Save Corruption

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Save Corruption

My save game has gone sideways. I lost 95% of my explored map, tiles changed, DMC went 'dead' (no Canteen, Store indicator, Hatter, or Motel). I'm still able to enter DMC and use the landmarks there, even getting kicked out once. I lost everything I had stored in my vehicle that I had dumped at the motel, but kept everything I had on me. My minimap included the cryo facility and a few surrounding tiles, so I went back to check it out and the dead Dogman's fur was still where I had left it.

The following is what I was up to before the corruption...

  • I had modified the game variable to allow 20 points to start instead of 15, but otherwise use no mods or changes.
  • My character had +Strong, +Melee, +Botany, +Hiding, +Hacking, +Lockpick, +Athletic, -Metabolism, -Insomnia, and -Myopic
  • This was the third character I had played after setting the point total to 20, but the longest to survive.
  • I traveled directly to DMC, using Botany to survive on mushrooms and berries. I didn't dawdle anywhere, but did scavenge until I had found a lighter, a pan, and enough clothing to stay warm.
  • I gave Hatter the flash drive of me kicking the dogman's ass, and was wearing the bracelet to enter DMC.
  • I had gone in and looked around, eating a single meal and paying for it with a tip.
  • I used Botany to create Tannin tea for sale and earned around $4500 before the corruption.
  • I used keyboard shortcuts for "Use" (2) and "Delete" (3) while interacting with a pond and forest to generate the raw materials I needed.
  • I did, several times, rapidly click to interact with the pond and forest to generate large amounts of raw materials quickly. I generated so much wood clutter that it filled the screen each time, maybe overflowing into second screens.
  • I rapidly deleted excess wood clutter, leaving just the twigs and a single stack of branches for making fires.
  • In the crafting screen on my forest tile, large logs and branches took up a lot of space and I deleted them inside the crafting screen using the keyboard shortcut. What struck me as odd was that these logs and branches did not appear in the forest tile, even when I sorted the tile automatically.
  • I had rented a hatchback for a day, then a week when I had enough money and stored everything I didn't immediately need for Tannin production there.
  • I had found a full 99.9% suit of tactical gear, apparently dropped by a dead soldier. I had that collected and stored in the hatchback.
  • I renewed my hatchback rental for another week maybe 4-5 days into the first rental, paranoid about losing that tactical gear.
  • Each day I filled the Junk Merchant's inventory with Tannin and bought anything useful to store.
  • One day the Junk Merchant didn't appear to refresh his inventory at midnight, as when I checked in with him in the morning, he still had a pile of Tannin Tea. I couldn't recall if I sold anything at night, but didn't think I did.
  • Between the Junk Merchant and the annoying piles of logs and branches, I decided to try and 'clean up' things by saving & quitting. I closed the game after and restarted it.
  • When I came back, I was still in the tile for the motel but the motel was gone - nothing at all to interact with.
    • The minimap had changed and the fog of war covered everything except what I could see around me and a few tiles around the cryo facility.
    • The names of all the DMC facilities were gone from the map.
    • The other DMC interactions were gone - Hatter's access panel, the Canteen's eatery sign, etc.
    • The Junk Merchant's inventory was reset, and it worked as expected, but he had no name on his tile.
    • All of the tiles around DMC that I was used to seeing had been respawned or re-created randomly.
    • The Gate 11 entrance worked and the interactions inside were normal.
    • I traveled back to the cryo facility, hoping to trip a trigger or switch to re-activate the DMC tiles.
    • The cryo facility still had the items I left there.

I suspect I broke the game by holding "2" (Use) and clicking too quickly while generating wood clutter. The tile was filled with wood I couldn't see except in the crafting menu - and pressing "3" (Delete) in the Crafting menu to remove them there had no effect and they'd come back each time I opened the crafting menu for that tile.

Another side-effect was that the inventory screens I had on me, the skill screen, and the cryo facility inventory were all out of sync with items and skills overflowing off the inventory slots. The character inventory and cryo facility were correctable using the auto-sort. The skills outside the skill slots were not able to be picked up and moved, but other skills could be re-sorted manually.

Wow, that's a pretty big failure! (And a detailed bug!) Sorry to hear about the lost effort.

