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The D3DX DLL error

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  • Exported game EXEs in Construct require d3dx_30.dll to run - distributed in an updated version of DirectX 9 since about 2006. If you don't have it (ie. you have DirectX 8 or DirectX 9 pre-2006), I've written a messagebox to pop up saying:

    A required DirectX component, 'd3dx_30.dll', was not found. Please install
    the latest version of DirectX 9 in order to run this application.
    
    Click 'OK' to visit the Microsoft to install the latest updates for DirectX 9.
    
    Click 'Cancel' to terminate the application.[/code:2ydjt4xb]
    
    And as it says, if you click OK you're taken to a Microsoft page where you can download DirectX 9 - then the game works.  I've been poking around some forums to see how Construct apps are generally being received and people who get this error generally seem to say something like "It's broken!  Missing some DirectX DLL file or something."
    
    I get the feeling people are just seeing a messagebox that mentions a DLL file and assuming it's not going to work.  My theory with error messages is to try to provide enough information for the user to solve the problem themselves, and annoyingly people seem to skim the text and not try again.
    
    Has anyone found this problem?  What do you think is the best way to get people to realise they just have to update DirectX to run the game?  I feel like I need a little animation of a guy waving saying "Hey!  Pay attention!  You need to upgrade DirectX!" or something, but there's probably a less extreme solution, heh
  • In my experience fixing peoples' "computer problems," I've come across the same thing. I think, though it is correct, your explanation is too technically minded for most people to WANT to read.

    I agree you should provide enough information to let people solve it themselves, but perhaps your error messages could be humanized a little bit.

    "Your DirectX installation may be out of date. Please install the latest version of DirectX by clicking 'OK' in order to run this application. The required component, 'd3dx_30.dll' was not found."

    [OK] [Cancel]

  • if people are just skipping the text all together then they are lazy and the way to get the attention of lazy people is to not give them too much work to do, meaning, the message needs to be as simple as possible and rather than explaining what the error is, you need to tell them how to resolve it like, "UPDATE YOUR DIRECT X DRIVERS!!!" so basically what you said at the end of your post (a guy running across would be a nice touch =P), that should get the message across, nice and simple

  • Vinny, dumbing down an error message is the absolute worst possible thing you could ever do. What I suggest is better... Reorganizing the information and rewording it a little.

  • Mine would say something like:

    "Oops! This application was unable to locate 'd3dx_30.dll' on your PC. Please click OK to update your version of DirectX to solve the problem!"

    For some reason, adding a simple "Oops!" makes it seem less like an error and more like a goof which may get them to read it.

  • #1 rule of business. nobody reads.

  • Mostly true, but if the first few words are right, they will at least make it to the second line

  • I always read... I gues that makes me SMRT!

    Anyway, if they are too dumb to read a 2 line error message, they don't deserve to play the game anyway... stupid people are stupid. Having said that, I like the way the captain put it was best, all the technical jargon is at the end of the message.

  • SoldjahBoy, the idea is to make it so EVERYBODY can make the needed changes and run the applications. If programmers went around creating error messages essentially saying "you poor sap, you're too stupid to use my app," I don't think there would be any users at all. Besides, think about it. You had to learn somehow at some point too, right?

  • I like CaptainOblivious's message the best.

  • SoldjahBoy, the idea is to make it so EVERYBODY can make the needed changes and run the applications. If programmers went around creating error messages essentially saying "you poor sap, you're too stupid to use my app," I don't think there would be any users at all. Besides, think about it. You had to learn somehow at some point too, right?

    True... I just get frustrated at the endless idiots that come into my shop everyday... it's easy for me to just think "you are dumb... begone!"

    Having said that, when I was learning... I read the messages and took note of what they said. Ignorance and plain lazy/stupidity are two different things. I still think the way you worded the error message is best though as the "technical" information was put at the end so people who don't understand/care about that stuff don't get turned off of reading the helpful dialog box.

    Stupid people should still be dragged to the street and shot though IMO.

  • What about people who don't have english as their first language?

    Also just because you don't understand technology doesnt mean you're dumb. They might not know what directX is or a dll.

  • Maybe the best solution (although would require more space in the exe), would be to show a pop up which would download the executable from the microsoft site for the user. Thus simplifying the process.

  • If they dont understand english why would they install EN app?

    And if they dont know about DirectX

    Click 'OK' to visit the Microsoft to install the latest updates for DirectX 9.[/code:1165frgk]
    Assuming they know english they just click OK.
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  • Instead of having some error box which people immediatly assosciate with something being 'broken', how about an info box? With a picture or something and some nice buttons. It's more user friendly.

    Construct logo, a title, 3 buttons, like "Download now", "More Help" or "Cancel" or something

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