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Moonpod Homepage Starscape Information Mr. Robot Information Free Game Downloads Starscape Highscore Table
Help us finish our next game > Trainer bugs
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Fost
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Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 3734



PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2003 11:32 am    Post subject: Help us finish our next game > Trainer bugs Reply with quote

Just a quick note: Making sure our games run in a bug free and stable manner on all types of hardware is always going to be a priority for us. We take bugs very seriously (certainly more seriously than any of the companies we previosuly worked for did). Every bug that is emailed to us or appears on this board is researched in depth to try to recreate then fix it.

We really appreciate the helpful feedback people have given us, and have been able to to fix pretty much every issue that has come up. However one thing that has taken up a bit of our time unnecessarily has been when bugs have been submitted by people who have run the Trainer.
The Trainer was not released by us, causes many errors, and even if it does not initially cause a problem and you turn it off later, it will probably have corrupted your save game and cause you problems later on.

If you have used the trainer at any point (although I can't understand why anyone would bother since it is the buggiest trainer program I have ever seen Evil or Very Mad ) in your game and have a problem, please do not write in to us about it (or at least mention you used the trainer if you think the problem may be unrelated). We have wasted probably 2 weeks in total trying to track down non existant bugs because of this. Sad

Please don't be put off submitting any genuine bugs though!!!
Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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Gravitron



Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 125
Location: Isra(H)el



PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2004 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pfft.
Why indeed use an unauthorized script kiddie wannabe TsR when a simple memory editor can produce much more fabolous work?
Wink

Fost, learn for your next game:
If it's single(play), include cheat codes.
Even hidden ones (can be half the fun, or prize for game ending), but protect the players from the temptation to personally mess with their game.
Remember, the end-user always believes s/he's all knowing and can manage alone, even they're as smart as windows and only ending up corrupting the game.
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Fost
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2004 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, if people get off on completely ruining a gaming experience they've paid money for then I'm not going to stop them Very Happy I personally don't understand it, but who am I to argue.

I get your point though, if we provide cheats that are nicely integrated with the game, then there's no need, and it also stops any support issues. I also liked some of the ideas (can't seem to find the thread now) that were mentioned on the board, for gameplay related cheats.

It would actually be a bit of a nightmare with Starscape, as so much is hooked into damage response (Poo Bear did some crazy AI code; no one probably notices but he likes to experiment with some quite cutting edge routines), and I suspect this is why all existing hacks crash the game in a rather short period of time.

So, yeah, ideally we would release a future Starscape patch with properly integrated cheat code.

So, Battlescape then...
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Gravitron



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2004 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just throw in the ussual stuff, resources refill, invincibility, uber damage and etc, plenty of games are there with a nice history of cheat codes, not hard to get ideas.
Maybe even unlocking some master ship/weapons/modules to use, secret level and the sort (naturally this last one means some more dev time on a retailed project and a large patch, but the customers would be happy).


As for battlescape, lemme know what you need, shoot me in a general direction and I'll brainstorm for you what I can.
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homerSimpson



Joined: 05 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankly, I believes there's enough people taking the easy way out for things. Why promote laziness Question Why can't we promote hard work instead Question

In that sense, let the players have better technology the next time they restart the game after they have completed it at least once.

For example, the feeling of getting the MOST powerful planet destroyer TURRET Exclamation after finishing the game in ULTRA-HARD mode Exclamation Exclamation Exclamation can't be compared.

I believes that the enemy should reflect the kind of technology you need to defeat them. In other words, once the player obtained the CORRECT technology for defeating SOME specific enemy, they should find those enemies more like push-overs. Cool

Just some of my thought.
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TheRabbit



Joined: 07 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2004 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheats are nice. Sometime people want to do some crazy stuff with their game. Fost point that "They paid for it. Who am I to stop them?" I believe is a totally valid one. Be nice and maybe something to think about. With AI being so dependent on damage response, I don't believe extra resources would snarl the AI up. That's a basic cheat that could probably be implemented easily. Also, giving faster research shouldn't bother the AI either. Nor should giving us more weapons and badder (like butt kicking) weapons earlier shouldn't hurt because all the AI is about to find out, it's not going to be around long enough to do anything useful. Invicibility I suppose would screw it really bad. Also when we use cheats, that can be logged into our game files and disable our high score posting ability. Maybe implementing cheats that can be done easily would be a nice bone throwing to customer idea.
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Fost
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2004 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheRabbit wrote:
that could probably be implemented easily.


