Indie Game Development - "Having fun, making fun"

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Multiplayer crash bug found - fix on the way

A crash bug has been found in online multiplayer.  I apologize to everyone that this has happened and am busy preparing an update to fix it.

I have very high quality standards and am somewhat of a perfectionist about my work.  I was dismayed therefore, when two different reviewers reported experiencing crashes during online multiplayer matches.   That simply should not be possible, and yet it was.  I am very grateful to Indie Gamer Chick and Tom Thompson, who brought the issue to my attention and agreed to hold off on their reviews until the fix is in place.  I am also thankful to NameProduct and Tom for talking with me online from Snowy Germany and playing some online matches with me so I could better understand what was going on.  You guys are great!

So what went wrong?  Because I'm obsessed with quality and its challenging to get other developers to test online games I purchased two developer accounts, gold accounts and xboxs.   I used them to test over Xbox Live from multiple locations so I could deal with real-world latency.   And I did find and fix problems this way that I would never have found if I had simply developed my game using system link and simulated latency.   So how in the world could I be getting a crash in online multiplayer now?

What appears to be happening is a section of networking code that never produced any problems before is now producing crashes almost 100% of the time.  Since I haven't changed my code, this should not be possible - but it is.  That doesn't mean that I haven't made mistakes or that there is nothing I could have done to prevent this.  Had I wrapped my networking code in a try catch block (an error handling proceedure) the crashes would never have occured. If during peer review I had pushed to get even one developer to test online play with me we would have caught the bug.  I may have even been able to find it locally over system link if I had used my two machines to test the revisions during peer review.  So, while I may not understand how this crash bug got into a shipping build, I believe with a little more diligence I can prevent this kind of problem from happening again. My apologies to all that were effected by this.  The fix is on the way.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ultimate Dodgeball Clears Peer Review!

I'm excited to announce that Ultimate Dodgeball has passed the peer review process and will be released onto the marketplace this Friday, January 18th! 

I am very grateful to everyone who took the time to review it, especially the developers who gave the final Japanese votes I needed to clear review.