Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Windows 10 VN Compatibility Community Project

A community project to document visual novel compatibility with Windows 10 in one place in a unified, easily-searchable format.



The problem


With Windows 10 now available, and Microsoft pushing for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users to upgrade within 1 year, visual novel players are anxious to know if moving to Windows 10 will cause their VNs to stop working.  I've seen scattered and disorganized efforts to document VN compatibility issues on a case-by-case basis, but no one wants to scour the Internet to figure out what VNs work and what VNs don't.  What we need is a single resource that VN fans can glance at and decide if upgrading will create too many problems, as well as figure out how to troubleshoot issues once they've upgraded.  In addition, a single resource would help English publishers to identify and fix compatibility issues.

My solution


I decided to organize a crowdsourced project that would document VN compatibility with Windows 10 all in one place with a unified format.  The initial plan is to use a single Google spreadsheet that anyone can edit.  I've put thought into the formatting so you don't have to: just fill in the sheet using the guidelines and follow the model entries I've provided.  As the goal is to document positive as well as negative data, fully compatible VNs will also be listed.  There's 61 titles in the list as I write this, so it's already a useful resource that will continue to grow as more people contribute.

If a better resource emerges, I'll consider revising this post and linking to that resource instead.  Happy testing!

Troubleshooting tips


Based on data collected to date, here's some tips to try if a game doesn't work.  Most common / easier solutions are listed first.
  1. Update your graphics card drivers (NVIDIA, AMD).
  2. Try installing and running the game in compatibility mode (either WinXP or Win7, depending on which OS the game was designed for).
  3. Install and run the game as an administrator.
  4. Give up on the noDVD fix you've been using and run the game from the disk (you have the original disk, right?).
Additional tips for Japanese or fan-translated titles:
  1. Install Japanese supplemental fonts.  Binaryfail wrote a guide on how to do this.
  2. Update your game.  Check the developer's site and update the game to latest version.  Also check if they released a separate Windows 8 or Windows 10 compatibility patch.  Be warned that patches could break fan translations.
  3. Try running the game with Locale Emulator.
  4. Set your region format (date/time) to Japanese (Japan).
  5. If game text still doesn't display correctly in a fan-translated title, try identifying the font the fan translation uses and make sure it's installed.
If all else fails, a virtual machine with either Windows 7 or Windows XP installed will generally solve all OS compatibility issues.  I recommend VMWare Workstation (commercial) or Virtual Box (free).

Using the spreadsheet

  1. The first tab is for contributors.  Some rows and columns are protected to preserve data integrity.  Sorting is disabled.  This tab will contain the most updated version of the compatiblity list.
  2. The second tab is for viewers.  Sorting is enabled.  Changes to this tab will be periodically overwritten.

Guidelines for contributors

  1. Existing data is usually protected and cannot be changed.  Use the comment feature to suggest edits to protected cells, or fill in the unprotected duplicate fields on the right side of the spreadsheet.  I had to do this because one incompetent editor shifted a column upwards and corrupted the entire table, forcing me to revert to a previous revision to ensure data integrity.
  2. List compatible as well as incompatible VNs.
  3. The release field is important.  Some releases of a VN may be compatible with Windows 10, while others won't be.  Don't forget to fill it in!  Also, a VNDB release is not the same as the VNDB main page for a given title!
  4. If there's an incompatibility, provide a source URL where the issue was described, or describe the issue in sufficient detail that it could be reproduced--especially if this was a JAST USA, Mangagamer, or Sekai Project release.  They can't fix the problem unless it's properly documented!
  5. No links to pirated content or sites which focus on linking to pirated content.

Interactive Text Hooker Windows 10 fix (by binaryfail)


Interactive text hooker (ITH) is a popular tool that extracts the text from visual novels as you play, usually for the sake of real-time lookup of Japanese words and machine translation.  Old versions of ITH are not compatible with Windows 10, but binaryfail from Fuwanovel has provided a fixed executable (mirror) that works with Windows 10.  Alternatively, use Visual Novel Reader (VNR) or ITHVNR, which also work with Windows 10.

