Bug reporting

Freeform discussion about anything related to modding Transcendence.
Post Reply
relanat
Militia Captain
Militia Captain
Posts: 768
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:56 am

Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:23 am

In response to the thoughts of Arkheias and Assumed Pseudonym (can you two, please, get names that are easier to spell :lol: ) about bug reporting in the Cabbage Corp topic.
Arkheias wrote:Seriously, several of the brand new items I added in the previous version didn't even work because of a typo that I found and fixed within three days of releasing that version. I didn't release the patch because then I'd have to change a bunch of version numbers again and upload it to a bunch of sites for archival purposes, and I wanted to wait and see if anyone was actually bothered enough to complain about it first. Four months and nearly a hundred downloads later and the only bug report I've received was an IRC message about a death trap that I had intentionally put in the game in the first public version.
AssumedPseudonym wrote:I feel ya, man. I get very little feedback on my stuff, either. I hadn’t noticed the enhancer bug you mentioned or I would have said something. It seems to be symptomatic of the community as a whole. The people who do report bugs in mods are usually very good about doing so when the find them, there just aren’t all that many who do.
Please consider this from the other side. Cabbage Corp blew me away when I first skimmed through it. It still does. But it is HUGE. And there are heaps more mods out there. Drake Tech, SM&M++, The Network, PSD, etc, etc all take days to even run through once. I spent well over a week playing the BlueLight tutorial mod (and learning heaps, thanks JBW) and that's only a relatively small mod! So its more than likely that no-one has found any bugs yet. I haven't played Cabbage Corp for a while simply because I've been workng on my mods or playing others.
Don't think for a minute that these mod aren't appreciated, The truly are. And they are also awe inspiring and something for new modders to work up to.

From my point of view, I'm quite happy to report bugs and often do, BUT I don't report every bug I find

If I can replicate a bug several times, then I report it.
If i'm running more than one mod at a time (and this is the case more often than not) then I don't report them. Simply because to me it seems pointless to let someone know that if their mod is running with 5 other mods then there is a bug. To track the problem down would likely take days.
Other times I'm not sure if it's a bug or intentional. George put a report on the Ministry about the CSC's not showing on the LRS. I'd noticed that this happens but thought it intentional because the CSCs are ships, not stations.

I try to include a description of what caused the bug, with a screenshot if possible and any ideas I have about what is happening. But this all takes time. I get very limited time online (this post was written days ago, saved, then cut and pasted onto the forum) so can only report a few things at a time.

From other forum members POV, someone with limited modding skills may not feel qualified to report a bug or give a suggestion (I used to feel this way). These mods are extremely impressive when you think about it.
Or they may not want to fill up a topic with bug reports. It seems negative to me (irrational, I know, but there you go!) to see post after post of problems.
Or they may not know what to say. There is a lot of jargon around and also explaining something on the forum can be very difficult with words only.

Any other thoughts, anyone, from a modder or newbie or player perspective? What are modder's looking for? What do newbies need to know?
Stupid code. Do what I want, not what I typed in!

User avatar
JohnBWatson
Fleet Officer
Fleet Officer
Posts: 1452
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:17 pm

Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:53 am

relanat wrote:I spent well over a week playing the BlueLight tutorial mod (and learning heaps, thanks JBW) and that's only a relatively small mod!
Thanks, man! If you found any bugs/suboptimal code in there, feel free to notify me so that I can fix them ASAP.

With regard to the rest, I think anything that seems like an issue can be reported as a bug. Even if I've included something intentionally, being informed that people aren't understanding how it's supposed to work can help me make it more intuitive.

regurgi
Miner
Miner
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 6:39 pm

Fri Jan 15, 2016 3:21 am

Speaking as a long-time modder (just not of Transcendence): knowing about bugs is 99% of the battle.
I would much rather tell 5 people that things they report to me are not actually bugs, then to be telling no one that.
First of all, 5 people would be playing my mod! <3
Second, because I should know what needs better explaining! My mod should be such that you should know what's expected and what isn't.
Third, because 99% of my time making a mod is bug-testing.

The Transcendence mod I'm working on is about 90% feature-complete at the moment. Altogether, all of the new items and stuff have taken me maybe a few hours to cobble together.
A few more hours have been spent on playing around with weapon effects. (Which involves a lot of playing)
An hour in total has been spent pre-balancing weapons.
And everything else of what I've spent on it in the last 3 weeks has been spent testing. (For bugs and for balance)
Even most of my time programming is bugtesting after implementing small snippets of code to make sure they do what they're meant to, and don't cause other errors. (Eventually I'll get to the point where I can reuse my own code without further testing, so that's more of a sunk than a marginal timecost).

To drive home what this time table here means: I literally cannot play Transcendence enough to bug & balance test my mod enough
So both comments on balance, and comments on bugs are appreciated. Even if they end up factually wrong in the worst way.


Point two: The concern about clashes with other mods is a very valid concern! If this were a large production environment, like, say, ubuntu development, then hearing how everyone borked their own system with their own customization would be noisome next to all the other things that need fixing.
This isn't that big in either audience or codebase.
It wouldn't be noisome, it might in fact be the first feedback someone gets.

