Joseph’s Story CD Support
Which version do you have?
Version 2.0 has had three significant updates over the past several years: 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 and 2.3B. Each release added content, improved navigation and gameplay, and fixed bugs. Check your CD’s label, but to be sure of your version, look in the installed Joseph folder for the version.txt file. If you have version 2.2 or earlier, you should purchase version 2.3B as a download (it’s inexpensive).
The latest full version of the game (v2.3B) is only available by purchasing the game via download.
Solutions, Adjustments, and Game Play Helps
You may never encounter any of these problems. Some of them have to do with earlier versions or older computers. Some of the following problems have been fixed in version 2.2 and 2.3, or have easy solutions. This page also has a few TIPS for better performance and gameplay solutions which might look like program errors but are really PLAYER errors. Read the guide for all the tips. Without a doubt, MOST “problems” that people report are due to their misunderstanding about how to play or navigate in the game. Read the GUIDE for all the game tips, hints and cheats!
Problem: You see a black screen upon starting the game.
Download this free update to your existing version 2.3 of Joseph. This will update you to version 2.3B. The “B” part is a set of 9 video files from the game that have been reprocessed. In 2019, Windows updated its video “codecs” (specs) which turned our game’s videos “black” and left a black box in the middle of the game screen at startup. We have recompiled those videos to the updated codec and they can be downloaded HERE. Just download and copy the files into your installed Joseph folder, overwriting the existing video files. If your version of Windows hasn’t been updated, then version 2.3 should work just fine with the updated videos, however, we recommend downloading the updated videos anyway.
Problem: The game graphics and videos appear fuzzy on your larger/newer monitor.
There are two things you need to do to have sharper graphics and videos.
(1) When you see the following Joseph startup panel, select the 1024 x 768 screen resolution option.
(2) Reset your Windows DISPLAY setting to that same resolution. This will dramatically improve the appearance of the game and its videos.
(1) Select 1024×768 screen resolution on the Joe startup panel (See example above).
(2) Reset your Windows Display resolution (see graphic below). You are probably viewing the game on a wide-aspect laptop or monitor whose resolution is set high. Whereas Joseph was designed for the typical “older” computer with lower screen resolutions that most Sunday Schools have at their disposal. The game engine will stretch the graphics to fill whatever screen resolution you have (which causes the fuzziness) so you should change your Windows Display setting to 1024 x 768 or as close as you can get it to that. Don’t worry, you can always change it back. To do find your Display Setting options, RIGHT CLICK any empty space on your Desktop screen and select DISPLAY.
Problem: I get a black screen when I start the game.
Solution: The opening video is not opening. As some point in 2019, Windows updated its video codecs (code) which wacked the 9 videos in the game. We have since recompiled our videos and you can download them here and then copy them into your installed Joseph folder.
With some computer hardware, you can also tell your graphic controller to “Maintain Aspect Ratio.”
TIP: Grandpa Dabs is a teacher, as well as, the most important guide through the program. He talks about the story at various points during the game, and gives Robin (the players) instructions about what to do next. Listen to Grandpa!
The rest of these “problems” happened with earlier versions of Joseph and older computers.
Problem: Can’t hear some sounds, sounds too low, etc.
During installation, you should have permitted the OGGinstaller to install the Ogg Vorbis sound codec. If you didn’t know what it was and didn’t permit it, some sounds can’t be heard. Explore the files on the Joseph CD and look for the OGGinstaller.exe program. If your sound is too low, open the sound option screen in the Joseph menu and make sure your sound is turned up. Equally, make sure your master sound volume is up. If you have a laptop, they have notoriously soft speakers. Per our longstanding advice: plug amplified computer speakers into your laptop.
Problem: I get a “resource stream” error when trying to start Joseph game (does not affect 2.1/2/3)
Close the Joseph start-up panel, and RESTART the game again from the Desktop Icon. We don’t know why it does this sometimes. In version 2.0 it can happen if your start aborts and a small window is left open. Check your Windows taskbar and close any Joe related window. Corrected in subsequent updates.
