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> #0002 -- Debug File Logging & Helpful Features
SeekSomethingNew
post Jul 29 2009, 02:44 PM
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HyperPatch Development Discussion #0002

Topic Theme: Debug File Logging and other features to help modders test builds...


This topic is about re enabling the debug logging feature what Westwood programmers used to monitor certain aspects of the game. Westwood orignaly had this logic hooked upto a 14" monitor next to the main monitor of the system, but in HyperPatch, it will write this information into a file called DEBUG.TXT in the same directory as the HyperPatch executable.

This features logs many, many things from the game, and can be helpful to the modder testing new edits.

What i want to get a hold of in this topic is what additions to this would you like to be logged in the file? And what other features would you like added to the game to allow some tasks to be done much quicker?

Example would be a reveal shroud keyboard shortcut command, so when you start a game, the shroud is cleared, or a feature where if you where testing a new super weapon, pressing a keyboard shortcut would grant you this. Of course you can put this in the RULES.INI so these features are dissabled when the mod build is finished.

-Hyper

This post has been edited by CCHyper: Aug 3 2009, 12:11 AM


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Bittah Commander
post Jul 29 2009, 07:37 PM
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It would be useful if that when you'd run TS in debug mode, it'd be windowed by default and there'd be a command prompt window open next to it, showing all the debug text (which'll later be exported to a text file).

Maybe also give the option to chose exactly what to debug... For example a specific ini file, the mix files (so you see which file the game is loading) or stuff within game.exe (for us modders who like to mess around in game.exe with a hex editor and yourself of course).

A map reveal command would indeed also be useful, but I think it would be even more useful if it'd be a multiplayer option (so you'll be able to enable or disable shroud before the game starts).
Being able to modify rules.ini and test without having to restart the game would also save some time of course, but I guess modders could just modify a test map for that instead. But being able to modify an ini and then test without even having to restart a skirmish game would be completely awesome of course tongue.gif


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SeekSomethingNew
post Jul 31 2009, 04:57 PM
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QUOTE (Bittah Commander @ Jul 29 2009, 08:37 PM) *
It would be useful if that when you'd run TS in debug mode, it'd be windowed by default and there'd be a command prompt window open next to it, showing all the debug text (which'll later be exported to a text file).

Handling Command Prompt windows is quite hard, i dont feel like doing this really...


QUOTE (Bittah Commander @ Jul 29 2009, 08:37 PM) *
Maybe also give the option to chose exactly what to debug... For example a specific ini file, the mix files (so you see which file the game is loading) or stuff within game.exe (for us modders who like to mess around in game.exe with a hex editor and yourself of course).

I can add a string to show when the game hits a certain function that is prone to causes many problems to a modder.

Example;
InfantryClass::Take_Damage(enter)
InfantryType (CYBORG) was just killed.
AnimClass::Draw_It(INFDEATH)
AnimClass::Draw_It(animation was drawn ok!)
InfantryClass::Take_Damage(exit)


You know then if something happened between the enter and exit strings, you can be 100% sure its InfantryType related, and thus check your infantry. Another example would be WaveClass...

WaveClass::Draw_Beam(enter)
About to draw beam (RGB/4: 12,156,22)
WaveClass::Draw_Beam(exit)

This way you can be sure, just like the last example, the game, if it crashed between the enter and exit strings that you Sonic Tank just caused a internal error for you smile.gif


QUOTE (Bittah Commander @ Jul 29 2009, 08:37 PM) *
A map reveal command would indeed also be useful, but I think it would be even more useful if it'd be a multiplayer option (so you'll be able to enable or disable shroud before the game starts)

I can do this, though it would be a Skirmish only option and you would have to limit this to something like what VK planned, running the game with -MODDBG or so, i want to hide these features in such a way that a normal player can not access them unless you tell the game to do so by some command. Of course, these mods would disable Online, World Domination Tour and Network games to get rid of any people complaining about re-connection issues.


QUOTE (Bittah Commander @ Jul 29 2009, 08:37 PM) *
Being able to modify rules.ini and test without having to restart the game would also save some time of course, but I guess modders could just modify a test map for that instead. But being able to modify an ini and then test without even having to restart a skirmish game would be completely awesome of course tongue.gif

Well, maps can do this, they are loaded as soon as you click start/go on the skirmish or campaign menus, the rules.ini on the other case is not becuase it contains a LOT of global values, thus could mess up a lot of things. But ill see what can be done.

