the art of editing

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the art of editing

Postby Spam Troll » Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:01 am

Hi.

I'm in the early design stage of a forthcoming Hard Sci-Fi expansion (Polar Winds), and still trying to scope out what I'm up against. With the old TQ engine/editor there were numerous glitches and problems Cat and others encountered, and I'm trying to get a better handle on what's STILL a problem, what might be fixed, and what things to look out for.

My understanding was, that major problems before were separable into "Engine" and "Editor" limitations.

EDITOR
The old TQ Editor tended to crash when too many or too large graphics/sounds/assets were loaded.
Is it safe to be more adventurous now? If not, how much is "too much"? if you've run into any blocks yet.

ENGINE
Sometimes Globals would glitch, and (some?, all?) would become uninitialized, or set to zero. Was this related to "too many globals" altogether? "too many expansions enabled"? Or something else? Or was it never really resolved?

What platform/s did this affect? I know iOS, but was it PC as well?

Are things "fixed" now? Or is that still unknown?

Any good recommended workarounds?
Any other good mysteries out there?
_____________________________

I can report at least ONE editor/engine bug has been squashed.
Loading and playing custom MOD music files used to make the engine corrupt and crash (after playing mostly correctly). no more MODs = no more problems :)
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Re: the art of editing

Postby Catacomber » Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:27 am

Spam Troll wrote:Hi.

I'm in the early design stage of a forthcoming Hard Sci-Fi expansion (Polar Winds), and still trying to scope out what I'm up against. With the old TQ engine/editor there were numerous glitches and problems Cat and others encountered, and I'm trying to get a better handle on what's STILL a problem, what might be fixed, and what things to look out for.

My understanding was, that major problems before were separable into "Engine" and "Editor" limitations.

EDITOR
The old TQ Editor tended to crash when too many or too large graphics/sounds/assets were loaded.
Is it safe to be more adventurous now? If not, how much is "too much"? if you've run into any blocks yet.

ENGINE
Sometimes Globals would glitch, and (some?, all?) would become uninitialized, or set to zero. Was this related to "too many globals" altogether? "too many expansions enabled"? Or something else? Or was it never really resolved?

What platform/s did this affect? I know iOS, but was it PC as well?

Are things "fixed" now? Or is that still unknown?

Any good recommended workarounds?
Any other good mysteries out there?
_____________________________

I can report at least ONE editor/engine bug has been squashed.
Loading and playing custom MOD music files used to make the engine corrupt and crash (after playing mostly correctly). no more MODs = no more problems :)


The globals problem still seems to be a problem even on pc once you have more than one expansion enabled. Trying to find a way to report problems to Elendil so he can fix this but it's very elusive and the code is not his. He's trying.

Mobile seems to have a problem with a lot of things as people have reported they can't do various things unless they sleep for a week. It's just baffling. My solution is Phredd who sells just about anything you could possibly need and doing updates to fix individual problems.

I don't know about the adding too many graphics problem because I'm always conservative. I like a skinny file for mobile. In test files, I've had a problem adding too many monsters so I try to keep that down.

You really should work in a test file before you add things to your main file. That's how I do it.

Because of the standalone versions on mobile, you have to make sure your players have everything they need as they cannot access the base game.

So trainers, normal, better, best and superior shops if your game requires anything from those.

Standalone players need special treatment.
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Re: the art of editing

Postby Catacomber » Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:34 am

Porting a game from the old version to the new is a major headache but you don't have to worry about that. In our later expansions I didn't use globals that much.

Elendil managed to make the editor much better but there are still some problems that occur that are elusive.
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Re: the art of editing

Postby Spam Troll » Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:41 am

Catacomber wrote:The globals problem still seems to be a problem even on pc once you have more than one expansion enabled. Trying to find a way to report problems to Elendil so he can fix this but it's very elusive and the code is not his. He's trying.

Mobile seems to have a problem with a lot of things as people have reported they can't do various things unless they sleep for a week. It's just baffling. My solution is Phredd who sells just about anything you could possibly need and doing updates to fix individual problems.

I don't know about the adding too many graphics problem because I'm always conservative. I like a skinny file for mobile. In test files, I've had a problem adding too many monsters so I try to keep that down.

You really should work in a test file before you add things to your main file. That's how I do it.

Because of the standalone versions on mobile, you have to make sure your players have everything they need as they cannot access the base game.

So trainers, normal, better, best and superior shops if your game requires anything from those.

Standalone players need special treatment.

Thank you.
I guess "no news is good news"?

Full steam ahead!
And let's see what b̧r̵e͟a̵k̢s f̜̺͉̯̮͙̏̿͌̍͊ͭ̅́į̙ͮ͊r̨̻͙̫̱̻̲͆̉ͩͮ͐̈́s͙̠̮̤̭̋t̮̼̠͑̂̂́ͅ!
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Re: the art of editing

Postby Spam Troll » Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:47 am

Catacomber wrote:Porting a game from the old version to the new is a major headache but you don't have to worry about that. In our later expansions I didn't use globals that much.

Elendil managed to make the editor much better but there are still some problems that occur that are elusive.

Good to know.
Updating my old maps was a cinch:

  • highlight
  • drag to trash
  • empty
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Re: the art of editing

Postby Spam Troll » Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:52 am

Catacomber wrote:The globals problem still seems to be a problem even on pc once you have more than one expansion enabled. Trying to find a way to report problems to Elendil so he can fix this but it's very elusive and the code is not his. He's trying.

I'm putting in debug code to (hopefully) detect when globals barf. Of course they don't want to fail on command....
Do you know which of these is happening? Or is it something else?

Value reset to: 0
Value reset to: 1
Value reset to: <undefined>
Value reset to: <random>
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Re: the art of editing

Postby Catacomber » Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:00 am

It seems that the game recognizes globals set minus one sometimes randomly. So far. So tried checking for globals set minus one.

That is--I programmed seven skeletons to be killed and each time one is killed it adds to the global for example skellykilled.

But the npc who checks for skeletons killed checks only for six now. Before when I checked for seven, some of us solved the quest to kill the seven skeletons and some of us failed.

This is in Celtic Rift--can't tell you what will actually happen because still testing Celtic Rift. : )

That so far works. I brought it to Elendil's attention but it's really elusive--it's random--some testers were ok and some weren't---but since Celtic Rift isn't out for mobile or being tested on mobile--right now it's definitely a pc bug of some sort.

And it's a reproducible bug because while one tester was able to kill the seven skeletons and successfully have the npc test for seven killed, a few of us failed the quest until I changed the test for the global to six.
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Re: the art of editing

Postby Elendil / Redshift » Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:54 am

I would add that testing an expansion is tricky. As I've written in the tutorial, the game really doesn't like if you change things too extensively and load a save, because lots of things are in the save file.

I think all of the problems I've seen are from players loading saves which have been saved with older versions of an expansion. To be sure something is really working you have to start a new character. Which is brutal, I know. :(

I'm not saying you can't test your expansion by loading a save, but any problems you find must be double checked with a completely new character to be sure.

As I've mentioned several times, The Quest source is quite the mess. (To be fair when it was created there were severe limitations it had to satisfy, which doesn't make sense now. And it wasn't created by me. :D But the "loading an existing save without problems, while major things have changed" thing is still extremely tricky.) For example, it's quite possible that there are problems with the globals for example, but I just can't seem to find them.

All in all, the game works quite smoothly. The editor is much more stable as well, but I recommend what I've written in the tutorial (many backups).
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