4 Hugues Ross - Blog: Capstone Update 11: Bugs in the wiring
Hugues Ross

1/29/16

Capstone Update 11: Bugs in the wiring

Like last week's post, this Capstone post is going to be a bit short. Because of my schedule, I haven't been able to do much Capstone work outside of weekends. In addition, I didn't really have much to do until last Wednesday. As a result, I don't really have much to share beyond some truly riveting refactoring work. Because of the dearth of work, I'm going to be talking about a bug I found last week while testing a shader.

We have many interactive objects in our game, and some of them, like certain power switches, should only be used once. After using them, the highlight that marks them as usable disappears and they become unusable. Sounds good, right?

As it turns out, all of this only takes effect when you move your mouse off of them. As long as you keep your cursor in place, you can flip switches all day long. Of course, no one planned for this. Animations break, and (surprisingly!) you can simply switch lights on and off as fast as you like.

Sadly, as fun as this little bug is to play with, it's actually quite serious. Not only are lights important for staying alive, some doors are only open when the power's on. This means that by turning on the first switch, turning it back off, and looking away, the player can effectively soft-lock the game within about a minute of starting.

Since I found the bug, I decided to take it on and dig a little. It looks like the player is the culprit. The player keeps track of nearby interactive objects, adding them to and removing them from a list as you move and look around. When an object is no longer interactive, it can't be added. However, it doesn't get removed when the object's state changes.

There are a couple of ways that I could fix this issue: Removing things from the list, and making the interact key check the object when used. Originally, I was planning to do the former. However, I recently thought of another bug. If an object isn't interactive, and then it changes, the highlight won't appear and the player will be unable to use it. The latter change should fix this issue as well, but I'll have to give it a shot first.
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