This post has been edited by CCHyper: Jul 31 2009, 05:02 PM


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Bittah Commander
post Jul 31 2009, 05:14 PM
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QUOTE (CCHyper @ Jul 31 2009, 06:57 PM) *
I can do this, though it would be a Skirmish only option and you would have to limit this to something like what VK planned, running the game with -MODDBG or so, i want to hide these features in such a way that a normal player can not access them unless you tell the game to do so by some command. Of course, these mods would disable Online, World Domination Tour and Network games to get rid of any people complaining about re-connection issues.

The idea was actually for it to be a tick box in skirmish/multiplayer, accessible for normal players as well. This way people could chose to just play without shroud or with fog of war instead of shroud (rather than both fog of war AND shroud).


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SeekSomethingNew
post Jul 31 2009, 05:23 PM
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QUOTE (Bittah Commander @ Jul 31 2009, 06:14 PM) *
The idea was actually for it to be a tick box in skirmish/multiplayer, accessible for normal players as well. This way people could chose to just play without shroud or with fog of war instead of shroud (rather than both fog of war AND shroud).

Maybe, but that would have to be voted on.


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Bittah Commander
post Jul 31 2009, 05:27 PM
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Why'd anyone vote against it? Whoever doesn't like it, just leaves shroud on...


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Rampastring
post Aug 2 2009, 11:37 AM
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QUOTE (Bittah Commander @ Jul 31 2009, 08:27 PM) *
Why'd anyone vote against it? Whoever doesn't like it, just leaves shroud on...

I don't like it if the menus get filled with useless multiplayer options. Also, I doubt that it's used that often and typing the TS path and the parameter takes only a few seconds.

I think TS would only write the DEBUG.txt when launched with -MPDEBUG?

This debug logging feature sounds awesome.. I think it will make your "Internal Errors" topic in the Reference and Information forum useless wink.gif

@ Bittah's comment below - I thought you meant it as a debug feature for testing maps and AI, instead of a gameplay feature. I support it as long as it doesn't cause any sync/reconnection errors (Hyper said that it will disable LAN and WWOnline).

This post has been edited by ^Rampastein: Aug 2 2009, 02:46 PM


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Bittah Commander
post Aug 2 2009, 12:25 PM
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I think you're missing the point... Having a tick box to enable or disable shroud will allow players to play with Fog of War instead of shroud, which offers a completely different (yet balanced) gameplay style. I really doubt anyone who's going to host a game online will feel like typing the TS path parameter in between games to disable the shroud (and won't all the other players have to do the same then?).


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SeekSomethingNew
post Aug 2 2009, 08:00 PM
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QUOTE (^Rampastein @ Aug 2 2009, 12:37 PM) *
I don't like it if the menus get filled with useless multiplayer options. Also, I doubt that it's used that often and typing the TS path and the parameter takes only a few seconds.

Indeed, adding things into the game that people cant control annoys people, aswell as causes problems.


QUOTE (^Rampastein @ Aug 2 2009, 12:37 PM) *
I think TS would only write the DEBUG.txt when launched with -MPDEBUG?

Well, Thats possible, but i like to keep it away, because of the limits attached to -MPDEBUG visualy.


QUOTE (^Rampastein @ Aug 2 2009, 12:37 PM) *
@ Bittah's comment below - I thought you meant it as a debug feature for testing maps and AI, instead of a gameplay feature. I support it as long as it doesn't cause any sync/reconnection errors (Hyper said that it will disable LAN and WWOnline).

Correct, all these options, "Debuging", is so that you can test features. It will disable online, network and campaign play.


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Bittah Commander
post Aug 2 2009, 09:48 PM
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Well, obviously it wouldn't work online with people who don't have HP installed... But for as far as I know HP doesn't have any features that are useful for people who play online and don't mod TS, so there's no reason why HP even has to be compatible with vanilla TS when playing online.
As long as HP is compatible with any mod that doesn't use a custom exe, everything should be fine IMO.


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SeekSomethingNew
post Aug 2 2009, 10:46 PM
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HyperPatch will have all logic's and code disabled by defualt, the reason why i disable online and network games in debug mode is so people will not complain to me if they come across any problems, it just covers my back. And as for disabling campaign in debug mode is that the debug options could also interfere with global scenario values, skirmish is good enough to test smile.gif


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