No Austin for me

I was all booked to go to this year’s Austin Game Con. But up until yesterday we were fighting with an old bug that inexplicably chose Sunday to surface. Really, this bug has been in the code since Thunder was working on the host with me – over 2 years ago. The baffling thing is that the code is in a critical path. It has been executing every minute of every day, for every player connected to the game, for nearly 3 years. And then, on Sunday, it stopped sending an 8-bit value of “0” (zero) and started sending values between 1 and 16.

How the hell?

At the same time, it highlighted a shortcoming of our QA systems that allowed us to put different terrain versions up for the game servers and game client. Sometime, long ago, there was a good reason for this, but nothing could have been good enough to justify making it the default behavior of the QA pipeline. When Goph gets back, we’ll get it integrated into the QA pipeline.

The first bug presents me with more of a problem. Our network API is actually rather good, its designed to avoid issues like this but this was a clear cut case of bypassing those measures; I can modify the bypass mechanism to include checkpoint markers.

Depending how things go tomorrow, I might still fly out to Austin for Thursday and Friday.

I could use the break.

3 Comments

Its always nice to have a peak behind the scenes.

Depending on how thunder left the team, this may have been a bug, a trapdoor that is activated under certain circumstances or sloppy coding (like the “;” that caused one instance of the firebug). Anyway, GJ on catching this one. I hope you get your well deserved break, but dont forget to take your vpn client with you to austin.

It wasn’t Thunders code – I should have added “atleast” :)

I’m sure you’ll get it sorted Oli.
Last nights Chilly tested seamed to go well.

Anyway, I hope you get chance to catch up with the rest of them in Austin, after TOE’s you certainly deserve a break.

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