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Garrett2014

FM Bug Reprt ?

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Hey Guys, Ive just a small query concerning bug reports for Fan Missions ! Is there a centralised place for reporting bugs, problems , improvements for a fan mission or do you need to contact the author directly and if so is there any way to easily find contact information for the author. ?

 

The reason I ask is while playing through Saint Lucia I noticed a few minor 'immersion' breaking instances but didn't note them down.

 

I'm now on my second mission 'A Night To Remember' by Fieldmedic and have encountered two issues. The first is while in the trophy room I crouched between a spear stand and a chair just to the right of the fireplace and got stuck there ! I could turn but not move away from the wall. It was like i was stuck to the chair or to the wall. Ultimately I reloaded my saved position which had to be in that position only to find i was still stuck ! I resolved the problem by using the mantle option to climb onto the chair but i think this needs to be addressed. !

 

The second issue was while outside the Master Bedroom. I noticed that the ghost or headless apparition had somehow become stuck on the protruding lamp mounted on the wall to the left of the double door leading into the Master Bedroom. It was continuing to walk but was not moving ! A minor adjustment of the NPC path may resolve this.

 

So that's it . I have an eye for detail and small issues like this really spoil the experience for me. I want perfection ! :D I also realise the great amount of time and effort has gone into these Fan Missions and can see how small issues such as these can be overlooked. However I still respect all that has been achieved.

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Each fan mission has its own thread; you can do a search to find them.

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You can often jump or mantle out of stuck spots. Failing that, and not having a useful reload, you may open the command console and type "noclip". That lets you "swim" through objects. Just move a bit to get out (in a safe direction) and use the command again (it's a toggle) to return to normal play.

 

If you are going to "report" it as a bug, be sure you can recreate it and it happens to others as well (it wasn't just a one-time fluke, and it's likely to impact a majority of players).

 

Pathing can be very hard to resolve, as the game picks routes between path nodes. Instead of building content two nights ago, I spent way too much time trying to resolve an AI spinning by doorway issue on my WIP. It usually involves major geometry changes ("a minor adjustment to the path" will have no impact). In my case, the cause was adding a building outside the building the AI was in. It's lucky I even noticed, as the AI goes that way only about 0.25% of the time! It easily could have gotten past beta testers too, being so rare. I spent an hour or so doing nothing but trying to change things, testing, trying to change something else, testing, readjusting, testing again, etc.

 

So it comes down to time versus benefit. If it breaks the map, that is obviously significant! But maps are incredibly complex, involving multiple interacting systems, typically months of labor has gone into creating them, and I've found minor glitches and more major ones in nearly all of them. Designers can spend the rest of their lives trying to track down these things. Game updates may have affected older maps too, changes in available assets/textures, and other things can affect maps that were previously relatively flawless originally. (Or, ironically, dealing with previous issues may cause new ones.)

 

During beta testing, a judgment is made, and everyone, testers, mappers, has/have a different threshold of what is critical to resolve before release, when to release, etc.

 

You may "want perfection", but another question might be, do you want missions to play? Mappers need to have thick skins to begin with, and a desire to produce regardless of public reception (or worse, silent reception). Even if dozens of testers voluntarily go through with a fine tooth comb, once the mission is out there, hundreds of players are likely to stumble across something not discovered during testing.

 

Of course commercial games suffer from this more, as their designers and testers are more limited in time. I've seen bad texture seams in very popular game known for it's quality of visual! They have a building you enter a door on the left, only to end up in the right end of the room inside at the opposite end of the structure. They have another building with two doors to exit from the interior, but only one to enter from the exterior!

 

Might a bit more suspension of disbelief contribute more to your immersion than noting every flaw? If the ratio goes the other way, not only are there the public forum threads on missions, but you could generally PM authors too (I'd want instant notification of game-breaking bugs). If there are significant problems, often the forum thread will have workarounds provided by the author or players already.

 

As laudable as your desire to contribute in this way is, don't be surprised or disappointed if minor things don't get changed. Often the free time people had set aside to create a map doesn't exist for them anymore, or they might not even remember enough to feel comfortable making changes months or years later, or their talents excel more in visual design than physical numerical precision, or gameplay than visuals, or etc...

 

Either way, I'd evaluate your feedback for how it might be received. I'm not shocked anymore, but when folks claim to like a mission, then list a bunch of subjective "complaints" in a feedback thread (obviously constructive criticism is a different ball of wax), I wonder how they imagine that encourages development of good new content?

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"The measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out."

- Baron Thomas Babington Macauley

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I agree with what RJ said above. Let me also point out that someone who spots problems is usually very welcome BEFORE the mission is released--there are at least two different people looking for beta-testers in the last week or two, so perhaps you should offer your services in that area in the future.

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