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Bugs in 1.2 GOG version

Bugs in 1.2 GOG version

Postby skidmarx » Fri Dec 26, 2014 3:12 pm

Great game and all that. Having the most gameplay satisfaction in years.
Enjoying the different challenge of the new "mansion" house, and am humbled that you added that as a free update. Seeing some exceptional depth of detail and care in some of the locations and "comments". You guys deserve all the success you can get. I hate to grumble about such great value, but... bugs.

Didn't notice any problems in 1.0, apart from the marketplace single item trading "bug". I thought it was Christmas, discovering I could get 32 components for the price of one crappy roll-up. I thought that was a "relief valve" provided for struggling players to avoid defeat, not a bug as such. Oh well.

But with the 1.2 (GOG) update, I've noticed a few peculiarities, some of which are quite frustrating.

- when "multitasking" many survivors (ie a click fest of you go here, do that, you go there, do this, etc) one or more of them will run to the destination, approach the activity, then turn and walk away, instead of engaging the action. This happens randomly, and fairly frequently. It happens whether the action is to "enquire" what should be done (like, what to make at the workbench), or to resume a previously interrupted production (like, making cigarettes at the herb table, or constructing furniture).
On one occasion, three of the four survivors I sent running, failed to start their tasks when they arrived. If they would stand at the location, I'd have some chance of sorting it. But when they walk away instantly, starting a "relax" routine, it is as if they have completed the task, not failed to start it. The visual clue does not signal there was a problem.

- if I use "leave" and "continue" to replay the day, then the morning summary shows the results of the previous day's scavenge, as well as that night's scavenge. This is new for 1.2. It never happened before.
It does not always happen, either. It is possible that it occurs only when different survivors went scavenging (so, two names to report), but I cannot say for sure.
It appears that only the summary message is echoed. I do not get a repeat award of the scavenged items into the house inventory.

- a further issue with "leave" and "continue", is that the visitor of that day changes. Previously, if Franko (the trader) had appeared, he would always appear, but with different inventory. Now, sometimes he re-appears, sometimes not (but his inventory is always different if he does show up).
I first noticed this when the sick woman with her two kids turned up to reward the shelter, but on a replay of the day, she didn't show. In fact, no-one came on that particular replay day.
I recall reading that if a new survivor showed up, you could replay the day to get a different choice of survivor, if you didn't like the one that showed. So, the scripted event was the same, even if the details of it (like, Franko's inventory, or which survivor) were variable. It now appears that the scripted event can change too. If intended, then fine. If not, then bug.

- Bio updates
I enjoy reading the Bio backstory and event opinions.
But, since 1.2, previously read Bio information is often not properly changed to "old", but remains red (as if unread), many days later. I am also fairly certain I have seen previously read information vanish completely. But, tbh, that might have been because of a "leave and continue" event. All I do know is, that since 1.2, Bio history has become highly unreliable for proper updating.

- location updates
I find the brief summary of what's remaining at each location useful, as well as the percentage scavanged.
But there was one location, which said it was 98% scavenged, with no significant quantities left, when all I had done was run around collecting all of the scavenged goodies to one convenient stash near the arrival point.
That only happened with one location, but I was shocked when I saw that one, because I knew I had only been there once, and there was masses of stuff left, yet the summary suggested there was nothing.
Darned if I can remember where it was, though. I suspect either Sniper Junction, Construction Site (with the bandit ambush), or the Supermarket (with other scavengers). Construction Site feels most likely.
It is possible, that this happened because I "dropped" items at a new stash, rather than used one of the original ones. But I'm not certain about that at all.
When I went back, there were vast quantities of stuff, as expected. So, just the "counting" mechanism for the location summary was amiss.

- survivors randomly ignore instructions. A selected survivor stands there, ignoring your click on a household activity. Until, you send them somewhere else first, and then click on the activity again. This never happened in 1.0 or 1.1.1.
It is immensely frustrating when the survivor is standing right next to a water purifier, precious time ticking away to have it set up for 8.00pm, yet they do not engage the activity, with no obvious reason why.

