9
JsonBoa
342d

Is it OK to punch a game dev who codes stupid numeric bugs?

So my wife got into Stardew Valley, that admittedly awesome comfort game farming simulator.
She went pretty far in the game, and found some item that was supposed to highly increase the damage she could inflict onto cute little monster thingies.
It didn't work as intended.
Since equipping the piece of shit all her hits did 0 damage. She tossed the item away but the problem persisted. And on and on...
She took to the googles to try and find some explanation, and apparently that is a fairly common bug for mobile devs.
Then she called in the big guns (that is how I'm calling myself in this case, you will see why).

Apparently there is some buggy piece of shitcode somewhere in the game with a numerical insecure routine that overflows the attack modifier. I.e. if it was supposed to increase from 1.990 to 2.010, it actually went all the way down to -0.4.
She was lucky her attacks weren't increasing the monsters' HP.

We found a forum post where some dude said that he managed to edit the game save file and reset the negative-value attack increase modifier variable. Seems easy enough at first, but my wife uses iOS. Nothing is ever so straightforward with apple stuff.

We did get to the save file, she emailed it to me (the file has no extension and no line breaks in it, so we facepalm'd on a couple attempts at editing it directly).
I finally manage to get it into my personal 11-yo laptop... that won't open a single line file that big.

Cue the python terminal. Easy enough to read the file into a string var and search for the buggy XML tag. Edit the value and overwrite into a new file. Send it back to her by email. Figure out how to overwrite the file in iOS.

Some tense moments while the game reloads... and it works!!!! Got some serious hubby goodwill points here.
Srsly, this troubleshoot process is not for technophobes. It is out of reach to pretty much every non-techy user.

And now back to the original question: If I ever manage to find the kid who coded a game-breaking numerically unsafe routine and shipped it as if every test in the planet had waved it bye-bye, can I punch them? Or maybe buy them a beer, let's see how I get to cash that hubby goodwill tonight :)

Comments
  • 11
    You meeting dev: I was so pissed about this bug. But it got me good favor and some nookie. So thanks, let me buy you a beer.

    Dev: Yeah, we specifically marketed the game toward women with techy husbands. This is a feature.
  • 11
    Stardew valley is/was made by one person the fact it even came out was a wonder on it's own. You could probably report the bug though.

    We all make dumbdumb mistakes.
  • 2
    Yeah, the guy coded the entire game single handedly, he brought your wife hours of joy by making this game, but then there's some bugs, so you want to punch him. Well that doesn't seem fair! Imagine you make a game and then people just randomly attack you on the street because it wasn't perfect :c no one would ever make anything!
  • 1
    Regarding your question: no to punching, everybody can make a mistake in their code (I'd wager even you would have been smacked quite a few times otherwise). But yes to beer, for creating a game single handedly which is still being enjoyed by people across the globe after SEVENTEEN years, even adding a multiplayer mode AFTER launch which runs surprisingly smooth.

    And thanks for the tip: gonna bookmark this for future reference when my partner (or me) encounters this issue :p
  • 1
    Read first two lines... No it's not okay to punch your wife. Even though this is a creative excuse
  • 1
    @hjk101 I literally couldn't. I might be as fashionably unfit as most devs, but the wife crossfits. And I've seen her carry our youngest one along with his stroller up stairs with one arm. The other had her phone.
  • 0
    @JsonBoa Yeah those phones have become quite hefty!

    My girl also does CrossFit, can relate. She can clean and lunge me all the way to the dumpster if she wants
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