Note that text hookers should be run with administrative rights to function correctly with User Account Control enabled.  Otherwise, the game process may not appear in the list of processes to hook.

To my valued readers


If you liked this article, check out some of the adult visual novels on J-List, browse my other articles in the Popular Posts section, and feel free to follow me on Twitter.

[Feature image courtesy of LewdGamer's ZeniththeOne]

28 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. After upgrading to windows 10, the text stopped showing properly in F/SN. I wonder if I'm the only one experiencing this problem?

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    2. Probably need to install Japanese supplemental fonts, switch locale to Japanese, or use Locale Emulator.

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    3. Thanks for the quick reply! Using locale emulator didn't work, maybe because the problem is of a different kind. Well, the problem is quite minor, only what goes under "the line" is cut off. Here is how it looks like: http://postimg.org/image/3zrgqox3t/

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    4. It's probably a font issue. Figure out what font the translators used and make sure it's installed on your PC. Also, reinstall the game and patch fresh on Windows 10 if you haven't already.

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    5. Ahh thank you. Installing the font solved the problem, although I don't get why the font suddenly disappeared after moving to windows 10. Anyway, thanks a lot!

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    6. Which font did you need to install?

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    7. Font called monakrkr

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    8. haha thank you guys, I've been experiencing the same problem, that helped a lot!

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    9. Spent over 4 hours on Mahoutsukai-no-Yoru an Windows 10. You need to apply WOHN.EXE from TYPE MOON support site, without this game setup do not start to copy files. Next KERNEL error fix and also eng patch into save/patch directory. WOHN.EXE took me 3h30m to find out .... So yes WIN10 compatible hehe

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  2. Some of the protected cells are wrong. Duel Savior has the infamous DirectDraw error since Win8 and it has this same issue in Win10. Cross Channel doesn't need to be run in compatibility mode at all.

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    Replies
    1. I updated those cells. Thanks for the input.

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  3. I have a problem with School Days HQ - It runs fine, but I cannot get it to fullscreen. I ran a win7-10 update and before it ran fullscreen on win7. Am I the only one with this issue? Does anyone have a possible fix?

    Thanks in advance for help!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do any other VNs run in fullscreen for you?

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  4. ntleas is a program that runs a game in japanese locale but also in japanese timezone and the codepage (whatever that is, i assume it's useful?). It also makes a shortcut on your desktop with the saved settings, you should check it out. https://ntlea.codeplex.com/

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    Replies
    1. Locale Emulator seems to perform the same basic function. Are there any specific differences between the two I should be aware of? I know sometimes one or the other won't work with specific games.

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    2. Ah didn't see you had a program already up there for that, honestly i have no idea if they operate the same.

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  5. Installing Windows 10 drivers for whatever graphics cards you may have installed can eliminate a lot of possible issues for some games. Muv Luv Alternative ran very poorly until I updated my Nvidia drivers, now it runs fine.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, will note this in the blog post.

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  6. Ease way - not install Windows 10 :)
    And wayt for Windows11 release - without spying modules and adaware's :)

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    Replies
    1. Windows 11 will likely have the same compatibility issues.

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    2. I only have harukoi otome on pc and I can't get it to run in fullscreen,it's always a windowed view even when set to fullscreen, any thoughts?

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    3. I know the Raidy 3 requires you to launch the game from a different executable to play in fullscreen mode. Have you asked on the MangaGamer forums? You're more likely to get a useful response there. Supporting their games is MG's job after all.

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  7. binaryfail from Fuwanovel fix have this error "IHF.dll is missing" any suggestions?

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    Replies
    1. You need to install (update) ITH and then copy binaryfail's fix.

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    2. can you help me with that? I don't see an execute and I'm not very good with pc stuff. could you tell me in simple language? I tried reading others and I got lost in some instructions. thanks

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    3. what is the update? is it version 3 or the stable version?

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