When you do a bug report for mods, even if you had other mods on at the time, even if it turns out to be a clash, that might tell us to make something less kludgey, that interferes less with other mods. Depends on the author, I try to make my mods as independent as possible, effect other mods and the game itself as little as possible. To be an insertion of content so smooth it doesn't create ripples.
Other people follow different philosophies. Even for them, such a bug report might not be worth chasing on its own, but still in connection with other bug reports might clue them into particular behaviours.

And if you don't have the time to bug report, that's fine too!
. . . I'mma go back to cobbling together and testing my 3rd illegal weapon line now. Get closer to actually be able to speak as a Transcendence modder . . .

User avatar
AssumedPseudonym
Fleet Officer
Fleet Officer
Posts: 1093
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:18 am
Location: On the other side of the screen.

Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:47 pm

 I think regurgi’s post does an excellent job of summing up why modders like feedback. Furthermore, beyond just what he they sorry said, other people playing my stuff might try doing things that wouldn’t ever even occur to me — I’m looking at you, Astraltor — that I wouldn’t know needed to be fixed otherwise. That undoubtedly holds true for other modders, too.
 As far as replicability and I am totally declaring that to be a word whether it is or no, regardless of what spellcheck thinks of it, I figure if something weird happens once then it might be a glitch, but if it happens twice then it’s probably a bug.
 …Also, relanat, shortening my name to ’Nym is fine by me. ^.~
Last edited by AssumedPseudonym on Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Image

Mod prefixes: 0xA010 (registered) and 0xDCC8 (miscellaneous)

My mods on Xelerus: Click here!

Of all the things I’ve lost in life, I miss my mind the least. (I’m having a lot more fun without it!)

regurgi
Miner
Miner
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 6:39 pm

Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:29 pm

Wrong pronoun, actually :) 'They'

User avatar
Atarlost
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
Posts: 2391
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:02 am

Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:22 pm

Mods are often fairly simple, or composed of fairly simple pieces that don't interact.

It takes a very comprehensive mod to mess up a station or item from another mod. Weapons Extended and Playership Drones can mess up ships and be tripped up by weapons that aren't suitable for AI use, but unless you're running one of those and your bug is about a weapon not working in AI hands it's probably in the mod the bugged item or object is from.

Or in George doing something not backwards compatible, but that's usually still something the modder needs to be the one to fix.

Typos in XML are easy to trace. If a level 1 weapon does 1d66 or costs 5000 credits or weighs 1 kilograms anyone with any experience modding the game can pinpoint the problem without thinking. Mod interactions can't mess with that. One mod usually can't get into another mod's scripts either unless there's either a name collision or an explicit dependency. Insufficiently mangled names are another of those bugs that really should be fixed even if the mod works fine when alone.
Literally is the new Figuratively

User avatar
pixelfck
Militia Captain
Militia Captain
Posts: 571
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:47 pm
Location: Travelling around in Europe

Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:07 pm

Mod clashes can happen quite easily though if you start changing / overwriting vanilla content (as I do a lot in Black Market Expansion).
Still, whatever the cause, feedback on potential bugs is always welcome, I think this holds true for any modder (I have to agree with AssumedPseudonym, feedback in general, while rare enough, is always appreciated).

~Pixelfck
Image
Download the Black Market Expansion from Xelerus.de today!
My other mods at xelerus.de

relanat
Militia Captain
Militia Captain
Posts: 768
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:56 am

Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:33 am

Thanks for the feedback.
I think anything that seems like an issue can be reported as a bug. Even if I've included something intentionally, being informed that people aren't understanding how it's supposed to work can help me make it more intuitive.

because I should know what needs better explaining! My mod should be such that you should know what's expected and what isn't.
I literally cannot play Transcendence enough to bug & balance test my mod enough
So both comments on balance, and comments on bugs are appreciated. Even if they end up factually wrong in the worst way.
other people playing my stuff might try doing things that wouldn’t ever even occur to me that I wouldn’t know needed to be fixed otherwise.

When you do a bug report for mods, even if you had other mods on at the time, even if it turns out to be a clash, that might tell us to make something less kludgey, that interferes less with other mods.
It takes a very comprehensive mod to mess up a station or item from another mod. Weapons Extended and Playership Drones can mess up ships and be tripped up by weapons that aren't suitable for AI use, but unless you're running one of those and your bug is about a weapon not working in AI hands it's probably in the mod the bugged item or object is from.

Still, whatever the cause, feedback on potential bugs is always welcome, I think this holds true for any modder (I have to agree with AssumedPseudonym, feedback in general, while rare enough, is always appreciated).
I hadn't considered any of these points. I think I was more concerned with needlessly wasting people's time rather than giving feedback that could be used productively. I'm glad I asked now :) ! Thanks everyone.
Stupid code. Do what I want, not what I typed in!

User avatar
digdug
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
Posts: 2615
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:23 pm
Location: Decoding hieroglyphics on Tan-Ru-Dorem

Tue Feb 09, 2016 1:34 pm

To drive home what this time table here means: I literally cannot play Transcendence enough to bug & balance test my mod enough. So both comments on balance, and comments on bugs are appreciated.
of course, nobody can predict every single action of ever player. Nobody can fully debug a mod by themselves. There is always the need of players to do some scenario that the programmer didn't think about and trigger a bug.

I love feedback. it means that other people care of what I wrote/modded.

Post Reply