I don't know why this happens. There are no errors about routing paths, or busy production.
But something similar happens in the new house, when you try to access a stash on the far side of a rubble pile or locked door (like, trying to scavenge the tree house before a path is cleared). Often, there is a "I don't know how to get there" complaint, like during the nightly scavenge, but not always.... (or am I imagining that?) But, the game believing that the activity is somehow "inaccessible" would explain the behaviour, I think. Especially as routing the survivor somewhere else first, getting them to move, then restores the ability to route to the previously ignored instruction.

(I apologise for being vague. Sometimes my memory plays tricks, and sometimes I spot patterns where there are none. But I'm hoping that my comments might trigger your clever programmers to realise what part of the game coding is having trouble...)

- On one occasion, most of the icons in the house disappeared. It was the middle of the day, but there had been an "incident" with a very sick survivor persistently walking away from the cigarette table to "relax idle" and not start the activity (three times consecutively). I multiple rapid-right-clicked on the production table in frustrated "Just do what I ask you to", but when they finally obeyed, the house was.... damaged.
I realised that the survivor I was about to put to bed then could not do so, because the bed icons had all disappeared. (The bed was not occupied.)
All of the icons for the herb garden, water purifier, stove, workbench, and most of the other household activities had also vanished. I was left with icons for the moonshine still, and two other items (can't remember which ones now - I think one was the herb table the sick survivor kept walking away from).
This has only happened once, but it was with 1.2.
Leave and Continue reset everything just fine.
And, I'm fairly certain this was with the New House.

- I have noticed there is a "delay". Sometimes, I select a survivor, click on an activity, and they appear to ignore it. I start thinking "it's a repeat of the 'ignore instruction' problem", and then they react to it, a second or two later. I am wondering if there is now some inefficient looping checks going on, perhaps for routing/pathing, that is severely affecting how quickly survivors react to player commands. Just speculation on my part, but I have noticed that a lot of frustrating glitches in 1.2 might all be explained by this.

- while playing "lone Marko" (who survived very comfortably, btw, despite spending 32 days entirely on his own - no-one came to join him) he twice climbed into bed and slept in very peculiar positions. His avatar had the right sleeping shape, except that one time he was curled up on the pillow, with his head towards me, and the other time he lay on the lower half of the bed, with his feet towards me.
On both occasions, he was "Very tired", and paused to complain about "no rest" in the middle of the "climb into bed" animation. I tend to frustratedly rapid-right-click the "bed" icon hoping to snap him out of it. He'd be in bed and asleep just one second later, had he not stopped for a whinge about not sleeping. Doh!
Perhaps that "command queueing" of my clicks affected the animation, because it only happened twice, and the same pause and rapid clicking happened with each one. He slept OK, and gameplay seemed unaffected. He was just graphically positioned strangely on the bed. Never seen that at any other time.
(This was in the New House)
(Guessing: he paused during the "turn towards the bed" section of the animation, interrupting it. After his complaint, he then resumed the "walk towards the bed and lie on it" part of the animation, without completing the "turn" animation. So he walked at an odd angle, and slept in a consistently odd angle, because the "turn" part of the animation did not play out fully. The sleeping positions were consistent with approaching the bed at different angles from the place where the avatar turns to face the bed.)

- Also, while playing "lone Marko", he would automatically de-select whenever he went to bed. Which meant, there was no survivor selected when he woke up. I could click on household activities, and he would not respond, since no-one was selected. Took me a while to realise he was not selected. At first I thought it was the "delay" or "ignoring instructions" issue. Because it never occurred to me, that the shelter could have a state where not one survivor was "active".
I could click on him while he slept, to "restore" selection. It seems that the de-selection occurs just once as he goes to bed, but it happens every time he goes to bed.
I have never had my shelter reduce to a single survivor before, so I have no idea if this always happens, or is somehow unique to Marko, or unique to that scenario.

As a last observation, the "delay" and "ignore instructions" issues are absolutely affecting the New House added with 1.2
I have only had one playthrough in the original house since updating to 1.2, and I cannot remember if these issues affected it. I don't recall any frustrating moments with it.