Problem: The video that is supposed to play on the tent computer seems to start then stop. (v2.1/2 only)
Download the free version 2.3B videos and copy them to your Joseph folder.
Problem: Error Msg: “Acknex has to close” Game shuts down.
Acknex is the company name for the A6 game engine. It can close for a lot of reasons, some of which I’ve listed below. TRY THIS: Click the Joseph start-up icon and select Properties, then Compatibility. In Windows 7, select “run as XP” or in XP “run as Windows Me/98”. You should also RIGHT CLICK the Desktop icon for Joseph and select “Run as Administrator” and see if that helps the program/video driver settle down. These are compatibility tweaks built into your operating system which will tell your system to load some compatibility helps and settle down when you try to start this program.
The first reason it might bomb out is that your computer isn’t fast enough to handle the program.
The second reason is likely a poor performing videocard/chip and/or video driver. Even on a newer computer, videodrivers can be problematic. On a rebuilt or reformatted used computer, the incorrect driver might have been installed.
The third reason is that some computers and systems just need tweaked so they settle down when the game is trying to start.
IF you have an older computer (pre 2007) do this: Click your Windows START button, then type dxidag in the Run field. Or, if you have Vista or Windows7, click the START button and type dxdiag in the Search field, then double click dxdiag.exe file name. This will start DirectX Diagnostics. Click the Save Information button, save it to your desktop, and email us that text file. If your church computer doesn’t have internet access, copy that file to a disc or usb flash drive and take it to a computer that does have email. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org as an attachment. We can’t diagnose your “has to close” problem without looking at all the info in that file.
To self-service this error message, do the following: Run dxdiag and click the “Display” tab. Then write down your videodriver’s file name and date of issue. Go to your computer manufacturer’s website to see if they have released a videodriver update (they probably have) that fixes incompatibilities.
If you have XP, you can adjust the graphic performance of your computer to play nice with a program like Joseph. In some cases, this cures the problem with Acknex. Go into your Control Panel and click DISPLAY, ADVANCED, TROUBLESHOOTING, and slide the slider back a notch from “full.” This slows down the ‘hand off’ process with the processor and videochip to avoid problems in XP. If you have Vista, you have to go into your Graphic Properties and see if your chip’s software allows you to make adjustments. Some do, many don’t.
Problem: I have XP PRO and I get an error message saying: “3D Game Studio / A6 Engine: Joseph.exe The instruction at blah blah blah…. The memory could not be written.”
This is due to an arcane setting in XP PRO you need to change. You need to add joseph.exe to the list of “exceptions” in Windows Data Execution Prevention (DEP). To get to the settings for DEP: Go to your System Properties in the Control Panel. Select the Advanced tab. Select Performance Settings/ Select Data Execution Prevention tab. Select “Turn on DEP…” Click the Add button to “browse” to the Joseph folder and select joseph.exe to the exception list. Weird huh?
Problem: I have an OLDER Dell Optiplex computer and joe won’t run on it.
The older Optiplex videochips are garbage. Go buy an inexpensive low profile videocard …one that fits in the Optiplex low profile case.
Problem: Opening seems to hang after I click “Play Game”
It can take a minute to load the first game level and video, especially on a slow machine. But if it goes longer than a minute, grab the A6 dialog box with your mouse and drag it off the side. Look at the white box underneath. A6 is testing your computer and may be giving your an error message which was hidden by the Play Game dialog box. Record it and report it exactly to us. See “Game Shuts Down” error discussion above.
Problem: I get the message “Direct3D error: driver failure.” (This message is coming from the game engine’s test of your videochip/driver. Your videocard or driver is out of date.)
If your videochip is an S3 or Via, or “ProSavage DDR” and your computer is older than 5 years old… install a newer videocard.
Problem: Robin seems to be walking very slow -or her movement is herky jerky, …and other similar “slow play” or “slow loading” anomalies.
Explanation: In certain areas of the underground ruins, gameplay can slow down on some computers because of the complexity of the level which the game engine is attempting to “render” for your viewing pleasure. This rendering frame rate is dramatically affected by the quality of your videocard/chip, processing power, amount of available ram, and amount of videoram. Some areas of the game are more susceptible to herky-jerky frame rate issues than others.
