The American Girls: Dress Designer

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
The American Girls: Dress Designer
The American Girls: Dress Designer cover
Developers
Mattel Interactive
Release dates
Windows 1999
The American Girls: Dress Designer at Wikipedia

Key points

The game has issues on modern versions of Windows. See Issues fixed.
Does not scale at all with higher resolutions; Dress Designer is fixed to run at 640x480, and playing it at 800x600 or higher introduces black borders around the screen.
While the game remains playable, Dress Designer appears to be poorly optimised when it comes to CPU utilisation, as it consumes too much processor time even on a modern systen.

General information

MobyGames page
American Girl Playthings (fan site for collectors and AG enthusiasts)

Availability[edit]

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
Used copies of the game can be found on eBay and other online sellers.
Windows

Essential improvements[edit]

Run the game straight from the hard drive[edit]

Instructions[1]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open Dress Designer.ini.
  3. Set cdpath=Bundles
  4. Save Dress Designer.ini.
  5. Insert the game disc, then copy the Bundles folder on the disc to the installation folder.

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\Dress Designer.ini

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\Data

Video settings[edit]

Windowed[edit]

Instructions[2]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open Dress Designer.ini.
  3. Set fsenabled=0

Input settings[edit]

Audio settings[edit]

Audio options Native Notes
Separate volume controls
Not actually a volume control per se, but background/theme music can be toggled on or off by clicking the Music button.
Surround sound
Subtitles
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost

Localizations

Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English

Issues fixed[edit]

Windows NT popup window crash fix[edit]

The dreaded error message that shows up whenever the player attempts to quit the game or bring up the options menu. See this GIF for an animated demo of the error.
The dreaded error message that shows up whenever the player attempts to quit the game or bring up the options menu. See this GIF for an animated demo of the error.
Install the unofficial AG Dress Designer patch[citation needed]

Notes

This fixes the "An error occurred while opening a window" message when the game is played on an NT-based Windows OS, e.g. Windows 7, Vista or 10. Interestingly, the aforementioned error also occurs on operating systems as far back as Windows NT 4.0, an OS released a few years before the game. It can be presumed that the business-oriented nature of NT at the time accounted for why support for it was overlooked,[3][4] only to end up being met with negative reviews on Amazon from irate parents whose children were unable to play the game on their computers.[5][6]
You can also download the patch via this mirror site or here.

Audio stutters on newer operating systems[edit]

Use the latest QuickTime Alternative runtime instead of the bundled QuickTime codec.

Other information[edit]

API[edit]

Technical specs Supported Notes
DirectDraw 7.0
64-bit executable

Middleware[edit]

Middleware Notes
Cutscenes QuickTime Earlier runtime versions may cause the audio to stutter; see above fix for details

System requirements[edit]

Windows
Minimum
Operating system (OS) 95
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 166 MHz
System memory (RAM) 32 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 75 MB
Video card (GPU) 16-bit colour

References

  1. American Girls Dress Designer (requires membership) - last accessed on 2016-11-08
  2. The American Girls Dress Designer - The Cutting Room Floor - last accessed on 2016-11-08
  3. Notes:The American Girls Dress Designer
  4. Using Detours/EasyHook in an .ASI?
  5. Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: American Girls Dress Designer - PC - last accessed on 2016-11-08
  6. Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: American Girls Dress Designer - PC - last accessed on 2016-11-08