So it might all be a routing issue with the layout of the new house.
I have wondered why survivors sometimes seem to take a longer route to the left side stairs, instead of climbing up the ladder at the right (ground and first basement levels). I think it's because each survivor has different climbing skills, and the route chosen is the quickest time, not shortest distance. I noticed that Pavle and Katia always took different routes at the lower right section of the construction site, presumably because of Pavle's greater running speed affecting which route was faster for him....
So, I wonder if the "ignoring instructions" problem is because the code cannot calculate the quickest route to take, perhaps even stuck in an infinite loop....
But that's total speculation and conjecture on my part. I apologise if it misleads, rather than helps.

Other things to consider:
- icon size. It is far too easy to catch the "wrong" icon. I mean, I have sometimes chopped up the bed instead of sleeping on it, and managed to cancel a water purifier production that was 10 minutes from completing, instead of clicking on the herb table next to it. (both excellent reasons for "leave" and "continue"!)
I suggest that the icons for cancelling and chopping up are made half the size they are now, or perhaps even smaller. I appreciate having the options, but I'd prefer that I really have to mean it, to click on either of them, because both are used rarely, if at all.
Making them smaller, demanding higher precision to deliberately click on them, improves the "user intent". Because, when an "X" for the purifer overlaps the "make something" icon for the herb table by 3/4, it is far too easy to catch the wrong one.

- consistency of production icons
The Herb Garden helpfully tells me how many herbs it is making. The Vegetable garden does not. Some do, some don't.
But what really gets me, is discovering that a survivor abandoned the job during set-up. I'm thinking "Wow, those herbs are half done already" meanwhile they haven't even started growing yet.
It is clear enough when there is nothing in production, or production is finished, but somehow I find the "setting up" icon deeply confusing with the "production time" icon. At one point, I even had a survivor check both the herb garden and vegetable garden, because I though one was growing, but the other was not completely set up to grow yet.
Perhaps it is just me, but I do find the "variable" icon status to be inconsistent. To me, that sort of thing should be obvious and intuitive, not something I have to learn what every icon looks like for every activity in game. That just makes it hard work, and kills my fun.

- character tabs
The most frequent reason I catch the wrong icon, is because I find it much easier to click on the survivor avatar in the shelter, than select them via the tabbed panels at the bottom right. But it's easy to catch an icon when trying to click on the person standing at the activity.

In fact, the tabbed panels are the thing I most hate about the user interface, and it plagues all modern software. It might look "cool" to have these unfruling tabs, but having things reposition as you click on one tab is something that frustrates me immensely. We have the screen space, so why not tile each survivor image, similar to "The Sims", or many other RPG games. There is simply no need to stack them up on top of each other like that.

If you like to keep it minimal, then have a series of small, non-overlapping tabs down the right hand edge, or along the bottom edge, just showing the face and name. Click on one, and it unfurls across the screen, revealing the present tab content. Only the selected survivor would unfurl, the other images are not overlapped, and nothing is "repositioned". Each survivor would have a large degree of separation distance, which will make it vastly easier to identify who is who.

Two reasons:
One is that my brain has already identified where I need to click next when browsing the survivor tabs, but clicking one then changes that, forcing me to recalculate what I was going to do. The positions of the middle tabs change, depending on whether the presently selected survivor is to their left or right. Only the survivor tabs at each extreme end remain consistently positioned.
I like things to stay where they are, predictably and consistently. Yes, that is an autistic trait. But unless you have it, you cannot know how unbearably irritating and frustrating it is to have things change like they do with those tabbed survivor cards.

The second, is that I find some of the character pictures to be too similar, and too obscured because the tabs overlap so much, that I pick the wrong one. For example, Bruno and Marin are like mirror images of each other, and the playthrough that had these two guys in the shelter was so darn confusing and frustrating, I gave up using the tabs completely, and have never regained the habit. It was easier simply to keep track of who was where using the avatars in the house, with five survivors, than keep track of the tabs at the bottom.
Marko and Pavle are another pair of near "twins". And I have trouble with Roman and Anton, and Emilia and Cveta. Even Zlata and Arica....
With time to study them, the differences are noticeable, but a quick glance at the obscured tabs, and I simply cannot tell.
The ONLY reason I now use the tabs is to check the "Bio" info.
The issue might be improved, by allowing us to use our own images for the survivors. But I'd rather that tabbed browser was dropped entirely, because it adds nothing useful, but is immensely frustrating to use.

Thanks for your time.
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