Solution A: Press your “page down” key or aim your mouse down a bit. This will improve the herky jerky framerate problem. Why? Because the game doesn’t have to render in real time objects in the distance because Robins’ gaze is a bit down.
Solution B: At start up, select the 800×600 and 16 bit color option. This will adjust the game in a nearly imperceptible way, but will significantly improve the game’s 3d rendering process.
Solution C: How much RAM do you have there! 512 is a bare minimum. Add more RAM to your computer, and more videoram. 3d games hammer the processing power of every computer. If your computer was made before 2005, it could need such an upgrade. Also… obviously not all computers are created equal. Some were business-budget machines which you’re now attempting to play a 3d game on. Even though your computer may ‘technically’ meet our recommended minimum, there are simply too many variables between computers to guarantee that Joseph will run well on your computer, even though it might run just fine on a similar computer. For example, not all videochips with 16mb of ram are equally as good or as fast.
Problem: “Not enough Virtual Memory” “Low Virtual Memory“
This is your computer telling you that it doesn’t have enough RAM to properly run the game, so it’s trying to simulate “virtual memory” on your harddrive, which all modern computers do. Your older computer doesn’t have enough space on the harddrive allotted for enough virtual memory. If your computer isn’t THAT old, then a RAM upgrade could easily cure this situation. But if it’s that old, ram may not be the only thing it needs.
Problem: WHY am I getting Pharaoh’s second question wrong? I am choosing the second answer and keep getting sent to jail.
The second answer is only partially correct. Joseph did not “buy grains from all the nations” …he ‘sold’ grain to all the nations. The third answer is completely correct.
Problem: After answering Pharaoh’s questions, I seem stuck, can’t move. and…Pharaoh continues to talk but I don’t hear any sound.
This was reported by three people all of whom had Dell computers with the Intel GMA 3100 graphic chip and the Realtek HD audio chip. We’ve solved this by re-rendering the sound file that was hanging up and putting the revised sound files in our version 2.3 update available above via download.
Problem: Opening screen says “loading 100 %” but game takes another 30 seconds or more to start.
Load times are relative to your computer’s speed. And the “loading” being referred on THAT screen is the loading of the systems test which the game engine runs to determine your computer’s capabilities and then make adjustments. If you minimize the opening screen, or drag it away with your mouse, you’ll see the white box of the test running underneath on your system. When it’s done, the game will start. If that test-box has error info in it, write it down and send it us.
Problem: After zapping the spiders, I don’t seem to be able to enter or activate the Hall of Dreams.
You probably missed a spider. Go back. TIP: Don’t stand too close to the spiders when trying to zap them.
Problem: I walk up to Dabney but he doesn’t do anything.
I’m in the Dream Hall and Dabney is just standing there.
The game works by triggering a series of events. Dabney moves to certain locations and when you walk up to him, sometimes he has something to say. If he has nothing to say and just stands there, it means you are supposed to be doing something else.
In the Dream Hall, for example, after you walk up to him and talk to him at the illustration of Joseph’s coat, he tells you to go into the Wheat room. After the Wheat narration you must walk into the blinking circle and then come back out and talk to Dabney. After he tells you to go to the Stars/Moon Room, you will talk to him again about finding the Well room. If you don’t go into the dream rooms at his prompting and hit the obvious blinking spots, for example, he will have nothing more to say to you until you follow his instructions.
Note: When he’s walking to reach a location, he will stop IF you come close to him. Move away and let him continue on to the next “trigger”.
Problem: I can’t grab the airblaster in the Dig Tent.
You must first talk to Dabney outside the tent, and then follow him into the tent. He’ll stand by the entrance to the underground tunnel. Walk up to him and he’ll remind you to grab the airblaster, THEN you can grab it (there will be a blinking ring under it).
Problem: Robin seems is stuck in something.
In a 3d environment as complex as Joseph’s story, the wire frame character of Robin can get hung up on the wireframe models and objects from time to time. The scaffolding on the final level is easy to get stuck in, so don’t mess around too much there. Press ESC and reload the level, then later, send us a note about where Robin got stuck.