value 1.00
JAST’s Shiny Days requires value 1.0
Switching between the two values fixes the problem for me.
It appears that this issue is caused by a registry conflict when installing the Japanese copy of the game first. There could be other causes as well, but the issue is in the registry. You can modify that value, or I’m pretty sure you can delete it as well since my copy of the game didn’t install that key at all. In order to access your registry, launch the “regedit” program. In windows 7 and up, just open the start menu and type in regedit, in lower versions open up the run prompt first (winkey + R). Then browse to the key using the folder-like interface and modify it to 1.0. Alternatively, do a full uninstall of all of your copies of shiny days, wiping the registry clean, and reinstall the JAST version.]
- Problem 5) “My BGM stopped working!” One JAST forums user noticed that their BGM randomly stopped working for them, and deleting the “config.dat” file in the game’s directory before launching each time solved the issue for them.
- Problem 6) “I got the Manami ending and now the game is unplayable!” This is a severely crippling bug that should be avoided at all costs. If you get the Manami ending, then save afterwards, your global save file will become corrupted and you will be unable play any further until you delete your globalflag.dat file, which renders all of your saves inaccessible. So if you get that ending, DO NOT SAVE. If it’s too late for you and you’ve already run into this issue, the globalflag.dat file is in the save folder within the game’s install directory, delete it and you’ll be able to play again… from the beginning. [Update: Patched and fixed! Download the patch here. It will restore any broken saves in addition to fixing the core bug. (Note: It was removed from the JAST support page a few months later, this unofficial mirror is provided by Sanahtlig.)]
Here are some resources that might help you troubleshoot your problems:
- The Fuwanovel Thread. In addition to discussing the game, some technical issues are also being discussed there.
- The JAST forums thread. This thread has a much greater density of people trying to troubleshoot their issues.
- The JAST DevLog. JAST is likely to post workarounds to problems as well as patches here as they continue to sort things out.
This kind of launch is always sad to see. 0verflow’s games have always been criticized for being buggy, and in many ways there’s only so much JAST can do as simple translators. Their response to the problems have not been particularly impressive, however. Things were made even more hectic as their new order processing system had a hiccup, forcing them to manually process all orders by hand upon the game’s launch. Hopefully they manage to step up to the plate and make things right from here on out. While these issues continue to exist, however, I unfortunately have to recommend that people NOT buy Shiny Days.
If you have encountered any problems not listed here, or have discovered solutions to problems that we have not, then please do inform us in the comments or in the forums so we can keep this article as up-to-date as possible.
Update (9/28): Sanahtlig posted in the fuwanovel forums some information translated from the Japanese site’s support pages:
Problem: The installer hangs midway, or the game freezes while playing.
Solution 1: It’s possible security software is interfering with installation and execution of the game. While installing and playing the game, please disable your security software (McAfee, Norton, Trend Micro).
Solution 2: Updating graphics drivers, DirectX, and Windows (via Windows Update) sometimes helps.
I also have my own suggestion for those frustrated by having a small window in windowed mode: Try using Windows’ built in zoom function (Windows 7 and later). Hold the windows key on your keyboard and press the plus key on your keypad to zoom in the screen. Hold the windows key and press minus to zoom back out. You can customize the zoom to your liking via the tool that pops up. Windows does no smoothing when doing this so it’s not an optimal solution, but it may be better than having to squint at a tiny window for hours on end.
Update (9/29): Added a possible workaround for the fullscreen crash. Try entering into fullscreen mode by pressing alt+enter instead of using the options menu. This has worked for some users, more testing will be needed to ascertain whether it’s a universal fix. Tim from JAST has also said that users have experienced better results when using Windows XP compatibility mode, although he was unclear for which issues.
Update (10/03): Still no patch, but progress is being made. JAST has posted their own helpful guide on the blog linked above. Also, Bou in our comments below posted a possible fix involving modifying registry values for all of those suffering from Problem 4, the Setsuna costume error. I also added a link to a 100% globalflag.dat file so people can resume where they left off if they were hit with the Namami ending bug. With these new fixes and workarounds, it seems that most major issues preventing people from playing the game are now either resolved or worked around. Thank you to everyone who contributed. Now we wait for JAST to apply some proper fixes.
Update (10/06): And this post gets progressively longer and longer! The first patch is out, this one fixing the Manami save bug! Grab it here. (Note: It was removed from the JAST support page a few months later, this unofficial mirror is provided by Sanahtlig.)