[Windows] Problems playing video cutscenes?


A small number of Windows users are experiencing crashes or black screens when playing video cutscenes. Some crash playing the intro video, and others crash in later gameplay cutscenes, sometimes intermittantly. We haven’t been able to reproduce that here in the office, so we’re mostly going back and forth with users, proposing different solutions and gather logfiles to try to figure out what’s happening. I wanted to provide some information that you may be able to use to get things working.

We are using a software library called AVPro Video, created by a company called Renderheads. It’s a very common library that Unity games use to play videos on PC and Mac, mostly because it’s generally higher-performance than the built-in Unity video player. When we play a video on PC, we basically tell AVPro “here’s the video, go play it”, and they take over from there. Then AVPro will figure out the best way to play the video, which will end up using what’s called a “codec” to decode the video file. Your Windows computer can have a number of different codecs installed, some from Windows itself, some from other sources.

The video cutscenes in our game are all encoded the same way: using H.264/MPEG-4 Part 10 AVC encoding, which is fairly commonly used in games.

Looking at log files sent by users, when something goes wrong, it’s often a crash inside of a third-party video codec, not inside of AVPro. (One example that seems to come up a lot is the ffmpeg DirectShow filter.)

  • If you search your logfile for “AVProVideo” you might be able to diagnose what’s going wrong. You can find your own logfile by following the instructions here: [PC/Mac] How to find Log/Save Files

  • A great tool for managing what codecs you have installed is the Codec Tweak Tool. This includes tools to detect and remove broken codecs, too.

  • Codec packs are installers that bundle together a bunch of different codecs. Generally you should be careful where you get codec packs; some may come with adware or just be generally buggy. There are two major third party codec packs that seem to have a solid reputation: CCCP and K-Lite. Some users have reported success installing one or the other of these codec packs; other users have not. It’s even possible you may be having trouble BECAUSE you have one of these installed.

If you have success (or not!) getting videos to play in the game using any of these tools, or any other advice to offer, please let us know below what worked for you.