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techbear

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Reply with quote  #1 

As Mike S. said elsewhere in these forums, I'd have released 2.7.2 already if it weren't for this one nasty crash bug.  Very frustrating, and has resisted all my work in tracking it down.  The server crash usually happens after playing 1-3 games in a row.  It doesn't appear to happen on very low game levels (1-2), and it seems like it might not happen unless monsters are on the map.  But I don't really know; I can't seem to figure it out.

So I'm releasing to you, on these forums, hoping you'll help me isolate the circumstances of this server crash.

Please download the update from
http://www.artemisspaceshipbridge.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/upgrade-2-7-25if94jhv94.zip


This is an update, which means you copy your existing game into a new folder, then copy these files over the files in the new folder.

This is a ZIP file, not an installer exe, so you un-pack the files into the folder you copied your existing game files into.

Thank you for your help!!!


LawsonThompson

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Reply with quote  #2 
If a crash happens, are there any debug logs or dump files we can collect for you?

Also: is there scripting code to enable the new Elite abilities (ie, values for the eliteAbilityBits?) Shield scrambling and combat reverse jump sound like great surprises to drop on an unexpecting, experienced crew... 

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davidtrinh

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Reply with quote  #3 
Helm, weapons and science consoles crash when I hit ready to play. So we couldn't fly anywhere. 


Starry Wisdom

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Reply with quote  #4 

I think I'm having the same issue as dave trinth

starting a 2.7.2 server connecting with a 2.7.2 client results in a crash on switching to helm, weapons, science, data, captians map & game master though mainscreen, comms, fighter, observer & engineering all can be loaded in correctly.

connecting by a 2.7.1 client (to the 2.7.2 server) doesnt crash at this point (though obviously brings up the error about a miss matched version) connecting a 2.7.2 client to a 2.7.1 server results in crashes at the same point. As testing with a 2.7.1 wont help debug issues I didnt investigate further on these lines.

I double checked with a fresh install of 2.7.1 (from steam), then updating to 2.7.2 to the same result.

techbear

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Reply with quote  #5 
I don't know how it happened, but the test version I released had a couple of missing files.  I'm very sorry that slipped past me.

The latest version, with the files restored, is 

http://www.artemisspaceshipbridge.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/upgrade-2-7-25if94jhv94.zip



Nhaima

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Reply with quote  #6 
Echoing the request for how you would like feedback. Artemis doesn't dump stack traces and the windows application error logs are only occasionally useful. What sort of feedback can we give you other than anecdotal "it broke when we did this", which seems less useful given how context dependent this game can be.
Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #7 
Because there are numerous new things in this version there may be more than one crash bug.

My guess is that the bug(s) may not be triggered by player actions. This is just a guess based on the new features, but crashes may involve monsters, late game Skaraan spawning, Skaraan elite abilities, destruction of player bases, or some strange combination of two of them.

My advice (Thom please correct me if I am wrong):

  • Play at a difficulty level of 5 or higher. If necessary nerf the enemies.
  • Play with lots of monsters and lots of Skaraans.
  • Have an extra station with a live video stream capture. Set that station to Game Master.
  • Have a player visit the Game Master station and click on every Skaraan and monster that appears. That way the recording will show the types of monsters and the Skaraan elite abilities.
  • If you make it to the second wave of Skaraans click on them, too.
  • If/when your server crashes post the video and send Thom a link, along with your crew's comments and observations.

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Nhaima

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Reply with quote  #8 
It seems like it would be much easier to add some kind of dump file, error file, log file, stack trace, the game state, or otherwise improve the error messaging. It shouldn't take that long to implement that functionality, and then that functionality exists forever. For the next time this happens, or to fix the next "piranhas spawning in a wreck marker on top of each other" crash bug, etc. Then Thom can get feedback that he designed to help him fix problems as long as people can be bothered to upload it to the current version thread, and that can cut down on the bug fishing expeditions.

Not everyone has video capture set up, and what you're describing is a moderately labor intensive process which would need to be undertaken any time a bug is expected. Having programmatic feedback means you don't need outside tools, and all you have to do is play the game until it breaks.

I get that we don't have that functionality now, but setting that aside - which method would you rather have to test and report crashes?
Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nhaima
I get that we don't have that functionality now, but setting that aside - which method would you rather have to test and report crashes?


I will ask Thom to re-visit this thread and respond with his preferred method when he gets the chance.

I don't think Thom is looking for someone to de-bug the software for him. He does have tools to help with the trace that only he gets to touch. He also has automated play functions that allow his computer to play autonomously through hundreds of games. These tools have always done the trick in the past, but they don't work if the game doesn't crash. It seems to be very easy for players in the field to get the game to crash, but very difficult to replicate the crash when Thom is watching.

I realize that what you are requesting is relatively common in the software universe, but it has not cropped up for Artemis before.

We may get better de-bug tools and error messages in Artemis 3.0 next year, but I don't expect to have them in Artemis 2.7.2 this year. [frown]

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LawsonThompson

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Substelny
...

  • Have an extra station with a live video stream capture. Set that station to Game Master.

...


Recording game screens is built into Windows 10 Game Mode, given sufficient CPU horsepower. After Artemis is up and running, press Windows + G to open the Game Mode bar and see if it supports recording on your platform.

