Glass Shards: help!

In my Mr. Nutcracker game, the nutcracker can smash ornaments. When he smashes them, they add a bunch of temporary “shard” objects that fly through the air for the effect. They also add a textured “shadow” plane of shards that is supposed to lie on the floor where the ornament was. In 2.25, this worked great, but in the new 2.35 version, the shadow plane almost never shows up. The strangest thing is that it sometimes works, but not usually. If I run the game in wireframe, I can see that the shadow plane is added every time, but for some reason it appears as a line instead of a plane. What’s wrong?