1. General Troubleshooting
a) Missing "dll" error
b) Poor graphics performance
c) Antialiasing settings
d) Playing the game on laptops
e) Random crashing / Game Unstable
f) Unable to throw rock / No throw icon visible
g) Troubleshooting multiplayer


1) General TroubleShooting

A) You recieve an obscure message about a missing "dll".

- Direct X is likely not installed properly. Try reinstalling it and try rerunning the game. Direct X may be obtained for free from here. Just navigate the page to find the particular version for your computer and follow the installation instructions.

B) The game plays reaaaaallllyyy slow!

- Don't panic, this could be due to a couple of factors, most likely the video card. The first thing to try is to get turn the game to "Low Detail" mode (see setup menu). This will stop the characters from being rendered.

This game is very graphics intensive and REQUIRES an Open Gl accelerated 3D video card. The first step is to check what type of video card you have. From the start menu, click"Control Panel", and click on the "Display" icon. A window will appear with a number of tabs. Click on the tab labelled "Settings" and note what kind of video card you have. Look in your owners manual for the card, and try to determine if the video card supports 3D hardware accelleration. Also try finding your card on the web at the manufacturers website. If it looks like your card doesn't support hardware acceleration, alas you will need to upgrade your card before you can play the game.

If it looks like your card does support 3D acceleration, then it's possible that the hardware acceleration is not turned on. To determine if it is, click on the "Settings" tab again and click on the "Advanced" button (if there is one). Unfortunatley, because there are so many different card manfacturers there is no standard interface, so it's impossible to describe every single one. Try to navigate to the "Troubleshooting" tab and see if there is a slider bar for the hardware acceleration. If so, experiment with the settings, starting with "none" and gradually going to "full". Try playing the game at each setting and see if you notice any improvement in the game play.

If that doesn't solve the problem, go to the manufacturers website and download and install the latest drivers for the video card. After installinging, reboot your computer. Again try to adjust the hardware acceleration and see if that makes a difference.

C) The lines in the game are jagged!

- This is called anitaliasing, and some video cards allow you to specify the level of antialiasing. Click on the "Display" icon in the control panel again, and click on the "Settings" tab. For NVIDIA processors, click on the "nView Display Mode" tab and click on the button near the bottom beside "Device Settings". This will bring up a window with many tabs. Click on the tab labelled "Accuview Antialiasing Settings" and click on the radio button " Manually select the antailaising mode". Be warned - selecting 4X will cost you performance wise, although the game will be a lot prettier!

D) Special note on laptops

Many older laptops, even those of a couple of years ago (prior to 2002), have fast enough processors to play the game, but are loaded with non hardware accelerated video cards. Thus, playing Shotstone, and in fact any graphics intensive game, is an exercise in frustration. To make matters worse, these cards are generally not upgradable either! We recommend either the NVIDIA 460 "Go" Mobility processor, or the ATI Radeon 9000 Mobility processor or better for laptops.

E) Random Crashing / Game Unstable

- If the game is unstable on your system, and you are experiencing random crashing, then the problem could be with your operating system. What operating system are you running? We recommend either Windows 98 or Windows XP for Shotstone. Windows 2000 is a poor gaming platform and is not recommended for use with Shotstone. If your still having problems, email us at and we'll help you to sort it out.

F) Unable to throw / No throw icon visible

- If you are unable to throw the rock, and are running Shotstone version 1.0, then you need to change your screen resolution to be something other than 800x600. There is a bug in the game that prevents it from functioning properly at this resolution. Do the following: Quit the game. Right click with the mouse in the desktop area (not over any windows or icons) and select "Properties" and then select the "Settings" tab. Drag the slider bar to something higher than 800x600 - try 1024x768. Click "Ok", and retry the game.

G) Multiplayer Troubleshooting

1) "Unable to connect to 123.456.789.0"

- The computer at the specified ip address is refusing the connection. Ensure that you have typed the right IP address. If you've tried it several times, then make sure that the host actually has started a game on his or her computer. If they have done that, then exit the game and ensure that any firewall software, such as Zone Alarm, is completely shut down. It's often not enough to just turn off "Program Control', you MUST shut it down completely. Tell the host to do the same. Once the firewalls are off, try the conection again.

If it still doesn't work, then the problem may be beyond your control. If either your computer or the host computer sits behind a corporate firewall, and you are trying to connect through the firewall, then the chances of connecting successfully are slim. The firewalls are programmed to block connections on the gaming ports. There's not much you can do at this point, unless you feel confident about talking to your sysadmin to program the firewall to let the connection through.

2) "Connected to 123.456.789.0 but timed out waiting for server to respond"

- the connection attempt was successful, but the server didn't send a message after you connected. This could be due to the server shutting down the game, or some network problem. Contact the server and ensure that his/her machine is up and running. Try the connection again. if it still fails then it could be something wrong with the network. Talk to your network administrator to try to diagnose the problem. Again, make sure that all firewall software is shut down completely on both machines.

3) "Unable to initialize game"

- this is a rare one. The connection is fine, but you weren't able to initialize your own game to play. It could be a packet got corrupted during the network transmission. Exit the game and try to connect again. If it still doesn't work, make sure that you have no other programs running, like Word, or Excel, or anything like that. A reboot may be in order as well.

4) "Timed out waiting for client to respond"

- Client connected to the game, but the client didn't send us a response when we queried him. Could be a network problem. Check your network connections. Try the connection again. If it happens again then it could be caused by an extremely slow connection. The timeout is 5 seconds. If the round trip message time is greater than that, then you won't be able to play a very good game online with this person anyways, since the connection is likely too slow.

5) "Failed Creating the IDirectPlay8AddressObject"

- failed during the initializing of Direct Play. Try rebooting you machine, and make sure nothing else is running while you're trying to play the game. If it happens again, you may consider reinstalling Direct Play to see if that solves the problem.

6) "Failed Setting the Service Provider to TCPIP"

- your computer isn't connected to the internet via TCPIP. You may need to install TCPIP fromm your Windows disks. Consult the windows help for guidance on how to do this.

7) "Failed Adding Hostname to Host Address"

- you may have typed the IP address incorrectly. Try again, ensuring that the "." characters are there.

8) "Failed Hosting Session"

- odd one - the computer failed to host the session - you may have too many things running on your computer. Try shutting down other programs that are running. A reboot may be in order as well. If the problem continues then you may need to reinstall Direct X 8.1.

9) "Failed Connecting to Host"

- the client failed to connect to the host. Ensure the IP address is correct and retry. If the connection still fails, then check the network settings and connections, and shutdown all firewalls.

If you are still having problems, check our website for any notices under the support column. If that's no help, then send an email to We'll do our best to sort it out for you!