You could be right about the rapid-fire clicking and hotkeys having something to do with it. I've run into players reporting issues after mass-producing tannin tea before, so it could also be something in that process has a small chance of bugging. If there's a 1% chance of it happening each time, making $4500 in crafting tannin tea might be enough to hit that chance :)

My hunch, based on your report, is that the game indeed failed sometime during the mass-production of tannin tea, producing a null-pointer bug (game generated a bad memory location for something, or deleted something in memory it still needed). The game continued to run at this point, though may have shown slight signs of weirdness.

When you clicked "save," the process of recording all the game data finally tripped over that null pointer and wasn't able to save the rest of the data, leaving you with a partial game save (or possibly a save that causes bugs when loaded).

If you'd like (and if you still have it), I could try loading the save file here to see what happens. I probably can't recover any data from it, but there's a slight chance I'll see a cause for the bug.

I'm not sure if I can reproduce something like that, though. I've tried mass-producing tannin tea in the past, and did find a few bugs that way, but eventually couldn't get any more to appear.

Let me know if you want me to try that save file!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Unfortunately, I moved onto a new game after that... which was an awesome success until I accidentally ate some rotting, raw human flesh and then encountered two Dogmen while I was having an attack of vomiting and diarrhea. I can only imagine it wasn't a pretty scene.

I don't mind trying to re-create the situation, though. It's not too hard to get to DMC and start spamming wood/water/tannin production to see if I can get it to freak out again. I should be able to tell if I succeeded by the crafting menu showing me items I don't see in the area before entering it (like half a dozen large sticks).

I have frequent save-game corruptions as well, with an unmodded version of the game, vanilla download from Running on Linux Mint in case it matters.

Result is that parts of progress on map is lost, all names on map are lost like in this screenshot:

Corruption seems to happen during save of the map: hitting Save&Quit will not end correctly and never display the New Game and Exit buttons but instead just stay at Save&Quit, needs terminating the game via window menu or OS.

Sadly I have not yet been able to play a game without this bug happening at some time, longest game I managed before save was corrupted was about 10 game days.

Sorry for the save problems! Sounds like I'll need to maybe do some more long term testing in the debugger to see if I can catch the bug.

Just out of curiosity, does disabling autosave make a difference?

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

I've switched off autosave for my next attempt now, will report back whether it makes any difference.

Thanks! Some users have reported autosave causing problems, and if that has an effect, this would be helpful in narrowing down the problem.

Also, with the mobile version of NEO Scavenger nearing completion, that may mean a non-Flash version of the engine is done. And in theory, I could try switching the existing PC downloads to using that new engine, which may also solve certain issues.

The trouble is, it could also cause a huge list of new ones! But if the upgrade isn't too time consuming, it might be worth a try. A non-Flash engine means some really cool fixes, like no more Flash cookies for save files, better fullscreen support, etc.

It's not a guarantee it'll happen, but I may hold off on any major bug fixes until I decide which way it'll go.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Had another play with autosave off: made it to game-day 16 with no save corruption. Good thing! :)

That game ended when a dogman walked into my camp while I was sleeping, I was dead before I even knew what hit me. :)

I've encountered a similar issue. Lost 90% of the discovered map and the map seems to have been generated again (a town square I was standing on just south of ATN Enclave no longer exists)
I can confirm that the save & quit didn't seem to respond as I expected while trying to save.
I was also adopting a cash generation strategy by selling lots of stuff but w/o botany was just selling sterilised water. (Thanks for the idea ;) )

I didn't notice any strange issues while playing. But I believe I encountered this once before (same selling water tactic) and was simply less bothered since it was earlier in the game.

I have emailed separately a copy of the save. If you are keen to track down the issue.
Autosave was indeed enabled though so I guess I will have overwritten the "original" corrupted save.

Thanks for sending that save over, Darsul! I'll give that a look once I'm done with a few other tasks.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

it happened the same. On reload i had only one portion of the map saved, when back to dmc of course the game randomly respawned the area, unfortunately removing anything but the store and the city entrance. Previously than reloading i noticed that the game was not quitting after clicking save and quit. Like it was updating the save, but the game didn't quit. Closing and reloading the game i fell intothe issue. I was backing up my saves and i noticed that saves went from 800kb to 150kb.
I had been massively producing and selling water too, plus repitedly scavenge the area near dmc.
It was a long save, this sucks badly.