You know, every time I see that phrase, I know it will be something much harder than anyone realises Very Happy

One of the big problems is: I suspect a few people would want the ability to turn on a cheat if they get particularly stuck, then turn it off again once they are unstuck. Altering anything then setting it back would require a lot of testing for us - it would be nasty if any of the cheats caused a crash later on.

Anyway, this is already on the 'things to consider in an update' list.
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TheRabbit



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2004 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fost wrote:
TheRabbit wrote:
that could probably be implemented easily.


You know, every time I see that phrase, I know it will be something much harder than anyone realises Very Happy

One of the big problems is: I suspect a few people would want the ability to turn on a cheat if they get particularly stuck, then turn it off again once they are unstuck. Altering anything then setting it back would require a lot of testing for us - it would be nasty if any of the cheats caused a crash later on.

Anyway, this is already on the 'things to consider in an update' list.


My understanding is the AI is designed to respond to damage causing events. It getting shot, being shot at, friends being blown up. That's why I proposed stuff that didn't affect the AI. Extra Resources (Once given, can't be taken away), All weapons (Once again, given, can't be taken away). Extra health for ship (That shouldn't bother the AI) I wasn't asking for god mode. God mode would cause the AI to hang. I wouldn't mind having a few games going and once I used cheats, it's over for that pilot. No High score ablility. Once stuff is given, can't be taken away.
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Fost
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2004 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fundamental problem is that nothing is easy to implement, because it always has unexpected knock on effects.

As an example, the recent equipment addition to the Aegis slotted in with relative ease, yet it still came up with a minor (not game breaking though)problem of using multiple gravity beams and having them fight over gems (already fixed for a point release).

I'm not trying to give excuses for why we would not do something though, just trying to explain that nothing is as easy as anyone thinks. I'm sure any programmer will tell you they dread hearing the words 'this should be an easy thing to do' from a non programmer (as an artist in the game's industry, one of the first things I learned was not to say that to programmers - they have enough stress as it is Very Happy )

Cheats (off the top of my head) would require:

  • The set of cheats implementing (obvious this, sorry!)
  • High score invalidation, which may need support from all modules that mess with the score in any way.
  • Altering of the save code (Mere mention of that makes Poo Bear cry)
  • Very long testing period to be certain they don't break and aren't ever accidentally turned on (Imagine how annoyed with us you'd be if you accidentally or though a bug invalidated your high score?)


Based on just the above (and there'd be more than just that) I would immediately say it's something you would want to put in a bigger release, because there's no point testing the game for an extended period of time for such a small release.

Hope that gets across what a pain even the smallest task ends up being when you have a ton of code for it to work with. It's lucky we love our work so much, and it's such fun to add these features Very Happy
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TheRabbit



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aye, Aye, Recieved, at least it's on your to possibly do list. I'm sure the programmers are crying already.
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Lothar
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 12:55 am    Post subject: high scores Reply with quote

In terms of coming up with a way to invalidate your score, I like the old classic method from Descent: cheating sets your score to zero, and you can no longer score points.

I don't know how hard it is to implement -- in theory, you'd need to come up with a way to flag the score as "invalid" and modify all of the scoring code accordingly. Perhaps setting the score to -1 when you cheat, and then making anything that updates your score check to see if it's -1 first, would be a good bet.
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Toren Kanesun



Joined: 06 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I volunteer myself for bug-testing duty. Smile

Having a taste of programming in COBOL as well as scripting for other games, I know all too well that some things are not very easy.

As to "god mode" would the AI hang if the ship insta-repaired? For example, something bumps into your ship and you take damage. But with the cheat enabled, your ship repairs to 100% quickly.

Although, I'd just use the infinite resources. Twisted Evil
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re: Lothar > yes, that's exactly what you'd do. (Although I'd also set the high score code to some people will understnad like 'CHEATINVALID' to avoid confusion)

Re: Toren Kanesun > There's no point trying to hack round the issue really. One method is as good as any other, you still come across all the issues above (the large testing period being the greatest investment in time). So you might aswell just implement it in the simplest way and then run the tests.
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Toren Kanesun



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was only giving a suggestion as to avoid the AI hang if a god mode would be implememnted. I was thinking if you didn't want to rewrite the AI for damage, you could take that approach.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Note, The screen saver part of this thread has been split off into it's own topic in support.
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