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Numerous game-breaking bugs in 1.66

posted Oct 07, 2012 05:14:09 by karl1982
After my wife and I had several successful playtests on v1.65, we organized an Artemis party with some friends and family tonight. Unfortunately, we ran into numerous bugs that made it difficult or impossible to play.

1.) Clients frequently disconnect from the server, dropping back to the console selection screen. Sometimes they would return to the simulation, sometimes not. The console selection screen would often fail to show that some consoles were taken.

2.) While warping between stations, we were suddenly badly damaged. Upon examining the engineering station, all of our systems were overheating. The engineering console hadn't really been used, and everything was at 100% with no coolant allocated. We had to allocate a unit of coolant to every system AND reduce them to less than half power just to get the heat under control. We were never able to determine the cause.

3.) Despite repeated attempts, we were not able to get a ship equipped with jump drive. The engineering station showed jump drive, but the helm was always warp.

4.) Keyboard hotkeys on any station would sometimes stop working until the client was closed and restarted. Sometimes it was only the number keys, sometimes it was also the space bar.

5.) Sometimes there was a Direct3D assertion failure that would cause the client's graphics to malfunction, and it seemed to also throw the client out of sync with certain options or events.

It pretty much crippled my LAN party... very disappointing. Are there workarounds for any of these? Any news on the next patch?
[Last edited Oct 07, 2012 05:17:55]
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6 replies
ThomRobertson said Oct 08, 2012 17:44:40
1) frequent disconnections (I've found) have much to do with the wireless internet you're using, and the computers you use it on. The server you choose the run the game on, and the Network Update Speed you choose, can also have an effect. I'm sure you've been annoyed by this, and I'm sorry, but I haven't found such frequent disconnections are common.

2) For 1.66, I added a systemic overheat when the ship collects too much energy. I thought this feature would add tension to the game. Unfortunately, the first version (1.66) was tuned wrong, and the feature annoyed many. I fixed it in 1.661, which is part of the update package found on the download page of this website.

3) This is a bug. I'm fixing it. Meanwhile, please choose jump-drive from the helm console, not the server control screen.

4) Bizarre! I've never seen this behavior. I'll look into it.

5) And the assertion happened out of the blue? 'Cause it can happen when you alt-tab out of the program, and an earlier version of the software had a missing enemy art file that caused an assertion (fixed in the latest update).

As far as client data de-syncing, that's also a bug I'm working on right now.

Thanks for your detailed bug report; I hope I can get a new version out soon, and your next LAN party goes better.
Creator of Artemis
karl1982 said Oct 09, 2012 03:06:47
Thom, thanks for your attention to this. If there's anything I can do to help narrow down the issues, let me know.

1.) I was wondering if the wireless may have had something to do with it. Most of my clients and the server were wireless in last weekend's setup. I need to have a cable run across my house to have a proper gigabit infrastructure. I might also try breaking up the wireless clients among a couple access points on different channels. Would you suggest lengthening the network update interval to help mitigate the problem?

2.) I didn't realize there was a 1.661 update. I'll be sure everyone gets it next time. I think you're right about the cause. Our ship began experiencing heat issues shortly after getting a battery overcharge from a transport which had us just a little shy of 3000 energy. Unfortunately the result of this bonus was that it crippled my ship and ultimately led to our destruction. You might also consider either a.) only ramping up the heat production of systems over 100%, or b.) only overheating the engines so that less coolant is available to other systems. Either way, the problem would be squarely for the engineer to handle, and ship operations would still be manageable.

3.) We chose the jump drive from both the server and helm consoles. I can confirm the helm choice was submitted because we also renamed the ship. We still ended up with warp drive on the helm and jump drive listed on engineering.

4.) My first thought was that it might have something to do with changing your equipped consoles mid-game. We had to do that because after the frequent disconnects, when we clicked a console, we would be immediately put back into the game without our other selections. And so we had to ESC and go back to the console selection and fix it. That might be somewhere to start looking. I was primarily on helm and noticed that might 1-4 warp speed shortcuts would stop working, and sometimes it might or might not also include the space bar not stopping the ship.

5.) The assertion errors were happening on several of our clients right after opening the game fullscreen, without tabbing out or anything. We seemed to have the de-syncing issues on those clients after that, but it could be a coincidence.
karl1982 said Oct 10, 2012 03:44:27
4.) I noticed in another thread it was mentioned that if you chose jump drive and ended up with warp, the 1-4 hotkeys would not work. This may have been what I was experiencing because I was on helm at the time. I did sometimes end up with the space bar not stopping the ship though, so that may be a separate issue.
Mike_Substelny said Oct 10, 2012 17:09:08
Last Saturday we had four full bridges set up at my house in Cleveland. For a while we even had a remote Game Master in Phoenix. During that time we have 25 computers on the same home network running four different Artemis games (there were other machines on the network not playing Artemis). Then we ran all four bridges in the same game, without a Game Master, but with four more laptops so the Communications Officers could Skype each other. Artemis experienced no network problems whatsoever. Here is how we did it:

* My home network has two wireless access points. This is necessary because wi-fi has trouble penetrating the century-old brick wall running through the middle of my house.
* My main server has a hardwire ethernet connection to the network and internet.
* We set up another whole bridge with all six computers (including server) on hardwired ethernet.
* The Game Mastered game took place while all four bridges were playing separate games on the same network.
* When all four bridges were in the same game we used the fastest computer as the server.

We do not know if any of this was necessary. Also we did run into a few non-network glitches:

* Skype crashed a lot and we eventually abandoned it.
* One of the older laptops crashed several times.
* One netbook glitched while copying the new Artemis files from a thumb drive. We re-copied and it was fine.
[Last edited Oct 10, 2012 17:10:33]
"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton!"

(Likely actual words of Admiral David Farragut, USN, at the battle of Mobile Bay. Four bells was the signal for the engine room to make full steam ahead).
acolytetojippity said Oct 20, 2012 06:39:28
I can confirm #3. I have as of this moment been unable to use a jump drive at all.

in orther news, we have a 4-ship LAN coming up shortly (less than 6 hours) for the Extra-life charity marathon. we have about 7+ hours of artemis on the schedule ^_^
stappbw said Oct 13, 2014 08:13:38
My LAN has been experiencing issues with #2. I didn't notice anything about being overcharged but, we will be playing quite a bit i'll update when I can get a bit more information on the surrounding circumstances.
[Last edited Oct 13, 2014 08:14:06]
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