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Author Topic: Debugging module ideas  (Read 2299 times)

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metamorphium

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Debugging module ideas
« on: January 20, 2006, 12:10:29 PM »

Hi all,

this is just an idea about additional debugging thing. I'd like to hear your ideas and comments about it.

Problem:
The main problem with debugging complex systems, as games for example, is that players must be treated as nonlinear dynamic
systems and predictability of their actions and even more sequence of actions converges to zero. Many of bugs are easily traceable
but sometimes we get a bugreport which we are never able to replicate yet other players can (or will) crash into the very same problem.
My idea is how to trace these things in WME.

Inspiration:
IF games are usually debugged by comments in the transcripts so you can see what exactly took place from the very beginning to the very end. I immediately start to think about transforming this idea into WME.

Solution concept:
The very raw idea is (upon turning on debug mode) to store all mouse clicks + mouse positions upon click and key clicks into text file and having the option to replay it. This option is really simple to implement - reading text file and propagating events upon mousex and mousey change. This must of course check if game is in interactive mode otherwise the loop must wait for next event.

Next thing is to implement comment (simple text field on attached key press) which will record players comment and store it and upon replay show it on screen in a desired place. Again very simple... :)

Problems:
The main problem as I see now the length. If player spends 20 hours playing the game, you can't afford the same amount of time going through his gameplay although it would be significantly shorter as turned into stream of events. Either testing must take place partialized
which will mean that player starts testing from certain predetermined point and this will shorten just some area or there must be some way how to fastforward things. I'll have to thing about it.

And now I am interested about your ideas about this concept. :)
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