In fact, there's an option to have it always recording in the background; this means the most recent several minutes (should?) be available, and there's a hotkey to save that most recent recording. Works pretty well on Core i5 and newer machines in my experience.

You could then upload the videos to YouTube as "Unlisted", and post the link to Thom for review.

I'm planning to use scripted missions for testing and will add a BUNCH of logging messages to see if I can trap the situation consistently.

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Nhaima

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Substelny


I will ask Thom to re-visit this thread and respond with his preferred method when he gets the chance.

I don't think Thom is looking for someone to de-bug the software for him. He does have tools to help with the trace that only he gets to touch. He also has automated play functions that allow his computer to play autonomously through hundreds of games. These tools have always done the trick in the past, but they don't work if the game doesn't crash. It seems to be very easy for players in the field to get the game to crash, but very difficult to replicate the crash when Thom is watching.

I realize that what you are requesting is relatively common in the software universe, but it has not cropped up for Artemis before.

We may get better de-bug tools and error messages in Artemis 3.0 next year, but I don't expect to have them in Artemis 2.7.2 this year. [frown]


Maybe I'm not articulating my suggestion correctly. Much as I would be willing to and would enjoy actually working with the code to debug and fix problems (and have offered to do so in the past), that's not what I'm suggesting. I'm suggesting that the game should be able to write out a log file of some sort with information relating to the exception, error, or crash bug. This file can then be uploaded here and Thom can use that information to help debug and fix the related issue(s).

It's not very elegant, and is only a step or two above printing the stack trace to the console, but it would give Thom tangible feedback on any crash that happens. It doesn't even need to auto-upload. It would still be very easy to write to an error directory with a unique ID and it can be uploaded by the user. It's also pretty low effort to implement, and allows users to submit crash information from normal gameplay rather than having to set up external tools that might but is not guaranteed to capture the relevant information.
NoseyNick

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Reply with quote  #12 
Linux comes with a program called "netcat", or sometimes just called "nc". If it's not installed, you probably know how to install it (apt-get or zypper or RPM or something?). It's available for Windows as well but you'll have to find a download and install it. Open up a terminal, or "command prompt", and type something like:

netcat 123.45.67.89 2010 > file.cap
nc 123.45.67.89 2010 > file.cap
netcat.exe 123.45.67.89 2010 > file.cap
C:\path\to\wherever\you\installed\netcat.exe 123.45.67.89 2010 > file.cap

Assuming you can get one of these to work, it should connect to your server (assuming IP 123.45.67.89 above - change that to your actual server IP address) and LOADS of your game data will be saved to "file.cap". This is almost exactly "some kind of dump file" and/or "log file". Run the command before you start the game. It won't tell you much - there's going to be NO pretty output EXCEPT to file.cap, but file.cap will will contain info about every single object in the game, every sound effect, every movement, every shield depletion, every beam or torp fired, every explosion, every comms message, everything dropping into black holes, every biomech declaration of war. Pretty much the only thing it WON'T capture is what you did on your clients - exactly what buttons you pressed, but it will capture the RESULTS of what you pressed (ship is accelerating to warp, tube 3 fired, whatever). There's a good chance it WONT capture THE EXACT THING that makes it crash because it probably made it crash beforre the server sent it back out, but it should definitely capture every single event leading up to it, so if you can also note exactly what you were doing at the time (Just pressed warp 4 to GTFO, was firing on X-27, or even just "Was firing on SOMETHING"), it MIGHT be obvious from the end of the dump (X-27 front shields depleting rapidly towards zero) but it might help anyway.

When the game crashes, netcat/nc will almost certainly just exit, but if it doesn't, hold "control" and press "C". Zip up the file (they compress A LOT). I'm ALMOST certain Thom will be able to decode the contents, but if not, I will be glad to help, or I suspect anyone else who contributed to https://artemis-nerds.github.io/protocol-docs/ will be glad to help if we can. With a full and detailed record of all ships, names, types, internal IDs, energies, abilities, etc etc, I imagine this might be MORE useful than hoping you can piece something together from a captain's map? Worst-case, I'll be able to replay it back through to a captain's map anyway, and even click on things people might have missed!    :-D

NN
NoseyNick

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Reply with quote  #13 
https://joncraton.org/blog/46/netcat-for-windows/ or nc.exe from https://github.com/diegocr/netcat ?
LawsonThompson

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quick report: yesterday while running 2.7.2 (including the follow-up patch), I had an "almost a crash". The server just froze--but Artemis.exe didn't crash. It's almost as if it paused completely. All clients were still alive, but nothing would move on the server screen.

On the server, I hit ESC to bring up the menu, then clicked "End Mission"--and it did, as if nothing was wrong.

This was running in "auto pilot" mode at level 11 with "Many" of everything, Siege mode--pretty much a worst-case scenario.

I may investigate to see if I can duplicate the problem.

Then today, while running 2.7.2 for a birthday party, we had NO problems at all--but we were at difficulty 3, which confirms to me the already-known situation that level 4 or higher tend to unearth the bug.

More digging resumes! Let's hunt this bug!


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Dave Thaler

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Reply with quote  #15 
Bug report...

The controls.ini in the ZIP file has this, which doesn't work:
VOLUME_COMMS_UP            = UI_INPUTHOME

It should instead be this:
VOLUME_COMMS_UP            = UI_INPUT_HOME
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