Playtesting, Bug Fixes, OOO Monday

I decided to do some more playtesting this morning, to get a feel for scavenge drop rates. The recent change has caused more than a little concern among players, so I've been watching for signs it's too easy or hard.

After about an hour, I found that my playthrough was achieving a pretty steady trickle of loot and wounds. I was finding just enough to get by, plus some things to sell at the junk market. But on the other hand, I was also getting pretty banged-up from scavenging accidents. In retrospect, this actually makes sense given my judicious use of strong and crowbar when available in scavenging.

Most importantly, I still felt like I was having a steady supply of windfalls and challenges, and had to be clever to solve issues as they came up. I think that balance is still about right, despite the increase in scavenge accidents. (Maybe even better? Now we have more wound treatment as a risk of more scavenging reward.) I'm inclined to leave it at current levels, and tweak smaller elements like types of loot or more item variety.

While I was testing, I ran across the bug with newspaper headlines not fitting in large UI mode, so I fixed that. (Decided to resize the tooltip so it needs less vertical space.)

I also playtested Kaaven's Mini Mighty Mod of Doom, as he was seeing some weird bugs. Apart from having too much fun, I stumbled across the bug he described. It turns out that a condition in his mod had a typo, and the game's data parser didn't handle the error correctly. The result was NaN propagating through the creature wounding system, eventually breaking it down completely.

Since conditions are one of the most often used components of the game (and mods), I added some data validation to help avoid this in the future. Hopefully, the game will fail more gracefully in the future!

Finally, I should point out that this weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving, so I won't be at work on Monday. I should be back on Tuesday, however. For those celebrating a holiday weekend, enjoy!


Rovlad's picture

On an unrelated note, but is there any way to change combat message log so that "died because of reasons" message would come after the final attack(s), not before? It's definitely not a big deal, just a little pet peeve of mine.

dcfedor's picture

I've actually looked into that, because it bothers me too. I think there was a problem with cascading/nesting effects that caused it. E.g. condition A caused a status update that leads to death, sending a death message to the log, and then resuming the clean-up and messaging for condition A.

I'll have to look into that again, though. Maybe there's some way to queue the messages more logically, rather than as each condition is processed.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Rovlad's picture

Since (I think) it's only death messages that misbehave in that way, you could probably hack it so death messages are sent into a temporary buffer and only put them into combat log (and display them) if game reaches game over state (player died) or whenever combat ends (someone else died). It wouldn't be pretty code-wise but perhaps less work than rethinking the whole queue thing.