@sketch, thanks for the heads-up! There's definitely some new info in there. I haven't heard others mention the game not quitting when saving, for example.

And the mega-crafting of water seems like it might be a common thread in several bug reports. Maybe I'll focus on that. Thanks again!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

I've also hit game corruption. It was my first game, about 5 hours in. I was using the cryo base as a camp, and while corruption didn't lose the map tile, but *did* lose everything inside the base. Scavenging the area acted like it was the first time I was ever there. Items left on the ground outside were not lost. Being five hours in I don't even know what DMC stands for, and I wasn't mass-producing anything. I was excited to have recently found a boot. :)

I'm running on Ubuntu 16.04, using the version installed via Steam (v1.15). Like others have reported, "save and quit" stopped responding when the bug surfaced. The game felt sluggish before the bug manifested, but otherwise didn't seem to act oddly. I started the session where it manifested by turning the music up (which I had previously set to zero), but I didn't seem to have music in the game (other sound effects were fine). I don't know if that's a red herring because I don't know if the game is supposed to have music playing in-game or not.

The only other thing I had noticed is that some previously scavenged tiles had their magnifying glasses reappear. Again, I don't know if that's an intended game mechanic (you can rescavenge areas after a while), or if that was the game losing data and marking those tiles as unscavenged.

Given Jando has suggested that turning off autosave may reduce the incidence, I'll try that.

Just bought this game in the steam sale and I love it but I've had this same bug.
Latest version unmodded, windows 7, during an encounter with a feral dog at night on the first day the information window (not sure what it's meant to be called) stopped updating and so after the fight I tried to save and quit but it just said saving and then then didn't quit. I manually closed it and then when I restarted all my equipped items are still there but everything else on the map seems to have reset.
The other weird thing is that when I went back to the cryo lab and went inside exam room 17 again the camp site doesn't show up anymore.

I was only just starting up and the only thing I can think of that I did out of the ordinary was during the battle before it stopped updating I tried pressing space bar instead of confirm and it seemed to glitch out a little but that could just be my imagination. Other people have said it happened when they were spamming actions, at the time I had just hit search a few times but I wouldn't say I was spamming it.
Oh also earlier on a couple of times during a battle I selected run away and it took me to the inventory screen instead?

Anyway hope this helps, I can send the save file if you want.
I still love this game though, if you release the new engine version on pc I will gladly pay full price for it.

This really breaks my heart. I've put 60 hours into Neo Scavenger since Thanksgiving. In that time, two of my best characters have been lost due to this bug. I really want to fall in love with this game and play it all winter, I don't know if I can if I can't trust the saves.

Have you made any progress locating this bug? Any news on the Haxe version being ported to Linux? Is there any way I can help? Like a debug version I could play with extra error messages? A way to keep every save, so you could inspect the exact turn when things get bugged?

I can report that in one of my two bugged games there was no large scale crafting. In both cases the map was incompletely wiped, tiles below a certain line were blacked out, tiles above were revealed on the map. All tiles except the player tile seemed to be regenerated, all my caches were gone.

@hatta, I'm sorry about that. And unfortunately, no luck yet in finding the cause. There was a brief while where a player had what we thought were some solid reproduction steps, but I couldn't get it to happen on my machine.

The current theory is that something is causing the save process to bail just after the player data is saved, but before it finishes the map data. So the save file can be loaded again, but is missing map info.

And I think it has to do with the number if spawned items and/or hexes so far in the game session (probably a combo of the two).

That said, every attempt I've made to artificially cause the bug has failed. E.g. exposing the whole map, spawning a ton of items, even using a save that was known to have the bug a few turns into the future.

The good news is that the Haxe port is coming along. A good chunk of it is working already, and it's down to more secondary features now. Things like modding support, desktop options (resolution, framerate), atlas vs. single images, etc. And although I haven't tried the Haxe version on Linux yet, I'm expecting it to be more robust than the Flash engine there.

And in fact, this is kind of why I've stopped pouring hours into chasing this Flash bug. The Haxe replacement will probably be less work from here on :)

So hopefully, it won't be much longer!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Thanks, I love hearing that the Haxe version is coming to Linux. Looking forward to that!